Here’s What to Look For When Hiring a Graphic Designer

Hiring a graphic designer is a huge decision. Whether it’s a simple project like creating a business card or a more complex job like rebranding your company, the designer you choose can make or break your project. Graphic designers are artists, and when you need one, it definitely isn’t a good time to go bargain shopping.

Here are a few qualities to look for when trying to find the right graphic designer.

Things to Look for When Hiring a Graphic Designer

  • Real-World Experience. A solid portfolio is a must-have for any good graphic designer, but it’s not a substitute for real-world experience. As about how certain designs were created and how the designer interacted directly with the client. Ask questions like how long the project took, how many revisions were required, if the job came in within budget, etc. An experienced designer will be able to show you attractive designs and detail how they created those designs under realistic conditions.
  • While you shouldn’t base your decision solely on a graphic designer’s portfolio, a strong portfolio is still important. A portfolio allows you to assess the designer’s skills and determine whether their style matches your needs.
  • Most graphic designers are well-rounded professionals who are capable of tackling just about any type of project, but it pays to choose someone who is an expert on exactly what you need. When you hire a specialist rather than a generalist, you’re more likely to get the incredible quality you’re looking for.
  • Passion and Vision. Choose a designer who loves their job and shares your vision. While your designer needs to be willing to work to help you achieve your vision, it’s important that they have the drive to take your basic idea and turn it into something amazing.
  • An Inquisitive Nature. Look for someone who is curious not only about the specifics of your project but also your business, organization, etc. Your design will turn out much better if it’s created by someone who truly cares about what makes you and your business/organization unique.

Hiring a Graphic Designer in Denver

If you’re thinking about hiring a graphic designer in Denver, we can help! We have expert designers who can create everything from letterheads and business cards to mailers, flyers, banners and much more. We’re passionate about what we do, and we’d love to help you with your next design project!

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Can Printed Snapcodes Help Your Business?

Snapchat Snapcodes are perfect to be printed on your marketing material!

Despite what you may have heard, print definitely is not dead. In fact, it’s actually making a huge comeback, and it’s an invaluable tool for building and strengthening your digital presence. Print will always hold a place in successful marketing strategies, and more and more savvy businesses are finding ways to use it to link their digital marketing efforts.

One way that business owners are using print marketing materials to strengthen their online presence is through the use of Snapchat Snapcodes.

Marketing with Printed Snapchat Snapcodes

Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network. With an estimated 200 million monthly active users and 100 million daily active users, the popular app offers unique marketing opportunities for businesses.

Snapchat Snapcodes Business Cards

Business Cards are a great place to place your printed Snapchat Snapcodes

Snapcodes are one of the unique features of Snapchat. These codes, which are similar to QR codes, allow users to link their profiles or even websites. Users just have to snap a photo of the code, and they’re redirected accordingly.

These simply little codes provide a unique opportunity for businesses to connect their print marketing efforts with their digital marketing strategies. Snapcodes can be printed on just about anything – business cards, postcards, flyers, you name it. If you can print on it, you can add your Snapcode to it. Some businesses, like Taco Bell, are even adding Snapcodes to their receipts. All customers have to do is take a picture of the code, and they’ll be linked to the Taco Bell Snapchat account where they can view photos, videos and other media from the fast food giant. Any restaurant print marketing plan can take advantage of this print marketing strategy.

As Snapchat continues to grow and the app adds additional support and features to Snapcodes, the social media powerhouse will likely become an even greater marketing opportunity for business owners. At The Print Connection, we can help you grow your online presence by adding your Snapcodes to your printed marketing materials. Contact us today to learn more!

Snapcode

You can see the Seattle Mariners broadcasting their snapcode to the Safeco Field!

20 Free Holiday Printables

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with all the shopping, parties and planning, it seems like there’s an endless list of things that need to be done. At this time of year, you might not give much thought to the printer sitting on your desk, but it could ease some of your holiday stress by saving you a few trips to the store.

Whether you’re in need of gift tags, cards or even small gift boxes and decorations, your printer can do the job!

As a special thank you for choosing The Print Connection throughout the year, we’ve put together this handy collection of DIY printable templates for your holiday needs. Simply click the “Source” link below each image to visit the page and download your printable.

Of course, we’re always here for your printing needs, and we can help with virtually any project if you’d rather not take the do-it-yourself approach. For your holiday printing needs, contact The Print Connection today!

Gift Tags

Why pay for boring tags and labels when you can print your own for a more unique touch? Check out these tags from Yellow Bliss Road:

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…Or these beauties from Sarah Titus. Check out her easy DIY gift idea too!

