Tuesday, 2 December 2008


A great offer for schools, colleges, & large corprorate
companies. Great for those skiing trips.

Call Spencer Print on 01432 870528 for further information.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Exhibition Kit Special Offer

A great offer on this excellent exhibition kit. The Plex Adavantage Pop Up system alone is selling on average at a £1000, sometimes as much as £2220.

Call Spencer Print on 01432 870528 for further deatails.

Special Christmas Offer

Giclee Print Portraits

You may have seen cheaper offers at places like Aldi, Tesco, & Boots, on average for £49. All our prints are hand printed and balanced prior to print, then printed in a very heavy 450 gsm 100% cotton canvas then hand stretched over a soild wood stretcher .

They are printed on a giclee standard machine using genuine lightfast pigment media and inks which meet blue wool regulations.

Please call 01432 870528 for a price based on the size you require.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Update on Experimental Paper Mill

It's been a while, but I have an update on the experimental paper mill that is using straw to make paper.

The Mini Mill now plan to demonstrate the continuous running of the plant to potential customers over the next few months, with a view to making our their commercial sale early next year. This should see them well on their way to market with the black liquor recovery section of the MiniMill, which they aim to sell worldwide to help clean up the pollution caused by small non-wood pulp mills, and to add incremental recovery capacity to large wood pulp mills where this causes a bottleneck. They then aim to move on to refine their pulping technology next year with a view to establishing a full
scale MiniMill
in the UK thereafter.

BioRegional MiniMills (UK) Ltd Summer 2008 Newsletter

Our industrial scale demonstration pulp mill black liquor gasification and chemical recovery plant has now been successfully commissioned and we are putting it through it paces at Ahlstrom Chirnside’s Radcliffe Mill
in Manchester .

Our technical team; Philip, Sergio, James, Harry and Edmund are carrying out a test programme with the black liquor generated at Ahlstrom’s pulp mill which will be concluded in the Autumn. We are very grateful for the support of the UK government Technology Strategy Board for the test programme.

A Life Cycle Assessment of the MiniMill process, using the data generated in the test programme, is being produced by the University of Manchester as part of the CCalc project.

A test and development programme for straw papermaking using our pulper (below) is also underway with support from the UK Home Grown Cereals Authority (HGCA). The objective of the work is to develop a quality paper product and detail of what would be needed to establish straw papermaking in the UK. We are planning our next Open Day this Autumn at the mill inManchester. We will be presenting the results of our test programme and interested parties will have opportunity to look around the plant.

Please let us know if you are interested in attending.

Contact us: Sue Riddlestone or Zoe Bullock
BioRegional MiniMills UK Ltd,
BedZED Centre,
24, Helios Road, Wallington, Surrey. SM6 7BZ
+44 (0)208 404 4886

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Spencer Commerce On Line Store

Spencer Print has now signed up with Ei42 to have it's own on line store. Now I can purchase a wide range of goods on my own on line store, & better still, earn commission on my purchases.

With a wide range of retailers, special offers, & category of goods available, Ei42 has put together an excellent pacakage. No set up is required, in minutes you can be purchasing from your own on line store and earning commission. Tell your family, freinds, & work colleagues about your store & they can buy from it too.

If they like the site, they can sign up too & have their own on line store.
Now the good news, if they sign up, you can earn commission on their store too.

Better still, IT'S ABSOLUTELY FRE!

Interested, then please feel free to take a look at my store at

If you would like your own store, please click on the "Find Out More" button on the top right corner.

Offfer currently only open to UK (Expansion worldwide planned)

Friday, 25 July 2008

Glossy Brochures - Questions & Answers

I have joined an excellent on line networking academy -see my profile at http://www.ecademy.com/account.php?id=294213

One of my contacts there asked some questions about producing a glossy brochure. I thought it might be helpful to post my response here as an artice, as it may answere questions that other businesses migh find useful.

Print QualityQuestion:
This magazine needs to be the best-of-the-best in terms of quality, a true business glossy. Realistically, this is a small, local distribution publication and we have only our own money to finance the project.-- How do you measure print quality; are there specific terms which ought to be looked out for?-- When it comes to glossy printing, is this one of the cases where getting that final 5-10% of the best quality costs so much that it puts it out of the reach of all but the big player?

Answer :
There is very little difference in costs between the various Gloss papers avaialble. Yes you can pay more for a really high class paper, but standard Gloss would be sufficient for most glossy magazines. You can also use an aqueous seal instead of the standard linseed seal, but would could add, as an examples, £300 on a 172pp A5 Brochure (sealed throughout).

How common are biodegradable inks and recycled paper in printing? How about binding glue?-- To find a printer who uses them, would I have to look long and hard, and what would be the cost implications?

Most printers nowadays use vegetable based inks. You could use waterless printers, but these are more expensive. Most printers are trying to promote "Green" printing nowadays, as I am (see my blog at http://spencerprint.blogspot.com. I have a good suppliers of "Green" printers, most of whom have ISO 14001 Accreditation, or the "Green Dragon Award. Recycled papers can put anything up to 20% on a job, so depending on size of job, this could be significant. As for Perfect Binding, I have several printers as suppliers who do this all in house. This will save you considerable money, as most printers farm out perfect binding.

Printing MachineryQuestion: There is a lot on different printers' websites about the differnt types of machines which they use.-- Should I care?!-- Why / why not?

I wouldn't worry, if you use me, I find the best printer suited best to each specific type of print run.

