Making your business cards memorable

Making your business cards memorable

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Your business card leaves a lasting impression. Before you place an order for more cards, take a few moments to assess your existing cards, do they need a revamp of colour, design, shape, texture or change of material? There are endless amounts you can do with your cards, keeping them looking professional & memorable. Here are some ideas that you could use:

  • Make them more informative and functional, add a discount voucher, map or QR code.
  • Get someone’s attention by adding spot gloss highlights (Spot UV Varnish), which is a gloss effect that helps to make area’s on their design have more impact at a glance.

There are so many ways in which the spot UV can be applied to your card and can be specially tailored to you. These attributes could ultimately make your card unique and add a new dimension to your design.

  • Add your logo in spot UV – like a water mark effect.
  • Enhance photographs by adding spot UV over them.
  • Why not create texture or add a pattern creating a design element in its own right.
  • Spot UV works best on darker colours and really makes your print shout.

You will likely hand out your business card every single day – it’s an important expression of you and your company so make sure you take the time to have it professionally designed and printed. So make sure the impression your cards give out are positive and not negative.

If you want help making your print stand out from your competitors call me on 0116 232 5931 or email hello@yourhyphen.co.uk.

Speak soon.

Terri

Making your business cards memorable

5 reasons why a website is vital for business

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Theres a lot of hype these days with social marketing and blogging. Most businesses have a Twitter or Facebook account, and some have separate blogs. So, the question is often asked why should you also have a website? Social Marketing is often free, so is a website an unnecessary expense? No! Your website should be your main priority overall, and here’s 5 main reasons why:

1. How do your clients find you?
When you need a product or service, where do you go? Gone are the days of the phone book, the majority of people turn to Google. If you have a well optimised site, it means you will appear in your customers relevant searches. Twitter and Facebook posts alone won’t rank very high, if at all.

2. Is your business trustworthy?
We shouldn’t judge books by their covers, but I know I am often bad at falling into that trap. I recently needed a company to come and fix my oven at home. My first action was to search Google, and I also had a look at Yell.com where lots of businesses popped up, yet the majority didn’t have their own website. I personally like to read more about a company before I contact them (never mind inviting them into my home) – I like to make sure they can definitely offer what I need. This meant, all of the companies with no site, I didn’t contact. How did I even know if they were still trading? All of the websites I found on Google, I did call (and I got my oven fixed with one of them!). A website adds a level of trust to your business that a tweet, advert or post on Facebook can’t offer.

3. Are you talking to the right audience?
Facebook and Twitter users are online for entertainment only. They don’t like lots of adverts, pushy sales messages or being bombarded with offers. This is why you shouldn’t use them as your main online presence. Remember the audiences you’re talking to; your website should give a professional feel, where as Facebook and Twitter can add a bit of a fun personality behind the company.

4. Are you missing out on more opportunities?
Your website gives you more opportunity to provide information to your potential customers that may make them call. On Twitter you only get 160 characters to write a description about your company. Can you honestly give your customers an accurate description of why they should choose you over your competitors in that space? No! Whether they read it or not, you should add as much information as you can to your website so they are able to make an informed decision as to whether you are the right people to call.

5. Are you getting your name and logo out there, and making it recognisable?
Finally, and possibly most importantly, a website can be fully branded with your colours, logos and images. Your branding is the face of your company and you should push it out everywhere you can. A small thumbnail inside a Facebook page is not strong enough!

No matter how large or small the website, they are vital for your business. Just think of the amount of people you could be missing out on that only use search engines when trying to find your services? What if your competitors are stealing your business because they have a website and you don’t, how does that make you feel?

What do you think? Do you agree a website is vital for businesses, or have some more reasons why they are important? Let me know!

Speak soon!

Jenni :-)

Making your business cards memorable

Is your website backed up and do you have access to it?

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Each year more and more importance goes to websites. They are used for so many functions from marketing and ordering to displaying information.
However what would happen if your website was not there tomorrow, what would you do? Call your web provider or get your IT person to fix it? What if they’re not available anymore? Sounds far fetched? Well it happens and more often than you would think.

Quite often I get asked “I can’t get hold of my web designer any more and I want to make changes to my website, what can I do?”.  There can be a lot of reasons for this, a simple temporary communication issue is normally the case but it has been know for web companies to either stop trading or for the designer to move away without leaving any forwarding contact details.

There are ways around this issue if it does happen but they don’t always work so the best way to protect yourself is to have your site backed up and to have copies of that back up yourself. However it is important that you check if that backup works and is accessible to use if required, there is no point having a back up that no one can use.

Also with a lot of website being content managed by the client it makes sense to take regular back ups of the site, which you keep making on an ongoing basis, just incase you make an irreversible error when editing your content

If you would like to know more about this or are not sure if your back up does cover you if you need to use it then please contact hello@yourhyphen.co.uk or call 0116 232 5931.

Making your business cards memorable

What makes a customer read your leaflet?

