Archive for the ‘Printing’ Category

Typography: The Best & Worst Fonts For Printing

Friday, June 8th, 2018

 

 

 

Design for print doesn’t have to be a challenge. When designing your piece the design and the content are usually the first thing we consider. Then we typically look at color palettes and images. Once the design elements are in place the last part of the design (often overlooked) is the type of font to use. When it comes to creating printed marketing materials, the type of font that we use is often one of the last things on our mind but it can be the most important piece of the design puzzle. The typeface for your piece should fit with the overall piece you are designing while reflecting the brand. The primary goal is to ensure that the text is smooth, flowing, and pleasant to read. Good typefaces are legible and have good readability. Legibility refers to clarity; it’s how readily one letter can be distinguished from all others. Readability refers to how letters interact to compose words, sentences, and paragraphs. If your customers can’t easily read the leaflet, flyer, brochure, poster or printed piece your message is instantly lost. To help give you an idea of fonts that work well in print, here is a list of three of the best and worst fonts for printing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To learn more contact us @ info@premieruplink.com

S”Elect” Premier

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Once again the election season is upon us. We are getting ready to print and mail 10’s of thousands of letters and postcards for this year’s political races and we are helping candidates grab the attention of voters with their direct mailings.

Spreading awareness is of the utmost importance during your campaign cycle. By using direct mail you not only spread awareness but you educate your audience as well.

Below are some of the most popular and cost-effective sizes of political mailers that can help you spread your campaign messages.

The 8.5x 11 Postcard

This is the political standard. It is a great size that is clear and easy to read, and it stands out in the mailbox because of its size.

The 11×17.75 2 Fold to 11 x 6

This size is great if you are featuring a lot of detail on the inside and works well for both political and advocacy political mailers.

The 6 x 11 Postcard

This postcard is also a must. Like the 8.5 x 11 size this postcard also stands out in mailboxes because of its size and is also clear and easy to read and it’s less expensive to mail.

There are many other formats we use, but these are our top picks. We are always looking for new ways to help you stand out.

Let your imagination be your guide and s“Elect” Premier as your one-stop solution for all your campaigning needs this year.  Email us at info@premieruplink.com for more information.

DMA (Data & Marketing Association) Reports Direct Mail has Highest Response Rates

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

You guessed it: Direct Mail wins again. The power of print has outshined digital marketing by a landslide. According to statistics, recipients of direct mail find it captivating. By using new print technology and real-time data marketers can create highly effective eye-catching mailing pieces. Don’t believe me? Below are some tips and stats which I’ll let do the talking:

Stats:

 

 

 

Direct mail household response rates are 5.1% (compared to 0.6% email, 0.6% paid search, 0.2% online display, 0.4% social media). This is the highest response rate the DMA has ever reported, since coming out with the Response Rate Report in 2003.

Direct mail median household return on investment is 29% (compared to 124% email, 23% paid search, 16% online display, 30% social media).

At 6.6%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household response rates over other mediums (followed by postcards at 5.7% and letter-sized envelopes at 4.3%).

At 37%, oversized envelopes have the greatest household return on investment over other mediums (followed by postcards and letter-sized envelopes at 29%).

The response rate for direct mail among people aged 18-21 years old is 12.4%.

The top response rate tracking methods are online tracking such as PURLs (61%), call center or telephone (53%), and code or coupon (42%).

For every $167 spent on direct mail in the US, marketers sell $2095 in goods.

Tips for your next Direct Mailing Piece: Personalization

  1. Strong Creative Content and Offer/Ask to demand a Call-to-Action
  2. Cross-Channel Marketing and Tracking
  3. Add in Digital aspects: VR virtual reality, AR augmented reality, QR codes

Temple University’s Fox School of Business says the reason people respond differently to physical pieces of mail rather than digital is that it triggers activity in the part of the brain that corresponds with value and desirability, and because of this it results in people spending more time with the piece and having a stronger emotional response.

The Bottom Line – Direct mail has the greatest impact because it offers a tangible experience for the recipient and oversized pieces stand out the most.

Sources

1.) DMA Response Rate Report https://thedma.org/

2.) Print Is Big http://www.printisbig.com/

For more information on how Premier can help you with your Direct Mailing needs email us at info@premieruplink.com

What is Variable Data Printing (VDP)?

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

Myth Busters: Paper Edition

Friday, March 9th, 2018

Paper: in the world of printing it’s the essential material your message is presented on. It’s touchy-feely and has a huge impact on how your message is received. The paper you use is often as important as the graphics. For some audiences, the paper is the most important aspect of the printed piece.

Paper possibilities are wide and varied: coated gloss, silk, dull, matte, and uncoated smooth, vellum or textured to name just a few. The paper chosen for your printed communication will directly affect how your graphics reproduce.  So let’s dispel some paper myths.

Myth #1:

Uncoated paper is more versatile because it is like a blank slate.

