You walk into a restaurant, the attendant comes in, and you can’t help but notice the graphic t-shirt he is wearing. You have ordered the food, but all this time you are more interested in buying that t-shirt. That’s precisely what merchandising is about. So what exactly is merchandising?
In simple words, it’s everything you do to promote and sell your products once the potential customer is in your establishment. Merchandising can be with a wide range of products from t-shirts to keychains. The higher the visibility, the better it is for your brand. But how can your restaurant benefit from merchandising?
How can your restaurant benefit from merchandising?
Merchandising is a tricky business, but if done correctly can work wonders for any brand. With limited time and space to attract a customer, merchandising can be a means to attract more customers to your restaurant. You can also use merchandising for your loyalty program. Keeping items only accessible to loyalty cardholders can be a great way to increase sales while ensuring you have a long list of regulars. Restaurant with outstanding merchandise stand out and can drastically improve their brand visibility. However, it’s important to note that you shouldn’t rely on merchandise as a steady source of income.
Things to keep in mind when it comes to merchandise?
Strong branding is essential to establish any restaurant. So, before you start merchandising focus your efforts on creating durable brand design. The logo, menu and the decor of your restaurant should reflect a consistent theme that will connect with your target audience. Be it a high-end dining restaurant or a go-to cafe for youngsters; consistency is the key. Creating a brand guideline is one way to ensure that the colour scheme, font size and logo size are consistent throughout all channels of communication.
Your merchandise be it a t-shirt or a coffee mug should reflect the same brand design. In simple terms, customers should be able to identify your merchandise by just looking at it. Focusing on consistent branding will help create a strong brand identity, both online and offline.
Once you have a strong brand design in place, it’s time to decide on products you want to merchandise. Merchandise doesn’t always have to be t-shirts and coffee mugs. You can choose your product depending on the type of restaurant and the target audience you are catering to.
For instance, if your restaurant’s theme is music items like guitar pins and posters work well. A coffee shop may benefit by selling travel mugs that can directly relate to their end product. The goal is to maximize your brand visibility to attract new customers. It’s recommended you find local suppliers for all your merchandise as its cheaper and reliable. If you have the budget and resources, you can also have strategic partnerships with some brands.
Now that you have decided on your product, it’s time to focus on their placement for maximizing sales. Selling merchandise is all about getting more eyes on the product. It’s always advised to place the cheaper items next to the cash counter as people won’t think twice before purchasing it. The more expensive items should be placed close to the door or where the visibility is maximum.
While placing your product, keep in mind that the customer should be able to touch and feel them. People love to be able to pick things up and feel it in their hands before they decide to purchase it. Your displays should be neat and must be changed occasionally. Ensure all your products have clear price tags on it. Merchandise without price specifics discourages customers from buying them. Lastly, keep track of items which don’t get sold often. This way, you can either discard them in the future or try cross-selling those items by pairing them with your popular products.
Now for the most crucial part of selling your products, promote it the right way. Use social media to your advantage. Millennials and Gen Z are highly active on social media platforms. Your communication should be consistent and precise on all platforms. Encourage your customers to post pictures with your merchandise online. This way your customers can turn into your digital brand ambassadors, and you will save huge cost on marketing. Such images also provide a level of authenticity for your target audience. However, note that merchandising is not the primary source of income, and hence your social media shouldn’t be filled with posts of your merchandise. You also need to focus on the end product you are selling.
Merchandising is a long-term process. It’s also essential that your end product is as good as your merchandise. A loyal customer base is the key to any successful restaurant and merchandising is one way to achieve it.
Branding is basically a pot of key ingredients which makes your business who it is and makes it recognizable. If you think of some of the most successful multinational companies, you’ll see they have a winning brand strategy and their logo and products are instantly recognised around the world. Branding is also something that is a continuous process within your company – it’s not about ‘creating a brand’ and then thinking the job is done.
From researching the psychology of colour to deciding on your tagline, your brand strategy can make or break your business. Let’s take a look at our A-Z of branding.
A – Audience. Identify your target audience and always communicate with them in mind.
B – Brand Positioning. Find out how you are perceived in relation to your competition. Does it need to change?
C – Colour. Never underestimate the importance of colour across all of your digital and printed materials. Keep it consistent and understand what emotions are related to which shades.
D – Design. Design an eye-catching logo, winning website and attractive packaging and you’re half way to becoming a memorable brand.
E – Experience. Understand your customer experience and enhance it if possible.
F – Familiarity. This is the end goal, for people to feel familiar with your brand.
G – Grand. When it comes to branding, go big or go home. Small businesses should think like a big business and the strategy will work.
H – Harmful. Wise up to the fact that branding mistakes can be harmful to your business reputation.
I – Integration. Once you have defined your brand you need to integrate it into all aspects of the business, from answering the phone to replying to social media comments.
J – Justification. Don’t make business decisions off the cuff – they all need to be justified by your brand strategy, or you could lose consistency.
K – Knowledge. Always strive to know more about business branding and stay on top of current trends.
L – Labels. Business labels and stickers used on packaging need to send the right message.
M – Marketing. Branding and marketing often go hand in hand, because the strategy is often in line with marketing materials such as the website, social media and sales brochures.
N – Name. Your brand name is one of the most important parts of your overall strategy, and it is very difficult to change down the line.
O – Opposition. It’s important to stay ahead of your competition and differentiate yourselves from others in your marketplace.
P – Personality. Your company should have a personality and you have a chance to showcase it every single day.
Q – Question. Question your brand strategy regularly and evaluate how successful it is.
R – Rebranding. Businesses develop over time, so if you think your values and mission has changed then it’s time for a rebrand.
S – Social Media. It’s an essential part of any successful business’ digital marketing strategy, and it’s a great way to promote your branding message.
T – Tagline. What are you trying to do, what problem are you trying to solve? Keep it short and sweet and most of all, relevant.
