Foil Stamping Shines – More Options from Metallics

Foil Stamping - Hot, Cold and Digital

Foil stamping is a great way to add eye-catching shine and metallic glow to your print projects. Even a small touch of foil on a printed piece can bring it alive in a way regular inks never can. Foils have been around a long time (having once been done by hand) and today there are also several new digital and toner-based processes that can help meet the demands of any print budget, deadline, or run length. From the design side, defining the foil stamp area is generally no harder than defining a new spot color in your layout.

Probably the most well-known foiling process is Hot Foil Stamping. It requires a special metal die that is heated and pressed into the paper, creating a nice indentation in the finished piece. The hot foil process uses only one color of foil at a time, and is generally too costly for short runs. The final effect, however, elevates any print piece from average to classic – in other words, perfect for that customer who always says to “make it pop!”

Sample Foil Swatches Cold Foil Transfer is accomplished on a 6-color press. The first 2 units apply adhesive and foil, the other 4 are for CMYK printing. Overprinting CMYK onto the foil creates a whole gamut of metallic colors that would not be possible with one-color hot foil stamping. Besides gold, silver, and copper foil, there are also holographic foils which reflect a broad spectrum of colors back to the eye, as well as matte, gloss, pearled and pigmented foils from which to choose. Again, this can be a costly process, is often limited to coated stock only, and is not a great fit for a short-run budget.

New digital processes use either toner or a polymer varnish to attach the metallic foil, and can be cost-effective on short or medium sized runs. Also, metallic foil substrates are a great option – opaque CMYK inks are illuminated by the metallic media, and white can be under printed on specific elements to retain true or non-metallic color where desired. PaperSpecs has a great “Foil Cheat Sheet” you can download free here, outlining all the current processes.

InDesign Layout for Foil Stamping

To define the foil stamp area in your layout, just make all those objects be a new spot color – name it “FOIL” if you choose. You can get clear specs from your vendor or PSP, but in short they will need a separation from your design that only contains the area to be “foiled.” Foil stamping is also a great option when choosing from the huge variety of promotional products that can be branded for your marketing. Foiling can be used on most items from keychains to coffee mugs – in a wide variety of colors and finishes.

And speaking of varnishes, spot UV varnish coatings can give a flash of highlights to a printed piece in much the same way a metallic foil does. When the paper catches the light, these elements shine and give the illusion of depth and dimension but in a more subtle way than a metallic ink or foil. They too are simply defined in prepress as a spot color separation in the same way the foil is setup.spot UV coating adds gloss to print

So the options are out there today for employing great metallic foils and effects without any extra hassle for design, prepress, or budget concerns. The main limitation is often envisioning what the final product will look like — you will not really be able to create a digital or hard copy proof that will accurately preview the often stunning effects foil stamping can create. Perhaps the best way to do that is to ask your print provider for a sample of previous projects that successfully used foil. They should be happy to help you out.

In fact, rely on your printer for advice and direction with all of your integrated marketing. They should be able to provide you with everything from encouragement along the way to complete design, layout, copywriting, production, multi-purposing, online implmentation and distribution of your marketing outreach. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Print and Direct Mail Still Drive Integrated Marketing

Direct Mail Works

Just like fashion or the weather, trends in marketing tend to be cyclical – a decade or more ago the old chorus of “Print is Dead” was being sung by many in marketing looking toward the future. The excitement over the power of email, big data, social media, and online advertising worked to diminish an appreciation of the usefulness of paper, printing, and direct mail. And just like the weather, that excitement has been tempered over time with the realization that a mix of all these marketing tools will always be the most effective – and that print/direct mail has unique properties that can drive customer decision-making in ways a phone or laptop screen never will.

The nice part about this for the small business is that this holds true for their local outreach just as much as for the huge corporate players or the tech-savvy, flashy startups with national campaigns.  A recent Vox article explored “Why so many hip startups advertise with snail mail.” They note the cyclical trends of marketing and that print is making a comeback (even among the hip!) due to a combination of rising digital pricing and oversaturation of email/digital ads. The Vox article hesitates to actually praise the time-tested value of print advertising too readily:

“Are mailers more effective than online advertising? That’s certainly up for debate. No company Vox spoke with for this story would share numbers that compared the response rate of mailers to digital advertising.” link

 

Luckily, we don’t really need them to share that in order to see how a multi-channel approach to marketing harnesses the power of both print and digital (and we can check with the DMA for that data). The exact mix of those two that will prove most cost effective and successful varies based on business size, budget, location, goals, etc.

