The 2009 Annual Report for the YMCA of Rochester was bundled with an interesting piece intended to honor the year’s Volunteers of the Year. The standard, saddle-stitched annual report was inserted into a die-cut gameboard.
Each location’s square pulls up to reveal the Volunteers of the Year from that branch.
This piece was constructed from two press sheets (printed 4c/4c with a gloss varnish), and the top sheet was die cut while the bottom sheet was not. After gluing together, the sheets were trimmed to create a flush edge. We intentionally split the rear cover and front cover by 1/8” to make for an easier score + fold.
This is a simple little piece that’s been in our portfolio for quite some time; and it’s always been a crowd pleaser.
If you’re a customer, friend, or prospect of EPi, odds are that you recently received our spring mailer.
We thought it would be fun to mail everyone on our contact list a packet of wildflower seeds.
It’s easier than it seems to mail an actual item in a direct mail campaign.
We created a small seed packet out of a flat press sheet and converted down to a 2 3/4” x 4” size.
We went to a local nursery and purchased several pounds of wildflower seed mix. Once the packets returned from converting, we inserted the seeds by hand and sealed the packet shut.
A single drop of (strong!) adhesive was applied to the carrier, and the mailer was ready to go! In mailing an item like this, note that it needs to tab shut. The post office will designate how many tabs it requires based on the thickness of its contents.
Never be too shy when it comes to direct mail! The post office will mail absolutely anything… for the right price.
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Okay, we’re about 4 months too late to be posting about the exciting new pieces you should be mailing out during the holidays. We like to think we’re 8 months too early. The holidays produce some of the best (shiniest) print campaigns, so we pulled one from the 2010 archives to share with you.
Reeds Jewelers/Jenss Decor relies on direct mail to stay in front of their customers at crucial points throughout the year. Just before Thanksgiving, this piece arrived in mailboxes throughout the Northeast as a holiday promotion.
A Pearl Reich Shine A7 envelope was used to house this bi-fold card. Though the finished size is a standard 5” x 7”, The flat size is 8.5 x 7 - a short fold that enabled this clever 1.5” show-through to be elegantly framed by the A7’s square design.
Note the unique texture of the paper. The designer at Reeds was looking for the prestige of a linen paper, but the “pop” that a glossy sheet offers. Working with our paper suppliers at Xpedx we landed on Neenah’s Classic Linen 84# White Pearl Cover, a coated linen paper. Perfect!
Lastly, an incentive to visit the recipient’s local Reeds/Reeds Jenss store; a tipped on coupon card. This was the same stock as the envelope (Reich Pearl Shine), but in a cover weight and laminated in 1.7 mil matte laminate.
All in all, a great piece. It’s fun to use new papers and great to experiment with neat folds - but it’s best when good print ultimately means good marketing.
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In late 2010, Block Club Creative and EPi worked together to print and fulfill an intriguing new retail piece unlike anything we’ve ever printed. The piece made waves in the Buffalo/WNY area; Buffalo Dining Cards.
Here’s the description of the piece as described on the Buffalo Dining Card website:
“Each Buffalo Dining Card is a gift certificate––46 cards are worth $10 off a purchase of $25 or more (not including tax, tip or alcohol), and 6 wildcards are good for freebies and additional savings… there are no blackout dates and cards are valid now until Dec. 31, 2011.
$1 from the sale of each deck is donated to the Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.”
Several thousand decks had to be prepared for retail sale on both the internet and brick-and-mortar stores, so we also needed to create a custom POP display.
After several weeks of creating dummies, trying different papers, and finalizing die lines, we went to press.
Straight-tuck boxes printed 6-up on 12pt C1S stock
Patrick & Courtney from Block Club on a press check
Printing the project only took a day or two. Finishing the project took weeks.
Finishing began with alphabetical collating, round cornering, and hand-stuffing…
…and finished with each deck shrink-wrapped and set 30-up into a custom POP cradle (which was also shrink-wrapped to keep the decks in order during delivery).
Once the POP displays delivered to their retail locations, a simple peel-off adhesive backer was applied to the rear of the POP display, and Buffalo Dining Cards were officially for sale!
By the end of the holiday season, feedback and sales figures made their way back to Block Club. The project turned out to be a great success.
At first glance, custom die-cut boxes, fulfillment, and POP displays seem a bit too cumbersome for a 29” press and a handful of employees. However, Buffalo Dining Cards exist as proof that a flexible customer and a versatile production team can yield exceptional results.
As a printing company, we believe that our best foot forward when reaching out to new customers is with powerful, impactful self-promotional pieces. What better way to show the type of printing we’re capable of than with our own marketing materials? So, apologies for the self-indulgent post today; we’re going to be talking about ourselves a bit.
This is EPi’s company brochure. At a finished size of 12” x 7.5”, the sizing is somewhat unusual but still appears natural. The front and rear cover of the brochure are printed with Fibermark’s 24pt Touche Cover, a card stock that feels more like a velvet blanket than paper. 24pt stock can be a cumbersome thickness for most conventional presses, so we opted to print our logo in Spot UV - a small location printed only with ultraviolet coating.
We also utilize spiral binding for this piece. Its first incarnation simply used a red plastic binding, but we opted to reprint this piece in the fall and decided to expand our color scheme a bit.
Content-wise, the piece is comprehensive. It is filled with testimonials, company history, a capabilities listing, and much more. It follows a format of testimonial -> translucent printed sheet -> content - like so:
Anyone that works with us knows that we love a good translucent sheet, and can’t resist the opportunity to experiment with a little imageplay.
Translucent sheets can print very cleanly, and work well when overlaying text with the right layout.
Finally, we finish the piece with our contact information on the back cover. Bearing the thickness of the Touche cover stock in mind, we opted to screen print with two hits of an opaque white ink.
We hope to convey a certain message to our prospects by introducing ourselves with this piece. By using a wide array of printing and finishing techniques, coupled with high-quality offset printing on various papers, we want to show that we can be a dynamic, comprehensive resource for all things printed. We want to show that we’re different. We want to show that we can handle standard printing in our sleep, and creative projects with ease. We want to encourage our customers to team up with us, and to try something new.
We want to share this brochure with you - if there’s one piece in our catalog that we’re excited to send your way, it’s this. Don’t hesitate to ask.
Designers, today’s post is for you. EPi has taken special consideration in recent years to bolster our envelope printing capabilities. Any company can print one or two color preconverted envelopes. Using our Direct Image press, EPi can print 4 color envelopes, either in special PMS colors or in full process. We spoke about that capability a few months ago in this post.
Amazingly, the mad scientists in our press room have now figured out how to set up bleeds on those same preconverted envelopes.
The technique isn’t too far off from standard envelope printing. Shift a roller here, move a gripper there, and it’s not hard to add some pretty cool effects to an otherwise bland envelope.
Because the process isn’t far off from standard envelope printing, the cost is consistent with more standard pieces. Imagine revamping your company’s (or client’s) envelopes from a 1 or 2 color piece with the logo and address tucked into the left corner, to a 4 color process piece with bleeds… for the same price. Keep in mind that you’ll need to communicate with us so that the envelope’s seams don’t become an issue.
Of course, we’re always happy to convert envelopes (print flat press sheets, die cut and score, then glue and apply moistenable adhesive) for our customers. We do it all the time.
(Not printed by EPi - simply an example from Flickr)
However, the preconverted options that we can offer can be a far more economical option… sometimes by as much as 50% of the price of custom conversion.
In 2010, EPi and Harris, an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets worldwide, collaborated on a very special print campaign. An innovative new military communications system had just been released and Harris needed a unique presentation of its capabilities.
Tracey Kohl worked with Harris to plan the logistics of this absolutely fantastic piece.
Finishing at a compact size of 5 x 3.75 x .25, the brochure packs a lot of punch into a piece that can easily fit in your pocket.
The first component to give the savvy recipient pause is the cover; it stays tightly closed with the help of oppositely polarized magnets inserted into two of the piece’s three panels.
The magnets give the piece a very sturdy feel and satisfying “click” as it closes.
Opened wide, three panels serve three very different purposes.
1) The left panel has a thin slit for, no, not a business card, but a mini-DVD.
2) The middle panel carries a removable 40p+cover saddle-stitched booklet. The rear cover of the booklet tucks into a stationary pocket, but slides out for easy handling and reading.
3) As you can begin to see in the above photograph, the right panel is a tip-on 6-panel map that folds up, down, and out.
Lastly, we finished all of the cover stock with a glossy laminate to protect the final product and give it a healthy shine.
The objectives for this piece are fulfilled. It is comprehensive, elaborate, and content-rich. It is also clean, compact, and interesting.
Not only does a printed campaign like this add immeasurable value to a transaction, it is kept on hand for years as a referral tool. EPi worked directly with Harris’ internal marketing department to plan and execute this job, and we were extremely proud to receive an ADDY award together in the 2010 Rochester ADDYs.
By showing off this week’s sample to our contacts, we’ve discovered that a passport is an oft-attempted print campaign with varying results. It’s difficult to track down the right papers to properly simulate an actual passport, but this piece comes pretty close. The University of Rochester Office of Admissions used the passport idea to encourage incoming students to embrace their diverse student population, and came to EPi to hit the nail on the head.
Each page highlights a different location represented by students at the U of R, with a spot for a regional student’s signature.
A filled book carries hefty bounties, ranging from a night on the town in Rochester to an iPad to a trip around the world!
At a finished size of 3.5 x 5, this printed piece is the perfect size to simulate a passport. We used a leatherette (read: embossed paper) cover that was bonded to an uncoated sheet. While the cover had to be foil stamped with a design, the inner cover could be printed in 4c process.
The text pages were printed on a dense but translucent paper. In the above image, you can make out the deep red EPi logo behind the page. Actual passports seem to be printed on synthetic stock that has a similar translucent effect, so this paper is spot-on.
After round-cornering and saddle-stitching, the finished passport is ready to go. This year’s incoming class at U of R will have a great long-term project that pushes them to branch out, make friends, and appreciate their school.
Finally, a show about the always-smooth relationship between designers and printers!
“The press room is the heart and soul of the printing profession. It’s where designers respect how difficult the art of printing can be. Salesmen promise only what they can deliver, and pressmen cheerfully bend over backwards to make the impossible possible.”
Special thanks to Sappi for this fantastic series - great idea!
The holiday decorations are up at EPi!
…but Mandy is too shy to say hello.
One week to go!
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