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Backlit Fabric Printing

Value in Fabric Printing

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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

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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?

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“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

Get Outside the “Blur” and Improve Your Effectiveness

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How much time do you get each day to spend thinking vs. doing, proacting vs. reacting and innovating versus executing?

Probably not as much as you’d like. Most people would like to find a way to increase their overall results but also get back some quality time in their work lives.

 

 Living your life inside “the blur”

 The “Blur” is what I’m calling our professional space inside this work-a-day world.

We jump on the treadmill in the morning and it keeps on moving until the day is over. Like the poem above says, streaks of color and (sometimes) nothing more. It can feel like a blur.

Your days are moving faster and faster too. Part of that is due your natural aging process. Each year you live the “faster” life moves. It’s a mathematical formula at work. Each year is a smaller part of the years that you have already lived therefore it moves “faster.” Or so it seems to.

More blur. Life can pass you by before you know it.

As I reflect on the “typical” day of a 21st Century Marketer, it’s easy to see why one can become a victim of blur or “blurnout.”

There are several things at work…

  1.  Technology allows us to conduct work 24/7. And some of you are actually doing that!
  2.  Marketing creative software (from web creation, email, and graphic design) has been simplified to create content easier and faster. That means the manager or staff, can now do everything themselves…and they do!
  3.  Information is now accessible from anywhere at any time. That means if you want to know how a program is performing, you can find out, immediately. And you do!

This is life in the blur. And it’s not necessarily a path to success.

 Stop the blur, I want to get off!

Getting outside the “blur” is important for marketers. Creating great marketing ideas typically doesn’t happen while you are juggling five activities at once. The typical marketer today is writing content for a blog, checking social media for status, reviewing the web traffic numbers, creating designs and promotions and even talking to customers. This leaves precious time for coming up with that killer campaign idea. Or, the next great new product.

Staying in the blur is not the recipe for success.

In a recent article by Lindsey Elias, The Importance of Downtime, she outlined three recent studies identifying the importance of downtime.

  1. A 2011 study from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign helped put a decades-old theory to rest when it proved that even brief diversions from tasks can drastically improve a person’s ability to focus on the job at hand for prolonged periods of time.
  2. A Harvard Business Review article discussing research led by Sophie Ellwood details a scenario where undergraduate psychology students were broken into groups to complete a common task. It was found that the group which had been given a break to work on an unrelated task during the activity was also the one that generated the most ideas.
  3. A Study from the University of British Columbia shows that “our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought. Activity in numerous brain regions increases when our minds wander, according to new research. Psychologists found that brain areas associated with complex problem-solving—previously thought to go dormant when we daydream—are in fact highly active during these episodes.”

How to be more productive with more downtime

Rosalie Puiman writes in the Huffington Post that there is not just one sort of downtime, there are at least three types, and we need all of them.

  1. The first is sleep. Solid, good quality sleep gives your brain the possibility to revive itself and the body. It’s an opportunity to incorporate everything you’ve experienced during the day.
  2. The second sort of downtime is a vacation. A longer period (at least three to five days) of being away from work is a great way to revitalize. By being away from your normal routine, you get the chance to look at your life from a different perspective.
  3. The third form of downtime is both the smallest and the hardest. It’s those little nuggets of emptiness in your head that come from meditation, a nature walk, playing sports or just enjoying a cappuccino on a terrace in the middle of your working day.

They sound easy enough, as they are relatively short, but the challenge is in the continuity. Our brain needs this type of downtime several times during the day. Tony Schwartz of The Energy Project proposes to have a break after every 90 minutes of work to be optimally productive.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

If you are finding that you simply don’t have enough time in your day take a very hard look at what you are doing. Can somebody else do it for you? Can you outsource certain projects to a qualified agency for some relief?

You really do your best and most original thinking between the blurs. You owe it to yourself to find some extra time in the day!

Understanding the Increase in Paper Prices

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Our country’s economy is moving along at an impressive pace. Consumer confidence is up while unemployment is at its lowest rate in decades. All of this is good news. An increase in employment rates means more money will be spent on goods and services. Those goods and services need promotional materials and packaging, which is good for all of us here at Westamerica. The problem is, greater demand for print materials means greater demand for paper. And demand can’t always keep up with supply.

