A 3.5 inch by 2 inch business tool which is compact, efficient, low-tech, low-cost and keeps working for you long after it leaves your hand.
TIP #1 Avoid the template trap
Templates are tempting...They allow a business owner to get a nice, professional looking design without any design experience. So what's the problem? Everyone uses them! Are you like everyone else? Is your business just another cookie-cutter company devoid of any originality and uniqueness? That might be what your branding is saying to your clients if you don't have a unique, professional quality, well-crafted logo and marketing collateral.
Why is it a trap? If you pick a template design from a major on-line printer, you won't have access to that artwork to produce other marketing materials (brochures, banners, car magnets) unless you purchase it from them. Maybe you got a great deal on those business cards, but are you sure their other prices are competitive? Want to shop local? Want something they don't offer? Need it faster than they can provide? Too bad, you are trapped!
TIP #2 Include the essentials
TIP #3 Consider the goals
TIP #4 Make your card stand out
TIP #5 Remember your business card etiquette
(AS SEEN IN FINE LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE)
Santa Fe residents are blessed to live in a community rich with cultural diversity, natural beauty, and a world-class art scene. Much like the downtown Railyard District, the area around Siler Road is quickly becoming known for its concentration of arts related activities. Meow Wolf, multiple theater companies, art studios, and craft breweries call this area home. Located in the geographic center of Santa Fe, the Richards Avenue Office Park is also home to Graphic Sky Printing, a boutique printing company preferred by many local businesses and artists for their quick turnaround, high quality, very competitive pricing and expert service.
In their new location at 3218 Calle Marie, Graphic Sky Printing is helping local artists realize their dream of turning their passion into a business, with high quality giclée prints and fine art reproductions, as well as the necessary promotional materials to help them grow. “Just like any other business...” owner Josh Weybright explains, “artists need to build their brand with high quality, consistent marketing efforts, through print, on-line and in-person networking.”
“With our great new space” Mr. Weybright continues, “we would like to welcome the art community to visit us and see how we can help them. We envision workshops, events and strategic partnerships and collaborations to help the local community prosper in uncertain times.” With the support of a team of talented graphic designers and photographer Paul Grabhorn, Graphic Sky has established themselves as a one-stop shop for artist and local businesses alike.
With the ability to quickly and accurately photograph artwork in their photo studio for a surprisingly low cost, many local artists are realizing that the power of giclée printing is within their reach.
“Once the piece is photographed” Grabhorn explains, “we then make any fine tune adjustments needed to get the digital image as close as possible to the original.” To ensure the best quality available, the digital artwork is printed using state-of-the-art methods on a variety of media, including fine art papers and stretched canvas prints.
“Our clients see that they can get more value by choosing a local alternative to on-line sources” Weybright explains, “not only are our prices very competitive, but we offer a level of customer service, knowledge and expertise not found elsewhere.” The level of detail, craftsmanship and quality that goes into fine art printing comes from every other aspect of the business. Local organizations and businesses have appreciated this rapidly growing company for years. From humble beginnings, Graphic Sky Printing’s owner is optimistic and excited about the future: “we have a company culture that fosters deep relationships with our clients. It is something that really seems to resonate with our community”.
Graphic Sky invites you to come share in the positive, collaborative spirit that makes Santa Fe a wonderful community to be in.
April 1, 2016
So, you've got some stuff to print... I recommend you shop online on one of those big name printing websites, maybe one in Canada? There are many advantages to doing so! Heed my advice, and avoid all these annoying consequences:
Reasons to choose a big online printer, in a far, far away land:
Sorry, I really meant to share this time-sensitive information with you last Friday, I hope it is not too late...oh, yeah, just to be clear.... April Fools!
I know, right?
