The Print Cafe of LI Website

Friday, May 7, 2021

        Add Unity to Your Design with Clever Repetitive Elements



Do you ever find pleasure in the chiming of a grandfather clock or in honking geese as they migrate for the winter?

Repetition is therapeutic.

Rituals provide structure and something to hold on to, and they free us from the tyranny of choices and chaos. Repetition can help complicated pieces of music, movies, or books reveal the depths of their richness. And repetition in design adds consistency, beauty, and unity.

Strong designs repeat some aspect or element throughout the entire piece. The recurring element may be a bold font, a thick line, a snappy bullet icon, a repeating color or page layout, or anything that a reader will visually recognize.

From business cards to complex multi-page booklets, subtle repetition is a visual cue that ties every piece together. Want to be more intentional in your repetitive elements? Here are some options to try:

Headlines and Subheads

All text starts somewhere, and text banners are a perfect way to add graphic unity.

Are all the headlines in your newsletter 14-point Times Bold? How about investing in a very bold sans serif and making all your heads something like 16-point Mikado Ultra? Take the repetition that’s already part of the project and elevate it, making it stronger and more dynamic.

This adds beauty to the page and anchors readers in a framework of ideas.

Rule Bars or Page Numbers

When creating multi-page publications, it should be perfectly obvious that pages 2 and 12 are part of the same piece.

Beyond similar layouts, adding simple elements like rule bars and page numbers can bring harmony to your design. Try a thick, heavy rule bar on the top of each page and a narrow bar of the same color at the bottom. Label your pages with more than just numbers; design these digits with heavy fonts, fun shadow boxes or slashes, or print them vertically by rotating them 90 degrees.

Recurring Shapes

Patterns are a pleasing way to add visual continuity to flyers, reports, or even product packaging. Here are three ideas:

  1. If you choose a branch as one of your central graphics, you might add smaller leaves throughout the document (as column markers, page number outlines, or bullet icons, for example).
  2. Add colored waves behind the text that repeat in variations of your color palette or in repeating style (like a freeform eggplant shape) throughout the document.
  3. Splatter your text across a subtle background of grid and dot patterns.

Playful Characters or Color Matching

Not everything needs to be serious!

Have a little fun by adding repetitive elements that have nothing to do with your page’s purpose. Add funky bird caricatures, petroglyph characters, or a toss of confetti. Borrow the colors in these images and match or complement them with handles in your text.

Feel free to add something completely new simply for the purpose of repetition!

Consistency Counts

Don’t underestimate the power of the visual interest of your pages.

The repetition of your work will eliminate chaos and add beauty to your work. Think of repetition as consistency, but push those existing patterns a bit farther. Can you turn some of your repetitive elements into a part of the conscious design strategy? Take a unifying graphic and create spinoffs of this concept to bring subtle accents to each page.

Sound time-consuming? It’s worth the effort! Repetition matters because when a piece looks more interesting, it is more likely to be read.

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com

 

Monday, May 3, 2021

    Top 4 Places To Find Graphic Design                        Templates 

by JELLY SHAH

Graphics play an important role in today’s marketing campaigns. A graphic design is a very subjective thing — while a design can be excellent for you, your colleague sitting next to you may not like it. This makes the job of graphic designers much more challenging. They need to translate the design brief shared by the clients into reality. They have to create designs that match precisely the likes and thoughts of the clients.

Creating such demanding designs quickly and economically, graphic design templates come to the rescue. Most small business owners, marketers, and enterprises running on a shoestring budget that cannot afford to hire a professional graphic designer or agency for their design projects prefer this option. No matter whether they have a design background or not, anyone can easily create graphic designs on their own.

In fact, these graphic design templates are easy to personalize, and even novices can customize them with colors, fonts, icons, the layout of their choice. Irrespective of the design category, template designs are available for every requirement like poster templates, flyer templates, etc.

Small businesses that do not have a regular or bulk need can use graphic design templates to fulfill their requirements without hiring a graphic designer or spending too much on a graphic design agency.

Now the question is—where can you find such graphic design templates from?

Here Are The Top 4 Online Platforms Or Websites To Get Graphic Design Templates

01. Designhill Studio

Designhill Studio is a leading online graphic design tool that provides a wide range of graphic design templates. These easy-to-customize templates cover all categories and industry types. Whatever the need may be, you can find an abundance of options for every single category. Pick one that’s closest to your needs and start customizing with the choices of your colors, fonts, images, and layout.

