Printster.co.uk

  • Fun things to do with the kids this summer

    Summer Activities- final 11

    Here are some activities to make the summer holidays more fun!

    Header - MUG

    1. Draw your design (two drawings for the front of the mug and the back)
    2. Scan your drawings
    3. Go to our website and upload your scanned drawing, following the instructions to place your order (don’t forget to use the discount code SUMMER15!)
    4. Enjoy your very own designed mug

     Header - Puppets

     

    1. Draw your puppet character
    2. Cut out your character
    3. Draw around the edge of your character onto cardboard. This will make your paper puppet stronger!
    4. Stick the cardboard and paper together
    5. Wait 15 minutes for the glue to dry (in this time you could repeat the above steps to create more puppets!)
    6. Get a straw, using sticky tape attached it to the back of your character(on the cardboard)
    7. You are ready to put on your play!

    Header - Board Games

    1. Decide what type of game you would like to play (maybe your own version of Checkers/ or a new game all together!)
    2. Set out how many players you need for your game
    3. Layout out the rules for your game (so decided how someone can win your game)
    4. Draft your game out on a piece of paper (so you know it will work!)
    5. Get a big piece of card to create your board (Use whatever materials you have, felt tips, crayons, glitter, paint – whatever you like).
    6. You are ready to play your game!

    Header- Scrapbook

    1. Collect all the memories you have (photo’s, cinema tickets, music tickets, bus stubs, certificates, medals, birthday cards, Christmas cards – anything with a memory attached to it!)
    2. Gather all your materials (glitter, paint, felt tips, crayons, tissue paper, coloured paper)
    3. Think about how you want to lay it out in your book (do you want to order it chronologically? or a memory book for this summer!)
    4. Get sticking, painting, drawing, glittering!
    5. From time to time add more to it.

     

    Have you tried out any of our fun activities? We’d love to hear how it’s gone. Tweet us on @printster_uk.

  • Not Another Apple

    It’s that time of year again, where you have to find the perfect present for your little one’s school teacher. Every year it’s the same mad dash to the supermarket to buy chocolates, a bottle of wine or bunch of flowers in the middle of the school run on the last day of term.

    This year it could be different…

    We are here to help you pick the perfect personalised present, you will be sure to find an A+ gift that will send your child to the top of the class (maybe not literally).

    Our Top 5 Picks

    5. Engraved Paperweight Star

    Printster, Engraved Paperweight, Star Engraved Paperweight Star - £19.99

    4. Personalised Blackboard Mug

     

    Printster, Personalised Mug, Teacher's, Teacher's assistant, school Personalised Blackboard Mug - £6.99

    3.Personalised Chocolate

    Personalised chocolate, gift, sweets, teacher, Personalised Chocolate - £5.99

    2. "Top Teacher" Apple Message Mug

     

    Top teacher, school, mug, personalised, apple "Top Teacher" Apple Message Mug - £6.99

    1. Mr Scribble Name Mug / Mrs Scribble Name Mug

    Scribble mugs, teachers, gifts, mugs, personalised Mr Scribble Name Mug / Mrs Scribble Name Mug - £6.99

     

    To look at our range of gifts visit our online store at www.printster.co.uk.

     

     

  • How to get the best out of your gigs.

    Musicians! How To Get The Best Out of Your Gigs

    Introduction

    So, you’re in an emerging band, trying to ‘cut your teeth’ on the circuit and make a name for yourself, just like the millions of bands that have tried (and mostly failed) before you. What you should be thinking is: how are you going to get the best out of your gigs? What is going to give you the best results for your hard work and determination? How are you going to give your band the best opportunity to succeed?

    I have been working with bands for over 10 years now as a musician, promoter, and manager. Some of the bands I have worked with include Night by Night (signed to Sun Hill Productions alongside the world renowned Europe), Subsource (now known as Black Futures who have toured with the likes of The Prodigy), Neonfly (recently toured with Dragonforce), and No Sin Evades His Gaze (signed to Monolithic Music and recently had a shout out from Alex Baker, of Kerrang Radio for being “heavy as titanic”), just to name but a few. In my time working with bands I have picked up a lot of knowledge in how to get the best from live shows as an emerging artist and it is what I’m going to share with you today. What I will be covering is less to do with the performance aspect of a live show, but more to do with the promotion and capitalising on the rewards that a good performance can bring.

