Archive for December, 2009

Envelope Tips That Force Recipients to Open and Read Contents

Direct mailing or mail marketing is one of the best and low cost ways to promote a business. People put a lot of thought on the content and design and forget in a hurry that the recipient has to open the letter to read through the messages sent by you. Most of the mails are opened near a trash box and once anything unwanted is spotted the letter gets its place in the basket. So you would have half a second to convince the recipient that the mail is something he/she needs to have a look at. This is the reason why right from the envelopes to the stamps and other minute details should be given utmost attention.

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There are many things that make a busy recipient read through your marketing letter. Following is a set of tricks that will ensure that the marketing letter sent by you is opened and read through.

  • Planning – To execute a successful direct mailing campaign you should always have an idea of what the campaign can do and cannot do. Also be sure about the messages that you want to give to your prospective clients. With a good marketing content you are sure to get food follow-ups.
  • Recipients – Make sure that the letters are sent to the right audience. To have the desired effect on your campaign a target list should be prepared well in advance. This should be done with a lot of research and analysis.
  • Simplicity – After the list is finalized start the content development and designing plans. Make sure that the designs are not flashy and the content is not rich in jargon.

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  • Hand Addressed and Stamped Mails – Using the number 10 envelope that is readily available with the printers is a good option. The mails should contain a metered postage and a typed address which will impress the recipient. Many color schemes on the envelope may also be used to attract attention. This may be suggested to you by the printers or you might choose it yourself. Remember to have a return address on the mail.
  • Tracking the mails – Differentiate the mailing list with a number of colors and try to find out the positives and negatives in the campaign which will help you at a later date.

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  • Create Enticements – Make the recipient eager by giving some lucrative information on the envelope itself. Inside the letter you should always have the most important information in the first paragraph. A P.S. Summarizing the offer should also be included in the mail.
  • Personalize – Address each and every recipient by the recipient’s name. This makes the recipient feel unique and gives your marketing campaign an edge over others.
  • Scannable Text – The content for the letter should use bullets so that all the information can be easily noticed. Content should be easily understandable and all the offerings should be mentioned using bold or larger typefaces.
  • Easy to respond – Not only should you include an address but also you may give a reply card or a postage paid envelope.
  • Frequency – Send regular follow up mails to the target list. Mails should be sent atleast six weeks apart.

While planning for your marketing moves do consult the printing agency for the availability of the envelopes and the time of delivery. There are so many printing service providers but PrintPapa has many types of printing services that will meet your requirement.

Date: 29th December, 2009 | Under: Marketing | No Comments

Better Files – 7 Common Mistakes!

Every designer is taught to make their artwork press ready but hardly do they abide by this rule. As a result, a lot of time and effort is wasted and the deadline for your printing project often gets delayed. Only the printing service providers know how much hard work goes into providing high quality prints. On top of that, if there are serious mistakes in the formatting of the print-ready copies then the work just gets increased manifold. So, why not give the printers a break and send them files that will be easy to print. Here are 7 things to do while sending a work for printing:

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1. Giving Detailed Specifications – While placing your order at a printing agency you know what the final work should look like. Why not enlighten the printing agency with all the detailed specifications? There are many small things that help a printing agency to give you the desired prints quickly such as trim size, number of colors, whether there is need for special printing methods such as die-cut or varnishing as well as special folding instructions. Calling up the printer and providing the information that will help him print quickly and efficiently. The more information you provide to the printing service provider the better quality of output you will get.

2. Avoiding Excessive Use of Spot Colors – Using many spot colors without knowing which ones are spot and which can be run as process can be a nightmare for the printing agency. Designers use as many spot colors as possible (sometimes even 23 of them together). Not knowing that every spot color requires a new plate increases your printing bills. Printing presses cannot handle more than 6-8 colors and there are high risks of getting unsatisfactory prints. So, the final document should be devoid of all the unwanted spot colors. Spot colors should only be used when there is the utmost need for color consistency as is the case with logos.

