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Master Print Communications
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News & Announcements

master print article Web-to-Print Takes Brochure Printing to New Heights

Category: Print

web to printThermaTru, a fiberglass and steel exterior door systems company wants to save time and money on their brochure marketing material production. The goal is to create an east-to-use system for managers and distributors to create customized print. The solution the company applied did much more than maintain the quality and consistency of the corporate materials.

ThermaTru trimmed costs and boosted effectiveness by reducing the production time of their brochure. Once their Web-to-Print service was launched live, production time was reduced from months to less than one month. Within the first two months of its launch, 36 builders and distributors had already created several hundred pages for brochures. The ability to create brochures online through a Web-to-Print solution has enabled an ease of use for builders and distributors.

For some time, ThermaTru had been using multi-page, full-color brochures as sales aids for custom builders and distributors. These brochures are then used at home improvement stores. The amount of manual processing and time that it took to create the brochures, in addition to the design process, was consuming and inefficient. ThermaTru’s printer designed a custom Web-to-print system that would accommodate these elements and expedite the workflow. When a distributor or builder enters the custom site, they can either use an already created brochure, or create a brochure themselves using an image bank, templates and specification options. They are then directed to a page count and pricing page.

The brochure is first customized with the front cover, which is built by choosing from different cover designs from a library of over a hundred images or images that the user has uploaded. The user’s logo is then customized onto the cover, while the layout adjusts to the desired graphics and marketing messages. Next, the inside pages of the brochure are integrated from over 40 layout options that include up to 21 images on one page. Copy of the brochure is also chosen from a list of pre-approved marketing messages. Lastly, the user customizes the back cover from a choice of three templates with various marketing messages, images and products. The last step of the program directs the user to a confirmation page where the user can preview the proof and check out.

The dynamism of the Web-to-Print is one of the several reasons for its success. The ease of use and the ability to oversee and control the variations of content help tailor the brochures to target recipients and to accommodate locations and distributors. The brochure printing is done on the Xerox iGen4 digital press, which helps to maintain color consistency and a high resolution of the images. To learn more about how Web-to-print can be a solution for your company’s print collateral management, visit our Web-to-Print services.

Posted on Aug 11, 2010.

master print article Experts Discuss the Future of Direct Mailing

Category: Marketing

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Keywords: advertising, marketing, direct mail, USPS, Twitter, social networking, direct marketing, postcard printing

Posted on Aug 06, 2010.

master print article Don’t you LOVE green printing?

Category: Environment

green printingFor starters, you can minimize environmentally hazardous materials in your print pieces. Recycled, post-consumer waste and FSC certified papers are heavily available at most printers. If you have a project with size specific requirements, ask your printer what the most effective sheet or web-roll size is available to meet your needs.

Vegetable and soy based inks are available for offset commercial printing jobs, while digital printing uses a low VOC toner. When you choose offset jobs and print with petroleum based inks, you are using a toxic substance that contains carcinogens, chemicals known to cause cancer. Another type of ink that you should steer from is metallic and fluorescent ink.  The pigments in these inks contain harmful elements like heavy metals, barium, copper and zinc. In terms of paper coatings, when considering book cover printing, brochure printing, flyer printing or any other printing that requires a coating, choose varnish, bio-degradable or aqueous based coatings instead of press varnish or film lamination.

Print design elements and paper size will impact your material consumption. Choose a finished paper size that will allow you to make an efficient use out of the standard paper sizes. If you are printing flyers or even handbooks, then design your printed piece, so that any supporting information is online and then direct the traffic to your site. Presentation slide placement can go 3-up, 4-up or even 6-up per page to reduce space. Margin space can also be reduced, whenever possible. A great example is page reduction. If you use ½ instead of ¾ page margins on a 200 page book, you will reduce the page count to approximately 180 pages. Font size can also help. Obviously, you want something readable and a good rule of thumb is 10 pt for Arial/Helvetica and 11 pt for Times New Roman. Books and handouts should be printed on both sides of the sheet for paper reduction.

You printer will give you the option to see printed proofs or to view your proofs online. Connect with the printer to drop by and see, touch and feel the paper stock and then proof your work online. Also, ask your printer if you can choose binding elements that are eco-friendly. These options should be available to you as recycled plastic coil and post consumer waste plastics. In terms of runs, try to print only what you need. Digital printing highlights this feature and enables you to utilize on demand production. Another feature of digital printing is Variable Data Printing. Targeting your print marketing materials to specific individuals reduces the printed quantity needed with most pieces. This is conjoined with cleansing and updating your mailing lists. Segment that which will benefit most from the materials.

