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Save On Printing By Choosing The Right Options!

save on printing

 

Save On Printing – What Can You Do?

 

1. Direct Mail

This can help you save on printing if you make sure everything is correct and accurate. This will need to be done before you ask a printer to print your letters off for you. If you had a database of 1000 people and for 650 of those you had an outdated address, you could have wasted money on 650 letters that didn’t even arrive to the intended people. Maintaining and updating your database is vital to save on printing when it comes to mailing your customers.

 

2. Paper

Choosing the right paper stock for your project can make the difference between how much you can save on printing. If you’re looking to mail as mentioned above, you wouldn’t need expensive paper, you could use inexpensive and uncoated paper. It would be best asking your printer which paper would best suit your project. It’s always great to save on printing, but if you end up using low cost paper on a project that you want to look good, you won’t give your print the ‘wow’ factor. This would most likely lead your target audience to ignore your print.

3. Colour

Using colour will increase the price of your printed product/s. It can impact on how much you save on printing, but using colour for your print where necessary would make it more appealing to your target audience. If you needed business cards or posters, colour would be needed. This is because it would attract more people to your piece of print. If it didn’t have colour, chances are people wouldn’t even take a second look at it. On the other hand, when it comes to print products like newsletters and daily menus, they could easily have no colour which would help you save on printing prices.

4. Digital Printing

Digital printing has a higher cost per piece of printed material compared to lithographic, because of this you may assume that the lithographic printing process is cheaper to use and allow you to save on printing. The truth is, it might not be. Digital printing takes a lot less time to set up as the printing plates do not have to be made. Making the printing plates is a lengthy and expensive step within the lithographic printing process, which would be unsuitable for short print runs as the setup cost would make Lithographic more expensive. Digital printing would help you save on printing if you’re looking to run a short print job. It offers a faster turnaround, faster setups, variable data printing and much more. If you would like to learn a little more about digital printing, please click on the header.

5. Lithographic Printing

In short terms, the lithographic printing process is excellent for the longer print runs. It will help you save on printing when compared to running a long print run using the digital printing process. This is because each printed piece is more expensive using the digital printing process, but you have to take into account the time and money involved in the setup for the lithographic process, before you can make any judgements on which process offers you the better value for your project. Longer print runs on the lithographic printing process are perfect and will help you save on printing. This is because once the setup costs have been surpassed, it will be more expensive per piece of print from there on out for the digital process.

We hope these easy to follow tips help you select the right options for your project, whilst also helping you to save on printing.

VAT And Printing! Which Printed Products Have VAT?

VAT And Printing!

Printing And VAT!

 What is VAT?

(Value Added Tax) is charged on things like:

  • Sales – Sold goods and/or services
  • Commision
  • Items sold to your own staff, such as drinks or food
  • Business assets that are being sold
  • & More

There are three rates of VAT (Value Added Tax) and they are standard rate, reduced rate and zero rate.

Almost all services and goods are charged at standard rate, unless they are classed as reduced rate or zero rate.

Zero rate means that the goods and services are still vat-taxable, but you charge your customers 0% VAT (Value Added Tax), meaning they receive no charge.  Some examples of items that are zero rate are:

  • Comics
  • Colouring books (Children’s)
  • Bulletins
  • Brochures
  • Books

You can find out more about VAT (Value Added Tax) via the Gov.uk website here – https://www.gov.uk/vat-businesses/how-vat-works

Standard Rated Print Products:

  •  Business cards
  • Calendars
  • Compliment slips
  • Envelopes
  • Folders
  • Greetings cards
  • Labels
  • Letter headings
  • Menu cards
  • Postcards
  • Printed pictures
  • Stationery
  • Stickers
  • Vouchers

You can find all of the standard rated print products listed in this attached file >>> VATable Printed Products

Zero Rated Print Products:

  • Advertising leaflets
  • Antique books
  • Antique maps
  • Appointment cards
  • Booklets
  • Brochures
  • Catalogues
  • Leaflets
  • Magazines
  • Mail order catalogues
  • Maps
  • Orders of service
  • Recipe books
  • Travel brochures

You can find all of the zero rated print products here >>> VATable Printed Products

 VAT Confusion!

