Flyer Printing & Design Best Practices

Flyers

Flyer, leaflet, handout — whatever you call that unfolded 8.5” x 11” sheet of paper, it can be a real powerhouse for marketing your event, product or service.

Typical flyer printing applications include:

  • Promoting a specific event
  • Announcing a new product or service
  • Introducing a new business (“now open!”)
  • Communicating “at a glance” information for future reference

 Flyer Design Tips & Best Practices

When it comes to flyer design, a lot depends on how you’re going to distribute your flyer or expect it to be used. Will you mail it, hand it out, hang it up or leave it wherever your customers gather? Think about how your audience will encounter your message. A flyer that is hung up on a wall needs to be more like signage. One that is mailed could hold more information, because the audience will presumably be able to take more in.

  • Dynamic design can generate pass-along value and grab attention. Think of the band or nightclub flyers you see at coffee shops – they’re like mini posters! But always keep your design brand-appropriate.
  • Keep it simple and bold. Don’t overload your design with too many visuals and multiple fonts.
  • Text should be short and concise. Short Run Printing can print double-sided flyers, so if you have a lot of details to communicate, you could include them on the back.
  • Don’t forget that paper choice has an impact. A nice bright paper stock will help your image pop, and a higher quality of paper can add cachet and credibility to your message.
  • Ask for what you want. Include a strong “call to action” — such as “Call Today” or “Order Now” — and make it very visible to the reader.
  • Don’t forget your contact information! Make sure you include business’ name, phone and/or email, web or physical address.
  • A map is probably not necessary, as people these days can find anything from a simple address. But if you do include a map, pare things down – just show the key streets and maybe one landmark nearby.

What flyer printing best practices have worked for you? Seen any great flyer design ideas lately? Created something cool yourself? Share your experiences in the comment box below. And remember, at Short Run Printing, we’re always here to help you make the most of any project. Just give us a call and let’s talk about your needs.

Save Time and Money by Testing Your QR Code

Thermographed QR Code

QR code accuracy is extremely important. Inaccuracies could mean a re-print or worse — an unhappy customer. This is why you AND your customer should test your QR codes multiple times, using multiple scanning devices, before the project is finally printed. Here’s a checklist of what to test for in your next QR code campaign.

Size

To ensure accuracy, first make sure the QR code is large enough. The recommended minimum size is 1”x1”, however depending on the density of information you could go as small as ½”x ½”.

Color

You are not limited to black on white by an means. Printing your code in dark ink on a light background will have the best results. The key is having enough contrast for the scanner to read the code. Reversing out the code with a light color on a dark background will have varied results across code readers.

Reflection

Many print processes, finishes or stocks have a natural reflective quality to them. Using shiny foil on metallic plastic may result in reflections that will cause scanning problems. Examples of this are metallic foil on a glass coat stock or a dark color QR Code on a dark color vellum stock. Thermography also has a reflective attribute that could make scanning hard in certain lighting or at certain angles.

Data

The last part of accuracy checking is the information. You must make sure that everything stored in your QR code (including phone numbers, web addresses, social addresses, etc.) are all absolutely correct. If something is off, you’ll be facing hours of frustration and/or it will affect your bottom line.

What tips do you have for testing QR codes? Leave a comment below to discuss.

Make Your Printing Interactive with QR Codes

OR Code

Although using QR codes is relatively new in the U.S., they’ve been used extensively in Japan for more than ten years. Innovative companies have already started using QR codes in their marketing campaigns, with great success. If your customers aren’t already asking about them – they soon will be. QR codes are intriguing and cutting-edge, and they really turn printed material into an interactive opportunity.

So what’s the deal?

QR codes are similar to barcodes, in that they hold and share information. However, QR codes can contain much, much more data. Because a QR code is a two-dimensional matrix (instead of a linear code), it can hold thousands of characters — which means the amount of information a QR code can share is virtually limitless.

Users can read QR codes via a simple app on their Smartphone. Reading a code can send the user to a company website, online video or landing page. It can instantly add business contact or calendar information to the user’s phone. It can also provide special offer or coupon content, opt the user into an email campaign, or even “like” the company on Facebook. And this is only the beginning.

Where might you use a QR code?

Any printed material that you want to make interactive, including:

• Business cards
• Club cards
• Rack cards
• Postcards
• Posters

How do you add a QR code to your print order?

