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Top Tips for Printing on a Budget

Top Tips for Printing on a Budget

There are many ways to save money when buying print on a budget.Sometimes a printed sales or marketing job simply needs to be as economical as possible. The quality still needs to be high but, for whatever reason, the production budget is particularly tight this time. For example, maybe you’re a start-up with limited budget, or two years of the pandemic have knocked your business for six. Or, perhaps you’re exhibiting at a trade show, already spent most of your budget on the space and stand, and forgot to order printed marketing materials to hand out to prospects. Well, worry not — there are always ways to save money when buying print on a budget. Take a look …

Go Thinner

Have a think about the thickness of your paper or card. Does it really need to be that thick? Dropping from, say, 170gsm to 150gsm, 135gsm or even less will save you money and that saving could amount to a significant one, especially if you are producing a large print volume.

Posting Your Print?

If your printing is going to be posted, its thickness, size and weight are even doubly important. It would be tragic if your printed item was just a fraction over Royal Mail’s size and weight threshold, forcing you into the next price band. For example, if your printed piece is too large for standard First Class mail and sneaks into the ‘Large Letter’ band, sending just 500 out to prospects will cost you around £220 more in postage than it would otherwise have done. That’s not even allowing for additional costs like larger envelopes. So, some careful pre-planning of size, shape and paper weight can save significant money on postage when you get it right.

Ditch the Fancy Finishes

Eliminating luxuries like textured paper and lamination will save you money.Do you really need that lamination? Or the rounded corners? Or the integral pocket for inserts? Eliminating luxuries at a time of need will save you money, for sure. It’ll also speed up production and that might also be critical if this print job has been left to the last minute.

Paper Finishes

Textured paper will almost always be more expensive than untextured. So, if you’re on a budget, forget laid paper, watercolour paper textures, onion skin textured paper and the like — it’s likely to add a significant amount to production costs. So, keep it simple when budgets are slim.

Going a step further, there is even a huge variety of untextured papers. Trendy uncoated (or ‘offset’) papers look organic and fresh, but they’re likely to cost quite a bit more money than more standard coated papers, which are produced in higher volumes at paper mills. In other words, the more ‘run-of-the-mill’ papers will help to save you money.

Branded vs. Unbranded

Do you really need to use that paper brand? There really are some lovely branded papers and cards out there, but when budgets are tight, any good commercial printer will be able to steer you towards a non-branded stock that could be a fraction of the price, but look every bit as good as the big brands.

Size & Format Considerations

Sticking to 'A' paper sizes will usually mean paper use is most cost-efficient.Keep an eye on paper size/format to avoid paper wastage. What do we mean? Well, printing based on ‘A’ sizes (A4 and A5 etc.) will generally be cheaper to produce than bespoke sizes. That’s because there is less wasted paper/card produced when printers use the most commonly available paper sizes. So, perhaps that square brochure is not such a good idea if you are on a tight printing budget.

Brochure Binding

If your brochure or catalogue needs to be bound because it’s multi-page, consider the binding mechanism carefully. A folded brochure (e.g. 4 pager, multi-page ‘roll’ fold or even a ‘map’ fold) will generally be cheaper to produce than something that needs a separate binding stage. Even saddle-stitching (essentially stapling) will save money compared to wiro binding, velo binding, perfect binding and so on.

Ganging up

‘Ganging up’ several jobs is a great way to save money on print.‘Ganging up’ is a great way to save money on print. The term refers to printing several jobs at the same time, on the same sheet. In this way, less printing passes (and, in the old days, less printing plates) are required because jobs are printed simultaneously. Once the large, multi-job, sheet is printed, it can then be cut down into it’s separate elements. An example would be A4 four-page brochures being produced at the same time as, say, A4 and/or A5 leaflets, all printed simultaneously on an SRA2 or SRA1 sheet. Some simple mathematics will be required to work out how many copies are produced of each, but ganging up certainly saves money when the maths and volumes work out nicely.

Top tip: Ask us for advice!

Photography & Illustration

If your brochure, leaflet or mini-catalogue requires photography or illustrations, there are potential ways to save money there too. Decent photographers and illustrators are expensive, to be frank. However, there are many ‘royalty-free’ image libraries that can offer high quality stock photos and illustrations for just a few pounds each. Adobe Stock, for example. They have literally millions of photos and images to choose from and you can even pay-as-you-go rather than having to sign up for anything long term.

Perhaps you need bespoke product/pack shots, though? These days, with ‘photo light tent’ kits available for less than £100 online and handheld mobile phones offering ample sharpness and resolution, it’s possible to get professional-looking pack shots produced entirely on a D.I.Y. basis. All on a low budget.

