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Aspire to Go Higher: Using a Theme to Set Your Coloring Book Apart

Thu, Jun 22, 2017 @ 07:52 AM Emily Hendrickson 0

With the coloring book trend at an all-time high, what can you do to make your coloring book stand apart from the rest? The answer: Pick a theme that resonates with your audience. I spoke with Rhonda Mincey to learn more about her coloring book: Aspire to Go Higher.

Inside pages of "aspire to go higher" coloring book

Rhonda is the owner of GREAT Success books, a division of the RG Mincey Group, LLC. She told me, “Our focus is to write books that encourage and inspire our readers. We consist of a husband-wife team and have authored books for teens, “A Girl’s Guide to Being Great”, and “A Guy’s Guide to Being Great”.

With these previous successes under their belt, Rhonda wanted to continue with the trend of producing positive content. She wanted to offer girls an escape from growing up too fast and a coloring book seemed like an ideal way to do that.

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She specifically wanted to produce a book that would help them “de-stress their minds, express their creativity and profess positive thoughts”. 

Partially colored example of the coloring book vs. black and white page

She initially planned on creating each page herself but after some trial and error she decided that it would be faster to achieve her vision by hiring a professional graphic designer. She ended up utilizing the services of three designers, two to work on the artwork for the inside pages and one to design the cover. This was a bit of a challenge because she had to find people who could capture the look and feel of what she wanted. I was surprised to hear this because the overall look of the coloring book is very cohesive. I think the reason it all came together so well was because Rhonda drafted each page and worked very closely with the designers to achieve her vision.

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Rhonda found us through an online search and ultimately decided to print with us because she thought that our customer service was superb. She felt like we truly cared about her project and that we wanted to get it done right. Her advice for anyone with a print project is to do your research and get a sample (also known as a hardcopy proof) to ensure that the project is exactly what you want. When she received her hardcopy proof she said that it was “absolutely beautiful with vivid colors [on the covers]”.

The front and back cover of the Aspire to Go Higher coloring book

By sticking to a theme, Rhonda created a coloring book that stands out and resonates with her audience. We have printed coloring books with themes on nutrition, nature and even cats! There are no limitations to the different opportunities for coloring books right now. Rhonda chose to produce an uplifting coloring book designed to uplift and encourage young women, what will your coloring book promote?

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Ocean View Football Programs: Case Study

Mon, Jun 12, 2017 @ 04:59 PM Emily Hendrickson 0

Jeff Meyer, an amateur photographer with two sons participating in their high school’s football program, was volunteered by his wife when she found out they needed a new photographer and designer for the football program. Surprised to be chosen, but excited to help, Jeff started researching what he would need to put the programs together.

Ocean View's football program printing 2016The Design

Jeff initially wanted to use an online design tool to put the program together and the tool we have on our website caught his attention. While we do have a free online design tool and free design templates to help you get started, our customers are not required to use them. Jeff was already using Adobe Photoshop to edit his images and after testing several online design tools, he determined that they didn’t have as much flexibility as Photoshop. Since we do accept custom made files he ended up using Photoshop to design the program. 

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The Final Product

When designing the program, Jeff included several things that made the program look very professional. He included vital elements such as the upcoming game schedule, a welcome message, team and individual player photos, advertisements from local businesses and the school song. Personally, my favorite pages in the football program are the “Football 101” pages, which showed images of what the referee hand signals mean. Since they are a smaller school and don’t have a loudspeaker in their stadium, these pages help parents and fans understand what is happening on the field (which is definitely a plus if they are like me and don’t know a thing about football).  "Football 101" football program printing pages

Choosing the Print Shop

case-study_final---.pngOne of the biggest concerns small schools typically have when purchasing sports programs is the price. The reason they decided to order with PrintingCenterUSA is that we have the lowest price for what they were producing. They may not make much of a profit from selling their sports programs for only $6, but they continue to produce the programs for two main reasons. The first is that the fans like the quality and the information that the program provides. The second (and in my opinion more important reason) is that the programs serve as a memory book for the students. Since there are often several pages dedicated to the seniors, it serves as a keepsake of their high school days.

