Picton DIYpowered by Picton

17 Mar 2015

Before you design your brochure, read this.

Taking clean, well lit photos will improve how your products are perceived.

Taking clean, well lit photos will improve how your products are perceived.

Brochures are a great way to sell your business and your products to potential customers, or to make existing customers aware of other products and services you may offer. However, there’s a few things to consider before you start designing your brochure that will help make the process easier, as well as helping you achieve the results you’re after!

1. What is the purpose of this brochure?
You need to have a clear idea of what you’re wanting to achieve with your brochure. Are you trying to make people aware of your business? A range of products or a specific product or service? Will it be mailed out to potential customers, or handed out after meeting with them?

2. Select a Stock
Before you start your design, it’s important to think about the kind of paper (stock) you plan on having your brochure printed on. If you’re planning on using a lot of colour and images, then gloss stock would really make them pop. If you’re going for a slightly more subtle yet polished look, then satin would be a good choice. It’s also crucial to determine what size you would like your brochure to be. Once you’ve finished your design, it’s a good idea to print out your brochure and fold it to make sure everything fits correctly.

3. Sort Out Your Copy
The copy is by far the most important part of the brochure – as such you need to be very clear on who your target audience is. Marketing material aimed at teenagers is written and designed very differently than material aimed at farmers. It’s also a good idea to let someone read over the copy you’ve written. While it might make perfect sense to you, letting someone else read over you work will help pick up anything that may need to be clarified, or any spelling and grammar mistakes – you should ALWAYS use spell check!

4. Keep It Simple
When designing anything you need to keep your font usage to a minimum. The smaller the item, the less fonts should be used, but as a general rule you shouldn’t use more than 3 fonts on a printed piece. Each font should have a purpose – for example, you would select an easy to read font for body copy and a bolder, more attention grabbing font for headings.
Keeping it simple doesn’t just apply to font usage, it applies to everything from copy to colour. Try and stick to using only a few colours, as too many can make even the best designs look messy. Certain colours and fonts are great for diverting attention to a specific item – use too many of these and your readers won’t know where to look.

5. Use High Quality Images
Often overlooked, this aspect of brochure design can change how your customers view your products. If you are including images of products they need to be high quality images of no less than 250dpi. Using low resolution images – like images saved directly from the internet – will make your products less appealing and your brochure will look unprofessional. If you are taking the photos yourself, make sure the products are well lit (preferably in natural light) – if your images are dark, you will lose detail and your products will lose their appeal.

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09 Feb 2015

Designing Your Own Artwork

Specific colours affect how your brand is perceived.

Specific colours affect how your brand is perceived.

Collect Your Junk Mail
Sorting through your junk mail is a good way to discover designs you like. A lot of artwork for junk mail is produced by the small business owners themselves to save money – if they can do it, chances are you can too. If something catches your eye, stop and have a think about what it is that you like about it. Is it because the colours compliment each other well? Does it tell you what you need to know in a clear and concise manner?

Decide On the Message You Want To Convey
Take the time to plan out what it is that you’re aiming to achieve. Are you wanting to highlight one or two products in particular, or your business as a whole?

If You Can’t Read It, Nobody Else Can Either
It may seem obvious, but this is something that is often overlooked. One of the most important things when designing your own artwork is to keep it legible. Keep all fonts at least 8pt and choose clear and easy to read fonts for all of the important information. If a customer can’t read your website or phone number clearly, they are likely to just move on. It’s also a good idea to stick to a maximum of 3 fonts, any more than that and they can fight for your attention.

Getting the Most Out of Colour
By now you have probably heard about the significance of colour use in advertising. Certain colours invoke certain emotions and responses, which you can read more about here. While the author is talking about logos, it applies to all instances of colour use in advertising. It’s definitely worth having a read through. It’s also important to make sure you pick colours that compliment each other well.

Be Aware of Margins
Keep your text at least 5mm away from the edge of the page. This prevents important information from being trimmed off. If you end up losing part of a phone number or email, your promotional material becomes useless. This is also important to remember for material that will be folded – you’ll need to keep the text away from the fold line to keep it legible.

Bleed!
Normally, if you have colour or an image that goes to the edge of the artwork, you should extend the colour or image an additional 3mm past the trims on each edge that it occurs. This 3mm area is called bleed, and it’s purpose is to counter any movement or variation that may happen during trimming, so that when your printing is trimmed there won’t be any white edges in the final document.
You don’t have to supply your file with bleed. However, you do need to be aware that files supplied without bleed may result in a small amount of white around the edge of a trimmed job. Adding bleed will return the best results.

