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Hit the ground running with a January promotion

Hit the Ground Running with a January Promotion!

Hit the ground running with a January promotion

Why not hit the ground running for the New Year with a January promotion. Whether it’s a mini catalogue announcing your sale prices, or printed flyers to hand out in town to get people to your store, the New Year is a great time to boost your bottom line. Not only is the New Year like a ‘new slate’ but many people will also have received money or vouchers for Christmas so will be on the look-out for a real bargain.

The January sales are also a great time to offload any overstocked goods that didn’t sell out at Christmas, so thinking of creative ways to garner customer sales and also clear space for new stock is a multiple win. Printed leaflets, vouchers and perhaps mini printed catalogues showing your special offers or sale pricing are sure to increase visitors, generate retail sales and add to your profits.

Ways to gain extra sales

Aside from the ideas above, other ways to generate customer interest and sales include:

  • Offering bundle deals – for example bundle up a few products together, with an overall saving, to offer great value overall whilst also off-loading some items that might not have previously sold well.
  • Offering B.O.G.O.F. (buy one get one free) or ‘3 for 2’ deals and similar will shift more stock while also giving your customers a great deal.
  • Cross-sell. So if you’re selling notepads, for example, offer savings on pens, erasers, rulers and pencils if bought at the same time.
  • Encourage people to subscribe to news and updates by including sign up forms on your printed literature. Mailing lists are worth their weight in gold and keep customers coming back to buy more and more, sometimes for years, when you use them to best effect (e.g. via newsletters, e-news, direct mailings).
  • Encourage people to sign up to voucher schemes or loyalty cards, for example, by having a draw for one lucky new subscriber each month. Make the benefits clear on your printed literature and publicise the win each time for added PR effect.
  • Maximise brand recognition. So, keep your brand visible and presented consistently so that people remember it and identify with it in the future. Brand recognition and a good corporate identity are important marketing assets for any business, service or product.
  • Publicise your special promotion with printed flyers, posters for your store windows, email campaigns and don’t forget to offer voucher codes for online sales.

How we can help:

We can help to maximise your New Year promotions by supplying excellent design and economical, high quality printing — or alternatively supply your own artwork if you have your own in-house design service. With digital, litho and large format printing all available in-house within the Firstpoint Print Group, we can supply pretty much any kind of printing. Moreover, that mixture of printing hardware means you receive the very best process for each particular job, the lowest pricing for the quantity you need and the fastest turnaround.

If you decide to go ahead with a January promotion, just a few of the things we can design and print for you include: Read more

Seasons greetings

Season’s Greetings & All Best Wishes for 2017!

Season's greetings

“Season’s Greetings” to one and all from everyone at the London Bridge, Clerkenwell and Victoria branches of Firstpoint Print, London. Thank you, too, for all the graphic design and printing work that you’ve kept us busy with throughout 2016 — we couldn’t have done it without you and really appreciate all the work. Thank you.

Our very best wishes to everyone for the New Year. May 2017 be happy, healthy, peaceful and prosperous for everyone. Together, we can make it a great year!

Best wishes,
The whole team at Firstpoint Print.

Logo and corporate identity design

The Importance of Great Logo & Corporate Identity Design

Logo and corporate identity design

A great logo and corporate identity is probably one of the most important investments a company or organisation can make. After all, the logo and the accompanying visual ‘identity’ are one of the first things prospective customers will see. As such, they’ll send out an overall impression about that company or organisation and prospects will use it to form a near instant judgement — and usually one that sticks. A well-designed, modern logo and visual branding will usually lead the onlooker to naturally assume that the organisation in question is professional and modern. In stark contrast, an untidy, poorly designed or outdated logo will have the opposite effect. So it’s important to get it right — first impressions tend to stick and the long-term health of the organisation is at stake if you get it wrong.

Logos & Corporate Identities – What’s the Difference?

