Welcome to the PrintingCenterUSA Blog


Amber Gauthier

Amber Gauthier is the PrintingCenterUSA’s marketing and graphic design guru. Amber knows the importance that print marketing can make to a business and enjoys sharing her insight on everything from design tips to layout advice. She received her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Montana. She also holds a certificate in Digital Marketing. When she’s not at work, you can most likely find her enjoying her family at home and playing with her adorable puppy.
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Recent Posts

Beginner Tips for Starting a Calendar Project


Tue, Sep 25, 2018 @ 01:53 PM Amber Gauthier 5 Calendar Calendar Design Tips

Beginner Tips for Starting a Calendar Project

There are many reasons to create a calendar. You may be working on a fundraising project for your non-profit organization. Perhaps you want to showcase your photography and sell the calendars to make a little money.  So where do you begin?

josh roesener calendar cover and open calendar1. Choose Your Audience

Are you selling you custom calendars to the general public? Are you giving them as gifts to your best customers or the parents of your school? Once you have determined who your audience is, you can start to choose the types of pictures you want to include in your calendar. 

For example, The Highway 1 Project is an organization dedicated to raising money to improve Highway 1 in California and to protect parks along the Pacific Coastline. Their calendar features gorgeous scenic pictures. This entices people to purchase the calendars and it reminds them throughout the year that they supported a good cause.

2. Are You Going to Include Advertisements & Sponsors?Example of advertising within a custom fundraising calendar

This will be a factor when you are designing you calendar because you will need to include space for the "thank-you" page and for advertisements throughout the grids. To learn more about calendar fundraising, click here to download our free calendar fundraising guide.

The image to the right shows how the Knoxville Ice Bears Booster Club placed sponsor logos throughout their calendar on different dates in the monthly grids.

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3. Choose Your Photos

dog themed calendar with free downloadable grid

One great way to choose photos for your calendar is to first choose a theme. There are many themes to choose form, here are just a few to give you an idea:

  • Picture or collage of photos on the top of each month - for example, September in a school fundraising calendar could say, "Welcome Back to School" and show a photo of the football team.
  • Places or things that relate to your cause or organization.
  • Pictures of peoples' favorite animals.
  • Photos from previous events or trips.

The possibilities are endless! Just remember, your pictures need to be high resolution for them to print looking clear. If your images aren't at 300DPI (dots per inch), there is a chance that your images will appear pixelated when your project prints.

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4. Time to Design!

Free downloadable custom calendar templates & gridsAfter you have chosen your pictures it's time to start designing! You can design the calendar many different ways. Most calendars have one large, full-size image on the top half and the calendar grid on the bottom half. I have also seen calendars that have a collage of images or a single image with a nice background around it. The sky is the limit!

If you already have pictures and a project in mind it's time to get down to work and actually start designing. You can design a custom calendar using programs like Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator. If you don't want to start from scratch, check out our free templates to get you started. Using a pre-designed template will ensure that you have the correct size and will save you some time!

 

We also offer a free calendar online design tool. I love this tool because it makes it incredibly easy to put a calendar together. Just upload your pictures, drag and drop them into place and voila! A finished calendar design.

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Remember - 

To start designing a calendar you must first choose your audience. Decide what kind of pictures will appeal to them the most and design your calendar with your audience in mind.

When the time comes to put the calendar together either design online or use our free templates in a design software like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator.

If you are starting a calendar project and would like to speak with an expert, feel free to give us a call at 800-995-1555.

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Dino Coprolite 2019 Calendar - Case Study


Wed, Jul 11, 2018 @ 09:05 AM Amber Gauthier 0

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When David Freitag’s Dinosaur Coprolite 2019 Calendar came across my desk, I was immediately interested and had to call him to get more information on these dinosaur nugget calendars. David created his Coprolite Calendar because he didn’t have a calendar at the time. What he did have were hundreds of photos that were taken for his eBay Rock Store, which he started 5 years ago.

David’s Backstory

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David used to gold mine for over 15 years in Wyoming out in the desert. He wrote the story, “Wyoming’s Billion Dollar Nugget,” which was published by the California Mining Journal many years ago. “After we reclaimed our gold mining site, I was tired of gold and wanted to hunt fossils again,” says Freitag. In doing so, he found huge deposits of Dinosaur Coprolite along with Dinosaur Gizzard Stones and other dinosaur relics.

Calendar Printing

example2_560x760“After some time went by, I was sitting in my easy chair one night, just about to drift off, when I heard Rick from Pawn Stars on the TV. He said, ‘You know, in the 25 years since I’ve been a pawn broker, about the only thing I haven’t seen come across the counter is dinosaur poop.’” “Well,” thought Freitag, “I have 3 pallets out back with some of the finest dinosaur poo you can buy.” After doing a web search and contacting the show, 5 months later he was in Las Vegas filming his sale of Coprolite on Pawn Stars. Rick bought the piece featured on the 2019 calendar’s cover for $1,100! Shortly after being featured on the show, David heard a Jade collection was for sale and bought 6 pickup trucks full of the gemstone. He then began his rock store on eBay and it has grown very nicely.

