Archive for Graphic Design

Graphic Design: Print in a new dimension

Graphic Design: Getting people to open your direct mail

Co-authored by Katie Beth Groover

Photo of a person writing a note to a customerPhoto of a person writing a note to a customer

(This is the first post in our Nuts & Bolts of a Marketing Campaign series)

Great printing starts with great design.

When it comes to a marketing campaign, great printing – meaning printing that rings the cash register – must start with graphic design grounded in sound marketing principles.

Laser Image customers work with us for years or even decades, so we’re comfortable making big efforts to win over strategic prospects. We know that even a lengthy campaign will pay for itself in time – if we attract the right customers.

To see how good design and modern digital printing presses can produce an attention-grabbing campaign mailer, let’s look at an example from our own 12 Touch Campaign.

Direct mail piece for the 12 Touch campaign

Direct mail piece for the 12 Touch campaign

Click image to enlarge

The first goal of any campaign must be to let your prospects know who you are and what you’re selling. We use an established marketing concept called AIDA: capture their Attention (A) and Interest (I) which will in turn lead to a Desire (D) for your product that culminates in an Action (A) to buy.

The first step – Attention (A) – means you need to get them to OPEN your mail and READ your message. We decided that using bright colors and an unusual format for our campaign letter (the first of our 12 touches) would grab the recipient’s eye. So, we designed a bright, square trifold mailer.

Our letter’s unique packaging requires the recipient to become hands-on involved. First, they open a hand-addressed envelope. Inside the envelope, a second “faux” envelope is folded around the square trifold mailer, presenting them with a nice package to unwrap – like a gift in the mail.

Once opened, we used two techniques to present a personalized message: digital (variable data printing) and an old school, hand written note. We feel the combination of personalization, vibrant graphics, and layered packaging gives our prospects a moment of fun when they open their mail.

Conventionally, designers have approached the problem of getting people to open mail by printing teaser messages on a standard envelope, or designing the envelope to mimic an official communication from a government agency. Sometimes direct mail comes in a plain envelope, in hopes of enticing a curious recipient to see what’s inside.

Today you have new and better options. Digital printing and clever new paper stocks — not to mention the power of personalization and the availability of short-run, affordable color printing – opens up new ways to grab attention and involve people with your message. The potential for this new technology is limited only by your imagination.

Long-term, nurture marketing like our 12 Touch program works for us but you may have other needs. Whatever they are, contact us. Our design team can create marketing pieces that work for you.

A rewarding experience

Hi everyone,

On Saturday night, April 16th, Laser Image won significant honors at the 50th Annual PICA Awards (what are PICA awards?). We took home prizes for Best of Category Digital Printing: Cards, Best of Category Digital Printing: Sales Campaign, and a Special Judges Award Digital Printing: Booklets (32 pages or less). We were also one of 4 finalists for Best Digital Printing. Most significantly we won the Gwen Doster Judges’ Choice Award for the Groover Design Promotional Package.

These awards not only recognize the excellent print and finishing work of the Laser Image team, but also recognize the customers who gave us the opportunity to print their pieces that highlight the quality of their design. We’d like to thank these customers for providing us with winning artwork: Dale Design for the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Announcement card, Groover Design for the Groover Design Promotional Package and Cotton Incorporated for the Cotton Leads – Japanese book.

Winning the Gwen Doster Judges’ Choice Award was particularly meaningful, as Katie Beth Groover is not only a freelance graphic designer, but part of the Laser Image customer service and design teams as well. Her promotional package was part of the final project she submitted prior to graduating from the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham with honors in June of 2015. This piece included a resume, business card and an autobiographical panoramic book.

Gwen Doster was a 35 year employee of PICA from 1975-2011. Working for five different presidents and thirty-six chairmen of the board, she made an indelible mark on the organization reflected in the establishment of “The Gwenny”. This award is for the printed piece that possesses a unique combination of quality, craftsmanship, beauty and integrity, much like the award’s namesake.

I am so proud of Katie Beth and her colleagues at Laser Image for producing work that upholds the values that this award represents. I invite you to stop by and see this award ~ which is lovely ~ and to take a look at all the winning pieces.

Kelly signature

Kelly Clark, Founder and CEO
Email signature

Winning the Gwen Doster Judges’ Choice Award

PICA Judges' award & program bookletPICA Judges' award & program booklet

The award

The Printing Industry of the Carolinas (PICA) celebrated its 50th PICA Awards Banquet April 16, 2016 at the Embassy Suites & Convention Center in Concord, NC. Over 270 industry professionals attended the milestone event.

This year, the PICA Awards attracted more than 630 entries from 47 printing companies, along with more than 125 entries from 5 graphic arts high schools and 7 college graphic arts programs from across the Carolinas.

Winner of 20+ PICA awards in prior years, Laser Image Printing & Marketing was especially surprised this year when presented with the coveted Gwen Doster Judges’ Choice Award.

Gwen Doster was a 35 year employee of PICA from 1975-2011. Working for five different presidents and thirty-six chairmen of the board, she made an indelible mark on PICA reflected in the establishment of “The Gwenny” – an award for the printed piece possessing the most unique combination of quality, craftsmanship, beauty and integrity.

The designer

Katie Beth Groover

A recent honors graduate from Raleigh-Durham’s prestigious Art Institute, Katie Beth Groover wears many hats. She is a freelance designer, owner of Groover Design, and also a Customer Service Representative at Laser Image.

Says Groover, “For our senior project at the Art Institute we had to design a self promotional package. I like books. A book gives you multiple pages to explain yourself. I like packaging too. I wanted one neat package that could hold everything. Plus my writing is conversational – so making a book just seemed like the way to go.”

The product

Wrapping the outside of Groover’s piece you’ll find her resume, on the inside her story book. The resume wrapper invites you to look inside, holds her business card, and serves as a sleeve for a panoramic, pocket-sized infographic booklet.

The resume and business card were printed on 110# Mohawk Loop Urban Grey paper and used white ink. According to Groover, “I’ve always like the contrast white ink on a dark background provides, but not every shop has that capability. At Laser Image we have several presses that can lay white ink. Our HP Indigo 5600 digital press was perfect for this project.”

Utilizing a special bindery service that Laser Image provides, the “lay-flat” panoramic book proved ideal for graphic storytelling. Says Groover “… with this kind of book each spread is one sheet – you don’t have a gutter where the pages connect, so you can lay out your design across both pages and not worry about losing information in the middle.”

Each spread in Groover’s story book is a different infographic. Some are serious, others whimsical. Working on it a couple of days per week, the entire project took about 5 weeks from start to finish.

When asked which spread she likes most, Groover replied “The pancakes! And I really like how personal it turned out, that I got to tell my story.”

The printer

Laser Image Printing & Marketing offers a full range of services – design, printing, finishing, campaign, and fulfillment – to handle most every business communication need.

With a wide range of equipment and a talented, well-seasoned production and design staff – Laser Image CEO Kelly Clark keeps the company passionately focused on meeting its corporate promise: Right on Time. Your expectation, our inspiration.

When announcing the award in her latest Laser Image blog post, Clark says “I am so proud of Katie Beth and her colleagues at Laser Image for producing work that upholds the values that this award represents. “