Why Careful Colour Consideration is Crucial for Design

Crucial colour considerations for design

When it comes to design, the choice of colour is incredibly important. A colour palette alone can make the difference between a design being attractive — or totally repellent. Even if the underlying styling and layout of any design is superb, its ultimate success can live or die on the colours used. That’s the same whether you’re talking about graphic design for sales and marketing literature, interior design, product design, or any other kind of design. However, the impact of colour goes way deeper than aesthetics, as we’ll see.

Selecting the best colour palette for your graphics

As with design itself, colour is a very subjective thing, so it’s always going to be impossible to please everyone. It’s important to try, though, because the colour palette you use in your design will have a striking affect on how well your sales or marketing piece is received by your target audience. For this reason, it’s well worth spending extra time on carefully considering your colour palette, well before your piece is published or printed. Some market research is also well worth doing, whether that’s full market research with the public or obtaining a rough gauge from others in your office and/or family. Editor’s note: as a qualified designer myself, my choice regarding some colours for printed graphics is still swayed by such feedback, even decades after it was first given.

Colour can literally change the viewer’s mood.

Feel & mood

Feel and mood are, by far, the most overriding sensations instilled in the viewer through the use of colour. Colour deeply affects the whole perception of your printed piece — it can lift the spirit, or repel it. It can catch the eye in a good way when you get it right, or a bad way when you don’t. Colours can excite the onlooker, or relax them. Colour can often literally change the viewer’s mood. When it comes to colour as a communication tool, it can shout your marketing messages or whisper them subconsciously. Colour can associate your product or service with quality if you want it to. It can help to incite a feeling of urgency, or get the audience to experience any number of other feelings. When you think about it, that’s an incredibly powerful tool for designers and marketers.

Colour is an incredibly powerful tool for designers and marketers.

Choosing your colour palette

Choosing your colour paletteA single design and layout can be used in different ways, with different effects, depending on which set of colour combinations are used in the overall colour palette. Graphic designers call those colour palettes ‘colourways’ and there are a few different ways that they can be chosen. As a designer myself, my favourite tips for choosing colourways are:

  • Find a photograph that you like in terms of colours, then sample those colours using the eye-dropper tool in Photoshop or similar (read on for free way to do this online if you don’t have Photoshop). It works very well when any photos in the printed piece share the same colours as surrounding graphics, ensuring that the entire marketing piece is colour-coordinated and attractive.
  • Another great tool for choosing colourway palettes is to look at the colour swatches on ColourLovers.com. The site shows thousands of different colour palettes that have been uploaded by the community over several years. It ranks colour palettes by popularity or by the number of times they have been saved as ‘favourites’ as well as having colour sections for different sectors (branding, websites, interiors etc). It also shows which colourways are trending at any given time. There are some useful tools there, for generating colour palettes and indeed the lavender colourway graphic in the main image above was generated by such a tool on the site.
  • Another, more obvious, way to choose a good colour palette for your design is to simply keep your eyes open, so you can spot, note or save good existing examples from others. This could mean keeping brochures and booklets that you have liked the colours, look and feel of, or bookmarking websites that have nice colourways etc. Most good designers will do this as a matter of course.
  • Pinterest is also a great tool for saving colourway examples, or finding them, and saving them into well-organised segmented areas.
  • One of the most widely used tools for the professional graphic designer is the tried-and-tested Pantone colour swatch book. There are various types available, including ‘spot colour’ swatches, ‘process’ printing colours (a.k.a. ‘CMYK’), pastels, metallics and lots more. Just like with paint charts for home DIY, they allow you to pick out colours and to compare them to each other side by side. Crucially, though, in the case of Pantone swatches, they allow you to specify the final choice of colours in your artwork in such a way that they will reproduce reliably i.e. exactly as envisaged on your final printed piece.
  • Designers should also consider colour psychology and what colour means to certain cultures when appropriate. For example, in China, blue symbolises immortality whereas in other countries it can represent the colour of mourning. So, care needs to be taken.

