One of the first steps for your business should be getting a proper logo. Your logo can help define your brand or personality in the market. For example, a hotel logo should be neat, clean and have plenty of space, like the hotel’s accommodations. A new restaurant with a new type of cuisine should have a logo with new colors and new fonts.
A logo can communicate a great deal about your business, and some planning can also help you avoid later expenses. If your logo, for example, is trendy and fashionable, it may need updating every few years. Updating your logo can be expensive, especially if you have vehicle wraps, billboards and/or uniforms to redesign. This can be avoided by taking a broad view and designing your logo with basic and classic elements. When I design a logo, I usually … Read More »
Once you have a logo, having business cards made is a great way to pass your info along to personal acquaintances and clients. The quality of the paper/card stock and design can say a lot about your brand. Your staff will be better motivated to uphold your brand if they have personalized business cards.
Because it’s easy now to order basic cards online, it’s also easy to stand out by paying a little extra for higher quality materials. Card stock should be 12pt or higher cover weight. Matte coated card stock is best, and you can have UV coat added for a little more cost. To really make a design stand out, you can add foil accents, embossing or spot-UV.
Small runs (less than 10,000) will usually run on digital printers and cost less, but the fine lines are not as crisp … Read More »
Flyers, brochures and rack cards have a particularly good response as they are usually voluntarily chosen. If your customers find the piece appealing, they will pick it up, possibly take it with them to other customers or use it to refer others. Therefore durability and usefulness are the main concerns. If there are no folds (brochures) I recommend card stock. Card stock is pre-coated with gloss or matte finish. Gloss works well for attention-grabbing designs and is slightly more resilient to damage from wear and tear, but there’s been a movement to matte and it works better if your have any areas for the customer to fill in with pen. A good example of a piece that needs to be markable with pen is a reference card or gift certificate, so these should definitely be matte coated.
Most distribution companies have … Read More »
Print Advertising can make an impact if you find the right publication. For example, some publications market to only a certain hotel chain (in-room guides), some market to a specific road (turnpike DOT maps), and some market to a specific transportation line (trolley guides or in-flight magazines). Once you have a pub that appeals to your demographic, you may want to choose a “call to action” or offer for the ad to help you measure the response. The goal is not so much to drive in customers, as to identify and calculate ad revenue. Publications may have specific rules regarding bleed/safety specs, expiration dates and codes in coupons, etc.
Signs can make a big impact, depending on placement and quality of material. Visibility must be balanced with resolution quality. Photographs are difficult to manage, as they’re rarely shot at print resolution at the size of the sign. You can get away with 150 ppi (pixels per inch) but if the sign can be viewed at close range, it’s best to stick to 300 ppi. Because of the distance, billboards and building signs can get away with 100 ppi or even lower.
If your signage is outdoor in Florida, fading is a real problem. Stay away from large photos unless there is a UV guarantee. Stick with vector graphics and high-contrast colors. This includes auto wraps, window vinyls, sandwich boards for sidewalks and coroplast yard signs.
If you have a list of voluntary, ‘opt-in’ email addresses, the best way to handle them is with a marketing solution like MailChimp, which can be integrated into your social site or webpage. I can create plug-ins or widgets for email capture to embed on your site. I can also set-up a tablet or mobile device with a Mailchimp email capture screen.
I do not recommend “buying” email lists from any source. This is spam. Your emails should be volunteered on your site or in your business by individuals. This seems difficult and time-consuming, but it works better in the long run, and keeps your company’s reputation safe and amiable with your customers. Word-of-mouth recommendation will strengthen, as well as online reviews.
Right now the quickest alternative to email marketing is a Facebook page. More and more traffic is moving into the … Read More »
This is my main job at my current full time office, and though it’s pretty seamless now, it took years to perfect the production system. I began in Quark and migrated to Adobe with Indesign at about version CS3, and now I use CC or the 7th edition. The first of any periodical, book or newsletter can be difficult and error-ridden, but after a few editions it becomes easier. Indesign has a million little tricks like Master Pages, Step and Repeat, and Align tools that make page layouts quick and easy.
Though these sorts of pubs are nearing retirement, there is still plenty of demand in tourism markets. There are also many Adobe tricks for converting to online editions with flipping pages and interactive animation. A great example is the site Issuu.com which offers free publishing and which I use for … Read More »