Tag Archives: tips

RGB vs. CMYK vs. PMS

It’s time to send your design to print, but you’ve got one big question: RGB, CMYK, or PMS? Choosing the right color profile can make all of the difference in the world when it comes to how your design will appear in print. Pick the wrong one, and your colors may not look the way you want. Here’s a simplified breakdown of each of these three color profiles and when you should use each in your marketing designs.

RGB

RGB stands for “red, green, blue” and is often used in digital design to accurately represent colors on computer screens. To create a color pallet, this profile blends red, green, and blue light waves to give you the exact shade you’re looking for. RGB is best for projects like:

  • Infographics
  • Websites
  • E-Newsletters
  • Online Catalogs

A viewer’s monitor settings can change the way RGB colors are displayed on the screen, so your digital designs might vary slightly on different computer screens.

CMYK

Similar to RGB, the CMYK color profile blends multiple colors together to achieve the right look. The colors used in CMYK are cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (black), and each color is applied in layers during the printing process to match your chosen hue exactly. You would use a CMYK profile for:

  • Most everyday print materials

This profile is ideal for printed materials, but you should expect very slight variation in your colors throughout the printing process. This is a result of differences in paper, ink levels, temperature, and the process of mixing inks itself. While this variation is barely noticeable, it should be a factor when considering which color profile to use for branded materials.

PMS

PMS, or Pantone Matching System, is the most accurate color profile for printed materials. RGB and CMYK colors are blended in real-time during the printing process, which can create inconsistencies in your color. PMS colors are pre-mixed before printing and each color is applied one by one to maintain consistency throughout the print job.

Given its unique accuracy, the PMS color profile is most often used for:

  • Corporate Branded Print Materials

You also have the option of using PMS and CMYK together to achieve a full color palette for full-color photographs and other multimedia printing projects.

Each of these color profiles has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s important to choose one that meets your specific printing needs. Discuss the possibilities with your printer to accurately display the colors of your design and capture the essence of your branding in the printing process.

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Benefits of UV Coating

Printed marketing materials are often your business’s first contact with new customers, and it’s important that they make a great first impression. UV coating is one way you can make your postcards, business cards, catalogs, and other products stand out and draw attention to your brand.

But what is ultraviolet (UV) coating? This finishing technique involves the application of a wet compound to paper that is cured and dried with ultraviolet light. This process results in a glossy sheen that is as attractive as it is durable.

 

What are the benefits of UV coating?

UV coating creates a stunning, dramatic visual appeal with a wide variety of mediums, whether you’re sending out postcards or designing presentation documents. But in addition to its aesthetic value, this coating process has several additional benefits.

  • High-Shine: UV coating adds a truly unique shine to your printed materials, deeply enhancing colors and creating a slick visual effect. This coating is great for photographs and high-color documents like catalogs and folders.
  • Customizable: Your printer can adjust the reflectivity and thickness of your UV coating depending on your unique needs. You may opt for a glossy coating or an understated matte for maximum effect.
  • Fast Drying: Production time can significantly slow down your marketing campaign, but using ultraviolet light, these materials dry instantly to save you time.
  • Durable: When you’re mailing or distributing your materials, they can often get scuffed or scratched in transition. UV coating keeps your materials looking fresh off of the press for much longer, allowing you to design mailing pieces, business cards, and brochures with a durable, abrasion-resistant design.
  • Environmentally-Friendly: Many coatings use harmful solvents, but the compound used in UV coatings are free of solvents and don’t emit volatile organic compounds during the curing process.
  • Affordable: The process of applying UV coating is very affordable, particularly when you consider the return on your investment. High-quality printed materials can inspire confidence in your brand and impress your customers and clients.

When is UV coating not a good option?

There are some instances in which UV coating is not your best option for your printed materials. These occasions include:

  • When you’re using lightweight paper (under 100#): UV coating may crack or curl if used on lightweight paper. Heavier stock is recommended for this coating process, such as paper stock used for business cards, booklets, flyers, and catalog covers.
  • If the material needs to be written on: Writing with ink on coated paper can take a long time to dry and result in unflattering smudges, so it’s best to opt for uncoated paper if it needs to be written on. For materials like business cards that may be used for visual and functional purposes, you can coat one side and leave the other uncoated for writing.
  • If you’re using metallic inks or foil stamping: Unless your metallic ink is sealed, its naturally flaky surface can cause the UV coating to peel and flake. Additionally, the UV coating on your materials may not allow for a foil stamp, so discuss this possibility with your printer before deciding on coating or stamping.

UV coating is a great option for marketers, advertisers, and small business owners alike. By using this coating on your printed materials, you can create eye-catching materials that promote your brand and attract customers—without breaking your print budget.

Make Your Mark with Print

Why printed marketing materials are here to stay

Huge chunks of marketing and advertising budgets are often spent on web design and online advertising, so it’s easy to overlook printed materials or to disregard them as unnecessary. But marketing collateral—a catch-all term for all of the media that sells a product or service—still goes well beyond the digital realm. Even the most modern business relies on the distribution of printed marketing materials as important tools for their sales force. They count on it for rich and robust direct mail campaigns, to distribute at industry events and tradeshows, and to accompany their product distribution.

Why it’s necessary

2015-08-20 10.08.34 (1)Marketing collateral is what sets your business apart from competitors. It defines and strengthens your brand, telling the story of who you are, why you matter, and why your target audience should buy from you. On a more practical note, it builds awareness of your business and leads to increased sales.

The most effective collateral leverages both digital and print resources, carefully blending them to accentuate the most powerful and unique attributes of your business. Digital provides accessibility and convenience, while print demonstrates your commitment to longevity.

Back to basics

The exchange of business cards dates back over a century, and remains a respected interaction among networkers today. A strong card design catches the recipient’s attention, making a memorable impression while clearly conveying your style, value, and brand identity.

Version 2Sell sheets and flyers provide information on products or services in an easy-to-read, unassuming format. These pieces effectively convey details that might otherwise be overlooked or forgotten, leaving behind a hard copy for future reference.

Another great tool is the brochure, which can be distributed in print and online format. You can highlight your main offerings while also delving a little more into who you are.

What your business needs

Marketing collateral is essential for business growth in all its forms, but it’s difficult for someone outside your business to tell you exactly what will best suit your needs. For maximum results, consider meeting with a printing company who offers graphic design and copywriting services. You’ll want to carefully consider your audience when choosing and designing the collateral to highlight your products or services. Most importantly, make sure everything is consistent: colors, logos, fonts, and styles should complement one another and resonate the same message across all advertising platforms.

Going the extra page

Beyond the basic pieces—business cards, sell sheets, and brochures—lies a world of enhancements for your marketing collateral. Coil books and smaller booklets go a step beyond the brochure with more facts and figures available for later perusing; this is a clean, sleek way to present industry colleagues or potential customers with a tangible reference.

Version 4Mailed newsletters and postcards help forge a connection with your clientele, and are viewed as more legitimate than a simple email version.

Finally, manufacturers and other industries often require a plethora of print collateral to accompany and support their product distribution. This may include product literature, packaging inserts, training manuals, kits, specialized fulfillment projects and more. Pairing up with a reputable printing partner that is capable of handling high volume printing and unique custom print projects, with all its support services, is key to receiving the adequate support your organization deserves.

Forge ahead

With a slew of printable materials available, it’s easy to find ways to make your business stand out, whether it’s by providing manuals and user guides or including something so simple and effective as personalized notes on custom stationery. With careful thought in choosing the right print collateral, your business will be primed to make its mark.

