The Print Cafe of LI Website

Thursday, February 25, 2021

How to Double Your Sales with Successful Catalog Marketing


Do printed catalogs still work?

The Harvard Business Review (HBR) worked with a U.S. based specialty jewelry company to find out.

This e-commerce retailer (which had no physical store presence) typically generated an annual operating profit of $12 million, with a database of approximately 28,000 customers. This company partnered with HBR to study the impacts of bi-monthly print catalogs through field experiments involving 30% of its customers over a span of six months.

Of those customers, 5% received neither email nor catalogs, 55% received a weekly marketing email, and 40% received the new bi-monthly catalogs in addition to the weekly email marketing. Over 90% of photos and product descriptions were the same between emails and catalogs to control the content's effects.

The results were impressive. Compared to the Control group, the “Email + catalog” group experienced a 49% lift in sales and a 125% lift in inquiries. In comparison, the “Email-only” group only had a 28% increase in sales and a 77% lift in inquiries over the control group; the sales and inquiry lifts from catalogs almost doubled those generated by email marketing!

Furthermore, of those customers that received the catalogs and made inquiries, 90% said they had browsed through the catalogs and kept them for an average of seven days.

Using Hard Copy Catalogs in Your Omnichannel Marketing

Catalogs are here to stay, and companies like L.L. Bean, Ikea, J. Crew, and Athleta continue to dominate sales by distributing printed catalogs.

The simple fact of the matter is that buyers don’t want to connect with brands exclusively online. Yes, the stats show that the number of people researching and shopping online versus in-store continues to grow.

But many buyers purchase online because they’ve seen something marketed through a printed medium. According to BRAND United, around 86% of shoppers buy an item online after looking at it in a printed catalog first.

5 Ways to Keep Your Campaign on Track

If you are considering catalog marketing, here are some suggestions to get you started.

1. Conduct Market Research

Study your current customers and make a note of gender, geographic location, and the strategic personas you’d like to target.

Match the items you want to sell with the target audience you want to reach.

2. Create Campaign Goals

These goals should be measurable, clear, and realistic – like driving customers to a retail location, increasing “product of the month” sales online, or growing your subscription base.

3. Develop Your Story

Catalogs don’t share information; they sell stories!

Your piece should invite prospects into a story that helps them visualize their “ideal self.” And remember, when people are heavily invested in a bigger financial commitment, they need narratives that justify this expense (like, “you deserve something delectable”). Work hard to set their conscience at ease, and you will be rewarded with loyalty and sales.

4. Stay Focused

Continue to send your catalog to existing customers to reinforce the idea that you have the products they want.

In addition, mail your catalog to individuals who fit the description of your target customer.

5. Connect Timelines and Expectations

Create a schedule and execute the campaign.

By using a schedule, you can see if you are achieving the benchmarks you’ve articulated. You can measure the outcome by having customers refer to catalog codes, measuring the number of new accounts generated, or conducting surveys.

A One-Two Punch

Direct mail meets customers where they live, and catalogs are a long-standing customer favorite.

Want to explore catalog marketing options for your business? Give us a call today at 516-561-1468 or hop online for a free estimate or go to:www.printcafeli.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Print Perfection: Achieve Foolproof Production with this Pre-Printing Checklist

 


Have you ever rushed out the door and slipped on an icy sidewalk?

Or made a hasty decision in traffic that cost you loads of energy in the long run?

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

According to large-volume print production expert Allen Glazer, marketers should allocate 25-75% of a design project’s budget for printing costs. And if you don’t catch a mistake in prepress, it will be much more costly to fix down the line.

Do you want to be proud of your next print project while smoothly transitioning from design to print? Use this handy preflight checklist to help you eliminate chaos when a deadline is near.

Thoroughly Proof Your Piece

Scour 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.

Include Correct File Formats and Crop Marks

It is crucial for you to send the correct file formats (like InDesign, PDFs, etc.) for your project.

This includes support files -- such as original images, artwork, and fonts -- in clearly labeled files. If you have to convert files, check for any corruption or formatting errors.

To maintain your design’s integrity, it is important to link all aspects (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 Resolution

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. Also, be sure to clean up distracting resizing or conversion artifacts and lighten any images that may require an ink density too high for the type of paper being used.

Use Consistent Page Layouts

Clean layouts communicate professionalism and make documents easier to read.