There are a number of outside influences that affect the demand for paper, which in turn result in increased costs. One big change that is having a major effect on the paper industry comes from China.

China and Paper Prices

As the world’s largest paper recycler, China uses both local and imported waste paper to produce pulp used in the production of recycled paper. Until recently, some 24% of this waste paper was imported from the United States, Europe, and other countries. At the beginning of 2018, China stopped accepting most waste paper, along with 23 other kinds of solid waste including plastic and electronic waste. Chinese officials have said the ban on importing solid waste is due to the environmental impact it has on the health of their people.

This event has caused an enormous problem. China does a lot of printing and much of the paper they’ve used for printing came from the recycled paper they made from the imported waste paper. If China is no longer taking waste paper and turning it into pulp, they must now buy that pulp on the open market. Some estimates show that China is now consuming over 30% of the world’s pulp.

The second factor having a major impact on the cost of paper is the closing of a number of paper mills throughout the country. Georgia-Pacific, International Paper, and Kimberly-Clark are just three of the many paper companies that have closed some of their manufacturing facilities. This leads to a tightening supply of US inventory levels.

In 2017 there was a reduction in both coated and uncoated paper production and 2018 will see additional declines from 8-9% of these grades.

Transportation Costs

Another situation that’s having a negative impact on the paper industry is the rising cost of transportation. There are two significant factors causing the increase in transportation. First is the lack of truck drivers. The trucking industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand, according to an industry analyst.

Second is the cost associated with trucking has gone up. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted the electronic logging device rule or ELD mandate. Carriers must have installed ELDs to electronically record a driver’s “Record of Duty Status” by the end of 2017. This mandate, in part, has led carriers to increased contract rates by 10%-15%. Add to this, the increase in gas prices and you can understand the increase in transportation costs.

Westamerica Can Help

While these increased costs will affect all print vendors, at Westamerica we feel we are in a unique position to help mitigate some of these increases.

First, understand that paper and transportation are only part of the cost associated with your printed products.

Second, we have invested in equipment and employee training that can offset some of these increases.

For example, our Komori H-UV system reduces power consumption by 66% over a conventional UV press. There is also a significant reduction in makeready time and materials.

In addition, both our Komori and our digital presses have the ability to print on a wide variety of paper stocks. Our equipment allows for greater flexibility in paper choice, which allows you to select paper that meets both your design goals and your financial requirements.

Westamerica’s digital printing capabilities allow for more economical shorter runs, while our variable data printing capabilities allow us to run multiple versions of a job on the same stock at the same time.

In addition to our equipment, our highly trained team will help you design and produce your product in a cost effective manner. Our sales reps, CSRs, and designers understand the unique challenges you face in reaching your marketing goals. For example, something as simple as a slightly different paper stock, available in a different size, may meet your goals and result in a cost-effective product.

As these changes take place, I encourage you to reach out to our team for help. It’s important that we work together to help you realize your marketing goals.

The Digital Playground is Getting Crowded

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The digital playground is getting very crowded these days. The big kids are bringing in their newest toys and establishing the rules. And it didn’t take long for many smaller players to offer up their own unique solutions allowing companies at every level to create their own digital media operation.

In 2017 Digital ad spending reached $209 Billion worldwide (41% of the market) surpassing TV advertising at $178 Billion (35% of the market).

In fact, by 2020 Digital will continue to grow at double digits and is estimated to represent half of all media expenses.

While digital continues to grow, seemingly unabated, how are some marketers cutting through despite the ever-crowded landscape?

Digital is not the same as other media

Strategists from all walks of life agree that to get noticed you have to be different. In a digital environment where one can’t differentiate by platform (virtually all the advertising platforms offer similar general experience), the messaging must alone do all the heavy lifting.

While your ad recipient is in the middle of lunch, a visit to the restroom, or doing who knows what, your ad will be presented. While they multi-task in the midst of another mindless activity they may be reading your message—or not.

That’s probably why Forbes reported in 2017 that the “recollected reach”—the percentage of total population reached who recall a campaign—is lowest for digital media (online banners and videos), hitting a ceiling at around 30%.

By comparison, television advertising is far more scalable. While it is much more costly than digital media for reaching relatively few consumers, TV messages are recollected at a higher rate—as high as 60%, according to one study.

Although the ads that are running on TV and Digital might be the same, the interest level is higher with TV.

