Sometimes a printed sales or marketing job simply needs to be as economical as possible. The quality still needs to be high but, for whatever reason, the production budget is particularly tight this time. For example, maybe you’re a start-up with limited budget, or two years of the pandemic have knocked your business for six. Or, perhaps you’re exhibiting at a trade show, already spent most of your budget on the space and stand, and forgot to order printed marketing materials to hand out to prospects. Well, worry not — there are always ways to save money when buying print on a budget. Take a look …
Have a think about the thickness of your paper or card. Does it really need to be that thick? Dropping from, say, 170gsm to 150gsm, 135gsm or even less will save you money and that saving could amount to a significant one, especially if you are producing a large print volume.
Posting Your Print?
If your printing is going to be posted, its thickness, size and weight are even doubly important. It would be tragic if your printed item was just a fraction over Royal Mail’s size and weight threshold, forcing you into the next price band. For example, if your printed piece is too large for standard First Class mail and sneaks into the ‘Large Letter’ band, sending just 500 out to prospects will cost you around £220 more in postage than it would otherwise have done. That’s not even allowing for additional costs like larger envelopes. So, some careful pre-planning of size, shape and paper weight can save significant money on postage when you get it right.
Ditch the Fancy Finishes
Do you really need that lamination? Or the rounded corners? Or the integral pocket for inserts? Eliminating luxuries at a time of need will save you money, for sure. It’ll also speed up production and that might also be critical if this print job has been left to the last minute.
Textured paper will almost always be more expensive than untextured. So, if you’re on a budget, forget laid paper, watercolour paper textures, onion skin textured paper and the like — it’s likely to add a significant amount to production costs. So, keep it simple when budgets are slim.
Going a step further, there is even a huge variety of untextured papers. Trendy uncoated (or ‘offset’) papers look organic and fresh, but they’re likely to cost quite a bit more money than more standard coated papers, which are produced in higher volumes at paper mills. In other words, the more ‘run-of-the-mill’ papers will help to save you money.
Branded vs. Unbranded
Do you really need to use that paper brand? There really are some lovely branded papers and cards out there, but when budgets are tight, any good commercial printer will be able to steer you towards a non-branded stock that could be a fraction of the price, but look every bit as good as the big brands.
Size & Format Considerations
Keep an eye on paper size/format to avoid paper wastage. What do we mean? Well, printing based on ‘A’ sizes (A4 and A5 etc.) will generally be …
Southside Print is proud to announce that we have embarked on our journey to become an ISO 14001-accredited printer by spring 2022. ISO 14001 is an important environmental management certification to a high quality, internationally recognised, standard. Gaining this independent accreditation will help us to further minimise our environmental impact and, in effect, that of customers using our printing services. That’s great news if you are operating as part of an ISO 14001-accredited business yourself, are a certified B Corporation (‘B Corp’) or want to ensure you are fully supporting your organisation’s CSR, sustainability and/or environmental policies. By choosing a supplier with ISO 14001 accreditation, you can be sure you are dealing with an environmentally-conscious supplier that delivers only environmentally-friendly, sustainable solutions for your printing and design needs.
A ‘Green’ Printer
ISO 14001 accreditation is a continuation of our efforts to be as ‘green’ a printer as possible. It’ll also help our clients by providing them with ecologically sustainable choices like environmentally-friendly paper, card, printing and finishing options for all their print.
Recycled & FSC Approved Paper & Card
Southside Print is already ticking all the right boxes. At time of writing, virtually 88% of the paper and card material we use is 100% recycled and FSC approved. It also goes without saying that we recycle as much of our paper and card off-cuts as possible. This goes directly back into the production of more paper pulp so that more of the world’s trees are conserved.
We even extend our efforts to lamination. When that is essential for customers’ printing, we only use bio-degradable laminate. However, that said, we discourage the use of any plastics whenever feasible.
Reducing Our Carbon Footprint
It doesn’t end with materials. There are many changes we have made to our working practices and the materials we use. For example, we …
With the clocks having now gone back and the final part of the year upon us, Christmas will be here before we know it. The last post dates for Christmas are Saturday 18 December for 2nd Class, Tuesday 21st for First Class and Thursday 23rd for Special Delivery. Whichever way you look at it, you need to start planning for your personalised and corporate Christmas cards now if you’re to avoid a last minute panic.
Southside Print can help! In line with previous years, we have a varied selection of attractive Christmas cards ready and waiting for you to personalise and overprint at www.christmascardgallery.co.uk. Every one of them is attractive and you can choose cards which may be metallic foiled, high gloss varnished, printed on textured card or featuring a combination of several different finishes. Each can be personalised professionally for you, including a logo if required. Many can now be personalised on the front too. Click the links and images to see the huge range available.