  1. Use one of the many free online QR code generators
  2. Download your QR code image.
  3. Size the QR code appropriately in your layout, keeping in mind the distance to the user as well as other design concerns.
  4. Then simply include your QR code image on your Short Run Printing print-ready file.

We’ll have more tips for integrating QR Codes into various design pieces in a future blog post this month. In the meantime, tell us your experience. Have you scanned any QR codes yourself? Are you using them in your business? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Write For Us

Write for us
We welcome guest post submissions to our blog. We’re especially interested in case studies as well as tips or tutorials related to presentation folder design and printing. Creativity and originality is encouraged.

We accept only high-quality, well-written posts that demonstrate an excellent use of language and style as well as proper spelling and grammar. Keep your writing relevant and don’t try to extend the length with “fluff” or redundant information. Use examples and images whenever possible to clarify your points. Usage of subheadings, lists and bullet points is highly recommended. Please don’t be offended if we suggest edits or changes to your article.

Any links in your guest post should be relevant to the content; no affiliate or self-promotional links, please. You may include a link to your website in an author biography section at the bottom of your post.

Send your submissions to GuestPost@ShortRunPrinting.US. You may also send us article pitches or outlines before you begin writing the final product. Please also send links to blog posts you’ve written in the past to give us a sense of your work.

If you do not hear from us within one month of submitting, your post or pitch has not been accepted. Feel free to resubmit with a new article or pitch.

Role of Digital Design Services in Today’s Business

Digital Design

Since the internet has found its role in nearly every function, digital design services have become much coveted. Not only they are inevitable for the standard promotional techniques but also for online marketing of the businesses.

The ideal services play a crucial role in taking the business and its success to a newer level. Their major responsibility is to satisfy and attract the customers through innovative and bespoke solutions. Irrespective of whether you are new to the business or have been in the pond for a while. Some of the functions of digital design companies include

Development of Visual Identity

No matter what size and type of company you are running, it is important to have a strong identity in front of the targeted audience. This helps the businesses to overcome the major challenge that is customer acquisition and retention. A noticeable visual identity is also an aid in making the commerce uniquely recognizable and also can make a long lasting impression to the patrons.

Brochures and other Informational Materials

You would probably be selling a product or some service, or perhaps both. It is vital how you present your business to the public. The most common medium has been through the traditional brochures and such like informational materials. These are extremely important is grabbing the attention of new clientele and also making the existing ones an improved version of the business and its services. This might also be helpful in gaining trust of the potential investors in your commerce.

Marketing Resources

Marketing is indeed a decisive factor in the success or decline of commerce. Also being a core component, the entire marketing strategy is desired to make a strong impact. A reputable design agency can certainly help your commerce in making the strategies as flawless as possible.

Creating Various Publications

The design services also hold an important place when it comes to designing various publications. It may include general and annual reports, newsletters, digital publication, training materials and much more. The presentation of these elements quite a lot exhibits your approach and determination towards the business.

Employing a reputable design service is thus a great method to gain as much exposure as possible and also help with lead generation. You as the business owner can also easily evaluate the success rates of the utilized strategies quite early in the venture. Therefore any loopholes can certainly be fixed as and when required. The key players coupled with a marketing strategy include the agency, advertiser, publisher and of course the customer.

Besides designing, a wise digital Design Agency in Geneva will also help with the relevant printing services. Being professionals in their niche, these companies can offer help in choosing the best materials, suppliers and printing services. This nearly eliminates the entire apprehension of designing as well as post designing (printing).

Marketing Resources

Marketing is indeed a decisive factor in the success or decline of commerce. Also being a core component, the entire marketing strategy is desired to make a strong impact. A reputable design agency can certainly help your commerce in making the strategies as flawless as possible.

Creating Various Publications

The design services also hold an important place when it comes to designing various publications. It may include general and annual reports, newsletters, digital publication, training materials and much more. The presentation of these elements quite a lot exhibits your approach and determination towards the business.

Employing a reputable design service is thus a great method to gain as much exposure as possible and also help with lead generation. You as the business owner can also easily evaluate the success rates of the utilized strategies quite early in the venture. Therefore any loopholes can certainly be fixed as and when required. The key players coupled with a marketing strategy include the agency, advertiser, publisher and of course the customer.

Besides designing, a wise digital designer will also help with the relevant printing services. Being professionals in their niche, these companies can offer help in choosing the best materials, suppliers and printing services. This nearly eliminates the entire apprehension of designing as well as post designing (printing).