Proof your design (especially multi-page documents) to ensure margins are consistent on every page, including booklet covers or pages that feature charts or infographics.

Convert Image Formats to CMYK

RGB 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-color plates (cyan, magenta, yellow, black).

Most design software will allow you to convert or save a file in CMYK easily, or there are several free online file conversion tools available.

Provide a Printed Proof

A surefire way to ensure a quality product is to generate a poof and discuss it with your printer 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).

Nervous? Don’t worry. 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 prints.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS OR HELP WITH AN UP COMING PROJECT GO TO:www.printcafeli.com

Friday, February 19, 2021

4 Illustrative Design Options for Your Logo or Custom Labels

 


When you are building a business or launching a product, a label or a logo might not seem like a top priority.

But these branding pieces are essential because they open the door to your identity. Logos and product labels grab attention, make a strong first impression, separate you from the competitors, and make you more memorable (so customers come back again and again!).

Many businesses settle for something simple when crafting these brand icons – like the company name with a small swath of color. But have you ever considered an illustrative icon? These visually delightful options carry a pictorial presentation of the features and aspects of your product or personality.

Here are four examples:

1. Literal Illustrations

The more literal your design is, the less work a prospect needs to do to interpret it.

A buck hunting specialist might display a pair of antlers growing out of its business catchphrase. Or a dentist might stamp the name of their practice name inside the shape of a toothbrush. Literal illustrations like these function like a highway sign. Their meaning is clear but limited.

2. Metaphorical Illustrations

Sometimes, an illustration can be concrete while its meaning remains abstract.

Apple provides the classic example of an illustrative logo with its meaning left open for interpretation. Apple doesn’t sell fruit, but the logo features a stylized apple with a bite taken out of it. The logo serves as a symbol or a metaphor – knowledge, forbidden fruit, or the discovery of gravity. Its meaning is indirect but wide open.

3. Subject Specific Pieces

If your product or service centers around one service or word, you can place this front and center in your designs.

Is there one particular picture that matches your brand or product? Here are some straightforward examples:

-- A bee used for selling homemade honey

-- A magnolia flower for a restaurant of the same name.

-- A bucking bronco for a rodeo

-- The face of Colonel Sanders for Kentucky Fried Chicken

Depicting one subject as the focal point of your design will give you a timeless symbol you can stick with for years.

4. Hand-Illustrated Icons

Want something that is absolutely, uniquely YOU?

Hand-illustrated logos start with a freehand drawing that is then digitized into a graphic. Here’s one example: Gatorscapes Landscaping was looking for an energetic custom design, highlighting the company's speedy service and its aggressive, get-it-done attitude. Designers built these qualities into a spirited design – a traditional push-powered mower with the face of a hungry alligator devouring the grass with razor-sharp teeth.

A hand-drawn illustration ensures your imagery is a perfect synthesis of the values and ideas of your business. Plus, they bring out the child in all of us, creating a personal connection with the viewer that penetrates both the mind and the emotions.

Craft an Irresistible Image

Sales are more than just transactions; they involve a process of decision.

When customers buy from you, they express a vote of confidence in your products and your company. Show them they’re in good hands with a professional splash of your brand personality! As you sharpen your image, nothing communicates confidence quite like tactile, stunning print products.

Want to try one of these illustrative options for your next logo or custom label? Our full-service design team can get you started. Simplify and save by combining your design and print needs today!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS ARTICLE OR ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:www.printcafeli.com

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Packaging and Printing: It’s More Than What Meets the Eye

 

Packaging and printing: it’s more than what meets the eye. In today’s world, packaging is everywhere and used for almost everything — be it the cereal box in the local grocery store or the packaging used to contain your dreaded COVID test kit. With that said, printing is so important in the packaging process

One look at the packaging industry within the last year will show you how packaging is constantly changing. With the advent of COVID 19, social distancing, and lockdowns, the packaging industry had to pivot quickly to meet the demands of consumers who want and need safer packaging, particularly in grocery, toiletries, home goods, and eCommerce. While most people first think about the increase in the waste stream for disposable PPE and individual packs, instructions, certifications, and key details have also changed.  Print provides a different message and new information regarding the pandemic through packaging. As 2021 moves forward, I expect to see some new innovations regarding packaging and printing.

