Touch screen tech & buyer ownership

Touch screen interfaces bring the excitement of technology to print.


Courtesy Pixabay

In a study written by S. Adam Brasel and James Gips for the 2013 Society for Consumer Psychology researchers found that touch screen technology, particularly for retail products, increasingly made consumers feel ownership of the products they were browsing when compared to the traditional laptop-style touch pad or computer mouse.

The study concluded that experiencing products through touch screen interfaces gave people the tactile feeling they experienced when shopping in person. Essentially, brands could “place” their products right into the palm of people’s hands with the right user interface and digital device.

Or in their words:

“Consumers feel like they already own the items they are exploring merely because they are touching them on the screen. We further show that this effect is much stronger for products where touch is an important dimension for that product, and that ownership of the touch-based interface used to explore the product can magnify this effect even further.”

Touch screen technology has become an expectation of a good digital product. Not only does it, as the study above suggests, preserve the tactile interaction between products and people, but it’s easy to use, which is great for people who may be less adept at digital interfaces.

Touch screen video mailers can round out the multisensory experience of direct and dimensional mail while giving marketers the space they need to tell their brand story.

So what story will you tell next?

8 facts you need to know about video marketing

speak-238488_640COURTESY RYAN MCGUIRE Pixabay

Bridging the gap between dimensional print and technology is easier than you think.

What if your mail could talk? How much simpler would it be to reach people if you could just have a chat? Direct marketers might be wondering the same thing.

These days there’s no need to wonder. Dimensional print is finding its niche with technology and now you can enhance your print marketing with video. 

Learn more about how video can drive your message home with these tips and links gathered from marketing resources around the web: 

This is a video mailer produced by Structural Graphics. It was personalized and sent to patients. Each piece featured a video of a medical patient, sharing their treatment success story with the recipient.

Marketers are finding that video can drive home brand messages with an appealing authenticity that brings results.

What do you think? Can video mailers make people feel good about your direct marketing?

Marketing ideas for your next campaign: Scrolling images

You know that saying, “a picture’s worth a thousand words?”

Structural Graphics is blowing that old idiom out of the water with a new marketing mechanism created specifically for brand storytelling. Now, SG can help marketers in any industry create compelling visual landscapes with its new See Scroll dimensional design.

See Scroll creates moveable images

Created by Rob Kelly, senior designer and paper engineer at Structural Graphics, See Scroll is a way of seeing and embedding images into print marketing. It adds visual layers that add dimension, interaction and intrigue to your communications. See Scroll’s motion-based design incorporates special effects that create unforgettable marketing messages that aren’t just cool to look at–but fun to experience too!

Sounds interesting, right? Check out some ways you can incorporate this new design into your next marketing campaign.

1) Inside view

With See Scroll’s custom design, marketers can change the shape of the image viewer.

  1. The viewer can be designed in almost any organic shape, like a company logo, a pair of binoculars, a microscope or even a radar screen
  2. The image viewer can reveal gradual transitions between photos to help tell stories and reveal hidden messaging
  3. A thin film of ruggedly resistant plastic is built into the See Scroll design to protect images


2) Ready, set, GO!

Motion isn’t just for film. Interactive automotive pieces like the one below, help buyers imagine their next road trip in a new car model or reveal interior details and buyer options, like what colors you can choose from.

3) Get interactive

Dimensional marketing can make people feel a part of your brand story. Interact with them using one of these memorable and creative ideas:

  1. Retailers can offer some tips for their buyers’ next fashion haul by showcasing their spring collection with models who “try” on different outfits
  2. Images can expand and stretch to show different perspectives of products/services



So what what do you think? Could your brand be using more images? Tell us what you think of See Scroll in the comments and if you have questions, contact us.


Amping up print with QR codes

Take a sip of your drink, the one from the number three value meal which came from your favorite drive-thru restaurant. Look down and it’s there. Open up the welcome packet to your hotel room, where you just checked in after a three-hour train ride. There too. And there, on that poster tacked to the coffee shop bulletin you’re scoping out while waiting for your soy latte. It seems that for every print marketing piece beckoning you to whet your appetite, there’s a QR code hovering nearby to snag you for dessert too. These days some sweet innovation is just what marketers need to capture people’s interest and communicate their brand’s message.