Our contemporary cards are sure to impress and every one looks especially festive! There are 21 modern designs including portrait, landscape and square formats. With either a gloss finish or gold foil, they feature anything from fancy baubles and magical reindeer to beautifully painted trees. View all the contemporary cards here.
Our range of over 20 animal and bird cards is always popular — who doesn’t love a fluffy robin, penguin or polar bear! Joining them are cards featuring highland cattle, stags, hares, blue tits, sheep, owls, cygnets and squirrels, each in a gorgeous, wintery scene. The photography is stunning. View the animal & bird cards here.
Of course we also have a range of Traditional Christmas themed cards, featuring illustrations and designs that have a distinctively Christmassy feel about them. All 18 of them are attractive and extremely festive in feel. You’ll find snowy scenes, wreathes, Santa scenes, snowmen, choirs, village scenes and more in this section. View the traditional Christmas themed cards here.
Our selection of religious and fine art greetings cards is simply beautiful. From angels, nativity scenes, the Three Kings, stained glass windows and churches to images of works of art, they all have a distinctive, Christmassy feel about them. Various sizes and shapes are available and they’re all ready for you to personalise. View the fine art and religious themed cards here.
Our International card range will particularly suit businesses and organisations who have a worldwide clientele. Images include globe motifs, flags, world landmarks, doves of peace and Christmas trees in a wide variety of visual styles. Sized at A5 and featuring a variety of different finishes and textures depending upon the card chosen. View the International themed Christmas cards here.
Our London themed Christmas cards are perfect for many of our clients as so many of them are based in the heart of the city. The choice of 17 different cards features landmarks such as The London Eye, Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Regent Street, Westminster Abbey, Tower Bridge and even the Natural History Museum. Perfect! View our London themed cards here.
Always popular, we couldn’t forget our photographic range of festive cards. These are attractive, featuring stunning photography, and of course are non-religious, so will suit a wide audience. Images include anything from swans on the river and snowdrops to snowy landscapes and frosted holly berries. Various sizes & shapes. View the photography themed Christmas cards here.
No collection of Christmas cards would be complete without a wide selection of tree images and ours is no exception. Choose from 17 different designs that include images and styles that will suit anyone. With the added bonus, for some, that they’re non-religious, these will have wide appeal and will suit any age group too. Sized at A5 or square and featuring a variety of finishes. View the tree themed Xmas cards here.
New for 2021 are our range of over a dozen humorous cards. They feature anything from amusing cartoons to light-hearted characters including vegetables with faces and woolly hats! (A merry veg-mas to you all!). There are also some rather fetching gingerbread men, some jolly snowmen, funny reindeer and even an elephant masquerading as Rudolf! View the humorous card range here.
If you work in a team and want to send your colleagues a team-themed Christmas card this year, we’ve something new, just for you. Our range of 12 new cards features team themes in a range of delightful styles. There are teams of penguins, reindeer, robins, snowmen and even mince pies with faces and hats. They’re delightful! View the team themed Christmas cards here.
Our final new range for 2021 is our automotive and contractor range of Christmas cards. All available to overprint and personalise, these illustrative cards feature Santas, festive construction themes with a Santa twist, beautiful classic cars in snowy scenes and even a van, doing deliveries, that can feature your company name on the side. View the automotive & contractor themed cards here.
Ready to order?
Take a good look at the available cards and, when ready …
Does your company or organisation have an online shop? If so, are you making the most of it from a marketing perspective? Does the online shop feature cross-sells, up-sells, recently viewed products, wish lists, live chat and a simple e-news sign-up to build a re-marketing list? Does it have voucher code functionality, a customer review facility, a decent user experience and an easy-to-accomplish check-out and payment facility? These are all the kind of things any decent e-commerce store should have if you are to get the most from your online shop.
How About Offline?
If you’re not using printing to support your e-commerce store, you are missing a trick. Printing, combined with your e-commerce operation, can make a huge difference to your success. We’ll explain how and why …
You receive an online order for a product. You dispatch it the same day with a packing slip and an automatically-generated email confirmation. It arrives the next day.
Well, not really. The speed and efficiency of your fulfilment offering is impressive, for sure. However, you have missed many golden opportunities if that’s all you do when dispatching online orders to customers. Take a look …
How to Make the Most out of Online Orders Using Print
1. Printed Branding
Firstly, think about brand recognition. A good, well-recognised brand is worth its weight in gold if you get it right. Thinks of Virgin, Ted Baker, Apple and even an organisation like The National Trust. Each has a brand that’s instantly recognisable. You could put their logo on almost anything and it would instantly make that product more desirable. So, the lesson here is to ensure that your brand looks great in the first place (our talented graphic designers can help with that), but also that it’s presented to best effect on everything the customer sees when they receive their order. The packaging should be well-designed and showcase your brand. So should the packing slip; labels too. That’ll all help with brand recognition. Keep doing that and your brand should become more and more popular and valuable over time.
