Archive for June, 2011

What is bleed and why does my design need it?

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Regardless of what kind of project you are designing or what program you are using, you should always be mindful of bleed.

Although we offer full design services for all your printing needs, there are sometimes however, when you may supply us your artwork already completed. When doing so, you must remember to add bleeds when necessary.

Download a handy business card TEMPLATE by clicking here

When ink extends to or off the edge of the paper, it is referred to as a bleed in the print industry. The artwork or colour needs to extend beyond the desired finished size by an 1/8″. The paper is then trimmed to the desired finished size. We do this to ensure there are no white edges nor text that looks too close to the edge. This should all be done in the original design. We may be able to add it for you depending on file specifics, however additional charges may apply.

Therefore, a 3.5″ x 2″ business card would be designed at 3.75″ x 2.25″ to incorporate an 1/8″ bleed on each side. So if you have an 8.5″ x 11 brochure that bleeds, we actually print your brochure on a larger sheet of paper and then trim it down to a finished size of 8.5″ x 11″.

Below I have some illustrations I created to help demonstrate this.

The dark blue on the outside represents the “bleed” that will eventually be trimmed off. The blue between the solid red line and the dotted red line represents the 1/8″ safety margin where no text or logos should enter. Lastly, the inside light blue is where all your text and artwork can be safely placed.

Here is the same image but with my business card overlaid on top so that you might get a better idea to what I mean. Note how my logo, QR code and text, all remain within the light blue area. The black square in the lower-left corner and the black vertical line both extend all the way through the dark blue area.

Finally, the card is printed and trimmed. Everything looks nice, even and balanced.

Whether it is a business card, brochure or any other print material, if there is ink extending to the edge of the paper, you need bleed. Send us your files to pre-flight today, preferably a press-ready PDF, (although we do accept many other different formats) at our upload site. Leave any questions or comments below and I will make sure to address them for you or you can always drop me a line at rick@printguy.com

Download a handy business card TEMPLATE by clicking here

Annual Reports

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In addition to the outlining of financial details from the previous year, and to fulfill any regulatory requirements, your Annual Report can be used to communicate the achievements of the past and plans of your company for the future.

And, in this way, it should be viewed as another component of your company’s overall marketing strategy. With this latter reason in mind, a few key concepts when preparing the annual report should be kept in mind:

-         If competently designed, well presented, concise and accurate, readers will see the report as generally representative of your company.

-         Any contributors to your organization will be anxious to read what you have accomplished in the past year – i.e. was their money well spent. Successfully showing them value will convince them to continue backing.

-         Make certain to list people and groups that have helped your organization throughout the year. This shows the value you place on the contributions from those involved.

-         Remember that the report is an extension of your organization, and all readers will draw conclusions from the material presented. So you want to ensure good conclusions will be drawn.

-         And lastly make certain that it is printed well, that pictures, tables, graphs and text are crisp and clear. Shoddy printing will put forth a negative message for your organization (hint: choose Wheeler’s).

We’ve been fortunate this past year to be chosen to print quite a number of Annual Reports – the picture above shows the 2010 Windsor Police and the 2010 Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corp.  Annual Reports we proudly printed.

We Can Also Print Money! (Sort of. . .)

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While we can’t actually print money, we can do the next best thing, and that is cheques!

(and save you some money while we are at at it!)

Company or personal cheques, we do them all. With our painless order process, you’ll have your cheques ordered in no time and our competitive rates will keep more money in your pocket.

What we need from you:

  • a VOIDED cheque (more specifically the funny looking digits at the bottom of a cheque)
  • Are they handwritten or computer generated?
  • If computer generated, what program do you use? (we also do custom layouts as well)

From there, we can assist you in making sure the proper cheque is printed for your needs. All of our cheques are CPA compliant (Canadian Payment Association,) so your cheques are guaranteed to meet your bank or credit union’s requirements.

While you are ordering some cheques, make sure to inquire about saving the HST on your #10 or #9 envelope orders through till August 31, 2011. Contact me today for more information!

(UPDATE: Are your cheques SECURE?)

