Producing Campaigning Materials

Ideas for Producing Home Made Campaigning Materials

Andrew Johnson (ad.johnson@ntlworld….), Originally posted, Jan 2007 Revised Aug 2007

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1         Sources/Suppliers of materials etc

 DVD’s, Duplicators, A4 Paper, Bulk Ink

 DVD’s and drives and PC equipment

 Stickers, Laminators, Laminating Pockets, Long Arm Stapler.

 Business cards etc

 sometimes good for paper + envelopes.

2         DVD Duplication

2.1        Cheap DVDs

(Approx 15p each) when bought in batches of 100. Try to get in 100 or 200 as postage always adds 25 or 30% to the cost (from SVP)

Single layer DVD-R will play in most players. “Printable” ones now cost little or no more than “non-printable”. Much quicker and neater than hand writing – also means you can put in clear plastic wallets – simple and cheap packaging (and light for posting).

2.2        Burners + Duplicators

Pioneer DVR 111 is supposedly one of the best ones (I have one). They are £20 each. An external (USB) burner can be got for about £45 from SVP.

Nero 7 PC Burning Software can be for from SVP for about £5, though there is also free burner software available such as:


CDBurnerXP Pro:…

Approx £250 – you can buy them empty or full of drives (i.e. built or in kits). I was recently loaned a ACARD duplicator and have been quite impressed with it. Using a “3-up”, it is possible to churn out perhaps 18 disks per hour

Can fit a hard drive into most of these (which will multiple DVD “images”)

2.3        Plastic Wallets

Approx 1p each when bought in packets of 100. Paper wallets can generally be more expensive.

3         Printing

3.1        Printer and Ink

3.1.1        Printer

I use an Epson R220 DVD Printer (Approx £60), now superseded by R265. New cartridges for this printer are currently expensive – and full sets of 6 cartridges sell on e-bay for approx £20-£25.

For earlier EPSON R220, I use cheap “clone” Cartridges (Approx £1 each – 30 for £28). Each cartridge does about 200 or so pages.

This reduces paper costs to approximately 1p per A4 side of colour, if you get basic 80 gms/sq m.

3.1.2        Continuous Ink Supply System

These can be a little fiddly to fit, as you have to get the pipes to the cartridges in the right place. They are now available for the Epson R265 printer (I am not sure if they are available for other makes of printer.

If you intend to do a lot of printing, then these will greatly reduce the material cost of printing – to less than most printers will charge you (and much less when small quantities are involved).

If you are careful when printing, you can get great results. I have been very pleased with the results for doing booklets, but you almost inevitably get some wastage if sheets come out in the wrong order or they fall on the floor and you have to put them back in the right order carefully , so you can end up with wasted sheets (as I have).


3.2        Paper

Decent A4 paper (80 grams per square meter) can be got for about £2.50/ream from SVP, although postage can add to this. Wilko’s can also be cheap. Viking Direct can be cheap too.

3.3        Stickers

I have used 3 different  styles – 24 on A4 (white), 24 on A4 (fluorescent yellow) and 8 on A4. You can stick these anywhere. They are best indoors. I have sprayed some sheets with “fabsil” to give them a little water resistance. This adds a little to the cost, however.

Stickers can also be got from e-bay, although I found a cheap supplier here:

3.4        Booklets

These are a little more tricky to do, although the later versions of  Microsoft Word (2003) have booklet printing features built in (but I haven’t used these).

I currently print – “Tyranny Alert’s 9/11 Fairy Tale from Hell”, and some other booklets I print.

A while ago, I looked at getting booklets printed professionally, but with minimum order of 50 or 100, it was looking like between £1 and £5 per small booklet. I worked out I could print them myself at a cost of approx 20p each (including Paper and Ink)

I use some software called “Fine Print 2000” which can generate booklets, 4 pages per sheet, 8 per sheet etc. However, I have a PDF writer so can generate PDF’s ready to print out as booklets if you need this.

I can print 10 copies of 1 side of the booklet, flip the wad over in the printer, then print 10 copies on the other side. I then use the long arm stapler (£17 from e-bay) to staple the sheets together – a very simple process.

For more information see here: – a free download is available for trial.

3.5        Laminated Acetates

These are fairly easy to make and also quite cheap – approx 10p each, if you get the acetates in boxes of 100 (e-bay – £6 or £7). These can be attached to traffic light pillars, signposts etc. I used to use tie-wraps to put them up – these are good, but at about 4 – 5p each they add to the cost (again you can get packs of 100 for about £5 from e-bay).

I have now started using insulated wire (I have an old reel). I had one A4 laminated sheet on a busy set of traffic lights (A52 into Nottingham) which survived for about 2 months!

3.6        Banner Printing

My printer software supports printing an enlarged A4 design across multiple sheets, and this could be useful in some circumstances, but the problem of assembling the jigsaw for outdoor use may be problematic. It may be better to print a single letter on an A4 sheet to make a bigger banner.

Professional printers will do banners on canvas, vinyl etc and these start at around £30 or £40.

3.7        Business Cards

I have had several boxes of these from – you can get 250 for about £3 or £3.50 – sometimes you can get 500 for £6. These are very good. They often give you other free things like address labels and you can re-order through the web site. You can choose from some very nice fixed designs or upload your own, but the latter costs extra.

3.8        Campaign Kit

These are just sheets printed in large text, put into plastic A4 wallets (I got about 400 for £8 from partners on a 2 for 1 offer). You can put these in an A4 ring binder, then use them to illustrate key points, if you are talking to people in the street. Again, you can make 1 for £1 or £2 (if you get the wallets in smaller packs).

4         Packaging / Posting

All the materials I use are recycled – quite often what I’ll do is keep the boxes/packets that DVD’s, printer cartridges etc are delivered in, then cut them up to use for smaller packets. Also generally keep other packaging from stuff we get. Breakfast cereal packets can also be cut up to provide some protection. When sending a number of DVD’s, I pack them with the labels facing inwards towards each other, as it is the TOP surface that the dye is attached to.

Junk mail can sometimes contain A5/C5 (half-A4 envelopes). Using these in conjunction with re-cycled cereal packets can make packages which will keep disks protected enough and they will cost you nothing.

Alternatively, cheap envelopes can often be got from “pound shops”, Wilkinsons (Wilcos), e-bay or Viking Direct (

I got a free set of digital weighing scales on an offer from, though again these can be got from e-bay. I use this a lot for postage and “counting by weighing”. I get low denomination stamps, so I can make up the correct amount. However, Royal Mail now have an online postage facility, which accepts PayPal, so that may be useful for some people then ask people to pay me in stamps for items, then I use those to post the “next lot of stuff”. This saves people sending cash or wasting money buying postal orders.

5         Websites

Obviously, there are many hundreds of Websites, but setting up your own needn’t be all that difficult. Most of the free services have templates and simple design tools, but if you want a website for your group, so that you can post events listings or share information, that will likely need more sophisticated tools.

Having said that, even the free services offered by MySpace ( and Blogger ( may be sufficient.

There is also the main UK website where events  etc can be posted.


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