Or, er, to kickstart a new era of print campaigns, as it were… What's so great about print advertising? If you had to explain printing's role in the publishing, advertising, news, and events worlds to, say, someone from another planet, what would you say? That's the question the bigwigs over at (deep breath) The Printing Council, Printing Industries of America, The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies, and the National Association for Print Leadership are asking. All these elaborately-acronym-ed print associations have come together to host Positively Print, a contest/campaign “designed to promote the power of print in the media mix.” Positively Print asks companies involved in print production (printers, designers, marketers, creatives of all types!) to create and finance a campaign that promotes the awesomeness of print as an essential element in any advertising campaign. Positively Print is looking for “generic advocacy of print as a communications medium,” however, entries can be part of a branded […]
Magazines, you're making a scene… “This business is perfectly legitimate.” “All my transactions are totally on-the-level, completely above-board.” “Trust me, baby. Would I lie to you?” “I am 100% confident that this is the edgiest new product on the market.” “I know your part seems small, but it's really important.” What do all these lines have in common? The fact that they are never true, and that just speaking the words actually serves to render them less true. For example, if a business is “legitimate” you don't need to call it “legitimate.” If a person is actually trustworthy, they don't need to say “trust me.” We've all dealt with people who love to throw around this type of language, but it never gets more believable. Unfortunately, these are the one-liners brought to mind by the new “Magazines, The Power of Print” campaign announced last week by a group of five major magazine publishers. The focus of the campaign is to […]
Should political figures be fashion models? We don't do a lot of controversial printing at Hotcards. Most of our customers, like the majority of print advertisers, don't go in for attaching their names to something scandalous. Edgy? Sure. But scandalous? Rarely. Academically speaking, however, it's always interesting to consider the moral and ethical implications of a print design. This week, the whole country is talking about the huge Barack Obama billboard in Times Square. A political campaign ad? Nope! It's an ad for Weatherproof Garment Company, featuring a huge image of Obama in a Weatherproof jacket, next to the slogan, "A Leader in Style." The image, depicting Obama in front of the Great Wall of China, was bought from the Associated Press by Weatherproof, who were supposed to get the appropriate permissions to use the image, but apparently didn't think to check in with the Obama administration. The print ad hadn't been up a day before the White House was […]
You asked! Recently, several blog readers have asked the same question: what do I need to do to put together a print campaign? What kind of collateral should I design? To provide you with an in-depth answer, and a walk-through of all the different pieces a strong campaign needs, we put a feature article on the subject up here. Enjoy! And if you have any other questions about designing for print or printing, in general, don't hesitate to ask!
Choose wisely, athletes! Print is forever. Michael Phelps is already all over the covers of magazines and newspapers worldwide, but that's not where his career in print advertising ends. Since Phelps became the most-medaled Olympic athlete of all time, sponsors have been clamoring to have him represent their brand. According to his PR rep, the 'Phelps' brand has the potential to go from 5 to 100 million bucks in earning power – IF he can bring his star quality to TV and print advertising. Not every medalist makes the cut. Many athletes just don't end up having the charisma or ability to generate public interest that you need to build a successful brand. But so far, companies as diverse as Visa, Pizza Hut, and Speedo have gotten behind the earning potential of Phelps' Olympic gold – all banking on the ability of his golden touch to launch successful commercials, digital ads, and print campaigns. At a heady time like this, […]
Sticker design should be fun. Election campaigns have to play it safe, but boring print designs may not be the way into the White House. (Plus I talk about some cool die-cutting tips!) I ran across a great blog post today analyzing the sticker print designs of various Presidential candidates. It's nice to see that there are some other people out there taking an interest in the print designs being created by election campaigns. Of course, the upshot of the analysis provided by Ryan Bowman over at GOOD Magazine was that none of the candidates have particularly nice designs. Most are contrived, awkward, or fail to hit the mark entirely. Or that's what you might say, anyway, if you're someone who's interested in design. If you're not someone who thinks about design much at all, you'll probably just experience a vague, seemingly directionless chill, or conversely, a warm, glowing, warming glow when you're eyes stray to one of these sticker […]
Vehicle wrapping – it's not just for Republicans! It's official, John Edwards has become the second Presidential candidate, after John McCain, to focus a leg of his campaign around vehicle wrapping. The Edwards team is currently in the midst of a 31 county circuit of Iowa entitled the “Fighting for One America Bus Tour.” Blasting the Willie Nelson classic, “On the Road Again,” the Fighting Bus acts as a giant moving advertisement for the campaign, complete with slogans “Fighting for One America,” and several prominent displays of the campaign website address. In a fit of what I think can only be considered good taste, the Edwards camp deigned not to include a giant, smiling picture of John Edwards on the vehicle wrap. The Iowa bus tour comes on the heels of the Edwards campaign's early pull-out of Nevada. The campaign reduced staffing in Nevada last week to focus more resources on other early voting states, but some Nevadans are taking […]
Think that choosing a printer comes at the end of the print design process? Think again! Every day at Hotcards, we deal with customers that have the same problem. They've got a great print design or concept, but it can't be implemented because it wasn't actually designed for printing. “Not designed for printing?” Our confused customers say. “But that's impossible! What other purpose would I have designed a tri-fold brochure for, if not for printing?” Let me rephrase. Although your print campaign materials were certainly designed for printing, they weren't designed for printers. Each printing house has its own unique standards when it comes to technical specs like coloring, resolution, bleeds, trim and fold markings, and even file format. These standards are created and strictly adhered to because printers know what their printing equipment needs to produce the most high-quality work possible. It can be frustrating to customers to have to change designs that they've already put a ton of […]