Check your artwork’s colour mode before you go to print

It should be noted that colours destined to be used for printing will need to be in ‘CMYK’ mode if printing digitally. For litho printing it can be CMYK mode or ‘spot’ colour, as appropriate. Avoid ‘RGB’ colour mode completely if you are going to have your sales or marketing piece commercially printed. See our Printing & Artwork Tips for further information or leave it all to us. Simply ask for a graphic design and/or artwork quotation — they’re free and without pressure or obligation, so there’s nothing to lose. As well as choosing attractive and appropriate colours and generating a great design for your printed job, we would be very happy to print it for you, of course.

We are Southside Print, a digital printer based in London SE1, close to Borough tube and London Bridge station. Call 020 7378 6754 or contact us here and we’ll be very happy to help you with your next printed project.

Recycled Cards – the Natural Choice for an SE1 Salon

Recycled cards – a natural choice for a Waterloo hair salon

Eco-friendly recycled appointment cards printed in London SE1We recently printed new appointment cards for one of our long-standing clients, Arena Hair. These were produced using 100% recycled card. The salon uses natural products, so having eco-friendly appointment cards was a natural choice, if you’ll excuse the pun! 300gsm ‘Revive Recycled Offset’ was selected for the card base. This is a bright, uncoated card material that gives the final printing a slightly lower contrast and a contemporary, fresh and natural feel. In fact, somehow it actually feels ‘green’ and eco-friendly.

The appointment cards have space to write the time and date of the appointment and to note who the stylist will be. They also double as business cards and mini price lists as well as showing salon opening times. As such, they’re hugely useful, multi-purpose giveaways, being inexpensive to print with a great ROI for the salon. With their smart good looks, they also reflect the coolness and identify of the salon itself. Although Southside Print has its own in-house designers, in this instance the design and artwork was supplied for the client via Starling Design who are designers based nearby in Borough, SE1.

Green printers in London SE1

Poster printing for SE1 hair salonSouthside Print produces more and more ‘green’ printing as the month go by. We care enormously about the environment, so we love it when clients ask for eco-friendly printing options. Indeed, we’re finding that this is happening regularly nowadays. We’ve written about our ‘green’ printing credentials and that we aim to be a truly ‘green’ printer several times, so it’s good to follow up with some real examples of sustainable printing from time to time. We’ll publish more of these as time goes by.

Eco-friendly printing

So what are our green credentials? Well, without going over old ground too much (follow the bold links for much more detail), we offer a huge range of eco-friendly paper, card and board for our clients to use in their sales and marketing pieces. From sustainably-sourced pulp to 100% recycled materials — and everything in between — there’s an enormous variety of eco-friendly papers available. What’s more, they look every bit as good as their non-green counterparts these days. We even have papers and cards that are made of 100% cotton — an eco-friendly resource that gives outstanding results as well as circumventing the need to include wood pulp in the mix at all. Of course, we recycle our production off-cuts all the time, use very energy-efficient printing machinery and even host our website on ‘green’ servers. We almost forgot to mention our ‘green couriers’ — these are a phenomenal delivery team who can drop finished printing to our London clients without generating a gram of extra carbon dioxide. Learn much more about our green printing services here.

Arena Hair, Waterloo, SE1

Poster printed for Arena Hair, WaterlooGoing back to our featured client, Arena Hair is located at Lower Marsh, Waterloo (London SE1). The salon is open 9am to 7pm from Monday to Friday and then 9am until 4pm at weekends. The team at the hair salon is thrilled to be working again now that they’ve re-opened following easing of the lock-down. Customers will be pleased to know that, like Southside Print, the salon is exercising careful safety protocols to safeguard everyone’s wellbeing while COVID-19 is still around. Salon stylists will, for example, be wearing visors and using disposable aprons and gloves whenever appropriate. Various areas around the salon will be protected by perspex screens. Provision of refreshments and magazines is temporarily suspended so as to minimise the possibility of microorganisms being spread from person to person. Equipment and seating will be regularly sterilised too.

NHS workers are currently eligible for a 10% discount at the salon. Students are eligible for a 15% discount on weekdays before 5pm. Visit the Arena Hair website for more details of their services, treatments, discounts or to book an appointment.

Are you looking for an eco-friendly printer in London?

