Print Cafe of LI, Inc

Print Cafe of LI, Inc

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs

               Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs
Streamline Your Next Project with Print-Ready Proofs
Ever rushed out the door only to trip on your shoes in the entryway? Or made a hasty stop at the intersection and found yourself in a costly fender bender?

Accidents happen when we hurry, and that’s true in both life and work. In project management, sometimes we fail to allow adequate time for extra details or unexpected delays. As you draw closer to a deadline, errors are made and important details are overlooked.

Print-Ready Success

Do you want to be proud of your next print project with a smooth transition from design to print?

Here is a handy preflight checklist to help you eliminate panic or costly mistakes when a deadline is near.

Thoroughly proof your document for typographical, punctuation, margin, or grammatical errors. Have one or two other people proof as well. Mistakes are easy to miss but embarrassing to everyone. To slow yourself down, trying reading your document out loud or read your text backward.

Embed your fonts and designs. There’s nothing worse than pouring over a precise design then finding a poor imitation after it comes back from print. To maintain the integrity of your design, it is important to link all aspects of your piece (images, artwork, and fonts) into a high-resolution PDF. This includes crop marks for bleeds displaying the exact size of your trimmed and finished piece.

Use correct proportions, dimensions, and resolution. Images should be proofed by others to make sure they fit on the page, are correctly centered, and are cropped or outlined as desired. The resolution of image files needs to be higher for print: a JPEG file needs a minimum resolution of 300 DPI (Dots per inch). If your file does not meet that standard the quality will not be as sharp or distinct.

Use consistent page layouts. Clean layouts communicate professionalism and make documents easier to read. Proof your design (especially multi-page documents) to be sure margins are consistent on every page, including booklet covers or pages that feature charts or infographics.

Convert image formats to CMYK. JPEG is the default image format for photographs from many cameras, cell phones, and mobile devices. Screen images on TVs, computers, and cameras use red, green, and blue in varying percentages, but commercial printers typically separate artwork into four colors (cyan, magenta, yellow, black). Most design software will allow you to easily convert or save a file in CMYK, or there are several free online file conversion tools as well.

Print a proof and confer with our team. A surefire way to ensure a quality product is to generate a poof and discuss it with us before the final printing. It’s also important to discuss turnaround times so you can plan your milestones accordingly and allow for multiple print runs (if necessary).

We’re here to help! With local printing, you get the benefit of a work-in-progress partnership. While it’s helpful to have a preflight checklist, the trained eye of a professional is even better! Our goal is to increase your productivity, reduce your stress, and save you time and money as your prep and proof your print projects.

We’re only one phone call away, and your questions are always welcome! 516-561-1468 For more of our informative blogs go to:

Monday, January 28, 2019

Small Businesses Have a Big Reach

                              Small Businesses Have a Big Reach
A tiny, Ohio-based Vita-Mix corporation has been grinding and blending for 70 years.

Known for its high-powered, durable blending machines, “Vita-Mix” was coined with an emphasis on “vita,” meaning “life.” The company was born in 1921 when founder William Barnard, after helping a friend through a significant illness, realized the tremendous impact whole-food nutrition had on health. Simple Vitamix products evolved to industrial strength mixers that could puree raw foods, blend hot soup, grind grain, or knead bread dough.

Vitamix rarely sold products internationally before the late 1990s. But as sales slowed in the U.S., the third generation of Barnard family owners decided to go global. After hiring international sales manager James Smith, exports soared to 20 percent of yearly profits, growing hundreds of new jobs in the outskirts of Cleveland. “Exporting is the salvation of our standard of living and the security of our workers,” said Smith. “It makes me proud as heck.”

A Growing Reach

Vitamix is just one small business with a large global reach.

According to 2017 statistics from the Small Business Association, nearly all of U.S. exporters are small businesses. Small businesses exported $440 billion in 2015, from nearly 288,000 firms representing 97.6 percent of all exporting firms in America. Forty-eight percent of businesses said it took them just a few months of research before they started exporting, while 36 percent said it took them a month or several months to get started.