Sometimes it can get a little confusing in regards to which VAT rates printed products have attached to them. An example of this would be diaries.

Diaries that are completed are zero-rated, meaning no VAT is added onto the price. Whereas Unused diaries are listed as standard rated. There are quite a few printed products that have this confusing rule attached to them, but thankfully you can find them fully explained here >>> VATable Printed Products

Thank you for reading our blog post about printing and VAT, we hope we have helped you to understand which VAT rating each product has. But don’t worry, at Printmonster we always add this on to the final price, so you aren’t left stunned and confused.

Digital Printing & Lithographic! What’s The Difference?

What Are The Differences Between Lithographic & Digital Printing?

Lithographic Vs Digital Printing

What Are The Differences Between Lithographic & Digital Printing?

Digital Printing is excellent for short runs and eliminates the need to replace the printing plates. Compared to the more traditional methods of printing where the plates would need to be continually replaced. The digital printing process also enables printers to print straight from a digital image such as a PDF file. This reduces time by taking away the need for any mechanical steps to be taken in between, such as creating the printing plates.

On the other hand Lithographic Printing is brilliant for the longer print runs. The Lithographic printing process is based on the process of repelling water and oil. When the plate is exposed to a water and ink mixture, the parts that do not require ink will attract water whilst repelling any of the ink. The parts that do need the ink will attract the ink and repel the water.

What Are The Benefits Of The Lithographic & Digital Printing Processes?

 Digital Printing:

  • Due to the reduced number of mechanical processes required, digital printing offers faster turnaround times.
  • Shorter print runs are cheaper compared to running short print runs on lithographic printing equipment.
  • Easy customisation. The digital printing process enables easy changes to be made to the artwork without slowing down or stopping the printing process. This works especially well for personalised invitations, letters, cards, letterheads etc. For example, cards can be printed with different names and messages without impacting the production of the cards. This is referred to as Variable Data Printing.
  • Less waste, more consistency and there is no need to balance the ink and water levels resulting in less variations to the printing process.

Lithographic Printing:

  • High image quality.
  • Can be used on a range of surfaces such as wood, metal, leather, plastic and paper.
  • Cheaper costs for longer print runs, compared to producing long print runs using digital printing.
  • The quality and cost effectiveness of the process during longer print jobs is unmatched by the digital printing process.
  • Increased quality due to the modern offset presses computer-to-plate systems, compared to older computer-to-film systems.

How Do You Decide What’s Right For You?

  • Digital is the way forward if you’re looking for a fast turnaround for your print.
  • If you’re looking to print on an unusual printing surface, although the digital printing process does have options, the lithographic printing process still provides more flexibility.
  • Shorter runs? The digital printing process would be the best for you.
  • Longer runs? The lithographic printing process would work best for you.
  • If you’re looking to see what your print will look like before it’s printed, digital is the right choice for you. Also if you’re looking for easy customisation, digital would again be the best process for your needs.

CMYK Explained!

CMYK (Cyan – Magenta – Yellow – Black)

CMYK

CMYK is a color model in which all colors are described as a combination of  Cyan-Magenta-Yellow & Black.

RGB (Red-Green & Blue) & CMYK

CMYK is the colour model used for printing and is displayed on products like brochures and business cards. RGB (Red, Green & Blue) is the colour model used for devices such as a computer monitors or screens as they can only be viewed with natural or produced light.

 Additive Colour & Subtractive Colour:

The RGB colour model is based on projecting light to create colour, this is referred to as additive colour. When all three colours are combined (Red, green & blue), it creates white. This is the case for devices such as your computer and TV screens. This means that for the RGB colour model, black is the absence of all colour.

When CMY (Cyan, magenta & yellow) are mixed they create black. This is the case for most printed media such as business cards, brochures, posters, etc, as CMYK displays better on paper. The pigments of CMYK are printed in small dots and if you were to take a magnifying glass to the paper, you’d see that it would mainly be just a bunch of small dots spread out across the print. Opposed to the RGB colour model, for the CMYK colour model white is the absence of all colour.

Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign all provide presets recommended for CMYK press setups which is very useful. You can also find out how to convert RGB to CMYK very easily with a quick internet search.

In conclusion, whenever you are designing for print, make sure that it’s in the CMYK colour model. Otherwise the final printed product will not look as it did when it was being displayed in RGB on your computer screen.

Why Does K Stand For Black?

This may sound like a very simple thing to solve with a quick Google search, but the actual answer has an element of the unknown to it. There are two common answers for why K stands for Black and here they are:

1. Wikipedia’s description of why K is Black is “The “K” in CMYK stands for key because in four-color printing, cyan, magenta, and yellow printing plates are carefully keyed, or aligned, with the key of the black key plate.” This is because the black plate in four-colour printing pushes the contrast and creates detail.

2. The second answer that some will give you is that it was to prevent blue being easily confused with the B for black term. This answer is considered a myth, but there is some logical reasoning behind why printers would change B to K because of the confusion between blue and black.  The reasoning behind this is if the press was loaded with blue ink at the end of the day, the entire job would have to be started over. Which, as you can imagine would cause quite the frustration amongst the printers. So it could be that key was a random word picked out of no where to stop the confusion between blue and black.

Maybe the real answer will never be known, but it certainly is a mystery for the printing industry.

 

Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Showcase Event – Our Experience!

Our Highlights Of The Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Showcase Event!

 

Standing outside of the GTG Training Academy as we arrived in the early hours of the morning. We were excited to setup the stand and take the first step to a brilliant day of networking.

GTG Training Academy

Once we entered the building, we located our space and started setting up our stand straight away. Ready and waiting for anyone who would like to speak to us throughout the day.

Printing

Just before the show, we had a great breakfast and we got to have a brief chat with some of the other exhibitors. At this point we were still looking forward to the busy event ahead of us.

Black Country Chamber Of Commerce Event

As soon as the delegates arrived and the event started, the pace soon picked up and the atmosphere was electric! There were people and businesses having friendly conversations all around us. It was great to be able to get involved and meet them! We enjoyed chatting to each and everyone we spoke with and the event was a great opportunity to learn about surrounding businesses.

Printmonster

(Our team, Autumn and Gavin)

Gavin became friends with the PG Tips monkey, courtesy of Coinadrink. They also managed to win some champagne from Autoguard Alarms, many thanks to them for our brilliant prize! Speaking of prizes, congratulations to the winner of our £250 worth of free print giveaway, well done Ramada Wolverhampton!

For everyone who attended please feel free to connect with our team on LinkedIn, if you spoke to them in person or wish to otherwise.

Black Country Chamber Of Commerce

Overall it was a great event and we had a lot of fun and got to meet some great people. It was a great event for networking and to gain an understanding of other businesses. A big thank you to the Black Country Chamber of Commerce and to GTG Training for providing us with a brilliant event. We are already looking forward to the next one!

Bleed and Crops Explained By Printmonster

Bleed and Crops

What are they and why are they needed?

Bleed for print

 

Introduction:

In this blog post we will be explaining what bleed is and why it is needed. We will also be looking at what crop marks are and why they are also important. Lastly we will be going through what a safe zone is and how all three of these come together to create a group of precautions when designing print.

What is bleed and why do I need it?

When designing your document, if you intend background elements to touch the edge of the document, then bleed is required. This is because if bleed isn’t added to a document, due to tolerances within the printing process, when the document is trimmed to size, small movements can result in small white strips showing on some edges of your print. Therefore any document that is being professionally printed will need bleed adding, that is if you intend the print to run to any or all of the edges. Your document will then be printed onto a larger sheet and this excess bleed will be trimmed off, so your document end ups at its required size with the print straight to the very edge.

The amount of bleed required is 3mm on each side. If the programme you are working your artwork in allows, set the bleed limit to 3mm on all sides. Alternatively if the programme does not allow you to set a bleed limit , you will need to extend the page to have an extra 6mm for both it’s width and it’s height. An example of this would be on an A4 document which is 210mm x 297mm. As mentioned before if the elements touch any and/or all sides of the document then the bleed will be added which will extend the sheet to 216mm x 303mm. The excess will then be trimmed off afterwards back to its intended size of 210mm x 297mm without any white strips appearing on your print.