If you’d like a free quotation for printing of anything at all, Southside Print would love to give you a price along with any guidance required. We’re here to help! Our green printing services are available for anything from business cards and stationery to brochures, booklets, annual reports, leaflets, flyers, posters and just about anything you can think of that’s printed on paper or card. Give us a try and, together, we can do a little bit to help the planet. Call 020 7378 6754, request a print/design quote here or arrange an appointment at our print shop in Tabard Street near London Bridge station and Borough tube.

BREAKING: Revolutionary New Anti-Bacterial Lamination

SafeLam - the revolutionary anti-virus lamination for printed items

Matt antimicrobial laminationIntroducing SafeLam – our antimicrobial lamination

Southside Print are pleased to announce ‘SafeLam’, our new, antimicrobial lamination for printed products. It’s just like standard lamination, except it kills bacteria and viruses on contact. This is obviously very timely and will be a massive boon to those who need printed sales, marketing or informational literature while coronavirus is still at large.

“SafeLam makes sharing printed documents safer”

Southside Print is committed to keeping staff and customers as safe as possible during these unprecedented times. As part of the fight against COVID-19, we have been working hard to find ways to make printed products as safe as possible in view of the pandemic. SafeLam’s antimicrobial coating does exactly that, killing 99% of bacteria and viruses that come into contact with it. It means printed products laminated with SafeLam proactively kill the coronavirus — and that’s a game-changer!

Gloss antimicrobial laminationSafeLam is an ideal safety coating:

  • The antimicrobial laminate is available in a matt or gloss finish.
  • It eliminates 99% of harmful microorganisms that come into contact with it.
  • It has the same, high quality finish as standard lamination.
  • Just like ordinary lamination, SafeLam looks great and protects documents from wear and tear as well as from moisture ingress.
  • No matter how many hands touch the surface, SafeLam’s surface retains its antimicrobial properties.
  • It’s independently tested and approved to ISO 22196, an international benchmark that recognises SafeLam’s antimicrobial properties (more about that below).

SafeLam makes printed documents safer

SafeLam is an ideal finish for printed documents, particularly those used in schools, hospitals, healthcare organisations, restaurants, bars & workplaces. For example, it makes brochures, school books, folders and medical documents much safer to handle and to share. It’s also incredibly useful as a protective, anti-virus coating for things like printed menus in bars and restaurants where multiple people will handle the same printed item. Here are just a few examples of printed items that are safer when laminated with SafeLam antimicrobial laminate — the possible applications are almost endless!

  • Brochures & booklets
  • Annual Reports
  • Medical documents
  • Documents for schools & uni’s
  • Business cards
  • Menus
  • Tent cards
  • Table talkers
  • Posters
  • Folders
  • Manuals & bound documents
  • Catalogues
  • Mailers
  • Postcards
  • Packaging
  • Point of sale graphics
  • Signage & display graphics
  • Exhibition graphics
  • Banners
  • Greetings cards
  • Calendar covers
  • … And much more.

About ISO 22196 accreditation

To quote ISO, the International Organisation for Standardisation:

“ISO 22196:2011 specifies a method of evaluating the antibacterial activity of antibacterial-treated plastics, and other non-porous, surfaces of products”

It’s accepted that the ISO 22196 accreditation confirms the ability of plastics to kill microorganisms and also to inhibit their growth over time. They therefore keep surfaces hygienically clean, safe and sanitary without the need to keep wiping the surfaces with agents and chemicals.

Antimicrobial means that it kills all microbes, including bacteria and viruses. That’s not only hygienic, but also incredibly important for people’s health and wellbeing while coronavirus and COVID-19 are still present within parts the population.

Interested? Get in touch

Please get in touch if you would like further information about this revolutionary new laminating solution. Call 020 7378 6754, contact us here, or use the enquiry form below to send us your enquiry. Southside Print are printers in Borough, near London Bridge, SE1.

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Variable Data Printing Service (London SE1)

Variable data printing services in London SE1

Using ‘variable data printing’ is a way of personalising sales and marketing literature to individual recipients. It’s a great marketing tool too. People are far more likely to notice a mailed flyer, for example, if it addresses them by name, right there in the colour printing, as part of the actual design. You may have received brochures personalised to you, perhaps. They may have mentioned your name here and there throughout, in colour. That is a sure-fire way for a sales or marketing piece to get noticed and taken more seriously. Receiving such tailored communications suggests an existing knowledge of the customer, as an individual. It also comes over as being highly professional and a bit more ‘grown up’ than the usual anonymous approach. It also lends the printed piece an element of gravitas, subconsciously saying ‘this is an important message to you‘.

