Posted on

4 Reasons Your Professional Services Business Should work With A Print Companyaccoustic communcation

Why Professional Services Business Should work With A Print Company

Are you a hard-working professional services proprietor who uses printed products like brochures and presentation folders in your daily work routine? Many professional services including lawyers, chiropractic offices and travel agencies rely on printed products to promote their services to their clients and potential clients. Professional services use printed resources to convey important messages daily – make sure you get the best value possible by collaborating with experts like us! 

As a hard-working professional we understand that running a business can be stressful. Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard aims to take care of all your print needs so that you can outsource the time and labour needed to successfully market your business.  

For 4 Reasons why your professional services company should work with printing specialists like us, continue reading below: 

4 reasons you should use print in your Professional Services business 

  1. Outsource your printing needs 

Too much on your plate? We will take care of your outsourcing needs. Hiring a printing company can help save you time and money. By using our professional graphic designers, we can bring your vision to life. You as a professional take on a lot daily as it is, so let us take care of your restock and delivery needs. We can set you up on a re-order plan making it easier to schedule you restocks and deliveries. 

  1. Benefit from the work of professional graphic designers 

Do you have a vision and want to see it come to life? At Minuteman we specialize in Graphic Design. By collaborating with our professional graphic designers, we can make that happen. Minuteman can help you create designs that stand for your business and target your audience effectively. Some of the products we can help you design include brochures, presentation folders, and mailing cards to promote your services. 


Does your business need an effective way to get vital information across? Brochures are an excellent resource for professionals. They hold a large amount of information in a small area giving you lots of space to convey your message. These products are easily distributed and can be placed easily in many popular locations to relay essential information to potential clients. Most importantly these printed resources are very cost-effective compared to other products. 

Presentation Folders 

Want to look professional for your next important meeting? Presentation folders are an excellent resource to have. While looking professional they also are effective for keeping all your important documents organized. Presentation folders can be customized to promote your services including your logo, mission statements and contact information. design your folders to promote your services can help your clients or potential new clients remember you just by looking at your folder during a presentation. 

Mailings for clients 

A valuable resource in any professional service is mailings for clients and potential clients. This allows you to convey your message and relay valuable information directly to your clients or potential clients. At Minuteman we use Canada Post to efficiently and effectively deliver your direct mail. You can customize and use your branding to design effective mailing cards to be sent out. With our direct mailing services, we can target a specific client base and attract new clients and keep current clients connected. 

  1. Support your local business network 

Minuteman is a locally owned franchise by collaborating with us you are helping support local small businesses. We pride ourselves as businesspeople who are active in our local community supplying exceptional quality and services. We supply support to many other local businesses by supplying their services and keeping them in business helps the community as a whole. By supporting local small businesses, you are supporting your community. 

  1. Print is still one of the most effective marketing tools 

In a world that’s increasingly become more digital, many business owners make the mistake of slacking on their print marketing. Digital and direct go hand in hand when creating the best marketing tools for your business. Print marketing materials can be personalized, therefore creating the ability to form a highly personal connection with your client or potential client. By creating a sensory impact as well clients are more likely to remember your brand compared to a digital tool. 


Are you ready to obtain a wider client base and keep clients intrigued? Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard can collaborate with you to create the right printed products to promote your services. We specialize in graphic design for all your printing needs. Contact us  today to bring your vision to life and start promoting your services. 

Posted on

Supply Chain Challenges Affecting the Print Industry

Supply Chain Challenges

Supply chain challenges have resulted in increased costs on major materials used by the printing industry.

During the height of the pandemic, there was a decrease in consumer demand which slowed production down. It also led to manufacturers laying off employees and reducing operations. The world then began to open back up and the global supply chain was not ready to meet the skyrocketing demand.

With limited supply and higher than usual demand, manufacturers have increased their prices. As a result, print companies are having to raise their prices and are facing interruptions in supply including major materials like ink, paper, printing supplies, and more.

We wanted to provide a glimpse into why certain pressures are affecting the supply chain – such as delivery time and cost due to price of fuel as an example. Below are several factors that have impact on your print jobs with Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard.


Inflation is all around us. Your favorite meal from your favorite fast-food restaurant is now more expensive than it was 12 months ago. The same thing is happening to the materials printers use to produce your projects. Paper, ink, binding material and more. Everything is now more expensive, and those prices will climb even more within the year.

Because of this, printers must possibly also increase the prices of their products so they can keep running their business smoothly. This may mean that a project you have ordered in the past with your printer may have a higher price now if you decide to reorder it. So, be sure to ask your printer about other options if the new prices do not match your budget.

Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard has done everything within our power to not let these supply chain challenges affect our pricing or service levels.

Theresa , Dennis, Raj, and entire Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard Team


Paper pricing is on the rise for many reasons. Canada Post changes, paper shortages, high demand for paper, and the increase in transportation costs are just a couple of the reasons paper is a leader in the supply chain challenges.

While many businesses were forced to shut down or slow down, there was a decrease in the need for marketing materials like catalogsbrochures, or even newspapers. Everyone was at home and shopping online. Now with many businesses back open, running, and eager to grow. Print marketing materials are in high demand, and the materials to produce them are scarce.

