December 7, 2016

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Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip

Compose a Masterpiece

We're All Ears

Hangin' Around

Work Smarter, Not Harder
A Message From
The Way I See It

The Peacock and the Crow

A happy crow lived in the forest and never complained about his life until one day, when he saw a swan. "That swan is so white," he thought, "and I am so black. This swan must be the happiest bird in the world." He told the swan how he felt, and the swan replied, "Actually, I was very content with myself until I saw a parrot with his pretty colors. I'm convinced that that parrot is the happiest bird in creation." The crow then approached the parrot, who said, "I lived a very happy life until I saw a peacock. I have only two colors, but the peacock has multiple colors."

The crow then visited a peacock in the zoo and saw a crowd of people gathered to see him. After the crowd left, the crow said to the peacock, "You are so beautiful. Every day thousands of people come to see you. But when people see me, they immediately shoo me away. You must be the happiest bird on the planet."

The peacock sadly replied, "Because of my beauty, I am entrapped in this zoo. However, if I was a crow like you, I could happily roam everywhere."

Here's the way I see it: Mark Twain once said it best, "Comparison is the death of joy." And remember, the happiest people don't have the best of everything. They make the best of everything they have.

Idea of the Week
5 Must-Haves in Every Layout

Whether you are laying out an advertisement, brochure, or magazine article, the key to grabbing the reader's attention is designing a stunning layout that pulls them in. While layout software can be helpful in designing the final piece, knowing the tips and tricks of great composition is a must if you want the piece to be effective.

Not sure you have the artistic flare to compose the kind of layout that will draw attention? Here are five tips that professional designers use in every layout:

1. Engage the Reader

Take a look at your favorite magazine cover. You will notice that the picture on the cover not only highlights the headlines found inside, but it draws your attention. In most cases, they look straight at the camera (and the reader), and lean toward the headlines.

Don't settle for boring images; choose ones that engage the reader and make them interested enough to take notice of the page.

2. Guide the Reader's Eye

Avoid images that point the reader away from the type - this is not engaging. Instead, use illustrations to draw the reader into the text. One trick is to position the illustration on the left-hand side of the page (with the image pointing inward), to draw the eye toward the right. This is an especially good tactic for postcards and web articles.

mountain majesty, close up on magazine

3. Find the Natural Focal Point

Every image features a natural focal point that draws the eye into the picture. It is vital that you do not cover this focal point with headlines, teasers or other forms of text.

4. Balance the Composition

One of the most difficult composition skills to acquire is learning how to balance the piece. Type and image should never overpower the text, but rather, balance it. One way to do this is to center photos so that headlines run along the bottom, and the text runs along on the sides. This gives the piece a well-balanced look and an engaging feel. Another is to make the text and the images the same width.

5. Go For a More Asymmetrical Design

When trying to balance text and image, many inexperienced designers make the mistake of laying out a more symmetrical design. While this may seem more natural, it can appear dull to the reader. Add more interest by adopting a more asymmetrical layout. Here's how:

  • Use picture boxes to break up the grid
  • Don't be afraid of white space
  • Crop pictures differently to give the page a more random look

full magazine layout image, canoe is visible

Trying Your Hand at Page Layout and Design

Creating a great page layout takes more than simply knowing about fonts, images or even fantastic text. An eye-catching design uses everything together to draw the reader's attention and create a piece of art that gets noticed. If you are new to page design, laying out your first few can seem like a daunting task. These tips were designed to help you begin your journey in design. For more in-depth details, check out the suggested reading below which offers more tips and explains every detail for great composition and design.

Interested in learning more great design tips like this? We are your one-stop resource for all things design and print. Contact us today!

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Marketing Tip
Reasons to Love Customer Complaints

Customers who complain and then have their problem solved are typically much more loyal than those who are satisfied with your business. After all, for every complaint you receive, there are likely dozens of other customers who experienced the same thing but didn't speak up. Customer complaints are valuable because they expose issues that cost your business time and money. Here are a few ways to let your customers know you are listening and truly value their opinions:

  • Offer convenient ways for customers to complain, such as customer surveys, comment cards, toll-free number, email, etc.

  • Take the time to listen and understand what the problem is without interrupting.

  • Don't be afraid to apologize for a mistake. Many customers simply want an apology and acknowledgment of their complaint.

  • Ask customers for suggestions for improvement. Sometimes the solution may be easier than you think.

  • Take necessary actions immediately to find a solution and re-establish rapport. Follow-up with customers to be sure their issues were solved and they were satisfied with the solution.

Regardless of the complaint, one of the easiest ways to ensure customer satisfaction is by reminding them you're all ears.

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Uncommon Product
Hanging Displays

When it comes to finding the optimal location where your marketing message won't get missed, sometimes the answer could be hanging right above you.

Because of their unique location, hanging displays are an excellent way to grab attention, save space, and ensure your message can be seen. They are also a powerful tool for promoting new products, driving foot traffic, and increasing your visibility at trade shows and other events.

Hanging displays can be created in an endless variety of shapes, sizes, and formats, such as hanging signs, banners, posters, or mobile displays. A tri-way (three-sided) or quarto (four-sided) mobile display is a great way to ensure your message can be seen from all directions.

Whether you need a hanging sign, banner, poster, or mobile display, our team of experts can help you create the perfect hanging or window display system that is versatile, durable, and expertly designed to maximize sales. Give us a call today!

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Tech Tip
Best Chrome Extensions

Here are just a few useful extensions that can further enhance the many great features of Google Chrome, the most widely used web browser worldwide. While these are all great tools, just beware that extensions can slow down your browser, so choose those that are most useful to you.

  • Adblock Plus removes ads from sidebars, as well as blocking animated ads, pop-ups, Facebook ads, and more.

  • StayFocused enables you to restrict time spent on websites such as Facebook, so you can stay focused while working.

  • HoverZoom allows you to quickly zoom in and see a full image when hovering over a smaller image.

  • LastPass enhances your online security by offering one master password to access a variety of sites, which features multi-factor encryption.

  • AutoPagerize enables you to automatically see the next page when you reach the bottom of the current page, without having to click "next."

  • Google Dictionary lets you double-click on a word and see the meaning in a pop-up.

  • Blur offers protection from non-cookie-based tracking, which disallows companies from collecting data, auto-fill options for saved credit cards, masked cards, and provides the ability to create highly encrypted passwords.

  • URL Shortener allows users to create a short URL with one click on the toolbar button. It also includes the option to share the link through various popular services including Facebook and Twitter.

  • Musixmatch provides the corresponding song lyrics when you watch YouTube videos.

  • Hola Better Internet integrates a free, yet effective VPN (Virtual Private Network) into your Chrome browser so that you can browse without revealing your identity to anyone to trackers.

  • WOT offers details about the reputation of a website based on previous user experiences and reviews.

  • HTTPS Everywhere switches websites from non-secure HTTP to HTTPS, which can protect you from privacy hijacking and fraud.

If you're looking for creative printing tips, we're always here to help! Give us a call today.

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