Feeling Stressed? Find Your Calm With These 5 Images and Square Breathing Technique!

Wake up, work, repeat. Ah … the daily grind. These days we’re so busy (or so we think) that we often forget to just sit and breathe, even when that’s just what we need. And for many of us, sitting behind a computer all day staring at the endless tabs and folders, you start to feel like your desktop has taken over.

What if you could achieve that Zen you’ve been searching for simply by looking at a beautiful image on your desktop? Yes, please! And what if you could achieve an even larger sense of calm just by looking at an image and breathing? Yes, again. We’re all about finding simple solutions for the stresses of daily life and have come up with just the thing to bring some chill to your screen.

We’ve assembled a collection of images and colors that are known to create a calming effect.  Read more here to learn how pictures actually relieve stress. And we’ve even included a little reminder to just … breathe. The Square (box) breathing technique is easy to follow and remember – especially when it’s right in front of you. Read more about box breathing and how it can help you destress. Fun fact: This breathing technique is used by the Navy Seals!

Find your calm today with one of these beautiful images!

 

Take a scroll. Your mind will thank you.

Leaf Image with Box Breathing technique

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Ocena Image with Box Breathing technique

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Spiral Succulent Image with Box Breathing technique

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Green Leaves Image with Box Breathing technique

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Purple Cirlce Abstract Image with Box Breathing Technique

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Meet The Creative Team

At Econoprint, our creative team’s philosophy is centered on creative collaboration, consistency, and connection. This is the focus you’ll see for every creative project our designers take on. Our team is composed of individuals who love all things branding, print, signage, and … the written word. Each team member has their own unique love for design and style, but ultimately works toward one common goal – creating something that meets (or exceeds) the clients’ needs.

This “meet-the-team” blog post will give you a glimpse into the creatives who jump at the chance to bring a brand to life, and let’s be honest, create some really cool design with a meaningful message that is clear and on point.

So, take a minute to look behind the scenes and see what motivates the Econoprint design team as they approach design projects, and the creativity they tap into every day to give their clients designs that wow!

“People don’t use a product because of the great design; great design helps them use the product.” -Author Unknown

Meet our exceptionally talented creatives!

 

ROXANNE KAZMIERSKI

Senior Creative Designer, 11 Years

What’s your favorite part about working in graphic design?

Variety! In a typical day I work on jobs with strict brand standards, and then I’m simultaneously given full creative freedom on others. I truly enjoy both!

How do you approach design?

Brainstorming is my golden ticket. I am constantly hand-sketching quick thumbnail layouts and brainstorming – all day long. This initial step gives me direction before I even touch the computer. Once it’s on screen, I’m able to experiment and elaborate on those ideas, refine them, add in the details, and look forward to feedback!

What’s your greatest inspiration for what you do?

3 websites I love:

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?

I keep an inspiration “dump box.” If I see an idea or design that inspires me, I save it. Later on, I’ll pull elements from those ideas and find ways to elevate them and make them my own. I do not always use this approach, but if I ever hit a creative block, this is one more tool in the toolbox!

What is the best design advice you have ever received?

Do not let yourself become stale! Do your research, stay current, watch trends evolve, and continue to learn.

What helps you stay creative each day?

Music! You’ll catch me hard rockin’, country twangin’, reggae jammin’, and everything in- between. My music taste is about as eclectic as my designs … and the genre I choose to listen to often depends on what type of design I’m working on.

What’s your favorite design trend?     

I really like simple data visualization. Being able to highlight statistics and lengthy data by creating a simple infographic can really help an audience retain the information.

If you could design any type of project, what would it be?

I would love to design a branded exterior mural for someone – mixed with photography and typography. Any takers?!

 

 

ANDY RIEL

Brand Identity Specialist, 16 Years

What’s your favorite part about working in graphic design?

I get to create! I have always loved art and visual communication. Being able to bring a new idea to life with color, texture, photography, and typography is a gratifying feeling.

What’s your greatest inspiration for creative design?

My top 3 favorite websites:

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?

I like to move my body. Getting away from the computer and going for a walk, hike, or run, allows me to boost my creative thinking.

What is the best design advice you have ever received?

White space is not your enemy.

What helps you stay creative each day?

To stay creative, I need my morning cup of coffee and my afternoon Spotify jams. Also, my snack drawer. When hunger strikes, I have nut butter, crackers, granola bars, mixed nuts, and … chocolate. It’s always better to have more snacks than not enough!

What’s your favorite design trend?

I like nature-inspired design. It uses natural light, earthy colors and tones, and illustrative elements of nature. The trend has been around for some time, but the pandemic has enhanced the appeal of nature even more.

If you could design any type of project, what would it be?

I would love to design environmental graphics for a museum.

 

TODD DUANE

Senior Creative Designer, (Many Moons) 20 Years

What’s your favorite part about working in graphic design?
Different types of jobs and new challenges every day.

How do you approach design?

I try to look at all parts of the project first to see how everything will work together as a whole, vs. working on all the different pieces individually and hoping it is all cohesive at the end.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?