U – User. Always have your end user in mind when making decisions – why will they want to buy this, how are we improving their quality of life? How are we connecting with our users?
V – Values. Think about your biggest business values and if they come across in all of your communications.
W – Worldwide. If done right, your branding could take your business worldwide.
X – X Factor. Your brand message and ethos can really give your company the X Factor if you put the time and effort into the perfect brand strategy.
Y – You. Understand that you and the business are two separate entities, and therefore have two separate beliefs, missions and personalities. Your company’s brand personality is different from your own, and your favourite colour shouldn’t automatically become the company’s design colour palette.
Z – Zeal. Be zealous and pro-active with your brand – don’t let it get left behind as your business grows. We are here to help you every step of the way.
Here at Media Alliance - We brand with love!
Our Services include: Laser Cutting / engraving UV printing / Direct Digital Pad Printing / Embroidery Silk Screen Printing CD & DVD Replication / Duplication Sourcing / Importing Vinyl Stickers Corporate Gifting / Apparel / Headwear
We ship country wide.
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A slang term used to describe free stuff and giveaways offered by vendors at trade shows to encourage attendees to visit their booth. Yup, it's an acronym! Swag is usually company-branded merchandise and is given away as a form of advertising.
Swag can also be obtained through Blogs & Websites when a company wants to promote their brand or products.
We love branding! SWAG is our game!!!
Our Services include: Laser Cutting / engraving UV printing / Direct Digital Pad Printing / Embroidery Silk Screen Printing CD & DVD Replication / Duplication Sourcing / Importing Vinyl Stickers Corporate Gifting / Apparel / Headwear
Before the internet, photos were delivered through physical devices like CDs. Today photographers use online galleries to deliver photos because of how simple and efficient they are for both the photographer and the client. While many past deliverables have gone out of style, there is one physical product that still works as a handy photo storage tool - the USB drive.
Though we love using online galleries to deliver photos to our clients, we still offer USB drives to clients who want to use it as a storage method. Adding custom USB's to our photo packages has been something we have enjoyed doing and our clients love. That’s why we want to share three reasons why USB drives are a great product for photographers to add to their packages.
As a client who is paying money for their photographer’s service, you expect to receive your photos in a professional manner. That’s why along with online galleries, USBs are the perfect deliverable for photographers to show their clients that they went the extra mile in presenting their photos to them.
An Excellent Representation of Your Brand
When we first started offering flash drives to our clients, we didn’t realize the impact it would have on our brand. Of course, we could hand out any simple plastic USB from the store to our clients, but a USB that’s customized with your brand name guarantees your clients will remember who took their photos.
Our flash drives are engraved or printed with your logo. We’ve had many clients tell us that when their family and friends saw these flash drives they asked who “Media Alliance” is, which proves that this is a great marketing tool for our brand.
A Beautiful Keepsake for Your Client
Every client we have given these USB drives to see it as a beautiful keepsake. While printed photos are great to have physically in front of you, digital photos guarantee you can look through all your memories and share them with whomever you like.
When it comes to physical deliverables, photographers have used products like CD's for transferring digital photos in the past, but in reality, CD's aren’t as long-lasting as USB's. Especially since computers like Macs no longer have a disk drive built into them. This would make it impossible for clients that have computers without a disk drive to view photos from a CD. Unlike disk drives, USB ports are commonly found on all computers, which makes flash drives much more relevant than past physical delivery methods.
At Media Alliance, we generally discuss uniform style, the uniform industry, and like to give general corporate fashion advice.
While the simplicity of pens, water bottles and magnets are still rather genius in that they are practical products we all tend to need. The chance of the end-user eventually contacting the company who gave it to them with their logo ad web address splashed all over it is still slim. Especially since there are many more of these water bottles and magnets stashed away at their place. Promotional merchandise has certainly come a long way, with some companies sending matching note pads and pens to their prospects personalized with their name on it. This, however, comes at a cost. But to the consumer, the value of that promotional product is much higher, so they will most likely hold on to it and make more use of it, leading to a greater chance in them investing in that brand down the track.
Value is key! So how can we use promotional swag in the most successful way? When the value of that product is thought of so highly, they just WANT IT. And then that promotional product creates demand for both the free product and your brand. So how do we do it?
Clothing of course. Everybody loves free clothes! But if you’re going to give out free promotional clothing in Australia, they must have a universally appealing design. A great T-shirt, nice design cap, zip–up jumper or even scarf is probably your best bet; since they look good on anyone. But the design must be kept simple. Also, a cheaply made product won’t work. It must be quality. Stand out from the promotional clutter with some class, and unless you are already a big brand name, for people to want to wear it, don’t put your logo on it. Instead give it something special – an edgy cut, or standout colour, or something to make it unique. Unique to your brand in a meaningful way that represents what your company stands for.
By offering something they actually want to wear for free – something basic, essential, and trendy, then customers can link your brand to being cool and kind. Once they see others receiving such fashionable swag, the trickle–on effect can slowly work its magic on your brand. Everybody will be wearing it, talking about it, and giving them a sense of being a part of something big. That sense of belonging is what drives loyalty and word of mouth. Apple are the masters of this! Let’s also not forget these quality shirts, hoodies or caps will also be worn down the track for many months or even years, each time reminding them of your company, and spreading the word further when someone asks where they got it from.
So, as you can see the investment in such a move is a great way to differentiate and build your name. While one event may not make a huge impact – never say never. It is more ideal to do it at every event you’re making an appearance at, creating a demand for your cool swag and want to be a part of your crew. Having your fans in these well-recognised garments is like having a small population of eager brand ambassadors, which pretty much has a similar impact to a company uniform.
At Media Alliance, we have a massive selection of products suitable for this kind of marketing strategy. Our promotional workwear including t-shirts and hoodies are made from a quality fabric’s. Our colour combinations are almost endless.
If you would like to find out more information on our products please contact us on 021 555 4715 or email@example.com
A multifunctional face / neck cover, is indispensable, and you absolutely need one!