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3. Add Bleeds – Leave a space of 1/8 inches (or larger space for die-cuts) in order to accommodate for the white border that will be used around the printed piece. If this is not done then some of the vital parts of the print might be lost and then again, the end result might look unfurnished.

4. Low Resolution or RGB Images – So many people think that web is the best way to get quality images. But there are originality as a well as screen resolution issues. While choosing the web images choose those that have a DPI of at least 300 to get good print quality. Always remember that if the images look good on screen, it doesn’t mean they will look good after printing too!

5. Proper Document Size – Many designers do not know about the proper document size. There are various things that should be accommodated for in the document such as wraps, grooves, scores and hardware. A lot of time is taken if a document has to be re-sized and re-formatted.

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6. Using Similar Fonts – Most of the printers use font management systems that are unable to use TrueType and PostScript fonts together. To make the task easier, convert all the fonts to outlines before the final work is sent to the printing agency.

7. Make Decisions in Advance – There are so many times when the situation will force you to keep the vital printing decisions till the last minute. For other occasions, it is wise to have a plan made well in advance. Taking some extra time for designing and production allows you to get enough time for making the files print ready.

Checking on these vital aspects will be a blessing in disguise so that you can get the desired results that you wished for! For more learning visit our FAQ section at PrintPapa.com

Date: 28th December, 2009 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Who says DIRECT MAIL does not work ? PrintPapa Trade Program – A Success Story !

We folks at PrintPapa try to practice what we preach (once in a while anyway). For years we have been promoting direct mail marketing in a big way as one of the most cost effective and cheapest methods of acquiring new business/customers as well as for  introducing new products and services to your existing customer base. However when it came to marketing our own business for whatever reason we somehow never got around to using direct mail as an effective marketing tool. We did dabble in it a couple of times with not so promising results so we never did go all the way.

All that changed however towards the end of 2008, early 2009 timeframe. This is traditionally slow period for our business and this time around it was especially bad because of the economy. Without going into all the gory details, in an attempt to beef up our print volume and utilize all the excess capacity, we decided to do a full scale launch of our Trade or Wholesale Print Program targeted at other Printers, Print Brokers, Copy Shops, Graphic Designers and other Resellers of printed products. The primary mode of getting the word out that PrintPapa was now also involved in the Wholesale Printing business was a direct mail campaign. We purchased a mailing list of apprx. 3500+ prospects from InfoUSA (our preferred vendor for lists) within a 50 mile radius of our location and planned on a 6-9 month campaign consisting of 6 rounds of mailings.

Fast forward to Dec 2009 – as a direct result of our mailing campaign we now can boast of having 200 registered Trade customers of which about 75+ customers place orders on an regular basis. More importantly sales to our Trade customers now account for apprx. 40%+ of total revenue and is the only reason why our company experienced double digit growth in 2009, one of the toughest years for the printing business in recent history, and almost all of that growth came from the trade part of the business. The success of the direct mail campaign (which btw is still ongoing) has prompted us to expand the reach of our Trade marketing program from a regional to a national level thru other channels of advertising. Most importantly the success of the trade pogram has fueled equipment upgrades and expansion programs in this tough economic environment and has positioned PrintPapa as a major player in the Trade Printing business in the Northern California region.

So take my advice and start thinking about how direct mail can help grow your business this coming year. Make it an integral part of your companies marketing budget and execute without hesitation as it is by far the cheapest and most cost effective method of acquiring new business and keeping in touch with existing customers. Pickup the phone and call us at PrintPapa (800-657-7181) or visit www.printpapa.com , we have the expertise to get things rolling for you !!!

Date: 27th December, 2009 | Under: Marketing | No Comments

Happy Holidays from PrintPapa.

Top quality printing and dependable service from %%Business Name%%

Happy Holidays!

This seems like the busiest time of year, but no one is thinking about work!

As our focus turns to family, friends and holiday cheer, we send our best wishes to you and yours. However you celebrate, we wish you peace, joy and prosperity!

From your friends at PrintPapa

 
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Date: 22nd December, 2009 | Under: Print News | 1 Comment

Reasons to use Green Printing!

