A blog all about ‘Beer Mats’

All about beermats, dripmats and coasters!

Beermat manufacturer, sorry, supplier Zyan buy beermat domains

The latest beer mat news is that Solent Media Limited trading as Zyan Design & Print has just purchased two .com beermat domains to “facilitate expansion”, at a cost of $10,000. The intention is laudable, but purists may claim that their money would have been better spent toward a deposit for the purchase of a print press, rather than a domain or two. There is nothing wrong with selling beermats, many print brokers, dealers, agencies, promotional houses, print suppliers and advertising houses do, but there is no evidence that these companies claim to be a beermat manufacturer in the process.

So, can you claim to be a manufacturer if you are not? The short answer is you can claim to be virtually anything, but it doesn’t mean you are, perhaps only that you simply aspire to be something else. Who knows, but here is the actual definition of a ‘manufacturer’: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”.  So, if you advertise and take orders for beermats, then place that order on a beermat manufacturing company, who then go on to manufacture the beermats, are you a beermat manufacturer? I think not!

This is the ‘title’ on Zyan’s beermats page as of today’s date: Beer mats, drip mats printer and manufacturer – Zyan Design & Print. Of course they are not alone, there is another Beermat Company using Google Advertising in which they claim that there is “no middleman”. Right, so this particular Beermat Company, doesn’t print their own beermats, but they claim in their advertising that there is no middleman. They also, by the way, claim to be a beermat manufacturer. What is the world coming to? Perhaps it is the Internet that facilitates or allows claims that are difficult for casual observers to substantiate? I know for example, that I would like to be 6′ 2″ tall, but if anyone was to meet me, they would quickly work out that I am a good 4″ shorter. But, if I made this claim on the Internet, who would know?

So what’s my beef? Well, there are dozens of highly professional companies out there that are actively selling printed beermats, but do not feel the necessity to claim to be the manufacturer. They offer a service, but they are not on a level playing field, because there is an implication, or perhaps a perception that, by dealing with a manufacturer the price will be cheaper, there is more control over the manufacturing process or maybe the service will be faster. Arguably, if there was no sales or commercial advantage, why would anyone claim to be a manufacturer when they don’t own a press?

There is NO reason why any individual or company should not buy their beermats through an intermediary, in fact, many choose to do so. But, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for any business to claim to be a manufacturer, when in reality they are an intermediary. If you offer a good service, your prices are competitive and you deliver on your promises, it is possible to be successful and candid.

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4 February, 2009 Posted by | General, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Beermats & fly tipping, getting the message over

Everyone accepts that fly tipping is becoming an increaing problem as the cost of rubbish disposal in landfill sites increases every year. Now some of the local councils are using beermats, which coincidentally are themselves 100% recyclable, to deliver a hard-hitting message in relation to this illegal and anti-social activity.

Gateshead Council used 40,000 branded beermats to deliver quirky and innovative messages to raise awareness of the campaign aimed at capturing the public’s imagination and encouraging them to take ownership of their Borough.

Two distinctive designs were utilised bearing images of environmental crimes as well as details of the fines attached to the offence. One was aimed at street litter, such as takeaway rubbish and other forms of fast food waste, whilst the other was aimed at fly tippers. The council emphasised that anyone caught dropping litter could face a fine of up to £50 whilst fly tippers could risk fines of up to £50,000.

The beermats were distributed to local pubs and clubs who were said to have been fully behind the campaign and its virtues.

Beermats have become a popular and inexpensive medium for advertising, branding and campaign messages used by many governement agencies, charities and businesses to deliver their messages. Because they can now be ordered in smaller quantities, are typically litho-printed in full colour, they are perfectly suited to targeted campaigns. No longer the sole domain of breweries, beermats are being used in mailers, at shows, as business cards and in upmarket restaurants and hotels.

14 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be seduced into buying fake beermats

Ask any landlord, industry player or beermat collector and they will instantly tell you that a genuine beermat is made from wood-pulp and there is a very simple reason for that, it is the pulp that provides the beermat with it’s absorbency qualities.

