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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 

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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6 Ways a Print Shop has got your Childcare Business Covered

Print Marketing For Your Daycare

The services provided by childcare professionals play an important role in the everyday lives of many families, and a print company can be called upon to help them in their work. 

If you run a daycare in Calgary, you already know how rewarding and challenging the everyday grind can be. Where do you find time for marketing your daycare? How can you attract new candidate families every year? A sound strategy for marketing your daycare is critical to the success of your business, whether you’re an established childcare center or a home-based start-up.  Are you ready to take your daycare business to the next level? Let’s get started! Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard has the six best ways of marketing your daycare. Follow along as we attempt to assist you with promoting your facility so you can quickly grow 

Six best ways of marketing your daycare 

It goes without saying that your facility won’t make any money unless you’re able to market your daycare effectively. If parents don’t know about you, they can’t learn to like and trust you. The following daycare marketing tips will help you develop a winning strategyOur tips below include: 

  • Marketing Your Daycare: Branding 
  • Marketing Your Daycare: Marketing Materials 
  • Marketing your Daycare: Direct Mail 
  • Marketing your Daycare: Get the Word Out  
  • Marketing your Daycare: Be Creative 
  • Marketing your Daycare: No Money Solutions

1. Marketing Your Daycare: Branding 

Branding your daycare is important because people purchase on emotion. Parents will choose your business if it shares their values, especially when it comes to their children. At a glance, your prospects need to be able identify you and your branding. Without a branded identity, you’re just another daycare in the neighbourhood. To identify your branded image, you must consider how you’re different from your competitors. What differentiates your business from the next one? You also must understand your customers, and what motivates them.  

Skilled graphic design can visually transform your daycare’s branded identity from conception to something that truly moves the needle. Your daycare colors, logo, fonts, tone, website, and other marketing materials are all a reflection of your branding. The goal is for your prospects to be able to glance at your material and instantly recognize who it’s from and what you stand for. When you achieve this, you’ve developed an excellent daycare brand identity. 

2. Marketing Your Daycare: Marketing Materials 

There are numerous tools online to assist every business with templates and more. A mistake many daycares make is printing their own marketing materials. They view marketing as an expense when it is an investment designed to make money. Professionally printed material will always achieve more responses than desktop-printed materials. We are obviously biased, but we highly recommend you choose an affordable printing company such as Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard to deliver your message with accuracy, quality, and professionalism. Some suggested (must-have) daycare printed marketing materials: 

  • Business cards are inexpensive and expendable. Print as many as you can hand out, and make sure everyone you meet has one.  
  • Postcards are likewise cost effective and a great way to get your clientele to take a closer look at your daycare. 
  • Posters, strategically placedcan grab attention. Place them on community bulletin boards, grocery store corkboards and large institutions in your geography (large firms, universities, offices, etc.) 
  • Flyers, like posters can be placed on bulletin boards and anywhere else your target audience frequents. Under windshield wipers in the grocery store parking lot is also aoption.  
  • Booklets can be an extremely effective approach to daycare marketing Educate parents on child development, programs, differentiators, etc. Not only will your booklet add value and have shelf life, but it will also demonstrate that you’re an expert in this field and build trust and confidence. 
  • Brochures give you a means to inform parents on everything they need to know about your daycare so they can make sound childcare decisions. 

Calendars. Who doesn’t like calendars? Make your calendars kid-friendly and interactive. You can include important date reminders, stickers, vivid images, and other fun add-ons that draw attention to your company all year long. 

Greeting cards are the perfect reflection of your very personal business. Parents’ children trust your business with their most important assets. Greeting cards are an easy and efficient way of showing your appreciation.  

Stickers are a hit with kids and parents alike. They’ll get used. Everywhere.  

Printed newsletters are a perfect take-home to keep your parent clients informed on everything all year long.  

Some non-printed marketing must-haves include a uniquely branded and conversion-focused website, social media, email newsletters, and even TV/Radio.   

3. Marketing your Daycare: Direct Mail 

You have several options for designing your daycare direct mailMaybe you can design direct mails on your own. If not, you should hire a professional designer with the experience and skill needed. The DIY method is free, but if you’re not a graphic designer you’ll likely sacrifice quality. A professional designer like the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard provides could be just the ticket. No matter whether you do it yourself or outsource your direct mail, you need 4 things: 

  • Craft a powerful headline 
  • Highlight your benefits 
  • Develop an incredible offer 
  • Motivate with a call to action 

4. Marketing your Daycare: Get the word out 

You must get the right message in front of the right audience, at the right time. And, each year, there are new challenges to fill your spots. Not to mention mid-year fills. As indicated previously, direct mail is one of the best ways to reach your prospects. Repetition is keyInstead of one postcard campaign, develop a strategy that incorporates multiple direct mailers during a six- or 12-month period. A long-term strategy contributes to your daycare branding efforts and allows you to develop long-term relationships. On top of direct mail, ensure your facility is listed with all the pertinent online advertising sites (Google My Business, Yelp,, etc.). Your best and least expensive advertisement is referrals and word-of-mouth. Word of mouth is daycare providers’ secret weapon. If one parent has a great experience, other parents will want their children to get a similar experience. In addition, make sure friends, family, and colleagues know what you do and are prepared to spread the word for you.  