For commercial printers, the biggest issue for paper has been the need to increase their prices and the difficulty in finding specialty papers for custom orders. And if they can find them, they are taking longer to arrive and are priced higher than ever before.

While printers are being forced to raise their prices, it’s important to try and stay with your preferred printer’s standard paper options. This is because your printer regularly orders these paper stocks and stores them in-house, so they are always ready. Along with this, your printer’s standard or “preferred stocks” will always be cheaper than the specialty paper options.

Ink Products

Ink and toner have been impacted the same way paper has been. Increase in transportation costs, sporadic demand, and supply chain constraints have all played a role in the increased price of ink. In general, base inks or the typical vegetable-based inks that printers use every day and orders are beginning to experience delays. Specialty inks and coatings are becoming very scarce and more difficult to find. This means that when you order a custom product that involves specialty inks or coating like aqueous coatings, you will want to plan and place your order much earlier than you usually would to avoid any delays.

Keep in mind that planning and ordering early is a good practice for standard projects as well.


We have all seen an increase in the number of “Now Hiring” signs posted on the outside of every other building we pass by. Staffing levels is another core cause of the overall supply chain challenges impacting the print industry.

The difficulty in finding new employees is not just hitting small businesses, it is hitting the mail carriers, paper mills, ink manufacturers, transportation services, and more. With a decrease in staffing and an increase in demand, delays are inevitable. In fact, just in Eastern Ontario, there was an audit that found more than 15 million pieces of mail were delayed last year because of staffing issues.

Turnaround Time

Orders have been coming in at a rapid speed due to trade shows and events being back up and running, more companies learning about the benefits of print and direct mail, and in general businesses just running their operations and marketing campaigns more normally compared to during the peak of the pandemic. Because of the influx of projects coming in – and so many of them as a “rush” – on top of the supply chain delays, printers often include flex days or padded days to give their production team enough time to accommodate these changes.

Planning early has always been a good idea. Now more than ever, it will ensure a successful print campaign to start earlier and pad the timeline to accommodate the supply chain challenges.


The cost of gas compounds the past two years of uncertainty. As the cost of fuel rises, logistics companies are forced to raise prices or take losses. In turn, the cost of fuel does not only affect the logistics company, but also the shipper and the client. It is an outward domino effect. If the shipper is going to be charged more to transport the freight, the receiver is going to be charged more to make up for their added costs.

If your campaign with us is a Direct Mail campaign, we also need to keep a watch on Canada Post service levels and delivery schedules. Because Canada Post is a printer’s carrier and not part of the turnaround time, the only thing your printer can do is work hard to make sure the turnaround is what you need and help you track where your project is once it has left their facility.

Because of this, it is even more important to plan your print and mail campaigns earlier than normal to make sure your print project or direct mail materials arrive when you need them to and not later.

Production Supplies

Supplies used during production including cartons, banding materials, pallets and plastic wrap are all in short supply. This is because the manufacturers who printers receive these materials from are having trouble acquiring the raw materials, they need to produce these needed supplies.


There is an increase in shipping needs across every industry and with this increase, there is also a shortage of transportation trucks and drivers inevitably causing the reliability of deliveries arriving on time to decrease significantly.

Postscript: It’s all about turn-around time!

The more you plan for the worst-case scenario, the more likely your deadline can be met. Here are two ways to deal with this. First, plan early! Try to submit your purchase order at least one to two weeks before your files are ready, especially for larger runs or projects that involve a mailing component. That way, we can order the materials in advance, giving us a cushion if there is a shortage. Second, if you can, you should also build extra time into your expected delivery date. For example, if you normally expect a job to take two weeks from when you release the files, give yourself an extra week or so in the short term until this is all straightened out.

Although the supply chain challenges remain uncertain, proper planning will ensure that you get what you need on time. Save yourself the time and stress by thinking ahead, your future self will thank you!

Contact us today to start the conversation. 

Posted on

Direct Mail Design Tips to Maximize Effectiveness

Direct mail

There are dozens of distinct types of direct mail design formats to choose from, including catalogs, postcards, envelopes and letters, brochures, greeting cards, newsletters, and more.

And designing each type of direct mail has key differences to consider. For example, when designing your catalog, you need to account for the different pages. For brochures, you need to take into consideration the type of fold you are designing for.

While there are specific design factors that come into play for each different type of direct mail product, there are overarching things that never change. And to ensure an effective direct mail design, no matter if you’re designing a postcard or catalog, these direct mail design tips will help you launch a successful direct mail campaign.

7 Direct Mail Design Tips to Maximize your Next Campaigns

1. Know Who Your Audience Is 

Direct mail campaigns are typically sent to existing customers or a new audience, and no matter what, you need to make sure your direct mail pieces are designed for your specific target audience. You need to understand what your audience wants and what they are interested in so you can better design your direct mail pieces in a way that persuades them to act. For example, what offers will your audience respond to. What kind of images reflect who they are? What tone and style will they resonate more with? 

When you know who you’re targeting in your direct mail campaign, you’ll be better able to design an effective direct mail message. 

2. Consider the Copy Carefully 

The copy within your direct mail design should be clear, concise, tailored to your target audience, and it should be organized well. Direct the copy to your audiences’ interests; for example, if you’re promoting your restaurant, what is important to your audience? Could it be your family friendly atmosphere or your unique and international dishes? Whatever is important to your target audience, from the tone to the actual words, you want to include it within your copy. 

