A Giant Hello from Everyone Here at instantprint HQ!
We’d just like to take this chance to say thank you for making the start of 2020 so fantastic – and we’re excited to help your business bloom this spring with print that makes you look amazing.
Spring is the time for growth, and your business is no exception to that. We’ve gathered our top products (plus a load of tips from the whole team!) for putting a spring in your step in your marketing to help you flourish all year long.
So whether you’re looking to boost the growth you’ve already seen so far in 2020 or turn over a new leaf and make March a fresh start, let this little book guide you to success…
Spring Clean Your Marketing
The instantprint Creative & Marketing teams have clubbed together to share their best ideas for promoting your business – including this season’s killer design trends and tips on creating winning marketing materials.
Marketing Health Check
Ever feel like you’ve lost sight of the bigger picture? Go one step further than a spring clean and perform a full marketing health check on your branding! Here are three quick ways to make sure your brand is the best that it can be.
1. Add Value to Campaigns
Not getting the results you expected from your last marketing campaign? Start by assessing what you could improve on previous campaigns!
The best way to make sure you’re hitting the nail on the head every time is to set an objective – why are you sending that email? Does it add value to your audience? Whether it’s educating them on a relevant new product or sharing a promotion, always consider how your message is helping the customer.
2. Review Your Brand
Write down what comes to mind when you think of your business’s brand personality. Then go and ask someone else in your team. Ask some of your customers too! Do all of these statements match?
If your customers (or even someone else in the business) don’t see the brand the way you want them to, it could mean it’s time to realign your marketing to more clearly represent who you are and what you do!
3. Get Creative!
Your customers can tell if you’ve planned and thought out your marketing content. So, if your last few campaigns have been a little lacklustre, this is a great place to start your big refresh.
Invite a few people to an ideation meeting that normally wouldn’t go to get some fresh ideas for your content. A new perspective might be the perfect thing to break you out of that rut and help you create winning content your customers will love!
Marketing Team Top Print Picks
This was such a hard decision for our Marketing team – we’re passionate about everything to do with print! Here’s the handpicked selection of top recommendations from this team.
A firm favourite here at instantprint, folded leaflets are one of the best (and most affordable) ways to shout about your business.
Need more space to show off your products but still want to stick to your budget? Stapled booklets are the perfect all-rounder.
Don’t let spring showers rain on your parade! With waterproof PVC banners, your message will shine through whatever the weather.
Spring marks the start of events season, and no event is complete without a roller banner! Perfect for grabbing attention in a crowded place.
Spring Colour Palettes 2020
To help you create an on-trend colour scheme, our Creative team have developed the following spring colour palettes, all of which incorporate Pantone’s colour of the year for 2020: Classic Blue*.
1. Pair it with Pastels
A really simple way to use this gorgeous navy shade in the spring is to pair it with dusty pastels, like this palette below. For print designs, the contrast between the dark blue and the light pastel colours
2. Add a Drop of Sunshine
We’re already excited for the warm sunny days that are right on the horizon (literally). Dark blue and yellow are a classic combination – and they make a great foundation to start adding more bright colours, like red, orange and green.
3. Revisit Living Coral
We’re still a little bit in love with Pantone’s Living Coral, which was last year’s trending colour. Luckily for us (and other coral lovers), it goes incredibly well with Classic Blue! We’re expecting to see a lot more of this kind of palette throughout the warmer months.
*Want to use Pantone’s Colour of the Year for your print designs? The CMYK values for Classic Blue are: C:100, M:76, Y:25, K:0.
Spring Design Trends 2020
Looking for a fresh way to make your print stand out? Here you’ll find some of the biggest trends in the graphic design world right now! From super simple to quirky and new, we think these trends are perfect for spring.
1. Playful Typography
This year has kicked off a huge trend in typography, with many designers getting creative with text-only designs and custom fonts. We think this style of design looks great on posters and postcards as it’s incredibly visual and often combined with a strong, shareable message.
2. Simple Illustrations
Minimalism has been a huge trend all throughout the 2010s, and this is a theme that’s definitely stuck around in the 20s too! Line drawing and simple illustrations dominate the wedding industry, but are becoming more commonly used in marketing too.
3. Bold Classic Colours
This spring, we’re predicting a trend in bold, statement colours – think bright red, orange, aqua and, of course, the colour of the year, classic blue. These core shades are perfect for complementing subtler colours like denim blue and cream.
Isometric design allows you to draw 3D shapes. Traditionally, basic cubes and spheres have been used in marketing, however as isometry’s popularity rises, more complex designs are the latest trend in this field.
Based on our half a million awesome small business customers, the average customer orders 8 times per year. That’s roughly one print order every 6 weeks! Based on this data we’ve mapped out the optimum time our customers wait between ordering print again per product so you can stay ahead of your competition.
|0-4 Weeks||4-8 Weeks||8-12 Weeks||12-16 Weeks|
Get Set Up for Spring with the Studio Team
The print artwork experts in our Studio team make sure that every design that you send in looks awesome when it’s printed. Not only do they check every single piece of artwork and set it up to print perfectly on our state-of-the-art machinery, but they can also offer loads of pre- and post-order services. Here’s a little bit more about this team and how they can help you at every step of the print journey.
instantprint’s Free 10 Point Check
Every piece of artwork you send to print is manually checked by a member of the Studio team for 10 key things. This is a free service we automatically apply to every order that acts as a safety net to ensure your print is perfect first time.
