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Getting your business ready for the Christmas Season during Covid19

Red Poster in business window saying "Come in we're open"

The impact of Covid19 has been huge on all business this year. We know it's going to have an effect on Christmas. There's bound to be last minute changes from the government. So how can you as a business owner, prepare your marketing and events for the best return?

Whilst we are currently in the midst of a lockdown, there are things you can be putting in place for opening on the 2nd December.

Sales

For businesses that can afford to do so, this Black Friday (27th November) you can choose to offer discounts on products. Or even better offer them on subscription products.

You should be gearing everything towards building customer loyalty. Choose items that will increase their lifetime spend with you, rather than a one off purchase.

If you do choose to offer discounts on “one off buys” now is a great time to really get into targeted marketing. Follow the purchase up with an email saying thank you. Make sure the email includes related products you think they may be interested in, or a further discount on linked products.

Supporting Small Business

For smaller businesses this year, you can join in with Small Business Saturday, something we personally LOVE.
This is held the weekend after Black Friday, on the 5th December. Supported by American Express and in its eighth year in the UK.

Last year an estimated £800m was spent in small businesses across the UK on Small Business Saturday. With a record turnout of 17.6 million people choosing to shop small on the day.

People are encouraged to spend local, supporting small businesses in their area. Some businesses offer discounts, but you don’t have to – this is about support for businesses in the local community.

Preparing Physical Shops

The usual rush of Boxing Day Sales is going to need a rethink! This year the focus will be on making customers feel safe.

Ensure you have clear signage to create one way systems and posters to remind customer to wear face masks and social distance. Think about how you will limit numbers in your shop.

But wait, if you limit numbers, how will everyone get their shopping done?

Many clients we work with will be extending their hours during December to make it easier for their customers. Large window stickers are perfect for advertising new opening hours, they’re also easily removable.

If you will require a queuing system then floor stickers or tape is the best way to encourage social distancing. Long lasting, but easy to take up when you are finished with them. (Pop us an email if you need help with this)


What will be important to your customers this year

Well, lets be honest, it’s going to depend on what is, and isn’t allowed.

For some people the focus is going to be on spending time with family they may not have seen for months, due to lockdown or shielding. For others they’ll be continuing to shield. Working on your digital presence and helping them enjoy time virtually with family is going to be important.

Gifts are likely to be more thoughtful and many people are focused on small businesses. There has been a backlash against bigger businesses who were not responsive to the pandemic.  

With many people losing jobs and living on reduced incomes they may appreciates sales pre Christmas. However if you sell Business to Business beware. Many companies are still struggling with bringing staff back from furlough. Without the confidence of knowing what January will bring, they may be reluctant to make big purchases. Hitting them with big sales tactics may be less important than taking time to talk to them. Discuss how you could be helping and collaborating to ensure you both have a better year next year.

Ensure your Digital presence is perfect

Ecommerce websites hit their highest ever traffic over the summer. Ensure your website can cope, your products are ready to send and your packaging is good to go (see more on packaging here).

Think about what you can offer online.

We’ve worked on a project with a local bar, putting together wine tasting packages to be sent out, with the group tasting held virtually. As well as an event for a cook-a-long dinner – with all ingredients supplied.

Keeping your clients up to date via social media is so important. Whether you have new products, different opening hours or sales – social media is where they’re likely to find out about it first. It’s also where they’re likely to complain or congratulate you. So make sure any staff looking after the accounts are well briefed on how to interact with customers.

Supporting Local.

One ‘benefit’ of Covid19 has been the huge increase in community spirit. Local and small businesses have worked hard to diversify, open extra hours and help those in need. YouGov statistics show that as a result of coronavirus, 64% of people want to support local businesses and buy local products. With women being even more likely to shop within their community (70%). 

Use window graphics, posters, flags, and leaflet campaigns to let your community know you are open for business. We’ve see an increase in the ROI for leaflet drops during lockdown. We believe this is due to people being at home more, being more likely to read physical mail due to screen fatigue and being more open to shopping locally. (You can read more about it here)

We mentioned targeted marketing earlier. Tying into this is a return to loyalty cards or points systems – used well by many coffee shop chains. They boost brand loyalty – great for you, and they reduce costs for customers – great for them!

