Paper Shifts Color: Orange is the New Red

SO MANY ACRONYMS, SO LITTLE TIME

Have you ever been to a restaurant and all you wanted was a simple breakfast? Just when you thought you had your order all planned out, your waitress hits you with a rambling of options. Would you care for white, wheat, rye, or pumpernickel bread? Do you want those eggs fried, scrambled, poached, green, with a side of ham? Sometimes, the choices seem endless.

When it comes to printing, sometimes your options can feel a little like that, too. Take spot colors, for instance. Any colors that fall outside of the normal range of CMYK inks are commonly called “spot colors.” Where CMYK colors use a blend of four specific inks – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black to create a wide range of color, spot colors are actually pre-mixed using a unique formula to create one, specific color. As you start to learn more about spot colors, one of the things you’ll notice is that just like your breakfast options, there are a number of different acronyms and options that you’re somehow supposed to be able to keep track of. Would you like coated, uncoated, or matte? Huh? Thankfully, they have pretty straightforward explanations.

C vs. U and Beyond

The acronyms C and U refer to “coated” and “uncoated.” The key thing to remember here is that when used in reference to spot colors, they’re actually talking about the paper and not the ink. Ink is made up of pigment (the color) and the carrier, which is usually oil. The oil part of the ink soaks into the paper and dries. The pigment sits up on top of the mineral or clay coating with coated papers, but soaks into the fibers with uncoated papers. Because the type of paper you’re using can have a pretty significant impact on the way the ink color appears in real life, it’s something you’ll want to try and keep track of.

Here’s an example of what coated versus uncoated paper would look like. You can see how the coated paper provides some extra “shine.”

 

That “shine” will affect how spot colors are displayed, so keep that in mind when making your paper choice.

Furthermore, if you were to compare the colors PANTONE 185C and PANTONE 185U side-by-side, for example, one of the first things you would notice is that PANTONE 185C looks a little brighter and a little more saturated than the PANTONE 185U version. You’re still talking about literally the exact same ink, but the difference between coated and uncoated stock changes the way that ink ultimately looks when printed. Pretty fascinating, and pretty important to remember when making your decisions!

paper-chase-pantone-swatches.jpg

“M” stands for matte. Matte coated or dull coated papers are still coated with a mineral coating, so the ink colors typically look closer to the C or coated version, but keep in mind that these papers are not as bright and tend to make the color ink look a little more subdued.

Pretty simple, right?

Two other acronyms that you might encounter are CVU and CVC. The “CV” letters stand for “computer video” and are largely used to reproduce colors on a computer screen. Adding a “U” for uncoated or “C” for coated indicates which paper type is being simulated on the computer screen.

Hopefully, by now you’ve realized that your options aren’t nearly as hard to work with as you thought they were. Remember that these options, even though they’re used in conjunction with the ink are actually talking about the paper. The ink, for the most part, is the ink is the ink, but the paper is a whole different story. Select your swatches in any way you see fit, but remember, ultimately the type of paper you choose can make something darker, less saturated, more saturated or something else entirely.

Advertisements

Use Color Contrast to Trick the Brain

LEND COLOR TO YOUR DESIGN

What would you say is the primary organ used for your sense of sight?
While many would quickly answer that question with “the eye,” it’s actually your brain. Why?

Because while your eyes do collect visual information, your brain is the mastermind behind it that interprets the data in a way that is meaningful to you.

You can manipulate the brain to your advantage in your designs by merely adjusting the hue, value, and saturation of different colors.

Color Theory Basics

As you get started with your next design, revisiting some basics of color theory can be helpful.

Did you know that the human eye adjusts when focusing on colors of different wavelengths? This is why colors with longer wavelengths appear closer while those with shorter wavelengths seem more distant.

Cool colors (blue, green, purple) seem to recede, while warm colors (red, yellow, and orange) seem to close in or advance. In multicolor compositions, contrasting colors can create all kinds of movement.

410-green-red-fish.jpg

Here are some other brain-manipulating techniques you can experiment with on your next print project.

1. Create More Contrast
The greater the difference between a figure and its backdrop, the more sharply defined (or near) a figure will appear to be. A dark figure will come forward (toward the viewer) on a light background, while a light object will possess more depth when placed on a dark background.

410-crab-red-white

2. Experiment with Different Hues
On a dark blue brochure, a light blue subheading will advance slightly, but a bright yellow headline will leap forward. If your background and foreground are similar in hue (like a hot pink background with yellow font), the yellow will read much cooler than it does on dark blue.

410-octopus

3. Use Dull, Neutral Backgrounds
Using backgrounds like tan or grey when you want to draw attention or create a primary focus in your design. Dropping nearly any color on these muted shades can make your focal point sing!

410-starfish

4. Influence the Way Viewers Perceive Size
Did you know an object in a lighter seems larger than an equally-sized object in a darker color?

410-fish

Here’s a more real-world example: a political advertisement contrasting two people may use a photo of the opposing candidate wearing a blue shirt positioned in front of a cool green background. Next to this photo, the favored candidate wears a gleaming white shirt while placed before a dark blue background. Though the portraits are equal in size, the white to blue contrast exerts a visual force on the eye that makes the favored candidate seem larger. This gives “the good guy” a substantial, energetic persona that dominates the page!

Every element in your design exerts a visual force that attracts a viewer’s eye. Use color contrasts to make your products advance, to increase the weight of your focal point, and to stir an emotional response in your audience.

Love Your Planet with Eco-Friendly Print Practices

409-grassy-globeECO-PRINT LOVE

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.

409-eco

 

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!

How to Persuade Prospects to Say Yes

408-image

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.

embossing-blind-debossing.jpg

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.

embossing-embossing-vs-debossing.jpg

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.

embossing-foil

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.

407-phone_qr.jpg

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.

407-ID_qr

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.

407-BC_qr

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!