6 Ways to Speed Up Your Next Print Project

modern printing houseDo you have a print deadline that needs the fastest possible turn-around time?

If speed is of utmost importance, here are several ways you can improve efficiency as you take your project to print:

1. Plot Your Course and Communicate Early

Early planning and communication are vital when starting a print project.

When possible, get your printer’s input early regarding design, project checkpoints, and final editing. Setting a schedule with your printer regarding design, estimated turnaround, and print presets can directly impact the speed with which your project is finished.

As soon as you coordinate these details, you’ll establish a timely framework that both parties can stick to.

2. Ask Questions Upfront

When partnering with a design professional, be sure to clarify the contract at the get-go.

Will you be paying a project fee or an hourly rate? What services are included in this fee? Clarify how long the project will take, how often you’ll review the work, and how many revisions are allowed in this agreement.

3. Allow for More Margin on Larger Projects

Professional printers are very efficient, but big projects still take time.

Designing one piece can be quick, but re-branding or crafting large-scale exhibit pieces can take a significant amount of time, especially if there is confusion about the parameters or design presets for a particular project. One costly mistake can disrupt an entire campaign, so allow extra time for big projects, and both parties will have leeway to handle hiccups in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

4. Assemble All the Elements

Attend to the precise details of copy, timeline, and photography at the get-go, and be sure those in authority have given these elements the green light before the task proceeds.

Your project will involve many pieces, and when they are aligned from the start, it will allow your design dollars to be maximized with fewer delays. While you may not have precise details ironed out, clarifying project parameters is key to finishing on time and on budget!

5. Err on the Side of Simplicity

Creativity is cool, but if swiftness is your goal, you should keep designs simple.

Don’t go overboard. If you’re short on time, design something that is easy on the eyes and uses very basic graphics, fonts, and materials. If you have templates on hand (from previous projects), consider whether you can adapt or edit these for the fastest possible output.

If you are pressed for time, consider using an online design tool. Or your professional print specialist may be willing to combine a pre-ordered template with the custom design you want. This may be the simplest (and cheapest!) way for everyone to get a project across the finish line.

6. Avoid Alterations Once a Design Has Been Sent

Check your design before sending it to the printer.

Proof everything with multiple editors before it leaves your office. Every alteration or edit can cost you valuable time. Once the design has already been received by the printing company, there should be no need to make changes unless it is vital to do so.

Better Together

Want to save on time, labor, or unnecessary stress?

Whether you need high-level graphic design or full-service printing, our capable team is dedicated to providing you with prompt, knowledgeable, one-on-one service, and bringing you carefully printed materials you can be proud of.

We’re here to make things flow as smoothly as possible! Call us today to discuss your next printing project: 856.429.0715 or visit http://www.sjprinter.com

Add Color and Charm with 3 Unique Banner Options

Vertical banner designAs a small business owner, you need ways to cultivate curiosity and look your best, and business signage is your foremost advertising tool.

Grab attention and set your business apart with gorgeous custom banners!

Banners are an inexpensive substitute for a permanent sign, allowing you the flexibility to change and move your materials as needed. Plus, banners are eye-catching, sophisticated, and fun.

Distinct Banner Options to Get All Eyes on You

Whether you want to highlight a promotion, organize your sales floor, or increase foot traffic at a trade show, consider some of these imaginative banner options for your next display.

1. Pole Banners

Pole Banners are vertical banners made from sturdy vinyl material and can affix to almost any type of light pole, street post, or sidewall mounting.

Pole banner advertising offers an excellent medium to market to pedestrians or drivers in locations with heavy traffic. Because they are located at or above eye level, they are easily noticed from a distance and offer an excellent way to strengthen your brand.

Use pole banners to display school colors, mount core values in your department, or promote community events. Enjoy easy, breezy visibility with this durable, colorful signage.

2. Tabletop Banners

Think banners have to be huge to be effective? Think again!

Tabletop banners are a compact, portable option that can easily travel with you to any trade show or event. With retractable stands included, tabletop banners stretch anywhere from eight to 17 inches in height, which is perfectly formatted to dress up any presentation with minimal hassle. Use them for conventions, boutiques, banks, restaurant tables, point-of-purchase displays, and more. Though small, tabletop banners can make a big impact for your business!

3. Step and Repeat Banners

Looking for a fun way to build a social media presence for your business?

Try step and repeat banners and offer people a creative photo op they can hashtag!

