You Can Have Any Colour You Want…
…As Long as it’s Minion Yellow.

Pantone-Minion-Yellow

(Image credits: Pantone & © Universal Studios)

We’re used to you creative types specifying exact colours tones that you want your print to be. Afterall that’s what the Pantone Matching System was created for so we can match your expectations precisely.

We came across an amusing little article the other day. The ever resourceful chaps over at Pantone have come up with a new colour. They’re popular and their films have generated millions. They are available in a range of products including cuddly toys, lunch boxes and t-shirts. Well now, the ever delightful Minions now have their very own Pantone colour reference, Minion Yellow.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Colour Institute explains “…PANTONE Minion Yellow is a colour that heightens awareness and creates clarity…the colour of hope, joy and optimism.” Some might see this as a cynical marketing exercise. However, it can’t be a denied The Minions are a massive cultural phenomenon. By creating Pantone Minion Yellow, we have a colour that immediately taps into the fun loving zeitgeist of its cartoon counterparts. Now we’re trying to think of other iconic colours that Pantone could develop. How about Simpson Yellow? Tardis blue? Kermit green? It might be a publicity stunt, but it’s a great way for the brand to refresh itself and have a bit of fun while doing so.

You might not choose Minion yellow in the colour palette for your next design (unless it’s Minion related of course), but it might make you think about your choice of colour a little more carefully. Source: http://www.pantone.com/pci/minion-yellow

Carbon Balancing Initiative: Relaunch

Carbon_Balance_WEB

You are probably aware that NB Colour Print has always been an advocate of more ethical, sustainably sourced print. Many initiatives have been introduced over the years to make our print more environmentally friendly and reduce out impact on the planet.

One of these was taken in 2012 to become a Carbon Balanced Printer. This meant that all of our unavoidable carbon emissions have been measured, verified and offset through investment in environmental schemes through The World Land Trust, a UK charity with some very distinguished patrons including Sir David Attenborough. We are just one of 11 UK based printers to hold this accreditation.

As well as offsetting our business emissions, we can also offset the carbon in the paper purchased for individual jobs. This meant we could tell our customers, who chose to carbon balance their printing, exactly how much carbon had been offset by their job and the area of land this has helped to save through the World Land Trust.

Unfortunately, the Carbon Balancing Programme hit a bit of a snag last year when their principal paper partner went into Administration. However, the initiative was re-launched in December 2015, and the new scheme means we are able to Carbon Balance any paper that we buy.

Carbon Balancing is a great way for a business to communicate its own environmental accreditation to its customers. It’s easy to do and can help meet targets set up your own Carbon Management or sustainability programme. Coupled with this, NB Colour Print only uses ethically sourced paper from sustainable sources in all of our print.

So when you buy your print from NB Colour Print, you can be confident that not only will it look great, but it won’t cost the earth either.

Bleed and Tic Marks

NB_Jargon_Buster

Another instalment of our ever popular Jargon Busting Blog. In the Print Industry we use a lot of terms that may not be familiar to people for whom print procurement is not a day to day task. We’re aiming to just explain away some of those requests we often make of you when you supply your artwork.

Have you ever noticed that your desk top printer leaves a white margin around the edge of the paper? Well,  that’s because your printer cannot print to the edge of the sheet. Yours can’t and ours can’t either, despite costing a squillion pounds and being some of the most advanced printing machines on the market.

So how do we get around this? Basically, we print on oversize sheets and add bleed to the artwork. This effectively extends the size of the design beyond the finished size – usually by 3mm on all edges. This includes any images or background colours that are integral to the design of the job. This means when we trim the job to its finished size, we are trimming off the excess bleed and the finished product will have ink right up to its edges.

Bleed

Tic marks (or crop marks) are little lines that go in the corners or your documents that show us where we need to trim the sheet. Again, because we are printing on over size sheets, with bleed extending outsize the actual finished size of the sheet, we need the tic marks to guide us and show us where to trim the sheets down to its finished size.

So remember, to present your artwork in the best way possible, always add tic marks and bleed. Both can be added using the advanced settings when creating your pdf’s.

Ringing in the Changes

As I’m sure you know, NB Colour Print is a very friendly place to work and we love to chat to our customers. We’ve always championed new technology and given you multiple options in how you choose to communicate with us.