Personalised text

Personalising the text of a brochure or mailshot to include the recipient’s name is an obvious example of variable data resulting in personalised printing. As well as a name, though, the person’s location could also be included for that extra personal touch. Or there could be mention of a previous purchase, a brand usually ordered, or anything else that’s relevant. This is all possible so long as it’s included within the database being supplied to your commercial printer. All of this extra personalisation can demonstrate a real knowledge of the customer within the sales piece, potentially becoming integral to the sales proposition as part of a strategic, well thought-out approach.

Personalised images

Variable Data printing doesn’t need to end with text though. It can also merge images, diagrams or illustrations into the printed piece. For example, a particular image can be printed in a printed document meant for one recipient, while a different image can be printed for someone else. For example, a mailer used to sell health supplements might include a featured image of something the customer has ordered before, now on special offer perhaps. If they’ve ordered before and are reminded of what they purchased, that’s certain to really catch their eye and generate additional repeat sales from the recipient. That’s just one example of how variable data printing can be used to personalise sales and marketing literature.

How Variable Data printing is achieved

This kind of document personalisation is all made possible using Read more

Southside Print & Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Southside Print Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update & Poster

To confirm, we are ‘open for business here’ at Southside Print in London SE1, despite Coronavirus/COVID-19. We are fully operative for all services including graphic design, printing and production. Just let us know if you need any print and design produced and we’ll be very happy to help.

“We are operating an uninterrupted service”

It goes without saying, though, that we are taking extra precautions to help fight the spread of the virus. For example:

  • Staff have altered shifts so as to avoid travelling on public transport;
  • We’re avoiding all travel to other countries;
  • We’re avoiding physical contact, for example hand-shaking, and maintaining a sensible distance between ourselves and others;
  • We’re regularly washing hands – thoroughly with soap – as well as using anti-bac hand sanitiser;
  • We’re regularly hygienically cleaning our premises, in particular any well-used areas like door handles, keyboards, desks, etc;
  • We’ve published and displayed a Coronavirus & COVID-19 ‘best practice’ poster in the shop and at strategic points around the production areas. Copies are available for sale to anyone interested (follow the bold link above).
  • Any staff who are not directly involved in production are working from home, for example our back-office work, quotations, business administration using cloud-based systems and so on;
  • We hold meetings via phone contact, video calls, Skyping, iMessaging and conference calls;
  • We’re asking customers and prospects to liaise with us remotely.
  • We are sharing work between our two print and production sites in London, so are adaptable should one geographical location become more adversely affected than the other;
  • And, of course, we’re continuously monitoring the situation and are following Government guidelines.

So, the message is that we are operating an uninterrupted service. Rest assured that quality and service levels remain excellent, as always.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) posters available to buy online

Coronavirus poster to buy onlineIn an effort to play our part in the fight against Coronavirus and COVID-19, we’ve originated some posters that individuals, companies and organisations can buy online. Outlining useful advice and best practice, they’re perfect for displaying on office walls, in receptions, in windows, on notice boards, in entrances to buildings and so on. That’s a great way to help keep staff, customers and visitors safe and should be a real help as part of Health & Safety (HS) in the workplace.

The posters include very important information and guidelines including:

  • Likely symptoms of Coronavirus/COVID-19;
  • Countries at high risk (particularly useful for regular or recent travellers);
  • Advice for those who have symptoms or those who have recently travelled from ‘at risk’ countries;
  • Guidelines outlining how to limit the spread of the virus;
  • Illustrated instructions demonstrating best practice for both hand washing and hand sanitising.

The posters are available to buy online. They are A3 in size and are gloss laminated, allowing the surface to be wiped clean. They cost £15 excluding VAT and postage. Most credit and debit cards are accepted, as well as PayPal.

The latest information and advice on Coronavirus & COVID-19 is available at the NHS website.

