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  1. 3 off-the-wall marketing ideas for variable data printing

    3 off-the-wall marketing ideas for variable data printing

    If you’re after a way to make your promotional materials feel more special, or you’re planning a more dynamic direct marketing campaign, variable data printing is your ideal solution. But what exactly is it? And how can you take advantage of VDP to create memorable, out-of-the-box advertising for your business?

    What is Variable Data Printing?

    Variable data printing or VDP is a process which enables you to add unique text, images and design elements to each individual item in your print run

    With VDP, there’s no need to create hundreds or even thousands of design files for each intended item - you simply provide a single ‘base’ design and a list of the individual data entries you want to print on top, and digital printing takes care of the rest.

    VDP is handy for a number of standard marketing purposes, including:

    ● Adding customer names and addresses to flyers, invitations, postcards and other direct mail (aka mail merging)

    ● Tailoring marketing messages to target different customer segments

    ● Optimising content for different branches and regions (while maintaining brand consistency)

    ● Reproducing your design in different languages for international markets

    ● Adding unique barcodes/QR codes/numbers to track customer behaviour and marketing success

    But that’s not all it can do! With a bit of inspiration, variable printing can be a powerful tool for building creative, buzz-worthy marketing campaigns.

    Extra special scratchcards

    VDP is the bread and butter of scratchcard printing - it’s the very process that lets you print unique prizes and verification codes onto each card

    But there’s plenty more you can do with scratch-off panels and VDP beyond the typical prize giveaway.

    For example, you could enhance your discount vouchers by printing unique voucher codes onto scratchcards - that way, the customer will be enticed into scratching off the panel and will likely perceive the voucher as more valuable to them. You could even give some codes larger discounts than others, giving your vouchers the feel of a prize giveaway without the prizes.

    Alternatively, you could hold a regular scratchcard giveaway, but only send them to customers in your mailing list and print their names on each one. This is a great way to recognise and reward customer loyalty; letting each customer know that they’re valued with an exclusive chance at winning prizes.

    Gotta collect them all

    Looking to encourage multiple purchases from the same customer? By printing unique variants of the same product (or printing a limited series of products each with their own unique ID number), you can often turn a regular product into a valued collectable item.

    For example, magazine publishers often produce a limited edition issue of their publication with several different pieces of cover art. Not only does this make each variant feel special, but it also means fans and collectors of the magazine will need to buy them all in order to have the full set.

    You can also use collect-them-all tactic as part of a promotional competition; distributing VDP-printed tickets or stickers at random, and giving prizes away to customers who manage to collect them all. McDonald’s follows this strategy every year with their successful Monopoly giveaway - which even includes stickers with unique codes for their accompanying online giveaway.

    What about using a collectathon to create mystery, foster brand interaction and/or encourage collaboration? With variable printing, you can display part of a coded message or map on each item in your print run, so that consumers have to collect all of them together (or at least several of them) to reveal the secret.

    You can even encourage those consumers to solve the mystery together via social media; earning you some positive online buzz in the process!

    Personalised messages, PURLs and offers

    As we hinted in our Valentine’s blog last week, variable printing is great for adding personalised messages for each individual recipient in your direct list. You can take this a step further with PURLs (aka personalised URLs).

    Here’s how it works: you set up individual landing pages on your site, each with their own personalised website address (there’s various software solutions which let you generate unique URLS and landing pages quickly).

    Each individual landing page should be populated with content relating to the intended recipient - again, you can use automated software systems to automatically populate each landing page with personalised content.

    You can then use VDP to print each PURL to each item in your direct mail print run. By providing highly-targeted content to each user, you’ll have a much easier time convincing them to buy - and since each recipient will only be visiting their own PURL, you can track the behaviour of each individual user to understand your customer base better.

    You can also use this technique offline too - utilising customer data to deliver exclusive, personally-targeted offers through their letterboxes. How about sending them discount vouchers for their favourite products, or notifying them if an event they’ve been to in the past is taking place again?

    Over to you - have you ever used VDP in your own marketing campaigns? How have you used unique-printed elements in creative ways? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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  2. How to show your customers you love them on Valentine's Day

    How to show your customers you love them on Valentine's Day

    Love is in the air once again - and now’s the perfect time to show your regular customers how special they are to you.

    All joking aside, it’s important to reward the loyalty of your customer base. After all, it’s more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one.

    And if you go out of your way to make customers feel valued and special, they’ll be more inclined to give you repeat business and recommend your company to their friends and family.

    Here are three ideas for showing your affection for your customers on Valentine’s Day!

    Send them a Valentine’s card

    Printed valentines Card

    Let’s start with the classic way to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Customers will appreciate the novelty of receiving their own personally addressed greetings card through the door - especially if you use variable data printing to add a custom message to each one in your print run.

    There’s no need to go overboard with a sappy message - just tell your customers that you appreciate their business.

    (And with Better Printing, you can even rely on us to send out each card to each of your individual customers via nationwide and international courier.

    Give them an exclusive offer or discount

    Valentines Day Promo Flyer

    One way to make customers feel special is to give them access to an offer they can’t get anywhere else.

    Why not place an exclusive voucher code inside your card so customers can get a discount in-store or online? You can also make each card’s code unique via variable printing and give every customer in your mailing list their own personalised offer.

    Your offer could even be themed around Valentine’s Day itself. Perhaps your discount could be a two-for-one deal, or money off a product in your range that couples might enjoy together. (Hey, get your minds out of the gutter!)

    Invite them out on a ‘date’

    Printed Invitation

    Okay, it won’t be an actual date - but sending your best customers an invitation. to an exclusive event or opportunity is a quirky reward that’ll definitely get people talking about your brand.

    It’s also a great way to humanise an ecommerce or online-only business; bringing the experience of being a customer into the ‘real’ world.

    What should your ‘date night’ entail? Well, you could invite your most loyal customers to try out your new products/services earlier than anyone else, or partner up with other local businesses and give your customers tickets to a special corporate hospitality event.

    (For example, you could start a romance with a local independent cinema and whisk your customers away on an intimate couples’ movie night.)

    Or what about an event your single customers can enjoy? Perhaps you can play Cupid and host a group social night for lonely hearts to meet one another.

    Hosting events is an investment, of course - but it can be a powerful means of rewarding loyalty and earning some positive word-of-mouth advertising while you’re at it.

    How will you be rewarding your customers for their loyalty this Valentine’s Day? Share your ideas in the comments below!

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  3. Saddle stitched, perfect bound or wiro bound - which book binding is best?

    Saddle stitched, perfect bound or wiro bound - which book binding is best?

    Not sure which type of booklet is right for your project? Let’s take a closer look at book binding methods - how they’re made, the benefits each type offers, and the things you’ll need to consider before you order a whole print run of them!

    What’s saddle stitch binding?

    Booklet with saddle stitch finish

    Saddle stitch binding is essentially the same as stapling. Each leaf of the booklet is folded in half to create four pages, then placed over a triangular metal frame (like a saddle on the back of a horse) and stacked one on top of another. The middlemost pages sit at the bottom of the nested stack, while the front and back covers sit at the very top. Once all the pages have been nested, they’re ‘stitched’ together using short lengths of metal wire, which are threaded through all the pages at the spine. The fastened booklets are then further pressed to help them stay folded and flat when closed.

    Advantages of saddle stitch binding

    • Affordable quality. Saddle stitching is a more cost-effective alternative to perfect binding, but retains a similar level of presentation quality (particularly for smaller, limited-use publications such as reports and event programmes). It’s also relatively quick and easy to produce - which makes it ideal for last-minute, fast-turnaround orders.

    Ability to lay flat. The spine of a perfect bound book will put up some resistance to staying open, and heavier books can sometimes fall shut by themselves - which can be a nuisance for recipe books, instruction manuals and other publications where the reader will need their hands. A saddle stitched book will generally be less susceptible to this problem (although it won’t lay quite as flat as a wiro bound book).

    Things to consider with saddle stitch binding

    Limited page counts. Since each leaf forms four pages, every saddle stitched booklet can only contain pages in multiples of four. Also, booklets with more than 48 pages (depending on paper thickness) will tend to pop open slightly instead of lying flat.

    Paper creep. Each leaf of your booklet will naturally protrude slightly from the leaf it’s nested within. This is usually only an issue for booklets with thicker paper stocks and/or higher page counts, and can be fixed by trimming to outer edges of the booklet after assembly - but the artwork design of your pages might need to be adjusted to prevent print elements drifting to the outer edge of the booklet (and potentially getting trimmed off).

    What’s perfect binding?

    Brochure with Perfect Bound finish

    In a nutshell, perfect bound booklets are glued together rather than stitched together, with two pages to each leaf rather than four. The booklet’s leaves are placed in a simple vertical stack and glue is placed along the left edge of the stack; the stack is then nested inside the booklet cover so that the glued edge fastens to the spine of the cover. Finally, the three outer edges of the book are trimmed to ensure a seamless finish.

    Advantages of perfect binding

    • More professional appearance. Every page of a finished perfect bound book has the same dimensions and won’t suffer from the page creep problems that saddle stitching can bring. It also generally looks and feels more like a premium publication than other binding methods.

    • Larger page counts. With better durability and no bulky folded spine to worry about, perfect bound booklets can store a lot more pages - up to 144, depending on paper thickness!

    • Extra cover printing space. Out of the three bookbinding methods listed here, perfect binding is the only one which gives you the space to print the name of your publication on the spine - so your booklet is still identifiable in a shelf or stack of other publications.

    Things to consider with perfect binding

    • Inability to lay flat. As we covered earlier, perfect bound books prefer to stay shut and won’t lay flat on a table or stand - which makes them less ideal for presentational and instructional publications.

    • Less economical. Perfect binding is a good choice for publications which are intended for multiple readings; but for items with a shorter shelf life and smaller page counts, it’s more affordable to go with saddle stitching instead.

    What’s wiro binding?

    Booklet with wiro bound finish

    With wiro binding, each leaf is hole-punched and threaded onto an open wire coil which forms the book’s spine. Once all the pages have been placed onto the coil, the wire is bent to close the loop and keep the pages securely fastened to the spine.

    Advantages of wiro binding

    • A more versatile spine. Wiro bound books lay flat with no resistance whatsoever, and since each page can move almost a full 360 degrees around the wire loop, you can simply open the book to the one page you’re using and fold the other half of the book under itself. This makes wiro binding ideal for notebooks and journals - they’re easier to use on the move and take up less space on a desk compared to other binding methods.

    • Even larger page counts. Theoretically, the wiro binding method offers almost unlimited page counts - the bigger the circumference of the wire loop, the more pages the booklet can accommodate.

    Concerns for wiro binding

    Less professional appearance. Wiro bound books are highly practical; but if you’re looking to print marketing publications to deliver to prospective clients, a saddle stitched or perfect bound booklet is more visually appealing.

    Fragility. It’s a lot easier for pages to get torn out of a wiro booklet, particularly with thinner paper stocks. This can be very handy for notebooks and calendars, but it’s obviously less desirable for most other booklet applications. The wire spine can also become bent or crushed, particularly if stored with other wiro bound books in a stack.

    Margin space. The inner margins of your pages will need to be punched with holes to fit onto the wire spine - so be sure to leave a bit of extra space when designing your page and cover artwork!

    Still not sure?

    Now you know all about the types of book binding on offer at Better Printing; and you’ve probably already picked out the method you want to use for your next print run.

    But if you still need help deciding, Better Printing can provide expert guidance on the right booklet type to match your publication needs. Call us on 023 8087 8037 to speak to our friendly team!

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  4. 4 essential print collateral items for the 2019 trade show season

    4 essential print collateral items for the 2019 trade show season

    We’re about halfway through winter; which means the season for industry conferences, exhibitions and trade shows is almost upon us. And as always, it promises to be the perfect opportunity to get your brand out there, and connect with exciting new partners and opportunities.

    But is your business ready for the show floor? Whatever line of work you’re in, it’s important that your booth design and handout materials reflect the business you are today, and the goals you have for the new year.

    Here’s 4 essential items for your trade show presence in 2019 - and our tips for making the most of your print collateral investment.

    Display Banners

    The display graphics of your booth are arguably the most important thing to get right about your trade show presence. You’re competing with hundreds (if not thousands) of other show vendors, so your booth needs to command the attention of exhibition attendees - even from a distance. It’s a good idea to have a range of display banners of various different sizes. For example, you might choose to place a large banner along the back of your booth, and surround it with smaller roller banner units on each side. Not only does this give you more options for customising your brand’s presentation and increasing your booth’s visual impact; it also gives you the flexibility to adjust your display to different exhibitions. For example, if you’re cramped for floor space, you could simply bring a couple of roller banners with you. Alternatively, if you have a lot of room in your booth area, bringing along larger banners can help you take maximum advantage of the space you have available.

    Catalogues

    A high-quality catalogue isn’t just a showcase of the products/services you have to offer - it also serves as an indicator that you’re a well-established, successful and professional company that attendees can trust with their money. Your choice of paper stock for your catalogues can actually play a big part in how your brand is perceived by attendees. Remember, the higher the GSM of a paper stock, the thicker and more sturdy the paper will be - consumers tend to associate these higher GSM grades with luxury and quality. Likewise, adding gloss lamination to your catalogue prints will give them a shiny, smooth finish which readers will often perceived as lavish and luxurious. (Alternatively, picking a matt finish for your catalogues can be useful for positioning yourself as a no-nonsense or eco-friendly brand.) And don’t forget to print twice as many catalogues as you think you’ll need - there’s nothing more embarrassing than having to turn booth visitors away empty-handed! Business cards - and business card dispensers Not everyone wants to carry around a small novel of a catalogue with them - particularly if they’re more interested in collaborating with you than buying from you, and/or they’re already carrying catalogues from other exhibitor booths. For these attendees, make sure you have some pocket-sized handouts ready to go; such as flyers, leaflets and business cards. It’s a good idea to have a card dispenser set up too, printed with a friendly ‘please take one’ message - that way, visitors who are too busy to stop and chat can still pick up your materials and find out what you’re all about.

    Business cards - and Business card dispensers

    Not everyone wants to carry around a small novel of a catalogue with them - particularly if they’re more interested in collaborating with you than buying from you, and/or they’re already carrying catalogues from other exhibitor booths. For these attendees, make sure you have some pocket-sized handouts ready to go; such as flyers, leaflets and business cards. It’s a good idea to have a card dispenser set up too, printed with a friendly ‘please take one’ message - that way, visitors who are too busy to stop and chat can still pick up your materials and find out what you’re all about.

    ‘Practical’ handouts

    A lot of exhibitor handouts will simply be filed away or dumped by attendees once they get back from your trade show. Once way to prevent your marketing materials ending up in the bin is to make them useful to your booth visitors - for example, giving them a desk calendar to help them manage their to-do list, or a pen pot to store their stationery in. Not only will attendees be more inclined to keep these around, but they’ll think of your company every time they use them - perfect for encouraging repeat business.

    And finally - a few general design tips…

    • Make sure your promotional materials communicate the message of your brand. Abstract and mysterious designs are good for grabbing attention, but if they don’t reveal who you are, what you can offer the consumer and what sets you apart from your competitors, attendees will just be left scratching their heads.

    • Set out your goals for your exhibition appearances, and let those goals inform the design of your print collateral. Are you looking to sign up X amount of new customers to your services? Bring X amount of new traffic to your website? Make sure your calls-to-action drive attendees to take the action you want

    • Don’t show up to exhibitions with the same old displays and print designs year after year - regular show attendees will just start passing over your booth in favour of new exhibitors. Your business (not to mention the market around you) is always changing, so make sure your booth reflects the company you are now - not who you were five years ago!

    Need custom-printed marketing collateral for your next conference or trade show? Get in touch with Better Printing on 023 8087 8037 to find out how we can help you!

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  5. 3 Print Design Cliches to Avoid

    3 Print Design Cliches to Avoid

    Did you know the word ‘cliché’ itself actually comes from the printing industry?

    Nor did we until fairly recently! Apparently the word refers to the metal plate used by early printers to economically reproduce identical copies of the same text (which was also known as a ‘stereotype’ - that’s where that word comes from, too!)

    Why was this plate called a ‘cliché’? One method of manufacturing these plates was to press wooden type blocks into molten metal - this would make a distinctive sound which gained the onomatopoeic name ‘cliché’. (Just in case you’re unfamiliar, an onomatopoeic word is a word which sounds like the thing it’s describing - like ‘meow’ for a cat’s call, or ‘fizz’ for the bubbles of a soft drink.)

    This daft factoid got us thinking about clichés in general - particularly the ones we see from time to time in the designs we print. Here are our top 3 design clichés - and how to avoid them in your own print artwork!

    What’s wrong with design clichés?

    Design elements are simply tools for creating artwork, and no particular design is objectively worse than another. Design tropes can often come in handy, particularly as a starting point to guide the creative process.

    The trouble comes when particular design choices become widely used to the point of oversaturation; they lose their original meaning and become boring to look at.

    Using clichéd graphic design in your own promotional materials won’t help you stand out from your competitors, and can often make your organisation look cheap, amateurish and not to be trusted.

    Here’s three design clichés you should run a mile from...

    example of overused fonts

    Ask any graphic designer to tell you their least favourite font, and they’ll probably answer ‘Comic Sans’.

    If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a fun, ‘cartoony’ typeface which vaguely resembles childrens’ handwriting. It often shows up on teaching materials and other documents produced for kids. (It’s also said that dyslexic readers find Comic Sans text easier to read, although the jury’s still out on this.)

    And it’s not the only font with an image problem - other widely-derided fonts include:
    • Papyrus - a font designed to emulate ancient Egyptian calligraphy; now used for everything from cafe signs to the logo of the movie Avatar
    • Arial - a bold, clean ‘neo-grotesque’ typeface, thats essentially a copy of the superior Helvtica that pops up a lot in company logos and Business Cards - something we’ll be talking about more very shortly...
    • Lobster - a relatively new modern calligraphy font which is just starting to drive graphic designers nuts with its overuse

    Remember, none of these fonts are objectively bad, and there’s nothing to say you can’t use them in your own promotional materials. Just make sure your font choices are appropriate for the situation - and keep in mind that a more original font will help you stand out from the crowd.

    Generic logo example

    Generic logos

    This is more of a branding issue than a print design problem - hopefully you’ve already secured a great logo design long before you’ve started considering your print literature - but it’s still a common design pitfall to avoid.

    Your logo is a key part of your company identity. it’s usually the first thing your potential customers will see, so it needs to represent who you are, what you can offer them and what makes your organisation unique.

    So why do so many companies choose logos that look the same as any other? The world of logo design has its own set of clichés, particularly when it comes to B2B organisations:

    • Lightbulbs - ironically often used to signify original ideas and innovation - but overused to the point of attracting ridicule
    • Globes - often used by companies who deliver a wide-reaching international service, especially those in distribution and forwarding
    • Industry-specific designs - many different business types have their own design clichés - for example, how many car dealerships and garages have you seen that use a stylised car for their logo?

    To avoid committing the same mistakes with your own logo, start by researching the company logos of competitors in your industry. Which objects and design features are cropping up again and again? Which competitors are doing something a little different with their logo designs?



    photoshop faux pas

    Last for this list, let’s talk about the dreaded effects that plague every beginner Photoshop project - the bevel and drop shadow effects

    Both are commonly used for similar purposes making two-dimensional text and images appear as 3D objects. Applying a drop shadow gives the impression that the text or image is ‘floating’ above the surface of the page, while the bevel effect creates the illusion that the object has bevelled edges.

    Sounds good, right? Everyone wants their print marketing to jump out at readers - so why not use these effects in your own design?

