A blog by Dollar Bill Copying

Poster? Never met her!

When walking down a city street, Ann Arbor in our case, the senses are inundated by diverse sights, sounds, and even smells. We're fortunate to be a part of community with plentiful activity and culture, but from a marketer's viewpoint, it isn't an easy task standing out in the crowd. Sure choosing an appropriate font is important, but the first goal must be to grasp your target audience's attention long enough for them to actually stop, read, and get further information.  


Selecting a central color or limited color palette is maybe the most important thing to decide upon. After that, narrowing your artwork down to one central image is a good strategy to ensure that the viewer's eye, at least initially, is only required to focus on a single thing. In some cases it is okay, or even preferable, to have a handful of complementary figures. But be careful and selective; chaos can muddle the message you're trying to convey.    


Once everything is designed and you send it to Dollar Bill for printing, mounting, and/or laminating, I found the following useful advice for where to display the finished product:


"You can hang multiple posters in one location to increase brand visibility...Bombarding people with imagery will ensure the message is going to sit in their heads long after they have viewed the poster.

The biggest advantage of using posters is that they can be put just about anywhere and seen by almost anyone. Posters can be strategically located to target a particular market sector. For example, take-out restaurants might prefer to situate posters near busy bus stops or train terminals to target hungry commuters."

Read entire article. Courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

Market with Flying Colors


Most of the above logos you could identify in a heartbeat: color, no color, possibly even with a portion of it missing or distorted. The science of brand recognition is so intriguing that there's even a popular board game which makes an activity out of it. While the hues used for various companies logos may not immediately evoke a specific reaction, I certainly appreciate the interesting correlations within color families.


I recently came across the following article which makes some very acute observations about the psychology of color:


"Why does color psychology invoke so much conversation...but is backed with so little factual data? As research shows, it's likely because elements such as personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc., often muddy the effect individual colors have on us.


It has even been suggested in Color Research & Application that it is of paramount importance for new brands to specifically target logo colors that ensure differentiation from entrenched competitors (if the competition all uses blue, you'll stand out by using purple)..."    


Read entire article... courtesy of Entrepreneur.com

I Saw Three Tips (Come Sailing In)

Exchanging gifts with loved ones is a time-honored tradition during the holidays. Exchanging business cards with professional contacts used to be considered another classic custom. Recently, however, it's been disparaged by some in terms of self-promotion. But this cavalier attitude is certain to get you put on the naughty list. Business cards are still an essential element of networking and building new, working relationships. I discovered the following article with three basic concepts that could change the way you think about business cards:

"Update Your Cards: Instead of sticking with the staid and simple business card layout, get creative. Add useful tools to your card to give people a reason to hold on to it. If you’re a baker, put a list of bread definitions on the card. You could list important dates in the coming year or give a conversion chart for your industry.

Do Something Different: If you’re an artist, designer or photographer, use your business cards to share your work with people. One option might be to create several business card designs so that people want to see all of them. Or, you could take a piece of your work and cut it into smaller segments so that only by combining several cards will the whole picture be revealed.

Reimagine the Purpose: You might use them as your primary résumé: Printing the basic details of your experience and education on the card and to give out to potential hiring managers at a conference or job fair. If you’re in a retail-type business, then why not include a coupon code on your business card?"

The best part about digital color printing at Dollar Bill is it lends itself to more versatility in executing the aforementioned advice. With offset printing you may be limited by color and quantity limits. We allow for full-color printing at incredible prices whether you're ordering 50 or 1,000!

Read entire article. Courtesy of Small Business BC.