Keeping It Simple
Businesses often overload their customers with unnecessary information, making potential customers tune out. You need to make sure you’re including what they need to know without going overboard. If there is space left on your brochure, it doesn’t necessarily need to be filled with text. You can always opt for a picture, a logo, or to simply leave it blank.

Spelling Mistakes
Checking your work for spelling and grammatical errors is an absolute must. All good word processing programs have the ability to spell-check, but it’s important to check your work manually as well. A spelling or grammar mistake can completely change the way your message is received, and at the very least, it’s unprofessional. While it’s important to check all of your work, you should pay special attention to the contact information along with any pricing you may have included. Download our handy DIY Proofing Checklist to check your arwork.

Have Someone Read Your Work
Something may make sense to you, but that’s because you know what you’re trying to say. Having a friend look over your work – especially if they are unfamiliar with the products or services you’re providing – will give you a good insight into how your average customer will interpret what you’re offering.

Useful Resources

Need some fonts?
Font Squirrel is all you’ll need – all the fonts they have available are free for commercial use.

Need images or clipart?
Pixabay has a lot of high quality images available that are free for commercial use. You can use any image without asking permission or giving credit.

Need more inspiration?
Stuck trying to find a design you like? Check out Google’s Image search. A simple phrase like “DL brochure design inspiration” returns thousands of different designs you can sift through at your leisure

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15 Jan 2015

Preparing Your Artwork for Picton DIY

Preparing your files for print may seem a bit daunting now, but I promise it’s not that bad! Just keeping a few small things in mind now can make the world of difference to your finished product.

Bleed
What on earth is bleed?! Unless you’re a designer or in the printing industry, chances are you haven’t heard this term before.
Normally, if you have colour or an image that goes to the edge of the artwork, you should extend the colour or image an additional 3mm past the trims on each edge that it occurs. This 3mm area is called bleed, and it’s purpose is to counter any movement or variation that may happen during trimming, so that when your printing is trimmed there won’t be any white edges in the final document.
You don’t have to supply your file with bleed. However, you do need to be aware that files supplied without bleed may result in a small amount of white around the edge of a trimmed job. Adding 3 to 5mm of bleed will return the best results.

 

hireslowresImage Resolution
Your image shouldn’t be any lower than 200dpi (300dpi is ideal). For reference, any image that is saved directly from a webpage is 72dpi which is considerably less. It may look OK on your screen, but if your image is low resolution it will appear pixelated when it’s printed. This is something to be particularly aware of if you’re supplying your entire artwork in an image format like JPEG or TIFF, as pixelated text is hard to read.

 

Accepted File Types
To make it as easy as possible for you to supply your files to us, we accept the following file types: bmp, cpy, doc, docx, eps, epub, jpeg, jpg, mobi, odp, ods, odt, pdf, png, ppt, pptx, pub, tif, tiff, xls and xlsx. Our preferred file type is PDF.

Making a PDF
Let’s say you have set up a Word Document but would prefer to send a PDF. Word can allow you to select ‘Save as an Adobe PDF’ or ‘Save As’ and then you can select PDF as the file type. Your options will vary depending on the version of Word you are using and other programs you may have installed. If (when creating your PDF) you have presets, make sure you choose one that’s designed for printing. They are usually named along the lines of ‘Press Ready’ or ‘Print Ready’.

How to Upload Your Files
We have quite a few different ways you can submit your files to us!
Once you have selected a product you can upload your files directly from your computer. If you have previously uploaded and saved your artwork through our store, you can select that file again to re-order. You can load files from your Google Drive or Picasa accounts and we are also in the process of adding Dropbox as well.
If you can’t supply your files via the ways listed above, you are welcome to bring your artwork into our office on CD or USB. Our office is located at 7 Cleaver Street, West Perth.

If you have any questions or require any assistance with supplying your file, please contact Aimie on (08) 6242 0524 or email diy@pictondiy.com.au

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07 Jan 2015

The 5 most common Business Card mistakes

"Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. It even has a watermark."

“Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh, my God. It even has a watermark.”