Here is a typical manual cheque

Here is a typically manual cheque

Here is a computer fed cheque with 2 stubs

Here is a computer generated cheque with 2 stubs

QR CODE case studies.

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Wondering what all the jazz is about QR codes?

Then we suggest you visit http://web.scanlife.com/en/success-stories for real life case studies from major companies that have successfully integrated QR codes into their marketing material, enhancing the customer’s experience and driving incremental revenue to their bottom line. Companies like Target, UPS, the GAP and others. Then phone us and ask how Wheeler’s can assist you with QR code implementation.

Local callers – 519-254-5237 or toll free friends @ 1-866-223-5287

( By the way, scanning the above QR code with your smartphone will render my FluidCard – which is my mobilized contact information about myself that you can easily add to your phone’s contact list. Cary Wheeler will be only a finger touch away at all times.  For more information on FluidCards, call the gang at Wheeler’s Printing. And to download a FREE scanning app to your smartphone visit either www.scanlife.com or www.i-nigma.com )

Could you be the next Google?

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Google in my mailbox.

With so many business owners talking about email marketing, and social media marketing, and the ubiquitous warning that unless absolutely necessary, “please respect our environment before printing out this email,” it’s no wonder many have written off printed material as a viable marketing channel.

“Print is dead,” I heard one person say recently at a seminar put on by a famous marketing guru.

> If that’s the case why did Google send me 3 pieces of DIRECT MAIL recently? I’m certain many of you have received the same pieces as I did – envelope, letter, and integrated cards with offers to entice me to expand my “ad words” account.

> If print is dead, then why is the world’s second most valuable brand (Apple is #1) using good old print and direct mail to promote themselves? Hmmm… kind of makes one think, “if it’s good enough for Google, it’s good enough for my hardware store (ladies wear, carpeting store – insert your business type here).”

So, you’re maybe thinking it’s time to consider a direct mail campaign, but the last time you attempted one it was such a royal pain dealing with Canada Post – too many rules, and “sheesh” who can understand their website and how to choose what areas of town or the country to mail to? Well for crying out loud that’s what Wheeler’s is here for. We truly know how to take all that frustration off your hands, and in the process make certain you get the best rates from Canada Post for your mailing.

519-254-5237 – maybe we could help you be the next Google !

Latest stats on small business marketing trends

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May 2011 — FedEx Office (formerly FedEx Kinko’s), an operating company of FedEx Corp., released the results of its fourth annual Signs of the Times national survey of small businesses.  The study finds that:

While many small business owners plan to reach existing and potential customers online and through social media, more than half (53%) will turn to more traditional channels like newsletters and direct mail.

 

Tactics to Reach Potential and Existing Customers %
Plan to increase communication via newsletters, direct mail, etc. 53%
Plan to create or improve company’s online presence (website,  banner ads, SEO) 52%
Plan to utilize social media and networking websites (e.g., Twitter,  Facebook, LinkedIn) 45%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traditional advertising/marketing tools continue to be popular with small business owners.

 

Advertising/Marketing Tool %
Business cards. 78%
Yellow pages 54%
Brochures 50%
Flyers 44%
Direct Mailers 44%
Newspaper ads 42%
Out-of-store signs/banners/posters 30%
In-store signs/banners/posters 28%
Coupons 28%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The majority of small business owners (91%) believe that the quality of a company’s marketing/advertising materials reflects the quality of its products and services. Despite this connection, nearly a quarter (23%) say their own marketing/advertising materials do not reflect the quality of their products and services.


About the survey:  FedEx Office, in conjunction with the Ketchum Global Research Network, worked with Braun Research to conduct the third annual FedEx Office Signs of the Times Small Business Survey. The survey polled small business owners who employ 5 to 100 employees and own firms that generate over $100,000 in annual revenue. A total of 505 interviews were completed; the margin of error is +/-4.38 percent at the 95 percent confidence level. Online interviews were conducted March 2011.

 

Great ideas to help spread the word…

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Your “brand” is important. It’s what helps identify and set you apart from your competition. And of course there’s so many ways to promote your brand, sometimes the choices seem overwhelming.

New and available right now are two catalogues filled with great ideas to help spread the word about your brand, and to keep your name and company top-of-mind with both customers and prospects.

