Why should you print professionally?

There’s no way around it, any form of colour printing can look cheap and sub-standard when done in-house, it can also become very expensive very quickly. This is just when you’re attempting to print single sheets; you will encounter even more problems when you try to print business cards, posters or brochures.

That is where the professionals come in. A professional printing company will have access to the latest technology. Producing high-quality, detailed work rather than the unprofessional work that you wold produce in-house.

Your promotional materials are more than just a way to shout about your services; they should inspire trust and reliability in your company. Imagine you receive two flyers in the post, one has been printed on an inkjet printer on low-quality printer paper using low-resolution images; the other has been printed using a digital printer, on 350gsm glossy paper with high-quality images and vibrant colours. It is clear which flyer would generate the most interest.

As with most services, not all printing services are the same. It is important that you do your due diligence. The cheapest option may not necessarily be the best; there may be hidden costs to be aware of too! Check out a company’s testimonials and reviews; this will give you a good idea of what previous clients really think. Take a look at social media, a lot of customers use this platform to air their grievances so it can tell you a lot. Speak to a range of companies and ask to see sample work, they may even have a sample pack that they can send out to you. This will give you an idea of the quality and range of work that they can offer your business.

At Metro Repro, we are committed to our clients. We have a range of services to help your business, and we offer a same-day turnaround service so that your business is not left waiting. For those urgent projects, you can contact us out-of-hours. If you want to discuss your printing needs, then contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our online contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

 

Should your business say thank you?

In today’s competitive market it is important that you do anything you can to stand out, this includes building a genuine relationship with your clients. As companies grow, customer loyalty becomes less important, and the focus is put on attracting new custom, take the time to show your existing customers that you value their custom and you will be rewarded. Thank you cards are one of the simplest ways to show your appreciation or even to reconnect with customers after they have made a purchase.

Printing custom thank you cards are more personal than an email; they show that you have taken the time to think about that particular client rather than firing off a quick, mass email. When you choose to send a custom thank you card, you can include a handwritten message which is more likely to read and remembered. The client will appreciate the effort you have taken and will be more likely to make a repeat purchase.

Custom printed thank you cards come with a choice of paper stock and finishes, allowing you to design something memorable. You should apply your branding liberally, the thank you card is likely to be kept on a desk or even pinned to a noticeboard so if your branding is visible it can act as a constant reminder of your services.

By sending thank you cards, your customer will appreciate you going the extra mile, and you will stand out against any competitor that they may be considering. From the high-quality, branded custom card to the personalised note you can differentiate yourself from the competition making your investment much more valuable than its cost.

At Metro Repro we understand how important it is for your business to stand out, that is why we offer high-quality printing for all of your business needs, including custom thank-you cards. We have a great range of paper stocks and finishes available to create the design you want, and we can offer a lightning quick service for those last minute projects. If you want to find out how we can help your business, then contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

What your business cards are (probably) missing

Every business uses business cards; they are the easiest way to market your company and an excellent networking tool. They’re small enough to fit in a wallet/purse and carry all of the information that a client needs to get back in touch with you. You can also attach your business cards to any direct mail marketing you send out so for these reasons you need to make sure that your business cards are reaching their full potential. There are some vital pieces of information that most companies are missing off their cards, missing out on valuable clients.

Why choose you?

A business card may be small, but it is one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal, make it clear to the customer why they should choose your company. You may have a catchy tagline, but that isn’t enough, is it your years of experience that separates you from your competitors? Are your products more cost-effective than similar ones on the market? Or is it your commitment to clients that sets you apart? Whatever it is, communicate the reason clearly, this is what potential clients will remember.

Contact methods

Without a doubt, you should be including the obvious contact methods, email address, and contact number, but consider encouraging unconventional methods of communication. If your business requires you to build one-to-one, client relationships then consider using texting to engage with your customers. Texting is quick and simple and is a great way to get in contact with a client who may be out of the office a lot; it is easier to fire off a quick text message rather than having a lengthy phone call where you may become sidetracked.

Social media

Social media is now a vital part of business, it is used to interact with current clients but can form the perfect introduction for new clients. Include all of your social media links on your business cards so a potential client can look you up, take a look at your pages and get in touch with you. Encourage people that you meet to send you a direct message rather than just liking your page, establish a line of communication straight away.

Unique design

One of the more simple tips we can give you, if your design is bland then it is forgettable. Stand out from the competition with unique business cards. Try a vertical design instead of a horizontal one, think outside of the box especially if your clients aren’t traditional. Think about the media your print onto and the colour scheme you use, can you design a fold-able business card? Read our guide on print finishes and add an extra edge to your design.

Get interactive

If possible, create a video or podcast about your products or services, use case studies or testimonials to confirm how your products/services can be used t benefit your client. Include an easy to follow the link on your business card, for example, “See how we can help you at [URL]”. This will pique your client’s interest and will undoubtedly lead to more views of your video, downloads of your brochure or podcasts.

At Metro Repro, we can help you to get the most from your business cards, with a great range of quality card stock and a range of finishes available, if you are looking to redesign your business cards you can do it for less with our low-cost business card printing. We offer a lightning quick turnaround service so we can have your design printed within the hour. Find out how we can help you, contact us on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

How to: Choose the best paper for your project

Picking the best paper to print your letterheads, brochures or your flyers on to can be a difficult task. There are so many choices and not enough guidance, that’s where we come in. At Metro Repro, we wanted to share our advice for choosing the perfect paper.

When selecting your paper, you may have seen the acronym “GSM” this is a measurement of weight and stands for “grams per square metre” the higher the GSM, the heavier the paper, a heavier paper usually means better quality too. Any GSM is available, but most suppliers will just stock the most common weights.

Understanding GSM’s can be tricky if you have no real life examples to relate them to:

35gsm – 55gsm: This weight is very light in the paper world, this type of paper is commonly used for newspapers. It is very thin and easily torn or damaged.

85gsm – 100gsm: This weight is usually the type of paper you buy for your printer. It is quite thin but fine for printing copy invoices or documents for your records.

120gsm -140gsm: This paper is used for the type of posters you see plastered around town, the low-cost flyers that fall out of your local magazine or the local takeaway menu. As it is slightly heavier, it can withstand a little more wear and tear.

210gsm – 300gsm: We’re getting into the higher quality paper now. The paper is used for premium flyers, found in high-end magazines or used to advertise events.This weight may feel like a piece of card but has some flexibility; you will see this type of paper used for magazine covers.

350gsm – 400gsm: It can stand up under its own weight and is commonly used for business cards or wedding invitations, there is a sense of quality.

We hope that this guide has given you more clarity when it comes to picking the perfect paper for your project, however, if you need a little more advice, then our team are on hand to advise you. If you are a student looking for help with a project or you’re a professional in need of some help on your business project then contact Metro Repro. Call us on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk. In a rush? Don’t worry; we offer a lightning quick service for some projects, ask us about it!

A banner can make your business stand out

Be it an exhibition, a trade show or an in-store event; a banner can be a hugely effective piece of marketing, for a banner to work it must deliver all of the necessary information but with an impact. The advantage of a banner is that you can take your message national, or even global! Banners can be easy to transport, meaning that you can take them to any event, which is why it is important to ensure your banner represents your business. So, how do you get your banner to stand out?

Your logo

Your logo makes your company recognisable at a glance. Look at companies like Apple or Coca Cola, their logo represents their brand and their mission. As your business begins to grow, your logo will play a major part in your business’s success. It should take pride of place at the top of your banner alongside your company message. Ensure that it can be seen from a distance and is visible at eye level to grab the attention of passersby.

Go with the flow

Consider how you would read a banner – from left to right, top to bottom. That being said, you don’t want a banner to be crammed full of words, no one wants to read an essay. More information can be given by the sales team or a business brochure. A banner should be used to attract customers, either because of a specific product or offer.

Pictures

If you decide to include images on your banner, ensure they represent your business. Using poor quality images reflects on your business; always opt for high quality images especially if they are of your products. Real images always go down better with customers compared to stock images, try to build up a library of suitable images that you are able to use across all of your marketing materials. If you are unsure on what constitutes a high quality image, then contact Metro Repro! We are more than happy to advise you before you go to print.

Colours

Don’t be afraid to use colour, it can be a great way to stand out. Choose colours from your colour palette though; ensure that it links back to your business so that you can present a cohesive message. Don’t let your love of colour detract from your images or text; it should complement your information.

Contact details

Probably some of the most important information that you can include on your banner, your customers will be looking for a way to get in touch with you. Having your contact details on your banner is a great way to get around the problem of not being able to talk to every person that crosses your path at an exhibition or trade show.  Include your website, contact number and email address and your social platforms too. A lot of clients will be on their mobile phones throughout the day and it is easy for them to just add you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter.

At Metro Repro, we know how important it is to stand out from the crowd. We use the latest technology to achieve a high quality finish. Our colour management systems are approved by both Adobe and Pantone ensuring that we produce a true colour. If you want to find out how we can help you, contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

A handy guide to print finishes

While it’s always nice to be faced with an abundance of options, sometimes it can be difficult to narrow them down and make a decision, especially if you are on a time limit. At Metro Repro we wanted to simplify the process for you, and so we have outlined some of the most common finishes available, one less decision to make!

Varnishes

Most commonly associated with a wooden surface or even hands and feet, varnishes can be applied to paper too! It gives the page a smooth texture while sealing the page, making it last longer. A specific type of varnish, known as Spot UV is becoming more popular. The varnish is applied to particular areas of the page and applied using a UV light during the printing process, this is a popular technique for business cards and brochures and it used to highlight titles or names.

You may be familiar with varnishes in high quality books or magazines; they can be gloss or matte. Gloss is a good choice if your work has a lot of vibrant colours and matte is good if you want a smoother finish with a non-glare surface. Varnishes are a great finish for business brochures as they add a high-quality, professional feel without adding too much weight to the page.

Lamination

We’re all familiar with lamination; it was probably your favourite task at school when you were young; placing the picture in a cloudy plastic wallet, feeding it through the machine and marvelling at the shiny document that comes out. Lamination adds a protective layer over the top of your work and it too is available as a gloss or a matte finish. Not only does lamination make your work last longer but it also makes it water resistant. Lamination is a good choice for business cards as they get thrown around in briefcases and squashed under files and paperwork on a desk, lamination will ensure your business cards remain intact for as long as possible.

Embossing and debossing

Embossing is the process of raising certain parts of the design to add emphasis and texture. It can be combined with another technique known as foil stamping, which is where a metallic material is stamped onto the paper. Foil stamping can further enhance the effect of embossing. A great choice for business cards to help you stand out against competitors. Debossing, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. Certain sections of the design are indented, this is most commonly seen on even invitations, and so if you have a work event and are inviting your clients, this could be the finish for you. Both techniques leave a lasting impression and so can be effective on business brochures, providing a clean and precise look.

Perforation

A less common choice but still very effective, perforation is used for function rather than design. Perforation is great for promotion, allowing you to send out vouchers to your clients as a book or a flyer. The perforation means the client can remove the voucher and put it in the purse or wallet; they can even tear them off and share with a friend.

At Metro Repro we offer a great range of finishes for your work and can discuss the best option for you. Our customers are our priority; let us add the finishing touches to your work. We can even provide a one hour turnaround service while you wait, if necessary. If you want to find out more about finishes or discuss your printing requirements, contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form, or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

Create the perfect poster

A poster can be a fantastic way to capture peoples’ attention. Placed in the correct location, you have the opportunity to target a huge audience that you may not usually have access to, but only if your posters design grabs peoples’ attention. Posters are unique in that they are placed in busy public areas, unlike other mass marketing materials. That’s why the team at Metro Repro wanted to share some design tips to help your poster stand out.

The content

Contrary to what you may think, when it comes to content – less is definitely more. Posters are there to grab peoples’ attention, but once that is done you won’t be able to hold it for long. Give them a short, snappy message. Images and graphics are the perfect way to attract the eye and an easy way to get your message across.

The font size and style

A poster is useless if you have to be up close to read it. Large A1 or A0 posters should be legible from 4-6 feet away, A4 – A2 posters from 1-2 feet away. Your takeaway points should be in a large font so that people will see these first. Posters are not the correct format to be subtle, use high contrast colours and make it easy to read, avoid long confusing word. Using a bold font may seem like a good idea but reading a paragraph completely in bold can actually be a strain on the eyes, use a bold font to highlight main details like names, dates or locations. Using a variety of fonts can help to break up your design.

The layout

Consider how your audience conventionally reads, most of the western world read and write from the left of the page to the right. Keep this in mind when it comes to the design of your poster. Your layout should encourage the reader to flow through the content naturally; you shouldn’t need the assistance of arrows to lead the reader’s eye.

Once you have the perfect poster design, then you need it to be printed on a superior material. At Metro Repro we use the latest technology to print posters in sizes up to A0 and beyond, we can print on a range of media’s such as photo satin, gloss, matt paper even adhesive vinyl and artist canvas, we can help your posters stand out. We can even offer a lightning quick service if you are in a rush. If you want to find out how we can help you, contact us on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

Top tips for your business brochure

If you are attending networking events, conferences, business fairs or any other business events, chances are that you will be handing out company information. People like having something to read and a business brochure is a great resource to help you leave a positive, memorable impression.

Compared to other promotional marketing materials like flyers and posters, a brochure has a different goal, grabbing people’s attention is no longer the main objective. Instead, a brochure gives you the opportunity to give an in-depth view of your business and what you can offer.

Ensure that all of your marketing materials align with the brand image. Banks are trying to appear more approachable and so they have dropped the stiff, corporate image and opted for something more casual. Your choice of colour has a lot to do with how your image is seen, this can be a controversial issue but your brain has pre-conceived ideas about associations of colour. Pastel colours are thought of as soft and romantic, earthy tones are associated with eco-friendly businesses and the colour red is linked to power.

A brochure is a huge influence on your customer so it is your chance to sell so make sure you include your USP, this is what makes you stand out against the competition. Make it clear to the reader why they should choose you and not a competitor. Shout about the benefits of your business, the low cost, the great customer service or the unique products/services but don’t belittle the competition, it makes you look petty and unprofessional.

A brochure is used to tell existing and potential clients about your business, it is not the best tool to sell new products/services. You can use a brochure to re-engage old customers or inform people that you are moving into a new sector, but choose one main focus, don’t try and cover everything in one brochure it will become fussy and confusing.

While the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” may be true, we can’t help but be attracted to some covers over others, this is also true of your brochure. The front cover needs to pique your reader’s interest, think of your target audience and what they would want to see.

Your brochure should not only make sense grammatically but logically too. There’s no point going into detail about your products if the reader doesn’t know what your business does. Give details about your company and background, give the reader information about your previous experience and achievements, and give examples where appropriate.

Once you have created an eye-catching brochure, you need the finish to be just as eye-catching. At Metro Repro we can print your design on a range of media and in standard or custom sized paper. If you’re looking fo-r a luxury finish then you can choose one of three standard finishes, Gloss, Silk or uncoated. Let us help you create a professional, quality brochure to suit your requirements. Contact us on 0191 261 1320, use our contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

What it takes to design a professional letterhead

Your letterhead is one of the first things that potential clients will see. Your letterhead says a lot about your brand and your business, the design needs to be appropriate and relevant. Not only does your letterhead represent your business but there are legal requirements for your letterhead that you may not be aware of.

These legalities depend on your business structure, if you are a sole trader you must include your VAT number, business address and full name (if that is different from the business name). If you are operating as a limited company then your letterhead must include the fully registered company name, registration number, place of registration, registered address and VAT number must all be included. Partnerships should include the same information as a sole trader, alongside the names of every partner and the main offices address. If there are too many partners to list then include a place where all the names can be found.

On top of these legal requirements there are some key bits of information that you should include to give your client all of the information that they require. This includes contact numbers, email addresses, web addresses, a company logo and any social media platforms that you are on. This gives your client the best chance of remembering your business and interacting with you online.

So, now you have understood your legal requirements, what about the aesthetic of the letterhead? The letterhead is not a promotional tool but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t stand out. Your letterhead needs to represent your brand.

You should keep it simple, a busy letterhead will only clash with the information that it is carrying. Where possible, tailor your letterhead to the business you are sending the information to, if they don’t have a fax machine then you may choose to eliminate this number from your letterhead.

Ensure that your logo is in a prominent position; this will be one of the first things that the client sees when they open an email or letter from you. Use colours sparingly, letterheads commonly contain formal information so bright colours are inappropriate. Balance the layout of the letterhead to make it appealing to the eye, the size of images and text is important. Too big and it will look busy and unprofessional, too small and the client won’t be able to read it easily and so they won’t bother trying.

At Metro Repro we understand how important it is to make the right impression. We can take care of your business printing requirements and can offer a range of paper and finishes to provide you a solution that you are happy with, we can adhere to tight deadlines. If you want to discuss your printing requirements, contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our online contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.

Postcard marketing – worth writing home about?

It may seem as though digital marketing is taking over but traditional marketing is still the most effective way to reach out to your audience. It is crucial that you stay creative and exciting to continue to attract the attention of your current and potential clients. A cost-effective way to reach out is by using postcards.

The beauty of a postcard is that your message is right in front of the reader, there is no room for lengthy pieces of text so you have to get right to the point, keep your message clear and simple. This also means that it will be seen by people along the process of getting the postcard to its destination, widening your reach exponentially.

Postcards are made of stronger stuff than leaflets. Leaflets can be damaged in the post, by rough handling, by poor weather or by the letterboxes that they are posted through. This damage can have an adverse effect on your brand. A postcard will withstand a lot more, meaning that it is more likely to arrive with the recipient, intact. Postcards are cheaper to print, at Metro Repro 50 cards start at just £18.99, making them a more cost-effective marketing tool.

Postcards are a great way of passing on useful information like event dates or important contact information, even a discount or offer to use in store. This will encourage them to keep hold of the card, but make sure the card is of value to your audience. Due to the lower cost of production of the postcard your return on investment is high and by using redeemable codes you can track the success of your campaign.

At Metro Repro, we understand that you are always looking for new, exciting ways to market your business. That’s why we offer to print your postcards at the highest quality. All of our postcards are printed on premium 350gsm uncoated smooth board, using the finest quality full colour digital printing technique. We can even have them ready within the hour with our lightning quick turnaround service. If you want to find out more about our postcard printing service, contact us on 0191 261 1320, use our online contact form or email print@metrorepro.co.uk.