Wednesday, December 21, 2016

What Is Document Bleed And How To Use It In Printing And Design

business card document bleedDocument Bleed is a concept in the printing world whereby you deliberately leave an element of your artwork or design (usually a picture) spilling over the edges of the document beyond the trim edge. When a document is prepared with bleed, it’s printed on a larger sheet of printing paper and trimmed down to the exact size. It sounds silly to deliberately do something like that, but there are positive uses and a reason for doing this.

Why Use Document Bleed?

The simple answer to why you should use document bleeds is that it’s a very effective cropping tool. Even if you place something right at the edge of a flyer, the printer is not one hundred percent precise, and leaves room for error and the potential to mess up your print. It’s actually far better to go out over the edge and let the printer off the excess surface area for you, rather than relying on the printer to use an already cropped image. If the printer messes up using your already cropped artwork you’ve lost time and money, whereas with bleed there is no real disadvantage or opportunity of loss. When setting up your printing files, be sure the bleed has been accounted for. To see the various flyer size options, click this link

There are mechanical reasons for using a bleed too. Printers tend to leave a tiny bit of white even with the most carefully arranged and cropped document. When you go over the edge with a document bleed there’s no room for error. The document is printed how it should be and you have a great looking piece of art or marketing material.

Partial Bleed vs Full Bleed

There are two different kinds of bleeds. A partial bleed is when only a few parts of the artwork component or image exceeds beyond the document. A partial bleed is useful when you only have an image in the corner, like on a business card for example. A full bleed is used when the design or background image covers the entire document and runs off of all side as. It’s used with flyers and posters. The type of bleed that you need to use depends on the purpose of your document. Just take a look at the colors, images and pictures you use and ask if you need a full or partial bleed.

How to Use it Properly

Of course using document bleed is still pointless if you don’t do it right. Go too far over the edge and you cut off important things. Don’t go far enough and you don’t get a bleed and still get that white gap at the edge. So how should you print off things with an effective bleed? It’s quite simple really.

The layout design or image manipulation programs you’re likely to use as a graphics designer, such as Photoshop, actually have built in bleed functions that can arrange this for you. If you use Photoshop then just start a new image and set the “full bleed” option to an eighth or quarter of an inch vertically and horizontally, depending on your printer specs, set your resolution to 300 pixels an inch, and your color mode to CMYK and you’re good to go.

You can use that basic principle with most layout and design programs like Illustrator and InDesign. They all have a bleed option functionality in document settings. Your basic bleed is a quarter of an inch on most print jobs, but smaller print materials may be an eighth of an inch. Check with your commercial printer. However, remember that this quarter of an inch section is not going to be printed and is used purely as the zone for cropping your artwork down to its exact size. So make sure there isn’t anything important in this area. That is the other part of using bleed properly; not putting anything you need in the bleed part of the document.

So the next time you create something that needs to print precisely, remember to use document bleed to ensure a high quality print and that your pertinent information or design isn’t cropped out.
Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 235-3464

To view the original version on Clash Graphics, visit:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tips to Design the Best Business Cards

business cards printing atlanta
Think of all the business cards being exchanged during random encounters. No matter the situation, you aspire that your business card will leave a lasting impression and demarcate credibility and trustworthiness to your clients.

Effective business cards provide information about you and convey the essence of your organization. After dialogue, exchanging business cards encourages the receiver to follow up with you. As part of your identity, a business card personifies you, the giver, and reflects what your organization represents.

Check out the multitude of business card options available Then learn what we found from interviewing top designers to find out what they believe makes an excellent business card.

What Makes a Great Business Card

In examining well-done business cards, you will find they share these qualities – bold, visually appealing, and unique. When a card can be described using these adjectives, more than likely it will be valued and not just tossed aside.

If we simplify the purpose of your card, it is to represent your organization and provide the receiver the necessary contact information. With this in mind, there’s a balancing act between aesthetics and function. Of course a beautiful design is desirable, but never lose sight that finding and using your contact information is a core purpose of this marketing material.

Things to Consider During the Design Process

business card design atlantaA designer’s task is to successfully balance and lay out certain elements — logo, contact information, website, social media addresses, tagline, art — into an uncluttered and attractive design. The graphic designer aims to create a business card that is memorable, evokes a certain feeling, and makes an emotional connection.