Example 1 - 1000 to 10,000 A4 Flyers - I use a printer that only uses 15 sheets for make readies - His new press is one of the few that will do this

Example 2 - 1000 to 10,000 20pp A4 Brchures - I would use my B2 Printer suppliers

Example 3 - 1/3 A4 6pp Leaflets Qty 100,0000 - I would use my B1 Printer suppliers

Example 4 - 20pp A4 Brochure- Qty 100,000 - I would use Web Printer suppliers

SizeQuestion: We've initially put the magazine's length at 20 pages, plus cover. Having done my first tenuous flat-plan I'm beginning to think we made need double this.-- Does the size of magazine have any implication on its quality, for instance is a certain quality only realistic if one is printing a certain number of pages, caluculated by print run * number of pages per magazine?-- How about binding, are there minimum and maximum sizes for stapled / glued binding?

Answer: For a rough guide, say for an example an A4, you should start thinking about Perfect Binding anything above 56pp + 4pp Cover, depending on what type of saddle stitcher the printer has. To work out optimum number of pages, it depends on size of press.

For example, on a B2 Press, an A5 is done in 16pp sections. This means that a 32pp Awould be more econimical than a 28pp A5.

The 32pp could be done in 2 sections (2 sets of plates & 2 print runs). The 28pp would need 3 sets of plates & 3 print runs (16pp + 8pp + 4pp).

DesignQuestion: Many printers offer this as an add on extra.-- What's the deal .. is this the entire design of the magazine, just subbing the layout, or anything you require?

Answer: Most printers have a design studio & will design it for you. I can get good design rates, between £35 & £45 per hour. Where possibly, I pass these costs direct to client, with no mark up. Hope this helps.If you go to the January section of my blog at http://spencerprint.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html you wil lfind articles on paper sizes & prepairing PDFs for commercial Printing

Friday, 23 May 2008

Personalised Web to Print - Demo of Mail Shot

Personalised Web to Print

A video demonstrating the preparation on line of
a mail shot for a marketing campaign. Templates of
your company's stationery & promotional print are
available on line to edit and insert details from your
database. Hit the send button and it's sent instantly
to our printer and is despatched to you within 24 hours.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Reusable Paper

At the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Las Vegas,Steve Hoover, vice president with Xerox Research Center Webster, shows off a technology being developed in the company's labs that enables people to reuse a piece of paper.

The paper contains a photochromic compound that makes ink disappear when hit by direct heat.Xerox Corporation scientists have invented a way to make prints whose images last only a day, so that the paper can be used again and again. The technology, which is still in a preliminary state, blurs the line between paper documents and digital displays and could ultimately lead to a significant reduction in paper use.

The experimental printing technology, a collaboration between the Xerox Research Centre of Canada and PARC (Palo Alto Research Center Inc.), could someday replace printed pages that are used for just a brief time before being discarded. Xerox estimates that as many as two out of every five pages printed in the office are for what it calls "daily" use, like e-mails, Web pages and reference materials that have been printed for a single viewing.

While potential users have shown interest in transient documents, there is still much to be done if the technology is to be commercialized. "This will remain a research project for some time," said Eric Shrader, PARC area manager, industrial inkjet systems. "Our experiments prove that it can be done, and that is the first step, but not the only one, to developing a system that is commercially viable."

Watch this space!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Personalised Web to Print

I have formed a close association with a printer colleague of mind to provide a service that could save on company's printing bills, and benefit the Environment. Now a company can edit their own stationery on line and have it delivered within 24 hours. With the option of "Personalised Print" huge savings can be made on paper. A good example is a potential college graduate applying for a college prospectus. Normally the college would send out a huge brochure as it contains ALL THE COURSES!

By applying on line, the candidate could choose only the courses he was interted in, and thus receive a much smaller prospectus. In some cases taking the number of pages from 300 to 40.

The system also can have an impact on global companys carbon footprints. Through it's global network of printers, a company can use one of the designated local printers in the country where the staionery is required. This will aslo save on shipping costs. You can also have PDF versions of your documents, thus doing away the need for any printing! Think of the number of trees this could save! If you require a newsletter about the service, call me on 01432 870528.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Changing Attitudes to Climate Change

Everybody talks
about the weather,
but nobody does
anything about it.”
Mark Twain

I have been talking to Futerra, a communications company trying to change attitudes to climate change. Here is a post of their PDF which may help like minded companies trying to convince people to take climate change seriously. Alternatively, you can download the PDF at http://www.futerra.org/downloads/NewRules:NewGame.pdf

rules and games
The challenge of changing our behaviour to stop damaging the climate can seem daunting. Behaviour change is difficult; people are complicated and don’t always react as you’d expect.

Don’t panic.
These short rules are communications techniques which pull together the most effective strategies for changing people’s behaviour. They are based on a huge body of international psychological, sociological and marketing studies, gathered and analysed by Futerra. We’ve taken great concepts with terrible titles like ‘psychological reactance’ and ‘symbolic self-completion’ and translated them into simple-to-use communications tools to motivate behaviour change.
We didn’t find a magic bullet or secret formula: just simple, practical tips to encourage behaviour change. These tips are the first step in taking the massive body of evidence and using it in day-to-day communications.
The New Rules: New Game isn’t a simple, ‘one size fits all’ blueprint, and some of the tips might even, at first sight, seem inconsistent. But taken together, they provide a practical guide for action.
So… try a new communications tactic, apply these Rules – and create some much-needed change.

Five of the principles we found are so important that we kept them separate from the main list. These five concepts frame everything that comes after them. They might be easy to agree with, and a lot harder to remember when you’re planning specific communications work. But please try – they’re the most important insights we’ve found.

• Go beyond the usual suspects
We all like talking to people with the same interests, outlooks and even clothes as us: the usual suspects open to climate-friendly behaviours and the ‘seekers’, ‘pioneers’ and ‘ethical consumers’ who are already changing. But there’s been less success changing the behaviours of the people
who think, feel and even dress differently from those usual suspects.
Go find ‘em.

