Activity Feed Forums Sign Making Discussions General Sign Topics Do you charge by the linear meter or by the square meter?

  • Pane Talev

    April 4, 2023 at 6:09 am

    M2. Habit I guess. Easier to calculate. Ink cost come to us as M2.

  • Jamie Wood

    April 4, 2023 at 7:07 am

    We charge by the linear metre, as none of our material comes in 1m width. For ink, we charge by the square metre, then multiply it by the width of the media we are using.

  • David Hammond

    April 4, 2023 at 9:43 am

    A few years ago I switched to Linear Meter, and I do prefer it. The Linear meterage rate is just pro-rata of the Square meterage. I don’t bother working out seperate ink costs either, it’s just £xx per meter, depening on the material.

    Here’s my example of why it’s more beneficial (prices just guesses)

    Doing wall graphics, the wall is 2.4x.3.6m = 8.64 m2

    Square meterage price = (8.64 x £40 = £345.60)

    Linear Meterage Price

    3.6m width / by 1.3 (media width) = 2.76… drops, rounded up to 3 drops.

    3 drops x 2.4m height = 7.2 linear meters.

    7.2 x £55 (£40×1.37) = £396 (compared to £48 a linear meter using Sq/m pricing (£345.60/7.2))

    Add to that, fitting 1300mm wide drops is a pain in the backside, you could reduce the size to 1.2m, and use the same amount of material. Not the best example, but you can end up with walls where you end up with an extra drop to make it fit.

    A better example is with vans, and panel fills, some of these are really wasteful.

    Ecample panels on a crafter 700x3000mm,

    0.7×3 = 2.1m2.

    2.1 x £40 = £84

    £84 x 2 for each side £168.00

    Trouble is if you’re printing on 1370 wide media you’re using 6m of material

    £168.00 / 6 = £28.00 PLM

    Alternatively 6m x £55 (£40*1.37) = £330

    or if you’re printing @ 1600

    40 x 1.6 = £64.00
    3m x £64.00 = £192.00

    For arguments sake, you print it on 760mm media, using the same square meterage price to work out the linear meterage price –
    £40 * .76m = £30.40
    6 x £30.40 = £182.40
    Which is still more than your Sq/m price, with less waste

    Of course you can adjust the price accordingly, if around 50% of the media is unprinted, but other than ink, there’s not a huge saving, regards media, time, speed etc.

  • Mark Johnston

    April 4, 2023 at 11:30 am

    we work the price out at a square metre but I don’t think that is the best way. i think it should change but most appear to do it this way also.

  • Hugh Potter

    April 4, 2023 at 2:39 pm

    Always per linear metre, for the reasons @DavidHammond gave. Though I think at £55 a mtr he’s a bit on the cheap side, we’ve been £60 per linear for a good quality polymeric for several years, and considering increasing it now an Arlon 4550GTX kit has increased around £100 in the past few years. I don’t care that I’m more expensive than many of my local competitors, some of them are way too cheap, busier than me for sure, but way too cheap. I can earn the same money from 2 vans as they do from 3 or 4 in some cases.

    Charging per sq mtr may work if you’re using the full width, but if you’re paying £8 per mtr for the film, and throwing nearly half in the bin, it’s getting wasteful when a client comes in and wants a 500 x 3000mm decal, let the client pay for the waste!

    • David Hammond

      April 4, 2023 at 2:45 pm

      I just picked a relatively easy figure to demonstrate the maths.

      I explained it to a friend a few months back, ran the same job he prices Sq/m and I priced L/m, I came out £200 more, he used my price and still won the job.

      • Hugh Potter

        April 4, 2023 at 2:48 pm

        yup, I find that when a customer is here for an appointment and we sit to [bare bones] design / finalise / quote, they much better understand how it’s costed as I lay it all out (loosely) on the screen to price it, rarely am I questioned regards price any more.


  • RobertLambie

    April 4, 2023 at 9:28 pm

    I always charge by the linear metre.
    I also sell by the linear metre, by upselling.

    * Customer supplies artwork
    * Customer wants:
    * 1 Vinyl Print
    * 420mm x 1000mm
    * No lamination

    Price: £39.50+vat for One Print or 3 Prints £79.50+ vat

    If they revert to the individual cost, they are given a longer waiting time and the job is nested amongst others and they are then called when it is ready.

    When the print is even smaller, I pump the price for one higher again, but nest up the width of the roll and offer an alternative batch order. It is an easier sell because you are explaining to them you must cover your waste costs. So one individual is expensive, but if they pay a bit more, they get a bunch more prints. I would say 7/10 run with the batch prices, but even for those that don’t, I’m charging them more and still nesting the prints amongst other customers, so it’s a win-win.

    Everything we run is done on a quality brand polymeric or cast.

  • Mark Johnston

    April 5, 2023 at 9:54 am

    that sounds like a pretty good way of doing it rob. i am going to try that mate! 👍

    • David Hammond

      April 5, 2023 at 10:00 am

      The only problem I have when I do that, is it takes ages for the right job to gang it up with 😂

      I tend to just bung it on the machine when it’s a similar job, and finishing process. Good idea on the upsell

  • Simon Worrall

    April 5, 2023 at 12:37 pm

    Good points all.

    I find a square meter price convenient to talk about with the customers.
    They understand the concept.
    You only use about a square for every linear meter anyhow with wastage. So its fair.

  • Chris Wilson

    April 5, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Linear meter for us a well. As that’s how it comes. Also agree with rob on up sell especially with banners. All them folks wanting them 2ft high.

    Also think that ink is such a low cost overall that it’s not really factored in. I don’t think customers care. They just want a price and not to be told that if there print has a white background I can do it for £3 a meter cheaper. Some you win, some you loose some. Am just here to try and make cool stuff and happy customers. When I focus on that the money comes in no bother at all and it’s almost enjoyable.

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