What are crop marks and do I need to add them?

Crop marks or trim lines are small lines at the corners of your document that inform the print finisher where to trim.

Crop marks are essential for any document that will be trimmed after the initial printing process, especially if bleed has been added.

When a printer receives your artwork, it will be imposed onto oversized paper, sometimes, depending on finished size, there will be multiple copies of your artwork printed on the same sheet.

Once printed, the Crop Marks are used as a guide, informing the print finisher where to trim, enabling them to bring the document down to it’s final size.

What is the safe zone?

The safe zone is the 3mm zone inside of the cutting edge where no important information should be placed.

The printing and finishing process has tolerances. At Printmonster we always aim to be 100 percent accurate.

Machines and people, however excellent, can be variable. This variation is tiny, but information contained very close to a cut edge can give a poor looking finish.

 

 

 

What Social Media Platforms Are Right For Your Business?

      What Platforms Should You Use? (Part One)

Social Media (Twitter) (4)

Twitter:

Pros:
  • Twitter is a microblogging platform where all users are limited to 140 characters, which means that using attention grabbing titles on Twitter is a must and using one is very beneficial to the amount of clicks you can get on a link.
  • Twitter is great for raising brand awareness as it’s not too hard to gain some good organic growth as it’s a platform that is very focused on sharing (Retweeting) other user’s content.
  • Twitter lists are a very useful feature which allows users to group together other Twitter accounts into sections such as we have one for Graphic Design news and they’re very convenient as you can sort through specific content very easily. It also allows other users to subscribe to your lists unless you want to hide them from others and put them on private.
  • Twitter is also very useful for self promotion but this needs to go hand in hand with promoting others because if you’re not sharing another user’s content, other users will most likely not share yours.
  • Twitter is an incredible platform for interacting with your customers/followers/fans. You can tweet them directly and you can even help them by sharing and favouriting their content and it’s always great to give back.
Cons:
  • Twitter is extremely busy, your tweet can get lost in a matter of minutes amongst everything else. It is very important that when you do tweet, you give the tweet an attention grabbing headline that people will want to click and include a bright and eye catching image just to help to get your tweet seen.
  • Unlike other platforms it’s hard to share links that allow you to include pictures from the website in the link. A brilliant solution for this is to use Twitshot which automatically takes a picture from the page and includes it in your tweet.
  • The 140 character limit can be a problem for some. If you find it difficult to think of short and snappy sentences, it might be a challenge to fit what you want to say in this short amount of space.
  • It can take a lot of time and effort into understanding how to use Twitter correctly for business. From times you should post, frequency of posts, retweeting, content you post and so on, it’s a platform that requires trial and error before you can find a balance.
  • One of the main problems with Twitter is your feeds and messages can become full of spam as it’s very easy to tweet a lot of self promotion and send direct messages that are automated which can become annoying.
On a whole:

We think Twitter is a brilliant platform to use and we say that every business should take advantage of it. It’s great for communicating with others and encourages sharing your content and another user’s content too. There are a few drawbacks, but most of these can be overcome easily by getting to know the platform and understanding how to use it correctly. Once you do that, you shouldn’t have any problems with Twitter and it can help your company raise its brand awareness very easily.


 

Facebook:

