Latest Posts

I’m dreaming of a green Christmas

Posted On December 4, 2020 By

Supermarket giants vow to ban glitter

Asda, Tesco & Sainsbury’s are just a few of the biggest retailers who have recently made the decision to remove all glitter from their Christmas ranges, helping to prevent the long-term effects on the environment.

Glitter is popular for celebrations all year round, but Christmas is when it really has its time to shine, with decorations, cards and baubles all coming to life, all covered in glitter.

The problem with plastic

The problem with this however, is the long-term effects that single-use plastics have on our ecosystem. Over 11 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in our oceans each year, which then break down slowly over time, making it easily ingestible for wildlife, leaving them with harmful and sometimes even fatal consequences.

Glitter is made from thousands of tiny pieces of plastic which take thousands of years to degrade. Once the plastic has been disposed of, it often ends up in landfill, but can sometimes end up dispersed across land, rivers and in our oceans. This has a negative impact on both the environment and the wildlife within it.  Just one small piece of plastic can have a huge effect, as once it has found its way into the atmosphere, it can then harm wildlife and in some cases, even reach our food chain.

Supermarkets go sustainable

Asda have announced their first sustainable Christmas range, with Tesco only using edible glitter and Sainsbury’s also removing glitter from their shelves.

Morisons, Waitrose & John Lewis are also no longer using glitter in their own-brand Christmas products, preventing the use of single-use products wherever possible. Morrison’s are further showing their commitment to long-term sustainability, cutting over 50 tonnes of plastic from their shelves, through changes to packaging of cards and decorations, ensuring they are widely recyclable.

Their own-brand cards, crackers, wrapping paper, present bags, flowers, plants and wreaths will all be 100% glitter-free, as they do what they can to ensure that our environment is in a better position for years to come. The company is also extending their sustainable approach to non-seasonal lines, using soluble inks, foil and paper reliefs on their FSC-certified celebratory cards, wrap and gift bags.

Director of Morrisons home, Christine Bryce, stated “We’ve taken glitter and plastic out of our festive range this year so that our customers can enjoy their festivities without worrying about the environmental impact.”

The toys in their crackers will also be made from metal, paper or wood, rather than plastic, as these materials are easier to recycle and have a lesser impact on the environment. “Every time a cracker is pulled, or a card is opened, plastics have been used…but just the once” states Bryce, which when disposed of, can harm our natural world, something which many brands are now trying to prevent wherever possible.

The eco-friendly alternative

If you are conscious of your carbon footprint and looking for an eco-friendlier solution this Christmas, we offer bespoke, personalised printing which will be creative and kind to the environment.

Alternatively, if you are looking for corporate calendars, diaries, cards or have any other printing needs, we are always happy to chat, finding a solution to suit you. Give us a call on 01924 473481 or email us at…

Our recent work with Fenwick and Sons

Posted On November 25, 2020 By

We are incredibly lucky to have recently worked with the well-known company, Fenwick & Sons. Fenwick were in need of some new packaging for their Traditional Range, which needed to be able to comfortably hold four bottles, each bottle needing a viewing window to display the company branding. The packaging needed to be easy to carry and hold the bottles in place once opened, keeping a good level of presentation, making it a perfect gift for friends or family. 

Showing off the name and brand within this packaging was particularly important as the company have a prominent influence in the industry, having been established since 1885. The company has a rich history, having begun when Mr. Thomas Fenwick began making soft drinks at a small plant on Roker Avenue, in Sunderland. Mr. Thomas was supplying to local shops and pubs during this time, using a similar sales model to Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola in the USA.

Most drinks sold at the time were well-known family favourites, such as lemonades, Ginger Ale & Soda Water. The North East in particular also had a penchant for Sarsaparilla and Dandelion & Burdock, which Fenwick saw as an opportunity, making their own products which became incredibly popular.

Back in the 1880’s there were no automatic filling machines, but as time and technology progressed, by 1900 the ‘Codd’ bottle was introduced, which used a marble in the bottle neck, leading the bottle pressure to force a seal. As the business was doing well, Fenwick’s moved to an old bakery premises within the grounds of the family home, an old Victorian ‘Villa’ in 1910. This later became the inspiration for the company trading name Villa Drinks.

Fast forward to the 1960s, and the now branded Villa Drinks began marketing their brands in the North East, often using TV advertising to increase awareness. The following two decades saw the company expand rapidly, requiring many factory extensions. Affectionately known as ‘Villa Pop’, the Fenwick’s’ family drinks were becoming a household name.

