Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Are Tri Fold Leaflets still a thing?

So, you're wondering whether 'Tri Fold Leaflets' are still a thing? Are you thinking about getting some printed?

There's certainly been a lot of change in the world of printing. These last few years have changed the way printers work beyond recognition.

Digital (not printing) has taken over. Businesses have had to adapt.

But for many, tri fold leaflets are still a hugely important part of the marketing mix. Businesses use brochures to showcase their products. And used in the right way, trifold brochures are still huge.

Here's 5 types of business which definitely still needs tri fold brochures:

  1. Takeaway restaurants
  2. Camp sites
  3. Tourist attractions
  4. Hotels / B&Bs
  5. Charities
Here are the best 5 things about tri fold leaflets:
  1. You can cram a load of information in to the 6pp DL panels
  2. The finished brochure is small enough to sit in display stands, or fit in your pocket
  3. You can post DL tri fold brochures in standard letter envelopes
  4. In the UK leaflets are VAT free
  5. Folded leaflets are cheap to print.

Monday, 4 December 2017

5 simple tricks for better trifold brochure design

Trifold leaflets are a cornerstone in the marketing world.
They fit in envelopes, display racks, and can be handed out at events or on the street. They're also super cheap to print, making them a key print product for almost any business.

As a business founded on printing and delivering leaflets take it from us, trifold leaflets are huge! In an age where digital advertising is becoming king, trifolds still take up the bulk of our press space. Businesses across the UK use brochures to highlight their offering - and get through thousands each year.

If you're not using them, you're missing out.

Why are trifold brochures important?

Digital marketing has taken over in many sectors. Delivering fast, measurable and affordable result. But print is far from dead - like many industries, it's just shifting.

  • Trifold leaflets are small, simple to design and cheap to print.
  • Customers (especially in B2C markets) like printed promos. Something to hold, read, touch and refer to. 
  • Many businesses aren't suited to an online digital environment. If your business has an offline sales process, printed publications like brochures will be key to the conversion process - moving a potential client along the conversation path.

5 tips to improve your trifold leaflet design...

  1. Set up your bleed and margins properly! Trifold leaflet have bleed on the outer edges, but not at the fold lines. Always remember to set up your bleed and fold positions with the right quiet zone - the left and right hand panels will appear to be wider if you don't mark them properly in your design software.
  2. Think about the order of your information! Remember when flat your panels will be laid out as 5 - 6 - 1 for the outside, and 2 - 3 - 4 on the inside. Don't make the mistake of laying your information out incorrectly!
  3. Be smart with your inside panels! The main downside to 6pp DL trifold leaflets is that each panel is narrow. When your inside is fully opened, you have 3 panels alongside one another - use the space wisely and make the most of the space.
  4. Avoid silly mistakes - print it off! By printing your trifold design and making a mockup you can avoid simple (but costly) mistakes. You'll be able to check the positioning of everything once folded, and see how the design works far easier when it's printed compared to when it's on screen.
  5. Think about the individual panels and the bigger picture... With each panel around 100mm you have limited space for images. Don't forget to think about the bigger picture though... By spreading images across more than one panel you can create far more impact and help the brochure panels gel together.
Need more help?

We've written a few other articles about trifold leaflets... So if you're interested in finding out more or need more help getting your artwork looking fabulous, try these...
We'd love to help make your brochures look stunning - so if you're printing with us, email us your artwork and we'll give you as much help as you need to create the trifold leaflet of your dreams!
Our prices start from £90 for x1000 trifold leaflets... Click here if you'd like to order.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

How to make colour look wonderful in print...

Everyone wants their printing to look bright, and vibrant. 
But the problem is screens work in 3 colours, whereas printing is made up of 4. 
This difference changes everything. And can cause big problems.

I'll cover how to design your artwork with wonderful colour in this article, and look at ways to alter the finished print, using different paper stocks and finishes.

What's the difference between RGB and CMYK?
CMYK and RGB are fundamentally different.
CMYK (used in print) uses cyan, magenta, yellow and black (key) in layers to create a complete, full-colour image. RGB (used on screen) uses red, green and blue light to create digital images.
These are very different colour palettes. And while both can make up almost any colour, they do it a totally different way.
I've gone in-depth in this article if you're interested in the technical differences...

Simple ways to design with wonderful colour

  • Rule number one is to maintain your colourspace at all times. Your computer will attempt to interpret RGB in a CMYK colourspace (and vice-versa), but each time you do this you're changing the image. You'll find RGB images look washed out if you convert them to CMYK badly, and by pulling artwork in and out of different colour spaces you're effectively degrading the image. Your final print will end up looking atrocious. 
  • There are a thousand ways to make up any given colour, and with CMYK you need to remember each colour strand (C, M, Y and K) is a different ink being applied to the paper. CMYK colours are made up of a percentage of each ink (ie C=100% M=20% Y=39% K=80%). Making a colour with too high a percentage can cause problems with your printing. Most printers recommend your colours are as 'clean' as 230% max for colours, and 140% for blacks. 
  • It should go without saying that remembering the basics is pretty critical. But we get lots of orders supplied in RGB. Clearly, to achieve the best colour results in print, you need to design and supply your artwork in CMYK! 

