Revamp your printed marketing

Revamp your printed marketingGiving your printed marketing an overhaul can be an expensive endeavour, particularly for smaller businesses with smaller budgets.

The marketing industry has moved on far enough that knocking something up yourself often seems outdated and unprofessional. But it doesn't have to.

Hiring a designer is expensive business. They will charge you for their time and the use of their resources. If you want professional-looking marketing material, this is a cost that is hard to avoid, but equally hard to finance, especially if you are just starting out.

There are ways around this though. If you are creative (we're not talking painting the Sistine Chapel, we're talking coming up with a concept and maybe a couple of images) and own a printer then you will be just fine.

Tip number one. Invest in a decent printer. If you have a small business, a smaller printer will do. We're guessing you won't be printing billboard ads any time soon so stick with a smaller all-in-one inkjet. Stock up on colour ink, photo paper and some nice thick paper/thin card.

That's the hard bit done. No, really.

Now you need to decide what you want to print. Let's start with the basics - business cards.

Business cards are your key to the outside world - your on-the-go marketing technique if you will.

So why settle for a boring white rectangle with your contact information on? Your business card can say a lot about your business in a very small space.

Playing around with the shape of your business card is one way to make it stand out from the crowd. The beauty of printing your own is that you won't be charged a small fortune for having a quirky shape.

If your company is in the sustainable energy field, use a leaf shape for your card. A bakery? Use a cupcake. A postal service? An old fashioned luggage tag. A mechanic? A car wheel. We could go on!

There are so many ways to make your business card stand out - all you need to do is think outside the box, if you will excuse the pun.

Printing onto thin card and then cutting around your new quirky card is a far cheaper option than getting someone else to print it for you.

If a rectangular card suits your company better then play around with the content and visual design.

The same applies to your promotional posters.

These days there is so much information that could be stored on a business card - not only do they include your name, business, address, email and phone number but can also feature your Twitter account, Facebook, LinkedIn...the list goes on.

Play around with the layout of these things. A linear list is not the only way to display information.

Using an infographic is a great way to portray a huge amount of information in an interesting way that will capture potential clients' attention for far longer than a list of contact information and a descriptive paragraph about what it is you can offer them.

Whilst you will struggle to put an infographic on a business card, a poster is the perfect size. There are many free internet programmes you can use in order to create a personalised infographic for your business. Your company logo, slogan and any stock images can all be included and you will be amazed at the range of visual creative possibilities there are on offer.

Create a marketing work of art and print onto photo paper in order to give it that extra professional element.

Leaflets can also be made and printed at home. Again, searching online for a free programme and designing it yourself will not only save you money but will give you completely free reign over visual layout and content.

By ensuring that all your promotional material includes a similar colour scheme, fonts and general style will bring all your printed marketing together. Affordable but professional-looking marketing could be a lot easier than you think. What you spend in time you will more than make up for in cost!

But if that still seems like too much why not let us do it for you! - Head on over to

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Design and print your own infographics

Design and print your own infographicsWhether they are motivational posters for your office, your latest business plan or a quirky edition of your CV, infographics are great.

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. The advantage of this form of presentation (apart from being aesthetically pleasing) is the ability to display a lot of information quickly and effectively.

There so many uses for infographics. They can be used to display statistics, strategy plans and even CVs. Whilst these snazzy graphics used to take a lot of time and personal creative input, there are now several websites that do the majority of work for you.

By simply Googling 'infographics' you will be inundated with a number of different websites that make creating your own pictorial spreadsheet remarkable easy.

Having a few ideas in mind before you start is probably a good idea, as well as any images or photos that you want to feature in the design. Aside from that, the website will probably do most of the work for you. There are arrows, different shaped text boxes and stock images galore.

If you are struggling to come up with an interesting idea for an upcoming presentation, create and print an infographic and hand it out instead of giving a Power Point presentation.

Make sure your printer is loaded with coloured ink and you are good to go. Printing your infographic on photo paper will give it an even more professional look.

Displaying statistics using an infographic is far more interest, and eye catching than any old pie chart or bar graph. If your stats include data about how 73 out of 100 people prefer strawberry icecream to vanilla, having 73 tiny pink people next to 27 white people is a far more interesting visual representation. Even better, scrap the people and use tiny icecream cones.

Technology such as iPads has changed the way we display data, but this doesn’t mean the end if printing- it just means we need to make the printed way we display information just as exciting and new.

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