Derby Printer has eggsellent month!

Posted on: March 29th, 2017 by Jilly Rapley No Comments

We’re having an eggsellent month

We have been very busy here at Essential Print Services HQ and so, we have lots of news to share with you…let’s get cracking!

We’ve had a special delivery of our very own Essential Easter eggs – they’re clucking great! They’ll be in delivery packs from April 1st but, there are only 100 available so, don’t be a fool –  hop to it and order your next print project with us today.

Brain feeling scrambled? Don’t worry. If you’re stuck for ideas, simply call us on 01332 418377 and we’ll do the thinking for you. How about your very own clutch of branded eggs?

March into April showers with branded brollies

Spring has sprung and with it, comes the unpredictability of our great British weather but there’s no need to fear because we’ve got you covered with our eggstravagent offer:

Start creating your own brollies – email the Print Angels today!

 Take Stock!

 I’m using my printer to put jokes on   the labels of Oxo cubes.

It’s become a laughing stock!

When was the last time you updated your business plan?
Business plans are not just to show the bank manager. They are an ever-changing document to help keep you motivated. Tip: Keep a copy on your desktop to help maintain focus & achieve your goals.
 

We had a flippin’ good February

In true Print Angel fashion, pancake day was celebrated in style with tasty takeaway pancakes from The Docks.

Here’s our very own Yvonne, with Hannah from The Docks, collecting a box load of treats for The Print Angels. We chose a variety of fillings – Katie had Bacon and Maple Syrup, Lee decided upon Banana and Nutella and Yvonne went with the classic lemon and sugar. Delicious!

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” Quote by Vivian Greene

And to dance in the rain, you’ll need a brolly – order your corporate rain covers today!
Click to start creating your own brollies


What to put on a business card

Posted on: January 9th, 2015 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments

What to put on a business card

“What do I need to put on my business cards?” This is one of the most asked questions at Essential Print Services.

After 18 years of creating artwork files for print, I must have supplied thousands of business cards proofs.

Using this experience, here are my top ten tips on what to include on a business card.

1) Your Name

If you’re lucky enough to have credentials to display after your name, ensure they are not the same size as your name – this can look overbearing and confusing.

Depending on the type of industry you’re in, you may want to consider displaying your nickname too. This will show your company’s personality and could create a valuable talking point at networking events.

2) Title

OK, so you may not be brave enough to use a nickname, so have a funky title instead. Here at Essential Print Services our business cards show:

Yvonne Gorman – Print Evangelist
Laura Etheridge – The Print Angel
Kat Towler – Artwork Angel

Again, this depends on your audience and customers. I know an accountancy firm that call themselves ‘Bean Counters’ which I think is really cool. But would a really serious client with no sense of humour appreciate that?

3) Logo

Think of your business card as the door to your company so display your logo somewhere prominent. People’s focus usually starts in the top left of a screen or document so that’s where your logo could be.

If your logo doesn’t explain what your company does, then ensure you make it clear somewhere on your business card – don’t leave your reader guessing. Spell it out for people.

4) Contact details

Firstly, ALWAYS include your website address somewhere, because if all else fails, people can visit your site for more information.

If you’ve given someone your business card, they’ll expect to get in contact with you directly and quickly using the information on your card. If you give them a landline, which takes them on a wild goose chase around your phone system, people may get frustrated and give up; ‘Press 1 for Sales, Press 2 for accounts etc. “Aarrghh I just want to speak with Bob! Give me Bob now!

Decide how you’d like new contacts to get in touch. If you prefer people to call your mobile, rather than your main landline, then just put your mobile number. If people want your landline, they can always find it on your website (make sure they can). If you really want to put your landline somewhere, then make your mobile number bigger and bolder.

If there is space, include your email address. If your email is really long because of your name or domain name or both, then display it small. By ensuring your website is displayed somewhere, if people struggle to read your email, they can refer to your website address, which should have the same domain name. If they’re not the same – why not?

Avoid using “joebloggs@hotmail.co.uk” with “www.joebloggsislovely.com”. This looks unprofessional. Ask yourself (or the company that hosts your email) why don’t I have, “joe@joebloggsislovely.com”?

