1. Leaflet Printing Language
Get to know a few terms used in the leaflet printing industry. Knowing these printing and design terms will make it easier to understand what people are talking about.
Leaflet size: (A5 is most commonly used)
- A6 = 148mm x 105mm
- A5 = 210mm x 148mm
- A4 = 210mm x 297mm
Leaflet paper thickness
Leaflet paper is measured in grams per square metre. (abbreviated as gsm). Gloss paper and matt paper are almost the same price.
- 80gsm = Very thin paper, not good quality
- 115gsm = Good quality paper suitable for leaflet printing
- 170gsm = Very thick paper that is expensive for high quantities
When colours or pictures go up to the edge of the leaflet, the graphic designer makes the colour go past the edge of the page or “bleed” over the edge. When the leaflets are cut to size the “bleed” gets cut off. If there is no “bleed” then the leaflets will probably have a white line on the edge of the page because it is impossible to cut the job 100% accurately.
Image or Picture resolution
The quality of a picture or image is measured in dots per inch (abbreviated as dpi). High resolution is better than low resolution. Low resolution images will look blurry or pixelated when printed, especially if the images get enlarged.
- 72dpi = Low resolution. Suitable for internet and websites only.
- 300dpi = High resolution. Good for printing.
- 800dpi = High resolution. Too high – files sizes will be very large.
Litho printing machines cost millions of rands and are very different to printing machines found in normal offices.
Litho printing machines are used for high volume, high quality printing. Litho printing is much cheaper than desktop printing when printing high volumes.
2. Leaflet printing costs
Leaflet printing quotes should include:
- Quantity – Higher quantities work our cheaper per leaflet.
- Size – A5 is very economical. Larger sizes are more expensive
- Paper – Thick paper is expensive. 115gsm is good quality at a good price.
- Design – Get a proffessional graphic designer to do your design, you only pay this cost once.
- Delivery – Remember to ask about delivery charges if you cannot collect.
- Distribution – Plan your distribution strategy before you get your leaflets.
- Caution: Printing large quantities on a lazer printer is very costly.
3. Delivery time
Remember to allow time for the printer to get the job done without rushing. Printers have a production plan and need to fit you in, don’t expect to get your job the next day. Allow extra time if you are not in the same town in South Africa.
4. Leaflet design
Start by visualising the general idea of what your leaflet will look like before you get into the exact design. Decide on colours, pictures and an attention grabbing headline. The product details and exact words should be left till last.
5. Communicate your message clearly
Make sure your leaflet does all of the following:
- Get the customer’s attention in the first few seconds
- Create desire for what you are selling
- Display what you’re offering in a clear way
- Have a call to action statement eg. “Order before 30 Dec”
- Make it easy to contact you and order your product.
6. Add life to your leaflet by adding value
Adding value to your leaflet will increase the life-span of your leaflet because customers will keep it for longer and even pass it on to a friend. Examples of adding value are: Vouchers, competitions, discount coupons, calendars, interesting pictures, etc.
7. Design tips
- You only have a few seconds to grab your customer’s attention, so make sure that you get your message across quickly.
- Your headline and main picture should do this. Don’t make your company logo or name bigger than the product you are selling.
- Create an interest in what you are selling first, customers will then read more to find out more. Keep your leaflet simple.
- Lots of clutter on a small leaflet with too much information and too many pictures is confusing. One good picture and a few clever words works better than lots of small text and pictures.
8. Leaflet design mistakes
- One or two fonts are enough, don’t use too many, it can look messy and unproffessional.
- Don’t use difficult to read fonts, especially in long sentences. Your leaflet should be easy on the eye in order to keep the customer’s attention.
- Keep all important elements at least 3mm away from the edge of the page to allow for inaccuracy when cutting the job. A small cutting error either way won’t ruin your leaflet.
- Avoid using small white text (8pt or less) on a dark background, it makes the job very difficult to print and the text can easily become unreadable.
- Don’t try to design your leaflet in Office programs like Word or Excel before you have spoken to the printer about what files they can use. The leaflet may have to be converted to another program or even re-done from the beginning.
- Colour normally varies from screen to screen and from one printer to another, so the colour you see on your screen will not be the same as the printed leaflet. The only way to check colour properly is by referring to a process colour chart. Your printer should have one available on request.
9. Proof reading your leaflet for mistakes
“The surest way to find a mistake is to print the leaflet.”
- Print a few copies of the leaflet on your office printer and ask people to proof read the leaflet.
- Focus attention on important details like phone numbers, dates, addresses and prices.
- Spelling mistakes and language errors always create a bad first impression of your company.
- Incorrect contact details cannot be changed later, you may have to re-print the entire job.
The final sign-off is your responsibility and you will have to pay for a re-print if the job is incorrect.
Print 1-1 scale samples when proofing to determine if the text is readable and the pictures are easy to view.