One of our best marketing campaigns is always our Personalised Christmas Cards. These are sent out to all clients to say thank you, they often contain a discount for the new year too.

We know this Christmas Season is going to be different, but being prepared now will get your business in the best place to manage it. Keep your customers and staff safe, your online presence updated and if you have a physical shop – make sure it shouts “OPEN”

 

Images of the City Team

 

 

How to design a Funeral Order of Service

Two Funeral Booklets

 

If you have found this page because someone close to you has died, we are sorry for your loss. We hope this guide may help you in planning and designing an order of service. A very helpful website is www.funeralguide.co.uk

 

Putting together a Funeral Order of Service is much more than just the order of the event. We'll take a look at what should the details that should be included, making it more personal, as well as the materials you should use.

Designing a Funeral Order of Service can be a difficult thing to do but it is also an opportunity to work together with close family and friends. Choosing images that best represent the person you are celebrating often leads to discussing memories and stories you may never have heard before. Talk about favourite poems, readings and hymns to find those that best express how you felt about the person.

 

It may not seem like a big thing in the midst of funeral planning, but the Funeral Order of Service is a unique keepsake. Often it is kept as a reminder of the day and for those who cannot attend, it is a connection to others who are mourning with them.

 

The Front Cover of a Funeral Order of Service

It is usually best to keep the front cover simple. Choose an image that focuses on the person being honoured and save group and family photos for the inner pages. Whilst funerals are almost always a sombre affair, the image you choose should reflect the person. When the booklet is picked up in years to come, the image should be one that evokes fond, happy memories.

The Details

  • Main photo
  • Full Name & Known/Nickname if different
  • Date of Funeral
  • Dates of Birth and Death
  • Location and Time
     

Outlining the Order of Events in a Funeral Order of Service

There are many different formats and the person leading the service will be able to guide you on the ceremony. Often you will be able to choose what to include and leave out but here is a general outline.

  • Entrance Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.
  • Introduction – From the Minister/Celebrant or Lead Speaker.
  • Readings and Poems – Usually printed in full. This is for those who cannot attend, and is nice to have for memories.
  • Hymns – Printed in full so that everyone can join in.
  • Speakers – Usually named in order, close family and friends recalling memories and sharing stories.
  • Comittal and Blessings
  • Group Prayers if applicable.
  • Closing Music – Usually the name of the Music and the Artist or Composer.

 

 

The Back Page of a Funeral Order of Service

The final page usually includes an image, this is often a more playful or older image from when the person was younger.

Donations

You should put details of any preferred Charities for whom donations are being collected. This is often a Charity close to the heart or who may have cared for the person towards the end of their life.

Thank You

This is a perfect place to express your thanks to those who have attended and been involved in the service. As well as extending your wishes to those who are cannot attend, but are holding you in their thoughts.

The Wake

Details of the wake should be included on the back cover so that people know where they are expected to go, include the full address.

The Funeral Company

The Funeral company are often mentioned on the final page, although this is entirely at your discretion. It is a kind thing to do, especially if they have gone above what you expected of them.

 

 

Making a Funeral Order of Service Personal

Once you have included all the details you need for the ceremony you can look at making the booklet more personalised.

Images

Hopefully you will have a wide range of images. These could be arranged in a collage, utilising all available space and including shots from all ages and with many groups of people.

Timelines

Often we have been asked to help people display a timeline of their loved ones life. This often includes important dates with accompanying images. Birth, accomplishments, marriage, children etc.

Favourite Sayings, Verses or a Personal Note.

This is a lovely time to share the deceased's favourite sayings or even a short note from them to those whom they have left behind. You should include the things you want people to think of when remembering the person you are celebrating.

 

A Funeral Order of Service should be as unique as the person it is celebrating.

 

The Design of a Funeral Order of Service

Traditionally, Funeral Order of Services have been a single sheet of card folded in half to create 4 pages. Now that funerals have become much more bespoke and people have a much larger range of images they are more often 8 pages. Although, we often do booklets of over 20 pages depending on the type of funeral, religion and amount of content people wish to share.

