Embossing is a technique that creates a raised or indented pattern on
your business card. We turn the text, pattern, shape or logo that you
want embossing into a metal die that gets pushed into your card to leave
an impression. Not all elements are suitable for embossing so here are
our tips for getting the best from embossed business card printing.
Embossing looks best when is is used as a separate design element.
Don’t use embossing precisely positioned over printed elements such as
logos, this may produce disappointing results as the embossed effect
will not be particularly visible to the eye.
Don’t go too thin. Patterns with shapes thicker
than 1mm will always produce the best results, go finer than that and
you may find your lines disappear in the card.
Be bold. Make an impact with large text spelling
out your company name or slogan. We don’t recommend embossing small text
as it will be difficult for the reader to see. Avoid fonts with small
fine serifs. Embossing can make text look smaller than usual so you may want to go a few sizes bigger.
Don’t forget about the reverse. Anything you emboss on to the front of your business cards will be debossed on the reverse
so be make sure that it doesn’t go over any fine text or important
details. Where possible, try and encompass the debossed shape into the
Create contrast with colour. Stick to one or two
colours for the printed text on your embossed business cards to give
them a modern and sophisticated look. Keep your colour scheme consistent
throughout your marketing (stationery, leaflets, website) to develop a
professional image of yourself.
Your business card is your number 1 marketing tool and many
peoples first introduction to your business. Make the most of the extra
space on a folding business card
and your customers will keep it in their wallet or purse and will
always have your information at their fingertips. Here’s some ideas on
how to utilise the space effectively.
Offers and Discounts Folding business cards have
plenty of space to include your contact details and a special offer or
promotion Free consultation, 25% off your first order or buy one get
A handy pocket size list of your services and prices will ensure your
customers keep them close to hand, give them out two at a time, one for
them and one to give to a friend â ask for a referral.
A picture speaks a thousand words use the extra space to include
enticing product shots, show off your artwork or display your staff’s
beaming smiles. You could also add your best customer testimonials.
Show off your venue in full colour with smart photos that way they
instantly recognise that they’re in the right place when they come to
visit. Picture cards get attention and look great in high definition full colour.
Just moved? Premises just off the beaten track? Make it easy for your
customers to find you by adding a helpful map and directions. You could
also include nearby bus routes, train stations or local landmarks.
Everybody loves getting something for free and your customers are no
exception. Record with a stamp or pen on the business card after every
purchase and reward your customers to keep them coming back.
Sick of clients missing their appointments? Use the inside of the card
to fill in your client’s next appointment so they never miss a date, now
they’ve got their appointment and your contact details at hand.
It’s not just magpies that love shiny things -
we’re all attracted to them. Diamond necklaces, new cars, crystal
glasses. They never fail to get our attention. Increase your chances of
getting noticed by adding glossy StarMarque highlights to your marketing
So what is StarMarque?
We all know that adding gloss lamination to an image increases the
intensity of colours. StarMarque is a special process which only adds a
gloss coating to selected parts of the image or document.
We start with a matt laminated item such as a business card, folder or thick flyer.
The matt base provides a great contrast for the next layer - a
special hi-gloss varnish. This varnish is only applied to the areas you
want, hence the commonly used name “spot varnish”.
The end result is a beautiful flyer or card
with both gloss and matt areas. This has the effect of accentuating and
drawing attention to the glossy part of the design. Ask your local printing.com store for colour charts to compare the difference.
Who’s using StarMarque?
Lots of businesses are finding that adding StarMarque to their
marketing material is giving it a lot more weight and presence. The
gloss highlights provide an additional visual stimulus because of the
varied textures on the single printed surface. This adds depth and
impact and sets the perception of high quality in the eyes of the
Steve Pilling - Restauranteur, Damson @ BBC Media City says ”Our
award-winning restaurants offer modern British food and an extensive
wine list, so it’s important our marketing reflects our brand… only
StarMarque will do!”
What works best?
StarMarque looks great added over the top of dark colours - black,
dark blue, purple, that kind of thing – that’s where the contrast is
greatest. On a light background, the highlights will be less visible and
they’ll be practically invisible on white â although that’s sometimes
useful if you want to use it as a difficult-to-copy security feature.
Avoid using it over small text or small objects as there is little
chance of it exactly lining up and that will be pretty noticable. Best
to think of it entirely as its own design element and use it to enhance a
piece, rather than simply putting it over existing elements.
