Archive for the ‘grand rapids’ Tag

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

Pantone’s Color of the Year   Leave a comment

Color systems firm Pantone has announced radiant orchid as its color of the year for 2014 – a decision based on cultural, fashion and tech trends. “An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, radiant orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

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“While the 2013 color of the year, emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, radiant orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,” said Eiseman. “An invitation to innovation, radiant orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today’s society.”

Pantone’s annual color announcement is also a marketing forecast and ad tool. Pantone – known for its color matching system – works with manufacturers to create color formulas for products. Pantone, for example, partners with beauty company Sephora to design colorful shades of makeup.

According to Pantone, radiant orchid is complementary to olive and deep hunter greens, as well as turquoise, teal and light yellows. Besides beauty items, radiant orchid is likely to show up in interior design offerings, including furniture and paint, analysts say.

Happy New Year   Leave a comment

Happy New Year all!  I can’t believe it’s 2014.  I’m counting the minutes until Spring because I’ve about had it with all the cold and snow here in Michigan.  With the New Year comes new products in the promotional products industry.  We’re going to shows and updating our product offerings to reflect the exciting new items that we are seeing.

One category proving to be popular is in the technology field.  Power Banks and other charging devices are now readily available, can be branded easily and come in a wide array of price points.  With a common complaint that our cell phones or tablets are losing battery strength quickly, these devices will save the day.

Another is digital full color imprinting.  This has been making a splash in the industry for several years but is really taking off now.  If you have a logo with multiple colors or shades, you are now able to print it on thousands of items, even apparel.  The quality of the imprinting is superb.  Give us a call and we’ll show you some examples.

We look forward to helping you to build your brand with fresh ideas and our usual combination of quality products and great service at a reasonable price.  Please tell us how we can help.

Terry

Six Myths About Going Green   Leave a comment

By John Veach

Generally, consumers are aware of the need to conserve our natural resources and to reduce the wasteful exploitation of our valuable energy supply. But our industry has not communicated to our customers the satisfying benefits of personally participating in the war on waste. We tend to complicate the matter with an overabundance of conflicting information. By conveying one simple idea – the need to end the addiction to waste – we can connect with our clients and know that we (and you) are making a difference. To get there, we must overcome the myths associated with going green.

Myth #1: I alone can’t make a difference.

This is the most obvious myth. Great journeys start with the first step, worldwide changes begin with a single thought in one person’s mind, and on and on. It takes approximately six reprocessed two-liter plastic bottles to make one knit shirt. That is an exceptionally easy message to convey: One shirt purchased by one person can save six plastic bottles from being discarded into our landfills! Now keep multiplying that, and you can see the huge amount of waste that can be eliminated. One person can make a difference.

Myth #2: Recycled products will only produce low-grade attire.

Not true. Post-consumer recycled polyester – which comes from polyethylene terephthalate, or recycled PET, can produce 100% poly knit polo and crew-neck shirts and can be used in fabric blends with organic cotton. Many manufacturers are making knit golf shirts from recycled fibers which are extremely durable, multicolored, comfortable and very pleasing in appearance. The same goes for uniform and work shirts.

Myth #3: I can’t be certain these products are eco-friendly.

Many manufacturers do offer certifications that these products are made from recycled fibers. Don’t be afraid to ask.

Myth #4: It costs more to support and purchase eco-friendly products.

Not always true. Most new garments produced from recycled fibers are available at no additional cost. And in addition, the high price of cotton has shrunk the price gap for organic cotton. It’s a great thing to tell our customers that you can purchase green apparel without significant additional cost. Ask us for a price comparison between a traditional product and an eco-friendly product. You may be surprised.

Myth #5: Eco-friendly apparel doesn’t need my support.

Green apparel is just like anything in business: Without money or support, it won’t flourish. We can all sweeten the eco economy by buying, using and producing attire made from recycled products. By doing so, we are encouraging the textile industry to explore and develop better fibers, fabric and garments which can be made from earth-friendly products.n

Myth #6: We have an abundant supply of natural resources.

This is perhaps the largest myth we must overcome. Many of the resources currently used to produce fibers are either taken from fossil fuels or rely on water and energy to be manufactured. Previously underdeveloped countries are increasing their consumption at lightning speed – and first-world countries like ours are not letting up. If we cannot develop or locate alternate sources of natural resources, then we need to recycle those resources we have available. Either we change our current manner of consumption, or we deplete our supply and terminate our way of life.

Each of us has a responsibility to contribute to our planet’s future. Only when the consuming population, the businesses and the manufacturers commit themselves, can we start the war on waste. Consumers are well aware of the need to conserve our natural resources and to reduce wasteful exploitation, but we need to convince them to make that choice with their purchasing decisions. Recycled-fiber apparel is a start, and there is so much more beyond that. There is satisfaction in knowing we can make a difference so that future generations will enjoy our beautiful world.