Lookbook Design Tips – Style And Fashion

Lookbooks seem to be the latest craze for fashion start-ups and clothing lines. I can attest to this statement because it’s been our hottest selling product for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2013 and probably would have been for longer than that… had we paid more attention to this trend earlier in the year.

The difference between a lookbook and a catalog is in the content. Lookbooks showcase your fashion/clothing line’s look and style and doesn’t get into too much detail because it’s all about imagery, hence the name “Look” book.

A lookbook design sets the stage for your target market and with these tips you will be able to create an environment that they can relate to and see themselves in it.


Lookbook Design Showcase


Simple and Subtle Imagery

Lookbooks are made for looking. Simple as that. No need to create distraction with overwhelming amounts of text or disruptive graphics that take the focus away from your product.

You may opt for a solid color background usually gentle whites or light greys that contrast with the colors of your models and clothing. Even shadows can draw the eyes away from the target, make sure your lighting conditions are optimal.


Fashion Lookbook Designs


Use Your Environment

For the seasonal or niche fashion-eers, the background can be used to your advantage. Create a habitat where your fashion lives, where you target market finds themselves. Help them envision how your style fits their lifestyle.


Lookbook Design and Printing


 Gloss, Gloss… Gloss.

The paper you select for your lookbook printing can really influence the outcome.  In my opinion, nothing makes photographs POP like a glossy finish, the good news is most small runs of lookbooks are printed digitally…

Digital printing uses toner which has a glossy finish anyway so basically you can print on uncoated or matte paper and still have a glossy finish. I’ve seen this used to give the printed areas a 3D type effect or can be comparable to Spot UV coating.


Free Christmas Fonts For Commercial Use


Christmas is almost here and we know that designers have tight deadlines for Christmas projects. We put together a list of awesome FREE Christmas fonts for commercial use that you can use in your designs for personal or commercial projects like holiday greeting cards, envelopes, postcards and any other fun Holiday projects you are working on. If you use any of the fonts listed, feel free to share a link to the artwork you did in the comments below!


Santa’s Sleigh by HypoTypo


Santas Sleigh Font for Commercial Use


Kingthings Christmas by Kingthings


Kingsthings Christmas Free for Commercial Use Font


Mountains of Christmas by Tart Workshop Fonts


Mountains of Christmas Free Font for Commercial Use


ChopinScript font by Diogene


ChopinScript Free Font for Commercial Use


Snowpersons font —by Character


Snowpersons Free Font for Commercial Use



3 Powerful Marketing Tips To Gain New Local Customers

Small businesses thrive when their local community embraces what they have to offer. Customers feel that doing business locally is easy, it’s close by and it’s probably good for the local economy.

Even though these customers are consumers just like anyone else in the rest of the country, these consumers have one specific characteristic that is completely different from any other: they SHARE your location.

Whether your local efforts are made at the town level or the state level, these customers can become loyal fans just how sports fans become loyal fans of their local (town,state) teams.


3 Powerful Marketing Tips for Small Business
3 Powerful Marketing Tips for Small Business

 1. Gain Local Customers with Local Rewards

Sharing your location with your customers means that you and your employees eat, shop and interact with the same local businesses that they do.

These days you can run a Loyalty Rewards program easily in-house. It’s simply a matter of how complicated you make the offer.

A simple way is to print custom coupons with areas that get marked for each purchase or transaction. When the customer reaches the pre-determined number of transactions, you reward them with a free gift or a discount.

Partner up with some of the popular local businesses and run joint advertisements or run discount coupons off of each other. By doing this you are advertising to their customer base and at the same time helping their advertising efforts.

2. Create Awareness Inexpensively

Every Door Direct Mail : For 14.5 cents each (postage) you can mail an over-sized postcard or folded piece to every mailbox in your surrounding neighborhood including PO Boxes. No mailing list required.

E.D.D.M. is an amazing opportunity to let your local customers know your business contact information, address and the services and/or products you offer…while your at it, give them a coupon or offer they can’t refuse.

With the large canvas of the over-sized card that you can send, there’s enough room to include vital information, an attractive image and a killer call-to-action.

3. Become a Social Magnet

Social media is all about community. By embracing the power of social media, you can create a community of brand ambassadors that will spread the word for you.

Sign up for Twitter and create a Facebook business page at the least and start conversations with your customers. When they talk to you, their friends and connections will see the conversation and possibly join in. With that alone you might have just scored a new customer.

Follow us on twitter : @mmprint

Although each one of these tips is powerful on its own, using them in combination will increase your chances of acquiring new local traffic.

Use Every Door Direct Mail to inform your local community of your location, product or service and make sure to let them know where to find you on Twitter and Facebook (and any other social media networks you are on). Then, on your Facebook business page you can offer a discount in return for a Like. Don’t forget to use QR Codes to make it easy to connect with you or visit your website via mobile phones.

Have you had better success using Targeted Direct Mail over using Every Door Direct Mail?



