Below you will find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions. Clicking on the relevant topic header will reveal a selection of questions relating to that topic and hopefully the answer you're after. If you don't find an answer to your question, or you have a question that's not been covered in the topics below, please feel free to Get in Touch and we'll be only to pleased to help.
Printers do tend to use a lot of 'industry jargon', so checkout information here but feel free to get in touch if you have specific question.
What is Formara and what services does it provide?
Formara was established as a print company in 1971 and has successfully operated as a print company nationwide for the last 45 years. But just as the industry has changed, so have we. Over the years, we have branched out into specific cities to cater for local businesses more efficiently and provide a more personalised service.We have also taken our service online and now provide integrated print and digital marketing communications that cover both online and offline formats.
Our services extend beyond print nowadays and we create bespoke marketing communications based on your requirements, whether that’s digital campaigns, print-based communication, or both.Unlike many other print companies, we can seamlessly and efficiently marry print with digital formats, thanks to our Automated Integrated Marketing service (visit www.take-aim.uk for more information). And unlike many digital marketing agencies, we have solid expertise in print communications. We design and print everything in-house; our customer service team and designers are experts in their fields, with many years’ experience working in B2B and B2C design and print. Our in-house expertise, coupled with the use of the latest technology, ensures that you will receive high-quality campaigns with a fast turnaround every time.
Where are you based?
Formara Limited is housed in a 16,000sq ft purpose built industrial unit at 16 The Candlemakers, Temple Farm Business Park, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 5RX.
What are your opening times?
We are open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. You can reach us during those times by calling us on 01702 613141. Alternatively, send us an email or fill out the enquiry form on our website and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We aim to get back in touch with you within 24 hours, Monday – Friday.
Do you have any subsidiaries?
We do not have subsidiaries per se. Formara Limited operates under the Print4 brands in select cities across the UK, including London, Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow, effectively covering the whole of the UK
What is AIM?
AIM stands for Automated Integrated Marketing. AIM lets you create personalised and tailored content both online, via items like newsletters, and offline via direct mail. It is a data-driven platform that, aside from giving you a better insight into your marketing efforts and client behaviour, also clears up your legacy scattergun data and enables you to track, analyse and target your communications and ROI effectively.
With AIM, your client will receive messages in the format, channel and frequency they prefer. The results: Successful direct marketing campaigns and increased donor retention and acquisition.
Why is a print company offering digital marketing services?
Over the years, we have seen that our customers have utilised digital communication more and more. And understandably so, as digital communications like newsletters are now as common (if not more regular) as direct mail once was.
Print accounts for just one aspect of a whole suite of online and offline communication materials that are available to consumers and companies nowadays. As such, we too have evolved.
But this digital transformation is not a case of ‘Either Or’. With us, print and digital work in harmony – multi-channel marketing is essential for every business to thrive and we can mix and match marketing communications to suit your requirements and your customer’s preferred methods of being marketed to.
Why should we use direct mail if digital marketing is taking on a more important role?
Various research reports have found that print-based marketing like direct mail are still highly-effective methods to engage with an existing and potential client. Print conveys a more emotional, tangible message that online-only marketing messages lack. It is up to you how you want to communicate with your client, we can cater to both your online and offline prints thanks to our multi-channel marketing suite AIM. To find out more about multi-channel marketing visit www.take-aim.co.uk.
Can you design something for us?
Yes. We have expert in-house designers who can adapt your visions and discuss the design, layout and colours with you to create a tailormade design, such as logos, posters and banners.
What kind of products do you have and what formats and sizes can I get them in?
We have a huge products range, which can be categories into three main types: Brochures and Booklets, Large Format, and Stationery.
Within each of those umbrella categories, you will find specific products, such as fashion lookbooks and training manuals in Brochures and Booklets, pop-up stands and roll-out banners in Large Format and notepads, business cards and letterheads in Stationery.
We can personalise each product and format, and can also design specific logos or other prints to go on your order.
What types of paper do you have?
We have a variety of paper formats options however and can consult you on what type would work best for you (if you need any assistance with that). On the topic of paper… All our papers are environmentally-friendly.
What types of binding do you have for booklets and brochures?
