Monthly Archives: January 2014

Tips for Brochure Makers

If you’ve made it to this blog, chances are you have some experience designing offset printing advertisement products like custom posters, table tents and brochures. Here are some tips to help you take your skills to the next level and make your brochure stand out from the pack.  

Start with a great brochure maker.

Your brochure maker should be interactive, easy to use, and should be able to store your design so you can come back to it later.

Define your purpose.

It is important that you identify the purpose of your brochure before you begin designing it. This allows you to create a product that is focused and achieves a specific goal, such as raising awareness of a certain product, helping to brand your company, or defining a service that you offer. Begin by asking clients what they think they need a brochure for and why they think they need it. Next, decide what it is you are trying to achieve and start deigning.

Fewer fonts go far.

It is an easy, but foolish mistake, to think that more fonts make your brochure look more attractive. By using more than two, maximum three, fonts, you are making your brochure look amateur, confusing and less accessible.

Put readers ahead of your company.

Readers are going to read your brochure because they want to know how your company, product or service can help them. They don’t care how selling more will help you or how great you are. You want to make them the focus of the brochure, and convince them that they need your company and your products.

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Table Tents

The key to a successful marketing campaign is diversity, and table tent cards are an excellent way to mix up your print advertisements and get people talking about your business. Most offset printing services, Apple Visual Graphics included, will print them for you at a low cost, and offer a range of papers, finishes and laminations to make your table tents more durable.

Table tents are a relatively unique form of advertising since they reach people at a time where many other advertisements do not: when they are eating out. Televisions may be on in the background, but not everyone will watch the commercials actively enough for them to be effective. If you own a restaurant or food business, these are particularly effective, and can easily be added to your order for menu printing or vinyl signs. You also will not have to pay to display them, as you already own the advertising space.

If you have ever eaten at a table with a table tent, though, you know how irresistible the urge to pick up the ad and read it is. Over 80 percent of customers who sit down at a table with a table tent will read the advertisement, and many will also discuss the contents included in it. Since these tents have three sides, you can highlight different specials you are running or features of your products and services.

We recommend making them as attractive and simple as possible so people can consume the contents quickly; make your website or phone number large and easy to find; include your business logo in a larger size, along with your company name; and keep the text to a minimum. The most successful print ads are those that efficiently utilize images, and table tents are no exception.

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Offset vs. Digital Printing

Digital and offset printing are each excellent printing methods for different types of print advertisements. As experts in both methods, we know better than anyone the benefits of each. Here is a quick rundown of the pros of using both offset and digital printing for creating your print advertisements, and scenarios where each would be optimum:

Offset Printing

  • Offset printing has a lower cost per unit if your runs are longer. This means the more products you print, the more the unit cost goes down. If you are ordering a large order of custom posters or many custom banners, this is probably the better option.
  • Offset printing products tend to have higher resolution images, which make for better quality products.
  • The Patone spot color option is only available with offset printing, and you have a wider color range. CMYK can’t accurately produce all hues like offset printing can, so if your materials need very specific colors, this is the route for you.

Digital Printing

  • Digital printing costs less per unit if you have a smaller order, and costs can be significantly lower if the order is very small.
  • These jobs create less waste than offset printing jobs.
  • Each print is a proof, so you can instantly proof your job without having to wait.
  • Each page can be more unique than offset printing pages, since there is variable data printing.
  • Unlike offset printing products, there is no drying time required, meaning prints are ready faster.
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A Guide to Ink Coverage

A Guide to Ink Coverage

We work with many talented companies everyday, and while each of them has all of the skills and personnel to design amazingly creative print ads with effective elements, many of them ask us for tips on how to improve their ads from a printing perspective. One of the best tips we always provide is to avoid unnecessary ink saturation by evening out ink coverage on their custom poster, custom banner or other print ad. If too much ink is concentrated on one spot of your print ad, issues can arise that range from smudging, to warping, to delays in printing time and beyond. Heavy ink layers can muddy your final images, but luckily this kind of saturation can be easily avoided.

If you are using black and white booklet printing or other black and white printing services, ink saturation is much simpler. The darker areas will be roughly 90 percent saturated, while the lighter white areas are typically five to 15 percent saturated. You need to worry about saturation when printing in full color since four different colors are layered on top of each other. For instance, if each color is layered on top of each other at 50 percent, you have 200 percent saturation. You will most likely start to see problems on the areas that have 260 percent saturation and above.

Using many common design programs, you can usually check your total area coverage before sending your print ad to us and find the areas where coverage is 260 percent or higher.

If you are using Adobe Acrobat, open the file; open output preview, located under print production tools; and click the total area coverage box. Now you can see the problem areas and adjust the levels. Many similar design programs work the same way.

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Designing Effective Brochures

Successful marketing and branding campaigns have many different elements, including booklets or brochures, in many cases. Here are some tips to help you order the most effective products possible from your brochure maker or offset printing company:

  • Unlike with many print advertisements, like custom posters and floor graphics, brochures give you the opportunity to include more information about your company, products and services. This is your opportunity to provide a slightly deeper look at things, so craft your text based on providing an impression and educating your customer, rather than based on providing a teaser. The brochure should still aim to draw customers to your website, but those customers should arrive with a deeper understanding of your company and products, than if they visited after seeing a poster.
  • The cover serves as the attention-grabber, and encourages customers to open and read the rest of the brochure. Include eye-catching graphics and a clean design, so that customers feel inclined to read the rest of your brochure.
  • Your brochure should culminate in a powerful call to action. That action could range from donating to a not-for-profit entity, to visiting your company’s website. Either way, you need to make sure the entire brochure is cohesive and works together to support the final challenge.
  • Finally, consider the image you want to present as the face of your company. This will determine whether you choose a matte finish or a shinier laminate, and what kinds of extras, like foils and cutouts, you choose to include in your design.
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