Love Your Planet with Eco-Friendly Print Practices

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As technology has progressed, so has the need to reduce waste.

Sustainable solutions are not new to our industry, and environmentally-friendly practices are something to greatly value. Design, first and foremost, is concerned with solving problems, and that includes the way we partner with you to create sustainable print solutions for the future.

Here are a few real-life of examples of how you can reduce your environmental impact with your print project:

1. Paper Preferences

Want to reduce your personal or corporate waste? The range of paper options has substantially increased in recent years. From recycled wood pulp to “tree-free” papers (made from bamboo, sugarcane, and mango, to name a few), you can now choose from an array of possibilities. If you are interested in knowing more about recycled paper options, we’d be happy to share them with you.

2. Ink Selection

As companies have worked to create eco-friendly products, printing processes and types of ink have been part of that experiment. Non-toxic toners and both soy and vegetable-based inks have matured in quality, continuing to improve in saturation, density, and brilliance. A 2005 Earth Day ad perfectly demonstrated this message, speaking out against chlorine-processed paper on an exceptional-quality poster that employed soy-based inks and recycled paper.

3. Products and Packaging

Environmental improvements in print also include finishes and packaging techniques. Consider simple options for reducing waste, increasing the longevity of a product, or using organic materials to reduce your footprint.

For example, adhesive labels offer you an efficient method for delivering product information without coating an entire packaging surface. Hangtags (versus boxes or containers) significantly reduce the quantity of disposed material you produce. Biodegradable or 100 percent recycled materials can be used for boxes, bags, and more. Even the choice to print a fold-over flyer (versus traditional letter and envelope format) can reduce unnecessary waste.

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Keep the Creativity Flowing

While we don’t know for sure what the future holds, everyday choices can make a collective impact. Remember, you can make a difference, even in your design and print decisions!

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How to Persuade Prospects to Say Yes

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As social creatures, relationships and community have a tremendous influence on a person’s willingness to buy. Keep these six principles of social influence in mind when you’re looking to persuade prospects.

  1. Reciprocation: People say yes when they receive something first.

This is why stores give out free samples. Featured products get a sales lift as people feel obligated to reciprocate by purchasing the product. When a New Jersey waitress offered diners a free piece of chocolate, her tips went up by 3.3 percent, but when she returned and offered them a second (unexpected) chocolate, her tips rose by 21.3 percent!

»To delight your customers, include a small extra with your next printing piece or customize an accessory with a name or meaningful label.

  1. Liking: People say yes to those who are like them.

This may be as simple as a shared nationality or common hobbies, but it can be as nuanced as a salesperson mirroring the gestures, posture, or body language of a potential customer.

» Affirm your customers by highlighting similarities or lavishing authentic compliments, and you will see a measurable impact. Prospects want to feel you like them!

  1. Social Proof: People say yes when they believe others are saying yes.

For example, by merely labeling certain dishes “most popular menu items,” a restaurant in Beijing found these dishes sold 13-20 percent more frequently! When people believe others have responded similarly, a pending purchase seems more sensible.

»To activate this persuasive tactic, share glowing testimonials or data on the number of customers who have recently purchased.

  1. Scarcity: People say yes when supply is limited.

Because people have an aversion to missing out, they want more of something they might get less of. For example, automobile manufacturers who limit production of a new model are able to charge substantially higher rates.

»Employ scarcity by using time-limited offers or constrain buyers to “x” number of products and you will increase the worth of what you offer.

  1. Consistency: People say yes when they’ve taken small steps first.

Work towards personal alignment that will stimulate customers to follow through on new commitments.

»Woo your prospects toward a sale by reminding them how your product or offer corresponds with something they’ve already said they value (family, safety, saving money, health).

  1. Authority: People say yes to authoritative or “trustworthy” communicators, especially when listeners are uncertain.

Communicators are perceived as trustworthy when they are highly qualified, when they are honest about weaknesses or mistakes, or when they say something positive about the competition.

»Use brand story pieces to share how your company is seeking to improve or use highly respected community members to endorse your product.

A Guide to Embossing and Debossing

BE ‘BOSSY! STAND ABOVE THE REST

Beautiful paper and elaborate letterheads may entertain the eye, but they only operate on one dimension. If you’re looking for more depth and variety on your pages, consider embossing or debossing them.

