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Augmented Reality

Believe it or not, we’d already planned an article on augmented reality prior to the phenomenon that is Pokémon Go. (Life before Pokémon Go. Who knew?)

Back on planet EP, we’ve been using augmented reality to – well – augment some campaign materials for our clients. Coupled with a smartphone, one set of business cards allow the MD to introduce himself and his company in person. A small flyer incorporates similar technology to transform itself into a full product demonstration video for international clients, dispensing with the need for heavy brochures and excess baggage payments.

Still playing catch-up on AR? Here’s our at-a-glance guide:

What: Augmented reality blends the virtual and physical worlds by using technology to superimpose a computer-generated image on a user’s view of reality.

When: It’s been around for a while.  Early concepts date back to the 1970s and 80s.

Why: Many of us associate AR with gaming, big brands or lifestyle products. It does, however, have valuable uses across a wide range of activities from architecture and archaeology to medical and military.

Where: You can find examples of AR in everything from your IKEA catalogue (bring rooms to life by hovering over pages with your smartphone) to sporting broadcasts (compare today’s competitors against the current world record holder by means of a tracking line on screen). You can also visit the app store and download a certain game…

The Defining Role of Design

Great design is not only intrinsic to great products, it also plays a huge role in generating great customer relationships. Get your design right and the rewards include brand awareness, recognition and loyalty.

If responsibility for design seems a bit daunting, don’t be put off.

Our studio team are comfortable with all sorts of design projects, whether we’re creating something from scratch or simply breathing new life into an existing brand.

Read on to find out more…

Identity crisis

A brand or corporate identity makes a visual statement about what your organisation stands for. Most brands evolve over time – if you look at well-known logos such as BP or McDonalds and compare these with versions from a decade ago, you’ll notice distinct changes. Why didn’t you notice these at the time? Because the brands may have been moved on subtly in a series of more minor updates.

You may feel your own brand needs a refresh. Or you may be a new business who is starting out with a blank page. Either way, we can help you design something that reflects your own business.

Campaign creation

New products, services and initiatives are all very exciting – but how do you make people aware that something fresh has arrived? Good design can help differentiate the new, while still being faithful to the corporate family. A new range or service gives you the chance to make a design statement that catches attention but is still distinctly ‘you’.

Get the guidelines

Already have an established corporate identity, underpinned with style guidelines? That’s no problem. We’re more than happy to ‘work to rule’ and are familiar and comfortable with all the terminology and codes that we’re likely to discover in your company guidelines. At Edinburgh Printing, we recognise the importance of brand integrity and will respect any restrictions.

Colour My World

Used correctly, colour can bring a publication to life and make your marketing message ‘pop’ off the page.

Getting colour right is, however, more complex than it seems – particularly if you want your corporate colours to look consistent across a variety of media.

Confused by colour? Here’s our quick reference guide:

Colour by numbers (and letters)

If you ask for information on the colours that make up a company logo, it might be provided in one of the following formats:

RGB – stands for red, green and blue and is often used as the default colour system for designing materials to be used online.

CMYK – stands for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. This four-ink process can be used to reproduce a huge variety of colours in print.

Pantone – A Pantone reference is a popular way to communicate the exact colour you desire. The reference allows us to reproduce your colour accurately using the four-ink CMYK process described above or as a spot colour, similarly to how paint is mixed. Some special colours like metallics might have to be reproduced separately. We can keep you right on that.

Same ink, different results

If you use the same Pantone reference to print onto different materials, you won’t necessarily get consistent results. Why not? Because items such as letterheads, business cards and glossy brochures use different paper stocks, which may be coated or uncoated. What looks bright and vibrant on a coated paper (which essentially acts as a primer for your ink) might look dull on uncoated paper. This is because uncoated paper tends to act like a sponge, absorbing the ink – and your lovely colour.

The solution: Luckily the Pantone system has colour references for both coated and uncoated papers – look for the ‘C’ or ‘U’ beside the reference. Remember too, that we are here to advise.

Digital printing: Did you know?

 

Digital printing tends to be associated with short print runs, produced in super-quick timescales. To a certain extent that’s true. EdinburghPrinting’s digital print equipment is second-to-none when it comes to straightforward but short-notice project requirements.

Perhaps less obvious is the equipment’s incredible versatility when it comes to dealing with differing material types, sheet sizes and paper stocks. Read on to find out more…

Brand your building

Need to draw positive attention to your premises? Our digital presses can run off window and door stickers, as well as temporary signage and door hangers.

Be event ready

Hosting an event? Get your VIP passes, name badges, tickets, wrist bands – and even your placemats – courtesy of our digital presses. If you want to encourage customers to come back, why not run off some loyalty cards while you’re at it?

Weather the storm

The ability to print on different materials means that digital print = weatherproof print. If you work in an industrial or harsh environment, our digital machines are just the ticket for producing all-weather labels and highly durable equipment or safety tags.

Make it personal

Need to tailor your message for different customers? Digital printing is ideal when you require versioned, or personalised, communications materials. Envelopes, letters and postcards can all be adapted for the recipient. Producing a promotional package for your colleagues or customers? Pull the end result together with a named belly band. We guarantee they’ll approve.

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Like the sound of something that’s not yet available on the EdinburghPrinting.com website? Get in touch and we’ll talk you through it.

‘Tis the season to get printing

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All of sudden December is upon us. It’s a unique time of year, both frantic and fun. It’s not just busy on the domestic front either; in business life there are usually social arrangements to be made, along with tokens of thanks to give to colleagues and clients.

If you think you’ve left it too late, fear not. Digital printing technology means that there’s still time to impress with some great giveaways that will give a good impression this Christmas – and throughout the following year.

Calendars

One of the most popular seasonal giveaways, the calendar comes in many shapes and forms from small desktop versions to full-blown wall planners for all the team to consult. Consider a five-year version for the planners and project managers in your work circles.

Notepads

No matter how many laptops, tablets or smartphones we have, we still feel the need to write things down. That’s where the trusty notepad comes in. Branded notepads make a practical and cost-effective gift – and they ensure that your company name stays on desks all the way into 2017.

Cards

How could we forget these? Digital print technology means that incorporating a personal greeting or company logo in your Christmas card is no longer confined to those with big budgets. If you prefer physical cards to their electronic counterparts, EdinburghPrinting can help. Only need a short print run? No problem.

Envelopes

Want to distinguish your correspondence from all the boring brown envelopes in your clients’ in-trays? Behold the printed envelope. It’s a popular way of reinforcing brand identities all year round. At this time of year, printed envelopes are particularly useful for including a seasonal message in your pre-Christmas business correspondence.

 

Stuck for seasonal stationery ideas? EdinburghPrinting.com offers a whole host of options for corporate Christmas giveaways. Check out the full product range here.

Direct mail is not dead: Why traditional promotions still work

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Fallen in love with digital marketing? Join the club. After all, what’s not to like? Digital marketing has a lot of pluses: it’s instant, easy to measure and – many people would argue – more environmentally friendly than its physical counterparts.

Before jumping on the digital bandwagon completely, however, it’s worth considering some of the advantages of one of the stalwarts of the traditional marketing toolset – direct mail.  There are a few good reasons for its enduring popularity…

Offline opportunities

It’s easy to forget that we’re not all permanently plugged in. Marketers, however, do so at their peril.  Never forget your audience – who are they and how do they access information to help them make buying decisions? Don’t succumb to the temptation to only target the older generation with information in printed form. A study from Royal Mail’s Market Reach demonstrated that brands have a genuine opportunity to use direct mail creatively to engage with young adults living at home with their parents.

Better together

Astute marketing professionals use a combination of direct mail and digital to create synergy in their communication efforts.  Marketing Week recently reported that a quarter of younger parents (mostly aged 25-44) agreed that direct mail helped alert them to new products and services. Interestingly, of the 45 per cent of families with younger children who claimed they could not live without the internet on their phone, 15 per cent said they had responded to direct mail online using their mobile or tablet.  Direct mail, therefore, can act as an important signpost to an organisation’s new app or online promotion.

Feel-good factor

For most of us, buying is an emotional – as well as a practical – process. The swoosh of the arrival of a new email doesn’t compete with the exciting thud on the doormat as your favourite magazine is delivered. Someone, somewhere is undoubtedly working on an app that appeals to multiple senses. Until then, however, the tactile qualities of print have the winning touch.

Planning your print project: Achieving successful, stress-free results

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The decision’s made: You need some fresh marketing materials. No matter what form these take – brochures, reports, newsletters or exhibition banners – you need to follow a certain process before you take delivery of the finished product. Planning the process properly lets your printer achieve the best results for you – and makes for a more enjoyable experience all round.

Start at the end

Sounds silly? Let us explain. The first thing we, as your printer, need to know is when you want to take delivery of your shiny new marketing materials. Sometimes there’s no set date but more often than not, items are required for a specific event, client visit or product launch.  Once we have this key date, we can work back from it. This is really important if you need us to help out with design, layouts and text – of which more below…

Gather your thoughts

Although we can start from scratch, we generally require some form of brief from you.  Hate writing things down? A chat on the ‘phone is fine.  Sometimes you’ll have very clear ideas on what you want to include. That’s great too. Send us your text and any accompanying images and we’ll get to work.  Perhaps your artwork is approved and ready to go – in which case we’re ready too!

The proof of the project…

…should be built into the planning schedule! We love to get things right first time but sometimes – once you see everything laid out – you might want to make a tweak or two. That’s natural – and we want you to be 100 per cent happy with the end result. Recommendation: Play safe with your schedule and allow for a few extra days in case proofs need to go back and forward.  We’ll keep things moving as fast as possible by emailing your proofs as a PDF for ease of access. 

Expect the unexpected

At the start of this blog post, we advised you to work back from your desired delivery date – particularly if your materials are tied to an important event or business milestone. However well organised you are, sometimes things catch you by surprise (the person who needs to approve the proofs is absent, the client is coming in a day early or the early train to the conference has been cancelled). We have a great local delivery service, plus excellent courier relationships, so we’ll always try to help in an emergency. It’s even better, though, to assume from the outset that there may be some glitches and factor in some extra time accordingly.

Here’s to stress-free print project planning!

Exhibition essentials: Print preparation for your next event

You’ve taken the sales calls, reviewed the website and signed on the dotted line. Your organisation is committed to its next business exhibition or trade show – yippee!  The buck doesn’t stop there however. You’ve made a cost and time investment to attend: now you need to make the most of it.  That’s where print preparation comes in.

Go big on banners

Want to get the big stuff out of the way first? Fair enough.  Assembling display stands on location used to be akin to a Krypton Factor test; thankfully those days are gone. Today’s banner stands are lightweight, portable and flexible yet professional, robust and durable.  Exhibiting further afield? Our range of roller banners can be carried over your shoulder in a small case and are problem-free on flights. Once you reach the exhibition hall, simply pop them together in three simple steps.  Bonus hint: Their user-friendly nature means that banner stands needn’t gather dust in the company cupboard between shows. Instead, they can be used to reinforce your branding at reception or displayed in the board room during important presentations.

Read all about it

Visitors to your exhibition stand may have spoken with lots of other organisations by the time they reach you. Overcome the problem of blending into the crowd by ensuring you have adequate quantities of quality print literature describing your organisation’s activities, products or services. These important takeaway items allow your potential customers to read all about you on the journey home. Consider bringing along stocks of brochures, leaflets, datasheets and your latest company newsletter.

Bonus hint: Why not produce a special themed edition of your regular newsletter aimed at visitors to the show?

Calling cards

The most obvious requirement is also the most overlooked. Running short on business cards during a major event is an absolute no-no. Despite the growth of electronic communication – and the use of websites such as LinkedIn – the exchange of business cards is still a common business ritual.  Forget them at your peril.

Pre-event panic

Reading this article the day before your depart? Relax. Thanks to advanced print technology, you’d be amazed at what can be turned around in a matter of hours.  Our speed demon service is designed exactly for such occasions.

Lift the phone and give us a call on 0131 226 2913. Then exhale.

PDFs, JPEGS and More: A Guide to File Formats

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The print industry, like many others, is surrounded by jargon. Floundered by the different file types? Read on to discover the difference between the most popular formats for print submission:

PDF – Most people have come across PDFs – even if they weren’t aware of it at the time. The abbreviation stands for Portable Document Format.  According to Wikipedia ‘PDF is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware and operating systems.’ In a nutshell, PDFs allow everyone to view the same document regardless of their equipment.  PDFs are therefore our preferred format for submitting proofs to clients. Many clients also submit their files to us in PDF format, so that we can get a feel for their requirements. Don’t worry if you’re uncomfortable submitting material to us as a PDF; we are equally happy to convert files from packages such as Word, Publisher and Illustrator.

JPEG – JPEG stands for Joint Photographics Expert Group.  This file format is one of the most popular for saving and sending images. Lots of the photographs that we receive for use in brochures, flyers, newsletters and posters are sent to us as JPEGs.  In technical terms, JPEG is described as a ‘lossy compression technique for colour images’. Lost about the meaning of lossy? It means that the JPEG format loses or compresses some information so that the file is easier to read by the human eye. Don’t be put off by this. Provided your JPEG file is at a decent resolution (see below), it should be more than adequate for print purposes.

EPS – The clever people at Adobe were the driving force for PDFs and they are also proponents of the Encapsulated Postscript or EPS format, which is used for vector-based images in Adobe Illustrator. An EPS file can contain text as well as graphics. This makes the format very popular for saving and sending company logos.

Resolution – No-one wants fuzzy images in their marketing materials. To avoid this, it’s important to get your file resolutions right. Resolution refers to the degree of details that an image holds: the larger the number of pixels (or dots), the better the quality of the image. We recommend a minimum of 300 dpi (dots per inch) for all images for printing.

Which paper’s right for my print project?

Putting together a print promotion involves many decisions. Amazing artwork and tantalising text are a great beginning – you want your literature to look good and read well. But what about how it feels? Make sure your material choices are a tactile hit with our handy guide to paper stocks.

What do you mean by paper stock?

The paper stock refers to the weight, or thickness, of the material you select for your print promotion.  It’s measured in grams per square metre, which is normally abbreviated to gsm.

Why is the right paper weight important?

There are many reasons.  Consider the impact that you want your printed materials to make and their end purpose.  If you’re printing restaurant menus, for example, you’ll want them to be durable. Sending out newsletters via post? Remember that the weight of your item will affect the cost of postage. Need to run letterheads through your own printer? Keep it slim.

The material you choose also sends an important message about the quality and positioning of your product or service.

Any rules?

These general guidelines should keep you right:

Up to 120gsm – Standard stationery items such as letterheads and compliments slips.

130 – 170gsm – Leaflets, flyers and posters with a short shelf life, as well as brochure inserts.

170 – 200gsm – Double-sided flyers, brochure covers and more durable posters.

200 – 250gsm – Approaching card territory. Ideal for brochure covers.

300 – 400gsm – The norm for business cards, although some may go above 400gsm for maximum impact.

Finishing touches

There are a variety of paper finishes on offer. The most common choice is between matt or gloss.

As a rule of thumb, matt tends to be slightly more subtle and fosters an air of understated professionalism.

Looking to make more of a high-profile splash? A gloss finish can help powerful graphics ‘pop’ off the page.

Questions?

If paper stocks leave you stumped, remember that your printer can help. The choices are many and varied, however the right decision can give your print promotion that extra edge.