Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Making Uncoated Business Cards Look Rustic with Uncoated Card

We've written a couple of other posts about uncoated print stock recently, and today we're looking at how to use uncoated card stock to make rustic looking business cards.

Gone are the days of uncoated business cards being used solely as loyalty cards - today they're a seriously popular alternative with a growing trend towards hip, eco and natural looking businesses. Easily identifiable by their natural, pulpy feel, uncoated business cards are often used when businesses want to create the impression their business is environmentally friendly.

Things to watch out for

  • Ink doesn't sink in to uncoated card stock at the same rate it would for coated paper. This means your colours will end up looking more muted, and won't match items printed on coated stock. 
  • The grain in uncoated stock mean areas of solid colour doesn't always look consistent
  • If your business cards are printed digitally, using uncoated stock you'll still get a 'shine' from the toner - if your business card design covers the whole card this can hugely detract from the 'uncoated' appearance. 
Making business cards look more 'rustic'
  • If you're printing your business cards on uncoated stock, and want to achieve a super-natural look, you could print a background image of a very pulpy looking stock - take a look here for some free background images. This works particularly well if your cards are being printed litho.
  • Try and stick with fewer colours for your business cards, and keep the colour palette to more muted tones.
  • If eco-friendly is your thing, you could consider using a eco-style background image... Pop a nice background image of note pad lines, and go for a simple typewriter style font and your business cards will look literally recycled in no time!
Ready to order? If you're looking to order uncoated business cards, check out our range here. They start at just £60 for x1000, on a nice thick 400gsm stock.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

What is uncoated / bond / pulp paper?

If you're ordering uncoated printing you'll probably come across names like uncoated, bond and pulp paper stock. If, like us, you're confused by what all these mean, read on.

Uncoated paper is a type of paper stock which doesn't have any coating. The easiest way to visualise it is to think of a thicker version of normal printer paper. It's a common finish for recycled stocks (think 'eco-friendly business cards'), and feels more natural to the touch.

Uncoated paper has a more 'fibrous' look, and colours appear more muted, because the ink sinks in more than it does on coated stocks. It's also referred to as bond (usually thinner stock used for letterheads and compliment slips), and 'pulp board' (usually used for uncoated flyers or business cards).

If you're looking for uncoated printing prices, click here.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A6 vs A5 Leaflets

If you run a small business, printed leaflets are probably pretty key to your day to day marketing. They're the ideal way to boost sales during a quiet month, drive footfall to your shop during busy seasons and offer customers a lasting memory of your business. So with the most popular leaflets being A6 and A5 size which is best, and how do you go about choosing which size you need?!

A5 vs A6 - What's the difference?

The first difference is size; A6 leaflets are 148 x 105mm, compared to 210 x 148mm for A5. That makes A5 leaflets DOUBLE the size of A6. The second difference is how they're used. We find A6 leaflets are generally used as handouts to promote something requiring action - discounts, special promotions, events etc. A5 on the other hand tends to be used mainly to promote a business or service that doesn't necessarily need a 'right now' action. 

What can I use A6 or A5 Leaflets for?!

Almost all leaflets are used to promote a business or event. They're used worldwide to promote all sorts of businesses from shops to web designers - or even printers! Leaflets are most commonly used for 'letterboxing' where they're pushed through the letterboxes of houses or left on the windscreens of cars. Their beauty is their cost - with such small print costs and so many firms offering leaflet drops they're an ideal way to reach a wide audience, quickly. You might find a window cleaner drops leaflets through your door when he's in the area, or a print company drops one in to your own shop - either way you'll come in to contact with them every day! They're also ideal for promoting events - nightclubs use them to offer drink discounts and community groups to promote their latest fun run or summer fete. 

What's the difference in cost?

A6 leaflets are obviously cheaper, though often not by much. Our A6 Leaflets start at £29, compared to our A5 Leaflets which start at £35. As quantities increase you might find this gap also increases - A5 leaflets weigh double A6 leaflets, so delivery costs increase dramatically once you get above x5000. 

Which should I use?

Which leaflets you get printed is up to you - our suggestion would be to use A6 leaflets if you only want to include a few details - promoting a sale or self explanatory event will lend itself to A6. As will promoting a business to customers who already know you, or can easily understand your business. Window cleaners for instance might only need to convey that they're window cleaners, how much they cost and how to get in touch. If you're trying to sell a business concept or service, or you have lots of options and are trying to drive actual sales (ie a mini mail order type leaflet) you'll probably find A5 gives you the space you need. 

That's it - hope that helps!

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Tips for Designing a Banner for Fireworks Night...