With the total media spending of Digital and TV both continuing to grow and slicing up the viewership spectrum into every smaller segments, where do marketers go to stand out?

“Contrarian marketing tactics” that harken back to an earlier time

Big players are reassessing their media budgets and allocating more resources to direct mail. The old standby still has strong proponents that value creating an experience with their product at the point of communication.

The issue of the right mix is always at play. According to Denise Lee Yohn, writing in the Harvard Business Review, multi-channel shopping and buying is on the rise, and retailers know that customers who use more than one of their channels are usually the most valuable.

Nordstrom reports that customers who have a multi-channel relationship with the brand spend four times as much as those who do not. Bonobos shares similar results, with Craig Elbert, vice president of marketing, reporting that 20% of the website’s first-time customers are placing their orders after having received a catalog and are spending one and a half times as much as new shoppers who didn’t receive a catalog first.

In the past month I have received a magazine from my credit card company, Restoration Hardware and a Taylor Guitar newsletter. Could these have been sent digitally? Of course they could have. Would I have read them? Probably not!

When a relationship matters, direct mail says it best

These companies took the time and incurred the expense to send me their information in an effort to build a relationship. They are affording me a deeper, more intimate look at their services, their people, their stories and their successes.

It seems to be working. According to the DMA, more direct mail is being sent out and consumer response rates are up. Engagement is growing as the clutter declines.

Direct mail plays well with others

At Westamerica we like to say, “dominate both mailboxes.” The most successful campaigns leverage all appropriate media to ensure that messaging is cutting across all relevant channels to ensure the highest reach. That means using digital media and complementary media offline, like direct mail. Direct mail mixes well with most other forms of media and very well with digital through cross-promotion technologies.

Now that digital media is moving into a mature category it means other media shares will be stabilizing. We believe in the midst of this direct mail will be growing at even higher rates.

Wide Format Fabric Printing Machine

Fabric Printing Opens Design Opportunities for Brand Owners

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The pace of change in the printing and graphics industry is phenomenal. It seems every day a new and exciting substrate, ink, or printing material has been developed for use in a new and different way. For example, with the equipment and materials in our wide format printing department, it’s possible to custom design a room, from floor to ceiling.

Imagine a room with custom designed upholstery for the couch and chairs, a custom printed rug, and custom window clings and wall coverings. With our wide format printing capabilities, including our new Impres™ 4320 Soft Signage Solution, we can custom design a room for one person or an entire building with a corporate theme. It’s like a vehicle wrap for buildings.

The industry has come a long way from printing banners. The advancements in fabric printing have changed indoor and outdoor event décor and signage forever.

Advantaged to Fabric Printing

Using fabric as a printing substrate has many advantages over other materials, such as vinyl, traditionally used in wide format printing. These include:

  1. Fabric can weigh as much as 75% less than vinyl, which results in a significant reduction in shipping costs.
  2. Fabric is also easier to handle than vinyl thus a fabric sign can be folded and shipped with ease.
  3. Wide format printing on fabric for in-store installations also looks better than vinyl; it has a more natural, organic look.
  4. Fabric looks great – almost like hi-def – when it’s mounted to a back-lit display frame.
  5. Fabric is also a biodegradable display solution
  6. Fabric doesn’t reflect like vinyl. This is extremely important for signage at events that will be broadcast over the Internet or on television.

The past screen printing, the future dye sublimation

In the past, when you thought about printing on fabric, you basically had two options. You had screen-printing for short runs and offset printing, using dye sublimation inks, for long runs. Today, with wide format digital dye sublimation fabric printers, you have the best of both worlds.

Wide format printing uses significantly less ink and reduces waste, when compared to screen-printing. The eco-friendly, dye sublimation water-based inks can be used to produce an unlimited variety of designs, images, and graphics with an unlimited variety of vivid colors.

When it comes to size, forget about an eight-foot-long tablecloth. Imagine the ability to print on fabric that measures ten feet in width and unlimited length. And, if you want something even wider, we can print panels and sew them together.

Besides virtually unlimited colors and size, consider the variety of fabrics and substrates available with wide format printing. I’m very impressed with dye sub printing inks on a backlit fabric. The light defusing capabilities combined with the intense dye sub colors make for amazing displays.