Tips & Advice

Inside football program pages with coaches and team photoBefore you start designing your program, Jeff advises having a written plan for the photography schedule. He said that as an amateur photographer, he had to learn a lot on his own and the biggest thing that made a difference was having a game plan. He plans the order that the photos will be taken (for example, group photos first, then individual pictures, then coach pictures last). He also brings helpers along who help get people organized during the photoshoot. He said that high schoolers get bored quickly, so it’s important to keep them engaged.

Sports Program Design Tips

With a written plan and some Photoshop skills, you too can create a professional program for your next sporting event. Be sure to include important information that the fans care about, and highlight the students. After all, we know that high school doesn’t last forever and a keepsake like this will be cherished for years to come.

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Getting Started with Sports Program Printing

Wed, Jun 7, 2017 @ 10:09 AM Craig Barber 0

"Getting Started with Sports Program Printing" Header with examples covers

Sports programs are essential for any sporting event. Often, teams will do a season program with possible inserts for team rosters and other individual information. Since our sports careers don’t last forever, high school and college game day programs as souvenirs will keep the memories alive for years to come.

The key to creating a successful sports program is to think like a fan – what would they want to know? It’s easy to fill with information that an organizer wants attendees to know, but this may not always be relevant to fans. When sports fans attend a game, they often don’t just want to watch it – they want to become involved. Here's what you need to keep in mind when designing your sports program.

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Use High-Resolution Photos

High resolution vs. low resolution imageFans, parents and family want to see pictures and they don’t necessarily want their program to be crowded with text. Keep it short and sweet, with relevant information about the game or team.

A good resolution for photos in your program is 300 dpi. While most images displayed on a computer screen have a resolution of 72 dpi and 96 dpi and may look good on your monitor, anything below 300 dpi will print pixelated.

Ideas & Examples

Important, Relevant Pages

We don’t want you to miss any important game information in your sports program, so we came up with a list of important pages you want to be sure to add. If you need help getting started with your design, we offer free templates and a free online design tool to help you out!Example of relevant sports program pages showing team photos and action pictures

  • Table of Contents
  • Schedule of Upcoming Games
  • Nightly Promotions
  • Varsity/Junior Varsity Team Photos
  • Full Roster (individual players with name, picture, number and position)
  • Meet the Manager/Coach/Coaching Staff
    • Photos and a letter from each
  • "Meet the Seniors" Page
  • Booster Club, Cheerleading and Mascot Information
  • Action pictures (from previous games, practices and pep rallies)
  • Information Pages
  • Thank You Page
  • List of Advertisers

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Filler Pages

If you have empty pages throughout and aren’t sure what to fill them with, using filler pages is a great option! Filler pages can contain any relevant information, school records, rules for the game, statistics, previous game scores and an autograph page. Ocean View added the "Football 101" pages shown below to let fans know what's going on on the field. Click here to read the full case study.

Filler pages with "Football 101," explaining the calls of the game

Local Advertising

Example advertising pagesAsking for sponsors can be an easy way to get involved in the community and for the community to give back to its schools and sports organizations. When a local business donates to your program, they are not only helping you, but they are utilizing cheap advertising and brand awareness. You can even ask the parents and families if they'd like to recognize their athlete with a personal program ad! Though you should absolutely consider using the team or players for physical fundraisers like a car wash, not contacting families and local businesses means missing out on community involvement and a lot of free money for your team.

If you touch on all these points, we are sure your sports program printing will be a success! Whether you designing a program for football, baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis, wrestling, swimming, volleyball, cheerleading, track & field, or more, we can handle your printing needs. Just head to our website or give us a call at 800-995-1555 to get started!


Booklet Printing Supports Early Childhood Development

Thu, Jun 1, 2017 @ 02:19 PM Amber Gauthier 0

Dr. Anne Meeker is a children's book publisher and early childhood consultant who continues to take advantage of our short run printing and custom size options to create adorable children’s books, which she uses to support early learning and kindergarten readiness.