Its interface is user-friendly, and even non-designer can effectively use it to create their own graphics in minutes and without breaking their banks. You will have the option to download graphics with transparent background.

02. Canva

Canva is another great online graphic design tool that provides a vast range of graphic design templates for varied categories. All of these templates come with the easy-to-customize feature. You can either download the finished designs or share them online with friends, colleagues, or family members. This popular online graphic design platform has a huge customer base.

03. Template.net

Template.net is an online graphic design platform where you can find template design galleries for different categories. Unlike the first two online platforms, this platform is for template designs gallery only.

Many template designs are free, but there is also a paid template design option. In order to get more template design options, you need to sign up for creating an account.

04. PNGTree

Unlike all tree tools mentioned above, PNGTree is a design gallery and not a tool. PNGTree is the website that is usually considered for getting images and graphics in png file formats. But this online platform is more than just png files. It also provides a template design gallery.

It has a good range of graphic design templates that can be used to customize according to the business requirements. After customizing these template designs, these can be downloaded in PSD format

Conclusion

The graphic design industry needs booth skills and creativity to design high-quality graphics that stand out. Creativity is not an entity that can be learned from someone but art that comes from within. Most graphic designers possess it. But it does not mean that a non-graphic designer cannot create incredible designs. A non-graphic designer can design images using graphic design templates. It does not require any programming or designing skill or expertise in tools such as Photoshop. Graphic design templates are the best option for small businesses that can’t afford to hire a graphic designer for their design projects. They are both economical and quick.

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com




Tuesday, April 27, 2021

   The 4-Minute Guide to Designing with White Ink

                                                                                 By Haidan Dong


Designing with white ink is like vectorizing—it takes a little extra work but the end result is worth it. You may have seen white ink used in designs for food labels, business cards printed on a special stock, or clear vinyl decals. This article is dedicated to helping you see why and how you can use white ink to enhance your designs and produce beautiful results.

Why Design with White Ink

There are many reasons why graphic designers create print artwork with white ink. The two main reasons are:

1. To produce white areas on non-white stocks

Sometimes printing with white ink is essential because white is part of a company’s logo or campaign colors. Therefore, to produce white areas on stocks such as a silver or transparent label, the design requires white ink.

2. To help other colors pop on non-white stocks (as a support color)

When CMYK colors print on non-white stocks such as brown kraft paper, the end result is that you may be able to see the stock show a little bit underneath the colors. If this is not what you’re looking for and you want your CMYK colors to appear more opaque, you can add white ink underneath the CMYK to stop the stock from showing through.

Why the White Ink Printing Process is Special

Printing white ink requires a different process than printing CMYK colors. This is because white does not get printed in a standard CMYK-only workflow. When you design a CMYK file to print on regular white cardstock, the areas without any color values (C0% M0% Y0% K0%) don’t get any ink, so the cardstock shows through as simply white. 

This means that the white needs to be its own ink (in addition to any CMYK colors you use in the artwork).

As this is a printing process that is more out-of-the-norm, you would need to first find a print provider that can print white ink. We recommend The Print Cafe of LI, that offers special prices to graphic designers.

How to Create a File with White In

Ready to start designing a file for white ink printing? Different printers have different requirements such as:

  1. Using spot color for white ink areas
  2. Using a different layer that contains all your white ink areas
  3. Using a separate file containing only the white ink areas

Note: Some print workflows require specific naming of your file in order to work, so you may need to name your white spot color, layer or file a certain way. Always check their requirements before submitting your file.

SinaLite, for example, requires the white ink areas to be a spot color with a particular name. Download their free white ink setup guide here:

Tips for Designing with White Ink

  • We recommend using Adobe Illustrator to design files for printing. You can, however, use any program that exports files as PDFs for printing.
  • While designing, you may wish to set your spot color for the white ink as a more visible color to help you visualize.
  • Even if your printer doesn’t require a separate white layer, it’s still a good idea to create a separate layer for them, as it makes working on them easier.
  • Here are a few things you should check for before submitting a file that contains white ink areas:
  1. Overprint settings (check with your printer for their requirements)
  2. Knockout settings
  3. All strokes and fills accounted for
  4. Your order specs indicate white ink printing
  5. File contains CMYK only plus your spot color if your printer requires it
  • We recommend using Adobe Acrobat Pro (not Reader) to check your file prior to submitting it for printing.Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com


Friday, April 23, 2021

     4 Intelligent Ways to Combine Print and Digital Marketing


Imagine a college campus on a warm fall day, as freshmen are moving into the dorms for the first time.

