While many out there are trying to figure out how to incorporate digital into their offerings and marketing budgets, I am here today to celebrate ink on paper! So put on your printed party hats and have your printed noisemakers at the ready… it’s PRINTSPIRATION TIME!
Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner?
Over the winter holidays I was honored to be one of three judges for GPA’s 2014 Print & Design Contest, the others being Michael Johnston, President at Top Graphics in Maryland Heights, MO and creator of GPA’s Print Trial Process; and Dean Petrulakis, Senior Vice President of Business Development at Rider Dickerson who spearheads printForum – Rider Dickerson’s educational resource for marketers. We looked through and reviewed a LOT of submissions choosing Best of Category and ultimately Best of Show, which went to Minnesota-based GLS Companies.
While I was judging the contest without a doubt the GLS piece stood out. It was a unanimous judges decision it should win Best of Show based on the printing, design and cross-media capabilities, and I was proud to honor it. Now, two and a half months later, with all due respect to GLS, GPA and my brain, I remember the piece was digitally enabled, but I couldn’t tell you any details about the print itself without a visual reminder or cattle prod to pry the memory free from my synapses. What I clearly remember however, in vivid color and fine detail, is the 2015 Texas Association of Exhibition Poultry Clubs Calendar printed by Color Dynamics in Allen, Texas.
What The CLUCK!
The calendar is simply a calendar, a small one actually at 5.75 x 8.25 closed. It’s nicely printed on GPA’s Ultra Digital® 65# White Matte Cover paper, but it’s nothing fancy. What made it truly a memorable piece for me was the subject matter. Each month features a feathered beauty along with some very interesting information about the breed. Being from NYC, I really had no idea chickens – oops – poultry, came in so many varieties other than the brands I see in the supermarket. There is a bit of information about two Poultry Associations and the Texas Poultry Club in the front, chick pics on the dates of poultry events throughout the year along with listed information about them in the back, and a few ads from related businesses – including Happy Hen Treats – Premium Treats for Chickens. TREATS FOR CHICKENS!
For those of you from more rural upbringings, you must be thinking chicken/schmicken… who cares. But this story is about PRINT, and the fabulous fowl featured in this fine calendar helped me remember my connection to it!
You see, other than in a few ads, there are no links to websites. There is no augmented reality making a chicken dance across the cover, no app to download for reminders about upcoming poultry events, no pURL to subscribe to Practical Poultry Magazine, or sign up for e-newsletters or news on the latest egg laying technology investments. It’s a calendar, doing just what it’s supposed to do, and I mean that literally since I begged GPA for one and now it’s hanging on my wall! The moral of the story here is PRINT can stand on it’s own, and sometimes it should!
Ruffle The Right Feathers!
Not all of us have clients with deep pockets, or the capabilities or partners for creating digital magic. This calendar is proof, at least to me, that the connection to the printed piece trumps all of that. As a matter of fact, I brought the contest submissions to my Mom’s house and along with my Grandmother we all reviewed the GPA pieces together, stopping everything once this calendar came out of the box. We went though each month discussing the featured fowl, Grandma chiming in with family chicken recipes, and Mom with a few stories about a goose that had it in for her. They also both have calendars now (THANKS GPA!!) and we have a “chicken of the month” discussion to celebrate the new highlighted breed.
Could ANY of this have happened, regardless of how crazy you may think it is, if the print was only a mechanism to get to the digital information? Could we have bonded flipping through an electronic calendar on an iPAD?
Come HOME to Roost!
I started this post on a mission to provide some PRINTSPIRATION, so here it is: PRINT. Yep, just print. Create a promotional piece to remind your customers that print is a keepsake, not a bookmark in a web browser. Personalize it, give it scented pages, use various varnish techniques and finishes, bind it in a surprising way, give it texture, and color pops, and use different papers and substrates. Most of all make the subject matter something completely unexpected – like CHICKENS! – and let your amazing print job speak for itself. That is how to get others talking about you, and remembering the connection that happens through ink on paper.
Print Long and Prosper… bok bok!