One may ask, how is this goal achieved? An experienced visual designer has a knack and skill for making the proper selection and use of colors, imagery, typography, attitude, production material, copywriting, shape, and textures. Similar to a photographer or filmmaker’s ability to create an emotion or mood using film, a good graphic designer leverages the print medium to create memorable designs and marketing materials.

How Custom Printing Options Help Create a Unique Card

As your card will be held and seen, it is important to create a unique experience. In consideration of the tactile nature of print, selecting paper that has a unique feel helps dictate a specific experience. Rounded edges influence how the card feels and makes the card less traditional and conservative in appeal. Engraving, embossing, and letterpress are other techniques to create raised lettering or an indented mark in the card. Any of these customizations can accentuate how the card feels, helping your card stand out and leave an impression.

Now consider the slew of custom options that will impress the visual sense of the receiver. For a logo that has a unique mark or strong shape, die cut is a process to cut a specific or precise shape into a cards surface. The use of colored edges is another great customization and method to implement a brand’s color. Foil print is a custom process of adding a metallic silver or gold to the surface of the card, making it hard to overlook.

Overall, customizations should be implemented as a way to differentiate and communicate what your organization stands for. Customizing your cards is an opportunity to make the receiver think, “If they took that much time on their cards, imagine the level of attention they will invest into their business and services.” Choose wisely and align the values of your company with the selection of your business card’s custom options.

Common Business Card Design Mistakes

Over the years, designers and business owners have cluttered their cards with too much information. Everything from fax numbers, cell and office numbers, email addresses, social media profiles, office locations, and other information can come across as desperate and overwhelm the client.

When someone is compelled to get in contact, they will naturally. Typically, your phone, email and website are enough information and provide sufficient avenues for contact. After designing and printing, there are marketing mistakes you will want to avoid. However, besides overly busy designs, information overload is the most common design mistake.

Seal the Deal by Incorporating These Tips

There are a myriad of ways to design a business card; however, the main goal is to capture attention, pique curiosity, and encourage contact and inquiry by the receiver.

The overall design and printing process of the card should speak to the company’s values and approach to business. If the company specializes in luxury products — the printing process should reflect that.

You want a card and design that represents the caliber of work you perform, but be unobtrusive and memorable. Implement these tips and create the business card that gets you noticed.
Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 235-3464

Originally published on:

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Important Direct Mail Tips for Businesses Using Flyers and Postcards

Postcards are often associated with keepsakes from our favorite vacations. Beautiful images and captivating words on postcards result in an apt representation of timeless memories. These features make postcards useful marketing tools.

Direct-mail postcard marketing is a popular marketing trend that helps businesses reach their customers directly. Statistics show that 23.4% of consumers respond to relevant postcards. Additionally, the Direct Marketing Association reported that postcard marketing was much cheaper for creating leads than other marketing strategies in 2012.

Utilizing direct-mail postcard marketing can, therefore, be a useful marketing strategy. Use the direct mail pricing calculator to estimate your investment. Then create a winning direct-mail postcard marketing strategy that works.

Tip #1: Pay Attention to the United States Postal Service Regulations

The United States Postal Service has strict guidelines related to positioning of address, barcodes and postage indicia. Visit their website to obtain further information.

Tip #2: Choose a Postage Option that Suits Your Time-Frame and Budget

The United States Postal Service offers two postage options: standard postage and first class postage. If you’re on a tight budget and have a flexible time frame, the standard postage option is right for you. Standard postage takes more time, but it is affordable. First class postage can be termed “express delivery”. Potential customers will receive these postcards quickly. Therefore, your customers will begin learning more about your company sooner than later.

Tip #3: Be Creative

When marketing with flyers - grab your customer’s attention and keep it captive. Your postcard should be unlike any other. It should prevent your customers from wanting to throw it away the moment they look at it. Create intrigue. Appeal to their wants and needs. Help them to see why they should spend their hard-earned money with your business.

Tip #4: Pay Attention to Your Mailing List

You could have created the most creative postcard. However, if you send it to the wrong people, you will never acquire new customers. Choose who you send the postcards to wisely. Know your demographic and ensure that you can appeal to them.

Tip #5: Include Your Website’s URL

The purpose of the postcard is to encourage customers to discover more about your business. Consequently, filling it with words is ill-advised.Including your website’s URL will encourage potential customers to visit your website to learn more.

