Category: Custom Design & Printing

Print Marketing and the Power of WOW with Ethan Goller, Structural Graphics President

Structural Graphics President, Ethan Goller, shares the “making of” story behind the ground-breaking Toyota Magazine Insert and how SG brings “WOW” to the masses on “Podcasts from the Printerverse”. Give it a listen here: 

 

Video Meet Print: How to Convince Customers to Remember Your Brand

What if a prospective client or customer could watch your brand’s story anytime and any place simply by turning a page or opening a brochure?

If this sounds like something from a Steven Spielberg film, you’re only half right.

Video in Print, though still a fairly novel concept, is completely attainable (and affordable) if you know where to look and what to look for. One of the biggest advantages of combining these two mediums is the ability to enhance your brand messaging. Video is highly visual and auditory, which means it’s easier for many people to remember than static, silent words and pictures. When consumers remember your video content, they, in turn, remember your brand. This can translate into better brand loyalty as well as more sales and leads.

Click here for some tips and tricks when it comes to using Video in Print for your marketing needs.

Here at Structural Graphics, we’re proud to have more than a decade-long relationship with our video component supplier. Even better? We’ve been to their factory and have personally certified their facility to ensure each component is of top quality and has met the standards for consumer safety, health and environmental requirements in the U.S. and Europe.

Interested in trying Video in Print for yourself? Click here to see why you should choose Structural Graphics for your project today.

Why Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting Will Get You Noticed

At Structural Graphics we are the leaders of the dimensional print marketing industry, and we have been for over 40 years. We are constantly re-defining what print can be by providing our clients with attention-getting solutions that stop people in their tracks. Our formats are engaging on their own, but by adding a digital element such as a Web Key, Video in Print, Virtual Reality, NFC tag, or QR code the piece becomes even more effective.

Check out the following article from CBT Automotive Network, Integrating Direct Mail with Digital Targeting, to learn 5 tips on how to incorporate technology in print in your current marketing efforts.

Structural Graphics’ Look Back on 2017

As we delve into another year, Structural Graphics looks back at some of the most effective dimensional print projects we worked on in 2017, from SleekPeeks® to disco balls (and even a mini planetarium!).

SleekPeeks®

The introduction of SleekPeeks®, inexpensive virtual reality headsets created by Structural Graphics, made it possible for brands like Porsche and USPS to deliver the ultimate interactive experience to their audience.

Lincoln Video Mailer

At the National Postal Forum in May 2017, our high-end video mailer for The Lincoln Motor Company’s “See it First” campaign was selected as the Grand Champion Award winner of the Irresistible Mail Awards trophy. The Irresistible Mail Awards is a USPS program that highlights mail pieces that increase engagement through innovative design, print or digital technologies. Structural Graphics structurally designed and hand assembled the piece.

Disco Ball Invitation

Featured as the 60-second Super-cool Fold of the Week, our “Simply Cool Swinging Disco Ball Accordion Invitation” was designed and produced for the Regional One Health Foundation. They used this mailer to invite people to their annual ONE Night Fundraiser. The invitation shipped flat, but the paper die-cut spheres on the cover immediately twirl in succession when you open up the mailer to create the illusion of a dimensional disco ball.

Dish Network Pop Up Cube

Used as a unique handout at the CES Show in Las Vegas, this pop up cube was delivered inside a half-sleeve, giving the recipient a sneak peek of what was on the inside. As the cube slides out, it immediately pops into shape delivering information about Dish Network’s award-winning DVR, The Hopper®. Click here to see it in action!

This Book is a Planetarium

In her newest book, “This Book is a Planetarium,” designer, innovator, and author Kelli Anderson takes commonly known mechanisms and replicates them through pop-up paper designs. Kelli came up with the initial engineering in her studio and then reached out to the team at Structural Graphics to make the Planetarium piece in the book production-ready. When you place the flashlight of your smartphone underneath the Planetarium dome, the constellations are displayed as if you were viewing them in the night’s sky.