5. Marketing your Daycare: Be Creative 

Sometimes, you need to think outside of the box. Creative marketing builds awareness, delivers valueand increases profits for you. Over the course of the year, you can try combinations of above with the below: 

  • Hosting an event can help you connect with the community – your clientele and prospects alike. Show them what you’re all about. Engage parents and children in fun family activities. And of course, have plenty of the above communicated print materials on hand to give away. 
  • Collaborating with complementary and non-competing businesses gets you in front of a whole other set of targets. It also allows you to split the cost of the event and giveaways. A joint newsletter sent regularly could also offer tips and tricks and simultaneously market your collective businesses.  
  • Creative message placement can make all the difference.  
  • Promote your unique differentiators 
  • Sell complementary products and services could be promoted to existing clientele as upsells or as loss leaders to bring in long-term daycare clients.  

6. Marketing your Daycare: No money Solutions 

A sound marketing campaign is the best way to market and grow your daycare. However, if you’re limited on funds, don’t worry. You can get started with little to no money. Start by engaging and networking your friends and family to see if they know families needing childcare services. Use your social media sites like Facebook and get your listing published in any/all free classifieds sites as possible.  

Post Press 

Childcare providers offer an invaluable service to most Canadian families. They supply a safe and educational environment for the children in their care, and in turn, they call on print companies to provide them with many of the materials they need during their day-to-day operations. No matter what type of daycare you’re operating – home-based, childcare facility, or preschool – you need to commit to a consistent marketing strategy to succeed. High-quality marketing materials will help you showcase the quality of your daycare, while intelligent marketing investments will help you yield greater return on investment. Don’t know where to begin, contact the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard. We Design. We Print. You Profit. 

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Don’t Let Supply Chain Issues Squander Your Holiday Promo Plans!

Supply Chain Issues

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Would you believe us if we told you that Its time to start thinking about getting your product orders in for the winter and holiday season? While an early reminder never hurts, its especially relevant this year. Many factors are at play in 2021 that pose potential delays in raw materials and/or finished goods delivery times to our vendors and to us directly.  We source Canadian and local whenever and wherever possible but sometimes the raw materials originate from elsewhere. To ensure you receive your Q4 orders in time for holiday or new year timeframes, we recommend you consider planning and ordering them as early as today. Our Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard team are looking forward to working with you on your holiday orders such as promotional productscalendars and greeting cards to name a few. 

Although the situation remains 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. 

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Business Cards 101

Business Cards 101

When was the last time you refreshed your business cards?

Used from professional workplace settings all the way to more casual events like festivals and conventions, you’ll find that your business cards come in handy in a multitude of occasions. If you haven’t already been carrying them, you’ll soon wonder how you got by without them. It’s infinitely easier to hand someone a card with your phone number on it than to exchange numbers or spell out an address.

A business card is the perfect opportunity to show off how creative and innovative your company is. Having a tangible item with your company’s information on it is a powerful asset to your marketing materials, especially an item that’s compact and portable in size. You should never underestimate the power of a great design. Yes. They are business cards. But they’re also loyalty cards, coupons, invoices, recipe cards, hang tags, appointment cards… Because those paper rectangles can be almost anything you like. Even (weird but true) Business Cards.

Keep reading to find out how to create knockout business cards that will wow potential customers and make you look great.

Designing Your Business Card

Use Your Logos!

This is the IDEAL place to make most of the amazing logos you’ve designed for your company.

In many ways, your logo is the face of your company, so it just makes sense to put it on your business cards. Play around with the placement and size to come up with a design that looks great and fits the information you need to include.

Keep in mind that you should try to include a version of your logo that incorporates your company name or allows you to still put your company name somewhere on the card, so that people who’ve never seen your branding before know who you are.


If you’ve already developed your brand guide, this part will be easy. If not, its likely you already have some signature colours that your brand uses to be recognizable.