Whether you’re looking for just that special something to give as a Thank You gift, or you’re hosting an open house and want something for attendees to go home with, we’re certain you’ll find something in one of these two catalogues. One catalogue in particular is devoted to USB drives (memory sticks / jump drives / thumb drives) which can be pre-loaded with your company catalogue, specials or a video of your products and services.

If you’d like a FREE catalogue (one or both) simply call and request it!

We’re here, ready to be of assistance, as we have been since 1994. call us today at 519-254-5237.
_______________________.

Has your company used promotional products in the past, or currently, as part of their marketing mix?  


What types of promotional products have you used before?


Can I have your business card please?

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Make sure you never reply, “I am sorry, I am all out at the moment.”

Business cards are a very important part of networking and gathering new clients and contacts for your company or organization. The worse thing you could do is have no business cards on hand when someone asks for one. Your business card is worthless until it is in the hand of either a potential client or someone who is in the position to refer business to you.

Samples of some recent cards we have printed

Samples of some recent cards we have printed

So here are a few quick tips for making sure your card doesn’t get filed under G (garbage) after you’ve handed it out.

  • Spruce it up with some colour! Full colour cards are just as affordable as single colour cards so treat yourself to some colour!
  • Keep within your branding. You spend a lot of time and money on brand awareness, make sure you stay consistent with your other printed materials as well as your online presence.
  • Make sure the client knows how to get a hold of you. Phone, fax, mobile, postal, email, website, toll free numbers – make sure the customer can reach you conveniently at their preferred method.
  • However, don’t put too much information on the card. This is a business card, not a brochure. While you always want to make sure you advertise the service or product you offer, you don’t want to overload the viewer. Use the backside or your card or even how about a QR code that links them to more information or even a video of what you do?
  • Typically you should stay within the standard 2″ x 3.5″ size. If it is bigger or an awkward size, they may not fit comfortably in a wallet or business card holder.
  • If you want to catch someone’s eye, why not use a textured card, reflective foiling or even a matte laminate to not only make it thicker but give it a nice finish.
  • Get them professionally printed! If your card is poorly printed or has perforated edges, this may not leave the best impression on who you are giving it to.

Remember, the business card is often the first impression people have of you. Your card directly reflects their opinion of you so make sure it is a good one!

Whatever your need, from basic to high-end, we’ve got you covered at Wheeler’s. Give me a call today 519-254-5237 and let’s discuss what we can do to give your card the WOW factor. Remember, that depending on the finish of the card and wheather it is printed digitally or on an offset press, make sure you leave extra time when ordering, you don’t want to be left with no cards in hand!

QR Codes on Strawberry containers

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I picked up a container of Strawberries at the grocery store and was pleased to find a QR Code on the label. When scanned with my SmartPhone I was taken to http://www.calgiant.com/win/WAP-Mobile/index.html. The mobile page of California Giant Berry Farms. This Mobile enabled website ( a website formatted for the smaller screen of a Mobile Phone ) had real added value to the experience – strawberry recipes, a You Tube video, a contest to enter, an opportunity to sign up for their Berry Buzz newsletter and fitness tips – an example of a company using QR Codes to educate, entertain and engage it’s customers. For your own 8 page FREE QR Code Report from Wheeler’s Printing, visit www.printguy.com/qr.php.

 


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How would you feel if…..

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….suppose you came into our shop and asked for a price on some type of printed project – let’s say it’s a book. After discussing the project thoroughly with you I come back with a price of $17.00/book. As you go over my pricing, I detect some resistance from you and offer to discount my initial price by 28%.

Would you:

1) give me the order and think nothing at how easily I was willing to drop my price. Then, from that moment on would you figure that all my pricing on future work I did for you, was negotiable, and without hesitation I’d give you a lower price?

2) give the order to me but probably never return for future orders because you figure I’m a gouger?

3) not give me the project to print because you feel my business ethics are questionable?

It would be interesting to know how people feel about this, and I’ll share the results of this survey with all that respond. Simply email me which answer NUMBER (1, 2 or3) you choose. Email me.

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