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.

Print! Print! Read All About It!

There's no denying the fact that we live in a technological age. Dollar Bill Copying sends out e-newsletters and has a blog and for pete's sake! I think you already knew that though, if you're reading this...but I digress. We also understand that print, perhaps now more than ever, plays a unique role in business and marketing needs. I found this intriguing article that discusses how to use print appropriately, and when it trumps the ever popular digital alternatives:

"According to marketing experts, people receive so much advertising through websites and email these days, that print has found a way to stand out in the digital chaos. In fact, in terms of direct mail marketing, even when people don´t open the envelope, there is a benefit for brand recognition when people see the business logo and tagline on the outside.

When customers prefer print

For example, in the case of major purchases, print is the ruling type of marketing. People like to have a brochure to learn about all the specifications of their next sports car or condo, they prefer this to looking at a website. Print also has the advantage of being physical. Great quality printing beats any computer monitor in terms of displaying appealing images. In fact, computer manufacturers are busting their brains to make displays that make images look as good as in print."

Read entire article... courtesy of Media Connections PR and Marketing

♫♫ Have Yourself a Merry Little Booklet ♫♫


I came across this article from several years ago, that explains how booklets can be a useful marketing tool. There are some really attractive photos of impressive layouts that are inspiring to designers and marketers alike:

"Brochures and booklets are a standard tool for promotion and advertising. They are tiny books or magazines which lay around in conference halls, offices and waiting rooms. Sometimes they contain an annual report of the company or showcase the portfolio of an artist. Brochures can also be included in CDs and DVDs; however, usually they are given away as freebies (e.g. they may contain a calendar or some poster inside)."
Read entire article...and don't forget to scroll and look at all of the pictures. Very nice.

"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising." -Mark Twain


One of Dollar Bill's favorite customers, Bank of Ann Arbor, produced this miniature billboard for us, akin to their clever ads posted around the area. All of us here were very amused and charmed by the tribute! We ourselves understand, however, that not all companies can support a display of that magnitude. But this doesn't mean that your marketing can't make a great impact too. I found a nice, straightforward guide on promoting your business from wikiHow.com:

" 1. Create a brand image or logo -
Grow your brand by placing your logo in your business stationary, business cards, email signatures, brochures, signs, website and merchandising materials. 

 2. Network

 3. Trade shows and exhibitions - Hand out your business cards. Set up private meetings with those who express an interest in getting to know more about your business. 

 4. Advertise - Direct mail. You may purchase mailing lists targeted to your segment of the consumer market, then mail out letters, brochures, catalogs or postcards. This method is effective when you want to provide potential customers with paper coupons, vouchers, business cards or promotional merchandising. 

5. Build business partnerships

6. Rely on the power of social networks

7. Offer freebies - Pass out merchandise with your company's name and/or logo on it to everyone you meet at networking events, trade shows, client meetings and even personal social gatherings. Things like pens, magnets and calendars are good merchandising ideas, as these tend to stay in use, and within view, for extensive periods of time.  

8. Develop relationships with your customers..."

Read entire article... there are cute illustrations too!

At Dollar Bill, we can assist you in producing many of the aforementioned marketing products. We're experts in business cards, direct mailings, brochures, and signs! You might be surprised to know that we also print folders, magnets, calendars, and much more. If Dollar Bill is unable to create what you're looking for ourselves, we'll always help to point you in the direction of someone who can!

Those who can do; those who can't...hire a graphic designer!

As one of Ann Arbor's favorite digital printers, Dollar Bill serves many local corporations. Folks like Zingerman's, Avfuel, and Bank of Ann Arbor have their own expert design teams. But if you're part of a smaller business, here are some great tips for hiring and/or working with a graphic designer:

"Non-Designer Tip #1: Don't Design

Many non-designers think they can easily say, 'make that blue' or 'make that bigger' as a method to creating good work. This is a major hindrance to the design process. Graphic designers are problem solvers. So, present them with a problem to solve, don't give them the solution to implement. Why? Because they are much more versed at visual problem solving than you are.

