Unfair Business Rates Rise

Many businesses around the UK are facing a rates rise that is seen as completely unfair. It will decimate high streets around the country and stifle job creation. A campaign is building to defend businesses affected. Locally in the Hackney area not only are businesses facing a rates rise they are facing severe rent rises in some cases far exceeding 100% ourselves included. Some of the rent rises are instigated by part government owned bodies. Many businesses are leaving the Hackney area due to these excessive demands. Two well-known, established and respected print groups have gone into administration citing rent per square foot and a a tail off in business as major factors. In a nutshell it was not worth fighting on and taking the risk of the increased overheads. Outside of London in areas such as Southwold, Suffolk high street shops that have been there for generations could close due to the excessive increase in overheads.

This morning we attended a meeting organised by Hackney Council, The Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and the East End Trades Guild @eastendtrade to start a campaign to reverse the decision or at least soften it and re-evaluate it. Shoreditch and Dalston have become vibrant business communities due to the efforts of many small businesses over the last few years and now through the short sighted attitude of some landlords and government bodies the things that made these areas successful and regenerated them will be ruined. We hope this decision will be reversed please copy and paste this link to sign the petition https://t.co/8SSkvN96Pp

 

Brochure printing

We have recently produced a number of high quality brochures for various clients. Each client operates in a different sector and therefore often have different requirements for their brochures. One client particularly wanted to use environmentally friendly paper in an uncoated stock. Another wanted a coated finish with the addition of matt lamination and a third wanted to use a process that further enhanced the look and feel of matt lamination so we recommended Spot UV varnish over the top of the lamination.

If you are thinking of producing a brochure call us to discuss options we have plenty of samples on file for you to look at.

Environmentally friendly print

In summer of 2014 we joined a carbon capture scheme in association with one of our paper merchants and The Woodland Trust. We have just been notified that we have created 517.11m2 of new native woodland in the UK and removed 20,685kg of Carbon Dioxide. We did not manage this time to visit the woodland site to help plant the trees but we hope to in the future. Kopykat strives to be a printer who respects the environment we achieved Green Mark Accreditation in 2008 and currently hold FSC Chain of Custody. We can show the FSC logo on items of print on behalf of a client to show their environmental commitment. FSC chain of Custody shows the journey of the paper from a well managed forest to the end user. It was initially developed for the furniture industry to try and stop illegal logging.

Print trends

When talking to other members of the print community there appears to be a swing back towards print for marketing material over email type marketing. Print volumes may not return to the level of a few years ago although occasional volume jobs are still in demand from time to time. Print is now being spoken of as a luxury item albeit in smaller quantities using textured papers, gold foils and embossing and finishes such as soft touch lamination. The printed result stays in the mind of the target market much more than an email which can easily be deleted at the press of a button.

At a recent seminar held by Two sides and Print Power research from Kantar Media showed that contrary to popular belief media readership had increased by 6%. The research also stated that readers have a greater trust in printed media over digital and that people spent 90% more time reading printed newspapers than online. So take a break grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a good read of a beautifully printed magazine!

Happy New Year

We resumed production after the Christmas and New Year break on January 5th so may we take this opportunity to wish all our clients a healthy and prosperous 2015. How the years fly! remember the year 2000 and we all feared the millennium bug! Going forward we will keep you up to date with any new developments at Kopykat and of course do contact us for all your print related marketing requirements particularly for posters, postcards, brochures and leaflets not forgetting of course we do still produce a large amount of letterheads and business cards for clients.

Bambi appears on the Kopykat wall

A piece of street art by the artist Bambi has mysteriously appeared on Kopykat's outside wall. It is certainly stopping passers by in their tracks as they admire the work of art and hopefully it gets Kopykat noticed as well! Nowadays a lot of people visit Shoreditch for the art, a Banksy is across the road from Bambi's work, so there is plenty to see in the area and guided tours are a daily occurence. Bambi first came to prominence with a striking image of Amy Winehouse on a Camden Town doorway. A listers are now queuing to buy her work with Rihanna, Robbie Williams, Brad Pitt and Angelina having commissioned pieces by her. Bambi wants to stay hidden and keep her identity a secret. Good luck we say to her and keep up the good work!