With widespread concerns about pollution in various quarters of life isn’t it wise to do whatever one can to save this beautiful planet? Green printing is the latest trend in the industry. This type of printing service not only reflects the caring attitude for the planet but is affordable too. Though green printing is not as cheap as some of the other conventional types of printing services, it has many other advantages that are making people go green. Below are some of the advantages:

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  • Cost Effective – Though the costing for green printing might seem high initially but in the long run they prove to be an economic option. On top of this, there are many green printing agencies that offer very competitive prices for such services.
  • End Results – The recycled papers used in this process are of the highest quality and give great prints while the vegetable or soy inks are made to produce vibrant colors. Such prints also last for a longer time than the prints made from conventional printers.
  • Quick Shift – It is easy to make a switch from conventional printing to green printing. Just place your order and watch the results. These printers follow the same process as conventional printers.

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  • Eco friendly – The sole purpose of using such printing service is to make others feel that you care for the planet. The earth has given so much to us. This is just a small gesture on your part.
  • Appreciated by Customers – Using green printing service is a feather in your cap. Your customers will appreciate the caring heart you have for nature. It will convey your obligations to the society and the environment at the same time.
  • Printing is Essential – Printing is needed by all organizations big and small for various purposes. So, if you are going to use the printing services why not use green printing and show your responsibility towards the planet.

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  • Spreading the Thought – It might so happen that your green prints might inspire many other companies to take up this form of eco-friendly printing service.

When there is a way to thank the planet for all it has given why not use the green alternative! There are so many printing agencies (one of them is PrintPapa) that provides green printing services. So, use it and feel good!

At PrintPapa below are the list of things we do which classifies us as a Green Printer

  • Chemistry Free Plate Making Process: We use Presstek Computer To Plate Making machine to make the printing plates, which can just be rinsed with plain water. No need for developer or fixer, or polyester films, masking sheets and tapes.
  • Waterless Offset DI Presses: Our presses are waterless press and here is a link to read more about how environmental friendly is a DI Press.
  • We recycle all paper waste.
  • We recycle all metal plates
  • We turn off all lights, AC, fans before we go home.
  • We use electronic Job Tickets to save on paper and also allows us to be more efficient.
  • Plus many more small things we do everyday.
Date: 22nd December, 2009 | Under: Print News | 1 Comment

PrintPapa Inklings – Dec 09

Top quality printing and dependable service from %%Business Name%%
Happy Holidays!

From all of us at PrintPapa, we send our best wishes to you and yours for the holiday season. However you celebrate, we wish you peace, joy and prosperity!

Let us help you put some extra sparkle in your next print job: Bring it to us by Dec 31st, and get 10% OFF (upto $100 max) on any ONLINE order. See details below!

Best regards,
PrintPapa

1920 Lafayette Street, Unit K
Santa Clara, CA 95050

Place your order
by [12/31/09],

SAVE 10%!*
On Any Order.
Code: 10poffHoliday

*Limit one offer per business. Max Discount $100. New online orders only. Does not apply to custom quoted jobs, jobs in progress, wholesale jobs.

