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Producing Brochures? Size Really Matters!

Printing brochures? Size really matters!

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:

  • You could consider going landscape format instead or portrait. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that A4 landscape is not usually as economical as A4 portrait. Ask your local printer about it, though, as it depends upon several variables. Simply going landscape, though, is not particularly radical, so won’t change the impact of your marketing piece much, if at all.
  • You could consider going square, for example 210mm x 210mm. While also not likely to be as wastage-free as A4 portrait, it’s a little “different” and square brochures do have a certain style and sophistication about them. How much that potential wastage affects price is again something that’s governed by different variables. For example, if printing quantities are low, then any additional cost is likely to be fairly negligible. However, such wastage can make more of an impact on your pocket when printing volumes are particularly large. So, again, check with your printer at an early stage.
  • Going extra-large (e.g. A3 portrait) will create its own impact and make your sales or marketing piece literally stand out from the crowd. They’re big — and hard to miss! A3 mailers have been shown to have high response rates, in fact. In theory at least, this larger size should use more paper, so the actual printing cost would be more than the equivalent A4. However, that’s not always the case because it could use half the number of pages (because there’s twice as much room for the content) and therefore be accomplished using the same ‘base’ paper size and number of sheets as an A4 equivalent.
  • Alternatively, you could go with a small brochure but produced unusually well. For example, instead of an A4, saddle-stitched, portrait brochure, you could perhaps go with a DL (third A4) or A5 brochure that’s actually produced like a book. At Southside Print we can make perfect bound booklets (these are like a paperback book) or, even better, case-bound (hardback) books. At a smaller size, but with a lovely thickness and rigidity about them, they have an impact of their own and are ‘pocket-able’ unlike some of their larger counterparts. Add in some fancy printing techniques and you have yourself a real jewel of a marketing piece! All of this would mean that your brochure or sales piece is made to feel more precious and, as such, will be much more likely to be kept rather than discarded.
  • Unusual brochure sizes can be just as economical as standard sizes when thought is put into them.Unique brochure sizes can also have an impact and create an impression on your prospects. So, perhaps you could consider a bespoke size or an unusual fold that results in the same. Such a size will be unusual and thereby stand out from the crowd, which is usually a good thing, so long as the design is good, of course. TIP: One sneaky way of using a standard size/format (e.g. A4 portrait), but making it stand out from the crowd, is to fold it vertically along it’s longest size. In our A4 portrait example, that would give you an unusual brochure with a size of H297mm and a width of only 105mm (tall and thin).
  • Finally you could consider a shaped brochure. Bespoke shapes are entirely possible for brochures and suchlike. However, irregular shaping using a traditional ‘cutter’ or by laser cutting will definitely add extra steps and costs to production. They’re worth considering, though, because a bespoke shape will really make your brochure stand out from the crowd, create a positive impact and be memorable. That’s priceless!

Need help with your next brochure or sales/marketing piece?

Southside Print are here to help you with all stages of production for brochures and printed marketing collateral of any kind. Our in-house graphic designers are available to help make your sales and marketing pieces look phenomenally good and to create a positive impact. They can also take care of the digital artwork for you if you don’t have your own designer. Our printing and production services are second-to-none and our prices are exceptionally competitive. Quality is excellent and we also offer an unusual array of recycled and sustainable paper and printing options. Essentially, we’re a one-stop design and print shop! We’re based near London Bridge and Borough in London’s SE1 region. Call 020 7378 6754 for further details, contact us here or request a more in-depth quotation here. We’ll be delighted to help. Quotes are, of course, free and without pressure or obligation.

Printing & Finishing Services for London

Printing & finishing services for London

We offer an incredibly wide range of printing-related services and processes at Southside Print, so thought we’d publish a guide. It’s not an exhaustive list of everything we do, however it represents a good overview of the core print, design, binding, print finishing and direct mail services that are on offer from our London Bridge/Borough base. Take a look below.

As you can see, we can print and produce just about anything. There are many processes, finishes and embellishments to choose from, so your finished sales or marketing piece can be both fully functional and look as good as it possibly can. Whether you need

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.

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

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:

Opening Times for Christmas 2019 & New Year

Christmas & New Year opening times

A very Happy Christmas to all our customers! We’d also like to pass on every good wish to you for the New Year when it arrives. Thanks to each and every one of you for all the lovely graphic design and printing work that you’ve given us throughout 2019 — it’s been a wonderful year and we really appreciate all the work you have passed our way — Thank you.

