Strategic Use of Color: Get People Feeling Your Brand

Love. Trust. Joy. Excitement.  It’s no secret that emotions strongly influence our daily decision making.  What may not be as obvious is that the colors we see in logos and marketing media can create an emotional response, connecting us with brands and effecting our purchasing decisions. In other words, the quickest way to your customers’ hearts may be through your brand’s colors.


The thoughtful use of color when designing your brand can help tell a powerful story to consumers that goes deeper than a simple logo or symbol.  Color theorist Faber Birren wrote that biological, social, and psychological conditioning influences humans’ emotional association with color.  For example, humans have been psychologically conditioned to see red as a sign of importance; a color to pay attention to, and also culturally conditioned to associate the color green with money.


Although consumers may already have developed thoughts about your brand and understand your products, services and mission, it’s when they’ve associated feeling with those thoughts that loyalty develops.


So, now that you have an idea why color in branding matters, the question becomes, “What colors best fit my brand’s identity?”


The chart below matches popular colors to their commonly associated emotional responses.  Considering either a combination or a variation of these colors could be a great way to enhance the emotional response your brand creates.

Color Evoking Emotion Chart


Of course, there are no concrete rules for determining your brand’s colors.  Trends change over time, and there are many schools of thought detailing how to best apply your selected colors to your brand materials.


One concept that is common across most color-branding theories is consistency. Once you’ve designed a color combination that best fits your identity, it’s important to present a united front of branded collateral that will encourage emotional association over time. This would include your web presence, logo, signage, print material, digital advertisements, and staff uniforms.



Are your photos good enough resolution (dpi) for printing?

What is dpi, and why does it matter in the print world?

DPI (dots per inch) is used to describe the resolution number of dots per inch in a printed piece, the higher the number, the more info (dots) are stuffed into a 1-inch area, creating a more vibrant and visually pleasing printed photo. Conversely, fewer dots per inch results in a more blocky/choppy printed photo. See samples.






The goal is to use images with 300 dpi for all printed pieces. There can be exceptions, including photos used in large format displays, pop-up banners, and tradeshow booths. In these cases, the imagery is viewed from more than an arm’s length away, and the pixilation (choppiness) isn’t as noticeable.

So, how can you tell the dpi of your photos? There are a few tricks you can do on your home or office PC/Mac to check the dpi of each photo you plan to use in a printed piece.

On Windows/PC









On Mac

On Mac










So, now that you know the pixel size of your photo, use this formula to determine the size of your photo at the desired 300 dpi size:

Pixels  ÷  300  =  the inches your photo will print at 300 dpi:

Example 3219 ÷ 300 = 10.73” & 4024 ÷ 300 = 13.41”
photo can print up to 10.73” wide x 13.41” tall and still look great!

This isn’t an unbreakable rule, as some photos will look good enough at only 200 dpi, but it gives you a guideline how the final print quality of a photo will look in your next brochure, flyer or poster.

Keep or Toss? Direct Mail They’ll Want to Read

Everyone gets “junk” mail at home and at work. At some point, we sort through the piles and decide to keep it or toss it. Sometimes we’ll keep the direct mail piece because something has intrigued us, while a dull, uninspired design or irrelevant message will quickly land a mail piece in the toss pile.

This leads to the big question of, “How do you get your marketing mail read every time?” It’s an easy answer, but one that isn’t always easy to achieve (queue the large neon light). Print marketing should capture the attention of the consumer instantly!

Sure, it’s easy to say, but what does that look like? Maybe you feel like you’re already doing this, but not getting the response you’re hoping for. Let’s start with your audience. Consumers love when they get something that is just for them. Maybe it has their name on the piece, or maybe it’s a coupon for something they’ve been looking at. Target does this really well. Ever notice that the coupon they sent you happens to be for a product you’ll soon be needing? I’d like to say that Target just gets you, but in reality, they’re catering to you by tracking your buying habits, recent purchases, etc. Which is a whole other post, but you get the gist. So, what can we do if we don’t have all that access to data? We’re all trying to engage with our audience on a personal level, and intrigue them to engage with our brand. So, what can you do on your next direct marketing mailer to get your message read?