In the non-profit world direct mail has consistently been a staple to fundraising and survival. Check out these stats:

  • Direct mail increases online donations by 40%.

  • In 2012, US companies generated incremental sales through direct marketing to the tune of $2.2 trillion.

  • Advertisers in the US spend $167 per person on direct mail, earning $2,095 worth of goods sold. That’s a 1,255% return on investment.

  • Non-profits gain 78% of their donations from direct mail.

Source: PrintisBig.com
 
 

Yes, direct mail requires an investment upfront that can be larger than digital, but the longevity, focus, and the physical qualities of print reap larger rewards with name retention, response rates and ultimately ROI. The Digital Marketing Association reports that their 2017 research shows:

“Once again, direct mail response rates rank stronger than digital channels, sometimes exponentially: at 5.1% for house lists and 2.9% for prospect lists, mail response rates consistently exceed the 2% response rate of all digital channels combined.”

Rather than seeing an EITHER/OR situation between direct mail and new digital alternatives, embrace the opportunities of mobile marketing, qr codes, email, social media and website e-commerce as a whole new box of tools to get our your message and/or drive sales. To abandon print and it’s proven effectiveness in that transition will prove costly!

Rely on your printer for advice and direction with integrated marketing. They should be able to provide you with everything from encouragement along the way to complete design, layout, copywriting, production, multi-purposing, online implmentation and distribution of your marketing outreach. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

USPS Stamps Have a New Feel – Textured Coatings & Thermochromic Ink

 

USPS Stamps: Textured Sports Stamps and Thermochromic Ink Eclipse Stamps

The USPS continues to excel with great design, print and marketing ideas in their innovative new postage stamps. Their newest releases take the plain printed stamp to a whole new experience level. They combine cool, engaging print techniques with a topical interest in current events and culture.

USPS Sports Stamps

In honor of the America’s favorite sports, the USPS chose the kick off of the U.S. Open golf championship to debut a series of stamps with an actual “feel.” The Have a Ball! Forever stamps are round, and honor the sports of baseball, basketball, football, golf, kickball, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. Each has a special textured coating to simulate the surface of each ball. You can feel the baseball’s stitching, the golf ball’s dimples, the tennis ball’s seams, raised panels on a soccer ball and volleyball, and the unique patterns of a football, basketball and kickball. For the philatelist, you can order first-day-of-issue postmarks and first-day covers here. On Twitter, follow the hashtag of #Haveaballstamps.

Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever Stamps

To top that creative print idea, the USPS will commemorate a rare total solar eclipse, which crosses the entire width of the continental United States on August 21, with the Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp. What makes this stamp as unique as the eclipse which it commemorates? The heat of your finger pressed onto the stamp will transform the image of the darkened moon blocking the sun into an image of the full moon. This is the first time the USPS has used thermochromic ink in printing stamps. This ink is vulnerable to UV light and, since it is a forever stamp, should not be exposed to direct sunlight to preserve the effect.  For collectors, you can also purchase a special envelope to help protect the stamp pane. On Twitter, follow the hashtag #EclipseStamps.

Remember, the USPS receives no tax dollars for operating expenses. They fund their operations through the sale of postage, products and services.

Using an actual stamp – as opposed to a permit imprint –helps to boost “open rates” for direct mail marketing, providing a personal touch. For a specially targeted mailing of limited size, these textured and innovative forever stamps might prove eye-catching enough to pay for themselves in improved response.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Print Housecleaning: Stirring Up the Digital Divide

 

Office cleaning

The turn of a new year is always time for some housecleaning here at ImageSmith. And, as usual, amid the dust, paperwork and clutter that accumulates in any production environment we always find a few surprising reminders of how quickly and drastically times have changed.

The print and marketing world found itself on the cutting edge of change very early in the desktop computer revolution of the 70s and 80s. As prepress and print digitized – altering the methods of how print had been produced for centuries – the ensuing communications revolution altered the very core processes of how businesses function and market themselves. The speed of that change, in hindsight, is truly astounding.

