Start your Valentine's Day promotion NOW!

Start Your Valentine’s Day Promotion NOW!

Start your Valentine's Day promotion NOW!

Valentine’s Day will be here shortly so make sure you’re in with a chance of benefiting from the new business that it can bring! There’s not a moment to lose — start preparing your marketing promotions right now — or it’ll be too late.

Restaurants, gift shops, florists and jewellers will be the key beneficiaries at this time as girlfriends, boyfriends, partners, husbands and wives book romantic tables for two and exchange cards, jewellery, gifts and flowers, all in the name of love.

Printed Flyers, Leaflets & Posters

Own a restaurant? Hand out your flyers and leaflets in the high street, or deliver them door to door to promote your Valentine’s Day menus. Before you know it, you’ll be fully booked! Let us know, of course, if you need help getting them designed and printed professionally — that’s what we do best, here at Firstpoint Print, London.

Promotional flyers, postcards, leaflets & postersJewellers and gift shops can do something similar to highlight the gorgeous jewellery, sparkly gifts and cuddly toys that go down so well on the day. Leaflets, flyers and strategically placed posters are a great way to put the spotlight on great gift ideas and any special offers.

Printed Postcards

High gloss or silky-matte postcards depicting beautifully shot products can also fulfil a similar purpose, with panache. Include discounts, voucher codes and special offers to maximise the effect and improve the success of your Valentine’s Day promotion.

Hanging Banners

If you run a restaurant or gastro pub, you will also benefit from displaying a hanging banner, announcing that you’re taking bookings for Valentine’s Day, right outside your venue. They’re quick and easy to display, are sure to catch the eye, and can be used again next year. Firstpoint Print would be delighted to supply them – it’s all part of the large format design and printing service we offer.

Printed Greetings Cards

When it comes to the romantic celebrations, nearly any type of business can see an increase in business if they play their cards right – literally perhaps – and plan ahead. A printed Valentine’s Day card arriving through one’s letterbox on the romantic day itself is sure to be opened and read — unlike most junk mail. So if that card is, in reality, your carefully crafted promotional piece, masquerading as a Valentine’s card, then you’re already ahead of the game and you just got noticed! Read more

Printed wall graphics, photos, illustrations, pictures and wallpaper

Printed Wall Graphics

Printed wall graphics, photos, illustrations, pictures and wallpaper

Firstpoint Print offers a wide variety of options when it comes to wall graphics. Whether you simply need large photographs and illustrations printed off for display in your lounge, offices, receptions and corridors, or full commercial graphics including a sales or marketing message, large format wall graphics are eye-catching and highly effective, yet affordable. And, because we can print anything you want, each wall graphic can be totally bespoke to you.

Photographs and Illustrations

Stretched canvas printsPerhaps you have a family photo you’d like printed out on canvas and stretched over a wooden frame to form a modern wall display. Or maybe you’ve taken a shine to a commercial photograph or illustration that you’ve found in a high resolution online photo library (some can be amazing quality, yet very inexpensive). Either way, Firstpoint print are able to print it out, on a choice of different substrates, including different textures, ready to be mounted flat, stretched like a canvas picture or framed in a more traditional way. It’s a quick, easy and economical way to jazz up an otherwise nondescript expanse of wall, and can totally transform a room.

Commercial Communications & Signage

From time to time, companies, venues and organisations may require large advertisements and sales messages for display on office or outlet walls. We can design and print posters, framed graphics, mounted graphics, information graphics and any large graphics you can think of. Perhaps you run a café or restaurant and need a poster/advert to catch the eye of your customers when they sit down to eat or drink — a special offer perhaps. Or maybe you run an activity centre of some kind and need some informational content displayed (for example, Health & Safety instructions). Or perhaps you have a retail outlet and need a store guide or store signage printed out, mounted to a rigid backing and attached to the wall, so your customers know where to find particular items. It’s all possible with a simple print-out using our large format printers.