 

The fact that for decade’s beermats have been made from pulp-wood for very good reason, there has recently been a plethora of companies offering ‘fake’ beermats, in other words, beermats that are not made from pulp. Why does it really matter? Well these beermats are quaintly described as ‘constructed beermats’ that is to say they are typically made by gluing printed paper onto the top and bottom of board to create the “beermat”. Whilst this may look pretty and may even justify the description of a beermat, there the similarities remain.

 

Constructed beermats, or as the experts might argue, fake beermats, may act as an advertising medium, but because the print is onto paper, thee beermats are simply unable to absorb liquid without coming apart. Typically as the constructed beermats come into touch with water, the paper simply comes away or curls from the board, leaving an unsightly mess. In addition, when water liquid comes into touch with printed paper, most people already know the outcome, streaks of wet print!

 

So why do people offer fake, constructed beermats? For the most part, it is based on price, in the past it has been easier and cheaper to print short runs on coasted paper and then construct the beermat. This is because beermat board has to be printed on specialized print presses which can deal with the thickness of the board, whilst constructed beermats can be printed on virtually any press. However, some of the beermat companies have introduced printing practices that allow short runs of pulp-wood beermats, yes litho printed, full colour runs on pulp-wood board….in fact one UK company offers runs starting at just 25 beermats!

 

Why are fake beermats still offered? Well given they are considerable less useful that a genuine beermats and that there is a real and practicable alternative, perhaps it is profit, the only way to be certain is to ask the people that continue to push these constructed beermats.

 

Whilst in the past there may have been some justification in offering constructed beermats, in spite of the fact that these mats had few, if any of the properties of a genuine pulp-wood beermats, it does seem difficult to justify now!

 

9 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to design a beermat

Because different manufacturers may have variations, it is always worth checking first, but as a general guide the following would apply to designing a beermat.

Most beermats are printed square with rounded corners or less commonly, are round. Beermats are normally 94mm square or 94mm diameter. However, the beermats have to be printed and cut, therefore it is not acceptable to simply provide artwork which is 94mm. The following guidelines relate to a ‘square’ beermats with rounded corners, but the general principles would apply equally to a 94mm diameter beermat.

Artwork should be provided 100mm x 100mm. This allows for a 4mm guide, the cut edge and a bleed area. Edge borders should be a minimum of 7mm (4mm plus bleed). The beermat itself is 94mm x 94mm and the corner radius is 6.35mm. Because of the absorbent nature of genuine beermat board, the design process must always be treated differently to normal paper stock. For example, fonts must be a minimum of 7 point and for ‘reversed out’ text, a minimum of 9 point. Gold, silver and florescent’s are not accepted colours, although they can normally be provided as a ‘spot colour’ but this can add considerably to any price quoted.

Although beermats are typically litho-printed using the industry standard CMYK, because the board is manufactured using a particularly absorbent substrate, colour variances are inevitable, therefore if anyone has a particular pantone in mind for their company logo, they should stick with coated paper!

Most beermat manufacturers now insist on a high resolution PDF of the design, those that do not will normally insist that the image is converted to process colours and saved at a minimum of 300 dpi. Some of the more ‘switched on’ beermat manufacturer will offer an in-house design service, more often than not, at favourable rates, so it is always worth enquiring. If you want to deal with the manufacturer direct, it is best to ask a few pertinent questions, because some company’s lay claim to be a manufacturer when they are not and others may not even be based in the country you are from…relying instead on a ‘virtual office’ address!

8 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the beermat we trust

When the Roman Catholic Church recognised that there had been a sharp decline in the number of priests, they decided to use beermats as part of the recruitment campaign. With many parishes having to cope without a priest, the church recognised that they needed a powerful, meaningful and innovative method of recruiting priest to the church. They opted for the powerful force of the beermat.

 

The beermats were distributed around pubs in the London area and supported with a poster campaign in the London underground. With an expectation that the number of priests would continue to decline, the campaign had to be innovative to succeed.

