quotation-start_edited-2.jpg"We just received today the advances for The Elephant and the Bee and they are absolutely stunning - thank you so much!" Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd 


"Imago took a very difficult situation, a tight turnaround time needed for a complicated project, and not only put my mind at ease but they also delivered on everything flawlessly. I have worked with several different printers in the past and Imago is the gold standard in terms of quality service, communication, meeting deadline and delivering beautiful high-quality products." Jenna Fernandes, The Next Big Thing marks.jpg 

Working with Imago : FAQs

How do I supply artwork?

Print ready PDFs in CMYK for printed products. Full details can be found here.

How long does it take to manufacture in China?

Typically printing in China takes 5-6 weeks and shipping to the UK a further 5-6 weeks. We suggest allowing 3 months from files to delivery.

Of course some products can take longer and projects involving multiple components can have longer lead times. If you are interested in taking your project forward we can supply a full schedule.

Things to note: Chinese New Year in January / February can add significant delays to the above timings. Factories can close for 2-3 weeks over this period and there is always a rush up to CNY and a backlog afterwards.  

How long does it take to print in Europe?

Printing in Europe is significantly faster than China. For delivery to the UK as an example, you would be looking at around 1 month from files supplied to product delivery. Please ask for a full schedule as it will vary slightly from project to project and dependent on printing location.

Delivered Quantities

Our suppliers are all geared towards mass production and as a general rule, are not able to produce exact quantities. All printed product will be produced with ‘overs’ which are chargeable. The industry accepted level of chargeable overs is 5%. If this is an issue for you, please be sure to raise this with your Imago contact before placing your order. 

Can I get a full prototype?

For all printed product a blank / white ‘dummy’ can be supplied for you to see and approve the materials we have quoted on. Of course at this stage you are free to change anything you aren’t happy with – just ask! There is usually a small charge for these.

Fully printed protoytpes are very expensive - usually prohibitively so. An alternative is to use the white dummies mentioned above along side product visuals produced by a designer, which we can help with if needed. 

Once an order is confirmed, you will get proofs (see below) and a fully made up verification sample to approve - however at this stage all printing is complete. This is included in the price. 


Once the order is confirmed & files are received, you will receive ‘plotter proofs’ to check positionals and fit and are not fully colour correct. These can be supplied by email or as print outs. At this point you are still able to make changes but you will need to supply new files and the schedule may suffer some delay. Plotter proofs are included in the price of the project unless repeated changes are made and proofs have to be output multiple times.

However, in order for our printers to be able to accurately reproduce your colour on press we do require some contract proofs to work with – either digital or wet proofs. We are happy for you to supply these proofs as long as they have been run by a repro house and are contract proofs which we are able to match on press. If you are not able to supply, we are happy to run proofs for you and will explain the different options available. It is not always necessary to proof the whole book or product and we can just proof a few critical pages.

For non printed product there are various different options available dependent on the product – we will offer advice on these on a case by case basis. 

What is the process of the job?

Books: When you are ready to confirm an order, we send you an order confirmation to sign. This will include a detailed specification and the pricing we have agreed. Pleas check this thoroughly and sign and return it to us. This will be your formal purchase order and is a legal contract so any queries at all please ask!

You will be given a full schedule based on when you can supply your files. Once files are received you will be sent plotter proofs for your checking and approval (see above – ‘Proofingf’). Once these are approved no changes can be made to the files.

We will then start to print and bind your job and once complete, you will be sent 3 advance copies free of charge from the bulk. These are sent for approval before packing and shipping.

Games and packaged product: As above but once the print is complete, we will make up a verification sample and send this physical sample for you to approve before we go ahead and assemble the bulk. Changes to anything that is printed will involve a reprint and changes to materials would involve reorder materials so this should only be done in the case of an error.

Soft toys: Initial prototypes will be made for approval for which there is a small charge which will vary slightly depending on the complexity of the toy – you will be quoted for this initially. You will get a couple or rounds of tweaks / changes before an additional charge is applied. Once you are happy with a final prototype this will become your verification sample and will be the basis that the bulk is manufactured to. We can also use these for safety testing purposes.

What are your payment terms?

Our standard terms for first orders are 50% upfront deposit payment with the balance 50% due before shipping on approval of advances. 3 Advance copies are sent to you free of charge and are taken from the bulk production. Once you are happy with this the final invoice will be issued and we will ship.

For future orders or for larger companies we are happy to look at extending credit and have a simple form for you to fill in.


Imago are happy to handle the shipping and delivery of your product, either to warehouse or to port, depending on your needs.

All shipping prices quoted do NOT include import duty, customs fees or VAT. Please check with us before placing your order if you need help finding out what these might be. All fees are charged to you by customs and Imago are not able to pay on your behalf.

Importing to the UK:

Common products imported into the UK:

  • Books – there is no VAT or duty on books
  • Board games – standard VAT (20%) but no duty
  • Customs clearance fees in the UK are always around GBP 45 on any shipment

In order to import into the UK you must have an EORI number – the process takes around a week and is free of charge however it must be completed by the importer and can only be done once the vessel has sailed. More information is available here under the importers section.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/eori-supporting-guidance

Importing into countries other than the UK

If you importing to any country other than the UK, this is not a problem, but please check with us for the local charges as they vary from country to country. 

FOB charges

FOB is a shipping incoterm and stands for Free On Board - in basic terms it is the cost to the factory for getting your product consignment onto the shipping vessel. 

All quoted prices costs will include 1 FOB charge. If you are shipping to multiple countries, please let us know as there will be additional FOB charges to pay regardless of who is shipping the product.

How can I be sure my product meets the safety requirements?

Safety testing applies to many products and not just products for children. Most standards books (excluding cloth and bath books) would not need to be safety tested. Imago can offer safety testing and advice for your product and we are happy to handle the process and certification for you if you wish. Our services range from risk assessments, to testing and self certification where appropriate. In house we hold as much certification from our suppliers as it is possible to get, to keep testing costs to a minimum. It is important we understand which countries you intend to sell your product in, to ensure we are working to the correct safety guidelines.

It is important that you understand the safety requirements for your product and keep copies of all documentation and certification, as ultimately the responsibility to ensure you are selling a safe product legally, lies with you. 

How can I be sure that the product will be made in an ethical factory?

All our factories that we use on a regular basis are often visited by our own staff in China and we know and trust them well to work ethically. There are various bodies that check and certify factories - eg: ICTI / SMETA - please read more on this on our ethics and values page and let us know when asking for pricing if you require a certified factory. 


All our suppliers are required to quality check a percentage of the bulk production for any major defects and have standard guidelines they work to. We also have an in-house team who can quality check production where needed, as well as access to a third party offering quality checking services and reporting. 

Protecting your idea

We are often asked if there is any protection for concepts and ideas. We are happy to sign NDAs where needed and in some extreme cases we have worked with tight security and secrecy on projects such as the Twilight saga.

Generally speaking this is not necessary and in 35 years of trading we have never had an issue. Both Imago and our suppliers are manufacturers and are only interested in manufacturing product – not retailing it!