My first pass at guessing the cost of the maps was to ask nearby cities what they paid for theirs. I recall getting answers back in the range $1 to $3 per map. That turned not to be a very accurate way to predict my costs. Having an idea of what my specs would be and talking directly to printers turned to be to much more productive. I’m also glad I asked what 5,000 would cost to print when the answer I got back for 1,000 seemed expensive. The cost for 5,000 turned out to be less than double the cost of 1,000!
Here are the specs I used to talk to printers:
- 17″ x 22″ full color map, no bleeds,
- folded into 12 panels, (The same folded size as a tri-fold brochure)
- Printed on glossy, recycled paper (the gloss should help with rain resistance)
- Documents provided as high-quality, press-ready PDFs.
- Price points for 1,000, 2,000 and 5,000.
The size of the map required will vary some by the size of your city, and possibly with your budget. Albuquerque’s, for example, is a good deal larger than ours.
To get an idea of which printers could even handle printing and folding such a job, I asked around with other people that folded brochures in the community. The low quote was from Paust Printers, quoting $2,010 for 5,000 maps, about 40 cents per map.