Elements of Powerful Print Marketing Design

Alprintingthough most printing companies will have their own design division that can help you realise your print marketing aspirations, there’s nothing wrong with going it alone. Print marketing represents an important part of brand promotion, as it is a very effective way to reach potential clients. Not only that, but it can be used in several different forms, from brochures, flyers and inkjet labels, to business cards and beyond.

Words

Regardless of the print marketing you use, there are several elements which must be in place so that your brand can be effectively communicated to your customers.

To command the attention of the reader, choose headlines that have a ‘hook’. This hook is what will grab the attention of the reader and compel them to read your print materials further. The shorter and more impactful you can make it, the better.

The same goes for any non-headline copy. This should also be short and informative so that only your business’s highlights and main points are conveyed. Any communication with your audience via print media should be done using an active voice, and should include calls to action. Calls to action invite the reader to call a business, purchase a particular item, or visit the business.

Colour

Colour plays a critical role in your print advertising. In fact, it was found that print advertising done in colour resulted in 42% more of the material being read when compared to its black and white counterpart. Where brand recognition is concerned, colour can increase recognition by an astounding 80%.

It also helps to stay on trend as far as colours are concerned. Keep an eye out for colour trend announcements by marketing experts, and then compare their findings with your existing print advertising.

When considering colour in your print advertising, think about which colours are most appropriate for your business. For example, it’s highly unlikely that a baby accessory manufacturer would use black and white advertising. Colour is also important where cultures are concerned, as they can have different meanings in certain parts of the world.

Materials

In addition to wording and colour, the quality of the materials you use for your print advertising will also say a lot about your business. This is why it is so important to choose the right company to print your materials. Making an investment in quality print advertising materials will communicate to your readers that you are a successful business.

When considering print materials for your business, you may also want to think about sustainability. For example, using materials made with recycled paper will communicate to customers that you are concerned about the environment.

When choosing print materials, also consider those who may not have access to the internet, as these people will only have your marketing materials to rely on for further information about your business.

Graphics

Using illustrations, photography and logos in your print advertising can take it to the next level. Integrating graphic elements with the headlines in your print advertising will definitely get attention. In fact, it was proven by an American university that images garner more attention than words do. Of course, this doesn’t mean that copy should be given less attention in your print advertising.

Layout

Layout represents the bringing together of all elements – copy, colour and graphics – in your print advertising. Every layout needs some sort of focal point, as this is what will attract the attention necessary to get a reader interested in your message. Following the focal point, the white space in your advertising is next on the list of importance, followed by graphics and text.

Never underestimating the power of your print advertising will result in a successful campaign every time.

Barcode Testing and Why You Need To Do It

When barcodes break, it can mean many headaches. But did you know that you can actually prevent the loss of downtime with broken barcodes and have a better bottom line as a result? In order to work properly, a barcode must be able to communicate properly with the scanner, and the scanner must also be in proper working order to communicate with the barcode.

Not only that, but a failed barcode is not easy to find. Imagine a sea of inventory where a single barcode is broken. How do you go about locating the non-functioning code?

Testing

You may wonder what kind of information barcode testing or verification could provide you with. First of all, it should be known that barcode testing is mandatory by international standards. It is the only way to ensure that the image created for the barcode is acceptable and able to be read by the scanner.

It is a common misconception that a barcode scanner is enough to test barcodes. These security labels not only need to be scanned, but need to be tested for the colour contrast performance as well as their reflectivity, something that a scanner alone cannot do.

In addition to the above, the code must also be tested for performance related to scanning, such as bar and space width, quality of the code’s edges, and the spacing of bars and spaces as well as their proximity to one another. Any one of these items found not to be in place can be enough to cause a barcode to fail.

Barcode Verification Method

This method is a scientific approach to barcode testing, and is generally accepted as a valid means of testing barcodes the world over. The reason why this method was developed was because single parameter measurements such as reflectance were not enough to verify the accuracy of a barcode.

The method that was developed included the checking of several parameters including, but not limited to light margins, defects, digits, contrast and reflectance.

Risks of Not Testing Your Barcodes

Should the data obtained by a barcode scanner be incomplete, chaos can be the result. Suddenly, the check-out line becomes endless, manufacturing is a mess and doing inventory becomes a nightmare. Indeed, a broken barcode can cause slowdowns across every level of your company.