Zip Disks stored digital print jobsZip Disks: remember these? From the iOmega company in 1994, Zip disks were a removable, read and write storage device – the successor to the floppy and the short-lived Syquest disk – that held 100MB of data. Print jobs were still in the process of becoming all digital (no longer relying on physical photography, paste-up, or typesetting for plate-making), and the resulting were increasing rapidly as computer graphics software grew more sophisticated. Floppies were no longer big enough to hold even one job. You needed an external (or for a time, built in) Zip disk and drive. iOmega was proud to tout the drag-and-drop storage capability: “Share large files with co-workers, friends and clients” and “Consolidate 70 floppies onto a single Zip disk.” Before CDs, DVDs, zip drives and cloud storage, we gladly adopted the Zip disk as a storage device, and it was common for customers to bring in their work on a Zip disk. (Just remember, they wanted it back.) They also fit neatly into a CD holder.

Dynamic Graphics magazine and CDs, circa 2000Before online subscription services and Google searches could bring you almost any image or artwork imaginable, Dynamic Graphics brought art departments out of the days of clunky clip art to a more modern world of increasingly sophisticated digital graphics and stock photography. In the 90s, that process happened through the US mail – with a monthly CD of artwork, and a printed catalog/index that showed you what the CD contained. Without an online search function, how else were you going to find the right photo to use on your ad layout? Flip through the monthly magazines searching for your keyword – think manual, and time-consuming, Google search. The photo to the right is of the January 2000 cover from Dynamic Graphics publication Concepts & Designs. 2000 doesn’t seem that long ago but the dated layout and imagery in this cover design reveal how quickly styles and the times have changed.

Finally, we found our company Christmas card from 1996. No digital version existed – it was tossed out in the great floppy disk purge of a few years ago or possibly during this year’s Zip disk purge. But one lonely print copy remained. Santa at his Mac (the Power Macintosh 8500) is checking our old America Online email address under the heading “High Tech Solutions.”  For the inside of the card, we used PhotoShop (version 4.0 had just come out) to impose our Christmas card message onto Asheville illustrator and artist Orrin Lundgren’s original elves-on-the-press artwork – a very high-tech maneuver for us at the time.ImageSmith christmas card, circa 1996

Can’t help but wonder how quickly and how far out of date our email, mobile app and online communications will appear after the next fifteen years. Back to housecleaning.

 

Here’s a link to some helpful tips on how to properly dispose of old computer equipment and other e-waste from the National Resources Defense Council. If you live in our local Asheville area, here is a link to Asheville Greenworks schedule for Hard-to-Recycle events in 2016.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Print Surprise: Optical Illusions at the Press

 

 

Optical illusions – where the perceived reality of a viewed object is different than the actual physical attributes being viewed – are interesting phenomena. Occasionally an unintended illusion will pop up in the print work here at our shop, and it usually takes a little convincing to prove to our press operators and art department that the problem is in the viewing…not a mistake in the print files or print process itself.

Gradients Can Trick the Eye

Optical illusion on press sheets

Above is the press sheet layout for a 4-up printed card which will later be cut out and folded in half. However, coming off the press, the 4-up sheets appear like the left side is darker than the right, especially on the outer side of the card. (In person, the effect was even more dramatic than it shows up here onscreen as it was printing on a metallic paper.) We were stumped at first as to what could cause this – the pdf file was preflighted, all the images were rendering correctly. We wondered about a problem with the press, the imagesetter, the layers within the pdf file. Finally, it took cutting a finished sheet apart by the crop marks to see that once separated, the gradients looked fine. Placed next to each other, the light to dark gradient tricked the eye into thinking one side of the press sheet was darker.

Gradient optical illusion

 

 

 

Repeating Patterns and Distortion

repeating pattern optical illusion

The 2-up sheets printed above have a decorative border with a repeating pattern that flows in one direction to the halfway point and then reverses its orientation for the second half on all four sides. If you let your eye wander slowly along the borders, especially the longer vertical sides, it appears that the borders are bent and not a perfect square shape overall. The eagle eyes of our press operator noticed the subtle “bend” in the lines and decided that either the file or the imaging plate itself was somehow warped. Placing a ruler or straight edge on the press sheet reveals that, despite what your eyes are telling you, the line is perfectly straight across all four sides of the paper.

