Business cards – ten things you must consider

Although most of us are always connected to our smartphones, business cards still serve a valuable purpose and have a unique ability to help forge personal and profitable connections.

While the business card may be one of the most basic networking tools out there, if you get it wrong, it could cost you a sale.

What is there to get wrong, we hear you ask. It’s not only the design of the card and quality of paper that is highly important – it’s also the key information that you choose to include.

Here, we share our top ten tips on how to maximise the power of your business cards:

  1. Choose a memorable shape

After a networking event, you can almost guarantee that everyone will have a wadge of business cards in their bag or wallet. Choosing a design that stands out from the crowd means that you don’t get shoved on the same pile as the rest. Have a think about making your business card an unusual shape, such as square, triangular, or even slim rectangular.

  1. Don’t skimp on the design

While it may be tempting to have a go at designing your own business card, it doesn’t always look professional. If you can, invest in your business card by employing a graphic designer to mock one up that really packs a punch and conveys the message you want.

  1. Include your title

Are you managing director or founder? Marketing director or accountant? While the truth may be that you’re all of the above, people often like to see what your role in the company is. Keep your title short and sweet, people don’t need an essay on all of your qualifications.

  1. Don’t forget phone number or email address

Your phone number and email address are possibly the two most important pieces of information on your business card. After all, there’s no use in investing money into the card’s creation if prospects cannot even get in touch with you.

  1. Showcase your social media channels

Your social media channels can give potential clients more information about your company and its ethos. Pointing them to your channels can showcase your expertise and help tell your brand story.

  1. Don’t print things too small

Bear in mind that not everyone will have 20/20 vision. Ensure that the details on your business card are legible. It sounds simple, but is often overlooked.

  1. Think of your card as a call to action

The next time a prospect picks up your business card, you want them to feel compelled to do something. Whether that’s calling you, or sending you an email – ensuring you’ve created a call to action can be a good persuasion tactic.

  1. Don’t cram your card full of content

Although it can be tempting to stuff your business card full of information, sometimes less is more. Putting the essentials on it is great, but too much and it can be overwhelming. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of white space, some people even choose not to use the back of their business card, or to fill it with an image instead.

  1. Use good quality paper

The type and thickness of paper that you use can either enhance a business card’s image, or completely let it down. A card that’s made from thin, economy card that wobbles in the wind probably won’t have as much gravitas as one that is made from fine quality stock.

  1. Don’t forget to take enough out with you

Although you may not want to clog up your purse or wallet with loads of your business cards, prospecting events often have things like business card walls or buckets. By not taking enough, you could be doing yourself a disservice and limiting the places your card is seen.

If you need business card printing in or around Birmingham, please give us a call on 0121 236 2784 to see how we can produce top quality print at a top quality price.

Don’t Email it, Write it! National Stationery Week 2017

This year National Stationery Week runs from the 24th-30th April, with a mission to highlight the importance of handwriting in our technological world. Run annually, the event will involve businesses, schools and communities to promote the benefits of writing alongside smartphones and other devices.

YouGov research commissioned by National Stationery Week reported that 94% of adults think that writing by hand is important. In addition, 86% of business managers expect candidates for jobs to be able to write by hand, as well as have keyboard skills. National Stationery Week stresses the value of handwriting especially for children, as a skill that should not be left behind in future learning.

handwriting for National Stationery Week

Why is handwriting so important?

  • It is a much more personal form of communication. In many cases writing by hand makes you think harder about what you are saying because you cannot so easily delete what’s been written.
  • The impact of a handwritten card, compliment slip or business invitation is stronger. The recipient will likely feel that more effort has gone into the handwritten version and it becomes a more valuable message.
  • Handwriting might also be better in the office, research has found. Studies have shown that subjects who take longhand notes with a pen and paper retain more conceptual knowledge than those who take notes using a laptop. The act of highlighting written-down notes is also beneficial for organisation and information processing.

How you can support the cause

To get involved in National Stationery Week, organisations will be taking on their Seven Days of Stationery challenge. It’s easy for companies to support the ‘writing matters’ cause by using their social media pages. Simply use the seven special hashtags over the week and get your office being creative with all things stationery!

For instance, on #PenAndPencilDay you could make a ‘pen only’ rule for you Monday meetings and jot down handwritten notes. For #ThankYouThursday, why not write a valued client or partner a handwritten card, or perhaps you could thank your staff with a considered written note?

For all the hashtags and more ways you can support National Stationery Week, you can visit their website. We specialise in a variety of printed stationery supplies for all your office needs. From business cards to letterheads, browse through our products and make sure you’re ready for National Stationery Week!

The Russell Printers Guide to Branding for an Event

If you are new to organising an event for your company or are exhibiting for the first time, the idea of branding your business properly can seem an intimidating task. The good news is, branding for an event doesn’t need to be frightening – from pop-up displays to hi-tech exhibition stands, a few basics can make a massive difference.

If you are in need of branding advice for your next event or exhibition, take heed of our simple tips:

Think about your objectives

To be successful with your branding, it’s important to be sure what you want to get out of an event. For example, are you looking to make more sales, forge new relationships, or even strengthen relationships with existing customers or clients? Your objectives should help you to decide on the best print marketing materials to utilise at an event. For example, to make more sales, as well as large printed banners, you could consider handing out catalogues or brochures with examples of your best products or services. To create or strengthen relationships, do you have enough business cards to hand out? Have you considered giving out promotional gifts?

Be clear with your message

When it comes to any branding, it should always be simple and to the point. It’s important to consider all of the things that make your business stand out from competitors. Once you have determined what is most special about your business, you can then work on summing this information up to form one strong, clear message. You often only have a split second to attract attention, so putting across your message is really important.

Make the most of design

Arguably, design is the most important factor in successful branding for an event. Without carefully thought out design, it’s very difficult to get your message across as people are much less likely to notice you. Design helps you to establish consistency in your branding – the same colours and logos should be used across your stall, promotional materials, and perhaps even the clothes that your staff wear. Design and consistency play a big part in reinforcing the message that you are looking to put across.

Provide special offers

To create interest at an event, it’s always a smart plan to provide special offers. For example, you may be able to offer price reductions to people that decide to make a purchase there and then. If your objective is to increase sales and spread awareness of your brand, you could provide special reductions on point of sale materials and other promotional materials for businesses that are interested in stocking your products. This will help you to continue to carry your message across to the consumer.

At Russell Printers, we can work with you to achieve your event marketing objectives. To enquire about a quote or discuss your event branding requirements in more detail, call us today on 0121 236 2784.

Making the Most of Your Flyer or Leaflet

At Russell Printers, we are experts in leaflet and flyer production and can make any number of leaflets in any format and size. Leaflets can be used for all manner of publicity and marketing, and can be distributed in many ways. Cheap to produce and easy to distribute, they are a valuable tool for any business. But have you thought of putting them to a slightly different use? Here are a few ideas that might not have occurred to you, but could really reward your business.

flyers and leaflets

 

Discount Offers

Inserted into a customer order, the flyer can be used as a means of winning repeat business by offering something extra – such as discount on the next order, a credit on the account or a choice of small gift with the next order.

Feedback tool

All companies should encourage customer feedback – it is one of the easiest ways of improving your business. Of course, it is always best to ask for feedback via a range of methods, so that you get the full picture from a varied customer base. Leaflets are versatile as they can be used as a quick response form, or as a call to social media or the company website for online completion.

Personalising

Though not possible for all businesses, those that are smaller often use the leaflet as an insert and this is then used as a means of thanking their customer. Using a personalised message, signed personally, or even handwritten, can really influence your customer and induce loyalty. This need not be an onerous task if it is done in a specific way such as for every third purchase, or larger purchases only etc. The personal touch will build brand and company loyalty especially if done consistently.

If you would like to know more about the range of leaflets and flyers we can produce for you then visit our website or call us on 0121 236 2784.

 

Stand Out from the Crowd – Choose Bespoke Wallpaper

If you’re struggling to find the perfect wallpaper design for your living room, or perhaps you want to exactly match the corporate colours of your organisation for your reception area, you may want to consider bespoke wallpaper.  Bespoke wallpaper is the ultimate solution for filling empty wall space – you can design a unique pattern which can be digitally printed onto embossed or plain finish wallpaper, or you could choose an image which reminds you of happy times.

Get Creative

When it comes to custom wallpaper – think big and get creative!  Be inspired to travel by having a world map printed which can be adorned to your dining room wall, have a panoramic view of your child’s favourite football team’s stadium around their bedroom or perhaps wake up to a printed view of your favourite holiday location every morning.  Whatever your idea – as long as the image is of a high enough resolution, the team at Russell Printers can do the rest for you.

bespoke wallpaper

Go Corporate

Whether you’re setting up a new business or rebranding a well-established company, it pays to build up your brand and get it seen by your potential customers.  A good place to start is in the reception area of your premises – choose your corporate colours and logo and replicate a pattern throughout the main foyer.  Alternatively you could use images of your products to showcase the breadth of your offerings as a way of displaying your full product range.