Greeting cards aren’t just for Christmas…maintain your card printing business all year long

Rainbow_Greeting_Cards

To stand out among the crowd, encourage your business customers to shift the focus of their greeting card marketing campaigns to other holidays. Greater impact of the recipient of the piece could mean greater return on marketing investment, and you’ll get credit for your creativity in the bargain.

January – Commemorate the political process with a patriotic card sent out in time for Inauguration Day, January 20, 2013.

February – Suggest your clients send out something sweet for Valentine’s Day. As a design bonus, Valentine’s Day cards lend themselves well to eye catching printing techniques like foil stamping. Schedule your distribution to arrive on or before Feb. 14.

March – Sending out St. Patrick’s Day wishes could lead to a marketing pot of gold. Whether it’s a post card offering a St. Patrick’s Day incentive or just a note to remind their customers to wear green on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day greetings are a welcome addition to any mailbox.

April – In 2013 Easter falls on March 31, but even if you aren’t sending out a card to celebrate the Bunny, April is the perfect time to mail out spring greetings.

May – Thanking Veterans for their service with a card on Memorial Day, May 27, 2013, is not only an excellent way to remind your customers of your respect for the Armed Forces, it’s also the right thing to do and can go a long way toward reminding those who served that we appreciate their sacrifices.

June – Usher in the start of summer with a greeting card reminding your clients of some important things to consider as they plan their vacation season. Whether you’re sharing a summery recipe or sun or water safety tips, letting the people you do business with know you care could pay off in a big way for your clients.

July – Happy Independence Day on July 4! A red, white and blue card in the mailbox in July is a sure fire way to work up some goodwill for your clients’ business.

August – The only month without an official holiday, August is back to school month. Encourage your clients to send out a greeting card celebrating the end of summer.

September – Labor Day means sales and incentives, and what better way for your clients to package their special offers than as part of a Labor Day greeting card campaign. In 2013, Labor Day falls on September 2.

October – Decorate your Halloween cards with Goosebumps and using thermography printing when you send out spooky greetings on October 31, 2013. Sending a Halloween greeting card is a great way to scare up some name recognition for your clients in October.

November – Let your clients’ customers know they’re valued and appreciated on November 28, 2013. Sending a Thanksgiving card will beat the holiday greeting card rush and stand out as something different. Your clients will be grateful they took your advice!

When do you send out greeting card campaigns? Do you think your clients get better results than with more generic mailing programs? Share your greeting card experience in the comments below.

Plastic Business Cards: A Stand-Out Solution For Many

Plastic Business Cards

Highly durable, memorable and conveying an air of prestige, plastic business cards are rising in popularity among many businesses. They also offer a number of design qualities you just can’t get from paper — namely, transparency, rigidity and weight.

Short Run Printing’s plastic cards with our state-of-the-art foil printing. You can choose a plastic stock that’s completely clear, with no background color at all. Now imagine what you could do with your design for a truly transparent business card — create try-on sunglasses for an optical shop, for example, or a frame for an art supply store.

Short Run Printing also prints semi-transparent business cards on blue, green, red or smoky grey plastic, for different eWe can even round off or angle the corners, or die-cut the plastic to be a pillar, square or small rectangle. You could make a business card look like a credit card, ID badge, backstage pass, gift card… the possibilities are really exciting.

Plastic business cards may be best suited for customers whose businesses are on the creative or non-traditional side (design studios, hair salons, fitness services, landscapers, etc.), as well as those for whom the durability of plastic aligns with their brand (for example, construction or engineering firms). Here at Short Run Printing we’ve also seen them used for nightclub and event promotion to great effect.

Key Benefits of Plastic Business Cards

  • Coupled with high-impact design, the unique nature of a plastic business card creates pass-along value and memorability.
  • Because they are less prone to wear and tear than paper, plastic business cards may also be kept around longer.

A Few Caveats to Keep in Mind

  • Printing is limited to foil (up to 2 foil colors max).
  • To ensure readability, make sure you have plenty of contrast between the foil color and the plastic stock, and avoid small, light-colored type.
  • Plastic business cards can’t be written on.

Need ideas for plastic business cards?

Check out our online plastic business cards gallery.

Have an idea for a plastic business card design?

Request a quote for your next plastic business card project and we’ll help you put together the exact specs and cost to make your idea a reality.

Share your thoughts below or email us at Service@ShortRunPrinting.US

. One of our plastic business card experts will be happy to help you with your printing needs.