Alpha Mail

The term "alpha" has many definitions. Among other things, it can refer to the first letter of the Greek alphabet, the brightest star in a constellation, or the most dominant, powerful, or assertive person in a particular group. With regard to mail, the postcard could be considered the most "alpha" vehicle. It doesn't need to be opened, therefore your message is delivered strongly and immediately, without the obstruction of an envelope or other unnecessary packaging.
Use the following tips when designing your next direct mail postcard piece to be certain it gets noticed:
"1. Make a Big First Impression - Make your postcard look at first glance like a message from a friend instead of like an advertising announcement. It creates a warm friendly reception for your postcard.
 2. Get Right to the Point - State your biggest benefit as a headline at the top of your postcard. Highlight it in bold type if it's in the body of your postcard.
 3. Sell the Right Thing - Design your message to sell the reader on seeking more information instead of trying to close sales.
 4. Be Clear and Direct - Limit your postcard to just a few short sentences with blank lines between them. Always end your postcard by telling the reader exactly what to do to get more details
 5. Stimulate Fast Action - Offer them a discounted price, a special bonus or some other benefit if they reply to your postcard by a deadline."

Read entire article...courtesy of www.businessknowhow.com!

Get with the Program!

When planning your next fundraiser, reunion, seminar, or other major event, it's important to ensure that you have an appropriate and attractive program for your attendees. Formal occasions call for using a classical font like Garamond (my personal favorite) or Bodoni. Be certain to select artwork that also reflects the mood you're trying to cultivate. Supposing your event program is designed and organized handsomely, not only will people appreciate it at the ceremony, they'll also be motivated to preserve it as a keepsake. The following tips from eHow.com provide some excellent, additional guidelines to follow:

"Choose a clear, readable font.

Create a list of all the contents for reference as you design the program.

Create a contents page if your program has more than four pages.

Insert advertisements where appropriate.

Read the finished program several times yourself, and ask others to proofread it."

Read entire article. Courtesy of eHow.com.

The Poster Always Rings Twice

Movie posters are a prime example of how memorable visual imagery, font, and a tagline can be. In some cases, the movie poster has been more enduring than the film itself! (The 100 Best Movie Posters of the Past 100 Years) While your next poster is not likely advertising a summer blockbuster, the same basic rules and objectives remain the same. I found a quick how-to guide that has some simple tips and guidelines to follow:

"Posters take special considerations with both design and printing because of their unique nature. Viewers will often only take a quick glance at a poster as they are passing by, so your poster must be designed and printed correctly to capture attention.:

  • Choose eye-catching colors and images. Your poster must have both vivid colors and a powerful image to catch the eye of the passer-by.
  • Create strong impact copy. A bold headline, readable fonts, and a unique message are three aspects necessary for creating a lasting impression on viewers.
  • Keep you design simple. Limit your colors, fonts, images, and information so as not to overwhelm the viewer. A complicated design will distract the viewer from your message. Generally, posters contain only two or three colors and two or three fonts and styles.
  • Incorporate professional printing aspects. Full bleed, four color printing, image resolution, and format are a few necessary items for printing a professional poster. All of your images need to be at 300 dpi or higher before you incorporate them into your poster design to avoid a blurry or pixelated effect."

Dollar Bill certainly appreciates when you pay special attention to the last bit of advice. This consideration makes our job easier in creating the best possible product for you!

Read entire article. Courtesy of wikiHow.com.

A manual's gotta do what a manual's gotta do

Putting together a manual can be an intimidating task. It requires comprehensive knowledge and a methodical plan. While Dollar Bill can take care of steps in generating the final product, it's important to be thoughtful in writing and organizing your manual material. I recently discovered the following easy to follow guide that you may find useful:

"A well designed training manual, that is kept up to date, can become a valuable source of information to the organization. An effective manual:

  • Is easy to read and has easy to follow instructions;
  • Has an attractive design;
  • Uses illustrations to enhance understanding;
  • Can be used for future reference.