In 1982, Villa drinks was now that large it was relocated to a new purpose built 3.5-acre site in Southwick, Sunderland and started production in 1984. Later in 1990, the company marked another milestone, sinking its first borehole on the site so that spring water could be sourced locally.

During the 1990s and into the 2000s, the Fenwick brand name continued into new formats including large PET and glass. The glass format became one of the early drivers of craft soda in the UK. Since 2013, The Fenwick’s and Villa drinks brands have been owned & distributed by Drink Natural Ltd. The ranges are still made to a classic Fenwick’s recipe with no artificial preservatives, colours or sweeteners. Each drink has a beautiful balance of flavours, rich with history and authenticity. In 2020, the James Fenwick’s Mixers range was launched and is the latest addition to drinks range.…

Magazine Print Leads to a Great Testimonial for AB Print

Posted On November 25, 2020 By

At AB Print, we’ve been involved in numerous unique and interesting projects over the years, but our recent work with Five Leaves Bookshop saw us reproducing an old magazine. AB Print were able to help replicate the format of the original 1920s Time and Tide magazine and used our print expertise to suggest the perfect finish, giving the paper an aged look for an overall authentic print.


Five Leaves were thrilled with the finished product and left us some great feedback on our work:

“Thank you so much for your work on this project for Five Leaves. It was really important to all the collaborators on the project to get the printed magazine just right, and your help in achieving that went above and beyond. “Aging” the paper was a stroke of genius, and so far everyone who’s seen it has commented on that in particular, among many other comments about how fantastic the magazine looks. And sending us a printed sample before we’d even placed the order with you went a long way to help us make many decisions about the final spec.”

magazine print

Time and Tide was a feminist weekly review publication founded in May 1920. The team at AB Print were delighted to support this project to print a souvenir edition of the publication to mark the centenary of its first issue.

Find out more about this edition of Time and Tide here

For more information about the work AB Print do and how we can support your next print project, get in touch with us here or call 01924 473481 for a chat.…

How to Strengthen your Brand Message During COVID-19

Posted On November 20, 2020 By

We’re all facing uncertainties with the UK now in a second lockdown. For businesses, this can be particularly challenging trying to keep your message out there but also understanding that priorities have changed for many people.

Customer communication

Getting your brand story and marketing message to the right audience is important for any growing business but it’s also a good idea to think about what your customers need right now. Ramping up social media efforts and taking your business online are some ways you can use digital communication effectively but you could also go the extra mile to show how you’re supporting customers. That could mean putting in the extra effort to check in with customers and strengthen those relationships through digital channels or by sending out a good old-fashioned branded letter to keep them informed of the latest company news.

Marketing strategy

Chances are, you’ve already had to swap a few things around or cancel marketing plans altogether this year. If you’re looking at reorganizing your marketing materials or content, the best thing to do is consider what’s appropriate to the current situation, including the language and imagery you use. If you planned to use images of people hugging or shaking hands in your brochure, for example, you might need to rethink that for the time being.

Put your customers first

If you have a customer-facing business that has been forced to close, it may seem like your marketing efforts are pointless. Sure, you can’t use creative POS on in-store promotions to keep your customer base at the moment but you can make sure your brand is still visible. If that means putting out messages of support, keeping customers in the loop about company business or even just something to make people smile, you can be sure your brand will stay strong and your customers will remember that.

The team at AB Print are here to support customers through the difficult times ahead with help to adapt your brand message and communication. Take a look at our COVID-19 products for more information or get in touch with us here.…

COVID-19 and How to Stay Safe in the Workplace

Posted On November 13, 2020 By

With the UK in a second lockdown, non-essential retailers and services have been closed again with the government advice remaining work from home is possible. So, what about those of us who can’t? If it’s not feasible for you to do your job from home, it’s understandable that you might still be concerned about how to stay safe in the workplace.

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Cleaning and hygiene

If you’re an employer, it’s important to take reasonable steps to protect your employees. You can do this by ensuring there are adequate handwashing facilities with running water, soap and paper towels or hand dryers as well as hand sanitiser available. For employees, make sure you’re aware of the provisions and follow handwashing guidance and do your bit to help out when it comes to keeping your workspace clean and cleaning objects and equipment after you have finished using them.

Anti-bacterial touch guards

Displaying safety information, using protective screens and directional arrows are all great ways to navigate a COVID secure workplace but have you thought about anti-bacterial touch guards? Self-adhesive touch guards can be used on door handles or door push plates to minimise the risk in areas where multiple people need to touch the same objects. The anti-bacterial barrier helps to protect against infection and is also available in sheet form.