How different paper stock affect colour in print

The paper you order your printing on makes a massive difference to how your colour will appear.
This is because ink sinks into the page at different rates with different stocks.

  • Uncoated paper allows the ink to sink into the paper, causing colours to look more muted and less vibrant than coated stocks. It's part of its charm and can be used effectively to create rustic, natural looking printing. 
  • Glossy stock is coated, allowing the ink to sit 'on' the page more. This creates more vibrant colours and vivid images. 
  • Silk stock is the middle of the road paper - it's coated, meaning ink doesn't absorb too fast but doesn't show colours as rich as glossy stocks do. 

How gloss, matt and soft-touch lamination changes colour...

Adding a laminated finish to your printing also changes the colour of your print. Lamination is a cellophane film applied to the outside of your printing.

  • Matt lamination dulls colours down slightly and makes the paper feel smooth and silky. 
  • Gloss lamination makes colours more vivid. If you're looking for vibrancy you can't get better than a nice gloss lamination. Think postcards and magazine covers...
  • Soft touch lamination dulls colours down in a similar way to matt lamination. It feels like a thicker lamination and has an almost velvety finish to it. 

Want more ideas? Check out our blog.

Monday, 27 November 2017

5 tips for designing fabulous business cards

Think all business cards are the same? Think again. Here's how to design fabulous business cards, that get noticed... and remembered. 

More and more people are replacing pen and paper with digital devices like iphones and tablets, making the humble business card a thing of the past... That is for those who don't embrace change, and focus on crafting an impactful, memorable design that stands out from the crowd.

Business cards have the potential to be a key marketing opportunity. A first impression, and memorably leave behind that potential customers can use to contact you, or find out more about your business / service.

No two businesses are the same, so why would a business card be? Sure, you can order cheap business cards online using a whizzy online designer, but the quality tends to be inferior, and the business card lacking the impact you and your business need.

With the move to a more paperless world, and online printers delivering poor quality results, there's an opportunity for those keen to accept the challenge; to stand out from the crowd, with a fabulous looking business card that leaves a lasting impression.

Think bright colours, expressive angles and smooth text conveying your key messaging. 

Don't forget, your business card should drive a prospective customer to take action; call your, or visit your website.

You can use these tips, to help you design a winning business card...

1) Remember the basics...

The best design in the world will look rubbish if it prints badly. Artwork your business card at 300dpi, in CMYK with 3mm bleed. Always leave a further 3-5mm from the page edge quiet to avoid anything looking like it's falling off the edge of the page. And align elements properly - be consistent with spacing and alignment. Check out our 'quick guide to getting artwork ready for print' post for in depth pointers.

2) Include the important details...

Make sure you remember to include all the details you need on the card!! It sounds obvious, but you'd be amazed by the number of reprints we see where customers have forgotten key information they wanted to include.

3) You're paying for full colour, so use it...

While 'white space' has its place in design, don't forget to use colour on your business cards. With most printers you're paying for full colour as standard, so make the most of it, by including coloured, solid or gradient backgrounds.

4) Check the printers requirements...

Another obvious pointer, but don't forget to check your printers requirements before artworking your business cards. Most printers need 3mm bleed, but some need 5mm. Get this wrong and your design will look rubbish.

5) Choose a nice paper and finish...

Once you're happy with your design, make sure you carefully consider the type of card you're going to have your business cards printed on. Go for something thick, and add a nice finish like matt or soft touch lamination to make your business cards stand out. Check our 'choosing the right thickness business card' article for more pointers on the available finishes.


Want more ideas? Check out our 'Business Card Guide' here.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

How thick should a business card be?

If you're new to ordering printing, there'll come a time when things get confusing.

Knowing your stock from your finish, your gsm from your cmyk or your bleed from your crop markings can be something of a minefield.

Most people either use their local printer or order online (hoping everything will turn out ok!). But as business cards leave a lasting impression on you or your business, it's pretty important to tailor that impression to the right image!

In this post, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the different thicknesses business cards come in (and a whole lot more) to help you make the right choice, for you! 

How is business card thickness measured?
In the UK, we measure paper thickness is GSM (grams per square meter). The higher the GSM, the thicker the paper. GSM varies from around 80gsm (used for lightweight letterheads etc) right up to around 450gsm (used for business cards) and sometimes as high as 600gsm.

What thickness business cards are available?
Most printers run business cards on card stock that's between 350gsm and 450gsm. 350gsm or thereabouts tends to be used for cheaper business cards, whilst a thicker 400gsm - 450gsm is used for the more luxury business card ranges. Some printers offer 600gsm, and a few may offer as low as 300gsm. It goes without saying you get what you pay for - thinned business cards will be more economical price-wise, whereas your thicker 450gsm+ will cost [often] significantly more.

