Category Archives: Information

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.

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.

Color Psychology in Marketing and Branding

When deciding on the perfect design for your next marketing project or logo, the color of the final product is as important as the content. Color psychology is the study of the effect of color on the human brain. It affects all of us when we are buying or making decisions, so make sure you consider it before you print your next marketing piece or business card.

Color Psychology

Poster and Flyer Design

Spring is here, and with it thoughts of cleaning, moving, and just generally enjoying life. We can help you do some of those things with a custom designed poster or flyer for whatever your spring brings you. Need help hiring some organizational help, or are you an organizer proffering your skills? We can help you spread the word with a poster advertisement.

Are you moving and need to get the word out about your much needed yard sale? Or are you a real estate agent that has the perfect home ready to sell? We can help you there, too. There’s nothing a great poster can’t accomplish! Let our design experts hone the perfect printed piece to help you make the most of your spring!

EDDM Direct Mail

EDDM is not some new type of dance music, it stands for Every Door Direct Mail. EDDM lets you pick the Post Office’s route that will best apply to your business marketing, and send out postcards or mailers without the need for a specific address list.  The postal carrier delivers your advertisement to EVERY house on their route, thereby getting your message out to as many potential customers as possible! Let our experienced Graphic Designers help you with making that eye-catching mailer that conforms to the post office requirements.  We know the rules and best practices so you don’t have to! Call us today!

Here’s some more information on EDDM from the USPS.
EDDM Mailbox

Setting Up Bleed in your Artwork

Bleed for Print

One of the most difficult concepts to understand in printing is Bleed. Don’t worry, it’s not as dangerous or messy as it sounds. It’s a way of planning for the inherent imperfections in the process of turning your files into printed products.

P&B Spot Business CardsIf your design has color or elements that run off the edge of the page, you’ll need to add a BLEED to your document. Think of it as the extra bit around the edges that can be cut away without affecting the design. Printing is ultimately a mechanical process; paper enters a machine (in this case a printer or press), ink is applied, and it comes out the other side. Every sheet of paper that runs through the machine can shift and move by a sixteenth of an inch or more because that paper has such a long path to travel.

This is oversimplifying a bit, but the basic idea is there. If we didn’t take these shifts of paper into account, when the sheet is cut out, you may see extra white paper around the edges of the offending sheets. To avoid this, we want to stretch the color of the design out past where we want to cut it. This way, even if it shifts, we won’t see it.

NOTE: Another tricky-wicket when designing can be borders. If you have a solid border around your artwork, you’ll want to make sure that it extends INTO the Safe Zone of your design by at least.25″. This way, when your print is cut the border will appear even despite the variances in printing. Otherwise you could end up with a lopsided border that isn’t consistent throughout the run of prints.


Bleed Guide

Cut Edge: This line represents the finished cut edge of the piece.

Live Area (Safe Zone): The area that is considered safe to keep information or important elements within.

Bleed Area & Edge: The more bleed, the better. This area is the overage you need to provide if the color of your design goes all the way to the edge. Keep in mind anything in this area will be cut off, but you need something here so you don’t get white space at the edge of your finished card. Printers tend to shift minutely when printing, so not every sheet is always perfectly aligned, this extra space accounts for that shift.

The absolute minimum bleed you need for a printed piece is 0.125 in (1/8 in) per edge but some pieces require more than that. So if you are working with an image in Photoshop or Illustrator and placing it in InDesign for print preparation, keep in mind the area you might need to use for the bleed.

Crop Marks: Indicates where the print shop with cut the paper to create the finished piece.

Put on a UV Coat

As it gets cooler outside, you will eventually want to take a coat with you when you head out. Your body isn’t the only that will benefit from an extra layer of protection, though. Your business cards and postcards need a little love, too! You can add a UV coat to your printed material to make them last longer and improve their look. What’s UV, you ask? Well, let’s find out…

UV Coat
An Example of a Full UV Coat

UV, or Ultra Violet, coating is a thin, very glossy coating that is applied to a sheet of paper or cardstock and then cured (or dryed) with an ultraviolet light. It provides a protective layer on paper, protecting not only the stock itself, but the ink as well. UV coating can be applied in two ways:

Full Coverage (or Flood Coating) covers the entirety of the card so that the entire surface has a high shine. If you prefer to just highlight certain elements of a printed piece, you can have the UV coating placed specifically over those areas. This is known as “Spot Coating”, or “Spot Gloss”.

P&B Spot Business Cards
An Example of Spot Gloss

You can see how the letters in the above example stand out now that they have the super shiny coating. They really pop!

A couple things to keep in mind when you’re considering a UV coat are: it is difficult to write on top of a card that is coated. The high gloss finish inhibits the use of ink in most pens. Permanent markers even have a hard time adhering to the coating. So if you need a card that you can take notes on, it’s best to leave it uncoated, at least on one side.

Also, UV gloss can be a little more expensive and time consuming to create, but it can be worth the extra expense when you see the outcome. Colors seem brighter and blacks look blacker under the ultraviolet layer. It’s an easy way to class up your collateral before you head out to that networking event.

Give us a call and we can get you a quote and show you the myriad of options available when you UV coat.