Print Management

Professional print management should also save you money. If someone like Southside Print manages all your print, for the entire year, then savings can be made. That’s through a combination of things like ganging up, using print-on-demand so nothing goes to waste, and delivering several jobs at the same time to save on delivery costs. Going local also helps with delivery (if you’re in or near to the London SE1 area, our printing services are close by).

Multi-use & Reusable Print

Make your print multi-use. For example, perhaps you have a mini catalogue as well as a brochure. Well, combining the two into one printed document could save you money on production.

Similarly, making your printing reusable will also mean you don’t have to keep reprinting. For example, display graphics, laminated print collateral and banners can all be reused. Storing carefully will also extend their shelf lives.

Choose Your Printer Carefully

Even when we print on a budget, our printing quality is superb — and it's also fast.Choose your printer carefully. With Southside Print you will come to know that we are always competitively priced. What’s more, even when we print on a budget, our printing quality is superb and it’s also fast. Take a look at our 5 star Trust Pilot reviews and 5 star Google reviews and you’ll soon see this for yourself.

DIY Design & Artwork

If you know what you are doing, have a good eye for design and have the right (professional) software, you could consider producing your design and artwork entirely in-house. That’ll save you from spending out on professional design externally. However, it’s a tricky one because a poorly executed design can be a false economy. If the look, design and feel of your printed piece looks poorly executed, unattractive and confusing in terms of communicating your sales or marketing proposition, then it doesn’t matter how well it’s printed or how cheap it was to produce. Indeed, it could end up being a waste of time and money if the design and messaging is wrong. So, we suggest that the design of your printed piece is perhaps one area that you should not scrimp on even when budgets are tight. That’s unless, of course, you can ensure it’s going to look professional, clear in terms of message and technically correct using any in-house capabilities. If not, Southside Print offers a professional design and artwork service and we’re here if you need us.

It’s all a Balance

It’s all a balance, of course. You don’t want your sales and marketing collateral to do your product or service a disservice, so exactly where and how you save money needs careful consideration.

Competitively-Priced, High Quality Printers & Designers in London SE1

Southside Print can help with advice, of course, and our advice is totally free. We are a digital printer, large format printer and offer a complete range of print-related services near London Bridge. Print and design quotations are also free so, if you would like to request a free quote, have any questions or need advice, please get in contact and we’ll be happy to help:

Pop-up Displays

Pop-up Displays

Curved pop-up display systems look incredibly impressive. They are a great way to showcase your brand and to get your sales or marketing message across, all in an instant. Despite their large size and powerful impact, they are surprisingly inexpensive.

Our pop-up display systems include printing of the graphics plus a counter that doubles as transportable storagePop-up display systems really are a perfect solution whether you need large display graphics at an exhibition, trade show, industry expo or for ad hoc appearances in places like shopping malls and business receptions.

A Huge Display Area for Your Graphics

Southside Print’s pop-up display systems are beautiful. They offer a huge expanse for your graphics on a curved display wall that stands unaided over several metres. They have attractive curved ends too, with continuous, edge-to-edge graphics for your marketing proposition. It’s a vast area to display your logo, strap-line, key marketing messages and any photos or graphics. With size options ranging from 3m x 2m right up to an incredible 3m x 5m, you really do have enormous scope to get your message across with maximum visual impact.

The printing of the display graphics is included in the price.

Our pop-up displays are quick and easy to assemble without the need for toolsFast to Assemble

The printed graphics are included along with everything you need for your display, all packed and ready to use inside the transportation case. When it’s needed, the entire display, including the counter (see section below), curved ‘wall’ and framework that holds it together all assemble in just a few minutes. So, in next to no time at all, your attractive and impressive display is ready to do its work. No special tools are required.

A Convenient Transportation & Storage Case is Included

Likewise, when your event is over, the entire thing packs down, just as easily, into the compact storage case. Despite packing a large punch in terms of size and marketing impact, pop-up display systems are extremely easy to store and to transport. The case has wheels integrated into its design and will easily fit inside a car. The robust case represents a perfect way to store and protect your large-scale graphics until the next time they’re needed.

The Display Counter is Also Included

At no extra cost, the storage case also doubles as an attractive display counter for use at your event. It can sit in front of, or alongside, your main display and perhaps form a focal point or place to talk with your prospects. A separate wrap-around graphic attaches seamlessly to the counter, giving you another display area to showcase your brand and key marketing messages. It also has beautifully curved sides to match the main display. The counter also features a robust, horizontal table top where you can perhaps stack brochures or other printed marketing materials for your prospects to take home.

Showcase Your Brand or Message in the Best Possible Light

Lights are included in our standard pop-up display pricing or are available separately, along with many other accessories, on request. Simply ask us about the various options and we’ll be happy to help.