Which thickness business card is right for me?
The million dollar question! If your business gets through masses of business cards (maybe they double up as appointment, receipt or taxi cards), or if your business isn't trying to sell a luxury service then an economy business card around 350gsm will be perfect.
If on the other hand you're rarely using business cards, your business offers a luxury product or service, or you're trying to impress, then a 400gsm+ business card will make a huge difference. Don't forget to explore options for adding even more luxury by laminating it with soft touch or matt coating.

What paper stock should my business card be printed on?
Business cards come in either coated, or uncoated stocks. Coated stocks tend to be silk (rarely gloss), whereas uncoated business cards have a pulpy feel, and are often used for eco businesses, as they feel more natural in the hand. You'll find that silk business cards are cheaper, and printed faster. You'll also find that colours look more vibrant on coated business cards as the ink doesn't absorb in to the card as much as it does with uncoated stocks.

How should my business card be finished?
There's a big range of 'finishes' for business cards. The common ones are gloss laminate, matt laminate and velvet laminate (also called 'soft touch'). You certainly don't have to add a lamination to your business cards, and it's unusual (and a bit weird) to laminate uncoated business cards.

Here's a quick guide to how the business cards will feel with different laminations:

GLOSS: Gloss laminated business cards feel rather like a magazine cover. They're 'gloopy' and feel rich to touch. Gloss lam is a rarer choice for business cards - they went through a phase recently and become unpopular.
MATT: Matt laminated business cards are an absolute standard used by businesses all over the country. They feel silky smooth to touch, though colours look slightly muted under the laminate.
VELVET: Velvet laminated business cards (also called soft touch) feel, as the name suggests, 'velvety' to touch. They're rarer than matt laminated cards, though dull the colours in a similar way. They also show up finger marks more than matt laminated cards - if you're printing a darker solid background you might not like the way they mark - especially if you have oily fingers!

Our favourite business card...
For us 400gsm matt laminated business cards go all the way. They combine a higher end feel with reasonable pricing, and make us look great (we think). Print with us and prices start at just £30 for 250, rising to £70 for 1000 delivered.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

What is a trifold leaflet?

Trifold leaflets are one of the most ordered print products used to promote small businesses in the UK.

Literally, thousands of businesses use trifolds to drive sales, promote their business and convey information to customers.

Often referred to as 6pp DL, 6-page DL and A4 folded to DL leaflets, trifolds are a versatile marketing asset, which can make an impact in businesses of all shapes and sizes.

But what exactly is a trifold leaflet?  

Trifold leaflets are folded leaflets printed on A4 sized paper, which is folded twice to create a finished 'letter-folded' leaflet that is DL size (1/3rd A4 size).

Unlike the name suggests, a trifold leaflet is a folded leaflet with 2 folds, which creates 3 (tri) equal panels on both sides (6 in total). 

They're usually printed on thinner stock (250gsm or below).

The folds divide the paper into 3 equal sections, and they're usually distributed in their 'folded' (closed) state.

Trifolds are usually A4 folded down to DL size meaning they fit into a standard letter size envelope when closed.

Why should I order trifold leaflets?

Trifolds are one of our most popular printed products - we sell thousands of them each month to businesses from all over the UK.

There are so many uses for trifolds - with almost all businesses producing brochures of some sort.

Our trifolds start at £90 for 1000 - including free delivery and fast turnaround. If you'd like to order online, click here.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Quick guide to getting artwork ready for print

If you're designing your own artwork for print, you'll need to know how to set everything up properly, to achieve professional results. 

Setting your artwork up wrong could result in a costly mistake. 

Many printers are less than scrupulous when it comes to checking what you'd hope would be the basics. 

This short guide will help you set artwork up for print correctly.

How to set artwork files up for print:

  • Resolution: It's imperative you create artwork at the right resolution - most printers need 300dpi. Set your files up at this resolution right from the start.
  • Bleed: Bleed allows your artwork to run right to the edge of the printed document - by printing your artwork larger than the finished document, and trimming it down to size printers are able to safely print 'right to the edge' because of bleed. 
  • Colour: Commercial printers print in CMYK colour - this is a totally different space to RGB (which screens use), so to avoid artwork looking washed out, always design it in CMYK from the start. 
  • File format: Always check which file format your printers would like artwork supplied in. Most will be PDF which allows vector based artwork to remain as vectors and not bitmap. Supplying your artwork in the correct format results in better quality printing.
  • Folds and marks: If you're printing folded leaflets like trifolds, always check where the printers fold positions are - they're all different!

If you need help setting your artwork up for print, or need a free file check and are printing with us, just send it over and we'll get back to you within a few hours! Order online at http://www.thelocalprintcompany.co.uk