Colours will make your business cards pop, drawing customers eyes to the stack on your desk, or catching their attention later when its on their kitchen table or in their car glove compartment. Through colour, you can influence the way people feel about your brand. Conjure up a positive and cheerful vibe with yellow, or take a professional tone with shades of blue, it’s up to you! Just make sure to use high contrast colours (light vs dark) for text, as you want to make sure it’s easily readable.


You can use a hierarchy of size to show people what’s most important on your business card. The name and logo of your company should command the biggest presence, followed by your contact information and any other details you want to include. A good practice to maintain is not to go smaller than 8pt font to maintain readability – after all, you want to make it as easy as possible for people to find you!

As for the size of the card itself, the standard size is 3.5 in by 2 in. However, there’s no law saying you have to stick to this. Feel free to change the orientation or size of your business cards as you please, just keep in mind that they may not fit in traditional card holders or wallets.


Another great way to add personality to your business cards is by using fonts to complete the look of your brand.  Make sure you choose something that is eye-catching, but beware using more than 2 or 3 fonts at once since it can make it hard for people to read.

There are 2 main types of fonts that are most commonly used: Serif, and sans-serif. Serif refers to the small stylistic lines attached to the ends of block letters which makes them a bit easier to read. The text you’re reading right now is sans-serif, which is better for when you are using small text as it appears less crowded. Choose which font style makes the most sense for your design or use both if appropriate.


Your choice of materials matters! Heavyweight cardstock is a must for a business card that will stand up to wear and tear. Keep in mind that the more unique/premium your materials are, the more it will cost to produce. You can mitigate this by downsizing the card and only choosing 1 or 2 fancy extras. Being able to customize the details of your business cards down to the weight of the paper is all part of the fun!

Don’t Forget the Info!

After all, the primary objective of your business cards is to promote your business. Make sure people will be able to find you by including your name and contact information. You can also take this opportunity to promote your social media handles, address, and website if you want to. Consider thinking outside the box by including a QR code that links straight to your site, there’s endless opportunities to make a statement with what you put on your business cards.

Be Thoughtful About Your Canvas

Don’t forget that you can make the most of BOTH sides of your business card. Consider featuring a graphic image or logo on one side, and the informational details on the other. Make sure to use the space to the best of your ability without cluttering it up, after all, you want your business cards to look clean, professional, and high quality. Crowding your cards with too many elements will achieve the opposite.

Post Press

Now that you have the tools you need to design effective and eye-catching business cards, we can’t wait to see what you come up with! Let us help you bring your vision to life with our premium prints and contact us today to place an order!

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8 Print Marketing Tips to Stand Out

8 Print Marketing Tips to Stand Out

Print marketing is the most powerful tool your business can use to boost brand awareness, increase customer retention, and drive sales. This is because people enjoy and trust something that is tangible and unlike digital marketing efforts, print marketing can’t be blocked or deleted with one click.

In order to create marketing materials that stand out, set you apart from the competition, and deliver better results, you’ll need to think creatively. Luckily, the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard have eight proven ways you can make the most out of your print marketing and materials your audience won’t be able to ignore.

1.  Know Your Target Audience

Your print marketing will stand out more to those who it is made for. Figure out who your target audience is to help guide you in choosing the right tone, colours, images, copy and more for your printed material. Who is your current audience? Understanding who your customers are is the key to determining who your target audience is. Look at what makes up your most successful customers. Does your business cater to families with children or to middle-aged executives? Are they new homeowners? The neat thing about print marketing is that you can use it to bolster the word-of-mouth promotion you are already getting within your target audiences. (Check out this article to learn how print materials can enhance your presence within these groups!)

2.  Choose The Right Images

The imagery your print marketing conveys is a visual representation of your products, services, story, and your overall brand. They evoke strong emotions and are what will make people stop in their tracks to look at your printed collateral and advertising.  It is important to deeply understand your target audience and what message you want to convey in order to be impactful. Once you have figured out who your audience is, ask yourself these following questions to better determine your marketing message:

  • What is your marketing message goal? – What feelings do you wish to evoke in your potential buyers? Images can reflect many different messages and feelings, so be sure to include images that clearly represent what your marketing message goal is.
  • Is your location important? – Do you depend on local traffic or is your business a destination for people to visit on their travels? If your location matters for your audience, include images of landmarks or a beautiful view.
  • What is unique about your brand? – Are you selling useful, time saving products or are you promoting relaxation and luxury? Images help communicate your brands message. Show your audience what makes your company unique through your imagery.

It also probably goes without saying but make sure you use high-quality images. Pixelated, blurry or less than professional shots will send the message that your brand is amateur or takes little notice to the details. Make it a goal to utilize high-resolution and crisp images. Images print best when they are at least 300 dpi in resolution. Seek professional help or take advantage of a stock image database to ensure and maintain the best quality. (Check out this article for 4 More Ways to Market your Business Through Print that will get you started on the path to success.)