  1. Nail the creative.

Impactful, large images, personalization, and minimal text are surefire ways to get your message read. We only have about three seconds to catch the reader’s attention. Intrigue them on the front to engage them to read more on the back.

  1. Target the right group.

Make sure your target group and the product or service you’re offering is the right match. Many times, you have a great target group, but what you’re offering is the wrong fit. Quality over quantity will get you better results in the end.

  1. A call to action that matters.

Your call to action is arguably the most important part of your mailer. This gets your audience to take the desired next step, and leads to improved conversion rates. If your ask is clear and without a lot of complicated steps, they will be more likely to take action.

We all want to see a return on the work we are putting into a marketing piece. So, now it’s time to really hit the mark on your next mailing. You need to master the three steps above to keep your piece out of the recycling bin. If you put the work in, your mailer will definitely land at the top of the keep pile.

3 Tips To Make Your Tradeshow Booth Stand Out!

It’s time to take your event signage to the next level! You know you really need to stand out at the upcoming expo, but where do you start? Should you give your tradeshow booth a complete overhaul or simply invest in one specialty item?

If you’ve been to a tradeshow or two, you’re familiar with the rows of cookie-cutter booths that are just OK. But every now and then you see that booth. The one that makes you stop and want to learn more. Think about what made that booth unique. How did it grab your attention? Was it the bright colors, the imagery, or the booth itself? If you’re not paying attention to some of these details for your booth, there’s a big chance your potential customer will walk on by.

What does it take to make your tradeshow booth stand out?

Tip 1Invest in your booth
Tradeshows are a big investment, and if you’re looking to make an impact, spend your dollars on a quality booth! You’ll want to think of this as an investment in your brand and its image. Decide on a unique display and a smart design that you’ll be able to reuse for many events down the road.
20' Fabric Display





Tip 2Top-notch print collateral
We’ve all been there, scoping out our competitor’s fancy booth and perfectly branded print brochures and flyers. You and your sales team should be proud of what you’re handing out to potential customers. This is an important piece of your brand! Most people won’t make a decision right then and there, but hopefully they’ll look at your brochure later and it will remind them of the benefits of your business. This is all the more reason to make sure your print game is strong!

Print Marketing Image






Tip 3Professional design
This one speaks for itself. Always use a professional graphic designer. They are worth the investment for a great design and keeping your brand looking its best! Impactful imagery speaks volumes about your brand. Just think about the three Cs: creative design, clear message, and color.

UV Coated Direct Mail Postcard

Printed Self-Mailer






Additional ideas to engage your audience beyond print.

The additional tips below are definitely areas that you likely already do, but if you put a little strategy behind your effort this will also help you create engagement before and after the show!

It’s important to think strategically about what you’ll be giving away at your booth. You will have to purchase quite a few items, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your best ROI. You might consider spending a bit more on a product that will continue to promote your brand after the tradeshow. Consider a canvas tote bag that your customer might use for groceries, or maybe a water bottle with your logo. Be sure to add a creative tagline to catch people’s attention. Always look for a quality product that people will want to use over and over again, and not just push to the side.

Social media
By now I’m sure you know how beneficial it can be to tie in your event with your social platforms. You have three prime opportunities to connect with your audience—before, during, and after the show. Before the show is a great time to get your existing and potential customers excited to see you, do lots of self-promotion, and let your audience know what’s in it for them! During the show, take pictures, post to social networks, and show them what they’re missing! Then after the show, share pictures and takeaways and encourage people to reach out if they weren’t able to attend. Share your experience!

We all want our brand to stand out, but if you can do just one thing, invest in your booth! This is the first glimpse of your brand that people will see. Anything you can do to make an impact and set your brand apart is totally worth it!