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Or these…denver local print shop

Source

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Boxes and Bags

With a printer and some cardstock, you can print and assemble your own boxes and bags for small gifts. Check out these printable boxes:

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Decorations

Deck the halls with these festive decorations you can print at home!

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For the Kids

The holiday season is a great time for crafts and games for the kids. Check out these templates for wishlists for Santa, fun holiday games, kids’ crafts and more.

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Holiday Planning

Planning the perfect holiday season takes a lot of work! Check out these printables to make the process a bit easier.

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From all of us at The Print Connection, we’d like to wish you a safe and happy holiday season. We hope you enjoy these free printables, and if you’re in need of professional printing services, we encourage you to contact us today!

Corporate Christmas Cards: Make a BIG Impression

How to Make a Big Impression with Creative Corporate Christmas Cards

The holiday season is fast approaching, and there’s no better time of the year to connect with your customers. With the right holiday card, you can set your business apart from the competition and create an impression that will last the entire year.

While digital cards have become increasingly popular in recent years, there’s still a lot to be said for opening your mailbox and finding a physical card. Instead of sending out a generic card, why not design a unique, personalized Christmas card to send out to your customers?

Here are a few tips for creating unique corporate Christmas cards for your business.

Designing Creative Holiday Cards for Business

Anyone can go to the store, pick up a box of cards, and mail them out to customers, but where’s the personal touch? Sure, adding a handwritten note is great, but if you really want to stand out this holiday season, you need a card that’s uniquely your own. Fortunately, with a little creativity, designing a unique holiday card is easier than you may think.

  • Make it personal. Personal touches are often perceived as the difference between junk mail and real correspondence. At the very least, you need to address your recipient by name and have your business and logo printed on your card. Time permitting, a handwritten note is an excellent addition as well.Check out the subtle use of logo in these cards designed by Jen Quinn for audioEngine:

    Denver Card Printing

    Want to make your cards even more personal? Add a photo! Photo cards are popular among families, but they’re also great for adding that personal touch to corporate holiday cards. Whether you opt for a traditional posed holiday photo or something with a bit more personality, photos help customers form stronger connections with businesses.

  • Think about what makes your business unique. The best card is one that relates to your business. If you’re a hair stylist, for example, you may want to design a card around the idea of “trimming” the tree while restaurant owners may want to go with an “Eat, Drink and Be Merry” theme for their Christmas These cards by Eliza Woo featuring tools and construction equipment in the shape of a tree would be perfect for contractors and builders.

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  • Reflect your brand. Do you have a strong brand that makes use of certain colors, logos and/or designs? If so, design your card around those elements. A card featuring your logo or a color scheme that’s uniquely your own is instantly identifiable and makes a strong impression.
  • Make it interactive. Holiday cards don’t have to be limited to a folded piece of cardstock with a message and image on the front and a message inside. Add interactive elements like pop-ups or even a dot-to-dot that needs to be completed to reveal the image. The longer the recipient spends interacting with your card, the more likely they are to remember it! You could even design a card that could be folded up and used as an origami ornament, like these from designer Ying Chang.

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These DIY cards from manolab are another example of an interactive holiday card. This card would be perfect for a craft or knitting store.

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  • Use premium materials. The holiday season isn’t the time to skimp on quality. If you want to make a great impression, have your cards printed on quality stock that looks great and will feel nice in your recipient’s hands.
  • Play with dimension. Why send a flat card like everyone else when you can send a card that folds into a unique three-dimensional decoration? Add your company’s logo to the back, and cards like these 3D Christmas trees by NSG – will serve as a reminder of your business throughout the holiday season!
  • Work with a professional graphic designer. Whether you have no idea where to begin on your Christmas card design or you have a rough idea that needs some help, working with a professional graphic designer is the best way to ensure an amazing finished product. At The Print Connection, our graphic designers are here to help you design the perfect corporate holiday cards for your business.

 

This year, let us help you design business Christmas cards that will make a huge impression. The winter holidays are fast approaching, and time is running out to finalize your holiday marketing plans. Call 303-779-1420 to get started!

The Importance of Branding

The Importance of Branding

Your brand is so much more than just your logo. From your website to the way you answer the phone and how your employees interact with customers, your brand is the way your customer perceives you. Unfortunately, many small businesses neglect to give brand development the attention it deserves.

Strong branding enhances every aspect of your business!

Strong branding enhances every aspect of your business!