VAT and print

Many clients find it confusing regarding the VAT rules with regard some printed items and it certainly can be complicated. So let me try and explain.

Most printing is classified by HMRC as standard rated in effect you must pay VAT on the printed item. So stationery items such as letterheads, compliment slips and business cards carry VAT along with invitations, posters, pocket folders, tickets, greetings cards and postcards.

You will be pleased to know that there are exceptions to the rule. Nearly all booklets, brochures and leaflets are zero rated so you do not pay vat this can be particularly helpful to organisations or individuals who cannot reclaim VAT. If your leaflet contains a 10% off with this leaflet type offer or free entry to an event then it should carry VAT as it can be thought of as a ticket. Leaflets that do not carry VAT should be meant to be read a few times and thrown away. Instruction leaflets are zero rated as it generally accompanies some other service or product.

Finally just to confuse us all even further a leaflet that is encapsulated or laminated is standard rated as the HMRC deems that it is intended to be kept by the recipient. Another pointer from the HMRC is that if thick card is used they believe it has been designed to be retained so again could carry VAT. 

Some printers add VAT to everything then they cannot go wrong but we try to apply it on a job by job basis if you are unsure we will always try to guide you when you are ready to place an order.

Colour posters

We are finding that more and more companies and individuals are making enquiries about posters. Posters are now being ordered for weddings, birthday celebrations as one offs because it is surprisingly inexpensive.

Generally the most popular sizes are A2 and A1. Most posters for smaller quantities are printed digitally as it is cost effective and has a speedy turnaround time. We can for example often have a client walk through the door who needs a poster almost immediately, it is entirely possible to print within a couple of hours as we have three large format machines available for this type of request.

We have recently installed a mounting machine to enable us to offer a quick turnaround for exhibition type boards. So your poster will be printed on 190gsm silk paper then applied to a 5mm thick board ready for display.

What happens though if your poster request runs into larger multiples? at Kopykat we also have offset print machines so if for instance you need 50 or 100 A2 posters we might suggest offset printing as it is often more cost effective to produce the posters this way than on a slower large format machine. This only works if it is a common content throughout. 

So if you are a best man preparing a speech at your mate's wedding why not accompany it with an embarrassing childhood picture of the groom! All you need to do is supply a print ready PDF.

New York, New York

We received an order earlier in the week from a technology company based in New York. This involved an 8pp brochure, A4 product sheets and business cards. They sent the artwork over and we processed the order which all went very smoothly. They are due to fly in and stay in the Shoreditch area and exhibit at Excel where we will deliver to on Sunday. Almost immediately after we took the order we received another enquiry from New York. It just shows the power of Google and how the print world has changed with orders arriving from all sorts of different locations. Maybe we should open Kopykat NYC!

Fighter jet uses 3D printed parts

A Tornado jet has used 3D printed parts using components made on the spot. BAE says this will potentially help slash maintenance costs. The components were successfully used on a Tornado that flew from the defence firms Warton, Lancashire airfield. BAE said they are using 3D technology to design and produce parts that could cut the Royal Air Force's service bill by over £1.2m over the next 4 years

St Bernard Pass — The Italian Job

Had the pleasure of driving to Italy this year and instead of taking our normal route through the St Bernard tunnel we decided to go over the top of the mountain. This only takes about 20 minutes longer but the views are amazing and when you reach the top you can stop and visit where the St Bernard mountain rescue dogs are kept. This is on the border of Italy and Switzerland you can also visit a small museum and take great photos of the lake and mountains at the top. I normally find this is the best tunnel into Italy as it is less congested and hardly ever any traffic jams which can often occur at the Frejus and Mont Blanc tunnels. So if you get the chance definitely pay a visit you can watch the road snaking up ahead of you as you drive. Some of the scenes for the original Italian Job were filmed here. Anyway the holidays finished so back to the world of print!