Bag That Hangover   Leave a comment

San Francisco-based wine producer Cameron Hughes recently sponsored a booth at the Aspen Food and Wine Festival, a not-to-be-missed annual event for foodies, wine and culinary celebrities and industry leaders, held high up in the Rockies.

“It was the first time we attended the festival,” says Jessica Hughes, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Cameron Hughes. This year marked the company’s 10th anniversary as well as the 30th anniversary of the Aspen festival.

“We offered festival guests 12 different wines from around the world. HangoverBagSince we source wines globally, the wines hailed from Bordeaux to Napa, all under the Cameron Hughes label,” she says. “We are little people, and we wanted to have the greatest presence possible there.”

Wine trade tasting events are very intense; sometimes there can be 1,000 wines under one tent, Hughes notes, adding, “If we didn’t spit, we wouldn’t be able to get through the first hour.” Also, it’s easy to get inebriated more quickly in a location like Aspen due to its high elevation and lower oxygen levels. “You can get a ferocious hangover if you’re not careful,” says Hughes.

To combat the perils of tasting at high elevation, Cameron Hughes created a “wine-tasting survival kit” to promote its brand to event VIPs. The reusable red pouch, bearing the name of the winery and its website address, included such essentials as Aleve, teeth whitening strips, Emergen-C vitamins, breath mints, Blistex and Wet Ones.

The items were carefully thought out. For example, Blistex soothes the inevitable chapped lips that result from tasting red wine. Alka Seltzer helps tackle the acidity of wine tannins that can cause an upset stomach, and Emergen-C provides a vitamin infusion. “In the wine industry, we all take Aleve with Emergen-C in the evening, combined with a big glass of water. This guarantees no hangover,” Hughes says.

The versatile pouch had a hook and eye to attach to belt loops, and was small enough to fit into a back pocket. It also had a zipper piece that allowed it to be hung from a lanyard, worn by many attendees at the festival for identification. The pouch also contained a slit for credit cards and a license, and could be used as a wallet.

It was the first time the wine merchant had ever done a giveaway like this, and Hughes wanted the kit to be “smart, innovative and well thought out.” Cameron Hughes distributed 450 pouches to industry VIPs, and an additional 4,500 Chapsticks were distributed in the event’s registration bags, as well as at its booth. “People loved the pouches,” Hughes says. “Some said it was ‘genius,’ and the Chapsticks were also hugely popular.”

No Request Too Looney   Leave a comment

The State University of New York’s (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) had its work cut out when it took ownership of the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC), an outdoor science and educational center, two years ago. “The AIC had no budget or staff. We had to incorporate it into our own educational outreach, using existing budget,” says Paul Hai, program coordinator at ESF’s Newcomb campus, where AIC is located. He knew some sort of creative fundraising was needed to support this newest addition to SUNY’s environmental education and outreach efforts.

Loon“I wanted to do something different and creative,” says Hai. He came up with the idea of a duck race, given the facility’s location on a stretch of Rich Lake, which formed a natural racecourse. Two bridges comprised a perfect start and finish line for the race, which would also help commemorate the Adirondacks’ history of spring log drives on the lake, which took place annually in the early 1800s to mid-1900s.

Rather than using typical rubber ducks, Hai wanted to float rubber loons, aquatic birds that are a beloved symbol of the Adirondacks. Also, he wanted the loons to be USA-made to further connect the event to the local environment. “Many people come to the Adirondacks just to see the loons,” Hai says. He never expected that it would be so difficult to find rubber versions. He was finally able to locate a promotional products company that could supply him with custom-made ducks.

The company delivered 1,000 rubber loons in time for the AIC’s maiden “Loon Drive,” held last year on Memorial Day. The AIC’s second loon drive kicked off summer again this past Memorial Day. “We were extremely happy with the finished product,” Hai says. “The loons helped us garner attention as a unique entity and helped to highlight that the AIC has a special mission of education and research. We are a nature center, tied to the local environment, and the loons fit in nicely and added to the uniqueness of the race.”