Artwork Templates Available

Useful artwork templates are available online in both InDesign and Acrobat PDF formats. They’re available for all 4 pop-up display options:

  • H3m x W2m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
  • H3m x W3m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
  • H3m x W4m pop-up display with storage case/counter;
  • H3m x W5m pop-up display with storage case/counter.

So, if you’re supplying your own design and artwork, we even make that easier for you. On the other hand, if you need help with design and artwork we offer that as a service too; just contact us and one of our professional graphic designers can sort out a beautiful design for you.

Our Pop-up Displays are Surprisingly Inexpensive

You may be surprised to learn how little our pop-up banners cost. Despite their high quality, large size and huge impact, they start from just a few hundred pounds, so offer maximum bang for your buck. Our pricing includes printing of the graphics, the curved display unit, the counter that doubles as a storage/transport case and, at time of writing, free delivery in the UK. We’ll shortly be adding them to our new online print shop, so you can simply choose the most appropriate size for your event, download an artwork template and pay online — simple! Once you have supplied artwork, turnaround is surprisingly fast. We’ll update this post with a link to the product once the new online print shop is live. In the mean time, contact us for free printing quotes, queries, help with digital printing, graphic design/artwork, or anything else. Southside Print is a printer London Bridge and Borough, in London SE1.

Images are for illustrative purposes only.

Large Format Printing for Exhibition & Display

Large format printing for exhibition & display

Roller banner printingWe’re not only digital printers here at Southside Print — we’re also large format printers. So, if you’ve got any display or exhibition graphics that need printing, then please get in touch. Our printing is high quality, competitively priced and our turnarounds are excellent.

Roller banners

Our indoor roller banners are large format banners that roll down neatly into a compact cartridge for easy transportation. What’s more, when they’re needed, they’re quick and incredibly easy to erect and, with their small footprint, can be utilised just about anywhere that has a level surface. So, your all-important sales or marketing message can be displayed in all its glory in mere seconds without the need for additional hardware or tools. Our roller banners are perfect for indoor promotions, trade fairs, temporary public displays and information panels in offices, shopping malls and trade shows. We can supply just the printing, or the design and artwork too — your choice.

Hanging banners

Outdoor banners

We also print outdoor banners. These are the kind of banners you see outdoors, stretched across a wall, fence, building or even overhead. They come with pre-positioned eyelets, ready for you to tie your banner into position. They’re waterproof too, so are perfect for use outdoors. So, if you’ve got a special event or promotion to publicise, then they’re hard to beat in terms of impact. They’re eye-catching, will announce your event or offer to the world with minimal effort and are custom-made just for you. As with the roller banners above, we can supply both the printing and the design should you not have your own design and artwork facility.

Printed lightbox in shop windowDisplay graphics

Sometimes you simply need a large printed graphic, for instance wall-mounted graphics, a hanging sign or large format graphic to display in a window. Southside Print can help with all of that. We can mount our superb oversize prints on a variety of substrates and can also laminate the printed surface to protect it from moisture and wear and tear. Our superb large format graphics panels are perfect for anything from commercial displays, special offers and wall-mounted menus to in-store signage and wall art.

Exhibition shell schemeExhibition panels

Do you have a stand at a trade fair? Perhaps you will be using a ‘shell scheme’ supplied by the exhibition organiser. If so, you may well benefit from our mounted exhibition panels. Typically these consist of large printed graphics, printed at a size to suit the shell scheme, with each printed sheet mounted to something like Foamex, a robust, semi-rigid material. As with the display graphics above, we can laminate the front of the exhibition panels for protection or simply to give them an attractive finish (for example gloss, silk or matte). Our exhibition panel printing service helps turn your empty shell scheme into a unique space where you can show off your products or services with optimum impact, all for a reasonable price.

Ask for a free printing quote

If you’re looking for a large format printer in London, Read more

The Benefits of Printed Newsletters

The Benefits of a Printed Newsletter

Newsletters are simple and inexpensive to print yet can convey an enormous amount of important information to recipients. This makes them ideal for both ‘internal’ marketing (to keep staff and stakeholders up to date) and external marketing of your products or services to clients and prospects. As such, they constitute a very useful and versatile component of any sales and marketing strategy.

Benefits of Physical Newsletters vs. Electronic

Another key benefit of physical, printed newsletters is that they are easy to pick up and put down at any time. This allows readers to dip in and dip out of articles whenever they like. Compare that to e-newsletters, which tend to be forgotten the moment they’ve been buried in your in box by more recent emails. The traditional newsletter beats electronic versions hands down in this respect.

