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London Artists Unite to Support Ukrainian Families

London Artists Unite to Support Ukrainian Families

Earlier in March, Southside Print was approached by a professional musician named Emilija. This amazing individual has organised a large-scale concert that will take place on 27th March, in London Nw1. It’s a fundraiser for Ukrainian children and families fleeing the war and devastation in Ukraine. Southside Print is happy to support the endeavour and has supplied the printing, full colour A3 posters and A5 leaflets, to help publicise the event. The A3 poster can be viewed or downloaded here (Acrobat PDF format).

Concert for Ukraine – Make Music Not War

The concert will take place on Sunday 27th March at St Pancras Old Church in Pancras Road, London NW1 1UL. It starts at 5 p.m. and runs until approximately 7 p.m. (Doors open at 4 p.m. and the bar opens at 4:30 p.m.). There is a minimum donation of £10 per person for entry.

Book tickets here (a £1.37 booking fee applies) or, if using a desktop screen, scan the QR code in the main image using your mobile.

Poster printed by Southside Print in support of the concert for Ukraine.Southside Print is happy to support the many artists who are kindly giving their skills and time free of charge for the event. Singers and musicians will come together for an unforgettable evening of music, in solidarity for those displaced from their homes and living in fear following the Russian invasion of their country.

Supporting Vulnerable Children & Families from Ukraine

All money raised through the concert will go towards the work of Save the Children in Ukraine. This support is vital to Ukrainian children and families at this time, when their country is being torn apart. It’s an excellent cause and support is both crucial and …

An Urgent Printing Service in London

An Urgent Printing Service in London

Do you have an urgent printing job that simply MUST be turned around super-fast? If so, Southside Print can help. Subject to timing and workload, we offer:

  • Same day printing service for LondonA same day printing service in London;
  • Next day delivery for many locations* in the UK;
  • Next day print & dispatch, for arrival anywhere in the UK* in 2-3 days;
  • Plus our usual fast turnarounds for less urgent printing.

Same Day Printing Service for London

More often than not, we can turn around printing on the same day for local customers, particularly if we’re given advanced warning and artwork files are supplied according to pre-agreed timetables. If you’re in London, we can courier your printed jobs to you later on the same day, or they will be available to collect from our print shop near London Bridge and Borough, London SE1. Depending on the size of your printing job, the latest we’d usually need your artwork files and sign-off to proceed is 1pm, but obviously the earlier the better with timing being so short.

Printing Needed Within Just Hours?

If your print job is even more super-urgent, talk to us. Depending upon workloads and existing commitments, it may even be possible to turn around some jobs within just a few hours. While it’s not quite a while-you-wait service, it’s the next best thing.

Next Day, 24-Hour Printing Service

We can deliver printing by overnight courier in around in 2-3 days anywhere in the UK*24-hour print turn around is also available for those jobs that simply must be with you the next working day, wherever you are in the UK. Our 24-hour print service will suit companies, organisations and individuals anywhere in the UK* as we can dispatch via overnight courier for next-day* delivery. It helps, of course, if we are forewarned so that we can clear the decks, ready for your job and to ensure that we have the right paper/volume ready. It works best when our clients hand over artwork files and/or give us sign-off to proceed no later than the times that we will have pre-agreed. Usually, the latest we’d need them is 1pm, but it does depend upon the size and complexity of the print job.

* Subject to availability. Some areas of the UK, for example more remote islands, may not be eligible for next day delivery via overnight courier, simply due to the limitations of the courier services themselves.

Next Day Dispatch (2-3 Day Service)

We are a green printer & even use cycle couriers for delivery in LondonThis is similar to the above, except the printing is dispatched the day after we receive the artwork and order to proceed, so will usually take a day longer to arrive with customers. We usually require artwork files and sign-off to proceed no later than 3pm on the first day.

We are a Green Printer!

Did you know that Southside Print is a very green printer? We’re even attaining ISO 14001 accreditation. There are not many eco-friendly printers around who will also be able to turn around printing super-fast, so bear us in mind next time you require urgent printing that’s also produced in a sustainable way, using recycled or eco-friendly materials and green processes.

We Can Print Virtually Anything

Whether you require printed brochures, booklets, posters, annual reports, manuals, stationery, banners, exhibition displays, mailers, menus, newsletters or anything else, we can almost certainly print it.

Our digital printing is of the highest qualityThe Very Best Quality & Service

Our quality and service levels are superb and you don’t even need to take our word for it — our full suite of 5 Star Trust Pilot ratings speak for themselves.