Your brand is a crucial component of your marketing strategy, and a strong brand is invaluable. There are just examples of the importance of branding.

Why Branding Is Important

A good brand is easily recognizable, helps form an emotional connection and creates user loyalty. It should impact your business in several positive ways and help you encourage how people perceive your company. A good brand also…

  • Improves recognition. While not the only aspect of your brand, your logo is one of the major components. Your logo is the “face” of your company, and it needs to be simple enough to be memorable but powerful enough to form a strong impression.
  • Supports advertising. Your advertising medium(s) and targeted demographics are all a part of your brand. A strong brand provides focus without preventing you from expanding. It also makes your advertising efforts recognizable as your own.
  • Creates trust. Appearing professional builds trust and credibility among consumers. People are more likely to purchase from or hire a company that seems polished and well managed. A strong brand makes your business appear more legitimate.
  • Generates new customers. Branding makes it possible for your business to earn customers through referrals. When you have a strong, memorable brand, your current customers can share it with potential leads.

Strengthening Your Brand with the Right Marketing Materials

The right marketing materials are a huge part of strengthening and promoting your

brand. From custom stationary, cards and signs to vinyl decals, there are countless ways to brand your business, and if you aren’t taking advantage of them, you’re missing out.

At The Print Connection, we understand the importance of branding, and we’re here to help you strengthen your brand. We offer high-quality print services in Denver and the surrounding areas, and we can help you with the materials you need for your branding, marketing and advertising efforts. To learn more, contact us today by calling 303-779-1420.

How To Design & Print a Menu

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Print a visually appealing, profit maximizing menu!

Successful restaurant owners know that designing and printing a menu involves a lot more than choosing the perfect pictures of their signature dishes. Restaurateurs understand just how to craft their menus to maximize profits.

If you’re wondering how to design a menu, you’re in the right place! Check out these tips, and you’ll never look at a menu the same way again.

How to Design a Menu

Make Sure All Menu Items are Visible at Once

If you menu is larger than trifold, it’s probably too big. Menus that span several pages can be overwhelming, and guests may find it difficult to process. When this happens, they could end up ordering something they don’t really want and ultimately be unsatisfied with their dining experience.

Create a Balanced Menu

When designing a menu, balance is extremely important, and a balanced menu is more important than a huge menu that is overflowing with options. As a general rule of thumb, it’s good to offer 10 appetizers, 10 main dishes and six desserts. Be sure to include at least one vegetarian entrée and appetizer.

Understand Where People Look

When you have a two-page menu, most guests will first look just about the center on the right page. Then, they’ll generally look at the first and last options on the list.

You have two choices: You can put your dishes with the highest profit margins in these areas or you can reserve these areas for your best and most delicious meals. If your best dishes and the dishes with the highest profit margins are the same, you’re golden!

Be Smart When Listing Prices

There are a few subtle things you can do to prevent your guests from spending as little as possible. First, leave off the dollar sign. A study conducted by the Culinary Institute of America showed that diners tend to choose cheaper options when there is a dollar sign.

Second, don’t list all the prices in a column. Doing so subconsciously encourages diners to price shop. List prices three spaces from the last letter of the menu description. Don’t use any dots or dashes.

Go Easy on the Capitalization

It’s fine to capitalize the dish name, but you should use lower-case letters for your descriptions. Lower-case slows the reader’s eyes down and prevents them from glossing over the entire menu in just a few seconds.

Maximize Your Dessert Profits

To keep your guests happy, your dessert menu should always include the five C’s: coffee, chocolate, caramel, cheesecake and citrus. Don’t list your desserts on the main menu. When diners see appealing desserts at the beginning of the meal, they’re less likely to purchase an appetizer. Surprise your guests with a separate dessert menu at the end of their meal to maximize your profits for both desserts and appetizers.

Professional Menu Printing in Denver

Still not sure how to design a menu? Let The Print Connection help with your Denver Printing needs!. We can help you with the entire project from design to final completion. For help with your menu and other restaurant marketing materials, call The Print Connection now at 303-779-1420

Color Psychology in Print Marketing

Since the beginning of time, various colors have elicited various emotion responses. From a marketing standpoint, color is a powerful tool that can actually change potential customers’ moods and perceptions. Designers and advertisers are well aware of the power of colors, but using it successfully can be a challenge.denver printing services

Understanding Color Psychology in Print Marketing

In marketing, color is a cue that helps your audience see exactly what you want them to see and feel what you want them to feel. In turn, excellent use of color can help you encourage your audience to do what you want them to do, whether that means purchasing a product, calling you to schedule a service or even just subscribing to your newsletter.