Heidi Finds A New Family at The Marsid M&M Group


Heidi was born in August of 1969.  She had lived in San Diego, California for many years where she printed all types of advertisements, brochures and stationery.   She was one of 10 Heidelberg Windmill Letterpresses which were all lined up in a row.  She worked very hard for 10 hours every day and 10 hours every night with very little rest; as did her 9 sisters sitting beside her on the long and narrow concrete floor that she called home.


Heidelberg Windmill Letterpress


Right after her 15th birthday in September of 1984, the factory that Heidi worked in was shut down.  People said, “It was because there were newer types of printing presses called Offset Machines that could run faster and produce better and cleaner printed work.”  Heidi then sat idle on that cold concrete floor with no electricity or oil for almost two years.


In July of 1986, Henry Jenkins, a reverend from a small church in Los Angeles, found Heidi listed in a newspaper advertisement.  He journeyed to San Diego with a large moving truck and brought her back to his garage in L.A..  He fed her oil and gave her electricity which made Heidi so happy.  The reverend’s wife came to the garage once a week, always on Wednesday, to clean her and rub her down with a very soft cloth.  Heidi was finally at work again; her new job was to print small prayer books and song sheets for Reverend Jenkins to distribute to his parishioners.  After many years, the good Reverend took ill and was forced to make a change.  On February 17, 2007, Reverend Jenkins and his wife closed their church and moved to a small town in Mexico where they became missionaries.  Heidi now needed a new home.  She still had so much life in her.

Heidi was found by an adoption agency in Jamaica, New York called Crystal Graphics.  The company was owned by a man named Mr. Bally, who knew that although he would probably be keeping Heidi for a while; he was sure he would eventually find her a good home.  He cleaned Heidi from top to bottom and made sure she looked good.  He then covered her with a big green tarp with the words “WINDMILL 13X18” on it.  Trying to find new parents that were qualified was not an easy task.  People would come to look at her, but no one seemed to have the right use for Heidi.  After many months of deliberation, Mr. Bally decided to convert Heidi into a Die Cutter and Foil Stamper.  In November of 2011, after the conversion was complete,  she received a new coat of paint and was ready to go.  Again the green tarp was put back on Heidi to keep her protected and safe, but it now had the words “FOIL STAMPING / DIE CUTTING” added to her description.

A New Home

It was about this time that Sid Halpern, the president of The Marsid M&M Group a very progressive “State of The Art” commercial printer, decided to compliment his offset and digital capabilities and bring “in house” Foil Stamping and Die Cutting to their growing list of clients.  Mr. Halpern found Heidi advertised by Mr. Bally on eBay and decided to make a visit to the Jamaica, New York warehouse to see her.  He lifted the green tarp and was immediately impressed!  Heidi was clean and beautiful, filled with oil and ready to go to work with all her new capabilities.  The deal was made and the adoption finalized!  A few days later, December 10, 2011, Heidi was on Mr. Bally’s delivery truck heading to her new home in Carle Place, New York!

Heidelberg Windmill Letterpress

Wow!  Heidi was amazed when she arrived.  Mr. Halpern had built her a very special private room with an arched doorway!  He installed  new crown moldings and had pictures of Benjamin Franklin and Johannes Guttenberg on the wall above her.  There was a vintage California Job Case to her left and an authentic composing stick to her right!  There were even a few antique hymns engraved in copper on the wall. Heidi thought she remembered printing with those back when she was with Reverend and Mrs. Jenkins in L.A..  Heidi was so proud and now felt so useful in her new home with all of the shiny new offset and digital printers!  Mr. Halpern was very good to her; he treated her as part of his FAMILY.  He bought her all new tools and was so excited to watch her Die Cut and Foil Stamp new jobs every day.  It didn’t take Heidi long to realize she would never again be on a delivery truck!


Adding Video to your Printed Marketing Materials for Free


In this post we will explore in detail how to beef up your printed marketing materials by adding your own custom video and making it easy for your customers to share the video as well.
I am sure some of you reading this right now are imagining small screens, wires and batteries or mini-DVDs glued to the inside of your media kits. Well, that’s not the case, it’s not that complicated and it’s free!

Adding the video to your printed marketing materials is done in 3 easy steps and all 3 tools needed are available freely on the Internet.

Video Distribution Step One

Video Distribution

The first step, assuming you already have a video that you would like to distribute to your customers, is to upload your video to the web. There are quite a few websites that will host your video file for free, some of the most popular being Youtube and Vimeo.

 If you are tech-savvy or have an IT person who handles your website, you can also upload your videos to your own website hosting server.

By uploading your videos to the web, you make them available and easily accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most video hosting sites as you may already know, have a commenting feature where people can leave comments about your video and you can respond to their comments.


Link Creation Rope

Creating a Link

In this second step we will create a link to the video. Both Youtube and Vimeo automatically create a link for you and you simply copy and paste it. Most video hosting sites will do this for you as well.

After we have uploaded the video and generated a direct link to the video, we are going to make it a link that we can track to see how many times it has been used, shared and who shared it.

There are many free URL shorteners available that give you free tracking tools that provide basic Analytics with information regarding the use of the link you shortened. Here are a few of the most popular ones, I recommend you create a user account so that you can log in and view your results:

I tend to be partial to bit.ly because I like how easy it is to create a shortened url and the way they present the link tracking information.

To create a shortened URL, simply paste the video URL into the big blue text box and click shorten. Easy as that.

The Bit.ly analytic panel gives you different ways to look at what happened to your URL throughout its life:

  • A visual chart with the amount of daily clicks
  • Cool feature called Conversations which shows who is talking and sharing the same link on social networks plus a count of how many times it has been shared on various social networks.
  • QR code and a sidebar to share the link on your social networks right from the bit.ly page (go to settings to authorize this).

Being able to analyze the results of your efforts is a very valuable tool. If you can tell what did well and what went wrong with your marketing, you can use this information to improve your marketing and drive better results on your next campaign.


QR Code Connecting Print to Video

Code Connection

The final step in adding video to your printed marketing materials is to create the connection between your video and the paper your marketing material is printed on.

Most of you may be familiar with QR codes by now since they have been around for a while. You might see them quite often on catalogs, magazines, postcards and many other direct mail printed materials; not to mention packaging and even in commercial stores like BestBuy use them to show video product demos in the stores.

If you would like to learn more about QR codes, I highly recommend you read my post that contains information about QR codes and a list of Free QR Code readers and generators.

For this specific tutorial we will be using a QR code to direct the user’s mobile smart phone to a video that you uploaded per the instructions in step one. Why use a QR code? Well, how many people do you think would want to type a URL that looks like this – bit.ly/egm7XG – into their smart phone browser? By using a QR code all the user has to do is tap his QR code reader app and scan the code.

Let’s get to it! Creating a QR code is simple. Go to one of the free websites I listed in the blog post about QR Codes. Try them all to see which one you find easier to use and feel free to share with us in the comments below.

For this example I will use the www.BeQRious.com website to generate my QR code:

BeQRious.com screenshot

Simply paste the shortened URL you created in step 2 into the text box labeled “Enter web URL:” and click the Create Code button.

You will see on the right an image of a cellphone with a QR code on the screen. That is the code that was generated by your special and unique URL.

Now, if you are feeling a bit antsy, go ahead and fire up your QR Code reader app on your smart phone and scan the the code right on your computer screen. Make sure it works correctly and directs your smart phone to the video you uploaded in step 1.

If it doesn’t work, go back to step 1 and make sure you used the correct link for the video, in the URL shortener and that you used the correct link generated by the URL shortner, on BeQRious.com (or whatever qr code generator you decided to use).

Wa-la! That’s it. Download the QR code and insert into the design of your marketing materials.

I recommend you download the vector/PDF version of the code (if available) as it is created in vector format and can be enlarged or reduced to just about any size without losing any quality. I personally try to keep it no smaller than 1 inch x 1 inch.


Rule #1 : TEST, TEST, TEST.
You must make sure that the code is not too small or too blurry to be read by the cameras on smart phones. You must test the QR code among different phone models and different QR code reader apps to make sure it works appropriately.

Coolest Roundup of Augmented Reality in Printing

Many say the printing industry is in decline, some even say print is dead. Think again Egon!
This has got to be the coolest innovation to hit print next to QR Codes and it has been said before: Print is not dying, it’s Evolving.

If you are a movie buff, you may have already heard of Augmented Reality (AR for short). The film industry is adopting this technology wisely and guess where it is found…yes, on their PRINTED movie posters and even on the official movie T-shirts which of course are screen-PRINTED.

A Revolution on the Rise

As augmented reality technology catches on and becomes more affordable, you will see its use more and more in our daily lives. The one aspect of augmented reality that really catches my attention is the fact that it could revolutionize learning.

Finally we have something to make those boring text books come alive, making learning interactive or better yet, fun. This would make kids actually want to study…Check this out:

The example above shows just one way augmented reality enhances print. This technology can also be applied to Direct Mail and just about every type of printed advertising from business cards to large format.

Augmented Reality in Print

The following round up of Augmented Reality print advertisements show that print is here to stay and is the medium which connects our reality to the virtual online world. Enjoy!

Godzilla 2012

Poster and T-shirt

Godzilla Augmented Reality Poster



iQ Toyota Augmented Reality Tech



Interactive Marketing sales tool – Building Magical Brochure



Augmented Reality Business Card – Avatar Concept

Business Cards


Augmenting a Postcard



Bouygues Telecom Augmented Reality Smartphones Brochure

Brochures (Wow!)


Audi Augmented Reality Calendar



I (heart) Augmented Reality

T-shirts (lol)


Augmented Reality Encyclopedia



Augmented Reality Game

Board Games


New Reality – Augmented Reality Magazine



TOUCH2PRINT -Augmented Reality: Can touch this

Touch Interactive Paper



Movie Advertising


This is only a small chunk of what is out there! Augmented reality can solidify print’s centuries-long foundation in our present and more importantly, our future.


In what ways will you use Augmented Reality in your Print Campaigns?