Make Christmas Cards Great Again
Written by Aaron Howes | 22nd November 2018
It’s that time of year where we start to really feel the grip of the big Christmas push. By now the majority of businesses have begun to roll out their Christmas campaigns in an attempt to increase sales and gain new customers. By the time Christmas finally arrives a lot of people are sick of the sight of anything to do with Christmas and there is a danger that even the best laid plans can lead to alienation of customers and clients So what can we do to stand out from the competition and still appeal to our customers with marketing at this time of year?
One answer may be the humble Christmas card. You may already distribute Christmas cards to your customers, but there is an opportunity to go the extra mile and send out a card with your brand identity on it to really underline the message of your company and show the customer their value to you. Not only is the card a great way to wish your customers well at this time of year, but it is also a sneaky marketing opportunity that will slip under the radar as a sales pitch!
Reinforce Your Brand
Simply displaying your logo somewhere acts as a reminder of you and your company. Remember that Christmas cards are often displayed during the festive period so if you have created a design that signifies your business then it will be viewed by more than just the recipient. There is an opportunity to maximise your message too, so be clever about how you put your message across in this context.
Show a Softer Side
As we have mentioned earlier, the very act of sending a Christmas card shows how much you value a customer and it is a gesture that will be remembered outside of the festive period too. Rather than going for the hard sell, sometimes a more gentle approach that merely acts as a reminder of your existence as a business will be enough to maintain a good relationship with your brand. A branded Christmas card is a great way to improve the reputation of your business.
Sending a Christmas card that is hand written can show a more informal, personal approach, so taking the time to address the cards to your customers personally is a fantastic way to speak to them on a different footing to usual. If you are sending out very large quantities of cards there are printing techniques that can mimic the hand written look and feel and Redditch Print can help you to achieve a more personal look to your branded Christmas cards that will make your customers feel special.
Give us a call or drop us an email today to have a chat about how we can help you to produce the perfect Christmas marketing campaign. We work from concept to delivery so can help you from the very start.
Written by Aaron Howes | 2nd November 2018
It is never too early to start thinking about your Christmas marketing campaigns, especially when considering your print requirements for the festive period. Getting ahead of your competitors is vital, and remember that they will be planning ahead too. As we head into Autumn many printers are beginning to ramp up their production to cope with the increased demand to get marketing materials produced in time for Christmas.
The festive season, as well as the run up to it, is an ideal opportunity for you to offer your customers and clients a different perspective and tempt new customers with special offers. New customers gained during the festive period can then lead to increased sales for the rest of the year so it is certainly important to try and capture as much new business as possible.
Redditch Print are used to preparing and deploying Christmas campaigns, both digitally and in print, and are well equipped to help you to get everything in place to run a successful Yuletide campaign. In this post we will look at how you can prepare your campaign and beat the rush this year.
Create the Concept Early
Often the best start point with a Christmas campaign is to brainstorm some ides. The key is to stand out rom the competition who will inevitably be gearing up for their own campaigns too. Consider how a marketing push will enhance sales, encourage interaction with your brand, and ultimately attract customers. It is often the case that businesses try to be a little too clever or high concept with their ideas, but experience shows that the simplest campaigns are often the most effective.
Whatever the nature of your business, a well organised campaign is key. An awareness of all of your marketing output is vital, and you will need to think about how you can use both your print and digital output in tandem. Remember that printed materials take time to produce so you will need to factor in turnaround times to make sure you get your goods early enough. As we have mentioned above, your competitors will be gearing up for Christmas too, putting increased pressure on printers to increase their output.
Whether it is graphic design, packaging design, copy writing for an email campaign, or even scheduling social media posts, designing your campaign as early as possible will make or break the deployment of your Christmas marketing campaign. A lot of people struggle with this part which is why Redditch Print are on hand all year round to prepare your campaign for you. We’re on hand from the very start and can help you to develop a concept from scratch. We can then figure out the best methods of deployment and even help with the production and delivery of your marketing materials, leaving you to enjoy the build up to Christmas safe in the knowledge that everything is in hand.