Christmas 2019 & New Year Opening Times

We close for the Christmas festivities on Friday 20th December at 5.30pm, remaining closed throughout the Christmas period until January 2nd 2020 when we re-open at 9am — and then it’s all back to normal. In the mean time, if you have anything urgent that simply must be ready in time for Christmas, don’t delay. We’ll need your artwork and order right away please.

However, our online print shop will be available to everyone during the break. So, if you need anything like brochures, posters, letterheads, compliments slips, business cards or leaflets, simply order them online (follow the bold links) and we’ll print and dispatch those for you as soon as possible.

You can also continue to request quotations over the Christmas break and, again, we’ll sort those out for you as quickly as we can so you have prices ready for the New Year. You can also call 020 7378 6754 to speak with us either side of the break.

Thanks again to each and every one of you. We wish you a happy Christmas and all good things for the 2020.

The Southside Print Team, Tabard Street, London SE1.

Winners Announced for the SE1 Charity Prize Draw

SE1 charity Christmas prize draw winners

Many thanks to all the lovely SE1 charities that took part in our Christmas 2019 charity prize draw. £550 worth of printing vouchers were up for grabs, split into four prizes for the lucky winners. Our team at Southside Print came up with the draw as alternative to sending out Christmas cards this year — and we think it’s a very worthwhile idea — and one that should help excellent causes save some money.

The Winners

We can now confirm the lucky winners are as follows:

Hestia in SE1 won the top £250 voucher prizeHestia

In first place was Hestia, who won the top prize of a £250 printing voucher. This SE1 charity, which is based just a stone’s throw away from us in Borough High Street, supports adults and children in crisis across London. This includes those who have suffered domestic abuse, modern slavery, mental health issues and homelessness, to give a few examples. The charity also campaigns and advocates nationally on the issues that affect the people involved. Each year, the organisation helps approximately 9000 adults and children in the London area. We wrote an in-depth blog article about Hestia way back in February 2018 and you can also visit Hestia’s website to learn more about them.

A further three winners, each receiving a £100 printing voucher, were:

Safer London

Safer London is the first of three SE1 charities that each won a £100 printing voucher in the Christmas prize drawer. Based in Union Street, the charity believes that every young person should be given the opportunity to live free from violence and exploitation including exposure to gangs, sexual or other exploitation and crime — and we couldn’t agree more. The charity works around the clock to help this aim become a reality. This is done through mentoring, education, empowerment, access to safe housing and, above all, one-to-one support. Learn more about the excellent work Safer London does on their website.

SE1 charity Bankside Open Spaces Trust won a £100 printing voucherBOST

Bankside Open Spaces Trust (‘BOST’) is another SE1 charity that won a £100 printing voucher. Based just around the corner from Southside Print in Redcross Way, BOST is an award-winning environmental and volunteering charity that aims to create and improve gardens, parks, green spaces and open spaces in and around the Bankside region of London. These include many ‘community gardens’ where sustainable food is grown; food which directly benefits people living in nearby social housing. We have written and published several blog articles about BOST, which can be found here. You can also learn more about the charity on their website.

RSPB

The London office of the RSPB, which is based in Southwark Street, London SE1, also won one of the £100 printing vouchers. We were delighted because we simply love birds here at Southside Print. The RSPB (full name: The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is the largest nature conservation charity in the UK. As they say in their Mission Statement, “Our birds and wildlife are increasingly vulnerable in a rapidly-changing world. Together, we can create bigger, better, more joined-up spaces to save our wildlife, and our shared home.” The nature reserves over which the charity is custodian help to improve the situation for species that are too often in decline. Their recovery is nurtured through conservation, research, partnerships and the tackling of threats that so badly affect them. Learn more about the RSPB here.

Congratulations to Read more

Postcard Printers in London SE1

Postcard printing in London Bridge, SE1

Printed postcards are a simple yet potentially very effective marketing tool. This is especially true when working with digital printers like Southside Print because they’re incredibly quick to turn around and are produced at exceptional quality. Even better, our own in-house design and artwork specialists are on hand to ensure that your postcards look eye-catching, well designed and communicate all the right messages to your target audience.

Sizes

Postcards are generally affordable whether you require just a handful or many thousands, mainly due to their small size. This allows us to print several postcards on the same, larger, sheet before trimming down to their final size, so you benefit from the economies of scale and savings on materials. We print postcards mostly at A6 (148mm x 105mm) although some customers occasionally require larger sizes such as A5 (210mm x 148mm), smaller sizes like A7 (105mm x 74mm) or non-standard postcard sizes like square formats.

