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Ken Dunn

Marketing During Financial Instability

By Mark's Minutes

It’s no secret that the financial equilibrium is in flux right now. The Fed continues to ratchet up rates and the stock market is in disarray. Up one day and down the next. Nationally, interest rates on savings vehicles are up as high as 4% for 12-month CDs distributed by the aggressive internet banks. On the street, 2% is the absolute minimum to offer and maintain credibility.

Our clients are coming to us increasingly asking for help with deposit product promotional strategies. With the upward movement of rates, the public interest in the entire line of deposit products is going to grow. Time to dust off your new and improved checking accounts (maybe with newer and higher reward debit features?), your short to medium term CDs, and your retirement focused accounts (IRAs, Roth Savings, etc.)

Many experts are forecasting a recession and a corresponding rise in unemployment. This will likely result in downward pressure on the stock market, some dampening of lending and a move to safety.

With so much in flux, your marketing messaging should be about delivering security, clarity, and confidence to your consumers. Historically, when the market falls and recession is on the horizon, preservation of capital will be the primary goal for many.

What can you do now to help your consumers prepare?

Promote High Yield Checking and Savings in January and February. Historically, checking products have a higher consideration during the early months. With higher rates you can build a more competitive product offering. If you move quickly, you’ll be able to gain market share quickly. Imagine the results you’d see if you offered a 2 – 3% interest bearing checking or money market account? Promoting these items across the normal channels should build traction:
• In branch merchandising
• Outside banners, posters and window signs
• Digital and traditional advertising; Web features

Marketing during downturns is never easy. You’ll face a lot of pressure to decrease your marketing budgets and reduce your outreach.

It’s been proven that those companies that advertise during the recession are the ones that benefit the most once the recession ends.

Keep your wits about you. Now is your chance to shine!

Westamerica Communications Staff

We Remain Open During the Coronavirus Epidemic

By Uncategorized

Because the print, mail,  packaging and fulfillment services we provide are essential to our clients deemed to be Critical Infrastructure, we remain fully operational and our supply chains are intact.  These client industries include healthcare, medical/pharmaceutical, financial/banking, city/municipality, and transportation/logistics.

Westamerica Communications StaffOur employee health and safety is our number one priority.  We’ve taken extensive steps to keep our employees safely out of harm’s way, including the following key processes:

  • Remote employee workstations for all non-operational staff
  • Modifications in our processes to minimize employee-to-employee contact including staggered shifts and new workflows
  • Professional cleaning and sanitizing every night
  • Personal space cleaning kits placed throughout the organization
  • Hand sanitizing stations generously available throughout the plant
  • Gloves and masks available to employees that need them
  • Reminder posters throughout the offices to ensure appropriate hygienic practices
  • Visitor access to our facility is restricted to critical essential business only

This is a time that we will be talking about for generations to come.  May it be a time that we see a restoration of health and unity, positive spirit and goodwill – in our families, in our communities, in our nation, and throughout our world.  That’s our prayer.

Our Westamerica rallying cry is “Stay Strong, Stay Healthy.”  Thank you for your continued business and support.

Any questions please feel free to contact us or call us at (949)462-3600.

Wide Format Printing

What Are Large Format Printing & Display Graphics?

By Blog

Large-format printing offers you many new ways to promote your brand to consumers. Through display graphics, pop-up, and trade show booth graphics, you can use wide-format printing to cut through the clutter and communicate your brand promise.

In a super-size manner, let’s take a closer look at what large-format printing is and the display graphic solutions you can produce with this technology.

Wide Format PrintingWhat is Large-Format Printer Technology?

One large-format printer in the UK describes large format printing as the printing of large graphics onto large rolls of paper or other materials. We agree and would add that marketing with large-format printed projects captures your audience’s attention in today’s crowded marketing landscape.

Graphics Arts magazine has a few ways to define the technology. The category of printer type ranges from a roll-fed or roll-to-roll printer to a flatbed printer. Per the magazine, large-format or wide-format printers refer to those that can print on materials 24” to 120,” and “grand-format” printers go from 120” and wider. The size of the printer used depends on the project it needs to print.

The large-format printer technology is digital, which means it has a computer-based interface. Software and tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud-based computing, have enhanced both the accessibility and productivity of the technology. The technology is also evolving quickly. As a result, the use of wide-format display graphics has increased in the past few years.