Choosing the Right Materials
Written by Aaron Howes | October 21st 2018
The material finish of your print goods is almost as important as the content you are printing on it. Regardless of whether you are printing a leaflet, brochure, poster or business card, it is vital that you select the correct material to produce it on. The overall impression created by the materials you use can be hugely improved when just a little care and attention is given to it.
Aside from the thickness and colour of the material that you decide to print on, there are also other considerations to make. What finish will create the impression you are after, and are there any practical constraints you will need to consider?
Understanding the differences between different materials, thicknesses and finishes can be vital to help you to create the perfect print project. Redditch Print can help you to navigate the seemingly endless options and provide results that will stand you out from the crowd.
Types of Finish
By and large there are three main types of finish to print items; gloss, silk and uncoated. Each has its own merits, and each can be used to give off a particular impression.
Gloss finishes will give your materials a bright sheen and make your print work appear colourful and vibrant. A gloss finish works really well on high impact materials like posters and leaflets where it is important to grab the attention of the reader in any way possible. It is important to remember that glossy finishes reflect light more than other duller finishes so if you plan on deploying your print in bright light expect some glare.
Silk finishes still have a bright finish like gloss but without quite as much shine. A silk finish is better suited to designs with a lot of text. Brochures and leaflets that need a premium feel but with the ability to retain some legibility are perfect candidates for a silk finish. They are a popular choice for larger commercial projects thanks to their versatility.
Lastly uncoated finishes lack the shine of the previous two finishes but can be used to give off a different impression altogether. They have a more rustic, earthy feel and are often used by companies who want to show their eco-friendly credentials. They are also a little more durable than the other finishes and don’t suffer from finger marks and dirt.
Aside from the main types of finishes detailed above, Redditch Print offer an almost infinite array of printing, finishing and material options. Specialist laminations, spot UV, foils, foamex, correx, dibond and more are all available to you and we can assist and make suggestions during the design phase to help you to create a project you can be proud of. Give us a call or drop us an email to see how we can help you today.
Keeping Customers with Print
Written by Aaron Howes | 4th October 2018
Any business owner knows how difficult it can be to retain customers and it is often one of the greatest challenges a small business can face. That’s before even considering how to attract new customers! A combination of marketing, competitive prices and a great service can encourage customer loyalty, but if your customers aren’t being told what you’re up to, how will they ever know to stick with you?
Marketing with print might not be the most obvious tool at your disposal when it comes to customer retention, but it is a great way to maintain your message with your customer base. Communicating with your customers regularly with print marketing campaigns can help to remind them of their interest in your products and services, and reignite their engagement with you.
Redditch Print have an array of methods to keep you in touch with your customers. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular, and most importantly effective, ways you can keep your audience interested.
Leaflets and Brochures
If you regularly change your products and services, leaflets and brochures are a cost effective way in which to communicate those changes with your customers and clients. You can send them out directly with a direct mail campaign or distribute them in key areas like exhibitions or in shops and offices. The latter approach is best suited when you don’t have the direct access to customers details and want to present a more generalised view of what you do.
In most cases leaflets and brochures are kept by customers, and in some cases they will even distribute the information on them on your behalf. There is an opportunity at this stage to offer some kind of promotion or offer within the leaflet to encourage reengagement with your brand, or perhaps to invite additional customers for some kind of reward.
Posters and Signage
Sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best. Nothing beats the impact of a well designed, well placed poster or sign. Often the main reason a customer will look elsewhere for a product is simply because they have forgotten about you. A poster is a simple way to reinforce your brand and provide a gentle reminder that you exist. Similarly, if you have a new product or service that you want to announce as part of your company, a poster is often the best option. There is often the temptation to overcomplicate a marketing approach when a simple message on a poster will do the job.