Measurements

Once you have chosen your design or image, give our team a call to discuss whether you wish to go for an embossed or plain finish wallpaper.  Be sure to measure the wall space in which you wish to hang the wallpaper (we always recommend asking a friend to double check the measurements for you) and we will print your chosen wallpaper to the exact size for you.  Whether you decide to paper a whole room or just a feature wall, the wallpaper can make your room stand out and will provide a real talking point for visitors.

To find out more about our custom printed wallpaper, give the Russell Printers team a call on 0121 236 2784.

Refreshing Your Corporate Print for the New Year

The end of 2016 is drawing closer, so a lot of us are already thinking about changes that we would like to make in the New Year. The start of the year is a great time to make some resolutions for yourself, but it’s also a useful time to make resolutions for your business! For many businesses, New Year provides an ideal time for a refresh, whether this means auditing the stock room, or going for a complete rebrand.

As a print company, we’ve put together some resolutions that we believe businesses should consider in 2017:

Consider your branding and corporate print

If your branding and print are a little outdated and seem to have lost relevance, your customers have changed, or if you are looking to relaunch your business, now is a good time to look at overhauling your branding and print. Just as many people think “New Year, new you”, you can apply this to your business and go for a complete rebrand that best represents your business and target audience.

Take care of your print essentials

13502144_1238150966197060_3670706521881189730_nRebranding is about much more than designing a new logo. It’s about looking at where your brand falls short and how you can address this. The New Year is a great time to address all the things that could be holding your business back, right down to looking closely at all of your printed materials, for example:

  • Are your print marketing materials up to date? A mistake as simple as having outdated or inaccurate business cards, letterheads or any other printed materials can have a negative effect. For any business, over time, information changes, so rather than scribbling new phone numbers, addresses, titles or websites on your old business card, why not get some new marketing materials printed up as part of your brand overhaul?
  • Are all of your paper materials consistent? All branding should match whether on a business card, your letter heads, or even posters, leaflets, flyers and mailers. Seamless branding is essential as it helps to create one seamless company image. Your print marketing materials also have to be consistent in terms of message as well as with your online marketing.

Set up a branding guide

Along with establishing a new brand, it’s advisable to create a branding guide, a guideline establishing all the rules for your brand and company image. This way, you can be sure when creating new marketing materials for your brand that everything produced will be consistent with your brand when you provide the graphic designers and printers with your guide.

Refreshing your brand and print materials can do wonders for your business, so why not start making plans for 2017? If you are planning an overhaul of your print materials, call Russell Printers today on 0121 236 2784 or email us at [email protected]

 

 

A Look inside the Russell Printers Office

Russell Printers Limited is located at 22 Pemberton Street in the ever thriving hub of Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, just a short walk away from Birmingham City. Our office not only provides work space for the Russell Printers team, but also provides a great space for us to showcase the wide range of products that we produce in house.

Russell Printers

From booklets, business cards and stationery, to mugs, banners and a wide range of promotional gifts, we can provide an extensive selection of print services for businesses and consumers in Birmingham, the West Midlands and across the UK. As a family run business with a long history, Russell Printers are dedicated to providing a friendly and personable service.

print services

Neil Breakwell (left) joined Russell Printers in the early 1960’s. Ian Breakwell (right) joined the company in 1984 and is now Production Director, carrying on the Breakwell family tradition into the 21st century.

Having purchased BCR Workwear in April 2014, we can now deliver a wide variety of different printed and embroidered garments. Our Merlin Machine is capable of producing both large and small orders at an extremely speedy rate of 12,000 stitches per minute. We pride ourselves on always providing extremely high quality products in a fast turnaround time.

tshirt printing

Spot the tiny t-shirts for tiny people – only kidding, these are our samples!

print

Director Ian hard at work.

Over the years, we have invested heavily in our facilities to offer fast, high quality, reliable printing for all customers. We can provide same day printing and delivery for some of our products and always offer competitive prices.

To find out more about our printing services, or to talk through your print needs, why not give us a call on 0121 236 2784, email [email protected], or visit our office at 22 Pemberton Street, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, B18 6NY.

How We Supported Birmingham Celebrates Sport

At Russell Printers we get to help many businesses promote their work. Printed materials in combination with social media are the perfect tools to work to ensure comprehensive promotion of an event and last week we had the opportunity to provide materials that were for a good cause and were local – perfect. Kash the Flash, 4 times World Kick Boxing Champion was celebrating his 50th birthday and launching a Birmingham Family Fun Day called Birmingham Celebrates Sport. To ensure the word got out across the Midlands we produced a series of banners, leaflets and posters promoting the event which was aimed at encouraging participation in sport whilst raising money for a number of charities.

