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Express Press of Greenville April 16, 2019

A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
Susan MacLauchlan
Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip

Lend Color to Your Design

The Name Game

The Power of a Printed Newsletter

Ready, Set, Shoot!
A Message From Susan MacLauchlan
The Way I See It

The Pencil’s Tale

Here is an inspiring little story about a pencil that I thought you would enjoy:

One day, a pencil master was about to pack a brand-new pencil into a box and said to it, “There are five things you need to know before I send you out into the world. Always remember these five rules - never forget them - and you will become the best pencil you can be!”

  1. Remember, you will be able to do many great things, but only if you put yourself in someone else’s hands.

  2. From time to time you will experience a painful sharpening, but remember that this will make you a better pencil.

  3. Don’t forget that you will be able to correct any mistakes you might make along the way.

  4. The most important part of you is what’s on the inside.

  5. And remember, upon every surface you are used, you must leave your mark.

Here’s the way I see it: A wise man once said, “Live your life on purpose.” If you’d like help refreshing the purpose of your essential marketing materials, we’d love to help!

Idea of the Week
Use Color Contrast to Trick the Brain

What would you say is the primary organ used for your sense of sight?
While many would quickly answer that question with "the eye," it's actually your brain. Why?

Because while your eyes do collect visual information, your brain is the mastermind behind it that interprets the data in a way that is meaningful to you.

You can manipulate the brain to your advantage in your designs by merely adjusting the hue, value, and saturation of different colors.

Color Theory Basics

As you get started with your next design, revisiting some basics of color theory can be helpful.

Did you know that the human eye adjusts when focusing on colors of different wavelengths? This is why colors with longer wavelengths appear closer while those with shorter wavelengths seem more distant.

Cool colors (blue, green, purple) seem to recede, while warm colors (red, yellow, and orange) seem to close in or advance. In multicolor compositions, contrasting colors can create all kinds of movement.




Here are some other brain-manipulating techniques you can experiment with on your next print project.

1. Create More Contrast
The greater the difference between a figure and its backdrop, the more sharply defined (or near) a figure will appear to be. A dark figure will come forward (toward the viewer) on a light background, while a light object will possess more depth when placed on a dark background.




2. Experiment with Different Hues
On a dark blue brochure, a light blue subheading will advance slightly, but a bright yellow headline will leap forward. If your background and foreground are similar in hue (like a hot pink background with yellow font), the yellow will read much cooler than it does on dark blue.




3. Use Dull, Neutral Backgrounds
Using backgrounds like tan or grey when you want to draw attention or create a primary focus in your design. Dropping nearly any color on these muted shades can make your focal point sing!




4. Influence the Way Viewers Perceive Size
Did you know an object in a lighter color seems larger than an equally-sized object in a darker color?




Here’s a more real-world example: a political advertisement contrasting two people may use a photo of the opposing candidate wearing a blue shirt positioned in front of a cool green background. Next to this photo, the favored candidate wears a gleaming white shirt while placed before a dark blue background. Though the portraits are equal in size, the white to blue contrast exerts a visual force on the eye that makes the favored candidate seem larger. This gives “the good guy” a substantial, energetic persona that dominates the page!

Every element in your design exerts a visual force that attracts a viewer’s eye. Use color contrasts to make your products advance, to increase the weight of your focal point, and to stir an emotional response in your audience.

See more great ideas like this!
Click here to visit the Express Press of Greenville Ideas Collection.

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Marketing Tip
Tips to Remember Names

Remembering other people’s names is very important when building personal and professional relationships. By recognizing a person by name, you make them feel like they are important to you and have a connection to you. As Dale Carnegie said, “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Here are a few tips to help you remember someone’s name:

  • When meeting someone, immediately repeat their name by responding, “Nice to meet you, Mark. I’m John.”
  • When you part ways, use their name again, “It was great talking to you, Mark.”
  • Make a connection between the person you’re talking to, and someone else you know with the same name, for example, "Andy, like my uncle."
  • Don’t call people by abbreviated names or nicknames unless that is how they introduce themselves. For example, someone named Gabrielle may not want to be called Gabby or Gabs.
  • Ask the person to repeat or spell unique names to ensure you can say it correctly. It will also help you remember their name, and the other person will appreciate you making an effort to pronounce their name correctly.
  • Ask the person if they have a business card or contact card. Seeing their name in writing will help you remember it.

If you’d like help creating a personalized business card or contact card, we have lots of creative ideas to ensure you make a memorable connection. Ask us to see card examples today!

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Uncommon Product
Printed Newsletters

If you’re looking for a creative way to strengthen your relationship with your audience and increase customer engagement, printed newsletters are a win-win solution! Here are a few tips to increase the impact of your newsletter:

  • Include a variety of content to educate, inform, and entertain, using short stories, bulleted information, and lists. A great rule for newsletters is 40 percent company/product information, 40 percent industry related, and 20 percent general interest.

  • Consider a reoccurring segment, such as a fun quiz, contest, or top 10 list.

  • Think outside the box and consider designing your newsletter as a placemat, oversized or folded postcard, or even a statement stuffer or door hanger.

  • In addition to mailing your newsletter, consider handing them out at trade shows or at sales calls or providing them at your front desk.

  • Become a source of information on upcoming industry events such as speakers, tradeshows, etc.

  • Consider an “Ask an Expert” section where readers can submit questions and an industry expert will provide an answer in an open forum for all to see.

  • Don’t forget a call to action to request more information, place an order, or stop by to redeem a coupon or learn more about a product offer.

If you need help creating a newsletter your audience will look forward to reading, our creative team has lots of great ideas. Give us a call or stop by today!

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Tech Tip
Taking Better Video Using Your Phone

Here are a few tips to help you take better videos on your smartphone:

  • Clean your lens. A dirty lens can cause a blurry video.
  • Consider the lighting. Avoid having a light source behind your subject (such as a window or sun), and beware of unflattering shadows, bright backgrounds, and direct sunlight.
  • Move closer whenever possible, rather than using a digital zoom.
  • Consider downloading third-party video apps that have additional features and effects.
  • Always use landscape orientation and not portrait orientation while recording.
  • Consider the angle you are shooting. For example, if you’re trying to video small children or pets, try getting down on the floor or closer to their level.
  • Use both hands to help stabilize your footage. Or whenever possible, use a tripod, which can help keep your phone steady and avoid movement.
  • Change your phone video settings to the highest quality resolution for best results.
  • Try creating unique effects with your phone’s video features, such as time-lapse or slow motion.
  • Consider purchasing a wide-angle lens which attaches over a phone’s camera lens to give you a wider shot without drastically degrading image quality.
  • Turn your phone to airplane mode when capturing video to avoid updates, popups, and distractions.

If you’d like additional tips, such as using photos in your printed marketing materials, we’d love to help. Give us a call or email anytime.

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