sticker printing

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Printing

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Printing

A truly unique offering. The last few weeks of pre-Christmas craziness are upon us. And at this time of year, we often ask ourselves: what do I get for someone who has everything? Ever considered printing? It might sound like an unusual gift, but that's exactly what makes it so special. Here's a list of ten great printing gifts you can get for that hard-to-please loved one this holiday season: 10. A vehicle wrap A colorful, removable, vinyl cover for your car or truck isn't just a great business ad. Kids wanting to bring some personality to that 'gently used' first car love vehicle wraps because they can be printed with the patterns or images of their choice. And when trends or interests change, the vinyl coating can be removed as easily as a sticker. 9. Stickers Kids love stickers. So do all of us who are young at heart. You might not want to give 1000 as a gift, […]

10 Ways Out of Work Designers Can Market Themselves Offline Part 2

10 Ways Out of Work Designers Can Market Themselves Offline Part 2

The Hotcards list continues: 6 – 10 More shameless self-promotion techniques for creative risk-takers who know how to turn downtime into opportunity. 6. Design Cool Websites and Print For Free The worst thing you can do after you lose a job is sit around and mope. You're depressed, but acting depressed just makes you more depressed about being depressed. Give yourself a week or two, and if that new job doesn't come rolling in, get out and put your skills to work pro bono. If you're a tech person, there's probably a million people who've been asking you to help them with building a personal website or solving their computer problems. If you're a design person, how about putting together that CD artwork for your friend's band, or that print collateral you've been promising for your aunt's small business? The logic behind this is that if you keep working, eventually, someone's going to start paying you for it again. By […]

2008 Branding and Marketing Trends

2008 Branding and Marketing Trends

What worked last year, and what will work in 2009. Often, commercial printing involves being part of a large-scale branding effort. Our print design and web design departments also need to stay up to date on the latest trends. So when Advertising Age came out with its list of brand winners from 2008, it seemed like the perfect time to do a little trend tracking… Balanced Ad Channels One thing that really stood out for me was the balance popular brands seem to be maintaining between different forms of advertisement. TV commercials are almost always accompanied by outdoor print buys, while direct mail printing channels consumer attention towards a website with games or video to created extended brand engagement. Brand Activism The biggest trend, in print, online, and on the air over the last year seems to have been brand activism. Companies as diverse as Jim Beam, American Express, and Haagen-Dazs launched campaigns to raise brand appeal and awareness through […]

Show Them Your Button, Tell Them Who Sent You

Show Them Your Button, Tell Them Who Sent You

Election campaign advertising takes a (sinister?) new turn. For the first time in the history of election campaign printing, the unthinkable is happening. A candidate who is no longer running for office is continuing to campaign! Under the direct approval and supervision of the now-theoretically-defunct Clinton campaign, supporters at HILLPAC have launched a mini-promotion modestly titled, “Hillary Sent Me.” The campaign is attempting to mobilize Clinton supporters in backing the Democrats' Obama-Biden ticket. The promo is relatively modest – a suggestion of meet-up locations, a bit of button printing, a bit of sticker printing – but it's still pretty weird, isn't it? Since when do candidates who are out of the race continue to campaign? Sure, they might help out their colleagues in the winning campaign, but to create a slogan, a color scheme, a website, and campaign printing around the losing candidate herself? The whole thing smacks of a certain degree of two-facedness. For one thing, the campaign implies […]

Sticker, Banner, Label, and Poster Printing at the DNC

Sticker, Banner, Label, and Poster Printing at the DNC

Let's peel back the layers of the print design onion. The Democratic National Convention has been about a lot of things – unity, progress, celebration – but it's also a testament to the speed, efficiency, and extreme coolness of full color printing. As if to play on the theme of unity, the Convention saw the integration of Obama's election campaign print designs into that of the Democratic National Party, as well as the integration of VP candidate Joe Biden's name into Obama's print collateral. Also on display outside of the Pepsi Center where the DNC was being held was an absolutely nuts array of supporter-created posters, signs, stickers, buttons, and pretty much every other type of print collateral you can imagine, including, of course, all kinds of delicious products and product labels, such as Obama brand water. Stray further from the gates, peel back another layer of the printing onion, and you come to a wild melee of protest signs […]

