January 20, 2017

Pop-tastic Fabric!

I do many designs for many customers, but I also have requests internally. Mark, our director here at Printdesigns, asked me to come up with something our production staff could print on a sample print for our showroom. 

We have a fabulous new solution for cladding shell schemes, simply one huge print that spans across each shell scheme wall.  It’s a lightweight solution that no longer has the need of using many separate panels and trying to piece them together. Mark has had many enquiries about this great product recently and has also had requests for a video demonstrating how the prints attach to the wall and showing how the finished article looks on display. 

I like to make my sample prints eye-catching and engaging. They have to show the product off well in our showroom, so I like to use imagery that is large and bold, often using just one large image. This makes it look really striking and vibrant. Bright colours are a must! Subconsciously large bright colours create a positive attitude when looking at them, as opposed to a dull, monochrome image. Obviously there are many occasions where dull or monochrome are best to fit the brief, and can look great in the right setting, but when trying to promote a large printed product, then colourful and bright definitely show off the product to the best of it’s ability.

Mark decided he would like a Pop Art theme for this particular display so I set about putting something together that would look great on video. Pop Art is a perfect theme for a ‘big, bold and colourful’ brief, and I think this works really well, I hope you agree? 

Mark will be making the assembly video in the next few days, so keep an eye out for it appearing on our YouTube and social media pages in the near future!

January 16, 2017

Printdesigns furthers customer-friendly offering with dedicated graphic design service

Customer experience is certainly at the focus of Printdesigns’ 2017 strategy. Following on from announcing its soon-coming website relaunch, the Staffordshire based wide format printing expert has upped its game further, welcoming back its experienced, dedicated graphic designer. Now, it is able to offer an end-to-end exhibition stand advice, design and printing service, helping its customers gain great marketing results.

Following on from a year away from the office, Printdesigns proudly welcomes back its in-house graphic designer, Heather Picken. This move comes at a great time for the leading exhibition stand printing company, leveraging the improved user experience of its soon-to-be-launched re-designed website and intelligently packaged bundle deals with further industry expertise in the form of graphic design. In 2017, each of these factors helps make every step of the purchasing and production process simple and effective for Printdesigns’ clients.

Mark Thompson, Co-Founder of Printdesigns said, “We are incredibly excited to announce Heather’s arrival back at our offices. We are proud of the fact that all of our printing is produced in-house, and with her arrival our client’s display stand solutions can also be designed under the same roof as where they are printed.

“Heather has formed great relationships with our existing customers through her previous role with us. With a deep understanding of their needs and branding requirements, we look forward to nurturing these relationships further in the New Year, and offering the same expert, dedicated, end-to-end service to our new customers too.”

With its factory and offices based in Stone, Staffordshire, Printdesigns has been producing high-quality display stand solutions, covering small printed posted to large format exhibition stands and wall graphics since 1999. Known by its customers for its dedication to quality and customer care, its re-launched website and specialist graphic design service ensures that its online presence mimics its impeccable offline ethos.


January 13, 2017

Designing for a local landmark!

As the in-house graphic designer here at Printdesigns, I have recently been contacted by long term customer and local business, the Soup Kitchen, based on Church Lane, Stafford.

Soup Kitchen owner, Duncan Sandy, and his staff have been serving the people of Stafford delicious homemade food and drink for many years and are considered a Stafford landmark!  So I was more than happy to help him with his requirement for a new sign. The sign is to go on one of the entry roads to the town centre, near to the new shopping complex which is obviously attracting lots of new visitors to Stafford. Hopefully the new sign will let the new visitors know where the Soup Kitchen is and what they do.

Duncan sent me a sketch of what he would like on the sign (see photo), utilising his logo, a directional arrow and map of Stafford town. I already had the Soup Kitchen logo on file from previous designs I have produced for them, and I drew a basic but clear map of the town centre showing their location. The design is simple but effective (see photo), and I hope it draws the new Stafford visitors to the Soup Kitchen – it would be a shame for them to miss out on those scrumptious cakes!

unnamed Before

 Soup Kitchen sign 1400 x 900mm After

Exhibition stand design tips from our graphic expert!

design This month we’re very excited to announce that Heather Picken, our in-house graphic designer and all round visual expert has returned to the office, following on from her maternity leave! Armed with Heather’s skills and technical know-how, we’re pleased to offer our clients a high-quality graphic design service, helping to lay out an exhibition stand as well print it!

While we have offered some design tips previously, such as this blog outlining some methods to create a great pop up stand, now that our expert was back we thought that we’d take a moment to quiz her for our next informative blog post!

So – if you want to design your own exhibition stand or pop up stand, here are some crucial tips from our very own graphic designer.


What software do you recommend for designing banner stand graphics?

If you have access to them, I would always recommend using Adobe design programs such as Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop. They are definitely the industry leaders for creating design for print and allow full creativity. However, if access to these programs is not available, then many designs can also be created in programmes such as Microsoft Publisher. But beware – the page size is limited, so if you need to create a really large design for an exhibition, you may be need to consider other options. It is also more limited in effects and colours than the Adobe packages.