This is not the punch-line to a joke, it's TRUE. Ok, it's technically not all that new, it has been around for a few years now, but I'm finding many of my business owner clients are unaware of this great new service. It's way better than the time you paid those high school kids to distribute your flyers; instead, they spent the money at the arcade and threw your flyers in the arroyo. Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM for short) is a way to distribute a large postcard to residences and businesses in a certain area of town, really easily and inexpensively.
How it works:
Step 1: Go online to eddm.usps.com, plug in the city or ZIP code you want to deliver to, and you'll see a map showing the postal routes, select the ones you want, and it will tell you the number of locations and the approximate cost: (see below)
Step 2: Then, you go to your favorite printer *ahem* and tell them you want to design a flat (a large postcard) for an EDDM mailing. You'll have your quantity already, so you just need to design something really fantastic that has a great message, a call to action, etc. that your neighbors won't be able to resist.
Step 3: Once your piece is printed, and you've purchased your postage online, you just need to package it up and deliver to the Post Office. The mail pieces then go directly to the letter carriers, and don't have to go through all the sorting machines, they just get stuffed directly into the boxes of your target audience. The flats have to be at least 6.5"x9", and there are other design considerations (a special endicia, etc.), but that is why step two was to go to your favorite printer for help.
What is so great about this?
Why do it?
Questions? Give your favorite printer a call today, and ask!
You know that emails like this one (to a list of opted-in recipients) can be a great marketing tool, but so can Direct Mail, often with better response rates. If print was dead, your mailbox would be empty. But it's not, is it? I bet last time you were there, it was stuffed with advertising and marketing materials. It is true that mailings are declining in number, but take a close look at the things that are in your mailbox today, direct mail is changing, becoming more personalized, more effective. This is due to a new trend called Variable Data Printing (VDP).
Taking advantage of the flexibility of digital printing, VDP allows for very high levels of customization, each piece is unique, right out of the printer. Not only can text information like names and addresses be changed but images as well. Studies have shown that personalized direct mailing campaigns are many times more effective than a conventional ones. There is plenty of evidence to support this, but you only need pay attention next time you are sorting your mail...what do you pause on? Why?
Have you received a mailing from your car dealer saying they want to buy back your car, and they knew not only who you are, but the year, make and model of your car? Maybe it even included a picture or a price quote? Did it make you feel that someone had written it just for you? Receiving this type of mailing can be very intriguing... Do you get coupon books with products that you actually buy? Retailers who use targeted ads online are now using the same information to do strategic direct mail pieces with tremendous results.
Consider the following (statistics from the Direct Marketing Association):
The power of VDP is in collecting and using the right information about your customers. If you are considering customized print advertising you will need sufficient data. It is always a good time to evaluate what data you are collecting from your clients or prospects. Think clearly about how to improve your data collection, what you might be able to do with this data, then call your local printer...the future of direct mail is here.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM GRAPHIC SKY PRINTING
Grandfather used to say “The best kind of gifts are the ones we make ourselves specially for another.” He was talented with engraving and would make personalized prints for his family and friends at the holidays.
Today’s smartphones have excellent cameras, and with the right knowledge and tools, these images can be turn into the best gifts of the season. By choosing a local printshop like Graphic Sky Printing, you have the benefit of professional advice, samples that you can touch and feel, and the ability to see proofs during the process.
When a Santa Fe amature photographer wanted to surprise his wife with a special gift, he took his smart-phone photographs from a memorable trip in Sedona, Arizona to Graphic Sky Printing and asked what they could do. He reviewed the various media available and decided on a stretched canvas print. His images were resized and fine-tuned for brightness, contrast, and color balance, with attention to areas where the shadows and highlights were too intense.
The photograph was printed on canvas and, stretched to a wood frame. The photographer was delighted when he picked up his canvas—so much so that he order two smaller versions of the same image to be printed and stretched for gifts.
It is a great time for business owners to evaluate the successes and challenges of the previous year, and make a plan to change things for the better. Advertising is essential, and a company's brand (how others perceive them) is continually developing, good or bad. The act of "branding" is an attempt to differentiate a business and increase its presence in a potential client's mind. This is done through the use of a creative name, logo, tagline and cohesive marketing materials. What follows is a cautionary tale of a business owner who fell into what we like to call the Template Trap, let's say his name is "Bob the landscaper".
Bob, inspired by New Year vigor, did a quick inventory of his marketing materials: ink jet printed business cards on perforated paper, nonexistent website, and reflective mailbox letter stickers spelling out his business name on his truck, slightly crooked. Bob is determined to improve his company image! So, where does he start?
He spilled a little bit of coffee on his stack of business cards, and the ink is running a bit, so that seems the logical choice. This little piece of marketing seems easy enough, it's small and unassuming, he should be able to tackle it... right? Bob goes to a "Big Box" online printer who is practically giving away business cards! He picks a floral design, plugs in his info and BINGO, Bob's done! He's crossed the first item off his list and is feeling great!
Bob's cards arrive about a week later, and they look just like he expected. He thinks "Man, I got a lot of cards, time to pass some out." He joined the Chamber of Commerce last year (good move Bob), although he hasn't gone to any of the events yet (not so good, Bob)… So this time, he is determined to go! The following week Bob attends his first event, things are going great, everyone is really friendly and he is making a TON of great connections. Until he meets the florist.
The florist was nice enough, shook his hand, handed him her card... "WAIT A MINUTE!" Bob cries, she has the exact same business card design! Oh well, Bob thinks, she just has good taste, that's all! Feeling a little deflated, Bob goes home and thinks, "It's ok, I'll just make a great website". He signs up for a do-it-yourself website service. The problem is, none of the website templates match his business card... "No problem!" Bob thinks "I'll just call that online printer place and see if I can get a copy of the floral design I like so much." I'll let you guess how well that went.
So Bob's honeymoon phase with his business card is over, his website is up, but it really doesn't match his card all that well, but Bob is undeterred. "The web is really not that important, right?", he thinks "what I REALLY need is a brochure". So he grudgingly goes back to the only place he can... The online printer who is holding "his" artwork hostage. "HOLY MOLY! The brochure prices are crazy!" Bob figures he's still doing ok though, after all, the business cards were only 10 Bucks!
Bob's story is fictional, but based on stories I've heard time and time again. The Template Trap occurs when someone uses a popular online template design, thereby not distinguishing their business as unique. These templates may look nice (they were professionally designed after all), but the problem is the thousands of other people using the exact same "Big Box" designs. This practice locks businesses into purchasing all their marketing materials from the same vendor. It is a branding disaster waiting to happen, often causing confusion with other businesses using the same design.
So what did Bob do? You didn't think I'd leave you hanging did you?
Bob made an investment in his business by hiring a professional designer to put together a logo, business card, website, vehicle magnet and brochure. They all had a modern, professional design that was as unique as Bob, and it was a lot more affordable than he thought.
The (happy) End.
When Antonio Mendoza (a master painter who works in oils and watercolor and is a well know local musician) decided to have a limited edition set of fine art prints made from some of his original oil paintings he turned to Graphic Sky Printing to help out. Our first step together was to evaluate the paintings he wanted to reproduce and to make initial decisions about the print sizes, the kinds of paper or canvas, and the types of matting and framing that would work best to showcase his art to a broad range of customers.
Antonio’s paintings have a deep textured surface made with layers of oil paint—giving his works great depth and expansive light. The Graphic Sky team begins by digitally photographing his work to optimize the importance of depth and texture by using a specialized lighting technique. The goal is to create fine art reproductions faithful to his artistic intent and unique style.
Once a high quality digital capture of the oil paintings is in hand the files are color balanced to match the colors in the originals, with the output printer and specific paper characteristics in mind. After getting the color right, we scale the images to the final output size and resolution with a program that uses fractal algorithms to enlarge while keeping the visual integrity of the file. Next we made test prints to examine the printed output color and light balance against the original paintings. After making minor adjustments the image is printed at full size and we work with Antonio to compare the prints to his paintings and together made subtle adjustments and enhancements until the digital version was just right.