These advances in printing technology provide unlimited design opportunities for designers and brand owners when considering indoor and outdoor event décor and signage. Check out what we have of offer!

A Great Time was Had By All

By | Blog

Well, it’s official. After months of talking about the advantages of wide and grand format printing, we’ve pulled the trigger and opened Westamerica’s Display Graphics Division. So, what better way to announce the opening of our new facility in Irvine than a party. And not just any party, an Endless Summer Party!

The party was both a celebration and a promise. The event celebrated good clients, supportive vendor partners, and friends and family. It was meant to be an expression of gratitude to those who have helped us become who we are today.

In addition, it was a promise of even greater things yet to come as we continue to invest in capabilities that are important to our clients.

The Fun Team

In late Spring 2018, just after the acquisition of our new 10-foot fabric printer, the Impres™ 4320, we looked for ways to alert our clients to the new and varied capabilities of our wide and grand format printing equipment. We used conventional means of communication such as emails, blogs, and social media. Our sales reps discussed our new capabilities with their clients. However, to truly visualize the marketing and branding opportunities possible with wide and grand format printing, you have to see it in person.

You can try to describe it, but it’s not until you’re standing next to an 18-foot long by 8-foot high dye sublimation image mounted to an aluminum frame, backlit by LED lights, that you can truly appreciate the visual impact of a grand format print.

So last spring, we challenged our Fun Team to create an event that would be both fun and educational. The Fun Team is a group of volunteers at Westamerica who work together with our creative team to put together internal events for our employees and outward facing events for our clients. They came up with an Endless Summer themed party.

Our new facility in Irvine houses some fantastic wide and grand format capabilities. Once our Fun Team became familiar with what the equipment could do, they went to work on designing some colorful and creative summer themed graphics.

The Endless Summer Party

As visitors arrived at the party, they were greeted at a tent with two ten foot high and half inch thick palm trees. Between the two trees was a sign reading Endless Summer. The team had created and printed these trees on our Vutek LX3250. This machine can print on materials up to two-inches thick. They then used the Colex router to cut out the trees to create a freestanding display.

Keeping with the tropical summer theme, as visitors entered the production room, they walked on floor graphics with images of sand on the beach and water with a dock. These were also printed on our Vutek LX3250.

Once inside, visitors enjoyed tropical themed food and drink while standing at custom printed cocktail tables. Others tried their hand at a bean bag toss game with custom printed cornhole platforms.

In addition to signage, our team created gifts for each of our visitors. These, too, were produced on our equipment.

Taking advantage of the printing and sewing capabilities of our new equipment, the team created custom designed Endless Summer shopping bags. Inside the bags were gifts that were also created at Westamerica’s Design Graphics Division. With the help of our structural design team, the Fun Team created small custom printed treasure boxes with chocolates inside. These were a great way to highlight our Colex Cutter and structural building capabilities.

The gift bags also contained stress balls in the shape of a pineapple. Each of the stress balls had a tag outlining our promotional products capabilities.

There were many activities that made this event special. Thanks to the generosity of our vendor partners, our guests were able to participate in hourly door prize drawings. And the grand prize was, of course, a bag of Doug’s Beans, coffee beans home roasted by yours truly.

Our Special Visitors

Earlier in the day, we were honored to have Brian Star, President and CEO of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, along with Jessica Welch, SR Director of Operations, and Danielle Spellman, Membership Services Manager, who helped us with our ribbon-cutting ceremony, complete with bright red ribbon and a large pair of scissors.

We were especially honored to have Michael-Anne Vasquez from the Wyland Foundation as our guest speaker. Our relationship with the Foundation stretches back years. We believe in their mission to help children and families around the nation discover the importance of healthy oceans and waterways.

One way the foundation spreads the word is with their large semi-trailer mobile learning center. We were fortunate enough to have it on site that day to help draw attention to the work done by the Wyland Foundation. In addition, we made a sizeable donation to the foundation.

A Learning Experience

I feel the event was a big success. Our primary goal was to introduce our clients to our new wide and large format printing capabilities. I know when clients see these new marketing opportunities first hand they are inspired. As I walked through the event, I heard people discussing how they could use floor graphics, wall graphics, and frosted images on glass walls in their environment and with their clients.

Visitors were also impressed with our fabric printing capabilities. They were talking with one another about the advantages of fabric over traditional wide format substrates like vinyl.