Bah, humbug
A group of chess enthusiasts had checked into a hotel and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories. After a while, the hotel manager came out and asked them to disperse, explaining, “I can’t stand chess nuts boasting in an open foyer.”
A guy goes into a restaurant for breakfast while visiting his hometown for the holidays. After looking over the menu, he tells the waiter, “I’ll have the Eggs Benedict.”
When his order comes, it’s served on a large, shiny hubcap. The customer asks, “What’s with the hubcap?”
The waiter replies, “Oh, there’s no plate like chrome for the hollandaise!”
Quick Tips
Hints for working with fonts for trouble free print jobs
Difficulties with fonts account for more delays, mistakes and extra costs than any other file preparation issues. Avoid problems with your jobs by following this checklist:
Include all the fonts used in your file, and any used in eps graphics files placed in your layout. Check against the font usage report in your layout document.
OpenType and TruType fonts have only one file, but Type 1 (Postscript) fonts have two: a screen and a printer font. Be sure to include both with your job.
Avoid MultipleMaster, or MM fonts. This technology did not become popular enough to be consistently implemented in high end systems. Results can be unpredictable.
If your layout software includes a collection utility, or you have access to one separately, do use it, but please double check that all the correct fonts were included, particularly if you have different versions of fonts installed on your system.
When formatting type in your layout, make sure to use the bold or italic versions of each font you wish to appear as bold or italic – for example, Times Bold Italic. Even though your software may allow you to apply bolding and other styles to Times Roman, for example, you should avoid doing this. The results may print well on your laser printer, but on our high resolution equipment the system cannot “fake it”, and may substitute a default font with unexpected results.
It is good practice to go through the fonts installed on your machine periodically, and remove duplicates or different versions of the same font from different manufacturers.
Business as usual?
The Americans and the Japanese decided to engage in a competitive boat race. Both teams practiced hard and long to reach peak performance. On the big day they felt ready.
The Japanese won by a mile.
Afterward, the American team was discouraged by the loss. Morale sagged. Corporate management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found, so a consulting firm was hired to investigate the problem and recommend corrective action.
The consultant’s finding: The Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering; the American team had one person rowing and eight people steering.
After a year of study and millions spent analyzing the problem, the consultant firm concluded that too many people were steering and not enough were rowing on the American team. So as race day neared again the following year, the American team’s management structure was completely reorganized. The new structure: four steering managers, three area steering managers, and a new performance review system for the person rowing the boat to provide work incentive.
The next year, the Japanese won by TWO miles. Humiliated, the American corporation laid off the rower for poor performance and gave the mangers a bonus for discovering the problem.
Consult – v.t. To seek another’s approval of a course already decided on.
Ambrose Bierce The Devil’s Dictionary
COMMITTEE: A body that keeps minutes and wastes hours.
anon

We are here to help.

Let us help you get better results for your business with beautiful printing and dependable service.

Whether you are working on large, complex projects, or simply need something small turned around quickly, we can help you make every dime count. You can depend on our friendly, professional service to deliver the results you need, when you need.

800-657-7181

Send an email.

People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is car or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.
Mary Kay Ash, founder, Mary Kay Cosmetics
Choose a job you like and you will never have to work a day of your life.
Confucius
Many an optimist has become rich by buying out a pessimist.
Robert G. Allen, real estate author
Why are builders afraid to have a 13th floor, but book publishers aren’t afraid to have a Chapter 11?

Brochures Menus
Newsletters Posters
Business Cards Booklets
Postcards Labels
Stationery Flyers
Rack Cards Forms

Whatever you need, we make you look great!

When you entrust your printing to us you can relax, and expect a beautifully crafted job delivered on time. Our team of professionals is dedicated to producing the highest quality, along with friendly, efficient service.
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Date: 18th December, 2009 | Under: Fun Stuff | No Comments

Promoting a Business with Desktop Calenders

What is that one thing that people cannot do without on any given day of their lives? It is a calender. Everyone needs a calender and this is one of the reasons why a well designed desktop calender can go a long way in making people conscious about your business and services. Calenders, unlike many other marketing tools, cannot be read and forgotten as they are constantly in front of your eyes. Every time your clients see the calender they will also see the company logo and other messages that accompany it. Viral marketing is also one of the important aspects of desktop calenders. If your calender contains colorful pictures and good displays, then they can be seen by other people too, and the message of your brand will reach many others.  So, now you know the worth of this marketing tool and want to use this by creating a well designed desktop calender. The following suggestions will be of help to you in your quest:

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  • Visual Statement – Create a strong visual statement through your desktop calenders. Using an unusual photograph on it is a good idea. You may also use a beautiful photograph that will symbolize your business goals in one way or the other. While designing the calender be sure to be different as that will make your business stand out from the rest in the crowd and people will definitely take notice!