What Kind of Projects can be produced by Large-Format Printing companies like Westamerica

The is a wide range of projects for branding and advertising that large-format printers can accommodate. Generally, display graphics will be viewed by large numbers of people from a distance, like trade show booth graphics or outdoor advertising and vehicle wraps. From construction blueprints to trade show booth graphics to customer wallpaper, we can printers produce many different types of printed projects on a variety of materials.

Typical projects for Large-Format Printing & Display Graphics include:

  • Posters & Banners
  • Foamcore Signs
  • Die-Cut Graphics
  • Trade Show Graphics
  • H-Stake Yard Signs
  • Maps
  • Plexiglass Wall Mounted Signs
  • Frames and Frameless Systems
  • Indoor Wall Signage
  • Window Graphics
  • Floor Graphics
  • Transit Shelter Poster Ads
  • Vehicle Wraps
  • Building Wraps
  • Magnetic Signage
  • Outdoor Building Signage

The materials that can be used for printing vary as well. Called substrates, you can print on rigid materials that you feed into the machine, like metal or acrylic. You can also print on materials that come on a roll like vinyl or paper. The type of substrate used depends on the needs of your project, such as where it will be displayed and for how long, and what the wide-format printer can accommodate with large-format printing technology.

Four common substrate types include:

  • Paper: This budget-conscious and versatile material is easy to use but not durable, making it a popular choice for indoor projects. There are many different paper substrates ranging from paper sheets to cardboard to foam core.
  • Vinyl: For many outdoor projects, vinyl is the go-to substrate. It uses a variety of finishes and serves as a versatile material that can work for many different types of projects.
  • Fabrics: We are excited about the ways we can use fabric to print trades show booth graphics and other display graphics. These materials create a vibrant and unique look that stands out from the competition, particularly when backlit with LED technology.
  • Assorted Rigid Materials: When it comes to printing on rigid materials, today’s wide-format printing technology can be far more flexible. Acrylics, Glass, Metallic Dibond, and even wood are a few of the materials available for wide-format display graphics.

Per experts in the sign industry at, there are some exciting trends for digitally printed large-format printing display graphics. In the indoor space, you see more brand environments, characterized by unique interior branded accents printed on vinyl and other materials and incorporated into the design of the area. From embedded fiberglass graphics to custom wallpaper and furniture coverings, the interior environment can reflect the brand message.

The outdoor uses of large-format printing display graphics have exciting changes also. The utilization of vinyl has enjoyed both innovations to add new visual effects and competition to drive down prices. Moreover, the architectural design incorporates large-scale graphics in glass facades and other complementary ways.

Also, the technology for embedded graphics and dye sublimation on fabric has enjoyed a growth in popularity for tradeshow booth graphics and other events as well as building wraps. There are also many innovations in sign technology, moving from wood to laminates or powder-coated graphics on metal used in trade shows and other free-standing applications.

Large-format printing display graphics have numerous ways to enhance your brand messaging efforts or brand environment. The technology, enhanced by software and other technological tools, is evolving rapidly and can make a wide array of display graphics, from pop up graphics to trade show booth displays and more. Competition is also making large format printing display graphics more creative, beautiful, and affordable than ever before.

The question now is what could large format printing display graphics do for your brand?

To schedule your free consultation with Westamerica Communications today, contact us, give us a call at (949)462-3600, or visit us at

To see more examples of our work, click here to see our project gallery.

Westamerica Communications is the new spirit of communications with creative solutions for every form of media, from web strategies to traditional concepts to print and mail options, and more. Follow us on Facebook.


Webster, Nigel. “What is Large Format Printing?” 28 February 2019. Web. 13 March 2020.
Berger, Craig M. “Digital Print Trends and Technologies in the Sign and Graphics Industry.” Web. 13 March 2020.

Dineen, Tim. “The Characteristics of wide format printing.” 9 June 2017. Web. 13 March 2020.

Wall Calendars

The Timeless Calendar Stays Alive

By Blog


Wall CalendarsMany clients are already thinking about 2020. Budgets are being prepared and programs are being decided. One of the tried and true promotional programs that offer high customization at a very low cost is the wall calendar. What else can you have hanging up in your client’s home/office for 365 days?

