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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.

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:

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

Thermographic Printing at Southside Print, London Bridge

Thermographic printing in London Bridge

Thermographic printing, or ‘thermo’ printing as it’s also known in the trade, is a useful technique to embellish your printing and make it stand out – figuratively as well as literally speaking to some degree. Here we’ll take a look at the process and how it can be used here at Southside Print in London SE1.

The thermo process

Thermography is, to some extent, more of ‘finishing’ process as it’s completed after the coloured inks have already been printed on the paper or card. While the inks are still wet, a thermographic powder is applied to the paper and it sticks to the wet ink. Any excess is quickly removed and then the dusted sheets are passed through a heating process. This melts the themographic powder into its final form. Once melted, set and cooled, it forms an attractive coating to just the printed parts of the sheet.

Thermographic printing is great for brochuresThe effect of thermo printing

The new thermo coating is like a spot printed glossy varnish that actually has a thickness to it. This is why thermographically printed elements on the paper feel raised if you run your finger over them. While it’s not as crisp as embossing or UV varnishing, it is an interesting and slightly organic effect and one that is quite different to embossing in reality. As well as being raised, it makes the printed areas glossy, allowing the them to catch the light at certain angles. It’s also useful to note that thermo printing is a significantly cheaper alternative to spot UV varnishing.

Thermo printing is a significantly cheaper alternative to spot UV varnishing

Uses

Thermo printing is quite a well-established, traditional process but, when used well by talented graphic designers, can look incredibly attractive and contemporary. The thermographic powder/seal is transparent, so it lets the colour of the underlying printing ink show through. Because of that, it actually looks like the thermographically printing itself is coloured. So, for example, if your logo on a letterhead consists of black type for the company name and a big red square for the logo symbol, it’ll look like those two coloured elements are thermographically ‘printed’ and each of them will be glossy and slightly raised. Thermo printing also has a slightly organic feel about it as mentioned above, by which we mean that it has a slightly mottled, in-exact outer edge and the glossy ‘seal’ feels hard and glassy — almost jewel-like. This can really contrast well against the matt paper it is printed onto. Thermographic printing works well on anything from business cards, letterheads and invitations to 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

Lamination, Encapsulation or U.V. Varnish?

Lamination, encapsulation or varnish?

Have you ever seen a super-glossy brochure and wondered whether it’s gloss laminated … or perhaps gloss U.V. varnished? Even printing experts have trouble spotting the difference! To all intents and purposes, they look the same, but their production methods, costs and properties are very different.

Lamination

Lamination is a process whereby a thin, transparent, plastic film is bonded, under pressure, to the surface of your printed paper or card. The plastic film can have a variety of finishes including high gloss, soft-touch and matt.

  • Gloss lamination adds an incredible shine to documents and tends to enrich printed colours, also giving photos a greater depth due to the extra contrast they lend them.
  • Matt lamination gives printed documents a lower contrast and, as such, tends to give them a contemporary, lighter appearance along with a high quality look and feel.
  • Soft-touch lamination is similar in appearance to matt lamination but has a softer, more tactile feel to the touch. Some describe it as velvety, others suggest that it’s perhaps even a little rubbery in feel … but in a good way!

Either way, once laminated, the printed sheets are cut and finished so that the edge of the printed sheet is an exact match to the edge of the bonded lamination, with no difference or overhang of either. Lamination can be applied to one side of the sheet, or both.

Lamination gives the printed job additional protection against wear and tear. In fact, one way to be sure that a printed document is laminated is to try to tear it. If it’s nigh on impossible to tear, chances are it’s laminated. Lamination also gives documents protection against moisture, simply due to the presence of the plastic film that’s bonded to the surface.

Lamination is suitable for even reasonably high quantities of printing because it’s a high speed, mostly automated process. It’s used for protection, to give printed documents a lovely finish and to give them a feeling of high quality.

Encapsulation

Encapsulation is similar to lamination but the plastic film tends to be significantly thicker and is applied to both sides of the printed sheet. Uniquely with encapsulation, the plastic covering protrudes a few millimetres beyond the edge of the underlying printed sheet and indeed the plastic on the front and the plastic on the back bond to each other where they meet. This forms a tough ‘frame’ of thicker plastic around the edge of the printed sheet.

As with lamination, encapsulation protects the printed sheet from wear and tear and from moisture, however even more so than lamination due to the greater thickness of the plastic and the edges of the sheet also being protected by a double thickness of heat-bonded plastic.

Encapsulation is usually used for one-off or low quantity printing because it’s relatively expensive and time-consuming compared to lamination. It’s ideally suited to printed items that perhaps need to be displayed, manhandled regularly or used in environments that might otherwise lead to the printed item becoming dog-eared or spoiled by water ingress. Menus would be a good example.