Variable Data Printing: A Key to Post-Sale Engagement

Many of us have seen examples in our mailbox (and even email inboxes) where the sender has included core information like our name and address (or email address). This is an example of canned variable data printing (VDP), something that people seem to overlook every day without perceiving added value.

Deeper variable data utilizes “relevant and factual” data (that doesn’t make you feel like your privacy was violated) to provide added value, communicate an additional feature, or offer customer support resources post-purchase.

I recently made an online purchase of a dress belt, a commodity item in my opinion. It was a simple transaction, but when the belt arrived it came in a high-end box lined with silk, with a personalized note thanking me for my purchase. At the end of the note was a custom url online code (purl – Personal URL) that I could use for a future purchase discount. It even offered an additional discount if I provided feedback. (They provided me an “optional” unique feedback identifier number to enter on the feedback form for tracking purposes.)

More so, about a week after I had responded, the company sent me another thank you note including an additional discount code, and asked again if I was completely satisfied.

About 10 days after my initial purchase, I received a direct mail printed mini-catalog that included accessories matching the style of my original purchase. The catalog identified the specific belt I purchased (with a photo to jog my memory), with other suggested items and printed reviews and feedback on the quality of the suggested items.

While the purchase I made was online, I received three additional print communication touch points (a thank you in the package, a thank you note following my feedback, and a customized print catalog) that all had a variable element, offers, and customer support details if I needed assistance.

This is an example of how variable data printing, based on my purchase history, was able to provide me with a deeper post-purchase experience (resulting in an additional sale). All this for a $30 belt, a commodity purchase to me, but the start of a customer relationship for this manufacturer.


It’s the international meeting place for all things dairy! You’ll find the best dairy cattle breeds in the world, cutting edge research, and modern technologies. And of course, don’t forget to check out demonstrations and seminars on trending topics at this year’s World Dairy Expo in Madison, WI.

We are always excited to be a part of such a great event and able to work with many of the respected world dairy exhibitors. We enjoy helping them with creative design, printing of tradeshow booths, to retractable banners and marketing collateral. (more…)

Use signage to get noticed!

Want to make an impact with your customers and get your message across? Signs can be, and should be an essential component to your organization’s overall marketing strategy. Whether you’re looking to get noticed at your next big event, conference or looking to promote your brand, signage is a great way to bring those ideas and your brand to life!

Below are a few great ways signage can be used indoors and out.







The possibilities are really endless when looking at how signs can work for you and your organization.

So why should you use signage?!

1) Signs are impressive! They will attract the attention of  potential and existing customers. They will also attract attention to your promotions or information you have to share.

2) Signs help to create and keep your brand image.

3) Signs are Cost Effective! You can leave signs up for a period of time, or print often whichever you prefer.

Just think of it this way, signs serve as a primary link between a business and its customers, they are always on the job! They advertise for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. So it’s time to make signage work for you, think outside the box and get noticed.

Need help discovering which type of signage would best work for you and your organization, we can help you with everything from banners to creative design solutions!

Making an impact with White Ink Printing

If you’re like us, we’re always on the hunt for new and exciting ways that we can use print to reach our customers. Finding creative and unique ways to create a visual impact can be an ongoing search. But what if we told your search was over, and that we have an application that will knock your socks off! Okay, not literally, but it will get you excited and hopefully inspire you to think outside the box!

This exciting application is called, “white ink.” The biggest benefit of printing with white ink is that you are able to digitally print white and/or color ink on top of dark and unique papers to create a special effect that really makes your image pop!

For Example:

White Ink on Navy Paper



 White Ink and Color on Black Paper


firefly-white-ink-225x300                           whiteinkhalloween-300x225


So when might you use white ink printing? Use it with your next high impact marketing piece, invitation, targeted direct mailing, or any special print project that you want to stand out!

The possibilities are endless with the white ink process.

If you have questions about whether or not white ink is ideal for your next printed project, contact us!