Reality

Coating enhances the surface and makes it more receptive to inks and additional coatings. Ink sits on the surface of coated paper which means it will be less absorbent making a more uniform print. Coated paper can also print higher resolution and finer detail. Your final prints will be truer to your original on-screen design and imagery.

Myth #2:

It’s hard to control color when printing on glossy surfaces.

Reality

Image quality and color reproduction are much better on a coated paper stock.

Coated paper prints sharper images with finer details, while allowing the printing press to produce brilliant, high-fidelity color with dense solids and smooth screen tints.

Common printing issues such as excessive dot gain aren’t as predominant on coated stocks. Coated stocks also use less ink and allow ink to dry quicker.

Myth #3:

Coated paper must be more expensive because it looks and feels so rich.

Reality

While it is true about its luxuriousness, coated paper isn’t as expensive as you may think.

Coated paper can be significantly less expensive than uncoated paper at the same weight. Uncoated stocks require a higher ratio of wood fiber per pound than coated stocks. Coated papers replace some of that wood fiber with clay that creates the coating. Which is also why coated papers, at the same weight as uncoated papers, feel less substantial. Also coated papermaking machines produce a larger amount of paper than uncoated machines.

Myth #4:

Only uncoated papers can provide a tactile experience.

Reality

Coated papers allow for techniques such as soft touch AQ. Soft touch AQ is a velvety-soft feel to print materials. Many people describe it as feeling like short velvet, or smooth suede. A soft-touch finish definitely gets noticed.

To learn more contact us at info@premieruplink.com

Print Quoting

Friday, January 19th, 2018

Submitting a printing quote request can be a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. A good rule of thumb to be as specific as possible when submitting your quote request to your print partner so you can expect your quote in a timely manner. Below is a list of some basic but important information to include in your next printing quote request:

  • Your Name
  • Contact Information
  • Project Name
  • Project Description
    ie. Newsletter, Booklet, Flyer, Poster
  • Print ready files provided?
  • Delivery Due Date
  • Quantity
  • Flat Unfolded and Finished/ Folded Size
  • Type of Stock* (If this is something you are unsure of your salesperson will be able to steer you in the right direction and suggest stocks that will best suite your project)
    ie. Text, Cover, Weight
  • Number of Colors
    ie. Black + PMS, 4 Color Process, Aqueous Coating
  • Bleeds
  • Print on 1 or 2 Sides
  • Number of Pages (if booklet)
  • Is a Hard Proof Required?
  • Finishing
    ie. Folds, Perforations, Binding
  • Mailing
    ie. Mailing Lists, Inserts, PO Location

By including this information in your next RFQ it should get you off to a really good start. Now, if you don’t have all of the details for your print project up front, give your print partner a call and they will be more than happy to help.

For more information contact Premier at info@premieruplink.com

Coatings and Varnishes

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Not only can a varnish or a coating protect printed sheets from smudging, fingerprints,and scratches, but they can also give the designer the ability to create effects on paper that can not be produced with digital media. You can add depth, and texture to images and words which transforms the viewing experience into a more interactive tangible one. With the right design and use of these coatings you can evoke a mood or attitude, even invoke the sense of energy or calm. You can create the feeling of stones or soft satin. You can raise images off the page or give the illusion of multiple layers. You can imitate the look of practically anything, from plastic and metal to leather. The below performance chart is a general guide created by Sappi.com to evaluate your coating choices. When using this 1-5 guide, 1 is the least likely and 5 is most likely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Press coatings come in two types – Aqueous which provides a better rub protection and does not yellow as time passes. Aqueous coating is 60-70% water and it’s best use is for flood coating, but it can also be used as spot coating. Aqueous dries quickly, allowing for faster back-ups, and it does not require heavier stock (60lb. text and up) to avoid paper curl. UV coating is nearly all solids and cures instantly under ultraviolet light. This coating is more protective than aqueous, and UV provides a high gloss level and accepts a wider range of specialty techniques. UV also works well on any type of paper stock. UV can also be used for spot applications. Because of UV’s high-solid levels, this coating is highly susceptible to cracking, so care must be taken during bindery.

Paper stock choices play a critical role when deciding on varnish and coatings, which in the end seal a sheet against scratches and smudges. When designing and deciding on coating techniques, it goes without saying that rough and porous paper surfaces, as well as lighter weight sheets, limit the kind of varnish and coatings processes that can be used for your desired effects. Coated papers are far better suited for special coating techniques than uncoated stock.

For more information on coatings contact Premier at info@premieruplink.com

Written by Donna Moulton

Managing Color For Print

Friday, November 17th, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When designing for print it is imperative that your color libraries are up to date. Here are some steps you can take with your printer and creative department to verify you have the most recent updated color profiles.