    The trouble is, drop shadows and bevels are not only overused, but also often overcooked - the effects are applied to starkly, resulting in ugly designs which don’t convincingly convey the 3D illusion. Blurry shadows can often make text more uncomfortable to read too; especially if the text colour isn’t sufficiently brighter than the shadow underneath.

    It’s best to avoid the two effects altogether if you want a professional, original design - but if they’re used sparingly and creatively, they can sometimes provide subtle contrast to bring out text, icons and other design elements.

    And that’s our three print design clichés to avoid! Which design clichés drive you up the wall? Let us know in the comments below.

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  6. Takeaway Menu Leaflets vs Restaurant Menus

    Takeaway Menu Leaflets vs Restaurant Menus

    Many people think that takeaway menu leaflets and restaurant menus are the same thing, after all, they both have the selection of food available listed on them and they represent the menu, but what are the differences when it comes to takeaway menu leaflets and restaurant menus?

    Takeaway menu leaflets are ideal for putting through potential customers doors, it is best to put this on thin lightweight quality 130gsm silk paper as some will be thrown away and others will be pinned to boards or put away in drawers until they will be needed at a later date when a takeaway is desperately needed by the customer. You don’t want to or need to spend a small fortune on thick high-quality paper stock or jazzy paper shapes because you’ll need a high majority of takeaway menu leaflets to deliver all over your target location area.

    When it comes to restaurant menus these need to be made of highly quality strong 350gsm silk card as they will be used day in day out. Having your restaurant menu’s gloss or matt laminated is a great idea as it will make them easy to wipe-clean allowing for them to last much longer than a non-laminated restaurant menu. You will only need a few restaurant menus per table so much fewer will need to be ordered.

    It’s important to note that professional printing companies, like us here at Better Printing, will also offer bulk buy discounts on restaurant menus, takeaway menus and menu printing so the more menu leaflets and products you purchase from us, the lower you will pay for them. We have lots of amazing finishes available too!

    However, as we all know, it's first impressions that count so if you are looking at ordering restaurant menus why not consider our foamex signs to go outside the restaurant? We have a selection of high quality and fantastic looking foamex boards which work as the perfect introduction to your restaurant or takeaway.

    Our foamex signs are waterproof, weatherproof and highly durable so they will look as good as new for years to come, promoting your business in exactly the way you would want.

    Why not call us now to see how we can help you with your menu printing or foamex sign needs?

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

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  7. Be different. Inspire creativity. Get folding.

    Be different. Inspire creativity. Get folding.

    This week at Better Printing it’s all about the Fold.

    There has been a recent rise in the number of brands using unique folded designs to ensure their print has a memorable impact. From Ikea’s pop up brochure to the Jeep’s gatefold leaflet, companies and advertisers alike are finally waking up to the power of folding.

    If you’ve been sat at your desk for the last few hours, desperately trying to think of a way to make your business brochure or leaflet stand out from the rest then it might be time to consider folding leaflets and folded brochures.

    What can folding do for you?
    A tangible product that your customer have to physically interact with is much more likely to leave a lasting impression on their mind. Adding an intricate fold takes this to the next level. The higher the level of customer engagement with your products there is, the higher your ROI is. So anything that encourages customer interaction is worth considering.

    Types of Folds
    Half fold, Tri-fold, Z-fold and Gate-fold there are lots of options out there and each one will add a unique twist to your average brochure or folder. So how do you know what options to choose from?

    Half-fold, Tri-fold, Z-fold, Gate-fold

    Half-fold: is simply a sheet folded in half down the centre. Simple? Yes, but with the right design elements, a half fold leaflet can be incredibly striking.


    Tri-Fold: a tri-fold is when a sheet is folded twice into thirds, so you have 6 different panels to work with. It is also sometimes known as a roll fold as both flaps are folded inwards over the centre panel to close the document.


    Z-fold: A Z-fold or concertina fold is similar to a tri-fold, in that the sheet is folded twice to create 6 panels. However, a z-fold leaflet folds back on itself to create a ‘z’ shape when standing upright. The benefit of a z-fold is that it can give you 2 front covers.


    Gatefold: with a gate fold the sheet of paper is folded twice with one large middle back panel and two smaller panels either side which are folded inwards to meet in the middle. So the leaflet or brochure is opened up like a gate or door.


    How can Better Printing help?
    Not only do we have a huge range of folded products, with leaflets, business cards, brochures, folders and more, we can also create bespoke designs. If you have something special in mind, like a brochure that folds into the shape of your logo, we can work with you to help you realise your design.

    Last-minute Tips
    Inspired to start creating your own folded print? Here’s some last minute advice to ensure your end result looks as good as you imagined.


    Cracking:
    If you’re using a solid coloured background for your product there is a risk of the colour cracking around the folds. We recommend applying a matt or gloss lamination to avoid this and ensure your products look professional.


    Creasing:
    when you’re using paper that’s 250gsm or higher the fibres at the edge of the fold can sometimes snap, damaging the colour and sometimes causing cracks. Another way to combat this is to crease the paper before folding, this stretches and weakens the fibres so they fold more easily and reduces the chances of cracking.

    If you’re worried about cracking please talk to one of our helpful team who can advise you how best to combat this, without impacting your design.

    Finally, a sample is your best friend! Getting the design right and the content in the correct order across different panels can be difficult with a product with multiple folds. A hard copy sample will help you identify any errors and give you time to make any changes before going to print. We also recommend you create two documents whilst designing, one for the front panels and one for the back panels, to help you avoid any confusion.

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

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  8. A brochure is a brochure, right?

    A brochure is a brochure, right?

    Wrong! This week we want to focus on how to make your brochure stand out from the rest.

    You’d be forgiven for thinking that once you’ve written the content, finalised your image choices and created a killer cover design, your work is done. Sorry to let you down and all, but these days everyone is going all out to make sure their brochure is the one you pick up. From large conglomerate companies to the smallest of start-ups, you need a brochure design that’s creative, unique and above all striking.

    Pahhh easy, no…?

    If like us, you sometimes struggle to get the creative juices flowing, then we have a few ideas to get you started. Here are our top tips to give your brochures the je ne sais quoi they need.

    Let’s Get Physical
    From the textured paper to intricate folding and complicated lamination designs, anything that makes your brochures feel different in your hands is gold. Why not design an origami style folding brochure? Or try our range of finishing and Spot UV options to create a truly striking looking and feeling brochure. Or if you want to invoke a playful yet sophisticated return to childhood, pop-ups will ensure your brochure sticks in customers’ memories. There are loads of options out there so don’t be afraid to explore some physicality.

    Navigation is Key
    If you’ve got a lot of information for your customers to read through and explore a contents page with colourful inbuilt tabs is both a stylish and convenient way to help customers navigate your brochure. With tabs customers jump to relevant sections without having to flick through pages, searching for the right page number. And anything that improves usability and makes things easier for your customers is a good thing.

    Insert here…
    With loose leaf inserts, you can really personalise your brochure to suit each customers’ needs and product preferences. Travel companies, for example, can edit their inserts to advertise the holidays and destinations most likely to appeal to each individual customer. The more personalised your advertising the more likely you are to see results.

    Unusual shapes
    You don’t have to stick to tradition square or rectangle shapes. What’s the point in all these technological advances if you don’t take advantage of them? With die-cut, you can create brochures in whatever shape you imagine. Why not try designing a brochure in the shape of your company logo or top selling product? Don’t be afraid to get creative with your shapes!

    Binding
    Interesting and creative binding techniques are yet another way to give your brochure that extra pizazz. The standard binding methods for brochures are perfect bound or saddle stitch. These are perfect if you’re going for a classic and sleek look. However if you want to try something a little different, creative binding is guaranteed to have an impact. Wiro-binding , using silk ribbon to tie your brochure pages together

    Stay aligned with your brand
    The most important aspect in successful brochure design is ensuring your business’ branding and values are reflected. Therefore, when it comes to designing your brochure, your branding needs to be at the forefront of your mind. If you’re funeral directors, a high colour, spot laminated brochure filled with images of laughing children, is probably not going to send the right message. If you think about your brand identity, the right feel, look and colour scheme should come to mind. So don’t go for an outlandish or in your face design just because you can.

    K.I.S.S
    Keep it simple, stupid! Above all your brochure has to be readable. So whilst we actively encourage your creativity to make sure you don’t compromise the functionality of your brochure.

    That’s all, for now, folks!

    If you need any more advice on what’s right for your brochure don’t hesitate to ask. At Better Printing, we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to help!


    Continus Reading »
  9. A brief history of lithographic printing

    A brief history of lithographic printing

    history of lithographic

    This week we wanted to celebrate all things

    We’re firm believers in that old saying ‘how do you know where you’re going unless you know where you’re coming from?’ so we decided it was time to find out more about the history of lithographic printing.

    We dug out our history books, stuck on the kettle and settled in for some reading. The result? Our own little lithography timeline, enjoy!

    1795-98: It all begins with laundry.

    The star of our little story is Alois Senefelder, a well-regarded German playwright. Senefelder was struggling to make a living from his plays because creating copies was both a lengthy and expensive process. Then one day in 1795, his mother asked him to write a laundry list. Out of paper, he scribbled down the list on a limestone block using a grease pencil. He soon realised whatever he drew on the stone in the grease fluid would repel water whilst the stone would hold it. So by first wetting the stone and then applying ink, which stuck to the pre-applied grease, he could recreate an image again and again. Thus, lithographic printing was born.

    1817: The first litho press

    In 1817 took his experimenting to the next step, designing the very first litho press. The flatbed press automatically dampened and inked the plate, making the whole process much faster.

    Senefeder

    1837: Life in colour

    In 1837, Frenchman Godefroy Engelmann patented his method of colour printing, known as chromolithography. Using the lithographic method of printing, he created his images by inking the plates with different coloured inks (blue, magenta, cyan and black) and then applying these inks one after the other to the sheet substrate. By overlaying the different inks, Englemann was able to create a multi-tonal, colour image. This discovery marked a giant leap forward for modern day lithographic printing, and we still use this basic process today.

    1843 From flat to round presses.

    1843 saw the invention of the first lithographic rotary printing press, built by Richard March Hoe. With a rotary press the image is placed on a revolving metal cylinder instead of a flatbed, which made the printing process much faster.

    1871: The rise of the machines

    By 1871 the word was out. By this time in the U.S alone there were more than 450 hand operated litho presses in use. As the popularity of Senefeder’s legacy continued to grow, people continued to experiment with and improve the process.

    1880-1904: From Rotating to offset- Refining the process.

    Between 1880-1904 Robert Barclay invented and continually developed the first offset lithographic printing press. The popularity of the direct rotary press had been suffering for a while due to advances in letterpress printing. The main problem was the continual pressure of plate on substrate eventually caused the image to wear off the plate. With Barclay’s offset press the metal plate did not come into direct contact with the substrate. In between he placed another ‘offset’ cylinder covered in a layer of cardboard that transferred the printed image from the plate to the cardboard and then to the substrate. After a few years of experimenting the cardboard was switched to a ‘rubber blanket’- this design is what we use today!

    The 21st century and beyond

    Nowadays we’ve come quite a long way from limestone and grease. Lithographic printing actually accounts for more than 40% of all printing, packaging and publishing done worldwide! With the improvements in digital printing techniques and online publishing the future may see this figure decreasing and lithographic printing being reserved for only the most expensive and high-quality print jobs but, until then, Senefelder we owe you so much.

    For more information on lithographic printing or to learn more about our huge range of lithographic products just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Continus Reading »
  10. Tent Cards

    Tent Cards

    Tent cards are one of our most stunning products that we offer in our Point of Display range, their utility implies that they can be utilised by any business as a promotional or informational tool.

    They also not just have one side to them but offer two to six sides to print on giving you many options which make these products a very special marketing tool.

    Tent cards are a great space saving product, which can be used as a Bar Menu, Awareness campaign or to promote a special offer. Not only this but they are a very cost-effective way to boost your business.

    We also can offer Die cut tent cards which can come in many unique shapes to stand out and get noticed.

    Tent cards we can offer you:

    We offer different shapes and sizes and you can order any quantity tent-card between 50 and 10000, which are easily assembled either with an interlocking mechanism or with tape applied to glue flap. If you want any other Quantities then please let us know and we will help you with all your needs.

    We present the best finishing to our tent cards such as Die cut and creased to final size, Lamination to the front, Supplied flat for easy transportation and also offer mailing services. Quite simply, we offer our customers the best quality product printed on our recommended 350gsm silk paper.

    All of our tent cards are packed suitable for overnight delivery. We can also pack in sets if you have more than one design to your tent cards.

    With a tiny bit of innovation and access to an assortment of customization choices, for example, diverse sizes and shapes, what we offer. You can indulge superb special printing on cards to your business and individual needs.

    We also offer many templates of all these products, which available on request.

    Continus Reading »
  11. Roller banners

    Roller banners

    ROLLER BANNERS

    Roller banners also known as Pull up banners or roll up banners are among the most useful and economically-built handy exhibit solutions that appeal and captivate the customers' interest in the best creative way.

    When you spend exorbitantly in your marketing campaign, that which you desire is not only more exposure and awareness, nevertheless higher ROI and better conversions as well. And that is what roller banners are all about. 

    Not only do they add design to your display advertisement, but additionally instil an interest among the potential customers to find out more about you, which lead to improved conversions. Roller banners are manufactured from sturdy materials so they are never worse for wear. Use them multiple times and they are going to appear just like new each and every time.

    Roller banners are simply ideal for any and every single form of display campaign; in seminars, conference rooms, marketing, wedding events and training centres among others. They are in fact the ultimate promotional tool when it comes to small and large businesses as they effectively draw huge customer base, promote brand awareness and recognition. The amazing thing about these banners is that you don’t need any tool to set them up. Whenever a display is required, you only need to extend its body from the roller cartridge with no extra support to achieve this. However, when you spend money in roller banner stands, ensure that you invest in something valuable.

    FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN PURCHASING A ROLLER BANNER

    Types of Roller Banner Stands

    Based on your marketing needs and promotional space, opt for a roller banner that suits your preferences. With different types of Roller banners in the market today, you will certainly find one that matches your marketing needs. BETER PRINTING roller stands are retractable, self-standing and easy to erect. In fact they are the ideal solution for any display. You can as well download powerful templates on our template page.

    Quality

    This is one factor that should be considered while opting for a roll up banner. Regardless of the brand you choose, just select the best quality ones that will provide extreme sturdiness, style and likewise, add an excellent value to your marketing campaign. The print quality of BETTER PRINTING Agfa Anapurna M2050 modern printing machine is high-class with non UV fade links

    Materials

    This is another factor to be considered when purchasing a pull up banner. The two best materials for roll up banners used by BETTER PRINTING include PVC and Lightstop. The PVC materials are printed using non fade inks while the Light-stop material has a lamination added to it for extra protection. In addition, BETTER PRINTING the Light-stop press makes use of a Canon image PROGRAF iPF8300S Wide format printer.

    BETTER PRINTING PVC roller banners are the lowest cost roller banners, and can be used for

    Also, the BETTER PRINTING   Light-stop roller banners can be used for

    Graphics design service

    Intelligent marketers will opt for a brand in roller banners which comes as a total package of top-quality digital print graphics display, strong and durable banner stands, halogen lights and complimentary transport case. Top quality graphics design makes the display look more vivid and invigorating. Our experienced design team will be glad to assist you with your banner designs.

    Cost

    Cost is among the most vital factors to be considered in purchasing a roller banner. Generally, these are reasonably priced, and provide an incredible money value to the customers. You can explore diverse options in roller banner stands and go for the one that best fits into your pocket. The prices of roll up banners on BETTER PRINTING website range from £32 to £233.

    In view of these factors, buying roller banners from a reputable online firm is very important. With its rich industry experience, BETTER PRINTING introduces its innovative range of Roller Banners that are printed and completed all in-house. Our range of roller banners, exhibition stand and pop-up products makes us one of the leading wide format suppliers, and it is all down to our experienced staff and distinct printing presses. We have 9 amazing Roller Banners on our site to suit every of your requirement. From 2m wide banner stands to 3m tall roller banners, we have got the complete solution with regards to roller banner printing. Our roller banners are quick and easy to pull up and are lightweight for easy transportation. With bulk orders, you will definitely save for yourself some cash for other important tasks. For a full range of our roller banners, click here for comprehensive details.

    When you’ve got something to say and you're not afraid how loud you shout it, our outdoor roller banners will help get the word out. All our outdoor roller banners are printed in full colour using UV fade resistant inks. They are the perfect marketing tool to accompany you to any outdoor event. For our full range of sizes, finishes, lamination and printing options click here.

    When you think about easy promotions there can be nothing better compared to buying quality innovative roller banners. Talk of quality, think of BETTER PRINTING!

    Continus Reading »
  12. Print Glossary Part 1

    Print Glossary Part 1

    Print Glossary by Better Printing

    We know sometimes it may seem as if we’re speaking an entirely different language; the terms we use can be nigh on impossible to understand if you’re not a print specialist.

    So to help you out we’ve created a fairly comprehensive glossary of the printing terms you’re most likely to come across:



    Acetate:

    A thin flexible sheet of transparent plastic used to make overlays.

    Against The Grain:
    Running a sheet of paper through a printing press at right angles to the grain direction of the paper.


    Art Paper:

    A common term used to describe a range of smooth papers with a filled surface.

    ‘A’ sized paper:
    Paper sizes are based on dimensions of a large A0 sheet. Letterheads are commonly produced on A4 sized paper.


    Application:

    A computer program designed for a particular use, for example word processors such as Microsoft Word or page layout applications, such as Quark Xpress or Adobe Indesign.

    Artwork:
    The process whereby all original photos, graphic images, text etc. that are needed to produce a design for your printed product, are made into a print-ready form.


    A/W:

    Abbreviation for artwork.

    Backing up:
    Printing on the second side of a printed sheet.

    Binding:
    Binding is process of fastening papers together.


    Bitmap:

    A grid of pixels or printed dots, generated by computer, to represent type and images.


    Blanket:

    Thick rubber sheet that transfers ink from plate to paper on the press.


    Blind Emboss:

    An un-inked image is pressed into the back of a sheet, producing a raised ‘embossed’ image on the front of the sheet.



    Bleed:

    The area of a printed image or text etc. that extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet or page. A bleed may occur at the head, front, foot and/or gutter of a page.



    Blend:

    A smooth transition between two colours; also known as a graduated tint or gradient.


    Bond Paper:

    A grade of paper suited for letterheads, business forms etc.


    Case Bound:

    A hardback book made with stiff outer covers. Cases are usually covered with cloth, vinyl or leather.


    Cast Coated:

    A type of coated paper with a very high gloss enamel finish


    Choke:

    A method of altering the thickness of a shape by over exposure in processing or, by means of a built-in option in some computer applications.


    Clipart:

    Are graphics saved in ready-to-use computer files. These are normally vector illustrations and not photographic images.


    Clipping Path:

    An outline, embedded into the file, that tells an application which areas of a picture should be considered transparent.


    CMYK:

    An abbreviation for cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) which make up the four process colours. When combined together in varying proportions can be used to produce the full colour spectrum.


    Collating:

    Gathering together sheets of paper from a book, magazine or brochure and placing them into the correct order.


    Colour Separation:

    Process by which a continuous tone colour image is separated into the four process colours (CMYK) for print production.


    Concertina fold:

    A method of folding in which each fold opens in the opposite direction to its neighbor, giving a concertina or pleated effect.


    Continuous Stationery:

    Forms or stationery products, are produced from reels of paper and then fan folded. These can be either single or multi-part forms.


    Crash Number:

    Numbering paper by pressing an image on the first sheet which is transferred to all parts of the printed set.


    Crease (score):

    To mechanically press a rule into heavy paper or board, enabling it to be folded without cracking.


    Creep:

    A phenomenon that occurs when the middle pages of a folded section extend slightly beyond the outside pages.


    Crop:

    Crop is to remove unwanted portions or trim the edges of a picture or page to make it fit.


    Crop Marks:

    Lines near the margins of artwork or photos indicating where to trim, perforate or fold.


    CTP:

    Abbreviation of computer-to-plate; a process of imaging directly from a computer onto the plates used by a printing press.


    Cyan:

    One of the four process colours, also known as blue.


    Deboss:

    Is the opposite of embossing. An image is pressed into the front of the sheet of paper so it lies below the surface.


    Density:

    The degree of tone, weight of darkness or color within a photo or image.


    Die-cutting:

    Die cut is a process of using sharp metal rules on a wooden block to cut out specialised shapes from the print material, such as pocket folders or unusual shaped flyers etc.


    Digital Printing:

    A modern printing method that uses digital files, such as PDFs, instead of printing plates. This is the best option for short runs or personalized variable data products.


    Digital Proof:

    A high quality colour representation of the finished print, produced for customer inspection for errors that can be corrected prior to final printing.

    Dot Gain:
    A printing defect in which dots print larger than intended causing darker colours or tones. This is due to the spreading of ink on stock. The more absorbent the stock, the more dot gain.


    DPI
    (Dots per inch):
    A measure of the quality of an image from a scanner or output resolution of a printer. The more dots per inch, the higher the quality will be.

    Duotone:
    A method of enhancing a mono/ black and white image using two colours.


    Drilling:

    Drilling of holes into a product which will allow its insertion over rings or posts in a binder or folder.


    Dummy:

    A mock-up made to resemble the final printed product which uses the proposed grade, weight, finish and colour of paper.


    Embed:

    Implies the permanent inclusion of elements and data into a computer file. This is necessary in order to maintain or change particular elements when the file is used remotely.


    Embossing:

    A process performed after printing to stamp a raised image into the surface of paper; using engraved metal embossing dies, extreme pressure, and heat. Embossing styles include blind, deboss and foil-embossed.


    EPS:

    An acronym for Encapsulated PostScript, a computer file format widely used by the printing and graphics industries.


    File Format:

    The system by which data is held in a particular type of computer file.


    Flush:

    To align, evenly with a margin. E.g. along the left or right edge of a typeset page.


    Foil Stamping:

    Foiling is a metallic finish, applied by specialist equipment.



    Font:

    One of a range of styles/typefaces in which lettering can be produced during the type setting stage, e.g. Times New Roman.


    Four Colour Process
    (CMYK or full colour):
    Reproduction of full-colour photographs or art with the four basic colours of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).



    Font Matching / Font Substitution:

    A sometimes undesirable process- when a chosen font is not available, the closest possible match is used, sometimes causing reflow of the text or other errors.



    Full Colour
    (CMYK or Four Colour Process):
    Reproduction of full-colour photographs or art with the four basic colours of ink (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).



    GSM:

    Paper weight is measured in grams per square metre (GSM)


    Graphic File:

    General term used for a computer file containing a picture: photographic image, illustration etc.


    Greyscale:

    Shades of grey ranging from black to white; in printing, greyscale appears only on the black plate.


    Grippers:

    Metal fingers which hold paper and carry it through printing impression to the delivery end of the press.


    Gusset:

    Expandable portion of a pocketed folder or envelope.


    Gutter:

    The blank inside margin, line or fold at which facing pages meet.


    Halftone:

    Using small dots to produce a continuous-tone image. The effect is achieved by varying the dot size and the number of dots per square inch.



    Head Margin:

    The white space above the first line on a page.


    Hickey:

    Spot or imperfection in printing.


    Hue:

    A specific colour e.g yellow or green.


    Image Area:

    Portion of paper where ink appears.

    Imposition:
    Positioning pages in a press-ready form so that they will be in the correct numerical sequence after folding and aligned with the margins.




    … that’s all for now folks. Come back next week to read the second half of the glossary or to download a completed PDF version.

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. If you need any advice or guidance just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  13. Let’s Take It Outside

    Let’s Take It Outside

    Outdoor printing


    Let’s Take It Outside: It’s time to embrace the world of outdoor promotions.

    When you’re advertising an upcoming event or product launch, it’s all very well sticking brochures, leaflets and quite possibly the kitchen sink through front doors but sometimes you need to make a bigger impact.

    Step into outdoor printing.

    There’s a reason why posters, banners and billboards are so popular- they’re big, bold and boost your sales.  When used in conjunction with traditional print media and social media campaigns, they’re proven to increase response rates and help create a buzz around your products or events.

    Still not convinced? Here’s why we believe you should include outdoor printing in your next marketing campaign.

    High Impact

    Outdoor products are designed to make an impact and turn heads. The size, vibrant colours and eye-catching placement of banners, posters and signs ensure they grab the attention of passers-bys and keep your brand in the forefront of their minds. 

    Repeat Exposure

    When you place your poster next to a railway station, at a busy junction or at the busiest part of the high street then potential customers will see it again and again on their daily commute to and from work. The more customers see an advert the more it stays in their brain and the more likely your brand and message will be remembered.

    Low cost

    With outdoor printing, a promotional campaign doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact it’s often the most economical way to advertise your business- the cost of outdoor media can be up to 20% lower than other forms of advertising. Just one well-placed billboard can result in increased revenue and raised brand awareness.

    Wide audience

    With outdoor advertising, you can generate a mass-market appeal. A newspaper or T.V advert will only reach a certain audience- those that read said paper or watch T.V at the right time. With outdoor advertising, the impact of your advert is not restricted to a certain group; anyone who walks passed your advert has the potential to become your next customer.

    Localised Advertising

    With outdoor advertising you're in charge. You choose where your poster, billboard or banner is and you choose who sees it. This gives you huge potential for localised marketing. You can tailor make your adverts, allowing you to target a precise audience. The more relevant your ad, the more effective it will be.

    Go Viral

    Getting talked about can only mean good things for your business right? With the advent of social media a large, creative or unusual ad can go viral in a number of hours and boost your business along with it. Get your ad right and it may even end up on the news.

    Advertising that doesn’t quit

    With a billboard or poster your advertising can't be switched off or ignored, it's there to see whether people want to or not. Customers will repeatedly see your brand and message, ensuring your company sticks in their minds.

    At Better Printing we aim to fulfil all your outdoor printing needs. That’s why we have a massive range of 28 products specifically designed for outdoor use. For more information and to explore our range of outdoor printed products, click here. 

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. If you have any questions or need advice on our outdoor printed products, just call us on 02380 878037 or email info@betterprinting.co.uk and one of our friendly team will be glad to help.

    Continus Reading »
  14. Strut Cards / Show Cards: The what, the how, the why bother.

    Strut Cards / Show Cards: The what, the how, the why bother.

    STRUT CARD BLOG

    ‘What’s so great about strut cards and why do I need them?’ We hear you ask. Well you’ve got a point. In the age of digital advertising, with flashing lights and more bells and whistles than you ever thought possible, traditional P.O.S marketing methods have been somewhat left behind.

    The power of the strut card however is in its name: it allows you to unashamedly strut your stuff and shout about your business. At Better Printing we’re all about the reinvention of the strut card. We think it’s about time you started thinking outside the box and capitalised on the power these cards have to offer.

    Not convinced? Here are our top 5 reasons why Strut Cards should be top of your list.

    Show off social media
    Show off your Social Media


    Use your strut cards to highlight your social media and encourage customers to engage with your story online. If you’ve gone to all the trouble to create a solid brand with a strong social media backup then enticing customers to interact with your social media should be top of your priorities list. Include a hashtag that’s part of a wider advertising campaign or encourage people to ‘check in’ online and do the promoting for you.

    QR Code printing
    QR codes, special offers and big prizes


    Everyone loves the feeling of getting something for free- especially if your target audience is a bunch of permanently cash strapped students. Strut cards are an ideal platform for promotions or special offers. Use strut cards to link customers to unseen online material, special offers or free give away offers only accessible through printed QR codes.  

     Prominent Positions
    Prominent Positions


    The best thing about strut cards is how easily they can be moved about. Strut cards are designed to be placed at the point of purchase, to catch customers’ eyes and tempt them into a last minute buy. A strut card can’t be switched off, you can’t turn the page, and you can’t switch channels- making them fairly hard to ignore.  Because of this strut cards can reach a much wider audience than an expensive T.V advert and make a genuine difference to your number of sales.

    Get creative
    Get creative


    These days any form of advertising has to pack a punch to grab attention from smart phones and the pull of facebook or Instagram. Strut cards allow you to get creative. Gone are the traditionalist views, and retro printing technology that meant strut cards had to conform to square or rectangular shapes. Use controversial statements, peculiar shapes and all the colours of the rainbow plus some glitter if you have to. The fact that you can place a card in the centre of the table, next to the till or at the bar means they’re sure to catch the eyes of customers.

    Cost effective

    Cost effective


    Our number one favourite thing about strut cards? They’re incredibly cost effective. For the price of one print ad in a popular magazine you could print 100s of strut cards (probably). With the right printing company you get a high quality, glossy finish and a card that’s sturdy enough to survive months of accidental drink spillage.

    That’s all folks!

    Show card rudders, back of strut card

    We hope we’ve showed you that strut cards are a great way to advertise your business and given you a few ideas about how to use them to interact with your customers. We now offer A5, A4, A3, A2, A1, A0, Bespoke Strut Cards. To see our whole Strut card range then click here.

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Continus Reading »
  15. All we want for Christmas is… Our new digital cutting machine

    All we want for Christmas is… Our new digital cutting machine

    Printed cut outs

    Father Christmas has come early this year at Better Printing and we’re all pretty happy with our new toy. So much so in fact that this week’s blog is dedicated to telling you guys all about it.

    So why do we love it so much?

    With it we can create print in any shape you can think of. Complicated snowflake patterns? Not a problem. Individually decorated Christmas trees? How many would you like??

     cut-out-christmas-tree-shapes

    With this machine your shapes and your designs are in our hands in a number of minutes no matter how intricate they are.

    But we’ve had bespoke die-cutting technology for a while, how is this different?

    What’s great about the new machine is that it works digitally.This not only lets us print on pretty much any substrate you like it also allows us to individually print single copies in a cost effective way.

    cut-out-shapes-printed-shapes

    The way it works is that we can print your design on a normal sheet of Foamex, dibond, Perspex or even magnetic strips and then the machine cuts out your design. Magic!

    lazer-cut-printed-signage

    If you want to find out more about our new machine and what it can do for you just get in touch. Email info@betterprinting.co.uk or call 023 8087 8037 and one of our lovely team will answer all your questions.

    Continus Reading »
  16. What a lovely pair…

    What a lovely pair…

    Printers and readers pairs

    Hold on! Just to clarify we’re talking about the difference between reader’s pairs and printer’s pairs….

    This week we wanted to focus on a major mistake customers frequently make whilst designing their booklets and brochures; designing files in reader’s pairs instead of printer’s.

    We understand that unless you’re fairly old hat at this, the way we printers speak or go about things can seem confusing. To put it another way, sometimes our methods seem down right odd. That’s why we like to use this blog to answer any FAQ’s and help ensure your print ends up exactly how you imagined it.   

    So what exactly is the difference between reader’s pairs and printer’s pairs?

    Printer’s Pairs:

    With printer’s pairs your booklet or brochure layout will be designed so that when the pages have been printed, folded and bound everything is in the right order. Remember when the binding of your favourite book started loosening? When the pages fell out do you remember being surprised to see the introduction was printed next to the final page? We call this ‘imposition order’. Practically, what this means is that when you design an 8 page booklet, for example, page 1 will not sit next to page 2. Instead you should have 4 sets of printer’s pairs: pages 8-1, 2-7, 6-3 and 4-5. Simple…

    Printers Pairs

    Reader’s Pairs:

    Alternatively, if you’ve designed a booklet or brochure using reader’s pairs the pages are laid out in the order they’ll be read. That means your PDF double page spread will have page 1 next to page 2.

    If you’re planning to let client’s download your booklet or brochure and read on screen, it obviously makes sense to design your pages in this order. However if you’re looking to get your brochure professionally printed and bound then make sure you supply your pages as single pages for us to impose correctly for printing.

    Readers Pairs

    If you have any other print related queries please don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Better Printing we’re always here to help make ordering your print easier. So if you need any advice or guidance, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 02380 878 037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  17. It’s Time to Get Out Your Fine - Toothed Combs

    It’s Time to Get Out Your Fine - Toothed Combs

    Better-Printing-Blog-Hard-Copy-Proofs

    This week we’re talking about the benefits of hard copy proofs.

    What’s the golden rule of printing? Check your proofs thoroughly before going to print! There’s nothing worse than opening your delivery to find your company name is spelt wrong or the colour reproduction doesn’t match your branding. Nightmare.

    So how can you avoid a bad job and wasting your money?

    Asking for a hard copy proof and thoroughly proofreading to avoid grammar or spelling mistakes is, hands down, the best and most economical way to ensure your finished products turn out exactly how you want them. Most printers, including Better Printing, will create a Hard Copy proof for you on request.

    What is a hard copy proof?

    A hard copy proof is a digitally printed physical reproduction of your printed product. The proof is colour calibrated and printed on silk paper using an inkjet printer to give you a clearer idea of the end product.

    Why is a hard copy proof better than a soft proof?

    A soft proof is just a printer’s way of saying a PDF copy of your final design. If all you want to do is check for content errors a soft proof is the way to go and they’re free. However there are several limitations. Viewing your proof on a monitor means it may be hard to envision the layout of the finished product, particularly if your product is to be folded. More importantly with a PDF proof checking for accurate colour calibration is nigh on impossible.  A monitor uses a RGB colour calibration system, displaying colour in shades of red green and blue, but lithographic print presses use a CMYK colour system. The colours therefore may be altered in the end product.

    with hard copy proofs you can

    So if your product is to be printed digitally on silk stock, a hard copy proof will give you a near perfect reproduction of the final product.

    At Better Printing we will even assemble you proof for you so you know exactly what you’re getting!

    If you have any questions or need advice remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just call us on 02380 878037 or email info@betterprinting.co.uk and one of our friendly team will be glad to help.

    Continus Reading »
  18. Paper Weights: What the GSM are they all about?

    Paper Weights: What the GSM are they all about?

    Paper weights in print

    Here at Better Printing we’ve put our heads together to give you the low down on paper stocks and advise you on the best weight for your product.

    So here is our insiders guide to paper weights. 

    Lets start with something simple: GSM - what exactly does it mean?  

    GSM stands for Grams per Square Meter, and is the standard unit of measurement for all paper and card stocks. The higher the GSM the heavier and (normally) thicker your substrate will be. To give you a reference point, the average piece of printer paper is normally around 100gsm.

    Strange as it sounds different paper weights can convey different messages and affect the way your product and, by extension, your business is seen.  Generally speaking the heavier the paper weight, the more high quality your product feels. However printing a magazine or booklet on a high-gsm stock would be impractical- the extra weight would force the pages to spring open and its unlikely the magazine would lie flat.

    Before you panic below are some general guidelines you can follow to make choosing your paper weight easier.

    What paper weight is best for your product?

    Business Cards:

    For business cards we recommend a stock between 350gsm and 400gsm. Choose anything less and you risk being stuck with flimsy business cards that wear easily and thus reflect negatively on your business.

    Posters:

    We recommend between 150gsm and 200gsm. For posters you need to get the right balance. A high-gsm stock isn’t practical as the greater the weight the more likely the poster is to fall down, but if the stock is too low the poster will tear easily.

    Company Document Folders:

    We recommend between 350gsm and 400gsm. Like business cards your folders need to make the right impression and a heavier stock gives a more quality feel. In terms of practicality your folder will be used to hold different items, from documents to invoices and DVDs, and will be regularly opened and closed. Therefore you need a heavier weight stock to stop your folder falling apart under the stress of its contents and repetitive usage. 

    Brochures, Booklets and Magazines:

    We recommend a thicker cover: 300gsm with inside pages between 120-170gsm. Its important to remember that multiple pages printed onto a heavy stock makes it difficult to make a brochure lie flat once opened. A heavier cover with lighter inside pages gives you the luxurious look and feel you want without compromising the functionality of the brochure, magazine or booklet.

    Business Stationery:

    For letterheads and compliment slips we recommend between 100gsm-140gsm. Again your business stationery is a reflection of your company so you need your paper to feel quality. However as the function of your business stationery is generally for communications rather than for promoting your company, using a heavy stock would be overly expensive for little benefit.

    Need more advice on what’s right for your product? At Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to help!

    Continus Reading »
  19. PVC Banners: A good design is about more than style…

    PVC Banners: A good design is about more than style…

    PVC Banners blog header

    …You need to make sure your design works as a product. Without getting all philosophical on you we want to stress the importance of getting the Artwork for PVC banner just right.

    If you’re planning an event and you want an eye-catching banner to get the word out, then you need to think carefully about your design. An outdoor banner is a reflection of your business; if your banner looks second rate the time, effort and quality of your work can all be called into question.

    To help you out we’ve put our heads together and come up with some top tips to keep in mind when designing your banner.

    Better Printing’s Top Tips on Setting up the Artwork for Your PVC Banner:

    keep it simple when designing banners
    Keep it simple:

    Remember this is a banner and not your chance to pen your very own 1000 page literary masterpiece. Any text has to be read easily and from a distance, so keep it short snappy and straight to the point. 

    think left to right when designing banners

    Think left to right:

    Creating a unique looking banner is all good and well but if no one can read it, you’ve wasted your time and money. We’re used to reading left to right, bottom to top so you should choose the placement of text on your banner with this in mind.

    300 dpi for pvc banners artwork

    300 (dpi) is your lucky number:

    Any images you want to include on your banner must be high resolution. The lower the resolution of your pictures the worse the reproduction: low res images are often be pixelated, blurred and of poor quality when reproduced in print. Your images should be 300dpi at the very least and saved as CMYK.

    Size does matter:

    If your banner is 6ft by 20ft chances are your computer doesn’t have the memory to support a design of that scale. That’s why most people scale down when using a design program such a photoshop. If you are scaling down, it’s best to design at 50% or 25% the size of the actual banner and in inches rather than feet; so 6ft becomes 91cm/ 45cm and 20ft becomes 3m/1.5m. However its important you remember that your banner once printed will just be a bigger version of the design on your screen. So if your design looks cramped on screen it unfortunately won’t magically look better in reality.

    Oh and without trying to state the obvious, be sure to tell us if your design is true to scale or by how much you’ve scaled it down.

    Hems and eyelets: What You Need to Know.

    Hems and eyelets

    First of what are eyelets? Eyelets* are the little metal rings set around the edge of your banner that allow it to be easily fixed to a building, fence or wall. If one of these eyelets is ripped out your banner can sag and look messy. That’s why we turn over the outer 2 inches of the banner to create a double thickness hem and protect the eyelets from ripping.

    What does this mean for your design?

    The eyelets are set approximately 2 inches away from the edge of the banner. So to ensure that nothing is cut off during the hemming process you need to design your banner with a 5inch bleed and keep anything critical like text or images out of this area.

    *If your printer starts talking about grommets or even metal rings don’t panic, different printers may use different terms but they all refer to the same thing.

    If you can remember all this then you’re probably on to a winner, either that or you’ve definitely done this design thing before. 

