This little seemingly insignificant 2″ x 3 1/2″ piece of paper can be the difference between a follow up or no follow up after a networking event like a Trade Show, or Conference.
There are really only 2 purposes for your business card, Establish your Brand and provide your Contact Information.
Here are some tips about what NOT to do with your card.
Common Mistakes to Avoid:
Don’t make your font too small. Avoid light colors and distracting elements.
Your name, company and relevant contact information should be easy to read at arm’s length. Don’t make me get my readers out. It makes us both look bad.
Only include social icons if it is important to your company.
If you haven’t secured your vanity URL ( ie: www.Facebook.com/MarkitMotion ) then a Facebook icon is unhelpful. Facebook thanks you for the advertising though. You must list the full URL if you can’t be found by name.
Unless you have a purpose for showcasing your social presence, leave it off your card. If you don’t manage your social sites, it’s like inviting someone to your house when you’re out of town.
Your Business Card is not a brochure. Decide what’s important first, before you design it.
Do you need your address if no one ever comes to your business?
Do you use a fax anymore?
Is your logo the same as on your website or store front? Policing your brand is crucial to building trust. Be sure your logo is consistent and clear.
Don’t forget about the back of your card. This is a great place to share your brand message or logo. Reinforce a promise or give directions.
Throughout history we’ve relied on our calendars to track and plan events. Without them we wouldn’t have weekends or Holidays. 45 BC was called “The year of confusion” because Julius Caesar added 80 days to the year to synchronize it with the solar year.
Our Western calendar has deep roots in the Roman calendar, so it’s no wonder the months come from Roman words. It gets confusing at the end because many of the later months are just numbers, but they are wrong according to our current calendar. The Roman Calendar started in March. It wasn’t until Julius Caesar named January as the first month of the year that we had 12 months as we know it now.
What’s in a name? Do you know the origin of the months of the year?
January – Janus the Roman God of beginnings and endings
February – Februa a Roman festival of Purification
March – Mars the Roman God of war
April – Aphrodite the Greek Goddess of love
May – Maia the Italic Goddess of Spring
June – Juno the Goddess of Marriage
July – Julius Caesar named the month after himself
August – Augustus Caesar also named a month after himself
According to a 2018 study by the Advertising Specialty Institute, 64% of people in the workplace own a promotional calendar and they view it 850 times a year. A $3 investment in a calendar will cost only $0.003 per impression. Very Impressive!
Get your company name on one and they won’t forget you for an entire year.
Sometimes you have to go big to really stand out. Large Format Printing attracts the attention of onlookers at trade shows conventions, presentations and other events. Large images and graphics deliver content in a big way and get results.
Fast and effective, Large Format Printing can be done with any image or logo as long as it’s produced from the correct file format.
Banners, floor graphics and billboards are examples of Large Format Printing. Our creative team knows what it takes to deliver quality large format printing.
Here are some basic guidelines:
Artwork: In general you should use vector graphics in the artwork wherever practical, and deliver final artwork saved as a PDF. To avoid pixilation, provide high resolution files.
Material: Choose a material appropriate for the conditions. Indoor displays don’t need to be waterproof, while windy conditions require reinforcement.
Usage: Many large displays are designed to be used repeatedly, sometimes for many years, like a Trade Show Booth. Street Banners, however, may only be needed for a month to announce and event in the park. Choose wisely and don’t overspend.
Get noticed and draw attention to your Trade Show Booth with this impressive display that’s surprisingly easy set up.
Creative copy and stunning photography utilized to tell your story leaves a (hopefully) lasting perception of your company. The words and images convey throughout both digital and printed communications the same as when they are viewed by your audience.
Sight, however, is only one of our 5 senses, leaving us with other opportunities to convey our brand.
The FINISHES on a Direct Mailer, Brochure or Invitation can send a message to the end user in a more subtle, lasting way.
We’re programmed to block out advertising images and words because of the constant bombardment we experience daily. But if you add a soft coating or interesting shape to your message will get in through the sense of ‘touch’. And aren’t we trying to get our customers to feel something about us in our marketing efforts?
Here are some simple finishes that will add a tactile experience:
Some of the most common coatings used to stimulate the reader’s senses are Aqueous, Varnish and UV.
Aqueous Coatings are applied in-line on some printing presses, so it’s a reasonably priced and very effective option. These finishes can add a gloss, satin or soft touch experience to your print. It is only available in an overall coat.
Varnishes are applied on the press as well, but printed with a plate like laying down an additional color of ink. These finishes are available in gloss or matte. Varnishes are the least obvious coatings and not recommended for a high sheen.
UV Coating is applied off press as a secondary process. It can be applied as an overall finish or as a spot finish highlighting only chosen parts of the brochure. This process provides the highest contrast of coating and will make the coated images pop off the sheet.
Die Cutting is used to create a shape. A die for the shape is made and each sheet is cut one piece at a time on a separate press after it’s printed.
