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5 Tips for Designing Awesome Outdoor Banners

large format banner printing

Even in this digital era, print marketing is an important part of branding and marketing a company; in fact, more than three-fourths of small businesses say they’d like to include both print and digital campaigns in their overall marketing strategy. And when it comes to outdoor advertising signs, large format banner printing is one of the easiest and most effective ways to catch the eyes of passers-by, whether they’re drivers or pedestrians.

Vinyl banners are highly customizable, allowing businesses to pick nearly any designs, colors or dimensions they like, and are lightweight and easy to hang in or outside. But how can you create advertising banners and signs that will actually make prospective customers want to stop in or try your product? Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Don’t Crowd Your Space
    The point of large format banner printing is to be more eye-catching, not to give you space for more elements. No elements should come too close to the edge of the banner, there should be plenty of space in between elements or lines of type, and it’s recommended that you leave quite a bit of white space.
  2. Prioritize Readability
    When you’re choosing fonts or sizes for your banner, readability should be your first priority. This means no overly fancy fonts. It also means you’ll want to size type based on how far away your target audience will be from the banner. In general, each inch of height added to a letter sets its optimum viewing distance about 10 feet farther away. So a 1-inch letter would be best read 10 feet away; a 5-inch letter, 50 feet.
  3. Choose Colors Purposefully
    If you’re hanging your banner outside, you’ll probably want to choose high-contrast colors. Start picking your colors by looking at a color wheel. The colors directly opposite each other (called “complementary colors”) have the highest contrast. You can find color “chords” by drawing an imaginary equilateral triangle on the color wheel. The colors touched by the triangle’s vertices are likely to go well together. Choosing three colors that are next to or close by one another will create a more soothing feeling, which generally isn’t the goal of outdoor advertising.
  4. Use Photos Carefully
    Custom vinyl banners can look great when printed with photos, but you need to be careful (and a tiny bit tech-savvy) when working with large format banner printing. You’ll need to check with your printing company to see what resolution the digital photo file should have in order to print clearly — it will probably be measured in DPI, or dots per inch.
  5. Get Creative With Typography
    If your photos aren’t high enough in quality for large format printing, you can create visual interest with creative typography, which is a very popular contemporary trend that turns the writing itself into the artwork. Just make sure you don’t forget the second rule listed above.

Do you have any other tips to share on designing a large format banner? Join the discussion in the comments.

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5 Fresh Ideas for Boosting Your Company Brand With Print Materials

If you run a small or medium-sized business, you probably have already taken advantage of the digital printing services that allow a printing company to offer you low prices, quick turnaround, a high degree of customization and no minimum run requirements. But have you thought of expanding your print marketing efforts past advertising banners, posters and fliers?

Here are five creative ways you can take advantage of your printing company’s services and boost your company brand:

  1. Bookmarks
    Market research shows that promotional gifts are an effective means of advertising; in fact, 84% of consumers who receive a branded promotional gift will remember the company’s name. If you want to give your potential clients something they can actually use, consider personalized bookmarks. They’re small, affordable and easily customizable — and since many people use receipts and other scraps as bookmarks, they’ll probably be happy to upgrade even if it’s branded with your logo.
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  3. Barricade Wraps
    Barricade wrap printing allows you to take the ugly, unused space of a construction barrier and turn it into a huge advertising canvas.
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  5. Vehicle Wraps
    Since your company vehicles likely spend a lot of time stuck in traffic, you might as well take advantage of that time by advertising to other drivers. Custom vehicle wraps range from simple, restrained door and window graphics to complete patterned wraps; the style you choose should depend on the image you’d like to project for your company.
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  7. Vinyl Graphics
    Custom vinyl wall graphics or floor graphics can allow you to make the most of your storefront. Instead of having plain graphics of your logo printed, have a designer create a chic pattern you may even be able to sell to your customers. That way, they’ll actually be paying for the privilege of advertising for you.
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  9. Photo Areas
    It’s the age of the selfie, and people love posting and seeing photos of themselves online. Have your printing company create a fun photo backdrop that incorporates your logo and set it up at your next event. You can either let people take their own photos using cell phones, or you can have an employee man the photo station with a good camera — just be sure you let your guests know when and where you’ll be posting the photos online so they can tag themselves and share their photos. As they self promote, they’ll be promoting you, too.

 
How else can you expand your marketing vocabulary past banners and signs? Share your ideas, no matter how wacky, in the comments.

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3 Ways to Brand Your Space Using Vinyl Decals

Digital printing has made custom printing services increasingly affordable for individuals and businesses, allowing for a high degree of personalization and lower minimum quantities than traditional offset printing. Digital printing also allows for the use of nontraditional mediums. If you’ve done all you can with posters, fliers and other print ads, you may want to consider vinyl decals instead. Here are some ideas for how to utilize custom printing services to create a contemporary look on nearly any surface in your business space.

  1. Windows
    Using vinyl decals in your storefront’s windows allows you to brand them without blocking the view into your business. And since vinyl widow graphics are removable, you can use them to advertise temporary sales or to decorate for the seasons. Essentially, custom window graphics give you all the flexibility of window paint, but with far less hassle and a sleeker, more professional result.
  2. Walls
    Vinyl wall graphics are also rapidly growing in popularity. These are easily installed without specialty equipment, and can be removed without damaging the wall underneath. Easily recognizable silhouette patterns such as branches and leaves are common choices, but custom printing services allow you to use your logo, personalized artwork or even quotes to dress up your space. Since prefabricated vinyl wall graphics can be easily bought from a number of venues, you might as well take advantage of the opportunity you have working with a printer by choosing something unique, instead of a generic pattern.
  3. Floors
    When you’re assessing potential advertising surfaces, don’t forget the floor! A classic use for custom floor graphics is a logo on a gym floor, but the possibilities are practically endless. Consider arrows or instructions that can guide your customers through the store, or use floor images to add visual interest without the maintenance hassles caused by carpet.

