Spot UV – what is it and why do you need it?

There are so many print finishes on the market; it can be difficult to decide which finish will enhance your project and which will detract from your brand. We are going to take a deeper look into spot UV and find out which circumstances warrant its use. In essence, spot UV is used to highlight a particular area on your promotional material. This is done by applying the chosen area with a high-gloss varnish, which is very noticeable when it catches the light.

Spot UV shouldn’t be a last-minute addition; it should be planned for when you are creating your design as it is applied right at the end of the printing process. A UV light is used to cure the varnish and can be used to pick out a logo or name to draw your focus.

As spot UV is glossy and crisp, we recommend pairing it with matt lamination. This will really enhance the spot UV, while the added lamination will improve the durability of your printed material. Spot UV is most commonly used on business cards and brochures as it adds an extra level of quality and attention to detail that companies are looking for. It is one of the finishes that can become expensive very quickly so we would not recommend using it on large projects like posters or pamphlets, it should be used sparingly, so the effect doesn’t lose any of its impact.

There are some drawbacks to using spot UV that should factor into your design. It doesn’t work well for fine detail so avoid using it for fine lines or even small fonts. Spot UV looks great on square or oval logos and can really help your brand to stand out.

At Metro Repro, we have a great range of paper and card stock along with a lot of finishing options to make sure that your material stands out against the competition. If you’re in a rush, we have a lightning quick turnaround service! If you would like to discuss your options you can contact our team on 0191 261 1320, use our online 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 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.