New Print Products to Make your Merchandise Stand out

When it comes to marketing a product, standing out among your competitors can be an important way to attract new customers. Almost every company will have some sort of marketing materials, whether it be a brochure, website or promotional item. In this situation, creating a printed material that is a little different from the norm may be a beneficial way to highlight your product or company. Here are some new products that can get your creative marketing side flowing:

Pocket Menus

Pocket menu printing for
Mini pocket menus are an incredibly versatile type of brochure for restaurants and retail food companies. Instead of using a traditional take out menu, these can have up to 12 panels which can be used to highlight each section of the menu.
Additionally, we have seen pocket menus used as ways to present stunning pictures, easy to follow recipes, or details about where and how the product is produced. Many consumers are interested in knowing the ingredients and materials that go into the food they enjoy, and a detailed pocket menu can provide extensive information about their contents.

Uneven Fold Header Cards

Header Cards are an easy, affordable and attractive way to market your product. They are simple to assemble and have the flexibility to package several different products simply by switching the content in the polybag. 
uneven fold header cards |
Most commonly, header cards are scored in the middle to create an even fold on both sides of the card. Sometimes though, it could be useful to create a card that has an uneven fold so that one side is longer than the other. The card can still be stapled to seal in the product, but this offers a flap that can be used to reinforce the product or provide extra space for information, directions, ingredients or materials used.

Another popular use for Uneven Header Cards is as a swatch card that can be used to show off different types of fabrics. These are used by fashion companies when it is not easy enough to send full samples of a product. A swatch of the material can still give your distributors a feel for the product that you will be selling.

Die Cut Hangtags

custom shape merchandise tags for products |
Hang Tags are an essential way to market your clothing, jewelry or fashion accessories. Make sure you compliment your unique fashion item with a hang tag that is equally special. Die cut printing allows you to make custom shapes and sizes for your product tags.

Having a custom shape can make a big difference on the presentation of your product. With your hang tag, you can include your company logo, information about the product, and what materials are used in the product.

At The Marsid M&M Group, we’re all about innovation and helping our customers grow their business with the best marketing and print materials. Contact us today with any questions or ideas you may have for new projects.

Choosing the Right Poster or Sign Material: Getting the Most Out of Going Big

There is so much planning that goes into an event, that it can be difficult to get detail just right. Choosing the right location, inviting the right people, coordinating the speakers or activities – usually the last thing on your mind will be what materials to use for your signs and posters. This can be an important factor though when deciding where a poster will go, how long it will stay up and how you plan on displaying it. There are several different materials that posters and signs can be printed on and they all have different strong points:

Indoor vs Outdoor

The first question that should be answered is “will the sign be used indoors or outdoors?” Some materials are more durable and will stand up to elements like rain, wind and UV rays from the sun. Luckily we can print signs using UV safe inks to avoid fading and discoloration.

Outdoor Signs

When creating outdoor signs, you will usually want to print on plastic materials as opposed to paper based substrates. Materials such as Coroplast (corrugated plastic), vinyl and Sintra board (rigid PVC) are better options for outdoor use because they are water resistant. Vinyl banners will not easily rip, and Sintra and Coroplast are rigid so they will not bend or crease easily. Printing on metal is also a good option for a long lasting sign.

cut out sintra board signs |

Indoor Posters

For posters and signs that are going to be used primarily indoors, there are more lightweight and affordable options. You will not always need a rigid sign and instead can use a paper poster that can easily be rolled up and transported. Paper posters are also easy to mount using clips, magnets, tape, adhesives, tacks and more.

Foam board posters are also a great choice for creating a prominent display. The thick canvas makes the image protrude off the wall which adds some dimension and draws attention. Foam board is also easy to stand on easels and displays without falling over.

paper posters basketball players |


You should also know whether or not you will need grommets installed on your sign. Grommets are small metal rings that are placed in the corners of a sign or banner so that they can be easily hung using string or rope. Grommets can be installed on almost any type of poster or sign.

