Worth your weight in paper
Guest Post- Are your marketing materials worth your weight in paper?
Getting your business cards and flyers is often the first step in printed marketing when you start your business. Years ago it was just a case of having a basic card with your name and number on it, but now there is so much more to consider. It’s usually my clients next port of call after having their professional photography done by me, so I asked Nicola Gunn of Millfield Print to give us some insight on the ins and outs of choosing printed products to help showcase our businesses.
”When I started to write this blog about paper…. It made me realise how much we use it in so many different formats, its origin and the process in which its made. Paper as we know it traces its roots back to China at the beginning of the first millennium AD 2,000 years ago. It is still vital to modern business even in the age of new technologies, social media and computers. Amazing!
When I am out and about I am constantly picking up magazines and booklets. I love to see a beautiful brochure with crisp colourful images. I like to feel the quality I’m sure you’re the same! Well maybe not but it may help you to understand the process and possibly the pain that they went through as a business to get their finished product exactly right.
So, it’s all about the paper, and as you would expect we at Millfield Print are pretty clued up on this subject.”
”Choosing your paper quality and weight is fundamental to your finished product so we think you should choose wisely. Paper quality or Grams per square meter (GSM) as it is known, means the higher the number the heavier the paper. When it comes to finalising the requirements of your print job, be sure to consider the weight of paper on the inside as well as the cover. I would suggest that if you want to provide a professional quality finish then opting for heavier paper is your best choice. Although deciding on the paper quality will impact both the cost and quality of your brochure, please remember that this will provide the first impression for your potential customer and will say a lot about your business.
All paper starts its life as uncoated which means it has no coating, making it excellent to absorb the ink receptivity which makes it ideal for forms, appointment cards letterheads and memo paper because it is ideal to write on. As the ink dries well there is no need for a seal varnish as the ink does not rub off. We then add the preferred finish to your job.
Gloss paper comes in 130gsm 150gsm and 170gsm which is normally used for flyers and leaflets as it has a high shine. Gloss coating is a premium coating that creates a glossy finish to a targeted area on top of your printed job that makes aspects of your design really stand out. It provides a much greater shine than gloss paper, particularly when added to a laminated, which is ideal for a logo, pattern or name which will help you stand out from your competition.
Matt paper isn´t shiny because it is coated with a matt lamination which prevents glare. Matt paper is suitable for reports, brochures and leaflets particularity as it is available in heavier paper.
Silk coated paper is the in betweener, silk has a beautiful smooth silky coating which is smooth to touch without the shine. This type of paper is suitable for magazines, books, catalogues and flyers.
There are a lot of options available so the first step is choosing what sort of brochure your business needs and what it will say about your brand. Flyers are one of the bestselling marketing tools but remember they must grab your customer’s attention so concentrate on key messages, be creative, decide what you are wanting to say or sell. Try to be different from all the other flyers that are posted though your customers door.
Then it is about getting your design right. You could use the skill and flair from a graphic designer, who will be able to advise and guide you. Look at their work for other brands. Throw some ideas round together perhaps using mood boards and discuss what your business needs are. You don’t want to go to the trouble of spending a lot of time and money in designing your brochure only to get it wrong at the print stage, follow our step by step guide
Top Tips when creating your marketing materials
* Decide what your objectives are and what you are trying to achieve, and who your target audience is
* This will then determine whether you need a brochure, booklet, flyer or leaflet?
* What size and how many pages?
* Choosing the right paper weight and type is just as important as the design itself. It will add value to the service or goods that you are selling. Opt for a nice coated finish. Remember customers like the feel of things, so if you get the quality right you may get a better return on your investment.
* Will your printing be folded, collated, stapled or bound? Is the cost of finishing included in the quote?
* Decide on the amount, get a quote for a couple of different amounts and finishing options from your printer
* When do you need them by as this may well affect the cost?
* One thing to stress is you cannot compromise when it comes to good quality images. Particularly if you are looking to showcase your niche. So getting it right first time, will save you money in the long run. Particularly if you are you planning to exhibit in the future as you could need large format banners. In which case the images need to be at least 300dpi (dots per inch) preferably bigger if possible to ensure they are crisp and they won’t blur or pixilate. Which is why using a professional photographer will bring your brand to life, the photos will be exclusive to you and your business and you will have the edge over your competitors.
* Allow time for it to be checked for clarity and for errors by other people in your group
* Make sure the artwork is in the agreed format and get it to your printer on time
By Nicola Gunn – Millfield Print.
Nicola has been working as Marketing Director for Millfield Media since 2015. After originally working in Health related jobs in Facilitation and Operational Management for over 25 years she decided to join her partners business to help it grow our customer base using the marketing skills she had acquired on various courses and using the social media platforms. She enjoys outdoor life, especially cycling, gardening and walking and spending time with her grand daughter.