It’s pretty likely you’ve heard of a QR, or quick response, code before. It’s a fairly controversial technology in the marketing world, but despite what some marketers think this technology is definitely one to hit the ever-growing mobile masses. U.S. smartphone shares jumped roughly 40 percent in the four-year period spanning 2009 to 2013. The numbers, reported by Nielson’s mobile report for marketers demonstrate the rapid growth of mobile users hitting the consumer market.

Nielson Mobile Insights Survey

Nielson Mobile Insights Survey

A clever way for marketers to capture that mobile audience is to tie their print communications in with digital channels. Enter the QR code. 

QR code 101

QR codes provide a portal to the web.  With the tap of a finger, people can scan a code with their smartphone and explore a customized website built to greet them. Technically, QR codes are two dimensional barcodes that look like this:



They are embedded with data that can be decoded through an imaging device or camera. It’s a technology that began in the 1990s for the Japanese automotive industry, but has since grown to a number of different markets across the globe.

When it comes to print and dimensional mail, QR codes can be an excellent way to drive consumers to specialized content, including: social media pages, mobile apps, contests, surveys, product info and other bonus material. These similar-but-not-quite barcodes can be incorporated into the design of just about anything, from product packaging, signage, brochures and posters to business cards.

QR codes: Putting them to use

SG recently incorporated a QR code and even the smartphone itself into a neat dimensional piece for the Ford Motor Company of Canada (produced by our Canadian partner Information Packaging). Designed and built to be an interactive promotional tool for Ford Canada’s new Ford Fiesta, SG customized a stage pop folder and enhanced it with a QR code linking the recipient to a mobile application.

See how it works in this video.

Ford Fiesta’s mobile site is designed to educate people on the new model, so it sends viewers to its online showrooms. Other features of the app help them search for local Ford dealerships, learn about buying incentives and request price quotes. All this experienced for the first time through a playful dimensional paper piece that embeds the phone into a custom cutout frame for viewing. Check out these other interesting uses of QR codes:



QR codes link print to exclusive deals and discounts, instructional videos, print-outs and more.

Tracking, the final word

There’s one more reason why QR codes can be a great gateway to digital: traceable data. From how many users scanned the code, to how many actually responded to the call for action the numbers can be tracked and reported, giving marketers the information they need to make informed decisions about their marketing plan.

So what do you think? Have you implemented QR codes in your print materials? What was the outcome?

New Magic X-ray Viewer: 12 IDEAS for Your Marketing Needs

Our NEW Magic X-ray mechanism is a great format to bring to life various types of messaging! Display before and after imagery, old to new restoration, a positive transition, hidden messages, what’s “behind the curtain”… the possibilities are endless!

The Inside Scoop:

Invented in late 2013 by our designer, Rob Kelly, this concept was inspired by his son’s preschool show & tell for the letter “X.” He gave his son paper X-ray specs to wear which were [of course] pretend. He wondered if there was a way he could bring the x-ray effect to life in paper. Energized by the idea, Rob made a working prototype that weekend!

Check out our Structural Graphics 2014 New Year’s card. This card featured a snowy forest scene with some woodland creatures hiding. A fox? The abominable snowman? An owl in a tree? Birds chirping? The only way you can tell who is hiding, is to move the wand around to find them!


Other clients, in addition to Whirlpool, have used this design to bring their messaging to life! See some ideas below to get the creativity flowing…

1)  An x-ray of a body part including the benefits of a new medical device produced


2)  A “discover and find” for kids, similar to “Where’s Waldo?”

3)  What is in your wallet? For financial, credit card, insurance card companies, etc.

4)  Before and after restoration, a new car, or feature a car that changes colors with a movement of the “wand” to reveal


5)  Curious what’s in your food? Take a sneak peek into what it is made of, including the vitamins and benefits

6)  X-ray luggage on an airport conveyor


7)  Motivating customers to travel – a black and white snowy scene transforming into a tropical, colorful beach somewhere exotic!

8)  New building design layout, interior views of a building, or everything going on behind the scenes in a home


9)  Sneak peek “magic reveal” for a new TV or movie premiere!

10)  The magic of a new makeover, anti-aging treatments or simply skin cleansing solutions




11)  Your brand logo as the showcased image with your services and products magically revealed underneath

12)  A look inside of a gift package – revealing jewelry or an engagement ring, keys to a car, a brand new smartphone, etc.

This Magic X-ray Viewer is new and PATENT PENDING, thus only found through your friends at Structural Graphics!


Incorporating technology into print

Hello, friends! This week we’re talking tech.  We’ll take a quick look at some cool ideas that you can easily incorporate into your printed campaign. By incorporating these cost-effective elements into your strategy, your customers are able to interact with your brand in another dimension. Let’s start with the basics:

Video, Lights, and Sound: You can marry full motion video with the printed page. Video is available in a variety of screen sizes, video lengths, and is fully rechargeable and re-usable. It’s also 100% customizable. Think audio and LED panel lights are more suited to your marketing needs?  Connect with your customers by inserting this technology in unique magazine inserts, direct mail, point of purchase displays, and premiums. Check out a video player that we produced for Qutenza:

Qutenza-stillcode# 8512-590

 Augmented Reality (AR) is not new, but has steadily been gaining traction in recent years. The aim of AR is to simulate an environment in real-time via your mobile device or desktop computer.

AR-on-phoneAugmented Reality on a mobile device.

A printed “tag” lives on your print piece and this acts as the trigger to launch the animation, the video, or the 3D rendering that responds to the context of your environment. Check out more about how our partner Taggar, is revolutionizing the industry:

Taggar makes AR sociable

Near Field Communication: (NFC) has also been a player for several years but is still considered cutting-edge. The basic premise of this technology utilizes wireless radio communications. NFC tags are small, thin discs that can be inserted into print pieces or stickers and are read via your smartphone or other NFC-enabled device. There are multiple vendors who are already building this capability into the hardware of their mobile devices – including Samsung, Nokia, and LG.

Here are some potential creative uses for NFC tags in everyday life. (Imagine what you could do to promote your brand and increase customer interaction!)

Creative NFC Ideas

All of these unique mediums are totally customizable. The only limits are what we can imagine together!


Structural Graphics wins three American Package Design Awards

We are very happy to announce that we have taken home not one, but THREE American Package Design Awards from GD USA! The winners include a table tent for Chick-Fil-A (complete with a fire-breathing cow) and a POP window display for GAP Athleta stores – both created with Sandy Alexander. We also won for the packaging campaign that we did for Samsung in conjunction with TracyLocke. We couldn’t be more thrilled!APDA2014_SG_ChickFilA   APDA2014_SG_Athleta_display





The White House goes Dimensional

This holiday season, even the White House is looking to dimensional print to dress up their holiday tidings! Who could resist a stage pop of the iconic building, replete with adorable resident pups Sunny and Bo gracing the front lawn? The card is elegant and simple, and employs gold foil stamping for a beautiful and delicate finishing touch.

The President, First Lady, daughters Sasha and Malia, and even the dogs all signed the card. Check out the story and photos:


Stay tuned – we will be featuring our very own dimensional holiday card in the coming weeks! And in case you missed it, here’s last year’s edition:

Variable Media Mail Gives Marketers a Voice.

By now, many marketers have heard of or used Variable Data Printing, otherwise known as VDP. VDP allows marketers to create attention-grabbing direct mail campaigns that speak specifically to a target audience. Utilizing VDP helps build better relationships with customers by communicating directly with them as individuals.

Contrary to what many believe, VDP is more than just inserting a name after “Dear”.  VDP allows marketers to adjust the content and messaging of a mailer so it’s specific to where someone lives, what their marital status is, whether they are male or female, or any other information you might have related to a specific contact.  Now you can now take that personalization one step further by integrating variable voice and video messaging into your direct mail campaign.

Variable Media Mail is the combination of variable voice and/or  variable video messaging with variable data print. By combining both variable data and voice or video, variable media mail creates a memorable experience for the recipient through a one-to-one touch.

How does it work? Variable Media Mail stores individual variable video and/or variable voice messages on chips that are embedded in the mailer. Upon opening the mailer, the recipient is presented with their unique, personalized message, played from the embedded voice chip or video screen.

See an example here

Imagine the reaction of your recipient when they open up a mailer that speaks to them directly? This new medium allows marketers to enhance their marketing campaigns through a personal connection with their target audience. In a cluttered advertising environment where attention spans are at a minimum, delivering something truly unique is no longer an option.  Make sure your messaging is heard. Talk to us today about developing your next Variable Media Mail campaign.