The most common types are the following:
Perfect-bound has pages glued into a wrap-around cover. Saddle-stitched bound uses staples along the folds of a wrap-around cover. Wire-bound uses a wire that is threaded along the edge of the document via holes.
Do you do banners, stands or posters for exhibitions and events?
Yes, yes and yes – and more.
Do you print postcards / invitations / t-shirts / pillows / bags etc?
We have the capability to print postcards and invitations and our designers can work with you to create a bespoke image for you. If you would like to print just one or a handful of postcards, you would be better off with using a print shop that specialises in low-volume prints. However, if you would like to print a large number of postcards, or invitations such as for weddings, we can certainly take on your order.
We do not print t-shirts, bags or pillows in-house. Our print speciality is specifically based on paper, but we can arrange this type of print in certain circumstances.
The most common paper sizes used for stationery, leaflets and other publications.
A0 - 841 x 1189 mm
A1 - 594 x 841 mm
A2 - 420 x 594 mm
A3 - 297 x 420 mm
A4 - 210 x 297 mm
A5 - 148.5 x 210 mm
A6 - 105 x 148.5 mm
A7 - 74 x 105 mm
In order to print items that are finished in the ‘A’ size format, a printer uses a larger size paper in order to allow for bleed and gutters and make allowance for the area that a printing press requires to grip the paper for feeding.
These oversize papers are either ‘SRA’ or ‘B’ size:
SRA0 – 900 x 1280mm
SRA1 – 640 x 900mm
SRA2 – 450 x 640mm
SRA3 – 320 x 450mm
SRA4 – 225 x 320mm
B0 - 1000 × 1414 mm
B1 - 707 × 1000 mm
B2 - 500 × 707 mm
B3 - 353 × 500 mm
B4 - 250 × 353 mm
NB do not fall into the trap of designing a print job in an ISO ‘B’ size – it is very uneconomical!
These are envelope sizes that A size papers fit into
C3 - 324 x 458 mm (holds A3 flat)
C4 - 229 x 324 mm (holds A4 flat)
C5 - 162 x 229 mm (holds A5 flat or A4 folded in half)
C6 - 114 x 162 mm (ideal for invitations)
DL - 110 x 220 mm (holds A4 folded twice)
Calculate Paper Weight
This formula is ideal when you are trying to work out shipping costs for your printed documents.
Size in metres (dimension 1) x size in metres (dimension 2) x no of sheets x paper weight divided by 1000 = weight in kilos
Remember the number of sheets is the page count divided by 2 sides.
So for example if I was to ship 100 x 28pp A4 booklets that are printed on 130gsm the formula would be:
0.21m x 0.297m x (2800/2) x 130 / 1000 = 22.7 kg
Remember to allow a little for boxes! We would recommend adding 1 kg which is more than enough.
How much does the delivery cost?
Standard Delivery to one UK address is free of charge. If you require delivery to more than one UK address, we will calculate it into the quote for your order.
How do I get a quote or estimate from you?
The best way to get an accurate quote is to call us and speak to one of our customer service representatives, who can talk you through the formats, prices and delivery times. You can also contact us via email or the enquiry form on our website. It usually takes no more than 24 hours for us to get back to you, Monday-Friday.
Do you give bulk discounts?
This is a possibility, as the unit price for your order is reduced the more you require. We can give you a detailed price breakdown once we know your order requirements. Please email or call us for a quote.
How do I make an order? Do you take online orders?
You can reach us on the phone, send us an email or fill in the contact form on our website. We find that orders are best done by email as a written confirmation of the order is easier to track.
Do you give free samples?
Yes, we do! Get in touch with us and let us know what you are looking to have printed, and we can produce a free sample for you.
What is the best format to submit documents for printing?
PDF works the best, but if you use a different format, we will let you know if there are any arising issues. If you are sending a PDF, remember to include cut marks and bleed on your high-resolution file. If you are unsure, or have further questions, do give us a call, or send us an email.Alternatively, why not ask us about designing and creating your documents for you. Our design team would love to help.
How do I submit my documents?
You can email us your documents. You can also use file sharing platforms such as Dropbox to share your documents with us. Let us know what works best for you and we will accommodate your preference.