• Know the difference between sleepwalking and retail therapy
Conscious and unconscious behaviours are different; active and passive, choice and habit behaviours. The difference is between the behaviour of buying a car (conscious, choice, active) and that of driving a car (unconscious, habit, passive). When people are on automatic pilot – which most of us are, most of the time – ’conscious, choice, active’ messages won’t reach them.

• Refreeze good behaviours
Once you’ve woken or ‘unfrozen’ people from their sleepwalking behaviour, you can convince them to change. But once they’ve adopted the new behaviours, you need to find a way of ‘refreezing’ them, so the positive behaviour becomes an unconscious habit again.

• Forget bridging the ‘value-action’ gap
Let’s be blunt: we must stop searching for the sparkly magic bridge that simply leads from values to action, or from attitudes to behaviour. People’s
behaviours, attitudes, values and awareness are all different and linked in complicated ways – if they’re linked at all.

• Change groups
People don’t learn or change alone. Society isn’t made up of atomised individuals choosing how to act in complete isolation from those around them. The only way to change behaviour is to change what is socially acceptable: the so-called ‘social proof’.

who are you talking to?
The first lesson of communications is ‘know your audience’. You can’t talk to all of the people all of the time, so you need to research the interests, habits, social links and preferred communications channels of the people you want to reach. But there are two things to keep in mind whoever you’re talking to:

1. Keep it personal
Societal change is essential, but people’s individual circumstances still matter. Once you’ve made behaviours ‘socially acceptable’, you’ll need to make those behaviours relevant to individuals. Make your messages as personalised as possible. Create climate messages about ”my region, my town, my street, my house, me”.

2. Help people to help
People really want to be good, important and useful. Strange but true. Much climate change communications makes people feel bad, irrelevant and useless. Help people to understand (and trust) that they are making a difference.
Climate change isn’t yet in most people’s ‘locus of control’; it feels like a big nasty threat they have no influence over. Until people feel on the inside that changing their behaviour will make a difference, no amount of information, price cuts or haranguing will bring about the change needed.

the right message
The messages we use to influence behaviour are key. We’re not going to say again that simple information messages are a poor motivator: you already know that. Instead, here’s some clear guidance on what we should be saying and showing.

3. Make clear direct requests
This is the principle of ‘please do not walk on the grass’. It’s important to be very clear and specific about the behaviours that help us tackle climate change. Take care to integrate other messages and behaviour change tactics, but don’t forget to ask for what you want.

4. We’re more worried about loss than gain
Losing £5 feels more important then gaining £5. It’s a small but powerful insight. Of course you can communicate the benefits of new actions, but lead in with the real losses people are suffering as a result of their current unsustainable behaviour.

5. Empathy and Imagination are power tools
Empathy is a powerful motivator for change, but most people don’t empathise with landscapes. If places are threatened by climate change, then show the people and animals who are in danger.
People are also more concerned about the threats that can easily be imagined or visualised (e.g. plane crashes) and discount those that are too general or distant (e.g. a rise in sea levels). Help people see the threat and see the solutions – and that means using pictures as well as words.

6. Strike a careful balance with your language
The language we use to describe the challenge of climate change is huge, hyperbolic and almost pornographic; the language of the solutions is often all about ‘small, cheap and easy’. We need to make solutions sound more heroic, use grander terms, and make the scale of the solution sound equal to the scale of the problem.
Remember to make good sound normal and bad sound rare. Being good is important but being normal is even more so. Every time we say that ‘most people’ aren’t climate friendly, we’ve tipped the balance towards the wrong behaviours.

7. Feedback is crucial
If you don’t give feedback, thank people and acknowledge the progress made, then how can people be sure they’re doing the right things? Feedback reduces anxiety, helps to reinforce behaviour and increases the belief that action makes a difference.

picking the right messenger

8. Not all messengers are equal
Egg-head scientists are important messengers: they have authority, and reassure people that someone understands the complicated issue of climate change. But we need common-sense and likeable intermediaries as well, to translate the opaque pronouncements of scientists into practical and obvious advice.
how to reach people.
There is a massive range of communications channels that can be used for climate change, from advertising to education, TV to literature, newspapers to door-stepping. Here are four key insights relevant to any channel and any audience:

9. Seeing is believing
Climate change is language-heavy, but light on visuals. Whenever you’re tempted to say something, think whether you could show it instead. A picture speaks a thousand words – especially for solutions.

10. Remind, remind, remind
Marketers use ‘retrieval cues’ to remind shoppers in supermarkets about the adverts they saw on TV the night before. If you’re trying to change habits, it’s no good convincing someone just once. You need to remind them exactly when they’re taking the action you want to change.

11. Pledges have parameters
There are some tricks to pledges. First, people need to promise to someone, not just to a website or to themselves. And second, people need to believe that the pledge means something to the person they’re promising to. Commitment works, but only when personal and meaningful; otherwise, ‘pledge’ might not really mean ‘promise’.

12. Try before you buy
Letting people trial, pilot and test behaviours in a safe setting is crucial if you’re asking them to do something new.

The evidence highlights some nasty side effects and barriers to changing people’s behaviour. Be aware and avoid them, or challenge them if you can.

13. The bystander effect
If you know that lots of other people are aware of a problem, you’re less likely to act yourself to solve it. Climate change suffers from the biggest and baddest bystander effect of them all – everyone else knows about it, so someone else will do something… right?

14. Free riders spoil everything
Fairness is important and people hate it when others benefit from breaking the rules. Reassure people that there’s a level playing field.

15. Tomorrow is less important
We eat our cake today, and promise ourselves we’ll diet tomorrow. The future is less important than the present, so all bad or inconvenient problems can be sent there. The positive side is that people are far more likely to commit to change if it doesn’t affect them until tomorrow.