Birmingham promotion

The event was followed the same day by a Charity Dinner Party celebrating Kash’s 35 years in sport, of which we were also involved in the production of invitations. Advertised as having a surprise VIP guest, we were thrilled to see the one and only Frank Bruno attend the dinner, which included a charity auction. With lots of money being raised for great local causes we at Russell Printers were pleased to be involved in the promotion of these events.

russell printers

Russell Printers specialise in delivering high quality printed solutions across Birmingham and the West Midlands. To find out more about our services in line with your requirements, please call us today on 0121 359 078

 

Introducing Our All New Printing Machine and Website!

As we are progressing towards an era where digital is increasingly mimicking real life, people are now looking to vivid, lifelike colours and effects across printed media. Konica Minolta, a pioneer in the printing industry, has released an innovative digital press which allows us to print a range of media in vivid colour unlike ever before.

We’ve always placed the greatest importance on producing high standard, visually superior prints for businesses throughout Birmingham and the UK, as we know that it’s the quality of a brochure, business card or leaflet that can really make or break their success.

As beings we are drawn to colourful displays as this can help us better process information and attract our interest. Getting your business’ printed products right, with the best quality of colour and level of print, will ensure that you can effectively reach out to others and make a valuable first impression.

That’s why we’ve upgraded to our new Konica printing machine, as it boasts High Chroma toner technology that can produce photo quality images with unbeatable colour performance.

business stationery

Our commitment to faster, better quality printing services

  • The colours are printed virtually as shown on the screen, so we’ll be able to show you instantly the finished result of your print
  • The on-demand, high speed press can print 71 colour pages a minute, meaning we can deliver an even faster service for your business
  • We can offer you a versatile range of leading media and finishing capabilities for a professional product
  • The colours and position registration are calibrated on the run, which will help to minimise variation in quality from the first sheet to the last

Looking for a high quality print for your business? You can see our complete range on our website or give us a call to discuss your requirements on 0121 236 2784.

As it’s ‘out with the old and in with the new’ for the Russell Printers team, we’ve also expanded our operations to a new premises in the heart of Birmingham, and have updated our website to go with it! The new website will specify our services in more detail and now gives visitors an easier navigation. Our new website, like our printing machine, will help to optimise our service and provide our valued customers with an improved printing solution and experience with us.

Please browse through our newly added product images, printing services and recent testimonials to find what you’re looking for. Or for any help with your printing needs please feel free to contact us.

Why Business Cards Are Still Relevant in the 21st Century

Digital has taken over the world, it goes without saying, but does this mean that print media like business cards have lost their relevance? We don’t think so.

Here are our top 5 reasons why business cards are as important now as ever:

People still expect business cards

When you are meeting new contacts in person, people still expect business cards. A well designed business card is a really effective and affordable approach for passing over your contact details and reconnecting after an initial meeting. In the digital age, even if you send your contact details over in an email, given the volume of emails that can appear in our inboxes every day, it’s easy for your message to get lost. On the other hand, business cards can easily be slotted in a wallet or in a bag.

business cards

Business cards are professional

If someone asks you for your business card and you don’t have one, this could create an awkward situation. Rather than having to scramble around for a scrap of paper to scribble your details on, make sure you have business cards on hand to avoid seeming unprofessional.

People are forgetful

A business card acts as a fantastic reminder. If a contact doesn’t need your services immediately but will in the future, rather than struggling to think of your name or the name of your company, it’s always best to give them a business card that they can pull out when they need you.

Business cards can help to build your online presence

It’s common for people to suggest that print has been replaced by digital, but the truth is that they complement each other to create an effective marketing strategy. Digital technology is important for creating creative, interesting and eye-catching designs for your business cards, whilst business cards help to build your online presence by including important information. Rather than just including your telephone number, address and contact email address, you should also provide information on how you can be found online. As well as including your website URL, don’t forget to show people how to find you on social media.

Design for business cards doesn’t have to be mundane

Rather than just a way to pass on your phone number, your business card is the perfect opportunity to express your personality by being clever with design. By creating a business card that stands out, you can make a much stronger impression and make yourself more memorable. If someone was to pass on one of your cards to one of their contacts, you can put across your brand personality without even meeting them.

At Russell Printers, we can offer a wide range of business cards, from single and double sided digital prints, through to high quality litho printed cards with colour inserts. To arrange for samples or to discuss your business card requirements, call us today on 0121 359 0783 or email us at [email protected]