Anne's "Bright Light" and "Letter Blues" book coversAnne says it all started when she retired as a music therapy consultant for a large school system in the Kansas City area, where she piloted a program to support early learning in a variety of creative and engaging ways for young children, including picture books, music videos, play activities, and songs. She wanted to further develop this program and make it available to everyone so she created SING.PLAY.LOVE., an organization dedicated to expanding this educational program.

When getting started there were some complications. Most publishers want a minimum order for each book, but Anne wanted to test the waters with some samples first. “We printed a few and made significant changes to the books on the basis of focus group data. We ended up throwing out two illustrated books completely, and started over with new illustrators,” says Anne. Since we offer quantities of 10 and more here at PrintingCenterUSA, printing with us seemed like a logical and cost-effective way to produce further test copies.   

"Bee-ing Me" Book mockup     A look inside "Bright Light"

Anne was sold after our first book together. “Your colors are so vibrant, I love the feel of the paper in my hands, and your prices are competitive with other online publishers. I also like that we have relationships with people we interface with on the books.” While we publish the books, Anne works with several people to design and create them. She has illustrators who do the drawings and she has an art director who places the art and adds text. Her advice when working on the design is to have lots of eyes on your final product before it goes to press. “When you look at a project for weeks, you lose the ability to see the mistakes,” she says.

SING.PLAY.LOVE. has several more upcoming projects including books called “Old House” and “The Ballad of Humpty Dumpty.” “Old House” is the “baby” of their newest illustrator, and Anne is in love with her work, as well as the amazing art of all her talented illustrators. She says it’s important to use different illustrators so the children can experience different styles of illustration as well as different styles of music.

Since PrintingCenterUSA offers custom sizes, we are also able to produce the smaller versions of the booklets, which are the perfect size for a child’s hand. “Once the children have been given enough opportunities to see the illustrations and hear the song, children typically can “read” the book independently.”Image and sneak peek into "Shoo, Fly!"

Not only does she love the look and feel of the products we produce, but we are just the right fit for Anne’s projects by offering short run digital printing for smaller quantities and custom sizes. SING.PLAY.LOVE helps promote early childhood learning and development and we are proud to be a part of the process.

Learn more about SING.PLAY.LOVE by visiting their site: https://www.singplaylove.com/ 

4 Ways to Have an Impact with Rack Card Printing

Wed, May 24, 2017 @ 04:52 PM Craig Barber 0


Rack card printing a central marketing piece for many industries. The right rack card will put quality information in the hands of your customers and will dramatically increase your direct marketing effectiveness. Do you want to increase your response rates? Try these tips to maximize your message potential!

 -1- Create an Eye-Catching Design

rack-card_pretty-cover_255x400.pngThe front cover’s image greatly impacts your response rates. Your rack cards need to grab your customers’ attention and direct them to your door or website.  Quality full-color rack card printing helps you stand out against the sea of other advertisements. Clean, crisp, and clear images help you to make a professional first impression.

Ideas & Examples 

-2- Market Your Brand

Consistently and repetitively using your brand’s visual images and colors helps you raise brand awareness. By using your logo, brand colors and tagline, people can better identify your business.  If you're not sure where to start, we have an online design tool that has many different templates for you to choose from.

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-3- Pinpoint Your Marketing

rack-card_target-market_600x400.jpgFocus on your target audience and select images and content based on their interests. By hand selecting images, you attract a specific group of people. Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal customers – what would they want to see? Where do they go? What do they do for fun?

-4- Include the Essential Details

nonprofit-rackcard_255x400.pngBe sure to include the main selling point, discount offers, your location, contact information, and website so your customers know how to reach you. Give accurate and easy to follow directions and if you use a map, make sure it’s easy to read and follow for people that do not know your city. Lastly, be sure to check for any spelling errors so you don’t look unprofessional!

Maximizing Your Rack Card Success

Find appropriate places to distribute your cards. Display them at your business and ask local businesses, vendors, and businesses that you don’t compete if you can leave a stack in their lobbies.

Now that you know what steps to take to ensure you have the greatest rack card printing success, go online now and get started! We have many tools for you to use, including an online design tool and free templates, or call us at 800.995.1555 to order today.

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