 

PANTONE’s 2013 Color of the Year winner: Emerald!

Pantone

The color experts at PANTONE release their choice for Color of the Year annually, but the choice isn’t an arbitrary one. The selection process takes into consideration a broad spectrum of factors from projected fashion design trends to economic projections and general state-of-the-industry considerations. Described as lively, radiant, and lush, Emerald is a verdant green chosen for 2013 because of its psychological profile—enhancing sense of well-being and security and promoting balance and harmony.

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the PANTONE Color Institute, “Green is the most abundant hue in nature—the human eye sees more green than any other color in the spectrum. As it has throughout history, multifaceted Emerald continues to sparkle and fascinate. Symbolically, Emerald brings a sense of clarity, renewal, and rejuvenation, which is so important in today’s complex world. This powerful and universally appealing tone translates easily to both fashion and home interiors.”

For more than ten years, PANTONE’s Color of the Year has influenced product development, packaging, and graphic design. PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald can be cross-referenced to all PANTONE libraries including PANTONE PLUS for graphic design. Check out this graphic from PANTONE for Emerald’s complete color technical specs:

Color of the Year as a marketing tool for your business

A powerful marketing tool for PANTONE, printers can use the Color of the Year as a marketing tool, as well. PANTONE has prepared a suite of marketing products from posters to mugs to iPhone cases designed to spark Color of the Year conversation. Using some of these tools to spark conversation with your clients can serve dual purposes.

First, it’s an easy to translate example of your level of industry knowledge. Sometimes jargon in the printing industry is confusing, but everyone understands the concept of a color of the year. While waxing poetic on the virtues of advancement in hot stamping technology might cause eyes to glaze over, the concept of color trends is much more mainstream.

Second, once the conversation is opened about using the Color of the Year in product design, it’s time to start considering places to use the Color of the Year in materials you print for your clients. This can be the ideal time to pitch a new brochure, poster, flyer, or post card concept integrating the new color.

To read more about the 2013 Color of the Year and to find marketing and informational resources about maximizing the impact of Emerald on your business this year, visit PANTONE’s Color of the Year page.

How do you feel about color trends and their impact on independent printers? Are they an innovative marketing angle or too transient to make an impact? Do your customers know about the Color of the Year? And if they don’t, would it interest them? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

New Full Color Options from Short Run Printing

Tri=fold Brochure

We are excited to bring you new ways to showcase your products and services in brilliant full color!

Use our new 8.5″ x 11″ flyers and tri-fold brochures to deliver a polished, professional message — plus you can download our free templates to make design and pre-production a lot easier. Either format can be printed single- or double-sided, so you’ve got plenty of room to work with.

We’ve also added to our portfolio of stock options, with three new business-card stocks available for full-color printing. Natural Raglan (80C), Natural Classic Crest® (110C) and Digital White Linen (80C).

At Short run Printing, we’re always listening to our customers and looking for new opportunities to surprise and delight you. Don’t see something you need? Let us know! Leave a comment below with more ideas you’d like to see from Short Run Printing.

 

Three ways to make sure YOUR customers LOVE THEIR PRINTER this Valentine’s Day

Valentines Day

Let’s take this baby for a test drive. If the proof is in the pudding, then having samples of your products available for customers is one way printers can make it easier for their customers to see what they can expect from their orders. Keeping samples on file in the office is a simple proposition, but another good way to secure business is to offer a free sample kit by request on your website. Rather than try to present something comprehensive, create a simple form that will allow you to identify what your potential buyer is looking for and then create a custom sample kit for them with a few basic options that might meet their needs. Not only is it a good way to show your stuff, it’s an excellent method to capture contact info from someone you know is looking to make a purchase.

I’m in a hurry to get things done. It’s pretty safe to assume that most of your customers are rush and rushing, and delays are no fun. One of the most sought after characteristics customers are looking for in a print shot is fast production and speedy shipping timelines. Fast turnaround means having a proof-approval system in place to ensure that errors won’t be made, as well as creating premium options for expedited shipping and processing.

What do you want from me? The best print shops offer a variety of service levels. This means providing printing around pre-made templates in addition a full spectrum of graphic design service. Downloadable templates are becoming very popular and can be a way to advertising your premium graphic design chops. And for customers who want to do their own design, making sure you have artwork guidelines clearly available both at your shop and online can make things easier for them in-house,

What have you found important to your customers? Is there anything specific that makes a client choose you over another printer? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.