Monday, April 8, 2013

What are PMS Colors? JCGWeb

Say you are creating a brochure for your business and you found the most PERFECT shade of blue for your background. You just know that this color is going to take your brochure to the next level and make it the snazziest, most eye-catching brochure out there. But wait? How do you tell your printer/graphic designer what color it is, so that they print it correctly on your brochure?

You can’t very well say “blue”, as there are (seemingly) a million different shades of blue. Even narrowing it to “light blue” leaves too many options for you to feel confident that your exact color will be printed.
You could email your printer/graphic designer a sample image with the color depicted, so they could see it. But wait, each computer monitor displays colors and images at different resolutions -- the color that shows up on your computer, will more than likely show up differently on theirs.  You could try printing that sample image and delivering or mailing it to your printer/designer but, just like with computer monitors, each printer will print colors differently.

But you were really sold on this shade of blue. It was just perfect for your brochure. There must be a way to effectively tell your printer/designer the exact shade you were wanting.

Well good news! You’re in luck! Enter: the Pantone Matching System, or PMS for short. PMS is a universal system of colors used in the printing and graphic design industry. Much like we use a set of letters in the English Language, called the Alphabet, to communicate words and sentences to each other; in the printing and graphic design world we use PMS to communicate specific colors. It takes out the guesswork of figuring out exact hues and shades of color.

“Ok, I like the idea of a common system of colors. But I don’t have a PMS book, what do I do now?”
Good question. PMS colors can be viewed online, in documents like the one HERE. You can choose the color that most closely matches the one you were wanting and tell your printer/graphic designer the number that has been assigned to that color. However, as helpful and efficient as technology normally is, it can’t always do the job of the human eye. The very best way to be sure you’re getting your exact right color is to personally view a PMS book to pick your shade. Your printer/graphic designer should have that available to you.

With PMS, you will no longer lose sleep over picking your perfect color. You can get your brochure printed with confidence now, because you used a system that made it possible to communicate the exact color you wanted to your printer/graphic designer easily and effectively.

What are Promotional Products and Advertising Specialties?

                Branding yourself is a tricky, yet necessary, component to any business – whether small or large. Figuring out a way to get your name and information, as well as the services and products your business provides, in a way that is likable and approachable is, in a word, difficult. There are many different routes you can take to achieve success with branding and marketing; both direct and indirect. The trick is figuring out the technique that best achieves your goal – whether it is retaining customers, creating brand awareness, generation of new leads for your business, among others.

                Advertising (ad) specialties and promotional items offer a non-threatening way to get your name and information in front of your target market. Promotional items essentially include any item that you put your brand name, logo, or contact information on. There are endless options of items that you could choose to promote your brand, the services and products you provide, or the culture that your company has created.

Some people choose to select items that cater to the clients and customers that they serve. For example, a residential health care company may choose items that their residents will use regularly, such as: coffee mugs, pill boxes, or hand sanitizers with their logo on them. On the other hand, a company that serves a younger clientele may choose more technology-based items like smartphone or tablet cases/skins. Yet another company may choose “desk items” that potential customers might use regularly at their work (pens, calculators), or that will sit on their desk and serve as a reminder of the company’s presence (picture frames, vases).

The goal of an ad specialty or promotional item is to remain in front of the target market as often and as long as possible without becoming a nuisance. You provide them with an item that they find beneficial and will use or see often. When the time comes that they have a need for the services or products your company provides, they are more likely to remember your brand and seek you out for a solution to their need.

Often, the issue of expense arises for promotional items. It is true that it is an out of pocket expense that you may not see an immediate return on. However, is it worth the upfront expense if your potential client doesn’t forget you next time they need something like what you have to offer? Or worse, your current client chooses someone else over you because they have forgotten the quality of what you can offer them in favor of someone who did choose a way to capture their attention in a more profound way?

In this unstable economy, one can argue that the risk of losing business, either current or future, is never worth it. Luckily, with the endless options ad specialties and promotional products provides, there is something for everyone – those who have a large self-promotional budget, those that don’t and everyone in between. Find someone with a vast knowledge of products, suppliers, and pricing and let them help you select the perfect promotional items to take your business to the next level.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Overwhelmed by the Options for Printing and Marketing Resources! How do I choose?

Whether it comes to ordering off a menu or packing for a vacation, people tend to love having options. The option of what school to go to, what to be when we “grow up”, where to vacation, what tv to buy , among countless others, gives us the freedom and independence to choose the best fit for both our needs and our budget.

Sometimes, however, there can be too many options, and we can become overwhelmed and confused. Sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start our research on picking which option really is the right option. Or the lowest cost. Or the best quality. Or the very best fit for me and my needs?

The world of printing and marketing resources is a vast world of many options. There are a countless number of companies that specialize in one thing or another, and often there are several that all specialize in the same thing. So often I hear people say, “How do I know I’m getting the best quality for the best price?” or “How do I know this card/brochure/flyer/etc. wouldn’t look better if done by someone else?” or “How can I find a place that will take care of all my marketing resource and printing needs in one place, so I don’t have to waste my time going to 10 different places for 10 different things?”.
The truth is, if you’re spending all your time researching suppliers, coordinating artwork and ship times and getting quotes from several of those companies to make sure you’re getting the best price for all your different needs– you likely aren’t going to get the most bang for your buck. I’m a firm believer in maximizing time, which means leaving some things to the experts.  Many people pay for someone to clean their house, not because they are physically unable to do it – but because it isn't necessarily the very best use of their time and they could be more efficient and productive spending that time elsewhere.

The same can be true for marketing resources and printing needs – there are people, like us here at JC Graphics, who ARE the experts. Choosing to team up with a group that has extensive knowledge of products and suppliers, exclusive access to the trendiest new products, and who has built solid relationships with quality suppliers, will undoubtedly not only maximize your time and efforts, but will also take the researching, production coordination and shipping/delivery off your plate completely.

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show sometimes instead of sifting through an infinite number of options? I know I do when I’m reading my book at the car mechanic verses trying to research and figure out how to fix that strange rattling noise underneath the hood myself. I leave that to the experts.  Leave your marketing resource and printing needs to the experts as well, to give you more time to do the things you do best. So many things in life are stressful enough, take advantage of the OPTIONS that will maximize your time, and minimize your worry. You’ll thank yourself later on for it.