    Promoting Your Shows

    Promotion is undoubtedly a major contributor to the success of an event but it is also one of the key areas often neglected. A lot of the time it is down to poor planning or laziness that gives ineffective results. One thing I have heard before however is this statement:

    “It is up to the promoter to promote, and the performers to perform” –Local whiny band

    Whilst I agree with the basic principle of the statement, it is not something you should live or die by. Whilst it is the job of the promoter to promote the show they have booked you on, it is YOU who has direct access to your following. That access is part of the value of you as a product / service in which the promoter is paying for (unless you are playing for free / pay to play / ticket split).It is in yours and the promoter’s best interest to capitalise on every readily available option promotion possible. The bigger the crowd, the better impression you give and the more fun everyone has!

    You are small fry (for now)!

    The other thing you have to realise is you are small fry and you are working with small fry promoters, some of which aren’t as hard working / good as others. You need to make sure your events are promoted well, even if it means doing a job that the promoter should be doing. No band got anywhere by moaning at promoters for not working hard enough and doing nothing in protest. The only way you can work with better promoters is if you establish your band more and increase your value.

     Social Media

    There are a few obvious ways to promote a gig that are either free, or low cost. The first and by far easiest is through your social media platforms. Create an event, invite your friends, and draw attention to it. Simple!

     Online Listings & Ticket Agents

    Have the event listed online with websites such as SongKick and BandsInTown, and if there is a local ticketing agent such as SEE Tickets in London, use them. This is something that is usually done by the promoter or venue, if not, do it yourself! Some sites will need an allocation of tickets to sell in order for it to be listed so work with the promoter / venue to get that sorted. The bonus of doing this is that the agents will send out emails to their mailing lists promoting the event and your band.

     The Waste Management’s Favourite: Flyers!

    A more hands on approach: It is extremely easy now to get custom A5 flyers and A3 postersprinted at a very low cost. The key for this to be effective and not a waste of money however is by researching where your target market will likely be. If you are a death metal band, it is highly unlikely that
    your target market will go into a quiet little café full of punters all wearing knitted jumpers (hipsters!) however, they might go to the local pub that plays rock and metal all day. Go into the establishment and ask if it’s cool to leave some flyers and a poster, most places will say yes (unless they are part of a chain).

    Be a “Social Whore”

    Socialise! The bands with the biggest crowds most usually are social whores and have lots of friends. The power of networking and talking to people beats printed marketing flat down. Become a social whore and you will soon start seeing the results. Another good place to promote your band is at the gigs of much bigger bands of a similar genre. I know one hard rock band that is always stood outside in the freezing cold, dressed up, talking to people in the queue to see Skid Row or some other big name. It really works, especially if you are good at socialising.

    The last tip I will leave is to promote the other bands on the bill, mentioning other bands increases the value of the event you are trying to sell - Unless you are playing with Justin Bieber of course!

    There are a myriad of other ways in which you can promote an event so get thinking creatively and explore new options. It’s often that the most innovative ideas work the best so give them a whirl! It could be fun.

    Have a Merchandise Table

    Merchandise isn’t solely there as a money maker for your band. In fact as an emerging artist it is doubtful that you will make much profit from merch. Instead, think of it as another form of marketing for your band to maximise the impression you are leaving on the audience’s mind, just like how a brand would market their products at events. Looking professional can work wonders on how people perceive the status of your band. If you look like a band about to hit the limelight, people will more likely to jump on the bandwagon.

    Fluffy Toys Do Not Make Good Merch…

    The key to a good piece of merch is the design. It needs to be something that people can not only identify with your band, but is also professional and something that they would want. The most obvious product to have on your merch table would be Printed T-Shirts. They are easily produced and generally quite cheap; just find a company that manufactures personalised T-Shirts. Another product I’ve seen work well (strangely) is Screen Printed Mugs, most likely because everybody drinks tea / coffee at work! If someone brings a mug into work with your band logo on it, it is likely co-workers will ask who that band is. There are tons of products out there which you can include on your table, just have a little explore.

    Maximising Potential

    A way to maximise the success of a merch table is to have the band run the desk instead of the drummer’s uncool mother. This is particularly useful for after your performance since anyone looking to appraise the band will have to go to the merch table to do so. It is also a good idea to have business cards to give away that contain the band’s logo, website address, and contact details. Whilst your singer may have read out your extremely long URL mid set to the drunken, slightly deafened audience, it is highly doubtful any of them will remember, nor be able to read their own smudged handwriting the next morning where they’ve written it on their sweaty hand. A drunk person will certainly pocket a card though and read it the next day when they try to remember where they were last night!

    Finally, another tactic you can use in conjunction with your merch table is to have a pen, 

    9fc0592c3e5645b0eea42ceadea752f0.image.449x400

    paper, and clipboard for which people can write their name and email address on. This allows you to setup a mailing list which you can use to promote your next event in that area. Mailing lists can be hard to get people on board but they are a powerful tool so it is worthwhile thinking of incentives such as a giveaway or competition. For example “Win a pair of Engraved Personalised Drumsticks”.

