brochure printing

Long-Format Print Advertising

Long-Format Print Advertising

…and a new Design Idea of the Week! A recent article in AdAge looks at the growing popularity of the long-format ad. “Branded content,” in the form of short films and music videos created by advertisers are the sexiest, if not the newest, high-end promotional tool going these days. People want entertainment, not advertising, so why not provide advertising entertainment? In response to commercials and online ad spots becoming increasing brief and punchy, many advertisers have recently gone in the opposite direction, producing 3-minute, 10-minute, and even 30-minute film-style commercials. The products being advertised act as props or storytelling elements in these long-format ads, which advertisers say are engaging consumers on whole new levels. All of which got me thinking, why can't the same principles of long-format, narrative-based advertising be applied to print? A brochure could be a novella. A catalog could be designed as a comic book. The difference in production costs should be negligible, if anything, so stop […]

The Truth About Social Media Advertising

The Truth About Social Media Advertising

…and other urban legends… It was the best of times to be in marketing, it was the worst of times to be marketing… Or at least, that's how I imagine Charles Dickens might have started A Tale of Two Cities if he was writing it today. The paradox is true. It's a tough time to sell marketing services – everyone's looking for an expert, while the terrible reality is that trends are shifting too quickly for true expertise to exist. On the other hand, there's never been a better time to be “mad men” because there are no limits, no boundaries, no set of rules to follow anymore. At a time like this, a commodity like certainty is worth its weight in gold. A “marketing expert” who can guarantee a campaign's success will go far, until, that is, it becomes clear that – just as you suspected – there are no guarantees when it comes to promotion and advertising. Unlike […]

In 2010, the Democracy of Print Remains Vital

In 2010, the Democracy of Print Remains Vital

And the internet can help, too, I guess… Often, printing and information technology are pitted against each other as enemies. Isn't printing being murdered by the internet? Isn't the internet destroying information quality? But print and the web aren't enemies. In fact, they're natural friends, and a recent talk given by Carl Malamud reminded me of just that. Malamud is a public domain advocate, known as “the rogue librarian.” In a speech at the Government 2.0 Summit in Washington this past September, he spoke about the history of the U.S. Government Printing Office. The speech focused on how essential printing and public record were to the development of the U.S. democratic system. Today, Malamud says, we can continue to allow the democratic process to evolve by using the internet to do the same thing that printing has done over the last century or so – increase access to government, to legal process, to regulatory bodies, and hence, to the average […]

How Print Advertising Could Help the Health Care Debate

How Print Advertising Could Help the Health Care Debate

There is such thing as too much information. In a recent video for Time.com, Ze Frank said that we're not having a health care reform debate, we're having a health care argument. And what happens in an argument? Upset people say a lot of different things, many of which are untrue, half-true, or contradictory. More and more, it seems that the average person is feeling overwhelmed by the issue of health care reform. So much conflicting information is zipping around out there that people don't know what to believe, and more than that, they're not sure what the point was to begin with. A recent article on AdAge pointed to the crux of the problem – the White House is trying to sell a product – health care reform – unfortunately, the team that made the Obama brand so strong in 2008 is now doing a terrible job advertising this latest offering. Marketing 101: nobody's going to buy if they […]

10 Ways Out of Work Designers Can Market Themselves Offline

10 Ways Out of Work Designers Can Market Themselves Offline

1-5 After a heyday that seemed like it would never end, the tech industry is finally suffering. I'm not trying to rub it in, it's just a fact that layoffs are happening, startups are faltering, and designers and developers are having to look for work where work once came looking for them. Depressing as this sounds, there's really no better time to look to the future in a positive way. Be light on your feet, try new things, get out of the box and don't be afraid to experiment. In search of sustenance, many techie creatives are beginning to look away from the computer and towards the big old world outside. After all, when emailing, Twittering, and all-round internet living fails, the best thing you can do is get out there and start networking offline. With this in mind, Hotcards presents 10 ways you can use low cost printing to fuel your next big career step: 1. Print New Business […]