You also want to make sure your copy is clear and gets straight to the point. You have less than 5 seconds to grab your audiences’ attention when they first view your direct mail piece, so you want to be careful not to include too much text that may turn the reader away from your message. 

3. Stick to Your Brand Guidelines 

Follow your brand guidelines within your direct mail design. And don’t forget to include your logo! 

Brand guidelines are a set of rules and standards that need to be followed to ensure your brand is being represented consistently. And they should be followed throughout all marketing channels, including direct mail. If your company uses a certain tone, whether playful or serious, or if your brand has a set typeface you use for all printed materials, website content, and digital marketing collateral, then you should use that tone and typeface in your direct mail design as well. 

This goes for colours, icons, image formatting, and style as well. The goal is to have all your marketing materials, and other branded content united so that it strengthens your brand and so that no matter if someone is looking at your postcard, poster, or display ad, they know it’s you. 

4. Use Imagery That Reflects Your Message 

Once you know who your audience is, and have the messaging down, you want to choose imagery that reflects both. For example, if you’re including images of people, choose ones that include people who are around the same age as your audience. If you’re a family-oriented business targeting families, include an image of a family, or if you’re targeting people with pets, include images of people with their pets. 

The imagery you choose to include within your direct mail design, of course, should be of high quality with a resolution of at least 300 dpi to ensure crisp printing of your imagery, but it also needs to reflect your audience and your message. For instance, if a credit union was promoting their auto loan services, they could use an image that has a car in it, while their direct mailer that promotes their low-interest home equity loans could include an image of a family in their home. 

This may sound like an easy decision, but it’s so important to remember within your direct mail design because images are often the first thing people notice, which means your images need to quickly grab your recipient’s attention and attract them to read more.  

5. Use Negative Space and High Contrast in Your Direct Mail Design 

When it comes to design in general, whether for a sign, a digital advertisement, or direct mail, you always want to include contrast, negative space and/or white space. This doesn’t mean you need to include the actual colour white; instead, you want the background of your design (whether black, red, or blue) to balance and break up the design elements. This will make it easier for your audience to read and absorb the information you are sharing with them. 

What is the first thing you want your audience to look at? What is the most important part of your direct mail design? This may include your headline or image, and it will always include your call to action. Whatever it is, you need to use contrast to draw attention to your most important design elements. Using sharp contrast in your direct mail design not only drives attention to vital information but it also makes your direct mail stand out and makes it easier for your audience to read. 

Also, when you use negative space successfully or contrast colour elements, it can help highlight and bring attention to your most important direct mail design elements. For example, make sure to include a good amount of negative space around your call to action or CTA—like a frame bordering your CTA. 

6. Personalize Your Direct Mail Pieces 

When you’re designing your mail piece, it’s very important to account for your overall audience, but what about each individual recipient? 

When you customize each individual direct mail design to reflect each recipient, you can increase your response rate by 135%. 

Plus, it’s easy to do! With Variable Data Printing you can easily and affordably create personalized designs for everyone who is receiving your direct mail piece. This includes names, images, colours, and more so that not only does your direct mail design reflect who your audience and brand is, but it also is personalized for each recipient. 

7. Include a Call to Action (CTA) That will Promote Action 

A good strategy for your direct mail design is to start backwards. What does success of the campaign look like? How do you want them to get a hold of you? Then, include a call to action your audience can’t refuse that meets the answers to those two questions.  

When you offer something, like a freebie or deal, it makes it hard for your audience to ignore and gives them even more of a reason to take you up on your offer. When you do provide your audience a reason—other than your fantastic products and services—then it intrigues and excites them. The unrefusable offer is the first step.  

Include the details for how you want them to respond to you. You must include a phone number, email, URL, QR code, etc. so they can get a hold of you. 

You need to track them when do respond. Consider a unique landing page, a phone number specifically for the campaign, or an alias email used solely for this direct mail campaign.  


Direct mail is an effective and profitable tactic for many businesses just like yours. Looking for a local printing company that specializes in direct mail design, mail production, print and delivery to Canada Post? At Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard, we stand out from the rest. Trust us to manage your project from start to finish. Ready to get started? Request a Quote today to learn more

3 additional articles from Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard on Direct Mail: 

Best Friends: Direct and Digital Marketing Better Together 

6 Inexpensive Ways You Should Use Print to Bolster Your Word-Of-Mouth Marketing 

How Postcard Marketing Can Help Your Brand Stand Out 

Posted on

Local Business Strategies: A Q&A with Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard

local business strategies

Today we are talking local business strategies with Theresa Daigle, the owner of Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. Located in south Calgary, Theresa and her husband Dennis have been running their business since 2017, where they’ve had the opportunity to support local business in Calgary while growing their own. The last two years have brought about certain changes and challenges, but these inspiring business owners have persevered to continue to support their community.

Keep reading to learn about their experiences and the local business strategies they have adapted during this time!

1.   “Why do you think print remains so vital to local business strategy today?”

