1. Pamphlet Printing Basic Knowlege
By getting familiar with a few terms used in the printing world, you will understand what the designers and printers are talking about when you talk to them.
The paper thickness is measured in grams per square metre, abbreviated as gsm. The price of gloss paper and matt paper is almost identical.
80gsm = Paper is quite thin like pages of a magazine.
115gsm = Best value for money
170gsm = Thick paper, not normally suitable for high volumes
Pamphlet sizes: (A5 is the size ordered most for large volume distribution)
A4 = 210mm x 297mm
A5 = 210mm x 148mm
A6 = 148mm x 105mm
When images go right up to the border of a page the designer should make the colour extend past the edge of the page border or “bleed” over the edge. When the pamphlets are cut, the “bleed” area gets trimmed off. If there is no “bleed” then the pamphlets will have a thin white line on the edge of the pamphlet. 5mm of bleed is sufficient.
Resolution of pictures (Hi-res and Low-res)
Picture resolution refers to the clarity of a picture and is measured in dpi or dots per inch. High resolution pictures look clearer when printed. Low resolution pictures can look pixelated or blurry, even when printed on a high quality printer.
72dpi = Low-resolution. Suitable only for websites, not printing.
300dpi = Hi-resolution. Suitable for litho printing.
900dpi = Hi-resolution. Too high causing files size to be very big.
This is a method of printing used for high volume printing and is also the cheapest way of printing high volumes. Litho printing machines are very expensive and are used in printing factories, not in offices.
2. Price to print Pamphlets
Your printing quote should always include:
Size - Bigger sizes increase the cost per pamphlet.
Paper - Thinner paper will reduce the cost per pamphlet.
Volume - Higher volumes reduce the cost per pamphlet.
Artwork - You only pay this once, unless changes are required on later print runs.
Delivery - Take this into account if you are not able to collect the print job yourself.
Distribution - Budget for distribution, it can be expensive.
5000 Full colour A5 Pamphlets has become an industry standard in recent years.
Printing large volumes on a desktop printer is very expensive.
“There never seems to be enough time to do a job properly when you are in a rush, but there's always time to re-print the job when it's wrong.”
Remember to allow enough time for the printer to get the job done with a few days to spare. There's normally a queue of customers waiting for their job and you can't jump the queue. Allow a few days for delivery if you are not in the same town.
4. Pamphlet artwork and design
Begin by coming up with a general concept of what the pamphlet should look like. Think about colours, images, and a clever headline. Leave the product specs and exact wording till the end.
5. Communicate your message clearly
Does your pamphlet design do all of the following?
- Display what you're offering clearly.
- Get the customer's attention
- Create a desire for your company is selling
- Say what to do in a few words.
- Tell the customer how to contact you and order.
6. Value adds life to your pamphlet
People will keep your pamphlet for longer or even pass it on to a friend if it has added value. Examples of added value are calendars, nice pictures, competitions, discount vouchers, specials etc.
7. Pamphlet artwork and design tips
Get your message across quickly and clearly or you will lose the customer's attention. Your headline and main picture should do this without going into specifics.
Don't make your logo or company name more visible than your product or service. Start by creating interest in what you are selling, once you have the person's attention you can tell them more obout how and where to order. Don't clutter a small pamphlet with too much information or too many images.
8. Common pamphlet design mistakes
Don't use typefonts that are difficult to read. Your pamphlet should be easy to read and understand.
Don't use too many typefonts, only use two or three if possible.
Keep text at least 3mm away from the edge of the page. Cutting pamphlets is not 100% accurate and you don't want important information to be cut off.
Don't use small text on a dark background, the text can become unreadable if the print isn't totally perfect.
Don't try to design your pamphlet using Word, Excel or other office programs. Speak to your printer first because in many cases the artwork will have to be re-done in another program that is suitable for litho printing.
Colour proofing can only be done accurately by referring to a colour chart. Your printer will have one available. Remember that colour varies from computer screen to computer screen so the colour you see on your screen will not be the same as the printed pamphlet .
9. Check your proof carefully
Print out a few proofs on your office printer and get people to proof read them. Pay special attention to details like phone numbers, email addresses, dates and prices. Bad spelling and language errors create a damaging impression of your business. Wrong contact details can mean having to re-print the whole job.
The final sign-off is your responsibility and if the job has to be re-done it will be for your account.
Print your proofs to actual scale to see if all type is readable and pictures are big enough.
10. Distribution of pamphlets
Include distribution in your budget calculation. This is often overlooked and can be expensive. It takes a l;ot of effort to hand out 5000 pamphlets.
If possible, hand out your pamphlets to target markets.
P.O. Boxes get to businesses effectively. The Post Office charge between 8c to 10c per pamphlet to place them in PO Boxes.
Use store counters. Most people in your industry won't mind placing some pamphlets on their counter tops. This is another way to get to your target market.
Include your pamphlets with your invoices and statements etc.
It's better to do regular distribution than to just have one attempt, it reminds people that you are still around and people can contact you at any time.
Monitor what distribution channel is working best by asking customers how they heard about you, or where they got your pamphlet from.