The Table of Contents

The Table of Contents

An often-overlooked element of print design. I was just reading an excellent post over at Smashing Magazine that brought this subject to my attention. The post makes the point that although Tables of Contents are often skimmed over in the design process, there are a lot of beautiful, creative things you can do with that space. Tables of contents grace the first pages of magazines, catalogues, booklets, and annual reports. Usually, they're designed with a font and style that subtly shows compatibility with the rest of the printing, without drawing undue attention to itself. But why not draw attention to the table of contents? Elsewhere in the print design world, we emphasize the importance of catching our audience's attention immediately. Our goal is to do something that pops out and draws the eye almost against the will of the reader. In catalogue and report publishing, the table of contents can be that attention-grabber. By putting in the time to create […]

The Next President: Everybody’s Business or MYOB?

The Next President: Everybody’s Business or MYOB?

Candidates are campaigning to an international audience, whether they know it or not. It's a fact. The political decisions made by U.S. voters affect the entire world. Just as this election season has gotten Americans excited about politics again, it has been placed front and center on the international stage, with all eyes on the contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. According to the New York Times, folks in Great Britain are just as interested in the outcome of the election as we are here at home. Every primary, every debate, and every print/web/TV ad is under scrutiny across the pond. This attention makes me wonder how aware candidates are that they're campaigning to a worldwide audience. Obviously, Clinton knows how cross-border newsworthy her campaign is. When she held that big Elton John fundraiser last week, I thought it was a bit weird to choose an artist for the project who is not exactly classically American, but it could […]

Full Color Print Advertising Outdoors

Full Color Print Advertising Outdoors

Learn more about investing in outdoor ad space. This morning, I came across a great example of exactly why it's important to have access to low cost printing, and why top-notch full color print design is a necessity. This video, from the excellent folks over at GOOD Magazine, takes you on a virtual tour through the cost of buying outdoor ad space in New York City. To summarize the video: it's not cheap. Of course, the cost of outdoor advertising varies depending on the city, the demographic, the population density, and your marketing vehicle of choice, but one constant remains: when advertising outdoors, the cost of design and printing with be far less than the cost of buying ad space. If you're trying to budget, the best thing you can do is find a low cost printer. The worst thing you can do is try to skimp on design. With the overwhelming amount of outdoor advertising that assaults the senses […]

Brochure Printing for Dark Horse Candidates

Brochure Printing for Dark Horse Candidates

Signs, check. Stickers, check. Don't forget brochures! Nicely designed brochures are a key component of any election campaign's print advertising strategy, but never more so than when a little-known candidate needs to catch up to the frontrunners. Take the Ron Paul campaign, for example… The enthusiasm surrounding Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has not faded, but grown since it first got going a few months ago. If you've checked out the political news section of Digg any day lately, you've seen that every second story is about the unconventional hero of embarrassed-by-the-current-administration Republicans the nation over. It's always interesting to watch an election campaign get more attention than it ever expected. In these rare instances, a campaign is able to mold itself around the demands of its voting audience, rather than just barreling through with a preordained plan of attack. For example, the Ron Paul campaign has had the opportunity, as its star has risen, to focus on the issues […]

Trouble for Obama? Don’t Blame His Printer!

Trouble for Obama? Don’t Blame His Printer!

One of the best things about print design is that it's always well thought out, and ideally, its production is flawless. Okay, I admit it. TV and internet does have something printed media doesn't have – the ability to catch you off guard, and magnify and distort every slip-up, something we've been seeing a lot of recently in the media! Over the last couple of weeks, my personal favorite candidate has been having a bit of PR trouble. First, there was the whole MySpace thing, wherein, as I'm sure you recall, Obama's online campaign team had to wrest control of his MySpace page away from Joe Anthony, a guy who created the page as a tribute and ended up managing a major web destination for Obama supporters. As you also probably already know, Anthony decided he wanted to be paid for his hours of volunteer labor, to the tune of over 40 grand. At this point, the Obama campaign called […]

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