Wall Paper, Murals & Backdrops

Wall-Graphics-wallpaperIt’s even possible for us to print out huge images in sections, for example as floor-to-ceiling strips, which can be adhered onto a wall in the same way as wallpaper. So, an entire expanse of wall can thereby be turned into an enormous graphic, advert, mural or photographic scene. This is a useful and extremely effective way to totally transform a room and ‘trick the eye’ (the meaning behind the term ‘trompe l’oeil’), or even for use as a backdrop in a commercial shoot or movie scene. Read more

30 Great Printing Resources (part 2)

30 Great Printing Resources (Part 2)

30 Great Printing Resources (part 2)

Yet More Tips, Tricks & Technical Guides for Getting the Very Best Out of Your Print

Here we continue where we left off in the last post, with the second half of our library of extremely useful print-related resources. These further tips, tricks and technical guides cover things like envelopes, paper sizes, foil blocking, raised print in all its forms, folders, roller banners, variable data printing and why you should use it — and much more. Follow the guides to ensure that you get the very best return on the investment you have made into your printing.

16. Folders

Printed folders come in many shapes and sizes and demonstrate various levels of complexity. Whether used to hold a simple business card or several internal brochures and more, there can often be more to folders than meets the eye. Here’s a handy guide to what’s possible.

17. How to Print Economically

Make the most of your design and printing budget with our handy guide to keeping a lid on printing costs. Here’s how …

18. Roller Banners

Our guide to roller banners – what they are, what they can be used for, sizes, artwork specifications and some examples. Learn more here.

19. Raised Print

If you’d like to add a new dimension to your printing and print something in relief, here’s a handy guide showing how to make your printing stand out.

20. Fonts

Our guide to using fonts in your artwork, including ways to make sure what you design is what you end up printing. Embedding fonts, outlining fonts and more, right here.

21. Printing – Under the Magnifying Glass

Printing under the magnifying glass: our close-up guide to using tints, mixing inks or tints, use of black(s), dot formations and how these differ between litho, digital and large format printing processes. Learn more in this guide.

22. Paper for Printing — A Beginner’s Guide

A beginner’s guide to paper for printing, whether coated, uncoated, recycled, textured or something else. Read our guide here.

23. UK Paper Sizes — A Handy Reference

UK paper sizes – a handy reference. Includes the ISO series of sizes including A sizes (‘A4’ etc.), B, C, D, RA and SRA sizes plus many more. It also includes a few other useful facts that may surprise you. Here’s the guide.

24. Variable Data Printing: for Personalised Print

Variable data and its use in truly personalised printing. Learn all about it here.

25. ‘Print on Demand’ & its Benefits

‘Print on Demand’ – what it is, it’s key benefits, how you can use it to your advantage and where you can get it. Here’s the guide.

26. Everything You’ll Ever Need to Know about Envelopes

Envelopes – our handy guide telling you Read more

Firstpoint Print Victoria branch

Our Victoria Branch – in the Spotlight

Firstpoint Print Victoria branch

In the third and final post of our 3-part series highlighting individual branches, we go to London’s SW1 to take a closer look at the Victoria branch of Firstpoint Print.

Firstpoint Print Victoria, SW1

The Victoria branch of Firstpoint Print is located on the Vauxhall Bridge Road, being the A202, roughly halfway between Victoria Station and Vauxhall Bridge itself. This means that the commercial printer is perfectly situated to serve individuals, businesses and organisations located nearby in such areas as …

  • Battersea
  • Belgravia
  • Brixton
  • Bond Street
  • Charing Cross
  • Chelsea
  • Embankment
  • Green Park
  • Hyde Park Corner

  • Knightsbridge
  • Lambeth
  • Lancaster Gate
  • Leicester Square
  • Marble Arch
  • Mayfair
  • Nine Elms
  • Oval
  • Piccadilly Circus

  • Pimlico
  • St James’s Park
  • Sloane Square
  • Soho
  • South Kensington
  • Vauxhall
  • Victoria
  • Westminster
  • & Southwest London

As with all Firstpoint Print locations, the Victoria branch is also happy to supply printing services less locally including to customers in the Southeast of England and the UK as a whole. With overnight courier services being so fast and reliable these days, and online ordering available on the Victoria website, the branch can be the commercial printer for pretty much anyone, in any location. More about our online services below …

Firstpoint Print Victoria’s Printing Services

The Victoria branch has just about every printing-related service and facility that you could possibly ever need. We have in-house graphic designers who can cater to all your creative design and artwork requirements. We have digital printing presses ready and waiting for your quick turnaround, low-to-medium volume colour printing, duplication work and ‘on-demand’ printing. We have litho printing facilities that are perfect for single colour, spot colour or full colour medium-to-high volume print runs with the ultimate high quality results. We have large format printing machinery standing by for anything that you require in a large size, whether it’s a simple poster or a full-scale exhibition stand, display, pop-up system or roller banner. Read more

London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print, SE1

Our London Bridge Branch – in the spotlight

London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print, SE1

In this, the second of our 3-part series of blog posts about individual branches, we focus on our London Bridge branch.