At its worst, failed barcodes can negatively affect the security of your entire operation. Without a means to track your assets with barcodes, this leaves your inventory wide open to theft, whether from your warehouse or your sales floor.

Quality Management

More and more, distribution centres as well as warehouses are using automated systems to track their inventory. Where barcodes are used, there is still a requirement for accuracy, not only with the print quality of a barcode, but also with the data they contain and the format used.

Many wonder whether there is a guaranteed way to ensure that barcode data and print quality is valid. The good news is that there is. However, this is only true when the correct equipment and verification method is used. As well, the print quality remains an important part of the process.

Grading

In addition to the above, grading of bar codes is important, because doing so will allow a company to predict the consistency of that bar code throughout its life cycle. This consistency will not only apply once a coded item has reached a destination, but will also apply when gauging the accurate delivery of products to customers as well as the monitoring of differing levels of security access.

There is no doubt that testing barcodes before they fail is crucial to maintaining consistency and efficiency at every level of your organisation.

Questions and Answers about 2D Barcodes

Everything we buy, ship, receive or track has some kind of barcode. The original linear barcode was actually patented in the 1940s. However, it didn’t become ubiquitous until the 1980s. Until the 2D barcode arrived on scene, the original barcode design had barely changed at all.

The 2D barcode is really just a more modern version of the linear barcode. Appearing most often has a black and white square on everything from letters to product packaging (called a QR code), the 2D barcode, like its linear ancestor is still readable by machines. But there is a difference: the 2D barcode includes far more information than the linear kind.

Why Are 2D Barcodes Better Than Linear Barcodes?

There are many benefits to 2D barcodes that linear barcodes and other security labels simply don’t have.

First off, 2D barcodes have built-in systems to check for any errors, thanks to their increased capacity for information. Not only that, but 2D barcodes can hold the same information in various ways. This means that even if the code is damaged, much of it is still be able to be read. A linear bar code holds very little information; information that only exists in one area of the code.

The linear barcode cannot have additional information placed on it unless it’s been manipulated in some way, such as making the lines taller or the code itself longer. This is because the information in a traditional barcode can only be read in one direction. But a 2D barcodes can be both printed and read in two directions. The more modern code can hold far more information; about 2000 characters of it, to be precise.

Where linear codes can only be read by a barcode reading machine, a 2D code can be read by any device with this capability. It can also be sent as an SMS text message between devices.

The information located in the newer 2D code can also be encrypted so that the information is not able to be copied. Not so for the linear code.

Components of the 2D Barcode

There are several types of 2D barcode, even though they all may look the same to the untrained eye. This is because these codes were meant to be read not by humans, but by machines. Of course, the QR code is likely the most well-known of them all. But all 2D codes contain similar features.

Information in a 2D barcode is actually stored in several different areas.

The alignment pattern is the part of the code located in the middle of the image. It allows the code to be read regardless of angle, surface curvature or other kind of distortion. The finder pattern can be seen in three of the four corners of a 2D code. These denote a code’s type; specifically, the fact that it is a QR code, and not another type like Aztec or Semacode.

A timing pattern is that which runs between the three square finder patterns. Its job is to provide information when the rest of the code has become distorted or damaged.

Even the blank area around it, known as the quiet zone serves a purpose. It allows for the code to be isolated from other elements that could distract a machine from reading it, such as dirt on an envelope or smudging on packaging.

2D barcodes are very convenient, as they can be placed anywhere that a traditional linear barcode can. As well, the 2D barcode can be used in much the same way as its linear counterpart for tracking virtually anything. It’s also been able to go where linear codes have not, with many businesses using the 2D code to take potential shoppers to their web sites.

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A Different kind of Security Label

When one thinks of security labels, they may think of an RFID tag or a tamper-proof label. But there is another kind of security label that can increase your safety: the home security label.

We all want to ensure that our loved ones and our valuables are kept safe. And one way to increase that security is to install a security system. These systems can range from simple to elaborate, but many of them have the same characteristic: they are virtually invisible. An invisible security system is ingenious, as it offers an element of surprise; any burglar thinking to enter a home armed with an invisible security system is sure to get the shock of their life when they enter a home, only to find law enforcement at the property a few minutes later.

