Pantone Color of the Year 2018

It’s that time of year again when a color is chosen to frame what Pantone sees as the next year’s story. 2018 is shaping up to be a year of retro-future aesthetics with their pick of “Ultra Violet” as their Pantone Color of the Year. It conjures images of deep space nebulae and 80’s retro-wave, as they invoke Prince and David Bowie in their description of this bright and bold color.

photo by Pantone

This particular shade of purple quite a contrast from 2017’s bright green, so start thinking about incorporating it into your collateral or marketing pieces now. Just because it’s a darker color, doesn’t mean it can’t be fun:

Make a list and check it twice

Whether you are preparing for an event, a party, or just trying to make sure you don’t forget anything on your vacation, you’ll need a list. Lists are a great way to keep track of items or tasks when you’re under a time crunch. I ALWAYS forget at least one thing when packing for a trip or going to the grocery store. Because of this, I started to make lists as I thought of something I would need to remember or bring. List-making is not only a useful practice when it comes to preparing for dinner, but it has also been an important part of business.

When you are getting everything together for a trade show your company will exhibit at, you will need to make sure you don’t forget the accouterments necessary for a successful show. Start with the big picture needs and get those off of your mind. Here’s an example:

  • Secure booth space
  • Book hotel room
  • Rent a car

Next, start to drill down on the smaller and easier to forget items:

  • Print booth banner
  • Print business cards/handouts
  • Create promo products
  • Email signup sheets

Lastly, take it to the most granular level and make sure that you don’t forget the toothpaste, phone chargers, or your driver’s license.  Using this “Top Down” approach will help you get the easy-to-remember things out of the way and clear space for the smaller (yet equally important) needs. Once your list is started, add to it as things just “pop” in throughout the day. By the time you leave for your event, you’ll be as prepared as possible. You may still forget that extra pair of socks, but you’ll be better off than if you hadn’t outlined your needs.

We can help you with part of your list, too. If you need any printed materials or promo products, just let us know. We have a TON of different options at affordable prices and we may even be able to thing of a few things you forgot.

Here’s a great article that stresses the importance of list-making and gives you ideas for a few other important lists you can make.


Gift Cards and Gift Certificates

Give the Gift of You

Now that the kids are back at school and Halloween is fast approaching, Christmas will be here before you know it. You can start planning now for the annual boost in business that the holidays brings by creating gift cards and gift certificates for your customers. Whether you own a spa or a retail shop, gift cards and certificates are the perfect way to not only make money at the time of purchase, but also make money when they are redeemed. Bringing new customers in the door should be a priority, and you can easily bring in those new people by word-of-mouth from your current customers via gift certificates.

We can help you plan and create custom gift certificates to use for your business. We can pre-print them for you in any denomination you’d like, or set them up so you can print the value on them yourself as you sell them. If you are looking for something a little fancier, we can also create plastic gift cards or discount cards that will really impress your clientele.

Whatever option is right for your blossoming business, we will walk you through every step. This holiday, give the gift of your product or service and watch your sales flourish!

Adding photos to your marketing

Preparing marketing materials for your business is more than just figuring out what you want to say and who you want to say it to. You’ll need to consider the entire feel of the piece when you start designing. Whether you are designing it yourself or having us do it for you, the stock photos you choose for your collateral can often speak louder than the text.

You can find stock photos on many websites, where you pay for the rights to use a particular photo commercially (in advertisements, on websites, and printed materials). While paying for a stock photo will often give you the best selection and highest quality pictures, it may be an added expense that you can’t afford right away. It doesn’t mean you have to give up and ditch the idea of having a great photo to accompany your expertly crafted text. There are plenty of royalty free stock photo sites that are actually free.

Most of the time, you just need to credit the photographer when using a free stock photo. Sometimes, however, you can find photos published under the Creative Commons license. This means that you can use the photo for free in your commercial endeavors without needing to credit the author. Keep in mind this policy can vary depending on the site you download the photo from.

One site to check out in your quest for free stock photos is Pixabay.

Pantone Color of the Year

Courtesy of Pantone Color Institute
The dream of Spring may be long gone, and the threat of Summer is alive and kicking, but Pantone’s official “Color of the Year” can still soothe your soul like those April showers of distant memory. Every year, the Pantone Color Institute chooses a color that will represent the year ahead. This year, the honor went to Greenery (PANTONE 15-0343) and it highlights the promise of growth and a renewed optimism over the previous year. So whether you’re enjoying the scorching Texas temperatures or are longing for the cooler breezy days of Autumn (though not MUCH cooler, am I right?), you can use Greenery to spruce up your back-to-school marketing materials.

