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

Printing & graphic design services, London

Our printing & design services; a reminder

Printing & graphic design services, London

In this blog post we thought we’d go back to basics with a reminder of the printing and design services on offer at all the Firstpoint Print branches across London. Learn more about how we can help customers with design and print for sales and marketing collateral, display or exhibition graphics …

We’re printers with 3 branches in London

We’re a London printing company with branches in London Bridge (SE1), Victoria (SW1) and Clerkenwell (EC1). So, wherever you are in London or the South East, we have a branch just a stone’s throw away. We’re friendly, helpful and, more importantly, highly professional with an eye for detail.  We print on time, on budget and our printing quality is exceptional — customer satisfaction is of utmost importance to us, after all we want customers to become repeat customers. We own all our own equipment and produce 99.99% of work in-house so our prices are also highly competitive. We like to think of ourselves as a breath of fresh air — but don’t take our word for it; read some of our lovely customer testimonials here.

What types of printing do we offer?

We offer three main types of printing:

  • Litho printing for higher print quantities, ‘spot’ colour work and the highest possible quality;
  • Digital printing for use with low to medium printing quantities and/or when speed is of the essence. It is also ideal when variable data is required (e.g. for a personalised mailing piece), or for ‘print on demand‘ services.

So what can we print?

We can print anything from a business card to a full-sized exhibition or display graphics — and anything in between. Just a few examples are:

  • Labels & stickers
  • Corporate & personal stationery including
    – Business cards
    – Letterheads & continuation sheets
    – Compliment slips
  • Envelopes
  • Forms & NCR sets
  • Leaflets & flyers
  • Post cards
  • Mail shots (including variable data)
  • Newsletters & programmes
  • Brochures & booklets
  • Annual reports
  • Folders
  • Catalogues & manuals
  • Posters
  • Display graphics
  • Point of sale graphics
  • Exhibition graphics including
    – Simple display panels
    – Roller banners
    – Full exhibition displays
    – Pop-up exhibition systems
  • Banners with integral eyelets
  • … and pretty much anything you can think of which features graphics!

Read more

Large format printing for exhibition & display

For maximum impact, think BIG!

Large format printing for exhibition & display

When it comes to print, sometimes size really matters. For example when you have something particularly important to shout about or when an A4, A3 or even A2 print-out simply won’t do. So, what are the options? Here we take a look.

One-off displays

In your store or office you may have lots of space or a large wall area to play with so why not make a big splash using large format printing. Think it’s going to be too expensive? Think again. These days, having the right equipment, as we do at Firstpoint Print, means that you can have one-off displays which are inexpensive yet hugely effective for use at large scales. Despite the size of the printed output, the displays even bear close scrutiny because, when the artwork has been prepared properly, the output is sharp, crisp and rich in both colour and detail. It is also printed in UV-resistant ink so will stand the test of time.

Large format displaysOur large format printing can be used for simple posters, framed graphics, large wall canvasses, free-standing floor displays, suspended signs, point-of-sale information, eye-catching sales messages, special offers or simply high quality graphics, illustrations, photos or designs which will make your office or shop look a million dollars.

Roller banners

Roller bannerOur roller banner systems are perfect when you need to quickly set up a display anywhere, even with limited space and time. Whether it’s for use in an office presentation, a shopping mall or for use at a local trade event, our roller banners take literally seconds to erect (and later collapse) using a neat, integral cartridge system.Roller banner cartridge When collapsed they take up very little space so are easy to store, stack and transport and even come with their own carrying case. Once assembled, our most commonly used roller banner measures just over 2m high by 800mm wide so will form an eye-catching and significant focal point in any situation. Other sizes are, of course, available.
Check out our roller banner artwork guidelines  or download our template guide here (PDF). Alternatively simply give us a call to discuss the options.

Pop-up exhibition display systems

Pop-up exhibition display systemsIf you are exhibiting at a trade show or exhibition, a roller banner may not be large enough as you may have a significant number of square metres to fill with graphics. A simple and re-useable solution is to use one of our large format pop-up exhibition stands. Like the roller banners, they are quick to assemble, and later collapse, and self-store in compact, wheeled cases which are supplied with your order. Many of these even double for use as a counter, with front graphics included. The best thing about pop-up exhibition displays is that they are re-useable so they have a longer shelf-life and higher return on investment. They come in a range of sizes and configurations too, so we can tailor the specification to fit most exhibition situations.

Shell scheme panels or cladding

Exhibition shell scheme panels or claddingA more ‘basic’ option is to fill or (if available) totally clad the standard ‘shell scheme’ panels which are supplied by the trade exhibition organiser. From our point of view this solution is no problem at all however, being tailored to a 3rd party shell scheme means that such panels will be less useful once the exhibition in question is over — unless you are likely to exhibit again using an identical shell scheme. The large panels can be quite cumbersome to store and transport, because they are not collapsible nor rollable. Pop-up and roller banner systems, in contrast (see above), work completely independently of any shell scheme, so can be re-used anywhere, and are also very compact and easily transported once the system has been collapsed and packed away.

Bespoke exhibition stands

Taking things a stage further, another option available for exhibitions is a totally tailor-made stand which is designed from the ground up. Here each element of the final stand is totally bespoke and does not rely on any off-the-shelf pop-up system or shell scheme. So with this option you can end up with an exhibition stand which is totally unique and in any shape and format you desire. You can incorporate shelving and housings for computers or large format TV screens, iPads and so on. You can even make the entire stand resemble an actual shop or other destination — the world is your oyster when it comes to totally bespoke exhibition design. Here, though, you are talking about a significantly larger budget when compared to use of existing systems such as our pop-up solutions. This is because a totally bespoke exhibition stand, built from the ground up without any off-the-shelf components, is likely to require additional expertise such as carpentry and electrics over and above simple graphics, artwork and printing. They also usually take much more setting up at the actual venue. However the pay-off is that they look totally stunning and unique.

Suspended Banners

Large format printing also lends itself to suspended banners, the kind you might see at a local event, draped across a building, boundary fence or even street. These come with Read more