Small businesses that export report increased sales, diversified markets, and increased long-term stability. Vitamix CEO Jodi Berg said Vitamix now exports at award-winning levels to Europe, Asia, and Australia. But before that could happen her team had to disrupt a stable business plan with a new, global vision. Does she see herself as an entrepreneur who took risks?

“I don’t,” Berg said. “To make big things happen, you have to make big moves. But big moves don't have to be risky. If you describe a risk taker as someone who takes big moves, I'll be that. But we did our homework."

Four Remarkable Small Business Facts

While big business often dominates headlines, small businesses play a vital role in exporting products, creating jobs, and producing wealth for thousands of families.

Here are four remarkable facts about the big impact of small businesses:

1. Nearly all are small.

Small businesses make up the vast majority of companies in America, comprising 99.9 percent of all firms. Out of 29.6 million businesses, all but 19,000 are small!

2. Half are home-based.

A home-based business may have activity outside of the home, but it is operated primarily from the home.

Industries where home-based businesses dominate include information (70 percent), construction (68.2 percent), and professional, scientific, and technical services (65.3 percent).

3. Involve family and personal financing.

About one in five small businesses are family-owned, and 21.9 percent of small firms have used personal or family savings (versus business or banking loans) to resource expansion.

4. Durable.

The one-year survival rate for businesses hit 79.9 percent in 2016, the highest level since 2006.

About half of small businesses survive five years or longer, and one-third survive 10 years or more. The longer a company is in business, the more likely it is to stay in business.

According to the National Association of Small Businesses, entrepreneurs say economic uncertainty, health insurance costs, and a decline in customer spending or cash flow are the biggest challenges they face. Still, most business owners are fairly optimistic: 75 percent say they’re confident in their own business and its future.

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Thursday, January 24, 2019

Why You Should Serve, Not Sell

                                              Why You Should Serve, Not Sell

Social media is an increasingly dominant medium for modern communication.

According to facts from the Pew Research Center and the Hootsuite Social Media Barometer Report 2018:

* There are now 3.196 billion people using social media (up 13% from last year)

* 11 new people start using social media each second, which is about one    million people every day

* 88 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds say they use social media

* The total number of mobile phone users is 5.14 billion (up 4% from last year), which means people are increasing in their social media accessibility

As you look to grow your digital reach in conjuction with your print campaigns, social media is an obvious choice to feature ads, products, and (let’s be honest), to feature yourself!

But, how well does this go over with consumers? Not swimmingly.

Take a quick scan through the business posts you see online. How would you best summarize these? Does the content bring an encouraging word to you, the reader? Or do the majority of these posts seem narcissistic?

Bruce Kasanoff, author of “How to Self-Promote without Being a Jerk,” summarizes it like this:

“Two-thirds or more of the business posts I see on social media can be summarized in one word: Me. They are all about the person or company that shared the post: what they are selling, what they want, what they did. Yawn. Pause. Where’s the unfollow button?”

Instead, Kasanoff coaches entrepreneurs to embrace this mantra: serve, don’t sell. Intrinsically, people respond to those who approach them in a friendly, helpful manner. Social media is no different. When you take a self-centered or pushy tone it is a turnoff, whether you’re sharing online or in person. In contrast, everything you share on social media should offer a benefit to those on the receiving end. Kasanoff gives this example:

“Imagine that you are delivering a webinar in Chicago, and you share this news via social media. Don't just say, ‘Come to my seminar.’ There are a ton of people who don't live in Chicago or will be busy that day, so they can't come. Instead, offer a lesson related to your seminar, and then say, ‘By the way, if you're going to be in Chicago next Tuesday, I'll be talking about this and related lessons.’ Thus, members of your network benefit even if they can't do what you want them to do.”

Grow Influence Through “You-Centered” Communication

Living in the information age, people have grown increasingly resistant to interruption marketing, or “in-your-face,” one-way communication.

