The 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.
Colors fill our world and (literally) frame what we see. Colors are also key for successful direct mailings. The right color can invoke a mood that harmonizes your campaign, while the wrong color can at best send a mixed message, at worst make a direct trip to the recycling bin.
Your printer just told you the art file you provided has some issues and you have been asked if you can provide a vector file. When you questioned what that means you received a response from your printer that didn’t help you understand the problem any clearer. Now you’re frustrated and feel like sending your business to another printer. Unfortunately, another printer will either tell you the same thing or will produce your piece with unsatisfactory results. The print quality of your project largely depends upon the type of files you provide, and in commercial printing not all file types are equal. Here is a quick guide to help you understand the difference between Vector files and Raster files.
Have you ever received a postcard in the mail or picked up a brochure that was so glossy it almost seemed as if it were still wet? That super glossy sheen is a UV, or Ultraviolet, coating. Advances in print coating technology means there are more options now than ever before, and more to know. The following is a quick reference guide for print buyers and marketing professionals.
With a century of practical application, the validation of countless business and academic studies, and robust statistics supporting its effectiveness, direct mail marketing is firmly established as an essential marketing channel. Any marketer can create a successful campaign by sticking to the core elements of a quality list, appealing design, and a strong offer. You may be satisfied with achieving average response rates, but you could take your direct mail to the next level by triggering response through appealing to our hidden addictions.
When was the last time you received a birthday present, wrapped in decorative paper, tied with a brightly colored ribbon, and you chose not to unwrap the gift? If you’re like me the answer is never. What’s in the box? Shake it. Does it make a noise? Is there something loose inside rattling around? How heavy does it feel? What could fit inside? These are some of the thoughts that might go through your mind.
Take a moment to think about which TV ads you remember most from years past. Chances are the ads you remember most are either the funniest or out of the ordinary. Two of my favorite ads both debuted during Super Bowls. One is the Betty White Snickers commercial created by BBDO North America from 2010, You’re Not Yourself When You’re Hungry. Betty White is playing a rough game of football and turns into a young man after eating a Snickers bar. The other is Cat Herders, made by Fallon in 2000 for Electronic Data Systems (EDS). In this one grizzled cowboys herd thousands of cats like cattle. My all-time favorite is the Quiznos commercial from 2004 which featured two rodent-like creatures, dubbed spongemonkeys, singing about loving Quiznos subs. One is wearing an old fashioned bowler hat and the other is wearing a seafaring hat and playing guitar. The ad created by the Martin Agency in Richmond generated a huge amount of buzz. People were divided, either loving or hating the ad. Quiznos saw a 400% increase in unique visits to its website in the month the ad aired on TV and the campaign is considered one of the first to go viral.
Varnishes and coatings offer a multitude of ways to add impact, durability, and pizzazz to printed materials. Varnishes are routinely used to protect a printed piece from fingerprints, smudges and wear and tear. But they also lend sophisticated nuance when applied selectively, as a design element.
While varnish is a relatively common print technique – it can provide some seriously uncommon enhancements to a print project.
Many months ago, I sat down with the data team at John Roberts and I grilled them about variable data printing. I wanted to understand how variable data works. And, no, I didn’t need a basic overview of what variable data is, and the components that were needed to make it happen.
I understood the principles of the process, what I needed to know was how a normal human being can start using variable data from scratch for the first time. I needed the practical tips and strategies for the common man, so to speak. Luckily, I was talking to the right people.
I’ve seen a lot of mail, and I can tell you that a lot of it is the same. Different content, yes, but the carrier is often a #10 envelope or a large card (a “billboard” as they call it in the mail industry). Now, I’m not knocking these staples in the mailing industry — they’re proven formats that can be very effective, however they’re predictable.
These days I study all of the different ways we can be engaging as direct marketers, and the great news is, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to stand out. Today I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite “cheapskate” direct mail ideas.