Why are Architects choosing to print online?

Like most other industries, Architects are not immune to advances in technology. Since 1987 and the advent of ArchiCAD, the construction industry has been slowly moving towards a BIM environment. The design and management of buildings was set to change forever. BIM is said to offer a greater freedom of design, a single point of collaboration, improved clash detection and a reduction in paper usage.

All of the above are true, but a complete BIM environment remains some way off. One thing that has changed for the better is drawing distribution. Drawing files are now commonly exchanged via the use of PDF files over the internet. Services such as Dropbox and emails have completely revolutionised the speed in which Architects can communicate. The communication and decision making process between construction professional has therefore accelerated immensely.

The days of mail order data sheets and brochures are truly over. No longer are iterations of marked up sets of plans bounce back and forth via the post. Sadly the ability to use the excuse ‘they’re in the post…’ has faded away. Whilst the design and procurement process has advanced, what is yet to be revolutionised is effective communication and control of implementation. Let’s not forget that the fundamental purpose of preparing and procuring construction documentation is ‘Clear communication of design intent’.

Contractors looking at A1 plans

Communicating Design Intent

So how do you communicate design intent to contractors on-site. How do you show and explain what needs to be done. What do carpenters, electricians, plumbers and installers refer to? The simple answer is drawings. Now, unless you are perhaps the project manager, a building site is not really the place to be carrying around a £700 iPad. Carrying an iPad or tablet, just so that you can refer to PDF plans is not ideal. It is much simpler to carry a disposable, markable, flexible and in-expensive piece of paper around. You can even scribble notes on it. So I come back to my original thought; Why are Architects choosing to print online? – The simple answer is that, it is no longer worth the cost, space and hassle of owning and operating a large format printer. The frequency of large format printing for many Architects has reduced. For the small amount of prints which are now required, specialist online print services offer a fast and cost effective alternative. Online printing services such as Click Post have the following advantages:

Speed – Orders can be placed and paid for in minutes. Online printing also offer next day delivery.

Quality – Printing equipment is up to date, maintained and so is print quality.

Time – If you have ever printed and issued drawings, then you will be familiar with the following – Your prints are all over the floor, the paper jams, the ink runs out, you haven’t got a big enough envelope. After all that, you have to take your parcel to the post office and pay for that weighty package to be sent.


Until new technologies such as 3D printing are used on construction sites, the foreseeable future will continue to embrace the simplicity a paper prints. Albeit brief, and a generalisation you can start to see changes which are happening within the construction industry. You can also understand why large format printing of A0 A1 and A2 plans is becoming increasingly outsourced. Outsourcing your large format printing with Click Post is easy, and you will realise the speed and simplicity of our service. Use our simple and easy to use online tool to upload and order your A0, A1, A2, A3 & A4 plans today.

To upload and order plans online, click the button below.