Silver grommets used for hanging posters, signs and banners |

Banner Stands

Another simple solution for transporting larger banners is to use banner frames or retractable stands. Popular styles of this are step and repeat banners which usually take a logo or image and repeat it across the canvas. These are commonly used for runways and photo shoots, but have recently become popular as a fun prop for weddings, birthdays, company parties and other special occasions. They usually come 8′ x 8′ or 8′ x 10′ and can be easily assembled at any function.

step and repeat banner printed 8x10 and used for runway shoots |

Retractable banners are another great option when signs need to be easily installed or moved around during an event. The vinyl or fabric banner rolls into the stand and can contract to a small, portable package. The most common size for retractable banner stands is 33″ x 78″ which makes them visible on college campuses, trade shows and retail stores.

portioned retractable banners for a health organization |

Now that you have a better idea of what type of poster or sign you will be printing, it’s time to get designing! Check out our graphic design templates or head over to our website to get a quote on your project!

Have further questions? Leave a comment below and we can help you decide the best option for your poster or sign.

3 Steps to Self-Publishing your Custom Coloring Book

There are many ways people can distract themselves from their daily lives and place them into an alternate world of serenity that is distraction and problem free. Most commonly these are channels such as television, music, novels – and more recently, coloring books. In fact, adult coloring books have become so popular in recent years that the increased demand has actually created a shortage of colored pencils in some countries. This medium of relaxation has proven to not only be dedicated to children anymore.

There is a reason for this spike in popularity with adult coloring books – they are a fun, easy and inexpensive way to reduce stress and escape from daily aggravations. Some psychologists even recommend using coloring books as a de-stressor, citing that “the action involves both logic, by which we color forms, and creativity, when mixing and matching colors. This incorporates the areas of the cerebral cortex involved in vision and fine motor skills [coordination necessary to make small, precise movements]. The relaxation that it provides lowers the activity of the amygdala, a basic part of our brain involved in controlling emotion that is affected by stress.”

This form of structured creativity allows people to easily get in touch with their creative side. It can also be a collaborative experience for both an artist and their audience. Letting your audience finish coloring in your drawings can lead to an endless number of unique artistic variations. It is easier than ever to self publish your own coloring book, and get your drawings in the hands of friends, family and fans. Here’s some quick tips for getting started with producing your own coloring books from sketches and drawings.

  1. Setting up your Drawings

    So you’ve created some beautiful illustrations, and now you’re ready to turn them into a book. The next step would be to turn your drawings into digital files so that they can be reproduced for your book. There are a few ways to do this, the most popular being to scan or photograph the drawings. Many print shops will have large scanners that can import your drawings at 300 DPI (Dots Per Inch) resolution.

    Digital cameras have improved so much in quality that the resolution of a photographed drawing will often surpass that of a scan. The photograph may need to be cropped, straightened or color corrected, but will definitely work if a high resolution scanner is not available.

    Coloring Book and set of colored pencils on table |

  2. Choosing the Right Paper for your Coloring Book

    Some types of paper work better for different types of coloring books. There are two main styles of paper – coated and uncoated. Coated paper comes in either gloss or matte finish and should be used when you are expecting people to use colored markers or highlighters fill in your drawings.

    Uncoated Offset Paper is what is used more traditionally for coloring books. This opaque white paper is perfect for coloring in with crayons and colored pencils. It usually comes in different weights, such as 60lb, 70lb, or 80lb as well as variations of white, bright white, natural white or ivory.

    The cover of your book is also something to consider. Even if the inside pages are uncoated, a gloss cover can make the images and colors on the cover pop.

  3. Creating your PDF for Print

    When getting ready to print, you will need to supply your printer with a press ready PDF. This means that if your drawings extend to the edge of the paper, you will have to design an extra 1/8″ so that there is no accidental white space on the edge of the paper, and no valuable content accidentally gets cut off.

    When submitting your PDF, most printers prefer a PDF with individual pages setup in the order you want them printed.

    For more about design with bleed, check our InDesign Tutorial on how to properly set up your document.

Printing a Unique Restaurant Menu That Will Last | Lamination vs. Synthetic Menus

When ordering new menus for your restaurant, you want to make sure you are getting something that not only looks great, but will also last a long time. Since the menus are constantly around customers, water and heat, ordinary coated paper will not do the trick. There are a few ways around this, and the finishing can dictate the overall design of your menu. The most Common of these options are Edge Sealed Lamination, Flush Cut Lamination or Synthetic Menus.