16. Beware ‘totem’ behaviours
People often pick a small, insignificant behaviour to undertake or change to show others that they care, with no intention of changing anything else. (See Rule 19 below for ways to use this to your advantage.)

17. Money generates weak changes
Decisions based on money are shallow and fragile, and can be very vulnerable to changing circumstances.

18. The ‘sod off’ factor
Politely called ‘psychological reactance’, this means that many people’s automatic reaction to ‘you must do this’ is a simple ‘No!’

tactics for change
In addition to the specific principles above, there is a host of proven tactics for behaviour change. Not all of these work at the same time, but they do work.

19. Salesman tricks

A. Foot in the door:
Get someone to do something small and then introduce another larger action once the small one is completed. The move upwards won’t just happen on its own: communications are needed to link each rung of
the ladder.

B. Haggling:
Ask for a big or difficult behaviour, then let people agree to something smaller ‘for now’… but bigger than they would have accepted if offered
it first!

C. Reciprocity:
Give something (even if it’s small) and people feel beholden to do as you ask.

20. Make experiences big, and regular
Big sharp experiences affect behaviour more than a drip-feed of little ones. But those experiences don’t have a long shelf life, because recent experiences matter far more than distant ones. Climate change communications need an ongoing series of peaks.

21. Catalyst actions
Small behaviours don’t automatically lead to bigger ones, but big and socially visible ones can lead to smaller ones. Fitting an energy saving light bulb won’t convince people to buy a wind turbine, but a wind turbine on their roof may encourage them to buy the bulb.
22. Label people

If someone undertakes a climate-friendly behaviour (whether they intended to or not), you should say “thanks, you’re clearly someone who cares about the climate”. Next time you want something, say “if you care about the climate you should…”. They’ll be more likely to pay attention, because they’ve started wearing a mental badge that says ‘I care about the climate’.

23. Keep things compatible
Try and show how a new behaviour already fits nicely with everything else someone does. If a new behaviour isn’t shown as compatible with what they’re already doing and thinking, then it’s easier for them to ignore you than to change everything else in their life. We do like to be consistent.

24. Catch me when I’m open to change
There are times of big changes in our lives: getting married, moving house, starting a new job, having a baby or retiring. People are far more open to change in these ‘transition zones’, because their habits are all in flux. Less significant times of personal change work as well. Try communicating on payday, in spring and autumn, during our summer holidays. Change people when they’re already changing.

25. Make it a pleasure
People are constantly trying to minimise time spent on ‘personal admin’ or chores, and increase the time available for leisure, pleasure, and fulfilment. If positive behaviour is in the ‘chore’ bracket, there’s a lot less time/attention available then if it can be seen as leisure, pleasure or fulfilment behaviour.

In March 2005, Futerra launched ‘The Rules of the Game’, the elder sister to this ‘New Rules: New Game’ guide. The original Rules were developed as a guide for communication which could change attitudes towards climate change. They formed the evidence base that underpins the ongoing UK Government campaign, ‘Tomorrow’s Climate,
Today’s Challenge’
That evidence base is still very relevant, and the following Rules from that document apply just as much to behaviour as attitude:
• Everyone must use a clear and consistent explanation of climate change
• The communications must be sustained over time
• Partnered delivery of messages will be more effective
• Government policy and communications must be consistent
But, in many cases, the tactics needed to change attitude are different to those needed to change behaviour. These new Rules should be seen as a complementary resource to the original version and not a replacement. Please contact us for a copy of ‘The Rules of the Game’.the rulesof thegameRecommendations to the Climate Change Communications Working Group: Evidence base for the Climate ChangeCommunications Strategy The game is communicating climate change; the rules will help us win it. In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched In March 2005, Futerra launched
If you are inspired or sceptical, have questions or want to know more, then please contact:
84 Long Lane • London SE1 4AU
+ 44 (0)20 7549 4700
www.futerra.co.uk • climate@futerra

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Spec Sheet 2 for Recycled Papers

As promised, another spec sheet for a popular recycled paper

100% Recycled Revive Gloss

Technical Capability
Printing Process : Litho
Screen Ruling : 150 plus
Printing Inks : Conventional, UV and IR are preferred
Varnishing : Machine & UV
Emulsion Sealing : Yes, 130g/m2 and above, below this & it may curl
Hot Foil Blocking: Yes
Film Laminating: Yes
Creasing: If folding material 150g/m² and above, or through a solid or dense tone, pre-creasing is advisable by using a creasing matrix.

Environmental Information
Fibre Source: 100% de-inked post consumer waste
Bleaching: Pulp used in this product is not bleached
Disposal: This material can be disposed of by recycling
Accreditation: Produced at a mill that is certified with ISO14001 environmental management standard
This product has been awarded the NAPM 100% Recycled Mark

Spec Sheets for Recycled Papers

In the campaign to encourage the use of recycled papers I will on occasions be posting spec sheets of recycled papers. Here's the first one.

9Lives Offset

9lives Offset is the latest addition to PaperCo's 9lives family of 'born again papers' offering the ultimate in environmental credentials.

9lives Offset is manufactured from 100% recycled fibre and offers outstanding
consistency with an excellent sheet formation.

With its high white shade, high bulk and excellent opacity 9lives Offset is the perfect choice for general commercial printing where uncoated stock is the preferred choice - all kinds of books (scholastic, reference, comics, diaries etc), leaflets, brochures, inserts, letterheads, folders and annual reports.

Environmental Information

100% recycled fibre
FSC certified


Offset litho, letterpress, silk screen and writing
Screen ruling up to 150 dpi
All printing inks suitable for uncoated paper

Process Suitability

Folding, perforating, drilling, die cutting, binding - thread, wire and adhesive

Features and Benefits

100% recycled paper product
Outstanding consistency with an excellent sheet formation
High white shade
High opacity
High bulk
Matching paper and board
Available in a comprehensive range of grammages and sizes
Suitable for archival use


Ideal for report and accounts, brochures, direct mail and publications

Giclee Prints

Over the years I have had many artists as clients. These include Graham Wilde,David Brindley, Doug Eaton, Glyn Whiting, Rosie Flood, Valerie Mclean, & many more. All these artists had digital reproductions of their work, whether as prints or post cards.