What does it cost?
StarMarque is a high-end finishing option which is usually out of
reach for most small businesses. It’s usually reserved for expensive
marketing material and adding it would normally cost a small fortune.
Not any more. With printing.com’s revolutionary techniques, you’ll share
these high set-up costs with lots of other businesses and pay only a
fraction of the normal cost.
Our Fast&Few® Folders are
the perfect low-cost folder option for handing out at events or
presenting documents in a professional way. If you frequently send
quotations, estimates, tenders or proposals, Fast&Few® Folders add a professional touch without breaking the bank.
Combine a versatile Fast&Few® Folders with a set of adaptable inserts and you've got an Information Pack that creates a lasting impression.
Make the Information Pack fit the recipient, tailor the content of
each pack to suit each client. Only interested in some of your products
or services? Only include the relevant inserts. Got a new product or
service? Add a new insert. Price change? Just print that insert again,
rather than a whole brochure.
Our Fast&Few® FoldersÂ and Fast&Few® Gloss Leaflets
can be ordered in quantities as low as 50 and are printed in a speedy 3
working days (or faster if required). Plus get them for half the usual price during May.
Make your folder as versatile as possible by keeping the cover neutral.
Matching inserts can be updated as and when you need them.
Why not include an introductoryletter to welcome your customers.
Donât forget the inside. Plenty of space for more photos and information.
Remember to include your contact details.
A price list is just one item you can include. Other insert ideas; order forms, invoices, enquiry forms, newsletters, quotations, work portfolios, proposals, products and services, company profiles, application forms, reviews and testimonials, information packs and press releases.
POSTCARDS are a proven direct marketing tool. The
beautiful thing about postcards is that the recipient can’t avoid
reading your message. Whether you’re mailing them, handing them out in
the street or selling them, there’s nothing quite like a glossy
Follow these tips and join the thousands of different businesses who use postcards to great success…
DON’T GET STUFFED Don’t waste time, folding, stuffing and licking envelopes. Postcard + address label + stamp = easy!
WORK YOUR MAILING LIST Whether mailing existing customers or new prospects, the
quality of your list will determine the success. Your beautifully
crafted message is useless if it arrives in the wrong in-box or lands on
the wrong desk. Out of date data can also mean that you waste money
sending information to people who have since moved on. Refine your data
for a more targeted campaign.
MAKE YOURSELF IRRESISTIBLE Why are you contacting them? Think of a powerful, limited-time offer and make it hard for them to refuse.
SAY IT IN 5 SECONDS Keep it brief. Write a clear, punchy headline which tells your
message without confusing (we can help). You’ll get a better response if
you make your Postcards look like a personal message rather than a sales promotion.
CREATE INSTANT IMPACT Use a strong image or headline and our high-impact, high-gloss lamination will add emphasis.
SAY NO TO UNREAD MAIL
Even people screening their mail over a recycling bin canât choose to ignore the message on your postcard.
TURN READERS INTO BUYERS
Give them a call to action. What do you want them to do next. Phone?
Email? Visit? Tell them! Really spell it out: call this number,
fill out this form or scan this QR code.
When is a Postcards not a postcard? When you use them as…
customers receive a multitude of messages every day, in a wide variety
of formats. It takes a little bit of thought and planning to make sure
your message stands out. If you give out leaflets or vouchers with
discount offers on them, think about putting the same offer under a scratch card panel.
The fact that the person has to spend time scratching off the panel
means that they actually spend more time participating with your
promotion - that makes them more likely to buy.
Whether your goal is to increase sales, create a customer reward
program, or engage your employees with an incentive scheme, scratch
cards are one of the most versatile and fun ways to promote yourself.
People love to scratch. Scratch cards have
the advantage of being simple, well known and they offer the
opportunity to give your customers something for nothing. This will
increase your ‘stickiness’ - people will keep returning if they know
you’re offering them a chance to win money off or prizes.
Everyone loves gifts and prizes. People love to ‘win’ things.
They even love to participate in anything offering them a chance to win.
Win prizes! You win! Winner! See how powerful these words are? It could
be anything from a free pizza to free nightclub entry. It could be a
discount on your products or services, or even just a free Curly Wurly.
There’s no time to lose - start thinking about how a little bit of scratching could benefit your business. Contact your local printing.com team for some great ideas.