I am always taking screenshots, quick iPhone photos, or bookmarking anything that piques my interest. It could be anything from other designs, the colors of a landscape, vintage photos, you never know when you might draw on those items for inspiration.

What helps you stay creative each day?

I usually have a wide variety of music playing in the background most of the day (anything from Johnny Cash to Slayer🤘) Oh, and Snapple Peach Iced Tea!

If you could design any type of project, what would it be?

I like to be involved from the beginning, starting with the initial logo design, working that into all the stationery and collateral materials, and then envisioning how the logo/look will be incorporated into the company retail/workspace.

If you weren’t a graphic designer, what job would you like to have?

I have always been drawn to music and have a pretty extensive music library. A job I would love to try would be a movie Music Supervisor, getting to pick the songs and background music used in films and TV. You are in control, subtly setting the tone and flow of the movie or show.

Side interests?

Music of course, photography, travel (I have been to over half of the states in America, working on seeing the rest), disc golf, hiking, and fishing.

 

JULIE LABELLE-RIEL

Senior Creative Designer, 15 Years

What’s your favorite part about working in graphic design?

I enjoy the opportunity to be creative at work. It’s fun, and it’s nice to go to work being able to do something I enjoy. We work with a variety of customers, so there’s something new every day.

What’s your creative M.O.?

I’m magic.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?

I like to take a walk and be in nature. I try to get up and move from my desk throughout the day.

What helps you stay creative each day?

Coffee!

What do you wish you were better at?

Calculating numbers … I’m not a math whiz!

If you could design any type of project, what would it be?

I would love designing some sort of display at a museum – particularly something fun for kids. I also would love designing packaging or a mail piece that has many different parts.

 

CRYSTAL ANDRUS


Proofreader/Copywriter, 15 Years

What’s your favorite part about working as a proofreader and copywriter?

We have clients in just about every field you can imagine, so naturally there’s a lot of variety in the types of projects we work on from day to day. I get to see what it’s like to market for everything from small local businesses to large international corporations. I enjoy all the different perspectives and helping our clients reach their target audience in a way that’s approachable and consistent.

Do you have a favorite pen color you use to make edits?

Purple is my go-to color for edits. I think it’s calming, which is great when you’re telling people to correct their mistakes all day. And red … is that even really an option? I mean, who needs more elementary school flashbacks? I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough red ink to last me a lifetime.

What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?

My role with the design team involves a lot of multitasking (which I actually enjoy). I frequently move between different roles – proofreading, copywriting, coordinating with sales staff, etc. There’s always something new to work on, and with the quick turnaround it’s never boring.

Your job is part technical, and part creative. What resources do you use to keep informed and inspired?

For the technical side of things, I primarily rely on the AP Stylebook. I studied journalism back in the day, so I’ve always turned to this guide to stay up to date on the latest changes in grammar, etc. Language is always changing, so you have to keep up. And for creative inspiration, I read. I see a lot on the job, but I’ve always been an avid reader of fiction. It’s a great way to find that creative spark.

Do you have any pet peeves about the things you proofread/edit?

I don’t know why exactly, but I can’t stand the word thus. So, if you ever send anything my way, be prepared … if you use thus, it might mysteriously disappear!

 

JESSICA HOFFMAN

Graphic Designer, On and Off Since 1993!

What’s your favorite part about working in graphic design?

I love looking for fonts and graphics that give a piece personality. I’ve described the process as being like putting a puzzle together – when everything fits it’s a great feeling!

What’s your greatest inspiration for what you do?

I read a lot of magazines (Better Homes and Gardens, Country Living, HGTV, Real Simple). They’re great resources for fonts, color combinations, and photography.

How do you keep the creative juices flowing?

You get such a wide variety of projects working at Econoprint, that you are always challenged in new ways. Jumping from a technical medical form to a creative postcard featuring a fun event keeps you from burning out.

What is the best design advice you have ever received?

Keep it simple.

What helps you stay creative each day?

Cold water. As plain as that is, it gives me a little boost with every sip.

If you could design any type of project, what would it be?

A catalog with beautiful photos or a billboard I could drive past.

 

We love creative design! We’re excited and ready to talk to you about your next project. Get started here.

 

Brand Style Guide 101: Creating a Guide in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s start with the basics.

What is the difference between a brand style guide and brand guidelines? And why does your business need one?

There are two different guides your company can use depending on the complexity of your brand strategy – a brand style guide and a brand guide. A brand style guide, which I’ll discuss in a minute, is a one-page document that shows a quick overview of your company’s logo, colors, and fonts, as well as their correct usage. Whereas brand guides are more in-depth explanations that include the company’s brand strategy along with a style guide. Often, you’ll see the two guides talked about interchangeably, but either option will help with brand consistency. The complexity of your brand will determine which type of guide is needed.

Now, you might be thinking that you don’t need a style guide, but I can tell you from experience how helpful it can be when working with a designer or agency. Many times, a style guide will suffice for what your business needs, and it’s easy enough to put together on your own.

