Modeling is a business, and as with any other business you need to make an investment to see a return. If you hope for your modeling career to take off, either you or your agency is going to have to invest some money in a few things – like a portfolio and a set of comp cards.
Assuming you’re footing the bill for these cards, how much should they cost? How much should you expect to pay?
This depends a little bit on how you go about getting them done. You could find a graphic designer to handle the whole job, from design to print. You could find a designer to generate some print-ready files for you, and then print them at your own print shop. Or, you could go the DIY yourself route, design your own cards with a comp card template, and send them off to a printer.
For an all in one solution, you can expect to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-80 for a set of 50 cards and $85 to $125 for a set of 100 cards. Larger sets of 250 or 500 typically come with a hefty discount, and you’ll pay a lower per-unit price if you make a larger up front order. You probably won’t find a price under $60/50 or $85/100, so if you find a good vendor at that price point go for it. If you see an advertised price much higher than that, keep looking around. You want to make a good investment, but you also don’t want to get ripped off.
Another possibility is that you could find a graphic designer to put together a set of print ready files, and then you could search for your own printing solution. These prices could vary widely, depending on who you find to do the design work. An established designer would probably charge somewhere in the neighborood of $35 to $70 to put the files togther. If you find someone eager to build up a portfolio, you might find a cheaper price ($10 to $25). While this seems cheaper, keep in mind that you’ll still need to pay a printer to put the files to the press.
The price to print the cards is going to depend on how many units you order. The fewer the cards, the higher the price. You want to look for a company that advertises themselves as a short run or digital printer. If you order a small set (50 cards), you should expect to pay $35 to $45. A set of 100 cards should be around $55 to $65. If you order larger orders of 250 or 500, you’ll save a lot of money, so it pays to order more up front.
No matter how you dice it, though, it’s going to cost you around $40 to $50 at a bare minimum to get a set of cards done. Depending on the size of your order, the complexity of your design, and the quality of designer that you find, that price could go up a little bit from there.
Check here for more information about comp card printing.