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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.

Order Your Printed Christmas Cards!

Overprinted personal & corporate Christmas cards

With Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to order your overprinted Christmas cards — while there’s still time. Add your personalised greeting, company logo and, if you like, even a printed signature to save you having to sign each card individually. Order quickly, though — there’s not much time!

Whether they’re for you personally or for your company or organisation, Southside Print London Bridge has a great range of options to choose from.

Off-the-shelf Christmas cards

We have something to suit everyone in our off-the-shelf range. Choose a card from one of the following categories and we’ll overprint it for you (minimum quantity 25):

'Robin in the snow' Christmas cardOur ‘Animals & birds’ category includes images of Highland cattle in the snow, playful robins, reindeer, owls and tigers to name just a few. See more.

'Winter village' Christmas cardOur ‘Christmas themed’ cards include a wide variety of illustrated options showing anything from winter scenes and sparkling reindeer to jolly Santas, penguins and decorated Christmas trees. See more.

'The Adoration of the Kings' Christmas cardOur ‘Fine Art & Religious’ category offers more traditional cards depicting scenes like the Nativity, the Star over Bethlehem, skating children and musical angels. See more.

'International landmarks' Christmas cardOur ‘International’ category shows Christmas cards with ‘world globe’ baubles, colourful international landmarks, Christmas trees made from world flags and the Tree of Peace, complete with white doves. See more.

'Shopping in the city' Christmas cardOur ‘London Scenes’ card category features beautiful illustrations of London, depicting things like skating at Somerset House, Tower Bridge across the River Thames, Trafalgar Square at Christmas, the London Eye and several other London scenes in the snow. See more.

'Castle Kilchurn on Loch Awe' Christmas cardOur ‘Photography’ range of Christmas cards includes photos of frozen berries, snow 'Tree of light' Christmas cardscenes and various photographs of nature during the winter. See more.

Our ‘Trees’ category features a wide selection of Christmas tree cards, each tree depicted in a different illustrative style. Some are bright and modern, others are dark and rich … and everything in between. See more.

Click the button, right, to view the full range. (Return here to order).

If you’d like to order some cards please make a note of your preferred card’s reference number (the ‘SKU’) and then fill in the order form here. We will, of course, confirm and agree pricing with you before proceeding. All cards come complete with a high quality white envelope (peel & seal, 110gsm weight). The minimum order is 25 cards. Orders usually take about ten days from approval of your proof.

Bespoke Christmas cards

If you prefer something totally unique, then we can print bespoke Christmas cards for you. You can either Read more

Printing for Options Consultancy Services in London E1W

Litho, digital and large format printing for Options Consultancy, London

Southside Print London Bridge has recently produced a whole range of different printing for Options Consultancy Services Ltd in St Katharine’s Way, E1W. That’s in the St Katharine Docks area, close to both Tower Bridge and The Tower of London.

Roller banner produced for Options Consultancy, LondonThe Printing

Recent printing includes:

  • A double-sided full colour A6 postcard.
  • A tall roller banner (size: W850mm x H2m) printed in full colour and produced within a week.
  • 100 copies of each of ten different A4 leaflets, printed double-sided onto 170gsm Essential Silk stock. These were produced on SRA2 as multiples (‘ganged up’) then cut down to A4 so as to save money on production.
  • A2 full colour printed posters (4 kinds, all landscape format), printed with a very quick turnaround onto 190gsm Photo Satin stock.

Printing of postcards for Options, London

Design and artwork was supplied by the client and the printing represents a good mixture between digital, litho and large format printing processes, as appropriate for each individual piece.

About Options

Options is an International Development organisation whose aim is to transform the health of women and children, primarily across Africa and Asia as well as in the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean. Their work, in over 50 countries to date, focuses on three key goals: Read more

Printing a Board Game for The Hepatitis C Trust, SE1

Printed board game and cards for The Hepatitis C Trust

Southside Print London Bridge has recently printed an innovative and visually striking educational tool for The Hepatitis C Trust, a registered charity located just up the road at Crosby Row, London SE1. The educational tool comes in the form of a board game, 50cm square, which is printed in full colour in a style similar to Monopoly or Snakes & Ladders. Along with the board itself comes a set of players’ cards that are used to affect progress and outcomes during the ‘game’. However, The Buddy Game is actually way more than a game. Part of a National project, it’s an educational tool that helps to train volunteers to help those who have come into contact with Hepatitis C, in the best possible way. Click the images to see the cards and board in more detail.

