April 18, 2018

A to Z of Design: P is for print

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:10 am

A to Z of Design: P is for print

Print is not dead! In fact, there are more ways to print affordably now than in the past.

Offset printing is a method that transfers ink from a plate to a rubber blanket then to paper using a different printing plate per color. It is best used when precise color and print quality are needed. If Pantone colors are used in a design, offset printing will assure the most accurate color match.

Digital printing is method where a digital-based image is printed directly to paper (or another substrate such as plastic or metal). It is useful when quantities are low or a quick turnaround is needed, as there isn’t as much set-up required as for offset.

Letterpress printing is a type of relief printing where an inked raised surface (printing plate) is pressed down onto paper in a printing press. This results in a slight indentation of the paper, so heavier and higher-quality paper stock should be used. Letterpress is best used for fine line work and typographic designs.

See all of the A to Z of Design posts here.

January 20, 2012

Bright spot: people prefer print and paper

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , — lidia @ 11:50 am

paper, glorious paper...

Now, here’s a story that warms my heart: a recent survey commissioned by Two Sides showed that people prefer to read print communications rather than on a screen. As a print designer—and someone who still gets excited when a magazine arrives in the mail—this makes me happy.

And now that I’m a new mom, I’m buying more books than ever. Frankly, I would rather have my infant chew on a colorful board book than an iPad. And according to this story by Two Sides, I’m not alone: most parents agree that children should read good ol’ fashioned books, not electronic gadgets.

The Two Sides survey also found that many respondents believed electronic communications were more “green” than books, magazines and mail. Two Sides President Phil Riebel says “The fact is that both electronic and paper-based communications have an environmental footprint, and making both smaller is the right environmental choice.”

So keep on buying those books or hit the library. And don’t stop sending brochures or direct mail to potential clients—just be smarter about it. Use a smaller page size, print a lower quantity, link to detailed information on your website, clean up your mailing list to include only true prospects.

Thanks to Print in the Mix for sharing this story.

Have your print habits changed? Share in the comments!

July 8, 2011

Exhibition review: Renaissance Prints in Daily Life

Filed under: Design & Art — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 6:31 pm

photo © Art Institute of Chicago

I stopped by the Art Institute of Chicago today for a quick visit and stumbled upon a wonderful exhibit: Altered and Adorned: Using Renaissance Prints in Daily Life.

Most of us are used to seeing old woodcuts and engravings in books and on museum walls. But back when they were created (1500-1600s), Renaissance prints were sometimes used rather mundanely in daily life.

A few standout examples:

  • Prints adhered to wooden storage boxes—something you may still see today (see example at right)
  • Prints used as wall coverings (instead of the more costly tapestries of that time)
  • A “scrapbook” of engravings, woodcuts, etchings and aquatints pasted into a journal
  • Pattern books for needlework and amateur artists—similar to the Dover Art Books you find today
  • Compass and sundial decorated with woodcut prints
  • Prints used as playing cards—a great example is the Italian tarocchi deck, which you can still buy today in Florence
  • Anatomy flap prints: prints showing the human anatomy with removable, cut-out organs—a fabulous precursor to today’s pop-up books and paper cutting art

The exhibition runs through Sunday (July 10) and is worth a visit!

February 3, 2010

Featured Project: Conference Identity & Collateral

Filed under: Featured Design Project — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 10:19 pm

Click for larger image

We worked with our longtime client BAI to create a graphic identity and printed collateral for their newly-updated conference, BAI Payments Connect.

The challenge was not only to convey a complicated concept (the evolution and transformation of the payments industry), but also to create a functional design that allowed them to clearly market three different events. We created a bold, high-tech design that was versatile enough to be adapted to different types of printed pieces, including the Brochure and Postcard shown at left.

The client was clearly happy with the result, commenting, “You always make the marketing team look good!” And that’s music to a designer’s ear.

Shown: Conference Brochure and Direct Mail Postcard. Printer: GH Printing (Lombard, IL)

July 16, 2009

Direct mail that directs you online

Filed under: Marketing & Promotion — Tags: , , , , — lidia @ 8:00 am

mac_sumoPCContrary to naysayers, I don’t believe print is dead! Though I’ve been noticing more direct mail that directs you to the web.

Take for example, the piece I recently designed for BAI Banking Strategies’ new online magazine. A printed piece was mailed to readers who may not be active web users, encouraging them to visit the new online publication.

Shown at right is an oversized (pink!) postcard I recently received in the mail from MAC COSMETICS announcing a special 3-day sale. This was followed-up with an email blast. In this case, their customers are likely already web-savvy, so a printed piece strengthened their brand message and call to action. Personally, the postcard tempted me to the website quicker than the email blast (and how can you resist a sale at MAC…)

Have you incorporated a print to web campaign into your own marketing?