Banners and Large Format Print
Like posters and flyers, keeping things simple is often the key to a good campaign. If you have a great new offering why not shout about it and go big. Pull up banners, large PVC banners and large format panels are often a great way to grab people’s attention from distance. So long as the message is bold and easy to read, you’ll stand a good chance of grabbing passers by with details of whatever it is you’re trying to sell.
Let Redditch Print Help
Redditch Print are equipped to take on print jobs of any size. From business cards to buildings we can help you to find new and exciting ways to attract new customers and keep the old ones on board. We strive for the highest quality all round and can assist you right from the idea generation stage through to deployment. Give us a call or drop us an email today and see how we can get things underway.
Written by Aaron Howes | 15th September 2018
There are a number of things to consider when putting together a design for your company’s letterhead. Not only do letterheads communicate vital information about your business to its receiver, they are also a prime opportunity to underline your key values and brand identity. A poorly designed letterhead may communicate the opposite of your intentions so it is vital that you get things right first time. Redditch Print have been designing and printing letterheads for many years and are well equipped to help you to create the perfect letterhead right from the offset. If you fancy having a go at designing your own though, here are some tips to get you on your way.
What must be Included on a letterhead?
Did you know that it is a legal requirement to include particular elements on a letterhead that represents your business in an official capacity? In the UK it is a legal requirement to include:
- Your company name
- Your company registration number
- The country in which your company is registered
- The registered address of your company
- The address of all of your company’s locations
As a sole trader you must also include your name, whereas a partnership will need to include the name of each partner. Limited companies do not need to include the names of each director, although if you name one director you must name them all. Charities are required to state that they are a charity somewhere on the document, unless the company name already includes it.
What else could be included on a letterhead?
Aside from the statutory information included on a letterhead, it is also a good idea to try and include a number of ways to contact your business. These usually consist of a telephone number, a fax number (if you still have one), a general email address and your web address.
In addition, some organisations like to include their social media links, although some decide to keep a distance between official documentation and social output. Depending on the nature of your organisation you may wish to keep the two separate to maintain the official tone adopted within your paperwork.
It is always a good idea to include your logo somewhere on the design, even if it is only used as a decorative element. Some businesses print their logo on the reverse of a letterhead and maybe even use it as a watermark across the entire background of the sheet. This can add a premium feel to the design.
Redditch Print Can Help
At Redditch Print we deal in all kinds of design-led work, including business
stationery, flyers, posters, exhibition stands and other large format print, through to
digital solutions such a web design, social media management and email
campaigns. We believe that physical print and digital design go hand in hand, and
we’re constantly developing ways to make one feed into the other. If you want to find
out more about what we do, give us a call or drop us an email.
Taking Care of Business… Cards
Written by Aaron Howes | September 6th 2018
A business card is the perfect way to get your name, brand and details out there, and despite their small size, they’re a mighty effective marketing tool. From sole traders to multi-national organisations, business cards are used by everyone to help grow their networks. Put simply, business cards are the quickest and simplest way to get in front of new customers.
With this in mind, here at Redditch Print we wanted to share a few considerations that you should make before thinking about creating that most important of pocket items.
Don’t Waste Space
In our opinion there is nothing more disappointing that a single sided business card. You wouldn’t send a brochure to your customers with blank pages, or leave entire sections of your website blank, so why would you do so with what is often your first interaction with a new customer? Best practice suggests that one side of your business card should be about you, containing all of your contact information, and the reverse should be to communicate your brand, usually by use of a logo and/or some imagery.
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
There is a tendency to try and squeeze as much information as possible on to a business card which can result in an overcrowded, busy feel to things. Ideally a business card shouldn’t bamboozle the reader, and is used to simply drive them to contact you to find out more. A name, email address, telephone number, web address and perhaps business address is more than enough to leave a customer with options. Think of a business card as a handshake.