Do You Need Urgent Printing?

If you have an urgent printing requirement and are looking for a super-fast printer that’s also high quality, reliable, eco-friendly and competitively priced, please get in touch so that we can schedule your print job in.

Personalised Christmas Cards for 2021

Personalised Christmas Cards for 2021

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.

Contemporary Christmas cardsContemporary Christmas cards

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.

Animal & bird Christmas cardsAnimal & bird cards

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.

Traditional Christmas themed cardsTraditional Christmas themed cards

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.

Fine art & religious themed Christmas cardsFine art & religious cards

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.

Christmas cards with an International themeInternational Christmas cards

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.

London themed Christmas cardsLondon scenes

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.

Photographic Xmas cardsPhotography Christmas cards

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.

Tree themed Christmas cardsTree cards

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.

Humorous Christmas cards for personalisingFunny cards

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.

Team themed Christmas cardsTeam themed cards

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.

Automotive & Contractor themed cardsAutomotive & Contractor themed cards

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, make a note of your preferred card’s reference number (the ‘Card Code’). Then fill in the order form here. We will then be in touch to confirm costs and delivery options with you before proceeding with your order.

All cards come complete with a high quality envelope. The minimum order is 25 cards. Orders usually take about ten days from approval of your proof.

For more information on overprinted Christmas card options, contact us here or call us on 020 7378 6754. We’ll be happy to help.

Using Print to Support E-Commerce

Using Print to Support E-Commerce

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 …

Don't miss marketing opportunities when dispatching orders.Example:

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.

Perfect surely?

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

A good, well-recognised brand is worth its weight in gold if you get it right.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 a variety of printed materials:

  • Include 2 or 3 attractive business cards or postcards for your customer to keep for future use. These are something that’s easy and compact for them to keep, ready to remind them to visit your store again in the future. Including more than one also gives them the opportunity to pass one on to a friend or relative (that’s free marketing for you).
  • Take this a step further by including a compact but beautifully designed brochure about your brand or product(s). What’s the history? Is there a U.S.P. — something unique about your product or brand that sets it apart? What is the mission or ethos of the company? If it’s green make sure you tell your audience in the copy. Make your brand relevant, and the message and presentation engaging, and your customers will buy into it.
  • Include a mini-catalogue with every order.Top Tip: One immensely worthwhile item to include with orders is a catalogue or mini catalogue. These are a great way to showcase additional products that the customer might have overlooked online. Such marketing pieces can include nicely shot product photos and descriptions along with quick/short links for online purchase — or order forms for offline ordering. As well as encouraging sales, printed mini-catalogues are also a great way to sell off discontinued products that are still in stock, or sale items that you’re keen to clear.
  • Include a discount voucher or code, to encourage them to make another purchase. Even better, make it time-sensitive, so they’re spurred on to act (i.e. buy again) without delay.
  • Include a printed ‘refer a friend’ offer of some kind. This could be printed on any of the above but might be easier to notice if it’s a on separate card, simple leaflet or coupon. It’ll stand more chance of success if there’s some sort of incentive for both the customer and the friend they are referring, so have a think about what you could offer each.
  • Printed loyalty cards are also a good thing to send with orders, especially if you also offer a service. They are yet another way to keep customers coming back again and again to buy more!

Printed branding will help to foster brand recognition and value in your brand.Including printed items like these, with every online order, is a great way to remind your customers about your brand and products. It’s also a way to help customers ‘buy into’ the brand, feel part of it, and for the business to become much more tangible and real. After all, there is a real bricks and mortar business, with real people, behind most online shops. Printed collateral like this will help your offering stand out from the crowd and become memorable. At the end of the day, that means repeat business, more profit, and a likely increase to your business’s value as it grows. What’s more, before you know it, you’ll have both an online store and be supporting it with a parallel mail-order business. One shop suddenly became two in effect, with only modest extra cost and effort. Don’t forget to take that a step further, too, by bringing in all the relevant social media channels. Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, for example, are brilliant for lifestyle type product marketing, without it looking too ‘salesy’.

Printers in London Bridge, SE1

If you are looking for high quality, reliable printers in London Bridge, please do get in touch. Our print shop is located in Tabard Street, close to Borough High Street, just a short distance from London Bridge station. We supply digital printing, large format printing and we’re also a very green printer. Quotes are free, so please do get in touch for more information:

It’s Time to Print Your Corporate Calendars

It's Time to Print Your Corporate Calendars

A photographer's promotional wall calendarAs 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.