Improve Your Facebook Page With 10 Easy Tips!

cdsPRINT.com Facebook PageFacebook IconWhy is Facebook marketing so important to your company’s business? Facebook currently has more than 500 million active users, and that number grows everyday!  Half of all those active users log in at least once a day, making the time people spend on Facebook per month a whopping 700 billion minutes. Because of the pages feature, Facebook offers a great way to attract online visibility to your company. The greatest thing you must understand about Facebook before creating your page is that trying to directly convert users to customers will cause your page to fail.  Facebook allows you to attract attention and build relationships with users, but not actually sell products.  The goal of your Facebook page should be to attract people to your company website, gain visibility of your name, and build trust among the community. This will result in sales, but you must be patient.

The following are 10 great tips to creating and building a successful Facebook “Fan” Page:

1. Make sure you update regularly on your wall.

This means posting status updates, pictures, or Youtube video clips for users to see on their newsfeed.  The wall posts are what ultimately draws attention to your company or product.  If you have a consistent flow of new material going up each week, you will attract others to comment, follow, and engage more often.

2. Although you should update regularly, you should not update more than 1 or 2 times a day.

Because most people will only interact with your content through posts that show up on their newsfeed, too many updates in one day will cause certain posts to be lost in the steam.  Do not import your tweets from twitter as status update because those will often flood out valuable posts and annoy your fans!

3. Engage followers through status updates that draw them into comment.

Ask stimulating questions or for personal opinions on situations.  Give suggests and ask for critique.  These all promote conversation, which establishes a relationship between your company and the user.

4. Mix up posting content. 

Do not make all your posts on your wall about the same thing, or in the same format.  Although it is great to link your latest blog post on your Facebook page, if someone goes to your site and that is all they read on your wall, post after post, it might get boring and tiresome.  On top of that, those who respond to your posts will most likely only be avid blog readers.  Switch things up by posting a YouTube interview, a picture of a new product, or a link to an interesting article.  This will stimulate variety.

5. Networking on Facebook is beneficial to your company!

As long as networking is done properly, it will help improve traffic to your page.  “Like” partners and other companies that are in a similar industry as your own company, but only if you are there to add value to those other companies’ sites.  Do not get labeled as being only self serving.  It is a good idea to like other pages that are outside of your industry so that you can reach a broad range of viewers who might not have heard of your business before.  Make sure to comment on those pages’ material and make your name known on their site.  Not only will this help improve your relations with other companies, but it will also draw in attention to your name from those who have liked those other pages.

6. Make your page visually appealing.

Pick a profile picture that adequately relays the image of your company.  Remember that Facebook is a site for individuals and their personal expression.  Marketing your company well means that you want to position your page so that people want to make it a part of their identity expression.  If the site is outdated or unattractive it will not draw in users.

7. Take advantage of the new photo space at the top of your page.

With the new Facebook profile/page format there are five photos that show up at the top of your page in the form of a banner.  Take advantage of this space to make your site more visually appealing.  Choose the photos wisely, and make sure to include information and links in the description box of those photos that will direct users to your regular website or blog.  When someone clicks on an image in your banner, that single image will pop up in a separate window.  Having additional information and links right below that image will only help lead users to other company content.  Get creative and provide free offers or contests in those boxes as your site grows.

8. Take advantage of the new spam filter feature. 

As an administrator, you are able to edit your site so that posts that include key words that you have forbid do not show up on your page.  This is a nice way to keep your page looking professional.

9. Make sure your messages are clear!

Clear, fool proof messages ensure that all will understand your updates as they are browsing through your page’s wall.  It should be noted that wall posts do not always show up in chronological order to other viewers.  Make sure that your posts need not be in a specific order, as it may confuse your viewers and make your page look unorganized if you assume posts show up by date.  If you provide a special deal or offer in your status update, make sure to include when the promotion begins and ends.

10. Organize the links on the left side of your page so that the landing page link is at the very end of the list.

This will allow users to see all of your apps and navigate to more of your site content easier.  Making things simple for the viewer is always of great importance.  If something is hidden, most will not explore to find it.

What are your tips for marketing your business on Facebook? Let us know in the comments!