It was also interesting to hear current clients say, “I didn’t know you guys did that?” It’s funny, in our industry, we see a constant evolution of graphics capabilities. Yet, with all the promotion and marketing we do, sometimes it takes an “in person” event to impress upon a client the many and varied marketing opportunities available in our industry.

A Standardized System of Color Identification

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Have you ever looked at a word and wondered, “Why is it spelled like that?” I understand “I” before “E” except after “C,” but why? Who said so? I’m sure there’s a group of linguists out there who would gladly explain all of this to me, but I think I’ll take a pass.

When you think about it, a dictionary is just a wordbook that someone compiled to make sure we all spelled words the same way. It was a way to standardize the language.

Standardization is essential in many areas of life. For example, you know you’re placing an envelope in the appropriate box because you recognize the FS 15050 blue of a USPS mailbox. And, you know you’re on an interstate highway because you recognize the FS 14115 green of the exit sign on the freeway. Both of these colors are part of the Federal Standard 595 color description and communication system developed in 1956 by the United States government.

Color Standardization

Here at Westamerica Communications, we, too, use a color standard to measure the work we produce. If you’ve met with our graphic designers or walked through our printing facility, you’ve no doubt seen the Pantone® color swatch books we use to standardize our color reproduction. Standardization leads to consistency. These books make sure that both our clients and employees agree that Pantone 185 is really the spot color that belongs on a particular piece of print collateral.

Color Dictionaries

It may interest you to know that over 250 years before Pantone® created their color swatch books a Dutch artist by the name of A. Boogert detailed every color in the spectrum in an 800+ page color dictionary called, Traité des couleurs servant à la peinture à l’eauonly. And he did it all by hand.

The book, written in 1692, was intended as an educational guide and contained information on mixing watercolors. At the beginning of the book, Boogert explained the use of color in painting and went on to demonstrate how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water.

According to historian Daniel Lewis, Chief Curator of Manuscripts at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, “Color dictionaries were designed to give people around the world a common vocabulary to describe the colors of everything from rocks and flowers to stars, birds, and postage stamps.”

Mineralogist Abraham Gottlob Werner created his own color dictionary that attempted to create a standardized system of color identification. He devised a standardized color scheme that allowed him to describe even the subtlest of chromatic differences with consistent terminology. Werner’s Nomenclature of Colours was first published in 1814. The rich handwritten descriptions included examples of where each color could be seen in animals, vegetables, and minerals. The book is a delight to read. Colors like Arterial Blood Red, Sap Green, and Velvet Black are found within its pages.

Patrick Syme, an Edinburgh flower painter, created color charts to update Werner’s book. He used minerals that Werner had described in his book to create the color charts.

 

This 1814 color dictionary has now been republished by Smithsonian Books as a pocket-sized guide. You can get your copy by clicking here.

So, whether you’re looking for the right word to use in a blog or the right color for a printed piece, it’s good to know there’s a dictionary to keep us all on the same page.

Westamerica Communications - Direct Marketing

CPS does more to stand out!

By | Blog

We all love to receive gifts. And sometimes, the gift-wrap can be as much fun as the gift! The right packaging can show that the giver has gone the extra step to make the gift giving special. The truth is, presentation is everything.

Recently, we completed a fun project for one of our clients who wanted to make their gift giving a little special. CPS Insurance Services (CPS) specializes in Life Insurance, Annuities, Disability
Income and Long Term Care products. One of their core values is Creativity. Their creative approach extends beyond creating innovative strategies and meaningful solutions for their clients. It extends to their gift giving as well. A good example of this creative approach can be seen in the way CPS rewards their special clients. A lot of companies give clients tickets to sporting events.
But here’s where CPS stands out. They didn’t want to simply place the tickets into a plain white envelope, give it to the client and say, “Have a great time.” They wanted their creativity to be seen in all they do.

To help in the creation of this project Courtney Croitori, Graphic Designer at CPS, worked with Greg Yerkes, from Westamerica. With over 30+ years of experience in the printing and marketing field, Greg is fully aware of the many and varied printing and finishing techniques available to make this project a success. The finished product had the look and feel that Courtney was looking for. The tri-fold baseball ticket packaging was a home run for both CPS and for Westamerica!