Benefits of Home Security Labels

Unfortunately, in the above scenario, the thief is already inside the home when law enforcement arrives. With a home security label, that thief may think twice. Let’s face it; a home security system’s purpose is to deter thieves from entering a home. A home security label can do the same thing. When anyone sees that label in your window, they are instantly warned that your home is protected by some sort of security system. Therefore, should they choose to try and break in, they are taking a risk that an alarm will be set off and they will ultimately be arrested for their efforts.

If you’ve ever wondered about the actual effectiveness of a home security label, consider this: those homes that advertise a security system are less likely to get broken into than those homes that don’t advertise.

As well, although the cost to purchase security system for your home can be substantial, the cost to purchase home security labels is not. Even if you wanted to place a home security label in every window of your home, it still wouldn’t make nearly as much of a dent in your finances as would the cost of a system.

Another benefit of having a home security label is that you can place it anywhere on your premises.

Whether or not you have a home security system installed, placing signs to that effect may help your neighbourhood. Who knows; one of your neighbours could see your signs, and start thinking about how to better secure their own property. Should this idea take hold, your entire neighbourhood could be better for it.

No One Needs to Know

Don’t have enough money to afford those expensive alarm systems? No one in your neighbourhood needs to know. You don’t necessarily have to have an actual system in place if you want to put up a sign on your lawn or security labels in your windows.

Although a burglar may still choose to enter your premises after having read your sign, they are far more likely to keep away from your home and choose another that looks more vulnerable to them.

However, there is a consideration if you plan to have this type of security label printed and place it in your windows or on your lawn: it may be best to refrain from using a security company’s name if you don’t have a system installed, as this can place you at risk legally. Instead, consider using a phrase like “This property is protected by an alarm system. Trespass at your own risk.”

On the other hand, using a security company’s name can benefit that company, as it represents free advertising for them. And security companies always want to get their names in front of the public.

Where it comes to your peace of mind, no price is too low. But the few dollars that home security labels cost certainly offer a far more affordable way to protect your premises.

Peel and Reveal for Powerful Promotion and Security

The peel and reveal label is a popular choice among business owners wanting a unique method of getting their products noticed. This type of label is a space-saving innovation that can already been seen on several kinds of products, even those needing security labels such as medicine bottles. A peel and reveal label contains an upper and lower layer. The upper layer peels away, revealing information in the lower layer.

This type of label can contain as many layers as are needed to convey the required information about a product.

Uses

The peel and reveal has had a lengthy history in the medications industry, where the amount of information needing to be communicated simply will not fit on a single-layer label. Items with long ingredients lists or detailed instructions for use are one example which could benefit from a peel and reveal label.

More and more business are using this type of label to get the attention of customers. Because although this label is commonly seen on medication bottles, it is unusual when used for other purposes. Peel and reveal labels can work well when the top layer contains a company logo and a catchy headline. Curious individuals need only peel back this top layer to find out more.

Businesses that are running contests can catch attention with a tag line on the top layer, and then list the contest rules underneath. Or, these labels can be used to reveal a winner in the event that they are being used as actual contest pieces.

You can even turn collectibles into interesting peel and reveal items. This adds an extra dimension of intrigue as well as functionality, depending on the nature of the item.

Peel and reveal security labels contain usage, health and safety information on items like industrial chemicals and cleaners.

The Wraparound Peel and Reveal

One recent development has been the wraparound version of the peel and reveal label. This particular label wraps entirely around the circumference of a cylindrical container. Especially useful for small containers like those containing lip balm.

However, the wraparound label is also being used in the food and chemical industries, whose laws have changed in recent years with regard to mandatory label information. The requirement for more legible information to be accessible to customers has led to companies needing to accommodate that additional information with little or no impact on their brand.

Law in the chemical industry now calls for different sizes, room for multiple languages and specific image sizes, all of which any professional printer of peel and reveal labels will have accommodated their presses for.

Digital printing is currently the best and fastest way to get professional-looking peel and reveal labels. They also offer the ability to stay within budget, as material costs are low for this label type. Regardless of the type of peel and reveal label chosen, there are some things that bear consideration.

Firstly, it is true that this kind of label can contain a host of information in a small space. However, this doesn’t mean that you should try and fit an entire novel onto your label. Although it contains two or more layers, the text you place on your peel and reveal label needs to be legible, unless you plan to include a magnifying glass with each product purchase. Larger print may indeed mean that more layers on your label will be required. Alternatively, you can edit the text for your label so that fewer words are used.

Those who choose the peel and reveal label can rest assured that they are on the cutting edge of printed label technology.