Thursday, June 4, 2015

How Do Your Business Cards feel?

A survey by BUPA last month placed getting new stationery number 41 of the 50 most pleasurable experiences (11% of respondents to the survey) from a sample of clients.

This is great news for us printers!

First impressions aren’t just about the people themselves.  

And often business stationery is the first chance to make an impression upon potential customers.

The design, feel and quality are all of critical importance. 

Getting this decision right is probably one of the most important business investment decisions.

Apparently, there are over a thousand breakfast networking meetings in London alone every week – that is an awful lot of business cards!

The most essential part of any business card printing is quality.

Before anyone registers the information printed on the card they immediately form an opinion of you or your company within a few seconds. 

This is based on the touch and feel of the card and immediate visual impact in the first couple of seconds.

The next time you hand over a business card notice how most people tend to feel the card between their fingers even if it is subconscious.

Touch and feel are important because they tend to reflect value and quality of every product we ever buy. 

With business cards the thicker is usually the better.  

The thickness of the material on which the information is printed is getting thicker all the time.  

And this trend is continuing with new technological developments in the world of papers and card.

How thick are your cards?

For many years the maximum standard card thickness was between 260gsm and 400gsm.  

Put fifty business cards together some ten years ago and something like 90% fell within this weight range.

Undertake the same comparison now and something like 90% would now be between 350gsm and 450gsm with some form of laminate finish.

Now we offer 450gsm thick card with soft touch, matt or gloss lamination as standard on large quantity orders.

The Digital Alternative

Digital cards usually have a maximum thickness of 350gsm.  At this thickness there is usually a choice of three different sorts.

The white ivory board has a smooth textured feel and the cards feel more bulky.   Alternatively, we print onto a 350gsm silk finish card or a gloss finish card.  

There isn’t a great deal of difference between these two textures and the silk cards in particular are becoming a popular choice for customers seeking quality cards quickly.

We also print on a textured white linen card of 350gsm.  This is particularly effective if there is a lot of solid colour in the design.   It would be a waste of time to laminate linen textured cards.

Other textured cards like laid or hammer embossed cards are becoming less and less popular because they are usually only available at 300gsm.

They are not ideal as a digital print alternative because the ink or toner coverage may not be as effective as when printing on a smooth surface.

The Lamination revolution

Most digital printing companies now offer lamination as an optional extra.

Digital printing with lamination now helps to overcome the thickness restrictions of card printed on a digital press.

So – a 350gsm card now feels more like a 400gsm card with either a matt or gloss laminated finish to both sides by adding to the thickness and smooth feel of the card at the same time as offering an extra protective layer.

Now there is even a choice between soft touch lamination – as well as the usual matt or gloss finish.

The disadvantage with lamination is that it is more difficult to jot notes with a pen on one or both sides of a card.

But the real advantage is that they don’t get soiled or become tatty over time when left in a pocket or wallet.

Future Trends

Digital printing offers a wealth of opportunity to print on different materials.

Your cards can be printed on magnetic material, plastics, metals or many other products.

Another new technique is known as digital embossing.  This provides a thermographic-type effect for digitally printed cards.  

In many ways digital embossing can be even more effective and gives a lift to the parts of the design that you want to stand out – like a logo or company name.

Or there is the extra thick new MultiLoft material to print cards where the front and back sheets can be printed on a digital press and are assembled back to back.  The pressure from the trimming clamp on a guillotine seals the sheets together into an impressive elegant card. 

There are even multi-coloured insert sheets that can add to to the thickness and help create a colourful eye-catching card.  

After assembly, the sheets can also be die-cut into specially shaped cards – for example, a car or a truck.

The development of Multiloft card and techniques for printing for digital presses now makes “sandwiched” layers of cards with thicknesses of up to 1000gsm.

The days of the “print your own” cards printed on perforated-edge stock on a home or office computer should be a thing of the past – they may be cheaper but that is exactly the image they project when you hand them out to prospective clients.  There is a tendency for the ink to be smudged or runny and they will end up in the bin at the earliest opportunity.

They have the same effect on the “FREE” or cheaper ranges offered by some online print businesses.  There are some great online designs – but there is the risk that you will duplicate the design of a competitor and your image will be badly dented.  And everyone knows their cost – even without the name of the printing company on the reverse side.
Remember – when ordering business cards Invest in design, quality and feel.

Online Print Options from Direct2Print

Our standard digital business cards are printed on a 350gsm card – either a slight gloss finish, a silk finish or a smooth ivory board.  We offer a choice of either matt or gloss lamination to one or both sides and can produce within 48 hours with free delivery to any UK location.

We also offer all other forms of business cards and for a quick and easy quotation contact us free on 0800 0346 007.


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