Choosing the Print Shop

example1_560x760“I chose PrintingCenterUSA over the others because your front page says that you have been in business for 40 years. That sold me.” says David. He liked the price we offer over other online printing companies, as they are more reasonable prices. “The quality is great and I can say nothing but good things about your products.”

David now sells his calendars on his eBay Rock Store. He has since bought 3 more Jade Collections and is now the largest seller of Wyoming Nephrite / Jade on eBay worldwide! Freitag says, “I have had great interest in geology and rocks for over 40 years. Why will I keep doing it? Because Wyoming Rocks!”

Get Stared on Your Next Calendar!


Why You Should Create Custom Yearbooks


Fri, Dec 8, 2017 @ 10:53 AM Amber Gauthier 0

Why-You-Should-Create-Custom-Yearbook-Printing

Is your grade, junior high or high school thinking about printing custom yearbooks? PrintingCenterUSA is here to help with all your education printing needs. Whether you choose to upload your own design files or utilize our free templates, we make online yearbook printing easy and will deliver them to you quickly and at a reasonable price! Below are 4 reasons we think yearbook printing is important for any educational institution.

1. They Are a Great Public Relations Tool

Affordable yearbook printing exampleYearbook printing can be a great PR tool because they show off the personality of the school. If you’re looking to use your yearbook as a public relations tool, include the highlights of the opportunities offered, such as courses, clubs, athletics and facilities. This helps sell the community to potential businesses, students, and/or faculty. You can also include sponsors from local businesses and family members to help add a little profit to your bottom line.

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2. The Educational Experience

custom printed yearbook exampleDesigning school yearbooks can be a great learning experience for students interested in photography, journalism, graphic design, typography, and marketing. Educate your students by having them go out and take photos at sporting events, pep rallies, fundraisers, plays, and more! They can also interview fellow students to have quotes to go along with their pictures. From there, they can use those images and quotes to design their yearbook, which helps to expand their creative knowledge.

     Free Downloadable Templates

3. Serves as a Memory Book for Students

Class yearbooks are a wonderful way to tell the story of the school year. Include pictures, memorable quotes, projects or events that took place that year to help the memories live on forever. Later in life, when students look back at their yearbook, they will get to remember everyone who made an impact in their life.

Education Discount Program

4. They Are a Piece of History

elementary school custom printed yearbook

What better way to capture a piece of history than with school yearbook printing? They help to capture events, dates, scores, trends, news, facts and figures. They include accurate records of grades, names of students, faculty and staff. Show off the participants of sports teams, band, cheer, choir, clubs, and more! You may also want to add in information such as enrollments, sports statistics, events and news.


Affordable yearbook printing can help set your school apart while also serving as a keepsake for the students to look back on. Running late on your yearbooks? Order your last minute yearbooks online now! Help keep your students’ younger years alive for years to come by printing an online yearbook today!

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Every Door Direct Mail vs. Envelope Packs


Mon, Nov 20, 2017 @ 09:32 AM Amber Gauthier 0 printing online Every Door Direct Mail

Direct Mail Heavyweight Fight: Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) vs. Envelope Packs

The Every Door Direct Mail Program that the United States Postal Service® offers is the best program to come out of the postal service in decades. Continue reading to see why we think you should incorporate Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)® into your campaign instead of envelope packs. 

By working with us, you can print and mail your EDDM® campaign, all with a click of a mouse. We offer EDDM® templates and help you get the right message to your customers and stretch your marketing dollar. 

EDDM offers stand out - Envelope packs are sealed and have low visibility

example-housekeeper_303x438.pngIf you have an eye-catching design and/or an offer people can't resist, Every Door Direct Mail® is for you! By choosing EDDM® over envelope packs, you are ensuring that your marketing materials are getting reviewed. With envelope packs, in order for a potential customer to see your advertising, they must open the envelope and go through all the other offers as well. Here at PrintingCenterUSA, we have free downloadable templates to help ensure you have the correct format to help you jump start your next direct mail campaign.

     Downloadable EDDM Templates

 

EDDM offers mail individually - Envelope packs include dozens of offers from competitors

example-Real-Estate_478x338.pngOne of the goals for any marketing campaign is to stay a step ahead of your competitors. What's the point in having a direct mail campaign if your ads are going to be shown in the same envelope as your competitors? That's why we suggest EDDM® over envelope packs - it gives you a one-to-one connection with potential customers. They can read your mailing whenever they have time, keep it for future reference, and share it with other interested parties.

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EDDM tends to be looked at by all adults - Envelope packs are usually reviewed by 1 person

example-Dentist_478x338.pngIf mailings aren't addressed to a specific person in a household, the one who checked the mail will usually be the person to open that type of mailing. This is very inconvenient for envelope packs because chances are, only one person will see all the offers inside! By designing a large, high-quality EDDM® with special offers or coupons, there is a higher possibility of your marketing piece catching the eye of everyone in the household.