Audi Pop-Up Brochure

Our Circle Pop-Up Brochure Mailer that we designed for Audi and their printer, Hennegan, was awarded Silver in the “Dimensional Printing” category of the Gold Ink Awards. Presented by Printing Impressions, The Gold Ink Awards is the industry’s most prestigious print competition. It’s open to all creators and producers of printed materials, and encompasses nearly 50 categories within commercial printing, magazines, books, catalogs, digital printing and packaging.

The Pop-Up Cube: How Can I Make it My Own?

More than four decades ago, a simple fascination with pop-up books and paper led Structural Graphics to engineer a new advertising medium focused on dimensional print. Now, we help brands rise above their competition by thinking differently about paper and what it can do.

One of our most loved and most popular formats is the Pop-Up Cube. It’s a customizeable direct mail template that ships flat and features a 3D cube that springs into the air automatically when opened.

The high achievers of direct mail, Pop Up Mailers are attention grabbing, leave a lasting impression and boost response rates. Keep your audience interested longer so your message is front of mind with these simple tips:

Think outside the box (literally).

Cars.com Polygon Calendar

Aside from our standard cube, clients have also requested everything from pop-up houses, polygons and pyramids. Put your own stamp on this piece by choosing a shape that best illustrates your industry, your clients and your work.

Multiply your idea.

Essilor Rolling Cube

Looking for a chance to build on your brand messaging? Consider a Rolling Cube. While this format doesn’t have the same surprise and delight that a Pop-Up Cube does, it is still incredibly interactive and allows you additional space to feature your brand and/ or brand messaging.

Don’t forget the sleeve.

Dish Network Pop Up Cube

Though the Pop-Up Cube will likely be the most memorable part of this direct mail piece, it’s important to remember that it’s not the first thing your clients will see – the sleeve is. Make sure to include copy that will entice recipients to open it. Maybe consider including your brand logo. Whatever your decision, don’t forget that this is also valuable space to gain your audience’s attention and keep it.

4 Easy Steps to Design a Piece on Red Paper Plane

Are you a small business or solo entrepreneur? Do you need a marketing piece turned around quickly in order to meet a deadline? Do you want your piece to be of high quality but not for it to cost a fortune?

Have you heard about RedPaperPlane.com?

Red Paper Plane is the online ordering division of Structural Graphics. It provides clients with an easy and intuitive way to design the high-impact formats we’ve become known for, including pop-up cubes, greeting cards and the Flapper. And you don’t need to be a professional designer to do it! Using our online design tool, anyone can customize the direct mail formats with their logo, photos and text in a fraction of the time it used to take to place art to one of our templates offline.

Just follow these four simple steps:

  1. Choose your format.
  2. Download the template.
  3. Upload your artwork.
  4. Proof and order!

Whether you’re an experienced designer, a marketing professional or a small business owner, Red Paper Plane has created an online experience with your needs in mind.

Tips & Tricks for Using Video in Print

Happy New Year!

Video in Print advertising (VPA) is a unique way to fuse the emotional elements of video with the informative nature of print into one highly effective marketing piece. Here are some tips to ensure you get the best piece for your marketing spend.

  • Pick a reputable supplier. Anyone with a web site and an electronics supplier in China can sell video in print advertising so make sure the supplier you choose has design and manufacturing expertise.
  • VPA itself is not patented. While some suppliers claim it is, only a few of the scores of designs available are covered by patent protection so you have many choices available to you.
  • Video units are not created equal. Make sure your supplier uses top quality components.
  • Chose the right files. To ensure the quality of your video and sound we recommend using the following:
    a. Video File Format: MP4, WMV, AVI, MOV, (Codec: MPEG-4,Divx,Xvid 720P)
    b. Audio output: Mono speaker
    c. Sound level: 75-80 dB
  • The shorter, the better. Video is a great way to deliver your message, but keep it to 30-60 seconds. And don’t forget the call to action so you can track responses.
  • Double check the packaging. Make sure the shipper will hold up in the mail and deliver your video unit in working order.
  • Don’t forget the design elements. Designing the VPA unit with print treatments and engaging design elements can help you match the piece to your company’s personality.

At Structural Graphics, we have produced hundreds of thousands of video units for some of the top Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Entertainment brands in the world. Check out our VPA Gallery here.

Why Disruption Can Be A Good Thing

Have you ever taken an Uber? Stayed at an Airbnb? Or watched a movie on Netflix? Even if you weren’t aware of it at the time, all of these brands are participating in what marketers these days refer to as “disruption”; they’re shaking up the industry.

WHAT IS DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION AND MARKETING?

Disruptive Innovation is a term coined by Harvard Business School Professor Clayton Christensen. He describes disruptive innovation as “a process by which a product or service takes root in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.”

But, believe it or not, this buzz-worthy phrase has been a part of the business world longer than you might think. Consider the introduction of cell phones. When was the last time you used a landline?

IS IT BENEFICIAL?

Disruption is a word that has inevitably evolved as the new standard for businesses around the world. Here are a few ways embracing Disruptive Innovation can help you and your brand stay relevant:

  • Smaller companies and startups can compete with corporate enterprises by establishing and growing new market segments of their own. In many cases, big business will make lucrative deals or offer huge cash sums to incorporate these innovative startups into their own business model – or make them go away.
  • Your company culture can evolve as a learning community that welcomes change rather than fearing it. Employees may have ideas on better processes or technologies that will increase efficiency; consumers can provide insights into what various markets are looking for.
  • You will identify your leaders for today and for tomorrow. People who are curious, open to new ideas / approaches, and welcome the challenge of taking your business into the future are those you should rally behind.
  • Opportunities for growth will present themselves to companies that allow themselves to adapt to leading new trends. It can benefit both competition and consumers by providing better products and more accessible services.

With New iOS 11, Device Can Read Codes Natively

We’ve already debunked the notion that QR codes are dead, but with last month’s arrival of the new iOS 11, it looks like this rumor has been officially put to rest.

What’s a QR Code?

QR codes are unique graphics that link to a website, landing page or other information source. Previously, in order to scan the code and access the data associated with it, iOS users would need to download an app specializing in reading QR codes.

About that iOS 11 everyone’s been talking about…

Among the new features Apple announced, the new iOS allows iPhone 7 and above cameras to read QR codes natively. With the software update, the device’s camera app can read the code and displays the data automatically in a pop-up notification. No app download required.

While this feature is new for iOS, it isn’t entirely unheard of. Google’s Chrome on iOS launched an in-app QR code scanner earlier this year and social media users may be familiar with SnapChat’s “snapcodes” which allow users to easily scan and follow others.

Check out this Forbes article to learn more about the new iOS 11 and 25 of its “secret” features.

How does this affect me?

Well, if you’re an iOS user, the capability to natively read QR codes allows you a way to connect your mobile device with the real world in real-time. Think about it. By using these codes you can: verify the goods you’re purchasing online are not counterfeit, send and receive contact information with a single click, learn more about a company or product, access directions and more.

But it’s also a powerful marketing tool, too. Because users can now have more convenient access to hidden content, this opens to door to fun guerrilla tactics, interactive print displays or more effective experiential marketing for businesses and brands around the world. For instance, we can imagine seeing a QR code in a comic book to promote the new Wonder Woman movie or a treasure hunt sponsored by a travel company with QR codes leading participants to the next clue.

How to Make Your Marketing Interactive Even If You’re Not a Designer

Have you heard about our online offering, Red Paper Plane?

Red Paper Plane is an online design tool made for marketers by marketers. It puts clients in charge of their own marketing with its do-it-yourself process (though we’ll pair you with a Red Paper Plane representative to help if you need us). Users can be as creative as they want, uploading photos and adding text to an assortment of themes, or by developing something completely original.

So, even if you’re not a professional designer, you can still design beautiful, impactful direct mail pieces. Here’s how:

  1. Visit RedPaperPlane.com.
  2. Create an account. (It’s free!)
  3. Order a sample pack (optional).
  4. Choose your product from our selection of templates.
  5. Select your design or opt to add your own custom touch.
  6. Enter quantity.
  7. Personalize to fit your individual needs.
  8. Place your order.

That’s it! Curious to learn more? Give us a call at 860-469-3200 or send us an email.