Doug Eaton's "The Wye from Coldwell side"

NEW SERVICE - Giclee Prints

I am now able to offer artists a top class Giclee print service.

My associate operates a wide-format printing bureau, which enables Fine Art reproduction of artwork up to 42" wide by 90" long.

All prints are produced in-house with superb digitally enhanced quality surpassing conventional printing.

Using the very latest inkjet technology, prints have vibrant colours and faithful reproduction.

A complementary scanning service is available from most formats including 35mm and medium format transparencies or negatives or original artwork if appropriate, and can of course work directly with digital files if already available.

Specifcations of Giclee Prints

Every print is individually colour balanced to give the very best results and we offer a range of fine quality media to ensure that the finished Giclée Print matches as close as possible to the original artwork.

In order to assist with the promotion of your Prints and original Artwork, all customers will be invited to exhibit their works on my associate's Website Gallery, completely free of charge.

Each artist will be listed together with a narrative of their work, contact details, Galleries selling their work and digital images of work that have been processed.

Giclée prints are large format reproductions made from original art or photographs printed on a variety of media, watercolour paper, 100% cotton canvas, photographic paper, and other material.

This type of art reproduction is becoming the new standard in the art industry, and is widely embraced for its quality by major museums, galleries, artists, publishers, and photographers.

Giclée prints have captured the imaginations of many artists and photographers because of its exceptional quality, longevity, and flexibility of printing-on-demand. The result is breathtaking.

A Giclée print is quite simply the closest replication of an original Artwork that is currently possible. Giclée (jee-clay) is a French word meaning “to spray or to squirt ink” originated in the 17th century. This method of printing was developed in 1989 as a digital method of fine art printing. Sometimes referred to as an “Iris Print” (after the original machine that produced the print).

It is the latest ground-breaking technological advancement of Fine Art Printing with a resolution higher than the traditional 4-color offset or lithography printing, and a wider colour range than a serigraph. All limited Edition Giclée prints are supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Friday, 14 March 2008

The social networking revolution is here and it's growing. Social networking sites such as YouTube, Google Video and loads of blog sites are the new medium for marketing. Web trafific is being driven to sites by clever viral videos. The process is optimised by companies such as Traffic Geyser, now you get faster results with your search engine optimisation, who automate the SEO by uploading your video to blog and video hosting sites. Here at http://spencerprint.blogspot.com I have a novel way of producing these videos. The products actually talk in my videos,enabling companies to really grab the attention of potential customers

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Award-winning Paper from Straw Technology

Award-winning Paper from Straw Technology

The BioRegional Development Group reports that a ‘new paper from straw ’technology won the Invention of the Year at the Observer Ethical AwardsCeremony this summer.

Eco entrepreneurs BioRegional MiniMill uses straw to make paper, which helps relieve pressure on world forests and also provides a revolutionary treatment to efficiently turn its waste into energy and chemicals for re-use in paper making.

Practical Application
The MiniMill particularly impressed the judges with the series of innovations that have been developed over the last ten years, leading to the construction of the working model. The panel, which comprised of celebrities and experts insustainability, recognised the revolutionary implications for paper making that the

MiniMill offers.
BioRegional MiniMills (UK) Ltd has also recently secured private funding and aDTI grant to complete the industrial scale demonstration mill. An open day will be held in early 2008, when it will be possible to see the technology in action.

Local & International Benefit
The technology can easily be installed as a ‘bolt-on’ facility at an existing paper mill, or as a complete small-scale mill near to the source of the material. This means that surplus straw around the world can be used to make quality printingand writing paper, reducing transport emissions and easing pressure on the world’s forests. The technology has been developed with an international market in mind, but is equally applicable in the UK, where four million tonnes of waste straw are produced annually. By encouraging local production, the MiniMill technology supports the development of local jobs and industries and helps to reduce carbon related transport emissions. A study by Surrey University shows that local pulp supply reduces transport emissions by up to 90% when compared to imported pulp.

Sue Riddlestone, Managing Director, said: “we are delighted that the MiniMill has been recognised by the Observer Ethical Awards. Wheat straw has been used to make paper in the UK within living memory. The clean technology provided by the MiniMill allows this excellent paper making material to be used again, without harming the environment”.

Links & Follow-up
For more information, please email BioRegional MiniMills Managing Director,

Sue Riddlestone, or telephone
+44(0)20 8404 4885.

Full credit for this article goes to Jennie Organ. The article appeared on an
excellent green directory, Grown Up Green.

The site is http://www.grownupgreen.org.uk

At my previous printer I received regular updates from the MiniMill as I was on
their subscribe list. I will try andkeep you posted as things develop.

If you want to see for yourself, the site is http://www.bioregional.com

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Hints on Paper Use


1. For smaller leaflets, eg A4 or less, or for short runs, increasing the weight of your paper can be an inexpensive way of improving the quality of your print. Going from 115gsm to 135gsm might add less than £30 to the cost of 10,000 1/3 A4 leaflets.

nb these are bulk purchase prices obtained from a printer who buys £15,000 of the same brand paper each month. Recommended retail prices are up to 4 times higher!