Consistency is Key
Nothing states professionalism like consistency. A disparate collection of print materials can give an air of disorganisation to your brand, so it is important to try and instil a sense of being well organised wherever possible. If you already have a brand identity, or have had print materials created before, try and match your business card to them through use of colour and typography.
Create a Lasting Impression
A good quality business card, printed on a good quality stock, perhaps with a laminated finish, will instantly set you apart from cheaper cards. At Redditch Print we understand that budget restraints are sometimes unavoidable, but we pride ourselves on being able to offer premium options above and beyond other online printers at competitive rates. Making a good first impression doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank and we know every trick in the book when it comes to getting the most out of your print materials.
Written by Aaron Howes | 28th August 2018
An effective marketing campaign does not have to stay within one area of your marketing output. Just because you are operating a print campaign doesn’t mean that this approach has to stay purely within the world of print. The most effective marketing strategies span multiple approaches and one angle can be used to complement, and even drive, another. Some of the most successful marketing campaigns of recent years have found a way to run print, digital and social campaigns in tandem, and at Redditch Print we have driven multiple campaigns for our clients that integrate seamlessly with one another.
The are a multitude of ways in which you can communicate with your customers in the offline world and the online world concurrently, and in this post we will look at some of the ways in which you can combine your strategies to run a dynamic cross-media campaign.
This may sound a little silly, but printed buttons can sometimes be just as effective as the ones in your browser. In recent years there has been a trend towards including social ‘follow’, ‘tweet’ or ‘contact’ buttons on printed goods. Although they cannot be clicked as such, a reader can be prompted to instantly head online and find you across social networks using a visual element they are already familiar with. We all recognise the Facebook ‘F’ or the Twitter bird icon. If we see one on a leaflet or business card, splashed across the bottom of a poster or printed on a vehicle, we instantly know that this company can be found on those networks. A quick search and hey presto, we have a new way to communicate.
One thing that is very important to remember, and something that infuriates our designers on regular basis, is to remember to always include your username or a link to your social media profile. Having a Twitter or Facebook icon is all well and good, but without telling the reader where to head, how are they supposed to find you? It is a mistake that, once it has been pointed out to you, you will see time and time again. At Redditch Print we make sure to catch important details like this one from the offset to ensure you get as much marketing traction as possible.
Whatever business you conduct, you can guarantee that at one time or another you will receive welcome, and sometimes unwelcome, feedback from your customers. There are a raft of customer satisfaction and review websites out there where consumers can reflect on the services and products that you supply. Highlighting positive feedback is an essential way to show your credibility, and many businesses find that including some snippets from these positive reviews on their print goods is a surefire way to get across their trustworthiness and create an air of positivity around their brand.
Cross Media Solutions
Linking your print materials to your digital content is a good way to tie everything together. This goes beyond simply stating your web address or email, and there are a lot of clever solutions available to help create a seamless cross-media experience for your customers.
QR codes are a simple but effective way to help bridge the gap. A QR code is a small barcode-like computer generated image (usually a black and white square) that can be scanned by a smart phone. This links directly to a website of your choosing and is a great way to steer people towards unique offers and content.
Beyond this there are also PURLs, or personalised URLs, which can link readers to their own unique microsite created especially for them. These are perfect for direct marketing campaigns where you already know the recipients’ name. Using a QR code with a PURL can take the reader to their own microsite where they are welcomed by name. This is a perfect way to reengage with all those people recently removed by the GDPR regulations from your email lists for example, and is an approach that has been used by big brands to reconnect with their customers online.
Follow and Learn
The more ways you seamlessly integrate your digital and print materials, the more information on how your customers respond can be recorded. You can use this information to build a better understanding of how your campaigns have been received, and this will ultimately enable you to shape your content going forward. Being able to respond and react to customer behaviour is a vital tool in the fight to stay one step ahead of the competition.
At Redditch Print we can assist in creating, deploying and tracking campaigns across all platforms, and have countless ways in which to seamlessly integrate those approaches. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help to shape the future of your marketing materials, both in digital, and in print.