Calendar design

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. Calendars should be well-designed & attractive if you want people to use them & keep them up all year.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.

Calendar Specification

Our standard calendars are wall calendars, but we can also produce other types like desktop calendars.Our standard calendars are wall calendars. These are available in A4 and A3 sizes (portrait format). However, we can also produce bespoke sizes as well as desktop calendars on request. Simply ask for more information or, if you have a design in mind, talk to us to see what’s possible. Like quotations, advice is free at Southside Print.

Standard wall calendars contain 13 pages (one for the cover and 12 for the months of the year), usually printed on beautiful silk photo paper. They have a hanging loop at the top and a protective ‘frost’ covering. Standard ones are hung from the short edge (portrait format), but if you require a landscape format calendar or a different type of paper, again that’s no problem and we can print something completely bespoke for you.

Please note that the wire at the top is usually silver in colour, but other colours are available on request. Please allow 10mm in your design, if supplying it, for the wiring area at the top.

We’re a Printer in London Bridge/Borough, South East London

We are a printer based in London Bridge/Borough in South East South London. Our core print-related services are digital printing, large format printing, graphic design, print management, a direct mail service and online printing. Please get in contact if you’d like to discuss a print or design project and we’ll be happy to help …

5 Star Reviews for Southside Print

5 Star Reviews for Southside Print, London Bridge, SE1

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:

Thank you again to all of the above and the many others who left such positive feedback on Google for Southside Print.

Existing Customer? Please Write a Review

Southside Print SE1 would love your feedback. If you are an existing or previous customer of Southside Print and were happy with our service, please consider posting a review to our Google profile. Here’s how:

  1. Log into your Google account
  2. Go to https://g.page/r/Cctja4YTEM9bEAg/review
  3. Submit your review

Thank you.

We’re Printers in Borough/London Bridge, London SE1

Southside Print are printers in London Bridge, Borough and SE1 in South London, producing outstanding digital printing, large format printing, graphic design and artwork and online printing.

Sustainable Printing for the Environmentally Conscious

Sustainable Printing for the Environmentally Conscious

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.

FSC Accreditation

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.

“The paper industry is one of the few that is genuinely and inherently sustainable.”

  • Over 12½ million tonnes of paper are used in the UK every year. About 80% of that is recycled, which is incredible when you think about it.
  • About 57½ million tonnes of paper per year is recycled in Europe [2019 data], with up to 78% of it being recycled there.
  • European forests are actually growing rather than shrinking. In the last 15 years or so, they have grown by more than the equivalent of the land mass of Switzerland — that’s a growth rate of about 1,500 football pitches every day.
  • Paper can only be recycled 5 to 7 times before the fibres become unsuitable in the production of ‘new’ paper, so the role of new wood fibre/pulp from the FSC managed forests is essential.
  • The biggest use of wood from the world’s forests is for fuel (logs etc.) — that accounts for 50%. Meanwhile, 30% of timber is used in the manufacture of more industrial products like furniture or in construction. Only about 13% of the world’s wood is used in the manufacture of paper.
  • Printed paper products are one of the lowest greenhouse gas emitters in today’s world of electronic communications. In fact, they produce just a tiny fraction of what is produced by the ICT industry itself.
  • Over 60% of forests in the EU are FSC certified (or PEFC equivalent), with over 42% of Europe being covered by them. (PEFC is similar to the FSC, with both independently verifying that wood fibre used in paper production has been sourced from sustainably managed forests).
  • 71% of wood and 83% of pulp purchased in Europe for paper production is either FSC or PEFC accredited.

For more details about the incredible sustainability of paper and printed products, download an excellent 26 page report by the organisation Two Sides.

“From newspapers to magazines, from photocopies to leaflets, we believe Print and Paper cannot be beaten for attractiveness, impact and sustainability.”

Your Eco-friendly Printing Supplier

So if, like us, you believe that sustainable, eco-friendly choices are crucially important, then Southside Print can help with all your printing requirements. We’re a high quality printer in Borough, London SE1, near London Bridge, but we can supply anyone, anywhere. We care deeply for the environment and are keen to do everything we can to help others improve their ‘triple bottom line’ (social, environmental and financial) whilst also playing our own crucial part to help Planet Earth. Please do consider us if you would like to produce environmentally-friendly printing materials for your sales, marketing, corporate or private needs. Choose an appropriate button below to make contact and we’ll be happy to help.