Prevention is better than cure!
“Multifunctional Headwear”—is a tube of elastic fabric that you can wear in lots of different ways. They come in a variety of fabrics, thicknesses, and sizes. Most people will get by just fine with a lightweight polyester one, but you can also get high-end Merino wool options, and even thick weatherproof buffs.
As the name neck gaiter suggests, they’re most commonly used to cover the gap around your neck from the cold and wind, but they can do a lot more than that. Here’s why I always keep a buff in my travel bag—and you should too.
It’ll protect you from the cold and the sun
Nobody likes a sunburned scalp.
The main purpose of a buff is to keep you wrapped up—and there are lots of ways you can do that. When it’s cold, you can use it to cover any exposed skin in your neck area. Or, if it’s really cold, you can go all-in and wear it as a balaclava. The buff’s flexibility is really great here: depending on what you need, it can be everything from a commuter’s light scarf to part of a polar explorer’s wardrobe.
But, it’s not just useful in the cold. A buff also keeps the sun off you when it’s warm. There are lots of buffs out there that have SPF protection, sometimes even equivalent to 50—and it won’t rub off like sunscreen. In Indonesia, most of the motorbike taxi drivers wear one pulled up over the back of their neck to keep the sun away.
Create a breathing mask
Instead of wearing your buff over the top of your head, wear it over your face. The light fabric is easy to breathe through but will stop any dirt or dust from getting into your mouth and lungs.
It’s a great sleep mask
Falling asleep when you’re traveling can be a challenge, but a good sleeping mask can make it easier—and I’ve found my buff to be one of my favorites. It’s soft and wraps totally over my head, so it doesn’t come free even if I move around. Plus, it keeps my earbuds in place so I can listen to music or just tune out the noise of other people.
The only potential downside is that buffs made from lighter material won’t block out 100 percent of the light. If you need it to be pitch-black for you to sleep, either roll or fold your buff—so your eyes are actually covered by a couple of layers of fabric—or just go with a heavier one.
It keeps your hair out of your face
If you have ever grown out your bangs, you'll know that no matter how short your hair, there's always the possibility of getting it in your eyes.
Hair can be a real pain when it starts getting in your face. A buff can double as a scrunchie, headband, or headscarf as you need. When my fringe starts to get a bit long, I often use mine as a headband when I’m hiking.
It’s a washable rag
Sometimes you just need something to clean yourself up—a tissue, a towel, anything, really— and there is nothing. I don’t want to admit the number of times I’ve blown my nose in my buff when there’s been nothing else to use, but when it comes down to it, a buff is a washable rag. It’ll make for a great emergency handkerchief so you don’t have to launch a snot-rocket or blow your nose on the hem of your t-shirt.
And a buff is not just a tissue. In a pinch, you can use it as a towel, a sweatband, or even to stop a wound from bleeding if you’re in an accident.
Best of all, there’s no penalty to carrying a buff. They’re lightweight and pack down small. You can stash one in your everyday or travel bag and just forget about it. You won’t even notice it’s there—until you need it, and it saves the day.
It works as an emergency… almost everything
Buffs are handily elastic, which makes them extremely versatile. Some of the out-of-the-box things you can do with buffs are:
Make an arm sling
Depending on how many buffs you have on hand, you can make a sling for children or adults. Only one will do for kids (place it around the head and injured arm and open the buff around the elbow for better support), but you’ll need two for adults. Knot two buffs together and put one around the person’s neck. Use the other one to hold the injured arm and open the buff around the elbow to provide support.
Stop the bleeding
Support sprained wrists, knees, and ankles
A no-brainer really—tie the buff around the injured joint two to three times to keep it in place and limit mobility.
Craft an emergency bag strap
If a handle falls off your carry-on bag or backpack, tie your buff onto whatever bits of fabric remain and use it as a strap until you can find a permanent replacement.
Tie a loop for attaching things to the outside of your bag
If you forget the outside carry straps for your bag (or one breaks), a buff works great. Loop it through your bag and use it to tie your tripod, sleeping bag, tent, or anything else down.
Jury-rig an iPhone armband for exercising
If no one got you an exercise armband for Christmas, use your buff instead. Wrap your smartphone in it and wear it over your upper arm while you go for a run or lift some weights at the gym.
Organize your cables
Chances are you’re carrying your fair share of cables in your bag, and it’s likely they’re all tangled up as you read this. Solve this by tying them together with your buff.
An emergency tent guy line
If a guy-line breaks, put your buff through the loop and pull it taut. You can then peg it down and keep your tent fully erect.
Bans on single-use plastic bags are a factor driving brands’ interest in reusable bags.
Demand for branded totes is forecast to rise among retailers, according to a just-released report from Adweek. Though the increase in single-use plastic bag bans has often been the impetus for the growth, certain high-profile brands are also making the most of what they see as an excellent marketing opportunity, Adweek reports.
Smart retailers have turned plastic bag bans from potential pain point to branded billboards that travel into every shopper’s home and stay out of the trash,” Bob Phibbs, CEO of consultancy The Retail Doctor, told Adweek Senior Editor Robert Klara. “It’s a great way to remind the consumer of that store before they leave the house again, and it’s so much better than generic, flimsy and polluting plastic bags.”
As Phibbs’ analysis suggests, prohibitions on single-use plastic bags helps drive demanded for branded alternatives, like logoed tote bags. That could be good for the promotional products industry, with savvy promo distributors capitalizing and increasing sales of branded reusable bags.
Calling grocery totes “movable marketing tools,”
A growing number of municipalities, cities and states, as well as countries, are considering or actively trying to ban single-use plastic bags. The motivation is environmental. Ban proponents say the bags present a threat to wildlife and natural habitat, while also generating litter and pollution.
The world produces more than 300 million tons of plastic each year, according to Statista, and scientists estimate that up to 91% of plastic is never recycled. An average family reportedly uses 1,500 plastic bags annually.