2. Cross-Selling, Up-Selling & Repeat-Selling Through Print
As well as the nifty packaging and attractive paperwork, ensure you give your customer every opportunity to remember your e-commerce shop and brand. You can do this through the inclusion of …
As we head into autumn, it’s time to consider printing of your corporate calendars for 2022. These are great give-aways and will remind your customers and prospects of your brand and contact details every day of the year. People are more likely to use them if they are received in good time, certainly no later than January 1st, so our advice is to start planning their design and production now.
Calendars are great give-aways and will remind your customers and prospects of your brand – and contact details – every day of the year.
Calendars should look interesting and attractive, so need to feature graphics or images that will be engaging for recipients; after all, each image will be visible for a whole month. If too corporate or ‘salesy’, people may well just bin them, so design and content needs careful consideration.
Calendar design & artwork service
We also offer a design/artwork service. So, if you’re unsure about design and print-ready artwork files, you can leave that to us. We can supply free quotations for design and artwork as well as for printing, so you will know exactly what to expect well before production begins.
The calendar year
Standard calendars start from January and run to the end of December. However, perhaps there’s a good reason why you require some other date range. For example, if you’re marketing to accountants or the financial sector, consider producing a calendar for the financial year, starting in April. Or, if you’re giving calendars to educational staff, another example is academic calendars. These usually run from September when the first term of the academic year begins. At Southside Print, anything is possible!
Calendars are great for fundraising too! Charities and fundraising personnel could even consider pre-selling them so they know how many to order.
Our standard calendars are …
At Southside Print we have virtually a full suite of 5 Star reviews on Google for our printing and design services. A staggering 19 out of the 21 Google reviews that Southside Print has received are 5 star reviews. That’s the highest possible star rating for over 90% of all customer reviews — and we’ll be forever grateful to customers who went out of their way to leave such glowing reviews for us. Thank you to each and every one of them.
The highest possible rating in over 90% of customer reviews
Here’s what just some of our past customers have said on Google:
Curved pop-up display systems look incredibly impressive. They are a great way to showcase your brand and to get your sales or marketing message across, all in an instant. Despite their large size and powerful impact, they are surprisingly inexpensive.
Pop-up display systems really are a perfect solution whether you need large display graphics at an exhibition, trade show, industry expo or for ad hoc appearances in places like shopping malls and business receptions.
A Huge Display Area for Your Graphics
Southside Print’s pop-up display systems are beautiful. They offer a huge expanse for your graphics on a curved display wall that stands unaided over several metres. They have attractive curved ends too, with continuous, edge-to-edge graphics for your marketing proposition. It’s a vast area to display your logo, strap-line, key marketing messages and any photos or graphics. With size options ranging from 3m x 2m right up to an incredible 3m x 5m, you really do have enormous scope to get your message across with maximum visual impact.
The printing of the display graphics is included in the price.
The printed graphics are included along with everything you need for your display, all packed and ready to use inside the transportation case. When it’s needed, the entire display, including the counter (see section below), curved ‘wall’ and framework that holds it together all assemble in just a few minutes. So, in next to no time at all, your attractive and impressive display is ready to do its work. No special tools are required.
A Convenient Transportation & Storage Case is Included
Likewise, when your event is over, the entire thing packs down, just as easily, into the compact storage case. Despite packing a large punch in terms of size and marketing impact, pop-up display systems are extremely easy to store and to transport. The case has wheels integrated into its design and will easily fit inside a car. The robust case represents a perfect way to store and protect your large-scale graphics until the next time they’re needed.
The Display Counter is Also Included
At no extra cost, the storage case also doubles as an attractive display counter for use at your event. It can
If you are an environmentally conscious individual or represent a business or organisation that is, Southside Print can help by providing environmentally-friendly printing. More and more people are rightly concerned about the impact that their buying choices have on the environment. With temperatures and sea levels across the world rising, long-frozen ice caps melting and the world’s biodiversity under enormous threat, it’s becoming increasingly important to make good choices about where and how products and services are produced. Indeed, many companies and organisations across the globe now have sustainability policies in place to ensure that they are sourcing services and products only from environmentally-responsible, sustainable sources. That includes, of course, paper-based products and printing services. Well, at Southside Print, we supply sustainably-produced printed products for many environmentally aware clients including individuals, charities, green businesses, certified B Corporations (B Lab/B Corp) and so on. Our ‘green’ printing is perfect for anything from brochures, leaflets, annual reports and posters to large format printing, banners and letterheads — and much more.
