Thought Leadership

    Adobe Creative Cloud

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    Instead of purchasing individual applications or even a Creative Suite 6 bundle (such as Design & Web Premium for layout work or Production Premium for video), Creative Cloud lets you access everything for a monthly fee.  Our Prepress Department  supports any design work using this new version and always has the most recent versions of the applications used in our industry.  More information about  Adobe Creative Cloud is available at:


    Creating an Effective Trade Show Environment

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    The environment created must reflect your brand, create awareness and position your product, be relevant to attendees and generate traffic. All of this must be done in an area that may be as small as 6’x8’.

    In my opinion, one of the mistakes that many companies make when designing their space for the standard 6×8 booth is to cram too much information in their display materials. It typically takes about 5 seconds for someone to walk by your booth. A backdrop that is full of text and graphics will make it difficult for an attendee to discern your message. If the attendee is not sure of what your company has to offer they are more likely to continue on to the next booth. In other words, keep it simple.

    Depending on your budget, the area can include different types of signage. The least expensive is a retractable banner stand. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The signage can be printed on a flexible material that can be customized for each show and attached to the hardware that can be used for future shows.

    One of the things that you can do to easily enhance your booth is a custom printed table cloth. Most trade shows supply a standard cloth with a generic black and white sign containing your company name. A bright colored table cloth with your logo printed on the front will help you standout from neighboring booths.

    Most trade show booths come with a 6’ foot table as part of the space. I personally like to put the table at the back of the booth rather than the front. By putting it at the back of the booth allows you to design a tabletop backdrop that can be set against the back of the table. Any brochures or premium items can be set in front of this. The tabletop backdrops are less expensive than the full-length backdrops. Some trade shows can have very tight aisle ways. By setting the table towards the back, it allows an attendee to step into your booth, away from the traffic and creates an open space. Lastly, by having the table in the rear, you can also add a full length retractable banner at the front of the booth. For a successful trade show use less graphics, create an open environment and keep smiling!

    Is Print Dead?

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    Well to quote Mark Twain, “the reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated”.  This certainly applies to printing in today’s business environment.   Print is alive and well and consumers continue to view mail as a highly relevant and significant part of their lives.  Consider the following:

    • 70% of Americans including 69% of 18-24 year olds state they prefer to read print and paper communications rather than reading off a screen.
    • Consumers in the 18-34 demographic prefer to learn about marketing offers via postal mail and newspapers rather than online sources like social media sites.
    • 74% of college students prefer a printed textbook when taking a class.   And research shows that people learn more effectively from print than a computer.  (Sources: PIA and Paper Because)

    This is not to bash digital media and marketing.  Digital is a significant part of advertising that can’t and shouldn’t be avoided.  For the first time, web usage is overtaking TV viewing with online channels like You Tube.  There are over 1 million new blogs posts every day. Marketing as a science has changed.

    So it’s all about the mix.  We used to think in terms of traditional vs. digital marketing, traditional being TV, radio and print and digital being search, social, mobile and video.  But if you think about marketing putting the customer at the center, digital becomes another tool to reach the customer. 

    Companies and marketers talk a lot about integrated marketing.  This has been used to describe actions such as adding a website URL to an ad or sticking a QR code on a print piece.  Real integrated marketing is more than that.  It’s also been referred to probably more accurately as unified marketing.  This is a framework where all marketing tactics traditional and digital play a role and it’s based on the customer’s behavior.  It also means that digital is used to make traditional better.

    And it also means seeing a lift in your marketing results.  Statistics by vertical market are available in a white paper on our website but the lift can be significant.


    Envelopes 101

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    Following are some of the different envelope production methods and the pros and cons that go along with them:

    Printed pre-converted envelopes on a sheetfed press– This is the most common method for short to medium runs. The process allows for cost efficiently printing 250 to 25,000 quantities in spot colors of a static image. Heavy coverage is not recommended for this process, as the seams of the envelopes will show through the coverage. It is possible to bleed a thin line or small image but anything larger risks having the ink “offset” onto the back of the envelope during the production process.

    Printing pre-converted envelopes on a Jet press- This type of press is most cost effective for quantities of larger than 25,000.  These presses can print at speeds of up to 60,000 envelopes per hour. It can do process and spot colors. However, much like the sheetfed process, heavy coverage or bleeds are not recommended.

    Printing on flat sheets and converting afterwards– This type of process allows for the best reproduction quality. The envelopes are printed on a flat sheet then diecut and converted after the printing. This process can allow for printing on coated stocks, process and spot colors, as well as spot coatings and special effects. Heavy coverage and bleeds can be reproduced without a problem. One of the limitations of this process is that it is more expensive to have the design butt to the edge of the finished envelope. Because of the high diecutting process used (this allows for cutting a stack of sheets at one time) there is a 1/8” tolerance in the diecutting. Therefore it is recommended having any images wrap around to the back of the envelope so that any movements are not as visible to the eye. One way to avoid this is to diecut the envelopes on a letterpress; however this process adds significant cost in time. Also, because of the time involved for setup, this process has a higher unit cost for smaller quantities.

