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Best New Social Media Sites for Businesses in 2015

With the success of social media sites like Facebook worth a whooping $200 billion, everyone and their grandmother is trying to create the new “it” platform. Every day new apps are released but few are successful enough to gain mainstream attention.

According to Forbes, there are 15 social media sites to look out for in 2015. These site rage in target demographic and only a few may end up living up to their hype, but here are two platforms that I think will play a biggest role in relation to business marketing.

Business person with doodle fly to chase her goal in future 2015

Unmetric –  This platform is definitely a good one to look out for and use if you are focused on analytic’s. Unmetric allows you to analyze your marketing efforts by seeing which of your campaigns resonates with consumers and how they compare to those of your competitors.

Kenshoo Social – This platform was created with marketing in mind. Kenshoo Social allows its users to create targeted social media campaigns and manage them in one place. This platform analyzes data, metrics and algorithms to measure performance, find your target audience, and budget you social media marketing dollars.

Take a look at what these sites have to offer and let us know if you think they will benefit your company. Already using one or both of these site? Share your experience in the comment section below.

Interested in expanding your social media reach? Contact us today to see how we can help! 

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To Blog, or Not to Blog? That is the Question!

Blogging Can Drive Traffic to Your Website!

Writing a blog is not just a great way to advertise specials, answer common questions, share your expertise and detail the services you provide. It’s also a great way to keep your website in Googles good graces. If you’re looking to make your way to the top of the search results, one way to get there is by constantly adding new content to your site. An easy and effective way to do that is to blog.

What is a blog? 

A blog is an area on your website where you can publish content related to the products you sell or the industry you’re in. If you’re a real estate agent, you could use your blog to display homes you have on the market, discuses the housing crisis or advise people on how to increase the value of their home prior to placing it on the market.

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A quick overview:

It is best if you pick a specific topic for each post and keep it around 500 words. By keeping the text somewhat brief, you’re more likely to keep the readers interest and less likely to overwhelm them or have them click off your site. It’s also a great idea to incorporate images into your blog. Not only do photographs and infographic catch peoples eye, they can also be a great way of bringing people to your site in the first place. By naming and tagging your images correctly, you can increase traffic though sources like Google Image Search or Pinterest.

If you have any questions about writing a business blog, please do not hesitate to ask us.

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Invitations for Business Events

In business, first impressions are everything. So it’s important to choose the proper invitation, as it can set the tone for your entire event. Whether your company is hosting a golf tournament, business gala, awards dinner, retirement party, or the corporate retreat, the invitation is your guest’s first glimpse of the festivities that await them. The goal at Invitations by Ajalon, our invitation printing division, is to insure that your event stationery is customized to fit the theme and feel of your celebration.

Looking for something formal and sophisticated? What about modern or themed? All of our high quality, 100% customizable, eco-friendly motifs can be altered to suit your needs. If you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind design, our graphic designers are on hand to create an exclusive look just for you! Invitations can be printed using digital, letterpress or foil and with over 150 paper options and a multitude of inks to choose from, it’s easy to create a unique and memorable card.

 

company anniversary invitation in foil business event invitation in foil pocket folder

This silver foil map pocket folder was custom designed for True North Productions 10th anniversary.

letterpress business anniversary party invitation

We were honored to get an opportunity to help Lifting Gear Hire with their 25th anniversary invitation. The green pocket folder paired perfectly with the color of their business logo.

gold foil stamp event invitation with foil belly band

Kaiser Permanente sure can throw a party. This gold foil stamped version of our Hima design was a great pick for their Bollywood-themed Awards Dinner.

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The Chicago design was a great choice for Unlimited Systems roaring 20’s themed Great Gatsby Garden Gala.

 

To view more examples of Invitations by Ajalons work, visit the Business Events page of the Invitations by Ajalon website.  Interested in placing an order for your upcoming wine club event, corporate retreat or party? Contact us today for a quote and to get started.

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Client Focus: Big Eleven Vineyard

One last hurrah for Big Eleven!

big-eleven-vineyard-last-hurrah-wine-labelFor nearly a decade we have been lucky enough to work with the always clever and funny folks over at Big Eleven Vineyard. The husband and wife duo of Jim and Dotty Walters have been cranking out small-case Zinfandel and Zin blends for 30 years. After all this time, this jovial pair is putting away the wine press and picking up the corkscrew. We wish this lovely couple a wonderful retirement. It’s been a pleasure working with you for all these years.

Time for a walk down memory lane..