A set of fifteen limited edition prints will be made from the final digital files and signed and numbered by the artist before matting, framing, and finishing. “The prints produced by Graphic Sky for me are of excellent quality. Working with Josh and his team let me be faithful to my original paintings while creating a set of prints that I am proud to put my signature on.” said Antonio the artist.
“Every job is different and every artists’ original work is unique. No matter what kind of artwork we reproduce, it is necessary to understand the artists intent and desires in order to determine the best reproduction method.” says Josh Weybright the owner of Graphic Sky Printing. “We enjoy working with clients like Antonio because collaboration with the artist greatly improves on what is possible in the reproduction process.”
Since 2004, Graphic Sky Printing has been providing customized communications and printing for individuals and businesses in Santa Fe and beyond. Their wide-ranging services include graphic design, and a variety of printing from business cards to fine art prints. Bring in your artwork or project today and see the creative options available to you at Graphic Sky Printing.
(AS SEEN IN THE PREMIER ISSUE OF FINE LIFESTYLES)
Celebrating 10 Years of Delivering High-Quality Affordable
Printing and Graphic Design to Santa Fe
By Brenda Linker
Since 2004, Graphic Sky Printing has been providing high-quality, customized communications and printing for individuals and businesses in Santa Fe and the surrounding area. Their wide-ranging services include graphic design, signs and
banners, digital printing and large-format scanning and printing.
A FAMILY TEAM
Personalized attention, reasonable rates, a passion for the environment and excellent quality are the core values of this family run business. Graphic Sky’s talented and creative team is made up of Joshua Weybright, president and founder, who brings with him 18 years of experience in the graphic design and printing industry; co-owner and wife, Jennifer Weybright, who is vice president and accountant; Joshua Weybright’s sister, Danielle Preut, who has 12 years of experience in the printing industry; and brother-inlaw, Jeremy Spurgeon, a 3-D artist and animator with 20 years of experience as an architectural draftsman.
ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS PRACTICES
When asked to name his favorite project, Joshua Weybright, an accomplished
graphic artist and designer, explains it was his Arctic Climate Impact Assessment
(ACIA) for the Arctic Council. Josh produced the illustrated, 1,042-page
science document including the design, layout and all graphics, illustrations and
maps. From initial layout to final press check, this was a two-and-a half-year
project. In 2005, Cambridge University Press published the book.
“Working on the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment project was a real eyeopener
in terms of human impact on the environment. It gave our business a mission to find ways to reduce our environmental impact by reducing waste, sourcing recycled papers and being more environmentally friendly,” says Joshua Weybright.
THE BIG MOVE AND THE NEXT BIG THING FOR GRAPHIC SKY
On their 10th anniversary, Graphic Sky moved into a larger space at 3216 Richards Lane in the Richards Avenue Office Park in Santa Fe. This enabled them
to install an HP large-format Latex Printer.
When asked what’s next for Graphic Sky, Joshua Weybright responded, “wall
murals...from man-caves to museums.” Wall coverings are a rapidly growing
segment of the printing industry. Graphic Sky Printing is leading the way with PVC free and recycled content wallpapers, as well as odorless and safety-certified Latex inks.
They are ready to deliver personalized wall decorations and custom interiors for
your home, office or retail space. You can create custom wall art by using personal photos, high-quality images and original artwork. For example, you can create a relaxing forest for your living room, hip geometric designs for your boutique or an entire galaxy or wildflower garden for your child’s bedroom. You have complete creative control.
Whether it’s a new business card, brochure or a beautiful Santa Fe sunset
for your wall, let the creative team at Graphic Sky Printing help you bring your
ideas to light. Come in today to see all of the creative options available at Graphic Sky Printing.