Colors have distinct emotional meanings. Red, for example, represents love and power. It can also have negative associations like danger or anger. Blue, on the other hand, may signify tranquility or masculinity. The emotional impact of various colors can be used as part of a successful marketing campaign.

In short, good use of color can change your entire message. On the flip side, though, choosing poor colors could change the perceived meaning of your materials or even result in even the most amazing call to action being ignored.

It is essential that you choose the right colors when designing marketing materials for print. Unlike digital design, changing the color of paper does not happen with the click of a mouse!

Types of Colors

There are countless colors in a never-ending array of shades, tones and tints. Generally speaking, though, there are certain colors and types of colors that are used most frequently.

Warm, Bright Colors

Warm, bright colors, like red, pink, orange, yellow and beige, are eye-catching and often portray energy or courage. They make objects appear larger and closer. Because they are highly visible, they can be overpowering, especially when used together. They are best used among more subdued colors.

Cold, Bright Colors

Cold, bright colors, including silver, lavender and azure, convey a sense of modernity and professionalism, especially when used harmoniously with gray. These colors are ideal for businesses and commerce websites.

Warm, Dark Colors

Purple, brown and gold are classed as warm, dark colors. They express tradition, relaxation and luxury. These colors work well in elegant designs, and when mixed with cold colors, the can present an impression of modernity. These colors are well-suited to brands involved in craft, finance and consulting.

Cold, Dark Colors

Cold, dark colors, like blue, green, turquoise and violet, convey feelings of quality and stability. They’re commonly used on business websites as accompanying colors.

Neutral Colors

White, grey and black are neutral colors that can be used to create contrast and bring out other colors used in your materials. On their own, they don’t convey any particular message, but when used with other colors, they become powerful complements.

Applying Color to Your Print Marketing Materials

There is no right or wrong color set for print marketing materials. When applying color to your print marketing materials, the most important aspect is considering how the colors
work together and the emotional messages they convey.

The colors you use in your marketing materials are just as important as your content and call of action, but their impact is often overlooked. If you need help coming up with the perfect color scheme for your marketing materials, The Print Connection can help. For all of your Denver printing needs, call 303-779-1420.

Know Before You Print!

For most people, the concept of printing is relatively straightforward. But here at The Print Connection, your Denver Printing Company, we know there is so much more to it than that. Print Services Denver

Here is the short and sweet version of what you should know BEFORE
you send your project to the printer.  Follow these simple steps to save, time, money, and headaches.

  1. Medium: Your medium is the type pf paper or materials you are printing on. Make sure you know exactly what you’re printing on. We always recommend speaking to someone on the phone about your printing project needs. This helps eliminate otherwise hidden issues such as the paper being see-through and your project is double sided, or the stock is flimsier than you expected, or to make the right choice between glossy or matte. Some ink colors change on certain mediums too.
  2. Size: know the exact size of your print project so that you can make your design accordingly. This may seem intuitive, but again things can get tricky. Be sure to ask your printer bleed they recommend. Bleed is a printing term that refers to printing that goes beyond the edge of the sheet before trimming. In other words, the bleed is the area to be trimmed off. It is imperative you design your project with a certain amount of extra space around the edges so that it can be trimmed off accordingly and not interfere with your design. Bleed is typically ¼-1/8 inch.
  3. Design Specs: Make sure you know the correct ppi (pixels per inch) for your specific project. Usually a Print Project needs to be 300 ppi minimum. In addition, make sure the project is in CMYK color not RGB. You will also need to make sure it’s in the correct format (usually JPEG or PDF)

As you can see, it is so worth it to talk with your printer and ask the right questions  before starting a printing project. For the highest level of personalized service, contact the Print Connection in Denver for all of you Denver Printing Services at 303-779-1420

Print Your Own Thank You Cards

There simply is no better way to express gratitude than with a thank you card. While generic thank you cards are available virtually anywhere, a personalized thank you card takes your expression of gratitude to another level.Printing Thank You Cards

No good deed should ever go unnoticed. From showing your appreciation for a large gift to recognizing someone for a small gesture of kindness, a thank you card is always well received.

Instead of heading to the store, save yourself some time and money by printing your own thank you cards.

Printing Your Own Thank You Cards

For individuals and small business owners, printing your own thank you cards is a cost-effective way of expressing gratitude, and you don’t need any special skills or equipment. Printable thank you card designs are available from numerous online sources, and many are free of charge.