    Just remember at Better Printing, we’re always here to help. So if you need any advice or guidance on providing artwork for your product, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 02380 878 037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  20. The holidays are coming…

    The holidays are coming…

    Christmas and Calendars 2016

    We’re sorry, but we have to say the dreaded words: it’s time to start thinking about Christmas 2015.

    We know, we know its still months away! The sun is still shining! But with Christmas being perhaps the busiest time of year for companies and printers alike, it’s never too early to start planning for your. 

    It’s not all bad news though. To ease you in to the Christmas planning process we are offering an early bird special on all 2016/17 calendars and corporate Christmas cards.

    Order yours before 30th October 2015 and you could save up to 10% on your order!

    Attractive, practical and cost effective, our calendars are great as a promotional give away item! Consider them your undercover marketing agents: just add your branding and your customers will be reminded of your business 24 hours a day, 365 days a year!

    Calendar-printing-Xmas-card-Printing

    Our business Christmas cards are the perfect way to spread some holiday cheer whilst simultaneously promoting your brand and business. Send them out to your customers to make them feel valued and gently remind them of your services.

    This offer is only available until 30th October 2015 so buy your calendars and corporate Christmas cards whilst you can!

    Click on the links for more information on our Printed Calendar range and business Christmas cards.

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Continus Reading »
  21. Setting up the artwork for your PVC banner

    Setting up the artwork for your PVC banner

    PVC Banners: A good design is about more than style…

    …You need to make sure your design works as a product. Without getting all philosophical on you we want to stress the importance of getting the Artwork for PVC banner just right.

    If you’re planning an event and you want an eye-catching banner to get the word out, then you need to think carefully about your design. A banner is a reflection of your business; if your banner looks second rate the time, effort and quality of your work can all be called into question.

    To help you out we’ve put our heads together and come up with some top tips to keep in mind when designing your banner.

    Better Printing’s Top Tips on Setting up the Artwork for Your PVC Banner:

    Keep it simple:

    Remember this is a banner and not your chance to pen your very own 1000 page literary masterpiece. Any text has to be read easily and from a distance, so keep it short snappy and straight to the point.

    Think left to right:

    Creating a unique looking banner is all good and well but if no one can read it, you’ve wasted your time and money. We’re used to reading left to right, bottom to top so you should choose the placement of text on your banner with this in mind.

    300 (dpi) is your lucky number:

    Any images you want to include on your banner must be high resolution. The lower the resolution of your pictures the worse the reproduction: low res images are often be pixelated, blurred and of poor quality when reproduced in print. Your images should be 300dpi at the very least and saved as CMYK.

    Size does matter:

    If your banner is 6ft by 20ft chances are your computer doesn’t have the memory to support a design of that scale. That’s why most people scale down when using a design program such a Photoshop. If you are scaling down, it’s best to design at 50% or 25% the size of the actual banner and in inches rather than feet; so 6ft becomes 91cm/ 45cm and 20ft becomes 3m/1.5m. However its important you remember that your banner once printed will just be a bigger version of the design on your screen. So if your design looks cramped on screen it unfortunately won’t magically look better in reality.

    Oh and without trying to state the obvious, be sure to tell us if your design is true to scale or by how much you’ve scaled it down.

    Hems and eyelets: What You Need to Know.

    First of what are eyelets? Eyelets* are the little metal rings set around the edge of your banner that allow it to be easily fixed to a building, fence or wall. If one of these eyelets is ripped out your banner can sag and look messy. That’s why we turn over the outer 2 inches of the banner to create a double thickness hem and protect the eyelets from ripping.

    What does this mean for your design?

    The eyelets are set approximately 2 inches away from the edge of the banner. So to ensure that nothing is cut off during the hemming process you need to design your banner with a 5inch bleed and keep anything critical like text or images out of this area.

    *If your printer starts talking about grommets or even metal rings don’t panic, different printers may use different terms but they all refer to the same thing.

    If you can remember all this then you’re probably on to a winner, either that or you’ve definitely done this design thing before.

    Just remember at Better Printing, we’re always here to help. So if you need any advice or guidance on providing artwork for your product, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 02380 878 037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  22. Top 10 tips for designing your business card

    Top 10 tips for designing your business card

     Top 10 tips for designing business cards

    If the experts are right and it only takes 7 seconds to make a first impression, you need to make sure your business card is working it baby.

    When you get your business card design right, your name and business will be remembered-get it wrong and you won’t.  Put simply, if your business card doesn’t inspire confidence, it won’t help you generate new business.

    So how do you make sure your business card is the right side of impressive? We’ve created a mini guide with our top 10 tips for designing an amazing business card.  

    1.    Who Are You?
    You’ve only got a small window of space to let people know who you are and what you do, so think carefully about what you include. You name, job title, company name and contact details should be easy to read. Remember, you need to strike the balance between providing enough information and making your card look cluttered.

    2.    Be Creative…
    Your business card needs to pack a punch, so don’t be afraid to play around with the shape or finish of your card; a die cut card in the shape of your choice or metallic ink or embossed lettering could really help your card stand out. At Better Printing we have a range of finishing options available so creating a unique and original card is easy.

    3.    …But Don’t underestimate the power of Simplicity
    Sometimes a simple card with a black a white design is all you need and it can often looks more stylish too.

    4.    Think Carefully About Your Fonts
    Whilst it may be tempting to use something funky and out there, the first function of your font is to be readable. Also it’s crucial to match your font to your brand and business. If you work for a funeral directors a font like this may not send the right message to potential clients.

    5.    Colour is Key
    It’s tempting to throw all the colours under the sun at your card but its quality not quantity that’s important. We recommend using 2-3 colours for the best results. Make sure to use colours that fit your brand-any inconsistencies can undermine the professional appearance of your company.

    Printed buisness cards

    6.    Bleed/Margins:
    When designing your card, always make sure you include a bleed area of at least 3mm, to ensure there are no borders or area missed in the print. Including a “safe area” in the centre of the card and situating any important information within this area, minimizes the danger of it being cut off during the printing process.

    7.    Don’t Skimp on Quality:
    No matter how good your design is you won’t impress anyone if it falls apart in your hands.  All our business cards are printed on 350gsm or thicker so your cards look professional and are less likely to be damaged when you hand them out.

    8.    Make Use of the Reverse Side:
    You’ve paid for the whole card so why not utilize as much of the space as possible? Use the other side of the card to show off your company logo and tagline, or if you’re an artist why not include a miniature of your favourite work. The more exposure the better!

    9.    Proof, Proof, Proof!
    We can’t stress it enough: it is crucial you check your finished design for errors! Once your design has gone to print there’s no going back. So check thoroughly for potential spelling mistakes or design faux pas.

    10.    Bundles Make for Great Value
    Buying your all you business stationery at the same time not only allows us to offer you significant savings but it can also protect your brand. Buying everything from one printers means colour, font and design consistency across all your products, so the power of your brand is safe.

    At Better Printing we don’t just offer ‘business card printing’, but we work alongside you to make sure your card is the best it can be.

    For more information see our full range of business cards here or contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk and they’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

    Continus Reading »
  23. Buying in Bulk: is it the right option for you?

    Buying in Bulk: is it the right option for you?

    buying print in bulk from better printing uk hampshire

    Whether you’re a new start-up company or a huge conglomerate we know it’s always important to save money where you can. Research shows that the more frequently customers buy products each month, the more money they actually end up spending. Is bulk buying a legitimate solution? Does it actually save you money?

    Advantages to bulk buying your print:

    Do the maths: larger quantities typically cost less per unit.

    When you work out the difference in price, bulk buying usually results in a much healthier looking cost per unit-even without taking into account delivery costs. Take our A4 brochures for example. 500 brochures for £299 works out as 60p per brochure but if you buy 20,000 brochures at a cost of £2209 works out as only 13p per brochure. Which is quite a saving.

    Bespoke die-cut designs are affordable.

    The main reason bespoke die-cut products are so expensive is because a new cutter has to be made for each design and this cost has to be factored in to the price. When you’re buying in bulk the savings mean having a unique design or shape is no longer significantly more expensive. 

    Cut down on delivery costs.

    Buying a new set of business stationery every quarter means paying for 4 sets of delivery charges. By ordering in bulk you only pay for one set and you have enough letterheads that you don’t have to worry about running out throughout the year.

    Things to think about before you buy in bulk:

    Try before you buy.

    If you’ve never bought from a print company before or you’ve never used a particular product it’s a good idea to request a hard copy proof or order a small quantity first before you commit to a large order. Else you could end up with a 1000s of leaflets you can’t actually use. Samples are always available to review if you prefer.

    Storage limitations.

    This is common sense really, but make sure you only order the amount of products you actually have the space to store. There’s nothing worse than filling your offices floor to ceiling with boxes of company brochures for months on end because you didn’t think about how many boxes could fit into your storage cupboard.

    Which product you need.

    Whilst it’s always a good idea to have a supply of business stationery and company folders the same can not be said for other products. Ordering a 1000 posters advertising your 1 week only Easter discount would likely end up in a lot of wasted paper and ink. So think carefully about what you will be using your product for and how often you will need it before you order 1000s of them.

    In short: buying in bulk is a great way to get all the high quality products you need whilst saving you some pennies. Just make sure you think it all through before you order!

    Check out our product range here to start ordering today!

    Remember Better Printing is here to help. So if you have any questions or want more information about the services we offer just call us on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  24. Getting down to business

    Getting down to business

     Getting down to business

    Business cards have been around for what seems like forever. With the advent of sites like Linkedin you may have prematurely decided they’ve become redundant.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, we disagree. When used effectively business cards are still a must have in this day and age. So this week we want to convince you of the enduring power of the Business Card.

    So here are just a few reasons why you still need a high quality business card in your life.


    Networking

    The Key to Networking Success

    Never has the phrase ‘its not what you know, its who you know’ been more apt as it is in today’s growing marketplace. Networking is still a vital part of the business world and nothing beats a business card for turning a face-to-face meeting into a bona fide business opportunity.

    Advertising business cards

    Your Own Private Cheerleader

    A business card is affordable advertising that doesn't stop.  It’s a visual cue, reminding those you meet exactly who you are and what you do - reinforcing a good first impression. With a business card you have someone in your corner helping you get your name out there.

    Allow Yourself to Show Off

    Allow Yourself to Show Off

    A custom business card gives you a professional opportunity to show off your personality and help you stand out.  Get creative with your design with die-cut shapes, rounded corners and vibrant spot UV varnish. That way your business card doesn’t just introduce you, it gives potential customers an idea of who you are.


    Professionalism

    Professionalism

    A business card helps legitimize your business.  It shows you care about how your business is perceived and it gives potential customers an easy way to contact you. Furthermore in some situations using your phone to make notes or writing contact info on scrap pieces of paper looks very unprofessional and may end up doing your business more harm than good.

    Convenience

    Professionalism

    Sometimes it’s just not possible to have a tablet or computer on you for taking notes and you never know when you might meet someone you’re interested in working with.  They’re a wallet sized, easily portable way to advertise your business to anybody who may express an interest in what you do.


    Have we piqued your interest? Click here to see our huge range of affordable, high quality business cards. 


    Remember Better Printing is always here to help. If you need advice or guidance just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  25. Custom printing

    Custom printing

    Custom printing uk
    It only takes three little words to get us excited here at Better Printing. That’s right, this week we’re talking about custom printed products.

    When you need something special or have a specific design in mind, with our custom printing service we can help you create a product unique to you.


    Still not sure? Here are 3 reasons why custom printing is the answer you’ve been looking for.

    You’re in the driving seat:

    With Better Printing’s custom product printing service you’re in control of the entire design process. Choose the size, shape and finish of your product. No design is too big, no shape too complicated. Our designers work alongside you advising you on the best options for your product so the end result is exactly what you envisioned.

    Create something unique:

    If you want your products to make an impact they have to stand out from the crowd. Custom printing offers you the chance to create something original. With any shape, any size, any colour, you’ve got a lot of scope to get creative with.  So don’t resort to standard templates and design something special, something that will get your customers talking.

    custom printed products by better printing

    If only perfect is good enough, only a custom design will do:

    If you take your business seriously, you need to take you marketing seriously. The more successful your marketing the more successful your business will become. Having the right materials is essential when implementing a god marketing campaign. So why settle for second best? With custom printing you can create the perfect promotional product.


    Remember Better Printing is here to help. So if you have any questions or want more information about the services we offer just call us on 023 8087 8037 or email:  info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  26. Wobblers: the what, the why and the how

    Wobblers: the what, the why and the how

    Wobbler-Printers

    If you’ve indulged in any retail therapy lately you’ve probably seen a wobbler or 2 and maybe even been tempted to buy because of one, but we’re guessing the term ‘wobbler’ is new to you.

    To clear up any confusion and answer any questions here is our comprehensive guide to the what, the when and the why of wobblers.

     
    Introducing ‘The Wobbler’.

    So what exactly is a wobbler? A wobbler is a small sign or tag with a self adhesive PVC plastic arm attached. They’re designed to hang off a shelf or till and draw attention to a particular product or special offer. Or, to put it another way, they’re a highly effective method of visual marketing.

    Why are wobblers so effective?

    A wobbler is so named because when customers walk past it causes the wobbler to move and catch your customers’ eyes. In a crowded retail environment such as a supermarket with hundreds of similar products to choose from, a wobbler literally reaches out to your customers and encourages them to focus on specific items.  When 80% of buying decisions are made in your shop aisles a well placed wobbler can make a massive difference.  Plus they’re durable, affordable and quick and easy to install. 

     Better-Printing-Blog-Wobblers-Wobbler-Printers

    How can you make your wobbler work for you?

    So now you know what a wobbler is and how they work here are some ideas on how to use wobblers in your business:

     

    a) Promote a special offer or competition

    Wobblers are the ideal way to promote a competition, discount or special offer. Just add your logo and the offer or competition details to raise awareness and boost your sales.


    b) Push products

    If a particular product is nearing its expiration date or you need to make room for a new shipment of stock and you need to push sales, wobblers are a great way to draw attention to the product you need to shift.

    c) Use QR codes to encourage customers to engage with our brand

    Wobblers are perfect for promoting QR codes. They’re the ideal size, easy to print on and can be placed directly in your customers’ line of sight. Use your QR codes to link customers to your website. By posting exclusive content, a funny video, or useful and educational information, customers will want to engage with your brand and will be more likely to look out for your products in store.



    Hopefully we’ve inspired you to start designing your perfect wobblers today. Why not click here to see our rage of die-cut wobblers.

    Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. If you need any advice or guidance on designing and ordering your wobblers just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  27. Why Eco Friendly Products are a Viable Marketing Option

    Why Eco Friendly Products are a Viable Marketing Option

    Eco printing from Better Printing

    This week Better Printing is going GREEN.

    We know it’s not always easy staying eco conscious when you’re trying to promote your business. When you need to get your name out there, sometimes thinking about the environmental impact of your advertising goes out the window.

    ‘It’s just too expensive’, ‘the quality isn’t as good’ ‘emailing is more eco friendly’

    Are likely to be just some of your thoughts. Until recent years, companies had to make the difficult choice between what was right for their business and what was right for the environment.

    Not any more!

    Pressure from organisations such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the development of new vegetable based materials has lead to the advent of many high quality alternatives. Better yet, with the growing demand for recycled and environmentally friendly printing, these products are increasingly price competitive.  So the difficult choice is no more.

     At Better Printing we have a range of eco friendly products to help you do your bit for the environment. Here are our top 3 picks!


    1.    Biodegradable PVC Banners

    Our biodegradable banners are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional PVC Banners. They’re intentionally engineered to deteriorate once in a landfill setting so you can order them guilt free. Plus, with vibrant colour and high-resolution printing they look fantastic.

    Biodegradable PVC Banners

    2.    Recycled Brochures

    Our 100% recycled brochures are the perfect solution for eco friendly, superior quality brochures. We’re experts when it comes to printing with recycled materials, so we can promise your brochures will look and feel great.

    Recycled Brochures

    3.    Recycled Business Cards

    Our Recycled Business Cards are printed using FSC certified 100% recycled stock. The perfect solution for guilt free networking!

    Recycled Business Cards

    If these products aren’t quite what you’re looking for, we’ve got good news! Better Printing has a range of eco stocks and recycled paper so all you need to do is choose the product you want. You can promote your business and save the world, one product at a time.

     

    When you choose to print with Better Printing you’re choosing a company that’s dedicated to minimizing its environmental impact. For more information on our Eco Policies see here.

    Remember Better Printing is always here to help. If you need advice or guidance on eco friendly printing just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  28. Print Glossary Part 2

    Print Glossary Part 2

    Print Glossary part 2 by Better Printing uk

    Rejoice! Part 2 of our comprehensive print glossary is finally here. We hope it helps!


    Imagesetter:
    A device that plots high-resolution images which have been processed by a RIP, onto film or directly onto the plate.

    Indicia:
    Postal information place on a printed product.

    Ivory Board:
    A smooth high white board used for business cards etc.

    Jog:
    To shake a stack of papers, either on a machine or by hand, so that the edges line up. This process is also referred to as knocking-up.

    JPEG:
    An acronym for ‘Joint Photographic Electronic Group’: a common standard for compressing image data.

    Job Ticket / Job Sheet:
    Alternate names for an order.

    Justified:
    Text which is flush to both the left and right margins.

    Kerning:
    The adjustment of spacing between certain character pairs, A and V for example, to obtain a more pleasing appearance.

    Kiss-cut:
    To die-cut but not all the way through the paper – commonly used for peel off stickers.

    Knockout:
    A shape or object printed by eliminating (knocking out) all background colours.

    Kraft Paper:
    A tough brown paper used for packing.

    Laminate:
    A thin film coating which is applied to the paper or board to give a more glossy or matt appearance.

    Layout File:
    The file created by computer application software which contains all the imported elements and where all the design and layout of a document are performed.

    Lithographic Printing:
    A printing process based on the principle of the natural aversion of water to grease. The areas to be printed receive and transfer ink to the paper, the non-printing areas are treated with water to repel the ink.

    Loose Leaf:
    A method of binding which allows the insertion and removal of pages for continuous updating.

    LPI:
    Lines per inch – refers to the number of rows of dots per inch in a halftone. It is important to distinguish it from dpi which refers to the resolution of a device or image. Commonly LPI is used at exactly half of the dpi of the device or image, i.e. 300dpi would equal 150lpi.

    Line Art / Line Copy:
    Copy which can be reproduced without using halftones.

    Magenta:
    One of the four process colours, also known as red.

    Make-Ready:
    The work associated with the set-up of printing equipment before running a job.

    Micrometer:
    Instrument used for measuring the thickness of paper.

    Moiré:
    An undesirable grid-like pattern caused by the misalignment of dots on a printed document.

    Matt:
    A non glossy finish.

    NCR (carbonless paper):
    NCR: An acronym for ‘No Carbon Required’. A Paper coated with chemicals that enable transfer of images from one sheet to another with pressure from writing or typing.

    Origination:
    A term used to describe all of the processes which prepare a job for the printing stage.

    Outline Paths:
    A term used when converting a font or graphic into a mathematical vector format; can also be referred to as ‘curves’.

    Offset Printing:
    A method in which the plate or cylinder transfers an ink image to an offset or transfer roller, which then transfers the image to stock.

    Over-Run:
    Copies printed in excess of the quantity specified in the order.

    Page Count:
    Total number of pages, including blanks and printed pages without numbers.

    Perfecting:
    Process of printing both sides of one sheet during a single pass through the press.

    Perfect Binding:
    Perfect binding is a bookbinding method in which pages are glued rather than sewn to a wrap around cover.

