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Trade Show Timeline: Breaking It Down

The statistics behind trade shows are staggering. If you knew that 81% of trade show attendees have buying authority or that 78% of trade show attendees travel more than 400 miles to get to the show, then maybe you’d be prompted to rethink your trade show marketing.

If your company is anything like us at Custom Color, you are always looking for opportunities to meet and strengthen relationships with clients, you have an investment in your brand, you’re ready for company growth and you’re looking to outshine your competition. Trade shows provide the perfect opportunity to check all of the above boxes.

Before you can reap the benefits of awesome new customers and higher sales numbers, you have to consider the type of trade show booth that will be most attractive to your customers. For some of our clients wanting custom and more complex exhibits, we have compiled this trade show timeline to help guarantee a flawlessly executed event.

6 months out:

Approximately six months before the event start date, you should request to meet with one of our sales executives. In that initial consultation, we’ll discuss your budget and how we can get you the biggest bang for your buck.

During your consultation, we’ll want to know if you’re interested in custom flooring, suspended structures, walls, windows and frames and fabric. Our offerings are extensive and can range from $100 to $50,000 depending upon your needs.

2 months out:

We request that art files are submitted eight weeks prior to the exhibit’s arrival at the show. Following our art requirements will cut down on production time and will ensure that your art comes out looking its best. After our prepress process, our master press operators and finishers will get to work creating the graphics that will capture attention.

6 weeks out:

If required, frames from SEG Systems will arrive at our Color Castle approximately six weeks before the show. This gives us enough time to construct your booth and test the graphics so that we can confirm a flawless fit.

Following this timeline ensures that the booth will be complete one month before the start of the show and allows for any changes to be made. Generally, the show determines received shipments and set-up dates.

Here's an inside look into the construction of our very own trade show booth:

Building a custom trade show booth with us means that your prints will be of the best color image quality (thanks to our G7 Master Qualification), you’ll gain unlimited access to our high levels of service and knowledge in the trade show industry and we’ll facilitate the shipping to ensure that your booth arrives in the best condition.

Creating a captivating and custom trade show booth requires a bit of strategy and lot of creativity. Thankfully, we carry a hefty trade show resume and can assert just the right amount of tactic and vision to boost your booth.

Here’s a little bit of inspiration and a view of what your trade show booth could look like. Let us know if you want to talk about boosting your brand at the next show you attend.

Wondering About Windows? A Q&A.

Josh’s recent Perfect Window Advertising blog starts out by explaining how underused, but incredibly effective, perforated window film is as an advertising medium. While reading about his take on perforated window film, a thought hit me: windows are awesome.

Perhaps while reading his blog you had some questions about window graphics.  I’ve outlined some of the most common inquiries that we receive when discussing window advertising or design with clients.

Why are windows so important anyways?

We’ve all heard the quotation, “you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.” This statement is so true, and should be applied to all relationships, especially those with customers and prospects. In reality, windows give retailers an opportunity to make the best first impression.

Looking to build and express your brand? If so, a blank window is not the way to go. Successful window signage will draw customers into your space to interact with your product or service. Windows provide an ideal canvas to advertise promotions and specials. Your customers might not follow you on social media or read your ad in the newspaper – instead of making the passersby wonder about your offerings, tell them! Long story short – window graphics are instant, inexpensive advertising for your business or organization.

I run various campaigns and need a window graphic that is easily removable – is that possible?

Of course! Just like all of our materials and applications, we have multiple options for removable window advertising!

The most commonly known removable window advertising option is static cling. We carry a 4 mil cling in both clear and white – this no-adhesive cling produces a one-sided print.  Static cling looks best when applied to a smooth and clean, nonporous, indoor or outdoor surface where humidity and other external elements will not come into contact with the graphic.

Perforated window film is an incredibly popular substrate at our Color Castle. For years our customers have been asking us about an inside mount perforated window film with a reverse print. We’re now able to deliver– even businesses in municipalities with regulations against outdoor mounted window graphics can still benefit from window film!

I want removable and reusable – have anything like that?

An option that is very similar to static cling is glass adhere. This substrate is comprised of many microscopic suction cups, which adhere to glass without glue or static electricity. Glass adhere holds to any smooth surface, has the potential to be repositioned and reused, and lasts indefinitely when used indoors.

One of our more popular, non-permanent and reusable graphic options is easy dot, a vinyl that features special air release properties, which allows for both bubble- and wrinkle-free installation. Easy dot is a guaranteed easy installation, as it does not require special tools, equipment or training. At Custom Color, we offer white and frosted clear, both of which are perfect for windows!

Any double-sided options?

Absolutely! For a more cost-effective option, customers opt for a thin card stock or styrene. After printing on both sides, our master finishers use a GBC air release laminate on the window side of the print.

We can also print second surface on a 4 mil optically clear material and flood with white ink. Sandwiched in between the two layers is a block out material to prevent graphic bleed through. A first surface print on 4 mil optically clear finishes the graphic off.

Do I need to hire a professional installer to apply these graphics?

Installation is no longer an excuse for not employing window advertising. Special tools and training are not required to install static cling, glass adhere, easy dot or double-sided prints. The lack of special requirements makes it easy for anyone, from teenage employees to franchise owners, to apply these substrates to windows.

Window advertising is great, but I want something for interior decoration.

You’re in luck! We have worked with many companies to renovate and innovate everything for office interiors, from wallpaper to windows. 

Sprint recently underwent an office redesign. We worked with Rees Masilionis Turley Architecture to create the appearance of etched glass, without going through the trouble of etching the glass. Through a little bit of research and development, we discovered a new usage for 2 mil optically clear isotropic adhesive. We printed a combination of white and black inks at different opacities to create the illusion of etched glass. This layered effect was installed in full sheets rather than cutting and weeding the vinyl, which reduced turn around time and cost. This professionally installed permanent window option is much more cost effective than etching all of the glass in their office.