Round Corners, Business Card Slits and Index Tabs are the most common examples of die cutting but you can let your imagination run wild with this one and cut any shape you can think up.
Careful with the mailing pieces though, the post office has very strict rules about die cut mailings.
Folding creates anticipation. The process of unfolding a creatively designed piece is stimulating because the reader anticipates the next step. They are lead to read the next page as it’s revealed to them.
Your customer can hear and feel the quality of the paper as they unfold your message. Here are some creative, cool folds that you don’t see every day.
Packaging generates excitement. Ever since we were kids, receiving a gift has always been exciting. And opening that package has been a big part of that titillating experience. Presentation is everything.
A catalog sent in a FedEx Mailer is way more fun to receive than someone handing it to you in person. That “ZIP” when the package is opened creates just a little more emotion that adds to the message.
Package your message to create some feeling before they begin reading the message inside.
Envelopes are the most common form of packaging so don’t forget their importance. Increase your open rate by adding a message to the outside. Consider paying full first class postage- use a live stamp and hand-write the address. Your Grandma does and you never throw her stuff away.
Chipboard Mailers, like the FedEx Letter mailer mentioned above, can be customized with your message. We guarantee that it will be opened and involves a recognizable sound when it’s unzipped.
Boxes of all shapes and sizes can be sent to hold dimensional or heavy pieces like samples, catalogs or promotional products that enhance your message. Boxes offer the most secure delivery of your message without damage.
The next time you put together a marketing campaign, consider the other 4 senses that are available to tell your story. And yes, you can add candy hearts to your box with your logo on them to involve taste too.
When I was visiting my hometown of Niles, Michigan, I went on a tour of the French Paper Company’s paper mill with 6th generation paper maker, Brian French. It was an exciting field trip while Brian showed me enormous vats of pulp and huge hot machines all powered by hydro.
Established in 1871, French Paper is a sixth-generation, family-owned American company. French Paper Company has been manufacturing paper for more than 150 years in the same community of Niles, Michigan. In an industry known for corporate acquisitions and shutdowns, French Paper has persevered, emerging as one of the strongest, smartest, and most consistent paper brands around.
Remaining as one of the last, small, independent mills in America, French Paper has learned to take their direction from customers, not corporate consultants. They keep their eye on the bottom line by improving their product lines, and when they talk about stock, they mean papers, not shareholder value.
Recycled paper is the end product of paper recycling. The production of recycled paper has significant environmental advantages over non-recycled paper production.
These environmental advantages include:
Less Water Consumption – production of recycled paper uses 60% less water.
Decreased Energy Usage – recycled paper manufacturing uses 50% less energy than non-recycled paper.
Reduces Landfill Space – One ton of paper sent to the landfill requires 3.3 cubic yards of space.
Saves Trees – One ton of paper recycled saves 17 trees.
Recycling paper has had a positive impact on the environment and it’s estimated that 65% of all paper in the US is recycled, diverting it from the high environmental cost of its disposal in landfills.
The Smart Choice for you –
No Added Cost – The cost of recycled paper has plummeted in recent years due to increased production. You won’t pay more for your choice to use recycled paper for your next project.
High Quality – Improvements in the manufacturing of recycled papers has created stunning results. You will not be able to tell the difference in a side-by-side comparison to non-recycled papers.
Availability – Increased demand for papers with recycled content has driven all of the paper mills to offer recycled options in their line of products. All grades of paper are available with recycled options with inventory to match the demand.
It’s estimated that there are now 20% more trees in the US than there were 25 years ago. Paper recycling and tree planting efforts are responsible for saving this precious natural resource.
You can do your part too by asking for recycled paper to be used on your next project. Chances are that recycled paper is already being used and you don’t even know it.
Manuals, catalogs, and other books used in business, are generally manufactured using one of two binding methods. To determine the best option for your book here’s a brief description of each process:
Saddle Stitched books are created by nesting folded pages that have wire staples on the crease of the book’s spine.
Perfect Bound books are created by gluing the pages inside of the cover at the spine with a strong, flexible adhesive.
Page Count is often a determining factor in choosing between the two. There is some overlap in page count, so other determining factors are listed below.
Saddle Stitching is limited to thinner books with a lower page count because the wire staples must be pushed through the paper. 8 – 64 pages is ideal depending on the paper thickness.
Perfect Binding is limited to thicker books because it needs a thicker spine for the glue to adhere to. 36 pages and higher is ideal for perfect binding. As long as the book is over 1/8″ thick, it can be several inches thick like a phone directory.
Spine printing – Each of these options is very different.
Saddle Stitched books do not have a flat surface to print on so spine printing is not an option.
Perfect Binding books allow for printing on the spine so that when the book is on a shelf it’s more easily identifiable.
Lay Flat Pages – Consider the reader’s experience.
