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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

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

    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:

    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

    Charity Christmas Prize Draw for SE1

    Charity Christmas Prize Draw for SE1

    If you’re a charity based in London SE1, you could soon be in for an unexpected treat. As an alternative to sending Christmas cards and hampers this year, Southside Print is donating a total of £550 worth of printing services to SE1 charities via a December prize draw.

    Win free printing!

    Four lucky charities will split the winnings, with a top prize of £250 worth of printing going to one charity, with three other charities each receiving a voucher for printing worth £100. Charities need not be existing customers of Southside Print.

    Prize Draw Rules

    A few simple terms and conditions apply, the main caveats being:

    • No purchase is necessary;
    • Charities need to be based in London SE1, i.e. have an SE1 postcode in their published office address;
    • Charities must register here by 12th December 2019;
    • The prizes are given as printing vouchers (1 x £250 voucher plus 3 x £100 vouchers in total), and each charity can win a maximum of only one voucher;
    • The winners will be chosen at random on 13th December 2019. A list of winning charities will be published online;
    • Vouchers must be redeemed for printing services no later than 30th June 2020;
    • Vouchers can only be redeemed at Southside Print, Tabard Street, for in-house printing services available on site;
    • The value of each order will be confirmed before commencing production;
    • No cash alternative is available and no change will be given.
    • Vouchers need not be used in a single printing order; we will keep a running tally for each winner;

    Submit your entry here


    If you are a charity based in London SE1, you have nothing to lose, so register now! Vouchers can pay for the equivalent value of any of our in-house printing services. These include digital printing, large format printing, lamination and digital foiling. Winners can use them for ordering things like Read more

    We’re Now Printers in WC1 Too!

    Our new print shop in London WC1

    We’re pleased to announce that we are now the owners of an additional print shop, WCS Digital Print, based in Mount Pleasant, London WC1. So, if you’re looking for a printer in the Clerkenwell and Farringdon area of London WC1, we can also now help.

    WCS Digital has been around since 1985, supplying high quality printing and design to west central London individuals, businesses and organisations for almost 35 years. Southside Print owners Rob Phillips and Sarah Codd have now also taken on WCS Digital Print and aim to bring similar improvements and investments to the WC1 print works, following on from their successes and proven track record at Southside Print. These are likely to include snazzy new printing and finishing equipment as well as cutting edge software that’ll help track the progress of orders and make print quotes fast and incredibly simple.

    Printing services in Clerkenwell, Farringdon & London WC1

    Like here at Southside, WCS Digital Print is a litho printer, a digital printer, a large format printer and a copy shop. So, as well as offering high quality printing of just about anything, you can also go to WCS Digital for photocopying, document duplication and image/document scanning services. WCS also offers print management services, graphic design, brochure production, booklet making, document binding, bookbinding and direct mail solutions. Just like Southside, it’s a full design and print solution! More details of the Read more