finishing faq

school brochures + prospectus

Chandlings School are the latest in a list schools in Oxfordshire who have turned to carbon colour to help redesign and produce their school brochures and prospectus.

This prep school prides itself in giving its children an active and encouraging start – and says to its pupils ‘If you are going to do something, do it well’.  Something we tried to echo in everything we are asked to do for them.  Its a great ethos, and one we enjoyed applying.

With the added advantage of being provided with some great photography we simplified the look of their literature, emphasised the use of the existing corporate colours and added a gently modernistic edge to the layout.  By keeping things simple the new suite of materials started to come together as a whole.

This allowed the school brand to be reinforced, its identity helping to show their unfussy approach to documents and the images of the children being active, engaging in sports and social events worked well in the school brochures and prospectus.  As well as in their regular newsletters.

If you would like to talk to us about how we could help you make your collateral more cohesive – give one of us a call on 01235 438 938



liftshaft graphics

Occasionally we get asked to help transform a workspace, corridor or wall, but this month we undertook a complete transformation by applying liftshaft graphics in a large house on the Thames.  In the past we have done doors, inside panels, exterior areas and bespoke signage for lifts, but this was our first complete interior of liftshaft graphics.

In a private house that had recently been refurbished, we were asked to applied high resolution liftshaft graphics to a three storey domestic lift, wrapping doors, edges and control panels with a series of very colourful designs all of which had been painted by Mike Simmons (a set designer from Wallingford).  The inspiration for the very original designs came from a lively mixture of space related travel, a bit of Doctor Who and even a nod to Harry Potter.

Inside the finished liftshaft – the controls are incorporated into the design, even the emergency telephone is camouflaged.


The aim was to create an immersive experience for anyone travelling up or down in the lift – which is a platform version(only the platform base moves, the walls all remain exposed).  We started with a very plain grey liftshaft, eventually we applied graphics to the ceiling, up to the running gear and all over the control panel.  With bespoke graphics added to the interface it was quite difficult to image what it had looked like before the graphics had been applied.  The client was absolutely delighted with the result, which gave the family something completely unique, exciting and innovative.


new building opening

With a new building opening on Milton Park there’s always lots to do – and the recent official opening of the new UK Headquarters of Adaptimmune was no exception.

With new albeit temporary graphics applied to the exterior of the building, with on the day signage applied separately to that, we also created and installed a series of huge timelines telling the story of the business its scientific progress and its corporate story.  From showing members of the founding team and early investors to rounds of investment in the UK and USA.

carbon colour provided creative services to design and artwork the timelines, which were then printed and applied to the walls in the new building, supporting collateral was printed, along with programmes for the day and temporary display boards supplied which carried press coverage alongside photos old and new.

Over 400 people, including employees and senior representatives from the regional and national business, academic, government and investor communities, gathered on November 6th to celebrate the official opening of their flagship facility. Professor Sir John Bell GBE, FRS, Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, will unveil a commemorative plaque.

find out more about Adaptimmune here

or get some inspiration for your own printed materials from our collection of product types and case studies which you can find here



books of postcards

Here’s a new product – books of postcards – we developed recently for a publishing client.  Effectively its a slightly different way of creating and presenting a series of cards – it brings together a collection of marketing postcards which are glue bound on one edge and contained within a wrap around cover.

Printed in colour throughout with Matt Lamination on the outer of the cover this item has great desk top appeal and already a few of our other art led clients have expressed an interest in exploiting the principle to create their own books of postcards.  The same format would suit artists and illustrators who want to present a series of images from a collection of their work.

This collection was going to be used as a hand out at trade shows, the pack could be used for a multitude of other sectors – the postcards can be unique, or repeats, ideal to promote or market part of an artists collection or a series of linked ideas.  The cards peel off the short edge and when bound lay almost flat so its easy to read and yet strong enough to hang together like a bound book.

We also produce greetings cards and notelets for our clients – see some examples here.  From scanning your originals to designing a whole new range of cards we can help, we are used to colour balancing against originals and we carry a wide range of cello bags and envelopes so we can easily deal with last minute requests for urgent re-prints, bespoke christmas cards and cards for special events.

If you would like to discuss how carbon colour could help you promote your business, launch a new service or support the the sales of a product just give us a call on 01235 438 938 or get in touch here.



We’ve been helping develop Blankslate – an innovative new way of presenting a pocket sketchbook.  With unique laser cut metal covers and wire – the covers are interchangeable and effectively refillable.  Strong, unique and useful.

They are crowd funding the idea using Kickstarter.

find out more here







mats and coasters

Just completed several different desk mats and coasters for clients on Milton Park – a series of ceramic coasters printed with intense colour onto a white base with cork backing, and some white anti slip mats for a larger work force.  In addition to some leather lookalike mats for a boardroom table.

