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The Print Shop and More June 16, 2020


An adroit mixture of everyday settings and extraordinary events.
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The world of business and finance gets skewered, as Bottom Liners tackles subjects such as foreign takeovers, office policies, getting a raise, and the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
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The off-the-wall humor of Off the Mark puts a refreshing spin on the things we see every day ... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, Off the Mark scores a bull's eye with readers looking for a laugh.
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In today's complex world of family issues, Focus on the Family provides grounded, practical advice for those dealing with family problems.
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A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
The Print Shop and More
Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip





Compose a Masterpiece


Comparing Apples to Apples


Dazzle with Tri-folds


Less is More

A Message From The Print Shop and More
The Way I See It

Two cat friends were out prowling the neighborhood together when they stumbled upon a big, delicious-looking piece of cake and started fighting over it. The first cat said, “It is my cake because I saw it first.” The second cat said, “No, it is my cake because I picked it up first.”

A monkey came along and overheard the cats fighting over the cake. The monkey said, “I can help by dividing the cake into two pieces so you can share it equally.” The cats agreed and handed the cake over to the monkey.

The monkey split the cake into two parts, but quickly shook his head and said, “Oh no! One piece is bigger.” So, he took a bite of the bigger one. Then he said, “Oh no! Now that piece is bigger…” and he continued taking bites in an attempt to make them equal until the cake was gone, leaving both cats disappointed.

Here’s the way I see it: When you quarrel amongst friends, someone else is most likely to gain from it.



Idea of the Week
5 Must-Haves in Every Layout

Whether you are laying out an advertisement, brochure, or magazine article, the key to grabbing the reader's attention is designing a stunning layout that pulls them in. While layout software can be helpful in designing the final piece, knowing the tips and tricks of great composition is a must if you want the piece to be effective.

Not sure you have the artistic flare to compose the kind of layout that will draw attention? Here are five tips that professional designers use in every layout:

1. Engage the Reader

Take a look at your favorite magazine cover. You will notice that the picture on the cover not only highlights the headlines found inside, but it draws your attention. In most cases, they look straight at the camera (and the reader), and lean toward the headlines.

Don't settle for boring images; choose ones that engage the reader and make them interested enough to take notice of the page.

2. Guide the Reader's Eye

Avoid images that point the reader away from the type - this is not engaging. Instead, use illustrations to draw the reader into the text. One trick is to position the illustration on the left-hand side of the page (with the image pointing inward), to draw the eye toward the right. This is an especially good tactic for postcards and web articles.

mountain majesty, close up on magazine

3. Find the Natural Focal Point

Every image features a natural focal point that draws the eye into the picture. It is vital that you do not cover this focal point with headlines, teasers or other forms of text.

4. Balance the Composition

One of the most difficult composition skills to acquire is learning how to balance the piece. Type and image should never overpower the text, but rather, balance it. One way to do this is to center photos so that headlines run along the bottom, and the text runs along on the sides. This gives the piece a well-balanced look and an engaging feel. Another is to make the text and the images the same width.

5. Go For a More Asymmetrical Design

When trying to balance text and image, many inexperienced designers make the mistake of laying out a more symmetrical design. While this may seem more natural, it can appear dull to the reader. Add more interest by adopting a more asymmetrical layout. Here's how:

  • Use picture boxes to break up the grid
  • Don't be afraid of white space
  • Crop pictures differently to give the page a more random look

full magazine layout image, canoe is visible

Trying Your Hand at Page Layout and Design

Creating a great page layout takes more than simply knowing about fonts, images or even fantastic text. An eye-catching design uses everything together to draw the reader's attention and create a piece of art that gets noticed. If you are new to page design, laying out your first few can seem like a daunting task. These tips were designed to help you begin your journey in design. For more in-depth details, check out the suggested reading below which offers more tips and explains every detail for great composition and design.

Interested in learning more great design tips like this? We are your one-stop resource for all things design and print. Contact us today!



See more great ideas like this!
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Marketing Tip
Track Competitor Marketing


By keeping an eye on your competition’s marketing efforts, you can learn more about them from a customer’s point of view and identify their strengths and weaknesses. You can also see how their marketing materials, promotions, engagement, and prices compare.

Here are a few ways to gain insight on your competition:

  • Explore competitor websites and take notes on ideas for improving your website.

  • Attend competitor webinars. Be sure to stick around until the Q&A session at the end to hear questions from the audience.

  • Sign up for competitor newsletters and follow them on social media. This is an easy way to learn more about their new products and services, promotions, and events they are attending.

  • Consider Hootsuite Streams to track keywords, competitors, and hashtags across every social network on an easy-to-use dashboard.

  • Visit competitor booths and pick up their literature. See how your booth design, marketing materials, products, and customer engagement strategies compare.

  • Inquire about a product or request a quote so you can become a lead. You will receive targeted emails and phone calls, allowing you to see how they handle the customer journey.

  • Subscribe to competitor YouTube channels to get alerts for new videos.

  • Set up free Google Alerts to track competitor products and announcements that appear on Google.

  • Learn about areas that need improvement on your website, as well as your competitor’s website by visiting Website Grader.

  • Consider a paid service such as Mention, which enables you to monitor the web and listen to your audience talk about your business/industry, as well as your competition.

If you decide your marketing materials could use a facelift, we would love to help! Visit our website or give us a call today.



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Uncommon Product
Tri-Fold Announcements


Exciting events deserve special announcement cards to honor the occasion. Tri-fold announcements and invitations are a high-impact way to showcase details for an upcoming event, whether personal or professional.

When printed front and back, tri-folds offer six panels of display area for photos, event details, achievements, maps, inspirational quotes, scripture, and other relevant information. The tri-fold design provides organized sections and makes it easy to display a memorable announcement on a table or shelf.

Tri-fold announcements can be designed to fit USPS mailing guidelines as a convenient self-mailing, all-in-one card. Another creative option is adding a perforated tearaway panel, which can be great for an RSVP card or even a coupon.

You can also customize your tri-fold announcements with embossing, foil stamping, custom die-cuts, and more. If you’d like more ideas or samples of announcement cards, our print professionals are here to help! We look forward to hearing from you.



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Tech Tip
WordPress Image Optimization


Website image optimization is essential for many reasons. Optimized images improve your website page speed, enhance user experience, and supplement your other SEO efforts. Here are a few examples of WordPress plugins that not only optimize images as you upload them but also optimize images you’ve already uploaded:

  • Optimole automatically reduces image size without visually altering them. Once Optimole is installed, it will do its job without you needing to do extra work.

  • Imagify has a bulk optimization feature and allows users to choose between three different levels of compression: normal, aggressive, and ultra. It has a restore feature, so if you want to change the quality, you can restore the image(s) and re-compress at a more suitable level.

  • ShortPixel will compress 100 images per month and will compress multiple types of files, including PNG, JPG, GIF, WebP, and PDF files.

  • Smush scans and strips unneeded data from the images, compresses them, and even resizes them if necessary.

While these are helpful imager optimization tools, you shouldn’t solely rely on the plugins themselves. The best method is to resize images before uploading to your website, and use one of the following plugins to optimize them further. If you ever have questions about image size requirements for print, our team is here to help! Remember, other printers may be nearby, but nobody comes close.



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