We have designed something in-house and just want to print it. Can you do that?
Yep – we certainly can. Just send us the files and we will give you a quote.
We are not sure about the design, layout or format we should use. Can you give us some ideas?
Of course. We have in-house graphic designers who can create bespoke designs for you after a consultation. Prior to that, our customer service team will talk you through the different formats and types and consult you on what would work best for you. Please just give us as much information about what you are planning on using the printed items for and we will advise on the best processes.
Can I make a change request once I have confirmed an order?
Please contact us as soon as you need to make a change request. Whether we can honour your request depends at which point in the process we hear from you. In many cases, we will be able to amend your order.
Can I track my order?
When we confirm your order, you will be assigned a dedicated member of our customer service team who will also set a delivery date. Because we prefer the personal touch rather than an automated system, we will discuss your project whenever necessary and keep you informed of progress of your order. You will then receive an update email from us when the order has left our warehouse.
Where do you deliver?
Formara delivers across the UK, Europe and the World! Just tell us where you need delivery and when it is required – we’ll do everything we can to get it there.
Our Automated Integrated Marketing service (AIM) has no geographical limitations and can be deployed everywhere, regardless of location.
What happens if my order is late?
Formara has an enviable reputation for quality and service. Late deliveries are handled as part of our ISO9001 Quality procedures and a non-conformance investigation will be raised internally. Once the non-conformance has been investigated, we will respond to you and advise what is to be done next.
What delivery options are available?
Formara will use our own vans, reputable courier companies and the UK Postal system to deliver your product either to you or directly to the doorstep of your clientele. UK deliveries are generally straightforward, and we can deliver overseas if necessary.
Formara are experts at Direct Mail and have contracts in place with Royal Mail, OnePost and Secured Mail to ensure we can offer you then most competitive postal discounts.
How is my order packaged?
We will ensure your final printed product is safely packaged in suitable boxes or pallets. Each box will be labelled as necessary and a Formara-branded delivery note will be attached for the whole consignment. If you require plain packaging labels and delivery notes, please advise our customer service team who will ensure your instructions are carried out.
How long does the print process and delivery take?
This depends on your order. When asking for a quote, please provide as much information as possible, so that we can give you an accurate delivery date. We deliver every day and will do our best to meet your print deadline demands.
Who are your clients?
We have clients nationwide and in various industries, from sole traders like yoga teachers to local SMEs all the way to large institutions in both the private and public sector.
Our clients include University College London, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, Essex law firm Tolhurst Fisher, London Southend Airport, Canon and Fitch Learning.
I am not a company, but I want to print a few things. Can I still contact you?
Please contact us with your specific questions or requirements, so that we can determine if our service capabilities match your needs.
I am a business, do you have a subscription service?
We do not operate on a subscription basis. You just order from us whenever you need something. Repeat orders are quick and easy. You can re-order a project ad hoc or set intervals at which you want to receive a new set of prints. It is completely up to you, we are flexible and work around your schedule.
Will the final product definitely look the same as on the document that I had submitted?
Every effort will be made to obtain the best colour reproduction, but because of the process involved, Formara cannot guarantee an exact colour or texture match between the customer’s original colour photography, transparency or electronic file, and the printed item. Customers who require colour reproduction of a specific standard and who wish to check the colour reproduction prior to printing should order a colour machine proof, in writing, when placing the order.
Formara will happily mix the customer’s special colour requirements or order special colours to be mixed by manufacturers if an ink sample is supplied but cannot guarantee to reproduce it exactly on additional runs or repeat orders.
For this reason, the selection of a 'Pantone Colour' is always recommended to ensure the best chance of accurate colour matching. If colour matching is of particular importance to you please order a machine proof, the cost of which will be quoted at the time of the request.
What is a proof? Can I skip this step?
A proof is a copy of the final product. Looking at a proof will give you the opportunity to check that everything is as you had requested and expected. Seeing the proof will allow you spot any discrepancies and errors. You can then request a change without any deadline pressure. Seeing the proof will also help you confirm that this is how you want the final product to look.
Proofing is an essential step in the printing process and to ensure that the final product meets your expectations, it is in your best interest to look at proofs.
There is something wrong with my order. What do I do?
Please notify us of any issues as soon as you notice them. We do our best to ensure that your order is as expected and required, which is why we send you proofs ahead of the final print as well. In the unlikely event that your final product is not satisfactory despite our best efforts, we will do our best to resolve the issue to your satisfaction.
Quality and Service are what we pride ourselves on and any issues with your order will be handled as part of our ISO9001 Quality procedures and a non-conformance will be raised. Once the non-conformance has been investigated we will respond to you and advise what is to be done next.
Can I cancel my order?
Any orders cancelled whilst they are already in production are liable for a charge as part of our standard 'Terms and Conditions' of sale. Please advise us as soon as possible if you are forced to cancel an order and we will deal with it appropriately.
My order is late. What happens now?
We have built an enviable reputation for quality and service over more than four decades. Should a late delivery occur, we handle it as part of our ISO9001 Quality procedures and will raise a non-conformance investigation. Once the investigated is completed, we will respond to you and advise what is to be done next.
General Data Privacy principles
We shall comply with the principles of data protection as stipulated in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We will make every effort possible in everything we do to comply with these principles.
These principles are:
Lawful, fair and transparent: Data collection must be fair, for a legal purpose and we must be open and transparent as to how the data will be used.
Limited for its purpose: Data can only be collected for a specific purpose.
Data minimisation: Any data collected must be necessary and not excessive for its purpose.
Accurate: The data we hold must be accurate and kept up to date.
Retention: We will not store data longer than necessary, or longer than agreed with you.
Integrity and confidentiality: The data we hold must be kept safe and secure.
Formara and GDPR
Formara is fully compliant with the principles of GDPR and we will take all necessary and possible steps to ensure that your and your client’s data is safe and used in a way that complies with GDPR. Formara is certified to ISO27001 Information Security and has a long history of handling customers’ data securely. Alongside ISO27001, we also have ISO9001 Quality and ISO14001 Environmental certification.
How do you protect my data and keep my information secure? Where is my (and my customers’) data stored?
Your data security and privacy are important to us, just as they are to you. We will take all necessary and appropriate security measures to ensure that any information you provide to us is stored securely and confidentially and is processed in accordance with GDPR.
Although we take all necessary and available steps to keep your data secure, we cannot guarantee that the information you have given us online will be secure from third parties data breaches. By using our services, you agree not to hold us responsible for any online third-party security breaches.
How long do you keep my data?
Basic customer information as well as files produced for a particular project will be stored for accounting and production purposes. We shall remove these files at any time after full payment has been received upon requests for removal, made in writing by the customer, provided such information is not required to be retained for legal or accounting reasons.
What is meant by “personal data”?
Personal data means any information relating to a person who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or other personal factors.
In order to deal with your enquiry and order effectively, we will need to collect and save certain information from you. Personal data we gather may include an individuals' name, job title, phone number and email address. We may collect this information when you order a service from us, such as online when you sign up to a newsletter, or offline, such as over the phone when you give us your details to process your order.
We will ensure that any personal data we process is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was obtained. We will not process personal data obtained for one purpose for any unconnected purpose unless the individual concerned has agreed to this or would otherwise reasonably expect this. Individuals may ask that we correct inaccurate personal data relating to them. If you believe that information is inaccurate you should record the fact that the accuracy of the information is disputed and inform our data protection manager (email@example.com).
Who is responsible for data privacy?
Who has access to my data and where does it get stored?
Only we, the company, have access to your data, and only for business-related purposes. In order to promote our services and provide you with information which may be helpful to you, we will use your information to contact you via direct mail, email, SMS and/or telephone with selected material that you may find of interest.
You have the right to tell us not to process your personal data for direct marketing purposes. We will give you the option to refuse marketing when we collect your details.
Please note that this does not apply to emails containing services, maintenance and transactional information.
Do you share my data or my clients’ data with third parties?
No. We will not share your information with a third party for marketing purposes.
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If you've not found the answer you're after you can 'Get in Touch' and we'll do our best to help.
STILL HAVEN'T FOUND WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR?
If you've not found the answer you're after you can 'Get in Touch' and we'll do our best to help.