We get asked to produce all sorts of unusual products for clients on Milton Park, from car parking signs, embroidered bags, bottles and ice scrapers to lanyards, mugs and index post it notes.


Loop wire stitching

One binding technique often preferred by architectural practices and training companies is ‘loop wire stitching’ where the stitched book effectively is hooked onto the mechanism of a ring binder, rather than relying on the vulnerable drilled hole in the paper it allows a whole document to be opened and read without the need to remove it from the binder.

Often see in the US – three ring binders offer additional layer of strength to a binder and its content.  We can loop stitch two, three or four wires into a booklet and the position of these can be adjusted to suit the specific binder being used.  We also drill, collate wrap, pack and encapsulate printed covers to paper over board and PVC binders, add mylar tabs and pack for distribution.



At carbon colour we get asked to make all kinds of folders.  In a wide range of sizes with options for die cutting, slots and unusual shapes. From the simplest folder with printed pockets, to PVC, encapsulated and bespoke paper over board folders  – there aren’t many options we won’t be able to help you with.

There are templates we can provide you with that help save the cost of producing a unique cutting form – when you are happy to make use of something a little more standard.  Importantly this will help speed things up a bit too, as the cutter is ready waiting to be used.  Bespoke forms take a few days to make, so bear this in mind when you suddenly need to make a folder quickly.


From Aluminium composite to thick board wrapped with bookcloth, or paper over board wrapped to create a really beautiful outer for your ring binder or folder there are hundreds of options to choose from.  Talk to us about what you have in mind, or come and see some of the samples we have in the studio in Milton Park.

We look forward to being able to help you.





wire o binding

One of the simplest, yet most effective ways to bind a report or notebook style product is using wire o binding.

From the simplest form of journalists notepad to a complex document containing hundreds of sheets of paper we can wire-o-bind your books in a choice of colours and sizes, with wrap rounds, french folded text, throw out pages or even hard ‘case board’ covers.  Wire o tends to be metal wires, and is different to spiral binding (which is usually plastic coil that is continuous). Find out the difference here

If you aren’t sure of the difference go here first.

The simple choice between printing on one or both sides of the cover of wirebound books, or using one or other for some or all of the text leaves that form the body of your document can really make the difference between your product feeling thin and insubstantial or too thick and cumbersome to handle.  Adding fold out or short pages can easily add interest and features, as well as act as a good way to separate pages or sections without the added cost of die cut tabs which can be prohibitively expensive if you only need a short run of wire-bound books.

Half Canadian or simple wire-bound

There are a number of ways to approach wire o binding to suit the nature of your document, its size and extent,  or simply to suit the preference of the designer or client. Well thought through wire-bound booklets made well using the right choice of technique helps the tactility of the finished product – and when combined with the right paper or board the whole experience of holding, opening and enjoying a document can really change.

Altering the visual perception of the reader/holder is nothing new, since the gloriously ecclesiastical of the illuminated manuscript gospels produced around the year AD700 on the tiny island of Lindisfarne to the holographic foil-faced boards we have access to today. Although they didn’t have quite the same array of choices that we now offer.

If the chosen material is too thin the perception of cheap and nasty can become overwhelming, whilst thicker more luxurious textured boards can sometime give the appearance of being ‘too much’ as well as obviously adding to the overall cost of production. Its very much a question of balance.  Ask for a copy of our latest paper swatch today, or send us a sample page and we’ll proof it for you.  Or pop in and talk to us about the result you want to achieve and we’ll help and advise on what materials might be most appropriate.

We offer a little box of binding techniques – which is a great way to explore the options or explain to your client what the finished product will look like.

or have a look at the other binding methods we offer here



spiral binding documents

Sometimes you really need a binding method that is waterproof – rust proof and that can cope with being crushed a bit,  Spiral Binding is the perfect answer.

Using a plastic coil rather than the coated metal of wire-o-binding brings all these advantages when you need them.

Spiral Binding is not always the most appropriate method of binding, when you need the flexibility of a choice of colours, a range of sizes and the strength that comes with wire it can often become a poorer choice.

spiral coil colours

A relatively limited range of Coloured coils are available – (most colours and sizes can be sourced but on special order only). We tend to carry clear in stock which is suitable for A4 documents up to about 10mm thick but get other sizes when required.  A number of solid colours can be sourced next day and some translucent variants are also available.

The punching and manufacturing process is a little slower than our in-house wire-o binding so try to factor this in if you need more than a few copies done  quickly.

spiral bindingSpiral Binding and Wire Binding are just two of the many and varied methods we offer to bind your books and documents – find out more about other binding techniques we offer here

We also offer lamination, large format printing and mounting – and an installation service for wall art and display materials.

We do carry a very wide range of sizes of wire-o in an assortment of standard colours so its rare that we find ourselves unable to fulfil orders as and when they are needed.  If in any doubt give us a call to check and we will do our utmost to ensure we have what’s needed for a particular job in stock.