Firstpoint Print London Bridge, SE1

The London Bridge branch of Firstpoint Print is situated just off the A2 and A2198 at 27 Tabard Street, London SE1 4LA so is very close to both Borough and London Bridge stations. The commercial printer is therefore ideally located for businesses and organisations that are looking for a professional printing service in and around the following locations:

  • London Bridge
  • Bankside
  • Borough
  • Bermondsey
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Waterloo
  • Southwark
  • Brixton

  • Camberwell
  • Canada Water
  • Denmark Hill
  • Dulwich
  • Herne Hill
  • Kennington
  • Lambeth
  • Mansion House

  • Monument
  • Newington
  • Oval
  • Peckham
  • Streatham
  • Surrey Quays
  • Vauxhall
  • South London

The branch is also happy to supply printing to the South East generally, and Nationwide, via overnight couriers. In fact, Firstpoint Print London Bridge is accessible as a printer to anyone, anywhere, because artwork can be uploaded to their online system from anywhere with an internet connection. The same is true if you need to upload a brief to get a printing quotation. So, wherever you are, Firstpoint Print London Bridge has your printing needs totally covered and quotations are usually with clients in no more than 24 hours from initial enquiry.

What printing-related services are available?

Firstpoint Print London Bridge can supply printed sales and marketing collateral from concept to production as they have all the necessary services available in-house. These include:

  • A design and artwork service using our talented, qualified, in-house creative team that can make your job look a million dollars and stand out from the crowd. (We also accept client-generated design and artwork, of course).
  • Litho printing which is simply the best quality money can buy. Lithographic printing is suited to spot colour jobs, full colour (CMYK) jobs, larger volume print runs and anything that simply needs to look its absolute best. With regard to size, the London Bridge branch handles anything up to B1 in size (707mm x 1000mm).
  • Digital printing which is fast, inexpensive and convenient, particularly for low-to-medium printing quantities and those jobs that do not exceed SRA3 in size.
  • Our digital printing service also doubles as a copying, scanning and duplication service.
  • Large format printing which is a service suited to the production of larger printed graphics such as posters, in-store and point-of-sale displays, banners (including roller banners), exhibition panels, pop-up systems and signage.
  • A full print management service which does what it says on the tin, i.e. we organise and supply all of your printing for you so that you always have enough in stock, but not so much that you have boxes and boxes everywhere, taking up valuable office space. The printing management service allows you to get on with other tasks while we take care of what we do best, i.e. design, artwork and printing.

Read more

Firstpoint print clerkenwell EC1 branch

Our Clerkenwell Branch – in the Spotlight

Firstpoint print clerkenwell EC1 branch

Beginning this month we thought we’d put the spotlight on each of the individual branches of Firstpoint Print. First, we’ll take a look at our Clerkenwell branch.

Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell, EC1

Our Clerkenwell branch is based in St. John’s Lane, in London’s EC1 region. This is conveniently situated just a few minutes’ walk from both Farringdon and Barbican stations. As such, this professional printer is within very close reach of local businesses and organisations in any of the following areas:

  • Angel
  • Bank
  • Barbican
  • Blackfriars
  • Clerkenwell
  • Covent Garden
  • Euston
  • Farringdon

  • Finsbury
  • Fitzrovia
  • Holborn
  • King’s Cross
  • Leicester Square
  • Mansion House
  • Monument
  • Moorgate

  • Old Street
  • Pentonville
  • Russell Square
  • St Pancras
  • Shoreditch
  • Temple
  • The City
  • Whitechapel

So, if you require printing and design work and are in one of those locations, our Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell branch will be a very convenient choice.

For those further away, the Clerkenwell branch also has online facilities which allow artwork files, briefs and quotation requests to be uploaded easily and quickly. Moreover, the EC1 facilities include an entirely online web-to-print facility which allows customers to prepare, save and edit their own design and artwork then simply click a button to send it to print. Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell then takes care of the rest and customers will have a quotation, proof or finished job with them in no time at all.

What can Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell supply?