3.  Include People in Your Images When Possible

People respond best to marketing that has people in it – specifically people they relate to. Be sure to represent a diverse group who relates to your target audience. This will ensure that there’s a level of likeness achieved through your images. It is also important to include images of people who are reflecting a feeling you want your audience to feel when interacting with your brand. For example, photographs of happy people reflect a happy feeling. Images of people looking back at the camera versus looking off to the horizon convey different messages. Ensure your people images are conveying the action you intended.

4.  Choose the Right Font and Typeface

When choosing fonts, it might be tempting to go big, bold, and wild to set yourself apart from the competitors, but consistency to your brand guidelines is far more important than making a typeface splash. The three most important decisions when choosing fonts for your print marketing campaign are typeface, sizing, and color. There are thousands of fonts and typefaces and each one can have a different impact on your marketing. How do you know which direction to take when there are so many options available? After ensuring brand consistency, your priority should always be legibility and a style that fits your message. Times New Roman, Helvetica, and Arial are three popular fonts that have proven to show success in attracting and retaining customer attention. Their appearance is a great balance of class without detraction. However, depending on your brand and your audience you should consider other fonts as well. If your brand has a typeface that is clear and consistently shows on your website, be sure to use your branded typeface – after all, consistency is the key to success.

5.  Print Marketing Words (Are Your Bond)

  • Audience – Per Tip #1 above, your copy needs to be tailored to your target audience.
  • Focus – Including a focal point within your images, attracts the readers eye while also creating a place for their eye to rest. Avoid images with clutter and think clean and bold. This will ensure that you are generating positive and quick engagement. Carefully thought out and good copy can transform your regular products into products your audience needs to buy right away. Consider why your brand is the best, and why your products or services are better than your competitors and then tell your audience why in your copy while following these guidelines below.
  • Language – The language you use in your marketing is part of your brand and brand consistency creates better brand recognition and promotes trustworthiness. Just like you need to use the same logo on your business cards, brochures, and posters, you need to use consistent language as well.
  • Headline – A good headline grabs the reader’s attention and persuades them to read further. For printed materials that contain pages of copy, like catalogs, booklets or brochures, it’s important to also use subheadings to break down information and act as a navigation tool for your audience.
  • Call to Action – A call to action or CTA, is the use of words or phrases that prompt an immediate response and encourages your audience to act on your marketing message. This could include deals that can’t be ignored or intriguing text that drives your audience to your website.

6.  Proofread Everything

We’ll say it again – PROOFREAD EVERYTHING! This should be obvious but be sure that your copy is free of misspelt words and grammatical errors. Have multiple eyes proofread your copy and don’t limit your copy editing to your word processor’s spell check function.

7.  The Right Size, Colours and Texture

  • Size – For the body of your copy, a good rule of thumb is to use a font size that is 10-14 point to avoid your reader from having to squint to read your print marketing. Your company name and headline should be larger and bold. You’ll then want to balance fitting the necessary information in one place while avoiding the text seeming cramped. Bigger font sizes will work best for highlighting the most valuable information that you want your reader to see first, and smaller sizes work best for the details. Look out for these common mistakes when preparing your print-ready files.
  • Colours – Colours have different meanings and evoke different feelings. Be sure that the colors you choose for your font revolve around the tone of your advertising campaign and your brand’s identity. Materials with less text can benefit from colorful fonts while colors are often limited to just the headlines for catalogs and newsletters, leaving the body of the copy monochrome. Also, it is important to take your printed design background color into consideration when choosing your font color. For example, a neon orange font on a green background can be painful on the eye while a white font on a blue background can pop and attract the eye.
  • Textures – Textures add dimension to your print marketing campaign, everything from the paper weight you choose to the coating option, play a role in how your audience will feel your print advertisement. Thicker paper for postcards, business cards and catalog covers are ideal for durability and to convey importance. While a thinner paper is great for brochures so your audience can unfold it with ease. A matte or satin coating on your printed materials offer a smooth and timeless feel while a gloss coating offers a sleek feel that catches your eye. You can even use a spot coating to highlight certain images and text.

