Vacations and Staycations
After a long winter, Spring has sprung and we are welcoming the sunshine and warmer temperatures with open arms!
This month my husband Steve and I spent two weeks traveling with good friends around the north and south islands of New Zealand. We were on a four-day hike in the mountains, out of cell range, when the tragic shooting took place in Christchurch. The country was shaken but still incredibly warm and welcoming. It was an amazing trip to a gorgeous country, and we can’t wait to return!
While I was away, my colleagues went on an adventure of their own to Visions, Inc. in Brooklyn Park, where they took a behind-the-scenes tour of the printing business. In this month’s newsletter, Carly and Sherri are excited to share what they learned!
How to be Printing Savvy
Visions, Inc. is one of our go-to partners for print and mail projects thanks to their wide-range of services, solutions for smaller budgets, and excellent customer service.
Kay Beam and Chip Moulton from the Visions team both have more than 30 years of experience in the industry and kindly shared insights and tips for this article!
Timelines are so important! How many days should a client expect for a print job?
A best practice is to plan ahead and consult with your printing partner early on to determine a realistic timeline. On average, expect 4-6 business days to print and mail a postcard and 5-10 days to print and mail an invitation. Invitations will likely take closer to that 10 day mark if a specialty paper needs to be ordered or a custom printing process is involved.
What special processes may take longer to produce?
If your project involves specialty paper, die cuts, or a special print enhancement such as a foil (a process that applies a thin, raised layer of metal foil to your design adding texture and shine), build in some extra production time. By being proactive with your planning, the impact of these enhancements will be worth the extra investment of time!
What are ways to stretch a limited budget?
Target your mailing list! Be strategic in defining who should receive your event collateral to make the best use of your printing and postage dollars.
Also, be mindful of the size and weight of your finished piece. If you are concerned about the cost of postage, work with your graphic designer and printer to calculate the cost per piece to mail before finalizing your design.
Another way to reduce expenses is to print in 2-color instead of full 4-color. If you have a multiple-piece project, such as an invitation, consider printing some of the pieces, such as the actual invitation, in 4-color and others, such as the envelope, in 2-color to save money.
What are current trends in printing?
A popular trend is creating a piece that engages the sense of touch. Digital print technology can create textured effects that are eye-catching and make your finished product stand out.
Another trend is personalization. For example, printing your recipient’s name directly on your save the date or invitation design will add a special touch.
How can clients be eco-conscious with their printing?
Not all printers offer eco-friendly services, so it’s important to find a printer who is committed to your same core values of sustainability and eco-friendly practices. Some ways to be eco-conscious are to use eco-friendly paper, such as 100% post-consumer waste recycled, and 100% soy or vegetable-based inks. Visions is proud to be a long-time member of the Forest Stewardship Council and a designated green printer.
Any final tips for our readers?
Think outside the box for impact! If you want to create an attractive piece that really gets noticed, involve your graphic designer and printer early on in the design process. There are many creative ways to make your finished product stand out, such as design elements, paper options, and specialty print processes. Be sure to share your budget when exploring options.
Thank you to Visions, Inc. for sharing these great insights!
Meet Michelle Havens
The newest member of the Ann Plans team, Michelle has been involved with events for Make-a-Wish Foundation and Angel Foundation, as well as working with businesses and corporations in producing events that raise money for local nonprofits. Her planning background also includes designing high-end luxury showrooms for retailers including Gabbert’s Design Studio and Fine Furniture, MartinPatrick3, and Habitation Furnishing + Design. Michelle lives in Northeast Minneapolis and enjoys finding creative inspiration through perusing museums, road trips, and reading.
The Ann Plans team wishes you a great Spring filled with sunshine and new experiences – whether you are home or abroad!