Sustainable Printing at Southside Print
- All paper used at Southside Print is FSC accredited (more about that below).
- It’s also at least 20%-30% recycled.
- Customers have a wide choice of sustainable papers, card and board to choose from, including 100% recycled options and even some eco-friendly paper stocks that contain no wood pulp at all.
- We recycle all paper and card off-cuts, whenever it’s possible, throughout the year.
- We use only the most energy-efficient printing and finishing machinery and technologies.
- Our printing is fully digital, meaning we don’t use nasty chemicals in our print processes.
- Even our website is hosted on green servers, which use energy from renewable sources and the most energy-efficient server technologies, resulting in minimal CO2 emissions.
- When delivering finished print orders around London, we even use ‘green’ couriers whenever possible.
We mentioned that all our paper is FSC accredited. This means that our papers, cards and boards are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as containing wood or pulp from responsibly managed forests and/or from recycled post-consumer waste. That’s important to us and our many environmentally aware clients.
Paper — The Eco Facts
Some studies suggest that there are misconceptions, particularly amongst young adults, around sustainability in the printing and paper industry. The truth, however, is very positive and, indeed, the paper industry is one of the few that is genuinely and inherently sustainable ….
At Southside Print we can either accept artwork files from customers, or produce artwork for them. Obviously, clients can save some money if they choose the former option and do their own design and artwork. However, if they’re not used to generating their own professional-grade artwork, common mistakes are easy to miss. These could lead to digital artwork files not working at all, unexpected printing results or, even worse, paid-for printing being totally unusable. For these reasons, we thought we’d highlight the most common artwork mistakes that we see, in the hope that they can be avoided by customers who supply their own artwork files to us.
1: Incorrect Colour Mode
Most mobile phones and digital cameras save images in RGB mode. This mode is meant for screen viewing rather than commercial printing. If digital artwork is supplied with images in RGB mode, there’s a significant chance that they will not look as expected – potentially terrible – on the final printed results.
Solution: Before putting full colour images into artwork files, they should first be opened in an application like Photoshop and re-saved in CMYK mode. For the same reason, the final artwork file (usually saved as a print-ready PDF) should also be saved in CMYK mode when printing full colour images.
2: Inadequate Image Resolution
Have you ever looked at something printed, perhaps in a brochure, and spotted one or more images that look a bit fuzzy or, worse still, pixelated? Both are almost certain to be due to the images having inadequate resolution within the artwork files supplied. With resolution too low, images can appear ‘soft’ and lacking detail at best, or broken up into visible squares (the pixels) at worst.
Solution: Ensure that photographic images are
When it comes to brochures and other promotional documents, size really does matter. Along with the design and finish, the size and format of printed sales and marketing documents has an impact from a marketing perspective. A carefully selected size could make your printed marketing piece literally stand out, making it both different and memorable when you get it right. Once you’ve accomplished that, half the marketing battle is already won.
Marketers have only one chance to make a good first impression
For these reasons, many brochure and marketing literature designers will often consider sizes outside of the bog-standard A4 that we see so often. This consideration will almost be part of the design process itself, in fact. After all, marketers and designers have only one chance to make a good first impression.
It’s a very tricky balance, however. While format, looks and size play an important part in the overall impact of a printed brochure or marketing piece, it’s all too easy to stray into unnecessary extra expense if it’s not fully thought through.
A balance between design, impact, cost & ultimately R.O.I.
The approximate size for your brochure or marketing piece may simply be steered by the volume of content it needs to contain. If that’s substantial, then clearly you may have to choose one of the larger document sizes, or at the very least go with a smaller size with a greater number of pages if you don’t mind the document or brochure being fairly thick — but, as we’ll see below, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Conversely, if your brochure or sales piece doesn’t include an enormous volume of content, then right away you have a wider choice of sizes and formats available to you. So — a good starting point when considering sizes.
Why not A4 portrait?
Hmmm … well, that’s probably the most cost-effective size/format for large-ish brochures because paper sizes in the UK are generally optimised for that size (or derivations of it like A5 etc.). With ‘A’ sizes generally, there is usually minimal paper wastage from off-cuts, because the base paper sizes that printers use are set up so well for it (SRA3, SRA2 etc.). However, as such, A4 is very “standard” and therefore rather predictable. And predictable does not make your service or product stand out from the crowd!
So what can you do to create more impact, only using size/format?
There are a few obvious alternatives to the bog-standard A4 portrait when it comes to brochures and marketing literature …