When beginning a design project or branding your business, it’s easy to simply think of your favorite color as the obvious choice for “brand colors”. Why not? You like it. You think it looks good. But have you ever thought of why you like it? Or that there might be a reason it’s your favorite color? Let’s take a deeper look as to why color is important in design and why careful consideration should be made when planning your company branding for the long term.
Why is color important?
The use of color in design, art and even the way we dress ourselves on a daily basis plays a role in the way we feel. Whether we realize it or not, color tends to elicit an emotion, feeling or some sort of response when we see it used in certain ways. Blues may make us feel calm, sad, serene, or have a coastal or springtime connotation. Yellow might signify happiness, or even caution depending on how it’s used. When considering clothing, black is often thought of as chic and timeless.
The Cal Poly motto and philosophy is “Learn by Doing” which is pretty true in regards to the Graphic Communication major if not all the majors at Cal Poly. The long laundry list of what we are able to do in our coursework at school includes, but it not limited to: running presses and making plates for printing, designing calendars, packaging and resumes and of course software training. We get all this hands-on experience in order to prepare us for whatever career we end up pursuing. But nothing quite prepares you for the real thing. Having a job in college that’s related to your major is so helpful if you are able to work it in to your busy schedule! Getting hands-on experience helps prepare you but no matter how much we try to simulate the processes involved in Graphic Communication in school, nothing compares to actually doing it in a work setting. It’s very similar to the phrase: “you don’t know what you don’t know”. There is so much that goes on in a printing company that school can’t prepare you for. Working in a company in your field while taking classes allows you to learn so much more and to truly see how what you design really ends up once printed – including the technical components of getting a perfect end product for a client. I feel so much more prepared to enter the workforce after college because of the experiences that I’ve had working in an actual print company. Doing design work and being able to see my design’s come to fruition has been a rewarding process. From concept to completion, I’ve gotten to live the words “Learn By Doing” at Poor Richard’s Press.
Last month, Poor Richard’s Press had the honor of participating in Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication’ s Career Day. Alli and I had the pleasure of meeting the best and the brightest Cal Poly has to offer - from Senior’s and all the way down to eager sophomore’s just itching for the experience. We talked until our voices were hoarse and accumulated a stack of the most beautifully designed resume’s you’ve ever seen. Since many of the players at Poor Richard’s Press are Cal Poly alumni, we always look for ways to support Cal Poly students and programs at the school. The Cal Poly “learn by doing” motto is not taken lightly by any department on the campus and due to that fact, the students are some of the best in the west when it comes to post-baccalaureate preparedness. We enjoyed our time at the Winter Career Fair Day and look forward to the Spring Career Day in April! Follow us on Instagram at @ poorrichardspress for a few scenes from the Cal Poly GRC Career Day and for a look at what goes on in the print shop! Our next upcoming event is this week at the SLO Horse Expo at the Madonna Inn – see you there!
When it comes to the peeps of Poor Richard’s Press, Client Service Consultant Wendy Scribner is the ultimate mover, shaker and print maker. She wears many hats around the office, but even more outside the office. With just a few of those hats being a cowboy hat and mom of two boys (which may or may not require a helmet). Wendy has been with PRP for 5 years and is a SLO county local hailing from her family’s cattle ranch in Cambria. She graduated Cal Poly with a degree in Animal Science and a concentration in Livestock Production. So it’s no wonder she handles many of our ag-related clients with ease. Have a bull catalog you need printed? A horse sale book? Nationally distributed industry magazine? She’s got you covered with print and mail! Looking for apparel for your ranch crew? Yep, got that too. Website build? You get the gist. Wendy says, “I love seeing our customer's projects come to life. Whether it is a flyer to advertise a car wash, polos for a business's office staff or a mail campaign.” This dedication may or may not have to do with her deep obsession with paper...
