Printing OSM Promotional Leaflets

Posted by alexkemp on 24 January 2019 in English (English)

This is the final in a sequence of posts on acquiring some small leaflets originally produced by Andy Allan:–

  1. Fonts missing from OSM Promotional Leaflets
  2. Github HowTo: Clone Repository then make a Pull Request
  3. Printing OSM Promotional Leaflets
  4. Update to OSM Promotional Leaflets due to Padding errors
  5. Adding a Preview JPG + crop-marks for printing

OSM flyers

Five years ago Andy Allan produced a GitHub repository of a design for a credit-card sized (A7: 105mm high x 74mm wide) 8-page leaflet based on a Frederik Ramm German design, but updated for the UK (see above + at openstreetmap-promotional-leaflets). Andy had very kindly sent me a bunch of those leaflets on May 2016, and told me that they cost GBP £95 for 5,000 leaflets direct from the printers or GBP ~£165 for 10,000.

There is always an occasion whilst mapping when someone comes up & says “What do you think you are doing?”. I found that those leaflets helped to cut all the explanation to a minimum, and removed almost all aggravation. After many months & thousands of leaflets handed out I was down to the last few.

Near the end of last year I went to a local printer to get some more & discovered that they did not have the leaflet fonts on their Mac, so could not print from it. At home, the whole collection turned out to need updating (no surprise after 5 years) (cue 1st diary post).

Andy suggested to make a pull request. I said “That’s a great idea” then went home to try to work out what he was talking about (cue 2nd diary post).

The story now reaches last Monday 21 January. I had updated the original GitHub collection for the latest version of Inkscape + sourced all the fonts + fixed the SVGs + produced PDFs suitable for printing. Now for the proof of the pudding:– will it print OK?

In the end I got 6 quotes:–

  1. 5-years ago by Andy Allan
     5,000 — £95
    10,000 — £165
  2. John E Wright
     5,000 — (still waiting)
    10,000 — (still waiting)
    25,000 — (still waiting)
  3. Portland Printers, Nottingham University
     1,000 — £245
     5,000 — £327
    10,000 — £376
  4. Fineprint, Nottingham
     5,000 — £206
    10,000 — £291
    25,000 — £532
  5. Big Thinkers, East Bridgford
     5,000 — £154
    10,000 — £262
    25,000 — £564
     5,000 — £58.11 + £10.33 delivery
    10,000 — £103.89 + £19.85 delivery
    25,000 — £241.21 + £42.20 delivery

The fact that print24 will print 25,000 leaflets for less than Portland will charge for 1,000 of the same leaflets still blows my mind. John E Wright was the first printer that I approached, but they are waiting for a 3rd party to quote on folding the leaflets and cannot give a price until then.

I found John E Wright & Big Thinkers to be the most professional of all the folks I approached. Those on support at print24 were the least professional & perfectly ignorant about print. They appeared to be natives in India speaking Inglish, badly.† The managing director was Ali Bazooband, and the printing press was somewhere in Germany. If Andy had not already made use of them I would never have considered them, and worried constantly that it may be a scam. We shall find out when/if the parcels arrive, for I gave them ( UK Ltd. aka print24) the order for 5,000 leaflets.

Some advice about print24:

  • I was advised to create an account on the website ( by a gentleman at the support number but did not - you may wish to avoid my mistake.
  • I was able to get to the point on Monday 2019-01-21 16:18 of being posted an email confirming the order, but whilst the PDF that I uploaded at order creation both registered & then showed on-screen, print24 never received it.
  • The emailed order contained IBAN, Swift, Bank code & Account number for their bank. My bank (NatWest) told me there was a £20+ charge for a £68.44 IBAN/Swift transfer. I made a charge-free Bank-code/Account-number bank-to-bank transfer on Tuesday 2019-01-22 11:02 & emailed print24 the time of transfer. They never replied.
  • They sent me a “Missing payment for order number” email on Wednesday 2019-01-23 01:02. I scanned my Payment Confirmation and emailed it to them.
  • The same email said “In addition the printing files are missing” and advised me to email the PDF to a specific email address. I did so 4 times with different subject-lines and each time received a reply saying “Customer and order number do not match or are incomplete” and that the email had been discarded. I emailed support for a fix & got no reply.
  • I phoned the support line again. It said “Welcome to our 24/7 support line. Unfortunately the office is closed at this time”. I was getting rather twitchy by this point.
  • At 10:24 Wednesday I got an email saying “We have received the payment but unfortunately not your artwork. Could you please upload it again with the data upload on our website?”. I did what they asked and, presumably because it had now registered my payment, it now worked with a confirmation…
  • At 12:49 the email said “Confirmation of file received osmflyer.pdf”
  • At 13:06 the email said “the print data for your order was checked as part of the basic data check – the countdown clock is running! Delivery by 31/01/2019.”
  • Mon 28 Jan 19:04 UTC print24 sent an invoice for the order
  • Mon 28 Jan 19:26 UTC print24 sent a Shipment Confirmation order together with a link to ‘’ to allow the shipment progress to be followed. This says:–