Our team checks whether the layout of your artwork matches the product you’ve chosen, e.g. are all the folds considered for folded leaflet artwork.
We’ll check that your file is in the correct format for printing so our printers can read the image properly.
We’ll check you’ve added bleed and add it if not – this is an extra 3mm around the edge of your artwork to help minimise any borders after your print is trimmed.
Our team will flag anything with a low resolution that could affect the overall quality of your print.
We’ll check that your artwork dimensions are set up to the correct size, and resize if necessary and possible.
6. Safe Zone
We’ll check for a 3mm safety area – this makes sure all important text and information is at least 3mm from the edge.
We’ll check that your colour is set up to CMYK and convert it if necessary.
If your content is deemed inappropriate, we reserve the right to refuse the print.
If there are boxes around text and images, an error may have occurred when the artwork was saved.
We’ll check that your text is legible and flag this to you to confirm if you still want to print.
5 Common Artwork Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)
Our Studio team have compiled the most common things that people often forget to do or don’t get quite right to help you avoid these mistakes with your artwork.
1. Adding White Borders
If you’d like to add white borders to your artwork, make sure that these are the same thickness all the way around. Otherwise, when we print and trim your artwork down to size, your borders will look wonky.
If you save your artwork file out with the wrong resolution, this can affect the final printed product. For A7 size artwork and smaller, we recommend setting your resolution to 600dpi. For A0 or larger, please set this up at 150dpi. For sizes in between, you can set your resolution to 300dpi.
3. Saving Your Artwork
Although we accept a range of file types, we recommend saving and uploading your artwork as PDFs or JPEGs. This flattens the layers of your design and stops elements, such as fonts, from shifting and changing when we run your artwork through our 10 point check.
4. Circle Stickers
If you want to create a circle sticker design, set your print file up as a square and that’ll act as your bleed area. For example, you’d set 37mm circle sticker artwork up as a 43mm square, with the design within a 31mm area in the centre. We have downloadable blank sticker templates available on the instantprint website.
5. Bright Colours
If you save your artwork in an RBG format, we’ll always convert your colours to CMYK for printing as commercial printers can’t print all of the colours you see on your screen. If this conversion has been applied, your proof might look a little duller than your original artwork. If you want to use brighter colours, make sure you set your colour settings to CMYK so you can get a better idea of the colours you can use.
Meet Your P.A.!
We know setting up a file for print can be confusing. That's why we offer a range of pre- and post-order checks to make sure you feel confident in your design!
Find out how we can help you at instantprint.co.uk/pa
The impact of print on the environment is a key concern for many of our customers, and something that all of us at instantprint HQ are passionate about improving. Here are a few of the ways we’re getting greener…
We’re certified and work towards a set of environmental management standards called ISO. These written documents outline best practice for environmental processes, and we’re audited once a year to make sure we keep our certification.
This audit also tells us how we can improve so we can make sure we’re as environmentally friendly as possible.
We’ve recently added a 100% recycled stock to a range of our most popular products including flyers, business cards and greetings cards. All of our paper stocks are fully recyclable.
Another area we’re focusing on is our packaging. We’ve recently reduced the amount of plastic packaging used for our business cards by 66%!
We only use FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) accredited papers. The FSC ensure that the entire supply chain is managed sustainably. If you would like to use the official FSC logo on your print, get in touch with the studio team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org*.
Custom Recycling Process
We recycle 97% of our waste output, and to keep levels that high, we needed an innovative solution. Our custom-built extractor takes any wasted paper (like trimmings from the guillotine) and sends it directly to our shredder, where’s it’s compacted and then recycled.
*Please note – this may add an extra working day to your order’s turnaround time.
Our creative stocks are a hit with the Studio team! Perfect for creating print that’s a little different (but just as incredible), here’s a run down of the choices we offer across our cards & invites and wedding ranges.
350gsm Conqueror Wove
A thick white card that’s slightly textured for card and invitation printing that’s soft to the touch.
300gsm Conqueror Wove Cream
A gorgeous creamy version of the standard conqueror wove, with a slight texture and luxurious colour for a hind end finish.
300gsm Ice Gold
One of our most popular stocks for Christmas cards and wedding stationery printing, Ice Gold is white with a lightly golden pearlescent shimmer that reacts to light.
A stunning brown stock with an earthy texture – ideal for giving your print that DIY look on a professional level.
285gsm Woodstock Betulla Pulp
This stock is made from 80% recycled materials and 20% chlorine fibres. These fibres are unbleached, meaning you can see the wood pulp running through the card.
300gsm Mohawk Felt Cream
An incredibly textured stock with a premium cream finish. Gives a look of luxury and colours and text still print extremely clearly.
300gsm Tintoretto by Fedrigoni
Named after an Italian artist, Tintoretto is an uncoated (for smudge-free writing) stock with a felt-marked feel to create the impression of an artist’s sketchpad.
Studio Team Top Print Picks
Another round of difficult choices for our Studio team (what can we say? We’re a little print-obsessed!), we asked them what their favourite print products are for promoting your business in spring.
Spring leaves us feeling refreshed and ready to go out and meet new people! Make sure you’ve got plenty of business cards for all the new contacts you’re going to make this season.
NEW Stickier Stickers
You asked, we got! Our stickers are now even stickier, so you can brand all kinds of surfaces. Add them to envelopes, hand them out at events, or even decorate your office space with these nifty little labels.
Sending a thank you card to your customers is a great way to create positive brand association and build loyalty. Include a discount code to encourage them to buy from you again!
Recycled & Kraft Flyers
Spring is also a great time to try something new – so why not try this twist on a classic? Recycled stock on flyers is a great way to go greener, whereas Kraft gives your promotions a rustic, earthy vibe.
Nurturing a Brand Culture
Our next port of call to collect instantprint HQ’s top tips for growing your business was our HR superstars. Our engaging and vibrant culture is one of the things we’re proudest about, and whether it’s promoting wellbeing or improving productivity, these guys are the backbone of our 400-strong team. Here are their top tips for nurturing your own brand culture.
How to Build a Positive Company Culture
Creating a positive culture in the workplace for your employees is a fundamental part of running a business – it can help you acquire the best talent, retain your current staff and make sure everyone’s on the same track towards your goal. Here are our HR team’s top tips.
1. Match Your Company Values
Some companies pride themselves on their professionalism, some value honesty, others want to be known as fun and friendly. Your company values should be the key drivers of your culture.
2. Lead by Example
No one’s going to behave the way you want them to if you and your management team aren’t. When change starts from the top, it’s more likely to be implemented at a wider level.
3. Back it Up with Stories
A story helps reinforce your values and make them memorable. For example, our teamwork value is named “23:17”. This is a reference to the quickest time it took to complete an order – all thanks to the team working together efficiently!
4. Create a Positive Environment
Employee motivation is heavily influenced by their working environment. This could be literal office décor and having posters of your brand values around as a physical reminder to ensuring interpersonal relationships remain positive and professional.
How Does instantprint Tackle Culture?
In a recent interview with HR Grapevine, instantprint’s Head of HR, Vicki Russell, was asked how we maintain such a strong company culture in a business that’s grown from 60 employees to over 400 since 2012.
She explained, “We’ve done really well to maintain that same culture but now I think we’re getting to that pivot point where, if we don’t really focus on it, we are going to lose who we really are.”
As we continue to invest in our equipment, we’re re-focussing our culture to facilitate the growth that will follow. To do this, we’re using business management expert Patrick Lencioni’s six critical questions, which are:
- Why do we exist?
- How do we behave?
- What do we do?
- How will we succeed?
- What is most important right now?
- Who must do that?
We started by communicating this message at management level, and then rolling this out to the wider workforce through training sessions specially created by our in-house Trainer, Sean.
“What we want to do is implement that right through the employee life cycle so that we are checking up on values in 1-2-1s, so it really is integrated at every single level.
There is still quite a way to go and we’re still at the beginning of that journey. It’s really refreshing for me, coming into this role quite recently, to see how involved the Board of Directors are with culture because if I’ve not got them on board, we won’t be able to do it,” Vicki concluded.
A Word on Culture from Adam & James
“As childhood friends, we’ve always had a lot of fun together building instantprint to the massive brand it is today. As the company has grown, we’ve tried to keep this going in lots of different ways, including team events and fun days.
We also believe that communication is key to a successful business. We encourage this by, once a week, taking the time to personally go around every member of staff and ask what tasks they’ve been working on. This is then compiled as a staff bulletin and emailed round the team.
We believe that a positive culture starts with us, which is why we see ourselves as role models for the rest of the business.”
Top Print Products for Building Your Culture
Internal branding and advertising for team events is an essential way to encourage people to stay motivated and remind them of your core message. Our HR team handpicked these products for communicating company values to the team.
We love using table talkers to advertise events at HQ! You’ll always see this eye-catching promotional tool on our teams’ desks. Three sides mean you can give all the information your staff need about the event.
Keep employees informed about important changes, events and brand messaging with poster in communal areas like the kitchen! Easy to attach to any surface, with sizes to suit every workspace.
Leave piles of printed flyers in communal spots detailing any important information or promoting internal events for a cheap and easy way to get the message across to the whole team.
Postcards make fantastic invitations to staff events. They’re also more likely to be kept in a memorable place compared with emails, which they’ll probably receive hundreds of every week.
We Want to See Your Spring Marketing
Want to keep up with the latest marketing tips and tricks? Keep up with us on social media to find out about our top spring marketing tips, competitions and exclusive offers.
We hope we’ve inspired you to create something fresh for spring. And we’d love to be inspired back. Tag us @instantprintuk or #instantprintuk to show us what you’ve been up to. You’ll also be in with a chance of getting featured!