Pantone even offers a library of colors that compliment this year’s star shade on their website. Head over there now and get designing! When you’re done, give us a call to help you grow that idea into a reality.

Avoiding the Summer Slump in Your Business


5 tips for battling the summer slump

Did you know that 25% of workers feel less productive during June, July and August than in the rest of the year? Check out this infographic about the office summer slump. Depending on your business, your sales may be experiencing a summer slump, too. Here are some tips to battling the summer slump:


1. Boost morale in the office!

— When’s the last time you did some team building? Brought donuts for the team? Gave positive comments to your staff? It’s the little things that mean a lot, and will energize your team.

2. Brainstorm

— Hold a brainstorming session with your team. Let them feel free to offer any suggestions to improve sales or reach. Don’t knockdown any ideas, write them all down, and let them know you’ll review them, or if you immediately like it, let them run with the idea. Give your team ownership, make them really feel apart of the company.

3. Reach out

— Reconnect, or connect for the first time with your clients. Do you have a newsletter? Now’s a good time to start one. Did you know it takes 7 “touches” to get a client to make an action? Send your clients a survey ask key questions so you can improve.

4. Network

— Join local business groups, go to a meetup in your industry, make sure to have business cards and / or promotional items to give out. Interact with your community to build your reach.

5. Social Media

— Maybe you don’t “get it”, or don’t have time for it, but in this day and age it is a vital part of promoting your business. We can help you with custom graphics, if you don’t have a designer.


We hope this post will get your wheels turning and help you beat the summer slump.

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father's Day gifts

Father’s Day is right around the corner. Are you ready? We’ve complied an easy list of gifts that will make your dad smile.

Business Cards – When is the last time your dad’s cards have been upgraded? Maybe it’s time to gift your dad with new cards he can proudly share.

Father's Day Gifts
Custom Calendar — Time flies by so fast. A custom calendar is a great way to create a functional scrapbook. Every month your dad can be reminded of wonderful family moments.

Photo Restoration — Does your dad have old family photos torn and yellowed? We can breathe them back to life for you.

Father's Day old photo restoration

Photo Enlargement — Not only can we bring old photos to life, but we can also enlarge them and make them ready to frame.

Father's Day photo frame

We hope our list has helped you come up with something better than a new tie for your dad.

Fall and Winter Weddings

End of Year Weddings

Planning a wedding at the end of the year? Fall and winter brides and grooms should know that Save the Dates should go out 4-6 months before your wedding (6-8 months for a destination wedding). In other words, now! Let’s revisit some great tips for after you’ve set the date and location…

Hire a photographer to get your engagement photos taken
weddings engagement photo

Mail your Save the Dates

As we mentioned Save the Dates should be sent 4-6 months before the wedding. If you’re having a destination wedding, save the dates should be sent 6-8 months in advance. Add in a few weeks if your wedding falls on or near a holiday.

If most of your guests will be traveling no matter where you’re getting married, it’s good etiquette to include further information or a reference to your wedding website so guests can begin making plans as far out as they like.

Keep in mind many of your guests will need to request time off, possibly arrange childcare, and save money, so try to get as much information out as early as you can.

Formal invitations should follow the Save the Dates roughly 8 weeks before your big day. So much to plan and coordinate! We hope these tips will help you out. We’re here for you when you’re ready to design something unique for your special day.

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is approaching quickly so it’s time to start thinking about a special gift for the mom in your life. You don’t need to run out to the store and buy something impersonal; you can create something unique that will really brighten her day!

Here are a couple of ideas to show mom how much your care:

Personalized Calendar

Custom Calendar

Even though the year as started, you can still create a calendar for mom that includes all the special holidays and birthdays that are important to her. Each month can feature a photo of the people she loves, and you can create a 14 or 16 month calendar to keep the memories going well in to next year. All you need to do is provide us with the photos and special dates, and we will craft a perfectly practical, yet highly personalized gift for mom.

Photo Book

Similar to the personalized calendar, a bound photo book can showcase all the great memories your family has made throughout the year. Why stop at 12 photos, though, when you can fill an entire book with scrapbook style images and graphic elements. It’s a great option to give her to take a trip down memory lane!

Whichever route you take, we can help you to bring your special gift to life. We are your one-stop idea, design, and print shop for any holiday.