Instead, they crave engagement marketing: brand-consumer relationships built on trust and mutual respect. The foundation of this trust is thoughtful communication specifically tailored to the consumer’s needs. Effective communicators make the audience believe that the most important person in their correspondence - in their business relationship - is "you," the consumer.

The key to successful communication is to make the reader feel – in every memo, letter, printed piece, or social media post – that the most important person is the reader.

Consider this contrast:

Option A: “Pixie Dust Cleaners brings a dazzling deep clean, offering eco-friendly products at the best possible price.”

Option B: “Looking for freedom from chaos? Pixie Dust Cleaners gives you a dazzling deep clean, with eco-friendly products that allow you to take a deep breath and enjoy every minute at home. Your peace of mind is worth every penny!

Before you communicate, ask yourself what your audience needs, wants, or values. Consider what is most important to them and try to personalize your correspondence or social media posts to these felt needs. As you produce more customer-centered communication, you will grow sales, enrich your reputation, and enhance the well-being of your business.

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Monday, January 21, 2019

4 Print Marketing Trends to Inspire You in the Year to Come

          4 Print Marketing Trends to Inspire You in the Year to Come

Print marketing is compelling, memorable, and engaging.

As people touch, hold, and even smell paper, they respond in a profoundly personal way.

While digital communication is booming, this has only enhanced the unique voice that print brings for any business. Millennials and Gen Z are very difficult crowds to reach digitally, with 63 percent using AdBlocker and 82 percent ignoring online banner ads. This trend toward tactile is stirring potential for many exciting creative opportunities.

Today, we’ll highlight four print marketing trends from 2018 to inspire you in the year to come.


The world is filled with chaos, and fundamentally, viewers long for a return to simplicity.

Minimalist designs offer the respite people crave. Minimalist designs include images with a clear, elegant purpose, maximizing white space and using layouts that are clean and authentic. Uncluttered visuals bring an honest, compelling point into focus in a quick and arresting way.

For years, TBWA Paris has been on a mission to advertise McDonald’s in the most minimalist ways possible. This started in 2013 with extreme close-up photos of food and followed with computer-icon-style pictograms featuring McDonald’s menu items reduced down to very spare illustrations. Many of these ads used no branding whatsoever: the point was that the food was so recognizable it didn’t need a label.

By 2017, McDonald’s had the food disappearing altogether, featuring top sellers like fries, McNuggets, or Big Mac cartons that were completely empty (apart from a few crumbs), because the food had already been devoured by famished customers.

Effective? Absolutely. These simple ads bypass the brain and go straight to the stomach.

Personalized Print Pieces

Print is already a highly personal medium, but advances in technology allow businesses to enjoy increased access to personalized posters, flyers, direct mail, and more.

If you want to impress, try gathering online data about customer preferences and include that in print.

Branding even the simplest products has also allowed companies to gain a more personal touch. For example, a local auto garage printed customized labels for its water bottles and offered complimentary water to customers while they waited.


If you’ve ever painted a room, you know the significance even a slightly darker hue can bring. Color experts Pantone released color trends for 2018 with this advice:

If you want to look resourceful, employ blue and orange hues
If you want a playful tone, choose yellow
If you’re looking for something discreet, try pink
If you want more sophistication, choose gold
What if you want to reach a diverse crowd?

According to Pantone, rosy tones bring a palette that “reaches out and embraces many different cultures.” Pantone said in 2018, print marketing was trending away from pastels and toward bright, bold colors:

“Intense colors seem to be a natural application of our intense lifestyles and thought processes these days.”


Storytelling is not just for YouTube.

Print that tells a story can alleviate suspicion and make instant connections, especially with younger audiences.

A Spanish lollipop grabbed this edge with its “ant aversion” ad for Chupa Chups lollipops. While normally a company might bore viewers with guilt trips for sugar-free products, Chupa Chups chose a “visual story” to make their point.

