Whether we like it or not first impressions count, and the paper quality can help create the first impression. We’ve all seen the catalogue with ultra-thin pages which has 100’s or 1000’s of products, where cost of production is critical, but what about the direct mail piece that’s from a high-end company.
Why Doesn’t a Rolls Royce Have Vinyl Plastic Seats?
Even though they will fulfil the function of a seat, it would create a wrong impression and undermine the perceived value of the car. The same applies to the printed matter being used for your business, if you use cheap paper and don’t have the right finish applied, it can create an incorrect picture of your business’ product or service.
Building a Brand with Print
The right paper or card with brand matched colours, quality imagery, good product description, telling a story or painting an emotional picture, all form part of what print is about and how it should be used according to the message you are putting across.
The standard catalogue, needs to have good descriptions and imagery to show off the product well, but what if the catalogue is for a high-end sofa, bathroom or car company?
How Many Products Per Page?
The supermarket fills every area of shelf space with product. It’s not a big decision when choosing what you’re going to buy, whereas going into a high-end retailer you could see one product per shelf, even if it’s just handbags. This same principle applies to printed matter, the more upmarket or more expensive, the fewer products will be displayed on a page in a catalogue.
Showing off the Products with Lighting
The supermarket needs as near daylight lighting as it can get, to make sure the products are shown off to the best of their ability. It’s been proven that poor lighting will influence the sales, so in print when selling volume products, they generally work best with quality images placed on a white background.
Lighting for High Value Products
The approach to lighting is different for high end products. Most things we purchase are purchased on an emotional level, hence there are so many different car designs to choose from.
Emotional impact can be greatly influenced by lighting, so where emotions play a large part in the buying decision you tend to see a greater variation in lighting. Printed matter is the same, for instance showing a car in low light with it’s headlights on to highlight its sleek lines just wouldn’t work for a Bic biro!
Enhancing Print Finishes
The quality of the paper or card that you start with will influence the end result, but different finishes can greatly impact the final result. There are several finishes available, that have different costs and different impact levels. Generally, they are used where the look, feel and overall quality are important to the brand, with regard to promotion or selling.
Shiny or Matt Varnish Finish
Varnishes can be used over the whole surface or in spot areas to make an element stand out, for instance, if the overall finish is matt you can highlight an element of the picture or text with a ‘spot’ gloss varnish to give an expensive looking finish.
Thermographic – Raised Print
When you run your finger over a thermographic-ally printed area, like brail (which it can be used for), you’ll be able to feel it. This adds a three-dimensional look to the printed matter, which helps it stand out because of the way the light reflects off the thermo print along with the tactile aspect that it adds.
Resistant Protection – Lamination
Laminated print can protect in aggressive environments, such as areas where chemical, oil or other contaminants may be present, such an instructional card or a restaurant or other eatery where spills and grease can make the printed menu look tired and soon unreadable.
Laminating can also add a finishing touch when you want a protective high gloss looking finish, as well as add a degree of rigidity at the same time, for items such a brochures and pocket folders.
Metallic inks have a finish that says ‘ink’, which you can’t get away from. Foil laid down on the surface using heat can take some aspect of the image or text and create a gold or metal looking finish, whether shiny or matt and make it look more like metal. This can create an expensive look and feel to the print, which can’t be achieved by any other means.
Embossing or Debossing
Either raising or depressing the surface to either enhance some aspect of print already in place or to add a look and feel can be very effective.
Paper, especially thin paper can’t be embossed as it will just tear as opposed to deform and hold the deformation on an ongoing basis.
Combinations of Finishes
Combinations of the above can be applied to a printed product. There are variables that will determine which combinations work, so it’s best to speak to a printer if you have ideas of mixing print finishes.