Umbrellas Reign at Cannes Film Festival   Leave a comment

3 Keys To A Successful All-Over Print Design   Leave a comment

Posted by Sharprint Associated Press

There is a true art to designing a t-shirt for the all over press. It isn’t as simple as taking any piece of art and blowing it up huge and slapping it on a tee. For a successful all over print, it’s important to work with the machine as a screen print medium and consider its drawbacks and weak points.

HairT-FrontHairT-Back

Take this printed tee for Her Hair by Federico Rodriguez Morice for Threadless. It is a perfect example of a design that works well as an all-over print. There are 3 points to a design that will surely work well as an all over print:

1. The design is one color.

Registration on an all over press is not exact. This means that if the design is more than one color, the colors will not line up exactly the same each time. If the registration can be a little off and the design still works – great! Otherwise, it’s best to stick with one color.

2. The design is loose and organic in shape – not tight and geometric.

Misprinting occurs by the collar and seams when printing on an all-over press. Collars and seams create an uneven surface and the ink deposit is unpredictable in these areas. Front and back prints will not line up, exactly. This misprinting is barely noticeable when designs do not rely on the exact nature of clean screen printing.

HairT-NeckHairT-Side

3. There are no solid fill areas.

T-shirts have a tendency to crease and fold a little when printed flat on a press. By avoiding solid fill areas, you will also avoid minor imperfections that are considered acceptable when print all-over designs.

Here are a couple of other designs printed for Threadless that are designed perfectly for all-over printing. You can see that these three points apply to these designs as well.

WavesTWakeT

If you ever have questions about whether or not your design will work as an all over print or what print issues might come up, just send us a file or call to discuss!

6 Reasons to Embrace Procrastination   2 comments

Putting things off can actually make you more productive if you do it right. Maybe this is one “bad” habit you don’t have to get rid of.

By Stephanie Vozza

Procrastination has gotten a bad rap.

Today’s business climate rewards speed. We strive to be the first, the quickest, and the one who gets the most done. Procrastination–the process of putting things off–seemingly gets in the way. Search Amazon and you’ll find more than 1,300 titles that want to help you cure, defeat, and eliminate this horrible, horrible habit. But is it really that bad?

Frank Partnoy, author of Wait, believes we’d all be better off if we embraced procrastination. In Greek and Roman times procrastination was revered; the wisest leaders would sit around and think, not doing anything unless it was absolutely necessary, he says in his book. This changed during the Puritan era, when procrastination was considered a “sin of folly.” While the shame around it has remained, Partnoy says procrastination is really the art of managing delay, and it can lead to greater success and happiness.

John Perry, author of The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging, and Postponing, agrees. A Stanford University professor of philosophy, Perry recalls a time when he had a lot of papers to grade–but didn’t feel like it.

“At Stanford, I’m known as a guy who gets a lot done,” he says. “I wondered how that could be when I know I’m an incredible procrastinator.”

After doing some thinking (when he was supposed to grading papers), Perry realized he was actually a “structured procrastinator”–someone who does other things while he procrastinates. Partnoy calls it “active procrastination.”

While both authors agree that unstructured or passive procrastinating is really laziness, they say that procrastination can be good when used in the right way. Here are seven reasons why you shouldn’t worry about putting off to tomorrow what you could do today:

1. Structured procrastinators get more done.

If you have a task that you want to put off, Perry says structured procrastinators will find something else to do in its place. You might clean the house, pay your bills, research another project or send out overdue emails, for example, but in the end, you’ll get around to doing the thing you’re supposed to do.

“This isn’t bad because you’ve gotten all of those other things done in the meantime,” he says. “If you had done the assigned task first, you might have called it a day and not accomplished anything else.”

2. Procrastinators make better decisions.

Procrastinating is thinking about the greatest amount of time you can delay taking an action or making a decision, and then waiting until the last minute, says Partnoy. During the delay, the procrastinator is gathering information, which is a recipe for success.

“We like to believe there is wisdom in our snap decisions and sometimes there is,” he writes. “But true wisdom and judgment come from understanding our limitations when it comes to thinking about the future … That is why it is so important for us to think about the relevant time period of our decisions and then ask what is the maximum amount of time we can take within that period to observe and process information about possible outcomes.”