Packaging Printers & Designers

Packaging printers & designers in London SE1

Printing and production of packaging in London SE1We’re sometimes asked if we design and print packaging. The simple answer is ‘yes’ because, to us, it’s just another natural use of our in-house design and printing capabilities. Southside Print can handle pretty much any type of printing imaginable and packaging is no exception. So, you are not limited to just the standard kind of thing, like brochures, stationery and flyers. We regularly produce high quality printing for packaging items too. These include anything from cartons and swing tickets to wrapping paper and bags. The list of possibilities is almost endless, a few examples being:

  • Printed labels and stickers including wine labels, special offer stickers, pricing labels etc.;
  • Cartons for products;
  • Boxes of various kinds;
  • Printed bags;
  • Wrapping paper;
  • Printed tissue paper;
  • Printed cardboard sleeves, e.g. to wrap around boxed products;
  • Header cards for retail products including ‘Euro’ slots if required;
  • Swing tickets;
  • ‘Pillow’ packs;
  • Packaging ‘inners’ and backing cards e.g. for products in clam packs, blister packs and cello packs;
  • Point of sale (‘POS’) or Point of Purchase (‘POP’) card dispensers;

Printed literature for packaged products

We also routinely produce the kind of printed literature that you find inside product packaging. This includes instruction manuals, assembly instruction sheets, information pamphlets, warranty documents, guarantee registration cards, vouchers for cross-selling, catalogues, price lists, order forms and so on. If it involves printing on paper, card or board, we can print it!

Advanced print finishing techniques to make your packaging stand out

As well as our digital printing facilities, we also have a whole range of in-house ‘print finishing’ options to make your printed packaging really stand out. Options include lamination (matt, gloss etc.), encapsulation, gloss U.V. varnish including spot varnishing, die-cutting to give your packaging non-standard shapes, traditional hot foil stamping and digital foiling. We can also perforate, score, crease, fold, collate, drill holes, add eyelets, ribbons, add and affix glue tabs, and so on. So, please remember that we’re a print finisher as well as being a printer. Read more

A Handy Guide to UK Paper Sizes

A Handy Guide to UK Paper Sizes

Paper sizes are something even seasoned print veterans find themselves looking up occasionally. While some paper sizes are used on a daily basis at printers and design studios, there are others that are only used a handful of times a year. Those tend to be the sizes most easily forgotten, so we’ve come up with this handy reference guide that can be referred to any time, 365 days of the year. Don’t forget to bookmark it!

The following is not an exhaustive list of paper sizes, but it should cover the most commonly used sizes used by designers and printers around the UK. For the sake of brevity, we’ll leave out the more rarefied ‘legacy’ sizes that we simply tend not to encounter any more.

ISO Paper Sizes:

You may not have heard of ‘ISO’ paper sizes, but you will have used sizes like A4 and A3 perhaps on a weekly basis. A4, A3, A5, A2, B4 and B5 are probably the most easily recognisable examples of ISO ‘A’ and ISO ‘B’ paper sizes.

ISO 'A' paper sizesISO sizes have several neat, and very handy, mathematical properties about them:

  • The ratio of their sides is always 1 to 1.414 (the square root of 2, by the way).
  • To mentally compute the dimensions from one ISO paper size to the next, you simply keep the longest side and double the shortest. So A4 (210mm x 297mm) becomes A3 (297mm x 420mm). We simply doubled the shortest side (210mm) to get that new 420mm dimension, but kept the existing 267mm dimension — easy!
  • Note that the physical paper size at each step up is DOUBLE the paper area. So A4 is half the size of A3 (fold A3 in half and you end up with A4 again). A3 is in turn half the physical size of A2 and so on.
  • You can alternatively enlarge to the next ISO size (e.g. from A4 to A3) by enlarging the original 1.414 times. So, on a photocopier, for example, you would set the magnification to 141.4%.
  • Most ingeniously, the ISO ‘A’ sizes are designed to allow printers to easily compute the weight of a printed stack of papers simply by counting the sheets. It’s based on the fact that the size A0 is exactly 1 square metre in area. So, if you know you have paper that’s, say, 150gsm in weight (paper is specified in grams per square metre; gsm), you know that a stack of one hundred A0 sheets will be 100 x 150gsm, which is 15000grams (i.e. 1.5kg in weight). If your stack happened to be A1, then you simply need to divide that by two (because, as we learned above, the next A size down is half the size). For A2 you halve it again and so on.

