Printing contracts

Fellow printers,

I am beginning to do more letterpress work for others as opposed to doing it for friends and family. I know that doing paid work is a serious matter. Does any one have any stock contracts they would be kind enough to send me. I am looking for something that would generally protect me from potential problems. Some potential problem I can see arising is unexpected color issues (especially if they are making decisions from a monitor) and inconsistencies in printing related to the nature of letterpress.

I would be grateful for any insight.

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I don’t use contracts in my work, but you can generally use common sense, and a customer’s signature on other documents, to prevent problems.

Send over work orders, including ink colours, quantities, prices, stock etc. that the customer needs to sign off on.

If they are concerned about colour consistency, invite them for a press check during set-up. Charge them for extra work if they change the colour once they see how their Pantone colour looks in real life (although you will also have to do a good job matching to the Pantone book.)

Always take a 50% deposit so you don’t have to chase after people who don’t pick-up work.


I seen many at places I have worked but to me they were to complicated and full of to much stuff, people never wanted to sign them. I would make your own and keep it simple for spelling, phone numbers, dates, amount, final size and price. Ad a disclaimer for color changes throughout the run. I like the 50% deposit

We tried to get 50% deposit but for smaller jobs like business cards we get it paid in full because we had problems with people paying say $20 for a $40 business card, usually cash then when they picked it up we would get a bad check for the other $20, so the bank charged us the bounced check fee and that tookk care of the deposit. You have to feel the customer out a little, use common sense, if it don’t feel right get the full amount up front. Dick G.

I would be happy to share my with you. I use Apple numbers for my estimates and at the bottom of every estimate are the details. Send me your email and I’ll send a pdf.

Inky Lips Letterpress


I don’t use contracts for production work any more, but I do require person to person contact. Don’t do pricing via email or phone or mail but rather face to face. If that doesn’t work, it ain’t going to work. You likely won’t have any problems unless you screw up. Best to have insurance though just in case you do. You may never have to use it but…


Is this work on going? Example: you will be doing imprinting on pre-printed stock.

A good way to handle on going work is with a price list for services you offer and have the customer sign that they agree with with your pricing for their work.

If it is a one time job, a deposit from 25% to 50% is the way shop handle that type of work.

If a customer, doesn’t want to pay something down or agree with your price list, you will have problems in the future.