There are loads of students buzzing around and getting settled. As they unpack and get their bearings in a new community, many realize they’ve forgotten a lamp or shelf to make their dorm room a bit cozier. No problem! A strategic, targeted digital ad whisks across their screen on move-in day.

Two days later, a mailed piece is sent featuring lamps, rugs, and closet accessories. This venue's campaign (a combination of digital and print marketing) snags interest in a fleeting moment then follows this digital hook with a more robust mailed piece.

The Successful Marriage of Digital and Print

Print marketing is powerful. Digital marketing is powerful. When you combine them... well, the result is dynamic.  

Want to create a more strategic relationship between your print and digital marketing efforts? Here are four strategies to build momentum:

1. Create Distinct Online Landing Pages

Online landing pages can be created specifically for promotion through your print ad (for example, see Uber’s landing page targeting new riders here).

While your website homepage typically offers an introduction to your business, a promotional landing page is slightly different. A landing page:

--Is designed to receive traffic from specific sources

--Prompts visitors to take one well-defined action

--Stays focused on a single topic or offer

--Omits or downplays site navigation options

Beyond using narrow landing pages to evaluate your print marketing, you can also record general web traffic during a campaign to note whether a spike in visits may indicate a particular ad’s effectiveness.

2. Use Digital Opt-ins for Direct Mail

Instead of asking someone to sign up for your email campaign the next time they visit your website, why not ask them to sign up for a direct mail newsletter?

Unlike email (which can easily go straight to a junk folder), a direct mail campaign engages people through tactile, memorable, physical marketing pieces. There’s something special about receiving a thoughtful newsletter or meandering through a well-designed catalog.

Instead of opting toward email, build stronger connections with your customers outside the screen.

3. Combine In-Store and Social Displays

Live events provide great opportunities to build strong relationships with customers – particularly in our experience-driven culture.

At your next event, distribute valuable coupons or great giveaway items after advertising through social media ahead of time. Post fun selfie displays (like clever photobooths or imaginative backgrounds) that people can post using event-specific hashtags. Or give gift cards and freebies to those who check in at your kiosk and follow you on social media.

4. Add QR Codes to Your Direct Mail, Brochures, and Displays

Today QR Codes (those funny-looking square boxes that look like over-sized bar codes) have many uses, including marketing, product labeling, ticketing, and more.

QR codes can be used as a compact way to deliver loads of information, and you can use one in any situation where you want to send people to a specific website. Add QR codes to your brochures, direct mail, business cards, in-store displays, or even to customized client birthday cards.

This lead generator can be used to push a new promotion, link to an instructional video, solicit reviews, incentivize subscription renewals, or prompt people to download your app. 

Customers on the Move

As people hop between on- and offline worlds, businesses must provide an increasingly cohesive, personalized experience.

Combining your print and digital marketing can build momentum while providing users a streamlined customer experience. Employ this customer-oriented strategy to ensure your brand receives a multi-fold return on your marketing investment.

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

                 Stand Tall with 6 Sharp Embossing Techniques


Have you ever run your hand over an antique, textured wallpaper?

With its authentic sense of depth and detail, you almost can’t help but touch it. The raised relief is as appealing to your imagination as it is to your fingertips.

Embossing has a similar effect. Embossing and debossing are two print techniques used to add texture to a design. An embossed pattern is raised against the background, while a debossed pattern is sunken into the material's surface (but might protrude somewhat on the reverse side). These popular finishing techniques – used for business cards, menus, invitations, foil stickers, notepads, and more – are ideal for bringing a fresh, contemporary look.

Take Center Stage

Embossing elevates your design from the background and can be used to create geometric patterns, add borders, or produce a custom seal for product packaging.

The texture and sculptural quality that embossing creates makes for a memorable user experience. Add elegance and stateliness to your next project with one of these beautiful techniques:

1. Blind Embossing

Blind embossing uses custom-made dies to create a raised surface according to the design.

Blind embossing refers to a stamped design without metallic leaf or ink (like plain textured letters with a page), giving a base-relief effect. One way to make blind embossing stand out even more is to use textured paper. Since the area around the embossing will be pressed smooth, this creates more of a contrast.

2. Combination Embossing

As its name suggests, this type of die combines multiple effects (like embossing and foil stamping) into one process.

The combination die has a cutting edge around the perimeter to cleanly break the excess foil away from the embossed area. Given the unbeatable finish and fine detail of this element, it is a natural choice when printing elegant crests, fancy logos, or intricate type for business cards, letterheads,

3. Single-Level Embossing

This process uses a die that changes the surface of the paper at only one level.

Since the die needed for this kind of embossing is simple, it is the most affordable embossing option.

4. Multi-Level Embossing

This process uses a die with several distinct levels to create a sculptured impression or a more detailed texture.

Multi-level embossing kicks things up a notch by changing the surface of the paper at several planes. This makes the technique popular for multi-dimensional shapes, landscapes, or images with unique details (such as leaves or feathers).

5. Sculptured Die

This kind of die requires custom hand tooling to create levels and details for an emboss that resembles a bas-relief sculpture, a figure that is raised a few inches from a flat background to give a three-dimensional effect.

Like a piece of metal leaping off the paper, the effect is striking and lifelike. While sculptured embossing is more expensive, it is absolutely gorgeous for creating custom pictures, shapes, 3D logos, faces, animals, or landscapes.  

Because this die requires someone to create it by hand – usually based on an image provided – this method is more expensive.

6. Bevel-Edge Dies

Want to add sophistication to your project?

Beveled dies bring a softened, refined look to your shapes and letters, adding a curve or edge to each character (typically at 30 to 60 degrees). The broader the angle, the greater the illusion of depth.

Create a Timeless Treasure

New trends take shape every day, and you can make a bold statement with existing techniques that give your print materials a sleek twist.

While embossing was originally found mostly in personalized stationery, today, raised elements can be used in envelope flaps, business cards, packaging, hang tags, and more. Great designs mix the old and the new to create timeless print pieces your clients will love!

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com

Friday, April 16, 2021

                         4 Key Design Elements of Corporate Branding

                                                       By Christa TuttleMarch 12, 2021


Your company’s design and branding are key components of marketing and play a large part in what customers and prospects think and feel before they consume any of your marketing materials. This is important as we oftentimes draw conclusions about a company solely based on the design of their marketing materials, their website and the overall look and feel of their brand. In fact, it takes less than a second for someone to form an opinion of your brand when looking at just your website. So, why does making a good first impression matter? Your time is limited. Having the essential elements of corporate branding can allow you to have a positive impression on your buyers and prospects.

To give you an idea of what consistent, impressionable corporate branding looks like, take a look at any of the branding projects in our portfolio. You will see that a core component for each of them was establishing a consistent look and feel. To achieve this, there are four essential elements that must be considered when establishing a corporate brand.

#1. Logo

Your logo is perhaps the most important element of your brand identity. As the icon and hallmark, it is usually the most recognizable element. Your logo is typically used in all materials, whether they are digital, print or in another form. There are many criteria to designing a logo, but one that stands out is that the logo should be legible in any size. From a small web icon to a large banner at an event, the logo should be clear to all. Another consideration is that it should also be legible when faced with color restrictions. If there is ever an instance where you are unable to use your brand colors, does it still work when you are only able to use one color or black and white? Keep these this in mind in the logo design process.

#2. Colors

The colors used by a company can communicate many different messages and can sometimes be a key factor in the recognition process. When choosing your colors, there can be many things to consider. Here are two:

  • Color meanings: In some cases, certain colors have a story behind them and can often elicit certain feelings. For example, yellow is seen as a bright, friendly and optimistic color that can generate positive feelings.
  • Contrasting colors: Colors can often be labeled as “warm” or “cool” based on where they are on the color wheel. Whether you want to have “warm” colors, “cool” colors, or both, it’s important to understand if they contrast well together.

For your brand’s colors to become associated with your company, it is important that the same colors are used throughout all materials. By selecting Pantones, and their corresponding RGB/CMYK colors, and enforcing their usage, you ensure that the colors used in all of your company’s print and digital pieces remain consistent.

#3. Fonts

Similar to colors, it is important to select a specific font, or fonts, to use throughout your company’s materials. It is a good idea to limit this selection to as few fonts as possible. One best practice is to choose a serif font for body content and a sans-serif font for headings. Additionally, it is noteworthy to select a corresponding web-safe font to use if your corporate fonts are not already web-safe. There are many different fonts to choose from that vary in styles from traditional to modern. It’s essential to choose fonts that reflect your company’s image and can fit in well with your logo and overall style.

#4. Imagery

Imagery is always a core component of any marketing material, but its usage has become more important than ever due to the transition to the all-digital environment. You should expect to utilize many images in your marketing materials. To tie these images together, it is necessary to establish a common theme or treatment that is leveraged across all the images you use. For example, if you are a technology company that is defining your imagery, think about what your brand embodies and decide if graphic icons, stock photos or something else would be best suited. Once decided upon, use this imagery in all facets of your organization to ensure consistency

Corporate Branding Consistency is Key

There are multiple elements that go into a brand identity package. A corporate style guide can be useful for keeping these guidelines and elements in one location that can be accessible company wide. The most important thing to keep in mind when developing corporate branding is consistency. By utilizing the same elements repeatedly, they become more readily related to your company and recognizable by your audience.

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com



Tuesday, April 13, 2021

            5 Strategies to Overcome Nerves in Public Speaking


From Abraham Lincoln to Winston Churchill, some of the world’s greatest leaders had one thing in common: the fear of public speaking.

Glossophobia, or speech anxiety, affects 77 percent of the population at some level. This can range from sweating and an accelerated heart rate to dizziness, nausea, or a “fight or flight” response.

As a shift to remote working has become more prevalent, more communication is taking place online rather than in-person. And video chatting can make many people (who aren’t normally nervous) more anxious whenever they speak up.

Want to conquer your butterflies or gain confidence when you’re on the big stage? Here are five tips from the public speaking experts:

1. Practice Aloud in Advance

The best way to reduce your anxiety is to rehearse until you feel comfortable, and you will really settle into your message if you share it aloud several times before the big day.

Practice by yourself, before a mirror, in front of a video camera, or even with a friend, colleague, or coach who will give you constructive feedback.

2. Be at Your Best Physically and Mentally

In the turmoil of speaking preparation, this key to optimal performance can get lost in the noise.

Get enough rest. Avoid too much caffeine or alcohol. And give yourself quiet time if you need it (i.e., if you're an introvert), or mix-and-mingle time to get your juices flowing (if you're an extrovert). Look out for yourself BEFORE you speak to ensure the best outcome when you do.

3. Breathe

Breathing from your stomach muscles, not your chest, naturally calms the nervous system.

When you want to reset yourself internally, take a few deep breaths before and even during your presentation. As you inhale, say to yourself, “I am . . .” As you exhale, say, “relaaaaaaaaaxed.” 

4. Don’t Be Nervous About Your Nervousness

Singer-songwriter Bruce Springsteen, who was legendary for his live concert performances, once observed that if he felt completely relaxed before a show, he wouldn’t perform as well.

Speakers who lack confidence often feel nervous. Then they feel anxious about the fact that they’re nervous, which compounds the anxiety.  Remember, nervousness is just your adrenaline flowing. It’s a form of energy. Bruce Springsteen doesn’t get nervous about his nerves – instead, he channels this into excitement and power on stage. Successful speakers know how to make adrenaline work for them and turn nervousness into enthusiasm, engagement, and charisma.

It’s okay to have butterflies.  Make the energy work for you

5. Practice an “Others First” Mindset

During public speaking, you feel “all eyes” watching you.

This can be painfully vulnerable, like a caveman exposed in daylight. While you may want to shrink back, calm your anxiety by focusing on your desire to encourage others. Sarah Gershman, President of Green Room Speakers, says this:

“The key to disarming our organic panic button is to turn the focus away from ourselves — away from whether we will mess up or whether the audience will like us — and toward helping the audience. Studies have shown that . . . showing kindness and generosity to others has been shown to activate the vagus nerve, which has the power to calm the fight-or-flight response. When we are kind to others, we feel calmer and less stressed. The same principle applies in public speaking. When we approach speaking with a spirit of generosity, we counteract the sensation of being under attack and start to feel less nervous.”

Need some fresh ideas? Contact us today to get started! 516-561-1468 or FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO: www.printcafeli.com