  • Use a printed proof. With a color proof, the customer can check for changes in color. You will see what your color palette looks like in print and what colors you may need to change. This step is crucial for verifying if the color palettes look accurate because monitors do not display every color the same way that a printer can and vice versa.
  • It is always a good practice to keep your monitor and office printers calibrated. Ideally, calibration should be performed once a month and preferably every two weeks. There is monitor profiling software available on the market with affordable pricing.
  • It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that every digital device has its own color gamut with a limited range of colors. Even devices of the same make can have different gamuts. Also keep in mind that the RGB gamuts are larger than that of CMYK, so colors you can see on a monitor won’t always transfer over to print as the colors are not achievable with CMYK.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • A large contributor that can affect the way color is perceived is the medium that the ink is printed on. The quality, weight, and finish of paper affects the way ink can adhere to it. For instance, if you print the same PMS tone on coated stock and uncoated stock the two swatches will look close but not exact, the reason for this is that uncoated sheet allows more ink to be absorbed into the paper because it is more absorbent than its coated counterpart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To verify you are up to date with the latest PMS color profiles consider following the below link to the PMS Color Manager software application. Be aware that these libraries do not update on their own, I have also provided a helpful link that explains how to get the latest updated profiles:

Pantone Color Manager: https://www.pantone.com/pantone-color-manager-software

Pantone color manager: https://www.pantone.com/help/?t=How-to-Export-PANTONE-Libraries-from-PANTONE-Color-Manager

Also, check out this link to xrite to see how well you can distinguish between different hues:

http://www.xrite.com/hue-test

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

Haptics: The Science of Touch & Printing

Friday, November 10th, 2017

Touch is a fundamental need. Scientist Harry Harlow performed a series of tests and demonstrated how important touch is in nature. The tests he performed exhibited a primal need for touch, also known as haptics, that expanded our understanding of how touch shapes our brains. Touching things trigger reactions in our bodies and how we feel about an object. When we feel we own an object we place more value on the object but if the object isn’t ours then a lower value is placed on it. This is called the Endowment Effect. For example, touching a paper catalog shifts the brain into “ownership imagery” causing a possessiveness of the object itself.

How can this be translated to the print world? People have a greater understanding of what they read on paper. The brain is shaped by developing the media in which the written messages are delivered. Studies show that people read the best when content is on paper, a tangible median. These studies showed that when a subject reads, it is best on paper for 3 reasons:

  • It makes content more intuitively navigable
  • It facilitates better mental “mapping” of information
  • Reading on paper drains fewer of our cognitive resources, making retention a little easier.

When we read on paper we process information differently, sustaining a deeper level of interest. Paper directs attention and produces a higher recall rate. A study tested the effects of touch and paper quality and found that when subjects held and read about a fictitious company on heavy, high quality coated paper they understood and remembered more content than when reading about another fictitious company on lighter lower quality paper or on a computer screen.

Haptics is any form of interacting involving touch. In printing, this can include the weight, grade & texture of paper. It can also include special coatings & finishes. So when designing your next direct marketing project take into account how each of these elements will affect the recipients perception of your mailed piece and your brand as a whole.

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

Why Cheap Printing Isn’t Good, And Good Printing Isn’t Cheap

Friday, October 27th, 2017

All marketers would like to cut costs but printing is one expense you should question more before going with the cheapest. Getting deals on printing may not be potential savings at all in the long run. Here are some key factors you should look for when picking your next printer.

Does your Printer Follow Due Dates? Scheduling is everything in marketing. It is imperative that due dates for projects are firm and not optional.  Your printer should work with you to plan due dates accordingly and stick with them so that your time-sensitive projects stay on time every time. Catherine Likens, one of our Account Managers, says that “We do everything in our power to keep due dates for our clients and that is essential to building lasting relationships. We have an excellent “on time” history, in the past 10 years.”

How is The Customer Service? One thing your printer should excel at is prompt communication. Whether it is to confirm proofs and order status or changes to the production schedule. You should never be left in the dark about when or where your printed piece is in the production cycle. Just ask a pro; our VP of Sales, Jack Flaherty says: “A good printer will;

  • Provide advance specification guidelines for projects
  • Maintain contact with clients during step by step project processes
  • Update clients on Postal changes in terms of rates and USPS specifications for all mail pieces
  • Deliver estimates of projects within 24 hours”

How is The Printing Quality: Receiving your printed materials should be an exciting and rewarding experience. A great printer wants to make sure that their clients are satisfied with the services that they provided to them. Our VP of Business Development, Robert Sternau, states “Speed, Quality, Price, pick anyone and you sacrifice two. If you pick price you are sacrificing speed and quality. You want a printer who will consult with you and advise you on not just the materials but the production, marketing, and postage. You can always buy for less but what are you sacrificing in quality when you do?”

Is your Printer Knowledgeable: Your printer should work directly with you and be able to offer recommendations when making the final selection of paper, ink, and other customizations. If the printer is local, you will have the advantage of reviewing samples at their office and perhaps even seeing their equipment and meeting the production staff. One of our Project Managers, Todd Osgood, says “A good printer knows to ask the right questions at the beginning of the project to make sure everything is planned and priced accordingly so there are no surprises throughout production.”

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

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