Tip #6: Include a Short Testimonial

Someone who knows nothing about your business will depend on reviews by others to determine if it’s authentic and worth their time and money.Including a short testimonial from one of your customers can help you attract that potential customer who is on the fence.

Tip #7: Begin Your Pitch on the Back of the Postcard

Addresses are always printed on the back of a postcard. This position makes it easier for mail carriers to see the address for delivery.Creatively attract your potential customer’s eye from the get-go.

Tip #8: Assess the Success of the Campaign

It is useless to create a marketing strategy without developing a plan to assess its effectiveness. When you acquire new customers, ask them to complete short surveys to determine how they found out about your company. Use the results of these surveys to determine which of your marketing strategies have been the most effective.

Direct-mail postcard marketing is a great addition to your marketing strategy. It can help you reach more people within your geographical region. It can also improve your client conversion rate if used effectively. Begin taking the necessary steps to incorporating direct-mail postcard marketing in your next marketing campaign. When ready, you can order your direct-mail postcards here
Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing
2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309
Phone: (678) 235-3464

Originally published on:

Sunday, August 28, 2016

4 Marketing Mistakes Startups Should Avoid

A successful startup is only as good as its marketing strategy.

If you provided the best service in the world, or sold the greatest product out there, but no one ever heard of it, can you call yourself a success? Of course not.

Understanding how to properly convey your message without error is something every entrepreneur aspires to do. Here are some marketing mistakes to avoid if you are a startup business:

Not Understanding Your Target Market

Even though it would be great if everyone wanted to buy products from you (and you alone), that’s just not a realistic expectation. A potential customer will be inclined to buy from you if they know you have what they want.

Taking time to understand buyer behaviors of your target market allows you to personalize your marketing campaigns and messages, so a customer feels confident your service or produce will solve their problems.

Trying to speak to everyone is a waste of time. Isolate potential customers who are likely to buy from you.

Not Researching Your Audience

Test your marketing strategies and ask for feedback. Don’t just request opinions from your inner circle - venture out to strangers and get their honest thoughts. If you are pitching an idea to an investor, they are going to ask questions about your audience, including its size and whether you already are making sales.

They will want to see statistics and research to back up your claims, and to determine if your idea has wheels and is proven to be in demand. Without figures or sales to back up your claims, the only thing you can hope to do is capture interest from your idea, which is substantially harder.

Putting Too Much Emphasis on Marketing Materials

We all want stylish websites and promotional materials (flyers and business cards). However, the aesthetics alone shouldn’t be the focal point. The problem your product or service solves is what you should be emphasizing. Focus on establishing a reputation from producing value and delivering exceptional quality. When you develop something people anticipate, you’ll actually create a buzz and genuine discussion. Not to say that flyer marketing, a website or marketing materials won’t help, but alone they can't determine your success.

Putting Just Anyone in Charge

Trying to do everything “because I will do it better” is a mistake most entrepreneurs make. Employ a marketing director or team dedicated to help, no matter how small your business is. The launch of a startup involves a lot of work, and should be done well, not ‘as best you can’.

Use experts to handle the important things you don’t have time for. Don’t use an intern or anyone not proficient at a specific task. If you need someone to run your social media accounts, make sure that person understands the fundamentals of social media marketing. Ensure that the person you delegate things to is on the same page as you, in order to keep your brand’s message and appearance consistent.

Learning about your target market and establishing a customer base are critical elements for a successful startup. Keeping experts in charge of things you’re not doing regularly is just as important as having a strong product or service.

The sooner you avoid these pitfalls, the quicker your startup business will become a reality and success. Our printing and design experts would be glad to help create your brand identity or marketing materials. Browse our site or call us today at 678-235-3464.

Originally published on:

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Flyer Marketing 101 - Use, Size, Design and Printing

Whether you want to promote an event, product or service, flyers can be effective at garnering attention and delivering your message to your potential customer. Though, all flyers do not perform the same, nor are they created equal. Much of the success of a printed flyer campaign depends on the planning and capabilities of the graphic designer that’s creating the artwork. Below are a tips to consider before creating your next promotional flyer.

What’s the Goal of the Flyer?