First, though, a clarification; the logo is the symbol associated with the company or organisation, whereas the corporate identity refers to the wider visual look associated with that organisation (think of it as the branding). That visual identity actually includes the logo but also governs the ‘house’ colours, fonts and design style that go with it. By using a house style in a predefined way, everything associated with the company or organisation has the same feel and look, so naturally builds brand awareness and a cohesive approach to communication and marketing for the organisation in question. One only has to think about the branding for large organisations like The National Trust, Coca-Cola, Heinz and Virgin to see how they each have a particular house style, each with their own corporate colours, fonts, visual style and logo.

Corporate Design Manuals

In fact, many companies and organisations produce a ‘corporate design manual’ which is a complete guide to their visual corporate identity. It will usually contain a guide, including examples, of how to use — and how not to use — firstly, the logo. This will include colours, proportions, positioning of the logo, logo variants (for example the logo as used on a white background and a perhaps different variant of it for use on dark backgrounds) and rules governing the minimum space that should appear around the logo and so on. Corporate manuals also include similar sections outlining the rules for house fonts, house colours and even house layout styles for such things as letterheads, compliments slips, business cards and other stationery, brochures, adverts and so on. By carefully setting up the design rules and, through corporate manuals, making sure they’re adhered to wherever in the world they’re used, businesses and organisations enhance their brand awareness and become more quickly recognised.

Buying Into Your Brand

Indeed, some brands have this all down to such a fine art that people identify with the brand and are proud to show the world that they own that company’s products. Apple products are a classic example of this. Nike trainers, with their famous tick mark, are another — many people like to be seen with such things in their possession, almost like a status symbol. Yet another example is Beats headphones with their funky, modern but simple ‘b’ logo. Now imagine that last example with a boring old ‘b’ using Times New Roman or Courier instead and you’ll quickly see how that whole offering could have failed miserably … and that’s an example using just one letter as a logo! When your corporate identity and logo offering expertly encourage ‘buying into the brand’, that buying in by your target market will quite literally lead to more sales and increased profits.

Read more

Print & Design Support for Your Marketing Campaigns

Printing & design for marketing departments

So let’s assume you’ve got your marketing strategy in place, have written your copy and you are now ready to start production of each marketing piece.

Design & Artwork

Now you need some great design to back up your marketing message. If your company or organisation has it’s own in-house design team, then great. If not, you need look no further than our own graphic design team, which is on tap for you whenever you need it, here at Firstpoint Print. Our designers would be happy to take your brief and turn it into something attractive and eye-catching, communicating your message in just the right way for your target audience. On your approval of the design, they’ll finalise the finished artwork files for you, ready for the printing stage.

Printing

There is printing … and there is great printing. After investing time, money and effort to get this far, it would be a great shame to cut corners and rush things at the final hurdle. So it’s worth taking a moment to think about the most appropriate printing processes, paper and finishes to be used for your marketing pieces — rather than rushing in and wasting the opportunity. As we’ve said in previous posts, putting thought into the extra touches and detail can make a huge difference to that all-important first impression — and you only get one chance to do that!

“putting thought into the extra touches … can make a huge difference to that all-important first impression”

Firstpoint Print can help more than most other printers because we have both litho printing (for total Pantone colour matching accuracy and larger print volumes) and digital printing (for fast-turnaround jobs and low-to-medium quantities). We also have in-house large format printing for those extra large print-outs like posters, in-store displays, roller banners and exhibition panels. So, with all those facilities available within the Firstpoint Print group, we can *optimally* print pretty much anything — just one supplier, for all your sales and marketing literature. The mixture of different printing processes also ensures that you get the best possible pricing and the most appropriate process for each printed piece.

“the best possible pricing and the most appropriate process for each printed piece.”

What types of marketing pieces can we print?

It would almost be easier to say what types of marketing collateral we can’t print – as there are so few – but here’s a list of Read more

Printing for restaurants, cafés & pubs

Printing for Cafés, Pubs & Restaurants in London

Printing for cafés, restaurants and pubs

Londoners are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink. It’s fair to say that just about every possible taste is covered. From fast food to fine dining, London has cafés, pizzerias, burger bars, coffee houses, pubs, Italian restaurants, Greek, Indian, Chinese, Turkish, French and – well, food and drink from probably every culture and continent you can think of. This post is for anyone running such an establishment.