More and more so, we are receiving business card files that have no physical address on them. This makes sense if people work from home and don’t want people turning up to their home whilst they’re making the tea in their Superwoman Pyjamas (sorry, that’s just me). But if you’re trying to create a perception that your company is more established, including a location at least would be useful.

So rather than: Unit 11 Melbourne Court Millennium Way Pride Park Derby DE24 8LZ
You could try: Pride Park, Derby

Fax? What is a fax? Be honest, when did you last hear the fax machine ring? Of course, if you’re a solicitor, you may need to include it but if you can, then leave this off.

Do you use Social Media for your business? If yes, then include the identities of social media platforms on your business cards. Use the ones you actually use or receive the most engagement from your audience. There’s no point including platforms like ‘Pinterest’ or ‘Google+’ if you have no intention of using them.

Social media icons and identities can take up a lot of room. Your business cards are ‘prime advertising space’ – so use it wisely.

Here at Essential Print Services, we evaluated the return on investment from our social media activities and found that we had the least amount of engagement with our audience on Facebook. So when I was designing our new business cards and I had no space for a fifth social media identity, I knew which one I could afford to leave off.

I would advise you to include which account you want people to follow or ‘like’. Don’t leave it to chance. If you have a personal and business account, ensure people know to follow your business account. Do you really want a really important business prospect following your personal account and seeing what you did at the weekend?

How to display your social media identities on your business card. 

Here are the three most popular ones:

For Facebook, use the icon and then /essentialprint
Avoid using the whole URL (i.e. www.facebook.com/essentialprint), this will take up too much space.

For Twitter, use the icon and @essentialprint

For LinkedIn, use the icon and ‘Your Name’ or ‘YourName’. People will search for you anyway.

If you print the icons, don’t manipulate them. At the end of the day, they are someone else’s property. I know I wouldn’t appreciate it if someone changed my logo without permission.

Ensure these identities ARE correct and the ones you’ve definitely registered – don’t guess them. They could belong to someone else (heaven forbid).

Check that they all work before going to print. In fact, CHECK EVERYTHING BEFORE APPROVING YOUR PROOF.

5) Services & Products

Only if you have space, then include a handful of bullet points about how you can benefit customers. A short sentence should do the trick.

6) Font Size

I have seen text so small on a printed business card that I have struggled to read it. At the same token, I have received cards where the name of the person is HUGE but the details are teeny tiny. Ensure your font size depicts the hierarchy of its information but no so that it looks disproportionate.

Depending on the type of font you’re using, try not to use fonts no smaller than 7pt.

If you’d like us to supply a FREE business card template for your business card, which helps show the font hierarchy, simply get in touch.

Here are a few more tips that you may wish to consider;

7) Buy what you need

Buying more cards than you actually need is a false economy. You’re denying yourself the opportunity to refresh your cards and update information.

If you buy thousands, you run the risk of becoming bored and disenfranchised with the content, this may even discourage you from giving them out. A new finish or trend of cards may arrive and then you’re left with hundreds or thousands of cards made redundant because you want to keep up with the times.

If you’re a start-up company purchasing your very first set of business cards, you may want to keep volumes low because of price. I’d recommend buying 500 cards for your first set. You’ll be amazed how many you’ll get through. Supportive family and friends will want a few each and before you know it, you’re placing a re-order.

Whenever you want to change the look or material of your business cards – always ask to see a sample of the card.

Once you’ve had your new cards printed, be sure to obtain honest feedback from people. You may think your new cards are the bee’s knees but is your message getting across correctly?

8) Material

You’ve set out what your card will look like, you’ve worked out how many you’ll need, now think about what type of card you’d like.

Our most popular is 350gsm weight with a matt laminated coating both sides. This makes the card durable and helps against them becoming dog-eared in handbags and pockets.

The price of Spot UV business cards has reduced dramatically in recent years and here at Essential Print Services, we can offer Spot UV on one side for just £30 +VAT more (for 500 cards) and £40 +VAT for double sided Spot UV. Spot UV is a shiny bit of film that can be applied to particular areas of graphics and images. UV works well when it is applied onto a dark background. On light backgrounds, it is not very noticeable. Spot UV doesn’t work very when its applied to thin, small text either.

