Category Archives: ideas and inspiration

product shots business cards vistaprint

Business Cards Tip: Selling Something? Use Product Shots!

Using product shots on your business cards: Do you sell unique products or have an Etsy store? If so, consider using high-quality, professional-looking product shots on your Vistaprint business cards.

Here’s are a couple inspiring examples of business cards that feature photos of actual products:

business cards with product shots vistaprint

High-quality product shots on business cards

vistaprint promoThere are hundreds of design templates and design ideas out there for business cards because there are so many uses for them in every industry imaginable.

They are a great little marketing tool, and you can get business cards for pennies each, especially when you use a coupon for vistaprint.com.

If you sell actual products, consider featuring product shots on your business cards. Make sure that the photos are high-resolution and really sharp. If you have a friend who is an amateur or professional photographer, ask her for help, and maybe pay her in wine! 

product shots on business cards vistaprint

  • Vistaprint business cards: 500 for $10! – Click to view today’s promotion

Product shots can really communicate your style and brand better than type or stock photography, and as they say, “a picture tells a thousand words.”

This would be a great idea for a number of home-based businesses, or people who sell jewelry, apparel, accessories, or handmade goods. If you have an Etsy shop, these kinds of business cards might be really effective.

Put website and social media info on the back

social media info business cardsNot only are these business cards a good idea for networking and handing out in person, but you might even make sales just by leaving them around.

Anyone who sees beautiful or eye-catching products like these on business card might be inclined to pick one up and check out the website on their phone, or put a card in their pocket for later.

You can also consider printing matching products like vistaprint postcards or banners once you figure out the business card design.

If you sell your own products, you really need to invest time in social media getting fans, and updating them with new products and news.

Put a photo of your business cards on Instagram, and submit to Vistaprint!

Vistaprint highlights creative uses of their products every week, and they are seen by thousands of people. If you sell products nationally, this is a great way to get even more attention with the help of Vistaprint. That happens to be where I found these sample business cards, and I even checked out the website address on the back of the cards before featuring them on this site!

Skip Vistaprint’s cheapest options for business cards

Why go to the trouble of designing beautiful business cards only to print them on cheap paper like you’ll get with Vistaprint’s free business card promotion?

The quality of your business cards is a direct reflection of the quality of your products, so make sure you get sturdy, premium options, and consider upgrades like rounded corners, brilliant finishes, and premium cardstock.

*Want to actually feel the paper stock, and see the print-quality? You can request free samples from Vistaprint.

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Creative Business Word Cloud

7 Print Marketing Tips That Will Help You Crush It

7 Print Marketing Tips That Will Help You Crush It: Want to embark on a print marketing campaign? You made the right choice – and we’re here to make sure you absolutely kill it. Read on for get tips.

Are you a small business owner or campaign manager that wants to embark on a print marketing campaign, but you just don’t know where to start?

Is the idea of learning how to use Photoshop to make a brochure as appealing to you as a lobotomy?

Print marketing isn’t dead. It also isn’t even close to being obsolete. Print marketing is still a fantastic tool for improve your business and getting your name out there.

Print marketing isn’t as simple as one would think, however. It requires a bit of work (definitely more than a simple email campaign).

But it’s worth it. And we’re sharing all these awesome tips you need to help crush it with your campaign. Ready to dive in? Let’s do it.

print marketing tips

Seven Print Marketing Tips For Your Campaign

These tips will have you on your way to making the best print marketing plan ever.

  1. Tip: Keep The Design Professional

This is important. Design and visual appeal is everything for a print marketing campaign.

Think about it– have you ever received a flier taped to your door for a local restaurant with very unprofessional and visually unappealing design? It probably made you instinctively judge the establishment as cheap. Your credibility relies heavily on how you present your business in your marketing campaign.

Professional design does not mean costly design either. In fact, a professional designer can be less costly in the long run.

Finding a talented professional design is a fantastic choice for your small business print marketing campaign because their designs, due to their quality, won’t require constant redesigns.

A professional designer will work with you to figure out exactly what you want without sucking up your valuable time.

If you’re interested in finding professional help with printing companies and designers, there are many resources out there that can help.

small business marketing tips

2. Get Involved And Approach People

This may seem useless to some. Nothing makes you want to do a backflip into oncoming traffic like a guy making eye contact with an armful of flyers on the sidewalk coming towards you. Also, people notice well-designed posters!

Real talk– people don’t want to be bothered on the street. People also don’t like holding useless things. A lot of people don’t like reading useless things either.

However, you’re getting your marketing campaign into physical hands– that’s a big step. If you follow step one, then the visual appeal of your pamphlet or menu will get your potential customers interested after you’ve handed them the material.