You’re going to need some printing, not least some printed menus for your customers. You may require ‘table talkers’ or other marketing collateral for your tables. You might need posters to showcase special offers. Perhaps you run a loyalty scheme for customers and need some loyalty cards to hand out and to get those customers coming back for more. Or maybe you need gift vouchers or money-off vouchers, marketing leaflets to hand out in the locality or eye-catching banners, posters and signs. Last but not least, each of your waiting staff will need a multi-copy order pad to take those orders.

Printing & Design

The good news is that Firstpoint Print can supply not only printing and production of all of these items, but also top-notch graphics and design should you need them. We can design something in keeping with an existing brand or style, or something completely new. Either way, we’ll make it look enticing and attractive for you and your customers.

Printed Menus

Your menus are an incredibly important item, so it’s important to get them right. We can supply them in many different ways. Whether you require printed sheets to slide into a traditional style menu book with internal plastic sleeves, free-standing matt laminated folded menus, gloss encapsulated menus that will be a breeze to wipe clean — or some other approach, we can print and produce them for you. With digital printing in-house at every branch, low volume printing of this nature is both economical and fast.

Restaurant table talkerPrinted Table-Talkers

When you have a special offer or perhaps a new item on the menu, table-talkers are a great way to draw attention to them and get those orders rolling in. Typically 2, 3 or 4-sided, these cardboard messengers sit there right on the customer table, in full view to everyone on the table, for maximum attention. They’re quick and easy to produce and are relatively inexpensive.

Multi-Part NCR Order Pads

We can print your waiting staff’s order pads as ‘NCR’ (No Carbon Required) sets which allow you to have multiple copies of each order taken at the tables (one copy for the kitchen, one for the waiter or waitress and so on).

Printed Posters and Signs

Displaying printed wall posters and hanging signs in your establishment is another great way to draw attention to your special offer, new menu, seasonal events and marketing messages. They work tirelessly to Read more

Printed postcards - the chameleon of marketing

Postcards: the Chameleon of Marketing

Printed postcards - the chameleon of marketing

 

In our latest post, we put the spotlight on the humble postcard and its incredible potential as a marketing tool. Why does it have so much potential?  Well, because it’s so adaptable and can be used in many different ways, for a whole host of marketing purposes. Postcards are also incredibly cost-effective and, as such, punch well above their weight as a sales and marketing tool.

An alternative to business cards

Postcards can obviously be used as standard post cards but let’s first consider their use as an alternative, or perhaps sidekick, to a business card. Right away their larger size lends extra impact, more detail and the ability to add a headline and some marketing copy. Try all that on a standard business card and you’ll soon see why we suggest a postcard as an alternative. So next time you are in a situation where you’d normally hand out your business card, consider handing out a well designed and well printed postcard too. It would be a great talking point — and that’s another great benefit.

An alternative to leaflets

Consider them too as a possible replacement for a leaflet. Their extra thickness alone gives them more gravitas than a thin leaflet while still allowing plenty of room for your sales message, contact details, product information and perhaps an offer of some kind. Compared to a standard leaflet, there’s something simply more precious, in the best sense of the word, about a postcard. So, people are simply more likely to keep hold of a glossy, attractive postcard than they are a standard leaflet.

Handouts

Postcards also make excellent handouts and give-aways at events. With the ability to be able to laminate them and perhaps even spot UV varnish them, when well designed they can leave a first impression that’s every bit as good as a posh brochure yet all distilled into a simple, compact, straight forward, instantly readable communication.

Another great application of a postcard is, of course … Read more

Printed stationery

Create a Great Impression with Printed Stationery

Printed stationery - letterheads, compliments slips, business cards and continuation sheets

Printed stationery is a basic yet incredibly important ingredient for any successful corporate identity. It’s also what clients and prospects often see at an early stage, so it needs to be well designed, well printed and well presented. It’s no good having a great design and second rate printing — and vice-versa. It’s also a missed opportunity if you get those two factors right but then serve it all up to your customer in a cheap-looking, incompatible envelope.