Common Artwork Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

Common Artwork Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

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

Colour photos and graphics should be saved in CMYK mode not RGB.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 at least 300 dots per inch (‘dpi’, also known as ‘pixels per inch’ or ‘ppi’) at the size they are going to be shown in the final printing. This can also be checked in professional image editing applications like Photoshop. It’s important to ensure that the final digital artwork file (again, usually provided as a print-ready PDF) is also saved with images set to 300dpi or, for particularly fine screen rulings, 350dpi minimum. If they’re well above that resolution, most applications can save the print-ready PDF in such a way that images with resolutions above, say, 450dpi are ‘downsampled’ to 300 or 350dpi. If downsampling is used, the Image Quality setting should be set to Maximum.

Related note: ‘Line artwork’ type images should either be saved as vectors (e.g. Illustrator ‘EPS’ format) or, if they’re ‘rasterised’ (pixel-based) images, save them at a minimum of 1200dpi to avoid jagged edges showing on areas like curves.

3: Using the Wrong Application for Professional Artwork

Applications like Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and even Corel Draw are fine for office use and for outputting to standard desktop printers. However, they’re not really seen as professional applications for use within the commercial printing industry. Attempting to use them as such may well simply not work, give unprofessional, substandard results, cause glitches in the case of Corel Draw, or require your commercial printer to re-make your artwork again from scratch (at significant cost in all likelihood).

Solution: Don’t attempt to use desktop applications like Word and PowerPoint nor, in our view, Corel Draw for use with high-end commercial printing. Instead, you should be using a professionally-recognised design and artwork application like Adobe InDesign. It is the de-facto design, page make-up and artwork application used in the design and print industry, having pretty much replaced older applications like Quark Express and PageMaker. It is usually used in tandem with images and graphics brought in from Adobe Photoshop and/or Adobe Illustrator, which are also both the de-facto professional applications for each of their respective fields.

4: Missing Out Bleed

Add 3mm bleed to elements extending to the paper's edgeIf your design and artwork has colours or images going right to the edge of the printed item, you shouldn’t just stop your artwork there because guillotining of the final printing is not usually accurate to tenths of a millimetre. Therefore, you could end up with white edges showing rather than your background colour or image going right up to and off the edge of the cut sheet.

Solution: Remember to add an extra 3mm of ‘bleed’ (an area that prints further than the edge of the sheet) to all artwork elements that you want to print to the edge. That way, if guillotining is not quite accurate, your colour or image will still print to the edge because you built in a 3mm margin of possible error.

5: Sitting Artwork in the Middle of a Larger Sheet

When producing finished artwork for, say, a business card, it might be tempting to produce it in the middle of an A4 sheet, because that’s the size of paper you might usually deal with on your computer. However, saving smaller artworks on larger paper sizes within digital artwork can end up costing you money and causing problems at printing stage. That’s because it’s terribly difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of the surrounding margin. That’s important when we want to use several duplicates of the business card on the uncut printing sheets, so as to get economies of scale and reduce paper/card waste.

Solution: Within your design and artwork application, ensure that your document size is set to the correct, final size that you want your printed piece to be, and no larger (apart from the additional 3mm of bleed if needed — see above). Also discuss whether you need to add ‘trim marks’ with your commercial printer as that requirement can vary from printer to printer.

6: Supplying Readers’ Spreads instead of Printers’ Spreads

Let’s take the example of an 8-page brochure for illustrative purposes. In that example, although page 2 will be next to page 3 from a reader’s point of view on the final brochure, that’s not how they’re actually printed. If you supply your artwork with double-page spreads set up in that way, pages will end up on the wrong order in the final printing.

Solution: In the 8-page brochure example, you have two choices. The first is to supply individual pages rather than spreads and then allow your printer to do what’s called ‘imposing’ them into the correct multi-page spreads from which to print. That’s the safest option if you’re not a professional designer or ‘finished artist’. For professionals, though, you can supply properly imposed ‘printer’s spreads’, for example with the front cover on the right next to the back cover on the left, page 2 printed opposite page 7, page 3 alongside page 5 and so on. Either way, once printed, trimmed and folded, the pages will end up in the correct order, so long as the imposing is done thoughtfully.