After designing your menu to look exactly how you want, use the information below to help decide what type of finishing will work best for you:


After your menu is printed, you can choose to add a layer of lamination to protect it. The Lamination process involves taking your printed sheet and rolling it between two layers of lamination. The packet is then heated to bond the lamination together and seal in the menu, creating an air-tight protection. Our lamination comes in two thicknesses: either 10 mil (5 mil per side) or lighter 6 mil (3 mil per side). A mil is equal to 1/1000 of an inch (0.0254 mm).

After the menus are sealed, they go into the cutting stage. There are two ways that menus can be cut:

Flush Cut Lamination

Flush Cut Laminated Restaurant Menu Books |
Flush Cut Laminated Restaurant Menu Books

Flush cut finishing is when the menu is cut along the edge of the menu. This gives the menu a clean-cut look because there is no lamination hanging off of the edge of the paper. Because it cuts slightly into the menu, the edge will be exposed. This can result in water seeping into the edges, and the lamination starting to peel off the paper.

Flush cut is a good option for a restaurant that is looking for aesthetics over durability. It is also more cost effective, and could be a better option if the menu is replaced somewhat frequently.

Edge Sealed Lamination

Edge Sealed Lamination Menu Books |
Edge Sealed Lamination Menu Books

Edge Sealed Menus are the most durable option we offer for menu printing. After the sheets are laminated, they are then hand trimmed, leaving a border of plastic around the page. This ensures that the menu stays completely enclosed, making it absolutely waterproof. The plastic border that remains is usually between a 1/16″-1/8″.

Edge Sealed Finishing is the best option for restaurant menus that are constantly being handled by customers and servers or exposed to kitchen elements. Since they are hand trimmed as opposed to machine cut, they tend to be more expensive than Flush Cut menus.

Synthetic Menu Prints

Synthetic Trifold Restaurant Menu | Waterproof & Tearproof Menu |
Synthetic Trifold Restaurant Menu

Synthetic Menus are a bit different than laminated menus. Instead of the plastic going on top of the paper, these menus are actually made out of a plastic material. Synthetic looks and feels similar to regular paper, but has the unique qualities of being tear-proof and water-proof. Since there is no extra layer of plastic, synthetic menus are thinner and more flexible. They do range in thickness though, from paper weight to cardstock weight.

Synthetic menus are most commonly used as trifolds since they are lightweight. When they are used for spiral bound menu books, they tend to be a bit flimsy compared to the rigid laminated version.

Although the synthetic paper itself is water-proof and tear-proof, the paper and ink is still exposed to the elements. It can withstand being wiped off or sitting in water, but is not guaranteed against chemicals or creasing. Although it is a great option for menus, it is no substitute for durability of a laminated menu.


Need a quote on Durable Restaurant Menus? Head over to to get free pricing, turnaround time and design tips. We’d be happy to any questions you might have!

3 Vital Resources for Beginner Graphic Designers

Graphic Design, like many other hobbies and professions, has become more accessible to learn due to the vast amount of help and knowledge on the internet. There are thousands of YouTube tutorials for Photoshop or Illustrator as well as online classes and articles that could get you started. Within days, you’ll be on your way to creating awesome designs and logos.

The problem you may run into is an overwhelming amount of resources trying to guide you in every which way. With so many options to choose from, and so many different styles to sort through, it may be difficult and time consuming. Here are some resources that can be vital for beginner (or any) graphic artists:


    Canva is a great resource for designers who do not have access to programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. While it may not be as feature-rich as these programs, it is user-friendly and will get the job done for most basic design jobs. The program allows you to upload photos, browse through a large selection of stock photos and patterns, and use cool pre-loaded fonts.

    What may be the best part about Canva – besides the fact that it’s free – is it’s compatibility with print design. Most online design programs lack this feature, but Canva allows you to design custom page sizes so that there are no issues in enlarging for print. This way no quality is lost when printing full size.

    Another print-specific feature is the ability to export files with crops and bleeds. This is required by nearly all printers, and can be a pain to fix if it is not set up right. With Canva, you will end up with a High Quality PDF that is ready for print.canva | graphic design tool for those who don't have photoshop


    This super simple color palette generator quickly identifies colors that work well together. This is great for getting some inspirations for design based on a few complimentary colors. coolors | color scheme generator for graphic designers

    This tool gives you the option to select colors by Hex value, CMYK, RGB, PMS or Copic Value. You can then lock one or more colors and produce an array of colors based on that locked value. It even gives you the option to change the hue, saturation and brightness of your colors, making the tool super flexible.