When creating a handout material or business cards, try to avoid an obnoxious sales-driven pamphlet. Don’t go cheap or opt for those free business cards. This tends to be a turnoff and could lead to your flier being thrown in the nearest trashcan.

Provide useful informative content in your hand-given flyer that you would be interested in that leads back to your brand or business.

Try not to get discouraged if you’re rejected — some people are just in a hurry.

3. Tip: Brush Up On Print “Language”

If you’re reading this article, you’re likely a novice printer looking for some extra help.

Learning the language when it comes to print can make it much easier to clarify what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask your designer to walk you through weird designer terms that you don’t know–a good designer will be more than willing.

Check out resources that can walk you through the language, too. Learning before you schedule a consultation with a designer can make expressing yourself much quicker and clearer.

print marketing cheap

4. Tip: Learn The Basics Of Graphic Design

Even if you’re opting to rely on a pro to do the design work, it wouldn’t hurt to get a solid idea of what graphic design seeks to do in print marketing.

While it takes years and a good education to learn everything about graphic design, these facts can at least make you a little more well-rounded:

  • Keep the design simple and don’t assault viewers’ eyes with too much stimulation.
    Break up text and don’t use too much of it– you’re creating a pamphlet, not an instruction manual!
  • Use headers, dividers, and other sectioning tools to lead the eye where you want it to.
  • Use charts, graphs, and other visually stimulating informative tools rather than tables.
  • Use white space. It is more aesthetically pleasing and makes your print look much more inviting to read.
  • Caption your photos. Readers want to know what they’re looking at and a caption can be very inviting.

There are a number of great sites to design your own small business marketing materials like Vistaprint, and they always have coupons available, even for Canadian customers! A number of them offer free sample kits so you know what to expect before placing an order.

5. Tip: Ask For Testimonials for Your Small Business

Are you an already established business with some regular happy customers? Ask them for written testimonials and reviews to include in your print campaign.

Be sure to pick out your most satisfied customers, of course. Don’t use that firmly passive aggressive Yelp review from Susan for this one.

Use phrases like “What are other people saying about My Business?” and “Here’s what our happy customers have to say!” to draw attention to the testimonials.

Don’t fabricate these, either. Nobody likes a liar, and quite frankly, the average chimpanzee can spot a fake review with all of its weird enthusiasm and keywording from a mile away.

6. Idea: Focus on your audience

Pretty obvious, right? It’s really important to keep your target audience in mind when creating any kind of marketing campaign, not just print.

Brainstorming is the most in-depth you can get when fleshing out exactly who your customers are and what they want, but it also doesn’t hurt to make fairly minimal observations of your target audience.

For example, say you are a hip artsy coffee bar near a large college campus. Your audience is young college students that enjoy art and are likely art students.

Your design should reflect this, as should the content you provide in your print marketing campaign. For this demographic and business, you should keep the design of the pamphlet on the avant-garde or minimalist side. The content you include should be discount coupons for students or hours for your happy hour.

online press release

7. Idea: Press Releases Are Very Useful for Small Business!

A press release is an official statement that is issued to newspapers, websites, and other publications of interest that provide information on a particular thing.

When you release a new product or promotion, create a press release to send to local publications that may find interest in it.

If you can provide your business data in this press release that can prove a trend in your specific industry, industry publications will be very interested in it and will write about your business. There are a number of good press release / news release sites out there like PRWeb and prnewswire.com.

Start Printing!

Print marketing truly is far from dead. With these handy tips, you’ll crush your print marketing campaign and reel in those customers!

Do you have a print marketing tip or coupon to share that could help out a small business looking to start their own campaign? We’d love to hear from you. Leave us a note in the comments!

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wpa propaganda poster design idea

Printing Banners & Posters? Ideas & Inspiration from WPA Designs of WWII

Need to get attention with signage for your event or small business? Take inspiration from the bold, simple, and eye-catching designs of WPA posters from WWII.

Need an incentive? Click below for at least a 20% discount on custom-printed banners, posters, and signs at Vistaprint.com:


The Posters of the WPA: Simple & Effective Signage Ideas

wpa poster design brush teeth

WPA – Hygiene Poster

It’s amazing how these WPA posters, like the government propaganda posters of the same era, can convey a strong message with only a few words and a single image.

A number of them will even ask the viewer a question to hook them. “Are YOU helping?” Maybe you can do the same to potential customers. (Who wants a TACO?!)

