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The One-Two Punch. Print & Social Media Combine For One Great Business Model

February 20, 2015

Have you heard of the Dollar Shave Club? With over 18 million views on YouTube, chances are pretty good that you have.  With their fun and irreverent video, posted March 12th, 2012,  they became an overnight success. Their business model is providing shaving razors, via mail, to consumers who sign up for a monthly delivery.  What sets Dollar Shave Club apart from many short-lived success stories is that they realized the key to mail order prosperity is customer retention.  That’s where PRINT comes into the picture.  But before we discuss that, take a look at their video (less than 2 minutes) that went viral:

The Dollar Shave Club knew that they couldn’t send out the razors in a simple box packed with paper if they wanted to have continual business long term.  They needed to enhance the product’s perceived value and make it look special. Also,  at the same time, the needed the ability to upsell other products and encourage repeat business. The picture below is what a customer receives each month.

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club Monthly Packet

So this is where the power of PRINT and PACKAGING came into play.  The actual razors are in the very small box. There is a sample of cream that can be purchased additionally in future months. The fold-out card in the background gives fun, and engaging, tips about shaving with information about higher quality razors that are available at a higher price.  And the box itself is cleverly designed to hold everything, along with additionally printed messages welcoming the customer.  There is no doubt that a lot of thought and planning went into the development of this kit.  It is very well done and we wish them much success.

Beyond Paper

January 30, 2015
Large Format Printing

Ussery Printing Company’s Large Format Printer

Large Format Printing Installation

Customer Finished Installation

At Ussery, our Large Format Printing Department seems to only be limited by the imagination of what we can now do. It has opened up a variety of applications that other offset or digital devices cannot match. Sheetfed printing can image onto pressure-sensitive materials, which can then be applied to rigid or unusual surfaces, but only large format printers allow us to image directly onto those surfaces.

The ability to print directly onto rigid substrates, objects such as doors, glass, or wood, gives us a way to increase productivity and decrease your cost on a variety of jobs. Let your own imagination run wild and contact us with your ideas! Or stop by and we’ll show you some of our creations.

How Color Defines Your Brand (an Infographic)

January 8, 2015

This infographic, from our UK friends Print-Print, explores the subconscious association colors can have on customers and what differentiates the worlds biggest brands’ from one another. Color plays a huge part in the psychology of any brand, so getting it right is of paramount importance.

Color defines a Brand

How Many Ways Do You Know How To Fold?

December 18, 2014
Trish Witkowski

Trish Witkowski

If you are in the Graphic Design, or Printing, World you probably have heard of Trish Witkowski, aka the @FoldingFanatic on Twitter. She has been providing weekly videos on her FoldFactory YouTube channel, that she calls her ’60-Second Super-Cool Fold Of The Week’, for some time now  At last check she just released number 272.  That is a lot of folding! These videos are a wonderful way to spur your creative juices. They range from very simple to fairly complex, and almost every one will leave you wondering “why didn’t I think of that?”  So if you have missed out on these, not to worry, since the whole collection of these one minuted videos are waiting for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy!

Stretch Your Budget With Self-Mailers

November 25, 2014


Companies can save substantial amounts of money by eliminating the need for envelopes. The possibility of creating a self-mailer should be considered with any direct mail piece.

A self-mailer is simply a piece of mail that doesn’t require an envelope. All of the necessary mailing information is located on one of the outside panels.

Because self-mailers do not require envelopes, you must be more creative when designing the format, since you don’t have the luxury of an envelope to contain any extra sheets of printed material.

Here are some things to consider when designing a self-mailer:

  1. Will the delivery address be printed directly on the self-mailer, or will self-adhesive labels be used?
  2. The amount of written material in the self-mailer will determine the overall size of the mailer.
  3. Information needs to flow quickly and smoothly from the initial pitch to the fine print. The fewer words needed to convey your message, the better.
  4. The type of closure needs to assure safe passage through the mail. Staples are used often, but many people find them unappealing. Miniature self-adhesives are available in many colors, shapes, and sizes.
  5. If perforated sections are used, keep them in mind so that nothing can slip loose while being passed through the mail.

Blacker Than Black …. Enriched Black Ink

November 6, 2014

When we think of colors, we often think of many different shades of each primary color. Take blue for example…it can vary between colors such as baby blue, aqua, turquoise, teal, royal blue, or navy blue.

Many people would assume that the one exception to these color variations is black. After all, we think of black as being absolute darkness, and expect it to appear this way when printed on a document as well. However, black that is used in full-color (process) printing is transparent, like all process inks, and cannot cover ink or paper as thoroughly as you may like.

Although using an opaque black ink may seem like a simple solution, it would cause adverse reactions to other color or high-res images that contain black ink. Instead, the wise choice would be to add various “enriched” process blacks to your color menus. Their use should vary according to how and where the black is applied.

Here are two types of enriched blacks to consider using:

  • Rich black. Rich black combines process black with one other process ink (traditionally 100% black and 60% cyan), which causes the black to appear “blacker” because the second ink color increases its density. Use rich black whenever the edges of a black object are fully exposed, or when a black object straddles other image information. And remember, it’s only appropriate for objects that are at least a quarter-inch thick.
  • Super black. By combining three process undercolors (50% cyan, 50% magenta, and 50% yellow), you can create the deepest, most satisfying process black you can reproduce on-press. Use super black only when all the object edges are within other colors, or when they bleed off the edge of the page.

Note: Because computer monitors cannot accurately duplicate printed results, the graphic illustrating the use of enriched black is meant only to give an approximation of the end result.

It Pays To Proof

October 20, 2014

It may seem like there is never time to proof something thoroughly the first time, but when it is not done, you may end up making time to do the entire job a second time. Just what are some of the things that should be checked during the proofing process? Here is a list to perfect your proofing strategy and to save cost with your printing:

Proof the text.Proofing Printing
The first place to start is the text. Review all text for spelling and grammatical correctness, check punctuation, and most importantly, accuracy of content. Making changes to text later in the production process will only slow things down, so make sure that everything is perfect before moving on to the next step.Proof the images.
Viewing the images on your computer is a great place to start, as long as your screen is calibrated properly, but keep in mind that the colors on-screen will not be a perfect match to the colors that are printed. Be sure to check the size and resolution of the image. For high-level image quality jobs, it may be wise to have a physical proof rather than just an on-screen proof of the images done on professional proofing equipment–you will get a better idea of the true color of the piece.

Proof the pages.
Checking an entire page of an original can be done on screen, but it is also a good idea to print out the pages. Look over the typography, placement of images, illustrations and text, as well as hyphenation and line arrangement, page format, and bleeds.

The difference between a thorough proof and no proof at all is the time you may spend having to redo a job. Taking the time at the beginning will save you time and money in the long run.

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