Premier Continues Expansion and Announces New Additions To The Sales Team

February 23rd, 2018

Premier Continues Expansion and Announces New Additions To The Sales Team.

Robert Sternau – Rob joined Premier Graphics in July 2017 as Senior V.P. Business Development.

In his new position at Premier, Rob will be responsible for helping grow overall sales by developing sales and marketing initiatives, recruiting additional sales reps, and direct selling.

Rob has successfully managed sales and marketing departments for major metropolitan New York City area printers over the past 25 years.  Most recently, Rob has served as VP Sales for Hennegan – An RR Donnelley Company.  Additionally, he has served in sales and marketing leadership positions with Kay Printing in Clifton, NJ and Allied Printing in Manchester, CT.

He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree from Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Cold Spring, New York with his wife and son.

Bob Carr – Bob recently joined Premier as VP of Sales.

In his new position at Premier, Bob will be responsible for helping grow overall sales. Bob has two distinct areas that he works well in.  He loves coming up with creative solutions to difficult projects as well as helping clients get the best value from their print spend. He has been in the print industry for over 38 years and has worked at a ½ dozen printers over 30 plus years in NY/CT/ME and also owned a mid-sized printing company.

Most recently, Bob was a National Account Manager for Allied Printing and held sales roles at JS McCarthy and Thames Printing. Bob lives in Thomaston, CT with his wife Pam.

 

Mark Lee – Mark joined Premier in January 2018 with the goal of bringing new business relationships to Premier

In his new position at Premier, Mark will be responsible for helping grow overall sales and delivering targeted, personalized direct mail solutions to clients.

Mark’s background in print sales goes back 35 years.  He joined a very large printing company’s sales training program after graduating from Indiana University in 1982.  His first sales assignment was working on the JC Penney Catalogs, they were about 1,000 pages, with print runs over 10 million. No internet in 1983!

Most recently, Mark worked at RR Donnelly, and Bedwick and Jones Printing.

Mark is originally from a small-town in Indiana and he and his wife have lived in Fairfield, CT with their three children since 1995.

 Tom Meehan – Tom joined Premier in December 2017 as VP Solutions – Print & Mail Specialist.

In his new position at Premier, Tom will be responsible for helping grow overall sales by developing long-term business relationships.

Tom loves our new HP Inkjet Web Press and is excited about bringing high-speed variable color solutions to Premier’s clients.

Tom has worked in the printing industry since graduating from Northeastern University (winners of the 2018 Beanpot!).  Most recently, Tom worked in sales at Frye Communications and RR Donnelly. He lives in Orange CT with his wife JoAnn.

 

“We are excited about the potential that this group of talent brings to Premier” says Sean Huban, Premier’s Chief Revenue Officer.  “They have already hit the ground running and have recently added more than 25 new accounts”.

Based in Stratford, Premier is a single source provider of transactional and marketing communication solutions.

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

2018 Pitney Bowes Annual Sales Meeting at the Ethan Allan Hotel in Danbury CT

February 7th, 2018
2018 Pitney Bowes Annual Sales Meeting at the Ethan Allan Hotel in Danbury CT 
 Premier
Premier
In January Pitney Bowe’s put together its annual sales meeting and Sean Huban, Chief Revenue Officer of Premier Graphics had the distinct honor and privilege of participating on the customer panel. The panel was moderated by Pitney Bowe’s Vice President of Sales – Sue Gabrielson. The worldwide sales team for the Production Printing and Mail Division attended the event. In total there were 200 plus attendees engaging in the Q& A panel. Topics ranged from changes in the industry, investments in technology, business challenges and the growth of variable inkjet color printing. The annual sales meeting was very well received by the sales team and connected with many international industry leaders. Thank you to Pitney Bowes for their support and partnership with Premier.
Premier
 
Premier
Premier
Premier
For more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com
Premier

2018 USPS Postage Rates

January 29th, 2018

United States Postal Service rolled out the new postage changes January 21st. We will see changes in pricing in a few areas; The most important areas are First-Class Mail and Presorted First-Class Mail.