This month is all about Design at Poor Richard’s Press so it’s only fitting that the Employee Spotlight shines on our Pre-Media Specialist, Neal Fitzgerald. Neal is the epitome of a mover, a shaker and a print-maker and is the final Quality Assurance check before any client pieces go to print. He ensures all digital files are correct, performs final layout checks and ensures all images and colors will print correctly. This aspect of printing is what is known as "Pre-Flighting". Neal has been with Poor Richard’s Press since the early 90’s and has worked in multiple facets of the shop. From cutter operator to delivery driver to bindery, copiers, press and letterpress, he’s done it all. The aspect that really sets Neal apart is that he loves to help educate our clients as we produce pieces for them. His favorite action at work is to get on the phone with a client and walk them through the process of printing a beautiful piece. So I sat down for a quick minute with Neal to find out what makes him tick and to shine the Employee Spotlight on the man that’s usually behind the scenes!
Typography refers to the design, style and technique of using of text to make a piece of written work legible, readable and visually appealing. When discussing typography, it is important to understand the basic terminology. Read along for a basic and broad stroke guide to typography and font families.
First of all, there are four major kinds of typefaces (a.k.a. font families): serif, sans serif, script, and decorative. The former two are the most common, while the latter two should be used with caution since they are considered not as legible.
There’s an entire team of awesomeness at Poor Richard’s Press that make our print and ink world go round. One of those people is Client Service representative and PRP services expert, Danal. Danal has been with Poor Richard’s Press a total of 13 years and counting! She is always there to support our clients in all their business and personal media needs. She wears many hats and can multi-task like a BOSS! Sometimes we sit around and scratch our heads wondering how she gets everything done in a day. (We suspect she has super powers to be honest.) When asked about her favorite aspects of the print industry and working at Poor Richard’s Press she replies, “Technology changes that make my job challenging and rewarding! No two jobs are exactly alike which makes my day diversified over many processes.” Remember what we said about the super-powers? Well, we told you so. Her greatest talents arise when she’s helping our clients get what they want. There’s a huge spread when it comes to people that are familiar with the print industry and the processes involved with getting a job done. Danal makes it a point to ensure that the client not only gets what they want, but helps them to understand the process along the way. “Communication differs greatly in the knowledge that a customer has regarding print. It is almost like being a detective to decipher what a customer needs, sometimes an alternative solution is the best answer” according to Danal. It’s her great listening skills, strong work ethic and an unwavering desire to see our clients happy that makes Danal a part of the Poor Richard’s Press All-stars team!
This past Tuesday was what is commonly known as #GivingTuesday in Internet-land and beyond. It comes after the Thanksgiving Holiday, the cult-like "Black Friday", Small Business Saturday, (apparently Sunday got off the hook for a commercialized name), and Cyber Monday. After all that buying and Holiday shopping surges, someone, somewhere decided it might be a good idea to give back. Hence, Giving Tuesday was born. Add a hastag to the front of it and you've got yourself a cyber movement of sorts. Since Giving is the theme, it's a movement a lot of people can get behind. It also comes at the time of year where giving is an underlying current in the daily lives of most people. We think about Thanksgiving and what we are thankful for and we look ahead to the holiday season and think about what to get for our nearest and dearest. Some consider this time of year to be "fundraising season".
That being the case, marketers and non-profit's alike must think of the most effective ways to be seen and heard so that their cause recieves the needed attention, funding and volunteer efforts. A good mail campaign can help you accomplish all of this. But what makes a "good mail campaign"? Creative direction, design, and intention are huge factors that are variable to each client in question. As far as some more technical tips to make your campaign stand out, read ahead to find out more on how your campaign can be the most successful one of the giving season!
1. The first step to any good Direct Mail Campaign is to USE. A. GOOD. LIST . Formatted with headers. Preferably an excel file with each row and column separated by name, address, city, state, and zip.
2. Decide how you want it mailed. First class, standard, or non-profit standard?
3. The Right idicia. Indicia is marked to let the USPS know postage has been paid in place of a stamp. If you are a non-profit you have to register with the post office to receive the non-profit rate.
4. Meet the minimum quantities for bulk mailing. Standard=200 pcs minimum, First Class=500 pcs. Minimum.
5. Choose the right mail piece. I.e. add value by using a postcard, letter, folded self-mailer, etc. Different types of stock could add value to the mailer. Is it something that will be kept and read or thrown away, looked at as junk mail, an offer, or a direct sale? What makes the piece valuable to your intended audience?