The Printing

Printed board game and cards for The Hepatitis C TrustThe board game was printed, using our large format printing facilities, on 190gsm photo paper. It was then gloss laminated. Design and artwork were supplied by the customer and 10 boards were produced for them.

The cards, which are part of the game, were also produced from the customer’s artwork files. They were digitally printed in full colour, both sides, onto 350gsm silk stock, which was then matt laminated to both sides. In total, each of the ten board games was supplied with 10 sets of 6 different cards, making a total of 600 printed cards provided by Southside Print London Bridge.

About The Hepatitis C Trust

The Hepatitis C Trust is a UK charity with offices in both London and Edinburgh. It is run by patients and ex-patients to help those who have been exposed to the disease. The charity’s primary mission is to help eradicate the disease completely and, with better treatments and new drug developments becoming available, this is now a real possibility — the disease could be eradicated perhaps by 2030 or even earlier. Along the way, the Trust also aims to end the discrimination often experienced by sufferers who are too often assumed to have contracted the disease through drug or substance abuse. The reality is that Read more

Printed NCR Sets, Menus & Posters for Nelson’s Restaurant, SE1

Design and printing for Nelson's Restaurant

One of our favourite places to eat in Borough High Street is Nelson’s Sandwich Bar & Restaurant. Their food is delicious, freshly cooked and very affordable, but more about that in a moment.  First, we’ll tell you a little about the kind of design and print work we’ve been doing for them recently:

  • Our very own graphic designer Matt Potter designed and supplied artwork, to the customer’s brief, for their brand new menus. These were digitally printed/colour duplicated onto 200gsm white ‘Mondi’ stock. We printed them in full colour both sides onto SRA3 (oversize A3) card, trimmed them down to A3, gloss encapsulated them and then folded them to A4. The reason for the encapsulation, which both laminates the menus and seals the edges, is so that they are waterproof and are easily cleaned after use in the restaurant. We supplied just 28 menus, hence digitally printing them rather than using our litho presses.
  • Matt also designed, printed and supplied two A3 laminated signs/posters which are attractive and eye-catching for use in the restaurant. What better way to announce a special deal to customers!
  • 3-part NCR order padA very practical piece of print was a batch of 3-part NCR sets (pads) which are now being used by waiters and waitresses when taking orders. The restaurant required 100 pads, consisting of fifty 3-part NCR sets per pad. ‘NCR’ stands for No Carbon (as in carbon paper) Required. An NCR set is a multi-part pad, where a person can write on the top copy and, due to clever properties in the paper itself, the pressure of writing duplicates what’s being written onto subsequent sheets, so that different people can all have a copy. In this particular case, each of the 3-part sets has a printed white sheet at the top, followed by a blue and a yellow sheet underneath. So, for example, the waiter or waitress can keep a blue copy, the customer can have the top, white copy and the kitchen staff can have the 3rd, yellow copy. It’s quick and easy, particularly as we ‘micro perf’ (perforate) the pads so that pages can be torn off easily and also because we design the wrap-around cover so that it doubles up as protection under each 3-part set being written upon. That way the next set of 3 sheets doesn’t also duplicate the order. Each order pad also has a board back, to keep it rigid when being used.

About Nelson’s Restaurant

Nelson's Restaurant, Borough High Street, London SE1Nelson’s Restaurant is literally a stone’s throw from Borough High Street tube and a just a few minutes’ walk from London Bridge station in London’s SE1. They offer breakfast, lunch and takeaways during weekdays from 7am to 5pm. Southside Print London Bridge can definitely vouch for how delicious their food is! They do a huge range of different teas, coffees and cold drinks along with a fantastic choice of tasty breakfasts – all at extremely reasonable prices. For example, a large breakfast tea is just £1.50 and a Full English Breakfast is just £6.50.

You can also go for something like a vegetarian ciabatta or focaccia (a Tricolore of mozzarella, avocado and tomato is just £4.90, for example). Yum!

The lunch menu includes anything from fried scampi and calamari, to soup, various fresh pasta dishes and salads, which include Nelson’s own take on a Caesar Salad; a salad of crispy leaves layered with capers, croutons, grilled chicken and parmesan dressing (£7.90).