Lastly, speak up! Tell the people about your green printing choices and encourage them to recycle your print materials once they are done using them. If you are having an event, demonstrate your green efforts and place recycling containers around the premises, to direct people to join the “greening.”

Want to do a green direct mail campaign? Email kate@mp4print, to get started.

Posted on Aug 03, 2010.

master print article XMPie's Creative Spin on Calendar Printing

Category: Marketing

calendar printingXMPie, a premier print marketing software company wanted to send out a unique holiday greeting to existing prospects and customers to demonstrate the promotional cross media marketing capabilities of their program. The ability of the variable data software had to be experienced by printers, the leading target purchasers of XMPie’s technology, so that they could understand the full potential of the cross-media capabilities. Personalized URL’s, which are intimately related to the variable data printing, were designed within a campaign that highlighted interaction and one-to-one capacity.

Out of an international audience of 1,871 printers who received the direct mail holiday greeting, 31.6% participated in the cross-media campaign by visiting their PURL. The holiday greeting card took an interesting spin as a 12 month calendar, while the inserts were delivered to customers and prospects in an appealing case. Content directed the recipients to a PURL for information on how the variable data on the calendar printing was created and how they could use the variable data technology for their own marketing. A follow up email reminder was sent to the recipients who had not yet visited their personalized landing pages.

The copy of the calendar was translated into 6 different languages, while each month contained a theme focused on an XMPie value proposition, like creating new revenue streams and tracking media in real time. The targeted messages in the landing pages contained tailored copy for the prospect and for the existing customer. The calendar direct mail piece included colorful graphics and collage imagery that incorporated numerous variables, including the recipients first and last names, company names, street addresses, cities, states or country.

So, why was this campaign such a success? Never underestimate the power of creativity. The personalized imagery in the campaign was colorful and fun, while the marketing message showcased XMPie’s value propositions all year round.

Posted on Jul 30, 2010.

master print article Better Print Design: 10 Easy Tips

Category: Print

print designBleeds are a safety zone
There will always be paper and design inconsistencies. When you leave room on your document for the printer to move around on, you put your designs in a safety zone. To be safe, ensure that colors and designs that touch the edges, leak out about 3 mm on through the sides.

Have a blast with overprint

Sometimes, your budget will limit you to the amount of colors you can use. If you are limited to only 2 PMS colors, experiment with overprint options to explore various depths inside a limited color pallet.

Don’t get stuck in the paper
Many times, you will feel limited to the sized panels of your print piece. If you want to make your print interactive without having to print extra components onto the printed piece, think outside the box. People’s minds will instantaneously fill in gaps to a bigger picture, so using the boarder of your paper can provide for you a unique and creative interaction.

Sizes like to play
Remember, big is great but it isn’t necessarily better. Small square booklets can be used to create interesting reading experiences and are much easier to carry around.

Images Versus Words War!

I will ignore the temptation to clarify the importance of keeping each separate and instead give you a tip for function. If you are working on textual content, there is a time when you can merge text and graphics. By using typography as an element of design, you can increase the concentration on the content and allow for clear readability.

Minimalism is ATTRACTIVE.

Visual noise is never appealing. The brain does not like to process too many things at one time. If your idea requires putting too much on a single page, don’t try and make it fit-come up with another idea. If you have a client asking you to include too much information, you need to have a consultation and explain the logic behind the placement of the graphic elements.

Proportion to avoid Distortion

Sticking to a grid is key in design work. Composition guidelines are a simple way to execute proportion and relationship. You don’t necessarily need to work with a 3-column set up, a 7 column set up can be playful, 2 column overlaps can be tried or a 3/3/1 set up with a sidebar can work well.

The Ruler of Your Design: Typography
Typographical set up cannot be mended with lines and other elements. Whatever font you use will set the stage for the feel of your message. You must consider what type of voice you want the print piece to have because it is what enables you to communicate your message effectively to your target audience. To be safe you can go with Helvetica, Swiss or Akzidenz Grotesk, but it takes a lot of trial and error to find a font that works for you. Play around with a bunch of them to feel out what works.

If you want a title, quote or logo to particularly stand out go ahead and invert it. White against a dark color will give the design and the typography much more strength and impact. If your type size is 8pt or lower, you may have an issue with containing the ink just after printing, but this is also dependant on stock, printing speed and other factors.

In the Haze
If you are not demanding high quality source photographic content, you can have one low resolution photo ruin your work. On the other hand, a great high resolution quality shot can really transform the impact of the whole design.

For any additional questions or design requests, contact Master Print’s creative graphic design services.

Posted on Jul 29, 2010.

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