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

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

Lamination, encapsulation & varnishing your printing

Lamination vs. Encapsulation vs. Varnishing

Lamination, encapsulation & varnishing your printing

Once you’ve decided on a design for your sales and marketing literature and the artwork is ready, consider what finish you will have on the final print. This can make a huge difference to both the look and feel of the final printed document. Will gloss look good, or would matt look better? Should it be used all over, from edge to edge, or only in certain ‘spot’ areas? From a technical point of view, should it be varnished, laminated or encapsulated? Which printing/finishing process will give you the desired result, without breaking the bank?

What’s the difference?

Lamination

Lamination involves sealing a very thin lamina (whole sheet) of clear plastic, under significant pressure, to the front and/or back of a sheet of paper, card or board. So the entire surface of the stock is covered in the laminated plastic. The most common types of lamination are ‘gloss, which is very glossy, ‘matt’, which has a lovely silky feel and a soft, matt appearance, and finally ‘soft-touch’ lamination, which is most similar to matt lamination but has a slight rubbery feel to it – it’s quite a tactile thing, which is subtle but pleasant.

Varnish

Varnishing (specifically machine varnishing) usually involves a liquid varnish being ‘printed’ just as if it were a liquid ink like black. If it’s an overall varnish, no plate is required. If it’s a ‘spot’ varnish, then a printing plate will be needed just as it would if the varnish was a coloured ink. So this difference will affect the price a little. (There are now also some digital versions of varnishing now available and, as we know with most digital printing, no plates are required). ‘Machine’ varnishes can be matt, silk or gloss, however traditional ‘litho’ machine varnishes tend to be more muted than “UV varnish”, which is described below …

UV Varnish

UV varnish is a more specialist type of varnish. It is most commonly seen in a glossy finish and the gloss is so glossy that it is difficult to tell it apart from gloss lamination.** UV varnishing is more expensive than ‘machine’ varnish, as it’s a slightly more complex printing technique, but the effect is way more dramatic. Read more

Your one-stop print shop

Your One-Stop Print Shop

Your one-stop print shop

Sometimes as a businesses, organisation or individual, you need something simple printed, like a business card. Another time you might need some brochures or flyers produced. A month or two later you might need a roller banner or some display panels printed for an exhibition. Or a newsletter or catalogue professionally designed and produced. But who do you go to for all of these different types of printing and the associated design and artwork for each – a different supplier each time?

The good news is that Firstpoint Print can do it all! And they can do it all in-house. So prices are kept extremely competitive and both speed and quality control are optimised.

We are, quite simply, a one-stop print shop and can pretty much produce any printed article that you can to think of, all in-house. And, as a group of several London branches all operating under the same Firstpoint Print umbrella, we have even more resources to pull in, should we need them. So customers receive a very economical and flexible print and design solution.

We are graphic designers

If you need the help of graphic designers to make your printed sales and marketing collateral look a million dollars, we have a team ready and waiting. They’re experienced, qualified and expert in preparing design and artwork ready for printing, so that your sales or marketing message is delivered in the very best possible way.

If you have your own design and artwork capability, that’s no problem either. We can accept your artwork or finalise it for you if it simply needs a final check-over.

We are digital printers

We have state-of-the-art digital printing facilities in-house, ready to turn around your printed items in no time at all, to an excellent standard of quality. Digital printing is available in black and white or full colour (“CMYK”). Our digital printing service is ideally suited to fast turnaround, low-to-medium quantities. But, if you need larger volumes, that’s not a problem; read on …

We are litho printers

The Firstpoint Print Group also has lithographic (‘litho’) printing, in-house. This represents the ultimate in print quality and is suited to higher volume printing, where the economies of scale can really bring down unit costs, as well as being suited to ‘spot colour’ printing for when Pantone-accurate spot colour work is essential (spot colour can, for example, allow the printing of metallic colours and more saturated or even fluorescent inks, which are simply not possible with digital printing).

We are large format printers

Each of the Firstpoint Print London branches also has in-house large format printing facilities. These are perfect for when you need something way bigger than a brochure or some stationery. Our large format printing service can produce anything from posters to roller banners and even large-scale exhibition displays, stand backdrops and pop-up exhibition systems.

We offer a full print management service

Taking things a stage further, we even offer a full print management service. So if you don’t have the time or inclination to organise your design and print, we can take it all on for you. Read more

Die-cut, shaped printing

Get into shape!

Die-cut, shaped printing

For sales and marketing collateral to make a good, memorable, first impression, one excellent design tool available to you is that of shape. Compared to the usual square-cut variety, shaped leaflets, brochures, postcards and business cards really stand out from the crowd. When designed well, they are innovative, add instant appeal, make the printed item more unique and, in a nutshell, add value to the printed piece. They also add a third dimension to marketing materials that would otherwise be two-dimensional, in perhaps more than one meaning of the phrase.

Simple but effective die-cut cardboard engineeringSpecially shaped printing does not necessarily need to be terribly complicated in order to look really effective. Even ‘simple’ can be very effective if designed and conceived well. This corporate greetings card is simply foil blocked once on one side of the sheet, then die-cut and folded. The result is a sophisticated, unusual, innovative and eye-catching piece with the foiled image appearing on all sides of the finished piece thanks to the careful planning involved at the design stage.

Cost considerations

Shaped print does cost a little extra due to the tooling required* and the extra process of die-cutting itself, but the extra ‘dimension’ will really make the printed item stand out and give an unforgettable first impression. In marketing terms, that’s well worth what can often be just a modest additional cost. Economies of scale also come into it. Once the initial set-up is complete, the cost to run on a few extra is usually considerably less per unit. In other words, the more your print and die-cut, the lower the unit cost.

Die-Cutting & Cutting Formes

* Irregularly shaped print usually requires a tool to be made, called a cutter or cutting forme. This usually takes the form of a rigid wooden board into which shaped blades are partly embedded, with the sharp edge upwards, each blade being meticulously bent to the exact shape required. Simple and reasonably complex shapes are possible with traditional die-cutting formes such as this, however the more complex and detailed the shape, usually the more expensive the initial cutting forme will be, because of the additional blades involved and time required to complete the manufacture of the forme.

So, once the job has been printed, the printed sheets are simply ‘stamped out’ (die-cut) by forcing the cutting forme blades into the printed sheets, under pressure and in close registration with the printed image. The result is a printed paper or cardboard sheet that is irregularly shaped rather than being the standard square or rectangular shape. As well as cutting, some blades can be set to crease or perforate at the exact same time the cutting blades cut.

Cutter Guides & Artwork

In terms of artwork required, graphic designers simply require a ‘cutter guide’ artwork for handing over to their printer. This is usually designed and made up in a programme like Read more