    Plate:
    A metal sheet with a specially coated ‘emulsion’ on its surface which, when exposed through a film mask or by CTP process will produce an image. When the plate is loaded onto printing press it then reproduces this image using inks onto the print material.

    Point (PT):
    A measurement for the size of fonts and the thickness of rules; one point equals one seventy-second of an inch (0.3515mm).

    Proof:
    A representation of the finished print, produced for the customer to inspect for errors that can then be corrected prior to final printing.

    Progressives:
    Colour proofs taken at each stage of printing, showing each colour printed alone and then superimposed on the preceding colour.

    Quotation:
    Price offered by a printer to produce a specific job based on the customer’s job specifications.

    Recto:
    Right hand page of an open publication.

    Registration marks:
    Crosses or reference marks on the page used to align overlaying colours (‘registration’). Also known as trim marks or crop marks.

    Reversed-out:
    Type appearing white on a black or colour background.

    Resolution:
    The number of dots per inch (dpi) in a computer-processed document. the level of detail retained by a printed document increases with higher resolution. ppi (pixels per inch) for an image.

    RIP (raster image processor):
    Computer used to create an electronic bitmap for actual output. this may be built into an output device or may be separate.

    RGB:
    An acronym for red, green and blue. RGB is a colour model used for computer monitors and colour video output systems. Colour separations for litho printing cannot be made directly from RGB files and need to be converted to CMYK first.

    Rosette:
    The formation created by the dots that make up four-color images. The dots, in magenta (red), cyan (blue), yellow, and black, overlap each other in a cluster; this cluster resembles the arrangement of petals in a rose because the dots are not perfectly round, and are turned at angles to each other.

    Saddle stitch:
    Saddle stitch is a binding process in which a pamphlet or booklet is stapled through the middle fold of its sheets using metal wires.

    Scanning:
    The process of converting a hard copy into digital data ready for editing and design. The quality of the scan is dependent on the quality of the original, the scanning equipment and software, as well as the experience of the operator!

    Score (crease):
    To mechanically press a rule into heavy paper or board to enable it to be folded without cracking.

    Self-cover:
    A cover that is the same paper stock as the internal sheets.

    Step-up:
    A term used to describe the positioning of documents several times onto the same sheet of paper to avoid paper wastage. Also known as imposition.

    Stock:
    The material to be printed.

    Spot colour:
    Spot colour is not made using the process colours. Instead the colour is printed using an exclusively made ink. Each spot colour therefore requires its own separate printing plate. Spot colours cannot be used with digital printing as such devices can only reproduce from the four process colours; cyan, magenta, yellow and black.

    Spread:
    Two or more adjoining pages that would appear in view on sheet.

    Solid:
    An area on the page which is completely covered by the ink.

    TIFF:
    Acronym for Tagged Image File Format. TIFF (.TIF) pictures can be black-and-white line art, greyscale or colour. This is a widely used format for image/photographic files but is unsuitable for text unless it is created at a very hi-resolution.

    Tint:
    A shade of a single color or combined colors made up of dots.

    Trapping:
    A slight overlapping between two touching colours that prevents gaps along the edges of an object that may appear because of misalignment or movement on the printing press.

    Turnaround time:
    Amount of time needed to complete a project.

    UV varnish:
    A liquid laminate that is bonded and cured with ultraviolet light.

    Varnishing / Sealing:
    The application of a varnish or sealant to a surface that offers protection against marking and improves the overall appearance.

    Verso:
    Left handed page of an open publication.

    Wash up:
    To clean ink from rollers, fountains and other components of a press.

    Wire-o binding:
    A method of binding books with a spiral wire along the binding edge that will allow the book to lay flat. Also known as spiral binding.

    Work and Tumble:
    To print one side of a sheet of paper then turn the sheet over from gripper to back using the opposite gripper edge but the same side guide to print the second side.

    Work and Turn:
    To print one side of a sheet of paper then turn the sheet over from left to right and print the second side using the same gripper edge to print the second side.



    And finished... If you can remember all of that we think you can legitimately call yourself an expert. Click here to see our product range and start ordering you print today!

    We hope this little glossary has cleared up any misunderstandings or confusion you may have had. Remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. If you need any advice or guidance just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  29. Localised Marketing Your Ticket to Success

    Localised Marketing Your Ticket to Success

    Localised Marketing- Your Ticket to Success

    In days gone past localised marketing was the only way for companies to drum up interest in their respective businesses. Thanks to the internet however, the global marketplace has never been more accessible; now even the smallest of companies can go global with their customer base.

    As exciting as that is, at Better Printing we’re determined not to forget about the customers that are right outside our front door.

    That’s why this week we want to talk about the importance of local marketing.  Here are just a few reason’s we think localized marketing is so important:

     Establish positive customer relationships
    Establish positive customer relationships

    Whether you’re a large international corporation or a small one site operation, a customer recommendation is worth its weight in gold. Meeting people face-to-face is essential to building a positive reputation your customers will respond to; a brand is instantly more accessible when represented by a friendly face.


    Increase repeat custom

    Increase repeat custom

    Establishing strong relationships in the local community will also result in repeat business. If companies take advantage of this by offering discounts or free items as a ‘thank you’ for customer loyalty, this feeling of goodwill will only enhance customers’ impression of your business and increase the likelihood of their repeat custom.


    Co-operate with other local businesses
    Co-operate with other local businesses

    Working alongside local businesses in complimentary sectors can increase profits for both of you.  By advertising together and recommending each other’s businesses when clients have a need for both services, you can mutually boost business with minimal effort. Try offering a discount or money off voucher for customers who employ both your services.


    More effective marketing
    More effective marketing

    Advertising is expensive. There’s no way around it. So you need to maximize the impact of your marketing from the word go. By targeting your marketing towards certain demographics in your local area you can create relevant content that inspires custom and creates loyal customers. Your customers will shop locally so empower your agents, franchises or local stores to reach out to local custom with leaflets, social media and localised SEO marketing strategies. Not only could you boost your business but by advertising locally you will increase your brand awareness and possibly create business to business relationships.

    Including a promotion or discount on a leaflet or business card that can only be used in your local area is a high impact, cost effective way to start a localised marketing campaign.


    Take Advantage of Every Opportunity
    Take Advantage of Every Opportunity

    Some companies continue to insist on doing business in person which means there could be a well of untapped business in your local area, if you only looked. If you don’t advertise locally you lose the opportunity to gain their custom and you lose potential income. Make sure you take advantage of every opportunity and reach out to your neighborhood.


    Why not kick start your localised marketing with our flyers and leaflets? Find all the product information you need right here.

    Remember Better Printing is always here to help. If you need advice or guidance on what products would work best for your business, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  30. A Basic Guide to Variable Data Printing

    A Basic Guide to Variable Data Printing

    Variable data printing uk

    Are you a VDP first timer? Feeling a tad overwhelmed by the process. Not to worry. We’ve created a basic guide to take the mystery out of VDP.

    First things first, what actually is Variable Data Printing?

    Put simply variable data printing is the mass customisation of multiple documents. It enables you to create multiple versions of the same product with personalised content and images for each recipient. Imagine your a veterinary practice, instead of sending a generic appointment card reminder, you send a reminder with your customers name, the name of their dog and a product brochure based on what they normally buy for their pet. All this can be done hassle free with VDP.

    What can it do for me?

    In a marketplace so saturated with brands and advertising, making a human connection is more essential than ever. Every customer is unique, with different hobbies interests and ultimately different buying habits. VDP allows businesses to talk to their customers one on one. Going this extra mile makes a customer feel valued and when they feel appreciated they’re that much more likely to return.

    In fact variable data printing promises: more sales, higher response rates and increased customer loyalty it’s even been proven to increase mail response rates by 5% to 12%. By using VDP your company will get more attention and each promotion will become more cost effective.

    Still don’t believe us? Think about the ‘share a coke’ campaign; more than 150 million personalised bottles were sold. Coca Cola achieved worldwide success and spoke to every single one of their customers on a personal level, just by adding a name to their product labels.

    How does variable data printing work
    How does it work?

    First of we need you to create a database filled with all your customers’ information and all the variable content and graphics you want to include. We then base all of your documents on a master template in the program ‘Print Shop Mail’ so branding is consistent and the key messages can be kept the same across each product. During the printing process, computer applications take content from your databases and insert it into the printed document or product according to preprogrammed rules specifying what content or graphic is used where.

    how do i set up a file for variable data printing
    How do I set up my database?

    For most VDP jobs, all you need to provide is a simple table containing all the names, addresses, copy, graphics, and photographs that will be used for each copy of the document or product. We recommend using an excel spreadsheet and formatting it so that each row corresponds to a single record and each column refers to a specific field e.g. the customer’s surname or address.

    Last mintue printing tips
    Any last minute tips or advice?

    Be patient: It may take a while to gather all of the necessary data to create a fully personalised mailer for several thousand customers, but we promise it’s worth it.

    communicate with print providers
    Communicate with your print providers:

    Without the proper data files, the variable data printing process can be a nightmare. If you’re not sure about how your database needs to be set up, then it is always better to ask your print provider rather than risk an expensive and costly print mistake. When your database is properly set-up, the printing process itself takes no longer than your bog standard print job.

    Remember Better Printing is here to help. So if you have any questions or want more information about the services we offer just call us on 023 8087 8037 or email:  info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  31. The Reinvention of the postcard

    The Reinvention of the postcard

    Post Card Blog from Better Printing uK

    The Reinvention of the postcard


    We know that saying the word postcard will probably conjure up enough images of cheesy seaside scenes, cheeky snapshots and awful puns to make even the most adventurous advertisers shudder.... But we think there is something slightly magical about receiving one in the post.

    Wait, hear us out!

    In the age of social media, with more tweets and ‘so and so is having pasta for dinner’ status updates than you can shake a stick at, postcards are a refreshing alternative to instant communication. There is a retro appeal in this snail mail approach to communication. A postcard makes the recipient feel valued, creates a feeling of good will and gets across a message; all in a very limited amount of space.

    So why not capitalise on the feeling of goodwill a post card can inspire?

    This week we’re talking about the reinvention of the postcard.

    No longer just a humble way to share a snapshot of your holiday with friends and family, more and more savvy marketers are becoming aware of the potential of postcards. Postcards are charming, budget friendly and will get your product or business noticed.

    Post card printers uk

    When you design a postcard right the customer may even keep it; pin it on a wall or attach it to the fridge with magnet. This way, your branding will stay under their nose for as long as the postcard is kept on display.

    The best thing about postcards? Their versatility.

    Postcards are ideal as vouchers or gift certificates and make great invitations or save the date cards as a reminded for people about an important event or show. Artists and galleries are even turning towards selling postcards in order to get their work notice and into the homes of those who can’t afford the original pieces.



    So how do you make your postcard work for you?

    1. 1.     Make sure your postcards don’t like too much like an advert.

    This is the most important thing to remember; if your customers think your postcard is junk mail it will go straight in the bin. This is where your design skills have the chance to shine. Make it funny, make it colourful, and make it something you would be proud to display on your wall. Then all you need to do is add some subtle branding and you’re work is done.

    1. 2.     Include a call to action or marketing message on the back.  

    It is all well and good to stress about the design but you do still need a message, whether that’s prompting recipients to visit your website or reminding them of the date of your store opening.  Whatever you write, make sure to keep it short and snappy, remember there’s only so much room for text on a postcard.

    1. 3.     Use real stamps and send postcards out in smaller batches.

     Anything you can do to make your postcard personal to your individual customer will increase its impact. By using real stamps and sending your postcards in smaller batches your post card will seem less like a mass advertising ploy and your customers will feel appreciated.

    1. 4.     Post your cards on a Wednesday.

    Studies have shown that direct mail is more likely to be thrown away if it is received on a Monday or Friday. So give your postcards the best chance possible and make sure they arrive in the middle of the week. 



    For a traditional postcard look
    we recommend a heavy, 350gsm silk stock, with lamination to one side.

    This is the best option if you want your postcard to look as authentic as possible. However we also have a range of different stock and finishing options if you want something a little bit more unique.

    Remember Better Printing is here to help. So if you have any questions or want more information about the services we offer just call us on 023 8087 8037 or email:  info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  32. Plant List

    Plant List

    Plant List by Better Printing

    So you may have heard us talk about how Better Printing offers a one stop service, but what exactly does that mean?

    Well what it means is that we have all the latest litho, digital, large format, direct mail and finishing print technology on site. So, unlike most online print providers, we can print every product in house.

    No outsourcing means we save you both time and money and with guaranteed colour consistency across all our print presses, a one stop service could be just the solution you’re looking for.  

    Want a little more detail on the machines we have here at Better Printing? Below is a list of all the machines we use to ensure we deliver your high quality products on time and on budget.

    Litho Printing UK by Better printing

    Litho Press / Design Studio:
    • Mac and PC workstations
    • Fuji V6 CTP System
    • Press Calibrated Epson proofers

    Digital Room:
    • Ricoh Pro-C901 SRA3 Digital press with Fiery RIP
    • Xerox DC250 SRA3 digital printer with Fiery RIP

    large format printing - digital printing by Better Printing uk

    Large Format / Wide Format:
    • Agfa Anapurna M2050
    • Canon image PROGRAF iPF8300S Wide format printer
    • Roland XC540 UV – 54” Wide format printer with UV Curing system
    • Cold Laminator

    Litho Press Room:
    • Sakurai OL575SDw Press with CIP3
    • Sakurai 458SI Press

    Direct mailing and Finishing from Better Printing

    Direct Mailing:
    • Pitney Bowes high speed inkjet printer
    • Pitney Bowes 4 station envelope inserter
    • Bell and Howell 6 station envelope inserter

    Finishing:
    • Muller Martini booklet maker
    • MBO folder
    • Stahl folder
    • Polar Guillotines
    • SetMaster 10 station horizontal collator
    • Wiro-binding
    • Perforating and numbering facilities
    • Shrinkwrapping Machine
    • 4 Hole Drilling Unit
    • Dedicated hand finishing team

    Remember Better Printing is here to help. So if you have any questions or want more information about the services we offer just call us on 023 8087 8037 or email:  info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  33. Stickers

    Stickers

    Sticker printing help

    Sticker Printing

    As the recent and incredibly effective advertising campaign for Channel 4’s new show Humans has proven, it’s becoming harder and harder for advertisers to make an impact in a saturated marketplace and  many companies are resorting to extreme lengths to grab their audience’s attention. Channel 4 even went as far as setting up a website and shop front in Regents Street for ‘Persona synthetics’, paying actors to wheel ‘cyborgs’ through London’s streets.

    So what can you do if you, unlike channel 4, don’t have a handy £1 million advertising budget lying around?

    We’re going to let you in a little known fact... when it comes to branding stickers are the ultimate covert tool.

    With sticker printing leaving a lasting impression on your customers is easy. Stickers or decals are an affordable way to convey key messages, label your products and emblazon walls, floor graphics and windows stickers with your branding.

    With Better Printing designing an effective and provocative custom sticker has never been easier. With die cutting any shape is possible, metallic foiling and spot UV finishing techniques will help your sticker stand out and if you choose to print on self-adhesive vinyl your stickers can be stuck just about anywhere.

    If you’re a business with a conservative (small) budget then jumpstart your marketing with custom stickers.

    Need some ideas to get you started? 

    Packaging:

    By using stickers with your logo to brand your packaging you get both brand consistency and synchronicity across every product you send out. 

    Product labels:  

    With stickers it’s quick and easy to indicate which cakes contain nuts, which products are endorsed by celebs or just that your new website is finally up and running.

    Engaging children:

    Remember when you were a kid and going to the dentist was only made bearable by the prospect of a sticker (and maybe a sugar free lollipop) at the end of the ordeal? You can emulate that same level of excitement with your own custom stickers. If your brand is all about children, stickers are a great way of encouraging them to engage with your products.

    Teaser Ads:

    The best way to garner attention? Take a leaf out of Channel 4’s book and start a covert promotional campaign. A tantalising question or provocative image printed on a sticker and displayed in a public place is guaranteed to increase exposure. Remember, the more curious your audience is the more likely they are to start Googling your business or brand to solve the mystery of the sticker.

    Sticker printers UK

    The power of stickers lies in their simplicity. So keep text short and the images clear and you’ll be gaining custom in no time.

    Remember Better Printing is always here to help. If you need advice or guidance on what would work best for your stickers, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 023 8087 8037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk

    Continus Reading »
  34. Lamppost banners

    Lamppost banners

    Lamppost banner printing
    At business events and corporate exhibitions all across London and the south east you’ll be noticing lamppost banners popping up to showcase businesses and their products and services. And if you haven’t seen them yet then you really ought to get on board with this innovative take on marketing displays. Lamp post banners are an excellent visual attraction, hugely effective at obtaining the attention of passers-by and their potential custom, and provide great value for money.


    That’s why we’re using our blog this week to tell you more about the incredible benefits of using lamppost banners as a marketing tool of choice. They are robust enough to last as a marketing investment, and achieve an economical use of space. Vinyl pvc lamp post banner

    Lamppost banners are designed to be mounted onto lampposts or walls and can display a whole range of text and imagery as part of your core marketing message. They can be double-sided and crucially, do not take up valuable floor space, leaving you room for other business activity.

    Providing a robust and durable choice in marketing material, as opposed to paper based posters or displays because they are printed onto a thick and durable PVC waterproof material, or on a strong mesh banner, lamppost banners are specifically designed to withstand the elements and general wear and tear.

    When you obtain your lamppost banner from a reputable and reliable Lamp-post Banner Kitscompany like Betterprinting, you can be sure that you’ll receive a full lamppost banner kit, if you desire. This includes the banner and the brackets, made up of castings and tubes, together with instructions on how to mount it.

    Creating artwork for your banner needn’t be a scary or difficult task either, with help at hand from our team of experts. We can advise on the best types of text and imagery as well as the layout and style of your content to best match your company branding, as well as ensuring that your lamppost banner meets your intended message delivery requirements. What is more, we have artwork size guides and templates, in addition to technical instructions, all free to download via our website. So it couldn’t be simpler or more stress-free.Lamp post vinyl banners downloads

    Download: - Artwork size guide information template on our Lamppost Banners, please see the downloadable PDF link





    For Lamppost instructions guide information,
    please see the downloadable PDF link


    Contact our friendly and helpful staff today to see how you could benefit from a beautifully crafted and mounted
    lamppost banner.

    Continus Reading »
  35. Proofing: Are you ready to pass go?

    Proofing: Are you ready to pass go?

    Proofing in print

    Are you ready to pass go?

    I am sure many of you won’t be surprised to hear us say that proofing is perhaps the most important stage in the print production process. A proof is the final check point before you pass Go and collect 200.

    It’s a sample of your finished product and your last chance to avoid any nasty surprises. Trust us, there’s nothing worse than opening your delivery of your perfect product brochure and realising you spelt it ‘you’re’ not ‘your’. Whoops.

    So get out your fine-tooth comb and check your proof thoroughly for grammatical errors, typos and layout mistakes. Remember, once a proof is approved it’s game over; any mistakes will be there to stay and only a costly reprint can save you.

    Here’s a little guide to the 3 main types of proofs to help you understand the ins and outs of the proofing process.

    Proof reading and checking printed materials

    PDF Proof:

    A ripped PDF proof is the best way to ensure any mistakes in the content or layout of your product are discovered and corrected before moving to the print production process.

    At Better Printing we’re dedicated to creating print to be proud off. That’s why we offer a free proofing service- sending you a PDF proof absolutely free with every order.