Business Cards are an extremely important marketing tool for any business. They often give potential customers their first impression of your business, which is why it’s so important for them to look as professional as possible.
If the budget allows, you should always get your business cards designed by a professional. The circumstances don’t always allow for that though and if you’re aware of mistakes that are commonly made with business cards, it will be easy for you to avoid them.
1. Too much or too little information.
When designing business cards, it’s easy to forget how small they really are. It can be tempting to put a tonne of information on your business cards, but it’s important to exercise some restraint and only include necessary information. It’s also an issue if you don’t put enough information on your cards. For example, some customers prefer not to call and would rather send an email, so it’s important not to leave too much information out.
Read more about what you should include here.
2. The design is too messy.
For something small like business cards, you really don’t want to be using more than 2 fonts. If you really don’t want to stick to just 2 fonts, then 3 is the absolute maximum. Different fonts are used to separate information, or to draw your eye to specific details. If you have multiple items vying for attention, then nothing gets noticed. It’s equally important not to overload on images or colour for the same reason.
3. The contact information is too hard to read.
This is the most important thing to remember with business cards – if your customers can’t read your contact information then your business cards are essentially useless. For contact information, don’t go any smaller than 8pt and use clear and legible fonts. Make sure you use contrasting colours, so the text doesn’t blend into the background and become hard to read.
4. Poor quality printing and paper.
Imagine the first impression you would make if your business cards weren’t trimmed properly, the card they were printed on was too thin, or if the colours look washed out. It can be tempting to go for some of these ‘too good to be true’ type of deals from online printers, just remember that it’s quite often the case that they are too good to be true. It’s quite simple, really – using a professional printer like Picton DIY will get you professional results.
5. Wrong size.
Having your business cards the wrong size can and will make a difference. If you make them too big, they won’t fit properly in a wallet, so they’ll probably just get tossed in a bag or a pocket and forgotten about. If you make them too small, they can get lost (have you ever tried digging something too small out of a card slot in your wallet? It’s a pain!)
The standard size for business cards is 90mm x 55mm, if you plan on supplying them with bleed then your file size will be 96mm x 61mm (and additional 3mm on each edge) and they will be trimmed down.
Business Cards are available now from Picton DIY, starting from only $50.

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03 Dec 2014

Proofing Your Artwork

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For those of you who don’t know, Picton DIY is a straight-to-print service, meaning you won’t receive a proof of your artwork once your order has been submitted – you do, however, get to preview your artwork once it’s been uploaded. This is one of the ways we are able to keep our prices so affordable. What this means for you, as a customer, is that when you submit your artwork to us, you need to be sure there are no spelling errors and that all of your contact details are correct.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to proof-read your artwork.
(But I’m certainly going to try!)

As someone who has worked in the printing industry for over a decade, I have seen all sorts of spelling mistakes and typos. From transforming a simple celebration of an award in the local newspaper into an ‘R’ rated nightmare of an advert, to having a business miss out on an important networking opportunity because they put the wrong phone number on their brochures and had to wait for a reprint.

The first instance lost the business sales and lost the newspaper the advertising contract. Customers were offended by the extremely unfortunate typo and while it was obviously a mistake, the damage was done. The second instance cost the business potential customers and thousands of dollars on reprints which could have been better spent elsewhere. Paper, ink, money and time were all wasted.

These situations – along with the countless others I have encountered – could have been very easily avoided by simply proofreading the artwork before sending it to print.

Ok! What can I do to stop this from happening to me?
So you’re happy with how your artwork is looking and you’re itching to get it printed. Now you should allocate some time to proof reading. Set aside 15 minutes or so to go through your artwork. If you artwork is quite large and has a lot of text or pages, you will need to set aside more time. When you’re ready, print out your artwork and our DIY Proofing Checklist then grab a cup of coffee, a highlighter and a pen and go sit somewhere quiet where you can concentrate.

It’s also a good idea to let a friend or colleague look over your work. I know this isn’t always a viable option, but if you can do it then you should. If you’ve been reading over your work for a long time, you know what’s coming and you automatically skim over words and your brain fills in the gaps. It will also be an advantage if your newly enlisted helper is unfamiliar with the products or services you’re providing. They can give you a good insight into how your average customer will interpret what you’re offering.

Why are you so hardcore about typos?
Maybe it’s because my first name is the result of a spelling mistake (no, I didn’t make that up), or maybe it’s because I don’t want you to waste your time and money on reprints. I want you to love your printing and I want to see your business thrive!

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26 Nov 2014

Flyers – An Excellent Way to Market Your Business

Flyers have been around for a long time.

Flyers are useful for everyone!

Flyers have been used as a marketing tool for decades and there are some very good reasons for it.

They are affordable, easy to put together, easy to deliver and it’s a method of advertising that people trust. While it may seem like advertising on the web is the way to go now, it’s crucial to remember that not everybody is online. By disregarding flyers, you are missing out on potential customers.

Let’s take a closer look:

1. They are extremely affordable.
Making any return you get from your flyers likely to cover the cost of having them printed.

2. They get your message across quickly.
All the important information is right there on display – so make sure your message is clear and that your contact details are correct and easy to read!

3. They are versatile.
You can mail them out, pin them on community noticeboards, hand them out on the street or you can add a magnet to the back and customers can keep them on their fridge. You can also save money by hand-delivering them yourself – bring the dog along and make an afternoon of it!