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  • Be Different – The desktop calenders can be given away to anybody you know, your clients, visitors, etc. A calender does not have to be expensive to grab attention. It has to be unique in its appeal. Using cartoons, beautiful landscapes, etc. will do the trick. While choosing the theme, it’s of utmost importance to keep in mind the taste of your clients.
  • Promotional Activities – There are many companies that offer attractive promotional competitions where photographs of the winners are featured in the calenders. These types of promotions are highly successful as most people crave for instant fame, thus, creating a buzz around the product.

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Once you have selected the theme and all the plans are ready, it is up to you to choose the right printing agency that will be able to execute your work properly.

At PrintPapa we offer 2 sizes for calendars:

  1. Large Calendar: 8.5×11 – folded size – hang size is 11×17: No. of pages 28 for a 12 month calendar.
  2. Small Calendar: 8.5×5.5 – folded size – hang size is 8.5×11: No. of pages 28 for a 12 month calendar.
Date: 17th December, 2009 | Under: Marketing | No Comments

Booklet Printing is the Right Thing to Do!

Booklet printing is a soft marketing method the use of which has increased phenomenally as companies and marketing professionals have set out to experiment with both marketing campaign strategies as well as with marketing channels. However, booklets have evolved as core marketing collateral only recently, as companies have realized that they have much more consumer retention potential than a stand alone banner advertisement or poster ad.

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Booklets, however, have always been one of the most popular forms of print material available in the industry. But their use as a marketing tool has actually become the primary purpose they serve now. In spite of being smaller than most print advertisements or marketing campaign documents, the power of booklets lies in improving consumer interest and retaining consumer loyalty for the product, service or for the firm itself.

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Booklets come in different shapes and sizes, along with a difference in print and cover finishes. Choosing the exact and most relevant size for your booklet to be used in a marketing campaign is crucial to the actual effect it has within the campaign as well as the range of impact it has on the target consumer base. This is why, like all other marketing campaign strategies, booklet printing and marketing also needs thorough homework (read research) before implementation. From shopping around for different professional printing agencies to consulting the experienced professionals (preferably insiders) for the contemporary design and content ideas, only a thorough market research and detailed profiling of the target consumer base is necessary for any booklet printing and marketing idea to succeed.

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However, the most important this to keep in mind regarding a booklet printing strategy is the choice of the printing agency. The only thing that readers will be concerned with while your booklet is presented to them is the quality of the print and the content. Now, allowing an amateur venture to take care of your booklet printing needs, in order to balance your cost concerns will leave your booklet printing and marketing crusade seriously compromised.

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Why? Well, the most significant reason to choose a professional printing agency is to provide a professional touch to the look and feel of the booklet. You must keep in mind that a booklet, no matter how small or how thin it maybe, when once used in a marketing campaign, turns into literally the face of your company to the niche consumer base you promote it to. Therefore, there is no margin for even the minutest of errors as well as the reflection of an amateurish feel. From the colors being vibrant to the alignment of the textual content, from the actual difference between highlighted text and the normal text to the finish of the paper the booklets are printed on, each and every aspect of your booklet printing can affect the result that you desire from your marketing campaign.

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So, as much as the design or development of the booklets, the printing also has a huge role in helping your booklet marketing campaign to take shape. With all of the nuances in place, booklet printing and assisting your marketing campaign with the same is the right thing to pursue today!

PrintPapa offers the following as part of the Booklet Printing

Date: 14th December, 2009 | Under: Marketing, Tips & Tricks | 3 Comments

Tips to Create a Proper Print Ready File

Printing is a facet that can make a good work appear great. To get good results from your printer you should always be ready to help out the printer in all respects. Sending the work to the printers is one of the important tasks for you. When the formats are correct this saves a lot of time for the printing agencies and also produces optimum output for you. Before sending the work it is always necessary to ask the printers about the type of software and tools they will be using while printing the copies. In case of printing and designing the images there are various types of software that are being used by the printing service providers. These software range from Adobe InDesign, Corel Draw, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Publisher, etc. Then there are many varieties of printers using which the printing is done so here are some of the steps to creating a print ready file:

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  • Format: In case of the artworks the most preferred format is high resolution PDF files.
  • Resolution: To get clear prints for the images the resolution needs to be minimum of 300 dpi. If the resolution is less than this then there is a high probability that the images might be blurred and distorted. Bear it in mind that most of the images found over the Internet have a resolution of 72 dpi, and thus, they cannot be used by the printing agencies for printing.

