5 Things We Talked About at Print Inspired 2019
1) Marketing starts with internal communication.
This seems like a simple concept. Duh. Marketing is communicating. How can a business operate without internal communication?
But let’s take it a step further. It’s being able to talk to your team and be more than coworkers. It’s knowing what your brand stands for… what the company stands for.
In his presentation “Communicating with Heart,” Trent Duran said that enjoying his work and having fun with his coworkers was what made Southwest Airlines stand apart. With any marketing materials his team created, they weren’t just saying something to say something. Southwest’s communication materials truly reflect the spirit of the company and the values instilled by Southwest’s founder, Herb Kelleher.
Trent giving examples of Southwest’s company culture during his presentation “Communicating with Heart.”
As the creative lead for Southwest’s internal marketing, Trent said it’s important to know what your company stands for so that first you can communicate it to the rest of your team, and then your team will communicate it to people outside of the company.
Marketing is sometimes thought of as manipulation. But what if you weren’t just saying something to say something? What if you defined your brand and then focused on defining that brand internally? What if your employees verbally marketed your company as a great place to work? What if people who came into your company remarked on what a fun place it seemed to be to work for?
That’s when you aren’t just saying something to say something. That’s when you are marketing.
2) You can't have art without heart.
Trent dedicated a whole slide to just this phrase. But, I can see you saying “I’m not an artist. I don’t create art.”
Okay, maybe not by the world’s common definition of art. It’s easier to think of graphic design as art. However, there is an art to every aspect of marketing, from writing copy for a brochure, captioning a photo for an Instagram post, trying to think of a folding format to mail out, and even deciding to host an event.
When all the pieces come together, you are making art. You want people to look at what you did and feel something. That’s art.
Learning and discussing can play a huge part in developing art. The more you know, the more you can do.
After that explanation, there’s not much else to say. I mean, I’m just going to go to the overused phrase of “You get out of it what you put into it.”
Communicate your thoughts to others, have big ideas, and expect not everyone will like it.
I found this quote once that has stuck in the back of my head, and now it seems like a good time to pull it out…
“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” -Andy Warhol
3) Technology can be integrated into print.
Oh yeah, you better believe QR codes are making a comeback.
ALSO, augmented reality is finding its way into print. For example, have you seen the living wine labels for 19 Crimes? When you scan the picture on the label with your phone, the person begins talking and telling you the story of their crime. Just think of the possibilities with that.
QR codes are making a comeback because they can now be scanned with iPhones’ camera without having to download a separate app, increasing their ease of accessibility. Augmented reality still requires a separate app, but, with its cool factor, there’s no doubt that it won’t be far behind the QR code. Plus, AR is integrated through pictures, rather than a bar code, so it can be tactfully integrated into your overall design, regardless of whether people actually interact with the technology or not.
Disclaimer: This is for inspiration only. We don’t print 19 Crimes wine labels. (But we are currently looking into apps that can integrate augmented reality technology like this into your print.)
Graphic Design Manager for the Texas Rangers, Alex Yocum-Beeman, said that they have started integrating AR through pictures on their marketing materials to season ticket holders. For example, if the recipient chooses to download the app and scan the picture, they will see a video flyover view of the new Texas Rangers’ stadium. But, if they choose not to download the app, then the picture is still informative and adds to the complete design.
In her presentation “10 Big Ideas,” Trish Witkowski, with FoldFactory, mentioned also using the technology of variable data to personalize your marketing and add a more human touch. Trish said something as simple as including the person’s name can improve response rates, but it can even go as far as making maps to show them how to get to your company (since you already have their address).
4) Cool folds, textures, paper choices, and embellishments can help you compete in an increasingly visually competitive world.
You know what happens when you pick up your mail. You flip through all the white envelopes and overcrowded grocery coupons, looking for something interesting, before throwing everything in the trash. Well, except the bills, but we don’t need to talk about those.
Soooo make your print marketing interesting. Make the envelope blue. Yellow. Neon. Just not white.
This is the full-color envelope we printed for Print Inspired 2019.
Then make your actual print piece engaging. It doesn’t have to be costly. Yes, it can be as expensive as you want it to be, but it doesn’t have to be. This is where talking to your sales rep at the printer comes in. (Refer to point 5)
Sometimes the simple solution can be to change up the paper. Judy Schulz, with O-K Paper, said that your paper choice definitely influences your marketing. Consider what you are trying to communicate. If you are a more outdoorsy company, maybe choosing an uncoated paper is better. But if you are wanting to invite people to a fundraiser dinner, choosing a pearlized paper with a little shimmer may be the way to go for you.
The paper swatch book Judy handed out during her presentation. It shows colored, natural, white, pearlized, and textured digital paper offerings from O-K Paper.
Strategic die-cutting and folding can make your piece more engaging and interactive. Things can be revealed, pulled, pop up, slide out, change shape, and way more, all through die cutting and folding.
Foil stamping and creating textures can equally be as engaging. These add some pizzazz to your marketing that we can go on and on about. Check out how the integration of foil on these Texas Tech Football Cards adds a 3D effect.
The important thing to remember is there is more than one way to skin a cat, as the saying goes.. For example, if you wanted a leather texture for a project, our sales rep would tell you that you can achieve the feel through embossing, paper choice, or raised UV. Check out the examples below.
Here leather texture is created through 1) emboss/deboss, 2) paper texture, 3) raised spot UV with a matte UV coating.
Trish, Alex, Trent, and Judy all agreed that you need to think about your communication goals before beginning a design. What are you trying to communicate? (Hey, hey. Remember Point 1 and 2?) Do you need to reveal something? Have something pop? No? Then maybe consider a texture. Or adding that extra touch through spot UV.
5) Partnering with your printer can empower you to make the best decisions for your print projects.
I’m going to keep this one simple.
As Trent and Alex mentioned in the Expert Panel, your sales rep knows the ins and outs of printing.
- They know what dies are already in stock so maybe you can choose a cool format than doesn’t need a custom die cut to be ordered.
- They know if the paper you chose will work with the fold you are wanting to do.
- They know how to work in your budget and can recommend alternative options.
Remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat? There is more than one way to achieve the look of a specific embellishment. Your sales rep knows the alternatives.
Talk to us about your project before starting it. Use us as a resource. We want to help make your print inspiring.
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