1000 SRA2 sheets of matt Art paper:
115gsm 1000 sheets £28
130gsm 1000 sheets £32
150gsm 1000 sheets £37
170gsm 1000 sheets £42
250gsm card 1000 sheets £64
400gsm card 1000 sheets £78

From 1 sheet of SRA2 paper you can print:

1 x A2 poster or
2 x A3 posters
4 x A4 leaflets
6 x 2/3 A4 leaflets
8 x A5 leaflets
12 x 1/3 A4 leaflets
16 x A6 cards
1 x 24 page 1/3 A4 stitched booklet
1 x 16 page A5 stitched programme

1. If you were printing 100,000 24 page 1/3 A4 booklets, 115gsm would be thick enough paper for the job because the fold and bulk of the 24 pages adds strength. However, the cost of increasing to 135gsm would be £38.50 - £30 = £8 (cost difference per 1000 sheets) X 100 = £800. You should talk to your printer about possible paper cost increases and take advice about saving money by ordering your paper in bulk.

2. Specifying a particular brand (e.g.'Conqueror') usually costs you more than any equivalent that the printer has in stock. Ordering small quantities of special papers is often not possible.

3. When you are next at your Printer, see if he/she has any special papers in stock you might have at a discount. There may even be occasional opportunities for you to print small leaflets or cards on the same plate as a larger job.

4. If printing a single sheet A5 or even 2/3 A4 leaflet folded to 1/3 A4, be wary of using paper lighter than 115gsm. 135gsm - 150gsm is best if the leaflet needs to stand up in leaflet racks. Conversely, a stapled ("stitched") 1/3 A4 brochure has enough strength through the folding to allow you to use 115gsm or even 100 gsm paper.

7. Recycled paper is improving in quality all the time and getting cheaper. Why not ask your printer about recycled paper? Better still, give me a call on 01432 870528 and I can send samples on request. For coated papers, 9Lives is a good choice, as is Revive, which is however more expensive.

Listed here with the most expensive and accurate at the top.

1. Traditionally, special one-off 'Machine-proofs' or 'Wet proofs' are provided from the final plates. These will look identical to the final printed job, but are expensive (approx £30 - £40 per colour) and author's corrections are charged extra - So this will mean making new plates.

2. A common compromise for four colour process work is 'cromalin' or 'matchprint' proofs. These are produced from the final films, so they are a guarantee that the content is accurate. They are also a very accurate guide for the weight of type and quite a good guide for strength of tint and colours, though the glossy finish will make colours look brighter than the final result (unless you are printing on card and adding a gloss varnish). Blacks appear very dense, and it can be a shock to see your finished print with dark grey where the black should be - designers should where possible put a tint of cyan behind the black to avoid this. Ask your printer what other inconsistencies you should be looking out for.

3. Dye Sub/Inkjet proofs - eg Scitex Iris Inkjet, Rainbow or Epson give a good idea of final colours, though some are not accurate on small type. Because these proofs can be produced direct from computer generated A/W without outputting films, it is much cheaper to make corrections than with cromalin proofs. They do not, however, guarantee that all your copy will be there on your final printed brochure, and the colour accuracy is dependent on the way the printer's computer has been set up. Dye Sub,laser and inkjet proofs have the added advantage that they are on thin enough paper to be folded to give a realistic dummy of the final brochure.

4. Colour laser proofs can also give some idea of the finished result, but again do not guarantee accuracy of colour or copy. Type can appear bolder than the finished print.

5. PDFproofs using Adobe Acrobat software are becoming the most common way of designer's showing colour visuals before hard copies are outputted. The PDF files can be emailed and read on any computer, using Adobe's free Acrobat Reader Software. The software is also included on the free CDs in monthly computer magazines. No guarantee of colour or copy.

6. If you've seen a proof other than a Cromalin or Matchprint and can't afford a wet proof, you may be concerned about last minute mistakes cropping up. You have a few options:
(a) Ask the printer to email you a corrected pdf file so that you can check that the corrections have been done; or
(b) Ask for mono laser proofs. For absolute guarantee that the changes have been done, ask for
(c) An 'ozalid'- a large blueprint from each film. or
(d) See the filmwork or plates before they are on machine. or (e) See the job 'on machine' (ie while it is being printed). But at this stage you can only change the ink colours unless you get new plates made. This is very much a last resort option.

Sending PDFS for Commercial Printing

Correct preparation of PDF files

When creating a PDF in Acrobat Distiller, there are job options which must be set for commercial printing. These include default resolution, compression settings and font embedding.

Please ensure you choose high resolution. Compression settings for colour and greyscale should be downsampled to 300dpi with "auto compression" set on high. Bitmapped (monochrome: i.e. line art) images should be set at 600dpi. Font embedding should be set to "embed all fonts."


Make sure there is 3mm bleed all round the PDF, i.e. save the PDF with 6mm added to each measurement (i.e. for A4 usually 210mm x 297mm, save as 216mm x 303mm). Crop marks may be included. If it is not saved in this format, we will not be able to use it as artwork and if there are any changes to the job, you may have to amend and re-supply the artwork.

Artwork must be suppplied as CMYK for commercial printing, NOT RGB!

Please ensure that all embedded images are CMYK files please. RGB images may look good on your screen but final output to print is always in CMYK. One should be aware that files converted from RGB to CMYK may alter the colour composition significantly.

Microsoft Office & Publisher files

If you are creating a PDF from a MS Publisher or Word file, care must be taken to ensure spot colours are created correctly in your original documents. Do not set to RGB colours.

Supplying EPS files

Any other file formats not listed above must be saved as an eps or jpeg. If there are any changes to the job, you may have to amend and re-submit the artwork as we will be unable to change it. Ensure file has bleed and crop marks and please confirm the final size of the artwork and supply a hard copy for reference.

Bleed and crop marks

All artwork must have 3mm bleed if you require the image to bleed off the edge of the paper.

Crop marks should be included if artwork does not fill a whole page area (i.e. no bleed). They should be 5mm long, 3mm outside of the page area and coloured in the colour 'registration' to ensure they appear on each colour separation.

