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master print article Is Your Publication Ready for the Commercial Printer? Part I

Category: Print

The relationship you have with your commercial printer is important. Consulting with your print services provider before and during your design process will save you both time and money. Your publication will need to match a particular submittal format, so you will need to know the type of files which your printer accepts. Most printers accept Post Script or PDF files and may take Publisher files. Your printer can also provide you with instructions on how to create these files from your publication.

Your best resource for preparing your publication for print is Publisher. Versions 2007 and 2003 are your best bet because they contain more features than earlier versions and will retain the appearance of older files. In terms of color, if you are printing large quantities then the number of inks that you are going to need will depend on the color model that you choose; you can go with RGB, single color, spot colors, process colors or process plus spot colors. If your publication is going to be printed on the digital press, this should not be a problem as the press accurately reproduces millions of different colors. Microsoft Publisher will allow you to choose a color model. The Color Picker will display the colors available to you with your chosen color model. To choose a color print process you must access “Commercial Printing Tools” from the Tools menu in the Publisher and click “Color Printing.”booklet printing san diego

You always want to ensure that the publication pages will be the correct size. Refer to the page set up dialog box to set up your desired page and paper sizes. Typically, the paper size needs to be larger than the page size to allow room for a bleed, printer marks, or to print more than one sheet of paper. If your content hits the end of the page, you must allow space for bleeds. In terms of typeface, try to avoid synthetic font styles. Many typefaces will have multiple variations. If you apply a bold or italic style Windows will automatically create a synthetic version of the typeface. Most high end print devices can skew the expected synthetic font styles. If you would like to screen through the typefaces in your publication, a great way to view all fonts used is to go to “Commercial Printing Tools” and click “Fonts.”

Always double check that the items which you need are in stock at the printer and make sure to mention to them any specifications pertaining to paper stock, size, color model, binding, folding, trimming, budget, file size limitations and deadlines. If your publication includes scanned pictures, determine whether you will scan them or whether you will have that done by your printer or the service bureau.

A commercial printer is a good resource for printing publications of larger quantities, publications that require special papers, binding, trimming and finishing options. Stay tuned for insight on tint in font use, tips on sizing digital photos and scanned images, the use of linked pictures and learn about using the Pack and Go Wizard to prepare your publication file.

Posted on May 05, 2010.

master print article Brochures, Brochures and more Brochures!

Category: Print

What’s so great about brochures? If you want to maximize the potential and the power of your business message, your brochure should be considered a staple in your marketing regime. Brochures are extremely versatile in use and content and they allow you to provide more details about your products and services at tradeshows or they can be utilized by sales reps as aids, they can be converted into mini catalogs through an 11 X 17 format and even substitute postcards in direct mail campaigns.

A well designed promotional brochure can create a very compelling image, not just of your products and services but also of your brand and corporate identity. Each business houses a plentitude of promotional opportunities, whether the need is for a real estate listing, catalog, product flyer, tradeshow hand out or data sheet, the use of full color and creativity will project the desired image and help you to achieve the impact that you want and need.

Brochure design encompasses a variety of types and folds for a lay out that will enable you to explore a variety of looks and functions to your communication. Typically, a brochure will be printed a flat size of either 8.5 X 11 or 11 X 17. You could Trifold an 8.5 X 11 to create a 6 panel brochure and use it as a mailer, or fold an 11 X 17 sheet in half to create a 4 page brochure or catalog. Overall, the design concept begins with the amount of information you want to display within your chosen size or lay out, but color usage is a critical component of attention retention. brochure printing

Research has proven that that people tend to remember full color promotional brochures longer. Color can impact positive response while paper can achieve a more upscale look and feel. There are many paper alternatives relative to weight and coating, so make sure to seek additional information from your printer so that your piece reaches your objective.

The look, feel and functionality of your product will be dictated by the fold. A half fold is a single fold that provides 4 pages. A tri fold consists of a left and right flap that opens to the message panel inside, a Z fold will open as an accordion. Depending on the ink and paper stock that you use, the ink may crack along the fold so be sure to discuss scoring options with your printer.

A commercial printer with a reputation for reliability and quality will be able to offer you better product benefits, so consider a commercial printer over a shop that does not have a print specialization, like a local Fed Ex.  Lastly, remember that there will be six components to your order: the amount of brochures that you are printing, the flat and finished sheet size, paper type and weight, the number of ink colors, folding specifications and proofing preference. Again, an experienced printer is a great resource for you to discuss all of your specific product options.

Posted on May 04, 2010.

master print article Writing Effective Ad Copy Tutorial Video

Category: Advertising


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Keywords: advertising, marketing, ad copy, direct mail, sales

Posted on Apr 30, 2010.

master print article Interactive Marketing Lives In Multichannels

Category: Marketing

cross media marketingMultichannel campaigns are attributed to some of the most successful business ventures in the history of modern day advertising. The reason for this is because they give users exclusive content, allow them to interact with the campaign, such as answering questions, voting and taking polls, they recreate and leverage the atmosphere of the basic campaign principle and enhance the organic experience of the sales process. Saab of Great Britain is a great example of the potential of multichannel campaigns to engage the consumer.