    Stock photos website for graphic designers

    Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense for you to go out and take photos for a design you are working on. With the vast amount of images that are on the web, it is usually easier to just put in a search of what you’re looking for, and find it that way. There are two minor problems with this, however. First, a lot of photos have licensing restrictions on them, so you cannot use them without giving proper attribution. Second, because there are so many photos to choose from, it may be hard to sort through all of them to find a high quality and relevant photo. is a directory linking to some of the best stock photos available. Almost all are free for commercial use without attribution. Some of the sites allow you to search for specific topics while others curate daily collections of beautiful photos. Whatever you are looking for, this is a good starting point for designers looking for high quality photos.

Designing for Print

There are many things to keep in mind when designing materials for print that differ from simple web-based graphic design. Using CMYK color schemes, designing with crops and bleeds, and exporting your files the right way are all vital steps needed to get your piece on the press in a timely matter. Visit our info center to learn more about designing for print, or leave a comment below with any questions you may have!

Lookbook Specs: Choosing the Right Options for Your Fashion Lookbook


With spring fashion season soon approaching, and the New York Fashion Week kicking off next week, time is crucial in getting all of your collateral together. There is so much that goes into presenting your new line of clothing or jewelry, and some things can go overlooked. Fashion lookbooks are a key part of any presentation, and can serve as major selling point for your merchandise.

When talking to your printer, there will be several questions they will need to ask to find out exactly how to print your booklet. Make sure you know the answers beforehand so that you can get a fair price estimate, and so that your final product comes out exactly the way you are expecting.

Here are some of the most common questions you will face when you go to print your lookbook:

How will my lookbook bind?

There are a few different options available for lookbook binding, and more detailed information and videos can be found at our bindery options page.

The three most common lookbook binding styles are Saddle Stitched, Wire-O, and Perfect Binding. Each has it’s own advantages, and there are different requirements for each style.

Saddle Stitched

This is the most cost efficient option and uses two staples to hold together the sheets of paper. Since this style is printed on large sheets that are folded in half, this type of booklet can only come in increments of 4 pages.

Wire-O Binding

Each sheet is cut to the finished size and bound using a wire with metal loops. This way, the book can be easily turned so that each page lays flat.


Perfect Binding

This is the traditional book-binding method of gluing sheets into a thicker cover. Perfect binding produces the most professional finish, but requires a minimum of 28 pages to be bound this way.


What Paper Type Should I use for my Lookbook?

Choosing the right paper for your lookbook can be just as important as the actual layout of the book. Each designer will have different preferences for their lookbook, depending on the style of the material showcased inside.

If you want your images to really pop and you have a lot of bright colors and whites in your artwork, you would probably be best suited for Gloss paper. Need your booklet to be even more shiny? Add a layer of UV Coating to the cover!

Matte or Dull Coated paper is similar to gloss, but the accents are toned down a bit. This option is great for more neutral colors that don’t necessarily need to pop off the page, but will complete the aesthetic of the jewelry or clothing pictured.

The final option is Uncoated paper – this is similar to standard printer paper, but a higher quality, and slightly thicker. This type will give a natural feel and look, as glossy paper tends to be more silky.

What Size Should my Lookbook be?

This is one of the most common questions we face when dealing with lookbooks, and it’s actually pretty simple. The answer is – any size. Most printers use large sheets to print your lookbook, and then cut them down to the finished size, making it possible to make your booklet any reasonable size. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to this.

Landscape Lookbooks
Portrait Lookbooks
  • Custom lookbooks will stand out, which can be a key factor in the fashion industry.
  • No need to redesign your artwork – Re-figuring your images to fit in a certain page dimension can be troublesome and they may not appear to their full potential.
  • Anything custom will almost always be more expensive. Just like every other industry, having something custom made to fit your needs will run up the bill. Choosing a common size such as 5.5″ x 8.5″ or 6″ x 9″ will keep the cost down.
  • Production time will most likely increase for a custom book, which may be a hindrance if they’re needed in a rush.