Did you know that recent reports found 92% of consumers to believe suggestions from friends and family more than other advertising? Or that 74% of consumers say word of mouth is a key influencer in their purchase decisions?
We talked in our previous blog about the powerful benefits of branded merchandise in general. With Christmas now fast approaching, we wanted to take a moment of your time to describe just how effective branded Christmas merchandise can be. Let’s get to it!
Brand building effects are enhanced
Promotional and branded merchandise is all about building the brand, and this is largely accomplished through a natural ‘word of mouth’ effect. Average statistics state that branded gifts are kept for around a year, throughout which time the item will be seen by peers many times.
You can see why Christmas works so well. We gather as families and friends at this time, and that means more opportunity for your brand to be improved. Branded goods are effective all year round, but if twice as many people see it at Christmas, it’s done twice as much work for your company.
Simple math’s, but with powerful results.
Promotional merchandise always has value, but it’s even better when you know it is received at a positive time for the customer or client. We’re emotional creatures, and our memory works in such a way that memories of happy times stay with us longer than others.
This means that if your branded merchandise is received around Christmas, it will be both better received and more likely to have a positive mental association in the mind of the recipient. Simply put, this amplifies the already significant effect of branded merchandise on your company.
Here to help
Another day, another helpful blog from the team. There’s real value in branded merchandise, and seasonal events like Christmas are simply ideal times to invest. For pricing & enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have not yet used insulated cooler bags to keep your food and drinks fresh and cool during a tailgating party, picnic, or while camping, you have probably seen someone with these bags.
Many businesses that deliver dairy products, drinks, and other products that need to stay cool also use branded cooler bags. As someone in such a business, you can brand these bags with a customized logo and marketing information to increase your brand recognition.
However, you must know how to do this so that it will make an impact in your business promotion endeavors. This guide contains insightful information that you need to succeed in this.
Designing functional cooler bags
Whether they will be used for your delivery errands or given or sold to customers for camping and outdoor activities, the first step is to ensure that they are functional. This way, people will carry them around and pass the intended message to as many people as possible. If they are sold out, the income will also be a boost to your business.
When making a functional insulated cooler bag, consider that they must keep the food fresh and drinks as cool as possible despite the weather outside. So, go for the best insulation technology possible. Most importantly, buy bugs that are strong and durable since they will be used outdoors. Lastly, make them big enough to accommodate enough food & drinks or the people using them.
Benefits of custom branded cooler bags for businesses
As soon as you have designed functional cooler bags, printing them with your company logo and an advertisement message will have numerous benefits for your company. These benefits will compel you to consider this marketing strategy immediately.
Brand recognition – As the delivery guy walks around town with the branded cooler bag, people get to see your brand name on the bags and get curious about it. Likewise, this will happen when people carry these bags to the beach, picnic sites, or any other outdoor event out there.
The popularity of reusable bags – As the world is struggling to clean the environment, people are understanding the importance of using reusable bags. Thus, your campaign to market your company with these reusable custom branded cooler bags is here at the right time and will be a big success.
It is cost-effective – This project is less costly compared to other marketing strategies, especially media marketing. Business owners have the option of choosing simple cooler bags that are not expensive to give to their customers. They can also consider selling premium bags. For delivery companies, the bags will play the role of carrying goods while promoting the brand at the same time.
like t-shirts, caps, jackets, banners help to grow up a business. There are many ways to create these items.
Promotional products like t-shirts, caps, jackets, banners help to grow up a business. They are very attractive and also they can draw the attention of customers. A wide range of ways are used in making of promotional items. Here are some common and popular methods used in creating designs for business promotion.
Screen Printing: Screen printing is one of the oldest methods used for making custom t-shirts. It is a common and simple process of printing. Screen printing is ideal for bulk orders. If you are planning to make t-shirts for your business promotions then screen printing can be the best solution for you. It is very cost-effective as compared to other printing processes. In Grand Prairie, many companies offer quality screen printing services at a low cost.
Embroidery:services have become very popular in Grand Prairie. This process is also used to make promotional t-shirts. Embroidery is a way of decorating fabrics with a thread and a needle. It can also incorporate other materials like quills, pearls, sequins, and beads. The embroidery designs are suitable for promoting businesses. Custom made embroidered polo shirts have several advantages. Different types of unique and classic designs are created by this process.
Vinyl Graphics: Vinyl graphics are also used in business promotion. This service is in great demand in Texas. High-quality vinyl are used to wrap vehicles professionally. Vinyl wraps have several advantages. They are installed very easily and also they require very low maintenance. Experts always use advanced tools and technology to install vehicle graphics and also enhance the picture quality.
Direct To Garments: Like screen printing, direct to garment or DTG is also a popular t-shirt printing process. All types of complicated and multi-color designs are printed quickly by the DTG method. Direct to garment is suitable for bulk orders. However, the DTG printing machine is costly and it requires proper maintenance and handling. Apart from that, this method only works well in cotton. DTG is not ideal for other fabrics.
Dye Sublimation: Last but not the least, dye sublimation is another process used for making promotional products. It helps to create smooth and ultra-soft designs. However, this process is not easy and reliable in comparison to screen printing. Dye sublimation is suitable for poly fabrics only and also expensive than other printing processes.
So, these processes are mostly used for making promotional items. They are very popular. Several designs and logos are created by these methods. They are very ideal for large or bulk orders.
For all of your branding requirements - contact: email@example.com
Digital artwork can be a bit of a bug-bear in the print industry – for both the customer and the printer.
We want to give you the best quality printed graphic we can. To achieve this we need the best possible source material to work from. So let us show you how to prepare artwork for print. We’re going to get pretty deep in the weeds, but a bit of time spent up-front will ensure you get the finish you want and save time and money in the future.
LONG STORY SHORT
If you already have a good grasp of artwork preparation, then here’s the spec:
CMYK, 3mm bleed with crop marks, 150 – 300DPI at actual size, fonts outlined, TIFF, PDF, EPS or AI
The terminology used to describe print-ready artwork can be confusing. In fact, it can sound like complete gobbledygook!
Here’s an example from our own artwork guidelines that gives you a flavour of what we’re talking about:
CMYK, 3mm bleed with crop marks, 150 – 300DPI at actual size, TIFF, PDF, EPS or AI
Let’s unpack the confusion and go over each aspect of providing print-ready artwork to ensure your printed graphic appears at its best.
VECTORS, RASTERS AND FILE FORMATS
One of the key considerations up-front is whether your artwork should be composed of vectors, rasters or a combination of both. This decision in turn determines the file formats you can use.
But what the heck are vectors and rasters and why would you choose one over the other?
A raster is a digital version of a traditionally printed image. ie. it is made up of a grid of coloured dots that when viewed from a distance give the appearance of a seamless image. This is just the same as the print that appears in books and magazines. If you look closely enough or use a magnifying glass you can see that the image is made up of many tiny dots of ink.
In a digital file, the dots are in fact squares, and are known as pixels.
Vectors are a different kettle of fish. A vector is a mathematically described object.
For example: a circle would be described by the mathematical equation for an enclosed curve and a rectangle would be described by the equations of four joined lines.
The line or curve that defines the boundary of a vector object can be given a stroke. The colour and thickness of this stroke can be altered to suit.
The area within this boundary can be given a fill. The fill can be a solid colour or a graduation from one colour to another.
The vector object (stroke or fill) can be given a degree of transparency from completely opaque to completely transparent.
RASTER VS. VECTOR
So what are the pros and cons of each format?
Rasterscan depict anything, from a simple geometric shape to the most complicated and chaotic photographic image, but with one caveat: You must have enough pixels available to render a high quality image. We’ll talk more aboutresolution in a bit.
Vectors on the other hand are excellent at depicting geometric shapes and solid or evenly graduated colours. They fare less well at depicting chaotic or noisy images like photos (look at any portrait photo and consider for a second how many varying colours there are in a patch of skin). The upshot of a vector image is that because it’s mathematically described it can be scaled up or down to any size with absolutely no loss of quality.
It’s important to note that some file formats allow rasters and vectors to happily co-exist in the same file. Just remember that if you scale the file up the vector elements will continue to look crisp, whilst the raster elements will become pixellated or blurry.
Here’s a quick table of the various uses of rasters and vectors:
And here’s a guide to the file formats that pertain to each format:
Fonts are special files that describe a set of alphabetical characters. They are in fact a type of vector file, meaning they can be scaled to any size with no loss of quality. If you use a vector compatible file format from the table above the text in your document will be scalable along with the rest of your vector objects. However, when you send your artwork file to your printer (hopefully Print 2 Media) you are banking on us having the same fonts available on our system. This is by no means guaranteed.
Take a look at the note next to PDF files in the above table – “fonts can be embedded”. If you save your artwork as a PDF the fonts you’ve used in your artwork will be embedded along with it. This means it doesn’t matter whether or not we have the font on our system.
This is the primary reason we recommend you supply your artwork in PDF format.
EXTRA CREDIT FOR THE TECHNICALLY ADVENTUROUS!
It’s possible we’ll still have to edit your PDF file to make your artwork compatible with our print process. In this instance, the embedded fonts still don’t cut the mustard. To be absolutely safe it’s best you outline your fonts. This process converts the editable font to plain vector shapes – perfect for us to print but bear in mind your text will no longer be editable (so don’t save over your original file which you might want to update in the future). If you’re using Adobe Illustrator select all your text and chooseType > Create Outlinesfrom the menu bar. If you’re using CorelDraw, select your text and chooseArrange > Convert to Curvesfrom the menu bar.
COLOUR SPACE – RGB VS CMYK
So what’s that acronym at the front of our artwork spec? CMYK is short-hand for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black (K is used for black because if we used B it could be confused withBlue).
There are really only two colour spaces commonly used in digital images –RGB andCMYK.
RGB stands for Red, Green, Blue – the primary colours oflight. The RGB colour space is used for defining colours that are produced by theemittance of light. In other words,use RGB for images that are to be displayed on a screen(on a website, in a video or an on-screen presentation).
CMYK refers to the four colours traditionally used in print (known as the fourprocesscolours). CMYK includes versions of the threelight absorbingprimary colours (red, yellow and blue) plus black. These four process colours, when combined, produce a wide gamut of possible hues.Use CMYK for images that are to be printed.
Hopefully it will now be obvious that your computer monitor can never accurately represent colours that will be printed. When you look at a computer monitor you are seeing colours mixed from the primary colours of emitted light. When you look atprintedcolours you are seeing reflected light minus what is absorbedby the print.
You can look at a digital file on-screen that is saved with a CMYK colour space, but those colours are only an approximation of what you will see when they are printed.
The range of hues that can be produced by a given colour space is known as its colour gamut. The gamut of RGB varies from that of CMYK. This can cause issues if you submit RGB artwork to a printer.
Your RGB file will have to be converted to CMYK prior to printing. If your image includes colours that exist in the RGB colour gamut but not in the CMYK colour gamut then those colours will be shifted by the conversion software to a nearby colour that is. The new colour may not be what you expect…
We most commonly see this with customers who have RGB images with very bright vibrant colours. These almost luminous colours look fantastic when viewed on a screen (which is light emittingremember) but are impossible to reproduce in print (which is light absorbing).
Set your artwork up in CMYK in advance! If you are working with artwork that is RGB, convert it to CMYK yourself before sending it to us, so you are prepared for how the image will finally look when printed.
The number 1 factor affecting print quality is resolution.
If your artwork is solely comprised of vector objects and is delivered to us in a vector compatible file format you can forget about resolution. A purely vector file can be scaled to any size with no loss of quality (it is ‘resolution independent’).
However, most artwork files contain at leastsomeraster elements.
WHAT IS RESOLUTION?