Your ultimate goal and intended use for creating the flyer should determine everything from its size, design, and distribution method. Maybe you have a new product that you want customers to know about or promoting the grand opening of your new store or restaurant. Despite the situation you must be clear on the intended goal of the flyer. Once the core goal is solidified, each of the next steps can be more effective.

Distribution of the Flyer

Before deciding the flyer size you must identify where you will distribute the flyers. Each distribution channel has different advantages and benefits. For example, handing a flyer to a customer that’s in your store is much different than mailing a postcard to residents in a specific zip code.

Mailing flyers is also known as direct mail, and has specific requirements set by the post office. The specifications set by the post office can impact the flyer size and layout. Thus it is important to be clear whether you will be handing flyers out, offering them at a trade show, or distributing them via direct mail.

Size of the Flyer

Once you know your distribution method you can make a decision about the size of your flyer. Choosing the right size is important and may be the difference whether your flyer is accepted or trashed.

Two standard flyer are 4x6 inches and 5x7 inches. Smaller flyers sizes are 3x4 or 3x5. When you think of direct mail flyers, they usually start at 6.5x8 and increase in size. When using direct mail consider – the larger the flyer the more attention it may receive. It is hard to ignore an oversized flyer sticking out of your mailbox.

So the size of your flyer should match its intended use and method of distribution. Consistent with our distribution scenarios, consider choosing a flyer size that easily fits in your customers pocket or purse, or a size large enough to stand out from everything else in a potential customers mailbox.

Design of the Flyer

Colors, fonts, and element (logo, website, phone number) placement are a few factors that impact the success of a flyer campaign. If the goal of the flyer is to promote an event, the design may be focused on the date, time and venue. However, if you’re promoting a limited-time offer, more attention will need to be given to the offer and instructions to claim the deal.

To accomplish this, graphic designers consider legibility of fonts, contrast of size and color, and how the layout of the flyer will direct a customers eyes. Inexperienced designers may not have this awareness, whereas more experienced designers know how to make a flyer more effective.

Naturally designers learn more tricks and techniques with experience. Generally speaking, you want a designer with a large portfolio and several years of graphic design experience. Be sure to communicate the purpose of the flyer, what you want the customer to be aware of, and the action they should take.

Once you receive your design, consider if it’s successful at communicating your primary goal. Obviously it should look good visually, but remember the success of your flyer depends on its ability to get your customer to take a specific action. Ask yourself, does this flyer communicate my message clearly? The answer will help determine necessary revisions and make your flyer more effective.

Look at these flyer designs, notice their message and the goal of these flyers:

Printing the Flyer

When you have the files from the designer, it’s time to print the flyer. Most likely there are many printing companies in your area; note price and turnaround time are only two factors you want to consider.

Staples and FedEx Office are local printing chains that are convenient. With these printing services you trade price and level of customization for convenience. Their prices may be more expensive than a local print shop. Send your artwork files, desired paper weight, size, and finishing specs to get an apples to apples quote.

Commercial print shops usually have more favorable pricing and equipment capable of producing higher quality prints with greater detail. Thicker papers, extensive colors, and glossy finishes are examples of customizations that may be available with commercial print shops.

Most professional print shops utilize a process called “gang-run” printing. In this printing process several print jobs are printed simultaneously on large sheets of paper. There may be subtle color or size variations in gang-run printing. With print shops, what you gain in price and customization options, you may trade for convenience and subtle color variances.

Printer Color Mode

One important aspect to consider when choosing a printing company is the color mode or color profile your materials will be created in. In short, CMYK is used in most local gang-run printing companies. This color mode offers more colors compared to RGB printers. However, if your printer uses the CMYK color mode and the designer created the artwork using RGB, you will need to request your flyer files in CMYK color mode. This detail is important and if overlooked can cause your blues to look purple.

Decide whether level of customization, color-match, turnaround time, and price factors are most important. Then choose a flyer printing service that can meet your requirements. Once your new flyers are delivered, the fun begins and it’s time to promote your event or service.

This is a repost, find the original marketing with flyers article here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Printing Black - Creating True Rich Black & When to Use It In CMYK Printing

Have you ever ordered marketing materials from a print shop and been disappointed you’re your black looks dull or faded? This is a common frustration and caused most likely when the designer chose 100-K black in the design program and did not include other colors from the CMYK color palette.

