Printed leaflets, flyers and hand-outs

Printed Leaflets, Flyers & Hand-outs as a Marketing Tool

Printed leaflets, flyers and hand-outs

As a marketing tool, leaflets, flyers and hand-outs can represent exceptional value for money; they’re simple in format (usually being based on a double-sided printed sheet), are seldom complex in terms of content and can be printed particularly economically. Their unit cost can actually be minimal – as low as just a few pence each – when the volume, material and size are all just right.

Design

If you’re putting together a leaflet, flyer or hand-out (we’ll simply refer to all 3 as leaflets from this point as they’re essentially all the same kind of thing), think about what kind of ‘feel’ you want them to have. This is from a ‘design’ point of view as well as from a ‘materials’ perspective.

With regard to design you need to consider whether you want the leaflet to feel upmarket, business-like, cheap and cheerful or somewhere in between. This feel, of course, will speak volumes about the product or service being featured, so it needs to be carefully considered. A good graphic designer will be able to pitch the design just right and, if you don’t have your own designer, let us know as our own graphic design team will be happy to help you. You can also check out the design tips in our Top 10 Tips for Design post and don’t forget that it’s important to get your text and overall message communication right so also check out our Copy Writing Tips.

Paper

With regard to material used, consider whether a high-quality finish and substantial paper thickness are preferred or whether the lowest cost possible is more important. Often it’ll be somewhere between the two so you end up with a quality feel but at an affordable price. Talk to us at Firstpoint Print and we’ll be able to suggest some excellent paper/stock that not only gives excellent print results but is also looks and feels the part, without breaking the bank.

Coated paper options include matt, silk and gloss finishes while uncoated paper can give the whole job a completely different feel; perhaps a contemporary, trendy feel that’s a little more organic and less corporate than coated counterparts. Uncoated paper is often great for promoting products and services that are ‘outdoorsy’ or ‘natural’ in some way (including eco-friendly products) as well as trendy clothing, jewellery and other lifestyle products. Coated papers are usually more suited to things like corporate services, household products, images that need more visual ‘punch’ and greater detail or clarity.

“As a marketing tool, leaflets, flyers and hand-outs can represent exceptional value for money.”

Cost considerations

Perhaps surprisingly, coated papers are often cheaper than uncoated papers, particularly when it comes to those seemingly ‘uncoated’ stocks that, in reality, have a special surface treatment that’s added in order to improve printing results.

Thin paper weights are also generally cheaper than thicker papers. However, while thinner papers will save money, the feeling of quality will diminish if the paper is too thin. So a considered balance is needed, particularly for leaflets that are there primarily to promote high price tag products and services — you wouldn’t want to devalue those with a poor paper choice. Read more

Print finishing

Finishing Touches

Print finishing options

It’s often easy to overlook all the ways that printed documents can be transformed in what commercial printers call the ‘finishing’ stages. There is an incredible array of finishing techniques and services available. Such processes can do anything from augmenting your document, for example adding rounded corners or spot varnish, to converting flat sheets into something completely different, for example pads, pop-up greetings cards or folded cartons. So, we thought we’d highlight many of the options available at Firstpoint Print.

Scoring, Creasing & Folding

Starting with the most simple, obvious finishing services, we first come to folding, scoring and creasing. These are extremely inexpensive techniques to turn things like flat sheets into folded sheets — perfect when making booklets, brochures, newsletters, greetings cards and so on. Whether we score or crease depends upon the thickness of the paper/card being used but, rest assured, you can leave such decisions to us.

Perforating

When you need to be able to easily tear your documents along a predefined path, we can perforate the sheets to make it easy and accurate. We can also ‘micro perf’ on thinner sheets so that the path of the perforation is virtually invisible. Perforation is great for things like tear-off reply cards, tickets and vouchers and is one of those inexpensive finishing processes that simply make life easier. We can perforate in straight lines or, through use of a special tool, in curves and shapes of your choosing.

Guillotining

Keeping with the simple finishing processes first, we come to guillotining. Our guillotines can accurately and quickly cut whole reams of paper and card in one quick action. They’re even laser guided! So if you need something cut down to a smaller size, just let us know. Guillotining is another very inexpensive process.

Gluing

Whether it’s permanently gluing tabs during the assembly of cartons, or using removable glue to temporarily hold a business card into a folder, we have many gluing processes available. We can glue multiple sheets of paper along one edge to form pads and we can add peel-off glue strips to items you may later want to seal (bespoke envelopes for example). We can even ‘print’ glue that allows the recipient to fold a document in half and seal the edges together with a little moisture – great when sending documents that need to double as a response form.

Read more

UK paper sizes

UK Paper Sizes: A Handy Reference

UK paper sizes

One of the things even print industry veterans find themselves doing is looking up paper sizes every so often. It’s easy to forget dimensions, particularly for seldomly used sizes, so we thought we’d publish a ready-reference for our customers and readers — and for ourselves come to think of it! We’ll include the more widely-used UK paper sizes but will leave out those which are more rarefied including ‘old school’ Imperial sizes and US sizes, apart from a few exceptions which we do occasionally see so will mention. There are also a few ‘I didn’t know that‘ moments so do read on …

There are several paper size standards used widely in the UK. The one most commonly used is the ISO ‘A’ series which includes sizes like A5, A4, A3, etc.