Many of our clients use this tool each year as a way to build awareness of their products and client interaction. Redwood Credit Union, Ohio University Credit Union, and Johns Hopkins Credit Union use the calendar to feature member provided photos. The result is a true work of art. Contra Costa Water District uses its calendar project to solicit children’s art and use each month to feature a drawing.

How will you use a calendar in 2020? Let us share some ideas with you!

Contact us to find out more!!

SpongeBob Characters Come Ashore At Comic-Con

By Blog

Nickelodeon’s agency, Cogswell Design, chose Westamerica to create their booth for the popular Comic-Con Convention in San Diego this summer. The convention generates an estimated 130,000 plus visitors, so the companies in attendance must deliver their very best impressions to reinforce their fan relationships. Combining animation with live-action elements, the booth posed a unique production challenge. Westamerica’s production planner, Scott Jehlik, said, “The client wanted a particular look requiring us to provide unique finishing solutions. We ‘skinned’ the entire structure, resulting in a visual masterpiece.”

Account Manager Raquel Keena, explained, “the highlight of the booth was a dimensional sign of Krusty Krab created from Infinity board that hung from the ceiling above the booth.”

Westamerica’s Client 2K Games Shine at Industry Show

By Blog


Westamerica’s Display Graphics Division has been busy during this trade show season. Although much of the team’s work centers around large format printing for our diverse client base, many clients are now unleashing the creative production skills for unique trade show and event graphics.

Fronting the booth were the Calypso Twins, characters from the latest game.

Westamerica client 2K Games wanted to showcase the characters from their newest release, Borderlands 3, in a larger than life display presentation at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) Sports Convention. The display featured extensive use of sublimated fabric stretched over SEG frames with back-lit highlights.


“The technology in the dye-sublimation area continues to improve,” said Dan Plomin, General Manager for Westamerica Display Graphics. “We are increasingly borrowing from Hollywood’s playbook when it comes to building our large designs. Consumers want an immersive experience and we need to deliver at a higher level with each new project. Back-lit signage adds another dimension of engagement.”

The booth garnered special attention from the industry publication, Digital Trends giving it the designation of “Best Booth” among the 101 participating exhibitors at the show.




Special thanks to the GPJ Agency and SPS Studios for the great coverage and photography shown.

AFCU Showcases Community Engagement in Video

By Blog


The team at Affinity Federal Credit Union longed for a better way to communicate their mission to both members and potential members. While their annual report served up key financial information and the traditional forward-looking perspective, they wanted to incorporate the emotion and feelings that only a video can generate. They turned to Westamerica’s Video Production Services.

Working with Account Manager Bree Booth, their team decided that a dedicated “Mission Video” would deliver on AFCU’s key objectives in all forms of media to:

  • Explain the credit union’s purpose
  • Celebrate the commitment to the community
  • Highlight the credit union’s focus on financial well-being

“In addition to getting the main message across, we also wanted to make sure that the content within the video was easily transferable to other media,” explained Bree.

“While a video itself is very powerful, there are many avenues to repurpose and reuse video segments in other areas such as in-branch, social media, the website, employee newsletters and intranet, and more. The content created within a single video has much potential for additional impact.”

The messaging strategy was deliberately very broad and designed to relate to a large group of viewers, including current members, potential members, the general public, staff, and other stakeholders. The AFCU team’s goal was to communicate that it is a member-centric organization that equally balances what’s best for the member with what’s best for the institution.

In order to reinforce credibility and support the brand promise, Westamerica utilized client-provided photos and videos from AFCU events accented with diverse stock footage.

Watch the video here. 

The 2:17 video is now featured throughout their organization and on social media platforms.

Backlit Fabric Printing

Value in Fabric Printing

By Blog

Fabric Puts Your Brand Everywhere

The pace of change in the fabric printing and graphics industry is phenomenal. Today it’s possible for Westamerica to custom design a room, from floor to ceiling…and everything in between. Imagine a room with custom designed upholstery for the couch and chairs, a custom printed rug, and custom window clings and wall coverings. Today’s SEG (Silicone Edge Graphics) fabric displays allow you to do just about anything.

