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What do You Say on a Holiday Card?

Gold foil on green christmas cardWhat do You Say on a Holiday Card?


The festive season is upon us, which means plenty of drinking, eating, the giving and sharing of gifts and finding the perfect cards. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how valuable our time with friends and loved ones is. 


With many people unable to see each other this Christmas, the cards you send are even more important than ever. So, what do you say on a holiday card? In this post, we’re going to talk about the meaning of Christmas cards and reveal some messages to send to your loved ones this year. 


The Purpose of Christmas Cards 

For some people, Christmas cards are just something you send each year due to tradition, but for others, they hold a distinct meaning. Let’s take a look at why holiday cards are so important. 


Show You Care 

A short text message is sufficient for letting someone know you’re thinking about them, but it doesn’t exactly show you care. Minimal effort goes into typing out a brief message, but you have to buy a card, write it and send it off. 


Handwriting also provides a personalised approach, and older generations especially appreciate the effort. If you want to let your loved ones know that you care, sending a card is the right way to do this. 


Lasts Longer 

Text messages and emails might sit in your inbox, but at some point, they’ll vanish into the abyss of the online world. A card lasts forever, and most people store them so they can keep them for years to come. 


Keep in Touch With Distant Relatives 

It’s not always possible to send texts and emails to distant relatives or friends, but Christmas is the perfect opportunity to fill people in on what’s going on in your life. A card that offers important family updates will be much appreciated during the festive season. 


Spread Some Joy 

Most of us know that when our post comes, it’s going to be bills or special offers from companies we have no interest in. But, it’s always exciting when a card arrives in the mail. Text messages and emails don’t have the same effect as a card, so sending one is an excellent way to show people that you’re thinking of them. 


They Make Excellent Decorations

One of the main reasons people enjoy receiving Christmas cards is because they make ideal decorations. Whether you display them on your mantelpiece or get creative with string, you can save a lot of money on decorations by using the cards people send you. 


Cards Can Have Multiple Meanings 

Christmas is a religious festival that celebrates the birth of Jesus, but an article published by The HuffPost shows that many people don’t view it like that anymore. There are just as many non-religious people that celebrate Christmas than religious individuals. 


Whether you celebrate the holiday because of Jesus or you enjoy spending time with friends and family, you can still send out cards to people of all religious and cultural backgrounds. Most will be appreciative of the gesture. 


Sending the Perfect Message 

There are so many things that you can do with Christmas cards, including adding short and long messages. While some people prefer to send a long letter with their greeting, others choose to write a couple of sentences in their card. 


Whatever you decide, there are some essential things to remember when you include a message in your card. Let’s take a look at them. 


The General Message 

A general message is suitable for friends, acquaintances, colleagues and clients. It’s not very personal, which is useful if you don’t want to get too sentimental. Here are some examples of general greetings messages. 


“Wishing you a Merry Christmas, full of joy.”

“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.” 

“Hope your Christmas brings warmth and happiness.” 


Family Messages 

Sending a message to your family members should be easy, but plenty of people struggle to find the right things to say. The following examples are suitable for both close and extended family members. 


“We’re so lucky to have you in our lives. Wishing you a Merry Christmas full of happiness and joy.” 

“Christmas wouldn’t be the same without you in it. Neither would our lives.” 

“To one of the most important people in my life, have a wonderful Christmas.” 


Special Messages For Friends 

Real friends aren’t easy to find, and we could all benefit from more of them in our lives. These messages are perfect for showing someone how much they mean to you. 


“Thanks for being such an amazing friend. My life wouldn’t be the same without you in it.” 

“Merry Christmas to a wonderful friend. I hope there’s many more to come!” 

“ I’m so grateful to have you in my life. Happy Christmas.” 


Business Messages 

Naturally, you don’t want to write something corny in your Christmas card, especially for your clients. Here are some friendly, professional messages that will impress your clients. 


“Doing business with you is a pleasure. Have a wonderful Christmas.”

“Thank you for all of your hard work and commitment to our company. Merry Christmas.”

“We’re incredibly grateful for your business this Christmas and hope there are many more to come.” 


Messages for a Special Someone 

Spending a Christmas with someone you love is a wonderful experience. Here are some messages to help you tell your partner how you feel. 


“Here’s to our first Christmas together. May there be many more to come.”

“Having you in my life is the best Christmas gift of all.”

“All I want for Christmas is you.” 


Long Distance Messages 

The Covid pandemic means that families that live apart won’t be able to get together this year. You can, however, send them a special message. 


“We may not be together in person, but you’re with me on this special day.”

“Hope to see you next Christmas when things return to normal.” 



Christmas is one of the special occasions in which you can tell people how much they mean to you. Sending a message shows people you’re thinking of them, regardless of where you both are. 