Companies should and will look at printing as a way to market their packaging toward the new, post-COVID consumer: someone who is more thoughtful about what they bring home, engaged with their packaging and its print in a way that is more meaningful than before. This is because packaging can literally save lives with the use of clear printing on its labels, and on the product it contains.

As I sit at my computer writing this, I can already tell you what differences I expect just by looking at the packaged items I’ve been stocking (hoarding) for months. For example: those boxes of KN95 masks from China with KN95 printed prominently on the top, front, and back will definitely be used more often by consumers who are looking to keep themselves safe from any kind of disease, not just the coronavirus. The printing on these boxes is detailed and explains the use of the masks so that any consumer can understand visually. I expect to see other packaging for PPE to follow suit. In contrast, I have samples of food packaging I expect to see this to change in more subtle ways. In recent times, consumers are becoming more aware of what they put in their bodies. As a result, I see food companies changing their packaging to reflect images and messaging of immunity based and organic products. Printing will be paramount in achieving high-quality packaging for food that reflects the new, more health-conscious consumer.

I personally look for packaging that matches my personal values, since the advent of the coronavirus and everything going on in the recent US political landscape. I will be seeking out printing that brings joy but also holds information about the product. I expect to see more than the name of the manufacturer on the packaging, and more about what I can expect from my products and the companies that produce them. I don’t want to wonder how to use what’s inside the packaging. I want to see packaging that is well-printed, that holds meaning and brings value to our lives.

Already there are companies that are creating sustainable, no-waste, reusable packaging. With this change, it will be important to keep in mind what methods and materials are used for package printing, what message the print conveys about each company, and what it tells the consumer.

As a packaging professional, I will do my best to continue to create packaging that gives a different “unboxing” experience to my clients and consumers in the new year and years to follow. I want people to seek out the products and packaging that come from small, innovative startups, manufacturers that are locally-based: companies that truly value their consumers as people. It will be important moving forward, to press companies about their packaging methods. It will be important to be more conscious about what we print on our packaging, and it will continue to be important to convey messages of empathy, health, and goodwill in the post-COVID world.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:

www.printcafeli.com

Friday, February 12, 2021

 10 Colors That Increase Sales, and Why


Marketers and graphic designers have long known that color plays a major role in the success of any marketing campaign. Specific colors tend to stir certain emotions in customers, thus creating brand relevance and motivating purchases. The following lists 10 colors that increase sales, along with the specific emotions they evoke.

1. Red

Red is the color of power. It gets people’s attention and it holds it, which is why it’s the most popular color for marketing. Just don’t overdo it!

2. Blue

When you want to be viewed as trustworthy and cool, blue is the color for you. Mix blue with complimentary colors for best results.

3. Pink

Vying for the attention of a young female demographic? You can’t go wrong with pink. It’s fun, frilly and totally female.

4. Yellow

Yellow is a powerful color, but it is also the most dangerous hue. Use yellow to command your audience’s attention, and let them know you’re confident in your abilities.

5. Green

Green is a versatile color. It is warm and inviting, lending customers a pleasing feeling. Second, it denotes health, environment and goodwill. Finally, green is the color of money, so it creates thoughts of wealth.




6. Purple

Purple is the color of royalty, which makes it perfect for lending a touch of elegance and prestige to your marketing materials.

7. Gold

Gold is likewise elegant and prestigious, but adds an element of power purple can’t match. In combination with purple or green, gold is a powerful color that symbolizes wealth and pedigree.

8. Orange

Orange is energy. It has powerful attention-getting properties, it’s fun and cool, and it makes customers feel as though they’re dealing with a cutting-edge company.



9. Brown

Brown, an earthy tone, is known as a comfort color, lending relaxation to customers.

10. Black

Black is another highly versatile color. It can be modern or traditional, exciting or relaxing. Used as a contrasting color, black most often adds drama to whatever mood you want to cast.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ANY OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS PLEASE GO TO:

www.printcafeli.com


Tuesday, February 9, 2021

 Print Is Not Dead: 5 Graphic Design Magazines You Should Subscribe Today


Living in a digital world makes everything easier including finding graphic design inspiration. Holding a magazine and leafing through the pages may seem a little obsolete in 2020 but gaining inspiration from digital sources can not top the feeling of the traditional, physical experiences.

The amount of online resources you can find is exciting. Also, we can’t argue that online resources have become our main source of inspiration and information in every aspect imaginable. Yet still, there is something special about waiting for the monthly subscription of your favorite magazine to arrive or discovering new resources in your neighborhood bookstore.

After all, the print is not dead. Graphic design magazines full of value-rich content and inspiration are still available. In light of this unbeatable pleasure, we curated our top graphic designer magazine picks around the world.

Top 5 Graphic Design Magazines for Print Lovers

Disegno


Disegno has a unique view on graphic design and can be counted among one of the world’s leading design magazines. Disegno’s colorful content not only covers graphic design but also touches on fields like architecture, technology, and fashion. The magazine features in-depth independent reporting, critical writing on design as well as academic analysis, reviews, and interviews.


Even skimming through the pages of Disegno is a satisfying experience with its text over remarkable photography. This quarterly London-based magazine is internationally available both in printed and digital versions in April, June, September, and November.


Founded in 1957, form offers a holistic coverage of industrial, graphic, and hybrid designs. The magazine is divided into three sections: Filter, Focus, and Files. The Filter mainly consists of the latest design trends and information about design-related events and conventions.


The Focus covers a comprehensive analysis of that individual issue’s key topic. The Files is a combination of international discussions and reviews. Its high-quality content is mainly geared towards designers, students, and architects. form is published every two months both in printed and digital versions. The magazine is available in German and English languages and offers an annual subscription plan along with a subscription gift as well as individual back issues.


It’s not a big surprise that this one is one of the best selling magazines in the United States. Juxtapoz can be considered one of the most exciting design magazines on our list with its psychedelic, underground approach.
It was first published in 1994 with the mission of celebrating urban alternative and underground contemporary art by combining diverse genres together such as street art and conceptual art. Juxtapoz covers diverse mediums including photography, painting, fashion, and installations. Each issue is published with two different cover images, newsstand and subscribers only versions.

Eye

Published since 1990, Eye magazine is a goldmine for professional designers and design enthusiasts aspiring to read about the international design scene, design history, and new media with its informative critical writings.


Being full of inspiration and visual culture makes Eye one of the most popular design magazines available. Published quarterly, this London-based magazine not only inspires its readers but also educates them with its in-depth articles and analysis of design history.







Wrap



Wrap puts the spotlight on some of the best up-and-coming artists, illustrators, and designers, giving them a chance to showcase their work.




Published biannually, Wrap also features design tips, interviews with creatives, and a glimpse into the lives of artists.




It comes with five double-sided wrapping paper for each issue and also offers products like greeting cards, and scented candles made in collaboration with favorite artists.


Whether they are in a printed or digital format, digging through graphic design magazines is a great way to gain inspiration and knowledge. If you prefer print over digital, we hope our graphic design magazine selection will help you pick at least one to subscribe to.

If you are looking for more in-depth resources other than magazines to inspire you and learn more about graphic design be sure to check out our article about graphic design books, which is full of great suggestions.

What are your favorite graphic design magazines that you love to read the most? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

FOR INFORMATION ON ALL OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS PLEASE GO TO:

www.printcafeli.com

Friday, February 5, 2021

 Sculpt an Eye-Catching Identity: 5 Bold Business Card Designs


Looking for an energetic start to a prosperous new year?

As you exhale after a tumultuous 2020, now is the time to clean out and set yourself up for a productive, successful new season. And one way to invigorate your image is with new business cards.

If you’re going to change a little, why not change a LOT? Here are five bold ideas for your next business card design.

1. Smart Cards


A modern business card includes not only contact information but also a stylish design that conveys the character and confidence of your brand.

When you want to close the gap between the physical and digital world, add a QR code to your business card. This saves space, looks modern, and increases the chance readers will follow up with your business later.

And don’t limit yourself to something bland. Instead of a black and white character set, generate a color cipher of an unusual shape to attract attention!

2. Transparency and Texture


Tired of the endless exchange of dull and flimsy white paper business cards?

Try a clear, frosted, or white plastic card. Translucent cards are sophisticated, visually intriguing, and fun to hold. And if you split the card into sections with different translucency values (one half partially opaque and the other half textured), you can create intense contrast that makes your name really leap up at the viewer. 

3. Colored Edges and Non-Standard Materials


Want a funky, three-dimensional feel for your introduction?