    Digital Laser on pre-converted envelopes– This process has become more popular as technology has significantly improved in the last couple of years. Digital laser allows for printing full color. Because of the digital technology, the colors are much richer than offset printing, which many feel is a positive. In addition, this process allows for variable imaging so that the envelope can be personalized to the intended recipient. The cost of printing larger quantities of these envelopes can be more expensive. However, the increased cost should be weighed against the possible increased ROI of a personalized envelope.

    Inkjet on pre-converted envelope- This process is the least expensive method of imprinting on an envelope. The downside of this method is that the resolution of the reproduction is much lower than the other processes. This method should be limited to line copy or very small graphics.


    Perfect Printing is first to install Heidelberg Kama76 Die Cutter in US

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    For our customers, this increases our print finishing capabilities and improves turnaround time with almost all foil stamping and embossing being done in-house.    We also can now cut up to 90 point board as well as plastic materials.  This press is perfect for a wide range of projects including presentation folders, CD pockets, displays, and packaging material.  Finishing techniques include kiss-cutting, creasing perforating, embossing, foil stamping and hologram stamping.  And this is economical even on small runs.  Contact your Perfect Printing sales representative today for additional information. 


    A Taste of Print

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    The last part of the blog focused on taste and how samples of a product could be integrated to a printed piece.  I jokingly commented that I would not suggest anyone chew on a direct mailer. According to news reports out of Harvard, I may have spoke to soon.

    According to the Boston Business Journal , venture capitalists are funding a startup company whose aim it is to make food and beverage packaging not only edible, but deliciously so. While the venture is in the initial stages, the day may not be far off where the actual package of food may taste better than what is actually inside the box. I can already hear my kids using this an excuse to say they ate an entire box of spinach for dinner.

    Create Response Using the Sense of Smell

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    This is sceht marketing at its simplest, you smell a scent connected to a particular product, and you decide to buy the product.

    But scent marketing's more subtle than that, it also creates associations in our brain between smells and elicits memories and emotions. Like when you're house-hunting and you come to a house that smells like chocolate chip cookies. Emotional connections are triggered so maybe you buy the house (no wonder Realtors urge home sellers to bake just before a prospective buyer comes knocking).

    Now your printed materials can integrate scent to increase attention, awareness and stimulate purchase activity. Scented varnishes are thin transparent coatings that are applied like any coating. The varnish contains tiny micro-capsules of scent which when rubbed are broken, allowing the scent to be released in the air. It is transparent and non-obtrusive over graphics.
    There are currently 68 different scents available ranging from chocolate to Christmas tree to fresh cut grass to stinky cheese (why?). Scented varnishes are relatively inexpensive which makes it a viable addition to set a piece apart. Scented varnishes can add interest to printed promotional items, direct mailers, tickets, handouts, fliers, etc.
    Contact me for more information on using scent in your print materials.

    The End of Saturday Delivery? Maybe or Maybe Not…

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    A closer look at how this pronouncement came to be and the laws behind it suggest that there is a very good chance that Saturday delivery will continue beyond August.

    In Washington speak; the Post Office has been funded by a continuing resolution that is passed annually. As part of this rider, Congress typically mandates that delivery must continue on Saturday. Because of the current budget mess in DC, the resolution is expiring in March. Therefore, the accompanying mandate that Saturday delivery service must be upheld is expiring as well.

    It is believed the Postmaster General took this opportunity to announce the discontinuance Saturday service as a way to push Congress towards true reform. At some point Congress will need to pass another continuing resolution and chances are this will continue to mandate Saturday delivery.
    Putting aside for now as to whether Saturday delivery should be continued, all of this is obscuring the problem that comprehensive reform of the postal service is required. Eliminating Saturday delivery would not come close to solving the problem. Unfortunately much of this is tied to the overall budget negotiations, which show no sign of being settled anytime soon. Hopefully our elected officials can get their act together before a crisis forces changes that could have been avoided if they were done soon.

    The Human Senses and Print

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    As I handed out various samples of printed pieces you immediately saw the heightened reaction as their senses were stimulated. Bright colors, die-cut shapes and scented pieces all created reactions that would have been hard to replicate so broadly with any other medium.

    Sight– This is what direct mail is primarily about. Marketers can reinforce their brand or, by using bold colors and design, can draw attention to the piece.
    Sound– For anyone that has received a greeting card with the sound chip built-in, there is no denying that this grabs your attention. This technology is evolving as the capacity of the sound chips increase while the cost of the chips decreases.
    Smell- And I don’t mean the natural smell of ink. The use of scented varnishes (lemon, coffee & chocolate are just some of the choices) can increase response rate significantly. The one possible downside is that scented pieces must mail in an envelope. The USPS is understandably alarmed when strange smells start emanating from the mail processing equipment.
    Touch- Embossing, die-cuts, dimensional mailers all scream “feel me” to the recipient.
    Taste- While I would not suggest that anyone try to chew on a direct mailer, the inclusion of product samples is just one way for a recipient to taste the product. There is also a company that has a patented peel ‘n taste strips that can be affixed to the printed carrier.
    For the foreseeable future, direct mail will remain the most effective way to reach out and deliver sight, sound, smell, touch and taste to the intended recipient.