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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Importance of the Google +1 Button

Why the Google +1 Button is Important to You

Google is experimenting with a new way to improve your browsing experience yet again, this time through a button it calls the +1 button. You've already seen something like it for Facebook and Twitter. Google is now bringing the power of social networking to the world of search engine optimization. Google will use +1 ratings to determine how your website compares to other sites on the internet.

The +1 button requires users to sign in to a Google account. They then are asked to "Join this experiment." This is supposed to automatically add a new +1 button to your browser. When you search for something you love on, you are supposed to be able to click on the button and "make your mark on the web."

Because the button is still in development, it may not show up in your browser immediately. You also have to sign in to Google on each browser you use as the button is browser specific. If you sign out of Google, the +1 button won't work.

Here's the reason you want to encourage your customers to use the +1 button. Google is tracking which pages on the web are getting attention. Google is giving more power to browsers to say what they consider valuable information.

You can make it easier for your customers to use the +1 button. Instead of waiting for word to get out there, you can add the button to every page on your site. The advantage of doing this is the fact that Google may crawl or re-crawl any page that gets a +1 click. With Google, relevance is everything and having your pages crawled enhances relevance for the keywords that sent visitors to your site.

If you are running a Google Adwords campaign, putting that button on your site will help your ads as well. Google will add the +1 button to your search ads. That increases the chances that your page get a +1 click.

Another plus for you is the fact that when you are signed into your Google you have access to +1 annotations your Google contacts make on YouTube. This could prove useful information!
While there is no guarantee that your visitors will use the +1 button, you should still consider adding it to your website. The Facebook "like" and the Twitter "tweet" buttons get clicks every day. If this +1 button takes off as well, it will help your Google page rank if you are using it.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Pros and Cons of Commercial Printing

As a commercial printing service, we would love to say that there aren't any cons to commercial printing. To do so would be dishonest. At the same time there are some pros that every business needs to consider as well. To help you make the best decision for your business, let's look at the cons of working with a commercial printer.

Cons of Commercial Printing:
Even when a printer offers next-day, and even same-day service, it's not quite the same as being able to print a project out on demand. Printing something on your own printer puts the timing of print work in your control. You don't have to plan ahead. When you work with a commercial printer, you may need to book your project weeks in advance.

Another advantage of printing a project in-house is the ability to see what the finished material will look like instantly.  You don't have to wait to see how well your PDF converts to hard copy.
One of the other cons of commercial printing is the minimum print runs most commercial printers require. Small start-ups can find these minimum a major obstacle because of pricing.

Pros of Commercial Printing:
One of the major pros of turning to a commercial printer for your marketing materials is the reduced cost over printing your materials yourself. In most cases, once you've used up one laser cartridge, you might as well have hired a commercial printer for the job. Once you add up the cost of paper, electricity, cartridge and wages, the printer will save you money. Commercial printers today are taking on smaller projects than they once did because new technologies make printing smaller print jobs less inefficient than it once was.

Another pro is durability. Inkjet printers usually deliver water-soluble print jobs. A commercial printer only uses water-proof inks, so your printed materials do not run when they get wet.

No one can say that in-house printing is very green either. Even if you refill ink cartridges, the quality of the final printed material is rarely up to professional standards because the inks aren't permanent. In-house color laser printers may print great looking images, but they aren't green. Many commercial printers now offer eco-friendly inks that are both water-proof and solvent free.

Commercial printers also have paper types that aren't available at your local office supply store. This gives you many more options for how your printed materials look. Commercial printers are also able to leverage many different size options with far less paper waste. You can look at sizes other than 4x6, 8-1/2x11 and 11x17. A commercial printer can produce posters and banners in a range of sizes and on a range of materials.

Another advantage you'll gain by turning to a commercial printer is the option to have the printer do your design work for you. This sets your business free from having someone in-house with design abilities. For a small business, this can add up to real savings.

When you consider the balance between the pros and cons, you will find that in-house printing is best for retaining hard copies of correspondence and communications that stay within the business. Otherwise, even small businesses can benefit by turning to a commercial printer.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Booklets and Catalogs – Should You Go for Full Color or Mono Color

How to Decide What Style of Booklet or Catalog Works Best for Your Business

1) Ask yourself, "What type of business do I have?"