Step and repeat banners are a publicity backdrop used primarily for event photography. They are printed with a repeating pattern or branding design that makes its design very visible in the photographs of the individuals standing in front of it. From red carpet events and concerts to galas and company parties, step and repeat banners give a “celebrity-like” experience for your guests to engage with.

For every picture taken in front of the banner, you can count on more people to see your logo once the photos are released to the press and social media. This builds word-of-mouth marketing and spreads your image far and wide!

Flex Some Marketing Muscle with Extraordinary Custom Banners

Whether you go big and beautiful or nifty and portable, banners are a superb marketing tool that can help attract more customers to your business.

Want to talk options? No matter the display size or budget, we’ll help you find the perfect banner for your business. Contact us today about promoting your business professionally and elegantly, so you stand out!

Design Trends to Look Forward to in 2020

2019 was a year where taking risks in design was considered normal.

2020 trend concept. Hand flip wood cube change year 2019 to 2020

What design trends can you look forward to this year? As we round the corner into a new decade, we may see a softening of some of 2019’s more abrasive trends and a shift toward simplified contrasts when designers want to be bold.

Here’s a sneak peek at five design trends to watch for in 2020:

1. Beautiful Flowing Shapes & Lines

The last few years have brought an abundance of geometric, rigid, proper shapes.

In the new year, these designs will be replaced by more flowing shapes, patterns, and lines. Flowing shapes can convey a natural, abstract, peaceful feel on a page. Whether you use a soft speech bubble to surround text or place images overflowing water or lava currents in your backgrounds, this shift toward flowing lines brings a down-to-earth, creative, and authentic tone.

2. Neutral, Natural-Looking Stock Photos

Several years ago, bright, colorful stock images were all the rage.

Graphic artists were boosting saturating and enriching color contrasts, to the point that some photos didn’t even look real. But as color trends have relaxed, audiences are embracing more muted palates, colors similar to what you might find in a soft sunset, a misty morning, or the corner of a woodworker’s craft shop.

As stock photos follow, this year, you can expect to see more muted, genuine, and neutral stock photos. This includes a focus on candid faces, shadowed silhouettes, and seemingly unfiltered photos. A step back from air-brushed perfection, look to use stock photos that seem more reserved, harmonious, and real.

3. Textured Bevels and Chisels

While designers seek to bring a more authentic vibe in 2020, one way they can do this is through texture.

By creating 3-D forms like buttons, icons, or coins, bevels and chisels create a 3-D effect on a 2-D (flat) surface. Typically, this is done with tight layering, shadowing, and some degree of opacity. Look for beveled knock-offs of real-life objects. The result will be a flat image that looks tantalizingly real enough to touch.

4. Creative Typography

Creativity is just not limited to vibrant designs and unusual color combinations.

Font choices also play a prominent role in the tone and personality of every design.

Whether it is a paper coffee cup, a wild banner, or a funky poster, sometimes creative typography is all it takes to drive home your message. And while typography can stand alone as its own design (like this), it can also be woven into the image itself to give unique expression to the artwork (like this). With great font selection, sometimes the words are the graphic, and just a small amount of creativity can truly spice up the project.

5. Bold, Clean Colors

Finally, with a move toward expediency, simple, bold colors are taking the stage once again.

We’re not talking about 80’s neon vaporwave, but dreamy, vibrant, full colors like enchanting blues, tomato reds, and radiating purples. Colors are a key driver of attractive designs, and 2020 will see an emphasis on gradient blends replaced with things like filled color canvases with no white space between hues.

As you play with bold shades in your graphics, avoid using too many bright colors that make designs hard to read. Instead, use bright, energetic colors with simple, clean design to create contrast.

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Ready to kickstart the year with a new style?

To do so, it’s helpful to reflect on the past and decide what you’ll do differently in the future. Stay ahead of the curve with these design trends and let us know if we can help you infuse your designs with a fresh look in the months to come!

Save-the-Date Door Hangers

A GREAT WAY TO SPREAD THE WORD TO LOCAL RESIDENTS

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Save-the-date door hangers are a great way to spread the word to local residents about an upcoming community event or block party, new business announcement, upcoming sales, fundraisers, and much more.

Here are a few tips to ensure the biggest bang for your door hanger buck:

    • Consider including a label for recipients to add to their calendar as a conveniently added reminder.
    • Design your door hanger with a tear-away coupon or tear-away customer loyalty card as incentives to visit your business.
    • Increase the life of your door hanger by affixing a magnet to the back, including a calendar, or a tear-away business card with contact information on one side and event details on the other side.
    • Consider using save-the-date door hangers as a creative way to invite internal employees to a celebration. Create excitement in the office by hanging invites on each office door.
    • Consider a folded door hanger to increase your promotional space.