Optical illusion of a square decorative border

You can read more about optical illusions and view galleries of them at a surprisingly great number of websites as many people find the tricks our eyes can play on us to be a fascinating topic.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Personalization – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Making the Most of Your First Trade Show: 5 Essential Tips for Success

Trade Show Image

 

One out of every two trade show attendees is planning to buy at least one product exhibited as a result of attending trade shows, according to Exhibit Surveys. Attending a trade show can connect you with eager buyers, give your business a boost and turn your product into a household name. But finding the right trade show and earning success takes careful planning and a winning strategy.

Find the right trade show

Going to the trade show as an attendee is the fastest and most insightful way to figure out if the show is right for you. It’s not enough to simply book a trade show and arrive with your booth and supplies in hand. The ultimate goal is to raise brand awareness and nail the sale, but not every trade show is created equal. Showing up with a complex, high-end kitchen gadget to a trade show exhibiting economical and simple dinner tools will only lead to failure and make you stick out like a sore thumb.

Use an online resource like Trade Show News Network to narrow down your trade show options. Look for your target audience, as well as the cost of the show. Forking over several thousand dollars for a deposit for a trade show that just doesn’t fit your product or goals is a waste of everyone’s time and your money. A trade show also can’t give you much return if you’re going into the red to pay for the event. Set aside some extra money in advance to pay for marketing your booth and travel expenses.

Take networking to a new level

It’s a no-brainer to talk to as many people as possible at your trade show and carry extra business cards with you at all times. But there are other ways to network than just chatting up a prospective buyer. Take advantage of a captive audience and use this as an opportunity to meet as many new people as you can. Follow the lead of o-ring manufacturer Apple Rubber, who attended the MedTech World’s Medical Device & Manufacturing West Expo earlier this year. They sourced an entire list of exhibitors before heading to the show’s host city in Anaheim to see who was coming and what ideas to share, as well as downloaded the trade show’s app to keep up to date with news and events from the show.

Apple Rubber also took advantage of the first annual Anaheim Booth Crawl for attendees, which served as a great opportunity to meet exhibitors while enjoying free food and drink. The event gave attendees an excuse to mingle longer without skipping out to eat and helped break the ice.

Trade show pop up booths and equipmdent

Make the Right Visual Impact for Your Brand

Trade show booths, graphics, displays and materials have never been more affordable or easier to brand with your logo, colors, and message. Talk to your printer about the huge array of designs and styles in easy to carry or ship, set up and reuse trade show booths and hardware. From pop-up display systems and retractable banners to table cloths, signage, printwear for employees, collateral handouts and promotional items, make your booth stand out from the crowd with you own unified look.

Devour constructive criticism

Learning how to embrace constructive criticism as a means to refine your product is essential for any trade show attendee, but especially for a first timer. Retail buyers and sales reps know what sells and why. This feedback can provide valuable insight about your product you won’t get anywhere else. A good trade show will draw in hundreds or thousands of experienced industry insiders. Rebuking their advice is a missed opportunity to devour high-level feedback and compile more market research data.

Nail your pitch

Master your elevator pitch. Highlight your product’s benefits, features and a short and sweet explanation of how it works. But to really stand-out from the crowd, you need to wow the attendees with what your product can do to solve their problem.

AquaPodKit experienced this first hand at a recent trade show. Entrepreneur reports that AquaPodKit saw their booth failing to attract attention at a hurricane preparedness trade show, so they went to buy a bathtub at Home Depot, put their product in it and filled it with water to show how much it could really hold for a family of four. Soon attendees were lined up to get a closer look at exactly what AquaPodKit could do.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Turn to Your Printer for Multimedia Marketing Support

Embroidery, wide format printing, and more

 

Printing businesses have expanded their services far beyond just printing on paper. Product lines include design services, integrated marketing and direct mail, promotional products and the production of marketing materials as diverse as wide format signage and embroidered or screen printed clothing. In other words, your printer is now your marketing specialist.

Printers Deliver Customer-Friendly Online Tools

Original Apple Computer Co. logoDigital technology arrived early in the print world with desktop publishing, photo editing, and graphics technology revolutionizing the business throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Back in the early days of email, printers were among the first to seize upon that technology to deliver goods (in this case, printing proofs) to customers as soon as they were available. No more driving downtown, finding parking, and hoping the client was available to look over proofs so the job could go ahead.

Clients, too, loved the new email services. So it was no surprise that once the web took off, printers quickly created websites to serve their customers even more quickly. Now they can upload files to print, preview them and place the order. By 2007, an industry report from First Research predicted that by 2010, 30 percent of all print jobs would have to be completed within a day. Short run, digital printing now fills that demand.

Today, printers offer online tools to help customers create and order their own marketing. Many offer professional design services or templates customers can use to create their projects. Customers can review the designs, approve and send them to production right away — all in a single online visit. (They can also save their work for later review.) Local printers will deliver the goods directly to the doorstep or business office, as well as providing technical and marketing advice for planning an overall marketing strategy for businesses both large and small. According to the Xerox blog, printers whose businesses grew by 10 percent or more in 2013 attributed some of it to web-based services.

Eco-Friendly Printing Pays

Printers have embraced green technology and sustainable business practices. The print industry has long been a leader in recycling and sustainable business practices. Soy ink (long a requirement for many federal government contract bids), water solvent inks, and the use of paper products endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and other agencies give customers the satisfaction of knowing their print marketing is eco-friendly. Many customers choose to brand their print with this commitment to environmental stewardship as a part of their marketing outreach. In turn they can promote their good corporate citizenship through social media on outlets like LinkedIn, a leading site for business marketing and information. LinkedIn is a great place to post important business news and updates for clients and your industry, as exemplified by LifeLock.

More Products Than Ever Can Be Print-Personalized

It used to be that printing T-shirts was an expensive undertaking that required a minimum number of shirts to print. Digital technology makes it possible to affordably print even a single T-shirt. While the technology may not quite be the same quality as a silk-screened shirt, it’s pretty darn close and with proper laundering, digitally printed images can last nearly as long as a silk screen.

Custom EmbroideryEmbroidery is a great way to create custom branded clothing, uniforms, hats, bags, and many other items that will put your name and logo directly into people’s lives. Outfit your staff with branded print wear, or create items to sell or even give away to clients. They will become your own team of mobile advertising!

Mugs and other personal gift items are also fair game for personalization thanks to sublimation dye printing, a great way full service printers have diversified their printing businesses, says the industry news site MyPrintResource.com. A sublimation printer can print on anything made from a polymer base or polyester, which covers a lot of ground from Christmas ornaments to sports equipment to phone cases. The selection is huge, and you can browse an online catalog to find exactly the right promotional product to brand for your unique marketing plan.

Graphic Display BannersWide-format printing creates posters, banners, POP displays, bus signs, indoor and outdoor signage, trade show booths, and other large printed material.  Your printer will help you design and customize these items with your own logo, colors, photography and graphics for exactly the impact you want. Xerox predicts wide format printing will grow 65 percent each year through 2017.

Years of experience also empower a full service printer to advise you on ideas that work and that meet your individual budget. Best of all – this marketing expertise is yours FREE OF CHARGE! Where else can you find that kind of deal? If you have the right printer, you already have a highly trained marketing consultant who knows print, branding, direct mail, web strategies, social media and has years of experience in both high and low tech marketing approaches that work for businesses just like yours. The most assuring part of this partnership for you is that the print/communications company only succeeds when your marketing succeeds! Start taking advantage of this asset – the print industry itself has had to reinvent itself in this new high tech economy. They know what works. Meet with a printer today to find one who can offer you the full range of marketing options that today’s competitive and creative markets demand.

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

“First Among Many”: Library of Congress Exhibit on Early American Printing

Thomas Paine's Common Sense

 

If you find yourself in Washington, DC this summer, the Library of Congress has a must-see, free public exhibit covering the foundation of printing in the American colonies.  Called “First Among Many: The Bay Psalm Book and Early Moments in American Printing,” the exhibit will run from June 4, 2015 to January 2, 2016. The LoC press release says the amazing collection of printed papers will:

“…tell the story of early printing in the American colonies, spanning 100 years, as printing evolved from a colonial necessity to the clarion of freedom.”

 

The centerpiece of the exhibit is two copies of the Bay Psalm Book of 1640. Only 11 copies are known to exist, and the book is both the first English-language book in North America and the first printed book of American poetry. It is also the most expensive printed book ever – having sold at Sotheby’s for $14,165,000 to entrepreneur and philanthropist David Rubenstein in 2013.

You can peruse the Bay Psalm Book online for free (see below), courtesy of the Old South Church in Boston – but nothing tops the ability to see the actual printed work in person this year at the Library of Congress.

Digital Bay Psalm Book

 

Other rare printed items from the colonial period will also be on exhibit:

  • A Poor Richard’s Almanac by Ben Franklin from the 1740s
  • Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet from 1776
  • The Federalist essays of 1788 from Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
  • Poet Phillis Wheatley’s 1773 Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. Wheatley was the first African American published poet and the first published African American woman
  • An Algonquian Indian Bible from 1663
  • The first novel ever printed in the colonies: The Power of Sympathy, 1789 by William Hill Brown

Phillis Wheatley's poems and Poor Richard's Almanack

 

For those unable to get to DC, the Library of Congress will also maintain an online version – here. This exhibit truly highlights the role printing played in America’s founding and independence. That influence continues today as print evolves through an ongoing information and technological revolution. Print is communication – it will change, but never be relegated to just a museum exhibit.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

Great Balls of Fire: Two Great Stories on the Longevity of Print

Civil Defense brochure found in Dictionary

Print has a way of sticking around.

And while it can often be neglected in the excitement surrounding digital and cutting-edge communications today, print continues to thrive and surprise. It’s very physical, tactile nature is the reason for the powerful impact and longevity of print. Two great illustrations of that popped up on the same day.

Here at the print shop sat an old dictionary from the mid 1950s, purchased at Good Will, and gathering dust. Yesterday our bindery manager discovered, tucked back inside the pages, a Civil Defense brochure from 1959 outlining the emergency drill in case of a direct nuclear attack on Asheville or Buncombe County. Seems our proximity here to the Oak Ridge facility in Tennessee put us in harm’s way. Interesting reading – a great insight into the mindset of the Cold War days. The brochure, printed in patriotic red and blue, had hardly ages at all, well preserved between the dictionary pages.

Great Balls of Fire Brochure

And the same day we stumbled across the story online of a rediscovered typeface – Doves Type – that had spent almost 100 years at the bottom of the Thames River in London. Designer Robert Green led the search for the type which had been thrown off a bridge into the Thames in 1917 in an attempt to settle a dispute over it’s usage. Green’s team retrieved about 150 metal type  pieces, rediscovering what was once a lost typeface. (Watch a short BBC film about the story below.) And to bring the story totally up to date, you can now follow Doves Type on Twitter @thedovestype.

So you never know where you might find a lost piece of print history – tucked in the musty pages of a forgotten book or at the bottom of a river. Either way, print can surprise you, proving itself to be influential long past your wildest expectations.

Doves Typeface on Twitter

 

Call us at 828.684.4512 for any marketing needs. As a printer, we understand communication and design. Your printer should be able to provide you with the latest information, inspiration, technical advice, and innovative ideas for communicating your message through print, design and typography, signage, apparel, variable data printing and direct mail, integrated marketing and environmentally responsible printing. If they can’t, you have the wrong printer! The best advice, always, is to ASK YOUR PRINTER!

ImageSmith is now partnered with Extreme Awards & Engraving – our in-house partner providing custom engraved trophies and awards for employee recognition programs, sporting events, and promotional needs. With our new sister company, we will be sharing space, resources and expertise in a collaboration designed to further provide you with one place to meet all of your marketing needs… Under One Roof! Visit them online at www.extremeae.com or call direct at 828.684.4538.

 

 

Call us at 828.684.4512. ImageSmith is a full-service print and marketing provider located in Arden, North Carolina. Contact us at ImageSmith for quotes on all your print and marketing projects, and more useful tips on how to create custom, effective, high impact marketing solutions.

EDDM – Is Every Door Direct Mail Right For You?

EVery Door Direct Mail Simplified

The USPS direct mail program called Every Door Direct Mail, begun in 2011, makes saturation mailing affordable for small businesses. Offer coupons, publicize events, send thanks, announce sales or online promotions, and discover new customers from areas you target – all at the lowest price ever.  However, as with all things postal, you may also encounter a few potentially confusing rules and paperwork. Read on for a little clarification…

What is Every Door Direct Mail?

EDDM is a USPS program that seeks to make direct mail easier and less costly for small businesses. Using EDDM Retail, you send your mailpiece without a list of addresses or a permit to every address in targeted areas (carrier routes) which you select. Each printed mailpiece will be exactly the same (i.e., no cost for variable data addressing, no individualized addresses). Customers go online and use the USPS EDDM Retail program to select carrier routes and generate necessary paperwork. Of course this saturation mailing has some limitations: you can only mail 5,000 pieces per mailer per day, your piece must meet the specs for a standard machinable flat, your piece must be printed with the correct EDDM indicia, and you must bring the mail physically to the Post Office that services the carrier routes you chose. Also you must fill out the requisite postal forms and labeling, as well as follow bundling and packaging requirements. You can read more online at usps.com/everydoordirectmail.

What is the Difference between EDDM Retail and EDDM BMEU?

BMEU stands for Business Mail Entry Unit. EDDM BMEU allows larger businesses who already maintain a mailer’s permit for payment and tracking of their direct mail to use their permit and to drop off their EDDM to the Business Mail Entry Unit. With this method, mailers are not limited to 5000 pieces per day and the rules for what type of mailpiece qualify are more flexible.

While you can go it alone with the Post Office online, EDDM may be a daunting task for anyone new to bulk mail. (You can check out details of the USPS program online here.) The USPS has posted an in-depth video presentation on the EDDM service. We have broken the video into two parts and you can watch them by clicking the video links:

Every Day Direct Mail Video 1
Watch the EDDM video part one

Every Day Direct Mail Video 2
Watch the EDDM video part two

What are the Benefits of Every Door Direct Mail?

Every Door Direct Mail service lets your business send advertising without the need of an address list or the cost of addressing. The USPS rate for EDDM averages $0.175 per piece! A letter carrier delivers your piece along with the day’s mail to every address on the routes you choose. EDDM allow you to:

  • TARGET every address
  • REDUCE production costs
  • SIMPLIFY the mailing process

Discover the Possibilities…

  • Invite customers to a Grand Opening or Open House
  • Offer timely coupons or promotions
  • Announce events & sales
  • Publicize your participation in community events
  • Highlight your hours of operation, new services,
  • menu, mission statement or products
  • Emphasize your location and enhance your brand
  • Thank customers for their patronage

EDDM helps retailers and service-based businesses reach their local target customers – a good fit for the following:

auto dealers and repair shops  •  restaurants  •  pharmacies
clothing stores  •  furniture dealers  •  flower shops
coffee shops  •  bakeries  •  attorneys  •  schools  •  real estate firms
health-care professionals & practices  •  dry cleaners  •  home-improvement companies

Downside?

EDDM paperwork
There’s always paperwork involved!

Perfect for some businesses and some direct mail objectives, EDDM is not always the smartest option for everyone. Why? In general, targeted direct mailings – where you “edit” your mailing list for various factors such as age, income, and lifestyle of the folks you want to reach – produce greater results and therefore greater profits. Consider these situations: if you are a restaurant and want to get coupons out into the hands of locals who pass by your place daily and are the most likely to stop in, EDDM saturation mailing could be your smartest approach. But if you are a business selling products specifically for the elderly or homebound, sending mailpieces to every address in a neighborhood could be a waste of your investment. A targeted mailing to only elderly or disabled residents in a wider area would yield more positive results.

Best advice?

Talk to your printer about which mailing strategies will work best with your budget and your direct mail goals. Rely on their experience with the USPS and with integrated marketing to make your life a little easier… and more affordable.

Contact us at ImageSmith to get started with Every Door Direct Mail today. You choose, through the USPS site, exactly the areas you wish to saturate with your mailing and we’ll handle all the paperwork, packaging and regulations. No mail list, no hassle, and – if you decide to take advantage of EDDM BMEU – no need to apply for a postage permit, you can use ours at no added cost.