News Archive

  • 10 Ways Printers Can Help Designers

    By Jules VanSant, PPI Executive Director

    Designers are visual people and the best way to teach a visual person is to show them. Graphic designers are also curious people who generally like to see how things work. We all walk around with our cameras all day, lauding their efficiency for email, slack, twitter and more. But it is the instant transmission of images and videos that make showing easy-as-pie.
    Here are 10 ways you can use your smartphone to reach out to your designer clients, add value to your company website and make life easier for yourself. (Sales managers, appoint one person to collect this kind of knowledge and disseminate to the whole sales team.)

    1. Coated vs. Uncoated. Sit down with a designer and have two paper swatch books in front of you and explain coated paper versus uncoated paper. You will have saved yourself countless hours of “it looks like postcard paper” descriptions, and the like.

    2. Bleeds. Take a video of your guillotine cutter in action, preferably a job with a bleed. Zoom in on the crop marks, text it to your designer client. (Put it on your website too!)

    3. Grain. Look in your sample room for something with a nice black solid. Pull two samples. Fold one sample with the grain. Fold the other sample against the grain. Put them side-by-side folds-up and photograph with your phone. Open the image and crop to relevant image area and mark as a favorite in your phone for quick retrieval.

    4. Waste=Cost. Show your client an illustration of paper waste for various page sizes. Here are some examples you can use: (Put it on your website too!)

    5. Quantity matters. Walk into your pressroom and film a sheet-fed press at the delivery end while it is running for 30 seconds. Confirm run speed with pressman. Text video to the client explaining that’s how long it takes for (insert quantity here) brochures/posters, etc. to run through the press and why they should opt for digital printing on this short run. (At 15,000 mph 30 seconds is 125 sheets, 8-up that’s 1000 pieces!)

    6. Printing is green. Calculate how many pounds of trim, corrugated and electronics you recycle each year (if your trim is picked up and weighed by a recycler they have this info). Next time your vendor picks up a container run out to the parking lot and take a pic. Put the photo on your website with an infographic of the tonnage you recycle annually. Explain that the trim and corrugated goes into future recycled paper products.

    7. Ink can change color. Show your client this photo. Explain that the ink formulas with a high percentage of opaque white (basically all pastels) will shift within a year (swatch on left was two years old, on right 6 months, when photographed). Share that pastel colors are great for a short-lived item like an invitation not so great for an identity system.

    8. Paper makes a difference. Next time you’ve got an attractive job with photos that’s going to run on white paper, order some extra sheets of ivory, canary and grey uncoated paper. Add those colored sheets to the job and photograph the same detail area of all four colors. Make a montage (easy with the Layout app for iPhone). Send this montage to a client who is wondering about running a job on colored stock and put it on your website too.

    9. How to read a swatch book. Oh boy, if I had a penny for every time a customer found the “perfect paper” in a swatch book and placed an order specifying that sheet only to find out there wasn’t enough, or it wasn’t stocking or that the chosen color had been discontinued… This is a great topic to discuss at a quick lunch with a new customer. Text her image showing how to look up the date of a swatch book. Then bring her some lunch and a few swatch books and show her how to “read” it.

    10. Art takes time. Text your idea of a rudimentary schedule to your client as a pdf graphic they can print out and pin to their idea wall. Next time they are working with a client to develop a timeline they won’t guess and it saves them and you a call/email.

    I know that some will think that answering questions and fielding problems bring value to a client, and they do. But do they bring value to a business owner? If staff is reacting/interacting at the 100-foot level, how are they going to interact at the 30,000 foot level with intention? Focus on the little things with intention and planning and then the 30,000-foot questions aren’t as scary. What are your clients’ plans for next year? Are you discussing budgets internally? Are they planning on launching any new products or services within the next six months? These conversations are really easy when “what do I need a bleed for” is taken care of.

  • Should your business have a mobile app? Today we dive in and explore some of the reasoning behind having—or not having—a mobile app for a small business.

  • Mother’s Day is just around the corner on Sunday, May 13th. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage with consumers by celebrating a day for the mothers in their lives.

  • Vehicle branding is an exceptional form of advertising medium with few downsides. For just one single startup cost, your vehicle can expose a multitude of people to the business every single day.

  • Without strong content, a blog can quickly fall apart. If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place. Today we discuss seven post ideas for your business blog.

  • You may ask, “Earth Day and marketing?” How could those two possibly go together? Today we’re going to discuss how to embrace Earth Day in your marketing efforts.

  • Drip email marketing, otherwise known as drip email campaigns, is the perfect way to automate the marketing and sales process, easily converting leads into customers.

  • No matter who you are or what you do, networking can help you and your business grow. Today we dive into the big benefits of joining a networking group.

  • As a marketing professional, you may have read an ebook or two before in your day. But the real question is: have you ever considered writing one?

  • While Twitter might be smaller than the social media giant Facebook, it’s definitely something worth attention. Today dive into why your business should have a Twitter.

  • How can businesses and individuals best reach out to consumers during the new spring season? Luckily, we have five super springtime marketing ideas to get you started.

  • An email subject line can ensure viewers actually open the email, read it and act upon it. So, how do you create a compelling email subject line? Here’s how.

  • A mission statement can drive a business towards success through a strong business communication strategy. Today we discuss how to write an effective mission statement.

  • How can you build and sustain a successful email marketing campaign for a small business? Here are the five tips to get started on a top email marketing campaign.

  • A website's optimization is integral to improving marketing efforts and growing the business. Here’s some key pointers for how to search engine optimize your content.

  • When it comes to building strong landing pages, there are vital components. In today’s lesson of Marketing 101, learn how you can create effective landing pages.

  • Infographics include information for consumers, but in a way that’s visually appealing, with short, impactful tidbits of content. But, how do marketers create infographics?

  • Both insourcing and outsourcing a business blog have their advantages in business, so today we’re going to take a deeper look and see which is the better fit.

  • If you have a business page, how can you utilize Facebook to increase your followers and grow sales? We have some tips for how to improve your engagement on Facebook.

  • How exactly can you utilize local search engine optimization for your website? Here are the first few steps in integrating local SEO best practices for small businesses.

  • If you want to make sure 2018 is successful, there are a few things to put in place now. We’ve compiled a list of a few ways to start off a new year for marketing.

  • 2018 will be here soon, and with it comes new innovations, strategies and marketing trends to help expand your network and grow your professional business.

  • If you’re the procrastinating type—or even if you’re not—we have seven last minute Christmas marketing ideas you can start taking advantage of today.

  • With everyone hosting sales, how can you stand out from the crowd this season? Today we look at seven happy holiday marketing tips for businesses and individuals alike.

  • Content means more than just blogging or having a great website homepage. To get you started on innovative content marketing, we've compiled a list of 10 ideas.