To understand resolution it’s perhaps best to talk about how it’s measured. Let’s look at our artwork spec again:
3mm bleed with crop marks, 150 – 300DPI at actual size, TIFF, PDF, EPS or AI
The important part here is “150 – 300DPI at actual size”.
DPI stands forDots Per Inch. Occasionally you will see PPI (Pixels Per Inch) but generally we use the traditional print term, even for digital files that use pixels (remember a raster is essentially just a grid of coloured pixels).
DPI is literally a measure of the number of dots (pixels) recorded in the raster that would fit into one physical inch if the raster were printed without any scaling.
That’s a bit of a mouthful so a better way to think of DPI is that it measures pixel density.
Imagine two images that both have physical dimensions of 1in x 1in. The first is 150DPI and the second is 300DPI.
The 150DPI image would be made up of 22,500 pixels (a grid of 150 × 150).
The 300DPI image would be made up of 90,000 pixels (a grid of 300 × 300).
Clearly, the 300DPI image has a much higher resolution than its 150DPI counterpart. It has a higher pixel density.
THE INTERPLAY OF RESOLUTION AND PHYSICAL DIMENSION
Our artwork spec defines an acceptable resolution range of 150 – 300DPI at actual size.
Let’s go back to our two 1in x 1in images mentioned previously. If we print the 150DPI image at a size greater than 1in x 1in (say 2in x 2in) we will have to invent new pixels to go between the existing pixels to maintain our 150DPI resolution. Now this is perfectly possible (it’s called interpolation if you really want to know) but it leads to a blurry looking image. The more the image is increased in size (and hence the more new pixels that have to be created as an average of the surrounding pixels) the worse the blurriness becomes.
However, there is some room for increasing the size of the 300DPI image whilst staying within the acceptable bounds as defined by our artwork spec. If we reduce the image’s DPI to 150 without removing or adding any pixels, the physical size of the file will automatically inflate to 2in x 2in. The image has exactly the same number of pixels, but each of those pixels is considered to take up twice as much space as it did before (because now only 150 of them fit within an inch, as opposed to 300 fitting within an inch previously).
It’s slightly mind-bending when you first encounter it but trust us, it eventually sinks in and makes sense!
Why do we define our acceptable resolution range as 150 – 300DPI?
300DPI when printed is considered a high enough pixel density, with small enough dots, that the naked eye can’t distinguish the dots at a close reading distance. Even close up 300DPI is considered photographic quality.
Dropping to 150DPI however, means that close up, the naked eye will just about pick up the dots – the image will look a touch pixellated (blocky). Step back a bit however and the eye will no longer notice the dots – the image will appear seamless again.
So, if you’re having something printed that will be viewed close up (leaflets, business cards, menus etc.) you’ll want to stick to 300DPI. If you’re submitting artwork for a large format banner or sign that will be viewed from a bit of a distance, then 150DPI will be absolutely fine.
OK. That’s the toughest concept out of the way… I promise it gets easier from here!
Bleed is simply the process of extending the artwork beyond the final trimmed size of the graphic. This give us some margin for error when we trim your graphics to size.
If you supply artwork with a coloured background exactly to the finished size and our cutting machines trim the graphic ½mm past the edge (no machinery is perfect) you will have a ½mm of white down the edge. This will be noticeable and ugly.
We ask for a minimum of 3mm bleed for all of our products. This means you need to add 6mm to the width and height of your artwork – 3mm bleed on the left and right sides and 3mm bleed on the top and bottom.
For example, if you’re suppling artwork for a graphic that is A4 in size (210mm x 297mm) you will need to supply artwork that is 216mm x 303mm.
Crop marks are related to bleed. They are simple hairline marks that indicate where you expect the final trim to be. As you can probably guess, if your file is set up with 3mm bleed, the crop mark will be inset 3mm from the edge of the artwork.
Crop marks are generally rendered a little bit away from the edge of the artwork to make sure none of the mark is visible on the final graphic once trimmed.
Inspiration is a word companies love to throw around to describe their businesses and brands, but guess what? Most businesses and brands are not inspired or inspiring. They live in functional worlds, providing functional benefits – competing on price, features and share of voice; never truly feeling confident about their decisions.
Ways Smart Companies Find Inspiration
Look beyond your company’s walls and learn from what has worked for others.
Smart companies obsess about their customers and deliver what matters.
At Panera the food is good and priced competitively, while the service is fast and friendly. But it’s the commitment to good-for-you foods—clean, simple, and healthy—that makes Panera an inspired brand.
They “thief and doctor” best practices both inside and outside their category.
We often ask the question of our clients, “If you were more like Disney or Uber or Zappos, what would you take from what they are doing to drive change in your organization?” The answers are always surprising. The best healthcare companies, for instance, aren’t just looking to the Mayo Clinic or Medi Clinic for inspiration. They are just as likely to be asking how they can provide amenities as luxurious as the Four Seasons, service as consistent as Nordstrom or experiences as magical as Disney. They understand that inspiration usually requires more than imitation. They infuse borrowed ideas with their own brand identity to create a distinctive offering or experiences.
They explore their own heritage.
Consumers crave authenticity, so brand history can offer an almost endless source of lessons. We often take clients out on what we call “brand safaris” to delve into the stories of companies such as Levi Strauss and Ford Motor Co. Studying how these great brands honor their heritage, yet still inspire customers today always sparks fresh thinking. Levi’s found its mojo again when the 529 was reinvented into the “hot skinny” jean, and Ford inspired all of us through fully reimagining its F-150. Don’t disregard the past for future inspiration simply because it’s in the past.
They think big and small.
Responding to large demographic changes is essential. If you don’t respect Gen Y’s demand to do everything on their phones, you won’t win. But it also means listening to the growing desire for personalization across every customer segment.
These sources of inspiration are critical for a brand’s long-term success. To stay relevant, companies must continue to innovate, creating new and valuable experiences for its customers. To do so, brands must step outside the functional and dare to be inspirational.
