Printing tips, tricks and advice from our print experts.
Your brand and logo must have uniqueness and feel personal to you, it must be timeless so it embraces trends and fads, colours are very important as it also represents your culture.
Does my customer need this?
This seems like the most obvious question to ask, but it’s often one that’s overlooked.
Would they be pleased to receive this product as a free gift?
If the answer is no, look for something else. Does the product reflect company brand and service? Try to choose something that is relevant to your own products and services. Picking something useful and functional, as well as promotional, is a great way to keep your product on their desk and your brand in view.
Are the products easy to customise?
Select items that you can imprint your company name, slogan and contact information on easily. Picking products in the right colour scheme will help keep any promotional gifts in line with your corporate branding, making your products easily recognisable.
Are the products reliable?
Nobody likes gifts which stop working after a few days, even if they are getting them for free. Make sure that whatever you are going to give is of high quality, and reflects the image you want to create for your company. If your promotional gifts are of poor quality, what conclusion might a potential customer draw from this?
Is the product unique?
Research your competitors and don’t select the same products they’re using. Try to think out of the box and select some unique products so that you could really stand out – this is where selecting useful products can really pay dividends, you’re more likely to remember a company that sends you something you like and use than something that looks nice but has no practical function.
- Make sure you clearly display your company branding and image so there is no chance of being mistaken for a competitor. The branding should be consistent with all your other materials
- Create a focus – Whether it is a discount, a new product, a specific event or a special service, work out what your key take home message is and make this the focal point .
- Creative but clear – Whilst you want your design to be eye-catching and memorable, don’t cram it full on small detail. Customers will get bored or find it confusing and stop reading.
- Clean layout – It is easy to get carried away with making your look different, however don’t lose sight of the end goal. You need to keep your key information in a clear, clean and usable format with a readable font both in size and colour.
- Use a ‘Call to Action’ – After they have engaged with you want to keep your customer intrigued. Using a call to action such as a discount to encourage them to get in touch is a great way to ensure you make an impact.
- High quality printing – Now you have a great design, you need to make sure the print quality is good enough to match. Choosing a low quality print solution can make you look lazy and unprofessional. At Printwell we understand our clients individual needs and only settle for the best results.
- Proof checking – We can’t emphasize enough the importance of proof checking and spell checking before sending it to print. A grammatical error can again make you look unprofessional to a potential client, plus if you notice it too late you may have to reprint although the damage may have been done already .
- Set it up for print – Check your brand quality and images are all high resolution, they should be at 300dpi for print and set to CMYK for a normal full colour print. You should then put 3mm bleed on to the design which allows for a neat trim when printed.
- Get the quantity right – It is always best to over order than under order. Economies of scale show that printing double the amount does not cost double the price.
- Finally… Take a fresh look, from the perspective of your target audience. Would you trust the company? Does it look professional? Is the information clear? If all the answers are yes then you know you’re ready to print!
Printed mail vs email
Over 83% of people preferred to receive printed mail rather than an email of which over half took printed mail more serious compared with email and they also feel more valued as a buyer.
- The British public open 92% of printed direct mail and for 17 days average persons keeps printed mail
- 87% of UK population made an online purchase from a direct mail campaign of which 48% of the population made a decision to buy after receiving the printed item from the company of which 98% prefer direct mail to be personalised to them
In order to make the pre-flight process more efficient, please use unique file names for files you are submitting. The file name should reflect the job name that was given when ordering. Example: jsmith_4x6_front.pdf
Convert fonts to paths when possible. By converting fonts to paths in programs like Illustrator and FreeHand, you will avoid having to send the fonts with your files. When converting to paths, the text becomes a vector shape and will look no different than its original state.
In Photoshop, text can be rasterized and therefore does not need the fonts. Keep in mind that after rasterizing, no changes can be made to the text.
If your fonts are not converted to paths or rasterized, your design may not be viewed the way it was meant to be seen.
Wallet or pocket?
All envelopes are split into either wallets or pockets. Put simply, wallets open on the long edge and pockets on the short edge. For mailing machine they only can operate on Wallet envelopes.
Most envelopes are available with or without a window. Think how you plan to use the envelopes – will you always have an address to show through? NEVER place an address sticker over the window – it creates a bad impression from the outset. Often it’s the case that you will need both – printing these at the same time will significantly save on costs.
All too often people do not consider the material that their envelopes are made from. If you’re promoting a premium product or brand, then lightweight envelopes will create the wrong impression. Remember that the envelope is the first thing the recipient will see (and feel). By the same token, if you’re printing envelopes as part of a large mailing project then keeping the weight down may be vital – it could save a small fortune in postage costs.
Textured OEs have a tactile advantage because they both look and feel different. If you don't have the budget for textured paper stock, use a varnish or printed faux finish.
Your OE (outer envelope) doesn't have to be a standard size. While it may cost more in postage to mail a non-standard envelope, this could be your best investment for standing out in a stack of predictable #10s or 6" x 9"s.
Like an email subject line, OE teaser copy is an enticement. Use it to dangle a major benefit, establish a deadline, or ask an intriguing question with the answer inside.
Variable data/personal relevancy:
You can now individualize outers with more than just name and address. Consider using variable data printing to customize both copy and images. This could include offers, deadlines, teasers and even images of products and people uniquely relevant to the recipient.
For the UK, standard post items are split in to ‘letter’, ‘large letter’ and ‘packet’. To qualify as a letter, the item must be equal to or smaller than 240 x 165 x 5mm and weigh less than 100g. For larger letter, the dimensions are 353 x 250 x 25mm and weight less than 750g. Anything bigger or heavier is a packet.
PPI stands for Printed Postage Impressions. This is a service you can set up with Royal Mail whereby your postage is printed directly on your envelopes – no need for stamps or franking and saves you monies in terms of cashflow as well as time. Details can be found on Royal Mail’s website here.
Ideal for bulk printing and wholesale printing. Artwork needs to be vectorial graphics and you must be able to count the colours on your design. Perfect for promotional clothing for events.
Direct to Garment Printing (DTG Printing):
Similar to a inkjet printer. Suitable for most custom clothing designs that involves photographic images, such as photos and collages.
Cad cut vinyl:
Provides high-quality t-shirt printing for bespoke t shirt printing needs like sports jerseys numbers and putting custom names into t-shirts. Can also be a substitute for screen printing UK services when quantities are low. Works with solid colours as well.
Reproduces all kinds of designs when printed onto t-shirts, from photos to solid colours illustrations and logos. The artwork is printed onto a high-quality paper that is later cut around it’s edges to separate it from the paper sheet. Not recommended for very intricate designs.
The most professional way of getting and customised workwear . Though the term polo t shirt printing can also be used when mentioning embroidery services, no printing is involved at all in the process. The artwork gets digitised for the personalised embroidery needs and alter on is reproduced by the embroidery machines right into the embroidered polo shirts fabric.
Though printers in the UK are relatively easy to find, not all of the printers advise you properly. They should be able to explain how printing technique works and which one is the most suitable for your printing needs. Working more closely with Printwell will allow you to create a professional collaboration for your printing projects and facilitate the process.