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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
One of the most common problems our creative design teams see’s when receiving files for printing is the lack of bleed. Bleed is a printing term that is used to describe a document which has images or design elements that touch the edge of the page, extending beyond the trim edge leaving no white margin. When a document has bleed, it must be printed on a larger sheet of paper and then trimmed down. Printing and trimming is pretty precise with minimal amount of paper movement, but if no bleed is applied to the document a hairline of unprinted paper will show up on the edges. This is why we like to see the bleed extended .125 inches (1/8″) on each side of your document.
The business card example below shows how a document should be set up with bleed.
You probably already know how to create a print-ready PDF, but creating a PDF that bleeds requires a few more steps. Follow the instructions below to create bleeds in Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word.
1. In Document Setup set your document size to the final trim size. Set your bleed settings like the sample shown (1). All bleeds should be set to .125″.
2. When you are ready to make a PDF, select your desired export setting (we recommend Press Quality).
3. Under Export Adobe PDF options select Marks and Bleeds on the side menu. Make sure “Use Document Bleed Settings” is selected under Bleed and Slug. Compare your Marks and Bleeds Page to the preview shown (2).
4. Select Export. After your PDF is created, please review your PDF file. The dimensions should be your trim width with an additional .25″ and your height is your requested size with an additional .25″.
1. Microsoft Word does not have bleed settings. To allow for the bleeds, you will need to add .25″ to your width and to your height. This will allow for .125″ bleed area on all sides. (Example, if you would like a 5.5 x 8.5 postcard, you will need to make your document 5.75 x 8.75).
2. When you change your page size to include the bleed area your margins will not change. This means if you have your margins set to .375″ on 5.5 x 8.5, after the bleed area is trimmed o you will only have .125″ margins. We recommend increasing your margins to prevent important content from getting too close to the bleed area that will be cut off.
3. If you are ready to create a PDF, click File, then Save As, and select PDF in the drop-down menu.
4. After converting your Word document to a PDF, review the PDF to ensure no unwanted changes occurred during the conversion and that your document is the correct size.
Whew! That is it. The next time you send your PDF to us we know you’ll have mastered the bleed.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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!
Your work and message are important. Use the tips above as a guide to supplement your marketing plan and get the conversation rolling.
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