     Special Events

    There comes a time when sometimes, a simple gig just isn’t enough. An event where you really want to make a lasting impact and make it a night people will remember. I’m talking of an album launch party or an industry showcase (not to be mistaken with a pay to play promoter promising you a record label rep will be present). The best way to do this is by thinking out of the box with ideas in which you can get the audience interacting positively and create an electrifying atmosphere.

     Ideas, Ideas, Ideas!

    Something that has worked particularly well with bands I have worked with is using promotional ticket bundles for fans to purchase a ticket alongside your upcoming album or a piece of merchandise (such as a printed t-shirt which they can also wear at the gig). Not only does this provide bigger incentive to purchase a ticket, it also means you will likely find members of the audience wearing your merch which looks great for PR. This can be setup through your own store online through such websites like Bandcamp and BigCartel.

     Adding Your Own Personal Touch

    The way to really make an impact though is by doing something different. For example, you could hand out goodie bags, people love free stuff! You can also include Personalised Masks of each of the band members for the audience to all wear during the gig as a novelty. Small things like this can go a long way into making sure the audience has a fun time that they will certainly remember and will definitely help impress any journalists, agents, and other industry professionals you have invited too!

     The Party Doesn’t Stop Here!

    Don’t let it stop there though, the gig may have ended but the afterparty is nigh! Make sure to set up a place to go after the live music curfew for you to interact further with the audience, reaffirming the positive impression you are trying to give. Having an afterparty also opens up possibilities for extra promotion such as contacting a promoter of a nearby club night and asking if they are up for a joint venture. In return for promoting your event with flyers and posters in their club, you can promote their night as the afterparty destination, pushing your fans through their doors. It works extremely well if you can secure a discount entry too. Remember to take photos and get people to tag themselves!

    Conclusion

    There you have it, a bucket of knowledge condensed into a tiny article for your benefit. There is so much more that you can do though and all it takes is an innovative mind and some strategizing. If you truly love what you do and want to take it further, go that extra mile. You might never play Wembley stadium, but at least you can say you tried!

    Feel free to share, or even add this article to your website:  [Download PDF]

  • What kind of Christmas shopper are you?

    What kind of Christmas shopper are you?

    With the Christmas countdown ticking fast, how’s your shopping going? Are you still full of festive cheer or are mince pies flying?

    Take our fun quiz to see what kind of Christmas shopper you are…

    1. When do you start thinking about Christmas shopping?

    A. January
    B. When I spot a bargain
    C. Oh, I’m just not sure
    D. Christmas Eve
    E. I’m trying to block it out

    2. What do you find hardest about Christmas shopping?

    A. Nothing, it’s all on the spreadsheet
    B. Budgeting
    C. Choosing gifts that are a bit different
    D. Everything
    E. Listening to Christmas music

    3. It’s the Saturday before Christmas, do you…?

    A. Sit in front of a Christmas movie with a mince pie and mulled wine?
    B. Face the Christmas crowds at the local shopping centre but come back empty handed?
    C. Travel all over town for the cheapest item but they’ve sold out?
    D. Intend to go shopping but decide that there’s plenty of time and hit the local?
    E. Book a holiday?

    4. What's your favourite Christmas movie?

    A. The Polar Express
    B. Scrooged
    C. The Nightmare before Christmas
    D. Die Hard 2
    E. The Grinch

    5. Do you find it hard to think up presents for your family?

    A. No, I listen carefully to what they want throughout the year.
    B. It’s all about cost.
    C. It’s a nightmare – what should I buy?
    D. It’s easy to find a present at the 24 hour garage.
    E. No, I do Secret Santas (very secret).

     

     

    Mostly As
    Super-organised
    You’ve already finished all your Christmas shopping. (You may even have bought some in last year’s January sales.) We salute you!

    Mostly Bs
    Offer fiend
    You just love a bargain. It’s all about Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Pre-Christmas sales… Sometimes this means you leave it too late and miss out (P.S. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to get our latest offers).

    Mostly Cs
    Should I buy this…. or maybe that?
    You try your best, but you just find it hard to choose the right gift. Christmas leaves you a bit flustered and you often forget someone. A personalised gift is the perfect solution. Now you just need to think up a message …

    Mostly Ds
    Last minute
    You like to leave shopping to the very last moment possible. It’s not unknown for you to be at the 24 hour garage desperately trying to find the perfect gift for all the family. How about changing your ways this year? There’s still time to shop online.

    Mostly Es
    Bah humbug
    You hate Christmas. There’s just no hope for you! How about this mask?

    Whatever kind of Christmas shopper you are, you’ll find the right present at right present at Printster. It’s easy to design your personalised gift online from the comfort of your home. But time is running out - order by Wednesday 17 December for Royal Mail delivery.

  • Mugs for Good - Save the Children and Christmas Jumper Day

    Christmas Jumper Day Mugs

    Why not buy a present that not only looks good, but does good this Christmas? We’re happy to announce a new partnership with Save the Children UK to help them raise much needed funds to help children in the UK and around the world. For every Save the Children mug you buy, over 40% (£3.34) goes to the children’s charity.

    There are a choice of 14 high quality and beautifully designed mugs, making them the perfect Christmas gift for your family and friends.

    We’ve been inspired by Save the Children’s seasonal campaign, Christmas Jumper Day. On 12 December, teams of people across the UK will wear their Christmas knits – no matter how over the top – to raise money for the charity. And now your cup of tea can match your sweater with our gorgeous Christmas jumper mug, featuring a traditional red and white Fair Isle pattern.

    Ben Williamson, Printster said: “We’re so pleased to be working with Save the Children. The aim of this charity to help children in the UK and around the world really resonates with all us at Printster and we are pleased to contribute. The mugs are excellent quality and make a great addition to our product range. It is wonderful to be able to help raise money for this very worthy cause, especially at Christmas.

    “We’ll be taking part in Christmas Jumper Day too this year. Some of the team have already been wearing theirs!”

    Other mug designs include festive patterns and seasonal sentiments such as “All you need is love” and the “Power of Love”. There are also four mugs with vintage photos of glamorous ladies at the beach, skiing and even fishing from a barrel, which you can personalise with your own messages.

    Check out the mugs in our new range now, and don’t forget your Christmas jumpers on Friday 12 December. We’d love to see you in your Xmas jumpers – post your photos on Facebook and Twitter with #xmasjumperday.

  • Small Business Saturday – SMEs thinking big

    Small Businesses Thinking Big

    Small Business Saturday this weekend is time to shout out about how SMEs are thinking big. Our smaller size gives us the flexibility to offer a friendly, personal service that may be harder to maintain in larger firms, but we don’t want to think small in terms of our ambition and getting the right products for our customers.

    But SMEs are up against it. With limited budgets and a busy schedule, it can be difficult to find the time and resources to promote your business. So, to celebrate Small Business Saturday, we’ve pulled together our top tips on raising your profile…

    Start with your objectives

    Always start by thinking about what you want to achieve. If you have clear, SMART targets, your team can work more effectively to smash them. If you’re participating in Small Business Saturday, ensure that you’re clear on your goals in order to measure its success. With this data, you can assess how to make changes the following year or at your next event to continuously improve your business.

    Meet, greet and promotional gifts

    Events and networking opportunities are tried and tested ways to promote your small business. However, at busy conferences you need to find a way to cut through the noise and make your brand memorable. Providing something for the audience to take away can be an effective way to do this. Look for good value, high quality merchandise - a poorly produced promotional item could actually have negative effects on your business – and do your research by checking out product reviews on promotional goods websites.

    Reward your customers

    It is generally thought that it costs around 4 to 10 times as much to acquire a new customer than retain one making a customer retention strategy worth pursuing. First and foremost customer service is a paramount. If you are taking on new or temporary staff to help with seasonal demand, ensure that they are trained to your high customer service standards. Loyalty schemes and exclusive offers can also work well to encourage customers to return.

    Get creative

    Being creative is important for small businesses to get their message out there in a cost-effective way. Look to larger brands or other sectors for inspiration. Take for instance, the movie industry, which really knows how to tell a story. At the première of the film, Frank, we provided their marketing team with related branded masks for the audience to wear. This created fantastic photo opportunities, and encouraged people to share via social media. Personalised masks give you added value with the chance to leave a further call to action on the reverse side.

    Blog – tell your story

    Do you have a blog? It can be an effective way for SMEs to promote themselves and engage their audience. A blog can show brand personality and give an insight into the day-to-day running of your business which is a good way to develop trust. Writing a blog can also start to position you as a thought leader, again building credibility in your business.
    Blogs are also an effective way to improve SEO as search engines love regular, fresh content. Links from other reputable, relevant sites to your content can help your website move up the search rankings, and external sites are more likely to link to interesting content on a blog, than your sales pages.

    Get social

    Social media is a cost-effective way for small businesses to reach a wider audience, find out more about their interests and develop leads and brand advocates. Don’t overstretch yourself. Choose the social media networks which are most relevant to your audience and which you can manage. Remember on social media, it’s not all about you. We like to follow the rule of social thirds – a third promotional, a third about other relevant, interesting content and a third conversations.

    Add your social media channels to everything including your offline materials, and encourage people to share. Don’t forget to ask for customer reviews as testimonials are an effective way to build trust in your audience and increase sales.

    Connect with your local business networks

    It makes sense to network with other local business professionals both on and offline to share information and tips. These connections can also help you attract new business. (Remember to take your business cards along!)

    Have you tried out any of our tips? We’d love to hear how it’s gone. Tweet us on @printster_uk. If you’re thinking about creating merchandise to promote your company, do get in touch.

  • Meet the Printster team - Dulcie Price, Online Design and Marketing Assistant

    As we're a friendly bunch here at Printster, we thought that it was about time you got to know us better. And now here's your chance in our regular Meet the Team blogs.

    First up it's time to meet our lovely, talented Online Design and Marketing Assistant, Dulcie Price, who's been in the Printster team for almost a year and a half.  

    Dulcie with her personalised mug.

    What did you do before Printster?

    I studied illustration and Graphic design at De Montfort University in Leicester. When I moved to Bristol I worked for the National Apprenticeships Service before I got this job.

    What does your role involve?

    Loads of stuff, everything from designing new mugs, photographing products, putting new items on the website and designing marketing materials.

    What do you like best about working at Printster?

    I really love the variation in my job role - I get to do lots of different things. (I enjoy our team table football games too!)

    What’s your favourite film?

    I’m not sure I can just pick one... but Into the Wild is one of my favourite films.

    Show us your mug

    I actually have a few mugs that I use! But my favourite is a double sided photo mug with a pic I took of my bike in front of the Clifton suspension bridge in Bristol. I love being able to look at that photo whenever I drink my tea!

    Mug personalised with a photo of Clifton Suspension Bridge

    What’s your snack of choice at tea/coffee break?

    As much as I’d like to be able to say I snack on fruit and nuts that would be a lie. I’m going to have to go with hula hoops!

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

    I guess it would just be that it’s all about the now. There's no point dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Make the most of today.

    What do you love to do at the weekend?

    I mainly look forward to the weekends to hang out with my great bunch of friends! Whether that means going for walks, bike rides, sitting and chatting or going to the local.

    What makes you smile?

    Lots of things make me smile - my family, friends, Glastonbury Festival, beating the boss at table football... just to name a few.

    Thanks Dulcie! Look out for more Meet the Team blogs coming soon...

  • Wedding Traditions from Around the World

    Traditions are a big part of getting married, often starting when permission is sought from the father of the bride and following on to raucous stag and hen dos, right through to the groom carrying his new bride over the threshold. However, these traditions aren’t universal and many countries and cultures have their very own set of weird and wonderful rituals. From gutting chicks in Mongolia to bathing in milk in Morocco, there’s a whole host of funny, strange, embarrassing and romantic traditions out there. Compared to dancing camels and smashing crockery, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue certainly looks a tad boring!

    PRI_Wedding_Infographic3

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  • Delicious Mug Cake Recipes

    The days of spending hours slaving away in the kitchen are over! However, cutting down on time doesn't have to mean cutting back on taste. As our latest infographic shows, rustling up a tasty treat has never been simpler - who needs a Michelin Star when you have a mug and a microwave?! There’s no need for hours of mixing, whipping and baking, instead with these easy to follow recipes you can have your cake and eat it in less than five minutes! Our simple recipes are perfect for getting the kids involved and keep washing up to a minimum – result!

    So, grab your ingredients and a mug and you’re all set. Whether you fancy raspberry, chocolate or lemon cake, you’re just five minutes away from a delicious dessert; in this case the proof really is in the pudding!

    Mug Cakes

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  • The Mighty Masks of Spider-Man!

    With just days to go until Spider-Man swings back onto the big screen in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, what better time to look back over the changing face of the iconic superhero?!

    Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Peter Parker’s alter ego first appeared in 1962 and since then has featured in countless comics, cartoons, live-action series, films and even a musical. From his first appearance in Amazing Fantasy #15, Spider-Man has sported many looks, from an anonymous wrestler to a Depression-era crusader. Now Marvel’s flagship character, Spider-Man is just as popular as ever with his latest crime-fighting adventure tipped for box office success as our hero sets out to uncover the truth about OsCorp.

    Here we take a look back at over fifty years of Spidey and his ever-adapting guise:

    Masks_Infographic_Final

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