ISO ‘A’ sizes:

The ISO ‘A’ series of paper sizes is most widely used for printing and design in the UK; most people will use A4 paper, for example, on a daily basis. As we mentioned above, each ‘step’ down from one A size to the next is exactly half the size, as you can see in the diagram above/right. Here are the main A sizes:

  • A0 = 841mm x H1189mm
  • A1 = 594mm x 841mm
  • A2 = 420mm x 594mm
  • A3 = 297mm x 420mm
  • A4 = 210mm x 297mm
  • A5 = 148mm x 210mm
  • A6 = 105mm x 148mm
  • A7 = 74mm x 105mm
  • A8 = 52mm x 74mm
  • A9 = 37mm x 52mm

If you want to go larger than A0, the next size up is called “2A0” (1189 x 1682mm). Use the maths trick above to go up from there to 3A0, 4A0 and beyond.

ISO ‘B’ paper sizes:

Exactly as with the ‘A’ sizes, each ‘B’ paper size can be Read more

An A-Z of Printing Terms

A-Z of printing terms

If you’re involved in buying printing but are not a designer or printer yourself, you’ll probably have come across some printing jargon that, at some point, has left you a little confused. ‘CMYK’, ‘bleed’ and ‘outlining fonts’ are possible examples. Such terminology often crops up at the worst possible time too — in print quotes or just when you are in a hurry to finalise artwork. Fear not, though, as we’re here to help you make sense of it all. Here is our handy A to Z of common printing terms:

Looking for an Eco-Friendly Printer in London SE1?

Looking for an Eco-Friendly Printer near SE1?

At Southside Print, we’re passionate about doing our bit to save the planet. With such extreme weather around the world and record-breaking temperatures becoming the new norm, it’s more important then ever to reduce our carbon footprint and generally be more eco-friendly as a company and as individuals. We’re certainly stepping up to the mark.

Are you looking for a ‘green’ printer near London Bridge?

We hope that being ‘green’ is important to you too. If so, you’ll probably want to find an environmentally-friendly printer, i.e. one who uses eco-friendly practices and chooses sustainable materials wherever possible. That’s where we come in because we genuinely care about the environment and our impact on the planet. So, when you choose Southside as your environmentally-friendly printer, you know you are making a green choice and are also playing your part in the much bigger picture.

How we are environmentally friendly

At Southside Print, there are a number of ways in which we help to minimise waste and reduce our carbon footprint. Just a few examples include the following:

  • All paper, card and board off-cuts are saved for recycling wherever possible. As printers, that’s a no-brainer and results in a huge amount of paper-based material going back into the production of things like … more recycled paper! Speaking of which …
  • While the final decision about paper and card is down to the individual customer, we try wherever possible to suggest the use of sustainable papers. Depending on the job in hand, these might include paper that is 100% or at least partly recycled, made from pulp from sustainable sources, a mixture of the two, or even paper and board that contains nothing from trees at all — for example, paper made from sustainable cotton — this has a lovely crispness about it too. There is a wide variety of eco-friendly paper, card and board available on the market, so it makes total sense to offer such options to customers. Together, we can then help the planet and reverse some of the damage already done.
  • We also endeavour to choose only energy-efficient machinery. These days, this is easier than ever because most modern machines have energy-efficient modes and other eco-friendly options. These save energy, minimise heat loss and can even reduce the amount of wasted material and consumables used during production.
  • At Southside, we often also go the extra mile by using green cycle couriers to deliver to London customers wherever possible. There are not many printers that go to such lengths!
  • It may come as a surprise to some but our website hosting was also carefully chosen; at Southside, only ‘green’ hosting will do! The servers used to display our website are hosted in an energy-efficient environment and one that takes enormous measures to limit heat loss. Such measures help to reduce carbon dioxide building up in the atmosphere — that’s an incredibly important step towards reducing the greenhouse effect that can so badly add to global warming.

Contact SE1’s eco-friendly printer

If you are as passionate as us about the environment and are looking for an eco-friendly printer, please give us a try at Southside Print. Printing need not cost the Earth, so Read more