Other considerations – Lookbooks are most commonly printed portrait style, meaning they are bound on the long edge. If you need an oblong (landscape) book, it will most likely increase the cost and production time.

There are many things to consider when designing your lookbook. Going into a meeting with your printer with a general idea beforehand will help your printer steer you in the right direction. It will also save you time, money and frustration in the end.

If you need a quote for printing lookbooks, give the Marsid M&M group a call at 516.334.1603 or visit our lookbook printing page for a quick estimate. We offer next day turnaround and free PDF proofs for most jobs.

5 Interesting Ideas for your Custom 2016 Calendar

With the new year creeping up fast, it’s about that time to start thinking about your new calendar for 2016. With so many different options out there, it’s hard to narrow down exactly what kind of calendar to go with. Sometimes if you are ordering a large quantity, it may be worth it to go with a custom designed calendar for your office, team, organization or school. Everyone will love having a personalized calendar, and you have the freedom to make yours look and say whatever fits your project best.

The next tricky part is to pick the type and layout of your calendar. The standard size is 11″ x 8.5″ but there are plenty of other options you can choose to customize your calendar. Take a look at some of the following examples to spark your creativity for your 2016 calendar!

12″ x 12″ Square Calendars

These prominent wall calendars are perfect to display in conference rooms, large offices or anywhere that could use extra large pages. These look really nice wire-bound which is also a plus because they can lay flat if notes need to be made or events added.


Small 8″ x 8″ Calendars

We recently had a customer print their watercolor artwork on a smaller version of a wall calendar. These are perfect for cubicles or small desks that don’t have a ton of space to hang full sized calendars.


Die-Cut Calendars

If you want something that really stands out, consider what Land Rover did with this custom die-cut design. They created a topographic map that could be peeled off day by day, mimicking layers of the earth. A calendar like this is so successful because it pairs functionality with brand accentuation. A calendar like this would be different for every company, but could serve as a great marketing tool.




Visualized Calendars

There is nothing says that says the days of the year have to be printed on paper. Visualized Calendars are a creative concept that can take on many different shapes and forms. Look for other media that can represent your calendar – it will attract more attention than a traditional day counter and can draw more notice to your brand. The calendar below uses a rack-and-pinion-like system that can easily be rolled to represent each day of the month.

visualized calendar


Full Spread Calendars

Most monthly spreads are set up to have a large picture at the top, and then a grid at the bottom representing all of the days of that month. This is used to write notes and add events to certain dates. In the digital age however, less people use physical calendars to schedule their lives. Instead, they will use their smartphones to plan their days and keep them better connected.

full page calendar

This doesn’t make the calendar obsolete though. The example above is a repurposed calendar that puts the focus on the artwork. Instead of splitting each page spread into two sections, they extended their artwork the length of the page and incorporated the calendar into the artwork. This design does not leave much room for someone to write on the display, but that is not always necessary. Instead, this layout plays to the aesthetic strength of the design.


Feel free to share your 2016 calendar ideas in the comments below, or head over to to get a quote for your calendar printing!

Crops, Bleeds and Margins: a Brief Walkthrough for Designers


Crops, Bleeds and Margins are three of the most important factors in setting up a design for print, but often go overlooked. These elements basically ensure that all images and text that extend to the edge of the page are not cut off, and that there are no white borders around the page from where it is cut.

Practically all of our print jobs are printed on sheets that are larger than the finished size, and then cut down to the actual size. This is what we call bleeds and allows for images and colors to be printed to the very edge of a page.

Crop marks are another very helpful piece to include in a design. These basically point to where the actual file will be cut. This tells the printer where to cut, and how much of the bleed to cut off.

Lastly, there are margins which define the live space of a printed piece. This area is a box inside of the page that is usually an 1/4″ from the edge of the page all around. The margins provide a safe area where all text and images should be so that they are not accidentally trimmed.

The best way to understand crops, bleeds and margins is to see it visually. Check out the video below that goes over all three elements and explains how to save a PDF properly for print:

Standard letter page in Adobe InDesign:

Business Card Setup in Adobe Illustrator:

You can read more in depth guides about designing for print in our info center or get a quote for your next print job at!