Let Media Alliance guide you with your branding and getting your name out there.
CUSTOM 3D PUFF EMBROIDERY CAPABILITIES & APPLICATIONS
3D puff embroidery is a surefire way to take a custom hat or sweatshirt to another level. The 3D nature of this design method makes your logo pop from the surface of the garment and elevates the overall quality of decoration. At Media Alliance we can apply your logo to a variety of custom apparel and headwear.
Custom 3D Puff Embroidery Options Include…
Applications for 3D Puff Embroidery…
Custom Golf Apparel & Accessories
Custom Logo Corporate Apparel & Uniforms
New Employee Gifts
Industrial Custom Workwear
When to use 3D Puff Embroidery as a Decoration Method
3D puff embroidery is not the easiest customization method. It has added steps in the process that make it more time consuming and expensive. However, those steps are taken for a reason. 3D puff embroidery is probably the right decoration method for you if…
You want your logo to pop – custom 3D embroidered logos have a dimensional depth to them. Being raised from the surface give makes your company logo stand out.
You want a design that lasts – 3D puff embroidery is extremely durable, even more so than regular embroidery. There’s no reason that a 3D embroidered logo or design shouldn’t last just as long as the hat or garment it’s embroidered on.
You want a higher quality look – hats and apparel decorated through 3D puff embroidery have a more stylish and sophisticated look to them. You can tell that the design was not made the cheapest way possible and no shortcuts were taken.
For more information & enquiries, please contact: Sales@mediaalliance.co.za
USB flash drives are great to use for storing digital files and are replacing CD's & DVDs as the preferred storage media of choice.
The advantages of flash drives, is that they are portable, durable, and have incredible storage capacity (ranges from 64MB to 256GB as of 2010). Furthermore, they are able to retain the memory even after the power is turned off. But does the memory last forever though? Should you use them to store important documents and files? How long do they last?
If you simply write data to a USB flash drive and put it away in a safe place for 10 years, it will work again and all the data will still be there.
But if you continue to use it over and over again, it will definitely wear out eventually.
USB Flash Drives Have Finite Number of Write/Erase Cycles
The life expectancy of a USB Flash Drive can be measured by the number of write or erase cycles. USB flash drives can withstand between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles, depending on the memory technology used.
When the limit is reached, some portions of the memory may not function properly, leading to loss of data and corruption.
Of course, the flash drive’s life can also end prematurely if you abuse it or subject it to extreme environmental conditions. Additionally, if low quality memory components are used, the flash drives can fail at a much earlier time.
Beware of unknown brands, as they may use low quality components and cut corners in the manufacturing processes in order to keep cost low. If you are looking for high quality usb flash drives, Media Alliance uses only grade A chipsets.
Caring for Your Flash Drive
To prolong the life of your flash drive and ensure that it operates properly for years to come, here are some precautions to follow:
When not using the flash drive, be sure to cover it with a cap to prevent the accumulation of dusts and contaminants on the contacts.
Do not expose your flash drive to harsh conditions, such as extreme temperatures and humidity.
Never yank the flash drive out of the USB port while it is still in operation. Also, you should “Eject” the drive before removing it from your computer.
Do not leave it plugged to the computer for prolonged period of time. If you do not use it, just unplug it from your computer.
For orders & enquiries, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s an important time for our planet’s health, and climate change – and corporate social responsibility as a whole – is at the forefront of discussion for decision-makers and executives.
Saving the planet and building your business: Both possible with eco-friendly branded products
This is a golden opportunity for you: eco-friendly promotional items are fun, effective and friendly to the small blue dot that is Earth. Here’s why:
They generate the right kind of buzz
We often talk about the ‘buzz’ a branded item makes, and eco-friendly merchandise is no exception. When you’re investing in branded goodies, you want them to be talked about for the right reasons.
This is where eco-friendly products really shine; the way in which they are produced is a talking point in itself, and the more people discuss and look at your products, the better. Easy.
They stand out
As always, standing out from the competition matters. Recycled promotional products are somewhat non-standard, and that’s only a good thing for a business that is about to hit a trade show filled with competing booths and stalls.
By using eco-friendly merch, you instantly cut out a portion of the competition in this respect. That’s a big advantage off the bat, and it translates into more business for you and your team.
They’re great for your own businesses’ Corporate Social Responsibiity.
CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – is important from within too! If your company wants to embody this subject and be seen as progressive in how they affect the environment, swapping to eco-friendly promotional items can be a great ‘quick win’ to show to the upper management.
Benefits for your business from inside and out – not bad at all!
We hope you’ve found this latest light blog helpful. Feel free to contact us is you have any enquiry: email@example.com
Small businesses may be forgiven for thinking that branding isn’t a concern for them. The truth is, it’s a deep and complex subject, but much of that complexity lies in the larger scale of things. Smaller businesses need it too, and their approach is much simpler and easier.
Here are a few considerations for getting it right. Branding your own business starts with a few common considerations, so let’s take a look. Before you know it, you’ll be picking through your choice of branded merchandise companies in South Africa and beyond.
It’s all about the audience
A brand is mainly the image you present to your audience. You can see where we’re going here: you need to know who and what they are before you can start to craft an image. Skip out this stage, and you’re liable to throw money into a pit – without getting the ROI you know you need.
This doesn’t mean you change the core of what you are; far from it. Instead, you simply understand the ‘lens’ the audience views you through, and you match your story to fit that.
Larger businesses will need to consider much more than smaller ones where branding is concerned. Branding your business as a start-up doesn’t involve as much as it does with larger establishments.
This is a great thing to keep in mind when starting off. Limiting the scope of your branding to the essentials, and relating that to your audience, is a more modest approach that will still bear fruit as your company grows. Everybody loves receiving branded merchandise.
Testing your newly minted branding is an important step, and you can get feedback on the cheap from friends and family that will help pick out what works and what doesn’t. This stage is important; you’re taking a guess in the dark at best without it.