Like all the Firstpoint Print branches, the Clerkenwell branch has an in-house creative and technical team so can produce graphic design and artwork should customers not be supplying their own. Once we have artwork we can supply a digitally printed proof for approval and sign-off prior to committing to a full print run. We can then produce the final printing whether it’s to be lithographically printeddigitally printed or printed on our large format printing presses. Like other branches, Clerkenwell also offers a full print management service as well as its innovative web-to-print service that we described above. With all these services available in-house, customers of Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell benefit from the very best mix of high quality, unbeatable speed and extremely competitive pricing. Read more

What we can print

We print almost anything!

What we can print

We’re often asked if we print particular items, for example, “Do you print NCR sets?” … “Can you overprint envelopes” … “Do you do packaging” and so on. Well, the good news is that our answer is nearly always “Yes!” We can print any kind of stationery item, virtually any item of sales and marketing collateral and almost any type of large format graphics. However, it goes way beyond those simple categories — take a look:

Stationery

We regularly print:

  • Business & personal stationery
  • Letterheads
  • Continuation sheets
  • Compliments slips
  • Business cards
  • Corporate envelopes

Sales & Marketing Collateral

The following are no problem at all:

  • Brochures & booklets
  • Catalogues
  • Manuals
  • Flyers & leaflets
  • Newsletters
  • Folders
  • Annual reports
  • Labels and stickers
  • Variable data mail shots
  • Direct mailers
  • Pop-ups & cardboard engineering
  • Overprinted envelopes
  • Programmes
  • Postcards
  • Name tags
  • Point-of-sale signs
  • Point-of-sale flyers
  • Corporate manuals
  • NCR sets
  • Forms

Packaging

If it’s printed digitally or via litho printing, then packaging is also no problem here at Firstpoint Print. For example:

  • Cartons
  • Pillow packs
  • Sleeves
  • Header cards
  • Hanging packs
  • Labels
  • Swing tags
  • CD and DVD inserts and covers
  • Printed dust jackets for books;
  • Sample packs and swatch packs etc.

Large format printing

Need something printed large? No problem — we can produce all this and more: Read more

A guide to online marketing (Part 1)

A Guide to Online Marketing: Part 1

A guide to online marketing (Part 1)

It’s useful to understand the principles behind online marketing whether you’re sub-contracting your online marketing to a 3rd party expert, or doing it all in-house.

Part 1 – Setting the Foundations

In this, the first of a series of related posts, we explain how to set the ‘foundations’ right before actively engaging in online marketing for your product, service, company or organisation.

You’ll need a website

It goes without saying that, to compete online, you will nearly always benefit from having your own website. That’s not always the case, of course. For instance, you may simply have an eBay or Amazon-based business which doesn’t require one. However, for pretty much everyone else, a website is crucial as a marketing tool. After all, it’ll represent your online ‘shop window’ to the world and is the obvious place people will start looking for information about your products or services before making a buying decision.

Your website must be mobile-friendly

These days websites simply must be mobile-friendly, i.e. display your content at a legible size in user-friendly manner on mobile phones. Otherwise you will lose a significant portion of potential online traffic right off the bat. This is because Google, the most important and dominant of all search engines, demotes the search rank of non mobile-friendly sites specifically in searches from mobile devices and that is a bad thing because mobile searches now represent a large and ever-growing proportion of all online searches, even overtaking desktop searches in many countries. We should also mention that online search engines are potentially the richest source of website traffic and enquiries, gaining you a regular stream of qualified leads if you get your online marketing right. So the message is simple: don’t fail at the first hurdle; your website simply must be mobile-friendly nowadays, or you will lose out. You can test whether your site is mobile-friendly by tapping its URL into this tester and clicking ‘Analyze’. You’ll get the answer in just a few seconds.

Firstpoint Print can help to design and build you a mobile-friendly website should you require professional help. We use a web architecture which is search-engine-friendly, mobile-friendly and allows you to control your own content should you want to do so. It is also an ‘open source’ platform which means that we can add all manner of bells and whistles (e.g. e-commerce, booking systems etc.) without it costing you an arm and a leg because such modules already exist as plug-ins written specially for the platform, so can be easily bolted on.

Make sure your website includes an integral blog

As well as being mobile-friendly, your site should ideally include an integral blog. The full reasons for that will be explained later, but suffice it to say that you’ll be missing a trick if you decide to run with a website which does not incorporate a fully-functional blog. There you can announce news, useful information, tips, tricks, new product launches, competitions and lots more. Firstpoint Print’s website design & development service incorporates a blog facility by default and it is a cutting-edge system which is both easy to use and search engine-friendly. It also includes an ‘RSS’ feed which, without getting too technical, simply helps your content to be found and automatically ‘syndicated’ around the web, spreading your message to a degree on auto-pilot.