    There are limitations with PDF proofs however, particularly when it comes to accurately matching colour reproduction. On a monitor colour is calibrated in RGB- shades of red, green and blue are mixed to create colour images. Whereas lithographic print presses use a CMYK colour management system. Artwork viewed in PDF form must be converted to CMYK when printed; the colours may thus be altered and the finished result will look different. Furthermore the lighting conditions in a room where the monitor is may also have an impact on how the colours appear on screen.

    So when checking your PDF proof for the final time be aware that colour reproduction may change when you receive your final product.


    Hard Copy:

    Most printers, including Better Printing, will also create a Hard Copy proof for you on request. With a hard copy proof we digitally print a mock up of your finished product.The proof is colour calibrated and printed on silk paper using an inkjet printer to give you a clearer idea of the end product.

    When printing on our Litho presses we create a press calibrated digital proof. If printing on our digital presses, we can create you an exact print on your chosen paper stocks. However if your product is to be printed litho on a different substrate, for example uncoated stock, there will still be differences in the colour reproduction.


    Wet Proof:

    A wet proof is an exact version of your finished product. We print your product on the same print press and substrate with any finishing options you may have ordered. The colour reproduction is therefore 100% accurate.

    The only limitation with a wet proof is that it’s very expensive as the printing plates have to be created. Therefore we would only recommend ordering a wet proof for high profile, high quantity orders.


    If you have any questions or need advice remember at Better Printing we’re always here to help. Just call us on 02380 878037 or email info@betterprinting.co.uk and one of our friendly team will be glad to help.

    Continus Reading »
  36. 250 Products and Counting!

    250 Products and Counting!

    250 Products and Counting! - betterprinting blog

    250 Products and Counting!

    Behind the scenes at Better Printing we’ve been fairly busy bees! Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent hours creating even more new more products for you to choose from.

    And we are proud to announce that we now offer a MASSIVE range of over 250 high quality products!

    We do like to spoil you!

    From Gatefold Brochures to PVC Banners, Mini Business Cards to Bookmark Calendars, Custom Die-Cut Presentation Folders to Printed Bollard Covers – we’ve got something for everyone.

    Whatever you need, Better Printing can help. With 25 years’ experience of innovative design and expert print, you can rely on our ability to produce a finished product we can both be proud of.

    Take a closer look at our new range of products here. Or order your professionally printed products today! love to hear from you

    Remember to celebrate #thepowerofprint on
    twitter with @betterprinting_

    We love hearing from you and seeing you enjoy your stunning print!

    Continus Reading »
  37. Introducing our One-Stop Conference Solution - Part 2

    Introducing our One-Stop Conference Solution - Part 2

    One stop print shop

    A Handy Guide to Your Successful Conference Experience

    Whether you’re organizing the entire conference or just exhibiting at one, it can become a stressful and overwhelming experience, instead of the exciting, informative and useful event it should be.

    With over 30 years of experience as one of the leaders in the print industry, we’ve attended our fair share of conferences – both as guests and as vendors. Some of them have been incredible and some… less so.

    At Better Printing, we aim to achieve the perfect print partnership, helping you out in any way we can. That’s why we’ve created a handy guide to surefire conference success!

    Better Guide to conference

    Tips for Exhibitors: Our top 3 tips for drawing traffic to your stand

    Refresh Your Brand

    Refresh Your Brand:
    The first trade show of the year is a great excuse to refresh your brand and generate new business. A fresh look makes a great impression and offers something new to potential customers who may have dismissed you in the past. You can print everything you need to refresh your brand in one place with Better Printing; saving you time, money and guaranteeing colour consistency.

    Plan Ahead

    Plan Ahead – Offer Incentives:
    The best way to get customers to drop by your stand is to give them a reason for doing so. Exhibition Hosts will often give out a list of attendees to vendors; using the list, establish who your target audience is and pursue these attendees. Use social media to announce your presence at an event and offer a price promotion, show discount or free gift for those who stop by.

    Look Great

    Look Great:
    You want to aim for a calm, relaxing and captivating space in an otherwise chaotic trade show environment. Chances are you won’t have much space to work with, so don’t clutter your space with unnecessary furniture or overly large displays, as the majority of your selling will happen through just talking to people. You may only need a small lectern or stand-like piece. Make sure your signage is visible, eye catching and reflects your branding – you want to attract the people that you reached out to pre-show. Our exhibition packages are a great starting point.

     



    Tips for Hosts: Our top 3 tips for ensuring your conference is a success


    Advertise, Advertise, Advertise

    Advertise, Advertise, Advertise:
    Face it; no one will turn up if they don’t know about or aren’t excited about your conference. Create a logo and colour scheme for your conference and display it on the website and all promotional material. Spread the word about the event through emails, blogs and social media as well as using more traditional print methods. A conference hashtag is the perfect way to generate discussion and interest before, throughout and after the conference – encouraging attendees to return again next year.

    Embrace Technology

    Embrace Technology:
    Whether you get people involved with a conference hashtag or develop a handy conference app with all the information attendees may need, take advantage of technology.  Remember, if you are trying to get attendees involved by asking them to tweet throughout the conference then make sure you offer Free Wifi. Live web streaming is also a great way of making sure your conference is remembered long after the event itself, while also allowing those who may not have been able to attend in person to still participate.

    Peer Networking

    Peer Networking:
    People aren’t going to come to your conference unless they feel they’re going to get something out of it. One of the main reasons for attending a conference is the chance to network with other industry experts, so you need to give your attendees this opportunity! Add regular refreshment breaks to your conference to allow for peer networking and include more relaxed areas where attendees can mingle comfortably. Consider the use of icebreakers to get attendees interacting with one another – but be careful; done badly these can cause embarrassment, awkwardness and resentment. We recommend an oldie but a goodie: Have participants say three things about themselves – two true and one false. Other participants guess what the lie is and the correct guesser goes next. Silly, fun and insightful.


    Simply call us on 02380 878 037 to find out more about how Better Printing can help you with your conference experience.

    Continus Reading »
  38. Introducing our One-Stop Conference Solution - Part 1

    Introducing our One-Stop Conference Solution - Part 1

    One stop print shop

    Everything you need to make your conference go with a bang…

    A successful conference is one that brings together people who share the same passion; to share lessons, advice and ideas and to leave buzzing – full of enthusiasm for their jobs. So why does the word conference so often bring to mind dank hotels, stress and table after table of identical exhibits?

     conference print

    At Better Printing, we recognize that whether you’re organizing the entire conference or just exhibiting at one, it can be an extremely time-consuming and stressful undertaking. That’s why we want to help.

    So please consider us to be your new, one-stop conference solution – with a massive range of over 250 products, including:

    We can provide you with all the print collateral, exhibition stands and marketing materials you’ll need to make sure your conference runs smoothly from start-to-finish.

    Need more convincing?

    By choosing Better Printing as your one stop conference solution, you will:

    save time on print
    Save time
    – Order all the print collateral you need from one place

    save money on print
    Save money
    – By producing all our products in-house, we can offer consistently great prices

    Guarantee brand continuity
    Guarantee brand continuity
     – By ensuring colour consistency across all products


    Call us on 02380 878 037 to find out more about how Better Printing can help you have the perfect conference experience.

    Make sure you come back next week to see our handy guide to having a successful conference experience.

    Don’t say we don’t spoil you!

     

    Continus Reading »
  39. Promotional Possibilities with Large Format Printing

    Promotional Possibilities with Large Format Printing

    Bigger Printing - Better printing

    Bigger is Better: Promotional Possibilities with Large Format Printing

    With the latest developments in print technology, large format printing is no longer reserved for companies with vast marketing budgets. Posters, banners, signs and exhibition stands are now all quick, easy and affordable to print for any business.

    So this week, we’ve decided it’s about time to start thinking BIG!



    Make a BIG Impression

    If you need your message to stand out, large format printing is the way to do it. Large format displays are vital for increasing brand recognition. Whether it’s outside your office or above your exhibition display, a huge image of your company logo and tagline is bound to get you noticed and your company remembered.

    Large format displays are also perfect for creating a buzz around a new product or promoting special offers and events. For maximum exposure, try lamppost banners to advertise your next event or use printed Vinyl floor graphics to transform your floor into valuable advertising space.

    Or why not use large format printing to brighten up the office or working environment? If your office is public facing, a vibrant poster that reflects your brand and key message will entice customers and raise brand awareness.

    Large format print



    See the BIG Picture

    With Better Printing, creating a dramatic, attention grabbing display is easier than you might think. Don’t just assume posters and banners are your only option; there’s a whole range of products guaranteed to have a huge impact:

    • A-frames – For pavement displays
    • Posters – Indoor, outdoor waterproof posters, Lightbox posters
    • Signage – Indoor and weather resistant, outdoor signs
    • Window Stickers – For vibrant store front displays
    • Banners – Indoor, outdoor, roller banners, lamppost banners
    • Vinyl Floor Graphics
    • Exhibition Graphics &Complete Exhibition Stands
    • Pop-Up Display Stands


    Getting Ready to Print BIG

    We know the first time you decide to try large format printing can be a little overwhelming; there are hundreds of products to choose from and a lot more space to fill effectively. So here’s our mini guide to help soothe your nerves.

    Large format machines


    Top 5 Tips for Large Format Printing:

    1. In or Out?:  First thing’s first, decide whether your large format display will be for indoor or outdoor use as this will have an impact on the type of product you choose and the material (or substrate) you print on.

    2. Get Measuring:  Although it sounds like common sense, you first have to measure the space that you need a design for. You may be surprised at just how big the space is and thus how big your banner, poster or display stand will need to be.

    3. Keep Text to a Minimum:  Large format printing is less about the text and much more about creating a striking design that can be seen and understood from a distance. So if you’re using text, keep it short and snappy and make sure it’s large enough to be read at a glance, and from a distance.

    4. Images are important:  Images are crucial if you want your display to stand out. Make sure you save your images at high resolution (300dpi is ideal) so they look just as good onscreen as they do on the finished product.

    5. Test it out:  Try as you might, it can be all too easy to miss small errors when checking your artwork onscreen. Sometimes these errors will only become clear when it’s too late – costing you money. We recommend always printing a small scale proof of the product first, so you or a colleague can properly proofread and check it, away from your computer.


    P.S.
    Remember, at Better Printing we’re always here to help. So if any aspect of large format printing is getting your head in a spin, don’t stress.

    Just call us on 02380 878 037, and one of our friendly team will be happy to guide you through the process.

    Continus Reading »
  40. A Handy Guide to Providing Print Ready Artwork

    A Handy Guide to Providing Print Ready Artwork

    Print ready artwork - better printing blog

    A handy guide to providing print ready artwork

    So you’ve gone to all the trouble of designing your own artwork, you’ve finally got the ideal image and the perfect composition, and you can’t wait to start printing. Then your printer says there’s a problem; you need to makes changes and they’re going to have to charge you for them.

    If you’re a designer or regularly buy printed collateral for your company, you’ve probably been asked to make ‘print ready’ artwork time and time again. But what exactly does ‘print ready’ mean? And how can you avoid the dreaded phone call and the often expensive process of making the necessary changes?

    This week we’ve decided to help you out by producing this handy guide for creating print ready artwork. So you can always get your artwork right first time.



    Better Printing’s Guide to ‘Better’ Print Ready Artwork

    There are some requirements that are standard for all printers. By making sure you understand these at the beginning of the design process, you can ensure your artwork will be ready to print.

    1) Always Include Bleed: Bleed is crucial in creating a perfect finished product. Bleed is: any area of the printed image that extends beyond the trim edge of a sheet or page.  Without bleed, small variations in finishing and paper sizes can leave an unprofessional blank line around the edge of your product. If your background colour or image is meant to reach the very edge of the page then make sure you include at least 3mm bleed on all your artwork.

    2) Make Sure Your Images Are High Resolution: If the resolution of your images is too low the reproduction will often be pixelated, blurred and of poor quality. For sharp high quality images, check that all images are at a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch).

    3) Save Your Artwork in the Correct Format: The safest option is to always supply artwork as high resolution PDF files. Using other file types such as MS Word, MS PowerPoint and MS Publisher can cause minor layout problems and you may be charged for artwork correction and re-proofing. Some printers (including Better Printing) also accept other industry standard file types including: Adobe Indesign (.indd), Adobe Photoshop (.psd), Adobe Illustrator (.ai), Quark Xpress (.qxd, .qxp), TIFFs (.tif)  and  JPEGs (.jpg). If you’re unsure, PDFs are always the best bet.

    print ready files - picture of litho press

    4) Use CMYK or Greyscale Colour Modes ONLY: Whilst many computers design and preview artwork in RGB, all printers print in CMYK. So to prevent inaccurate colour reproduction, it’s crucial that any artwork, including images, is converted to CMYK. Black and white images should always be saved in grayscale; if not, they will print with some colour.


    5) Embed Your Fonts: For the most accurate results, always embed fonts within your artwork or convert them to outlines. Embedding your font converts your artwork into a static format. This is important because the layout of a document may vary from computer to computer. If your printer’s software doesn’t recognize your chosen font and you don’t embed it, the font will print incorrectly or may not print at all.

    6) Finally, Make Sure You Save Your Artwork in the Correct Size: If you provide a smaller scale version of your artwork, then your chosen printer has to scale it up which can create a whole load of problems when it comes to resolution etc. Resizing artwork can be an expensive process, so make sure you provide your artwork at the correct size and you’ll be saving yourself time and money!

     

    Got all that? Phew! We promise that if you follow the above guidelines, then providing ‘print ready’ artwork should be easy peasy.

    At Better Printing, we’re always here to help. So if you need any advice or guidance on providing artwork for your product, just contact our friendly and helpful staff today on 02380 878 037 or email: info@BetterPrinting.co.uk.

    Continus Reading »
  41. Our New Machine: Agfa Anapurna M2050

    Our New Machine: Agfa Anapurna M2050

    Agfa-Anapurna-M2050-Betterprinting
    We are positively delighted to formally introduce you to our new best friend. Well, when it comes to print machinery it comes pretty close. It is of course our Agfa Anapurna M2050.

    Whilst we appreciate it doesn’t have the most catchy names, this UV-curable inkjet machine is one of the best purpose built printing machines available on the market, making for a sound investment and evidence of our ongoing commitment to provide the best in print quality.

    "What’s so great about it?" we hear you ask. Plenty! That’s why this week, we thought we’d harness our thrill and excitement at taking delivery of this state of the art machine into a blog entry that tells you all about it:
    Online-Printers-Better-Printing

    Speed – The essence of the Anapurna M2050. The system has the ability to produce output in 6-colour mode at an incredible 53m²/h. With this kind of faster print speed we can get through more print jobs in less time, reducing the turnaround for our customers' print jobs while maintaining - and even exceeding - expectations for high quality print.

    Feed – The ABF or ‘automated board feed’ is a feeding system that enables continuous throughput with minimal disruption. Essentially, we can position the next set of rigid boards whilst still printing the previous job. With up to 4 boards at a time and a variety of
    8 board sizes, this enables us to print more and quickly so your
    jobs can be turned around quickly and efficiently.
    Printers-UK-Better-Printing

    Wonderful whites – It may seem like a strange exclamation but celebrating the fact that the Anapurna has white ink capability on-board is a big development in the printing world - enabling white printing on dark backgrounds (substrates) and providing the possibility for printing on transparent surfaces. This exciting development means that we can take on a range of new innovative and exciting print projects for or customers.

    Quality printing like no other – The system has eight 12 picolitre heads which guarantee printing of good solids, and fine text reproduction as small as 6pt. This can all be achieved through excellent tonal rendering and low ink consumption, providing less saturation of ink and a more cost effective project for us and our customers.

    Agfa-Anapurna-Print-in-HampshireVacuum that’s cleaner – The Anapurna M2050 has an automatic vacuum system that delivers an equal vacuum but only on that part of the printer bed where the media is actually being transported, irrespective of whether the media is rigid material or a roll. This clean and flawless finish provides accuracy and quality every time.

    Indoor and outdoor resistance – The Anapurna M2050 is designed to produce exceptional quality indoor and outdoor print jobs in wide format on a huge range of media. This means that the quality of output is robust enough for any marketing materials, making them resistant to wear and tear as well as weathering and multi-use.

    With this in mind, we can offer a whole new brand of service and style of output at an even more efficient rate - so we’re very excited about it! Plus, you get a much Better Print finish to your printed items.

    Continus Reading »
  42. Matt Lamination versus Gloss Lamination

    Matt Lamination versus Gloss Lamination

    Matt and Gloss Lamination in print
    As a business you will most likely be familiar with the benefits and advantages of using various paper-based marketing tools and techniques, from brochures, booklets, programmes and handbooks.

    Needless to say as an avid follower of our weekly blogs you will also be familiar with the variety of options available out there to you when choosing the right paper based product for your needs. But one area that can be a bit of a minefield is the matt versus gloss question.

    Perhaps not as age old as the chicken versus egg debate but equally as confusing.

    That’s why this week we’re dedicating a little time and space to tell our customers a bit about both matt and gloss laminating techniques, what they are useful for and how they can be a useful ‘psychological marketing’ technique when used correctly.

    Gloss Lamination in printLaminating itself is a great way to provide added durability to the covers of books, booklets, programmes and paper-based marketing material. They not only give a product a bit of physical and characteristic weight but also ensure that the covers continue to look and feel clean and professional – resisting wear, tear and fading better than non-laminate. But then comes the option of matt or gloss.

    Gloss laminate is fairly self – explanatory it I a high shine finish to a lamination product, that offers a modern shine finish that bright light can reflect off. One of the benefits of this effect is that it can give colours; particularly blacks a rich intensity and quality. This makes it great for lamination covers with photographic imagery that could benefit from light reflection. Front covers especially benefit from gloss lamination as do flyers with photographic images.

    Matt Lamination in printMatt laminate has a much more subtle lamination effect, with  less vibrant but classic finish. This effect is best used for a traditional product or service or when a modern finish is inappropriate. Similarly it can be a quite a useful lamination technique for pages with photos or images within a booklet or handbook that need to stand out from the rest.

    Quite often laminated covers can be gloss or matt interchangeably so it may take a bit of thinking around the psychological and emotional impact that using the two techniques can have on the user or intended customer.

    If your brand or business offers a modern, innovation based service or one that sells itself as being new and ground breaking in its approach gloss lamination works hand in hand with his. Gloss is also very useful for images or pictures where light reflection is key. Images of metals, natural light, or pop colours benefit from having high light reflection as they emphasise the point.

    A matt lamination may be subtle but has a depth and character that goes hand-in-hand with classic sophistication. Matt lamination gives the illusion of a heavier quality so if your business is showcasing a product or service that reflects tradition, preserving reputation, luxury quality or natural surroundings the weighty illusion of matt laminate emphasises this.

    If you need advice or guidance on what would work best for your marketing product, contact our friendly and helpful staff today for some ideas and direction. We also have a few other options such as scratch lamination – as used on our roller banners, that you may also find an effective option.

    Continus Reading »
  43. Twist & Lock Leaflet Dispensers

    Twist & Lock Leaflet Dispensers

    twist and lock dispensers-Printing-UK

    twist and lock dispenser

    While this may sound like a complex mechanism for robotic leaflet distribution, we can assure you the Twist and Lock Leaflet Dispenser is a simple and ingeniously designed leaflet holder and dispenser that can hold and display your leaflets, easily and cost-effectively. Commonly seen at points of sale in shops and offices worldwide, they provide a visually impactful method of dispensing marketing material.

    Whether you are looking to display leaflets at your own premises, at internal points of sale or to distribute marketing material to other businesses and local amenities, the Twist and Lock Leaflet Dispenser is a neat, compact mechanism that looks extremely professional – helping your marketing collateral to truly stand out from the crowd.

    Twist and Lock Dispensers come in a variety of sizes and styles, although sizes suitable for table top or desk top display are most common. They operate simply by having a robust holder that clicks easily into the surround. Both parts can be designed in line with your corporate branding and to hold key information about your business, products or services. The Twist & Lock Leaflet Dispenser is supplied flat, ready for quick and easy assembly, without the need for adhesive.

    Designing your dispenser properly is very important. While the template can be standardised – and a professional template is best – the visual desibetter printing twist and lockgn can be tricky. Here are 3 helpful hints to consider when designing your dispenser:

    1. Make it last – Choose timeless wording. When you’re writing the text for the dispenser itself, think about how you intend to use it. Text or graphics that identify specific promotions or events, or feature the names of people, can be very useful in the shorter term, whereas those that contain more generic branding information are more versatile, allowing them to be used more frequently and for a longer period of time.

    2. Keep it snappy – Don’t overwhelm the reader with text. Your leaflet will provide most of the information, so don’t be tempted to try and use every inch of the dispenser itself to duplicate copy. A few lines of key information, relevant contact details and your website’s URL is enough to make sure your dispenser remains useful even when the leaflets have run out!

    3. Brand it! – It may only be a dispenser to hold your marketing material but be sure to refer to your company’s brand guidelines when finalising the design, colours, fonts and text. After all, the Twist and Lock Leaflet Dispensers will become an important part of your marketing collateral.

    While the capacity of dispensers varies depending on the type of leaflet or the thickness of the paper stock, a standard Twist & Lock Leaflet Dispenser can hold approximately 31 x 6pp folded DL leaflets on 200gsm silk paper. DL leaflets are the tall, slim, folded leaflets of a similar shape to DL envelopes. If you prefer to have your leaflets at a different size or on a varying thickness of paper, simply contact us today and ask our helpful staff for advice on Twist and Lock Leaflet Dispensers to meet your specific requirements. Knowing the capacity of the dispenser you choose will help you to decide how many leaflets to order, too!

    twist and lock dispenser assembly

    Continus Reading »
  44. Capacity of presentation folders

    Capacity of presentation folders

    Capacity-Folders-Printing-UKPresentation-Folder-Printing-UKWhether you’re looking for document storage folders to hold important, present legal contracts or hold general point of sale information, a printed presentation folder is the perfect solution to ensure that your documents are stored well and in a well presented and professional manner.

    However, it can seem a daunting task understanding the best folder capacity / non capacity options for your needs.

    That’s why today we are dedicating some blog space helping you to understand the capacity of presentation folders and the varieties available.

    We have based our general advice on 100gsm stock in terms of paper thickness, so the capacity may vary if your paper size varies from this. But contact our helpful and friendly staff today and enquire about the specifics of your presentation folder needs and we’d be more than happy to advise accordingly.

    Non-Capacity-FoldersThe smallest capacity – or ‘non capacity’ A4 folder is a great all purpose general folder that is most commonly a single folded A4 folder and holds between 1 and 10 sheets of A4. These folders are perfect for general point of sale literature at your business premises or at general meetings and networking events. They are also great for large scale networking events and conferences where there are a few pages you need to distribute en masse to potential clients – as they are very cost effective.

    Capacity-Presentation-Folders-5mm-CapacityA 5mm capacity A4 folder is considerably bigger and will generally hold up to 40 sheets of A4 paper. Whilst it can hold a smaller amount e.g. less than 20, the appearance of the folder will look underwhelming and unprofessional so it’s best to use them for larger quantities. This size is excellent for specific meetings and presentations to clients where all relevant sale literature as well as marketing material and reports need to be presented in a visually appealing manner. Trying to fill this size for a general distribution is not recommended, as too much information can be overwhelming and messy also cumbersome to hold – not to mention expensive. Use this size for more targeted activity.

    10mm-Capacity-Presentation-FoldersFor larger capacity, a 10mm capacity A4 folder is most definitely the best option. It can hold generally 50-70 sheets in a professional and robust way. At this size we would certainly recommend using these folders for very large documents, such as presenting legal contracts or policy documents.

    We have based our general advice on 100gsm stock in terms of paper thickness, so the capacity may vary if your paper size varies from this.

    But contact our helpful and friendly staff today and enquire about the specifics of your presentation folder needs and we’d be more than happy to advise accordingly.

    Additionally our website provides some excellent capacity folder templates for you to get a better idea of what folder size suits your needs both practically and visually.

    Betterprinting-Capacity-Folder-Printing

    5mm-Capacity-Presentation-Folders

     

     

    Continus Reading »
  45. Colours in print

    Colours in print

     

    Blogs-Colours-in-printColours-In-Print-PantoneWhen you have a print project that requires use of colour as an integral part of its intended appeal, you need printing expertise that truly understands the nature of colour in printing and what it can achieve or – when unsuccessfully applied – what it can fail to deliver.

    For the vast majority of people, hearing the terms pantone colours, or spot colours, the phrases CMYK colour or RGB colour go straight over their head. And it’s not surprising that they would, after all it’s your printing company that should hold the key knowledge here.

    Luckily for our customers we here at Betterprinting do understand colour printing techniques and have the skills and knowledge not just to deliver successful colour print project but also to be able to share some advice with you in our blog.

    At Betterprinting we don’t wish to spout jargon at our customers but neither do we want to assume that they are not interested in the technical aspects of colour printing; so we think it’s important to explain a little about colour printing to you.

    The simplest and one of the most common colour CMYK - RGB Printingtechniques use the RGB model. RGB colour printing is an additive colour model in that the primary colours of Red, Green and Blue hues are added gently and knowledgeably together to reproduce a broad spectrum of desired colours,

    You may have also heard of CMYK colour but not sure of what it actually is. It is really a subtractive approach to colour printing. The letters stand for cyan, magenta, yellow and ‘key’ for black. This is because black is produced when the other colours are distinctly aligned with the key plate of the black. The CMYK model essentially works by partially or sometimes completely laying the colours on a light or white background.

    The ink reduces the light that would otherwise be reflected – so it subtracts the brightness from the white.


    So these lab colours make up the four main colours in offset-printing, but when printing technicians add non-standard print effects to a standard ink, such as fluorescent or metallic, this is commonly known as using spot colours. Sometimes spot UV and spot lamination coatings are also referred to as spot colours as they have a similar effect and approach.
    Pantone-Charts-Print-UKLastly Pantone colours are a simple and effective way of standardising and being consistent in our approach to colour for company branding or long term multiple projects that require the same look and feel. Pantone produce swatches with hundreds of colour references on, so you can pick one and ask your printing service to use that colour. They should have a set of colour mixing instructions that coincide with that reference number so they know exactly how to mix them.


    Here at Betterprinting, we are knowledgeable in mixing, adding and developing colour as well as producing colour effects so our customers can be sure that their printing project is in the safest of hands.

    We have other Blogs about colour why not try our “Does Colour effect our emotions?”
    Spot-Colour-Inks-In-Print

    Continus Reading »
  46. Flyers & leaflet Printing Tips

    Flyers & leaflet Printing Tips

    Flyer-Leaflet-Printers-Online
    They say ‘50% of something is better than 100% of nothing’ Blogs-Flyers-Leaflets
    and
    when looking at your return on investment for marketing techniques this couldn’t be more applicable.

    A poorly designed ‘home-grown’ leaflet or flyer can be very cheap to produce and print en masse – which may indeed appeal at first.

    Where a professionally designed and printed leaflet may cost up to twice
    as much to produce, when the response
    rate is 0.5% on a DIY A5 flyer but 12% on a professional A5 flyer, for example, the return for your investment easily makes up for of production and more.

    That’s why we’re taking the time to give you some very useful tips to help you plan your leaflets or flyers project.


    1-flyer-printingClear and simple works better – when it comes to leaflet design keeping it simple really is best. A printed leaflet has a limited time within which to grab the viewer’s attention. Too much text or busy imagery can appear convoluted and fussy. Throwing in as much information in a poor layout will only act to confuse the recipient. The key is to focus on getting the core information out through the leaflet; who you are, how you can be contacted, what you generally provide, why you are different and some kind of ‘call to action’ i.e. a promotion, event etc. Think carefully about colours and text sizes. If you have branding colours use them effectively and secondary branding colours minimally for effect. Striking is not necessarily always effective. It’s also tempting to have smaller text in order to fit more on the page, but you shouldn’t be writing a novel on the leaflet – it should be succinct and direct.
    Litho-Printed-Flyers

    2-Leaflet-printingLanguage is important – writing your content is very important indeed. Think about what you want to say but ensure that the language you use is direct and persuasive without being aggressive and harsh. Also, you want to sound professional and knowledgeable without sounding patronising or over complicating where sentences can be kept short and simple. You want small punchy sentences that people will find memorable. Most importantly proof your design. And when you’ve proofed, proof again. There is nothing worse than picking up marketing material riddled with poor grammar and spelling errors – it gives the impression of an unreliable and unprofessional company.

    3-Printed-FlyersPurpose and audience – when designing your flyers; both the visual design as well as the paper and size, It’s a very good idea to think about the purpose of the leaflet and the audience for which it is intended. Is it an information only leaflet? An event? An instruction leaflet? A menu? Do you need it to have information separated into sections or one seamless set of text. This will help define the layout and folds of a leaflet. Equally, understanding your demographic is important to consider whether it needs to appeal to a particular generation, whether it will predominantly be read by people with English as a second language, or visual impairment. These things do affect the text, images and colours you will use.

    Digital-Printed-Leaflets-Flyers

    4-Printed-LeafletsPlan your distribution – This is very important for managing your printing budget. Know how you are going to distribute these leaflets. Are you posting through letterboxes, handing out at events, stacking on the counters or shops? Are they expected to be kept by the recipient for a long time or just until an event or promotion takes place? This will help define the numbers you need, but also the robustness of paper quality you print on and the size and manageability of the leaflet.

    5-Betterprinting-Online-PrintersHave a reliable company at hand – this is truly important, particularly if it’s your first printing project. Having a company that will work to your brief, understand your needs, keep you well informed and produce to your deadlines in a fast and efficient manner is absolutely essential. The success of a leaflet marketing technique does depend often on striking while the iron is hot and getting in quickly to distribute your material, so you don’t want to be waiting around on an unreliable company for weeks on end.

    We’re certain that these tips will be a great starting point to get you on the right track for you leaflet or flyer project. When you’ve got this covered you’ll be well on the way to a successful outcome.

    What to know even more about Flyers & Leaflets then please click on the icons below.


    Buy-Leaflets-Flyers-OnlineFolded-Leaflet-Printers





    Continus Reading »
  47. Presentation Folders

    Presentation Folders

    Betterprinting Presentation Folders

    When you attend corporate events and marketing functions with networking opportunities, nothing looks more professional than to hand out professionally designed and printed presentation folders, conveniently and efficiently filled with all of the core information about your business its products and services. Even better still, are those business folders which allow a level of storage for other key documents and potential marketing merchandise.

    But, whilst well-produced printed folders add value and prestige to your business, a poorly designed and printed one can detract from it.
    Portrait folders
    Our Betterprinting folders are a speciality, that’s why this week, we at Betterprinting are using our knowledge and expertise to tell you a bit about what presentation folder options we have and how they can benefit your business.

    Printed folders come in various types, sizes and finishes, offering a range of different effects and have subtle differences in terms of what they are suitable for.

    Portrait folders, especially A4 are excellent for corporate workshops or meetings, where written notes and information is to be stored loosely inside the folder which is also written in a portrait set up – to avoid the shuffling of papers once in use.
    Landscape Folders
    Landscape folders however, are better for product showcasing – especially where you have beautifully defined landscape imagery to present. At Betterprinting, all of our Landscape folders are produced on our lithographic machine and can be printed in full colour.
    Whether you opt for a handy A5 or full impact A4, they will be printed on 350gsm quality silk giving your folders a luxurious, professional look and feel.


    We would advise that you do not select any lower than 300gsm stock on a landscape folder, as it will most likely not be able to support the promotional material you require sufficiently.

    If you need a folder to hold a set of documents securely, then a great option would be the interlocking folders, for which we at Betterprinting have a Interlocking Foldersfantastic budget option. They don’t use glue or adhesive but have interlocking tabs created through die-cutting that provide secure closure. These are ideal for storing multiple items.

    When it comes to obtaining a high-end professional finish to your business folders, the texture and feel can be very important. At Betterprinting we offer a fantastic range of digital folders, which are printed on our High quality Digital Press. The folders themselves are printed on matt stock with a laminated outer. Highly defined and quality finish that really gives a wonderful impact on your customers.

    We would recommend not using anything lower than 300gsm for digital folders as the folder can become too weak to store your documents.

    At Betterprinting we have simply an overwhelming range of presentation folders for you to choose from.

    Where digital printing is great for shorter runs, we also offer litho long run folder options, for larger projects, which allow our stunning colour printed folders to be printed en masse quickly and efficiently. And to help you with your folder design, should you want to create your own personalised folder, we have a number of template designs free for you to download. Should you then require advice and assistance in how best to use which template, simply give us a call and our friendly team will be more than happy to help.

    Continus Reading »
  48. Die - Cutting in print

    Die - Cutting in print

    Die-cuttersWhether you’re a small business, a new business, an existingDie-Cutting-Service and established company, a large scale multi-location business, a mobile company or remotely located, one thing that’s likely is that you will have competition in your field, and when you have to compete with so many businesses in your sector, your marketing material needs to stand out from the crowd.

    In such instances using a different and unique technique on your printed products can be a good way to do this.

    One such technique is die-cutting, This involves cutting out complex shapes from paper using a cutting forme.

    This cutting forme is produced from plywood with the cutting template laser cut into it.

    Die-cut-printing

    A metal cutting rule is then carefully moulded into the desired shape and inserted into the plywood to create a reliable and robust cutting tool.

    Die-cuttingYou may wonder what the use for this die cut technique is. Well, its very popular with all kinds of products, from creating the internal storage of folders, cutting into envelopes, and making unusual and visually appealing report covers.

    It’s a unique way of modernising and creating impact from your printed marketing material, a way of creating print that stands out.

    Die-cutting shapes in print have also become increasingly popular for business cards, to create an effect that stands out from the traditional rectangular piece of card. Add to this an effective use of colour, paper texture and visual design and you have yourself a truly original end product that can make you more noticeable from your peers.Die-cut-printers

    Here at Betterprinting, we have been mastering the skills involved in die-cutting to ensure that our customers get a precise and professional finish.

    Our technical skills coupled with our high quality design expertise results in die-cutting projects that offer true quality and excellent customer service.

    Our friendly and helpful staff can also help with designing a die cut design using your branded identity, such as your logo, lettering or shapes from your corporate style.
    We can even couple branded die cutting with functions, such as pockets or windows.

    If you’re not sure how die cutting can be of benefit for your project or wish to know a little more about how it works or the impact on your budget, then give our team a call who will be more than delighted to tell you all about the brilliant benefits of using die cut shapes in print.

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  49. Bleed and Crops

    Bleed and Crops

    Bleed and Crops in Print
    You may commonly hear the terms bleed or crop in printing, and these are key things to consider when designing a print product and applying print techniques. If you have a company that designs and prints for you then they may take the trouble of bleed and crop management for you, but if you are creating a design for print yourself then it is important that you consider the bleed line and crop marks of your design. This is an absolute must before you print.

    The bleed is essentially the space around the edge of your design area where the print finishes but allows room for paper movement. It usually appears as a white edge and commonly in UK print design projects is 3mm wide.
    Bleed MarksIt is crucial that this allowance is made to maximise the integrity of the design, especially if you are printing multiple design pages to be printed on one page for later cropping. If you are using software applications such as InDesign or Illustrator they will give support and guidance on how to create a bleed allowance. If you have enlisted a project design company to create your design, they should be adept at doing this. However, if you feel when your draft copy is produced that the design is poorly set or moves off the edges, don’t be afraid to ask them to adjust their bleed to combat this.
    Bleed and CropsWhen designing your print items make sure you leave at least 5mm from the ends to avoid trimming any of your text or images.

    Cropping, or cutting, is where you trim the edge that has been created for the bleed. Many design software applications such as Illustrator or InDesign have inbuilt mechanisms to help you create crop marks on your design. They commonly appear as dotted lines or as cross hatch markings around the edges of your design.

    Setting up Bleed in Indesign
    Bleed in InDesignIndesign is the easyest software program to set up bleed from with many options like Page Sizes, Columns, Margins and Bleed. Just select the relevant options and click ok to progress to your document page.

    Setting up Bleed in Illustrator
    Bleed in IllustratorTo set up bleed in Illustrator you start by making a new document file which also comtants options like Page Sizes, Units, Orientation and Bleed. Just select the relevant options and click ok to progress to your document page just like in InDesign.

    Although some applications such as Photoshop sadly do not produce crop marks, you can add them manually if you do so carefully. Whilst setting up crops marks in Photoshop, isn’t recommended and can be time consuming so we would simply import your photoshop file into Illustrator or InDesign to create a better print ready PDF.

    Alternatively ask your expert printing firm, like us here at Betterprinting to undertake the crop marks for you.
    Better Printing Design ServicesIf you want a professional finish and true consistency across your printed material, particularly for posters, leaflets and flyers, then ensuring you have proper print alignment on the bleed area is vital. Likewise a well measured and applied crop line will also ensure that your printed product is trimmed to perfection.

    Here at Betterprinting we have years of experience and knowledge to ensure that our customers can always rely on us to crop and deliver a product that will undoubtedly be satisfactory every time.

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  50. Perfect Bound Books

    Perfect Bound Books

    Perfect Bound Books
    True professional binding of books is an art, not just a project, that is exactly how we here at Betterprinting treat our book binding service.

    Whether you are looking for a reliable printing company to help you produce books, brochures, catalogues or magazines, you can be sure that with Betterprinting your end result will be a perfectly bound product.
    Perfect Binding
    Our staff are skilled and experienced in book binding, so can offer their knowledge and expertise to help create a truly desirable project for you to enjoy. We use the most reliable and considered techniques and materials, to give you a durable and visually stunning finish. In the world of binding, perfect binding is the process of applying glue to the spine of gathered pages.

    So why might you need binding?

    Companies often want to produce brochures to showcase their products and services; these are particularly good for high-end or luxury goods, but even for short term events programmes or product catalogues these can be beneficial. The difficulty for customers is often knowing what kind of binding or finish to opt for. Printed Perfect Bound Brochures

    Luckily when you have a friendly and knowledgeable company like Betterprinting handling your project you can rely on us knowing what is right for you; in terms of product and cost. To create the Perfect Binding, you really do need to think about the usage of the item from the moment you begin the design. Whether you require ring binding, saddle stitching, case binding, stapled or perfect glued spinal binding; the suitability really depends on the product itself. Many companies produce staff or customer magazines on a regular basis as this can be a good way to get information and core corporate messages distributed quickly and consistently.

    As well as companies who wish to produce books, individuals often request books for personal use too; either for gifts or gathering mementos, and these are ideal for weddings or occasions.

    Whatever the type of product you need, perfect binding is a specialist activity that not all companies can do well.

    We use the traditional 6-step method.

    • This begins with the gatherer; using a gathering machine to bring together all of the pages or signatures including any specialist inserts and pullouts, to create a book block.

    • At this point the backbone cutter uses saws or knives to cut away the edges of the signature folds.

    • At the gluer stage, the gathered pages are taken to a gluing station where a number of layers of adhesive are applied.

    • The cover feeder stage involves attaching the cover to the book block.

    • The cover is scored and then carefully folded around the book block.

