Steve Cropper, MD of Gemini Print reflects on the holiday period that was and the future in store for 2015.

It’s January 5, and my first day back at work in 2015. I was one of the lucky ones here who had the entire week off. Opening the door of the office the first thing that hits me is the somewhat tired looking Christmas decorations still decking the halls and walls of the office. Ahh they are so last year!

Job one – pack them away immediately. I, for one, am well and truly over Christmas and New Year at this stage. Walking into my own office, I’m confronted with the full season’s range of Christmas cards! It’s like rows of patient pigeons – all lined up on the window sills, filing cabinets, on my desk – some with sad little curling corners now (yes, its hard being so popular!). Job two: put cards in the recycling bin. But before I do that, I can’t resist one last look through them, one by one, before I drop them into the basket. I just want to remind myself of who they’re all from, who bothered to scribble a few lines to me and wish me a good 2015. Ah yes, John Peters, Kate and Shaun, Gerry from the building next door, Joe from one of our top suppliers, … and so on. Ah that’s better – a nice clear office space now.

But it gets me thinking…. It takes a lot of effort to send a Christmas card or any card for that matter. And that’s why when the same question comes up every year – without fail: “Shouldn’t we just send an e-card to everyone?” I’m glad I always say ‘No’. Not just because we’re a printing company but because e-cards, e–messages, e-invitations, even e-brochures are just not the same as the real McCoy. They don’t show the same thought, the same kudos, the same effort, the same appreciation, the same love ….and they generally are not revisited and re-read!

Would you revisit, or reread a Christmas e-card in January? Would you even read and save it after you’ve first opened it? Honestly? Of course not!

It’s nice to take that one last look through the cards, to remind myself how popular I am! Joking aside – it’s lovely to remember everyone and what they have done during the past year for you, with you or because of you.

There is something about print that you find hard to ignore. You think before you bin – and, because there’s always, or nearly always, a space on your desk for it – at least for a while!

It’s the same with invitations. There is nothing more lovely than a beautifully designed and finely printed invitation. Some invites I have received have fantastic finishes, and the effort put into designing something beautiful to send to someone makes the recipient feel important. Someone had to write your name, put it in an envelope, address it and post it. What an effort – they must really want you to attend. It’s just not the same by email! There is no comparison.

And that’s it really. Great design + great print = impact. Which brings me to our Award for Best Design For Print Award 2015. We’re working with Brighton Fringe to award the best designs for any printed Fringe promotional material. So any designers, creatives or Fringe participants get your designs in. All details are on the Brighton Fringe website.

So that was Christmas. The day we planned for, shopped for, stressed about for over three months. And it’s over. We’ve all arrived safely in 2015 and the cards are still here to prove it! Print is permanent, it requires effort and imagination – it’s a winner. With that thought, I have a spring in my step – it’s good to be in print.


This article first appeared in Sussex Business Times, January 2015