To make your thank you more personal, add a customized message rather than a generic “thank you for the gift.”

Struggling to find the right words? Something as simple as personalizing a standard message with the recipient’s name or thanking them for the specific gift or action makes a generic thank you more meaningful.

If you’re feeling creative, you could also design your own thank you cards and notes from scratch using a word processor or image editing software. With some basic skills and a little practice, you can create cards that rival those found in stores.

Personalized Thank You Cards for Businesses

Personalized thank you cards for businesses are valuable tools for building relationships with customers. They are an excellent way to show your customers that they are important to you.

For larger businesses, printing your own thank you cards may be impractical. In these instances, it is wise to see out the assistance of a professional printing company.

If you need help with graphic design for thank you cards or you are looking for a Denver printer that you can rely on for high-quality cards, look no further than The Print Connection.

Top 5 Reasons To Use Professional Graphic Design

“Why bother working with a professional graphic designer when I can make my own logo (business cards, letterhead, etc.) on my computer for free?”

If you own a business, especially one with a limited marketing and advertising budget, Professional Graphic Designyou’ve probably asked yourself this question a time or two. Maybe you’ve even decided to go ahead and design and print your own marketing materials because you can’t see how hiring a pro is worth the investment. Or maybe you just aren’t quite sure what you want to do yet and you’re still weighing the pros and cons of hiring a professional designer.

No matter where you are in this process, listen:

You need professional graphic design.

Why? Well, for starters, creating the perfect logo and marketing materials is an art form. Sure, anyone can sit down at their computer, pull up some image editing software and create a logo. Whether that logo is something that will reflect positively on your business, though, is another story.

Graphic design is about more than just sharing your company information and looking pretty. Here are just a few of the reasons why getting the job done right requires the help of a professional graphic designer.

1. Brand Development and Recognition

First and foremost, your logo develops your company’s brand and makes it recognizable. A good business logo is one that creates a strong impression and sticks in viewers’ brains. Think about the Golden Arches. You can see them from a mile away and know exactly what they stand for and maybe even start craving some fries long before you pull in the parking lot. A strong logo does just that. It creates a memorable impression and causes viewers to associate it with your brand and the products or services you answer. A poor logo, on the other hand, simply doesn’t create nearly the same level of awareness and recognition.

2. Consumer Confidence

We try not to judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we all do it. Looks make a difference in many areas of our lives, including business. A logo that makes your business appear competent, confident and professional can attract considerably more customers than one that is sloppy or unprofessional. Your logo and marketing materials reflect on your business, so if confidence is not invoked in your potential customers by these things, they are unlikely to perceive your business in a positive light.

3. Higher Perceived Value

Also in the line of judging a book by its cover, nicer logos and marketing materials carry a higher perceived value. In other words, if your business appears to be high quality based on these things, customers are generally willing to pay more for your products or services. A business card hastily printed on your inkjet printer simply doesn’t carry the same perceived value as a business card professionally designed and printed on high-quality cardstock. Investing in professional design and business card printing allows you to charge more, sometimes negating the cost of your investment.

4. Pride

Hiring a graphic designer to create your logo and marketing materials ensures that you will be proud of the outcome. And when you’re proud of your business cards, mailers, flyers, etc., you’re more likely to share them. With professionally designed and printed materials, you won’t hesitate to show off. Your customers are also more likely to share with their friends and family when your materials make you look like a business that they can be proud of supporting.

5. Decreased Frustration

Frustrated Business Owner Need Professional Graphic DesignAs a business owner, you likely don’t have a lot of spare time. Using that time to try to create a new logo or other promotional materials when you aren’t really sure what you’re doing is a good way to end up feeling frustrated at the end of the day. If you do design something and send it to the printer, and it comes out looking terrible or completely different from the way you anticipated, the frustration will build even more. You’ll be stuck facing the cost of reprinting until you get it right or eventually asking for professional assistance. In either case, you can save yourself a lot of frustration, time and money by working with a professional in the first place.

Professional Graphic Design From The Print Connection

At The Print Connection, we offer Denver graphic design services for businesses of all sizes. Our graphic designers are highly trained and have years of experiencing creating high-quality logos and marketing materials, including business cards, postcards, flyers, door hangers and much more. We will work with you to create the perfect design, and when it’s ready, we offer top-quality digital and offset printing services.

If you have a business, you need a professional graphic designer. Contact the professional Denver graphic designers at The Print Connection now by calling 303-779-1420.