If you’d like help creating the perfect save the date door hanger, visit our website: http://www.sjprinter.com or call: 856-429-0715! And remember, other printers may be nearby, but no one comes close.

How Successful Entrepreneurs Overcome Self-Doubt Each Day

GettyImages-1190572650.jpgDiane von Furstenberg is a Belgian fashion designer who has built her namesake company into one of the most recognizable in the world.

Furstenberg has been listed as the world’s 68th most powerful, received an honorary doctorate, and been president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America for years.

Confidence should come easily to someone like this, wouldn’t you think?

But Furstenberg does not see herself this simply. She believes she’s a constant work in progress and says successful people (like herself) probably feel like losers at least once a week.

Furstenberg said she feels self-doubt continually. What does that look like in her life?

“Oh, just, you know. You feel like a loser, you wake up and you doubt. So my trick is, I look in the mirror and say, “If you doubt your power, then you give power to your doubts.”

Squash Doubt to Bring Your Best Work to Life

Can you relate to Furstenberg?

You’re not alone. Even successful business owners grapple with self-doubt. Sometimes this can be a good thing, keeping you humble and helping you soberly evaluate limitations.

But for the most part, self-doubt is a form of sabotage that keeps you from fulfilling your potential. Successful people aren’t immune to uncertainty, but they refuse to let it derail their goals. Want to overcome doubt and achieve what you’ve set out to accomplish?

Here are several ways to combat that accusing voice:

1. Stop and Reset

When inner doubts creep in, deal with them immediately.

Don’t let paranoia spin out of control or imagine worst-case scenarios. Talk back to that doubtful voice with phrases like these:

“No. Stop. I’m not listening to this.”

 “I know where this train of thought leads, and I’m not getting on!”

“I’ve been successful in the past, and I will be again.”

As Steven Pressfield says in Do The Work! Overcome Resistance And Get Out Of Your Own Way,

“The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications, and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.”

2. Deal with Anxiety Triggers

One way to squash doubt is to deal with it straight on.

What personal deficits or situations trigger your insecurity? If it’s a lack of skill, seek specific training. If it’s uncertainty about a decision, get counsel from other experts in your field. If it’s fear of the unknown, find coaches or mentors to walk you through this stage of uncertainty.

3. Avoid Comparisons

If you compare yourself to others, you will usually lose.

In today’s connected generation, usually your perspective of others is only the highlight reel, and certainly not the struggle or discipline it took to build success. Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to YOU. Look at how far you’ve come, the progress you’ve made toward current goals, or how you’ve overcome obstacles in spite of hardship.

4. Don’t Depend on Validation

While the input of others can be helpful, confident leaders trust their own instincts.

We all like a pat on the back, but in seeking continual validation, you erode vision and weaken faith in yourself. When tackling a big project, get input initially, then trust your gut and make decisions that feel right to you.

Move Forward With Confidence

Having confidence in yourself is the best way to sharpen your unique voice.

Say no to accusation, confront anxiety triggers, and avoid putting too much weight in others’ opinions. Overpower doubt so you can maximize your potential.

5 Keys to a Simple Design Update

GettyImages-807016930.jpgThe United States Open Tennis Championships is a professional tennis tournament that takes place in New York City around Labor Day each summer.

The US Open draws fans from around the world to watch players like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Serena Williams compete. The 2019 US Open set an all-time attendance record with 737,872 fans coming to the National Tennis Center, with the largest stadium (Arthur Ashe) selling out 23 of 24 sessions.

In 2018, the United States Tennis Association announced it was introducing a new logo for the tournament. This featured a speeding tennis ball with an updated font while dispensing with several elements of the old logo. The previous icon (a flaming ball with a red swoosh) was a dated image that presented challenges in digital media and failed to represent the US Open as a premium sporting brand.

By keeping elements of the original logo, the USTA was able to redesign in a way that captured the excitement and movement of their world-class event. The entire Tennis Center (including grounds, merchandise, and courts) received a surge of energy as the logo came to life at the tournament.

How to Overcome Frumpy Designs

Are your designs starting to fade with age?

