Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG

www.graphicmatter.com

Graphic Matter, Inc BLOG - www.graphicmatter.com

Digital Printing vs. Traditional Offset Printing – What’s best for you?

Changes in how our businesses are structured and how reliant we’ve become on technology have Graphic Matter - print and prepress specialistsdramatically changed how we do business. There was a day when we all worked in offices [not HOME offices], we communicated via landlines and snail-mail, and advertising and marketing efforts were not available to us as DIY options due to ability and cost.

Technological advances have provided options that are so much more accessible to small businesses, like blogging, creating our own online promotions, Smartphones, QR codes, and digital printing. While these wonderful tools provide solutions suitable for smaller budgets, some of the “old” ways are still viable and necessary options.

Digital Printing is one of these tools. We print everything from photos to business cards to flyers and tri-fold brochures from our home & office printers and retail quick print services [Staples, Kinko’s, etc]. How do we know which is the best choice for our needs? What are the advantages and disadvantages?

Digital printing is quick, and ideal for lower quantity runs. It offers the option of variable data allowing you to personalize the message, addressee, and/or images on each printed item – an effective marketing tool that enables your message to be customized for each recipient. This alone brings targeted marketing within reach of the small business.

On the downside, inks used in digital printing are not absorbed into the paper. As a result, folded edges will often show “cracking” in the color, where the paper color is peeking through. There are limitations on the stock and sizes that can be used in digital printing as well.

Commercial Offset printing still offers the highest quality printing and best color control. If your color matching needs are critical, this is the only method that provides true control. This method also offers the ability to print spot colors, which are produced by printing a custom or PMS color [not process color] using a separate plate. Many special effects such as spot varnishes are produced this way. Offset printing allows many more options for size, specialized inks, and paper stock, which are not cost-effective using a digital press.

Since much of the cost in offset printing is due to the pre-press preparation, printing large quantities will decrease your cost per item, and printing is dramatically faster than digital printing. We hope these tips have helped you to better understand the choices available to your business for your marketing needs. Graphic Matter’s print specialists have an exceptional degree of experience in the technical aspects of commercial print, offset, digital, variable and prepress, as well as image retouching services. Give us a call.

 

Graphic Matter’s 2010 Year in Review

2010 was a year filled with accomplishments and milestones for Graphic Matter Inc. As we review this list we have compiled, we are again grateful to you, our clients and partners, for your support and confidence.

January 2010 – Launch of Our 2¢, Graphic Matter’s blog, opening a new line of communication and resource for our clients. We covered the topics that our clients asked us about the most – everything from blogs, SEO, branding, and client projects.

February 2010 – Graphic Matter attends WPEO Done Deals and Matchmaker Event in NYC and has matchmaker meetings with various corporations.

March 2010Mitushi Banerjee joins the Graphic Matter team as web designer.

April 2010 – Graphic Matter attends the WPEO Done Deals Challenge Reception in NYC.

June 2010Graphic Matter is awarded 3rd place in the NJ AD Club 42nd Annual Awards for the exercise booklet we designed for the Pink Ribbon Program, Recovery for Breast Cancer Survivors.

June 2010Graphic Matter designs trade show graphics for NTSG, Inc., providing visual impact for their sponsorship booth at WBENC’s Women in Business 2010 Conference, This visually compelling marketing tool is both versatile and portable for use at future events.

June 2010 – Graphic Matter renews WBENC Certification.

July 2010 – Graphic Matter attends New Jersey’s largest industry networking event sponsored by the NJ Marcom Council.

August 2010 – Graphic Matter celebrates our 8th anniversary as a Hillsborough business.

September 2010 – Graphic Matter creates a new business plan for growth in 2011 with the Haufman FastTrac Growth Venture program

October 2010 Graphic Matter wins the WPEO/WBENC Done Deals Partnership Award for securing the most WBE-to-WBE contracts.

November 2010Graphic Matter designs advertisement and accompanying micro-site for Pink Ribbon Program’s Breast Cancer Rehab.org, marking our first ad placement in a national publication [USA Today].

December 2010 – Graphic Matter wraps us another exciting year and prepares for a productive 2011.

Thanks for reading our blog. Let us know what you would like us to discuss in 2011. We look forward to more rewarding project with our clients in 2011!

Graphic Matter’s Favorite Blog Posts of 2010

Over the past year, Graphic Matter has shared with you the many different ways you can promote your business and your brand. Let’s sum up our year of informational posts and share with you the ones that were our favorites.

Here they are:

1. How I Love to Follow A Blog, Let Me Count the Ways! Parts 1 – 3

2. Organic Marketing? Really?

3. Get Pushy with Your Marketing: The Difference Between SEO & SEM

4. Graphic Matter’s Fab 5 “Shout Out”

5. Graphic Matter Client Spotlight – NTSG, Inc.

We hope that you have enjoyed our blog posts and have shared them with friends. We look forward to hearing from YOU and invite you to share with us your favorite tips from 2010 as well as what questions you would like to see answered in 2011.