If you have the time, consider a few subtle variations of story and focus that you can receive feedback on. More data is always better here, and it could save you a lot of time indeed.
Helpful hints from a friendly team
Three interesting points on branding your business. Great! If you’re interested in how we can help with our range of bespoke merchandise, drop us a mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ideas for Using Personalized, Custom Printed Ribbon.
Embellish Your Retail Packaging: Print a festive version of your logo onto a ribbon that you can tie it around your packages.
Enhance the Look of Your Merchandise Bags: Add a length of personalized ribbon to the handles of your store’s shopping bags for a custom touch.
Shipping Your Goods: Before sealing up your box for shipping, wrap your items in tissue paper and tie it off with a personalized ribbon. This small detail can make an otherwise humdrum package memorable.
Personalized Swag Bags: Add style and good cheer with festive personalized ribbon for your holiday party favors.
Window Displays: Spruce up your seasonal window displays with streamers of personalized ribbon.
Holiday Events: Whether tied around balloons, candles, or vases or woven down the centerpiece of your dinner table, a personalized ribbon adds a nice customized touch to any event.
Wrapping up a Package: For boutique clothing or gifts, a personalized ribbon is a great way to remind your customers where they found those gorgeous items (and help them spread the word!).
Cinch Up a Bag of Sweets: This trick is ideal for sweet shops or party favors. Simply load up a clear cellophane bag with your colorful holiday treats, then tie it up with a ribbon stamped with your customized message.
Holiday Gift Baskets: Whether you’re a retailer selling gift baskets or are simply creating fun treats for friends and family, adding a personalized ribbon to wrap up those baskets will make every gift memorable.
Handmade Cards: Stamp a lovely holiday message onto a series of ribbons, then attach them to white card stock for a beautiful and thoughtful Christmas card.
Small and medium-sized businesses really need to understand the importance of promotional and marketing strategies. Business promoting is an active process which needs to be very closely scrutinized for obtaining the best results. You can utilize the manpower that you have to the fullest and come up with strategies to promote your business and let it flourish.
Promotional strategies and marketing go hand in hand. Marketing your brand or product will include different aspects of manufacturing, promoting and selling products to the customers. Promotion is a key element in putting across the benefits of your product or service to the customers. Well-designed marketing and promotional strategies ensure long-term success, bring in more customers and ensure profitability for businesses.
Role of Promotions
Promotion is the voice of your company which send out your brand’s message loud and clear to the audience. Various media platforms can be used to promote your company and brand. They include television, radio, shopping outlets, billboards, magazines, and social media.
Various promotional strategies can be used to promote and market your business depending on the goals, objectives and priorities of your company.
Without marketing promotions, your brand or service would not be able to garner the attention of pre-occupied customers.
Promoting your brand will help you in many different ways:
Increase brand awareness
Provide appropriate information
Increase Customer Traffic
Build sales and profits
Not only these but promotions will also help your company to introduce products easily in the ever-so-competitive market.
1) Increasing brand awareness –
Promotions help in creating brand awareness. With the help of various media like the television, billboards, radio or local newspaper news, you can spread across information about your brand and company, which helps people to find out more about you and look into your products and make purchases.
2) Segment Identification –
If your promotional and marketing strategy is loosely structured, it might not be successful in targeting the “right” audiences. Having a full-proof and well-thought-out promotional strategy and marketing plan can help you identify different segments of consumers in the market and offer suitable solutions for your clients.
3) Increasing customer traffic –
Promotion also helps in increasing customer traffic. The more you promote your brand, the more will the customers know about you and your company and the more will they be interested in your products. Promotion can be done even by giving out free samples which work wonders for customers! They try your product and ultimately, come to you and make purchases.
A Webkey is a pretty cool use of technology. One Webkey merchant claims “well constructed and highly targeted” Webkey campaigns have achieved 85 percent ROI, and that the average response rate for a Webkey mailing averages from 10 to 30 percent.
What is a Webkey? It looks like a USB drive. They used the USB-A type port style and can be inserted into any other USB-A port connected to the internet. Once inserted into a web-ready computer, the Webkey takes take the user directly to the sender’s web address of choice – a new website, a YouTube video, social media link or even to a Google Doc or Dropbox link.
The stick has no memory or storage. It is designed for one task – taking a customer to a web address.
Examples include a Webkey that takes the client directly to a pizza chain online ordering page, and a campaign where the Webkey takes prospective students to a college’s online admissions community.
So yes, the possibilities are endless.
If there is no memory on the USB stick, you may wonder what the point is of giving a Webkey to your customer? Isn’t the point getting your information into customer hands?
First, as there is virtually NO memory involved, our Webkey’s are inexpensive. They can be made out of paper, plastic, PVC or metal and branded with your logo, contact information and photos. They can be inserted into a printed mailer your customers will recognize.
They are also popular to get your customers interacting with your website. They take customers directly to the page you want them on – your sales, your product listings, your contact page. It can be the same information you’d have on a preload – like your catalog – but which may be updated often. As long as the URL doesn’t change, the Webkey will take customers there. We put a five-year-old Webkey into a computer, and it still loaded directly to the Logotech.com site.
Ready to learn about how you can use a Webkey to attract new clients? Fill out a quick quote at the top of this page and your personal account manager can help you launch your new promotion campaign.
According to a definition given by the website all-recycling-facts.com, eco-friendly products are “products that do notharm the environmentwhether in their production, use or disposal”. In other words, these products help preserve the environment by significantlyreducing the pollutionthey could produce. Eco-friendly products can be made from scratch, or from recycled materials. This kind of product is easily recognizable as it is, in most cases, labelled as such.
Some people think that it requires lot of time, effort and money to make a home eco-friendly. The truth is that there are lot of eco-products that you can start using right now which can help you to reduce waste and make this planet a better place to live. Eco-products are also known asenvironment friendlyproducts or green products as they cause minimal harm to people and the environment.