Top 3 reasons for using Scratch Cards…
1. They’re irresistible – everybody loves to win gifts and prizes.
2. They’re immediate – people know straight away whether they’ve won.
3. They’re intriguing – what’s under the panel? What can I win?
They’re affordable, fun and you can stick them anywhere you like.
You can put whatever you like on stickers - your logo, web address, a photograph, a cool illustration. What’s more, with our Fast&Few Stickersyou
can have a different design on each sticker on the sheet - perfect to
highlight different offers and promotions to your customers. They’re
also great for labeling, organizing your paperwork and adding to gift
boxes. Here’s a few ideas…
Got a logo? (talk to us if you don’t!) Put it on a sticker.
Now you’re ready to put your mark on anything you like. Perhaps you’re
planning a bit of guerilla marketing, or want to brand everything in
sight. It’s great way to spread the word about your business.
Our Rectangle Kiss-cut stickers are
ideal for mailing stickers. Let your customer know how important they
are by adding “Urgent” or “Priority” to their package. They also make
great return labels, just add your logo and address.
Create your own labels to stick on the outside of files, no more
scribbling out the old title â simply pop a new label over the top and
write on the new contents. They’ll look professional and keep
everything neat and tidy.
Give them to your customers
Everyone loves a sticker. Give them out with orders, mail outs and
invoices, your customer will stick them to their belongings and be
reminded of you. Put together a few designs so they can pick their
favourite. They’ll see it again and again as they go throughout their
day. Excellent for giving out at events, launches and exhibitions.
Circular stickers are perfect for sealing wrapping paper or adding to
gift boxes. They add a little bit of personalisation that will make your
packaging stand out and look professional. Our Rectangle ones also make
great labels for jam and chutney jars.
Hosting a network meeting, taking part in an event or exhibition? Let
everyone know who’s who by wearing rectangular stickers displaying their
name alongside your logo and organisation. Now they’ll remember your
name as well as your brilliant ideas.
Stickers make business cards more intriguing. Try out a few designs on
the sheet and hand out different coloured ones depending on your mood or
what part of your business or services you’re trying to promote.
They’ll make an impression be stuck somewhere handy to refer to later.
Take a look at our top tips on how to Work Your Business Cards Harder.
Say well done
Stick some praise on your pupils with behaviour and motivational merit
stickers. Encourage their attendance and punctuality by awarding them
for 100% attendance in a month or being on time all week. Give them a
boost by adding stickers to a chart for full marks in a test or
Using recycled paper is a simple decision that can make a great
difference. It’s also an easy and clear way to communicate your brand
Making your business more sustainable not only saves you money, it
can also win you customers looking for companies with green credentials.
Over 80% of UK companies now have a corporate social responsibility
strategy, according to research by Future Thinking.
Promoting your environmentally friendly methods can set your business
apart from your competitors and attract new customers who want to buy
products and services from an environmentally friendly business. There
are lots of different ‘green’ logos you can use on your leaflets, letterheads and flyers to show you care (ask us about which ones you can use on your marketing).
Printing on recycled paper saves trees, energy, water and landfill
space compared to non recycled paper. This is because recycled materials
have already been refined and processed once. Manufacturing the second
time is much cleaner and less energy intensive than the first time.
Recycled paper meets the same high technical specification as virgin
paper and will run successfully on the most demanding photocopiers and
office printers. Print on both sides of the paper to save even more.
It places less strain on global forest resources. Paper recycling
optimises the use of a valuable material and reduces the amount of
virgin pulp required. Although forests are increasingly managed in a
sustainable way there is a need to reduce wastage by using more recycled
content. Put the paper in the recycling bin, close the loop by buying
recycled, and hey presto: virgin trees have been saved. According to Recycle Now, 67% of the paper and cardboard used in the UK is recovered for recycling.
Our recycled range is made from 100% post-consumer waste and is FSC
certified meaning you can be sure that the paper you buy is
environmentally sound and is promoting responsible forest management.
Ask us about using the Recycled Paper logo or the FSC logo on your
marketing. Our most popular Recycled products are half price during August â saving the planet and your pocket.
Assuming that the success of a design project depends largely on the
quality of the designer/client relationship, what are the criteria for
such relationships and how might designers and clients cultivate these
qualities in their relationships to positive effect?