The following advice has been given by many authors:

  • Write in plain English: Avoid using technical terms, unless it is part of the work place vocabulary. In that case make sure technical terms are explained in simple language/terms. Spell out or explain acronyms and abbreviations.
  • Use the active voice: It is concise.
  • Be consistent in the use of terminology, tone and style of writing.
  • Include illustrations (graphs, flow charts, tables, pictures, screen displays, examples of finished tasks) where appropriate to clarify concepts and enhance understanding. It also adds visual interest. Illustrations should be in proper proportion to nearby text.
  • Write a detailed table of contents that include chapter headings as well as the next level of subheadings.

Another consideration apart from the page layout is the collation of the manual to make the final product easy to use. The following techniques might be helpful:

  •  Section dividers that extend beyond the page width make it easy to find sections, especially if it has the topics printed on the tabs. This is especially appropriate for a bulky manual that is to be used over several sessions.
  • A detailed table of contents at the beginning of sections, in addition to the main table of contents at the front of the manual makes it more accessible.
  • Allow wide enough margins to accommodate the type of binding used, as well as space for users to make key notes.
  • When considering binding, use a method that would allow easy replacement of pages. The manual can be updated easily, which adds to its reference value."

Read entire article. Courtesy of Wikibooks.

A fly-er on the wall...

Whether you intend on distributing your flyer in a mailing campaign, handing them out directly to prospective clients, or posting on a bulletin board, the fact remains that you want to make an impact. There are some very simple guidelines you can follow when designing your ad to ensure that the viewer's interest is piqued:

"1. Consistent use of colours (not too dull/not too many): Consistency is key.
 2. Interesting main graphic/image to grab attention: Make sure you use a relevant and interesting graphic, cartoon, picture, drawing or image.
 3. Use a clear headline stating the benefit
 4. Include an offer: Give people something to respond to… NOW!
 5. Include a direct call-to-action
 6. Contact details or location clearly visible: Don’t make recipients hunt for your details – they don’t have the time."

Read entire article...courtesy of Marketing Nous

The envelope please...


Whether you're watching a movie trailer, listening to a music clip, sampling wine, or test driving a car, the "preview" is often an important step in deciding whether or not something is worth your time and money. When you think about it, the envelope is a similar "sneak peek" with regard to what's enclosed. It's important to make sure that your envelope appropriately promotes the content and encourages the receiver to open it, instead of tossing it away as junk mail. I came across the following helpful tips for designing an envelope:

"Things to consider:
1. Size - Your OE (outer envelope) doesn't have to be a standard size. While it may cost more in postage to mail a non-standard envelope, this could be your best investment for standing out in a stack of predictable #10s or 6" x 9"s.
2. Shape
3. Color - If you've already got a winning control OE and you're looking for a simple test to bump response, test color. Keep everything else about the mailing the same. If it's white, make it blue. If it's blue, test a color that reflects your brand.


9. Window vs. closed face - Traditionally, window envelopes were used for business mail while closed face envelopes were thought to look more personal, more private. But this trend is changing. Window envelopes can provide a peek of your envelope's contents — no matter what you're selling.


11. Corner card/return address - A powerful piece of real estate, the corner card is that relatively small area in the upper left corner of an OE. It's one of the places the screener's eye goes first while deciding whether or not to keep your mail piece. That's because it reveals who sent the mailing. Treat it as an important strategic element."

Read entire article courtesy of DirectMarketingIQ

Brochures? For sures!

Brochures are a great way to provide customers or clients with a symbolic representation of your goods and services. By using full-color text and graphics on heavyweight cardstock, the message itself becomes a "product" of sorts. The following article provides some excellent guidelines and tips for creating your next brochure:

"You must write your brochure or leaflet from the reader's point of view. That means the information must unfold in the right order. Begin by analyzing what your reader wants to know. An easy way to do this is by assessing the order in which your reader's questions will flow...

Putting helpful information in your brochure will encourage the reader to keep it, refer to it often or pass it on to other people...

Remember, not everyone wants to be educated on every aspect of your product or service. Nor does everyone want to know the manufacturing details of your widget. Don't waste their time telling them about things that don't convey a benefit."

Read entire article... courtesy of About.com