8.  Personalize Your Print Marketing with Variable Printing

Whenever possible, personalize your print. Technology and pricing over the past decade have made this more economical than ever. Everyone engages more with something that is customized just for them so why not personalize your printed marketing materials to be tailor made for each of your recipients? With Variable Data Printing, you can easily, and affordably achieve this personalization. In Variable Data Printing or Variable Image Printing, the content including names, images and more are changed from one printed piece to the next. This allows personalization within a digital press run, a process referred to as mass customization or 1-to-1 marketing. There is a wide range of creative ways you can use Variable Printing including:

  • Special Offers – Include unique barcodes or QR codes on your postcards for each person in your audience to enjoy a special offer just for them.
  • Special Gifts – Design faux magazine covers and add your prospect’s name in one of the teasers for them to hang up and keep forever.
  • Loyalty Cards – Create cards with your customer’s name and unique ID they can use for special promotions.
  • Table Cards – Have a wedding or formal event? Print names and even photos on small, colorful seating cards. If it is a corporate event, you can add your logo for a branded experience.
  • Personalized packaging – you can create unique boxes or bags for occasions like birthdays, promotions, or anniversaries that are customized for the receiver.

Using these techniques and taking advantage of variable printing technology can help you bring your next print marketing campaign to the next level.


Now that you’re ready to make your print marketing truly stand out, you are ready to begin a successful marketing campaign. Do you need some help along the way? We take care of the details, so you don’t have to. Contact the team at Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard today.

We Design. We Print. You Profit!

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

Word of Mouth

Your customers who have an extreme experience when using your products or services can and will share their stories with fellow consumers. This word-of-mouth exchange happens when the experience was very good or very bad – seldom in the middle. When good, they will even recommend the company over other competitors. When not as good, it can really be valuable for you to listen to complaints and determine if there is room for improvement. Interestingly, businesses can use design and print partners like Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard to capitalize on the word-of-mouth advertising they receive – even for those non-extreme customers.

Why is word-of-mouth marketing important in 2021?

In one word: Trust. Word-of-mouth is the primary factor of over half of all purchasing decisions in the past year. If you want to influence people to buy from you, you need to make word-of-mouth considerations as part of your marketing strategy. Trust comes in three ways: noise, skepticism and connectivity.

People face an overwhelming amount of ad noise every day. To avoid being overwhelmed by it, people seek out the opinions and impressions of others in their networks. This allows them to properly decide what’s worth paying attention to.

People want products from trusted companies, but they are often skeptical of marketing ads. But they are far less skeptical of their friends and family and their opinions. They also prefer to consider recommendations and reviews from your existing customers and your brand advocates/ambassadors.

Consumers are connected to each other now more than ever. Word-of-mouth existed long before the internet and social media was ever conceived. But, with so many people connected through social media platforms and online communities, any news has the potential for virality. Experiences – good and bad – travels at an unprecedented pace and scale.

Brand Awareness Spreads Through Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t stop after a single interaction between friends. Once someone spreads information to a new person, then that individual will spread it in turn—and on and on. Even if these conversations don’t lead to purchases, they bring brands into awareness. When a company or product is widely discussed, then their reputation builds as they are exposed to more channels where referral marketing is present.

How can you use print to help your company’s word-of-mouth experiences?

Below are 6 inexpensive ways you can use print to foster positive word-of-mouth marketing for your business can include such things as:

  1. Testimonials                
    Companies can gather testimonials from clients with positive reviews to incorporate into their advertising campaigns. These printed or digital word-of-mouth reviews can be printed on various stationery or used as social media posts. Using consumer testimonials can amplify past client opinions to prospects and new clients – particularly those that support the business. This activity can increase the number of people who are influenced by their review.
  2. Flyers/Brochures
    Printed advertisements, such as professionally printed flyers or brochures, can display printed or digital word-of-mouth testimonials to reinforce the features and benefits of a product or service. Adding testimonials written by satisfied customers can help build a favorable reputation for the business to those who are handed the ads.
  3. Customized forms       
    Marketers can use print shops to make customized forms that their clients can complete when visiting your company. Much of this activity has moved online but if you have a business with in-person clients, having success story forms available to be filled in, can allow valuable testimonials to be hand-delivered directly to your business. And, in turn can be printed and distributed to future clients.
  4. Coupons                       
    We can help design your forms to include coupons offering exclusive promotions like discounts as incentives. This in-hand solution can sway the perception of your company to submit reviews of your company.
  5. Direct Mail                   
    Whether it is coupons or flyers or a handwritten postcard, these can also be mailed.
  6. Promotional Gifts        
    You can send personalized corporate gifts to clients with positive testimonials to maintain their perception of the company. Showing appreciation for the kind word-of-mouth reviews may influence customers to continue recommending the business to other people while promoting continued loyalty towards the brand.


Ready to get the word-of-mouth marketing ball rolling for your business? Minuteman Press Calgary Shepard is your one stop shop for everything you need to make an impression this summer. Contact us for a quote today!

We Design. We Print. You Profit!