Printed newsletters are also far more versatile from the distribution perspective. While e-newsletters arrive only at your handheld device or desktop computer, physical newsletters can find themselves in front of their target audience in a much wider variety of ways. They can be handed out, mailed through the post, left on coffee tables, offered to visitors via company foyers, reception desks and waiting rooms, handed out with other sales and marketing literature like brochures and price lists, used as inserts in other publications and distributions — and so on. Physical newsletters also require no Wi-Fi or data signal to work, so can be perused pretty much anywhere, any time. Try doing all that with an electronic e-newsletter — it’s simply not possible!

Add-ons

Physical, printed newsletters also lend themselves to additional add-ons. These include things like tear-off order forms that people might find useful if they want to order your products or services and those can even come with pressure-sensitive glue and postage pre-applied. All that needs to be done after filling in the form is for the page to be folded so it sticks together in a kind of pre-built envelope, ready to post. Other add-ons include coupons for special offers or voucher codes that the customer can use in-store or via a website. Another great thing to build into a printed newsletter is an element that the recipient might find useful to keep, for example an integral poster, calendar of events or table of key dates for the year ahead. That’ll be a useful reminder of your brand, product or service, all year round.

Printed newsletter sizes and formatsNewsletter Sizes & Formats

The most cost-effective sizing recommended for newsletter printing is to use one of the ‘A’ sizes. For example, A4 is the most common one used in the UK commercial world. However, A5 and A3 are also feasible while still making the very most out of standard sheet sizes available to printers like us. It goes without saying, though, that there are many other options including square newsletters, triple-page ‘roll fold’ newsletters and so on.

We can, of course, also fold newsletters in half so they’re easier and cheaper to post out, particularly if they don’t contain too many pages and are on paper that’s thin enough to fold when there are multiple pages. It’s a fine balance, though; as one wouldn’t want to make the pages too thin, otherwise you’d start to see what we call ‘show through’ i.e. the ghost of the reverse side of the printed page slightly showing through to the front face that’s being read. There are a great variety of paper thicknesses, weights and finishes to choose from, though, so just ask us about the options.

Paper Finish

At Southside Print we offer a very wide range of different paper stocks for your printed newsletters. We have Read more

Flyer & Poster Printing for Street League

Printed flyers & posters for Street League, London

Southside Print is pleased to include ‘Street League’ amongst its many customers. We’ll talk in depth about them in a moment but, before that, here’s a little about the kind of thing we print for them (the accompanying images show the examples discussed):

  • A3 posters for a Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair. These were digitally printed on 200gsm silk stock using the customer’s artwork supplied.
  • Digitally printed A5 flyers, which are shown below, to the left. Again, these were from design and artwork supplied by the client and used the same 200gsm stock as the posters above.
  • Turnaround for was less than a day in both cases.

Southside Print is able to print pretty much anything you could ever need in the way of sales and marketing literature. Whether it’s small jobs like business cards, compliments slips, letterheads, booklets, brochures and flyers, or larger jobs like posters, banners, in-store graphics and exhibition displays, Southside Print offers fast, high quality printing and design along with competitive pricing. We have graphic design, digital printing, litho printing and large format printing solutions available, to cover every printing need. Printed flyer for Street League, SE1We are convenient for businesses, shops and organisations in and around SE1, London Bridge and Borough in particular. However, with inexpensive overnight couriers readily available, we are happy to supply anywhere in the UK including, of course, South and Central London, North London and beyond.

About Street League

What’s not to love about Street League! Street League is the leading sport for employment charity in the UK. Working across the United Kingdom and with four bases around London, it helps 16-24 year olds learn key skills to move them into employment, training, apprenticeships or college. This is done through career planning, mentoring, improvement to employability and life skills, help attaining nationally recognised qualifications, CV writing workshops, mock interviews and, last but not least, 100 hours of work experience. Sports, dance and fitness activities are available every day from trained football and dance coaches and there are social activities daily too. What’s more, travel expenses are paid and there is £50 worth of free Nike sportswear for each member! Those involved in the programme benefit from improved confidence and much greater employability. At the end of the 10-12 week programmes, typical opportunities can be found in retail, hospitality, sport administration and more.

Printed flyer for Street League's Jobs Fair event in early October“We believe that school is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and that you can find your own success in many different ways. Sport teaches teamwork, leadership, discipline and competitive spirit – not only beneficial on the pitch or in the dance studio, but also essential for the world of work.”

Street League hosted a free Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair in early October at Corams Fields Band Room in Guilford Street WC1N, London. The event was a great way for young adults to meet employers, learn about apprenticeship opportunities and improve networking skills. They could also take part in free fitness, dance and employability workshops at the event. Click the poster thumbnail for a larger view and for more detail.

More information about Read more