SteveZ DesignZ

Your source for graphic design, printing, WordPress, Vinyl and social media graphics in East Tennessee.

Bindery Graphic Design Printing


Overruns a manufacturing and printing term used for extras of in excess of the normal quantity. #overruns


Overruns can also be used for adjusting the printing alignment and cutting setup during the printing process. In many cases, a small number of additional copies may be printed to ensure that the alignment and cutting are accurate and consistent across all copies of the project. This is particularly important for projects that require precise alignment or cutting, such as business cards or packaging materials. By printing overruns, printers can ensure that the final product meets the client’s specifications and quality standards.

Overruns a manufacturing and printing term used for extras of in excess of the normal quantity. #overruns

In printing for example, we can get 21 to 24 business cards to a sheet of paper 12×18 or 13×19 when imposed. Depending on the number of the business card order, depends on how many sheets is printed.

Most often printing companies will print a few extra sheets. Thus goes for most everything printed and not just business cards.

Those bigger sheets help with the click click at of printing. Then those big sheets are cut down. The bigger sheets also help of what needs printed has a bleed or not.

Most common reasons for overruns …

Samples so they can show customers examples.

Cutting set up – this is for a machine like a Duplo cutter so the extras help set up to make its cutting where it should.

Press set up – it is also used to set up the press or digital printers to make sure the color and registration is correct.

Samples! Print shops live to show customers samples of what they designed and/or printed! Besides customers want to know what to expect too!

The misconceptions about printers is print to size but most often it’s not. For example a letter size document may print on 11×17 and cut in half.

Plus you can get over runs sim e printing n-up on bigger sheets, you have to print up and that can give overruns too.

Sometimes the customer also gets those overruns and other times they may get tossed or recycled.

Sometimes if the print shop knows you always run the same thing, they may print a double batch. It cost less to print more than less. (Overall cost).

Benefits of overruns

Overruns are printed for a variety of reasons, depending on the specific needs and goals of the client and the printer. In general, overruns are printed to ensure that there are enough copies of a project to meet demand, and to provide some flexibility in the printing process.

One common reason for overruns is to accommodate potential changes in the project. For example, if the client decides they need additional copies of a brochure or catalog after the initial printing order has been placed, having an overrun can save time and resources by avoiding the need to reprint the entire project. Additionally, overruns can be used to experiment with different design variations or printing techniques without having to start the printing process from scratch.

Overruns can also serve as a form of insurance against errors or damages during the printing process. If any of the printed materials are damaged or misprinted, having an overrun ensures that the client will still receive the desired amount of copies. This can be particularly useful for high-value or time-sensitive materials, where any delay or mistake can have significant consequences.

Finally, overruns can also be used as a marketing tool. When a client receives extra copies of a printed project, they may choose to distribute them to others, potentially reaching a wider audience than originally intended. This can be particularly advantageous for businesses or organizations that are looking to increase their exposure and reach new customers or supporters.

Overall, overruns are printed to provide some flexibility and insurance in the printing process, and to ensure that there are enough copies of a project to meet demand.

Negatives of Overruns

While there are several positive aspects of overruns in printing, there are also some potential negatives that should be considered. These include:

  1. Additional cost: Overruns add additional printing and material costs, which can increase the overall cost of the project. This can be a concern for clients who are working with a tight budget or who may not need the extra copies.
  2. Waste: Printing overruns can lead to additional waste, as any unused copies may need to be disposed of or recycled. This can be an environmental concern, particularly if the materials used in the project are not recyclable.
  3. Storage space: If the client does not need the extra copies, they may need to find storage space for the additional materials, which can be inconvenient or impractical.
  4. Confusion: If the client receives more copies than they were expecting, it can lead to confusion and potential errors in distribution or use. This can be particularly problematic if the materials contain sensitive or confidential information.
  5. Ethical concerns: In some cases, printers may intentionally create overruns to increase their profits, even if the client does not need or want the extra copies. This can be seen as unethical or exploitative.

Overall, while overruns can provide benefits in terms of flexibility, experimentation, and insurance, they also come with some potential negatives that should be taken into account. It’s important for clients and printers to communicate clearly about the number of copies needed and to consider the potential costs and waste associated with printing overruns.

Contact SteveZ DesignZ for your graphic design needs! Make sure you also subscribe to learn more about Graphic Design and Printing along with terms, being a designer and much more!

Follow SteveZ DesignZ on Social Media!
Subscribe To The Graphic Design Blog!
Follow SteveZ DesignZ on

Don’t miss a blog post about graphic design. Subscribe today!

Join 821 other subscribers

Recent Feed of All of Steve’s Blogs

Loading RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Steve is graphic designer who works at a print shop. He has been in graphic design since high school and continued on to get an Associates of Applied Science degree in graphic design too. He has since worked mostly in advertising design for various newspapers and shoppers. He has also worked for a couple sign companies. He currently works at a print shop. Steve has over 30 lifetime years of graphic design.
©2019-2024 SteveZ DesignZ
Check out Courageous Christian Father a Christian and Family Blog!!
Steve also Sews! See Steve Sews Stuff.