All you need to do now is find the perfect printing service that can help you create the perfect greetings card. Spending some time on your messages means that not only you can enjoy the day, but you can make it memorable for others too. 


What is bleed? Why add bleed? How to add bleed?

Bleed, how, when, and why to use it. lots of business cards on a sheet

Many customers get frustrated when asked to supply files with bleed, they feel it is too technical and unecessary. However, it is incredibly important if you want a job that looks good once trimmed.

Any poster or flyer you have seen with text far too close to the edge, has probably been supplied without bleed.

What is bleed

Bleed is an area of (usually) 3mm on each side of your artwork that is cut off after printing. Your artwork should be extended to cover this area. Below you can see an image showing the extended area, the final artwork size and the cut line. Anything important should be kept a minimum of 5mm inside the cut line to give a professional finish.
Bleed area and cutting lines on printed business card

Why add bleed

Adding bleed ensures that any movement when printing doesn't leave your final product with unsightly white edges. There can be up to a 3mm tolerance on some printing machines!
This extra overprint allows your print to go right to the edge of the page. The majority of print machines cannot print to the edge, so we print on oversize sheets and then trim down to the finished size.

How to add bleed

Adding bleed is easier in some programs than others.

Indesign & Illustrator

Both are very user friendly when it comes to setting up for print. Open a new document and once you have set your page size move down to the bottom of the "document set up" screen and you will see
>Margins and >Bleed in Indesign and >Bleed only in Ilustrator.Showing Page size, Margin and bleed set up in indesign

Margin (Indesign only)

Depending on what you are designing your margin should be set anywhere from 5mm upwards. For smaller items like business cards 5mm is fine. For leaflets, posters and brochures we advise a minimum of 8mm. For booklets you may want to set up "facing pages' and make the margin on the inner slightly larger to allow for the binding edge. This is especially important on wirobinds or perfect binds.

Document set up boxes for Margins and Bleeds


Bleed should always be set as a minimum of 3mm on all edges.

When you create your new document and enter your page size, add 3mm all around using the bleed box.

Always check with your printer what their preferred bleed size is. For examples on banners and signage it could be up to 25mm.

It is a good idea to save this as a preset if you will be creating more artwork at the same size in the future.

If you have already started your artwork don't worry, you can still amend this.

Choose "document set up" under the File menu and go through the steps above. Then as long as you have the guides set to show (you can change this under the view menu) you should clearly be able to see the margin and bleed guides as below.

Business Card Set up Bleed, Cut line, Margin

Saving your file


Export as a high resolution pdf and ensure the boxes for bleed are ticked.


Photo shop doesn't have the same set up options as the above. The easiest way to add your bleed area is to add 6mm to the height and the width of your document – giving you 3mm bleed area on each side. It is very important to use guides when working like this as it is easy to forget about the bleed and margin area. We suggest setting guides at 3mm in from each edge (bleed) and then 8mm in from each edge to give you a 5mm margin area.

In Photoshop you need to ensure your document is set up as CMYK and at 300dpi at full size. This will give you the best printing quality.

You can then save and send to your printers – just let them know your final trim size.

Need some help adding bleed?

We are more than happy to help. We have a wide range of templates we can send over – or we can set a bespoke template up for your project. We also check all artwork when we get it, then we print a test copy and if it requires any finishing such as folding we run a test of that too.

If we spot a problem at any stage we'll let you know so you can correct it. Speak to our team of designers and print experts today to ensure you get the perfect job




Can it really be time to think about Christmas?

Gold Foiled Card on green



We don't want to shock you but there's less than 100 days to go.


Should you be sending Christmas Cards?

If your customers have supported you through this year, now is the time to say thank you. Christmas Cards are not the place for a hard sell, but they definitely help nurture leads and existing relationships. This is an ideal opportunity to strengthen your connection to clients, suppliers and partners. Don't send a generic, token card. Send them something personal – lets take a look at the options.

Print Options

There are lots of options to choose from to help your card stand out from the crowd. We're going to look at personalisation, types of stock and unusual finishes.

Personalise each and every card

With digital printing every card can be different. Put together a spreadsheet with your customers names and addresses and we can print each Christmas Card with their name plus a matching envelope with their address. You could also include a specific message for each client – or just your favourites! If you want to go one step further you could even personalise the image on the front for them.

Different Stocks

Standard Christmas Cards are printed on a stock that is slightly glossy on the outer and uncoated on the inner to allow for easy writing. We offer this but if you would like something different:

Kraft Card
Perfect for a more eco friendly, craft style option.

Conqueror Iridescent Range
Add a shimmer or sparkle to your cards with options ranging from icy silver through to warm gold.

Textured Card
Add a luxury feel with stonemarque or laid finish cards



Super shiny Gloss Laminate to make the colours in your image really pop.

Matt Laminate for a smarter, more understated finish.

