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How to Choose: Foam Core, Gator Board, or PVC Signs

Sometimes choosing what to have your super cool event design or logo printed on can be challenging. And often times you’ll need to juggle cost, durability, print style and practicality of use. Making these decisions can be overwhelming and more stressful than they need to be if you don’t have a firm grasp on what the differences in materials are. Here is a little bit on the differences between Foam Core, Gator Board and PVC signs to help you make a more knowledgeable decision next time. Foam Core Foam core is the least expensive of the three and is therefore the least durable. Foam core can be used as backing for art projects and photographs. In printing, images are printed on vinyl then adhered to the outer board with a spray adhesive. The drawback is that foam core absorbs moisture; as a result, it can warp easily and is best stored flat…

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Why Self Cover Booklets Cost Less

Why Self Cover Booklets Cost Less

When clients are looking to have a saddle stitch booklet printed, we offer the choices of having a self cover or a normal cover. Normally, a booklet will have different weights between the cover and the interior pages (referred to as the “text” pages). Another option is to have the same weight for all of the pages; this is referred to as a “self cover” booklet. Self cover booklets are a more cost effective way for you to produce your project for a few different reasons. Saddle-Stitch Booklets In order to understand the cost of bindery, it’s important to have an understanding of how a saddle stitch booklet is created. For a booklet with the final size of 8.5” x 11” size (the size of a standard sheet of paper), we’ll print four pages on a larger sheet (typically 12”x18” or 11”x17”). We’ll then staple (also known as stitch) those…

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How To Make Sure Your Postcard Mails

How to Make Sure your Postcard Mails

Postcard and flats (larger than 4x6, but still only one sheet) are the most common mailing we work with, and what can seem to be a pretty simple thing to design, can be more complicated than you’d expect. The Post Office used machinery to scan and sort mail. Here’s a link if you’d like to see a better idea of this process: (via)  It’s ideal for postcards to be laid out in a way that works in harmony with mailing technology. Planning your design in a way that makes it easier for the Post Office machinery and regulations will help your mailing get to its destination without an issue. Here are a 5 quick tips to help you design your postcard or flat effectively. 1. Leave Space for the Barcode During the mailing process, the Post Office prints a barcode 5/8ths of an inch from the bottom of each piece.…

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CTR New Logo Design

CTR New Logo Design

We changed our logo design a little while back to reflect the changes and evolution in our company. The new logo symbolizes the bond between our history with printing, and our evolution towards digital. The symbol of the power button epitomizes the use of digital technology for clients web based projects and marketing efforts. The blue ink holds true to our history of printing. Both of these elements together show the marriage of our printing past with the exciting digital solutions of our future. We’ve adapted our slogan due to this as well. We originally were “Total Print Solutions”, but we have changed that because the more we discussed what value we bring to clients, we realized we were doing far more than just print for them. We tossed around many ideas and settled on a favorite, but we had a couple other options. So we thought, let’s ask clients…

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10 Step Guide To Hiring A Designer – Full Write Up

10 Step Guide to Hiring a Designer – Full Write up

After getting a lot of positive feedback we were surprised to have a few requests for more content regarding our Infographic: 10 Step Guide to Hiring a Designer.  Below is the full content we used for the piece.  We hope you find this useful. Objective – This is the starting point for why you’re looking for a designer. You need to have a clear idea what the purpose, message, and goal for the project are. If you cannot clearly define this, it will be nearly impossible for you to express this to a designer. Start by first writing down what your goal is for the project. Then outline how the project lines up with other initiatives and campaigns in your company. When you’re at the interviewing stage with prospective designers, communicating your objective to them will be helpful for determining which designers are capable of achieving your goal. Portfolio –…

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Infographic – 10 Step Guide To Hiring A Designer

Infographic – 10 Step Guide to Hiring a Designer

We’ve had a lot of discussions lately with our clients about their needs.  Funny enough (or maybe not funny), most of them didn’t know we have a design department and most unfortunately do not have a reliable designer as part of their team.  After talking with customers we decided to make it easier for them by developing the guide you see below.  Whether someone uses us, or finds a different partner, we want to help people protect their interests and hire the best designer for them. Below is the 10 Step Guide to Hiring a Designer Infographic.  We hope you find it useful.  If you’re looking for a sample Design Project Brief as described in step#10, click here.  Happy hiring!

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4 Reasons Why Print Pieces Are A Good Investment

4 Reasons Why Print Pieces are a Good Investment

Money needed to create revenue can be hard to come by, and as the internet turns 25, the value of printed materials isn’t always obvious. Current marketing trends are moving toward online and cross-media marketing, it is easier to see that a well-thought-out printed campaign could help increase profit in the coming year. Here are 4 reasons why investing in print can be a moneymaker for your organization.   1. Printed Pieces Have a Higher Perceived Value. With Newsweek becoming an exclusively online media outlet, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos purchasing The Washington Post, it can be difficult to see where the value in printed materials. However, according to Nigel Boterwill, founder of Entrepreneur Circle, printed newsletters are “the single most effective tool to making relationships with customers” (“Why Printed Newsletters May be Your Most Effective Marketing Tool”). Boterwill says that printed materials, newsletters specifically, have a “higher perceived value, a…

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How To Choose The Best Binding Method For Your Next Publication

How to Choose the Best Binding Method for your Next Publication

Choosing the best and most practical binding method for your nonprofit or association’s next book project can be challenging and overwhelming, especially if you take to Google with a quick web search. The number of binding options out there can be off putting and sorting through all of the industry jargon can be painful. To choose which application you truly need, you first need to know that bindery recommendations are often made with two things in mind: use and size of the publication. What are you using the book for? When determining use, you need to decide how the book is meant to be used; this should greatly impact the type of binding chosen. For example, a manual or reference book will be of better use with a coil or twin loop binding as opposed to say tape binding because most readers want manuals to lay flat for reference purposes. This is more…

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5 Printed Materials For Your Conference

5 Printed Materials for Your Conference

Planning a large conference or annual meeting can be tough and costly. Sometimes meeting attendees don’t know how much work is involved behind the scenes. It takes a lot of time, planning and more to pull off a conference for a couple hundred people or a couple thousand people. In addition to figuring out all of the logistics, it is important to determine which types of printed materials you should invest in for the event. Here is a list of some of the most beneficial printed materials you should order to make your annual conference a success: 1.    Direct Mail Postcards/Save the Date Cards Your conference planning needs to start well in advance to the actual conference, and your members need to be notified of the event well in advance for their own planning purposes. A direct mail campaign to announce the conference is a great way to start.…

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Agenda Giveaways: Communicating Value And Brand

Agenda Giveaways: Communicating Value and Brand

When planning an annual conference it is easy to consider things like giveaways and printed materials as mere extra expenses, but these types of items can be critical to the success of your conference and also add an element of validity and professionalism to your brand. When planning an annual conference, branded-printed materials are some of the most important materials you can get your hands on. If you choose carefully, they can be easy and inexpensive as well. A conference giveaway does not have to be extravagant to get members attention and communicate value. It’s important that the materials represent your brand, service a practical and lasting purpose, are visually appealing, and convey fun. That’s why you should consider such conference giveaways as stickers, notepads, folders, pencils, pens, calendars and day planners as potential giveaways to enhance your attendees’ annual conference experience. In fact, giving away something that is as…

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