QR Code – The Advertising Double Agent

QR Code
Scan me!

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are the connection between online and offline marketing. With the advancement and acceleration of smart phones, consumers have the ability to scan and interpret this barcode with their mobile phone. Originally created by a subsidiary of Toyota, Denso-Wave, the QR Code technology has been around for over a decade.

Versatility is QR Code’s middle name.

The amount of data that a QR Code can hold is approximately 7089 Numeric characters or 4296 Alphanumeric characters as stated on Wikipedia.

This allows for the encoding of URLs, phone numbers, full contact information, SMS messages, links to launch YouTube videos, display static text… to name a few options offered by this revolutionary technology.

How Can Advertisers Use QR CODES in Printed Materials?

QR Codes in Advertising

Believe it or not, your entire marketing piece can be designed around a QR code.

Want to inform your customers of a GRAND OPENING? Create a Google Places Page which provides you with a pre-made QR Code that contains a link to your Google Places Page, Your customers can scan the code and visit your Google Places Page on their mobile phone. Once there, your customer will find all there is to know about your business and directions to your location. Scan the QR Code above and see for yourself!

Do you have a  product demonstration video? Include a QR Code in your postcard, brochure or even next to the product in your catalog that will direct the customer to view a product demonstration video on their mobile device. This also gives you the chance to direct the customer to a landing page on your website before or after the video is viewed, reinforcing the sale.

Want to make it easier for that potential customer to retain your contact information? Generate a QR Code that contains all of your contact information and include it on your business card. When a customer scans your QR Code with their mobile device, depending on the QR Code Reader they are using (see “QR Code Readers” below), your contact information will be displayed and saved to the “contacts” or phone book of the mobile device.

Depending on your product or service, QR Codes can serve a variety of customizable uses in your marketing scheme.

Business card with QR Code

Where can Custom QR Codes be Generated?

We must be thankful (to Denso-Wave) for the use of QR Codes being free of any license. This has given developers the ability to create online QR Code generators…FREE TO USE! Of course you will find some out there that want to charge to use their generator or allow for Non-Commercial use only, but here is a list I compiled to help you get started generating QR Codes and better yet… more sales conversions!

  • beQRious – Extensive Options – Featured: QR Code with Embedded Image
  • ZXing Project – Extensive Options – Featured: Wi-fi Login Information
  • QRStuff – Extensive Options – Featured: Google Maps Directions
  • Delivr – Extensive Options – Featured: URL shortening
  • Mobile-Barcodes – Extensive Options – Featured: Email Composer
  • Mofuse – Simple Generator – Featured: Generates Hosted Image Link
Here are some helpful links to download QR Code readers for your smart phone:

View this article via your mobile phone to download and install directly to your mobile device.

I-nigma – I use this one myself.

Scanlife

NeoReader

How have you used QR Codes in your marketing?

Colorful Collection of Poster Designs for Inspiration

Poster by CPX InteractiveWhen promoting a band, a new product, service or simply to convey information, a full color poster will STAND OUT like capital letters in any text message.

Posters are designed to be hung on walls and many other large flat surfaces. Their large format allow for both text and images to promote events, use as an informational guide and can even be educational.

Posters can be printed on many different substrates.  To name a few: vinyl for durability, art canvas to give it an “artsy” finish or even acetate for more creative works. Posters can even be mounted on different materials or framed. Foamcore and Gatorboard are frequently used and allow for the poster to stand on its own or be displayed on an easel.

Here is a collection of beautiful and colorful posters that will hopefully strike a spark in your brain and ignite a creative fire that will make your next poster design STAND OUT beyond it’s size…

Poster by Beaucoupzero

Poster by Ellyezer

Poster by Etrix

K-Salaam and Beatnick Poster

Poster by MrHahn98

Bauhaus Poster by DT1087

Poster by StrongstuffPoster by Aremanvin

Poster by Zivrezcara

Poster by C345

BLACKOUT_POSTER_by_Demen1

[box title=”Word To The Wise” color=”#333333″]Get Inspired, Design Something Amazing and Have it Professionally Printed. Call us 516-334-1603[/box]

12 Months of Continuous Daily Advertising – Custom Calendar Printing

[note color=”#FFCC00″]

