Making good print decisions: our guide to a perfect financial services print project

financial services print

Chris Monteith

Print Manager

Posted on July 23, 2015

The world of print is so mind-bogglingly complex that anyone contemplating a financial services print project is liable to feel put off before they even start. It can often appear so daunting that the temptation comes to shift entire responsibility for your print run over to someone else, whether that’s a printing firm or someone else on your team.

But passing the buck isn’t enough. To ensure a great, cost-effective financial services print product, you need to be able to keep track of the process, know what decisions are being made and why, and feel confident that people you’ve delegated responsibility to are going to give you the results you need.

Talisman started out as a print media company and although our focus and services have changed with the times, the language, logistics and creativity of print remain a vital part of our work, over twenty years later.

We know financial services print, and so here’s our guide to the printing process and how you can make the most of every decision-making opportunity.

Design with print in mind

All the best financial services print jobs begin at the design stage. This is the time to ask all the questions that will affect the final look of your product and explore all the options available to you before you’ve committed yourself to a design. Could your A4 brochure be a bespoke size or your leaflet be a gate-fold? Is a standard four-colour process sufficient or would a Pantone colour give it the edge?

By weighing up budget considerations with aesthetics now, you can guide your designer into creating something that isn’t going to prove impossible or budget-draining later.

Get to grips with what ‘paper’ means

The question, “Which paper stock would you like this printed on?” seems like a simple one, because paper is just, well, paper, isn’t it? But once you start to consider things like paper weight, material and finish, thousands of paper types and options become open to you.

There is never a need to stick with the printer’s standard paper stock so ask what is available. We’re always happy to send you paper sample swatch books, examples of previous work, even dummies (a blank mock-up version of the product) and any other samples you might need to help you make your decision. Any other print company worth its salt will do the same.

Weigh-up litho print vs. digital

If flexibility and/or speed is paramount, you have a short print run or want to personalise multiple short runs, and need a cost-efficient solution that won’t compromise on quality, then digital printing is by far your best choice.

But for higher volume runs or when you need to create printed material that will really make your brand stand out from the crowd, there is still no substitute for the quality of the lithographic process. Litho production ensures a finish that will do full justice to your design, your brand and your corporate identity, so don’t rule it out.

Print with no limits? Consider silk screen printing

Silk screen printing is a specialist process that makes it possible to place your message and design onto almost anything. It gives almost limitless creative opportunities: print on pens, mugs, keyrings, mouse-mats and umbrellas – almost anything in fact. This includes printing onto large surfaces and so is the right choice for large format printing – for graphic panels to help make an impact at an exhibition, for example.

External signage, promotional posters or weather-proof banners for use at outdoor events: screen printing gives you the opportunity to stretch your imagination.

What could you do that’s different?

At-a-glance printing options

  • Ideal digital items – personalization (variable data), overprinting onto pre-printed items, short run items, business cards, postcards, leaflets, proposals, tent cards, invitations
  • Ideal litho items – stationery, branded envelopes, postcards, leaflets, brochures, magazines, folders, booklets, catalogues, annual reports
  • Ideal silk screen items – point of sale, banners, exhibition panels, conference signage, posters, promotional and merchandise items, acrylic/Perspex lettering, vinyl printing/lettering, window decoration

The finishing touch

Congratulations, you’ve got through the tough part. But, hold up, we’re not quite there yet. Even the most stunning design on the perfect material can be enhanced further by applying a finish that highlights a detail or creates a dramatic feature in its own right. Most people have heard of the standard finishing options, but there are huge varieties of other specialist finishing effects that are worth exploring.

Here’s a few to get you started. Ask about them, look at them, and weigh them up. They could hold the key to creating something exceptional.

At-a-glance finishing options

  • Lamination – gloss, matt, silk, semitone, satin, holographic, texture, organic, HD, soft touch, pearlescent
  • Foil blocking – metallic, matt, holographic, pigment, security
  • Spot or overall UV varnish – gloss, matt, silk, high build, tinted, pearlescent, textured, soft touch, pattern effects
  • Embossing – single-level embossing, single-level debossing, multi-level/sculptured embossing, textured embossing
  • Cutting and creasing – die cutting, creasing, kiss cutting, perforating
  • Specialist binding – saddle stitched, loop stitched, stab stitched, sewn bound, perfect bound, tape bound, screw bound, hardcover case bound, plastic grip, comb bound, spiral bound, wiro bound

Talisman have two decades of experience producing flawless print media and continue to offer this as a service today. We pride ourselves on making financial marketing simpler, and that includes helping you get to grips with all the best options to promote and communicate your brand. If print projects are causing some headaches, come and have a chat with us.