For a snapshot of our long printing partnership, here are a few of our favorite labels:

2007 buddi blen zin wine label

Do you love your dog? Do you love him enough to print him on your wine label? Clearly the folks at Big Eleven Vineyards do!

funny 2008 zinfandel healdsburg wine label

Life is too short not to have a little fun when times are tough. Pre-Recession Zin anyone?

funny political zin wine label

This patriotic label is full of political humor and is sure to get a laugh “regardless of party affiliation.”

big 11 vineyards 2013 zin wine label

This one is definitely a favorite. Experiencing a bad growing season? Not all is lost. If your “Big Eleven” that just means it’s time to BB&S (Beg, Borrow and Steal).

Big eleven vinette hilarious red wine label

The mother of all red wines, huh? This is a prime example of humor from this creative and witty duo.

All of us here at Ajalon wish Dotty and Jim a happy retirement. Here’s hoping your creative labeling has inspired a few more comedic winemakers out there. Our printers are ready and waiting.

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Proofing Before Printing

The importance of Proofing!

Proofing is often the most overlooked or taken for granted step in the printing process. This is unfortunate since it is, without doubt, the most important step of printing. It is estimated that over 90% of all reprints are caused by inadequate proofing. Any time an electronic file is opened, there is a chance of errors occurring and it is critical that every round of proofs is treated with the same care and respect as the first.

At Ajalon Print, Web & Social Media we offer two levels of proofing to help assure that no errors make it to press – the soft and hard proof.

The soft proof is made up of a low resolution PDF file. It’s critical to carefully PRINT, READ and CHECK GRAPHICS on your entire document, because at this point you can make edits and changes to your project with little or no cost to you.

The hard proof is typically made up of two proofs: One is a low resolution digitally printed mockup or “dummy” of your project that is trimmed to size and folded or bound to reflect the physical dimensions and placement of your final product. The other is a high resolution digitally-printed color match print that is rough trimmed to show bleeds, margins and is a very good representation of the color that you can expect off the press.

Every job that Ajalon Printing produces is accompanied by a soft proof. After any revisions or corrections, a new soft proof is provided and we require approval prior to printing to ensure that all corrections were made and that no additional errors are present.

Hard proofs are encouraged, but not required. We offer hard proofs with every job at a reasonable cost. After the hard proofs, changes can still be done with very little cost if the changes can be approved with soft proofs.

Some questions to ask yourself about your proofs are:

Remember, printers provide proofs for several reasons, but one of the most important of these is to ensure that nothing has gone wrong during the processing of your electronic files. It is critical that you review these proofs and confirm that all is as expected so that together, we can produce high quality, error free printing at an affordable price with no surprises. Or more importantly, no surprises in the delivered product!

Are you ready to get the process started? Send us your print ready file or contact us today with any questions or for a free quote.

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Are Your Documents Print-Ready?

File Submission Guidelines

Are you looking to have a design or image printed for personal or professional use? Here at Ajalon, we are happy to print our clients one-of-a-kind artwork. However, when submitting your own designs for printing, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed in order to insure that it’s print-ready.

By checking your work with the guidelines below, prior to submission, you can insure a smoother printing process and a quicker turn around time. If you are unsure of how to go about making your documents or images ready for print, we have graphic designers on staff that can make the required alterations to your files. Our graphic design work is billed hourly.

Acceptable Document Formats

PDF (saved in Press Quality export format)

Illustrator (all fonts must be outlined and graphics embedded)

InDesign (all fonts must be converted to outlines and linked files included)

While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.

If you send us a file from Microsoft Word or similar personal-use program that does not create print-ready files, we may have to modify the file to meet print specifications. File edits and modifications are billed at our current hourly graphic design rate.

Monograms, Graphics and Images We prefer vector art files saved in either .pdf, .eps or .ai formats, and raster image files saved in .tif format at 300 dpi or greater. While we can work with web image formats such as .jpg, we cannot guarantee quality image results due to low resolution and file compression.

Letterpress Ink Colors All elements printing in spot colors must be defined as the exact Pantone solid uncoated color numbers at 100% value (no tints or transparency). Elements printing in black must be defined as 100% black (no tints or transparency).

Bleeds Define bleeds at 1/8″ (.125″) bleed on all sides and output with crop marks.

Line Widths For letterpress art, line widths must be at least .25 point.

Additional Notes Please contact us if you have questions about acceptable file formats and specifications.

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Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Mobile-geddon is upon us!