Here at Essential Print Services HQ, we LOVE round corners. Probably a bit too much. We can offer to round off the corners of your business cards for as little as £15 extra +VAT (for 500 cards).  We can round corner all the corners, just one, two or three! Or have a mixture. For more information about round cornered business cards, read out popular blog post, “Give your full colour printing the edge”.

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Heavyweight & Hard-Core Business Cards Range.

HEAVYWEIGHT; business cards that are 600gsm! A chunky, quality business card that packs a punch but that doesn’t cost the earth. These are available with an uncoated finish or matt laminated finish.

HARD-CORE; not for the faint-hearted – these cards will make a real impact without having to rob a bank. These are a range of 700gsm business cards with a coloured core centre, available in red, yellow, blue or green.

If you’d like to see samples of any of the above materials, or would like a price list, simply call the Print Angels on 01332 418377 for a FREE sample pack.

A montage of Essential Print Services' new business cards

Spot UV can be seen here on the black card – it’s the shiny circles. By applying Spot UV directly to a dark background, you can make some really interesting effects. Talk to us about how to liven up your business cards.

9) There’s always two sides to every story… or a business card

Choose double sided, every time. It will give you the space you need to make the maximum impact and get your message across. Use surplus space to portray your corporate identity.

10) You only get one chance to make a first impression…

…so make it count. Choose quality business cards from a quality printer and Essential Print Services can certainly help you with this. We will help you decide what will be best for your image and budget.

Think about how you will hand out your cards. Will you hand it over considerately and take time over the exchange? Or just throw them out like confetti? Every aspect of this first encounter is crucial and will say a lot about you, and your business.

Invest in a decent business card holder. Giving out business cards that have been in your pocket for a while, that may be damaged and have bits of suspicious fluff on it, just isn’t good enough.

Look after your cards so that each one looks like it’s hot off the press. You must be proud to hand out any printed literature, especially your business cards so buy cards that you can hand out without hesitation. They could be the best investment you make.

If you need any further assistance with your business cards, or any print for that matter, chat to us online, call us on 01332 418377 or email info@essentialprinting.co.uk



How to approve a proof – Essential Print Tips

Posted on: October 16th, 2013 by Rebekah Lord No Comments

Proof reading – check it out.

Once you’ve agreed on the design of your poster, brochure, newsletter or other product you might heave a sigh of relief and think your work is done – but you’d be wrong.

Probably the most important stage of the print process is when you are sent a proof to check and sign off.

Here’s my top ten checklist of what to do next.

1. Check the spelling AGAIN.
Computerised spell checks can miss mistakes, so this is your final chance to make sure that all names, spelling and punctuation are correct. Check it yourself AND ask someone else to check it as well. Don’t give the other person your copy with your notes on it. Let them see the proof with fresh eyes.

2. Check the contact details.
Are all telephone numbers, emails and websites correct? You can sometimes see what you EXPECT it to say. Have you included all the ways people can connect with you – such as your Twitter handle (e.g. @essentialprint)? It’s always a good idea to check proofs at the start of the day, or whenever you’re not going to be distracted or interrupted so that you can really focus on the task.

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3. Print the proof out – or ask the printer for a hard copy.
Sometimes you spot things in a hard copy that you miss on screen.  It also helps to see the work at its real size. If you’re printing from Adobe Acrobat Reader, ensure you’ve ticked ‘print to size’ not ‘print to fit’ because it’s only at the actual size that you will be able to see the true scale of the text and images.  At Essential Print Services we offer digitally printed proofs – just ask us for advice.

4. Is the text size appropriate?
Now that you can see the proof at actual size are you happy that all the text is easy to read? Make sure that people won’t have to strain their eyes to read it.

5. Ask about the colours.
Don’t assume that the colours you see on screen are 100% accurate because they won’t be. At Essential Print Services, we’ll give you as much help as possible to understand the real colours that will appear on your printed product. The material on which the item will be printed will affect the final version.

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6. Do you know what material your job will be printed on?
If you haven’t seen and held a sample of the material, then now is the time to get your hands on it, before it’s too late. Ask for one of our free printed swatch packs to help you with your decision.