Soft Touch Laminate for a tactile, velvety feel.


Gold Foiled Christmas Card  Digital Foiling

Digital Foiling is available on all smooth boards. It can be used alone or if you want to use it alongside a printed image we can add a lamination – see our Product Spotlight to find out more.

We can offer this in a wide range of colours and you can add just a hint of metallic – maybe baubles on a Christmas tree or a full metallic image for huge impact.


Tree and stockings cut out of white card  Digital Die Cutting

Die Cutting has always been a very expensive option for smaller print quantities but with our new machine we can cut to shape from just 25 prints. This has limitations but can create some really striking Christmas cards. Cut out your logo, Christmas Shapes or a Christmas silhoutte.



Why send Branded Christmas Cards?

Build Relationships

Hopefully your customers have stuck by you through this odd year, and now is the time to remind them you appreciate them. Thank them with a gift or incentive in your Christmas Card to encourage them to keep working with you in the New Year.


Brand Awareness

You probably haven't done as much marketing this year and this is a great opportunity to send out gentle marketing along with a genuine hope for a great holiday. Help your brand shine with incredible finishes available on just 25 cards and upwards. You can remind customers of your quality and attention to detail with a personalised Christmas Card.


Stand Out

Send it early and be pride of place in your customers home or office for the whole of December. Many companies won't send cards this year – even more chance for you to put yourself at the front of customers minds.

Christmas Cards – The Practicalities

We've told you about all the creative options available to help you stand out, but don't get tripped up by the nitty gritty.

Clean your Data

Make sure you go through your database thoroughly, you don't want to waste money sending to unused addresses. Sending to customers who have previously unsubscribed is a no go – make sure you have removed anyone who has requested it.


Get in early, send your cards out in the first week of December to avoid the rush. The first cards are much more likely to be displayed around the office – gaining you maximum exposure.


Do you have time to pack and post them yourself or will it get put off? We offer a full mailing service – so you have one less thing to worry about.


Elegant or fun? Think about your customers and what they value. If you get stuck for idea's pop one of our designers an email and we'll be more than happy to work with you to create the right impression.


Images of the City Team



Calendars – It’s time to start looking forward

Hand writing on a desktop calendar
City Printing 2021 Calendars

2021 Calendars

Ok so we’ve heard the jokes, we know you want to see a trailer for 2021 before you buy a calendar!

However, we’ve got some very good reasons why you should be buying, selling and gifting calendars and now is the time to get organised.

An economical gift that has impact and lasts all year, there are few other pieces of marketing material have that staying power.
For Charities, calendars can be a great fundraiser, we work with a dog rescue who sell out every year and it’s one of their biggest money makers.

Send Calendars that Count

Corporate calendars are ambassadors for your company. Keeping you in your customers line of sight and their minds, all year round. You should be aiming to send a calendar that is a conversation starter, a relationship builder and most importantly useful. Clearly laid out with space to scribble important dates or events.
The images should also be appealing to a wide range of people. Your plumbing company may love pipes, push-fits and tools – but your clients might not!


Calendar Types

Desktop Calendars 

Landscape Desktop Calendar template

Wirobound with Tent Card – Portrait or Landscape A5, Landscape DL or 148mm Square.

Perfect as a corporate gift. These are reasonably small – great for an office or home desk, yet they can be heavily personalised – add your own images, dates, events and even adverts.
With a sturdy tent card base and a wirobound top the pages are easily turned and the back of each sheet can be kept blank for any extra notes.


Hanging Calendars

Stapled with a drill hole – Landscape A4 or Portrait or Landscape A5.

This is an economical option but with impact. Great for team planning in a shared space. The stapled option also gives two extra pages, often used for:
About Us Page
This Years Success
Next Years Plans
Offers for your Clients.


Wirobound with a hanger – Portrait or Landscape A5 and A4 or Portrait A3.
City Printing Branded Wall Hanging Calendar

These can be much sturdier and even printed on heavy card throughout. These can be run single or double sided depending on your preference and we can add more pages should you want to get a message out to your clients.

Wall Planners – A3, A2 or A1

A large single sheet, these are lighter and much less bulky than the other options which makes them ideal to send out as a corporate gift, as well as cheaper to post!
These are popular with schools and we work with a number of them to produce these to send out to parents. These calendars run September to August and include all holidays, inset days and events. For some schools we even personalise them by class to include birthdays!

Brand new Calendar templates ready for 2021 available now.

We have a large range of templates if you would like to create your own artwork or you can speak to one of our designers who will be happy to create something bespoke for you. All we need are your images and important dates. Let us create an impressive, personalised calendar for you in 2021.


