Inexpensive photoengravers?

Since the 1960s I have been a small hobby printer and exclusively used one company to make my letterpress cuts. A few years ago the owner of the company passed away and the company fell into the hands of his daughter. She apparently decided dad’s business style didn’t fit hers. A small cut of a logo, once $3 jumped to $25. As a small job printer, I can hardly offer 100 cards to someone for ten or fifteen dollars but then tell them the cut will cost two or three times that. I would be interested in learning if there are any photoengravers out there that offer their product at a reasonable price? Thanks.

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I’ve used Owosso for a long time, never had a problem with them, a small logo for $3.00 was a great deal, heck even $25.00 is a good deal. My minimum charge for a logo is $85.00.

$25 Doesn’t strike me as unreasonable. That is the minimum the photo engravers we deal with charge us. $35 as a one time charge and then $10 or $15 for reruns. Or you can gang up art from 3 or 4 customers and cut the cut apart on your saw and still get the $25 minimum charge divided by 3 or 4.

I don’t think those prices are unreasonable at all…. given the current high prices for everything. I used to make my own zinc and copper cuts, and I doubt if even doing them yourself would be much cheaper…. unless you did a lot of ‘em.

Sadly, this is likely why letterpress printed items have become the nouveau fad of haute societe’——I look for reasonable pricing because I want to keep customer interest in my letterpress-printing and make it available to as many people as I can.. $30 for a 1-inch cut…sorry…IT’S NOT REASONABLE. Tacking on bogus fees and gouging is hardly a good testimonial to “doing onto others.”

While you may not feel that $30 for a 1” cut is reasonable, when you are charging $85 (dickg) to a customer, you are still making $40-60 profit.
Also metal is constantly on the upswing as are all materials and services. Due to “haute societé” and their purchasing power, it only makes logical sense that rates increase. It is simple supply and demand.

Can’t really get too terribly upset over such a situation.

well my price for mag dies seems high to some, but i get 1/4” mag foiling dies which i find easier to work with, they cost a bit more but i feel they last longer, i pay about $45 for a small die, recently i did a embossing and foiling die for a business card and the die was $350, you have to charge enough to make something or simply don’t take the work. If you smash a die you need to have enough in it to get another die, that’s how i look at it.

Where do you get your letterpress cuts for $25? I’d take that price any day.

You can usually get a lower price by ganging cuts - Owosso (as an example) charges by the square inch - so gang several cuts and have them sawn apart.

Example: $32.90 for 30 square inches of mounted magnesium - that’s easily three 3” x 3” cuts at an average cost of less than $12 each.

thats ok if you have the volume but most things today are super rush so you can’t wait to gang them up. Owosso is where i get my cuts made, i have never had a problem with them, i get 1/4” mag dies unmounted.

Rush jobs cost extra, don’t they? 8)

Lately every job is a rush, its hard to charge extra for rush work because there is always someone out there that don’t charge the rush charge, it seems like every day there is less work around, i’m glad my expenses are low, i feel bad for those starting out.

I try not to be difficult, but lately, I’ve decided I won’t chard for rush jobs. That’s because I don’t take rush jobs any longer. My experience has been that folks that rush you are also very fussy about the quality. And since I am also fussy about quality, I’m just not willing to put myself in a position where quality could be sacrificed for the sake of speed. Call me kookey, but that’s how I roll

It doesn’t seem that customers allow any lead time these days. I printed a wedding invite set 12 weeks before the wedding but the bride still needed it printed the next day. Thank goodness for same day cuts.

Customers who allow no lead time are customers who aren’t able to plan!

Years ago I had a long conversation with Dot Bailey who, for many years after the death of her husband ran Southern Poster in Atlanta. We were talking about pricing jobs and troublesome customers, and after laying out the particulars she pointed out when to attach a DTO charge. I asked her what a DTO charge was and she volunteered, “Dot’s ticked off !”

Hi All. OWOSSO’s minimum (up to 10 sq in) charge for a 16 gauge wood mounted cut is $17.00 plus shipping. You can find our complete price list here:

We also have an example on how to gang your artwork here: