Hot tips: Designing the perfect brochure

Hot tips Designing the perfect brochure

The paperless society never arrived. Printed brochures remain popular for their touchy-feel appeal, so get back with your PDFs! And while fewer companies mass print and distribute, brochures are still widely used within both B2B and B2C hemispheres for all kinds of products and services.

Keeping in mind the costs of layout, production, printing and postage, it’s important to get brochure design right first time. So what are the secrets of success?

Design.

Start by thinking about size and aspects. Common, economical sizes which are typically used for brochure printing are B5 (240 x 170mm) A5 (210 x 148mm) or A4 (297 x 210mm). Do you want portrait or landscape? This might depend on your images, especially the size and quality, but it’s very much a personal preference. The widescreen look, A4 landscape, is a popular modern style. Calico can advise you on what’s best for your products.

Colour.

Most brochures are printed in 4 colours throughout, although sometimes a fifth colour, typically a Pantone (PMS), might be specified for a specific element, like a logo, to ensure colour consistency throughout. Calico has many clients who use metallic inks such as gold or silver for beautiful effects, especially on covers.

Graphic design and layout.

More than just colours and graphics, layout entails an understanding of usability, organisation and aesthetics. Overall, it drives how somebody might interact with the brochure. The cover and contents page must work together to deliver an anticipation of what lies within. All brochures should have a table of contents, and larger ones may utilise folios or tabs. Calico can advise on design and layout aspects of brochures. Don’t forget, white space is good!

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Roll over internet. Social sharing started with Letterpress!

Roll over internet. Social sharing started with Letterpress!

WHAT IS LETTERPRESS PRINTING?

Letterpress printing is a ‘relief’ form of printing, meaning ink is applied to the raised areas of a printing plate or block and ‘pressed’ on to a piece of paper or other material. This form of printing initially originated in China and the Far East, however in the western world it came to prominence in the 1400s. For over 500 years it was the primary form of printing from books to simple pamphlets. Even though it is not used at the industrial scale it used to be, it is still being used today for more artisanal applications.

Johann Gutenberg & movable type

The 15th century saw a massive revolution in the printing throughout Europe and the Western world. Johann Gutenburg invented the printing press and introduced Europe to moveable type.

In the decades just preceding the 15th century, printing of any kind required craftsmen to carve entire pages of text into wooden blocks. Once the text was carved, the space around the letters had to be whittled away so the text was the only surface that would touch the page. The blocks would then be inked and paper placed on top, and rubbing the paper onto the wood would create an impression. As you can image this means each page of a book would have to be carved out individually, a time consuming process meaning copying a book fully would take a massive amount of time and skill. Gutenburg revolutionised this process by developing individual reusable letters carved into wood blocks. These wooden blocks could then be arranged, rearranged and reused to form full words over and over again. Gutenburg then developed this theory to use metal type to improve the final quality and clarity of print. This metal type included lower case, upper case and punctuation marks.

The printing press Gutenburg developed, the ‘Gutenburg Press’ or screw press was used to transfer ink, which he also developed by him, to the paper. His press printed approximately six pages of a book per day. The most famous of these books was the Bible or ‘the Gutenburg Bible’ – 180 copies of this were produced.

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Exhibition checklist: A handy printable guide

Exhibition checklist A handy printable guide

Exhibiting at a show is a great opportunity to demonstrate your product or service face-to-face with potential buyers, make new contacts, acquire new sales leads and test a new market.

Like anything, an exhibition works best when it’s carefully planned well in advance. It’s advisable to set clear measurable goals and create a task list that includes the post exhibition follow up and sales process.

We regularly help design exhibition materials including pop-up stands, pop-up banners, and a variety of exhibition give-aways. To help clients we’ve produced a handy exhibition checklist to print off and assist you when planning your next show.

Among the things to remember are:

Exhibition goals

Set yourself clear goals, for example, it could be to gain 50 new sales leads, book follow up product demonstrations or to conduct valuable market research with potential buyers into a new market.

Project management

Appoint someone to coordinate the stand and arrange staffing, travel and accommodation, as well as acting as stand manager on the day.

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Marketing start-ups and marketing product launches

Marketing start-ups and marketing product launches

MARKETING A START-UP BUSINESS OR PRODUCT LAUNCH

If you’re building a start-up or new business, chances are that you’re channelling most of your time into developing a great product or service – and rightly so. However it’s crucial not to forget one very important task: marketing.

Start-ups sometimes fail to apply the same depth of thought to marketing their business as they do to production, sales and cash flow. Too often they believe wholly in the maxim, “build it, and they will come.” That by delivering a great product, everything will naturally fall into line.

Just don’t rely on it.

Entrepreneurs come from all fields and walks of life. They may be savvy professionals, craftspeople, engineers and advisors, but not everybody is equipped with marketing experience. Many don’t fully appreciate that executing a well-founded marketing plan is essential to any venture’s success. No matter how ingenious a product or service, nobody will find it unless they know it exists and understand the value. That’s why branding and marketing is synonymous with telling a story – the story of a company and what it can offer.

Quality “product launch branding” and marketing crosses barriers and speaks to everyone consistently and persuasively. The idea of “build it, they will come,” is now out of date. You have to create a fantastic product, identify consumers, and then spend time telling them about it. Brands that tell great stories keep people interested and turn consumers into advocates.

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WHAT THE FONT!?

WHAT THE FONT!?

Here’s something different for our blog this month. Our Senior Designer is enlightening us on fonts and typefaces and how to make the most of the free resources available online. So if you’re a marketer with an interest in design or a budding designer, this one is for you.

First things first. Don’t use Comic Sans. I know it’s a designer cliché to moan about people using it but seriously, don’t use it. Ever. Delete it from your font library now, email Microsoft/Apple to let them know how disgusted you are that they have this as a default pre-installed typeface, putting you at risk of accidentally/naively using it and making you look like a right plonker, then never look back. You will never need it, I promise.

My dislike of Comic Sans is shared throughout the design world with a simple search on Google coming up with page upon page of rants and arguments against it. A particularly interesting and insightful (and in-depth) article on the subject can be found here if you want some further reading.

If you really feel the urge to add some comic book style ‘fun‘ to your work, there are plenty of alternative, slightly less offensive options to choose from. I’d personally go for ‘Cartoonish Hand’ but there’s loads of options. Here’s a helpful selection of options. Just anything but Comic Sans. Right, rant over. Now we can move on.

Before we go any further, I just wanted to clarify the difference between a font and a typeface to avoid any confusion. In short: A font is what you use, a typeface is what you see.

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Where Are All The Social Media Followers?

Where Are All The Social Media Followers

In our latest research – How The Largest Australian Organisations Are Using Social Media, we uncovered some interesting insights. One of the biggest was the number of followers across each social network.

In a tally of the total numbers of followers for 500 of the largest Australian organisations we found that Facebook has in excess of 4.4 million followers and 5 times the total following of Twitter, 10 times the LinkedIn following and 88 times the YouTube following. The variation between all networks is huge and Facebook has a huge lead with 3 times the following as the other networks combined.

This gives organisations something to think about when considering their approach to social media. Before using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube, an organisation needs to understand which networks their audience use and why. A primary purpose of organisations using social media is to engage with their audience and the size of that audience may be hugely variable between the different networks, so choose wisely.

GDPR: What now for gated content in B2B email marketing?

GDPR: What now for gated content in B2B email marketing?

The scare-mongering is over, the GDPR deadline arrived and nothing terrible happened, except for our inboxes being flooded with privacy policy updates, which was awful for all concerned.

So, now we can all move on in a positive way, within this new GDPR framework, but how does it affect email marketing and specifically, gated content?

Can B2B marketers still use gated content to gather leads for email marketing?
This article addresses B2B email marketing and does not apply to B2C due to the way in which businesses can rely on ‘legitimate interest’ instead of ‘consent’. If you can show that people are being contacted because of their job, not who they are and that they need your product and so may be interested, there are possible grounds for legitimate consent. Check out Seven things B2B marketers need to understand about GDPR for more about legitimate interest.

There’s no denying that email is the undisputed king of B2B Marketing and the best lead generation tool for ROI. In fact, The Marketer email tracker 2018 report found email marketing’s return on investment (ROI) is £32.28 for every £1 spent, up from £30.03 last year.

Gated content has always been a fantastic way to build a B2B email marketing database. Both, the company and the B2B consumer know how it works: useful content, whether blog posts, video, or other resources, are shared in exchange for contact details and further marketing as payment.

This can kick-start the lead generation and sales process, both getting people interested in your products through your content and giving you the means to contact them later.

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Why SME’s Need to Become the Brand

Why SME’s Need to Become the Brand

No matter the size of your business, clear and original branding paves the way to success. But it seems small businesses in the UK are not cutting the mustard when it comes to brand identity and that SMEs may need a helping hand to deliver a memorable brand experience.

Vistaprint’s Small Business Uniqueness Report reveals, as well as being unable to define their brand, everything from language to font to colour are copycat stumbling blocks for small business. Here are the key findings:

• 77% use more than one typeface in website copy and 51% use a minimum of three
• 74% repeat the same adjectives in website copy
• 46% choose blue for their branding, 21% choose grey and 18% choose red

Head of UK Marketing at Vistaprint, Jake Amos, commented: “There are so many brilliant creative and individual small businesses in the UK, however, there is a disconnect in how many of them communicate that individuality to the world. It can be overwhelming for small business owners when first starting out and knowing the best way to brand and market their business is an important step in their journey towards success. We created this report as we want to support small businesses in uncovering their unique qualities to help them better stand out from the crowd and achieve their vision”.

Calico’s branding mantra
Here are five reasons it’s important for you, as an SME, to “become” your brand:

Brand identity
Your brand should have its own unique identity, the more you immerse yourself in the brand the more you can understand it and communicate your brand message effectively to your customers. In the same way you should know yourself before embarking on a romantic relationship if you want it to succeed, you should be able to define your brand and your USP.

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Flights for $1 – wow! Or is it just my smartphone shortening your subject line

Flights for $1 - wow! Or is it just my smartphone shortening your subject line

Today I received an email from a travel agent, and it perfectly illustrated a point that a copywriting friend of mine mentioned just the other day.

Because a smartphone will typically only display the first 25 or so characters, marketers and copywriters have to work even harder than ever to make a subject line impactful enough and make the reader want to open their emails.

So perhaps this was an intentional attention-grabbing subject line, although I don’t think so…

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Virtual window shopping for groceries shows mobile innovation

Virtual window shopping for groceries shows mobile innovation

Online supermarket Ocado has tried an innovative pop-up shop approach to raise awareness of the ease of use of their mobile shopping application. Installing a temporary display in a London shopping centre containing pictures and barcodes of products, Ocado hopes to show shoppers the ease of using their mobile to shop for groceries.

Ocado’s mission statement is: To revolutionise the way people shop forever, by giving them a uniquely innovative and greener alternative to traditional grocery shopping.

Ocado is the only dedicated online supermarket in the UK and the largest dedicated online supermarket by turnover in the world.

Launching the world’s first transactional iPhone app for supermarket shopping in 2009, Ocado have already proven to be innovators in this space.

The mobile shopping experience is already used by 15% of Ocado’s customers – the temporary pop-up shop should introduce the concept to yet more customers.

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