Moving on up

We've Moved!

When you’ve decided to move to a new place, there will be a long checklist of things that need to get done both before and after the event. Changing the utilities, forwarding your mail, and updating your voter registration address are just a few of those important tasks. One thing you may forget to do when moving, though, is to let everyone else know where you’ve moved to. Specifically, your friends and family will need to know your new address so they can send you holiday cards and birthday presents!

Don’t just call up grandma and second-cousin Billy one by one to give them the new address; the easiest way to let everyone in on the major life change is to send out “We’ve Moved!” postcards. You can include your new address and a photo of your new place to help people find you for Thanksgiving.

Another great thing about moving, is you can throw a house-warming party to help break-in your new abode. It is also a great way to force you to unpack all of those new boxes that materialized in the spare rooms of your new place. Otherwise, they might stay packed until your next move!

Whatever you do after a big relocation, you’ll no doubt feel a sense of rejuvenation that comes from purging the excess belongings and clothing and from the new view you’ll be greeted with outside your windows. It is a stressful event, but one that has its rewards. In the end, the hard work will be worth it and you can celebrate with those closest to you…once you send out those invitations!

Let us help you with your moving checklist! We can design and print your postcards and party invitations, or even make those yard sale signs you’ll undoubtedly need before you leave your old place.

Baby Shower Tips

gifts and games for baby shower

Do you have a friend who has a baby on the way? Here are some ideas to make her baby shower fresh and fun!

This first tip comes from Play Party Plan
Before the shower, ask your guest of honor 24 different baby related questions. Write the answers to the questions in random order on custom printed bingo cards and pick up a couple of prizes for the winners.

babybingo

Here’s a sweet game that doubles as a gift…
Create a pretty fill in the blank sheet where guests can share wishes and advice for the mom-to-be.
babywishes
You can then have them all bound into a cute keepsake.

This is a funny one from Sarcasm 101
Take head shots of the mom and dad to be a week before the party and have the images blown up to fit on an 8.5×11 sheet of card stock with straight cut lines to create slices for each of their foreheads, eyes, noses, mouths, and chins. Print multiples and slice them up so guests can “construct” a possible baby face. Everyone can take pics of their babies and have a contest for the best (funny) one.

babymashup

Cute printable games from Etsy that we can print on card stock or customize for you.

Don’t forget the decorate the onesie table, everyone loves that game!

We hope these tips will help you plan the perfect baby shower.

Battling the Summer Slump

 

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.

 

Round Rock Area Serving Center

The Round Rock Area Serving Center is a local non-profit organization that helps to serve the various needs of our community. Every year they hold a gala called “Karamu”, and this year we were privileged to redesign the invite packaging for their 10th anniversary event. See the results below:

Round Rock Area Serving Center 10th Anniversary

We are proud of these new pieces, and they really demonstrate the different ways of thinking you can incorporate in what could easily be a standard paper invitation. The passport design of the invite itself invokes a sense of adventure, and even the envelopes replicate the look of the romanticized air mail packaging of the past. Don’t be bound by convention when putting together your next invite, let us help you think outside the box and put some sparkle in your mailbox.

Round Rock Area Serving CenterCheck out the Round Rock Area Serving Center and learn about ways you can help the community, too!

Beginner’s Guide to Mailing

A quick Guide to Mailing

Mailing something seems easy enough. You put a letter in an envelope or buy a postcard, stick a stamp on it and drop it in a mailbox, right? Well, a stamp is good for most things, but what if you need to send out promotional cards or invitations to a wedding of 500 people? There can be a cheaper way to get the word out, if you know some of your other options. Here is our quick beginner’s guide to mailing…

When First-Class Isn’t Good Enough

When you buy a stamp at the post office or grocery store, you are pre-paying for the ability to mail a letter via “First-class postage”. It’s the basic way that most personal mail travels through the USPS. The rate increases almost yearly and it assumes you’re not mailing something over a certain size or weight (typically nothing larger than a standard envelope, and nothing heavier than a few ounces). First-class mail is usually the best (if not the easiest) option, but when you need to send out large numbers of letters or postcards, something called “Bulk Mail” can save your wallet. Bulk mailing has more restrictions than First-class, one of which is you need to have an account with the post office. Once you’ve registered your account, you are given an account number. This number is required to be printed on all of your mailing pieces, typically in the area that a stamp would normally go. This box in the upper right corner of your mailer is called the “indicia”. It indicates to the post office that your piece has been approved to be mailed at the cheaper rate, and it gives the USPS your account number so they can deduct the cost of postage from your account.

Like a regular stamp, bulk-mail is PRE-PAID. Instead of having to stick on all those pesky stamps, however, you can just pre-print your indicia on every postcard or envelope as they are produced. This saves you time and the postage cost is usually significantly cheaper than that Forever stamp.

guide to mailing
Different types of indicia (via USPS)

In general, your printer or mail house of choice will need to process and clean up your mailing list (the list of people you want to send your mailer to). This guarantees to the USPS that all of the address are correct and that the people you expect to be living there are actually still there. Normally the post office has to do all this sorting and list cleaning themselves, which is why the First-class stamp is more expensive than most other forms of postage. They want to get paid for all the extra work they have to do because their automated machines can’t read the pink glitter ink you used on the letter to grandma.

If you “pre-sort” your mailer for them, they are much happier and are willing to give you a discount on the postage price per piece, as long as you are guaranteeing a certain number of pieces to make it worth their while (typically over 200 pieces). Whew! And, there can be even larger discounts if your company is a non-profit, or the pieces are smaller.

There are a ton of ways to save money on mailing if you are willing to do a little extra work. Here is an article by the US Postal Service that fills in the blanks a little more.  If you aren’t sure where to start, come and see us! We’d love to help you understand your options for sending out your own postcards and flyers!

Custom Water Bottles and Dudley & Bob Shout Out

We recently produced some custom labeled bottled water to give to a local radio station, and we just wanted to show them off! They turned out great and it shows how you can customize nearly ANYTHING if you have the notion.

Dudley & Bob Water

We are proud at how these turned out, and the folks at the Dudley & Bob show on KLBJ liked them too. They gave us a couple of shout-outs during the show! Take a listen below, and call us if you want to create your own unique bottles for your next party or event.

 

Summer Vacation Activities

Summer Vacation Activities

Memorial Day is coming up and that means that school will be out soon for the summer. What now? Your kids will need something to keep them busy for the next several weeks, in between outdoor activities and summer roadtrips. Here’s an idea: create custom activity books, coloring books, or trading cards just for them!

It’s easy to make unique games and activities for your family. You can send us photos to use on custom trading/playing cards, or even buy printable coloring sheets on sites like Etsy to have us print. There are a myriad of options and ideas out there and there is almost no limit to we can make. Coloring books are an affordable way to keep your kids entertained on rainy days or long drives. Let them draw the designs of the coloring and activity pages, then send them to us to turn into bound books that they helped create! They’ll show off their books to their friends back at school and be the envy of their friends.

Coloring pages and activity books is just the beginning of what you can accomplish. Do your kids love to play card games? Why not make a set of playing cards with family photos on the backs, or a collection of young art pieces? You can really make a deck of cards that is only for them. It is an easy way to make them feel special and unique. The best part is we can do all the work! You send us files and images, we do the rest. Another idea is to make a family themed board game to play around the table on game night. The possibilities are endless!

Choosing the right paper, material, and size for your project is what we specialize in. All you’ll need to worry about is having fun with your family this summer.

Coloring BookColoring Book Page by Robo Roku

Customer Loyalty Cards

When is the last time you showed your customers some love? Aside from the excellent products and service you give them, that is. There are a ton of ways you can show your appreciation for the people that keep the lights on, so to speak. You could just throw them a party and call it a night, but you want them to have a reason to come back and keep shopping with you long after the free buffalo wings and ginger ale are gone. One way to do that is to create Customer Loyalty Cards.

A loyalty card not only serves as a business card to remind your customers where they were, but it also promotes loyalty…it’s right there in the name! Set up a promotion that requires them to come back and shop with you on multiple occasions in order to receive a discount or free gift. You’ll be surprised by how many return shoppers you’ll get. Everybody loves a discount; create a punch card that helps customers keep track of how far away the free smoothie is and you’ve created a game that people won’t mind playing.

Loyalty cards can be anything you want them to be, but as an example, let’s imagine a physical card that nets the holder a free pizza bagel when they buy 7 (assuming you’re in the pizza bagel business). A small business card sized piece of cardstock with tiny pictures of pizza bagels on it can be all that you need to get your point across. Every time the card is brought into the shop, stamp it or punch and the happy pizza bagel fan will be overjoyed that they are only 2 bagels away from that free food. Even if you can’t give away one of your goodies for free, you can create a loyalty program based on a total purchase discount.

“Buy 7 pizza bagels and get 20% off your next purchase!” for example. It’s all about making the customer feel loved and appreciated. The end prize doesn’t really matter, it’s the journey that they’ll remember most every time they come through your doors.

Loyalty Cards

 

Brand Identity 101

brand identity

Let’s talk Brand Identity. What is it?

*”A brand’s visual identity is the overall look of its communications. Effective visual brand identity is achieved by the consistent use of particular visual elements to create distinction, such as specific fonts, colors, and graphic elements. At the core of every brand identity is a brand mark, or logo.”

When is the last time you gave your business a facelift? Is your logo outdated, are your colors reflecting your business the way they should? We know you’re busy, but it’s good to take a moment to review what you’re putting out there.

Here are some things you should consider if your brand is in need of some polishing up…

  • Why do you think you need to rebrand?
  • Has your customer profile changed?
  • Are you stuck being viewed as something that you (or your customers) have outgrown?
  • Does your brand tell the wrong (or outdated) story?
  • What do you want to convey? To whom?
  • Has there been a change with your competition that is impacting your growth potential?
  • Is your brand out of step with the current needs and desires of your customers?
  • If you were starting your business today, would this be the brand identity you would want?

Your brand identity should tell a cohesive story from your logo, to your website, to your marketing materials, to your business cards. Take a look at your branding and see if it’s still telling the story you want it to tell.

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