Colored edges are a fantastic option! Use colors to spice up a card with a neutral shade (like a black card with neon purple edges). Or use an unusual shape (like a gray die-cut heart) and add a hot pink outline on the edge.

Remember, the thicker the business card is, the better the colored edges will look. If you want to get really creative, you can even use non-standard materials like cork, wood, metal, or rubber.

4. Gorgeous Gradients


Color blending never gets old, and gradients offer endless options for unique, dynamic combos.

Gradient business cards offer so many possibilities! Add depth with thick pearly tones shimmering against a charcoal background. Or silver-purple waves against a deep blue sky. Voluminous gradients ebb and flow, creating an atmosphere of energetic motion.

When adding gradients, go for sharp color contrasts and highlight key elements. Do not apply the gradient to the entire card. Instead, limit yourself to the one element you want to highlight: background, logo, text, or graphics.

Need inspiration? Here’s one gradient sample spread to fuel your imagination.

5. Super Business Cards


Looking for something super impressive and super fun?

SUPER business cards are for you! Cut from premium paper that’s durable (yet lightweight), these non-bendy business cards bring a bold impression that LASTS. Customize them to your preferences, with round corners, shiny finishes, raised spot gloss lettering, and more.

Whether you want a muted matte feel or a sleek sparkly vibe, super business cards are guaranteed to be as resilient and creative as you are.

Start a Remarkable New Adventure

Today is the best day to start a new adventure!

Why not make 2021 your most imaginative year yet? Show the world a poised, passionate perspective – that comes straight from your pocket!

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON ALL OF OUR MARKETING PRODUCTS GO TO:

www.printcafeli.com

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

 5 Straightforward (and FUN) Ways to Boost Your Productivity This   Year


Today is a great day to integrate some healthy new habits into your routine.

Everyone benefits from good time management, and here are just a few simple ways to free up more time to do things you really love!

1. Create Templates


Tired of repeating yourself?

Templates (a type of “fill-in-the-blank” document) are great for assignments created the same way every time. Whether it’s a weekly email, a presentation spreadsheet, a thank you note, or a method for re-directing inquiries to a better source, creating templates in advance can save you tons of time in the long run.

2. Listen to Audio Books


Who doesn’t want to read more?

Audiobooks are a wonderful way to maximize that “throwaway” time in the car, getting ready in the morning, or during exercise.

In 2020, many local libraries made audiobook apps totally free. People who previously struggled to finish a chapter found themselves gulping down five books a month, while sharpening their minds and adding spontaneous joy to each day!

3. Block Distracting Apps, Websites, or Emails


According to research carried out by RescueTime, the average digital worker can’t go more than six minutes without checking their email or instant messaging.

The digital nature of your work and social life can leave you frazzled by constant alerts. This minimizes both productivity and potential as you struggle to focus on tasks for even short periods.

Start this year strong by implementing a few website and ad blocker tools. Unsubscribe from email lists or group chats that are sucking away precious moments in your day. And set your devices to block notifications from coming through in key work hours.

4. Batch Prep Your Meal or Meal Prep


If you want to save time in your busy week, mastering food prep can be huge.

Every time you mess up and clean your kitchen, it takes time. So why not make one big mess once a week, rather than a medium-sized mess every day? This can be as simple as chopping your veggies (or cooking all your meat) as soon as you get home from the store. Or it can be more intentional, like pre-cooking several meals and properly labeling them for fridge and freezer storage.

While the idea of prepping several meals at once can seem daunting, the time, energy, and money you’ll save in the long run are totally worth it.

5. Try the Pomodoro Technique


The Pomodoro Technique is a time management system that encourages people to work with their time – rather than against it.

Using this method, you break your workday into 25-minute chunks separated by five-minute breaks (referred to as pomodoros). After about four pomodoros, you take a longer break of about 15 to 20 minutes. This work rhythm helps create a sense of urgency and productivity followed by natural releases needed in order to recharge.

Curious? Check out this short tutorial to learn more.

Save More Time, Live More Life

While you may not be a fan of resolutions, the emphasis here is on forming productive habits and finding tools to minimize your daily load.

To be more productive, look beyond your task list to the organizational tools needed to manage time well. That takes effort up front but gives you more time to enjoy each day later. And that really is crucial!

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