How do you know how big to make the document?

The size of your document depends on which product your design is for. If you find your product on our website Printdesigns.com then you should find the document page sizes listed there, and in most cases there are downloadable data sheets and PDF templates to be used in Adobe Illustrator. If the page size is above the program page size limit, then we accept artwork scaled down to 50%.


What rules do we need to keep in mind when designing an exhibition stand?

The most basic rule is to keep it simple and to the point. This will make the design more striking and therefore more noticeable. If you add too much information to the design then it will become too busy and cluttered. This will make it harder for the viewer to quickly see the key points you are advertising, and they will carry on walking past.


What must we include?

Include the key points;

  • Your logo
  • A heading/strapline to draw the viewer in and tell them what you’re advertising
  • A few bullet points or small paragraphs with more information (optional)
  • Striking imagery (if you have striking, high quality photos available, use them! Photos will always catch someone’s eye more than words!)
  • Contact details (phone number/web address)


What should be leave out?

Anything that is not essential! Keep the content to a minimum, if it doesn’t need to be on there, don’t clutter up the design with unnecessary words or images. Often any extra information can be passed on to the viewer in the form of a brochure or flyer, once the exhibition stand has drawn them in.

Should all banner stands have an image, or can text work too?

I would always recommend using imagery where possible, as images usually make the design stand out and more attractive. It is possible to make a text only design attractive and striking with the right colours, fonts and layout, but when the stand is stood next to one with a large bright image, it will be difficult to compete for the viewers’ attention

Are there any fonts we should avoid?

There are many fonts that are heavily used in the office environment, readily available in word processing packages, often for adding to office notices alongside clipart images. These fonts are over used and are often quirky and look cheap or unprofessional when used on a professional design. The main culprit for this is Comic Sans, the designers nightmare! The fonts used are very important to the over all look and feel of a design and should be considered carefully!

If we do use an image, what size should it be?

This really depends on what size the image will be on the finished design, whether it is a feature image, or a full background. But the image needs to be as large as available from the original photo source. An image can always be scaled down easily, but when scaled up it will lose quality and definition, so the larger the original the better!

Is there a secret when choosing which colours to use?

The colours should be kept in-keeping with your company brand. Many companies have ‘branding guidelines’ which dictate which colours should be used as the primary and secondary colour pallets. This will keep the design uniform and easily recognisable as your brand. We ask that all artwork is submitted in CMYK colour mode please.

What do we need to know when exporting/saving artwork?

When saving the artwork, save it as the highest quality option available, depending on which program you are using this may be listed as ‘No compression’ or ‘Press quality’. Add bleed and crop marks where possible so that we can print and trim it accurately and provide you a with a stunning high quality print!

If you’re about to create your own banner stand design, we hope that this post has given you some useful tips and ideas. However, if you’re still not sure, not knowing your bleed from your crop or your Illustrator from your InDesign, then Heather can happily create your artwork for you!

For our premium graphic design service, contact Heather directly at: heather@printdesigns.com.

January 11, 2017

Our display stands in detail: the roller banner

Here at Printdesigns we are experts in display stands, but we understand that not all of our customers are! In our recent series of blog posts we’re going to look at the many display stand solutions we offer at Printdesigns, giving you more details into the product. First up, we look further at the humble roller banner

What is it?

In a nutshell, the roller banner is a type of display stand that ‘rolls’ back into its base using a tensioned mechanism when it is not attached to a pole, holding it upright.

Why is it good?

As it can be assembled quickly and packed away into its base in one simple movement, a roller banner is a great low-fuss option for any fast-paced business. A roller banner can be stored and transported easily, packed into a slim line bag once it has been ‘rolled’ into its base, ready for heading from conference to conference. Due to its simplicity, roller banners are very cost effective, providing a reliable, sturdy graphic at a low price. However, you are usually limited to one single printed side at a standard width of 850mm, although wider options are available.

What are my options?

We have a huge selection of display stands at Printdesigns, stocking a wide variety of roller banner solutions to choose from. Here are our best sellers:

Budget roller banner stand


This is one of our most popular display stands. Priced at just £39.40, they feature a graphic printed at photo quality onto 600gsm PVC, weighing just 4kg for easy transportation. If you need to boost visibility for your brand at a conference, fast, then this is a great option.

Wide impact roller banner stand


Standard 850mm roller banner stands are great for organisations who need a reliable solution that works, even when space is limited. If you have lots of room to play with at a conference, exhibition or meeting then the wide impact roller banner can make a lasting impression. Costing £99, they are approx. 8kg but offer double the visibility.

Quickroll classic roller banners



If budget display stands don’t suit your needs, or if you are looking to invest in a solution that you know will stand the test of time, then the classic roller banners from Quickroll are an excellent choice. Featuring a thick aluminium casing, the graphic is printed onto Opal Jet polyester light blocking film, laminated with a crystal scratch resistant finish.

If you think a roller banner is the right display stand for you, browse our full range online, our give us a call at 01285 818 111.