Fabric means new design opportunities for brands

Marketers have pushed the industry and the evolution has begun. Once associated with simple advertising messages, new technology delivers the key benefits that marketers demand including:

Visual Impact – Fabric looks great. Consider it a high-definition image when it’s mounted to a back-lit display frame. It has a more natural, organic look and fabric doesn’t reflect like vinyl. This is extremely important for signage at events that will be broadcast over the Internet or on television.Backlit Fabric

Portability – Fabric is also easier to handle than vinyl. A fabric sign can be folded and shipped with ease. Fabric can weigh as much as 75% less than vinyl, which results in a significant reduction in shipping costs.

Sustainability – Fabric printed signage is biodegradable and can be repurposed for other uses.

More options than ever before

In the past, when you considered fabric, you basically had two options – screen printing (like promotional T-shirts) and dye sublimation (like fashion clothing or upholstery). However, today’s digital technology allows you to even personalize fabric prints. It’s now cost effective to print a single, high quality printed fabric item in a similar manner you might print a single poster. And when it comes to size there are virtually no limits. Imagine the ability to print on fabric that measures ten feet in width and unlimited length. And, if you want something even wider, panels can be printed and sewn together.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly

Wide format printing uses significantly less ink and reduces waste, when compared to screen-printing and other solutions like vinyl. The eco-friendly, water-based inks can be used to produce an unlimited variety of designs, images, and graphics with an unlimited variety of vivid colors. Discover how your visual display marketing can reach new levels of impact with fabrics! Request a sample from your Westamerica representative or see our work!

The “Active for Good” Challenge

By Blog

In the fast-paced marketing communications business, there can be days when we feel overwhelmed by the challenges we face on a tough project. At times like these, I’ve heard folks who are trying to put things into perspective say, “Hey, we’re not saving lives here.” Well, the truth is, our Westamerica Communications family recently had an opportunity to actually save a few lives. We did it by getting a little more active. And we had a blast doing it together.

On World Food Day, October 16, we began a challenge that, when completed, would help save the lives of young children who live halfway around the world and also benefit members of our staff. We partnered with Active for Good and took part in a 30-day activity challenge.

Active For Good provides companies and groups with activity challenges that utilize purpose as a motivator. These challenges connect physical activity with a great cause. In this case, the goal is to double the global budget for Ready-to-use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), the main line of defense against Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).

Without intervention, a child who suffers from SAM, and survives, will suffer from other disorders later in life including the loss of motor skills and stunted growth. With just a six-week treatment of three RUTF packets a day, more than 90% of children recover. These 500-calorie packets contain peanut paste, milk, and a unique mix of vitamins and minerals designed to treat children, six

months to six years of age, who have been diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition. These easy-to-open food-grade packets do not require added water, cooking or refrigeration, and have a two-year shelf life.

Now imagine a group of individuals who, by participating in an activity challenge, can provide these life-saving nutritional food packets to malnourished children in developing countries. The more active the participants, the more points they earn. The points convert into money to buy the RUTF packets.

There’s something to be said for, “Purpose as a motivator.” The idea of doing something for someone else, participating in an activity to provide life-saving food for children, has an impact on people’s lives. We all know we should eat right and exercise, but many times we don’t act on that knowledge. Doing something for someone else gives us a reason to set a goal. Requiring an action, not just writing a check, engages the participants on both a physical and deeper emotional level.

The Challenge Begins

To begin the challenge, we divided into three teams. Our Team Captains were super pumped for the challenge. Whether participants walked, ran, rode a bike or swam – whatever they enjoyed doing to get active – that activity would convert into points to help their team, the company, and the children.

Active for Good does a great job at keeping the emotional level high. Each participant can download the Active for Good app that tracks their activity and notifies them as they reach new levels. Individuals earn points for steps (walking around) and for minutes of activity. The app displays one leaderboard for individuals and another for teams. This creates a little competition, both between and within teams. People can also connect the app to their Apple Health or Google Fit systems that come with their mobile phone or connect the app to their Garmin or Fitbit. The app’s real-time display was a motivator for those who were close to an activity milestone.

Participants also received individual emails as they went through the challenge. Once they gathered 500 points, they were notified that “You’ve just provided your first meal for a child.” The email also contained a link to a video that showed how the packets are made.

Super active participants could earn a couple packets a day. When participants reached 150 packets, one treatment for a child, an email went out saying, “You just saved a life.”

As the challenge progressed, participants were also notified by email of the Most Improved Team and Most Improved Person.

