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:
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 mmprint.com to get a quote for your calendar printing!
This post is best suited for graphic designers who will be working on a die cutting project and/or those of you who simply like to know how to do stuff.
Creating a die line for die cutting can be pretty simple or can be quite difficult, all depends on your design and some planning beforehand can come in very handy later on.
First, I want to make it clear that die cutting thin lines is not always a good idea. Thin lines in a die create thin cuts in the paper that can easily bend or rip off. Sometimes it’s unnavoidable such as die cutting hair or thin fonts but if possible, always try to use thick locks of hair or bold type if your die cut is typography-based.
Custom Die Cut Hang Tags
For this tutorial we are going to create a Die Cut Hang Tag. Many clothing manufacturers use hang tags to brand their merchandise and sometimes include information about the product or the company on the back or inside if it is a folding hang tag.
For this tutorial, we will use a fictitious Clothing Brand called mmprint.
Our goal is to have a finished hang tag where we will die cut the mmprint with the white Stroke around it. Leaving the grey area (which for purposes of this tutorial is simulating the paper) by using a die cutter such as our Heidelberg Windmill Letterpress.
The Right Tools
The die line must be made using a vector design program such as Adobe Illustrator or InDesign. A die maker uses a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine which uses CAD software to send the design commands to the CNC machine.
Preparing the Artwork
Creating the die line for the mmprint hang tag should be rather straight forward and simple. We used Century Gothic Bold for the text and made an offset path to make it thicker, then added a 3pt. Stroke around it. All we really need to do is make a line that goes around the entire perimeter of the white Stroke.
Sure, you can show off your Pen tool skills and trace the whole thing but working efficiently is key for a designer and when you have other projects to move on to, time is important.
At this point in our design, our stroke is an effect applied to the object. When you select the object with the black arrow, you will see that the selection line is located within the stroke. Since we need the die line to be the outside edge of the stroke, we have to make the stroke an object itself.
Select the mmprint object then click Edit>Copy then click Edit>Paste in Front
With the new object selected, click Object>Expand
While still selected, click the Unite button in the PathFinder tab (Window>Pathfinder)
Now you should have the outline of the object that is completely white, which notably is the shape that will remain in the sheet of paper once the mmprint is die cut out…
Now just 2 more steps.
While our new white object selected, all we need to do is give it a 1pt. stroke (I chose orange so it stands out) and remove the fill color.
Here is the result:
The final step is to convert the orange color we selected into a PMS color that we will call “Die Line”.
The purpose of making the die line its own PMS color is so that it separates correctly when making plates. The CMYK parts separate accordingly for printing and our “Die Line” PMS will separate as one separate plate for the die.
Here is how it’s done:
Tips and Tricks
It’s always a good idea to consult with the printer/die cutter before you spend a lot of time on your design. Discuss and if possible, show a sketch or basic artwork of your die cut to get feedback on what may or may not work.
As a graphic designer/consultant, you are hired to be efficient and work within budgets.
To save on die charges, you can always use a pre-made Die Cut shapes and customize only the printing.
We offer a nice selection of pre-made die cut shapes:
Take the Design Even Further
When budget is not an obstacle, take your creativity to the next level with Foil Stamping and Embossing.
At this point you can design a hang tag with all the bells and whistles that people may possibly keep. Hang tags create an amazing opportunity to spread your branding with the very merchandise that you sell. Make your hang tag reflect the quality of your company and your product.
So how do you prepare the design for foil stamping and embossing?
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.
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!
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!