On-line marketing starts off-line – think print!

First, though; let’s first get some more basics in place. You have your website and, we’ll assume, a decent website domain and hosting to house it on (if you need help with that, simply let us know). So now you need to tell people where your website is. At the very least, you should make sure that your website is clearly signposted by printing it on all your sales and marketing literature and corporate stationery. So don’t forget to include its URL (domain address) on your letterheads, compliments slips, business cards, brochures, flyers, leaflets and any other pieces of ‘physical’ marketing collateral — exhibition and display stands included. And don’t forget to include it adverts, mail-shots and, most importantly, in your email signature, where you should also make the web address clickable. Otherwise each one of those corporate pieces is a wasted marketing opportunity, bearing in mind that many people will want to check your business out before picking up the phone — so don’t give them any reason not to contact you. Read more

3 new branch sites & blogs for Firstpoint Print

New Branch Websites for Clerkenwell, London Bridge & Victoria Centres

3 new branch sites & blogs for Firstpoint Print

The Firstpoint Print group are pleased to announce that each of the 3 Central London branches now has its own separate website and blog. These will run in parallel to the ‘Group’ site and blog which you’re looking at right now. So if you are located close to one branch in particular, you can now find out the latest services, printing news and special offers for that one location — so it’s much more focused on work produced for companies and organisations in your own particular neighbourhood.

So the good news is that we’ll now be publishing four times the content, four times the news and probably four times the special offers!

We invite customers to bookmark their most local branch Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell's new website & blogsite, as detailed below:

Clerkenwell EC1 Branch:

Firstpoint Print Clerkenwell’s site can be seen at www.firstpointprintec1.london and their blog is here. As you may notice the Clerkenwell branch site is differentiated from the others with magenta/pink detailing.

Firstpoint Print London Bridge's new website & blogLondon Bridge SE1 Branch:

Firstpoint Print London Bridge’s website can be found at www.firstpointprintse1.london and their blog can be seen here. The London Bridge branch site is differentiated using green detailing.

Victoria SW1 Branch:

Firstpoint Print Victoria's new website & blogFirstpoint Print Victoria’s website is at www.firstpointprintsw1.london and their news blog can be seen here. The Victoria branch site is differentiated from the other branches using cyan (sky blue) detailing.

Each individual branch blog will feature Read more

10 common artwork mistakes to avoid

10 Common Artwork Mistakes to Avoid

10 common artwork mistakes to avoid

Getting a few basic rules right when you prepare your artwork for professional printing will save you both time and money. After all, if your printer has to correct any problems for you, then the costs for amendments could begin to mount up as well as potentially making your job run late. So here are a few of the common mistakes printers encounter with artwork supplied by those outside the industry — and how to fix them.

1. Avoid trying to do your artwork in desk-top applications like Microsoft Word, Publisher and Powerpoint. They’re not professional design and layout packages (the design and printing industry does not use them at all). For professional artwork you should be using a high-end application like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress.

2. Do not use ‘clipart’ images in your artwork, particularly Windows metafiles. Like the Microsoft applications above, clipart was never intended for professional quality printing and is almost guaranteed *not* to render properly on high-end, industry-standard pre-press systems — so may not print at all on professional presses. Any graphical images should be in EPS format (vector-based where possible) or TIFF format if they’re more akin to photographs.

3. Don’t forget to add 3mm of bleed if you have images, graphics or backgrounds which go to the very edge of the document. It could be time-consuming and expensive if you need to add bleed retrospectively and if you don’t add it, you will probably end up with unsightly white borders on the final job.

4. Don’t make the document artwork any bigger than it needs to be. For example, if you are supplying an artwork file for a business card, do not supply it in the middle of an A4 sheet.

5. Don’t supply readers’ spreads  (e.g. page 2 and 3 combined into one ‘page’ in the file). Supply them either as imposed printer’s spreads (only if you really know what you’re doing) or as single pages. Professional printers can  ‘impose’ the single pages into the correct order for printing so this is usually the safest format.

6. Learn how to set up character and paragraph styles and then don’t forget to use them. If your layout application doesn’t have these options, then you are probably using the wrong one (refer back to item #1 above). Using correctly configured character and paragraph styles will make your text styling more consistent, improve the look of your job and save you time. You can even use a similar approach for ‘object styles’. Read more