The Print Cafe of LI Website

Thursday, May 27, 2021

                     Use Words to Shape Your Designs with Three Distinct Tools


Words and messages are communicated in so many ways – through vocabulary selection, images, tone or personality, and even through design.

The raw material that words represent is more than just semantics, and graphic artists have many options for exploring the power and symbolism of unique words in design.

Here are three ways you can weave words into the visual elements of your design.

The Word Pun

Word puns present a play on words using alternative meanings of words (and word sounds) to form new meanings.

What does this look like in design? Here are several ideas:

-- A seafood cafĂ© restaurant might feature server aprons sporting a wacky fish (wearing a top hat) with the word “SoFISHticated” sprawled below.

-- Well-known phrases can be changed to fit the message of the brand. For example, the bike manufacturer Salomon created a logo that changed the phrase “blood, sweat, and tears” to “Mud, Sweat, & Gear.” This message links the company's core purpose – making mountain bikes – to a memorable, motivating catchphrase.

-- Words puns can be created by substituting characters for sections of a word. Designer Wolff Olins created a word pun using the characters “Q8” to represent the oil-rich country of Kuwait.

The Visual Pun

Visual (or graphological) puns do not use phonetic writing.

Instead, visual puns create a play on words through imagery, graphics, or logos. Examples include:

-- An image in the fork in the middle of two parting streets (symbolizing an impending decision or a fork in the road).

-- A symbol can be used to replace a whole word, like “I [HEART] NY” or the character “He” with a box outline around it (to symbolize the periodic element of helium).

-- Making subtle tweaks to logos to add visual effect. Rebel, a rugged Australian sporting goods company, turned the second “e” backward in their company name. Or the logo for Poison Spider Bicycles depicts the venomous red section of its spider as a replica of a gritty bike chain.

The Rebus

A rebus represents words in the form of pictures or symbols, often presented as a riddle.

Think of the last time you puzzled over an obscure personalized license plate on the rear of the car in front of you. Was it hard to look away? People love to decipher codes, and using a rebus can stop people in their tracks, causing them to slow down, think, or smile!

Here are some clever ways the rebus has been put to work in marketing:

-- IBM created a poster with three images to represent its name: a cartoon eye, a colorful honeybee, and a playfully sketched letter M.

When IKEA wanted to help American customers grasp their company's correct pronunciation, they created a rebus design featuring a cartoon eye, followed by a house key and the text phrase “ah!”

-- The East End Brewing Company chose to market its energizing coffee porter with this eye-opening rebus: a cartoon eye and a classic handheld bottle opener   

The creative use of language can help precisely position an idea, company, or product in unique and refreshing ways. Tailor your message toward a target audience and play with words until you find just the right fit!

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 24, 2021

                          Use Every Inch for Impact with Creative Custom Envelopes


Do you want to grab attention or showcase your brand? First impressions are vital!

When it comes to reaching your clients and prospects, envelopes are the unsung hero. Envelopes act as a silent messenger, building a very personal bridge between your company and its core customers. Great packaging can enhance emotional engagement and increase response rates, and envelopes are an easy place to start.

Direct mail stats show the value of a well-designed envelope. While response rates for email or social media advertising are typically less than one percent, direct mail generates a rate closer to 4.5%. And oversized envelopes are the most productive, with a response rate around 5%, generating a whopping 37% return on investment!

While not all mail is opened, 100% of recipients will interact with your envelope. Want to put your printed real estate to work? Here are some clever ways to add panache to your envelopes:

Craft A Monogram to Match Your Return Label

Like a royal signature, monograms use two or more letters to form one symbol.

Monograms can be used as a logo itself (like the overlay of the letters “NY” to form the New York Yankees icon, or the blended letters “VW” to form the classic Volkswagen symbol). But monograms can also be used in addition to a logo, and look great as a design motif next to the return address section.

The return address is one of the first places a reader will look, so why not spruce up this corner with a graphic or a monogram motif?

Add Color with Back Panel Art

Want to send a memorable message?

Add depth and dimension with back panel art. There are so many fun ways to do this. Try full-color accents to the top triangle, write your slogan in script text across the bottom, add custom stickers as fasteners, or design your logo into the closing flap (so it looks like a wax seal).