US Postal Service Postage Highlights:

First-Class Mail®

  • First-Class Mail® Letters up to 1 ounce will increase from $0.49 to $0.50
  • First-Class Mail® Flats up to 1 ounce will increase from $0.98 to $1.00
  • First-Class Metered Mail will increase from $0.46 to $0.47
  • Marketing Mail prices (formerly known as Standard Mail) are increasing 1.9% on average, as well the prices for Bound Printed Matter, Media Mail®, and Library Mail.
  • First-Class Mail® Parcels (Retail): pay one price up to 4 ounces: $3.50, an increase of $0.50.

Presorted MailUSPS Presort can save you money on your annual postage bill. Presort is a discount for customers who have their mail sorted before it is sent over to the USPS. Presorting offers discounts based on service level, mail shape, and weight. If you send over 5,000 pieces of direct mail at a time then switching to presorted mail is definitely worth it.

  • Mixed AADC (MAADC) automation letters and AADC automation letters have been reduced from 2 cents to 1.6 cents.
  • Automated presort flat rates are decreasing 1.6 cents.
  • The USPS is also continuing an incentive that allows First-Class mailers that presort their mail to send letters weighing up to 3.5 ounces for the same price as a 1-ounce letter.
  • Presort Letter/Postcards prices increased by 1.591%, but presorting to the five-digit ZIP code level is still 3 cents cheaper than the AADC level.
  • Full-Service Intelligent Mail® Barcode (FS IMb) on First-Class and Marketing Mail will still provide a $0.003 and $0.001 discount.

Below is a new USPS postage chart:

2018 Commercial First-class letter rates:

Automation Automation Machinable Non Machinable
Weight Not Over
(ounces)
5-Digit AADC Mixed AADC Presorted Presorted
1 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
2 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
3 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
3.5 0.378 0.408 0.424 0.458 0.668
Postcard 0.257 0.268 0.274 0.280
Nonmachinable
Surcharge
0.210

2018 Commercial Marketing Mail rates:

Carrier Route Automation
Entry Point Saturation High-Density Plus High-Density Basic 5-Digit Scheme AADC Mixed AADC
None 0.186 0.196 0.200 0.292 0.251 0.274 0.287
DNDC 0.164 0.174 0.178 0.265 0.227 0.250 0.263
DSCF 0.158 0.168 0.172 0.257 0.220 0.243
DDU

For more postage changes visit the USPS: https://pe.usps.com/pricechange/index

For more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com

 

Print Quoting

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

Better Data = Better Marketing

December 28th, 2017

Duplicate contacts, misspelled names, missing address fields, and incorrect information are data mishaps that will throw a wrench in the works of your marketing and sales efforts. Your direct mailing campaign is only as effective as the data you collect and use.

Here are five tips to clean up the quality of your data:

  1. Remove Inconsistent Data Entries

There are tools to help you remove duplicate data. If you’ve never done a de-duplication before, you’ll also need to manually scan and edit your contacts.

This step will obviously take some time, but if you implement a company-wide data entry standard system and make a commitment to quality data, you will only have to do this once.

  • Use data validation tools that help you to determine the validity of your data, such as email verification tools. Google has resources to use to do this.
  • Use Excel’s functions to clean your data, Excel’s support pages have a wealth of knowledge to do this. Their guides will walk you through finding and replacing spelling errors, unintentional upper or lower case letters, fixing dates and times, and deduping.
  1. Verify All New Data

It’s important to always verify new data entries with existing databases. This can be done by using a three-point data check system to verify all new and updated data before it enters the central database. For example, these three points can be Name, Phone Number, and Email. You can do this by sorting your data by columns or doing a find search. By verifying data during data entry you not only keep lists current but you reduce adding duplicate contacts as well.

  1. Keep Your Data Fresh

All databases degrade over time. Some estimate that data degrades at an average of 5% or more each year. This is due to factors such as contacts changing email addresses, clients contacts dropping out of the picture or contacts moving on to different opportunities or moving locations.  To keep your data fresh remove all emails that have bounced or opted-out and update contact addresses when receiving your returned to sender direct mailings. Not only is this a good practice for keeping your data fresh, but it also helps keep you out of spam folders and lowers return to sender rates.