Pros:
  • Facebook allows company pages to create a call to action button that is inserted next to the share button. Call to action buttons work very well as they help direct people to where you want them to go and the fact that Facebook has one built it in very beneficial for driving traffic to your website.
  • Facebook insights is an incredibly detailed system. It shows you exactly how well each post has done, analytics for people you’ve reached with your posts and for people who have liked your page. It tells you how many visits you’ve had, let’s you watch your competition and even tells you when your fans are online! Insights is a great tool for measuring how your business is doing on social media.
  • As Facebook has a massive user base it opens a lot of doors for your company. The amount of users on Facebook is staggering and now that they are working on Facebook for work, it will even add a professional side to Facebook which will be even more advantageous for your business.
  • If you are willing to pay to promote your business or posts, Facebook offers you a great chance to do just that. You can select how much you want to pay and it lets you know how long it will be promoted for and how many people you’re expected to reach. It also lets you select your own targeted audience which makes it all the more useful.
  • It allows people to communicate with your company with great ease. Once a follower/customer or fan has communicated with your company page it is incredibly easy for you to send a reply back. It is a great platform for providing customer support quickly and effectively.
Cons:
  •  Facebook has reduced the amount of organic reach a company page can get by a significant amount and without paying for reach you can’t reach that many people and on top of that all of your fans won’t be able to see some posts.
  • Again with most social media platforms, Facebook is very time consuming. It can take a lot of hard work trying to find out the right times to post, the frequency you should be posting, should you use videos or images and so on. It is a lengthy process, but once you have done some trial and error you will find a balance in between.
  • Facebook doesn’t come across as a professional platform and because of that if you have a company that needs to focus on the serious side and not the casual side then it’s very important that you do stick to that across all your social media platforms, but on Facebook it can put you at a slight disadvantage as it’s designed to be a casual platform, but it’s not impossible if you’re creative. As Facebook For Work may arrive soon, that could all change, but only time will tell.
  • It doesn’t allow you to direct message users unless they message you first.  Which is good in one respect as users can’t be spammed with company offers, but that also prevents genuine networking potential for those who wouldn’t abuse it. Again though, Facebook At Work may allow this in some way.
  • Although Facebook dislike over promotional things, they sure do enjoy bomboarding company pages with promote this, promote that, expand your reach, boost post and so on.  It can get in the way sometimes, but it is not a major issue.

Source used for a couple of Facebook cons – http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/disadvantages-facebook-marketing-tool-2074.html

On a whole:

Facebook has a massive user database and you can edit all sorts of options on your Facebook company page to make your page look professional and taken care of. It allows all kinds of posts and as users can do a wide range of things on Facebook, it’s a great place for your business to be. Unfortunately as Facebook has clamped down on organic growth a lot of businesses have quit Facebook as they simply don’t think it’s worth the time. But Facebook At Work may change the outlook for businesses. If you would be willing to promote your page and posts you could probably gain a significant amount of reach which would benefit your page, but if you’re not willing you will probably not achieve a great deal of reach.


We hope part one has helped you understand a little more about these two platforms or maybe it’s helped jog your memory on a point that you may have forgot about. They are both brilliant to use for any business looking to raise brand awareness and interacting with your customers/followers and fans is very easy. In part two we will be looking at LinkedIn and Instagram so stay tuned!

 

How To Combine Print And Digital Media To Create Your Own Marketing Superpower!

How do I unite both forms of media?

Digital Marketing1.   Brand Unity

Having a print and online presence unites your brand and makes your brand a lot more credible. Having a presence in both sections is also very useful as they both complement each other well and reinforce the other one just as well.

2.   Including Social Media And Website On Print

This point is a given and if you’re not already doing it, we strongly advise you to do so. A business card or any other type of informational printed product is there to inform, obviously. So missing out your company’s website and social media platforms just doesn’t make sense, if you do include them it further increases your traffic to your social media platforms and your website and could reinforce your company’s credibility if someone took a look at them.

3.   QR Codes

Qr codes are a brilliant way of uniting both medias. You can place a Qr code that takes the user to a special offer or an exclusive page when scanned which is a big incentive to visit your digital side for those who prefer printed media or haven’t explored the online presence of you company.

4.   Campaigns

You could create a printed campaign and add your social media platforms to the print, but also add a hashtag to follow your campaign. Using on that isn’t used, so it’s a fresh hashtag that can be associated with your promotion. Not only is that good for your followers and customers, but it’s good for you as it allows you to track your promotion through the hashtag mentions. It also allows you to turn a one to one campaign into a many to many campaign where you can interact with the people who have your printed promotion it also gives each follower and fan the chance to engage with each other.