Skip the Funds, Get the Printing

Skip the Funds, Get the Printing

Presidential candidates should be soliciting for print designs. Every candidate running for President has a mailing list, and if you got on it early, you have, by now, received literally hundreds of pieces of spam that say the same thing: “My opponent is winning because he/she is out-fundraising me. Make a difference by donating today.” The thing is, these emails demanding funds are missing the point. Obama isn't trumping Clinton at every turn because he's got more money than her. I believe that a huge contributor to his success is that he has captured the imagination of the incredibly powerful and influential design community. Politics aside (if that's possible), by running a campaign with great web design and print collateral, Obama has essentially created this huge art project that everyone wants to be a part of. Designers the country over are developing exceptionally beautiful poster, sticker, button, and banner print designs in support of this campaign. Why? Because both ideologically […]

Election Campaign Printing Goes Green (Literally)

Election Campaign Printing Goes Green (Literally)

Happy St. Patrick's Day From Hotcards! In Ireland, it's a national holiday. Here in the U.S., it's a reminder of how Irish roots are entwined throughout our culture and communities. It's also a great excuse to drink green beer, wear green clothes, and, for Presidential candidates, to do some green printing. And nope, I'm not talking about eco-friendly printing, although it may be that, too. I'm talking about straying from the bonds of brand consistency, and rolling out a truckload of print collateral that's green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. No other holiday or special occasion has warranted such a surge of specialized print advertising from the candidates. Why? Some might say it's all about publicity, or drawing in the Irish vote, but the truth is that, according to ancient tradition, Presidential candidates that don't sport the color green on St. Paddy's Day can be pinched by their supporters. Barack O'bama To avoid a pinching, Obama's campaign (though not […]

AIGA Poster Printing Campaign

AIGA Poster Printing Campaign

Design election campaign printing that focuses on the importance of voting! Well, Super Tuesday has come and gone, and the results were predictably inconclusive. We now come to the shaky point in election season where the average voter starts to get a little tired of all the rigmarole. So what can campaigns and independent supporters do to keep folks excited? Maintaining voter enthusiasm is probably one of the most challenging but essential tasks of the whole election print advertising contest. After all, it's great if people come to rallies, wave signs, and buy t-shirts, but what we really need them to do is come out in numbers on Election Day. The print advertising we're seeing from the Presidential candidates seems reluctant to emphasize such a generalized point. Fortunately a lot of the videos, poster printing, sticker printing, and other promotions that we're seeing from independent supporters are careful to focus on the importance of voting. Along this line, as they've […]

CNN/YouTube Republican Debate

CNN/YouTube Republican Debate

The line between political printing and video begins to blur… Over the last week, I've been poking around on the websites of Presidential primary candidates, both Democrat and Republican. I've been searching for more direct mail booklet designs to critique. What I've discovered is that, although not every candidate has a booklet PDF on their website, every candidate does have a ton of political print designs available for their supporters to buy and/or download. It's interesting to see how the internet – a medium that represents the frontier of communication, networking, and campaigning – isn't working to reduce the amount of political printing we are seeing in this campaign, but rather to increase the range and distribution of print materials. The Mitt Romney campaign, for example, has got a page of various handouts that supporters can download and have printed to distribute to their friends. Fans of Mitt can also download a little email signature that looks like a yard […]

Stephen Colbert Holds Print Design Clinic for Campaigners

Stephen Colbert Holds Print Design Clinic for Campaigners

Newly declared Presidential candidate Stephen Colbert knows good full color print design when he creates it. We've followed Hillary Clinton from “Let the Conversation Begin,” all the way to “Rebuilding the Road to the Middle Class.” We've experienced the essence of succinct copywriting with McCain campaign slogans such as “Ready to Lead,” and “No Surrender.” And now, surprise Presidential candidate Stephen Colbert has burrowed into the heart of election campaign sloganism by kicking of his candidacy with these immortal words: “Truthiness and Justice for all.” It remains to be seen how far Colbert is actually going to take his mock run at the Presidency. With campaign sponsors like Comedy Central and Doritos, observers are saying he won't get far with the notoriously humorless Federal Election Commission breathing down his neck. However, it's sure going to be funny for as long as he can keep it going, and personally, I'm hoping to see some hilarious full color printing campaigns coming out […]

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