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Print glorious print

Garlic Print blog post

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The post Brexit economic uncertainty is impacting on design and marketing budgets. However, I’m confident that more sustainable marketing solutions can be found. This guide may just be your hot ticket to creating colourful, yet cost effective promotions to escape this somewhat grey economic climate.

The festival season is about to land in a muddy puddle near you. The first Glastonbury Festival was held on the 19th September 1970, the day after Jimi Hendrix died. The attendance was 1,500 compared to 2009’s whopping 135,000 revellers and the weekend ticket would have set you back just £1 including free milk from the farm. This year’s tickets are priced at £248.

Our printing guide to help you cut costs, whilst being kind to the planet, through the use of better print techniques. Like pitching your tent at the right angle in the sodden field, the time and effort you plough into planning your campaign will help maximise your budget. The insights below will help you create a headline act and make your print stand out from the crowd. 

Knee deep in print jargon

1. Let It Bleed

Whilst bleeding ink off the edge of a printed piece may look nice, it often increases the paper waste as larger sheet sizes are needed. Minimise ink coverage by eliminating full bleeds or large solid ink areas if possible. Embrace white space, as using less ink often means saving press time, paper and money. Avoid lamination as the process renders paper unrecyclable, un-biodegradable and emits VOC gases.

2. Please Mister Postman

In the light of changes to postage charges, creative folding of printed materials can offer cost effective and eye catching solutions, whilst adhering to Royal Mail guidelines. Why not experiment with folding options such as gatefold, concertina, roll and French. Before briefing your project, reduce unnecessary copy and content through careful editing to achieve a special delivery.

3. Stand and Deliver

Take the stress out of delivering your artwork to the printers. Firstly check that the file you have been sent by the designer is artwork quality. Sending large files via email can be problematic, usually a 5mb limit applies. Your printers may have their own FTP site (File Transfer Protocol) or use a free file transfer service such as or which allow file sizes up to 20Gb. Another option would be to share a Dropbox or Google Drive folder with your designer and printer to ease project collaboration from start to finish.

4. Gas Panic

Nothing beats the smell of freshly printed materials! Unfortunately, these contribute to greenhouse gases as well as affecting water and soil quality. Avoid using metallic or fluorescent inks as these pigments can contain harmful elements, such as heavy metals, barium, copper and zinc. You can significantly reduce the emissions produced from your print by opting for naturally sourced vegetable oil based inks.

5. Paint Your Target

When embarking on a large mailing, ask yourself if you really need to mail everyone on your contact list. If mailing out a heavy document such as a brochure, why not send a ‘slimline’ condensed version to part of your list, directing them to your website for further information. Targeting your marketing materials to appropriate segments of your database reduces both waste and costs.

Garlic Print blog post

Fill your Hunter wellies

6. Let’s Talk About It

Discover that far from being a dangerous thing, a little knowledge on your client’s side is positively beneficial to the smooth running of a project. When dealing with your printers, never assume anything and specify even the smallest detail. If you’re unsure, let your designer talk directly to the printer. Plan ahead and avoid last minute costs.

7. Blue Is The Colour

According to research the colour blue is the least environmentally harmful printing ink. A bright blue shown on an RGB computer screen (red, green, and blue lights) can be very difficult to achieve within the limitations of the CMYK print process (cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks). RGB screens display millions of colours, whereas inks mixed during the printing process from CMYK or the Pantone system are limited to about a thousand colours.

8. Checkin’ It Out

Ensure your job has been ‘preflight’ checked before sending to print. Check with your printers which file format they would prefer, usually a ‘collected’ InDesign or high resolution PDF. Further checks that should be carried out by your designer include: document size, adding bleed and crop marks, image resolution, all colours set to CMYK. It is always worth asking for a printer’s proof as it will save you money in the long run.

9. Back To Black

Colour printing using a limited number of inks, or specific colour inks is referred to as ‘spot colour’ printing – this can save money. Achieving effective limited colour print jobs, depends upon the creative application of varying strength tints of the original inks. For example from a black ink, light silver (20%), smoky grey (40%), graphite (60%) and deep charcoal (80%) to give your finished design flexibility and impact.

10. The Small Print

There really is no small print – brief Garlic to create colourful yet cost effective promotions. Design work that always brings the flavour.

The ten song titles above were provided by: 1. The Rolling Stones, 2. The Beatles, 3. Adam and the Ants, 4. Oasis, 5. Fightstar, 6. White Denim, 7. The Beautiful South, 8. Lil’ Chris, 9. Amy Winehouse and 10. Muse.

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