Whether you are printing a banner for a trade show, advertising a grand opening, or printing a poster to advertise an art show, I think you can take inspiration from the poster designs of the WPA:

About The Works Progress (WPA) Administration Posters

From 1936 until 1943 the WPA commissioned about 2000 different posters to publicize events, community activities, and health & education programs in 17 states. This government program to support the arts created a massive amount of bold, creative, and effective signage which can still inspire our own marketing efforts today.

wpa poster design foreign trade zone

Tip: Printing Effective Signage & Posters? Keep It Simple, Like the WPA

“Oh twice as much ain’t twice as good,
And can’t sustain like one half could” – Gravity, John Mayer

So, you probably have a lot to say to potential customers, and you want to make sure you include it all when printing a sign, poster, or banner? Actually, you’re better off keeping it simple. Don’t waste your time creating wordy signage like this:

banner printing ideas bad

Marketing FAIL! Ineffective banners. You lost me 20 words ago. Yawn!

Think fewer words and images. If you’re banner looks like a page ripped from an encyclopedia, (What’s that? Ok, I’m old!) people will walk right by it and it will get lost in all the noise and visual stimulation that surrounds us on every street.

Effective & Cheap Signage: Custom Printed Banners, Posters, & Signs

Another tip and bit of inspiration: these WPA posters, like most of the propaganda of the era including Russian Constructivist posters, were done with few resources and technology on a tight budget. If you don’t have the services of a professional designer, or skill as an illustrator, you can still appreciate the effectiveness and simplicity of these designs, and rethink your own signage layout to better command attention.

So, don’t think that you have to break the bank, especially with new printing processes, to get effective custom signage for yourself or your small business. Of course, we recommend Vistaprint, but you can find brilliant cheap printing from several other online printing companies like Shutterfly.

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Ideas for Flyer Advertising: 12 Bold Designs Inspired By Constructivism

constructivist inspired flyer designThere are 101 ideas for why you might be printing flyers: a new restaurant, a clothing sale, a concert, or maybe a coupon for an oil change?

Regardless of the reason you are printing flyers, the objective is the same: get attention & convey your message.

Ideas for Flyer Design: Go Bold or Go Home

So how do you get your message across on a busy street when 100 other businesses and brands are competing for the same people’s attention? Be bold and clear; and consider taking inspiration from Russian Constructivism.

Russian Constructivism & Advertising Flyers

Soon after WWI a bold & abstract design style came out of Russia called “Constructivism.” It had the simple objective of getting people’s attention, and with minimal resources or technology, it soon became an effective style for both advertising and propaganda.

20% Off + Free Shipping on Flyers From Vistaprint: Get Coupon!

constructivist flyer design modern

Unconventional layout

The design was constructed from visual elements like lines and planes in a precise, simple order. Often it looked like they used an exact-o knife (not Photoshop) as their main design tool. Really, it was as if the message itself was cooked down to the basics, with all of the non-essential parts melting away.

Constructivist designers knew that people were used to seeing messages in the same way: from left to right, straight across the page; so why not rethink this basic unwritten rule?

Factor in that in early 20th Century Russia the illiteracy rate was high; so advertisers knew that relying on paragraphs of words to convey their message wasn’t an option. They needed simple imagery to reinforce whatever was being said so the message was still received, even by those who couldn’t read.

Flyer Design Ideas: Less Is More

“Men of few words are the best men.” – William Shakespeare

In all of our effort to convey a message, we have the tendency to over-complicate things. Whether we are teaching a lesson to a child, or advertising a restaurant, less is usually more. The essence of our message often gets lost in the excessive number of words and imagery that we use to deliver it.

So, try reducing your message to it’s most simple form.

Two Flyers for Bicycle Safety: Only One Message Received

sample_constructivist flyer vistaprint

Ok, so this isn’t an “apples to apples” comparison, but you get the point. Give a quick look at both of these safety flyers. Ten minutes from now you might not be able to name even one of the ten rules of “bicycle safety,” but I guarantee you will remember the “stay off the sidewalk” message.

Check out these flyers for the same movie. Both of these flyers succeed in being simple and bold, but the one that adds a “Constructivist” twist seems to really grab and hold my attention.

sample flyer ideas vistaprint

Printing Flyers: Can You Simplify Your Message?

Sure, you might not have a professional graphic designer or a big budget, but you still want to get noticed. Before printing your flyers, answer these questions:

  • Does your flyer command attention and deliver your message instantly?
  • Are all of the words you’re using really necessary, or could you cut them in half?
  • Is your layout too predictable, with all of the copy running in rows from left to right?
  • What if you rotated some of the words or design elements?
  • If someone couldn’t read, would they know what your flyer is advertising?

Sample Constructivist Designs: Ideas for Flyers?

Check out some of these simple, eye-catching, bold examples of Constructivist advertising, and try envisioning your own message distilled to simple, bold fonts, copy, and imagery:

Flyers: Whether you’re printing something the size of a postage stamp or a poster, the goal is the same: get your message across. Flyers can do just that, so consider making them a part of your marketing strategy!

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