09 Jul

How to Find a Colour Scheme for Your Business

A common source of consideration and thought is how you can make your business look good and be memorable, when it comes to starting a new business, or if you are updating your look.

Find a consistent Colour Theme

One of the best ways to do this is to find a brand that follows a consistent colour theme, will project well and will also be appealing to your customers.

If your company is a conservative business such as Law or Accounting firm, you wouldn’t want to use lime green, or any of the neon colours, as your business colours. Those bright colours would be better suited to a Child’s Day Care, or a Toy Store!

Hucul Printing's colours created on Kuler

Hucul Printing’s colours created on Kuler

So how do you come up with your business’s colour scheme? There is a fantastic website that Adobe has created called “Kuler” where people can develop professional colour schemes and post them publicly to share. Each colour scheme comes complete with downloadable colour pallets for your designer to use with popular design software programs.

Each colour scheme comes with a universally recognizable colour code which can be typed into most software programs. This means you don’t have to go clicking around to find the  colour that is just close enough.

Further more, you can tweak the colour schemes you find and save them to your favourites for future referral. Its a great service!

Here are some examples of colour schemes I pulled from the site so you can see what I am talking about.


The first example,  I randomly found, is called Historic Neighbourhood. It has a muted and sophisticated pallet which would be appropriate for a business with an historical and welcoming or friendly feel. Depending on the image you wish to portray, these colours might be excellent for a photography shop, or a museum, or gallery.

Image

“Historic Neighborhood”


The next example is called Toy Store.  As you can see, it is bright, colourful and playful. This would definitely be suited for… a Toy Store!

“Toy Store”


This next example is called Lawyer; it has the professional blue as the base colour with highlights of steadying, complimentary browns.

Image

“Lawyer”


This sample, I found by searching the key words *Health food*.  This was the top result. The example contains an earthy and green feeling and is called Health Food Store. I’d feel comfortable if these colours were in my Health Food Store!

"Health Food Store"

“Health Food Store”

 

By choosing a professionally developed colour pallet from sites like Kuler, your business brand will look professional.

With a tool like this, you can forge ahead by generating ideas and get a good feel for how  you would like your business to look.

And…when you realize that there is more to branding your business than surfing the internet (which is true), you can come to us and we can help develop an overall look for your business.

25 Jun

“Make My Logo Bigger!” Syndrome

A common misconception about logos is that they need to be bigger to be noticed.

In fact, making your logo bigger can sometimes  distract an audience from the company’s message. Less is more, and white space is your ally!

To all our lovely customers, we want to take the opportunity to poke fun – Enjoy this following video!

28 May

Why Simple Business Cards Are Best

Simplicity

: the quality of being easy to understand, or use

: the state or quality of being plain, or not fancy or complicated

: something that is simple, or ordinary but enjoyable

Throughout my whole life, I have increasingly learned to appreciate simplicity and minimalism; spending time in nature, versus the city, brought out this appreciation for anything less than busy, cluttered, confusing, or unnecessary.

As an avid researcher and university paper writer, I have had to channel this appreciation for simplicity, in order to cope with the sheer amount of information available to me.

Yup, it is very difficult to condense a stack of research literature into one 20 page paper, and yup, it is especially difficult to ensure that my audience really gets what I am trying to say.

I guess I can say, I am working in the right place;  my current place of employment definitely appreciates simplicity.

Not only can simplicity benefit you in your everyday personal life, but it can help you with your business successes, as well.

Business Card by Murat Ertürk

Business Card by Murat Ertürk

Hucul Printing encourages other businesses to promote strongly, by projecting a clean and uncomplicated image to their customers.

Just like in everyday life, a good, strong & simple design layout on a business card can mean the difference between the ordinary and the remarkable.

I really want to take this opportunity to remind businesses who are looking to rebrand, or revamp their look, to remember that simplicity is in.

The new is minimalism and the movement is going strong and for good reason.

A few important pointers about drafting up the details you would like included on your new business card:

  1. Necessary Information: Sort out the information that is necessary to be on the card. For example, your name, business logo, phone number, address, website and email address. Space permitting, a basic, concise description of your business can be included. If it is necessary to include extra information, there is the option of printing on the reverse side of the card. (But remember… Less is more!)
  2. White Space: Do not be afraid of white space. It can make your logo stand out, make your card easier to read. It can add to the balance and contrast on your card.
  3. Design Continuity: If you are thinking of purchasing other printing products in your package  i.e. (rack cards, brochures, letterhead, envelopes, etc.), keep in mind that the style you want on your business card ie. (logo, colours, fonts) should be consistent with everything else you want designed and printed; all of the elements having common elements to tie everything together to help make it eye-catching.
  4. Customize: Something as simple as making the layout portrait-style, or getting the corners rounded on the business card, can make your card stand out above the rest.

“Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.” ~Isaac Newton

14 May

So you Started a Business … Now what?

Entrepreneurs often seek us out at Hucul Printing when they want to order an assortment of printed supplies for their new business operations.

Many new business owners are confused about which products would serve their needs the best. We can help them sort out what would be necessary in their starting out phases.

The Essentials

There are a few essential items that every business needs.  After that, the needs vary widely depending on the nature of the business.

Business Cards

First business cards :-) by Sarah Choukah

First business cards 🙂 by Sarah Choukah

The humble business card is the first printing service we would recommend for you. Business cards are the customer, partner and supplier gateways into your business.

Even the lawn boy needs business cards for those looking to buy his service.

The business card should have only the essential information. Name, contact information, email and website. A business card is not a pamphlet.

If people want to learn more about you, your product, or your services, they should have the ease of going to your website, (provided on your business card).

With the more detailed nature of your pamphlet, rack card, or brochure…your customer can reach for them and  take a little more time to read about your business.

Pamphlets, Rack Cards, Brochures

Brochures! by Antonio Bonanno

Brochures! by Antonio Bonanno

These three: Pamphlets, Rack Cards, Brochures, are really tiny billboards, also used as sales advertisements . They are a quick and effective way to get your valued presentation of your company descriptions & products, across to your prospective business

Even business to business service companies should have this kind of printed product (if not, a comprehensive Presentation Folder, for sure).

Every business has something to sell; you should have an effective way of selling it in a physical printed form.

Even Google, … the ubiquitous online Giant, has printed pamphlets for it’s customers.

 Letterhead,  Invoices, Receipts

Next you need to sell our business attributes through your correspondence with your customers and clients. This is where each business begins to vary between their individual needs and the exact nature of your printed product depends on the business needs.

For bills, invoices and receipts, your accounting software might be able to imprint your logo and information on the paper for you. However, sometimes you need pre-printed letterhead to feed into your printer for a consistent and professional appearance.

Woodheads Stationery by Nigel Lamb

Woodheads Stationery by Nigel Lamb

If you are a business on the road, you may need to hand write your quotes, invoices and receipts, in which case you would need books of carbonless, printed invoices that include your businesses logo and information already printed and available. This would provide your customer with a copy, and would leave you a copy for your records. In some cases, you might need 3 copies, depending on how your company is structured. Numbering on these quotes, invoices, receipts … etc, might be necessary to be done on the Pressman’s Numbering machines in the pressroom.

Regardless of how you correspond with your customers, you need to have your logo and contact information attached to those touch points ….the items you need to have printed

Beyond the Basics

Depending on your business system, you may need to develop specialized and additional printed products to help organize and streamline your unique business’s day-to-day work flow. You may need internal NCR (carbonless) forms for work orders, order forms, receipts and messages. You might also need job dockets and file folders printed, if this is how your office procedure dictates. All of these need special attention to detail and design to make sure that all of the details of your work can be useful to you and your company.

When you start to get serious about your business, this is where custom printing becomes a major component of your operations. This is where you are at an advantage by making a commercial printer, as a working partner, in business.

Are you starting  a business?

Come down to Hucul Printing and get us in the loop. You will see that we only wish to help you succeed and become long term partners with you. Our low pressure office environment will help you confidently make sound decisions that are right for you and the good of your business.

Contact us here or stop on by!

 

 

 

05 Mar

How to Use Business Cards at Networking Events

Every business has business cards (and if you don’t,  you should), and in the day-to-day grind in your shop their place is usually sitting at the front counter, dormant and inactive.

Photo by Robert Scoble

Photo by Robert Scoble

This is a good place to keep them when your customers are in the context of being in your shop.

But what about that situation where you are outside your business, one-on-one, at a networking event?

How do you actually use your business cards? When is it appropriate to exchange them?

Let me tell you.

Business cards are not a deck of cards

When it comes to social business settings, business cards should be handed out with care. You should consider them as an option, if you are asked for it.

If you have a stimulating conversation about your business and the person you are speaking with is genuinely interested in your services,  then they will ASK for it.

You should not wander around the room dealing out your deck of business cards like a Black Jack dealer in Vegas.

How annoying would it be if someone jammed a business card in your hand and then just quickly walked away and onto the next guy?

You would feel awkward and annoyed…wondering, ‘ What do I do with this?!’

Don’t hand out your card when you should ask for theirs

If you meet somebody who’s services you want to use, the best thing you could do would be to ask them for their contact information.

That is polite and it will allow you to make the next call. It would not be polite to offer up your card and ask them to contact you!

That puts an unwanted obligation on them and they are as busy as you.

Also, if you do this, you have no control over whether or not you connect in the future.