Please ensure that artwork is supplied at the correct finished size required. If this is not possible, please inform the printer to allow time for amending the artwork.

Artwork amendments or re-submission

Please remember that most printers charge for any amendments needed.


In General, please do not supply imposed pages or "printers pairs" because most printers workflow includes imposition software to impose correctly for their printing processes.


If you are supplying a document with multiple pages, please try and make the front and back cover of the document a separate file, and supply as single pages in page order. Also, please remember to allow for "creep" I suggest you keep all text and copy at least 5mm away from the trimmed edge.


Include all fonts you have used in the file. Whilst printers have extensive font collections, there is no guarantee the version you have used matches theirs. This can create problems with line lengths and spacing of the type.

Lineart and images

Scanned colour and greyscale images should be 300dpi at the final size in the document submitted for output.

Images should be submitted as TIFF's, JPEG's or EPS.

Lineart (bitmapped) should be 600-1200dpi at the final size in the document submitted for output.


Screen tints may range from 99% down to 1%.

From a practical viewpoint, anything above 90% or less than 5% will generally not be visible to the naked eye.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Environmental Friendly Laminating

Many of you might not be aware of the fact that there is now a
"Environmentally Friendly" form of lamination available. This
is called "Celllogreen"

This is an environmentally friendly alternative to the normally used
OPP laminate.

With refined wood pulp at the heart of this film, the environmental
issues are checked at every stage. The timber used is harvested from
SFI-managed forests (SFI is the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, and
is the North American equivalent to FSC), where full considerationis
given to wildlife, the eco system and the landscape in which the trees
are grown.

In comparison OPP, with its source rooted in petroleum, has taken 35
million years andsignificant processing and distillation before it can be
laminated once, discarded and ploughed into the subsoil as landfill forever.

Please give me a call on 01432 870528 if you would like more info on this, or maybe some samples sent.

Friday, 22 February 2008

Envionmental Printing - Useful Things to Know

Alcohol-free or low-alcohol printing

Lithographic printing that uses reduced amounts or no isopropyl alcohol (IPA), thereby reducing VOC emissions.

Dampening (or fountain) solution

This is used to keep the non-image areas of the plate moist, preventing them from accepting ink. Dampening solution usually contains high levels of a solvent called isopropyl alcohol (IPA) which contributes to VOC emissions. Some are available with a low IPA content or are IPA free.

Waterless printing eliminates the need for dampening solution altogether.

Heavy metals

Heavy metals are natural components of the Earth's crust. They cannot be degraded or destroyed. Tiny amounts are essential for human health, but at higher concentrations they can lead to poisoning.

Heavy metals may enter the body in food, water, air, or by absorption through the skin.

Heavy metals such as barium, copper and zinc are contained in certain ink pigments, particularly metallics. Studies have linked the use of heavy metals in some inks to an increased risk of printers developing bladder cancer.

IPA (Isopropyl alcohol)

Isopropyl alcohol is commonly used as a cleaner and solvent in industry. Lithographic printers combine it with water to create ‘dampening solution’ which repels the ink in non-image areas.

IPA contributes to ground level ozone which can effect plant and crop growth and poses a potential health hazard to printers as it can lead to, amongst other things, asthma.

Mineral oil based inks (also known as petroleum based inks)

These are the most commonly used inks not least because of their quick drying time. The pigment is suspended in petroleum with Isopropyl alcohol as the solvent (see above). As the ink dries, alcohol and petroleum evaporate, releasing VOCs.

Added to this – petroleum is a non-renewable resource.


A solvent is a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances. Solvents used in the lithographic print process include:

  • mineral oil which is used to reduce the viscosity of ink
  • Isopropyl alcohol (also referred to as IPA, see definition above) which is toxic to aquatic life
  • Toluene which is used in cleaning solutions and contributes to the formation of ozone
  • Methyl Ethyl Ketone which is used as a solvent for lacquers, adhesives and inks and is also toxic to aquatic life

Vegetable based ink

Vegetable based inks can be made from a variety of vegetable oils including soy-bean, corn, and linseed oils. Replacing mineral oil with vegetable oil means that you can reduce or even cut out VOC emissions.

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

These are carbon-containing gases and vapors that are released from solvents used during the printing process.

The most significant environmental impact of VOCs is their formation with vehicle exhaust to form photochemical smog. However, in liquid form VOCs can effect water and soil quality.

They also have an effect on the health of pressroom workers and have been linked to breathing difficulties, liver and kidney damage.

Waterless printing

Waterless printing is basically sheet-fed litho printing using different printing plates and a method of transferring the image to the paper without using water.

Removing water from the process means that you also eliminate the problem of achieving the correct balance of ink and water on press. It also eliminates the need for IPA (see above).




This stands for the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, an initiative designed to improve companies’ environmental performance. EMAS sets the highest environmental standards of all the environmental management schemes (EMS). Its aim is to recognise those organisations that go beyond minimum legal compliance. In addition, it is a requirement of the scheme that participating organisations regularly produce a public environmental statement that reports on their environmental performance. It is this voluntary publication of environmental information, whose accuracy and reliability is independently checked by an environmental verifier, that gives participants in the EMAS scheme enhanced credibility.

IS0 14001

This is an internationally recognised scheme. It provides a framework for environmental awareness, monitoring and continual improvement. The three key areas to be managed are:

  • Compliance with environmental regulation
  • Prevention of pollution
  • Improvement in environmental performance
  • The emphasis on continual improvement means that standards may vary as the longer a printer has been in the ISO14001 scheme, the more progress they will have made.