3. Procrastination leads to creativity.

Procrastinators are often big thinkers, says Perry, and putting off work can be an engine of human progress. When you’re assigned a task that seems too hard to do, procrastinating often leads you to invent a better way.

“If you go back through history of human culture, and take away every invention that was made by someone who was supposed to be doing something else, I’m willing to bet there wouldn’t be a lot left,” he says.

4. Unnecessary tasks disappear when you procrastinate.

Most large organizations assign tasks that aren’t vital to the success of the company, says Perry. When the employee procrastinates on this busy work, it often gets scrapped when important tasks arise.

“You would have wasted time doing these unnecessary things,” he says, adding that there is an exception. “If your colleagues are counting on you, you should do the task so they don’t get annoyed.”

5. Procrastination leads to better apologies.

If you step on someone’s foot or run your grocery cart into theirs, an immediate apology is expected and appropriate. In other situations, however, it’s best to wait, says Partnoy.

The most effective apologies come six hours after the situation, he says. This is because the aggrieved has had time to vent and gather more information. The emotions of the situation may have also subsided a bit, and they will be ready to receive an apology.

6. Procrastinating gives you insight as to what you find important.

Your subconscious is often telling you something when you want to delay a task, says Perry.

“If you’re a productive person, the desire to procrastinate on a task can mean that the task isn’t important or valuable to you,” he says. “Pay attention to that and ask yourself if you should be doing it at all.”

Marketing Calendar – May 2014   Leave a comment

National Military Appreciation Month
With so many men and women serving in our military, either overseas or at home, May is the month to appreciate and honor them. Businesses can get involved by sponsoring welcome receptions for soldiers returning home from deployment. In addition, you can partner with local school or sports organizations to help service men and women plan surprises for their families. Also, pay special attention to May 9 which is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. And throughout the month, recognize local soldiers on your website, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages. There are a slew of patriotic promotional products that we can get logoed for you.

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No Socks Day
Here’s a fun idea, ask everyone to come into the office today sans hosiery. Encourage employees to wear sandals, boat shoes, sneakers, etc. without socks. During an appreciation luncheon, you can hand everyone a pair of socks that they can don the next day. We have the resources to secure you any number of different styles.

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National Backyard Games Week
The cool thing about backyard games is you don’t need to be a seasoned pro to be able to compete. Use this week to have a company picnic or networking event for your clients. We can get you a variety of logoed backyard games, like bean bag toss, that can be given to participants.

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Memorial Day
Your business can participate in local events and parades by handing out American flags, logoed bottles of water and other products throughout the day.

Marketing Calendar – April 2014   Leave a comment

Customer Loyalty Month
Regardless of how good your products or services are, without your customers you’re nowhere. Neglect them and you’ll regret it. Use April as a month to commit to offering your customers better service. Launch the campaign with a handwritten note that vows to make positive changes. Run daily testimonials on your website and Facebook fan page. Create a customer Bill of Rights and tweet each right daily. Finally, celebrate at month’s end with an appreciation party in which customers are gifted with lots of logoed items. Call us today to get our help in coming up with ideas for the month long event.

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April Fools’ Day
Fun and frivolity make the workplace a happy and productive place. Consider running a fun stunt today that will garner media interest. Mail clients rubber chickens with a note telling them that your company is “no joke when it comes to …” Or make up weird news and post it to your social media channels to see who is paying attention. We can help you to get an imprinted rubber chicken, and more.

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National Take A Wild Guess Day
Yuck, today is Tax Day, but it’s also National Take a Wild Guess Day. So what to do? Run a day-long promotion where you tweet out a trivia question on the half hour. Those who answer should win a logoed item like a cap, T-shirt, desk accessory, etc. The fun campaign will have your clients transfixed on your company’s every move today.

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Earth Day
For companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint, today is the perfect day to participate in local events. Man a booth at Earth Day fairs and demonstrate how your firm is committed to the Earth. Make sure all you literature is on recycled paper. Give away products like tote bags made from recycled bottles, organic T-shirts logoed with water-based inks and jar openers manufactured from recycled automobile tires. We can help you acquire the products along with developing the Earth-friendly message.