7: Using the Space Bar for Tabulated or Indented Content

If you hit the space bar multiple times to try to align indented content or columns of text or numbers, you will almost certainly end up with columns that don’t quite line up vertically in a straight line. That’s because most commercially printed fonts don’t use a ‘fixed width’ measurement for every character. So, one line of 30 characters (including spaces) will almost certainly end up a different length to another line of 30 different characters. Hence, columns will look misaligned and unprofessional.

Solution: Professional designers use properly set-up tabs to align their tabulated content, not the space bar. This ensures that tabulated content and indents line up perfectly. And what’s more, it’s easier than you think once you’ve tried it a few times — and saves time.

8: Ad-hoc Text Styles

Changing font styles, colours, sizes and weights on an ad-hoc basis as you work through your text content is more likely to end up with styling errors and inconsistencies. This can make a printed piece look amateurish.

Solution: Use your professional design and artwork package’s character and paragraph style palettes properly, i.e. pre-set a range of styles that you are likely to use and then apply one style to each title, sub-title, paragraph etc. as you work through your document. It’ll save you time and mean that styling is totally consistent throughout your final printed piece. What’s more, if you decide one particular type of content needs to be altered throughout the entire document, all you need to do is to change that particular pre-set style once in the palette — and the whole document will update itself.

9: Using Clip-Art

Clip-art from desktop applications is all very well for internally-produced ‘office’ type documents that are to be printed on desk-top printers. However, they often lead to unexpected printing results on commercial printers. That’s because clip-art formats like Windows Meta Files are not designed for such commercial use; they often cause glitches in the printing or crashes in commercial printing PostScript software. In essence, clip-art is simply not fit for commercial printing purposes.

Solution: There are 3 possible solutions. Firstly, you could avoid clip-art unless it’s professionally produced specifically for high-end commercial PostScript printing and comes in a file format like .ai or .eps (and is in CMYK mode). Secondly, you could consider generating the designed graphic yourself using a professional programme like Adobe Illustrator. Then export it to your InDesign document layout as an EPS file. Lastly, you could try to ‘rasterise’ any suitable image (for example, by opening it, or a PDF of it, in Photoshop) so that it essentially ends up as the equivalent of a photo, i.e. made up of pixels instead of clip-art vectors. N.B. don’t forget to check it’s in CMYK mode and at least 300dpi if going for a rasterised (non-vector) route.

10: Not Proof-Reading Thoroughly

Once printed, it’s too late to correct any errors that were missed in your design and artwork. And you’ll still have to pay for the original printing and any reprint needed.

Solution:It goes almost without saying that you should check, double-check and triple-check every job before sending it to your commercial printer. Maybe even get another person to check again for you. Spell checking and proof-reading are all part of the checking process, as are technical checks to ensure that images are in the correct mode, that resolution is sufficient, bleed has been added where required, and so on. Another recommended way to catch any errors is to get your commercial printer to supply a printed proof, which you should also carefully scrutinise for errors and technical issues before sanctioning the full print run.

11: Not Embedding or Outlining Fonts

Forgetting to either embed or outline (vectorise) fonts within your final artwork file can lead to unexpected font substitutions that could wreck the look of your final printed piece.

Solution: Save a version of your InDesign artwork file first with it’s ‘live’ (editable) text. Then select all text with the pointer tool and convert it to vectors (using the Create Outlines command under the Type menu) and re-save it with a new name. The reason for keeping two versions is in case you subsequently spot an error and need to go back to the original file version to correct the document. You can’t do that with outlined fonts as they’ve become vectors (shapes) rather than live letters, even though they look identical. One final tip is to then use the Type > Find Font command to ensure that you haven’t missed any fonts and that there are no live ones left. Then, once all other checks have been made and there are no longer any live fonts in the document, save your print-ready PDF.

Another option is to embed all fonts rather than outlining them. However, outlining them in the way described above is more reliable, particularly as some font licences occasionally stop you from being able to embed them.

Let us Produce Your Design & Artwork

Southside Print, printers in London Bridge & Borough, SE1One sure-fire way to avoid all the potential problems above is to let us do your design and artwork for you. It’ll save you many hours of work, if not days, and will look totally professional. In tandem with digital printing, large format printing, and eco-friendly printing, it’s what we do professionally, after all. We have our own in-house designers and finished artists, who know graphic design and printing services backwards, so it’s really no trouble. We’re competitively priced and printing quotations are free. So, if you are looking for professional, high quality design, artwork or printing in London Bridge and Borough in South East London (SE1), please get in touch here , ask for a free printing or design quotation here, or call 020 7378 6754. We’ll be happy to help.

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