It’s not Halloween and Business Cards are not candy

Photo by Sean Narvasa

Photo by Sean Narvasa

I know it’s a really easy way to end a conversation by asking for a business card, however do your best to avoid collecting cards from people you have no intention of contacting later.

Collecting cards may seem productive at the time, however your purpose in a networking event is to make personal connections with potential business partners, not to collect people’s info. If you wanted to collect people’s info, save yourself the hassle and go to LinkedIn. It’s easier to find people on that platform than randomly at an event.

Make you conversations count!

Remember business cards in networking events serve as a convenient way to respond to a request for your contact information, not as a tool  to promote yourself to everyone you meet.

19 Feb

Do Business Cards need a QR Code?

Have you ever seen one of these?

qrcode.22802770

QR Code: HuculPrinting.com

This gaudy looking, ‘ink blot block’ of black & white is called a QR Code. They are actually quite an interesting invention, with the potential to be very handy under some circumstances.

These codes behave in a similar way to bar codes, except that you scan them with your smart phone.

You can go online to a webpage like this, and program a QR code to do many different things including, sending you to a website, putting information into your contacts program or just playing videos. It’s pretty cool, but should you go to the trouble of adding them to you business cards?

The short answer is no. I’ll tell you why.

People rarely scan QR codes

When was the last time you scanned a QR code?

For me, being someone who is rather tech-oriented, I haven’t scanned one in over a year. I actively look for cool techy-type things to get into and I have learned that a quick google search is much easier than scanning a QR code.

They look awful

Photo by Wesley Fryer

Photo by Wesley Fryer

QR codes are not attractive. Graphic designers think they look like computer puke and they are really difficult to incorporate into a classy design.

For business cards it’s worse, because in order to get the QR Codes to work they have to be printed large enough for a smart phone to scan. This means a large portion of the card is taken up by QR, and this is distracting. Yuck!

QRs don’t always work

Sometimes people set up QR codes that won’t work, or that don’t scan properly.

If it doesn’t work the first time, usually we won’t try again.

Who knows where the QR code will take you?

Finally, QR Codes have no way of indicating to you where they are ACTUALLY going to send you.

If you have a QR code on your business card, your target doesn’t know whether the code will take him to your company website, your LinkedIn profile, or whether it will load your contact information into their phone.

If people are unsure, then they’ll avoid it and they won’t scan it anyway.

Keep it Super Simple

HuculBusCard2010_PRS

Instead of QR Codes, consider asking your designer to put the standard information on your card. Include your name, email address, phone number, website URL and address. Sometimes, indicating  you are on social media is a good idea if those services are important to your business.

Are you looking for professionals to work on your business cards for you? We can set you up with a professional, clear and functional business card layout.

Contact us and let us help you!

05 Feb

Why Real Life Promotion Works for Small Businesses

These days, business promotion often leans more towards the digital realm and further away from physical print & tactile media. Is using only digital media the best idea for you?

coffee shop 1

Photo by Dave Bleasdale

Small Businesses operate differently than Amazon

In a smaller city centre, such as Salmon Arm, it is definitely important that our small businesses have a strong online presence for the curious visitor. However, relying on the vast internet with all of its search engine optimization, computer coding and “social media”, is taking a gamble.

This is especially true if you have a real storefront in the physical world. The internet is great for Amazon, but what about the Mom & Pop, or Corner Store?

Don’t count on Facebook to bring you business

Unless you have the money to spend on an online store with a distribution channel ready to deliver your wares around the world, advertising locally with “real”  promotional materials is still the bread and butter of the local small business.

Printing materials work

Consider the humble pamphlet.

When strolling through a town that I just rolled into, the first thing I will do is  get out of my car and head for a coffee shop, a tourist shop, or a gas station.

While waiting in line, I look around and often will grab colourful, appealing looking pamphlets and flip through them; I might even collect several pamphlets, (even maps & tourist booklets) to see what the town or the area has to offer.  Typically, these pamplets are showcasing the local attractions, which includes small businesses. Picking up these pamphlets is a habit, or a reflex.  I usually walk away with those pamphlets in hand and leave them on my car seat  to look at again later when I get back home.

In this case, I’m not searching the internet to learn about the local attractions; I’m relying on printed media.

Whether one pamphlet or several, they stare me in the face and are constant reminders every time I open the car door!

Real Life First, Online Second

We at Hucul Printing certainly advocate for having a strong online presence on the web.  In addition, we educate our customers about how printed products are still quite relevant …and essential  to promote  small businesses in small cities, or towns, like Salmon Arm.

With the reduced costs of design and printing in today’s world, it really is common sense to include printed materials, as part of your branding and marketing mix.

If you are interested in exploring some great promotional options for your small business, come visit Hucul Printing. Talk to Bernie; he has been in the Printing Business for many years and has accumulated decades of experience which can help you figure out what you need.