    • Finally after the self explanatory trimmer phase, the counter stacker step counts and prepares the bound products ready for shipping.
    Better printing Perfect Binding Service
    Whilst this is a tried and tested traditional method, this by no means equates to it being easy. Perfect binding requires skill and knowledge to ensure precision and alignment in the finished product.
    How to set up a perfect binding coverWe here at Betterprinting have this expertise in house so can undertake a range of binding products to suit our customers needs – whatever they may be.

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  51. Brochure Printing Finishes

    Brochure Printing Finishes

    Brochure Printing Finishes
    A beautifully presented brochure quite literally speaks volumes about the products or services being promoted. It says more than just the text on the page. But to get this effect and to have this level of impact on the reader it takes more than just good text and plenty of images – the lasting impression is obtained through a perfect finish. With a number of brochure printing finishes to choose from, it’s tough to know what’s available and what’s appropriate for your needs. Booklet Brochure Manual Printing

    So here is our guide to some of the key techniques and what they have to offer. When you want your booklet to have real impact, there are two elements to consider carefully; the feel of the finish and the quality of the binding. Both can be achieved through a variety of ways.

    The feel of the paper is partially down to the thickness – we would strongly recommend a thicker 300-350 gsm paper for brochures, especially for the cover page as it gives a better first impression but is practically more robust. But it’s also down to the finish that is applied to it.

    Lamination is a brilliant technique that can be Matt or glossy, and when applied to a brochure gives a wonderfully professional finish and helps it last longer. Other techniques can be applied to photographs and images to bring out their quality and emphasise them.

    One such is Spot UV, where a varnish is applied to images to make them stand out and really draws the eye to them. 

    Spot UV Finishes
    Foiling is another technique where a film is applied using heat and pressure to give high gloss and shine finish. It’s perfect for metallic effects and can give your brochure a touch of elegance and glamour.

    Gold Foil Finish
    The binding of a brochure really turns a brochure from an extended pamphlet to a piece of marketing literature. A perfect binding style is highly appropriate for larger brochures that need to have the look and feel of book,

    Whilst a wiro binding (sometimes known as twin loop wire or double loop) offers a great finish for academic binding, as well as quirky brochures that are smaller in size. These forms of binding are high in quality but can be expensive so a great cheaper alternative may be saddle stitch binding, where binding is stitched in to the centrefold of the brochure, or loop binding where the spine of the brochure has a loop design – perfect for smaller brochures or pamphlets that can act as inserts.Brochure Print Finishes
    A great new innovative technique becoming increasing popular is die cutting brochures; where creative designs are cut into the brochure paper itself to create an eye catching 3D effect with a high impact finish.

    Die-Cut Booklets
     Ultimately, the key to deciding what finish and effects you need is to think about your     brochure, its content and its intended purpose and audience. This combined with your  budget should give you an idea of the kind of size, binding quality and finish you need  to  make your brochure a successful one.

     For more information and prices please click here to find out more.

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  52. X-Banners

    X-Banners

    X-Banner title Banner
    If you are showcasing your business at an exhibition or event you want to be noticed over and above your competitors. A great way to do this is to have a professionally designed and crafted banner. Similarly if you are setting up a pop up presence or wanting to divert customer attention to a promotional area of your store, the perfect tool to do this is a stylish and robust banner.
    X-Banner Icon
    But there are a number of banner styles and options to choose from and whilst roller banners are frequently used there are other alternatives to roller banners.

    So right now we're talking about the sleek yet practical option of x-banners.

    These banners are crafted in a way that makes them durable, practical and yet attractive. The quality of the print is excellent as they are printed on UV machines on PVC banner material – making them durable, easy to clean, waterproof and reusable without losing colour or definition.

    In terms of structure, they are assembled with relative ease as they are hemmed top and bottom with strong eyelets. The banner panels are quick and simple to attach on to the x-banner frame to enable it to stand independently.
    (Please see pictures below)
    .

    x- banner close ups
    The lightweight structure means that the X-banner is not only easy to use but also easy to move and transport – making it longer lasting than other visual marketing tools. The robust structure is standard so should you require an updated design or additional panels then you can replace panels with ease.
    Indoor X Banner Stand
    XBanners come in 3 types and a variety of sizes so whether you need a smaller mini x-banner to stand on your reception desk or an outdoor xbanner to stand outside, you can achieve this easily with either an Indoor X banner, Outdoor X banner or Mini X-Banner. Widths of 600mm and 800mm wide are generally 1800mm tall. However, wider panel sizes can be available too. With regards to the Mini XBanners they come in two sides A4 or A3.

    X Banner - types
    An added benefit of the X-Banner is its ability to be easily dismantled without affecting the quality and integrity of the structure – unlike some structures that can lose their lustre or visual appeal after a few uses. As x-banners are designed to be re-used they can withstand the disassembling process and can be easily stored with minimal fuss.

    Indoor XBanners have similar looking structure to the mini x banner apart from the size and weight.
    (See pictures below).

    X Banner Frames
    The Outdoor xbanner is slightly different, as its for outside use it has a weighted base which can be filled either with water or sand. (See images Above).

    Whilst printed x-banners truly are a viable banner option with plenty of benefits for use, it is worth advising that your banner is only as good as the professional company designing, printing and supplying it to you. Having a professional and reliable company like us, that can advise and take you through the design and size options is a must, and whilst x-banners are great value for money they are still a marketing investment that requires a considered approach.

    If you are interested in any of our X Banner printing services then please click the relevant Banner below to find out our prices etc.

    Indoor X Banner  -  Outdoor X Banner   -   Mini desktop X Banner

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  53. Rich Blacks in Print

    Rich Blacks in Print

    Betterprinting Rich Blacks

    Whilst using pops of bright colour in your marketing material can be fun and quirky in the right environment; a smart and professional look is most definitely achieved through the use of black.

    Whether you are creating a presentation folder, business cards or designing the cover of a booklet, not much can beat the simplicity and sophistication of a solid all over full black finish. To do this well, you really need a good design company and printers that know how to manage colour finishes.


    Full colour black CMYK Of course black is available on your home PC and Office-based design software, so you may be tempted to use all-over black yourself. On screen your finished artwork may look fine, however, when you come to print, either litho or digital, your lovely solid black can look washed out, faded or even more like grey.

    Black Colour BreakdownThis is when you need to apply what are known as rich blacks. Traditionally in pre-press when film was used to make plates, a 40 or 50 percent cyan tint was added under the solid black; this was known as a “shin¬er” and would add depth to the black. With the advent of desk top publishing and colour pallets it is easy to create not only a shiner but a whole range of breakdowns for your rich black, from cyan heavy cold blue hues to magenta rich earthy tones.

    Given that this can be quite overwhelming, we’re dedicating this blog to explaining a straight forward ‘rich black’ break¬down. As rich black is combination of the four main colour swatches cyan, magenta, yellow and black (known as CYMK), you’ll be forgiven for thinking that the obvious answer would be to simply make the four colours cyan, magenta, yellow and black all 100 percent.

    Black Colour Swatch While this will indeed create a very rich black indeed it will also make for a very unhap¬py press minder who will be quick to tell you that your nice black brochure covers will be ready after it has had a week to dry! Here at Betterprinting our tried and tested formula for CMYK black is as follows; cyan 50%, magenta 40%, yellow 40%, Black 100%; for an extra special finish we can also add a laminate in either matt or gloss. This gives a rich and sumptuous finish that is lasting and professional.

    HELPFUL TIP: it may be useful for you to create and name a rich black swatch in your colour palette to apply to or replace all of your regular black elements. This is a very good practice and provides consistency in your colour outputs. However, do avoid applying this to any text that you wish to appear in black if you are intending this to print professionally. Printing type that is made from four co¬lours, particularly fine or smaller type is difficult to register on a litho press and even a digital machine, so this can result in a halo behind the text, which is pretty unsightly.

    (Example of a full black folder).

    Example of full rich black print

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  54. Free Design Resources Chapter 2 - Images.

    Free Design Resources Chapter 2 - Images.

    Free Images & Photos for print
    When it comes to design projects, one element that can have the most visual appeal and impact is the imagery and graphics used.
    Finding the right imagery for a document or promotional material is not always easy. Thankfully, we live in an age that allow us to all be privy to the wonderful advantages of the internet and all it has to offer in the format of free resources – namely images.

    These image stocked sites can help you find the perfect image for your brochures,booklets, posters, flyers and banners that have exactly the impact you want from your audience.

    So how important is finding the right image?
    When you think about the images you visually consume every day all around you, whether they are photos, animations, icons, symbols or logos they have a subtle but meaningful effect on us. They may amuse us, entice us, encourage us, makes us think a little harder or indeed bring out our sensitive sides. These are all important reactions when you are creating marketing materials. But a poor image – either in design or resolution – can be detrimental to your end design product, engendering a feeling of unprofessionalism, lack of confidence or laziness and lack of business acumen. Too much i
    magery or irrelevant imagery can work against you in a big way. So it’s worth getting the advice from people in the industry that are in the know – people like us!Design Resources - Betterprinting Blog

    But getting those images needn’t be difficult. There are thousands of amazing sites out there that offer free image resources.
    Some sites, like rgbstock.com or vectorsquare.com require you to create a personalised account and log in to use the stock images, others are completely non-account downloads.

    But there are other sites that require you to set up a paid account and pay for those images are also in abundance but should really be avoided – not because they have poor quality stock but because you needn’t pay for something when there are perfectly good free resources available.

    When you are creating marketing documents you have the costs you need to incur, why add more? These free resource sites offer a whole range of images in a variety of formats, from standard jpeg and pdf images to vector logos and graphics that are editable and can sit against background imagery, But too much choice can be curse as well as a blessing, so you do need to be selective and think about the practical and branding aspects of your design to help you find the right level of images without getting carried away and detracting from the intent of the design product itself.

    If your too busy to design then we can help. At Betterprinting we dont just print we can design also. So please contact and get all your printing and design done under one roof!

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  55. Does Colour effect our emotions?

    Does Colour effect our emotions?

    Colours in print - Betterprinting - UK Printers

    The effects of colour on an individual’s psychological and emotional state have been widely researched in both academic and business circles.

    Colours may seem like such a normal aspect to the environment around us that we can often fail to see the gentle but complex relationship that they have on us every day. The emotional and health and wellbeing effects that colour can have on our state of mind and body should not be underestimated.

    The world of printed marketing is taking a very keen interest in this too, as it has the potential to
    Full Colour Printing - Betterprinting UKtransform how printed matter is designed depending on the intended purpose. So this week we’re taking a little time to open up the doors to the intriguing concepts of understanding the emotions of colours in print.

    Whatever your purpose or whoever your target demographic is for your printed material, there is some interesting evidence to show that you can trust in colours to make the impact and have the desired effect on the recipient. We all have an idea of whites being pure and calming and black being glamorous and sophisticated, so here’s some insight in to what other primary and secondary psychological colours can emit and elicit.

    Red – it is common knowledge that red is a powerful colour that gives off wuite passionate and strong effects. It can be affirming and give physical strength but can also feel aggressive and obstructive. So this is a colour to be used in moderation if the intention of use is not to give a direct warning or alert to the reader.

    Pink – this has interesting relationship with our emotions. Pinks generally generate gentle warmth an
    d a soothing and nurturing femininity. There are some strong links between pink and the notions of love, sexuality and tranquillity. The warning here is that pink can be overwhelmingly feminine to point that it emasculates the environment and can generate a sense of weakness or over-sensitivity. So if a masculine demographic is being targeted as well as a feminine demographic this may be off-putting in excess.

    Blue – Blues are notoriously cool and calm and professional in nature but they represent a type of trust, efficiency and intelligence. Commonly people-based intellectual services (legal, financial, consultancies) use blue as a way to assert their professional intellect and confidence in their efficiency. However, blue can come across as passionless and emotionless – so if you are looking to get a warm reception from your printed material blue should be limited.

    Green – whilst greens have a clear natural and nature-based symbolic effect, they have an interesting neutrality and balance about them. They can have a very reassuring, peaceful and refreshing element to them. In abundance however, greens can become boring.

    Orange – a wild and vibrantly warm colour, orange transmits that warmth in physicality and physical comfort. It can be quite fulfilling as well as gleeful in its effect. Oranges can be great for reassuring people of the comfort and satisfaction that a product can give – such as food or value for money services.

    Violet – this is a powerfully spiritual and emotional colour that can create very strong feelings of authenticity, quality and truth – which is very reassuring for marketing purposes. It is also very useful for giving a sense of luxury and elegance.

    And of course when it comes to printed marketing material it is not just the emotional impact that we are interested in but also the behaviour that this translates in to. Naturally our behaviours are guided by our emotions, so feeling drawn to something because of how it makes us feel can ultimately cause us to invest our time and money in it.

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  56. Free Design Resources Chapter 1 - Fonts.

    Free Design Resources Chapter 1 - Fonts.



    One of the great things about the World Wide Web is the fact that it is full of amazing free resources that you can tap in to at any time you wish.

    When it comes to designing documents and marketing material one of the key design elements you may look for are fonts. Thankfully the web is full of a whole host of free fonts that you can use to enhance your banners, brochures, leaflets, flyers, posters and roller banners and much more.

    So what’s with fonts?Free Fonts Online

    Well there’s a great deal of interesting marketing research that has been done in the effects of fonts. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to selecting the right font there are the practical elements such as the colour, the size and the contrast it has on the chosen background – after all it needs to be visible and legible to the audience.

    But there is also some consideration needed in the type of font being used and the kind of message or image being portrayed. Fonts can be classical, theatrical, calming, striking, artistically modernistic or traditional in design.

    Using a poor choice of font can be detrimental for a designed project and can sometimes have completely the opposite from the desired effect. You also need to consider whether the font is over fussy or complicating the overall design.

    Online Free Fonts
    We would advise from steering away from some of the standard or default fonts available in common word processing applications – as they are so widely used and known they can give off a sense of laziness to explore or personalise and can be quite boring and unadventurous.


    The web can have the answer. Yes, there are lots of great sites out there that have a wide stock of FREE graphics and fonts for you to download – most of which are Mac and Windows compatible. So don’t feel you have to purchase fonts.

    Our favorite sites are:

    fontsquirrel.com             fontpalace.com          1001freefonts.com              

    These sites are full of pages of downloadable fonts. So it really pays to have the patience and aptitude to search around and find the right font for your chosen project.


    Betterprinting - Blog - Free FontsBe warned though there is a lot out there so you may need to sift through some mediocre or poor fonts before finding the right one, but persistence is likely to prevail.

    You can always ask print & design experts, like us of course, to help advise on the feasibility and appropriateness of your chosen font for your chosen design project and we will happily give you full impartial guidance.

    Call us on 02380 878037 or email at info@betterprinting.co.uk

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  57. To pay VAT or not to pay VAT That is the question.

    To pay VAT or not to pay VAT That is the question.


    Indeed, that is the question. When you’re looking to create your printed material for distribution to your customers, undoubtedly cost is a critical factor in your decision making. What you may not know is that not all printed marketing material is VAT chargeable. VAT is value added tax added to most goods and services.

    VAT Rates:

    When it comes to printing, you will either find products that are standard rate (20% VAT) or zero rated (0% VAT). So it’s worth taking the time to understand which items are categorised as zero rated and standard rated.

    Zero rated items include:

    • advertising leaflets
    • printed booklets
    • printed brochures
    • catalogues
    • pamphlets
    • magazines
    • programmes
    • printed flyers
    • printed leaflets

    It is important to note that there are some exceptions to these zero-rated products. Leaflets are a particularly complicated item to categorise. Generally they are zero rated as long as there is a significant amount of text on at least one side of the leaflet, it must also be no larger than A4 and it must also be a single self-contained item and not part of a larger package. It also must not be printed on paper heavier than 230gsm.

    Additionally, if a flyer is designed to obtainPrinted Flyers and Leaflets pay no VAT discounts on good or services, to obtain admission or entry to a place, for use as a calendar or as a form for completion, these flyers might not be deemed zero-rated. With brochures and booklets, there are also some exceptions to the zero-rated rule. These include brochure printing being used for commercial, engineering, architectural and industrial reasons or for calendars, diaries or address books.

    All other products and services are standard rated, including:

    • banners
    • roller banners
    • display boards
    • business stationary
    • raffle tickets
    • greeting cards
    • envelopes
    • printed flyers
    • printed leaflets

    Essentially if your printed matter is to be used for commercial purposes then it is very likely it will have VAT added to it.


    So what does having zero VAT and standard rated products mean for you?

    Ultimately it means choice and cost effectiveness. Knowing that certain designs and formats can be significantly better value for your money can help shape how you design your marketing material.

    It also helps you to know your rights when you are shopping for printed marketing material. Knowing those exceptions to the rule also means you are entering in to your printing project fully aware of the kind of costs you can expect.


    If you’re not sure you should always seek advice from a reputable and established printing company like Betterprinting to see what rate affects your choice of printed products. If your in any doubt then please give us a call on 02380 878037.

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  58. Folded Leaflets

    Folded Leaflets

    Folded Leaflets - Printed by Betterprinting
    Folded leaflets offer a brilliantly versatile way to promote products and services or events in a way that maximizes the use of space as well as organises content in a logical fashion. They are also an affordable and cost effective marketing tool – which probably accounts for their popularity as a direct marketing method.

    You would be forgiven for thinking that a leaflet fold is simply a matter of folding paper in half – but it’s oh so much more than that. And what’s more, different folds can have different advantages depending on the purpose and intent of the leaflets as well as the content and the intended audience. So that’s a good place to start – understand your leaflet needs. And then use our guide to pick the right type of fold for you.

    Gate Fold

    Gate Folding - Gate Fold

    is a fold that has the left and right edges folding inwards which both sides meet in the middle of the page without any overlapping. This type of fold is extremely popular with weddings and special events.

    Also known as a Window Fold / 3 panel gate fold / 6pp gate fold / Closed gate folded leaflets.






    Z - Fold

    Z-Folding - Z Fold

    is a popular leaflet fold choice as it is simple and uses minimal effort in producing as well as for the reader. It offers four internal spaces for content and two external covers – all of the same shape. Because of the layout, it works well for content that either reads seamlessly in a narrative fashion – such as information leaflets that work chronologically; or where information needs to be presented in a list – such as a menu or pricelist.

    Also known as an Zig Zag Fold / 6pp Accordian Fold.



    Letter Fold

    Letter Folding - Letter Fold

    is a one page folded equally in three. The layout is ideal for opening up to show a combination of text and images that cross over the page and can also be a great choice for in struction leaflets that need content to be presented in a particular order.

    Also Known as an Tri-Fold / 6pp Roll Fold.





    Concertina Fold

    Concertina Folding - Accordian Fold

    A concertina folded leaflet is definitely a brilliant option for a leaflet that needs to take up less space when folded but needs more content space. This folds up to a slim-line finish so is tidy and compact but opens up to provide the space for substantial information. It is therefore a very practical solution for leaflets that have various sections of information on a variety of topics or services. It is less suited to events or promotions where too much information is off putting but better for leaflets that are intended to be kept and to be longer lasting – so the paper quality and finish is important for these too.

    Also know as Accordian Fold.


    Half Fold

    Half Folding - Half Foldis a very popular fold as when opened it has expansive space that is ideal of text and imagery that needs to stretch out across the page. It is also good for event leaflets as the space can enable larger text fonts to be used.

    Also known as a 4pp single fold.





    These are our most popular flyer, brochure and leaflet folds we do but there are many other folding options available please see images below.


    Folded Leaflet Folding Options
    So do take the time to consider how you want your content to be displayed and the opening effect you want your leaflet to have and select an option that suits – but don’t be afraid to seek advice from our friendly staff who will be only too happy to point you in the right direction.

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