Non-Designer Tip #2: Communicate Before the Project Starts...

Creatives work differently than the rest of us. They work differently from each other, too. Before a project starts, it's important to understand what's needed in order to output a successful piece or product.

Non-Designer Tip #3: Understand the Designer's Value...

Some positions within the organization may regard graphic design work to be merely 'cosmetic' and 'embellishments.' In some cases, it can be. But good design is functional. Combined with your well-defined business objectives, good graphic design provides solutions to your business needs under the guise of simply 'being pretty.'"

Read entire article...

Courtesy of FreelanceGraphicDesigner.Info

Dollar Bill offers certain design services, but if you're in need of help for a larger or more complicated project, please contact one of our other creative customers: Designs with Aim, Global Design, or Wagner Design!

♫♫ Getting to know you, getting to know all about you ♫♫

Nonprofits make up a considerable portion of Dollar Bill's clientele. After reading this article, I better understand your organization and, as a result, we will be able to meet your needs even more effectively.

This is not to exclude our small businesses and larger corporations either; the following guide is beneficial to anyone planning an upcoming engagement:

Ad books can be given to event guests. The ad book is made up of paid advertisements and also includes information about the nonprofit. Prospects for ad buyers include local businesses, vendors, entrepreneurs and even donors who want to advertise a service.

Give each guest a card stating, 'You are seated at Table # ___.'

Provide individual printed menus listing each course that will be served.

In your printed program, communicate your mission and the purpose for the event.
Your program should include a special thank you from someone that will benefit from the event such as the people you serve."

Read entire article...from About.com

Say what?!

I stumbled upon this article from about a year ago. At first, I thought the headline sounded awful...from a printer's viewpoint anyway! But after reading through it, I found the content to be quite helpful; it will certainly influence my own business card exchanges in the future:

"Don't expect too much when handing out business cards...

by Greg Peters

Networking, like so many other pursuits has its own set of first-timer mistakes. If you are new to the practice, watch out for these misconceptions and you'll end up having an easier time of it. Today's mistake? Unrealistic business card expectations.

When I first started networking, I would show up at the event — the chamber networking lunch, for example. I would do the best I could, mixing and mingling with the other attendees. I would get so excited when, after chatting for a few minutes, someone would ask me for one of my business cards.

Of course, I would present them with my card (sometimes two!) and then I would return home with the glow of success all about me. Yes, sir, things were really about to take off! For the next several days, I would look forward with anticipation to their call.

Of course, no one ever (and I mean ever) called.


Remember that the most valuable card at the networking event is the one you get from someone else."

Read entire article...seriously, it's a great one from our own annarbor.com!

Also, Peters neglects to mention that the more professional and interesting your business cards appear, the greater impact they will have. Of course, Dollar Bill can help you in that department!

Rule #1: Don't picture the audience in their unmentionables!

The following article gives some great tips on how to make the most of printed materials for your next meeting or presentation:

The people you're presenting to may know you're not a million-dollar company, but you should still prepare your materials like you are...:

  • Make sure your brochures and other materials are printed on heavy, high-quality stock. A good rule of thumb is anything over 30 pounds.
  • Have all brochures or booklets bound.
  • Use semi-gloss, not glossy paper. Glossy paper is too reflective and can be hard to read.
  • Full-color printing is absolutely essential.
  • Have them professionally printed."


That last bullet neglected to mention, "at Dollar Bill, of course!" But we will.


Read entire article...

-courtesy of entrepreneur.com

'Tis the Season for Direct Mail

Drive Holiday Shoppers to your Website with Direct Mail

"Along with increased spending, holiday shoppers are going to be using every efficient means with which they can acquire their purchases. This includes the convenient use of smartphones and heavy webpage surfing. There are many ways to draw customers in through direct mail with QR and bar codes, making direct mail anything but obsolete. QR codes can be scanned with smartphones that link to businesses' websites..."

Read entire article courtesy of equities.com