After many years in business, your branding may not feel as contemporary as it should. Your 1990’s neon-colored bubble letters could certainly use a fresh take, or maybe your mascot (or your photos) look like they need plastic surgery. Some companies may require a total design overhaul, while others need to freshen up a logo, a catalog, or point of purchase display.

No matter the scope of your project, here are five steps to guide you through graphic re-designs:

1. Start with the focal point

Decide what it is you want viewers to see first.

Unless you have a very symmetrical, consistent design, be sure your focal point leaps out by providing strong contrasts in font size, color, typeface, etc.

2. Organize information into logical groupings

If items are related to each other, group them into closer proximity (like a title with a subtitle or an address with a phone number).

The most important groupings should be the focal point of the page. Create generous visual space between the focal point groupings and less prominent pairings.

3. Build and maintain strong alignments

If you see a strong edge (such as a photograph or vertical line), strengthen this edge by aligning it with other texts or objects within the design.

4. Create repetition

Brainstorm ways that specific colors, symbols, or fonts can be repeated in a design.

In multi-page pieces (like a brochure), create connection through the repetition of bold typeface, spatial arrangements, or unique bullet or list icons. In a simple logo, repetition can be used by highlighting key letters or adding shadows or overlaid shapes for depth.

5. Use bold contrasts

Contrast is everything because the eye is irresistibly attracted to distinct differences.

For example: if all your elements are bold and flashy, nothing will stand out. Contrast a logo with a graphic, a bold typeface with a script font, a dark sidebar with a white text box, or a rigid graphic with a free-flowing tagline.

A Visual Identity That Better Carries Your Brand

When announcing its logo update, the USTA said the new design “better captures and expresses the dynamism of the US Open,” with a visual identity that will confidently carry the tournament forward in years to come.

What about your image? By refreshing your look in five simple steps, you can transform your look from one that drags to one that excites!

The Ultimate Sizing and Concept Guide for Your Next Flyer or Brochure

brochure-flyer-blog.pngWant to generate interest or keep the conversation going with your most promising leads?

Brochures and flyers are two of the easiest ways to generate the momentum you need. But what appears to be a straightforward design can sometimes be more complicated. After all, isn’t a flyer the same thing as a brochure? Is there a substantial price difference? And when would it be best to distribute a brochure instead of a flyer?

From folds to sizing, to finishes, finding the right promotional piece can be a little trickier than it first appears. Here are a few design basics to shape a print piece that does exactly what you need.

Flyers

A flyer is usually a single, unfolded print piece used to draw attention.

Flyers can quickly convey small bursts of information and are great for highlighting sales, new locations, upcoming events, or coupons. Because they are easy to print, flyers can contain very targeted, time-bound information, or messages that are specific to a particular audience, neighborhood, etc.

Standard flyer sizes typically fall into these categories:

  • Letter size: 8.5” x 11” or A4: 8.3” x 11.7”
  • A5: 8.3” x 5.8”
  • A6: 5.8” x 4.1”
  • DL (dimension lengthwise): 8.3” x 3.9” or one-third of A4

Because flyers are meant to grab attention, they should be colorful, easy to read, and contain a clear call to action. Whether you distribute them on car windows or through the mail, flyers an effective tool for at-a-glance marketing. Need inspiration? Here are 100 stellar flyer examples to get you started!

Brochures

The main difference between a flyer and brochure is this: a fold.

While brochures can also be straightforward and simple, brochures use strategic content panels to guide the reader through the piece. Brochure layouts are limitless (and lots of fun, too!), but here are several commonly used fold types:

  • Tri-fold
  • Half-fold
  • Gatefold
  • Double gatefold
  • Parallel fold
  • Z-fold
  • Accordion fold
  • Roll fold

Because the paper quality and content of brochures are typically richer, brochures are best used for dates and details that don’t expire quickly.

Brochures can be distributed to qualified leads, to showcase products on the floor, and to help customers make purchasing decisions. Because brochures give a more comprehensive scale of information, they are seen as trustworthy, credible, and worth reading. They are also (typically) more expensive.

Where Do I Begin?

When designing a flyer, brochure, or even a sell sheet, remember that the product’s purpose should determine the size or format you select.

Ask yourself,

“Do I want to share multiple images or one basic message?”

Or:

“Where does this print piece strategically fit in terms of my sales funnel?”

Starting with the size and content in focus will lead you to the best size, shape, and material for your next work of art!

Want to chat more? We’re happy to share samples, give estimates, or take the lead with our full-service graphic design specialists. Give us a call to talk options: 856.429.0715!

http://www.sjprinter.com