  1. Implement Consistent Data Entry

Ensure that all employees are aware of your company-wide data entry standards. By standardizing data entry company-wide, the databases will stay current and clean. When inputting each customer record make sure to have first and last names, mailing addresses, and email addresses in separate columns. That way, when you do the three-point check, contacts will be easy to find in your database.

  1. Organizing Column Fields

When organizing your data make sure that each column has an appropriate header and that addresses are broken up so that suites and floors all have their own column. For example:

123 ABC Road, 4th Floor should not look like this in one column

Address Address
123 ABC Road, 4th Floor (Wrong)
123 ABC Road                 (Wrong)

4th Floor

123 ABC Road                 (Correct) 4th Floor                         (Correct)

When in doubt double check with your printer to see how they would like your data separated for mail and variable processing. The cleaner the data the better. Also avoid adding carriage returns and unnecessary spacing to your lists, both of these can cause errors in mail processing and variable data processing, if there are extra spaces in areas of your data the spaces will show in the finished printed product as well. Remember your list will print exactly as processed. For example:

First Name Last Name
John Q.(space) Sample

 

The finished product will look like this:    John Q.     Sample

The highlighted section represents extra tailing spacing at the end of the first name when a list has extra spaces and is processed those spaces will appear when printed.

I hope that these five tips help you in your data cleansing endeavors and if you would like more information on how Premier can help you, please email us at info@premieruplink.com

Written by Donna Moulton

Premier Ranks Again in Printing Impressions 400

December 20th, 2017

We are pleased to announce that for the 8th year in a row we have made the Printing Impressions 400 list. Premier continues to climb the list thanks to our growth in areas of high-speed inkjet digital printing, direct mail, variable card printing, and fulfillment.

This list is the industry’s most comprehensive listing of the leading printing companies in the United States and Canada ranked by annual sales volume.

The PI 400 provides recognition to the companies that are included in the rankings, along with offering a glimpse at how the industry is changing each year. This year a major trend in 2017 has shown that companies that have targeted specialties like packaging, direct mail, wide-format digital printing and inkjet printing have grown the most organically.

For more information on how Premier can help you, email us at info@premieruplink.com. Better yet, send us some examples of your current work and we will provide ideas for effective enhancements and redesign at no cost!

Coatings and Varnishes

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

Designing Art For Print

December 1st, 2017

 

In our last blog post, we talked about managing color for print. To build on that we’ve added below a few good design practices to get into the habit of. From choosing the best design program to saving files these tips will help make sending your finished files to your printer a breeze. Happy designing!

  1. Start with the best art possible

Even though there have been advances in design programs and software what you put in is what you will get out. When designing you still need to be aware that the better image quality of the images you use the better print quality the printer will be able to achieve. Also, remember that every time you edit an image there is a loss of the image quality. You also cannot improve the quality of a low-resolution image.

  1. Work in the correct program

 

Another good habit is to work in the correct program for your design project. Illustrator is used for vector art such as creating logos, packaging, posters and single page layouts. Photoshop is best used for photo manipulation, color-correcting, and resizing scanned or imported images and flat art. InDesign or QuarkXPress are multi-page layout programs that are used for creating magazine and book spreads.

Donna’s Pro Tip:

Naming layers – If your file has several layers, identify and label each layer– e.g., “printing notes”, “text”, “images”, “Die Lines”, etc so they can be found quickly. 

  1. Keep track of your colors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When designing your programs give you an infinite number of color choices. As you test out different color swatches it is a good practice to delete the swatches that you do not use in your document before you preflight or package your files for your printer. Doing this will eliminate color errors down the road when your project enters into production.

Donna’s Pro Tip:

RGB vs CMYK –  When creating a file for print always make sure to set your color space to CMYK when you start a new file.

  1. How to Build and Save files

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When designing a new project always set the size to the finished size you are looking to send to print. A piece that is 8.5x 11 should be built as an 8.5×11 document. Spreads that are for example 17×11 should be built as single pages that are built as two 8.5×11’s. Also before preflighting or packaging files make sure there is a 1/8th inch bleed and crop marks where appropriate on your documents.

For more information contact us at info@premieruplink.com

-Written by Donna Moulton

Managing Color For Print

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

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

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