Monthly Archives: May 2018

  1. 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:

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  2. 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:

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  3. 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

    • 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:

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  4. 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?


    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:

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  5. 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.

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