Embossing a page involves putting focused pressure on a target area. It begins by printing ink onto the paper and then pressing the printed area with a die, causing the ink to protrude up from the page. Debossing is the same as embossing except that the die is pressed downwards, causing the image to recede rather than to rise up.

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Embossing and debossing can be performed on most types of paper and cardstock, but the thickness of the sheet determines how detailed the embossing job can be. Thinner sheets allow you to impress more detailed designs, but they also run the risk of breaking under the pressure of the die. On the other hand, thick sheets are unlikely to break, but they can only have simple designs printed on them.

Through embossing and debossing, you can differentiate the information on your documents, providing an alternative to the italics and bold print that most companies use to set words apart. By embossing certain words and giving them a special effect, you can guide your readers’ eyes towards the key information you want to stand out.

Besides ink, you can also emboss and deboss metallic foil into your documents, giving your pages a bright, colorful sheen that ordinary paper can’t offer. Foil embossing and debossing, also known as combination stamping, can be used to place emphasis on words, to create more varied illustrations, or simply to decorate the margins of the page.

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Another decorative option is blind embossing and debossing, which involves putting pressure on blank sections of paper. Whereas ink and foil methods call attention to the image they’re impressing, blind methods give your paper more subtle distinctions. If you want to include a corporate logo on your document, blind embossing is the method of choice, as it puts the image in your reader’s mind without seeming obvious or out of place. You can also use these methods to add a terrain to your paper, giving readers a more varied tactile experience than ordinary paper and cardstock can offer.

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Whether you seek to make your documents easier to understand, insert subtle information, or simply add beauty and distinction to your pages, embossing and debossing add a new range of ways to distinguish your prints. Give us a call today to discuss your next printing project at 856.429.0715.

Employ Printed QR Codes for a Rapid Response

YOUR SECRET CODE FOR SALES

Not long ago, scanning books or groceries using a rectangle barcode seemed quite novel. It was fast, convenient, and just a little fun. But as society’s pace accelerated, so did our need to read barcodes efficiently. In 1994, Japanese auto-makers adopted “Quick Read” QR codes (square matrix barcodes that could be scanned from any direction) that stored a hundred times more information than conventional barcodes.

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QR codes have a unique look, encouraging customers to get involved by scanning the code and following the “digital scavenger hunt” you’ve created to lead them to a URL for your website, social media page, or to retrieve personalized communication from you (like texts or e-mails). QR codes are a fantastic advertising strategy as they allow users to engage with a brand in convenient, personalized ways. QR codes increase conversion rates while coaxing prospects further down the sales funnel effortlessly.

Use InDesign to Create and Modify Your Own QR Codes

Did you know you can use InDesign to create and modify your own QR code? InDesign treats QR codes as graphics, so you can scale and modify them like other artwork in your documents.

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Follow these simple steps to add a QR code to your designs:

  1. Click and drag the Rectangle Frame tool on the page to create an empty frame.
  2. With this frame selected, choose Object/Generate QR Code.
  3. Select what type of data to encode using the Type menu. The content area below this menu will allow you to choose a web URL, plain text, a text message or e-mail option, or even a business card. Enter your preference and continue the corresponding steps to enter appropriate data.
  4. Click the Color tab and choose a color swatch. You can modify the color by changing the “Fill and Stroke” attributes or leave your QR code black and white.
  5. Click OK for your code to be added to the selected frame.

Bridge the Gap Between Print & Digital

Nielson found about 56% of consumers rely on printed materials for sales information, specifically when seeking information on a purchasing decision. Print is seen as a concrete, reliable source, especially for prospects nearing a decision.

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By including QR codes in print marketing, you increase the potential for landing a valuable client. Consider using QR codes for:

  • Product packaging, invoice stuffers
  • Printed menus, business cards, or rack cards
  • Store promotions with discounts available at checkout
  • Promotional games, puzzles, or scavenger hunts
  • Stickers for merchandise, packaging, displays, or cards

Print is naturally viewed as informative and trustworthy, and QR codes are a perfect tool to bridge the gap between your print and online media!

 

How to Make Your Idea Stick

IDEAS THAT STICK

Have you ever shared an idea with someone and seen it immediately take flight in their eyes?

Their mind is churning a thousand miles per minute, and you can tell that they grasp the consequence of what you have shared and how it could be implemented to solve their problem.

Alternatively, we have all seen the glazed look that comes over someone when what you are telling them is either common knowledge or has no impact on their daily life.

How is it that some people can share their ideas in a way that resonates so well with their audience, while others can drop a great idea that falls completely flat?

If you want to avoid your print marketing falling flat, there is an excellent communication framework that you can use that will help you relate your ideas to your audience in a way that they can actively understand – and take action!

Creating the Framework

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When you sit down to write content for your next sales flyer, business card or banner, remember these five key steps for communication that will engage and delight your listeners.

For your content to stick, be useful, and long-lasting, run it through these five questions.

Does your content make your audience:

✔ Pay attention?
✔ Understand and remember it?
✔ Agree/Believe?
✔ Care?
✔ Be able to act on it?

No One Cares About Your Ideas

Here’s the reality. Just because you care passionately and deeply about an idea – even one that hits you to your very core – that doesn’t mean that your audience will share your excitement.

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You have to frame your thoughts in such a way that they become personal and relatable to your listeners. This could mean unique messaging for different people in your audience, as it’s unlikely that a young adult will react in the same way to a pitch on health insurance as would someone close to retirement age.

Bringing in Emotion

Emotion is more than a simple feeling: warm, cold, tired, excited. Emotion is empathy, being able to put yourself in the place of someone else and feel their pain or desires. When you’re able to evoke those feelings in individuals, it causes a deeper level of connection and commitment to your ideas.

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You’ll want people to understand and remember the idea – so it’s essential to make it feel more concrete, or specific. If someone cares about your idea, then they are one step closer to buying into your overall concept, and your idea becomes more “sticky.”

Ultimately, the goal of a communications framework is to make an idea actionable, which is the final step and requires telling a story. The story could be about the benefits that you should expect to receive from pursuing the product or idea.

Stories can take a variety of shapes, from written newsletters to marketing collateral to personal conversations and even text messages that reinforce your point and continue to create a credible and emotional bond with your audience.

If you need help sharing your next great idea through print, contact us today at 856-429-0715!

Is a Bleed Right For Your Print Project?

OVER THE EDGE PRINT.

The way you set up your print project can make all the difference in the final look and feel of your marketing piece. One of the most effective, yet simplest ways to change things up is by using a bleed in your design.

If you’re unsure what exactly a bleed is, how and when you should use it, and the potential challenges with adding a bleed to your project, keep reading. We’ll dig into the bleed concept and provide some best practices to make your print project look amazing every time.

What is a Bleed in Print?

A bleed is a printing technique where your design is printed bigger than the final product’s finished size and then cut down to size. It eliminates any unwanted white space or borders around the edge of your design.

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To put it another way, have you ever seen a printed marketing piece where what’s printed runs all the way to the edges, while other printed pieces may have a white border where the printing stops? That’s a bleed.

The Pros and Cons of Bleeds in Print

Now that you understand what a bleed is, there are times that you may or may not want to go in this direction.

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ere are some things to keep in mind when considering a bleed:

  • Bleeds work well if your design has a full-colored background.
  • If you have letters or images that you want to run right to the edge of your piece without the risk of being cut off, a bleed allows for that freedom.
  • A bleed can be slightly more expensive depending on the sheet size. (Remember, the image is printed larger and cut down to your desired finished size.)
  • If you’re printing a booklet or something that is going to be folded, you almost certainly want bleeds along interior borders, so it doesn’t look as though the project is unfinished. You want it to flow cleanly from one page to the next, and having the colors “meet in the middle” of the folded area is the best way to do that.
  • Bleeds are also great if you’re going to cut your project down to a smaller size, while you may want to skip the bleed if you’re creating a project with an exact border.

Understanding the Bleed Marks on Your Proof

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Once you’ve decided to use bleeds in your print job, you’ll want to understand the markings on your proof when you receive it. The trim marks are generally seen as corner line markings just inside the printed content and ensure that when your pages are trimmed, you will see the full image on the page with no white border. Fold marks are generally dashed lines indicating where you fold an 11″ x 17″ sheet in half, for instance.

Fortunately, using the default values within your graphic design software often provides the best option. It is still helpful to understand how bleeds, trims and folds work to create the most professional print project possible.

If you’d like help creating the perfect brochure for your company, please give us a call today at 856-429-0715!