Green Dragon

This scheme is for Welsh companies that wish to improve their environmental performance but don’t have the resources for ISO14001. There are five levels, each one contributing towards the achievement of international and European environmental standards, ISO 14001 and EMAS. Green Dragon Level 5 is in fact a slightly higher standard than ISO14001, partly because it takes carbon emissions into account.


This was developed by the London Environment Centre (LEC), part of London Metropolitan University and is more appropriate for smaller companies who lack the resources for IS0 14001. All participants enter the scheme at Level One where you must demonstrate that you are taking responsibility for your environmental impacts. Further levels involve recommendations being made and targets being set and met for reducing environmental impact.

FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Chain of Custody

If a printer holds the FSC Chain of Custody and the paper being used in a project is FSC certified or FSC recycled (100 per cent recycled post-consumer waste), the end product can be labelled as FSC certified. This certificate is about the fibre tracking process only and ensures that there is no contamination between FSC and non-FSC material.


The following three terms, ECF, PCF and TCF, are commonly used, but since no papers are made in Europe using chlorine bleaching, all European papers are either ECF, PCF or TCF. So when choosing a paper, bear in mind that these terms cannot be used as a differentiator.

Elemental chlorine free (ECF)

This term is used to mean paper that is made from virgin or recycled fibre and bleached using alternative chlorine compounds as a substitute for elemental chlorine. See note above.

Processed chlorine free (ECF)

This is used to mean paper that is made from recycled post-consumer waste (PCW) and bleached without chlorine, or left unbleached. See note above.

Totally chlorine free (TCF)

This term is used to mean paper made from 100% virgin fibre that is bleached without chlorine, or left unbleached. It isn’t applied to recycled papers, because the source fibre cannot be determined. See note above.

Post-consumer waste

This is when the end product has reached the consumer, been used and then recycled.

Pre-consumer waste

Also known as post-industrial waste, this describes printers’ waste such as off-cuts and unused copies which may have been over-ordered.


The Programme for the Endorsement of Forestry Certification Schemes is an international forest industry initiative that acts as an umbrella for many smaller national forestry schemes.


The Forest Stewardship Council is an international, non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting responsible management of the world’s forests and is the only certification scheme endorsed by NGOs worldwide.

The number of FSC-certified forests is growing rapidly, covering 84 million hectares worldwide – about 10% of the world’s production forest.

Forests are inspected and certified against the 10 Principles of Forest Stewardship, which take into account environmental, social and economic factors.

In addition to forest management and certification, the FSC Chain of Custody tracks the timber from the forest to the paper mill and then to the printer.

If a printer is FSC certified, then the end product can carry the FSC label ensuring that there has been no contamination between FSC and non-FSC material. However, the Chain of Custody is broken if the manufacturing mill or printer is not FSC certified.

There are three types of FSC Certified paper:

FSC Mixed Sources

The Mixed Sources label states that at least 50 per cent of the virgin fibre must come from FSC certified forests with the remaining percentage from 'controlled sources'. Recycled waste can also be included up to a maximum of 90%. The majority of FSC certified materials featured on Lovely as a Tree carry this label.

Controlled sources exclude:

  • illegally harvested timber
  • forests where high conservation values are threatened
  • genetically modified organisms
  • violation of peoples’ civil and traditional rights
  • wood from forests harvested for the purpose of converting the land to plantations or other non-forest use

100% FSC

No explanation needed!

FSC Recycled

These papers are made from 100% post-consumer waste by FSC accredited mills.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Paper Sizes

As promised, here are some useful paper sizes. The first table is the actual finished size, the second table is the actual size of the sheet when it goes on the press.

ISO A Series
ISO B Series
4A1682 x 237866 1/4 x 93 5/8
4B2000 x 282878 3/4 x 111 5/16
2A1189 x 168246 13/16 x 66 1/4
2B1414 x 200055 11/16 x 78 3/4
A0841 x 118933 1/8 x 46 13/16
B01000 x 141439 3/8 x 55 11/16
A1 594 x 84123 3/8 x 33 1/8
B1707 x 100027 13/16 x 39 3/8
A2420 x 59416 1/2 x 23 3/8
B2500 x 70719 11/16 x 27 13/16
A3297 x 42011 11/16 x 16 1/2
B3353 x 50013 7/8 x 19 11/16
A4210 x 2978 1/4 x 11 11/16
B4250 x 3539 13/16 x 13 7/8
A5148 x 2105 13/16 x 8 1/4
B5*176 x 2506 15/16 x 9 13/16
A6105 x 1484 1/8 x 5 13/16
B6125 x 1764 15/16 x 6 15/16
A774 x 1052 15/16 x 4 1/8
B788 x 1253 7/16 x 4 15/16
A852 x 742 1/16 x 2 15/16
B862 x 882 7/16 x 3 7/16
A937 x 521 7/16 x 2 1/16
B944 x 621 3/4 x 2 7/16
A1026 x 371 x 1 7/16
B1031 x 441 1/4 x 1 3/4

ISO Press-Sheet Sizes
Width precedes height; Metric measurements are exact;
Inch measurements are approximate (calculated at
25.4 mm = 1 inch and rounded off).

RA Sizes, for work without bleeds,
allow 3 mm (1/8") head, foot,
and fore-edge trim margins

SRA Sizes, for work with bleeds,
allow 3 mm (1/8") head and foot and
6 mm (1/4") fore-edge trim margins
RA0860 x 122033 7/8 x 48
SRA0900 x 128035 7/16 x 50 3/8
RA1610 x 86024 x 33 7/8
SRA1640 x 90025 3/16 x 35 7/16
RA2430 x 61016 15/16 x 24
SRA2450 x 64017 11/16 x 25 3/16
RA3305 x 43012 x 16 15/16
SRA3320 x 45012 5/8 x 17 11/16
RA4215 x 3058 7/16 x 12
SRA4225 x 3208 7/8 x 12 5/8