Oct 28, 2010

Anatomy of a $35,000 brochure

In celebration of the bureaucracy that plagues the modern office, allow me to share the following TRUE story:

Client (a bank) buys out another bank. They need to print up a simple brochure telling their newly acquired customers that things will be better now that their banking needs are going to be addressed by our client.

The assignment: A simple, three-fold (8.5”x 11” folded in three), color brochure, with dirt-cheap stock images, printed on cheap-ass tissue paper. About 50,000 copies. Simple, right?

Well, the agency ended up charging $35,000 for said brochure.


Yes, $35,000… and the client PAID it in full, no questions asked.

Let me break it down:

· Client waited until the very last minute to green light the project, meaning Friday afternoon approval, which means working over the weekend, because printers had to run first thing Monday morning.

· The paste-up department (which is subcontracted by the agency for these types of projects) charges overtime rates when working weekends. This means one person charging the equivalent of three people.

· The freelance writer assigned to the project also charges overtime weekend rates. This means that another person is charging the equivalent of three people.

· Client spends all day Saturday designing, writing, and revising… repeat. Remember, two people are charging what six people would normally charge. PLUS the agency’s rush fee, which the client somehow agreed to.

· Sunday – another 10 hours of designing, writing, and revising.

· Monday – another few hours of designing, writing, and revising… AND a super expensive stock image, the only photo everyone could agree on.

· Tuesday, the final art goes to printers… PLUS the printer’s late fee

Final Price Tag: $35,000.

As for you, my dear reader, good luck selling that $300 logo.


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