 

Once again beermats are proven to be an excellent medium for delivering messages to a targeted audience. There are several manufacturers of beermats in the UK who can design, manufacture and print bespoke campaign messages.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Up in smoke? UKIP use beermats to campaign

Beermats are often used in campaigns given, it is suggested though independent research, that they are read some 10 times before being discarded. Perhaps aware of this fact, UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom launched a beer mat campaign aimed at rousing public opinion to have the blanket smoking ban in pubs overturned.

 

Clearly the beleaguered landlords of the UK’s public houses were for the most part, supportive of this initiative, given many want to provide their customers with the choice, rather than having blanket bans imposed by government.

 

Not for the first time, UKIP utilised beer mats to re-enforce their message, allowing the beermat to do the talking. Beer mats can now be ordered in smaller quantities making them ideal for smaller campaigns, targeted campaigns, promotions or brand building. Some beermat manufacturers will offer 1000 genuine pulp board beermats, printed in full colour both sides, for the princely sum of less than £100. This really places the beer mat in reach of the vast majority of small and medium sized business in the UK.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Mats? – Just the job!

In 2004, Pertemps used beermats to boost the number of applicants signing up on their jobs website.

 

Each beermat described, with humour, a different type of job available through their job portal. They used a total of 8 designs and distributed them around the pubs and clubs of the UK. This is yet another example of beermats being used to promote something that has nothing to do with alcohol, demostrating the power of this medium. No doubt they were encouraged by independent research which claims that a beer mat will be read 10 times before being finally, if reluctantly discarded.

 

Since 2004, UK based beermat printers have improved their printing methods allowing orders to be taken for as few as 1000 beermats, all for under £100, allowing beermats to be used by the mass market..at last!

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Beermat Game – Flicking Beer mats online

If you enjoy flicking beermats in your local pub, but don’t actually get the chance to visit your ‘local’ as often as you like, there is a solution. The Beermat Game is an online version, where you can flick beermats as many times as you want and you won’t even have to buy a beer!

 

You simply click the ‘flick’ button and then the ‘catch’ button when you are ready to grab your beermat, and there is a flickometer that will test your time. It is great fun and certainly worth considering for your online entertainment.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cancer awareness campaigns using beermats

Once again beermats prove their worth as a medium for delivering serious messages to a targeted audience. Every year, some 27,000 men are diagnosed with prostrate cancer and 10,000 die from this disease. The UK based ‘Prostate Cancer Charity’ launched a campaign called ‘Real Man’ which was aimed at raising awareness of this disease. The beermats featured a quiz which offered prizes which included £200 of Dixons vouchers.

 

This campaign, once again, proved how beermats can be utilised to deliver a serious message as well as offer a little fun. By utilising the option of printing different design on the front and back of the beermat, the charity maximised the impact of their message.

 

Whilst this particular campaign was targeted at men drinking in pubs, beer mats are often used for direct mail campaigns, free giveaways and at conferences. Some companies also offer pre-printed beermats with serious, fun and safety awareness messages.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beermats deliver Road Safety message

You may well ask what beermats have to do with road safety. Well, road safety campaigners in the county of Cumbria used beer mats to reinforce the message that drivers should wear their seatbelts.

 

The county was alarmed at the number of people driving in Cumbria who were not wearing seatbelts. Therefore, they launched a campaign utilising beermats which included pictures of the injuries suffered by people who had not been wearing their seatbelts.

 

This particular campaign has a pleasant picture on one side and then relying on the age old practice of ‘beer mat flipping’ they included an image on the reverse of someone that had suffered horrific injuries as a consequence of not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Clearly beermats can deliver serious messages as well as act as an advertising or branding tool as was clearly recognised by the road safety campaigners in Cumbria. Some UK manufacturers of beermats offer short print runs at a fraction of the cost, allowing a wider audience to use beermats for small campaigns or perhaps, a number of different campaign designs.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment