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Insights and inputs from our team and around the web.

What are Managed Print Services (MPS)?

MPS involves the active management and optimization of document output devices and related printing and business processes. A MPS program allows organizations to regain control — control over printing costs, control over printing efficiencies, and control over printing management.

The main components provided are needs assessment, selective or general replacement of hardware, and the service, parts and supplies needed to operate the new and/or existing hardware (including existing third-party equipment if this is required by you). The MPS provider can also track how the printing fleet is being used, the problems, and the user’s satisfaction.

What drives color trends?

What influences the graphic designers who are designing your marketing collateral, direct mail, packaging, and displays? These are four factors that Jack Bredenfoerder, director of BV Color Strategy, contributes to impacting the use of color:

Band-Aids are the go-to cover up for any boo-boos. For the simplest scratches and wounds that need some time to heal, Band-Aids cover it until it is ready to be out in the open again.

Cover up

While under construction, sites use fences to protect the materials against theft, keep the public away from open trenches and other dangerous equipment. In order to further protect against theft and to hide what's going on inside, many sites use fence wraps. They act as a way to add privacy and 'cover-up' the mess until construction is completed.

Fall is such a beautiful season. Greens are replaced with bright yellows, oranges, and reds. Classic flavors of cinnamon and pumpkin return, football of all levels takes the center stage, and excitement of holidays to come fills the crisping air.

What is it that makes fall exciting? If fall was year round, would it still be perceived to be this beautiful and exciting?

Let's take a look a few concepts fall can teach us about business.

Change is exciting; change is beautiful

A forest of green turns shades of yellows and reds with fall. This is a stark contrast from the appearance of the same forest for the past five or six months. Just as leaves change color, the markets change. Customer taste can change. Your company can (and sometimes will have to) change.

For me at least, fall is exciting because everything looks completely different; companies can likewise have this new excitement. Is it time for a re-brand?

Or if not a re-brand, is it time to update your look? A lot can change about a company with an updated logo, redesign of materials handed out and signage. 60% of businesses who updated their signage experienced a 10% increase in sales! Updating can boost your sales and cause a talk. Humans notice change.

If you haven't thought about digital signage, that might be a good change for you to consider. 4 out of 5 product brands noticed up to a 33% increase in sales through the use of digital signage.

Sometimes we need to let go

Leaves drop and scatter the ground. Trees need to let go of their leaves to survive. Companies likewise need to examine and let go of strategies, people, items, whatever it may be, that aren't helping their bottom line.

Just because it's not working doesn't mean it wasn't a great idea. It might just not be right for your industry or wasn't quite executed properly. Let go, and go back to the drawing board.

Be seasonal

Just like how pumpkin flavor is popular at this time- not every offer or item you have has to be available year round.

Would pumpkin donuts really be a big deal if they were carried year round? Probably not. Would October Fest be a big deal if it happened every weekend? Well, that might be.... but, the point is, items or events can be seasonal and bring excitement. It gives customers something to anticipate.

Prepare — You don't know what's in store

Plants and animal prepare for winter- if something big hits your industry are you ready to move with the change? Do you have the supplies or assets possible to do so? If you're not one step ahead, you're falling behind.

Thanks for reading this week's blog. Remember, change is good. If you're looking for a change in your signage, Thomas Printworks is here to help.

Last October, Thomas Printworks took on a project that mimicked the Miami Florida sky. For the past few years, we've assisted in large format printing projects for Alan Faena, but this one set the limits sky high.

We helped print and install a building wrap that covered the historical Versailles Hotel during the annual Art Basel Festival. Much like a fence screen or fence wrap that is used to connect to the fence to create a design or hide construction behind it, we wrapped this historical building. The Versailles Hotel is located near the center of Miami Beach, right in the middle of the festivities. As they are under construction, the building wrap served a dual purpose- covering the construction as well as showing off beautiful art and participating in the festival.

This is a big refurbishing project Mr. Faena has going on there in Miami. The building next to the Versailles hotel was torn down and in its place, a new 41 unit tower is being constructed. This will be called the Faena Versailles Contemporary (Francisco Alvarado).

The existing 1940s building, famous for the bell tower on top, is being turned into "a 22-unit condominium...that will be called Faena Versailles Classic. Faena is preserving the facade, most of the grand lobby, terrazzo flooring and custom chandeliers. Each suite will include ocean views, and custom kitchens and bathrooms, ranging from one to four bedrooms. The building will also feature two duplex penthouses with up to 7,300 square feet" (Alvarado).

With all of this work going on and Miami's annual Art Basel festival soon approaching, Mr. Faena reached out to us with a special project.

A little bit about the design...

The idea behind this project was to "transform the historic Versailles hotel into the sky itself, disappearing and becoming transparent at sunrise and sunset"(@faenaart on instagram). This effect was made possible by using photographs of both the Miami sunrise and sunset from artist Miya Ando.

This project was titled "Sora Versailles". "Sora" meaning 'sky' or 'heaven' in Japanese, (Miya Ando). (If you go and check out her page, a picture of this project is located on the front home page! You can also watch a short clip of a time lapse of the building.)

Our sales representative overseeing the project, Juan Fernandez, said, "the pictures of the project do a great job, but there's nothing quite like walking down Collins Ave and just seeing this outstanding work of art stretch up to the sky".

In essence, this multipurpose building wrap masterpiece wowed many while accomplishing its purpose. Don't let projects take you out of commission; get a design and/or your name out there! Learn more about the opportunities to create branded environments.

Also, keep your eyes peeled for a new big project underway this fall!

Whether you're a non-profit company or running an event where donors and sponsor will be in attendance, I'll bet your bottom dollar that you should try out a donor survey.

Donor surveys can be tremendously useful in planning a fundraising campaign to raise the maximum amount for your project.

Look at this statistic:

Managing a fleet of printers and plotters can take a tremendous amount of time and work. Especially since printer management is rarely centralized. In most cases IT oversees printer security and implementation. Office management could oversee assigning rights to print to various printers and plotters along with measuring printing volumes. The purchasing team is most likely taking care of ordering and stocking paper, ink and other supplies.

When multiple departments and management are involved in managing your printer fleet, it can be a struggle to get to the real issues that are holding your printers back from maximum productivity and uptime. One InfoTrends study concluded that companies can reduce cost by 30% using managed print services (MPS). Here’s why it makes sense for companies considering managed print services.

We cannot underestimate the value of technology and digital advertisement. Technology is continuously growing in it's capabilities as well as it's usage. However, this does not leave print obsolete. Print has proven valuable on it's own and when paired with technology has proven great results.

Let's take a look at some information gathered by a study conducted by Millward Brown for the Magazine Publishers Association titled “The Print Campaign Analysis".

BMW did a direct mail campaign a few years ago that took direct mail for a spin... literally. They wanted to 'show, not tell' the capabilities of the BMW M6 Coupe going 0-60 in 4.1 seconds. So they turned their luxury M6 Coupe into a printing press (check out the video!) Here's how they did it.

Relationships require time and care. Everyone needs a little TLC. But.. customer relationships don't really follow normal relationship rules. Sometimes it may be difficult to know how to "maintain" or "mend" a relationship that's undefined or unclear. Without effort, relationships dissolve. Without addressing and solving issues, they tend to come to an end. Don't let that happen with your customers!

On one hand, using multiple fonts in a print layout can open you to a world of creativity. On the other hand, if you use too many fonts (or if the fonts you choose don’t work well together), you don’t end up with creativity; you end up with a mess.

Type often obeys the engineering law “form follows function”. That is, a typeface should be appropriate to what the typesetter designed it to do. At the same time, that form needs to be aesthetically pleasing. The basis of good typographic design is balancing the two.

Color is critical in marketing. It’s not just about making your products look great; color helps to tell your story, too. It stirs your customers’ emotions. It reflects your brand.

Just like fashion, however, trends in color change, and staying current is imperative. To stay on top of what’s happening, here are five color “hot spots” to watch:

Want to keep your customers loyal and continuing to shop with you?

Ask their opinion... then act on what you learn.

One of the most important ways you can value someone is to ask their opinion. When you ask what they think, it makes them feel important.

Originally posted on Small Business Bonfire.

Visual merchandising — and the eye-catching graphics and imagery that go along with it — is one of the most crucial ways to engage customers as they are shopping. Although the retail landscape is ever-evolving, tried-and-true techniques assure that Point of Purchase (POP) programs remain an essential element in reinforcing brand awareness at the store level.

Some events require lots of coordinating.

Weddings, for example, are notoriously known for just how much of a headache they can be.

You've got to call and schedule the venue, someone for the flowers, a photographer, figure out something with food/catering, go to a print shop for the invites, etc. It's a big hassle to try and call and coordinate 20 different vendors all for the same day. That's why many people hire a wedding coordinator, haha!

Well, what about opening up a new store? Besides figuring out where you'll be located, who is going to work there, there's many visual components that work into it. What's going to be on the walls, floors, and windows? How do we want to design the store?

Will the colors match? Are there signs to guide the customer to the section they'd look for? Are there signs that hang up outside of the store? What are the safety codes that be have to abide by, and what do we need to do for those?

How will we get the word out about our new store? What do our employees wear, just name tags or uniforms? Will we have any do-dads to give out with our name on it? Or letterhead when we print out things?

Do we need brochures to help present our information and have something that customers could take home and look into more? Do we need work book manuals for new hires?

And many of these questions carry over into maintaining a business!

Whatever the occasion may be, don't let your business give you unnecessary headaches. Simplify your life and bring all your printing needs to a one stop printer.

The other day Frank Sinatra’s LOVE song came on and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, here’s your cheesy love inspired blog.

Whether you want to wow or woo your clients this Valentine’s season.. here are four things to keep in mind as you are creating and planning out the content and design of marketing collateral to ensure you get the bang for your buck.

The small details speak volumes. Of course, as with every business, the big things like product, price, marketing, location, etc. are determinants of what type of customer you attract. The small details like brand consistency, customer service, personalized emails or appreciation, are what keep them coming back.

Business stationery can be an easily overlooked detail; it’s just notepads, binders and pens, after all. Who even notices, anyway?

This is one of those small details that speaks volumes about your brand.

Does print buying stress you out? There are so many details that can make or break a print job. Then you have finishing, mailing lists, dealing with the USPS... and oh, yes, schedules. Print buying can be a daunting task. Try these 4 common sense strategies to make your experience more predictable and (hopefully) stress-free.

1. Get into the printer's ears — early!

By involving your printer early in your project, you will get a high quality result while saving time and money. Tell us your concept, then we will suggest colors, papers, layouts, and finishes that can minimize production time at the best cost.

Think print is starting to “lose its cool” in the age of digital marketing? Actually, the opposite is true. With the growth of digital, print has solidified its place as a channel that marketers cannot ignore. Here are five print marketing statistics that every marketer should know.

1. Some customers can only be reached by print.

Even in today's digital age, there are still large groups of consumers who cannot be reached through digital channels. According to the Pew Research Center, 11% of Americans have no Internet access at all, and among certain populations, such as older Americans, rural Americans, and those without high school diplomas, this number is significantly higher. (Source: Pew Research Center, 2018)

Are you currently building? Or in the process of starting to build? We know there’s lots on your mind with permits and making sure that building codes are followed, hiring both for the construction job and who will now fill the new building. It’s very possible you haven’t even had time to think about how to optimize your construction process as marketing candy. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

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