Bonfire night is approaching and we're super excited! Living in the foothills of the Mendip Hills (Bristol area) we love the evenings around fireworks night, watching displays across the valley from afar. 

If you're planning a bonfire night party or fireworks display, banners are going to be key to your advertising strategy, so here's a few tips to use when designing your fireworks display banners...

Keep it simple...

When it comes to banners, simplicity is key. They're likely to be used at high traffic areas (such as roundabouts, on railings, buildings etc) and the target audience is usually either walking or driving past, meaning you have seconds at best to be noticed.

Keep your artwork simple, with key facts only and if relevant, a memorable web address for more information. Always have a background of some sort, preferably with an image. If you don't have anything suitable just go for a coloured background with a slight gradient. Even if this gradient just moves around in the same colour palette it'll make the banner look more professional. The text for your banner should easily readable from further away, so go for a font like Arial (sans-serif) and make sure the colour contrasts clearly against your background (white against black instead of grey against black, for instance). For your fireworks display banner, stick with dark colours for the background (here's some free firework themed background images), and either white, yellow or orange for your text.

How to create the artwork

The first important thing to remember is your bleed. Check your printers requirements before you start as some printers need more than 3mm bleed for banners (often 10mm +). You'll also want to leave plenty of 'quiet' space for banners as the last thing you want is for text to look like it's about to fall off the edge of the banner. Go for something like 100mm - or whatever looks right for you - just don't forget you need to ignore the bleed when judging this.

Your printers might not need actual size artwork for your banners as many print at higher resolution to the normal 300dpi, so check with them before you go spending loads of time laying out anything.

You're best off creating vector based artwork for banners (bitmap based files will be enormous!) - if you have Adobe Creative Suite use InDesign or Illustrator and export as a PDF, or if not, you could try something like Canva or YouIDraw.

What sort of banner to go for

Banners are usually made using PVC banner material. Banner thickness is measured in gsm (grams per square metre) and usually start around 540gsm. Thinner banners are available but given our windy climate you'll want it to be as thick as possible. The edges should be folded over and stitched (hemmed) adding strength to the fixing points (which are usually eyelets). If budget allows, get the banner laminated as this both enriches colour, and adds to its strength. When putting your banner up try and keep it as tort as possible - the wind flapping it around is what will break it. If you're in a super windy area (such as a sea front) you're going to be hard pushed to avoid pretty rapid damage, but if your Fireworks Night Banners are only going to be up for a couple of weeks, you should be fine.

Hope that helps!

Total-Printing.co.uk offers the total solution for cheap leaflets, flyers, business cards and brochures. Visit http://www.total-printing.co.uk for details.

Friday, 14 October 2016

How to design leaflets ghoulish enough for halloween

Halloween signals the start of the best time of year! As darkness creeps in earlier and earlier, we embark on a fun filled couple of months during the run up to Christmas. Since I was a kid halloween has become increasingly 'commercial', which presents a fantastic opportunity to booooost business with some ghoulish deals.

Halloween's a super time to get some freaky marketing in there, and one easy (and cheap) way to bring in some extra business is by printing some spooky halloween leaflets.

Tips for designing a ghoulish leaflet...

Start off with a big, ghostly graphic that covers the whole page. This can be your background. You'll find A6 or A5 Leaflets will work well - smaller or larger can be problematic, but it's up to you.

Have a peek here for some free halloween graphics if you're struggling to find something that works. Keep your text really simple, using a large font, and keep colours in the black and orange palette for the iconic halloween pumpkin look.

It's super important that your offer is really obvious - include a big call to action, and measure this somehow (perhaps a discount on presentation of the leaflet) so you can see the impact your long fingered leaflets have had.

Our favourite size for leaflets is A5 - the space means the image can do all the talking on the front, keeping the detail on the back. This'll make it more eye catching and you may see a better return.

We also prefer a nice gloopy glossy finish to keep the colours looking deep and bright, and never forget to include 3mm bleed on all sides for the printers.

Lurking leaflet vs freaky flyers...

People call them different things, generally speaking though, a leaflet is printed on thin paper (around 135gsm) and a flyer is printed on thicker card (300gsm+). It's entirely up to you which you go for - flyers will be more expensive (obviously) but their rigidity means they'll last longer and be harder to chuck away. For us, the pick of the bunch is a nice 130gsm gloss leaflet - you'll find 1000 to be as cheap as chips (well, 15 portions of chips, that is).

Need your halloween leaflets printed?

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Total-Printing.co.uk offers the total solution for cheap leaflets, flyers, business cards and brochures. Visit http://www.total-printing.co.uk for details.