Saddle Stitched books generally lay flatter when the book is opened, allowing for better crossover artwork viewing.
Perfect Binding books tend to close back up unless you hold the pages open. A hinged, lay-flat option is available on perfect bound books that costs more and adds to the production time.
Shelf Life – Your choice in binding options can mean the difference between getting one order or saved for future orders.
Saddle Stitched catalogs are frequently mailed for the quick, one time Holiday orders. Then they are typically tossed in the recycling bin.
Perfect Binding catalogs for B2B products are intended for use throughout the year. Perfect Binding creates a sense of permanence. Consider how many old National Geographic magazines you can still find at garage sales vs. old Popular Mechanics magazines?
Production Time – Saddle Stitched books are quicker to manufacture
Cost – Saddle Stitching is typically the more affordable of the two options.
Recognizing the difference between Spot Color and Process Color will help you spec your printing projects to your printer for accurate cost estimates and job planning.
Starting with definitions of the two options, we can then discuss other determining factors to guide you in making the right choice.
Spot Color This color is created by mixing ink using the Pantone Matching System (PMS) before the ink is loaded into the press. Hundreds of different ink colors can be matched by mixing specific formulas using 14 standard colors. A very basic example of this is that Blue & Yellow make a Green ink color. The formulas are precise and can sometimes rely on 4 or 5 different mixing colors to achieve the exact color. This is a solid color of ink and you will not see anything but that color when you view it with a magnifier.
Process Color Printing 4 standard colors of ink on the press creates this color. Every Process Color project is printed with the same 4 colors – Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black, also referred to as CMYK (the K for Black was explained in last months Markit-in-a-Minute). The press does not mix the inks, it simply prints a percentage of small dots for each Process Color to achieve the desired color. You have to use a magnifier to see it but the Green color you see on your printed piece is actually very tiny dots of Blue and Yellow. That’s how the press can print green without having green ink on the press.
Spot Color vs. Process Color
Precision color reproduction
Only one pass through the press
Cannot reproduce color photos
Cannot print on digital press
Unlimited color options
Digital reproduction available
Some colors do not reproduce accurately
Cannot reproduce Metallic or Fluorescent colors
Many other considerations can help determine which way to reproduce your color for the best result. If it seems overwhelming, give us a call. We can talk about this until we’re blue in the face.
Why is K=BLACK? If you ask most seasoned print professionals, the answer you would get would be that if BLACK was represented by a B, then it would be confused with BLUE. Not true…
BLACK is represented by a K because the BLACK plate on the press is considered to be the KEY plate that all of the other colors must register to. Use that one to stump your printer next time he tries to use this acronym on you.
The best way to understand four-color process is to first imagine an old-school comic book with the large dots in the color photos. Well, those dots are still there but they have been dramatically reduced in size so much that they are difficult to see without a magnifier. Offset printing presses can only print in solid colors so those dots are made up of various sizes and the CMYK colors referred to above.
This allows for thousands of shades of different colors to be reproduced from only four inks on the press. Example — the Greenest Rookie spoken of earlier would print with a percentage of Cyan dots and a percentage of Yellow dots.
How can 100# paper be thinner than 80# paper? The BASIS WEIGHT is a measure of the weight of 500 sheets of paper of specific size in pounds (#). Here’s the confusing part of what should be a simple answer, each type of paper (cover, book, writing, etc.) is measured with different sizes.
That’s how 80# Cover can be thicker than 80# Book. The 80# Cover is the weight of 500 sheets of 20″ x 26″ sheets, while the 80# Book is the weight of 500 sheets of 25″ x 38″ sheets. Here’s a brief list of types of paper and sizes that determine the basis weights…
BOND & LEDGER PAPER (20#, 24#, 28#, 32#) is the weight of 500 sheets of 17″ x 22″
OFFSET, BOOK & TEXT (50#, 60#, 70#, 80#, 100#) is the weight of 500 sheets of 25″ x 38″
COVER PAPER (65#, 80#, 100#, 120#) is the weight of 500 sheets of 20″ x 26″
OK. We didn’t make this stuff up and there will definitely NOT be a test after this. We’re here to make sense of this for you.
Either you can remember all of this, or you can let us demystify all of this for you.
Students aren’t the only people who use day planners and calendars with a school year. Parents, coaches, and companies who follow seasons of education, benefit from offering a September to September calendar.
Ordering early, you benefit from deep discounts. Apply these discounts to custom printed pages where you can create a targeted take-away that is actionable for your recipients.
Did you know it only costs a few pennies more to add important event dates to a calendar?
Consider adding inspiring quotes, images, coupons and tear away pages such as a registration forms, surveys or comment cards.
Setting up customized pages where you highlight upcoming events and deadlines for your team or faculty is more affordable than most people think.
Teams feel unified with a day planner with their school emblem and colors, and faculty will find this an impactful and meaningful milestone maker.