6. Target your audience. To whom are you mailing? What ages are you mailing to? Are you looking for business to business mail marketing? Mailing to residents?
7. Personalization. Adding stamps may make the piece look like it wasn’t factory generated. If it’s a postcard, adding a salutation in front of the person’s name makes it personal. Or try using a different style font.
8. Be creative. Can this be a folded self-mailer rather than a letter or a simple postcard? Can you add something to be stuffed inside or a tear off coupon?
9. Local mailings will be delivered next day whether postage is standard or first class. You could save money on postage if you have an all local mailing, by mailing standard vs first class. First class guarantees the actual delivery but it won’t be delivered any faster.
10. Updating a list after mailing. NCOA (National Change of Address), ANK’s (Address not Known), and invalid zip codes should be taken out of your original mailing list. We provide those reports to you so that on your next mailing your list will be updated. As much as possible, update your mailing list as soon as you get this report so you aren’t scrambling to make corrections right before your next big mail drop.
We have so much to be thankful for at Poor Richard’s Press. From a wonderful and always growing client base, to being able to do business on the beautiful Central Coast. Our work is always fun, never boring, creative, fast-paced at times and always wonderful. Take a peek below for a little bit about us as a company and find out what we are all thankful for this year! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from Poor Richard’s Press.
“I am thankful for my spouse and child.” ~ John
“All kinds of stuff. So many things, I couldn’t pick just one thing to be thankful for.” ~ Jason
“My family.” ~ Rox
“I am thankful for the five amazing men Todd and I have raised, I'm blessed they call me mom.” ~ Sharee
“I am truly so thankful for so many things, it’s difficult to pick ONE. Personally, I am thankful for where I am in my life. I’m very blessed to live where I do, be able to work at things I enjoy and with people I actually like. My life is very content. My family is, simply, the greatest! My wife is the kindest most giving person I know and my boys are the light of my life! They are all on a path to be responsible, honorable, productive humans…something that make a father rest more easily. I love my dog. My cat is cool as hell, and my marketing chick is super strange and fun!” ~ Todd
“My family and friends… and of course my animals (i.e. furry family members)!” ~ Beth
“I’m thankful for my extensive friends and support group and my ability to find a job I love in San Luis Obispo.” ~ Brian
“I am thankful to work with the Best Team that allows me to live in the Best County!” ~ Danal
“My family.” ~ Ethan
“Great planet, great family, great friends, great customers, great work group…enough said.” ~ Karen
“I'm thankful for my parents who support me, my friends who make me laugh, a job that teaches me, and the endless possibilities that lay ahead.” ~ Allie P.
“I am thankful for my family, our health and our love.” ~ Alli B.
“I am thankful for the knowledge I have gained from my schooling and job and the family and friends who have loved and supported me along the way and continue to be there for me.” ~ Leah
“I am thankful for working with a team of talented individuals who push me to challenge myself and use my skill set to help others in achieving their goals. Poor Richard's Press has enabled me to provide for my family while being a valued service to the community. I am glad to be a new member of the team and wish you and yours the very best this holiday season.” ~ Vincent
“This year I have learned that with a little perseverance, almost *anything* is possible. My family and I embarked on becoming first time homebuyers and managed to do it in one of the most beautiful areas of California. I am SO thankful to be a homeowner in Grover Beach. :)” ~ Tilly
“I am thankful for my super cool marketing person who asks me to write stuff like “what are you thankful for?” I’m also thankful for Leah, Allie, Vincent and Tilly. And that it’s another November in California and not New York or Boston.” ~ Neal
“This is so corny to say, but I am so thankful for every minute of this beautiful life.” ~ Wendy
“My wife.” ~ Robbie
“Family and friends. But really there’s too many things to choose from!” ~ Tom
“Family. It’s the only thing I can think of, because it’s the only thing that really matters.” ~ David
“Faith and Family. And working at PRP of course!” ~ Davey
Social Media is an ever-evolving machine. It often feels like you blink and “kids these days” are choosing a new platform and causing a trend spike. The one thing we should all agree on, is that social media is not going away any time soon. So if you are somehow in the camp that thinks it’s a phase and you don’t need to participate, I’m here to tell you it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. Don’t worry, we won’t leave without you. So if you are new to the Social Media realm (hey, nice rock you’ve been living under by the way), let’s have a quick social media crash course and why it’s important for your business.
