Helping You Deliver Your Message

Erik Haug

Direct Mail Now - 3 Reasons Why

By Erik Haug

CoronavirusFaceCoverings_large-story-1Covid-19, the deadly Coronavirus pandemic still claiming lives at an alarming pace, has not peaked in many states. Yet in response to the growing number of protests demanding an end to financially crippling business and social restrictions, some states have already started allowing non-essential businesses to reopen. Many states are taking a cautious approach, easing restrictions gradually based on the data, looking for concrete evidence of declining infection rates. 

Open for Your Business

By Erik Haug

covid-19-imageIn response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, on March 25 Minnesota Governor, Tim Walz issued Executive Order 20-20, to help contain the spread of Covid-19 and flatten the curve. The Stay-At-Home order went into effect March 28, mandating all nonessential businesses close until April 10.  The Stay-At-Home order has since been extended to May 4, and Governor Walz has indicated he may extend the order further if necessary.

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The 411 on Informed Delivery from the USPS

By Erik Haug

bd4aa6166577edcb-2048x1024-1In 2017, after a three-year trial period that began in 2014 and with little fanfare, the United States Postal Service (USPS) expanded its free digital notification service, Informed Delivery to nearly all the 42,000 Zip Codes across the country. The service has more than 15 million customers enrolled to date. The following quick guide explains how it works and why you should consider signing up.

A Print Buyer's Guide to Binding Techniques

By Erik Haug

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Recently a print buyer from an agency requested a mockup of a side-sewn bound book needed for a presentation. He provided detailed specifications down to the color of thread and the paper stocks required.

When he received the mock-up he realized side-sewn did not match how he pictured the book should look. It turned out what he really needed was a Smyth-sewn book. He had to do the presentation without the correct mock-up.

Like many print professionals, he wasn’t aware of the difference. Whether you are producing a book, brochure, calendar, or pamphlet, it is important to know what options you have for binding together printed pages.

Print Ready PDF Files for Commercial Printing - 4 Keys for Success

By Erik Haug

PDFPrintReadyThe portable document format (PDF) revolutionized commercial printing services by making it possible for anybody to supply print ready files, complete with all the text, graphics, and data. The PDF is largely responsible for the rapid growth and popularity of digital printing and print on demand. It's commonplace for printers to receive print ready PDF files for both offset printing and digital printing projects. Equally common is the discovery that the PDF files are not print ready.

Commercial Printers Reduce Print Costs and Maximize On-time Delivery

By Erik Haug

Behind the emerald curtain in the Commercial Printing industry a war quietly rages. Rather than a war between good and evil, this war is fought between Account Executives, and Production is trapped in the middle of the fray. Account Executives seeking new business in a fiercely competitive marketplace often agree to tight turn times or seemingly impossible deadlines. Production is charged with completing all projects for every client accurately and on time. The number of projects and client expectations frequently create production scheduling conflicts, bottlenecks in the availability of equipment and labor. In the past, many printers resolved scheduling conflicts based on factors such as an existing client’s annual revenue or new client’s potential future revenue. But this is a new era and technology is rapidly evening the playing field through the implementation of sophisticated plant management software and scheduling automation.

Print Buyers Guide to Climate and Print Quality

By Erik Haug

Print quality is affected by numerous factors, such as the type of paper used and the viscosity of the inks to name a few. One of the biggest concerns all print buyers should be aware of is the effect of climate on print quality. Temperature and humidity are responsible for a host of problems including picking, misregister, wrinkling, and curling. Quality issues like these may necessitate pulling or reprinting the job, and that means buyers sometimes must choose between compromised print quality and missing a critical deadline.  Neither scenario is acceptable, which is why print buyers should only work with commercial printers with climate controlled production facilities.  

Top 5 Direct Mail Mistakes

By Erik Haug

Creating and implementing a successful direct mail project requires careful planning, especially when it comes to the big three; List, Offer, and Design. Most direct mail professionals agree that these three elements play the biggest role in determining success or failure. Also worthy of careful consideration is the timing, postal rules, and print vendor. Direct mail done right generates excellent results with a solid return on investment. Unfortunately it’s too easy to make a significant mistake that kills your response rate. What could have been quickly turns to what should have been.  Here are the top five direct mail mistakes.

The Web Creep Phenomenon

By Erik Haug

Have you ever seen a catalog with the inside pages protruding further than the cover? In appearance the cover looks slightly too small. You might assume the printer trimmed the cover incorrectly or perhaps there was an error during perfect binding. What you see was not a mistake or intentional. It is called Web Creep or Web Growth and is a common problem when catalog covers are printed sheetfed and inside pages are run on a heatset web press. The effect of Relative Humidity (RH) on paper fiber, the use of dryers in web offset printing, and insufficient time for conditioning are the main causes. Controlling environmental conditions of paper storage and pressroom are important for preventing web creep and other undesirable effects caused by unstable temperature and humidity.   webgrowthsidebyside.png

Paper is subjected to different temperatures and levels of RH at the paper mill, during transport, in storage at the paper supplier, in storage at the printer, in the pressroom and bindery.  Relative Humidity (RH) is the amount of water vapor content in the air in relation to how much moisture the air can hold at that temperature.  When RH is high the paper fibers in the sheet or roll will absorb moisture and expand. When low, the fibers shrink.  For optimum print quality it is critical that the paper achieves RH equilibrium, a balance between the temperature and moisture content of the paper with that of the surrounding air. Allowing time for paper to achieve RH equilibrium is called conditioning. 

Print Buyer's Quick Guide to Substrates

By Erik Haug

The printing press has come a long way since Johannes Gutenberg ‘s invention of the first press with movable type in the mid-15th century.  Today there are multiple types of printing presses designed for applying ink to everything from paper to metal.  In commercial printing, substrates are the base material, supplied in sheets or rolls, onto which ink is applied. Traditional Offset printers were once limited to printing on paper. Today, paper is just the start of the numerous substrates available. Special ink formulations, UV printing technology, and improvements in the manufacture of substrates enables offset printers to apply ink to a wide range of plastics and synthetics.