Well, always a company to embrace the modern age, we have recently installed a brand new phone system. The old system (admittedly, so old, no one can quite remember when it was new), has been donated to a local museum of curious artefacts.

This probably doesn’t mean very much to you, our customers. You can still dial our standard number, 01257 265726 and speak to one our ever-friendly Sales Team. They’ll be able to help you as usual with all your questions or direct your call around the building to someone more interesting.

However, if you want to speak to someone specific, now you can call them direct. We’re won’t bore you with a list of numbers on here, but check out our e-mails for our DDI’s or just ask for the number of your favourite NB employee the next time you give us a call.

What’s even better is with our nifty Caller ID display, we’ll know that it’s you calling and you can be sure of a warm greeting. If we’re not available to take your call, that’s no problem either as you can now leave a message and we’ll be able to pick that up when we get back to our desk.
So, what are you waiting for? Get dialling NB Colour Print today.

File Format

NB_Jargon_Buster

Thanks for all the feedback on our earlier Jargon Busting Blog. For people who print procurement is not a day to day task, we’re aiming to just explain away some of those requests we often make of you when you supply your artwork.

There are a number of Industry recognised design packages that professional Graphic Designers use to create their artwork such as InDesign and Quark Xpress. However, these are expensive and the cost cannot always be justified by smaller businesses creating their own artwork. So, alternate methods are used to create their artwork which is fine but we need the artwork converting to PDF format in order to print it.

pdf-logo-150x150

If you don’t convert the image to PDF, then text might re-flow or images re-position when you send your artwork in one format and we open it in another. However, a PDF will eliminate this problem and you can be confident that what you are looking at on your screen is that same as what we are looking at on ours.

There are many PDF creation tools available that will enable you to make a PDF from the most commonly used commercial and home/office programmes. Make sure you use the Print Ready PDF option in settings.

72vs300dpi

PDF’s that are just being used on screen do not need a high resolution. However, if it’s going to be printed then your PDF and the images its contains need to be a higher resolution. Web images are typically 72dpi and although they look fine on screen they are not suitable to print. To ensure your file prints clearly, your images need to be at least 300dpi. If not, your files will pixelate and your images will be blurry.

So remember, if you want to print it, convert your files to a Press Ready PDF with a print resolution of at least 300dpi.

Carbon Balancing

Green_Printing

As you may know, NB Colour Print is pretty keen on Environmental issues and we offer our customers a real choice when it comes to making ethical print buying decisions. We have been a fully Carbon Balanced printer since 2012 and regularly have our carbon emissions measured and verified as part of the accreditation.

The figures for 2014 have just been released and our unavoidable emissions for the year up to October 2014 are 163.3 tonnes. This means NB Colour Print has saved 13,717m² of critically endangered tropical forest in 2014 through The World Land Trust. The WLT is an international conservation charity the oversee the projects we invest in. This is in addition to the carbon offset in the previous, two years which brings our running total up to around 75,000m² since we started the scheme.

Carbon_Balance_WEB

Significantly, the 2014 figure is a drop of around 11% on the previous year’s emissions of 184 tonnes. This reflects our investment in more energy efficient machinery and a concerted effort to reduce the amount of energy that we use to run our business.

You might be wondering if this makes NB Colour Print a better printer or not. Well, we’d like to think so, yes. By committing to driving down our Carbon emissions, not only are we striving to offer more cost effective print solutions, but we are also showing our commitment to the larger picture and are a business not solely driven by profit.

CMYK

NB_Jargon_Buster

We work with all sorts of people from all kinds of backgrounds to help then with their print needs. Some of you may be seasoned professionals working for Design Studios and quite used to the jargonese that printers bandy around. Other not so much. Let’s face it, in these days we’re all multi-tasking and the days of a dedicated Print Buyer for some companies are long gone. Instead, Print Procurement maybe something you’re just expected to pick up as you go along.

So, why do we want our artwork files supplied in CMYK rather than the RGB files that they may have been designed in? Simply put, it’s because our print machines print in four colour process  – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. It usually quite easy to convert from RGB to CMYK in your settings.