Westamerica’s Active for Good Challenge

Our employees truly embraced this 30-day challenge. Many averaged over 500 points a day, while more active employees averaged over 700 points a day. Among the 72 participates, I heard words like, “crushing it,” “neck and neck,” “taking it to the next level,” and “untouchable.” The competition was fierce but friendly.

We wrapped up our Active for Good challenge on November 16th. I’m proud to say that our teams earned 1,706 ready-to-use therapeutic food packets thus saving 11 young children suffering from the effects of severe acute malnutrition. These packets will be distributed in Somalia, South Sudan, and other countries by aid organizations like UNICEF, Feed the Children, and World Vision.

This attempt at recycling calories proved to be beneficial both for the employees who took part in the challenge and the children who benefited from their actions.

As a way of recognizing the efforts of our teams, we presented trophies to individuals who reached specific milestones. Congratulations to all of the employees who participated.

If you’re curious about the positive impact you or your company can have on children in developing countries, click here.

Is Your Marketing Playbook Ready for 2019?

By Blog

“We will be perfect in every aspect of the game. You drop a pass, you run a mile. You miss a blocking assignment, you run a mile. You fumble the football, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts and then you will run a mile. Perfection! Let’s go to work.”

– Remember the Titans

Planning and preparation creates perfection. It makes the difference between unremarkable results and extraordinary ones. Anything extraordinary takes planning.

Do you want 2019 to be extraordinary? Then you must have a plan.

Creating a Successful Marketing Plan

Good marketing is crucial to help you achieve your company objectives. A good marketing plan will help you connect to your target audience, boost your customer base, blunt your competitive threats and ultimately, increase your bottom line.

Consumers have all the power these days. They are actively looking for points of distinction before making buying decisions, and they’re not afraid to shift their loyalty. So it’s up to you to keep your unique features right out front to ensure that your product/service is there when the customer is ready to buy.

Now is the Time

As we approach the end of the year, now is a good time to reflect on this current year’s efforts. How successful were your campaigns? What worked? What didn’t? What should you do differently next time? You need to gather concrete data and use it for future planning.

Do you have any objective data to consider such as email tracking, promotional codes, a unique phone number, business reply forms and other techniques to measure response rates? Calculate ROI on those projects and use that insight to build future efforts focusing on which efforts are working, eliminating those that aren’t.

Based on the data from this year’s marketing efforts, start building a marketing plan for 2019.

Key Elements of a Marketing Plan

Whether you’re developing a B2B or B2C marketing plan, successful campaigns begin with research. This requires you to get involved and stay informed. What are the needs of your target audience? What are the trends in the current market? What are the latest regulations that might affect their business? What are your competitors up to? The more you can keep in touch with overall conditions, the better.

As you answer these questions, start thinking of how you can craft a compelling message in a way that answers the needs of your prospective clients. While it’s good to explain the product features, it’s better to describe benefits. And it’s even better to clearly show how those benefits can make their life more comfortable, more enjoyable, or more rewarding.

Developing an Integrated Marketing Plan

Today you have to deliver your message in more than one format. By leveraging all the appropriate media, you can capture additional opportunities for communicating. Television and radio spots, lobby videos, your website, email blasts, social media, and other techniques will reach a wide variety of demographics at various times and places. Using the right mix of all the key tools, in line with your budget limitations and marketing opportunities, is the ultimate goal. It’s all about striking a balance.

Building an Effective Marketing Plan is Easy

How can you develop an effective marketing plan? At Westamerica Communications, we provide clients with a workbook to help them assess, refine, create and build a marketing plan. Our 2019 Marketing Calendar & Planner contains proven guidelines for success. Some of these include:

  • Setting specific, realistic objectives
  • Targeting clients in terms of demographics, needs, wants and “hot-buttons”
  • Determining the most effective medium: direct mail, radio/TV, direct selling, email, social media, in-branch merchandising
  • Reviewing past promotional results and challenges to help predict future opportunities

Even a relatively small marketing project can have lots of moving parts. The key to tying them all together is consistent communication. Internal coordination can help minimize redundancies, revisions and false starts, which often add extra time and cost to a project. Working with Westamerica gives you a real advantage with external coordination, eliminating the need for multiple vendors and keeping you firmly in control.

Careful planning will help make 2019 an extraordinary year for your business. If you’d like to receive the 2019 Marketing Calendar & Planner, you can find it HERE

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” 

― Yogi Berra