September Savings! – Buy 10 Calendars – Get One Free

You heard it right! For every 10 Custom Calendars that you order, we will print an extra one for free. Use Code STB13CL when requesting your quote or give us a call now at 1-877-mmprint! [/note]

Custom Calendar Printing Custom printed calendars can be an invaluable asset to your marketing strategy.
When designed properly and made useful, a calendar is a guaranteed 12 months of daily advertising that you pay for only once. No pay-per-click, pay-per-view or pay-per-anything! Have your full color calendars printed all at once, distribute them to your customers – be it new prospects or loyal customers – and that is it. Do you have a graphic designer in-house? If so, the only costs you incur for 12 months of daily advertising is printing and distribution.

Advantages of Custom Printed Calendars

Custom Calendars for BusinessA standard calendar is generally composed of 24 inside pages and a cover. Seven 11″ x 17″ sheets are folded to 8.5 x 11 and saddle stitched (stapled). This is the most basic of calendars and includes small variations in paper thickness. There are many types and layouts for printed calendars all having either a standard or versatile use. Assign a specific product to each month, provide monthly coupons, display specific information that relates to your product or service for that month, or you can utilize images provided by your customers. A custom calendar can be used as a catalog, informative brochure or handy tool for your customers.

Calendar Sightings

Calendars can be found just about anywhere. Offices, homes, home-offices, gas stations, restaurants, garages, retail stores, the list goes on and on. The key question here is HOW are they used and/or displayed in these different settings. Households for example, typically use them as decoration that changes month to month. Therefore, a calendar made for households should contain beautiful imagery or art. Some businesses use calendars as an organizational tool: Scheduling meetings, staying aware of deadlines, jotting down notes, employee birthdays or days off.  A calendar for a business setting needs to be practical and have room for writing notes.

Custom Desktop Calendar
One great example is the calendar that one of our paper vendors sends us every year. It is a desktop calendar that I keep on my desk throughout the year, it has lots of room for notes, writing down print jobs that are due on a certain date, and just doodling in general . In fewer words, it is extremely convenient.
So what does this do for the vendor? Well, their logo and contact information is always available to me throughout the year. Whenever I am taking sales calls and get a request for a specialty paper, who do you think comes to mind first?

Just the thought of having to go through my boss’s Rolodex to find a vendor’s information……..

Real Rolodex
🙂

“Convenience and Practicality” – Apply this concept when creating a plan for your calendar and the rest will fall into place. Enjoy these charming custom calendar designs and may they influence your design and productivity:

Colle+McVoy: Creative calendar

3M Post-it Calendar

Keskin 2010 Calendar

STIHL Autumn Calendar

Calendars and Beyond

Here at mmprint.com, we decided to “theme” our 2009 calendar with inspirational art and design quotes jazzed up with beautiful stock photos that coincided with the quote and season. We received a colossal amount of positive feedback from customers.
This year we decided to showcase one of our newest products by placing our 2010 calendar on a custom mousepad! We also added a functional ruler to max out our space with usability.
Custom Calendar Printed on a Mousepad

Do you have a custom calendar that you have designed or printed and would like to share?

Please comment below…

Design and Print a Stunning Catalog – Solid Product Promotion

Catalog Printing ServicesCatalog: (n) a book, usually illustrated, containing details of items for sale.

As simple as this definition may sound, the reality is that designing a catalog requires preparation, specification and of course, a little imagination.

The following paragraphs will provide you with a basic idea on how to prepare for your design, specify product descriptions and adding a bit of magic in your design to make your customers want to continue browsing thorough every single product you have.

Before you begin

  • It is important to pay attention to the smallest details when creating a printed catalog.
  • All Images need to be high resolution.
  • Headlines and description have to be concise and relevant to the product.
  • The paper and finish you chose will play an important role in the success of your catalog.
  • Make sure to have your final draft proofread a couple of times by different agents in your company; Grammar and/or simple errors can reflect poorly upon your brand.

High Resolution Images for Catalog PrintingHigh Resolution Product Images

“In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.” – Gaston Bachelard

When presenting your products within a catalog, in essence, you are producing an extension of the physical product for your customer. Therefore, it is of upmost importance to have clear, high resolution, quality photographs and/or clean vector images. The goal is to make a connection between the viewer and the product as if they were holding the product in their hands.