7. Check it with someone in your target market.
If, for example, your print is aimed at parents with young children, show it to friends with youngsters in the right age group.  Ideally, you should have done this at the design stage, but, if you didn’t, run it by them now. The cost of changes might still be better than sending out material that doesn’t hit the spot.

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8. How to make changes.
Never say to a printer: “Can you just change that word and go straight to print?” You may trust your print company implicitly and that’s lovely, but don’t leave room for error. Has the final version signed off properly? At Essential Print Services, we always have any changes, however minor, re-proofed and approved.  Even if you’ve supplied a perfect PDF for us to print, we’ll always email you a proof for approval. Why? Because a client may have sent us an old version of a flyer or booklet and that last minute check will save them time and money.

9. What to do when things go wrong – and it’s not your fault.
So, you approved your proof and received your job but there’s an error. Check the file you approved. Check your email correspondence. If the file you approved doesn’t match the one you had printed then call the printer as soon as possible. Don’t email – emails can easily ‘go astray’ or be put off until later. Ask to speak to the person you’ve been dealing with throughout the process. After the conversation, ask them to send you an email confirming what they’ve agreed to do to put it right.

If the mistake has been made by a third party (e.g. a graphic designer sending the wrong file directly to your supplier) then ask that person to contribute towards the reprint. But bear in mind that they are not obliged to help – YOU as the client are responsible for having checked everything before printing.

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10. What to do when things go wrong – and it is your fault.
If you realise you have made a mistake – take responsibility for it. If you need the correct version printing again, ask the printer if they’d give you a discount for a quick reorder. They may welcome another unexpected job and they may have some material left over from your first job that they can use up to save costs.

Errors will jump out at you

Finally, I’d say LOVE the experience of creating and approving your printed work. If you’re a small business you probably don’t have things printed all the time, so make proofing your work an enjoyable event. Make a cuppa, take a break and have a Kit Kat. When you’re in the right frame of mind, you can check things more easily. If you’re relaxed, errors will jump out at you and you’ll have peace of mind that the finished work is going to look great and your money has been well spent.

If you’re still unsure about something on your proof, pick up the phone and talk to your supplier.

If the proof is from us, call 01332 418377 and chat to us about any concerns. There is no such thing as a silly question.



Happy Wednesday from the ‘Essential’ Team!

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 by Laura Etheridge No Comments

 

You’ve been brought here by our Wisdom Wednesday, thanks for scanning our QR code!

What are Quick Response Codes? (QR Codes)

QR Code examples for printing - how to set them up

For those of you who have smart phones, which are iPhones, Blackberry or Androids etc, you can use your ‘app stores’ and download a free piece of software. Search for ‘barcode scanner’ or ‘QR Reader’. I can recommend AT&T for an iPhone but other readers are available.

 

The possibilities are endless. If you’re using different images on your cards, you may want to include a QR code which will take someone straight to the relevant page on your website. Or you can direct people to a special offer or event.

 

To create the code itself, I often use qrstuff.com, but again, other QRC Generators are available. For more information on how QR Codes work or to use your QR Reader to scan the QR Codes above, download my FREE Business Card Info Sheet. Happy scanning!

 



Business Cards; the first impression is essential

Posted on: March 6th, 2012 by Yvonne Gorman No Comments

What you should put on your business card

Essential Print Services’ Yvonne Gorman, talks through how to make your business card a success;

The only information you actually need on a business card includes:

1. Your Name

2. Your Company logo.

I have one side of my card dedicated to my logo. Why? Because I think of it as the front door to my office. It’s the ‘welcome’ to my card. It helps with brand identity and instills confidence so give your logo the space it deserves. Make it as big as possible and ensure nothing interrupts it. By this I mean, avoid putting other information too close or putting pictures or watermarks behind it.

Why not download my FREE Business Card Info Sheet’ which accompanies this blog?

3. One form of contact (email, landline, mobile number)

Whatever you choose to include, ensure that your preferred method of contact is highlighted. So if you prefer to be contacted on your mobile, perhaps, make it bold and a little larger than the landline.

Only include the details you need, which will leave space for other things that will enhance your business card. You could also include:

4. Title – which is being left off more and more with the fear of appearing pretentious, personally, I like to know whom I’m dealing with.