Look after your wellbeing

It’s normal to feel more stressed or overwhelmed in these times, even if your usual job responsibilities haven’t changed. Remember that everyone else is likely experiencing similar feelings to you so try to take time to check in with colleagues or staff to see how they’re doing as well as allowing time for yourself.

The coronavirus pandemic has changed life for all of us as we enter this second lockdown and that means facing new challenges and adapting to new situations to look after yourself and others. At AB Print, we want to do everything we can to help keep you and your workforce safe. Find more information about our COVID-19 printed products here or get in touch if you need help.…

The Dos and Don’ts of Business Cards

Posted On November 6, 2020 By

Most people that are in a client-facing role of some capacity will have their own business card, as will anyone who is self-employed or running their own business. Business cards are an important tool in your marketing toolkit, as they often provide the first printed introduction to your business.

When networking and meeting prospects or clients, business cards are one of the essentials, so it’s likely you will be giving a good few away per week. It is for these reasons that getting your business card right is so important. Advances in both technology and marketing have been huge over the past few years, meaning that there are now endless possibilities for your business cards to help them stand out from the rest.

One of the most recent trends for business cards is to add an image of yourself to the card. This approach appears to be like marmite for most people, either loving or absolutely hating the idea. So, the question is, should you put your headshot on your business card?

Should I put my headshot photo on my business card?

There are a few factors that should be considered when deciding whether or not to add your photo to your business card. We thought we’d outline a few of them to help you make the decision before you go ahead and add it straight in there.

  1. Consider the sector

Whether or not you should add your photo to a business card can often be determined by the business sector you fall into. If you are self-employed or the face of the company, it would make more sense to have your face on the card. Equally, if you are a photographer, actor or public speaker, it would be appropriate to add your headshot to your business card. It’s true that people do business with those they like, know and trust, so personalisation can sometimes be an effective way of selling yourself.

  1. How often are you wanting to renew your business card order?

This is something that should definitely be factored into your decision-making process. If you are self-employed and just starting out, it is likely that you will only have a small marketing budget, and therefore will be looking to make your money go as far as it can. If you add a photo, the card will become dated more quickly, and therefore need replacing sooner than it would have done otherwise, providing your details don’t change. If your headshot is on your business card and you decide to have a drastic haircut, change in glasses or choose to lose the beard, make sure your photo still looks like you!

  1. Who’s going to be printing your business cards?

If you choose to spend money on getting yourself professional headshots, you want to be sure that they come out looking just as professional on your business card. Make sure that the image is of high quality, both in image uploaded and quality of printing supplier used.

If you do decide that a business card with an image of yourself is the way to go, we’d recommend you follow these six golden rules to ensure that your personalised card stands out from the rest of the pack.

  1. Use a professional photographer

When it comes to headshots, it’s best not to skimp on the costs. Many photographers do great deals on headshots for self-employed people, so it’s worth researching a high-quality photographer with tonnes of experience.

  1. Dress authentically

Make sure that whatever you wear in your picture reflects how people would come across you in real life. If you never turn up to meetings in a full suit, don’t wear one on your photograph or you won’t seem genuine.

  1. Face towards the information

Where possible, make sure that your headshot is positioned so that your head is facing toward the text. This will help draw the eye of the reader to where you want them.

  1. 1/3 in size

If you’re committing to have a photo of yourself on your business card, make sure it’s properly visible. The image is an added feature of the card, so make sure it’s a clear image that takes up at least a third of the space.

  1. Match this photo with your Linkedin profile photo

Regardless of whether your marketing is printed or digital, it should always be consistent. If you’ve spent the money to have a professional headshot and you’re using it on your business card, show continuity and have the same image as your profile picture on LinkedIn. That way, when people come to add you, there’ll be no doubt as to whether or not they have the right person.

  1. Contact details

What with all this extra information to take in, make sure you don’t forget to include your most crucial details. Make sure that the text is clear and that your contact details also stand out on the card.

If you need help with your business cards or other print requirements, get in touch with the AB Print team on 01924 473481.…

3 Reasons Why Branding is Important for Small Business

Posted On August 30, 2020 By

When you think of a brand, it’s easy to think of the big players like Amazon and Apple and forget the small businesses can have just as much impact with good branding too. We’ve put together this post on three ways branding is important for small business to get you thinking.

Branding builds trust

A solid brand is not just a fancy logo, it’s your reputation and how your customers see you. Using consistent branding across everything you put out from your Facebook profile picture to your printed business cards helps to establish brand recognition and trust.

Branding separates you from the competition

It’s not enough to mimic what your competitors are doing. If you want to stay ahead of the game, you can use your brand to effectively communicate what it is you do better than everyone else and why customers should choose you.