Some businesses have made a name for themselves using newsprint mono color catalogs—L.L. Bean is one of the most famous. L.L. Bean markets itself as a natural company. So the look of its catalog is "natural." They may use color inks, but the general effect is of a organic company that promotes back-to-earth values.

You tend to see these mono-color booklet printing and catalog printing among businesses that are marketing themselves as "green" companies. There is the perception that newsprint is ultimately recyclable because the paper doesn't have a fine layer of clay on it in order to enable sharp color images. So if your business is centered in the green movement, using newsprint and mono color layouts may be just the style you want to use.

On the other hand, that same strategy would bomb entirely for a business that focuses on providing technology solutions. If you want to look like you are on the cutting edge of your field, you have to have an edgy look. While black and white can be very dramatic, your booklets and catalogs will be even more effective if you use full-color catalog or booklet printing.

If your business is primarily B2B focused, glossy paper and full color, or at minimum two color booklets and catalogs are essential for delivering a positive business image. If you do opt to use black and white, then you must have Ansel Adams quality black and white photographs. The saturation and contrast in any pics or graphics must be treated with the same care as the old cinematographers approached their craft in the days before color cinematography was available.

2) Ask yourself, "Why type of message do I want to deliver?"

Identifying the type of business you have should lead you to asking which style of booklet or catalog printing will best deliver your message. As mentioned above, newsprint has been used favorably by certain market sectors. And even when these sectors turn to color, they often use matte paper stock, rather than glossy. They are aware of the perception that glossy equals less friendly to the environment. Whether that perception is accurate isn't the issue. The perception exists.

Certain industries are best served by a very polished presentation. Glossy paper stock or paper that feels "rich" delivers the message your business doesn't cut corners. Full color printing delivers the message you value quality and providing a positive customer experience.

Of course, you need to pay attention to how you deliver your message through words, design and layout as well. Just because you use a certain type of paper and color doesn't guarantee positive results. You must have the right message, delivered in an appealing way to achieve your goals.

Ultimately, your decision to go with full color versus mono color (one ink color on any color of paper) should be based on where you want your business to be a year to five years from now. Don't be short-sighted and go with the "cheaper" option just because it costs less. Remember every print decision you make has the potential to grow or stall your business. Choose the option that lines up with your business goals.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Business Card Printing – Self-printing Vs. Commercial Printing

There is no other advertising expense better spent than the money you spend on a business card. You never know how far your business card may travel. It could generate business on the other side f the country! Your business card represents what your business is all about. It sends a powerful message about the quality of your work or your product.

Knowing this, let’s discuss the differences between printing your business card with a laser or inkjet printer versus going to a commercial printer to have the job done.

There is only one type of business card that has any potential for looking professional on a laser or inkjet printer—a business card printed on glossy paper. With inkjet printers, you have to be concerned about the ink running if the card gets wet, so it really isn’t a quality business card. The first impression might be good, but you don’t know how long that impression will last.

 In addition, when you print your own business cards, you have to consider the cost of the ink or toner as well. Usually, after crunching the numbers, a commercial printer makes the most sense.

When you hire a commercial printer, you open the door to almost infinite design opportunities. You don’t have to worry about inks that run, though you do still need to be concerned about quality.

If you want to include more information about your business, you can use one of the folding cards. This gives you the opportunity to have a message front, back and inside. This trend has become more popular, so odds are good that your card will be read inside and out.

Other options available from a commercial printer such as cut outs and rounded corners just aren’t available if you print your own cards. These are elements that can add distinction to your cards.

Another advantage of working with a commercial printer is the fact that you don’t have to be a creative person. That’s what commercial printers like The Print Center specialize in. They can help you choose a layout, choose font styles, etc. that make your business card printing look professional and sharp.

If you are the creative type, don’t worry. You can design your own business card and logo, then carry it to the printer. Usually all you need is a PDF file, though some printers are also able to work with Word and Publisher as well.

As long as you turn to a commercial printer who stands behind their work with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, you won’t regret printing your business cards professionally. The slightly raised ink on a commercially printed business card will instantly send the message that your business doesn’t cut corners. That’s a message you definitely want to deliver!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Hello, and welcome to our new blog! Here you will find interesting and informative posts about the printing industry and various related topics. We hope that you enjoy the content that we will be providing.