Specialty Stocks for Business Cards that Stand Out from the Crowd

Creating an Impression

These days, it is very common to spend a lot of time and effort trying to stand out. This includes everything from new logos, to interactive marketing and social media campaigns. Your business always needs your first impression to be one that sets you apart from your competition. There are several factors that go into forming that first impression, but one of the most important is your business card.

The business card is a very traditional practice that has been around since the 17th century. Over the years, the design and style of business cards have changed, but the general purpose has stayed the same. Business cards are used as an introduction, a reference, and a promotion. They are something that indicates the level of professionalism of your business and hints at the standards your company keeps.

There are many options available for sprucing up your business cards. One of the simplest ways to make your card higher quality is to have it printed on a specialty card stock. Check out some of these superior finishes:

Some Unique Business Card Stock Examples

1. Silk Laminated Business Cards

These ultra-thick business cards are bright white, with colors that pop off the card. The silk coating is super smooth and soft to the touch. Another advantage to these cards is that they can have spot UV coating to make certain parts of the card extra glossy and have a 3D effect. This effect is perfect for outlining logos or emphasizing a design on your card.

16 pt silk business cards with spot UV Coating

2. Suede Business Cards with Velvet Lamination

These cards are the smoothest cards we offer with a luxurious feel and vibrant colors. Match this stock with an elegant design, and you have a card that will put you above the rest. Each card is laminated with a velvet coating that not only gives it this smooth feeling, but also bumps the thickness up to 19 pt. making it a pretty hefty card. Printing your card on a stock that is thicker than the average card will definitely help you be remembered and lessens the chance that your card will be damaged sitting in someone’s wallet or briefcase.

Suede cards 19 pt with velvet lamination

3. Metallic Pearl Cards

If you want something that really stands out, consider Metallic Pearl Cards. These cards are coated with a shiny and sparkly metal finish that almost looks like they were spray painted silver. These are definitely eye catching, as they shimmer under any kind of light. While these cards may not be for everyone, there are certain businesses that would definitely benefit from using Pearl cards. Some that come to mind are Jewelers, Beauticians, Fashion Industry, or Holiday Stores. This stock is also a good option for invitations to weddings or other upscale events.

14 pt metallic pearl cards

Get great prices for specialty stock business cards and expert advice by visiting our page, here!

3 Unique Hybrid Print Projects that will Boost your Sales Pitch

All marketers know that presenting your information in an interesting way can often be just as important as the content itself. Whether it be an interesting packaging design or  a clever way to display ads using gifs, advertisers are constantly branching out to find innovative ways to pitch their brand. Doing so draws more attention away from the over-stimulation of competitors’ advertising to your specific message.

This technique can also apply to your organization’s printed marketing materials. When printing your brand on notepads, booklets, packaging and other brand collateral, you want it to not only look professional, but also to stand out. For inspiration, check out some of these clever printing techniques that add an extra layer of creativity.

Pallet Notepads

This awesome and unique print project was created for a freight forwarding company that wanted to create a notepad that was both eye-catching and practical. What came about was a notepad that was adhered to miniature wooden skid. This is both relevant to their business, and also serves as a functional notepad with their brand clearly displayed.


Concealed Binding Lookbooks

For the fashion and jewelry industries, there is no better way to easily showcase your work than with a professionally printed lookbook. These booklets are simple, strikingly beautiful, and are an effective way to showcase your catalog. This designer took the display to the next level by turning the lookbook itself into a piece of art.

Typically, lookbooks are too small to be perfect bound, so they are required to be bound using wire-o, spiral or saddle stitch binding. This lookbook was made using “concealed binding” which means that the book is bound using wire-o but has a wrap-around cover that hides the wire. This solution keeps an elegant appearance for the lookbook while keeping the durability of a wire-o booklet.

concealed binding lookbooks


Folder Booklets

A new trend in folder printing that we have been seeing more of is the Presentation Folder Booklet. This unique hybrid between a pocket folder and  an informative brochure blends practicality with content. Basically, this job is a normal pocket folder with 9″ x 12″ pages saddle stitched inside. This keeps all the functionality of a presentation folder, while allowing for additional resources to be packed inside!


Another popular choice is the mini folder booklet (6″ x 9″) as a more compact option. Looking for a quote? Head over to our folder booklet page, or leave a comment below!