A campaign combining direct mail and the internet, titled “The Race Against Time” was mailed to thousands of people who were mid-sized sports wagon drivers. The individuals who had inquired about the Saab 9-3 Sport Wagon at dealerships, showcases and auto shows were recipients of this two part campaign designed to promote the Sport Wagon. Who would think that a book and a website would triple the sales of the vehicle in just one year? The secret is in the technology and design. Let’s take a look.

The 100 page booklet was a game that put readers in a 9-3 Sport Wagon and challenged them to get to their weekend destination without falling into any complications. Each page was compiled of optional actions intended to move the reader through the story. The various locations throughout the U.S would drop the players into unusual circumstances; for example, getting gas at one station over another could cost you getting tied up and abandoned near a pump.

The online component of the campaign also offered the game to its visitors to take them on an adventure inspired by the book and offer additional information about a Saab. The online game was much more interactive and contained streaming videos of various U.K locations. Users could click through the various locations to proceed with their journey. The cleverness of this portion was that players were timed and could email their friends a challenge to beat their record as well as save their game for future play. What was so brilliant about the structure of this campaign is that it highlighted the recent trend that marketers were hooking targeted consumers on: games and recreational activities. The easiest way to entice the consumer to spend more time with the brand is to make the brand fun and interactive. Moreover, the game also included prizes for the players who completed the mission with the best time, including a 9-3 Saab Sport Wagon.

The campaign prompted 29,000 people to participate in the game and numerous prospects signed up for brochures about the Sport Wagon and for test drives. The underlining nostalgia of this entire promotional endeavor was that the mailer mirrored the Great Britain children’s book series, “Choose Your Own Adventure.” The series were popular during the 70’s and 80’s, when the mailer’s target audience would have been children.

Posted on Apr 29, 2010.

master print article Don’t Be Overwhelmed by the Simplicity of One-to-One Marketing!

Category: Marketing

variable data printingThe strategies utilized for attracting and retaining customers have a lot to do with studying consumer habits, tastes and needs. Analyzing and applying customer behavior to advertising efforts is utilized by leading-edge marketers because it has been proven to increase traffic and profit.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could visit a restaurant, open the menu and look at an entire selection of just your favorite dishes? What if you needed to purchase a particular clothing style? You would be apt to enter a store where the salespeople know your preferences and can provide you with pertinent options to your taste. If you are looking through the multitude of internet sales sites, isn’t it true that you would spend the most time on a site that caters to that which you need or prefer? This basic underlying understanding of marketing provides retailers a very powerful tool: a personalization plan.

Business owners and retailers more often than not opt out of personalization measures for their marketing collateral, possibly due to inaccurate and inadequate data accumulation or the misconception that it is costly to do. The reality is that with the right strategy implementation and digital technology, personalization measures will lead to repeat customers, higher profits and a reduction in your marketing expenses. This form of marketing could be a measure of things and really has a lot of flexibility with what can be done with it. Almost all services can be tailored to meet the needs of your customer. You could do something as simple as making recommendations based on a client’s purchase history or allow the customer to choose the products which interest them and offer more details about their choices.

A great way to do an assessment of whether one-to-one marketing will work for you is to consider if your products and services are versatile. Do you offer more than one choice, have multiple target audiences, or diverse demographic profiles, do you gather information about your customers and are you equipped to satisfy multiple needs? If this is territory you believe you would benefit from, your next goal is to identify customer traits. This will require you to consider multiple technologies so that you can deliver customized messages. Popular techniques used to gather information for personalization include written or in-store questionnaires, surveys, in store kiosks, informational discussions, focus groups and feedback boxes or email. The most basic process used for data collection requires customers to fill out a questionnaire and submit it to the store before they can shop. The information requested may include but is not limited to age, occupation, address, household income, hobbies and so forth. The variables used to increase the shopper’s experience could include a variety of customizations services like services, colors, sizes, shapes, packages, delivery and so forth.

Retailers like Radio Shack accumulate personalized information, including what customers bought and how much money they spent in order to identify a pattern in the customer’s buying habits and makes assumptions based on their personality and interests. This allows them to create a customized direct mail package. Catalog retailer, Fingerhut has also been known to attract and retain customers by applying past customer purchases from their database to analyze future buying habits. The company sends up to 25 different merchandise catalogs out, all featuring the products that apply to the customer preferences. If customers purchase tools, they will receive a home improvement catalog; if they buy cookware they will receive a specialized cookbook catalog.  

Personalization is not effective if you are using one person’s behavior as a case study. You must look at the behavior of people who are alike and then make a set of suggestions based on what the particular group of similar people think and do. Furthermore, one-to-one marketing cannot be looked at as a feature to marketing efforts. It is not a separate effort and thinking about it in that way defeats its purpose. If personalization is a marketing effort that would be a good fit for your company it should evolve into an integral feature of the company’s sales and marketing plan.

Posted on Apr 28, 2010.

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