The team at Graphic Matter wishes everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Implementing and Building Your Brand – Building a Brand Part 6

How Do I Do THAT?

In recent posts, we identified the main challenge to building your brand is to create awareness and recognition of your company and brand, and we broke it down into four areas:

1. Choice of font or typeface

2. Use of Color

3. Logo Design

4. Choosing a Designer

To complete the series, we are offering some ideas about how you can promote your brand consistently with everyday or off-the-shelf items. The most important tip we can give you is to be CONSISTENT about promoting your brand.

OFF-THE-SHELF ITEMS

Many office supply stores stock business supplies and accessories that you can purchase to reinforce your brand. Will you need binders, presentation folders, envelopes, boxes, or labels? See how many of these items you can get that are consistent with the colors that you have chosen for your logo or brand. Since you haven’t invested any money in these types of items at this point, you can adjust your color choices for them as necessary. For example, instead of bright blue, you might need to switch to a light blue or a grayish-blue. Make these decisions early, before you start to accumulate materials. Consider searching online — you might get a wider selection of colors. Companies like Paper Direct and Paper Access specialize in creating pre-printed materials for small business owners.

BUILD THE BRAND

Now that you have selected your basic elements, use them relentlessly. Find every opportunity to reinforce your brand.

When you select checks, include your font, color(s) and logo. Take a look at your email; create a standard signature that incorporates your complete business name, address, phone and Web address in the footer. Use your colors, your font and if you know how, add your logo. Evaluate all of your existing support materials – not just marketing materials. What do your invoices, estimates, and contracts look like? Do they reinforce your brand and the professionalism of your company? Pick up each piece and ask, “Does this help or hinder my brand in the eye of the client?” More importantly, if prospective clients see this support material before they meet you, will it encourage them to contact you or will it send a clear message to go elsewhere?

Thinking about how both prospective and existing clients view your business is very important. You want to make sure when they have a need they think of you first and ask you to help them fill it. By branding your business, and then building your brand, you create brand recognition, which turns into more sales for you!

For more information on how to build your brand, contact Graphic Matter!

How Do I Choose A Logo Designer?

Here is a checklist for you, to help you hire the right designer for your project.

1. Experience:
Ask your designer for samples of other company or product logos they created. It is important to see that the designer can meet a client’s objectives, personal taste and business constraints. Designing a logo as a class project is not the same as meeting the needs, preferences and budget of a paying client.

2. Positive Testimonials:
Ask for testimonials. When speaking to their clients ask about the communication process, how well the designer understood their needs and how they managed the design and edit process. The design process is a translation process, where a client states their requirements verbally and the designer translates these needs into a physical object or symbol.

3. Portfolio:
Good designers have a strong and varied portfolio of work. From the simple to the complex, it should include product and service businesses, conservative and contemporary, premium and discount brands. You can view our portfolio here.

4. Design Process & Professionalism:
When Graphic Matter designs a logo, we follow a process to ensure that we understand and fulfill the client’s needs and requirements. Attention to detail, trustworthiness, strong communication skills, project and time management are all integral components for great customer service. Can your designer accurately estimate the time and cost of your project?

5. Price:
In most cases, you will get what you pay for but don’t take price as the only indication. A designer is a professional who is selling their experience and time. An experienced professional designer, with a strong portfolio is not going to give away their work when they can sell it at fair market value. They need to allow adequate time to do the necessary research and background work to make your logo unique and relevant for your target audience.

6. Customer Service:
Do you know the business behind the website? Can you call or visit the office and meet the designer – if you want to? Do they respond to your emails and calls? How do they present themselves and their ideas? Do they ask you the right questions about your business and objectives? Do they listen to you and understand your change requests? Do they respect your ideas and input? Do you get back what you expect from the designer? When you do get something back  are you “surprised”? Is it a good surprise? It should be!

Graphic Matter can help you to build your brand.

Why not give us a call today?

The Graphic Matter Blog Has Arrived!

Our 2¢

The Graphic Matter team is excited to announce the arrival of our blog, Our 2¢ – a new line of communication between Graphic Matter and our clients. Our goal is to provide valuable insights and tips on topics relevant to you and your business, particularly in this challenging business climate. Perhaps Our 2¢ will help companies like yours communicate more effectively and efficiently with YOUR clients.

Our 2¢ is a great place to get information on marketing, communications, design, print and web technical issues. We encourage you to respond to our blog topics, asking questions of our team of expert designers and marketers and sharing some ideas of your own. And in the true spirit of dialogue, we will ask you questions as well! Graphic Matter is always exploring new and innovative ways to help our clients move their businesses forward. And that’s Our 2¢.