Create a great first impression

It’s important to get the detail right because first impressions really count. When you present something visually attractive in a highly professional way, it rubs off on you directly – you will automatically look more professional too, straight off the bat. So make sure letterheads look great, compliments slips and business cards follow suit and take the trouble to include printed continuation sheets in your suite of stationery. It shows care and attention to detail and is another easy way to remind the recipient of your brand.

Tip: also consider the reverse side of your stationery. All too often this is left blank but sometimes, for example, flooding a colour across the entire back of your letterhead, compliments slip or business card can look a million dollars, particularly if your logo is ‘ghosted’ into the flat colour somehow. This works particularly well with modern designs and helps to create something a little more unusual, to make you and your company or organisation more memorable. It also reinforces your brand recognition.

Choose your paper wisely

Consider not only the very best logo, colours and design (we can help with that), but also the paper you use for your printed stationery. There are thousands of different stationery papers on the market so it makes sense to take a little time to select the very best type for your particular stationery. Read more

Top 10 tips for tip-top printing

Top 10 Tips for Tip-Top Printing

Top 10 tips for tip-top printing

Following publication of our design tips in the last post, it made sense to put together our top tips for successful printing too. After all, what use is great design and communication if the printing lets it down.

Although the ultimate process of putting ink onto paper is down to the skills of your chosen printer, there are a whole host of things you can do, before handover, to give your job the very best chance of looking great once printed.

1. First, read our ‘Top 10 Tips for Great Design’ post

… from earlier this month.

Why? It’s jam-packed full of tips to make the content, message and look of your piece absolutely as good as it can be. Here’s the link.

2. Use the right software

Why? Because professional printing works best with professional design and artwork software. Some of the higher end settings and functions are simply not available with ‘desk-top publishing’ software, while ‘Office’ applications like Word for Windows are simply not designed for use with high-end printing. If in doubt, use the services of a professional graphic designer — or indeed a printer who has them in-house, like Firstpoint Print.

3. Check your images are saved correctly

Resolution needs to be at least 300dpi (dots per inch, which is effectively the same thing as pixels per inch or ppi).

Related: If images include ‘rasterised’ text (text saved as an image rather than as editable text), also make sure that the resolution is 300dpi or more, at the final size.

Why? This will ensure that the images and rasterised text are sharp and legible. Anything less than 300dpi will make them look soft, fuzzy or, even worse, pixels will show on the final printing. Better still for text, use ‘real’ text or ‘vectorised’ text instead of rasterised text — see below …

4. Check your font settings

Before handing over artwork files, make sure any ‘live’ fonts are either 100% embedded or converted to vectors (‘outlined’ as it’s known in professional artwork packages like Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator).

Why? Failure to do so may result in unintended font substitutions or even missing or unexpected characters appearing in the final printing.

5. Check your image modes

Coloured images like photographs need to be in CMYK mode, not RGB or Indexed Colour.

Why? Leaving them in RGB may result in Read more

Top 10 Tips for Design

Top 10 Tips for Design

Top 10 design tips

Whether you’re designing your own sales or marketing material, or getting a professional to do it for you, there are some important factors to bear in mind during the creative process. Getting them right will improve the visual appeal of the piece, speed up the understanding of the message or offer you’re trying to communicate and increase your Return On Investment (R.O.I.) in terms of both time and monetary cost. So, here are our Top 10 Tips for making your design a resounding success.

1. Don’t rush it

Take it carefully and methodically. Rushing your sales or marketing piece will not lend itself to great design, nor to clear communication of your message.

2. What’s the message?

Before you even start looking at the design and feel of your sales or marketing collateral, carefully consider exactly what overall message, service or offer you are trying to communicate. It may be obvious to you, but you need to make sure it’s crystal clear to prospects who are not aware of your product or service. So, make it clear and make it appealing.

3. Get your copy right

Your text, also known as ‘copy’, needs to be just right, before you start designing. Distil it down, keep it simple — you have only seconds, or fractions of seconds for your audience to decide whether to read on or to simply ignore your attempt to communicate. Aim for something punchy and easy to digest, even at a quick glance. Your copy needs to be balanced well, including your main headline, sub-headings, body text and any bullet points. Including those elements can help someone to understand your service or offer even at a glance — people are usually in a hurry. 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