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I see it so many times when I’m out and about shopping… a pile of leaflets in a cafe or shop. It has obviously been designed in Word, they’ve slapped on some contact details (sometimes corrected afterwards with a biro) and printed on a home printer with maybe a few smudge marks here and there. Usually this is because they have panicked… the business may have just started up, looking to expand, or even, in these times they may be finding business is getting a little tougher, and suddenly they realise they need to advertise more, and think the faster they get them out the better. But ask yourself, if your message isn’t properly thought about, and the design is slap-dash, what would make me want to pick that leaflet up? Why should I take an interest in your business, if you can’t even take the time to make an effort to grab my attention?

We all know the saying ‘you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover’ and this is true, but sadly so many of us (including myself) do often fall for this error! I mean, the service you are advertising may even be something I’m interested in, but you haven’t grabbed my attention enough to look closer and make a connection. And have you thought about if I am even the right type of audience you want to to be reading the leaflet? For example, wheres the point handing out leaflets advertising your nursery school to a retirement community? Work out who your main customer base is, and where you are most likely to grab their attention.

The important thing to remember is, it doesn’t matter how many leaflets you send out, what matters is the return you get back from them.. so why not increase the chances of a return as much as you can?

If you need any help with your next marketing campaign, whether it be a leaflet, poster or flyer, just give us a call on 0116 232 5931 and we would be happy to discuss this further with you.

Good luck!

Jenni :-)

Making your business cards memorable

Things to consider when creating a website

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A website is an important tool for any businesses when it comes to communicating to existing clients and attracting prospective ones too; it needs to be well organised & dynamic. Carefully planning your pages even before you get started can help to ensure that your finished website looks great.

Firstly think about the number of pages to your website and what you want to go on them.
Below are some basic pages most companies use in their website;

  • Home Page – The homepage is one of the most important pages on a website, and gets more page views than any other page. (It’s your companies face to the world). Remember, potential customers will look at your company’s online presence before doing business with you — regardless of whether they plan to close the actual sale online.
  • About Us – This page is a great opportunity to tell your readers all about your business. Add a bit if personality, tell them how the company started and you could even give a small snippet on your staff. People love to read more about the people they are dealing with.
  • Services –  Promote what you do and give your clients the opportunity to check out how you could help them. Again it gives them this information easily as some clients prefer this than having to call or email. If they then like what they see, they are more likely to get in touch further.
  • Contact Page – Filling out a form is just a quicker way for them to get in touch. Add your contact details, even if they are elsewhere on your site have it here too. You must make it as easy as possible for people to be able to contact you.
  • Blog – It allows you to have a human face and voice. As much as you’d like to use an informal tone or a friendly voice on your website, there are times when you just can’t. A company blog is the place where you can easily adopt a more human stance. It is also great for optimising your site for Google. By keeping your site up to date with a blog it makes your website current.

Once you know what pages you need, simply gather all the content for each section, text, images & logos etc. We find it very useful here to use a template to write the content. Please feel free to download ours here as a starting point.

And finally, most important is making sure you know your audience before writing your content. Your language would be different for children than it would adults, and similarly there’s a strong difference between business & consumer.
If you require any advice regarding your website, give us a call on 0116 281 57321 or email hello@yourhyphen.co.uk

I hope this has been useful :)
Terri

Making your business cards memorable

Why does my logo not look sharp?

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Have you ever wondered why you or someone else’s logo doesn’t look sharp in print when the rest of the print looks good? The likely answer to this will be the file format. If the logo has been saved in, what we refer to as a pixel format, and has been saved at a resolution lower than the required print size then it will print pixelated and fuzzy. Because I see this happen so often, I thought I’d explain what pixel files are and also the preferred Vector format.
What are pixel based files?
Pixel (aka bitmap or jpeg) based images are those made up of pixels (dots) and are resolution dependent.  The number of pixels in an image is linked to the resolution setting (dpi – dots per square inch) to make up the file size. In print the ideal size for a pixel file is 300 to 450dpi at the size that the file is being printed. If the file is 50x100mm at 300dpi then that is the maximum size it should be printed at. If you enlarge the file to say 100x200mm that will reduce the resolution to 150dpi which will degrade the image making it “look pixelated”.

Pixel files are ideal for photographs but they can be used convert vector files when the vector file is just too detailed or complicated, which may result in crashing the print job.
Typical pixel files – jpeg, tiff, gif, png

What are vector based files?
Vector files are scalable to any size allowing you to make the file as large as you like and it will still look perfect. A vector image can easily be converted to a pixel file, however the reverse conversion is not so straight forward and can be very time consuming to do so. This is why most logos should be designed in a vector format and not in a pixel format.

Typical vector files – ai and eps files however please be aware that it is possible to place a pixel file within these formats and save them as ai or eps. Also a PDF can be either vector or pixel formats, it all depends again on what is within the file.

View an example

So the answer to the question “why does my logo not look sharp in print” is most likely that it has been saved as a pixel file with the resolution lower than the size required to be printed at. To prevent this, make sure you have a vector version of your logo and that your printer prints it in the vector format and doesn’t convert it to a pixel format without telling you.

If you would like to know more or you would like us to check your logo then please call me on 0116 281 5730

Jason