Catalog Design and Printing Compelling Headlines
Compelling Headlines and Informative Descriptions

Concise: (adj) brief in form but comprehensive in scope.

The purpose of a headline is to solicit the reader’s attention, engage his or her interest and finally, entice them to keep reading. Keep it short and to the point. A headline should not be misleading; It should be utilized as a tool for the reader to find what they seek quickly, all the while trying to spark an interest they were unaware of.

The product description is the opportunity given by the headline, to capitalize and make the sale. Depending on the type of products you are promoting,  a description can be a block of text or just bullet points.

Here are a few tips on what a description should include:

  • Physical description: Remember the product image does a great job of this but the conversion lies in the details
  • Manifest the need: Justify the reasons why the customer “needs” your product and the benefits that accompany the purchase
  • Technical Details: Provide sizes, manufacturing materials, quantity, everything relevant to the product
  • Additional details: Include any copy regarding where to find warranty information and how to contact a knowledgeable associate regarding the product
Catalog Spot Varnish Cover
Catalog Cover Spot Varnish

Spice Up the Design and Content with the Appropriate Finish

With so many incredible finishing options available for catalogs, finding a combination that suites your products and design is certainly a crucial step. This choice is best determined once the design has been completed or at least when the design has been planned (except for size and orientation).
Layout, size, colors and budget all play an important roll in this equation.

The following is a list of popular finishes available for your catalogs:
Coating
  • UV Coating – High Gloss
  • Spot UV – High gloss in specific areas of the design
  • Aqueous Coating – Matte (less expensive than Varnish, full coverage only)
  • Varnish – Matte
  • Spot Varnish – Matte in specific areas of the design
Binding
  • Saddle Stitching (Staples)
  • GBC Bound (Comb)
  • Spiral Bound (Plastic Coil)
  • Wire-O (Double-loop Wire)
  • Perfect Bound (Spine Glued to Cover)
Catalog Binding Options
Wire-O – Perfect Bound – Spiral
Catalog Printing Saddle Stitching
Saddle Stitching

Brochure Printing – Guidelines for a Successful Design

Full Color Brochure Design and PrintingBrochures are a wonderful way to relay information about your product, service or business in general. Many times customers will find themselves waiting around or standing in line… that is the perfect time to present your brochure and inform them of your products and services while they wait.

  • A captivating brochure will make an impact on the decisions your customers will make regarding your products and/or services.
  • Creating a one of a kind, intriguing, call-to-action brochure requires planning, copy writing, graphic design and patience.
  • A brochure is more than just information and pretty pictures, it is a sales tool that can be very effective when implemented correctly.

Full Color Brochure PrintingFull Color Brochures can be the first connection you make with a new customer. Their simplicity and ease of access allow current and prospective customers to learn about you and to quickly get acquainted with what your company offers. With 1, 2 and 4 color brochures you can do that effectively, and at a low price. Working with an 11″ x 17″ size sheet of paper gives you the flexibility you need to be creative and to include all the information you need. Flexibility is very important when trying to create unique looks that will make your brochures stand out from those of your competitor.

Things to keep in mind:

  • SizeBrochures are measured unfolded. There are three standard sizes: 8.5’’ x 11’’, 8.5’’ x 14’’, and 11’’ x 17’’. 11’’ x 17’’ brochures work great when you are trying to stand out, and when you have a large selection of products to introduce or there is simply a lot to say about your product or service.
  • Paper Stock80# Gloss Text, 100# Gloss Text, 80# Gloss Cover and 60# uncoated offset stock are some of the possibilities. The weight of your brochures will affect your cost, but also will affect the impact of your final product.
  • Folding Options– With so many folding options it can be hard to decide which fold option is right for you, but you must always understand what the specific folding does for you, from pull viewers in, to split your ideas well, to even be at all necessary.

When these general guidelines are followed, you can expect a higher return on investment in the form of purchases, inquiries or an increase in exposure of your brand, products or services.

 

Have you designed marketing brochures for any outside-the-box situations that you would like to share?

Please add your comment below.