Shapes

As well as rectangular and square postcards, we can also supply them with all rounded corners or even with a mixture of square-cut corners and rounded corners, resulting in a kind of lozenge shape, for example. For those who require something even more unusual, we can also make up a unique cutter so your printed postcards are irregular shapes, for example with sides that follow the contour of your logo, photograph or graphics.

Finishes

When it comes to finish, postcards can be printed straight onto card with no additional finish — or additional processes can be used. It all depends upon personal preference and available budget. Without additional coatings and processes, postcards can simply show the inherent finish of the underlying card, for example uncoated cards (making for very matt and lower contrast printing), silk coated, glossy if the card itself has a glossy coating, or textured if the underlying card is itself textured. Additional finishing options that we can add include gloss or matt lamination, U.V. varnish or even spot U.V. varnish used in tandem with any of the other finishes (e.g. spot gloss U.V. varnish over the top of matt lamination — this looks phenomenally good). We can also digitally foil any of the above, resulting in metallic or even holographic detailing. All in all, your printed postcards can look (and feel) absolutely amazing when you let Southside Print really go to town!

What can Postcards be Used For?

Firstly, of course, postcards can be used for their traditional purpose. Perhaps you are a London venue — maybe a museum, landmark or experience of some kind — and want people to send friends and family a postcard featuring your venue following their visit. We can print that for you economically and in high quality. Using full colour printing and high gloss lamination, it’ll give images a real punch and a surface so glossy you can see your face in it! We’ll be happy to supply the design and artwork too.

However, postcards can also be great when used as an alternative to mailers. Send out a glossy, full colour postcard featuring your product or service in all its glory and you’re sure to impress. You can even have a set of postcards that each show a different product. That way you can follow up the first postcard with a second at a later date, then a third later still, and get some real momentum and brand recognition going amongst your target audience. Marketers know that people often need several reminders of adverts or marketing pieces before they take the plunge to purchase from a particular company, so a set of product postcards sent out gradually over the course of a few weeks can be a perfect solution. Postcards also have far more gravitas than a humble leaflet or flyer, leading to a higher perception of quality, so will be taken more seriously.

Postcards can also be used as Read more

Printers in Borough, London SE1

Printers in Borough, London SE1

Borough market - blue plaque

We are printers in Borough, right in the heart of London SE1. Based in Tabard Street, Southside Print offers high quality printing to individuals, businesses, shops, charities and organisations across the Borough & SE1 region. So, whether you’re a resident who needs personal stationery, a cafe that needs printed menus, a pub that needs posters to promote gigs, an SE1 charity that needs fundraising literature, a shop that needs printed booklets or catalogues or one of the many businesses in the Borough that requires sales and marketing collateral, we can help. We’ll print everything for you at the highest quality, for a competitive price. What’s more, our turnaround times are hard to beat and we offer free local delivery and a click and collect service for those close by.

Further afield?

Perhaps you’re a little bit outside the Borough region. No problem! We print for companies and organisations everywhere in the UK and abroad and even have a web print shop where anyone in the world can order popular items like stationery, posters, brochures, leaflets and bound documents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Simply choose your desired options, submit your payment and we’ll take care of the rest. And don’t forget that ‘click and collect’ service for local customers.

What can we print?

We can print pretty much anything you can think of! For example, brochures, catalogues, letterheads, business cards, compliments slips, NCR (multi-part) order pads, menus, posters, display graphics, exhibition panels, signs, newsletters, annual reports, leaflets, flyers, booklets, brochures, labels, stickers, wedding invites, postcards and a whole host of other printed items. In fact, if it’s produced by printing ink on paper, chances are we can supply it.

The Borough

Entrance to Borough Market

The Borough is an extremely cosmopolitan community, with a really good buzz about it. You have Borough Market right at its heart and there you can pick up anything from gifts to fruit, vegetables, street food from around the world, the finest delicacies and much more. Pubs, restaurants, cafes and other eateries abound and throughout the Borough you have a huge abundance of shops including independent traders and high street brands all competing for the attention of shoppers. All these businesses and traders need to be at the top of their game to attract passers by so it’s important that they get their message across in window displays, inside and on their printed promotional literature. Many of them also hand out flyers in the SE1 streets. We can help with all of that not only by producing the finest print, but also by making it look a million dollars in the first place, courtesy of our in-house graphic designers. That’s where we can make a real difference in your ROI (return on investment) to ensure that you communicate your service or product USPs (unique selling propositions) and key messages clearly to your prospects. That’s how you are most likely to turn them into paying customers. Supplying your own artwork? That’s Read more