Your artwork has probably been design on a computer using RGB (Red Green Blue) so why does it need converting to CMYK? Basically, RGB is a light based colour system whilst CMYK is ink based. We can’t print in light so conversion to CMYK is necessary. Each specific colour is achieved by layering different amounts of cyan, magenta , yellow and black ink together.

RGBvCMYK

You might be looking at a printed copy of your work produced on your desk top printer and be a little dubious as to what the finished result will look like. CMYK is the print industry standard formula and gives the most precise colour reproduction. NB Colour Print’s workflow uses technology not commonly available to home/office printers and is calibrated and maintained to ensure consistency to industry standard.

So remember, if you need it printing, then design it in CMYK.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year.

NB_Christmas_Blog

The NB Colour Print Christmas Elves have been working extra this year to make sure all of our special packages are delivered in time for Christmas. The Red-nosed delivery Reindeer (or drivers) have been stocked up with carbon balanced fuel and will be dropping of packages, both big and small throughout the land.

As a result of all this hard work, we will be closed for the Christmas break from lunchtime on Friday 19th December and will re-open at 9am on Monday 5th January 2015.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our customers for your continuing business this year. The print industry continued to face challenging conditions throughout 2014.

However, by continuing to offer excellent service and value for money we have endured and thrived. Our commitment to providing carbon balanced print from sustainable sources has helped bring new customers to our door. This has also helped us to engage with many of our existing customers to offer print solutions that tie into their own Environmental Policies.

So we would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and hope you have a very peaceful new year . . .

. . . and don’t worry, all of the NB Elves will be fully rested and raring to get back to work when our doors open again on the Monday 5th January.

Consider the Humble Business Card

We’ll never get rich selling business cards. Your average run of 250 cards probably uses less than 20 sheets of paper and probably takes longer to trim than they do to print.

P1000754

Yet, despite all the advances made in the digital age, the business card endures. This humble bit of card with your name written on it is still the quickest and easiest way to introduce yourself to someone new. Sure, the information may have changed now. As well as your land line, there will be your mobile number, your e-mail, your website and any number of other methods for making contact with you.

There are any number of ways of making your business cards more interesting too. You can have them laminated or spot varnished for that more tactile feel. The use of foiling can make your business cards really stand out. And what about die cutting or have a duplex or even a triplex card, layering up several sheet of coloured board, to make your cards really stand out? For the more technologically minded, there’s Augmented Reality too. Scan your card with your Smart Phone to access even more information about you and your company.

The business card is an essential bit of kit. It’s every bit as important as your phone or your laptop. It is a part of who you are and how you want to project your personality. It’s important to get it right which is why so many companies are willing to invest so much time and effort getting the perfect business card. Essentially taking that piece of paper with a name written on it and making it sparkle.

No, we’ll never get rich selling business cards. But the humble business card unlocks the potential for what can be achieved with your print. The creative opportunities that are taken to project this image through the design of your cards can be used for all of your printing needs, creating quality, memorable print.

This is why the business card endures and this is why we will keep on printing them as long as they are wanted.

Did You See It?

Working in the printing company, one of our biggest thrills is when we unexpectedly spot something that we have printed. This might be a poster on a wall or leaflet in a library. It’s always interesting to know that the pile of printed paper that we produce every single day actually has a purpose. There is an end user that is relying on that brochure or leaflet to convey information to their customers and service users.

We once printed a recipe book for one of our customers. They were to be sold out of an Information Centre for a local organisation. A year or so later, one of our team was sat next to a lady on a train who produced her newly bought recipe book from her bag and started to read it. He wanted to lean over and whisper to her “we printed that”, but in the confines of public transport, already populated with any number of strange and imposing characters, he chose to remain silent and let her enjoy her book in peace.

Occasionally, our print might crop up on the telly as well. Now that is exciting. NB Colour Print. As seen on TV. We recently printed some promotional materials for the TUC. During their recent Congress in Liverpool, we were not disappointed to see our print being waved in the background during a number of news items that were broadcast about the event.

francesLiv

The excitement we get from seeing our print being used comes from the pride we have in our print and our company. We work hard to ensure that the print we sell is the best it can be. We invest a lot of time and effort to ensure the end product is finished to exacting standards. Ultimately, our commitment to producing good quality print means that when we see our print in use, we know that the effort has been worth it.