5. Web address – to save space, omit the www. You don’t need to type this in anymore and if it has a .co.uk or .com after it, people will know it’s a web address.

6. Physical address

If you work from home you may want to leave this out and just put, “Pride Park, Derby”. I think it is important for people to know where you’re based or where you can operate.

7. What do you do?

Don’t assume that people can guess what you do from just reading your company name. Having a company name like, “Essential Print Services’ is probably an easy one but if your company name is abbreviated or not obvious, then spell it out for people. Perhaps include 2-3 short bullet points about your services or list your top three products.

8. Social Media

Social Media Icons for Essential Print Services versus Yvonne Gorman

With methods of communication like faxes becoming pretty much obsolete, including your social media icons will show your prospects that your company is keeping up with the times.

People can just do a search for you on their favourite social media network. However, if you want business people to link up with your business profile rather than your personal profile, then include the address you want them to see.

Don’t make the mistake I made. I used to include just the social media icons on my literature. So when people searched, they would search for me, Yvonne Gorman and not my company, Essential Print Services. On Twitter for example, people are following @yvonnegorman rather than @essentialprint, which is fine (sort of) because people buy from people, but I sometimes tweet and post things about my personal life, which is not always relevant to my business contacts. I may not want my biggest and best client to know what I got up to at the weekend!

If you do include social media icons, ensure the files you use are the most recent versions and are print-quality, otherwise, you may end up with a mix-match of blurry icons. If in doubt, just email me and I will check them for you.

9. Quick Response Codes (QR Codes)

QR Code examples for printing - how to set them up

For those of you who have smart phones, which are iPhones, Blackberry or Androids etc, you can use your ‘app stores’ and download a free piece of software. Search for ‘barcode scanner’ or ‘QR Reader’. I can recommend AT&T for an iPhone but other readers are available.

The possibilities are endless. If you’re using different images on your cards, you may want to include a QR code which will take someone straight to the relevant page on your website. Or you can direct people to a special offer or event.

To create the code itself, I often use qrstuff.com, but again, other QRC Generators are available. For more information on how QR Codes work or to use your QR Reader to scan the QR Codes above, download my FREE Business Card Info Sheet. Happy scanning!

10. Your picture

If you’re feeling really brave, then include your picture. I’m not talking about the ones with you in your swimming trunks or bikini! Something more professional. Why? Because people buy from people.

When I send information by post to people I haven’t met before, having my picture on my business card is a real ice breaker. The recipient is reminded that a human being has sent it to them and people will feel more familiar with you when you make that follow up call.

If you’ve met someone once at a networking event and they don’t look at your card again for a few weeks, if you have your picture on your card, they’re more likely to remember you.

11. Accreditations & Industry Bodies . If you are a member of a business group, like Derby Hub, or if you have industry accreditations, you may want to include these on your card. They will add gravitas to your business card but first ask yourself, “will they give your card a shelf life?” “Will your card have adequate space.” If you decide to leave one of the groups, or one of the organisations goes out of business, your business card is no longer valid.

Why not download my FREE Business Card Info Sheet which accompanies this blog?

Download our FREE Business Card Info Sheet

12. Other things to consider;

a) Presentation. I use mini envelopes to give out my business cards. I’ve not yet heard a bad word said about this method. I even print different messages onto the front like, “Hello”  “Howdy” and “Nice to meet you.”

It works well. It makes a great first impression. It is as though I’m presenting the card as a gift rather than just a throw away item, which adds value.

If you colour co-ordinate the envelope to your logo, it looks like a well thought through gesture and shows your contact you have attention to detail. Or what about colour co-ordinating the envelope to your client’s logo or favourite colour? Or to a piece of clothing they are wearing?

I always carry a stock of pre-printed multi-coloured envelopes. That way, when I meet someone, I ask, “what’s your favourite colour?” and hand them a card in an envelope of their choice.

If envelopes are not your thing, then think about how you are going to present your card? The Japanese present their cards with two hands and take time to look at cards they receive as a mark of respect. This may seem odd to us, but what a lovely gesture? After all, you’ve spent the time and money putting it together, why not give it the recognition it deserves?

Why not invest in a nice business card holder? Again, choosing one that is a little different or co-ordinates with your logo and brand will make your cards memorable.

You could buy a silver business card holder and ask a local trophy company to engrave your logo on it.

But after all this…you must stick to what you feel comfortable with. You have to feel confident giving out your cards. If you don’t feel proud to hand out your card, then talk to someone like me. I can provide you with some Business Card Coaching.

b) Use the card, the whole card and nothing but the card

Use both sides of the card; this valuable space is often neglected. Some would argue that this area can be used to make notes on but with iPhones and Blackberries, few people bother scribbling down notes.

c) Shape & Size & Weight

Standard size: 85mm x 55mm. Sticking to this size will ensure your business cards will fit in most business card wallets and holders.

The standard weight of board used for business cards is between 350gsm-400gsm (gsm = grams per square metre). Just because a board is 400gsm, doesn’t mean it is going to be thicker than 350gsm. Some 400gsm boards can be thinner than 350gsm and every type of board is different so ensure you obtain a sample before purchasing.

If you wanted to stand out from the crowd think about:

i) different size
ii) different shape
iii) really thick card, or ‘Duplexing’
iv) cutting out a shape in the card (i.e. die-cutting)
v) applying a shiny surface (i.e. Spot UV or Foil Blocking)
vi) Rounded Corners – see our previous blog to find out how rounded corners can give your business cards the ‘edge’

d) Make your card useful.

I’ve seen a photographer’s business card double up as a free standing mini calendar and each month they would send people their new card, with new pictures and message. It is a great way to stay in touch with your clients and to have your company’s brand on your clients’ desks…and the best bit; cost effective advertising all year round.

e) Choose Quality

As the old saying goes, ‘you’ll never get a second chance to make a first impression’ so good quality business cards are essential for anyone in business, that means business. Business Cards are one of our best sellers and so we know what works well.

To help you make the right impression; every card that is printed by Essential Print Services is printed onto quality, heavyweight board. Matt lamination, which we highly recommend, will make them even more durable. But there are a whole range of boards and finishes that you can choose from and using my years of experience I will help you decide on the most efficient and cost effective choices, which will help your company to really stand out from the crowd.

I can provide printed business cards to fit any budget; from our standard range right through to our brand new range of ‘VIP’ cards (Very Important Print), which uses specialist finishes such as, Spot UV, Foil Blocking, Embossing and Duplexing

f) The Scouts are right; be prepared.

Always carry business cards with you. To the pub, on holiday, everywhere. You just never know where that next opportunity will spring up. If you can help someone and you need to give them your details, what better way than to give them your business card. No doubt, in time, the favour will be returned.

So make a fabulous first impression. Business cards are quite often the first piece of literature a new person will receive from your business. What would it say about your business if you handed over a sub-standard business card, dog-earred, marked and crinkled?

If you can give your business cards due care and attention, a potential customer will have more confidence in you.

Remember; when your card is amongst all those other cards, a business card that carries a little more information and innovation has more of a chance of being noticed. And whose card would you like to get noticed? Your business card, or your competitors’?

When someone chooses Essential Print Services to print their business cards, I talk them through all the best options and ensure they’re happy and clear about what we will be doing for them. I have no choice but to do it this way – it is my reputation on the line. I want to provide the best service, the best prices and to ensure the business cards I print for my clients will work hard for their company.

For impartial advice about business cards or any other form of printing, call me, Yvonne, owner of Essential Print Services on 01332 418377. I look forward to hearing from you soon.




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If you need PRINT, you've come to the right place.

Choose Essential Print Services to take care of your print requirements.

We are a printing company based on Pride Park in Derby and we pride ourselves on making professionals look professional, by offering competitive prices, exceptional customer service and spectacular print. Our 'Customer Reviews' show just a few of our many satisfied customers.

From business cards, brochures and leaflets, through to folders, flyers, banners and promotional items, we can handle anything from conventional full-colour print to some of the most bizarre print requests.

If you need a printer, who will look after you, every step of the way, call 01332 418377.

OPENING TIMES:
Monday to Friday, 9am - 5.30pm
If you have an urgent enquiry out of office hours please, call 07809 361708.

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