Large Format Print – A Guide
Written by Aaron Howes | 15th August 2018
If you’re planning on putting on an event, exhibiting at a show, or even just need some signage to stand out from the crowd, the chances are you are going to need to produce some business materials in large format. Whether it’s a full blown exhibition stand, a set of PVC banners or pull up banners, or some durable signage, being able to produce print ready designs in a large format can be a difficult ask without the appropriate design experience.
Producing designs in large format is a little more difficult than the run of the mill print design work, and it is always helpful to have people at hand to assist in keeping the quality up, and the file sizes down! Redditch Print can help you to produce designs that are ready to go from the offset without the difficult back and forth often associated with large format printing. We have been helping businesses with their large format print requirements for years and pride ourselves on our ability to take away the stress often associated with it.
For those brave enough to attempt it themselves we have produced this handy guide to help you to avoid some of the common pitfalls associated with large format print design.
Vectors Vectors Vectors
We know what you’re thinking… what’s a vector? Don’t worry, we have a definition for you. Now bear with us, because it can get a little complex.
Vector graphics use geometric instructions rather than pixels like a normal image would. With no pixels to think about, your design can be printed at any size without increasing the file size or losing any quality. Think of it like this – a circle is always a circle, no matter how big it is. A circle as big as a house will contain the same amount of geometric information as a circle as big as a penny. Vectors work like this, meaning they’re infinitely scalable and therefore perfect for large format printing because the file sizes remain very small.
Now imagine that your penny-sized circle is made up of pixels – lots of tiny little squares like when you used to stand too close to the TV as a child. If we scale up that circle the pixels will get bigger too, and your circle will start to look like a load of big squares. The only way to make the circle look like a circle again is to increase the number of squares it is made up of. This is referred to as resolution. The higher the resolution, the more pixels there are. The downside with this is that pixels require memory, meaning that large format images in a high enough resolution are often backed up by a massive file size.
Using vector graphics means that designers can work at a smaller size to begin with and can then easily scale up a design when the time comes to print. The use of vectors also aids consistency, and items used on small things like business cards and flyers can easily be scaled up for use on banners and exhibition stands.
Near and Far
Contrast is something that is often overlooked when producing large format designs and too much time is spent on minute details. The majority of large format print will be seen from afar, often across a busy exhibition hall, or perhaps from the other side of the street. It is therefore vital that a design has a high impact from distance, to coax the viewer to come closer and find out more. Once you have attracted the attention of a viewer you can focus on the smaller items such as leaflets and brochures that provide a little more insight into what you are trying to sell and really drive that message home.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Just because you are producing something at a bigger size doesn’t mean that the basics like bleed or using the correct colour space should be ignored. Large format print still has to go through the same printing processes as smaller items like leaflets and flyers, just on a larger scale. Creating a design without bleed can result in unwanted borders around images so don’t forget the usual stuff.
Let Redditch Print Help
Redditch Print can help you with all forms of large format printing, from banners, exhibition stands and signage, through to flags, pull up banners and more.Whatever your display requirements, we can accommodate with great quality solutions. Get in touch with us to find out more about how we can help you realise your large format print projects for less.
Written by Aaron Howes | 2nd August 2018
The printed materials sent out by a business are at the forefront of creating a good first impression. Items like envelopes, letterheads, leaflets and promotional items are in many ways the very essence of your brand. Customers and consumers will formulate their ideas of your business based on the items that represent you. That’s why it is imperative to get them right. Not just in a design sense, but also in the quality of their production.
Here at Redditch Print we understand both aspects and can provide a full end to end service that takes care of your company’s output from conception to delivery. We understand the value of considered design, and couple that with a superior knowledge of materials and printing techniques to help you to navigate the often messy world of print. So with that in mind, let’s take a deep dive into some of the ways a focus on high quality print techniques can help to formulate the best possible impression of your business.