Request a Custom EDDM Quote

EDDM offers are large and demand more attention - Envelope packs have dozens of offers, all with the same size

USPS® offers a variety of sizes to choose from so there is a huge possibility that they will catch the attention of the recipient more than an envelope pack, which usually includes ads all with the same size. You can choose between large flat pieces, half fold, and even tri-fold pieces for as low as $0.156 a piece! This allows you to fit as little or as much information as you need, making EDDM® ideal for anything from a quick sales announcement to an in-depth product story. Include coupons, menus, event calendars, store maps and more to help bring customers to your door!

Winner by Knockout: Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)When it comes to sending out promotions and marketing pieces to a specific region or neighborhood, Every Door Direct Mail® is the service you're looking for! It is a popular way for business owners to take advantage of lower postal rates and fast delivery by using EDDM® to saturate neighborhoods. Head to our website today or give us a call at 800-995-1555 to get started on your next direct mail campaign!

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Promoting Your Business with Online Printing


Thu, Nov 9, 2017 @ 08:45 AM Amber Gauthier 0

Promoting Your Business with Online Printing

There are many ways businesses go about marketing their brand and printed materials are a great way to gain exposure. In this day and age, digital marketing seems to be taking over but printed marketing pieces are still a critical part of any marketing plan. Below we explain how some products we offer can play a key part in marketing your business.

Flyer Printing1. Flyers & Brochures

Whether your advertising your business, an upcoming event, a new product, or just want to let your customers know you're thinking about them, brochures and flyers are a definite must! If you’re promoting an event or product and don’t need all that much information on the marketing piece, flyers are ideal. Place your important information and an eye-catching image or graphic on your flyer to draw potential customers in.

Flyer Best Value
Size:   8.5 x 11"
Paper Stock:    100# Gloss or Matte Text
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)

 

Free Flyer Templates

 

Brochure Printing

While flyers are ideal for marketing pieces with minimal information, brochures are perfect for more informative pieces about your business, products, services and more. A quality printed brochure can tell the compelling story of your organization with pertinent graphics that will draw potential customers to your store, event or website.

Brochure Best Value
Size:   8.5 x 11"
Paper Stock:    100# Gloss or Matte Text
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)
Folding:   Tri-Fold | Half Fold | Z Fold

      

Free Brochure Templates

 

Postcard Printing

2. Postcards

If your business is trying to reach a wide audience without breaking your marketing budget, printing postcards can be an effective promotional platform. Postcards have relatively low production costs and are generally viewed positively by consumers. They can be put into customer’s shopping bags at checkout, handed out at conventions, placed on counter tops or in lobbies, and mailed to people on your mailing list. We even have mailing services that will send your postcards directly to the people on your mailing list, which decreases your postage costs and increases your deliverability rate! 

Postcard Best Value
Paper Stock:    12pt Gloss or Matte Cover | 14pt Gloss or Matte Cover
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/1 (color front, black back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)
Finish:   UV Coating

 

     Free Postcard Templates 

 

Business Card Printing

3. Business Cards

As you may know, business cards are extremely important for any business or business owner. Keep some on you at all times and you can pass them out to potential clients or sponsors you meet anywhere. Your business cards can also double as a loyalty program – for example, if they buy 10 cups of coffee, they get 1 free. This type of card is ideal for any boutique, coffee shop, or small business. By rewarding your loyal customers, it raises the chances of them coming back for more.

Business Card Best Value
Paper Stock:    12pt Gloss or Matte Cover | 14pt Gloss or Matte Cover
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/1 (color front, black back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)
Finish:   UV Coating

 

     Free Business Card Templates

 

Poster Printing4. Posters

Whether your promoting new products or a grand opening, posters are an important part of marketing your business. Pairing large-format posters with a bold design and placing them in your window or on a standing poster board on the sidewalk can draw attention to your store, making strangers more likely to step inside.

Poster Best Value
Paper Stock:    100# Gloss or Matte Text | 80# Gloss or Matte Cover
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)

 

     Free Poster Templates

 

5. Custom Envelopes & Letterheads

Letterhead and Envelope PrintingIf you tend to mail a lot of invoices or letters to customers, custom letterhead and envelope printing is something you should take advantage of. By personalizing your letterhead and envelope (by adding your logo, business name or a striking design), it gives your business some level of credibility and professionalism, making customers more likely to continue business with you.

Letterhead Best Value
Size:   8.5 x 11"
Paper Stock:    70# Uncoated Text | 70# Linen Text
Ink Color:   4/4 (color front & back) | 4/0 (color front, no printing on back)

 

Envelope Best Value
Paper Stock:    24# White Wove or Peel & Seal
Ink Color:   Full Color 1 Side

 

     Free Letterhead Templates

     Free Envelope Templates

 

Now that we’ve covered the most important print marketing materials for your business, we hope that you head over to our website to get started on your next marketing project. We have free blank template downloads that can be used in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and a PDF for other programs. If you need your items printed quickly, there are quick turnaround times available. If you are a small business owner or have a big event coming up, you should consider all of the services we have to offer in order to meet your marketing goals.

 

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