U.V. Varnish

U.V. varnish is almost always encountered in a high gloss finish. However, it is also available in matt finish although that’s rarely seen. To even a trained eye, an overall gloss U.V. varnish looks almost identical to gloss lamination, giving the printed document a high gloss sheen that enriches the saturation of printed colours and gives photographs a deeper contrast and ‘punch’. However, the U.V. varnishing process is remarkably different to that of lamination. Unlike with lamination, the gloss sheen is actually Read more

Booklet Printing for Inspirational SE1 Charity

Booklet printing for SE1 charity

Just up the road in Union Street SE1 is the headquarters of United St Saviour’s Charity (‘UStSC’), who recently commissioned Southside Print to produce two A5 landscape booklets. Both were printed in full colour on our digital presses here in Tabard Street. They were printed on 200gsm Lumi Silk paper, a high quality coated stock with a significant thickness to give the booklets substance and a feel of real quality. 100 were produced for one booklet and 500 for the other, suiting our digital printing service perfectly — those modest quantities simply would not have been economically viable using a traditional litho printing service.

  • The first booklet was a twelve page publication called “The Value of Small Grants”. It represented a review of the impact of grants issued in South London by both UStSC and Peter Minet Trust.
  • The second booklet was called “Where to look for grants and funding”. This was a guide to help groups in Southwark find funding for their local activities. The cover of each booklet can be seen above in the main image.
  • Southside Print also produced 1000 A5 leaflets, which promoted a community open day, along with some A4 leaflets (not shown).

St Saviour's House, Union Street, London SE1About United St Saviour’s Charity, SE1

United St Saviour’s Charity is based in an attractive period building in Union Street SE1, just a short walk from London Bridge and Borough stations. They focus on uniting people and charitable organisations in north Southwark. Part of this includes the provision of two community grant programmes along with high quality sheltered housing for older people in the area.

Grant Programmes

Their open grant initiatives include the Community Investment Programme for large grants and the Community Engagement Programme for smaller grants. Both aim to strengthen communities in north Southwark, improve the lives of older residents in the area and level the playing field for those who may be experiencing social and economic disadvantage. North Southwark is very much ‘a tale of two Southwarks’ where one part of the population is benefiting from the recent growth and regeneration of the area while others simply struggle to make ends meet. In the last twelve months, the charity has invested £1 million into local projects and activities that are now helping to redress this imbalance.

Sheltered Housing

The sheltered housing element of UStSC’s work takes the form of two schemes; St Saviour’s Court, which provides 53 modern homes in Purley, and Hopton Gardens Almshouses, which provide twenty flats and Grade II period cottages in Hopton Street, SE1. Both schemes include 24 hour support services for the residents. To be eligible, applicants need to have worked in Southwark for at least 3 years before application, they must be 65 or older, have low income and capital and be able to live independently with help from carers if necessary.

The charity is also planning a brand new modern almshouse in Southwark Park Road in Bermondsey. It is currently in preliminary talks with the developer Delancey and architects Witherford Watson Mann and their shared vision for the new building is one of stunning quality and beauty. As well as providing modern, independent sheltered housing for older residents with limited income, the aim is also to Read more

Southwark Dynamos Score with Southside Print!

Southside Print sponsors Southwark Dynamos Football Club

A new football club, the Southwark Dynamos, recently reached out to Southside Print for a possible sponsorship deal. We were more than happy to help and are now proud to announce that Southside Print is the club’s official sponsor for the next two football seasons. Our contribution will help the new club with expenses for training equipment and football kit and our logo will feature on both home and away kits.

A notice on the club’s website made the announcement:

We are delighted to welcome Southside Print as our Official club sponsor for 2018/ 2019 Football season. Thank you believing in our vision from everyone at the club.

Caroline Nicholson, the Club Secretary of Southwark Dynamos Football Club, also said:

Everyone at Southwark Dynamos Football Club is extremely delighted and welcomes Southside Print as our Official Sponsor.

Southside Print’s Rob Phillips confirmed:

We are delighted to take up the opportunity to become your title sponsor …. it’s great to be involved”.

An early rough of how the new football kit may lookThe Southwark Dynamos

Southwark Dynamos is an exciting new football club based in Rotherhithe, Southwark, and has the London FA as their governing body. Currently, the club is preparing for the new football season in the South East London & Kent League. As the club says on its website, their aim is ‘to develop and train talented young footballers for tomorrow‘. They help young people take their skills to the next level, preparing them for top-level competitions which will see them playing in front of football professionals. Possible opportunities arising from that include scholarships and even semi-professional or professional football contracts.

The club is family run within the Southwark community and encourages young people – both male and female – to develop their football skills as well as to simply enjoy the sport. Training sessions help to build on skills, strength, agility and stamina as well as facilitating the fabulous opportunities mentioned above. Programs are also run with local schools and youth clubs and include summer football camps.

Staff are fully trained and vetted, with all the requisite safeguarding policies in place at the club. Indeed, all training certification is approved by the FA and other local football associations affiliated with the club.

The Southwark Dynamos train just two-and-a-half miles away from Southside Print at Bacons College Sports Ground in Timber Pond Road, London SE16 6AT (nearest railway station: Rotherhithe). Pre-training and development currently takes place every Saturday between 12 noon and 2pm and the next session is on Saturday 9 June at time of writing.

If you are under sixteen and an avid football player, the club is currently looking for additional players to strengthen its U16s squad ahead of the 2018/2019 football season. So, do get in touch with them if this if of interest. You can call them on 07760 955 978, email them or simply go to one of their Saturday training sessions. More details are available at www.southwarkdynamosfc.co.uk.

Southside Print

Southside Print is based in Tabard Street in London SE1, close to Borough and London Bridge stations. We’re commercial digital printers, large format printers and graphic designers and also offer additional print-related services like in-house digital foiling, perfect binding, gloss, matt and soft-touch lamination and, of course, litho printing for those who need spot colour or particularly high volumes of printing.

Southside Print primarily services Read more

Wishing You a Very Happy Easter!

Our food parcel with the Rev’d Jonathan Sedgwick, Jane and the team at Saint George The Martyr's foodbank.

A very happy Easter to all our customers, neighbours, suppliers and readers. This year, instead of sending out Easter cards, chocolate and Easter eggs, we donated a charitable food box to the local food bank located at Saint George The Martyr church. This will help to distribute much needed food to those who cannot afford to buy it themselves at this time. Saint George is based in Borough High Street (SE1 1JA) and boxes of nutritionally balanced food are given free to those who are in crisis, who have been going hungry or who are in poverty for one reason or another (see this link if you would like to learn how to obtain a food bank voucher). The food bank is part of a network of food banks supported locally by Waterloo Foodbank and Nationally by The Trussell Trust. We sincerely hope our donation of food and goodies helps some local people enjoy Easter more than might otherwise have been possible.

Digital printing in full colour for Saint George The MartyrEaster at Saint George The Martyr

Saint George The Martyr has a full itinerary lined up over Easter, starting on Maundy Thursday (29th March), through Good Friday, Palm Sunday and Easter Monday (2nd April) — there is a lot going on! See their website for programme details. On the right, you can see some related printing that we recently printed for Saint George. One leaflet and a matching poster publicises the ‘Holy Week and Easter’ events at St George for this Easter. The other leaflet was printed to publicise ‘St George in Southwark Festival’, which is a free festival of art, poetry, theatre and music that will begin in mid-April. Everything was printed in full colour on our in-house digital presses at the SE1 print shop in Tabard Street.

Call us on 020 7378 6754* if you have any digital, litho or large format printing requirements and we’ll be delighted to help. We’re conveniently close to London Bridge and Borough stations and also offer full graphic design and print management services. Watch this blog and our social media profiles for even more services, which are coming in the near future.

Easter Opening Times at Southside Print, SE1

* Southside Print will be closed for the Bank Holiday from Good Friday (30th March) to Easter Monday (2nd April) inclusive. We will re-open again on Tuesday 3rd April. If you have any printing requirements over the Easter break, please feel free to send us artwork or quotation requests and we’ll be in touch the moment we’re back on Tuesday and have taken a look.

Happy Easter!

We wish all our customers, friends and neighbours an enjoyable and peaceful Easter break. We look forward to seeing you again soon! Read more

Brochure Printing in London Bridge, SE1

Printed brochures

Full colour brochures printed for Munro & ForsterBrochures are a priceless marketing tool for just about any business or organisation. Akin to a mini shop window or store front they will work hard to silently market your product or service to your target market, especially if written, designed and printed well. That’s helped still further if they also include professionally generated photographs or illustrations to showcase your products or services in the best possible light. With a well executed brochure, all your key sales and marketing information will be available anywhere, all distilled down in a handy, portable format. Unlike a physical store, they can be perused at your prospect’s leisure, whether mailed in the post, distributed from dispensers, left at coffee tables and receptions or handed out face-to-face.

Brochure Formats

Typical brochure formats include:
  • Saddle-stitched printed brochures for Gembuildstandard ‘saddle-stitched’ brochures;
  • wiro-bound brochures;
  • perfect bound brochures;
  • hybrid brochures e.g. that may have extra fold-out sections;
  • brochures that double up as folders, for example with pockets for inserts at the front or back.

Shapes & Sizes

Perfect bound 'Power to Change' brochuresMost brochures are based upon the ‘A’ sized paper sizes, for example A4, A5 and A6 etc. Such sizes can be presented in portrait or landscape mode, although portrait format tends to be most common as it’s more cost-effective to produce due to the way it uses standard stock sizes (less waste).

Aside from the standard ‘A’ sizes, there are also a few other brochure shapes that are quite effective, including:

  • Square brochures (typical sizes include 210mm square and 148.5mm square) — these have a certain charm about them;
  • 6-page format (like a wide gate fold);
  •  Wiro bound, full colour brochures 'Power to Change'‘DL’ sized mini brochures (most often portrait in format, being H210mm x W99mm, which is easily accomplished simply by folding an A4 sheet into three).

Each of these sizes and formats will give your brochure a different feel which will, in turn, affect that all important first impression — important because your brand, product and service are all at stake. If your brochure looks poorly conceived and underwhelming, that is inevitably how your product, brand or service will also be perceived, so it’s important to take everything into consideration and to get it right. Read more