Google recently made changes to their search engine to favor websites that are “mobile-friendly.” Though this change only affects users searching on their tablets or smartphones, it’s a change that will be felt by millions of small businesses that have yet to make the switch. Making these adjustments should be at the top of your to-do list if you haven’t made them already.

Making the necessary changes can be time consuming and costly, but now that Google is playing favorites when it comes to non-PC or desktop searches, it’s well worth it. Those whose sites don’t make the cut will be demoted in the rankings, while those whose sites fit the bill will appear closer to the top of the search results.

If you have yet to make the change to a mobile-friendly web page, you can check out Google Developers Mobile Guide for a step-by-step of the transition process. Have you started making the transition and want to know if you’ve done enough? Google is also providing site owners with Mobile-Friendly Test Tool which will will review your site for free and tell you if your page makes the cut.

For more information on how to improve your current site, you can check out our blog. Need help to make your website mobile friendly or creating a website? We can help! Contact us today!

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Stay on the Cutting Edge – Die Cutting

Die cutting is a process that has been around for nearly 200 years and is widely used throughout multiple industries. Its purpose is to generate large numbers of the same shape from a material such as wood, plastic, metal, fabric, or in our case, paper. Using a steel rule cutting die, we can cut decorative or functional shapes into your paper of choice.

A functional die-cut might be something like index tabs or half-moon thumb hole on an open-ended envelope, or a pocket in a presentation folder.  There are many possibilities for die-cutting, and you’re only limited by your imagination. Interested in uniquely-shaped business cards? What about advertising products such as coasters, magnets or post-its?

Below are gift card holders for Osmosis Day Spa being die cut using our Kluge. The process not only cuts the general shape of the holder, but also creates the notches to hold the card and tab to hold it closed.

Step one: Load printed paper into the press (Kluge).

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Step 2: Attach the cutting die and begin die cutting.

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Step 3: Remove excess paper.

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Step 4: Enjoy the fruits of your labor! A beautifully cut gift card holder.

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Interested in creating your own die-cut product for your business needs? Contact us today for a quote!

 

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Make Your Business Stand Out – Embossing

Embossing is a printing style that has been around since the early 19th century and continues to be popular today. As with most things, the art of embossing has changed with the times. It is now possible to add texture, color, foil and extreme detail to your die while printing. This allows you to create a one of a kind look for your business cards and other office stationery.

embossing depth gauge chart

Depth is an important factor to consider when embossing. The deeper the emboss, the more dominant your logo or text will be. It is also imperative to consider the use of the item you’re working with before moving forward. A deep emboss isn’t preferable for a business card as they will usually end up in clients pockets or wallets and would get depressed. However, it would be a great option for a presentation folder.

embossing texture charts

In addition to depth, another customization you can make is texture. By choosing to texture your die, you are adding another eye-catching layer of detail and interest. There are dozens of textures to choose from including a variety of graphic patterns.

school of wizards copper die for embossing

Once you’ve decided upon depth, texture and level of detail, it’s time to create the die or plate which can be made of either brass or copper. The die is what makes the impressing on your paper of choice.

School of Wizards blind embossed note card

At this point, you will need to have decided if you are going to use a blind impression (displayed above), or a register emboss which can be comprised of either ink or foil. Blind being the most cost effective.

Are you interested in seeing if embossing is right for you and your business? Contact us today with any questions and to get a quote!

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Let Your Business Shine – Foil Stamping

Are you considering printing up some new business cards? What about letterhead, envelopes, or labels? When you’re tackling a print project for you or your business, the options are endless. What type of paper should you choose? Should your logo or design be classic, modern, or ornate? With so many question, where do you begin?

One place to start is to figure out which print method is right for you. When it comes to commercial printing, there are several options to choose from. Digital, is a flat print option that is both fast and affordable, and allows you to print in full color or CYMK. The next step up in flat-printing is off-set, which provides you with a better quality product and a choice of CYMK and PMS colors. Letterpress, is a more time consuming process but with a stunning result. This process presses a plate with your text and logo into the paper for a richer, three-dimensional look. However, if you are truly looking for a business card that blows people away, nothing is more elegant and opulent than foil.

Foil printing begins with the creation of a copper plate that includes your logo, text or whatever part of your card you want to shine. A heating element in our Kluge, warms the plate which allows a transfer of the metallic foil to the solid surface of the paper. The end result is stunning. This process can be combined with any of the other print methods or can stand alone.

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Interested in incorporating foil into your business stationery? Contact Ajalon Print, Web, & Social Media.

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