Let’s start with the obvious. A better quality approach to print instantly shows your customers that you care – not only in the sense of caring about your output – but also to show them that you are willing to spend a little more to maintain your relationship with them. You demonstrate that you take a little more care and attention when it comes to communicating with your audience, your staff, and even your suppliers. Luckily, at Redditch Print we have numerous ways of instilling a premium feel into your print work without breaking the bank.
Quality Communication All Round
It isn’t just promotional items, brochures and leaflets that will communicate a good or bad impression of your business. Even your day to day items such as business cards, letterheads, compliment slips, or forms will be judged by your clientele. If you have taken the time to produce better quality items all round, their value will be much higher than the words written on them. Creating an air of professionalism all round is vital to showing that your company is imbued with a certain amount of credibility.
Your print output in many cases will be your customer’s only means of interaction with you. Think of your print work as a shop window. It is your opportunity to communicate the values of your company and leave a lasting impression. Whether it is something as simple as a business card in a person’s wallet, or a form they are required to fill out as part of your service. It is an opportunity to impress what is technically a captive audience, even if it is only for the most fleeting of moments.
Poorly designed or poorly printed materials can give out the wrong impression of your business which will ultimately end up having a negative impact. Taking a little time to really consider the options available to you will pay dividends in the long run. Here at Redditch Print we deal in all kinds of design-led work, including business stationery, flyers, posters, exhibition stands and other large format print, through to digital solutions such a web design, social media management and email campaigns. We believe that high quality physical print and digital design go hand in hand, and we’re constantly developing ways to make one feed into the other. If you want to find out more about what we do, give us a call or drop us an email.
Written by Aaron Howes | 25th July 2018
Although the digital media and marketing landscape will continue to adapt and change as new technologies enter the marketplace, they are by no means taking over. Print and its value to your business as an effective marketing tool will remain a solid bet this year and for years to come. Whilst digital marketing has its merits, print marketing gives off an air of trustworthiness, thanks to its tangibility and will be sure to communicate the right impression for your business.
As with all things the world of print has its trends, and we like to make sure that here at Redditch Print we keep ourselves and our clients at the forefront. So let’s take a look at what we can expect for the second half of 2018 and heading in to 2019…
Keeping it Simple
There has been a move over recent years towards clean and clear layouts through the use of ‘flat’ design. Gone are the days of overcomplicated layouts, drop shadows and Photoshop effects. The focus is now on clever use of colour, contrast and consistency, evoking the trends we see on our screens every day. Consumers are well versed in sales techniques now and like to keep things short and to the point. Maximising white space and keeping text as concise as possible is the best bet for conveying your message in any industry.
Make it Personal
Using personalised materials is becoming an increasingly popular option, even in the world of print. Consumers are used to the digital world being completely tailored to their needs through the use of clever algorithms and covert marketing techniques. Print doesn’t have to be any different, and creating direct mail campaigns tuned to specific audiences is not as difficult as it may sound. At Redditch Print we can help you to create the perfect tailored print campaign that will make your customer feel special.
Print and Digital Hand-in-Hand
There has always been an argument that digital marketing will be the death of print. As a printer we can assure you that this is not the case! If it were true we wouldn’t exist. At Redditch Print we have found that the reality is quite the opposite. When done correctly, digital marketing campaigns can work alongside, and even complement, digital campaigns. We have found that many businesses have recently been hit hard by the new GDPR regulations, losing swathes of their mailing lists along the way. We have helped a number of clients regain those lists through targeted direct mail campaigns, encouraging consumers to opt-in again. Finding a useful relationship between digital and print materials is the key to generating new business, not just in 2018, but through the years to come too.
Let Us Help You Connect
At Redditch Print we deal in all kinds of design-led work, including business stationery, flyers, posters, exhibition stands and other large format print, through to digital solutions such a web design, social media management and email campaigns. We believe that physical print and digital design go hand in hand, and we’re constantly developing ways to make one feed into the other. If you want to find out more about what we do, give us a call or drop us an email.