ISO ‘A’ paper sizes:

The ‘A’ series of papers sizes is designed in such a way that each step (e.g. from A4 to A3) uses exactly twice the area of the smaller size. So, for example, A3 can be divided up into two A4 sheets whilst A2 can be folded in half to form a folded size of A3, and so on. Here is the official list:

A0    841mm x H1189mm (note that A0 is exactly 1m² in area*)
A1    594mm x 841mm
A2    420mm x 594mm
A3    297mm x 420mm
A4    210mm x 297mm
A5    148mm x 210mm
A6    105mm x 148mm
A7    74mm x 105mm
A8    52mm x 74mm

Sizes beyond A0 were not part of the original ISO specification but have been appended to the system in more recent times. Twice A0 is known as 2A0 (1189 x 1682mm); four times the size of A0 being known as 4A0 (1682 x 2378mm).

* Did you know …

The proportions of the sides of ‘A’ sized sheets are based upon a ratio of 1 to the square root of 2 (which is 1.414, in case you were wondering). They’re designed in this way so that the proportions make scaling from one sheet size to the next really easy — twice A4 is exactly A3, and so on.

However the ‘A’ series also ‘secretly’ embeds a weight metric into its system, thereby allowing the weight of commercial paper stacks – or printed literature requiring posting – to be easily computed, without scales! This is because the A0 size was deliberately designed to have an area of exactly 1 square metre. But how does that help? Well, paper is usually specified in ‘grams per square metre’ (you may have noticed this even when buying simple copier paper) so if one is dealing with, say, 100 sheets of A1 paper and the weight of the paper is 150gsm (150 grams per square metre), one knows that each sheet weighs half of that amount (because it’s half the size of A0). So the computation would be 100 x 75g thereby giving the paper stack a weight of 7,500 grams (exactly 7.5kg). Not useful to end users, perhaps, but incredibly useful to commercial printers who need to be able to estimate consignment weights and the associated shipping/posting costs, even as early as quotation stage.

ISO ‘B’ paper sizes:

‘B’ sheet sizes are based on a very similar principle to the ‘A’ sizes, also having a width to length ratio of 1:1.414 (again, the 1.414 element being the square root of 2). However, instead of the largest size being set in such a way that it has an area of exactly 1m² (as is the case at A0) the largest sheet size in the ‘B’ series (B0) has its shortest side with a length of 1m.

Like with the ‘A’ sizes, each sheet can be divided into 2 to get to the next smallest size (so B0 cut or folded in half through its longest side gives you B1. If you fold it again it gives you B2 and so on). Here is a list of the most common ‘B’ sizes:

B0    1000mm x 1414mm
B1    707mm x 1000mm
B2    500mm x 707mm
B3    353mm x 500mm
B4    250mm x 353mm
B5    176mm x 250mm
B6    125mm x 176mm
B7    88mm x 125mm
B8    62mm x 88mm

It should be noted that ‘B’ sizes are not commonly used by end users and are mostly used by commercial printers who, for the right job, might use them instead of the ‘RA’ or ‘SRA’ paper sizes (see below) and then cut down to a smaller size once printed, for handover to the client.

There is also a size known as ‘Super-B‘ and this is commonly used as a very ‘oversize A3’ sheet in desktop printers like modern inkjets and also within the photographic industry. Super-B is a size of 330mm x 483mm and is also sometimes known as ‘A3+‘. It is not officially part of the ISO ‘B’ series.

Read more

Printed papers - a beginner's guide

Paper for printing – a beginner’s guide

Printed papers - a beginner's guide

Have you ever been confused by the sheer number of paper options available for your printed literature and stationery? Even if you’re only looking for white paper, there is a myriad of types and finishes available from an enormous number of brands. The number of choices can be simply mind-boggling. So here we break it down into the core types and their associated properties.

White paper is all the same, isn’t it?

Even when you’re limited to just white paper and put brands and colours aside, the choice of options available is still staggeringly large. There are recycled, uncoated, matt, silk or gloss coated, and textured options to name just a few. Crucially, the choice you make has a tangible and profound affect on the look and feel of the final printed piece. So if you’re producing marketing collateral, that’s very important.

Uncoated paper

Let’s first take uncoated paper. As the name suggests, there is usually no specially added compound on the surface of this so, once it’s printed, the paper is free to absorb the ink deep into the microscopic fibres that make up its structure. This results in a comparatively low contrast in the printing and a slightly duller feel to the printed images. Not that that’s necessarily a bad thing. Corporate stationery is nearly always printed on uncoated paper and still looks the part (indeed it would usually look odd and even cause usage problems on coated paper). Furthermore a full colour printed brochure for, say, a modern clothes range often looks quite funky and contemporary when printed on uncoated paper or board. (We should add, however, that some seemingly uncoated paper is really a hybrid i.e. has been treated with a special surface to ‘lift’ the ink more than uncoated paper stock would usually allow).

Coated paper

Proper coated ‘art’ paper as it’s known, in contrast to the above, is coated with a very fine clay-based compound which gives it a very flat, smooth surface and this surface is ‘calendared’ (a mechanical process) to various degrees to make it either matt, silk or gloss, depending on the preferred outcome. At the extreme end a gloss coating can become what’s known as ‘cast-coated’ which is where it is so glossy it almost resembles the mirror-like surface of shiny white plastic.

Importantly, the coating on any of the truly coated paper stocks  really enhances the punch and clarity of the printed image, particularly photographs. Colours are comparatively more saturated and contrast in the images is much higher when compared to the ‘flatter’ looking uncoated equivalent. People even talk about ‘a nice glossy brochure’ and the top-notch appearance of the finished graphics and photographs is the testament to that.

Recycled & eco-friendly paper

Recycled paper Read more