The extra pages allow you to choose more images that represent a wider spectrum of the person's life and makes a wonderful keepsake.

Choosing a Style

It is best to choose a style and stick to it from the start. Think about the person you are creating it for and their style.

Traditional

Black plain or ornate borders on the cover, often with a religious symbol. Light, soft images of white flowers and softened edges on photos.

Modern

Bright colours, minimalist design, include things they loved such as flowers can be included

Team Colours

Many people follow football, rugby or cricket teams their entire lives and including their team colours can be a fitting tribute to their passion.


If you are struggling to make it look as polished as you would like, please get in touch and we can always help. From a a few tweaks to the full design.

 

The Print Options for a Funeral Order of Service

Choosing the Material for your Funeral Order of Service

There needs to be careful judgement here between lightweight paper which is most economical, or heavier paper and a card cover which will hugely increase the longevity and feels much higher quality.

Depending on the amount of pages we recommend:

4 Pages – 350gsm Card, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

8 Pages – 300gsm Card Cover and 150gsm Inners, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

16+ Pages – 250gsm Card Cover, 130gsm Inners, in either Uncoated or Silk finish

 

Black and White, or Colour?

There is no longer a large cost difference between black and white printing or colour printing unless you are printing a very large quantity. However the impact can be huge – especially with the beautiful, high resolution images now available.

Choosing Fonts

It is tempting to choose ornate, calligrapjhy style fonts when designing your Funeral Order of Service, however these can be very difficult to read. If you choose to use ornate fonts, use them sparingly – ideally just on the name on the front cover. The rest of the booklet should be in a clear easy to read font – ideally no smaller than 11 point.

Choosing Colours

Try to stick to a small colour palette, perhaps choose one accent colour from your main image and use alongside cream or grey. Too many bright colours can look garish if not designed with care.

 

Overview

It can be very difficult to stay organised and get everything done during a stressful time. Write a bullet point list and methodically work your way through. If you need other people to supply photo's or messages ask them as early as you can.

From a design perspective remember to:

Choose legible fonts for anything other than the name.

Keep the design simple and tidy so people focus on the photos.

Choose a photo for the front that focuses on the deceased and save group shots for the inner pages.

Ensure all info – dates, locations, contact numbers, have been double checked.

 

If you are finding it difficult please get in touch and we will look after the Funeral Order of Service for you. This can be done via phone, email or if you would like you can pop in to see us and feel the material yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas and Insight – Fundraising during Covid for Jewish Charities

Image of Hardback book on Laptop

How has Jewish Charity fundraising changed in the wake of Covid19?

With 1 in 4 people subject to restrictions on movement events have been severely impacted, but Jewish Charities still need to raise awareness and funds.

Here's a look at other viable options while face-to-face Dinners and Events are off the table .
   

Virtually Unmissable Events

Taking your event Online.

Many events have moved online, Zoom, Google Hangouts and others have made this easier, although not without issues!

Over in Australia, Space ran a Virtual Charity Dinner for 300 guests and whilst social options are limited this is a great way of encouraging interaction.

We believe print can really raise Jewish Charities events by adding a tactile element to keep people focused.

How to elevate your event: 

Dinner Brochures – send out a smaller version of your standard Dinner brochure.

  • Sponsors are more likely to advertise in something physical that will be looked at again and again.

  • Holding something tactile will evoke the feelings of previous Dinners.

  • A well designed brochure adds an element of grandeur, even if people are sat on their sofa.

 

Pledge Cards

Personalised cards with suggested donation amounts and having a ready to use reply envelope will all dramatically increase the chance of a donation.

Online donations are increasing, but campaigns combining digital and print yield 25% higher responses than digital alone. (Source: McKinsey Development)

We can supply fully personalised pledge cards with matching addressed envelopes. We can even send them out directly for you.

 

“Fundraising appeals work best when there is a letter, a response form and a reply envelope. These three elements are essential to increased donations.” 
The Institute of Fundraising
 

Reasons to Use Print with Virtual Events

Jewish Charity Fundraising Stats

 

Here's two of the best Jewish Charities Fundraisers we've seen during Covid19

Gift Drive-In 2020             JW3 – Big Night In

 

Images of the City Team