Branding motivates employees

Are you a company who hires employees or are you a strong brand dedicated to finding a team who are inspired to bring your values into everything they do? If you’re proud of your brand, then your employees will be too and that will help motivate them and boost morale in the workplace.

If you have a small business and you’re not sure how to use your brand effectively, get in touch with the team at AB Print. From printed stationery, business cards and brochures to branded promotional items, we can help businesses of all sizes make an impact with branding. Give us a call for more information.…

Professional printing vs home & office printing: 4 things a professional print can do for you

Posted On August 20, 2020 By

Deciding where to spend your marketing budget, particularly through tough times, is no easy job. If you work on a lot of print marketing projects, you might be trying to cut the cost and opt for home or office print methods instead. But here’s what a professional print can do for you…

Specialist print products

If your print requirements extend beyond a few posters and leaflets, getting that high quality print at home becomes more challenging. What if you need banners or exhibition signage printing? And, unless you’ve got a die cutter knocking about in your office, you’re probably not going to get custom-shaped products without a professional printer.

Finishing options

Sometimes your print project just needs that extra touch that finishing options can offer you. Depending on your project, you might want to grab your customers’ attention with finishing extras like foil blocking, embossing or spot UV varnish that a printing service has the tools and expertise to produce for you.

Large print runs

If you need a one-off document producing, it might not make sense to get a professional printer involved. Minimum print quantities or setup costs often mean this isn’t the best option. But if you’re after a higher volume of printed materials, investing in a professional print ensures you get the best quality and a consistent finish. 

Help & advice

It’s also important to think about the level of support you’ll receive with a printer. When you choose someone like AB Print, you’re not just getting the finished product, you’ll also benefit from our expertise and experience. Our specialist team can help you with everything from getting your artwork ready to deciding on the best print method for the job. Plus, we’ll be on hand to spot any potential issues and resolve them quickly so you don’t end up wasting resources on failed print runs and you’ll save time and money overall.

Whether you need a professional print service really depends on what it is you’re printing and what you’re hoping to achieve from it but we’re always happy to help our customers through this difficult time and provide the expert advice you need. Get in touch with the team at AB Print Group to discuss your requirements or contact us for a quote.…

Printed Hoarding Signage For New Housing Development

Posted On August 11, 2020 By

AB Print recently supplied printed hoarding panels for a new Garden City Homes development called The Willows. The Willows is a stylish and exclusive development of three and four bedroom homes and the project needed to convey that message with branded site hoardings.

With our extensive knowledge and experience, AB Print Group has worked on numerous construction industry projects and housing developments that require high quality branding and printed banners, boards and signs. As such, we are able to supply our printed hoarding boards to any size and length and with the option of anti-graffiti laminate to protect the hoardings.

For more information on our print products and services, give us a call on 01924 473481 or contact us here and one of our team will be glad to assist.…

New COVID-19 Products to Get You Back to Work

Posted On July 25, 2020 By

AB Print Group recently launched a new COVID-19 range of printed graphics specifically designed to help display coronavirus information and keep staff and customers safe in your business.

In July, we launched more new products with communication and safety in mind as businesses and workplaces start to reopen.

Sanitisation stations

We have now launched a new ‘Handi-San’ product as a simple freestanding solution to allow staff and visitors or customers to sanitise their hands. Handi-San is an affordable way to implement safety measures for offices with staff returning to work, schools or retail environments as they are easy to set up in entrances or communal areas and can be branded with your bespoke message, logo and brand colours.

Anti-bacterial laminate

This special laminate is great for paper items such as menus in restaurants, communication material and paper packaging. Anti-bacterial means the film will eliminate 99% of the bacteria it comes into contact with so you can keep paper products free of bacteria no matter how many hands it touches.

Freestanding doorway stopper

For businesses reopening, it may be necessary to close off certain entrances to follow social distancing guidelines and implement one-way systems, or to close off office or trade counter areas. Our lightweight physical barriers are portable and easy to set up so you can move them around as needed and we supply doorway stopped fully branded and printed with your bespoke message.

Meeting backdrops

If you’re not back in the office yet, you might still be relying on video calls and Zoom meetings to communicate with clients and colleagues. With some companies extending the working from home opportunities post-lockdown, you may be in need of a more professional set up for your meetings. We can now supply printed meeting backdrops with professional branding and your company logo and colours.

Whatever your requirements are, speak to us and see how we can help. We know that there are still many challenges ahead as businesses start to reopen and the team at AB Print want to do all we can to support you. Get in touch to find out more.…