The debate about in-sourcing vs outsourcing signage and printing has been rolling for more than a decade. One half swears by in-sourcing, saying it allows the business to have complete control over the printing process. The other half says outsourcing signage is cost-effective and convenient.

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering outsourcing or in-sourcing your printing and signage work.

Associated Costs

Signage and printing equipment is not cheap. An average banner printer will set you back $3000 to $8000, and that’s not the only machine you’ll need. Now factor in maintenance costs, salaries and other unforeseen challenges, and you”ll see how expensive in-house printing can get. Outsourcing, on the other hand, reduces those costs considerably. You also get access to top-of-the-line equipment, which increases the quality of your end product.

Time Management

Anyone who runs a business that requires a lot of printing knows how time-consuming this process can be. While you get complete control, inhouse printing might take up time from more important things. The actual product should be the star of the show, and the only way to make sure that happens is by outsourcing your printing.


Let’s face it; in-house printing is more likely to fail compared to an outsourced job. That’s because the stand-alone printing business has a lot to lose if it misses deadlines or underwhelms clients. For this reason alone, an external printing service will jump through hoops to deliver an order, even if it means outsourcing the job. Some of them also have a second option in case something goes wrong with their main system. That is rarely the case for most SMEs.

The verdict?

Both options are equally rewarding if you get the priorities right. Some functions are better off outsourced, while others can only be an in-house functions.