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  • Colors: The color format for the files should be in CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black). This format is used by most of the printing service providers. If the files are sent in formats such as Pantone and RGB then they are automatically converted into CMYK format. But in such instances there are some changes in the selected colors.
  • Fonts: If you using a font that is rare to find then there are high chances that the printer might not have it. This is why the documents should be sent in easy to find fonts. If a font is used that is not with the printer then your work might be automatically substituted by any other mundane font style. Also do not forget to mention the font type on top of the work so that the printer can readily understand. Most of the Design Software will have a way to convert the fonts to an image (called outline in Illustrator). That way you do not have to worry about the fonts getting converted wrongly or incorrect type.
  • Text: For printing purposes it is generally asked that the texts should be finished at least 5 mm or 1/8th” from the edge of the page.

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  • Pagination: Arrange all the pages and documents in page order. If the files are sent in PDF format then they will automatically be numbered.
  • Bleeds: If you have colors, graphics, line going to the edge of the printed sheet then you need to extend those elements o.25″ beyond the finish size. So for e.g. a 8.5×11 flyer with bleeds will need to be of 8.75×11.25 inches in size, so that when the paper is cut the bleeds show up properly.

With these simple steps you can make the task of the printing service providers a lot easier and quicker, and thus, get all the printed materials on time. Visit PrintPapa FAQ section to learn more about producing the correct print ready files.

Date: 9th December, 2009 | Under: Tips & Tricks | No Comments

Mistakes to Avoid While Designing Postcards

Postcards are one of the best tools to enhance the popularity of your business along with building good customer relationships. Though this tool of marketing has often been overlooked, postcards have become an easy, fast and reliable way to increase the sale of your products and services without having to spend a fortune. The unique designs and content of this tool make it much more efficient than other methods of marketing. But it is necessary to take wise decisions to maximize the gains from postcards. There are thousands and thousands of printers providing postcards in today’s date, therefore, it is essential to be aware of some of the common mistakes that are committed while choosing a printer. Printers play an important role in transforming a mind-blowing concept for a business card into reality. Good postcards will be kept by the clients and not thrown away. So, here are some of the things that should be done while choosing a printer:

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  • Don’t look for cheap services – As it is always said, cheaper does not mean the better. You can get a postcard for free or for a nominal cost from some printing services. In fact, there are so many free postcard templates available on the Internet that it would be difficult for you to find an original idea. Using these types of free templates and cheap printing services can send a wrong message across to your target audience. Unique designs and content, and customized templates can definitely work as distinctions between serious service providers and those that are run-of-the-mill type.

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  • Avoid Flashy Designs – Using blazing colors and designs does not help in business marketing. All the important information should be written in easy to read fonts, carrying a slogan of your company and of course its logo. Such type of design features help to create a great impression on your clients.
  • Adjust the Font Size – The font size should be such that it can be read easily by readers belonging to any age group.
  • Highlight the Important Information – Business postcards should be used as a call to action, therefore, the important information should be made distinct using bold and large fonts.

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  • Never Use Postcards Carrying Outdated Information – Outdated information, when read by would-be clients, send a wrong message to them. You definitely have the option to strike out the wrong printed information with a pen and write down the correct information. But think of the impression you’ll make in this process. So, why not take the help of printing agencies to print postcards carrying the latest information to boost your image in front of your clients.

When you have an idea about the do’s and dont’s of postcard printing and designing, then choosing the right printing agency becomes a walk in the park.

At PrintPapa we can offer 7 different sizes of postcards. Our Postcards are printed on heavy 14 pt. Card Stock with UV for extra protection. Provide us with the design and the mailing list and we take care of the rest. That is Printing and Mailing.

Date: 8th December, 2009 | Under: Marketing | 1 Comment


 

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