The takeaway menu includes Read more

Brochure Printing for Munro & Forster Communications, London SE1

Brochure printing for Munro Forster CommunicationsSouthside Print London Bridge recently printed some lovely brochures for Munro & Forster Communications, who are based a stone’s throw away from the SE1 printer at Bank Chambers, Borough High Street, just 5 minutes from London Bridge station.

The Contemporary Graphics

Both brochures use smart, modern designs that utilise contemporary ‘flat’ graphics and bright colours. As such, they’re easy on the eye, fresh looking and thoroughly engaging, which is a testament to the skill of the graphic designer, considering the subject matter involved.

The Digital Printing

The brochures were each printed in full colour process (‘CMYK’) from design and artwork supplied by the client’s own in-house graphic designer. Southside Print London Bridge utilised its digital presses to print both jobs as these best suited the relatively low quantities involved — just 100 and 300 were required respectively. Both brochures were printed with 200gsm cover stock and 120gsm internal sheets, which were all then trimmed, collated, folded and saddle-stitched into the finished brochure format. Printing production was turned around in just 2 days from start to finish.

About Munro & Forster Communications

Munro & Forster Communications is an award-winning consultancy that specialises in PR for sectors including healthcare, wellbeing, education and the environment. Clients, who range from food and pharmaceutical organisations to non-profits and the public sector, benefit from an integrated public relations and public affairs service through the use of both off-line and on-line PR activity, along with social media solutions where appropriate. As well as day-to-day media relations, services include Read more

Printing for The Art Academy, Borough, London SE1

Digital printing for The Art Academy

Spring Courses PosterThe Art Academy is one of our close neighbours here in the London Bridge/Borough region of London. They sometimes need posters, brochures and flyers printed and, as we’re in the same SE1 area, we are a natural choice for printing of such items. A couple of examples of marketing collateral produced for them can be seen above and details of both the printing and the Academy follow below.

Open Days PosterWe produced the Spring Courses poster (shown right) using The Art Academy’s own design and artwork supplied and printed it as ten A3 posters and fifty A5 flyers. Both were printed in full colour, single-sided, using our digital printing press. This was perfect for the relatively low volumes required and allowed for a speedy turnaround. The stock used was 170gsm ‘Essential Silk’ which started life at a size of SRA2.

We also produced a similar poster, in the same manner, for their Fine Art Foundation open days. This can be seen on the left and utilised exactly the same ‘Essential Silk’ paper as the first example.

Lastly, we also supplied some full colour, 200gsm brochures (not shown), each incorporating a front flap. Due to the low volume and fast turnaround needed those were produced via colour copy/duplication and finished to a folded size of A5.

Special Offer to students of The Art AcademySpecial Printing Offer for Art Academy Students

Southside Print London Bridge are currently doing some great printing deals for Art Academy students, who are being offered a 20% discount on business cards, A5 flyers and A6 flyers. These would be great for impressing future clients and employers at Graduate Shows. Click the blue poster thumbnail for more details and special pricing or download the full-sized version here (right-click to save).

About The Art Academy

The Art Academy, based just around the corner in Borough High Street, is an independent art school and registered charity (No. 1078804). It offers art education programmes via evening classes, part-time classes, short courses and weekend courses right through to longer-term Diplomas, Foundation and Certificate courses. The wide range of art programmes is matched only by the huge diversity of those attending and includes portrait, figure and sculpture work, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, digital art, art history and drawing.

“In just 10 years, The Art Academy has grown from one person’s idea into a thriving organisation, that nurtures creative talent and reaches out to the wider community.”

The principle aims of The Art Academy are: Read more

Duplication, Digital & Large Format Printing for ‘Teens and Toddlers’, London Bridge

Printing for Teens and ToddlersThe London Bridge branch of Southside Print recently produced printing and duplication work for Teens and Toddlers, which is based in Tooley Street near London Bridge SE1.

Digital and large format printing

A1 large format display board

The work produced for Teens & Toddlers included:

  • A 4-page brochure (shown above) which was produced as A3 full colour print-outs that were then creased and folded down to A4. This particular job used 350gsm ‘Essential Gloss’ stock and the design and artwork were supplied by the client;
  • An A1 display panel (shown above right) which was printed on our large format printing press and produced using a 190gsm full colour print mounted to foam board. Again, the design and artwork were supplied by the customer.

Southside Print London Bridge produced both jobs entirely in-house using our digital printing/copying service and large format printing facilities. Click the links to learn more about those printing services.

About Teens and Toddlers

Teens and Toddlers is an award-winning organisation that exists to support young people, particularly the disadvantaged and those who have abandoned hope of achieving well at school. What makes the organisation out of the ordinary is that teenagers mentor younger children, the aim being to build life skills, self-belief and confidence in the teenager, thereby enhancing success at school and ultimately within both the workplace and community. The toddlers involved benefit enormously too. Mentoring of younger children by teenagers was shown to Read more

Business Cards for The Electoral Reform Society

Printed business cards for the Electoral Reform Society

Southside Print London Bridge recently re-printed business cards for The Electoral Reform Society which is based in the same SE1 London area and is a leading proponent for democratic reform in the UK. The business cards were printed in ‘full colour process’ (also known as ‘CMYK’) and were double-sided using a design and layout supplied by our very own Matt Potter here in the London Bridge branch of Southside Print. The cards used a 450gsm silk coated stock which, after printing, was finished with a matt lamination. This protects the cards as well as giving them a contemporary look and a soft, silky feel.

About the Society

The Society stands firm in their belief that “Politics can be better than it is” and campaigns for a better democracy.

“Our vision is a representative democracy fit for the 21st Century.”

Just a few of the specific issues that the Society aims to improve include:

  • the fact that the House of Lords remains totally unelected, flying in the face of a so-called democracy;
  • reducing the ‘gender gap’ by increasing the low number of women in politics;
  • reducing big money’s influence on politics;
  • making votes match the make-up of seats in Parliament more fairly;
  • making sure that those in power can be held to account by voters;
  • ensuring that every voter can help shape the decisions that will affect their lives.

Founded in 1884, The Electoral Reform Society was then known as the Proportional Representation Society. Its founder was the Victorian naturalist and archaeologist called Sir John Lubbock and its aim was to gather like-minded people together to fight for a fairer vote.  The Society quickly grew in numbers and included C.P. Scott, the editor of what’s now called The Guardian, The Reverend Charles Dodgson, who we all know better as ‘Lewis Carroll’, and Thomas Hare who brought about the Single Transferable Vote.

“Politics is too important to be left to the politicians”

Now based in London SE1, the Society is Read more

Digital Printing for Pulse Business Energy

Printing for Pulse Business Energy

Printing produced by Southside Print London Bridge:

Southside Print London Bridge produces printing for Pulse Business Energy (more about them below) and you can see some printed examples in the image above. Work shown includes digital printing for three 8-page, full colour (‘CMYK’) A4 brochures/reports, each focusing on Pulse’s energy purchasing strategy. The finished result is professional, functional and attractive including matt lamination to the outside for a nice silky feel plus the additional protection that the lamination process lends to the documents. Covers were digitally printed onto 350gsm silk coated stock with internal ‘text’ pages being printed on matching 170gsm paper, all from artwork supplied by the customer.

Other work which we regularly produce for Pulse Business Energy includes:

  • Tender reports which are produced digitally in very small quantities (perfect for digital print) which we print using 350gsm silk coated covers, a matt laminated finish to the outside, 250gsm dividers and 170gsm silk coated text pages. These are then usually perfect bound like a soft-back book.
  • A4 leaflets which we print on 170gsm paper from the customer’s artwork;
  • Letterheads which we print onto 120gsm paper stock, again from artwork supplied.
  • Artwork is usually supplied by the client for all items, however with our in-house design and artwork capabilities we are able to amend spine wording and positioning as well as adding customer logos to their tender documents.

Our sincere thanks go to Pulse for all the work to date.

About Pulse Business Energy

Pulse Business Energy, a close neighbour of Southside Print in SE1, is a successful and fast-growing energy broker which helps businesses to save money on their energy procurement and to manage energy budgets in a very streamlined, efficient manner.  They offer a very personal service to fulfil customers’ gas and electricity needs in the most cost-effective way, aiming to help customers to save money long-term not just in the immediate future. They use the very latest information on the energy market and an innovative and forward-thinking buying strategy — indeed they employ the former Head of Energy Trading at Scottish Power to develop their energy buying strategy so that it outperforms the market consistently. Their service even includes legal guidance via their in-house legal professionals, e.g. regarding customers’ business energy contracts, as well as providing access to their on-line portal where customers can find all their energy data in one place, including bills, contracts and usage information.

As you can see from some of the covers in the image above, Pulse Business Energy is an award-winning company. The list of awards, plaudits and accomplishments is very impressive and includes: Read more