Environmental Graphic Design: The Key to Telling Your Story!

Contrary to the name Environmental Graphic Design (EGD) it does not involve mother nature or require the use of natural elements to create a design! It’s a combination of interior design, the architecture of the building, and graphic design. Environmental graphic design’s goal is to use its surrounding environment and work to communicate a branded story or message for the viewer to see and resonate with.

Now more than ever, companies are looking to integrate signage with their interior space to make it more visually appealing,not just their customers, but also to their employees. Along with the much talked about culture aspect, environmental graphic design is becoming a great space for companies to grow and tell their story while reinforcing their overall message.

There are many ways to creatively display environmental graphics in your space. Environmental graphics are versatile, cost effective, and bring a ton of personality to any space! Here are a few ideas of ways you can create a uniquely branded space.

Ideas to Brand Your Space

The front lobby is the place where a customers first make their impression of you. Adding, something visual like a wall graphic will be sure to create impact and will carry branding throughout your space to reflect your brands story.

Give your conference room a larger than life makeover. Creating a space that engages your team and customer will set the tone for the meeting.

Displaying your company’s mission and values within your building is a great way to implement a piece of the company culture.

Now’s the time to make that connection and set yourself apart from competition, and engage your audience and employees. Environmental graphics are meant to enhance your space especially when combined with a creative approach and concept. So, what are you waiting for, get creative and tell your brand’s story on the four walls around you!

Can Brochures Hold Their Own in a World of Digital Marketing?

No one can deny the importance of digital marketing in today’s world. We see approximately 4,000  ads a day according to Biz Journals, and many times we don’t notice the subtle marketing techniques at play. Digital marketing is definitely leading the reins in a fierce marketplace competition, but print collateral, like brochures still have an important role to play in a balanced marketing strategy.

When considering the variety of print collateral available, developing a professionally produced brochure suggests a higher budget and an established reputation and brand. The tangible interaction a brochure creates has the power to develop a strong connection with clients and potential clients alike.

So, what makes a brochure worth looking at? How will your message fight through the sea of marketing we’re bombarded with every day? The following 5 Tips will help you create the perfect brochure to connect with and inspire your target audience.

 

5 Tips for Creating Memorable Brochures

 

Tip 1: Treat your brochure like your salesperson

Your “salesperson” should attract attention, generate excitement, and establish trust. It can make a great first impression and intrigue you to ask more questions, or maybe call to learn more about the products or services being offered.

 

Tip 2: Spotlight the important facts

When you organize your content in a way that increases visual flow and appeal, your important information is more likely to be read. A professional designer will make sure your brochure has a theme that highlights your message, while remaining consistent with your brand.

 

Tip 3: Select images that tell a story

Choose photos or graphics that will complement your message and define the focus of the brochure. Either the images will engage the reader, or they won’t. The key is to guide your readers to the ever-important call to action that is the true gauge of your brochure’s effectiveness.

 

Tip 4: Make your brochure worthy of keeping

If you can, provide value by including a handy reference of some kind (e.g., a map of town attractions, a chart, or guide) in the brochure. This will help to dissuade readers from throwing it away.

 

Tip 5: Ask for action

What action do you want your reader to take? The call to action is usually found on the last panel of a brochure, along with contact information. This is where you can offer an incentive to get them to take the next step.

Calls to action can be:

 

As you can see, brochures can be a great way to solidify a relationship with your readers. Give them something memorable that they can touch and relate to. Maybe, if they’re like the rest of us, they get a little tired of all the ads flashing across their screens. So, isn’t it time to give them something different?

Choosing the Right Signage Substrate

Giving your brand a visual boost doesn’t have to be an afterthought. Whether you’re hosting an event, promoting a product in a retail space, or dressing up the office walls, branding with signage is a must when creating a visual presence for your business.

When it comes to marketing your brand with custom signage, there are several substrate options to consider. What kind of signage material do you want to use (there are many)? What size signage will be most effective in the space you have to work with? Will your sign be mounted or displayed in a stand? And, is your signage for indoor or outdoor use? How do you choose?

To make the decision a little bit easier, we’ve included a breakdown of some of the most common signage materials (substrates) used in today’s business marketing signage.

Types of Signage Substrates:

Poster Paper

Perfect for: A great way to convey messages, promote an event, or educate your audience.

Details: A wide range of stocks, semi-gloss to gloss along with many weights depending on use.

Foam Board

Perfect for: A economical way to showcase your conference or promote a product.

Details: Is lightweight, and great option for a one-time use. Can dent easily.

Coroplast

Perfect for: Use in your sidewalk signs or for outdoor events/ directional messages.

Details: Corrugated plastic is a weather-resistant board making it a great material for outside use.

PVC Board

Perfect for: Excellent for retail signage, menu boards, and conferences.

Details: Is lightweight and has a smooth surface. It is also a rigid foam. comes in a couple thicknesses.

Vinyl Banner

Perfect for: Great for getting your message across in a big way. Incorporate bold and colorful image for a grand opening, promotion, special events, or even warehouses or lobbies.

Details: Can be used indoor and Outdoor. Durable weather-resistant vinyl.

Aluminum Composite

Perfect for: Great when used for outdoor parking signs or building signs.

Details: Are half the weight of solid aluminum and have excellent durability in outdoor applications.

Acrylic

Perfect for: The perfect fit for any lobby and/or interior building signage.

Details: Many sizes and options for printing i.e. white, transparent, frosted or in color.

It’s good to learn and know the basic qualities of popular materials before you have your sign made. The signage material you choose could determine how long your sign will last and look in your space, so choose wisely. Material matters!

Can I Mail This Size Postcard? A Guide to Direct Mail Postcard Sizes.

Direct mail is a great marketing tool to utilize within your marketing strategy, but when it comes to printing a postcard, size does matter!

When you’re looking to utilize direct mail in a marketing campaign or promotion, one of the first things you’ll need to know are the size options for your postcard. The images below will give you the dimensions that are the most common, and that will still allow you to meet all the mailing requirements and get the best USPS rate.

 

Postcard Sizes

Market Mail and True Postcard Sizes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True postcard sizes (3.5×5 to 4.25×6) are eligible to mail at the USPS First-Class postcard rate.

Oversized postcards (3.5×5 to 6.125×11) qualify for Market Mail (Standard), the Market Mail Nonprofit Rate, or First-Class.

 

EDDM (Every Door Direct Mail) Sizes

EDDM Mailing Sizes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EDDM postcards must exceed one of the following:

10.5″ in length

6.125″ in height

.75″ in thickness

How Can You Mail Your Postcard?

There are three main ways you can mail a postcard: First-Class Mail, Market Mail (standard and nonprofit), and EDDM.

 

Giving direct mail its moment to shine in a marketing campaign gives you the opportunity to make a powerful first impression with a new or existing target market audience. There are many cost-efficient ways to reach potential customers, but you’ll want to make sure you’ve checked all the boxes. The size and professional design of the postcard are essential in making it stand out. So get those creative juices flowing and make your direct mail piece one to remember!

 

 

 

 

Prepress Checklist: Preparing Your Design for Print

The best way to ensure a smooth transfer of your print files to a quality finished product is to make sure your files are print ready. As we always say, prepress is the gateway to printing success!

Here are a few of the things you’ll want to do before sending your design file to your printer for your next print project.

The Checklist:

1. Check your size and image resolution
You’ll want to make sure your images meet a minimum image resolution of 300dpi. We get many questions about the quality of images and whether they’ll look good in print. It’s better to start out big when producing a digital image, as you can scale down if necessary. If you need your photo at a higher resolution, it’s best to just rescan or reshoot the image. If you start with a vector image or graphic for logos and line art, these will retain a high resolution at any size.

Resolution comparison 72dpi vs 300dpi

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Choose the correct color mode
Talk with your print representative first to make sure you know how your job will be printing. Will it print on a full-color press or a traditional press? Knowing this will help you decide what color mode to use–Process (CMYK) or Spot (Pantone) colors. These colors may look the same on screen, but the print process will affect the look of the color. When printing in full color always convert from RGB (what your monitor uses) to CMYK, since there is a color shift when changing modes.

3. Crops and bleeds
Crops and bleeds can be turned on when exporting to a PDF. These marks indicate the edges of your design and where it needs to be cut once printed. Crops indicate where the printed area is and the bleeds are the extended area beyond the actual size. Having the appropriate marks will make sure your print piece is trimmed correctly.

 

Image with Crop and Bleed marks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Proper PDF settings
No matter what program you’re using you will most likely create a PDF to send to your printer. It is important to use the correct settings when making the PDF to get the best end result. For our presses we like to use the Press Quality settings as this will embed all fonts and keep the image resolution as is. Adobe Acrobat defaults to Standard settings that will change all images to 150dpi and will not embed the fonts.

5. Contact our Prepress Department
Any time you have a question it is easier and more time efficient to answer questions as they arise. Fixes and changes after the file is received can cause additional charges and delays that can be avoided by simply talking to one of our technicians. If you’re in Madison, WI or the Dane county area please feel free to contact our Prepress Coordinator at lisak@econoprint.com or (608) 845-2855.

These 5 tips will hopefully set you up for prepress success! Once you’ve completed each step a few times they will become part of your prepress routine.

18 Digital and Print Tips: to engage your audience

We all know the importance of a well-planned marketing strategy. But does your strategy include a mix of formats like print, social, and digital? Everyone should be taking full advantage of the many opportunities available to help expand your reach and engage your audience. Marketing is changing–your strategy should too. It’s time to actively seek out your audience and start a conversation!
It all starts with recognizing the importance of integrating print, social, and digital platforms in your marketing. When you utilize a mix of channels, it increases your visibility and elevates your brand and message. Who doesn’t want that??!!!

Whether your organization is a nonprofit running a campaign or a business looking to engage a new audience, you will find the 18 tips below helpful as you begin the process to elevate your digital, social, and print strategies.

Click Here to view a PDF of the tips! 18 Tips to engage your audience

Your work and message are important. Use the tips above as a guide to supplement your marketing plan and get the conversation rolling.