5.   Direct mail

Prepare your target audience for printed direct mail using email: The Ink IQ Blog notes that “If you have both a physical and email address for a customer or prospect, integrating direct mail and email can be an effective way to make the most impact on the individual.” They provide an example:

“A marketer sends an email alerting a customer that an important direct mail piece will soon arrive. Then the direct mail piece is sent about a week later. After the direct mail arrives, a follow up email is sent to reinforce the message in the direct mail and encourage a response. This three-part campaign can be conducted almost as cheaply as sending the direct mail alone, since there is little cost associated with the two email contacts.”

Direct Mail Source – http://monitor.icef.com/2013/10/integrating-print-collateral-with-online-marketing/ 

The Marketing Powerhouse You Could Be Using!

                                                Print Vs Digital?

Print Vs Digital Media
Case: Print Media VS Digital Media?

We hear a lot that Printed media is constantly competing with Digital media, but is it? There are also many articles that state print is dead and that digital media is the only way forward in marketing but how much of that is true?

Why Choose Print?

Print Media

  1. You can feel and touch print, you can pick it up and put it down to return to it later. You can cut out parts and fold it up, you can do a lot with one piece of print. Once in a household it can stay there for months and even years unlike digital marketing where one tweet can disappear instantaneously.
  2. The fact that printed media is reducing can be used as a massive advantage for any company as there will be less competition and no crowding, allowing more room for your ad to shine.
  3. People often scan through digital media at a very fast pace whereas with print, people tend to take their time and focus more on what it is saying.
  4. There is no rule saying that print can’t also be digital. A simple well placed QR code once scanned can take the you to a homepage or a special offer page exclusive to those who have the printed promotion.
  5. The print industry is worth an incredible £420 billion and it drives $2.49 Trillion in related services, not only that but print is also very green and uses a lot of recycled material to make more print.

Sources:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/thesba/2012/06/28/print-is-dead-not-so-fast/

http://printisbig.com/

 

Why Choose Digital Media?

  1. It is more affordable as the cost of a post is nothing and you can generate a lot of engagement from one post which could result in profit from nothing spent.
  2. It gives fans of your company an easier way to share things about your company/brand with one single click of a button.
  3. It allows your customers/fans to interact with you and interact with others who follow your company too, which is great for everyone involved.
  4. SEO. If you can get a good spot on a Google search result that in itself will drive a lot of traction your way. If somebody searches the profession your company is in and your company comes up on the first page, then that is very valuable position to be in.
  5. Finally, you can generate massive brand recognition and awareness. Your social media platforms are a new way of expressing your brand’s voice and if you get involved with other users and companies you will gain a lot of awareness by simply interacting with other people.

Sources:

http://www.quora.com/What-are-the-advantages-of-Digital-Marketing

https://www.emailmanager.com/uk/blog/1/1512/benefits-and-importance-of-digital-marketing-beyond-seo-and-adwords.html

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jaysondemers/2014/08/11/the-top-10-benefits-of-social-media-marketing/

Using them together

Now you’ve seen the benefits of both types of media you may be asking yourself why can’t they be used together? Why does it have to be one or the other? The answer is it doesn’t.

There are certain points that prove that digital is better than print and there are points that show that print is better than digital media, so why not combine the best of both and create a marketing strategy that incorporates the two to create a marketing powerhouse that would establish your company in the digital and physical world?

If you are asking yourself how can I combine print and digital media together, then stay tuned for our next blog post which will reveal all.

How Do Colours Affect You?

The Psychology Behind Colours

 

Choosing colours for their psychological properties may not seem that important to you, but we assure you, they are. The colours you are using could actually represent emotions and feelings that you do not want your brand representing.

 But Don’t worry you don’t have to be a Psychologist to understand the psychological properties behind each colour. We have found some great links that do a brilliant job of explaining in depth the positive and negative emotions and feelings that colours can represent.

true-colors

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_psychology – Wikipedia does a great job of explaining all the different aspects of the psychology of colours to give you a more detailed understanding of colour psychology.

http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours – Colour affects goes a lot more in depth in terms of the actual emotions and feelings that each colour represents, they also provide a great description for each colour too.

http://www.ddwcolor.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/colour-infographic-2.jpg – This infographic goes a step further and starts to explore different shades of colour and explaining the little differences that each shade has.

After reading this you may want to assess the colours you use to see if what they represent is in line with what you want your company/brand representing.