4. They are a trusted method of advertising.
To put it plainly, if they didn’t work we wouldn’t still be using them decades later. There are factors that will determine how successful your flyers will be, including the area they are delivered, how visually appealing your flyers are and how tempting your offer is.

Flyers are available now from Picton DIY, with 500 DL Flyers starting from only $37.

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06 Nov 2014

Photo Christmas Cards

Christmas Cards

With the digital age well and truly upon us, more and more people are opting to send digital alternatives to the traditional Christmas Card. The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for most of us, and the time constraints can make it seem like an appealing option. However, most people genuinely enjoy sending and receiving traditional Christmas Cards. They are personal, heartfelt and don’t need to be a chore!

With this in mind, we’ve created an easy, quick and affordable way to create your own personalized Christmas Cards. We have a range of designs to choose from – just add your favourite photo, a special message and you’re good to go!

Order your personalized Christmas Cards today – and don’t forget we also have envelopes available!

The Team at Picton DIY

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04 Nov 2014

The Importance of Business Cards

Even in the digital era, business cards are still one of the most powerful – but increasingly overlooked – marketing tools available to you. Exchanging business cards allows for an engagement that can’t be replicated online. It gives you a chance to talk about your business and begin building a relationship with the potential customer.

They are an extension of your brand, which often gives potential customers their first impression of your business. Therefore it’s essential that you include the right information.

What to include on your business card:

Your name, position and the business name.
Customers need to know who to contact and if they don’t know what you do within the business, they can be hesitant to contact you.

Your direct phone number and mobile number.
If you’re out of the office most of the day, make sure you include your mobile number. If customers can’t contact you, you will lose sales.

Your email address and website.
Websites are considered standard these days and not having one can put you at a severe disadvantage. It’s also important to make sure that you use a professional sounding email address.

Your address.
Only include an address you want customers to show up at. If you work from home, it’s best to include a PO Box instead.

Your photo.
If you’re in a relationship building profession, consider adding your headshot to the business card. It helps to add a personal touch and makes it easier for clients to remember you. After all, customers want to do business with people they know and like. Make sure you use a professional photo.

Double sided business cards give you even more space to advertise your business. However, you don’t want to go overboard, as including too much information can make your cards look messy and unprofessional. It’s recommend to use something simple on the front – like a photograph representing your work, or a logo – and putting the contact details on the reverse side.

Business Cards are available now from Picton DIY, starting from only $50.

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22 Oct 2014

Picton DIY Photo Posters

 

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Brighten up your home or office with your favourite photos.

To celebrate the launch of Picton DIY, we’re offering 10% off our range of Photo Posters. Simply enter the voucher code DIYPHOTO10 during checkout to receive your discount! Hurry, this offer ends 30 November 2014 and is valid for one use only.

Turn your beloved photos into a high quality poster and be reminded of the people, places and events that you love – or pair it with a frame from Ikea and you have the perfect Christmas gift!

Our easy to use service enables you to upload your photos and place them in any order you like. With multiple sizes, layouts and colours available – and from as little as 6 photos to as many as 35 – we’re bound to have a poster that suits your needs. The hardest part will be giving it away!

Our posters have also been specifically designed to fit Ikea frames, so you can find a frame that fits your poster and budget no matter where you are. Our Small Posters fit 18cm x 24cm frames, our Medium Posters fit 21cm x 30cm frames, and our Large Posters fit 30cm x 40cm frames.

All posters are packed in a durable cardboard tube for easy storage and to protect your poster during delivery or the drive home.

To get started on your poster head to our online store, or for more information please contact Aimie at diy@pictondiy.com.au.

To be the first to find out about upcoming promotions and products, subscribe to our newsletter here.

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25 Sep 2014

Picton – New staff and a new way of processing simple jobs

As part of our constant investment in technology and solutions for our customers, Picton is proud to now have Picton DIY, our online brand and a way for our customers to process simple jobs online.

Picton DIY is a simple platform for our customers to order simple jobs online, a range of products are available from business cards to flyers, posters and various other standard sized products. Ordering is as simple as choosing your product, uploading your artwork and processing payment.

Once we have received your order, our automated workflow kicks in, processes your file and places it directly into production, once printed your job will be despatched to you as soon as possible with some automated email notifications along the way.

To look after our new online platform, we are happy to welcome Aimie onto our staff. Aimie will be maintaining Picton DIY and will be available for any questions or queries you may have.

If you would like to be one of the first customers to use the new Picton DIY service, contact your existing sales rep if you have one or email diy@pictondiy.com.au

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