Features | December 06, 2022
First and Last Impressions: Ideas to Make the Most of Your Message
“The only healthy communication style is assertive communication.”—Jim Rohn
Asserting yourself is an important attribute in all communication, including print. Below are some ways you can make a strong first impression.
Three Options for Assertive Brand Messaging
I recently read an article that pointed out, “When we say a person’s name, we are telling those who listen how important they are to us.” This is true in print as well. When we call out a person’s name, we are indicating connection, importance and trust. Charismatic and assertive communicators are known to use a person’s name as a great connecting tool, and many print projects have this same option. Variable print can be used in mailings, on short runs for specialized projects, and meetings of any size as folks get back together and connect over ideas.
Utilizing dimensional UV effects both pops at initial glance and holds the user, as the combination of senses come together to lock in a brand message. Of course, matching the dimensional option with the appropriate coating and color choices is key to maximizing a message.
Adding effects to your piece is important for the power phrase of print: visual disruption. Varnish and/or aqueous coatings can give a subtle effect of matte or gloss with a dry trap or a strike-thru, but the hottest way to make an image pop right now is with dimensional UV effects. A spot gloss can simply emphasize a logo, but better if that gloss is raised and even better if it has an interesting texture. Matte or soft touch lamination with the dimensional UV effects are the most powerful.
Do you know there is a correlation between lipstick sales and pending recession numbers? Interesting to me, as I’ve noticed foil stamping effects tend to take an uptick when people fear economic downturns. Why? I’m no economist, but I have some observations.
Consumers trust prosperity, and the shiny effects of foil communicate that. Plus, matched on dark colors, like the most popular 100# linens often used by law firms, banks and accountants, the color/texture mix is one of trust and security. These are impressions brands want to convey during a time of uncertainty.
When working with coated sheets, there are also polyfoil options. Polyfoil is raised without embossing because the foil is applied over the polymer. This is particularly appealing to those designs that incorporate two-sided print, allowing for a raised effect on the cover without affecting the inside copy. This kind of foiling is also a digital process, enabling variable capabilities and cost-effective short runs.
Bringing These Ideas Together
Consumers are exposed to several thousand marketing messages a day. Printers and designers need to bring to the table ideas and methods that ensure a client’s brand stands out and remains memorable. Psychology tells us triggering more than one sense is key. I believe humans want the tangible reassurance of print. Capitalize on this moment to reassure with the best stock choice, and impress end users with effects like dimensional UV, variable print or foil.
“While adding the finishing touches to a painting might appear insignificant, it is much harder to do than one might suppose.” —Claude Monet
How important those finishing touches are! A strong finishing touch pulls together all options to reinforce the company’s brand message. What’s the aim: Memorable? Trustworthy? Cutting-edge? Helpful? Hopeful? So much is said with the senses.
Here are just a few ideas to connect your message to each of these senses:
- Memorable: Combine soft touch or matte lamination with dimensional effect or raised polyfoil — these create tactile, innovative and unique messages.
- Trustworthy: The strength of the printed piece — via stock weight or added durable finishes and color combinations — is key.
- Cutting-Edge: Use the most of available effects, via patterns, screens and/or contrast.
- Helpful: Provide the right tool for the job. In the folder world this can mean a tab folder for easy reference of estimates or follow-up materials, or a half-size folder (6x9 or 4x9) for easy carrying and storage of reference materials. For easy writing, consider the finish, like soft touch lamination.
- Hopeful: Use bright colors, but keep it clean and consider a gloss or semi-gloss finishing.
There’s more to every impression than even touched on in these three parts, but I hope they keep you exploring the options and ideas!
“Anything with your name should leave a lasting impression!” —Marcia Brown
Mardra Sikora is a CEO, author, speaker and print-geek. Sikora shares her enthusiasm for pocket folder options and new print and finishing technologies at every opportunity. Seriously. Learn more at PocketFoldersFast.com.