Archive for May, 2010

Color Us CMYK

May 11, 2010

Color influences us in many ways. It affects our thought process, guides our emotional response, and can even provoke a physical reaction. We use color-based phrases to describe emotion (seeing red, feeling blue or being green with envy) or attribute characteristics (cowardly yellow, black hearted, red blooded). Lack of color is associated with deprivation, while vibrant color connotes richness and vitality.

Color results from energy waves grouped in a color spectrum, and the visible spectrum is the part of the total spectrum that can be seen by the human eye. In Opticks, Sir Isaac Newton provided an early explanation of the visible spectrum and organized a color wheel or color circle to show the relationship between the colors in the visible spectrum (violet, blue, green, yellow, orange, red). A rainbow is a familiar representation of the visible spectrum.

Design That Communicates

May 10, 2010

Whether your task is to design a sales brochure, a display ad, or a newsletter, the purpose is the same: to communicate a message to an audience and to produce a desired response. Put simply, you want to say something to someone so that the person takes a specific action. What this means is that the design you develop is not just about appearance – it is also about the performance of the target audience. Thus good design is measured equally by form and function.

In The Desktop Publisher’s Idea Book, Chuck Green describes five steps that form the basis of good design:

Set the goal
Compose the message
Choose the medium
Select a design
Illustrate the message

Ten Ways Post Cards Can Work For You

May 9, 2010

Consider the common post card. Though small in size, post cards deliver a big message, and do so economically. Compared to a brochure or a flyer, a post card takes less time and less effort to produce and so is more affordable. This makes post cards an important marketing tool for any organization or business.

Whether your objective is business promotion, product or service advertising, brand identity, donation solicitation, invitation, or service or event reminder, a post card gets the job done efficiently and effectively.

Why do post cards consistently outperform other forms of advertising? The reason is simple – the message is in plain view and therefore difficult to ignore. Even if the reader doesn’t intend to get involved with the post card, a strong headline or graphic will catch the eye unbidden.

Although most post cards are used for direct mail marketing, they also have other uses. A post card can be used as a notice on a bulletin board, as a handout at a trade show or meeting, and for inserting into publications or other distributed material.

Here are ten other ways to use post cards:

If You Want it Read, Make it Legible

May 8, 2010

It has been more than 20 years since Paul Brainerd, the founder of Aldus Corporation, coined the term desktop publishing to distinguish his software program PageMaker from professional typesetting. Over that time period, typesetting has migrated from the world of commercial printing and publishing to homes and offices. The quality of type produced by today’s inexpensive and readily available software programs is very different from the primitive appearance of type generated by early desktop publishing programs.

One result of typesetting’s migration to the desktop is the need for a wide variety of people – from art directors to graphic designers, as well as marketing professionals and administrative executives – to learn something about typography. A simple definition of typography is the layout of text on a printed page, but in a broader sense, it is a form of visual communication that effectively increases reader understanding.

In traditional typography, good text composition (page layout) –the arrangement of fonts on the page, the alignment of text, and the manipulation of text, white space, and graphics – improves visual appearance so the reader doesn’t notice the composition. Instead, the reader’s entire attention is focused on the message the text intends to convey.

Going Green with Paper

May 7, 2010

Printing is not a particularly environmentally friendly business. Our presses and platemakers depend on chemicals to work properly; our press plates contain material that doesn’t belong in a landfill; the inks that perform best on press are based on petroleum products; and the papers we print on have a harsh manufacturing process.

We are also leaders in environmental responsibility. We mitigate the environmental impact of the printing process by properly disposing of chemicals, we cooperate with governmental regulatory agencies, and we keep informed about new paper products that are environmentally friendly.

Getting the Word Out… Say It with a Brochure

May 6, 2010

For many businesses and organizations, the company brochure is a fundamental piece of printed marketing literature. Often the next item to be produced after business stationery (business cards, letterheads and envelopes), a brochure puts a brief, targeted message directly in the hands of prospective customers in a format that is portable, easy to store, and easy to pass on to others. A brochure is also integral to the buying process. It functions as a leave-behind following a sales call or meeting with potential customers.

It is a way to respond to inquiries about your products or services or to introduce your company, organization, products, or services when cold calling. As part of a direct mail marketing campaign, a brochure can be included with a sales letter or sent on its own as a self-mailer. And finally, a brochure is a point-of-purchase display to interest customers in additional products or services or provide information.

Brochures have an additional advantage: they can be tailored to meet any printing budget. Whether a simple two-color trifold or an elaborate full color die cut folder, a brochure effectively serves your company’s marketing function.

Newsletters… A Practicum for Success

May 5, 2010

We believe strongly that for most small businesses and community organizations, the best way to sell products and services or to solicit memberships and donations is to publish a newsletter regularly – monthly if budget allows, and quarterly if not. A newsletter reminds customers and members why they selected your business or organization to be affiliated with and introduces new products and services. For prospects, a newsletter creates name recognition and provides an alternative to the present service provider or product supplier.

Another benefit of a newsletter is that it can be tailored to any budget – literally. Naturally, we prefer a newsletter budget that is large enough to allow us to keep you on schedule by taking over all publication tasks, from design and layout to print and mail. But if your budget is modest, don’t deny your company or organization the benefits of regularly publishing a newsletter.

Contact us with this information: the quantity of newsletters you’d like to distribute, how often you’d like to publish, and the amount that has been budgeted. We’ll back into specifications to keep the newsletter within that amount.

Trying to Reach New Customers? Try a Newsletter!

May 4, 2010

Many businesses understand the value of direct mail as a marketing tool. But have you ever considered the value of a newsletter as a sales-related publication? A newsletter can help your business or organization generate new business or increase membership; cultivate customer and member loyalty; increase repeat sales or continued giving; and boost referrals.

How can a newsletter accomplish all these objectives? By communicating useful information in an easy-to-understand format. And when we say useful information, we mean not only facts, tips and expert advice; but also new product or service information.

So what does it take to launch a customer-focused newsletter? In this issue of Printips we’ll provide some guidelines and suggestions to help you take advantage of a newsletter as a selling tool.

Practical Tips for Direct Mail Marketing

May 3, 2010

Direct marketing is an outreach to consumers or businesses that is designed to generate a response: an order, a request for further information, or a visit to a business. Direct marketing is effective because it can be targeted at a specific audience; it arouses interest; and its results can be measured. When done properly, direct marketing creates a relationship with an existing or potential customer.

The word direct denotes that the marketing outreach is straight to the intended recipient, without the use of third party media such as newspaper, magazine, or television advertising. Although some direct marketing outreach is in the form of door hangers, package inserts, broadcast FAX, telemarketing, or e-mail, the most prevalent means of reaching consumers or businesses is by using the mail.

Why You Should Use Us For Your Next Printing Job

May 2, 2010

Have you ever wondered why we decided to send this newsletter to you? If you’re a regular customer of ours, you probably can guess that we want to stay “top of mind” when you need printing. We also like to demonstrate our product knowledge and technical expertise, and provide useful information that will make your job of buying printing easier.

Now we’ll reveal a secret – we also send this newsletter to people who aren’t using our services. All of you not-yet-customers were not randomly added to our mailing list; rather, you hear from us because the profile of your business or organization matches the profile of one or more of our top customers. We do a good job for them; we think we can do a good job for you.

Our confidence comes from our relationship to our top customers. We know a lot about their businesses and organizations and how printing or copying or mailing services helps support their organizational mission. We are acquainted with their industry’s annual cycle of activities and how to reach their customers. We have developed expertise in the type of printing most used by businesses in that industry. Thus the relationship we’ve developed with our top customers can benefit you and your business or organization.