People like to say that say print is dead, but that’s just not true. Print is vital to almost every single business you interact with on a day-to-day basis. All it takes is to open your eyes to the world around you, where you’ll find printed mugs at your local coffee shop and signage on the side of the road during your daily commute. Don’t forget that the most common advertising you see is all print. You go into a store and are surrounded with labels, posters, window signs, and staff uniforms.

At work there’s mail that’s printed, flyers, offers etc., which is not even counting the print materials your team needs to get their jobs done: letterhead, envelopes, blueprints, manuals, and hard copies are an essential part of all kinds of businesses. The need to communicate with demographics of clients that simply trust print more than they trust digital will likely never disappear. When it comes to overdue statements, payroll, or invoices, you often need a paper trail to back up this important information. Of all the local business strategies you can adopt, print continues to be one of the most powerful tactics that stands the test of time.

Paper Products will always stand out

There’s a difference between transitioning to being more paperless in your office and in your personal life. On the fun side of things, everyone likes to receive paper birthday cards and holiday greetings. An e-card will never compare to the feeling of specialness a physical card brings. Print will always stand out among the digital communications we are bombarded with in our daily lives.

“Print is dead” comes from people marketing digital. Of course they would say such a thing. Print is a large category of marketing that encompasses all kinds of things from bus stop signs to billboards. Print is not going anywhere anytime soon.

2.    “What has it been like helping local businesses during the pandemic? Have you had to adapt your services as a result?”

We’ve adapted our services with the changing circumstances to offer the products our clients need, such as social distancing floor decals, safety signage, safety screens checklists, masks, etc. As an essential service, we have stayed open, using contactless pick up and delivery, reducing staff, and masking in store. One of the challenges we had to adapt to was the learning curve of providing graphic design services over zoom. Where we would have normally worked with the client seated next to us, watching the changes in real time, we found that there was a lot more back and forth with sending different versions of designs over after incorporating edits. Despite this challenge, we have prevailed and continued to offer our full suite of services during this time.

“Did the small business network change much during Covid-19?”

Surprisingly, very few of the businesses we work with did not survive Covid-19. It was very encouraging to see our clients adapting to new local business strategies and starting additional businesses to keep up with a changing landscape. Many of the new businesses were complimentary to the original business or filled in a gap that the original business didn’t quite fill. Some examples include a construction business branching out to offer a deep cleaning business, and certain essential trades expanding to offer in home services. By using their pre-existing skills and networks in a new way, many of our business clients adapted to the new circumstances.

3. “What advice would you give to other local businesses right now?”

Stick with it and persevere.

Every hard time passes. Nobody ever said that running business was easy, even under normal circumstances. People just need to be patient with themselves and with others. With supply chain issues there are going to be things that are out of your control like longer wait times, and higher pricing. You may have to compromise on the quality you are used to in order to get through it. Many of us are used to instant gratification, but its not a feasible reality anymore. Shipping containers get lost in the ocean, manufacturing facilities get shut down, trucks get stopped, this is just the way the things go sometimes.

Another harsh reality is that prices will rise and its not that people are trying to exploit you. Many business owners are reducing their margins as much as they can but there comes a point where a price increase or change to the business model is necessary.

Supply and demand of paper products has changed in funny ways

Has your online shopping increased over the pandemic? You’re not alone. The volume at which people are shipping things to their house has increased so dramatically that papermills are switching from making paper products to making cardboard boxes for shipping companies. Like every other business, papermills have had to adapt their local business strategies, and this is one of the ways they are responding to customer needs. Supply and demand for paper milling services makes our materials harder to come by, increasing both pricing and wait times. If your business is having similar challenges its important to focus on the things you can do to mitigate issues that are out of your control: order with plenty of time in advance of when you need your products and have patience while everything sorts itself out.

4.   “What are your most high-demand products and services that have really been helpful for your clients?”

Our most high demand products have been product manuals and product stickers for packaging. It probably doesn’t come as a surprise that these are popular products because of the increase in items that are being shipped to customers, as they require packaging before they can reach their destination.

Second in popularity are brochures with product information, price lists, and surveys. In the warmer months we see more orders put in for things like window decals and lawn signs.

5.   “What are some of the key ways you’ve grown your business?”

The most impactful ways we have grown our business have always stemmed from listening to the needs of our clientele. When we decided to buy a second blueprint printer to increase our manufacturing of blueprints, it was because our customers were struggling to find another print shop that offered this service in Calgary. Ever since we expanded this area of our business, we have kept both machines busy every day. We began offering dye sublimation and heat transfer services in house during Covid, because our customers told us that they were unable to find custom products they could purchase in small batches to suit their needs. In adopting this new service during Covid, we started supporting a local mug supplier in our community, which has positive effects that reach beyond Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard.


We hope you enjoyed this insight into our business’s inner workings and the one to one with our very own Theresa Daigle! We love having the opportunity to connect with you and look forward to working with you on your next print project.

Contact us anytime for a quote or consultation about your print needs!

Posted on

Designing a Killer Logo for Print

Killer logo

What do Nike, Apple and Coca-Cola have in common? Solid brand identity starts with a killer logo that is easy to identify and looks sharp to boot!

Your company’s logo will often be the first thing customers see from you, so it’s important to make a strong first impression. A well-designed logo can make customers interested in learning about your company’s offerings which is why creating a visual and memorable impression that stands out from the competition is key.

Think about how many people buy designer clothes just for the logo. While apparel may not be the direction your brand wants to take, a crisp, clean logo can increase the desirability of any product.

To read some of our key tips for creating that killer logo you wish, keep reading!

A Killer Logo Reflects the Nature of Your Business

Your logo is a representation of your company. When coming up with a design, you can approach it literally, by featuring your company name and tagline, and figuratively, by coming up with a symbol to represent the product or service you provide.

Explore conceptual icons

Think about your product in conceptual ideas, what are you selling? Is it an experience, an emotion, or a belief? What symbols can you use to represent that? A good example of using a concept instead of a literal symbol is the Nike “swoosh” logo. This minimalistic icon conveys speed – a fitting message for a sportswear company.

Pick fonts carefully

In addition to making sure your font is legible, you also want it to fit the vibe of your brand. For example, a refined script conveys elegance while a bold sans serif font represents a more modern feel. For a truly customized look, consider creating your own unique font that represents your brand.

Balance your tagline

A nice way to bridge the gap between a symbolic design and the message you want to get across in your killer logo is by adding a tagline that stands for your company mission. Make sure there is visual balance between your logo and tagline by adjusting the spacing and size appropriately. When there is a sense of harmony between these two elements your branding will look balanced and appealing.

Give your logo’s background contrast

Ever experienced the headache of trying to read green text on a yellow background? This is what we call a low-contrast combination, and it makes it hard to distinguish one element from another in print. Avoid this at all costs when coming up with your design to make sure your advertising materials are easy to read and identify from a distance. You never want the observer to have to decipher what you meant. Avoid the scratch-your-head, tilt-your-neck, squint-your-eyes struggle at all costs.

Create a scalable design

You need to make sure your logo design blows up well onto signage, posters and all other print materials. Keep in mind that this applies vice versa when you are printing your logo on things as small as business cards. You need a design that is clear and simple enough to look good scaled up and down without losing information in tiny print or leaving excess dead space.

When you send your logo to a print company like Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard, its best to have your logo vectorized, which saves it as a file that can be stretched large without pixelating and ruining the professional look of your originally crisp logo.

Let your logo breathe

The best way to ensure your logo is indeed a killer logo is to let it breathe. Design it with spacing to frame it to the dimensions of the usage.  Whether you choose to overlay it on a solid-coloured background or simply leave it floating on white, make sure to visualize an invisible border around it so that it doesn’t get crowded and has room to shine.


Once you have designed a versatile and eye-catching killer logo, get ready to use it everywhere! Over time this will build your recognizability and brand reputation which is where the power of your logo lies. To get started creating your print materials, contact us at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard today for quality service and products.

Posted on

Marketing During Calgary Stampede 2022

calgary stampede

Is your business ready for Calgary Stampede 2022?  

Last years Stampede wasn’t quite the same as it used to be, but this year promises another chance to do it up big. Planning for an event like this takes time, so if you don’t want to get bucked off your bronco before the bell even sounds, now is the time to get your Stampede-related marketing into motion. Each July, our city’s business efforts grind to a halt UNLESS conducted over a beer or a pancake breakfast – your marketing and branding needs to stand out to keep up.

It’s one of the most important times of year for business development and corporate relationship maintenance. So much business gets discussed during Stampede week. Maybe the contracts aren’t signed these 10 days but things get planned and finalized a couple weeks later. Love it, or hate it, the Stampede is a big deal for businesses in Calgary and you need to make sure you’re ready for it. Get your “YAHOO” on with these five Stampede marketing tips:

1. Ensure You Have Enough Business Cards

Whether you are attending a pancake breakfast or a beef-on-a-bun barbecue networking event, you need to be ready. If you are looking to expand or increase your sales and leads, make sure you always have your business cards on you. You have no idea who you are going to meet over a syrup-filled breakfast meeting, at the midway or cheering on your favourite chuckwagon team. Have fun with it. Make sure your business cards are imaginative and memorable. Afterall, jeans and a cowboy hat might be your attire of choice for a couple weeks but there 350+ other days in the year. Think about creating special cards just for the Stampede. Also, consider using a QR code so you are mobile-friendly.

2. Networking

Talking about pancakes and cowboy boots, events you can attend there are literally hundreds of business-related events you can attend. Or, consider hosting one of your own. Make use of these opportunities to attend all the breakfasts, parties and events possible. During these western-themed get-togethers, you have a natural ice-breaker to get a conversation started. Shine up your elevator pitch. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, your company and your line of business and talk a little work. Don’t forget to listen first – talk second. Be friendly and interested. And, be interesting in return – not just because of the hot-pink handkerchief around your neck. The city literally changes its personality for roughly two weeks. Take advantage of the relaxed atmosphere and do a little business.

3. Don’t Wear Horse Blinders

One of the best pieces of advice for marketing in Calgary during Stampede Week is to never stop looking for business opportunities. You just have to be ready to grab them when you see them. It might be as obvious as a sponsorship all the way to sharing a chat as you wolf down a dozen mini-donuts.

4. Host Your Own Stampede Breakfast

Consider hosting a breakfast for your company, your staff, your clients and your vendors. Send old-fashioned invitations by mail. Create posters for your staff to pass on to friends and family. This is a spectacular opportunity to get your name out there. Several businesses grind to a halt – maybe yours as well. Use this lull as a chance to communicate with your existing clients and NOT talk business. It may go without saying but NO SUITS ALLOWED. The wearing of jeans and a cowboy hat is *wink wink* mandatory. The breakfast may be free, but that doesn’t mean that people won’t come in the mood to spend future money with you.

5. Have a Little Fun

Embrace the opportunity to market the fun side of your business. Your image and brand awareness can evolve to exploit the moment. This can be as simple as temporarily designing a new logo. Or, have some fun and decorate your office with hay bales, faux wood corrals, etc. Plenty of businesses also use window signage to showcase their fun side.

6. Involve Your Team

The Calgary Stampede Parade is one the largest parades in North America. It is a single half-day event of the whole year. If your office is downtown, you may want to shut the barn doors for the morning. After all, unless you’re selling mini-donuts, you likely won’t be doing a lot of business that Friday morning anyhow. If that is impractical, maybe offer a rolling half-day off during Stampede to you’re your team an opportunity to attend/ engage with the events of the season. Let them wear jeans for the week and be a bit flexible with their time. Of course, you have a business to run, but remember, if they’re happy – they’ll be more productive. An appreciated employee will do more than expected. Also, if you are following through with #4 and hosting a breakfast, get them involved in the planning. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do but maybe they are as excited about Stampede week as you are.


It is clear that the Calgary Stampede is a great time to do business, increase your company image and have a lot of fun. By the second Friday in July, with your eyes wide open, you’ll have found plenty of marketing in Calgary to shout, “Yahoo!” about. Designing and printing some of the ideas from above takes a bit of time. Reach out to our team today if you need some guidance on, “getting your Stampede on.” It’s not too early to start planning – and not just which jeans you are going to wear.
We Design. We Print. You Profit.

Posted on

4 Reasons to Make Memo Pads an Office Staple (Pun Intended)

Memo Pad

Small, medium, or large, there are few items used more frequently in the office than the memo pad. With endless opportunities for customization in colour, shape, and size, you can tailor the look for your specific needs, even adding grids, ruled lines or charts to accommodate your use. Branding and contact info is the cherry on top for this multipurpose office item, as it can be used to a similar function as your business cards when given to clients. As a universally useful item, your memo pads will bring function to their everyday lives and as a bonus, your branding will feature in their daily routine, increasing your brand awareness.

Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the power of this handy pad of paper – its uses are lifechanging when it comes to productivity and organization. Use in your own offices and warehouses will contribute to a sense of put together professionalism and make it easy for your employees to keep efficient in day-to-day operations. Keep reading for the full breakdown of why memo pads will be your new favourite stationery item!

1.   Never Forget anything again with a memo pad!

Memo pads and to-do lists are a match made in heaven. When you write something down you are guaranteed to remember it better, and the satisfaction of crossing it off your list once completed is an underrated thrill in itself. Need to make sure you remember to reply to an email? Write it down. Have a question to ask your boss the next time you run into her at the coffee station? Write it down. Having a memo pad at your desk is easy and convenient because its always ready to use.

2.   Pass notes like its grade school

Need to give someone a reminder? Write it down, tear it out, and give it to them. They won’t forget the Wi-Fi password when it’s staring them right in the face. Take meeting minutes on your memo pad to give someone after an important chat to make sure they remember their next steps. Less fleeting than a desktop notification, a piece of paper will have some permanence on their radar which will ensure your message gets addressed.

3.   Strategically place your memos

Whether that’s on the door reminding you to close the window before you leave for the weekend or on your leftover takeout marking your territory in the communal fridge, tear-able memo pads are reminder friendly. No need to rely on a ribbon tied around your finger when you can spell it out and leave it where you need it. Keep on top of your tasks and organization easily by keeping your memo pad handy along with your favourite pen.

4.   You’ll always have scratch paper at the ready with a memo pad

When a logistics problem demands more bandwidth than your mental math can handle, a memo pad has got your back. With a clean slate at the ready you’ll be prepared to sort out your thoughts at the drop of a hat and give your clients answers right away. The added bonus of being able to label and show your work makes explaining things easy and with a simple tear, the page can be saved for future reference.

Post Press

We hope you’ll consider adding memo pads to your rotation of staple office supplies and find it just as useful as we do! To get started on your custom design, contact us today! We’ll walk you through the process every step of the way.

We design. We print. You profit!

Posted on

The 5 W’s of Greeting Cards

greeting cards

Just in case you haven’t stumbled upon the Christmas decorations that have made their appearance on store shelves, this is your reminder that the Holiday season is fast approaching.

As you are thinking about ways to serve your clients during this busy time, consider the effect that sending out custom greeting cards will have. Receiving a warm holiday greeting from a favourite business is sure to brighten up your customer’s day.

Bring the excitement straight to their doorstep with this classic and thoughtful gesture!

Why should a business entity send greeting cards?

It’s a perfect way to show your customers just how much you value them and their support. Greeting cards can also give you the opportunity to reconnect with past clients who may have fallen to the wayside during the busyness of the year, which will strengthen the sense of loyalty and community around your brand.