In the print ad, a sticky sucker had been discarded on a rock slab near the lawn. Meanwhile, a triple-wide line of ants detoured around the candy, heading toward the grass. The headline, “It’s Sugar Free,” brought a resounding finale to this playful story.

Chupa Chups reminds us that print is at its best when it is used as an art. Use vibrant colors, minimalist designs, and personalized print pieces to grab their attention and tell your story this year.

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Friday, January 18, 2019

True Empathy Can Win the Day

                                  True Empathy Can Win the Day

A farmer had a litter of puppies for sale. As he was driving the last nail into his advertising yard sign, he felt a tug at his overalls. “Mister,” said a boy at his feet, “I want to buy a puppy.”

"Well," said the farmer, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost lots of money. How much do you have?"

The boy dropped his head momentarily, then drew several coins from his pocket. “I don’t have much, but is this enough to take a look?”

The farmer paused reluctantly but before he could answer three puppies rolled out of the doghouse. One tiny, awkward pup hobbled behind. The boy’s eyes lit up. “I want that one,” he exclaimed, pointing to the runt. The man shook his head solemnly. “Son, that puppy will never be able to run and play like the others.”

The boy rolled up his trousers to reveal a steel brace running down both sides of one leg. “I do want that puppy. I don’t run too well myself, and he’ll need someone who understands him.”

That day the boy won the puppy because he moved the farmer’s heart. Why? Because empathy impacts people. Researchers define empathy as the ability to sense other people’s emotions and to imagine how they might be thinking or feeling. Empathy is essential to human interactions because it allows us to connect in authentic ways and to offer helpful words, comfort, or assistance. Empathy is essential in every human interaction but is especially significant for those in customer service.

Empathy Begins with Real Listening

Would you like to be more successful in minimizing difficult situations or by helping customers overcome their hesitations as you’re trying to make a sale?

All empathy begins with real listening. As you listen with empathy, ask questions like:

“How is this situation affecting you?”
“Can you tell me more about _____?”
“What do you think would be your ideal outcome here?”
As a person processes, take care not to interrupt. While you may not be equipped to address their concerns, asking empathetic questions can shift your focus to listen more effectively, opening new lines of communication and diffusing tension so everyone can move forward.

Empathy involves reflective listening, using phrases that demonstrate your understanding. Phrases that show customers you are taking customers seriously might include:

“I can understand how frustrating it is when . . .”
“I see this is very complicated/upsetting.”
“I’m sorry to hear that and I’ll do my best to help.”

Pair Compassion with Action

As you communicate compassion, be ready to follow your words with action.

Take ownership of a situation by following up immediately, by referring it to a superior, or by positively addressing both the person and the problem. Phrases like, “ok, we can fix this,” or “let’s get this sorted out right away,” will reassure customers you’re taking ownership of the problem.

Action-based empathy also means thinking outside the box for large-scale change. Erin Henkel, portfolio director at the IDEO global design and innovation company, says often positive innovation begins with empathy:

“Effective companies need employees who constantly imagine themselves in the customer’s shoes. As they make the customer’s problems their own, they are better able to meet expectations, make necessary changes, and to retain customer loyalty for another day.”

Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is a hallmark of intelligent leadership and of excellent teamwork. Work hard to grow empathy and you will open new lines of communication, create greater understanding, and help everyone achieve common goals.For more of our informative blogs go to:

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Gain the Mouth-Watering, Competitive Advantage

                  Gain the Mouth-Watering, Competitive Advantage

In 2011, Matt Salzberg was a restless associate at a Silicon Valley investment firm. He and his friend Ilia Papas wanted to create a business and were intrigued by food.

"We both loved food," Salzberg said. "We liked trying new ingredients, new recipes, new techniques, but we found it really inaccessible to cook at home. It was expensive, time-consuming and difficult to find recipes that we trusted."

The duo tried a few ideas before landing on the one that became Blue Apron: give people an easy way to make dinner using chef-recommended recipes and the fresh, precisely measured ingredients they'd need. With 20 friends beta-testing the product, Salzberg immediately realized they had a winner. Beyond rave reviews and contagious social media sharing, they had undeniable momentum:

"Pretty much from day one we've had steady exponential customer growth. I think the moment we did our first week of deliveries we sort of knew that we had a business that we thought would be really successful."

By August 2012 the team was shipping recipes to early testers, and three years later Blue Apron was delivering millions of meals to monthly subscribers, the company valued at a whopping $2 billion!

Find Your Competitive Advantage

Initially, some scoffed at the thought of paying restaurant prices for something you labored to cook at home.

But they overlooked Blue Apron’s unique advantage: appealing to “foodies” who loved high-end meals but relished the opportunity to cook them. Blue Apron found a niche in the market that catapulted them to exponential growth and national exposure.

Competitive advantage is that “special something” that draws customers and keeps them coming back.

Why do you buy a Ford versus Chevy? Why do you spend $80 on a certain brand of jeans? The answer lies in the competitive advantage, the unique set of features a product has that makes it superior in the eyes of a target audience.

Competitive advantages include niche strategies (like Blue Apron), cost advantages, and product or service differentiation. Consider these examples:

Cost Competitive Advantage

Companies can grab an edge when they control costs and efficiency in ways that create maximum value for consumers.

Walmart uses this advantage by providing a large selection combined with low prices through its retail size and strength. Some companies draw from years of experience, overseas production, or streamlined workflows to minimize expense.

As you brainstorm cost advantages for your customers, consider how you can improve productivity from your team, if your technology or equipment is cost-efficient or needs upgrading, or where you can give customers a cost break via delivery options, locked-in service rates, or freebies that come as a bonus for specific orders. 

Product Differentiation

Another way to gain a competitive advantage is through product differentiation.

As you distinguish yourself in the marketplace, focus on the value you offer through your unique products. What makes your toothbrush one of a kind? How is your technology superior to other market options? How does your farmer’s market produce outclass the bounty of your competitors?

People love getting the best product for their penny, so work hard to highlight your advantage and shout it loud through print and digital pieces that spotlight your strengths.

Service Differentiation

While cost or product advantages can quickly disappear (or be duplicated), every company can offer one-of-a-kind service advantages.

Whether its bundled subscriptions, outstanding customer care, or unrivaled warranties, build a benefit that is exclusively yours. Consider bonus delivery features, apps that are user-friendly and easy to learn, terms that are simple and risk-free, or energizing ambiance (like funky décor or stellar store atmospheres). Make customers so spoiled they’d never consider your competitors!  For more of our informative blogs go to:

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Make The Right Binding Choice For Your Next Booklet Project

       Make The Right Binding Choice For Your Next Booklet Project

There are plenty of details to keep in mind when planning a book project. While layouts, cover design, file preparation and print production details may dominate your attention, don't forget to consider your book's binding style! At the Print Cafe of LI,, we offer in-house saddle binding, perfect binding and plastic spiral binding. Here are a few advantages of each:

Saddle binding - This style involves driving wire stitches (essentially staples) through the spine of folded signatures. Saddle binding is ideal for thin book and brochure projects, which can include "self-covers" or a separate four-page cover. Foldout covers and mixed stocks are possible with saddle binding.

Plastic coil binding - In this style, plastic wire is wound through holes punched in the spine of trimmed sheets and crimped at either end. The main advantage to plastic coil binding is its ability to allow books to lay flat or be folded 360 degrees for single-hand use. Index tabs, multiple stocks and cover varieties can all be included in plastic coil-bound books.

Perfect binding - In this common bookbinding method, glue is applied to the roughened spines of signatures and a separate cover is attached.

Helpful Planning Tips

Measure Spine Thickness for Accurate Perfect Binding Layouts - To measure spine thickness for your perfect-bound books, divide the page count by the pages-per-inch (PPI) number of your paper. For example, if the page count is 256 and the PPI for your paper is 500, the result is a .512 thickness for your text. Then calculate the thickness of your cover stock. 10 pt. cover stick, for example, will require .01 for both the front and back covers. The result is a total spine thickness of .532 for your book. Call the Print Cafe of LI, if you need additional help, or for paper PPI measurements.

Ask us about split-run binding - Many book projects benefit from having both perfect-bound and plastic coil-bound versions to accommodate both frequent and occasional users. While the Print Cafe of LI, can easily handle both binding methods, your specific project may require some differences in layout, such as copy adjustment to allow for the punched holes in plastic coil versions. Involve the Print Cafe of LI, early in your planning process to ensure split-run binding production goes smoothly.

The Print Cafe of LI, Advantage

At the Print Cafe of LI, we go "Above and Beyond" to make sure your book production expectations are exceeded. Every member of our friendly and capable sales, customer service, prepress and production staff is committed to ensuring your delight at every step of the production process.

Give us a call today and let us help you begin planning your next successful book project!

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Monday, January 14, 2019

4 Book Printing Tips to Save Time & Money

                         4 Book Printing Tips to Save Time & Money

The flow of information from customer to printer – and vice versa – is critical to all aspects of the book production cycle, from estimating and scheduling to packing and shipping. To be sure the finished product meets your expectations, everyone involved in its production must know all critical aspects before ink is laid on paper. Here are some tips to keep in mind when exchanging information about your book with your printer.

 1. Getting Back to Basics

It sounds simple, but start by communicating the basics of your book project: page count, quantity and final trim size. This information is needed to begin preparing an estimate.

This is a good time to ask for the printers ideas on how to save money with standard sizes, economical papers, how recycled paper may affect the price, etc. Your printer likely has helpful ideas based on their equipment and experience in printing. Use them as a project resource.

If your project is a rerun supply a sample of the original version during the estimating process. This allows your printer to create the most accurate estimate possible. During this stage, we may be able to suggest stock or slight format changes that can enhance the value of the book.

Good book planning begins with the delivery date. Once your printer knows the date by which you need your books, they can create a production schedule that meets your deadline. This includes blocking time on appropriate presses and other equipment, and checking availability of paper. Be sure to plan in shipping time to accommodate your delivery date too! Sometimes delivery can take up to a week depending on distance.

2. Building Your Book

Book pages are printed as signatures, or multiple pages laid out on a single sheet of paper. The number of pages that can fit on each side of a sheet is determined based on the final trim size of your books. Since common trim sizes are designed to fit 8, 12, 16, or 32 pages on each sheet, the page count of your book plays an important role in how much paper is used and how efficiently the book will be produced.

The format of your book should also be considered; oblong layouts can be less economical to produce, so be sure to let your printer know if your book will be bound in portrait or landscape format.

Page Counts vs. Sheet Counts

One important note: “Page counts” differ from “sheet counts”. In the printing world, page refers to one side of a sheet. Therefore, a book with 120 pages would require 60 sheets. This can cause confusion between designers and printers, so be sure that your book’s page count refers to the number of pages that will be printed, not the number of sheets.

Paper Stock

The cost of paper is often a large percentage of the total price of a book project. There are also hundreds of types of papers, and they vary based on weight, color, brightness, finish and a host of other factors. Therefore it is important that you consult your printer when selecting papers for both the text pages and cover of your book. Most printers maintain an inventory of “house stocks”, or commonly used paper selections that are bought in volume and therefore often can be offered at a discount.

Planning Tip

Paper availability fluctuates, so give your printer plenty of time to order the exact paper you require. If you choose to purchase your own paper, supply your printer with all of its specifications. This allows us to make appropriate recommendations for inks and coatings.

Sheetfed vs. Web Presses

Ink coverage, bleeds and areas of critical registration should be communicated to your printer. This information will often help your printer determine the best equipment on which to run your books, especially if your printer has a mix of sheetfed and web presses. For example, if your book requires critical registration on many pages, it may not be a good candidate to be run on a non-heatset web press.

3. Sending Files Correctly 

Once your book is designed, it’s time to send your files to your printer. One of the most critical aspects to timely print production is to send all necessary files to your printer completely and correctly. This includes all layout files, all screen and printer versions of fonts, and all image files. Most book printers have the latest versions of all layout software in both PC and Mac format, but a quick call can save some headaches.

Adobe PDF files are gaining in popularity because of their ability to embed all graphics and fonts, allowing you to create a single “print-ready” file that includes all the elements of your book. When submitting PDF files, however, your printer may request that you send native files as well. That allows your printer to make changes easily during the prepress stage, which can save time and money.


There are a variety of proofs available from printers, including “hard” (physical printed proofs) and “soft” (digital files) proofs. Turnaround time, cost, and your comfort with a particular type of proof will help determine the appropriate proofing method. Clear and timely communication with your printer during proofing is essential to keeping your project on schedule.

4. Binding Your Book

Of course, no book product is complete until it is bound. A full-service book printer can provide several in-house binding services, and will help you choose the right binding method for your project. Your binding selection will trigger the need for ancillary services such as folding, gluing, drilling, laminating and shrink-wrapping.

Even packing and shipping details must be communicated prior to the start of production. Maximum carton weight, label information and other special instructions need to be funneled through the printer to maximize production efficiency end-to-end.

Better Planning Means Happier Customers

No book product becomes a work of art by itself. Many hands play pivotal roles in bringing your books to life. The printer, often at the center of the production activities, needs to be armed with as much information as possible to deliver the book as the you envisioned. By including all of this information early in the estimating and production planning processes, you can greatly impact production efficiency and take a giant leap forward in having a finished book you the meets your expectations.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Leaving a Legacy with Your Small Business

                       Leaving a Legacy with Your Small Business

In the 1950s, a young boy named John was enthralled by every chance to visit his best friend.

This family owned a soda pop bottling plant, which sparked a lifelong love for exotic flavors in John Nese. Years later, Nese brought soda to his family’s Italian grocery store in Los Angeles, known today for its 600 soda and beer flavors from around the world.

The variety wasn’t always this broad. Nese said the change came 20 years ago when independent grocers were being squeezed out by chains. One soda dealer offered a profit of $30 a pallet if Nese would streamline shelves and eliminate variety. Nese wouldn’t bite:

“Nuts to that,” he said. “A light bulb went off (and I said), ‘You know, John, you should be happy you own your shelf space, and Pepsi doesn’t, and you can sell anything you want.’ So I went out and found 25 brands of little sodas.”

Nese says this “freedom of choice” philosophy defines his family and his business, and customers can even make flavors of their own at the store. Rows of cane sugar syrups line the wall, along with bottles, caps, and carbonated water dispensers. “Whatever you think of, you can make!” Nese exclaimed.

This passion has fueled the Galcos’ grocery for over a century, and the Galcos plan to continue this legacy.

Successfully Passing Down Your Business

Small businesses make up around 99 percent of U.S. companies and 20 percent of these are family owned.

These businesses play a crucial role in creating jobs, exporting products, and generating wealth. As Baby Boomers reach retirement, 4 million of them will be handing off their privately-owned small businesses; in the next 15 years, we will see the largest transfer ever of private business to the next generation!

What are the keys to successfully navigating these transitions?

Preparation and communication are essential. Here are a few steps businesses are taking to pave the way for a smooth handoff:

Think decades in advance.

Small business owners often wait too long to start planning a transition, and typically only half of those planning to retire have identified a successor.

Justin Goodbread, a certified financial planner and exit planning advisor says the process is especially weighty for families:

“Families will most likely also have to cope with emotional and psychological issues that surface during a generational transaction. I believe a 10-year period is needed to successfully navigate a family business transaction.”

Sketch out clear successors and exit strategies.

A strong mission statement and business plan, a clear exit strategy for senior leaders, and an early commitment from successors are important hallmarks to longevity.

Build the right team.

Many businesses believe they can manage their transition independently, but this assumption is costly.

Healthy handoffs will require input from lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, business valuation experts, and a family business planner to shepherd the process. Though senior leaders may wish to gift the business ownership, experts believe financial buy-ins allow successors to get some “skin in the game,” as they emotionally double-down in commitment, maturity, and vision.

Be flexible as you exchange roles and responsibilities over time.

The gap between generations requires effective communication and an organized structure for each person involved.

This should be reviewed regularly to adjust the roles or time commitment of each team member. Goodbread recommends younger successors earn more responsibility on a day-to-day basis:

 “It has to be earned or merited,” he says. “The problems start when a junior takes over a senior’s position in the company without earning it or wanting the position.” For more of our informative blogs go to:

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

The Story Behind Pantone 448 C, 'the World’s Ugliest Color'

           The Story Behind Pantone 448 C, 'the World’s Ugliest Color'
               Joseph Myers


Back in 2012, the Australian federal government lobbied hard to change the description of Pantone 448 C from “olive green” to “drab dark brown” after the country’s olive association expressed concern that being tied to the color would damage olives’ reputation. That's when it became obvious we had a forerunner for the title of “the world’s ugliest color." Findings from a marketing research firm made it more or less official, when a survey of 1,000 smokers selected it as the least appealing color.

Fast forward six years, and we have additional proof that Pantone 448 C continues to offend the masses, as multiple countries—including Australia, following that marketing study—have enlisted the shade on cigarette packaging as a symbolic condemnation of indulging in nicotine.

The Pantone Color Institute has been choosing a Color of the Year since 2000, and unlike Time Magazine, which has picked controversial figures such as Adolf Hiter and Joseph Stalin as its Person of the Year, the entity is not ever likely to have someone question its sanity by giving Pantone 448 C any serious consideration. We must say we would love to trot out the headline “Hue Have to be Kidding Us” if that were ever to occur, but, we are pretty sure the public will end up spared. Why is that? Well, simply put, there are only so many times that a shade could draw comparisons to fecal matter before one has to say, “Wow, it does look like that!” If that excretion is not your preferred one to compare it to, you are certainly not alone, as the disdain for Pantone 448 C has been growing since Australia’s aforementioned critiques of it.

It's become something of a phenomenon in the color world. Google "Pantone 448 C," and mixed in among the news stories about its use in packaging are plenty of impassioned defenses, like this one, and this one. and this one, etc. Someone even created a Twitter account for the color (though it hasn't been active since 2012):

We have taken delight in relaying the institute’s color-of-the-year verdicts, as the chosen ones, not to mention other Pantone family constituents, have gone on to have significance for brands in terms of logo determination, marketing strategies and more. However, it benefits us and you, too, we feel to look at a less-than-stellar perception of another color in the institute’s crayon box.

Israel has positioned itself as the latest country to seek to associate the drab tone with the deleterious effects of smoking, with its plan calling for the banning of logos on packs and the uniform use of Pantone 448 C—also dubbed opaque couché—on packaging. Further limiting brand awareness, the powers that be aim to shrink the size of the product names and will have health warnings dominate the front and back sides of the packs.

Regarding the warnings, we know that people will continue to smoke no matter how many admonitions or images of diseased lungs appear on cartons of packs, but we find ourselves curious to see what engaging in a bit of color psychology will do for end-users’ reliance on cigarettes. No color has won universal acceptance as a positive hue, but since Pantone 448 C has gained unwanted traction as the world’s ugliest choice, could Israel—which has company in such lands as Australia, Great Britain, France and Northern Ireland in calling on bland packaging to curtail smoking—see a drastic reduction in cigarette sales? Is the widespread repudiation of Pantone 448C an indicator that it will go on to become an even greater resource in helping other countries to limit smoking?

We certainly like the irony that color, a tool commonly used to compel consumers to purchase a product, could come to have far-reaching use as an agent against the buying of a commodity. The overall matter, however, makes us wonder about your take on Pantone 448 C. Have you used it in your product lines, or have you likewise sided with the camp that declares it “the world’s ugliest color”?For more of our informative blogs go to: