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!
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.
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.
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.
— 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.
— 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.
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!
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.
If 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.
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.