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20 Common Design Mistakes You Should Avoid

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of a new design project. Design brings opportunities to exercise our creativity and skill, but along with that designers face many challenges that may not be obvious. Here are 20 mistakes you should avoid during the design process. 1. Not Understanding the Project Understanding the client, purpose, and audience will help you create the most effective design. To help roadmap your design project, we’ve created a design brief to help research with the client. 2. Using the wrong typography Make sure to choose a font that’s appropriate for your purpose. Some fonts like Comic Sans and Lobster are so overused that your design may be lost among other pieces. Be aware of copyright laws, as well. Many fonts are copyrighted, so make sure you’re able to use it in your design without legal issue. 3. Too Many Fonts The optimal amount of…

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Business Cards

Can I just order 100 Business Cards?

Sure you can, why not?  Our pricing is structured to reflect the costs that are involved with producing your project.  So when we quote a client for 100 business cards, the pricing is quite close to that of 250 business cards.  Well why is that you ask?  You would think that 250 cards is 2.5x the order of 100 cards, so the pricing shouldn’t be that close, right? Well let’s take a little higher view of what’s going on here. Like most manufactured items, you try to produce them as efficiently as possible.  For our production process that means on the average we’re printing 25 final cards on 1 press sheet.  So 1 sheet = 25 cards, or 4 sheets = 100, and 10 sheets = 250 cards. This same logic applies to postcards, brochures, booklets etc.  It applies to everything we do. Now let’s keep in mind that this…

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coated paper stock comparison

How to Choose Paper with the Right Coating

Choosing a paper type for your next project is a vital step in increasing its effectiveness, and knowing the differences between paper coatings can be helpful in choosing materials. This post will give you a little bit of background knowledge, and a few tips to help you and your printer select the best paper coating for your project. Coating is when a sealant is used on paper, giving an added layer of finish. It often affects the texture and durability of the paper. It also reduces it’s ink absorbency, which can improve the crispness of the a print: an excellent attribute for a photo print with small details. Please keep in mind, there are also different kinds of extra coating you can select that are not listed here (link to paper coating blog). This blog will outline the coating that already comes on the paper and does not need to…

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Brain Storming Illustration

To Market or Not to Market…The Don’ts of Cross-Media Marketing

The ever increasingly successful online and content marketing field has many traditional marketing pros and Print Industry leaders scratching their heads as many try to determine what the future holds for their respective fields. However, research proves that an integrated cross-media marketing approach with both print and digital components with both online and traditional Marketing efforts has greater reach, improves brand visibility and recognition, and overall is just more effective than a campaign that only involves print or only involves digital. As an Association or Nonprofit leader, you may also be scratching your head as you try to determine the ins and outs of a successful, yet well-rounded, marketing campaign and how best to integrate your efforts across multiple media channels, including that printed mailer and the viral video your co-workers talked you into. Well, here are a few quick ‘don’ts’ to help get you started: Don’t Forget to Direct-…

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Top 8 Reasons to Hire a Local Printer versus a Chain

You might be surprised to learn the benefits of hiring a local printer versus a chain store. As a followup to our post on local shops vs. corporate shops, check out the tips all in one place. 1.  Price Unlike with many big box retailers and their local independent counterparts, as far as print and design jobs go, hiring a local firm is likely much less expensive than hiring a big firm.  Corporate shops are often set up for small jobs, and indeed, can be cheaper if you’re only looking to make a couple copies or print 1 sign. Local firms become ideal for saving money when you start printing large jobs for a business, a meeting, an event, etc. 2.  Relationships At a corporate shop, you’re likely to deal with a new employee every time you visit. At local printers, employees have been around a while, allowing you to…

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CTR Services Paper Samples

5 Reasons Print is still Necessary in the Digital Age

The influx of digital dependence has brought about many changes to marketing, specifically the onset of content marketing; consequently, this has also brought about many changes within the print industry. These stealthy changes to the print industry have been happening for years as the internet and online marketing have soared. However, some industry pros, in both marketing and print, think that the best strategy to a well-rounded multi-media marketing campaign is to incorporate both printed marketing materials and online marketing and promotion. Here are 5 reasons why print is still an important, if ever changing, industry in the digital age 1. Multi-Media/Cross-Channel Marketing Research indicates that a well-rounded approach that combines both print and online marketing strategies is effective in increasing consumer and, in the case of Associations and Nonprofits, member reach. Not everyone surfs the web and is engaged in social media and not everyone goes through their postal…

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CITY YEAR Table Cards

Printing for Annual Meetings and Conferences

How printed material can help with your organization’s meetings and conferences. Many are convinced that with the ever increasing dependence on the internet and environmental print-naysayers, that the move to an “everything digital” world is inevitable. However, if you are a nonprofit or association leader trying to plan an annual conference, you are aware that printed materials are just plain necessary for such an undertaking. Additionally, as much as we as a society like to say that print is bad for the environment or that it is outdated, as individuals, sometimes we just like to hold a sheet of paper or need to see clearly displayed signage. In this post, we’ll discuss important elements to planning all of your printing needs for that annual conference including basic planning elements, the pre-meeting including postcards and registration, the meeting including course materials and signage and small takeaways you can give to participants…

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10 Printing Terms to Speed Up your Next Print Job

Knowing these 10 Printing Terms will make your next order go more smoothly When placing a print order, it can sometimes be difficult to know printer jargon. But, if you put these ten terms in your mental back pocket, you’ll be able to place your next order with a little more confidence and know-how. 1.    Bindery- Bindery is just what it sounds like plus a little more. The bindery is the finishing department in a printing company that does the folding, cutting, drilling and applying of other finishing touches on printing projects, including the binding. 2.    Bleed- The Bleed is any printing that extends to the edges of the printed page after trimming. 3.    Bounce- A Bounce is a registration error when the positioning of the printed image is inconsistent or improperly aligned on the paper as the project is printing. 4.    CMYK- The four color combination that is used…

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Debunking the Myth: Is Paper Printing Detrimental for the Environment?

If I were to tell you that printing on paper actually helps the environment, I am sure that you could find more than a few sources or opinions that unilaterally try to debunk that statement. However, it is accurate that paper printing and therefore the production of paper is better for the environment than not. For example, according to International Paper, “…when the demand for paper declines, tree farming also declines, taking all of the important ecological impacts like clean water and wildlife habitat right along with it” (“Down to Earth: A Practical Look at Environmental Issues and Trends”). I know what you are thinking; ‘of course a paper company states that printing on paper is good for the environment.’ And, why wouldn’t they? It is beneficial for their revenue, their bottom line, to convince folks that using paper saves trees. But, it’s true. Additionally, the benefits go far beyond the…

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4 ways you can use print giveaways to enhance your branding

  The table was set-up a mere 20 feet away, and I could feel a rush of excitement as my eyes greedily scanned the spread: water bottles, sling backpacks, stickers, planners, brochures and the ever coveted volunteer tee shirt. I wanted it all!! My daughter has been participating with Girls on the Run, a local nonprofit, for three years now and each time I ‘run’ the 5K with her; I get excited about the registration giveaways. They usually consist of the above mentioned swag in addition to granola bars, healthy sports drinks and various other mom approved snacks. And, don’t forget the tee shirt, which I wear proudly all of the time. And, from time to time, while out and about, I will run into other moms or teachers who recognize the logo and instant conversation and bonding occurs as we chat about that year it rained and sleeted for…

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