Trust seems like a good place to start and I caught a glimpse of how
this quality works within a relationship during the Design Effectiveness
Awards last month. It came from Ian Thompson, head of Thompson Brand
Partners who, with Victoria Robertshaw, joint owner of Keelham Farm
Shop, collected a Gold Award.
At the awards, winning agencies and clients get to go up on stage
where a short interview takes place. During this interview, Ian
commented: “There’s nothing like a client’s trust to make you up your game.”
This quote struck me as really interesting. It hinted at the
interrelationship between client and designer, how the dynamic is not
just about money and work passing in opposite directions. It suggested a
level of dynamism and energy underpinning the relationship that, when
understood and tapped into, has the potential to generate performance
improvements for both parties and make the relationship really
I wanted to explore the source of this energy, to try and find out
how it was created and start to place it into a map that could be useful
to designers and clients looking to develop more successful
relationships. I spoke first with Ian Thompson and then Keelham’s
Victoria Robertshaw. Their descriptions of how trust works in their
relationship sheds light on how this contributes to their success.
Here’s what they told me, followed by some pointers on what other designers and clients might do to achieve the same success.
A bump in the road is the perfect base on which to build trust
After a good start, the relationship between Thompson and Keelham hit
a bump in the road. This bump was an opportunity in disguise. For
Victoria it gave her the chance to look at other consultancies. For Ian
it was the chance to review what had happened. He took a step back and
wrote an honest letter to Victoria to say he was sorry it hadn’t worked
out. Victoria’s experience with her new consultancy made her re-evaluate
the quality of her relationship with Thompson. The new
consultancy didn’t feel quite right. Ian and Victoria met up. For Ian
their conversation made him more mindful of what the relationship was
like for the client. Victoria realised she liked the way Thompsons
worked and gradually they started to move back towards working together.
The client and designer build each other’s confidence
When Keelham wanted to implement new brand work on its Thornton shop,
it asked Thompson to do the retail design. Thompson is a brand
consultancy so this was not in its usual skill set. Taking on this work
found it going outside what they would typically work do. Ian was honest
and said so. Victoria’s response was simply: “Yes, you can do it. You
are capable.” When Ian needs help from specialists he gets it. But
Victoria trusts Thompson to be sat alongside her at the top table,
Ian and his team take Victoria through their thought process. “We
show some unfinished ideas. We trust Victoria not to judge us on these
ideas and she is comfortable with this. We present our workings. We’re
not working to our agenda, it’s about what’s important to Keelham. If
anyone at Thompson doesn’t know something, they hold their hands up. Our
approach is about being open and honest; truth and trust go hand in
The designer needs to get the client and the client needs to feel “got”
For Victoria, “Ian just gets Keelham. He thinks of things that we
haven’t thought of but are still right for us”. A good example of this
is that Keelham has blackboards along the road that they put together
themselves to make their customers driving along smile. They are part of
Keelham’s pre-Thompson identity. When Thompson put together the visual
ID it took inspiration from these boards for Keelham’s fonts. A small
thing, you might think. But crucially important, because when a change
is proposed to anyone for anything, it will be more likely to be adopted
if it borrows something that they already feel close to. In that way,
the change is in them already, it feels natural, not forced.
The importance of “thinking harder” to Keelham and Thompson
For Keelham, it was thinking about values. Keelham has been going
since the 1920s. It was Victoria’s Grandad’s business, which her Dad
built on in in 1970 when he opened the farm shop and then Victoria with
her brother James in 2006. Keelham started to grow but there was no
management structure, Victoria found that people were not making the
right decisions. “They won’t get our values by osmosis. We need to get
them down on paper as much now as for the future. So Keelham would
continue.” This was a hard process and initially they did not get
finished. But we need them. They are a framework to make decisions. As
long as you’re doing that, then you’re doing the right thing.”
For Thompson it was about not stopping at the obvious. As part of a
refurbishment of Keelham’s place in Thornton the consultancy looked at
staff uniforms. It went to uniform suppliers who came back with ideas
that were, to be frank, pretty uniform. Thompson thought about it and
suggested they go for something more eclectic, interesting and on-brand.
And it was cheaper. The idea came about from thinking harder about the
question to get to a better answer.
What can designers and clients take from these examples?
They could swap their values up front. If your value
system is the one that guides your decision-making, perhaps both
parties should be sharing their values ahead of starting work. “Can you
tell me about your values?” should be one of the early questions. As a
client you will feel understood. You’ll be able to talk to your values.