      Date       Time   DPD parcel centre    Parcel status
      28.01.2019 14:53  Kesselsdorf (DE) ... In transit.
      28.01.2019 13:50  DPD data centre      Order information has been transmitted to DPD.    
  • Tue 29 Jan 03:03 UTC the email subject was: print24-guest access expires in 24 hours; then: “You have not placed an order through your print24 guest access for a long time. Take the chance to place additional orders now with your account. If you do not want to order additional products with your guest account, we will delete your data immediately.” That is worrying.
  • Tue 29 Jan 22:59 UTC the email subject from was: due for delivery on Wednesday 30th January; then: “On the morning of the Wednesday 30th January you’ll receive a 1 hour delivery time slot and you’ll be able to live track your order on its way to you.” (I was warned through reading comments on the website that they tend to deliver 1 day early). No notice yet how many parcels in my delivery.
  • Wed 30 Jan 06:02 UTC Observing the conjunction of Venus & Jupiter pre-dawn, low in the south-east sky, with the Waning Crescent of the Moon not far away above & to the right. The skies are perfectly clear, which is why my car is covered in frost from front to rear.
  • Wed 30 Jan 07:14 UTC Text from DPD: “Your order will be delivered 30 Jan by DPD. We’ll send your 1 hour time slot by 11am. Not going to be in? (a url)”
  • Wed 30 Jan 09:45 UTC Text + email from DPD: “DPD driver Penko will deliver your dpd order today 14:41-15:41. Not going to be in? (same url)” ‘’ now says:–

       Date       Time   DPD parcel centre    Parcel status
       30.01.2019 14:57  Nottingham (GB)      Delivered.
                                              Evidence >
       30.01.2019 09:32  Nottingham (GB)      Out for delivery.
       30.01.2019 01:35  Nottingham (GB)      At parcel delivery centre.
       29.01.2019 19:15  Hinckley, Leices ... In transit.
       28.01.2019 14:53  Kesselsdorf (DE) ... In transit.
       28.01.2019 13:50  DPD data centre      Order information has been transmitted to DPD.   
  • Wed 30 Jan 14:59 UTC Text + email from DPD: “Your dpd parcel has been delivered today by DPD, to your neighbour (his name) at (house-number).” I was sat 2 feet from the bell-push loudspeaker all afternoon. Other people can use it. How come all delivery folks cannot?
  • The print quality + paper + numbers seem good. I can now tell, however, that I made some minor mistakes with Padding on both sides when I updated the SVGs. Others may not notice, but I certainly do. I’ve fixed that & made further commits to the Repository.

I’m basically happy with print24. They are a long way from perfect, but have produced what they promised, when they promised it, at an exceptionally low price (available Europe-wide). (Thu 31 Jan): I’ve added replacements for Andy’s photos to show what these updated leaflets look like. They are not as good as Andy’s photos, but do show more accurately what the leaflets look like as available today.

†Native English can have difficulty understanding dialects of those from other districts of England. That happened to me 50 years ago in Northumberland when the car got lost after a diversion due to road-works (converting the A1 Great North Road to the A1(M)); no-one in the car could understand the reply from the local whom we asked for directions, but thanked him politely & followed his gesticulations. That is why many English folks speak two languages: their local lingo & ‘polite’ English (for visitors from the next-door town/district).

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