Additionally, any time you use print media to showcase your signature branding you are creating marketing materials that will make an impression. Christmas cards are likely to stick around on the mantel or fridge for at least a couple of weeks, so snag your spot!

Who should you send them to?

It’s time to make a list and check it twice! The lucky recipients of your greeting cards could include staff, clients, prospects, and vendors. Consider your audience and craft a holiday message that’s appropriate for each category. For example:

  • In a message to a prospect:  highlight the desire to build a relationship with them in the coming year.
  • In a message to a staff member or client: thank them for their continued support.
  • In a message to a vendor: express your appreciation for their great services and products that add value to your business.

What exactly should you send?

Lucky for you, the Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard workshop has been well-stocked by our elves with all the trimmings and is ready to make your greeting card dreams come true. We can do any color, shape, or size you wish – using our premium quality printers we can print your photos onto glossy cardstock of varying weights and textures. Finish it off with a polished envelope and you’re ready to go!

How do you create and send custom greeting cards?

There are countless ways to make your greeting cards original. You can DIY them and include a personal handwritten message, create an e-card to virtually mail, or use a print company to share high quality photos with your clients. If you’re stumped when it comes to creating an eye-catching design you love, contact us today for graphic design services that will knock your stockings off! A mailing company can help you efficiently deliver your greeting cards once they are ready, or you can deliver them yourself to give your holiday wishes in person.

Where should you send them?

The answer to this question depends on who you are sending them to. If you are mailing a greeting card to a customer who is not a business, its appropriate to send it to their home address if they have provided it for your records. Greeting cards for business clients can be mailed to their office and to the representatives you have been working with. If you are mailing to an office, ensure that your correspondence reaches them before any holiday office closures so that they receive your wishes before they take off on vacation. This brings us to our next point!

When should you send them?

Ideally you want your greeting cards to arrive in early to mid December so that there is time for them to be displayed and enjoyed throughout the season. In order to reach your recipients in time, make sure to account for the time it will take for the postage to reach them. If you are mailing locally, the first week of December is a great time to send out your cards, which accounts for delays that may happen during this busy season.


Ready to spread some holiday cheer? Now that you know the 5 W’s of greeting cards we hope you feel prepared to start crafting your holiday messages.

Contact us today for help with designing your very own custom greeting cards!

We Design. We Print. You Profit!

Posted on

Marketing Series: Maximizing your Print – Brochures (part 2 of 2): Design Your Brochure for Maximum Impact

maximizing your print - brochures

Get the Most of your Print Marketing Series – Brochures (part 2): Design Your Brochure for Maximum Impact

In Part 1 (read it here), we covered the many ways a printed brochure can optimize your exposure in ways digital tactics cannot. Additionally, we covered some of the best ways a brochure or flyer can be utilized – such as a postcard-sized leave-behind, a co-branding initiative, a mailer and more. Below, we cover how to design your brochure to maximize its potential.

Lay it Out Carefully

How you design your brochure must be thought out carefully. There are plenty of half-fold, tri-fold, full-page templates available on the Internet to help you design your brochures with perfect print-ready precision. It’s a good idea to utilize a half-fold brochure template to ensure that your brochures are printed perfectly. Simply download a PDF. Then, place it in a separate layer in your preferred design platform so you can easily follow the bleed, fold, and margin guidelines. Once designed, you can delete the template layer.

Choose the Right Size When You Design Your Brochure

When choosing the right size for your brochure, you need to take into consideration what you’re going to use it for. Are you hand delivering them? Will they be sitting in a brochure holder or on a reception desk? You need to choose the right size for message as you design your brochure. If you are planning on including a good amount of detail, a smaller brochure size, like a 5.5” x 8.5” or 8.5” x 11” half-fold or tri-fold brochure, may not have enough room for your information and you risk making your brochure come across as overwhelming and cluttered. However, if you are promoting a big sale, or new product, an 8.5” x 11” half-fold brochure could be perfect!

If you design your brochure for a direct mail campaign, there are certain Canada Post specifications you need to know (or you can of course get the highly knowledgeable Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard team to do it for you). The advantage of knowing these measurement or “quiet zone” specs up front can save you hundreds of dollars as you go to print and mail it. The difference of a ½” too tall or too long could bump you from standard “short and long” postage rates into oversize increasing your postage costs dramatically. Similarly, a slight tweak in your print file – as small as ¼” could mean your printer can get more on a page and possibly save you money or print  costs.

Choose the Correct Paper and Thickness

Too thick, it might not fold correctly. Too thin and its longevity and durability could be challenged. After you design your brochure so masterfully, it would be a shame to let the paper choice take away from the artistry. The paper you choose for your brochure needs to be thin enough to easily fold (and to fold cleanly without cracking the paper or the ink), but also thick enough to feel substantial. A non-folded brochure or a half-folded brochure – because it is only folded once – can be a bit thicker than tri-fold comparatives. if you plan on mailing your brochures, you should likely stick to thicknesses at or above 100# Text for durability and integrity in transit.

[Hint: Request a sample of various paper stocks and thicknesses from your local printer. Want one from us, click here and we will happily mail you one out today (or stop by and ask for one).]

Design Your Brochure Using Eye-Catching Images and Colors

Whatever the purpose and campaign you are designing for, you will want to design your brochure so it stands out. To accomplish this, include a color pallet that directs the eye to your brochure while also successfully reflecting your branding. Don’t forget to include contrasting text from that of the background. Make it easy for your recipient to read your message. If your brochure has lifestyle photographs or imagery, ensure the print quality is a minimum 300 DPI or higher. You want those pictures of people, food, animals, nature, etc. to “pop” off the page.

Provide a Call-To-Action and Give Them an Offer

This is a no-brainer but we shed a small tear every time we see a marketing piece with no clear purpose. Make sure you include appropriate offer and call-to-action. An irresistible call to action is key for every type of marketing material. Design the content of your brochure so it gives your audience something to act upon and that this action’s purpose is to drive responses.

Also, you want to include an offer. It doesn’t have to be flashy. It just has to help in breaking through the inertia of non-action. Solve a problem. For example, don’t just say, “visit us today” in your brochure. Make them want to know more. Do more. You want to give your audience a reason to visit you perhaps using timeliness language such as, “don’t miss out on our Fall into Savings Event.” Then, as an additional incentive, possibly include a coupon or a promo code. These further incentivize them to take action. And, as a silver bullet in your marketing strategy, they assist you in tracking the success of the print investment.

Post Press

At Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard, we offer favourable prices on high-quality brochure printing. Want help to design your brochures? We are also experts in designing for Canada Post guidelines in targeting, size and quality specifics and mail preparation.  We offer marketing solutions to fit any of your local marketing goals! Click here to contact us to get started on your multi-faceted brochure campaign toda

Posted on

5 Design Tips for Crafting High Impact Letterheads

What is letterhead – and why is stationery, such as letterhead, so important for your business? What purpose does it serve? Why should you care about an old piece of paper? You may think of letterhead as a relic of carrier pigeon days, destined to be forgotten and tossed aside like common junk mail – Don’t worry, we’re not going to let you make that mistake.  

The fact that most business communications are done digitally these days gives traditional print a massive boost – the presence commanded by a quality, well-designed letterhead conveys distinct importance. Think of how much more impact an employee bonus letter or business reference would have when presented on company headed paper. When standing out is as easy as putting in a little extra attention to detail, why wouldn’t your business want to take advantage of this tried-and-true tactic? 

Keep reading for 5 tips on how to create high impact letterheads! 

1. Letterhead Lends Itself to Brand Consistency 

When designing your letterhead, find peace in knowing that you don’t have to completely reinvent the wheel. Your company’s signature branding exists for a reason, and it makes creating new collateral a whole lot easier. Use your existing logos and brand colours in a fresh way for new impact that aligns with your business. To read more about the importance of brand consistency, check out this article we wrote about how it can be the key to your business success. 

Don’t forget that brand consistency goes beyond colours. When coming up with the layout of your letterhead think about the way it will be used: How can you design your letterhead in a way that will best represent your message? We’ll touch more on layout and formatting shortly.  

2. Letterhead Design is all in the Details 

By looking into the possibility of creating custom letterheads in the first place, you’ve already shown that you are someone who pays attention to the details. It only takes a couple of seconds to make a first impression and these seconds’ matter when you are setting the tone for a customer’s experience. Show your audience that you go above and beyond for quality service by presenting your company in a visually appealing, organized manner. 

Think about what information is important to include in your design; You may want to have your contact information and location where its memorable and accessible to the reader or alternatively create a simpler design with your company name. Ultimately your design is all about what’s going to work for your business, so consider these factors when drafting up a sample. 

3. Choose Stationery that works for you 

Maybe it doesn’t make sense for your business to design a custom letterhead, but you can see yourself getting tons of use out of envelopes or notepads. You do you! The key to becoming successful is by customizing your approach in a way that most benefits you and your clientele.  

Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard offers a variety of stationery such as envelopes, notepads, and business cards to suit your needs. Browse our website’s products and solutions and our value-add  services to get more inspiration about the available options.  

4. Explore Different Letterhead Layout Options 

When it comes to the nitty gritty of design, the possibilities are truly endless. To provide an entry point for those who may have never ventured into the world of letterhead design before, here are a couple of ways you could start to format your layout:   

  • Full border
    Decorate the outside border of your paper with colour and design in a consistent square shape, leaving the middle free for any text or images you may later want to share. 
  • Graphic border
    Use shape and colour around the border of your text for a unique look. 
  • Header and footer
    Keep your design to the top and bottom of the page, leaving the middle and sides available. 
  • Background graphics
    Watermark your paper with graphics in a muted shade so that text can be written over top.  Think you might like some help? Our graphic design professionals will make sure your business stands out visually across all advertising and marketing platforms, we offer graphic design services for all kinds of projects! 

5. Pick your paper wisely 

Your paper is the foundation of your letterhead so choose wisely! Pick from light to heavyweight stock and different textures and colours. Generally, the heavier a sheet is, the more important it feels. Want to add a tactile pleasing touch? Embossing or debossing adds a little extra. Distinguish your design with a satin, matte, or glossy finish to make the colours pop and there you have it – the ultimate finishing touch!  

Post Press 

Feeling ready to create your own letterhead? We can’t wait to help you dive in. Contact the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard today to chat about how we can help you achieve your goals. 

We Design. We Print. You Profit!