In Conclusion…

Windows are an underrated advertising space – they are oftentimes an afterthought to in-store signage and POP displays. Now that you know the many different options for window advertising, hopefully you’ll leverage the advertising capabilities of windows.

Even if you’re not looking to use your windows for advertising, they can certainly be dressed up to revamp the look and feel of your office space.  Our customers will attest to this improved (and affordable) design upgrade. 

Maybe you shrugged before when I said windows are awesome – I’m confident that you see their full potential now. Whether you’re looking to use window graphics to boost your brand or overhaul your office, you won’t be sorry.

Want us to work on your window graphics? Let’s chat.


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.

Engaging Consumers: Large Format Interactive Print Media

I recently stumbled across this print ad:

Engaging Consumers: Large Format Interactive Print Media

It’s unique in that the creator, Ogilvy Brasil, embedded salt particles into the ad’s paper. This change in thought – the alteration in creativity – produced an interactive print advertisement. The final product is one to file under “useful print advertising” – readers are instructed to soak the ad in water, wrap it around a beer and stick it in the freezer. The beer will be chilled in half the time it normally takes thanks to the second largest advertising agency in Brazil’s ingenious thinking. 

And just like that, I want a Glacial Beer…

Not only did this get me thinking about a good brew, this small two-page magazine spread also sparked thought about innovation in large format printing. It’s no secret that the research and development process is an important step in the printing world. However, many designers and development teams disregard the process as too costly or time consuming.

Perhaps it’s your 2017 business resolution: you’ll capture the attention of your audience with your print media. Maybe you’re experiencing competition from the business next door. Whatever the case may be, if you’re serious about drawing customers into your goods or services, it is a must to have a conversation with a research and development team about interactive print media.

When you’re not immersed in the world of print, you might think that a banner or sign will do. I can attest from experience that when companies want to draw attention to their brand, they will use interactive print media or signs with substance (think large format printing.)

At Custom Color, we combine both interactive print media and substance to create cost-effective solutions to print problems. As a researcher and developer, I have created products that not only attract the eyes, but also appeal to the senses.

Tower of Power:

These branding cubes capture attention with height and messaging. Each side of the tower features its own message and focuses on different products; this encourages consumers to walk around the display to see the different offerings. Adding baskets of products directly onto the display can transform the blocks from an informative piece into a point-of-purchase display.

 

Wheel of Choices:

Upselling has never been so easy. With cost-effective construction and interaction in mind, the wheel of choices was born. This spinning interactive wheel suggests drinks based on sandwich offerings, and vise versa. This b-flute print product focuses on the consumer’s buying journey. Pancakes and chocolate milk, anyone?

Musical Flooring:

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Combining print with other sensory-engaging methods is another way to guarantee a memorable experience. Recently we worked with Graphic Image Flooring to produce G-Floor for the Miami Children’s Museum – after install, the G-Floor has transformed into a surface for interaction. Weight-activated technology triggers sound and light to play music and illuminate the surface of the flooring. Brainstorming the combination of medias is one thing that we do best.

When making your print plans for the upcoming year, remember that interactive large format printing is a trend that is here to stay. Whether you’re looking to make your prints interactive or combine printing with other technologies, an initial research and development meeting is your best bet.

Want to talk about your research and development strategy for interactive print? Drop us a line!


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Brett Saunders is the Vice President of Finance and Development at Custom Color Corp. Brett spends part of his days wondering how to combine his loves of product research and development, Haribo gummy bears, large format printing, and all things Disney. The rest of his time he oversees the company finances and productivity. Connect with him on LinkedIn

Generating Greatness: G7® Master Qualification

This quarter has been an exciting time at Custom Color. Last month we received an A+ SAGE rating for being a high-performance promotional products print provider. This week we added another certification to our collection.

We achieved G7® Master Qualification, awarded by Idealliance®, a not-for-profit industry group dedicated to guiding print production best practices, specifications, and standards, worldwide. Custom Color joins a select group of print service providers who have successfully completed training, examination and qualification process of their print production processes, validating their capabilities to the highest level of global industry standards and specifications.

G7 is Idealliance’s industry-leading set of best practices for achieving gray balance and is the driving force for achieving visual similarity across all print processes. The application of this method enables printers to reproduce a similar visual appearance across all printing types and substrates.

Prior to our first G7 Master Qualification in 2015, our large format digital print services to clients in the hospitality, retail and trade show industries was thorough, but standardization was lacking. With a growing arsenal of printing equipment, we recognized that we had to ensure standardization across our presses so that mixed material marketing campaigns would appear cohesive in color. We looked to our Prepress Lead Larry, and the Idealliance G7 Master Program, to achieve further productivity gains to better serve our customer’s objectives for brand color quality and control.

“Ensuring color quality for our customers is vital,” stated Larry Legg, Custom Color’s Prepress lead. For the past two years, we have dedicated time and energy into achieving the accurate G7 gray balance. This color standardization in gray scale and color across our presses means assured accuracy and consistency for our client’s brands. “

"We applaud Custom Color for utilizing the G7 Master Program to assure consistency and quality in their proofing, brand color management and print processes," commented Steve Bonoff of Idealliance. "G7 Master Qualification demonstrates a level of control and expertise that places Custom Color at the top of their field. We applaud their leadership, commitment and support of the G7 Master Qualification Program."

Generating Greatness: G7 Master Qualification

Our G7 Master Qualification, in conjunction with our unparalleled customer service and top-of-the-line technology, are all reasons to think about switching from your current print services provider to a print solutions provider. Want to talk about it more? Contact us!