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letterpress dingbats

KCCIPA – KCDesignCore recap

Letterpress, lead type, screen print, saddle stitching, corner rounder, litho, calligraphy – just a few of the terms that were thrown around last night at Adobe’s KCDesignCore meetup. Our small group of designers were taken back in time as Calvert Guthrie graciously gave us a tour of his community print shop, Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts (KCCIPA). Calvert’s space, rented to local artists, comes fully equipped with everything a printer needs, including quite the collection of antique and modern printing presses. He also teaches classes, which include letterpress printing and calligraphy. Calligraphy is something he specialized in when he worked on greeting cards for Hallmark. When I was in Typography class in college, we practiced calligraphy, which has become somewhat of a lost art since the age of computers. We were also required to learn and identify over 100 fonts. Being able to instantly identify a font really speeded up my workflow as I was designing graphics. Since then, I’ve forgotten some of the characteristics of many fonts and the number of fonts I immediately recognize…

The Battle of Big Game Ads

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default”][vc_column_text] In the grocery industry, the week of the biggest game in the NFL season is a HUGE week for retailers. Second only behind Thanksgiving in terms of a “food holiday,” this week has, in essence, become another holiday week in the grocery world. From an advertising perspective, we like to take a look at the competitive landscape and see what other retailers are doing both within AWG and throughout the country. This gives us a chance to see what retailers are pushing and also how they are flexing their creative muscles. As someone who pays close attention to branding intensely, it’s a very interesting case study. As you can see, many retailers go all out for the big game ad. There are a lot of ways to show off the top items and creativity can run wild. What sets some retailers apart is how they show similar items in new and different ways. It’s important to remember that enticing customers to open an ad is important…

Graphic of megaphone and social media icons.

If you build it…you have to tell them about it

“If you build it, they will come.” That might have been true in “Field of Dreams” but it’s not always the case with social media profiles and other digital marketing platforms. Your customers may not realize that you have a Facebook page, Twitter profile or other digital marketing. So what can you do? The short answer is that you can tell your customers which platforms you have and where to find you. The long answer involves three things: in-store signage, cross-promotion and word-of-mouth marketing. In-Store Signage One of the best places to tell your customers about your digital presence is in the store. Remind them about your website or to follow you on social media while they are already there. Some might have a smart phone with them, so they can log in to their own Facebook or Twitter profile, and start following you right there on the spot! With social media, it’s important to remember to include what platforms you are on and where to find you. The best way to do this is to include the custom URL…

Graphic of Web Traffic painted on road that turns into an arrow pointing up in the horizon.

Customers won’t go if they don’t know about it.

Do you have a website? If so, how many of your customers know your domain name? You have lots of opportunities to let your customers know about your website, some not as typical as you would think. Many stores will put a websites domain name on a weekly ad then expect the customers curiosity to make them go look. Customers EXPECT stores to have websites; the question is why should they look? Do you post your ads on Tuesday afternoon even though the prices take effect on Wednesday? Let your customers know they can get a sneak peak of your ad before your competition, ON YOUR AD. Does your website have coupons, recipes, shopping lists or cooking tutorials? Tell them ON YOUR AD. Maybe even add a graphic of a computer screen with your domain name on the screen to get some visual attention. Ask us to make a QR code for your ad. If anything customers will ask “what’s that?” Examples: You say you don’t have an ad or share one with an ad group? We have ways to…

Your Store's Brand graphic.

Your Store’s Branding

Birds do it. Bee’s do it. But what the heck does marketing have to do with it? Insects, birds, wind and even water are all vehicles for pollen, and they make cross-pollination possible. In nature, cross-pollination can produce stronger and more vigorous plants than those produced by self-pollinated plants. For example: butterflies need pollen for food and plants need butterflies to spread pollen, so each species has developed traits to aid in these goals. Plants that attract butterflies have developed very bright colors while butterflies have developed a strong sense of sight to see the colors. Without cross-pollination, this symbiotic relationship couldn’t be possible. Now think of your marketing strategy. What vehicles are you using to spread you marketing message to your customers? Website? Weekly print ads? Bag stuffers, text messages, email, Facebook or Twitter? When you try a new vehicle do you put it to the test with help from other vehicles or do you have a “sink or swim” philosophy? Our department has witnessed many times a key to a successful campaign is one that uses a cross-channel strategy to…

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