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A Message from Brian Helminen
The Way I See It

Marketing efforts for the first 6 months of this year may not have worked out the way you planned, but the year isn't over. Look back and review your efforts so far, and make decisions that will help you finish the year strong!

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not?
  • How can I improve my efforts?
  • Who can I brainstorm with?
  • What resources do I need?
  • What else can I try?

You got this!
Take some time to relax, refresh, and recharge, and then choose 1 thing you can do to move your business forward this month.

  1. Tweak your social media campaign
  2. Spruce up your signage
  3. Allocate ad spending to increase the visibility of the products that are the most profitable.
  4. Determine which of your product lines to expand.
  5. Identify unprofitable items and discontinue them.
  6. Raise prices to increase profit margins.
  7. Determine which of your products to target for cross-selling and help-selling to increase sales revenue.

Here’s the way I see it: SISU and the ability to change with the times will keep our U.P. businesses afloat. If you need a printer who cares about your business staying in business, give us a call. Let's put our heads together to figure out some ways to get you through 2020!

P.S. You can still use our 2020 Designo marketing planner for the next 6 months. It has great business marketing tips. Call for your copy. 482-2424

Idea of the Week
5 Must-Haves in Every Layout

Whether you are laying out an advertisement, brochure, or magazine article, the key to grabbing the reader's attention is designing a stunning layout that pulls them in. While layout software can be helpful in designing the final piece, knowing the tips and tricks of great composition is a must if you want the piece to be effective.

Not sure you have the artistic flare to compose the kind of layout that will draw attention? Here are five tips that professional designers use in every layout:

1. Engage the Reader

Take a look at your favorite magazine cover. You will notice that the picture on the cover not only highlights the headlines found inside, but it draws your attention. In most cases, they look straight at the camera (and the reader), and lean toward the headlines.

Don't settle for boring images; choose ones that engage the reader and make them interested enough to take notice of the page.

2. Guide the Reader's Eye

Avoid images that point the reader away from the type - this is not engaging. Instead, use illustrations to draw the reader into the text. One trick is to position the illustration on the left-hand side of the page (with the image pointing inward), to draw the eye toward the right. This is an especially good tactic for postcards and web articles.

mountain majesty, close up on magazine

3. Find the Natural Focal Point

Every image features a natural focal point that draws the eye into the picture. It is vital that you do not cover this focal point with headlines, teasers or other forms of text.

4. Balance the Composition

One of the most difficult composition skills to acquire is learning how to balance the piece. Type and image should never overpower the text, but rather, balance it. One way to do this is to center photos so that headlines run along the bottom, and the text runs along on the sides. This gives the piece a well-balanced look and an engaging feel. Another is to make the text and the images the same width.

5. Go For a More Asymmetrical Design

When trying to balance text and image, many inexperienced designers make the mistake of laying out a more symmetrical design. While this may seem more natural, it can appear dull to the reader. Add more interest by adopting a more asymmetrical layout. Here's how:

  • Use picture boxes to break up the grid
  • Don't be afraid of white space
  • Crop pictures differently to give the page a more random look

full magazine layout image, canoe is visible

Trying Your Hand at Page Layout and Design

Creating a great page layout takes more than simply knowing about fonts, images or even fantastic text. An eye-catching design uses everything together to draw the reader's attention and create a piece of art that gets noticed. If you are new to page design, laying out your first few can seem like a daunting task. These tips were designed to help you begin your journey in design. For more in-depth details, check out the suggested reading below which offers more tips and explains every detail for great composition and design.

Interested in learning more great design tips like this? We are your one-stop resource for all things design and print. Contact us today!

See more great ideas like this!
Click here to visit the Designotype Printers, Inc. - Ideas Collection.
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Marketing Tip
Secret Shopping Improves Business

Hire a Secret Shopper to help identify your SWOT: strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. In addition to gaining vital customer relationship details for your business, you'll also get an accurate picture of the level of service your customers are experiencing with your competitors.

You can coach your Shopper and write down questions to guide the shopping. Purposefully leave some questions vague to see if the CSR properly asks questions to learn more about the "customer."

Your Shopper can visit, email and chat with your business and with your competitors.

The Shopper will send an email to ask some questions or request a quote, and then follow up with a phone call to talk to the customer service rep. The ability to communicate effectively on the phone is critical to providing an excellent customer experience. The way employees answer the company phone will form a customer's first, and often a lasting impression of a business.

Are phones answered in 3 rings or less? Are messages returned within 24 hours? Do employees provide the right information?

When your Shopper stops in for a face-to-face visit, they will evaluate the level of cleanliness, appearance, friendliness, professionalism and expertise. 

If conversations do not deliver the message that you as a business would like to portray, that is an opportunity lost, and you now have the chance to fix it.

With information gained from this experience, you will identify areas where your business and customer service shines and where it can improve. You'll know the threats from your competition and find ways to rise up to a higher level to stay top of mind.

If you need more ideas, stop by and visit our Free business lending library. Taking time now to sharpen the saw improves your chance of success.

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Uncommon Product
Tri-Fold Announcements

Exciting events deserve special announcement cards to honor the occasion. Tri-fold announcements and invitations are a high-impact way to showcase details for an upcoming event, whether personal or professional.

When printed front and back, tri-folds offer six panels of display area for photos, event details, achievements, maps, inspirational quotes, scripture, and other relevant information. The tri-fold design provides organized sections and makes it easy to display a memorable announcement on a table or shelf.

Tri-fold announcements can be designed to fit USPS mailing guidelines as a convenient self-mailing, all-in-one card. Another creative option is adding a perforated tearaway panel, which can be great for an RSVP card or even a coupon.

You can also customize your tri-fold announcements with embossing, foil stamping, custom die-cuts, and more. If you’d like more ideas or samples of announcement cards, our print professionals are here to help! We look forward to hearing from you.

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Take 5 Minutes for Fun@Work featuring

The off-the-wall humor of Off the Mark puts a refreshing spin on the things we see every day ... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, Off the Mark scores a bull's eye with readers looking for a laugh.

And Here's More Fun@Work!

An adroit mixture of everyday settings and extraordinary events.

A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.

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