You need something better. Something known in the printing industry as “rich black” or “true black”. It’s the way to get the black you really want. Though you shouldn’t use it all the time and here are some important tips about that perfect, rich black.

When to Use Rich Black

Rich black is best used in large chunks. So use it when you have a large black area, such as a leaflet that uses a lot of black or has a black background. It’s also a good idea to use rich black when you’re working with a large font type. That is to say a very large font such as Futura Black at over 40 points.

Finally you should use rich black when you have a lighter background and want a darker color on top to contrast with it. Sometimes a printer will get confused and mix the regular black with the background, or let the background show through. Using a rich black eliminates this problem giving you true black.

When to Avoid Using True Black

Not every situation calls for true black. You should avoid using rich black in pretty much the opposite situations to when you should use it. So don’t use rich black when you are working with small patches of black, or with small type. It’s also important to avoid using rich black when you work with newspapers. Using a rich black on something like a newsprint causes it to bleed and messes with the quality of the paper.

How to Create True Rich Black

Now that you know when you should use rich black you need to know how to make it. You need to use the CMYK method of color mixing to get a true black. There are actually a few ways to get a rich black. Here are two common methods for you. The first is to mix 40% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and as you’d expect 100% black (40, 40, 40, 100 – CMYK). Now some people like to leave the yellow out but it does help balance everything out. Either way you get a rich and solid black.

The other way to create a true black is to mix 60% cyan, 40% magenta, 40% yellow and, again, 100% (60, 40, 40, 100 - CMYK) black. This creates a more neutral rich black. Though 240% is pretty much the limit with color mixing. So if you want to adapt this then you will need to lower the percentage on some colors if you want to add them with others.

When you get used to the idea of creating and using a richer black you will become able to make your own. There are so many ways to create a rich black that a basic mixture like this might not be right for your project. These are good models to use, but don’t be afraid to make your own mix CMYK combinations and see what you can create.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

RGB vs CMYK and Why It's Important to Printing and Design

RGB CMYK Color Model Profile

When someone starts work in graphic design, or just enters that world, they run into something they might not have heard of before; CMYK. CMYK is a color model that is used a lot in the graphic design and printing industry. It’s different from the typical RGB mode that your home printer or computer monitor uses, and it’s important you understand the differences.


We’ll start by looking at what each printing style means before moving on to more difficult things. RGB is literally an acronym for “Red, Green, Blue” and CMYK is “Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black”, which for some reason is represented as “K”. The visible color spectrum is made up of the three primary colors of red, green and blue. These three colors combined make up pretty much every other color. So why choose CMYK? CMYK gives us more defined colors and gives us some better looking colors. So there are people who prefer to use CMYK over RGB, especially in commercial printing. You open yourself up to more possibilities by introducing the fourth factor.

Which Should You Choose?

Which one you choose is really up to you and the client that you’re working for. What is important to know is that there are some colors in RGB that a CMYK printer will have trouble with. If the printer that you’re working with is a CMYK one, it’s very important that the color mode you design in is also CMYK. The reverse is also true. If you’re working with an RGB printer you need to work with an RGB color profile. Failure to do so will result in poorer quality images and colors that just look wrong and do not match your design proof. Some printers and clients will insist that you work with CMYK, so listen to your client or pick the one that you think is best for your project. There is another aspect to this however; digital vs analog.

CMYK Printing vs RGB Printing

There is a noticeable difference between CMYK and RGB when you are printing things out physically. RBG work looks great on a computer monitor or handheld device, but CMYK looks better when printed. In fact almost every graphic design that will be printed physically will be printed using CMYK. This makes it very important that you work with CMYK, or at the very least convert any artwork that is to be printed into CMYK. The colors look better when printed than they would if they were RGB. So really that sums up which one you need to use when preparing marketing materials to be printed. If you are working entirely with digital art then you should use the RGB color mode. If you’re working with professional printed designs then you should use CMYK.

So there you have it. The basic difference between RGB and CMYK is the amount of colors and variants at your disposal. Which one you use depends on the purpose of your job and final use of the designed graphic. Digital graphics should be in RGB format. If your art is for a printed poster or something of that nature, then always work in CMYK color mode. Lastly, never let color mode converting ruin the way your graphics look by avoiding the converting process altogether and working with the right color mode from the get-go.

Photo Credit: