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Setting Standards

At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s a new year and new you, but while many are tasking themselves with personal goals and objectives, they are also taking a deep dive into their professional ones. Well the same is true for brands; a new year means a new opportunity to take a fresh look at your brand standards – from typeface to tone to the tools leveraged to tell your story.


A Brand Standards Guide is the keeper of all things your brand. It puts rules in place – not to limit creativity but rather to keep a brand identity consistent and recognizable so that consumers make a connection between the logo, the product and the brand promise. Beyond being a set of rules, a Brand Standards Guide is a tool that is used by designers, copywriters and anyone else who uses the various elements of a brand to create collateral that tells a succinct and cohesive story. 

So what’s in Brand Standards Guide, you ask? There are a few key elements that must be included:

Color Palette: primary, secondary and any complementary colors

Typography: the one or two typefaces that showcase the look and feel of your brand

Tone: the voice of your brand whether it’s more corporate, or whimsical; does it use all caps or lowercase

Various Uses: appropriate orientation whether it is horizontal or vertical and if any accompanying taglines or elements should be included along with it

So if we’ve got your wheels turning and your creative juices flowing, it may be time to reevaluate your brand standards to make sure your brand is, as they say, on brand. If you need help figuring it out, the PCIOIpowerhouse will help power up your brand. By the way, Happy {Brand} New Year!



You Need GREEN

Nah, not that kind of green. While that one can help improve your bottom line, the bottom line is THIS GREEN will make right by you, your business and our community – and who doesn’t love Mother Earth?

Truth is when employees feel connected to a purpose beyond profit, they can improve the company culture, as well as the bottom line. According to a National Environmental Education Foundation study, companies that approach employee engagement by creating a culture of sustainability saw gains in talent attraction, employee productivity, community recognition and brand strength.

And while we are no change makers, we do like to lead by example and help our clients make the right choices when it comes to eco-friendly and sustainable papers. As the first company of its kind to be triple certified in South Florida, we are proud to offer FSC, SFI and PEFC papers and to support industry-leading sustainability efforts. As a family of brands, we leverage energy-efficient equipment and forward-thinking technology that save on printing inks and processing chemicals. Our robust recycling program covers items from toner cartridges to printing plates to, of course, paper. We use non-toxic chemicals, vegetable-based inks and paper that is sourced from well-managed forests and processed in mills that adhere to strict environmental standards.

And while we celebrate Earth Day every day, we have marked the day each year by gifting our employees seeded cards, orchids, lucky bamboos and the like. This year we made our mark in green by planting two trees with a special plaque to commemorate the day.  We also produced a brochure entitled “Rethinking How We Work: Eco-minded Solutions for Today’s Business” that was featured as an insert in The Miami Herald.  It’s also a direct link to the Green section of our website, so check it out.

So remember, while making green is important, being green can mean the future of your business.



What's Your Finish?

In today’s print-savvy world, there are endless possibilities to the finishes you can apply to your print piece. The good news is (and who doesn’t love good news?) is that you don’t have to pick just one; there are a few options that can be combined to make a unique piece.

To start, it is helpful to know what each finish entails, what it is commonly used for and what overall impression you plan to make.

Fair warning, here is where it may seem like information overload, so grab a cup of coffee, maybe two.

Embossing raises images to provide a three dimensional effect. This finish is refined but does add enough depth and texture to make the piece eye-catching and interesting to touch. Embossing is commonly used for business stationery including business cards, letterheads, greeting cards and invitations.

While embossing raises images, letterpress indents images and text, leaving an impression in the paper, with or without ink. Letterpress was invented in the mid-15th century making it a timeless printing method. Like embossing, letterpress is used for business stationery as it portrays a professional image.

Foil stamping is the application of metallic foil on to a solid surface by using heat and pressure. Popular foil colors are gold, silver and copper. This method is used to add a bit of luxe and glam (ooh la la!) to a final piece. Foil stamping is most popular among business cards, greeting cards, especially holiday cards and invitations. 

Just checking in here, are you still with us?

Varnishing involves adding a liquid coating to a printed surface to add a clear, glossy, matte, satin or neutral finish. The great feature about varnishing is that it gives a consistent texture, but does not add much weight to a finished product. This finish is used to make colors appear brighter and richer so common uses are brochures, flyers, catalogs and booklets.

Lamination is where a plastic film is heated onto the paper and adds a gloss, silk or matte finish as a protective layer of coating. Unlike varnishing, it does add a bit of weight. This finish should be used on items that will be handled frequently such as presentation folders, booklet covers, catalogs and postcards.

Selecting the right finish for your printed piece is a fundamental part of the design process so working with your marketing communications partner (enter Original Impressions) to convey the overall style you want is important.

Did we mention that we are the single-source solutions provider for all of your print, mail and marketing needs?

We know print finishes and help make that decision easy for you. After all, the printed piece is the impression maker and we know how to make the right impression.



You Talking to Me? Yes, You.


You Talking to Me? Yes, You.

    We’re 13 days into the New Year and with that comes the inevitable (and dreaded), “Where are you on your goals and objectives setting?” question #sorrynotsorry

    Truth be told, we’re all just getting back into the swing of things after the holidays, but setting new goals, new strategy and quite possibly new tools for customer engagement is a priority. Ever heard the saying: “What gets measured gets done?”

    It’s time to get to work, people, and we can help. We are visual storytellers and welcome the opportunity to help you tell yours through a variety of brand communications that spark conversation, drive relevance and build engagement. Enter Variable Data Printing (VDP) and social media.  

    1.   Be there for your customers…literally. Newsletters are a great way to regularly engage customers. Personalized content and images can create highly targeted, highly relevant pieces. And that means a higher ROI.

    2.   Be in their mailbox (and by that, we mean take it back old school). Direct mail that shows you know and care about them and their preferences is a great way to keep them engaged. This means identifying data points like their age, hobbies or purchasing habits. Above all, remember that engaging customers is not a one-time deal. It is a commitment to developing a relationship that is cultivated over time.

    3.   Social media is also a great way to showcase company culture and tell stories behind new products or services. In addition to opening the lines of communication, it also offers the benefits of analytics, which help brands zero in on their target audiences and figure out the effectiveness of their messaging; and drives customer loyalty, which rewards them for staying in touch

    And there you have it, folks. We challenge traditional thinking and timelines by streamlining the creative and production processes into one schedule – and complement it with a portfolio of fully-integrated services that help make the impossible, possible. #score

    Yeah, we’re basically the undisputed, single-source solutions provider for all your print, mail and marketing needs, so forgive us when we tell you, we have our own to-do list to tend to now…and you’re up next.

    That’s right. We’re talking to you.