The Volume Advantage

07 Vlum.jpgThe more you print, the better the price can be per piece. That can have its advantages in many situations. Planning your marketing for the entire year, or even just a season, will save you in dollars and time.

Plenty on Hand
Those pieces that don’t change throughout the year and go out the door in high volume are perfect to print in larger quantities. You will always have these pieces in stock and can fill your orders or fulfill your mailings with ease.

Lower Costs
For flyers, brochures, postcards, and other things that use full-color print, the more you print, the lower the cost per piece. This kind of “discount” pricing is beneficial for planning longer term or for larger-volume projects.

Quick Turnaround
Short-run options may be more advantageous when looking at either smaller volumes or quicker turnarounds. Sometimes convenience is more important than cost.
No matter what you plan for or what your budget is, there is a print-volume solution that will fit the size of your wallet. Call us today to discuss your next printing project 856.429.0715.

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The Power of Simplicity in Marketing

KNOW YOUR ENEMY

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You have an upcoming marketing or sales campaign and want promotional materials that have the right combination of imaging, color, design, and narrative to make the biggest impact on your customers. How can you design the right balance for your materials to make that impact?

Balancing Perfection and Excellence

The 19th-century American essayist, Henry David Thoreau, had great advice for us living with the overload of the information age: “Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand…”

On the other hand, we can temper Thoreau’s advice with a caveat by Albert Einstein: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” So how do you strike a balance between perfection and excellence? What are the enemies of simplicity?

The Enemies of Simplicity

Marty Neumeier addresses the enemies of simplicity in his book The Brand Flip. The enemies of simplicity, according to the author, can sabotage your marketing in 7 ways:

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So, remember that in our enthusiasm to succeed, we can create clutter. Start simple and build that foundation. To paraphrase our friend Thoreau, your castles in the air are where they should be. “Now put the foundations under them.”

Perfect Your Proofing

MAKE IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME THROUGH

 

It may seem like there is never time to proof something thoroughly the first time, but when it is not done, you may end up making time to do the entire job a second time. Just what are some of the things that should be checked during the proofing process? Here is a list to perfect your proofing strategy:

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Proof the text.

The first place to start is the text. Review all text for spelling and grammatical correctness, check punctuation, and most importantly, accuracy of content. Making changes to text later in the production process will only slow things down, so make sure that everything is perfect before moving on to the next step.

Proof the images.

Viewing the images on your computer is a great place to start, as long as your screen is calibrated properly, but keep in mind that the colors on-screen will not be a perfect match to the colors that are printed. Be sure to check the size and resolution of the image. For high-level image quality jobs, it may be wise to have a physical proof rather than just an on-screen proof of the images done on professional proofing equipment so you can get a better idea of the true color of the piece.

Proof the pages.

Checking an entire page of an original can be done on screen, but it is also a good idea to print out the pages. Look over the typography, placement of images, illustrations and text, as well as hyphenation and line arrangement, page format, and bleeds.

The difference between a thorough proof and no proof at all is the time you may spend having to redo a job. Taking the time at the beginning will save you time and money in the long run.

Add Some Motion to Your Designs!

MOVE YOUR IDEAS

Artists have long sought ways to convey motion and the passage of time within a static, two-dimensional space. Implied motion can transform an otherwise uninteresting design into a far more dynamic expression that catches the consumer’s eye. Here are just a few examples of how you can incorporate implied motion into a two-dimensional design:

Eruption of Form: A grouping of shapes, expanding from or retreating to a focal point, gives the suggestion of movement and can convey an outward rush of ideas or emotion. The repeating elements in the design below give the impression of objects moving outward toward the observer.

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Directional Cues: Objects with a pointed or triangular shape help to lead the eye through a design. A simple arrow, like the one below, will lead the viewer through your message and impart the feeling of momentum.

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Dimensional Lines: Strong perspectives will draw the eye of the viewer across the page, while outlining a curved path or adding a dashed line will create a visual path that provides movement within a design. For example, the dimensionality of this curving line of text gives it movement and depth.

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Breaking a Static Plane: A centered object, with lines parallel to the edges, appears to be static and unmoving. Skewing the object to create a strong diagonal presence will lead the eye through the design and add the illusion of motion. Cropping the object will give it the appearance of entering or exiting the plane of motion.

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Sequential Time: Drawings, or photographs, placed in a row, work to tell a story over time. These images, placed side by side together, tell a dynamic story and instill a strong sense of motion within a static, two-dimensional medium.

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By arranging composition elements with time and motion in mind, as we’ve shown you in the examples above, you can more effectively control the movement of the viewer’s eye and convey your message in a more memorable and visually interesting way.

 

 

Leading Like a Pro

ALL-STAR LEADING

Creating a print project that pops takes more than having the best printer on the block. It also requires stellar design and text that is well thought-out and easy to read.

Have you ever wondered how those professionally designed print pieces look so incredibly clean-cut and crisp? To get that clean, easy-to-read look, professional designers make use of the big three in typography: leading, kerning, and tracking. Although all of them are important, leading can make or break a design.

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What is Leading?

Simply put, the term ‘leading’ (pronounced LED-ing) refers to the amount of spacing between lines of text. (Fun fact: The term originated from hand-typesetting where thin strips of lead were placed into the forms to increase the distance between lines of text.) When you want to save space on a page or use up more space on a page, adjusting the leading is the way to go. Leading can also be used to change the aesthetics of your design, whether your text is the hero of your design or informational only. Mastering this design element will allow you to create balanced, well-formatted text that helps sell your product or service.