Social Media is where the majority (that’s right the majority) of people spend their time. Current research shows that people check their Facebook , Twitter and other social media accounts a whopping 17 times per day. That’s the bulk of their waking hours if not more! “And before you launch into a “kids these days” tirade, bear in mind that surprisingly, the majority of these compulsive social media checkers are adults, with the highest usage observed in those between the ages of 25 and 54. Comparatively speaking, teenagers and young adults (those between 15 and 24) were actually less prone to staying glued to their smartphones”. ( Source ) Oh snap! You might want to text your kid so they can monitor your social media usage from here on out. We can’t have you using up all the shared family data now can we? In a nutshell, a social media presence allows your customers a chance to get to know you on a more personal level. From showcasing the company culture to the rapid response rate with which you address client questions, it can show people who you are on a more human level. Social Media allows you to build likeability, trust and a mutual exchange with clients, which in turn could convert a soft lead into a hard lead if you’re on you’re A-game!
AMA – Ask Me Anything. Often used as a prompt for questions from users.
Algorithm – A set of formulas for a computer to perform a certain function. Example: Facebook uses an algorithm to determine which posts appear in your feed.
Avatar – An image or username that represents a person or business online.
Bitly – A free URL shortening services. Useful for sharing links on social media, especially on Twitter where character length is valuable real estate. Another URL shortener site would be ow.ly.
Bio – A short intro or explanation of who someone is online.
Block – Not allowing a specific user to follow your or comment on a post for various reasons. See also “troll”.
Blog – A word that was created by combining two words: “web” and “log”. Serves as an online forum or site where a user can create an ongoing series of posts on a subject or subjects.
Chat – Communication over the internet traditionally referring to one-on-one communication. Commonly referred to as Instant Messaging or IM.
Check-In – Typically used on Facebook and Foursquare to denote when a user physically visited a geotagged location.
Circles – Commonly used on Google+ and refers to a group of friends, colleagues or family that a user chooses to share content with online.
Clickbait – A sensationalized headline designed to grab attention and cause a person to click on a link. The subsequent link may or may not have anything to do with the original title. Seen as a marketing or advertising ploy for to cause engagement.
Comment – A response or reaction posted to a social network
Connections – Pertains mainly to LinkedIn and denotes the direct link between two users.
Cover Photo – A horizontal and public image at the top of a Facebook profile. Similar to a Twitter header image.
Direct Message – Also referred to as “DM’s”. Private conversations that occur on Twitter. Both users must be following each other in order to DM. A private “chat” in the Twitter-verse.
Emoji – A cartoon-like symbol that can be used on various social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. An app that can also be added to your keyboard settings on a smartphone in order to allow emoji symbols to be used in a text message.
Engagement – A social media metric denoting the amount of interaction a post or piece of content receives. Measured in “likes”, “shares” and “comments”.
Facebook – A social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 and currently has over 1.5 billion users.
Fans – A term used predominately when referring to Facebook users and denotes people that “Like” a Business Page.
Favorite – The equivalent of a “Like” on Facebook, but refers to Twitter. When a user “likes” or clicks the star icon on a particular tweet.
Flickr – An online photo sharing platform.
Follower – A person who subscribes to your social media account in order to receive future notifications of your activity on that particular platform.
Follow Friday or #ff – A hashtag trend or term used to describe the recommendation to follow other users. The account being recommended is then tagged in the post so people viewing the post can find and follow that account.
Friends – A term used on Facebook and other social media channels to represent connections between online users. People you might be friendly enough with IRL (In Real Life) to engage with online.
Geotag - Location coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. For example, the location of a post or in which a certain photo was taken.
GIF – An acronym standing for Graphics Interchange Format. Short animations and clips.
Google+ - A social network provided by Google.
Handle – A person’s username on Twitter and Instagram.
Header Image – An image displayed at the top of a Twitter profile.
Hangout – A video chat service on Google+ that allows you to chat with up to 10 users at a time.
Hashtag – The # sign followed by a word or words without spaces denoting a subject. The use of hashtags on a photo or post then make that image searchable by that hashtag subject name.