The Following 5 tips will help create a well-rounded brand style guide for your company or creative team:

 

  1. Brand story – This sets the tone and will include your company’s Vision and/or Mission. Here are some great examples of brand stories from well-known brands.
  2. Company logo(s) – Be sure to include all logo formats, including one that will work on all social channels.
  3. Color palette – This includes colors to be used for print, as well as digital viewing (Pantone, CMYK, and RGB). Want to go more in-depth on the difference between these color types and when to use them? Check out post here.
  4. Typography – Includes a primary font and secondary font that work well together.
  5. Graphic elements – Includes any images or graphics used and shows how they are laid out – especially on different marketing channels.

 

Ready to create your own brand style guide? Download your FREE copy now.

 

Download InDesign template here.

Download Word doc template here.

 

So why does your business need a brand style guide? Two words – brand consistency! You want your audience to recognize your brand no matter where they’re seeing it (i.e., print, social, digital). There’s nothing worse than having inconsistent fonts, colors, or different logo versions. A brand guide is a clear and quick way to help your team stay consistent, and it’s easy to share with outside designers or agencies.

 

 

 

Direct Mail in 2021

What’s in store for your 2021 direct mail marketing strategy?

For many this is the million-dollar question. 2020 was either a great time to go full speed ahead with direct mail with great success, or it was the exact opposite. It all depended on your pitch and your target audience.

As we continue into the unknown, there is one thing that people are missing more than ever –personal communication. Now’s the time to create or maybe recreate a new version of your current strategy as many businesses search for the best way to reach their consumer.

Here are 3 direct mail easy add-ons for 2021. These steps will help to create engagement every time and make the experience more personal.

 

  1. Personalize

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make it personal. This is key to making your viewer feel important and connected to your message. It’s more important than ever to engage personally with customers. Make each direct mail piece look as though it was designed specifically for that person! Better yet, use your data to provide different offers or images based on the personal relevant information you have for your customers. This is a great way to test offers and designs!

 

  1. Target the Right People

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether your company is B2B or B2C, it’s important to remember that the decision to take action is being made by a singular individual. So, whether you’re targeting households, locations, or businesses with a certain number of employees, determine your ideal persona and your end action goal ahead of time. This will help get you in front of the right audience.

 

  1. QR Code

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add a custom QR code to your piece. With one scan, you’ll be forwarding recipients to your website, donation page, Google Maps locations, or social media accounts. Plus, in most instances, there’s no need to download an app. Newer devices have a built-in camera that will read the code. This works for both iPhone and Android users.

 

Not sure what type of direct mail route to take?

 

Check out our FREE downloadable Guide to Direct Mail. This guide will help you decide which type of mailing is best for you. You’ll have access to direct mail sizes, the new 2021 postage ranges, and USPS delivery goals.

 

By leveraging these digital, personalized, and targeted enhancements you will be better positioned to make your direct mail more successful in 2021.

FREE 2021 Desktop Wallpaper and Printable Calendars

Cheers to a new year everyone! One of the keys to getting the new year off to a good start is getting organized, right? So we found a way to make it fun! We created a desktop calendar and printable calendar wallpaper for you to download and update monthly! We even have all the designs in letter size in case you’d like to print and laminate them to use at your desk, or just pin on the wall.

We’ve included something for everyone, using a wide color palette and eye-catching scenery. Some of our personal favorites are July and August – the colors are just amazing! Or maybe we just wish we were the ones floating in the tube!

Here’s to a great 2021, filled with all the things that bring you joy!

Click Here for Desktop Wallpaper Calendars. Click Here for Printable 11″ x 8.5″ Calendars

At-a-glance wallpaper designs

Celebrating Women In Print

Today we are celebrating two things — women who print and women in manufacturing! Connecting and empowering women in the print community.

Here at Econoprint we are proud to have many women working to move print forward. As part of our celebration we are excited to share a fun video featuring the women of Econoprint as they give you a little behind-the-scenes look at who they are. Of course, we’re hoping to bring a little fun and laughter to your day, but we really hope to connect and empower all women in the print community as well as anyone thinking about joining a strong team of women already making a difference in the industry.

The women of Econoprint are a dedicated team with a wide range of backgrounds and experience, from both our Madison, WI and Lake Delton, WI offices. They’ve been working in print anywhere from a few years to almost their entire adult lives. Yes, they love print that much! They are incredibly smart, hardworking, and excited to be able to support our female pals at work who contribute daily to the success of Econoprint.

You’ll find women from Preflight, Graphic Design, Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Accounting, Management, Signage, Proofreading, and Production. And what better way to support our women than by showcasing a snippet of who they really are behind the job.

 

Check out the women of Econoprint. These videos will be sure to put a smile on your face!

 

 

 

 

Our female friends and colleagues make us feel powerful because the more we support and amplify women, the more successful we all will be.

#womeninprint #girlswhoprint #womeninmanufacturing