Templates for 2021

2021 A3 Wiro Calendar

2021 A4 Wiro Calendar Landscape  

2021 A4 Wiro Calendar Portrait         

2021 A5 Wiro Calendar Portrait      

2021 DL Desktop Calendar  

2021 A5 Desktop Calendar             

2021 A5 Desktop Calendar Portrait   

2021 A4 Landscape Stapled



Images of the City Team

Common Design and Print Queries

Common Design and Print Queries Answered

We see a lot of the same issues, they may only seem small but they can have a big effect on the end product. Artwork that is set up at the wrong size, no bleed and using RGB are our top issues but they're all pretty easy to avoid if you follow the tips below.


Digital print moves slightly and trimming large stacks of print isn't 100% accurate. So we print on larger sheets and cut down to size to ensure your colour/image goes all the way to the edge. Print standard is 3mm extra of your background colour/image on all edges this ensures no white lines on your final product once trimmed.
If you need help with this we have templates for almost all products on our website.









Colour Mode


Screens use RGB (Red, Green, Blue) so if you're designing a web banner or an Instagram advert it's perfect. However if you are designing printed material you'll need to use CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) as these are the four colours used for standard printing.
Anything you send over to us in RGB will be converted and your artwork may end up looking a lot darker than you expected, so it's best to start off in the right colour mode!
Document Sizes


We have a large range of templates on our website – and if we don't have the one you want we'll be happy to set it up for you.
Setting it up correctly to start with is easy to do and will save lots of issues later on. Whilst we can scale A sizes – i.e A4 to A5, if the dimensions are wrong we won't be able to scale it to fit, meaning you have to go right back to the drawing board.
It's also a good idea to check your resolution, this is especially important in Photoshop, the standard is 300dpi at full size for print. For web the standard is just 72dpi – this won't look good printed!




For further information on how City Printing Ltd can assist with your design,
print or even offer advice, please visit our website:
or contact
Michael: 020 7561 6600 or email: michael@cityprinting.co.uk



Are Business Cards still relevant?

With more marketing and business conducted online, do you still need a business card?

We think the answer is an easy YES! 


Business cards are often the very first marketing tool that we have printed when we start a new role, job or business.

As options for shorter print runs have increased, Business Cards have become
better and better value for money.

An email is great for following up on a new client or meeting, but a face to face meeting with a physical card handed over at the end is much more personal and likely to lead to long lasting relationships.

Business Cards are rarely discarded and often handed around to colleagues,
making them one of the hardest working pieces of marketing you can have.


A business card gives your client their first impression of you.

A well printed card on a thick stock is economical but looks professional, and there are now many options to increase the attractiveness of your card.

We offer laminating, duplexing or even triplexing, die cutting, embossing and foiling to help you really stand out.

You could also choose to print a different image on the back of each card, perfect for photographers, events planners and more

See many of our options here

Or send us a quick enquiry and we will get back to you ASAP

Business Cards at City printing



Welcome The Newest Member Of City Printing


Welcome to the newest member of the City Printing Ltd team!

Jemima Duggan, was born on 6th April 2019, weighing a hefty 8lbs 3ozs (only a few days late, but there again, Sophie is so incredibly organised, no one was surprised)

We wish Sophie and Gareth the heartiest of congratulations and look forward to meeting Sophie MkII soon.

Sophie – come back sooooooooooooooon.

All at City Printing

Writing Your Wedding Invitations

Getting the wording right on your wedding invites is about more than just avoiding spelling mistakes or getting the date wrong when you submit the text for wedding invitation printing. The details are important, but you also need to create an invite that shows people how your wedding will be: traditional, informal, or completely unique?

Choosing Your Words

Before you sit down to write your wedding invitation you will need to have made all the big decisions about where and when your wedding will be held. You will also need to know what kind of event it will be before you can arrange wedding invitation printing so that can provide a dress code and make decisions about the style of the invite. There are a lot of rules about formal wedding invitations, but if you are having a less traditional wedding then you can bend them as much as you want.

What to Include on Your Wedding Invitation

Traditionally a wedding invite will include the following lines, although the wording can change depending on how formal you want the invitation to be:

The names of the hosts, who would traditionally be the bride’s parents but are more often the couple themselves on modern invites
A phrase requesting the invitee to attend the wedding, for example “request the pleasure of your company” or “would love for you to join them”. You can use our mail merge service to write in the guest’s name here or on a separate line.

  • The names of the couple will then be placed on the next line if they are not already named at the hosts. For example, “at the marriage of…” or “at their wedding”.
  • Date and time of the wedding
  • Wedding location
  • Information about the time and location of the reception
  • Dress code
  • Details about how to RSVP (or a separate RSVP card to return)
  • Any other essential information, for example if children won’t be invited to the reception

The wording you choose should reflect the style of your wedding, so it can be very formal and traditional or more casual and modern. It is vital to get all of the details correct to avoid confusion, so make sure that you check everything very carefully before submitting the text for wedding invitation printing.