If you don’t have a storefront to decorate, vinyl decals also make excellent promotional gifts. Research shows that if given an item with a company’s name or logo on it, 84% of Americans will remember that company’s name. And since decals might be affixed on a variety of surfaces, your customers will essentially be spreading advertising materials for you, free of charge.

Have you used vinyl decals as part of your business advertising strategy? What was your experience? Share in the comments.

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3 Fresh Ideas for Promotional Gifts

You may have already thought of hanging advertising banners to promote your business, and that’s an important step when it comes to branding. But did you know that 84% of Americans who receive a promotional gift branded with a company’s name or logo will retain that company’s information? Giving your clients or customers something to take home with them can be an incredibly effective marketing strategy that encourages them to come back — and markets to those around them in the meantime.

Digital printing allows for many options, including printing on unusual surfaces and sizes of objects. And custom printing services can be surprisingly affordable, even for small businesses, since digital printing allows for smaller minimum runs than traditional offset methods. Here are three fresh ideas for promotional materials to get you started:

  1. Bookmarks: 
    Bookmarks are an ideal gift for two reasons. First, they can be customized with nearly endless options. Sizes, paper weights, colors, fonts, foiling and embossing mean you can be as simple or as elaborate as you like with a design to promote your company. Second, they’re something that your customers can use every day, and yet may not have a strong preference for and may not buy for themselves (as opposed to something like canvas bags).If you prefer a sleeker look, you can go with simple, clean-cut edges. But if you want a more classic feel or more opportunity to customize, a hole for a ribbon or tassel can be added.
  2. Calendars: 
    There’s a long tradition of giving calendars as business gifts — so much so, in fact, that some people rely on them, never actually buying calendars themselves. Calendars offer your company the choice of how much you’d like to promote your brand on each and every page.The advantage a digital printing company can offer when it comes to custom calendar printing is a much faster turnaround, so there’s no need to panic if you realize you’re coming up to the holidays and don’t yet have gifts for your clients. And since digital printing also allows for smaller quantities of each product, you can make a few different designs if necessary.
  3. Labels and Stickers: 
    Custom label printing can be a multi-purpose branding strategy. On the one hand, using branded labels or stickers on your products allows you to save on costly custom packaging without making your product feel generic. But stickers can also make great giveaways, particularly if your business targets younger people who still have school binders or dorm rooms to decorate. Custom printing services allow for designing something that is both eye-catching enough that your customers will want to use your stickers, and still incorporates all your company information.

How do you take advantage of the options offered by custom printing services? What has been most successful for your business? Share in the comments.

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The 5 Essential Elements of a Print Ad

Wide format printing can make a big impact when it comes to branding your business and drawing in new customers. Luckily, business printing services are making it increasingly easy to print custom wall graphics, advertising banners and large posters. Despite the prevalence of Internet marketing, 76% of small businesses report that their ideal marketing campaign includes both digital and print strategies.

The other good news is that business printing services are surprisingly affordable, even for small businesses on a tight budget. But if you’re too small to have in-house graphic designers and copywriters, how will you design your ads? There are many factors that go into designing high-impact print advertising, but these are the five elements you should always make sure are on your ad when you’re getting started:

  1. Your Company’s Name:

    Big companies can get away with omitting their names, using only a logo or distinctive design to let consumers know whose ad they’re looking at (think of Apple ads). But if you’re a small business, don’t be tempted to make your ad overly mysterious. The intent of advertising is to get your name out there.

  2. What Your Business Does:

    You may think this is made obvious by your business’s name if it’s something like Brooklyn Auto Repair or Banner Printing NYC. But make sure your viewers walk away with a clear representation of the services you provide. You don’t want to clutter up the ad with too much copy — the larger ad space afforded by wide format printing should be used for larger font sizes, eye-catching visuals and white space — so come up with multiple examples and test them on several people to see which makes the most sense using the fewest words.

  3. A Call to Action:

    A call to action, in marketing, is a direct instruction given to the viewer. The classic example of a CTA is “Call Today!,” but you can be a little more creative. Just make sure you’re telling your viewers what they should be doing after they see your ad.

  4. Contact Information:

    If you’re calling your potential customers to action, make sure they know where to call. QR codes and similar technologies can be a convenient way to help your customers find you (since they can scan the code with their smartphones and be taken directly to your website), but don’t forget that these codes sometimes fail to work. At the very least, include a phone number and web address.

  5. Supporting Visual Elements:

    Potential customers on the move won’t spend too long looking at your ad, particularly if it’s a large format ad placed outside. Visual elements are the best way to maximize your impact, so choose something with bold colors, leaving plenty of white space so the viewer can focus.

Depending on the business printing services you choose, your print company may be able to provide you with some advice as well. And digital printing — which uses a process more like your home or office printer on a larger scale, rather than creating custom plates and layering inks as in traditional offset printing — allows for affordable printing of smaller runs. So if you’re supplementing your wide format ads with smaller pieces, take advantage of this opportunity by trying a few different strategies to figure out what type of print advertising is most effective for your small business.

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