HTML – Stands for HyperText Markup Language and is a programming language for web pages.
Impressions – A metric used to denote the instances when an ad is clicked.
Instagram – A photo sharing app that allows users to apply filters, captions and hashtags to their images.
Like – An action made by a social media user that shows endorsement or approval of a post without commenting. On Twitter, this would be called a Favorite button denoted by a small heart icon.
LinkedIn – A business oriented social media platform.
Live Streaming – Providing content in real time.
Lurker – Someone who is an active user on social media sites and reads posts but never engages with them by liking or commenting.
Meme – A picture with text overlay that portrays a joke. Can also be in video or link format.
Mention – The act of tagging another account in a post with the intention of giving credit or drawing that user’s attention to the specific post.
Native posting – Content created and posted on the platform it was intended for rather than creating a generic post and “pushing” it out to all the others. Posts appear less ad-y and more seamless when seen on the channel is was created for.
News Feed – Typically on the homepage of user accounts displaying the posts of other users that the person in question follows. On Twitter, this is called a timeline. Also called, Feed or Home Feed.
Pinterest – A social media platform that acts like an online vision board with images that users can “pin” to their specific boards.
Podcast – A series of digital media files, usually audio, that are released as episodes or subjects.
PPC – Stands for Pay Per Click. Denotes a type of online advertising using content created ads where the advertiser pays when users click through to the landing page content.
Post – A piece of content on a social platform. Either user generated or shared.
Retweet – When another user sees your tweet or content and decides to share it on their own timeline. The retweet carries the original user’s handle with it.
SEO – Stands for Search Engine Optimization and refers to increasing unpaid traffic or volume to a site via various search engines.
Selfie – A photo taken by the user of the user using the reverse camera on a smartphone.
Share – When one user, re-posts content created by another user.
Skype – A free software program for video, voice and text messages over the internet.
Snapchat – A social platform where users post time-sensitive video and pictures to their “story” or feed or select certain followers to view the content. Content is called “snaps” on this platform.
Tag – The ability to give credit or include another user in a post. A link back to another user or profile within a post.
Throwback Thursday or #TBT – The act of saving older content in order to post it on a Thursday with the hashtag #tbt or #throwbackthursday. References an image, video or occurrence that happened in the past.
Trending Topic – A popular subject appearing across several social media channels at the same time, either with similar content and or hashtags.
Troll – A user that hangs out in various groups or forums with the intention of posting comments or posts that evoke a reaction.
Tumblr – A social platform where users can post videos, pictures, links, etc. to their blog. Users can follow and repost other blogs as well.
Twitter – A real-time microblogging social platform using 140 characters to convey content.
Unfriending or Unfollow – The act of choosing to stop following or being “friends” with another user on a social media platform.
Vine – Social platform employing short 6-second video clips as content. Clips are called Vine’s.
Viral – An instance when a piece of content is shared and followed on a large scale. Viral content can turn into a trending topic of it gets enough reach.
Vlogging – A video version of a blog post hence the name denoting the combination of the words “video” and “blogging”. Can also be shortened to “Vlog”. Commonly seen on video platforms such as YouTube.
Webinar – An online class or seminar intended to teach or create a sort of online conference session.
# - Originally the pound- sign on telephones, now typically known as a hashtag on social media platforms. A word or words without spaces follow this symbol and creates a sort of link to the piece of content it is attached to in order to make that image or content a searchable item.
Big Print = Big Impact! Collateral printed on large format printers and can be as big as you can imagine. Pieces can be seemed together flawlessly for limitless possibilities. With this in mind, the project possibilities are endless.