First Things First

When you type text into a word processing or graphic design program, you will generally get a pleasing result. Sometimes, though, the spacing may feel a bit “off.” This can be especially true if you’re using a variety of sizes, fonts, or other character adjustments. When you type the same word in a few different fonts, you will quickly see the difference between how the spacing works for individual words, both horizontally and vertically. No fonts are exactly the same, which can cause awkwardness in your design. The cure for that awkwardness is formatting.

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General Formatting

Formatting can be applied at either the character level or the paragraph level. Paragraph-level formatting includes text alignment (left, right, center or justified) as well as spacing before or after paragraphs. Examples of character-level formatting include the style and choice of font, size of the characters, and the leading.

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Application of Leading
While leading is considered a character-level attribute, it should generally be applied at the paragraph level to your text. This is because applying it only to a few lines of the text within a paragraph will only change the lines highlighted — which leaves you with an uneven final product.
Changing the fixed leading in InDesign can be accomplished in a few simple steps:
  • Go to ‘Edit,’ then ‘Preferences’ in previous versions of InDesign, or ‘Preferences’ in InDesign CC
  • Choose ‘Type’ from the left-side of the list
  • Under ‘Type Options,’ choose ‘Apply Leading to Entire Paragraphs’
  • Select ‘OK’
All finished! Now, every paragraph that you begin will inherit these same options, giving you very consistent and clear paragraphs that are easily read by your audience. InDesign is a very smart program, so even if you don’t set a leading value, you’ll find that it defaults to auto leading — which is 120 percent of the current font size. Realistically, that translates into a space between lines of 12 pts if you’re using a 10 pt font.
Want to learn more about how leading and character formatting can make the text in your next printing project really pop? Give us a call to get started!

 

When Color Matters: Tips for Specifying Colors

LET YOUR TRUE COLORS SHINE THROUGH

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You’re designing a new brochure, flyer, or newsletter and want to make sure it looks great. You’re considering printing it full-color, but aren’t sure if that’s the best option to choose, considering your budgetary needs. Here are some tips to help you decide how many colors to use and how to make the most of the colors you choose.

When to use spot colors

  • You only need one or two colors for the printed piece.
  • Your project doesn’t include any full-color photos.
  • Your corporate colors need to be reproduced to exact specifications and cannot be reproduced faithfully enough by combining cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK)… the four “process” colors.
  • Your project calls for fluorescent, metallic, or other special inks.

When to use process color…

  • You need more than two colors.
  • Your piece includes full-color photos.

When to use both…

  • You want to enhance the colors by including a “bump” plate (an extra printing plate set up in one of the four process colors and meant to enhance that tone).
  • Your project includes full-color photos, but your logo or corporate colors don’t reproduce well with process color inks.
  • Your project includes full-color photos and also requires metallic, fluorescent, or other special inks.

No matter what color combination you choose, there are some things you can do to ensure your project goes more smoothly. For example, as you’re preparing your artwork, make sure you aren’t “duplicating” any colors. Look through the color palette in your page layout software. Remove any duplicate colors you find, and reassign the corresponding objects and layers accordingly.

Also make sure you give your colors the same names in each application you use for the project. For example, make sure you give the color the same name in InDesign as you give it in Photoshop and Illustrator. This will help reduce confusion and ensure the colors separate properly when preparing the piece for print.

And finally, if you decide to go with process printing, use your design software to convert any spot colors you have to their CMYK equivalents. When doing so, double-check the values the software assigns, to ensure good printability. For example, if Photoshop gives a color a 1% magenta value, you might want to do some tweaking to eliminate the need for that value. We’ll be happy to help you optimize your files for print and answer any questions you have while producing your files.

Boost Your Marketing Prowess with Perfect Postcard Design

POW! PUNCH! POSTCARDS!

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Postcards are an excellent way to grab attention, partly because you can get your message across to the reader without requiring them to take action like opening an envelope or an email. With a postcard, your message is always front and center as soon as the printed piece hits their hand.

However, readers can easily be turned off by an unattractive postcard design or miss key information if it’s not well-presented. Keep these perfect postcard design tips in mind to boost your marketing power and encourage your audience to take action on your message.

Get to the Point

You should have one obvious call to action for your postcard and create the rest of the design around driving home that point. Do you want customers to take advantage of an expensive offer for a high-end brand? Or are you looking for a fun response to a social media inquiry?

Understanding your audience and what you’re trying to accomplish will help drive design direction for your postcard. Each detail of the postcard, from the fonts and colors used to the size of the card itself and the finish, should all build the look and feel that will reinforce your brand and message.

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Attention-Grabbing Design

Even the classiest of postcards can be attention-grabbing, whether it’s font size, bright colors, or added pops of foil or other special treatments. Try experimenting with different cardstock options or graphics and put them together in creative ways. Look at your design in real size from across the room. Are you able to easily tell the main point, and does the postcard design look like something that would catch attention at a glance? If not, try again!

Don’t Be Boring

People receive dozens of pieces of mail in a week, and you have only a split second to catch their attention. One of the best ways to do that (other than the design) is to have fun with the message and the layout. A bright pop of color is great, but having that integrated around a fun message will keep them reading once they’ve picked up the postcard. Don’t overstuff the postcard space with text, but look for a good balance that provides enough information for the reader to take action. Here are some quick tips that will help:

✔ Be brief: Less important details can be relegated to the back, to keep the front clutter-free.

✔ Be unique: Consider postcard designs that are extraordinary such as odd shapes or sizes.

✔ Be clear: Providing a specific call to action and benefits to your audience will help them engage with your message.

✔ Be engaging: If one postcard is great, a series of postcards can provide you with an even greater impact.

If you liked these tips, our postcard pros have tons more. They’re standing by to help you design the right postcard to meet (and exceed!) your business goals. Contact us today at 856.429.0715 to learn more and get started writing your postcard success story!

http://www.sjprinter.com