As a designer you’ll be able to understand and pitch the right idea from
the start. From this point you both have a better chance of moving
outside of your comfort zones together.
Designers to include their client in the idea, clients to look for themselves in the idea.
As a designer, when you suggest an idea, check to see where it has come
from and what is included from the client’s present positive situation
in the execution. As a client look for yourself in the idea. Look for
what’s right, not for what’s wrong.
Clients and designers to work hard to create and refine their values.
Victoria has a monthly gathering where she welcomes new employees and
goes through the values. She has workshops where these are explored.
These are the places where the values have evolved and distilled. For
“Taste…. a paragraph of text” became “Taste comes first.”
“Affordability… everyone should have great food every day” became “For everyone.”
“Fairness… a paragraph about the history of the business” became ‘Just do the right thing”.
Both parties to rethink failure. See failure as an
opportunity to create a strong memory of who you are and what you do. As
Ian puts it: “The way someone fixes a problem is a measure of them.
Life is not clean and simple but you have to act fast, act decisively
and go to the ends of the earth to fix the problem.” For clients, listen
to your agency. Assess whether it’s a blip rather than the relationship
It’s all about the people. Trust is about saying and
doing. So this means making sure that everyone gets to meet everyone
that will be saying and doing. This applies equally to clients and their
My brother’s friend Philip Davies was at Cardiff Art College studying
Graphic Design and I loved all the work he was doing with type and
image. It coincided with my art teacher Douglas Sutton, in Wales, who
was previously a commercial artist, believing in me. I had practised
Judo (we were both Black Belts) with him not realising I would one day
be mentored by him. You only need one person to believe in you to
What was your first job?
David Lock of Lock Pettersen taught me at the London College of
Printing. I freelanced for them in the last year of my BA course and
joined them when I graduated. They were great typographers so I learnt a
lot. I designed corporate brochures and annual reports for clients like
How would you describe what you currently do?
Having set up Brand Inspiration in January I want to concentrate on
two things. One is to do great work on my own projects unshackled from
shareholders and bonus pools. Great work brings financial success rather
than thinking about money before creativity. The second is to leave a
legacy of creativity both in my own work and with those I believe in. I
am very proud to have worked with people like Garrick Hamm, Bruce
Duckworth and Mark Girvan and now I want to mentor Taxi Studio to be
masters of excellence. I am in the business of the big idea beautifully
What has been the biggest change in design since you started?
The Apple Mac. Technology has made design a commodity if driven by
the wrong hands. In the right hands it can achieve greatness quicker.
But never underestimate the power of a drawing. I show my clients
drawings where I have concentrated on solving the problem with ideas not
by superficial slick Mac printouts.
What is your favourite project, that you’ve worked on?
Sorry, typical designer answer, but there are three projects. First:
the work I did for Guiness’s sponsorship of the rugby World Cup. The
idea of the rugby ball instead of the traditional shamrock in the top of
the pint was a simple idea. Second: the design of Peroni, as it has
become a classic. I crafted every element of the label and sales are
still strong. Third: the creation of the Penderyn Welsh Whisky brand. As
a Welshman it’s an honour to do work for a home-grown business that has
become an international success.
What is your favourite project, that you haven’t worked on?
I always wanted to redesign Gordon’s Gin and Martini. In fact I did
some exploratory work on Gordon’s many years ago but it never came to
fruition. Martini has lost its heart and I want to put it back!
What was your biggest mistake?
Not going to work in New York for Michael Peters Group. It would have
given me more perspective. And not setting up my own business sooner to
call the shots.
What is your greatest ambition?
To leave a creative legacy amongst my peers and be respected for my work.
Who is the most inspirational person you have worked with?
Michael Peters got the very best out of me by driving me very hard.
He could see potential in every project as a creative opportunity.
Michael Wolff has been a massive influence on me recently as he sees the
solution to problems so clearly.
What piece of advice would you give to people starting out in design?
Read Malcolm Gladwell’s book Outliers. It’s all about the experience
and time you put in and the reward you get out. Concentrate on doing
great work, this business is not a job but a vocation.
On behalf of the SCA Group, we would like to thank infinity designs for all their hard work in making our mobile App a reality. Throughout this project we found them highly professional and efficient, and our app was created better than we could have imagined.
- Andy Hurll - Financial Manager, SCA Group