Let’s do a little elementary school brainstorming and come up with some ideas or uses for a large format printer: banners, posters, wall coverings, floor graphics, window graphics, tradeshow graphics, table cloths, contour cut decals, table top graphics, pop up banners, vehicle wraps, poster boards, large checks, personalized white boards, sidewalk signs, canvas prints on stretcher boards, outdoor printed signs on metal backing, flags. I could keep going with this list, but I do believe I got my point across. Do you want to make the biggest impact in your community when promoting your business or organization? If the answer is yes, then a large format piece is the obvious answer. Imagine your vehicle rolling down the road with your logo and message splattered all over it (strategically placed splatters of course!). How many people do you think you pass in a given day while driving? If you’re driving during business hours and just beyond here on the Central Coast, you bet thousands of eyes are going to be drawn to your beautifully designed (yeah, we can do that too!) wrapped vehicle. So, if that is the case, how could you possibly NOT afford to wrap your vehicle? Now ponder this for a second…if thousands of eyes view your wrapped vehicle in one day, just think about how many eyes will view it over several days? How about several years? With UV laminate applied, this marketing piece will last for years upon years and look fabulous year after year. But, you’re thinking to yourself, those eyes will likely be the same eyes! Even better. More often times than not, it takes several exposures to make those eyes your new customer.
So, when reviewing your marketing plan and strategy, no matter your budget, always, always include large format if you’re interested in community wide exposure. You will get the best bang for your buck on a lasting piece that won’t disappoint!
Author: Alli Borja is a print and web consultant with Poor Richard’s Press who has over 7 years of experience in the printing industry. For a one on one consultation with Alli to go over your large format needs that will accommodate your budget, feel free to call (805)878-8920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to set something up.
Our awesome team at PRP is comprised of talented individuals that make our paper and print world go round! One of our rock star peeps is Web and Print Consultant, Alli Borja. Alli is a Central Coast local and loves everything about our beautiful region. “The land, the people, the commerce, the products that come out of the area such as vegetables, wine and so much more. We are very fortunate to call the Central Coast home!” Alli has been a PRP mover, shaker and print maker since 2012 and has a passion for helping people by fostering great working relationships with her clients. Her favorite thing about working at PRP is “all my coworkers!” She further states, “When good things happen, we recognize that amongst each other. There is a nice vibe with the team where everyone likes and respects each other which in turn makes for a pleasant work environment. Happy people make productive people.” We couldn’t agree more and are lucky to have such a fantastic team!
Here at Poor Richard’s Press , every print job that exits our shop starts as a file. To ensure that these files are “print-ready”, they go through a process called “Preflight”. Preflight is handled by our Pre Media Specialist, Neal. Neal ensures that your file is the right size, format, color, checks all bleeds and margins and generally makes sure your file is going to print well so that you are happy with the end product! So what exactly is “pre-flight”? Well, here we go with a few words from the man himself! Take it away Neal…
It’s always a good idea to begin by defining terminology, so that’s where I’ll start:
Preflight: adjective \ˈprē-ˌflīt\
The process of confirming that digital files submitted for the printing process meet the technical requirements of that process.
This is very cut and dry; there are specific requirements a file must meet in order to produce a printed sheet on an offset press.
To better understand why we preflight, consider the difference between Quality Control and Quality Assurance . Quality Control , inspects a product after it’s been manufactured and rejects that which does not meet a set standard. Quality Assurance , inspects the product along every point of manufacturing in an attempt to stop a defect before it happens . This basic principle was applied to the Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1950s by W. Edward Deming, and the results made Toyota a worldwide industry leader in automobile manufacturing.
Preflighting employs Quality Assurance to catch problems before they result in defective products. The alternative would be to simply output every file we receive, print and deliver. Based on the problems we see every day with supplied files, we’d have a lot of unhappy clients. So preflighting is a pre-emptive measure designed to save our clients a lot of expensive and needless printing costs and instead deliver a quality product. It’s really that simple.
Preflighting is not designed to scold someone for not understanding the technical requirements of creating a file. We understand that not everyone who creates a file is even aware of these specifications. Our team will go to great lengths to assist you in preparing files that will produce a product that meets your expectations.
The best advice I can give you is to talk to us before you begin. You’d be amazed at the level of service we’re willing to provide, at no cost, to assist you. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I know the technical issues, but that’s not a big deal. Anyone can learn that. What I’ve learned to do in that time is to teach others in a way that’s not overwhelming or intimidating. I like teaching people how to negotiate this process. So give me a call and let’s get started!
Neal is a Pre Media and Client Support Specialist. He has been a mover, a shaker and a print maker with us for about 20 years and loves to help our client projects look their very best. In his spare time, he plays a mean guitar!