Creative envelopes are very pleasing to the eye, so take your back panel to the next level with full-color photos, playful text art, or contemporary custom labels.

Create Mirror Images in Opposite Corners

When you want to think outside the box, don’t limit your signature to the return address section.

Instead, create a mirrored design between the top left and the bottom right corners. A brand named “Matrix” may have this name in small script font next to their return address but add a larger script “M” bleeding off the bottom right corner of the envelope. A skyscraper logo may be printed as a thumbnail in the top left corner but as a larger symmetrical reprint in the bottom right quadrant.

Try Teaser Text

When you want to entice first-time prospects, consider teaser text phrases on one or both sides of the envelope.

Teaser text should compel readers to open your envelope by promising something of value like, “Receive a Free Map Set,” “Your Recipe Booklet Enclosed,” “Just for You,” or “Your Exclusive Offer of ____ is Here!”

Nonprofit organizations use teaser text to invite prospects to be part of a greater vision. For example: “A Lasting Legacy: Connecting People to Nature Since 1920,” or “She survived war. She needs YOU to survive COVID-19.”

When you want to add impact to your marketing, the envelope is a simple place to start. Amplify your image and add confidence to your communication today!

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




Wednesday, May 19, 2021

                 Tweaking Your Business Plan After the Year of the Curveball


Every curveball starts as a fastball – until it dives out of range as it approaches the plate.

The story of the curveball started in 1863 when two friends were throwing seashells on a beach in Brooklyn. Young pitcher William Cummings noticed shells curving in the air and wondered, “what if I could make a baseball move like that?”

After modifying his grip and adjusting his throwing motion for four years, Cummings rose to prominence as a star pitcher for the Brooklyn Excelsiors. It was time to unveil the secret weapon. At age 18, Cummings was pitching against hard-hitting Archibald Bush, and he later admitted he was afraid of Bush’s “prowess with the bat.” Cummings unleashed the curve, and Bush was foiled:

“When he struck at the ball, it seemed to go about a foot beyond the end of his stick,” said Cummings. “I tried again with the same result, and then I realized that I had succeeded at last.”

3 Ways to Reset After a Tumultuous Season

It can be fun to throw curveballs but difficult to receive them.

The year 2020 threw businesses of all sizes a tough curve. Many firms shut doors, released team members, or dipped into emergency funds to make ends meet. Business plans are a crucial part of any normal season, but revising them this year is especially pertinent.

How will you pivot in response to the wild circumstances of 2020? Here are some starting points to consider.

1. Take Stock of Key Changes

Nimble, proactive entrepreneurs respond to change by embracing it.

Take note of what has changed, and be crystal clear about what that means for your business. Have your capacity restrictions or hours shifted? Have legal regulations altered what you can or cannot do? This year may be a perfect time to do an in-depth SWOT analysis, analyzing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

From technology and staffing to new products or team members, clarify how your business has changed or where you need to adapt.

2. Form and Execute Contingency Plans

Do you have a plan B that can be implemented when your business experiences a major disruption?

Outline risk-related scenarios and chart precise strategies to get things back on track. Contingency plans should include:

--Essential operations your business needs to run successfully, including contact information for key partners, suppliers, investors, etc.

--A rundown of possible threats or disruptive events and step-by-step procedures for how to work around each scenario

--Options for aggressive financial restrictions to increase cash flow or savings

--Risk-mitigation steps to help reduce the likelihood of worst-case scenarios

--A communication plan for alerting customers, employees, and other stakeholders of the problem

3. Develop Your 2021 Marketing Plan

While COVID-19 brought many challenges, it has created several new opportunities.

As you develop a new marketing plan, take stock of your chief competitors and your target customers. Reposition your business with the right message, the right media, and the right pricing for your target demographic.

For some firms, this could mean focusing on a core subset of customers to reduce general costs while ramping up revenue in a specific sector. For others, it could mean expanding target regions to compensate for lost foot traffic or in-store sales. Whether it’s widening your audience or narrowing your focus, amp up your marketing and aim confidently for that next pitch.

Perhaps this inning will be your best!

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, 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