The Amazing World of Haptics

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Sappi Paper, one of the largest paper manufacturing companies in North America, has developed a phenomenal marketing campaign to spread the message about the importance of paper. In a book and a series of videos introducing the “Neuroscience of Touch” – we learn about scientific studies that prove that touch leads to a more positive experience of a product and therefore turns into a more significant memory.

We encourage you to watch the videos and order the book by visiting their website.

The content of each video is fascinating, however, publishers should pay special attention to video number six. It’s about how the medium impacts the message. The first part of the video addresses the advantages of print over digital in certain circumstances. The second, and possibly more powerful part of the video, talks about how the QUALITY of paper you choose has far reaching implications. (You can fast forward to 2:05 on the video clip to dive right into that part – remember, it’s video #6.)


Print vs. digital:
Since 1990 there have been over 100 studies comparing reading on paper to reading on screen. All of them show that reading on paper is easier on your brain than reading on a screen. Not only is it mentally easier on you, but you remember more of what you read!

Studies have shown that reading online can increase stress levels and fatigue. They have also shown that memory and retention are better when reading on paper.

Brand and Paper Quality
Now for the exciting part… The presenter of the videos performed a study (Davenport & Eagleman – 2015) that was designed to exclusively measure how much the way a company is presented will affect what people think and feel about that company.

In the study, participants were introduced to three fictitious brands. The way each of the three companies was presented to the subjects was chosen at random. For each company, each participant was randomly given one of the three presentations:

  1. A brochure printed on heavy, high quality gloss paper
  2. A brochure printed on inexpensive, uncoated paper
  3. On a website

The design was identical (same images, same layouts, etc.) – meaning that the only change was the medium used to deliver the message. After spending 5 minutes reviewing the material, the subjects were asked questions to determine their comprehension and understanding of what said company is offering. They also were asked questions about their feelings – such as the trustworthiness of the company, the integrity of the company and their likelihood to recommend the company.

The results? First impressions were much higher when viewed on the high quality paper:

  1. The participant was more likely to have a positive first impression of the company
  2. The participant was more likely to recommend the company to a friend

They then brought the subjects back a week later to ask follow-up questions to measure long-term impact. The companies that were presented on the high quality paper:

  1. Had a higher favorability rating
  2. People were better able to recall the names of the company: 3-to-1 better than those presented on low quality or online!
  3. Were most likely to get rated for having the highest degree of quality (those presented on the low quality paper were rated the highest for causing doubt)

So you see, the medium in which you choose to deliver your content makes a difference. The paper you choose has a significant impact on how your publication is viewed by both your readers and your advertisers.


National Geographic Leads the Social Media Pack

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Last September, freelance writer/journalist Aaron Taube wrote a fantastic article on “How National Geographic Gets 8 Times the Social Engagement of Other Publishers”. In it, he discusses the merits of engaging your audience. National Geographic understands this and they have capitalized on it, boasting eight times the engagement of competing publishers.

As we take a closer look at their success, we see that National Geographic posts meaningful content that makes their followers want to engage and share their posts. Take a recent Photo of the Day, titled “Something’s Fishy” (by Pacific Wild co-founder Ian McAllister) – the photo received more than 30,000 likes on Facebook in just over three hours. When you click the Facebook link, you’ll be directed to National Geographic’s website which tells you more about the photo and also links to pictures from the feature story “In Search of the Elusive Sea Wolf Along Canada’s Rugged Coast.” This is an excellent example of an engaging post that drives traffic to their website that contains a soft-sell subscription approach.

Something’s Fishy by Ian McAllister

Something’s Fishy by Ian McAllister

Rule of thumb: It is much more effective to post captivating content that delights your audience and guide them to your site than it is to hard-sell your subscriptions in social media.

If this all sounds swell to you, but you aren’t sure where to start, we can help! Publication Printers Marketing Group (PPMG), a division of Publication Printers, is here to help educate your team on the value of social media in combination with print in your marketing mix. We will assist in the creation of your social media pages, explain the benefits of creative content, and show you how to advertise to your target market with measurable results. Click here or call 303.936.4930 for details.


Love Your Paper

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How upgrading your paper can improve your bottom line.

love your paper

“I will never go to newsprint again… This is the perfect stock for us! And the fact that several ad agencies and other media outlets have frequently commented on the substantial improvement in our products adds to the testimonial of the paper stock.” – Gary Hibert | Owner/Publisher of Colorado Parent

There are several powerful reasons why upgrading from newsprint to glossy paper can help grow your revenue. Here are a couple of the strongest:

Reason # 1 – Upgrade in Perceived Quality
By upgrading your paper, you are upgrading the quality of your publication. When compared side by side, your magazine will stand out above any other publication printed on newsprint. This improves the perception of your brand, increases the likelihood it will be picked up off of a rack, and therefore, more likely to be read by more people. As an added advantage, research shows that people tend to hold on to glossy magazines for a longer period of time and share it with friends and family. Advertisers understand these differences and will pay more to advertise in a higher quality magazine!

Reason # 2 – Upgrade in Visual Quality
Full color photos and graphic images really “pop” off the page on glossy paper. For example, if you are appealing to parents, whose worlds revolve around kids, when you think of kids, you think COLOR! Color attracts attention! Many of your advertisers already know this and they design colorful ads for this very reason. Are you providing them the best vehicle for that ad to stand out? In the world of publishing, best vehicle = glossy paper and heatset printing.

Test it Out
We are equipped with a complete digital printing department. As a test this month, why don’t you take the files from your last issue and print a dozen sales copies on gloss paper? You can give them to your top advertisers to obtain feedback.

The idea of making a change like this can be intimidating and overwhelming. But do not worry! You don’t have to do it alone – we are here to help every step along the way.


File Prep: The Extra Step

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You have probably heard the phrase “print-ready” files throughout your graphic arts or publishing career. But do you really know what that means and why it’s so important?  Do you know what considerations should be made for perfect bound publications vs. saddle stitch publications? Did you know that the type of paper you print on how it will print (digitally or on the web press) will affect the color? Do you know how to correctly calibrate your monitor and which simulation profiles should be used in the Adobe software to proof your pages on screen? Are you familiar with the recommendations for running metallic inks or other PMS colors?

If this sounds completely overwhelming, don’t worry – we are here to help!

To break it down further, let’s look at why you need to know how to set up files for a perfect bound project.  A perfect bound book is created by stacking signatures on top of one another, grinding off the spines, then gluing and clamping the covers to the book blocks.  Because of this spine grind, files need to be prepared so that all text and images are even further away from the edge than on the other three sides. Something else to keep in mind with perfect bound publications is the glue hinge. This is the 1/4” area on the spine edge of the IFC to the first text page and IBC to the last text page that has to be clear of any ink so the glue can adhere to the stock when the cover is bound onto the text pages. Due to this loss, adjustments to artwork may need to be made to ensure content isn’t lost and/or crossover images line up when bound.

In the past, you may have supplied source files to your printer to output from and PDFs were only created for proofing purposes. With today’s technology, most commercial print workflows are now PDF-based.  This means that as long as your layout is built correctly for your project, you can now generate a “print-ready” PDF file to submit to your printer. This will minimize the potential for error and reduces the time it takes to produce your project.

PDF stands for Portable Document Format.  Supplying print-ready PDFs speeds up all of the processes required for your job in our pre-press department by creating a simple workflow, providing for a hassle free transition from design through print and delivery.

A print-ready PDF must meet certain criteria for your file to print without encountering problems. (Additional criteria may be required depending on your project specifications.)

  • The document’s page size is correct and exact.  (E.g.: do not set your files up to be 8.5 x 11 – they must be 8.375 x 10.875 for most magazines)
  • Files are supplied with a minimum of 1/8” bleed.
  • Any printer’s marks are outside the 1/8” bleed area.
  • Fonts are embedded or converted to outlines.
  • All resolution is 300 dpi at 100% of the final image size.
  • Artwork not meant to bleed is at least 1/4” from the trim edge; this is the top, bottom and face of the page.
  • Small black text is 100% black and not a mix of CMYK.
  • The file is supplied as CMYK and does not contain PMS colors or other color space such as RGB. If you are unfamiliar with this terminology don’t worry, we will convert it for you, though some colors may shift.
  • Any multiple-page PDF consists of single pages running from the front cover through to the back cover, including blank pages if needed.
  • All files are clearly labeled.

Once the layout has been built and meets the criteria for your project, you are now ready to export to PDF. We can provide you with PDF instructions for all major layout software and versions. These instructions will walk you through setting up a preset to generate PDFs that are usable by us. However, they will not “fix” files that are setup incorrectly.  Remember, if you have questions about color management, file prep and layout, we can help!

For these reasons and so many more, it is important that your files are set up as correctly as possible to ensure the highest quality on your publication.  Don’t be intimidated, however, as we have a resident Prepress Technical Advisor/Customer Trainer, Michele McNutt, who is here to help you every step of the way.  If you are in Colorado, we invite you to set up a meeting at our plant with Michele to get you on the right track.  If you’re not local and you need dedicated support in building your files, don’t worry – we can send Michele to you!

This is one of the many services we offer that sets us apart from the “other guys.” The experts in our prepress department and their availability to you is unparalleled. That’s because we believe in investing in the long-term success of our customers. We want to help you succeed and grow – and you might also refer your friends our way.




USPS Price Increase (Updated)

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Update! Announced March 27th, 2015 – the price increase has been delayed. The new date for the increases has not been set.

From USPS:

“The Postal Service Governors decided today to delay the implementation of new market-dominant and competitive rates and classification changes until all of our proposed market-dominant changes are approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission.  This decision was primarily motivated by a desire to eliminate potential adverse impacts on postal customers that might result from a staggered implementation of our new prices…”


Prices are going up, folks. Applicable as of April 26, 2015.

Direct from USPS:

“In addition to the approval of the First-Class increases, the Postal Regulatory Commission approved the following increases to the below competitive products:


  • Parcel Select will increase on average 8.0% for non-Lightweight Parcel Select
  • Parcel Return Service will have an overall price increase of 4.8% (increase will be determined by where parcel is retrieved)
  • First-Class Package Service will increase 5.1% with no structural changes
  • Standard Post will increase 11.4%.  Prices in Zones 1-4 continue to align with retail Priority Mail prices and receive Priority Mail service and only default to Standard Post if item is not permitted to travel by air


  • Priority Mail International (PMI) overall increase will be 5.5% and Canada pricing will be zoned

NOTE:  PMI Flat Rate, Retail, Commercial Base, and Commercial Plus price categories will be maintained, except for the establishment of new zoned prices based on origin ZIP Code for PMI destined to Canada.

  • Priority Mail Express International (PMEI) overall increase will be 6.7%
  • Global Express Guaranteed overall increase will be 7.2%

NOTE:  GXG Retail, Commercial Base, and Commercial Plus price categories will be maintained.

  • International Priority Airmail (IPA) and International Surface Air Lift (ISAL) will increase by 4.5%
  • Airmail M-Bags will increase by 6.8%
  • First-Class Package International Service overall increase will be 7.2%

NOTE:  FCPIS Retail, Commercial Base and Commercial Plus price categories will be maintained


There are also increases to some Extra Services both Domestic and International.  You can find these details and additional information on the ruling in the PRC’s Order Approving Changes in Rates of General Applicability for Competitive Products issued on Feb. 25, 2015.”


Don’t Just Talk About Yourself, Social Media Fundamentals, part 3

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This is part three in our series to help introduce social media to the publishers who feel like they haven’t figured it all out yet.

In part 1, we talked about why you might want to try jumping into social media, and in part 2, we defined what people want from your social posts.

Now, it’s time to get a bit more specific and help you avoid some of the pitfalls into which people tend to fall when posting to a brand’s social media pages.

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PrintReleaf, Bringing Back Forests One Publication at a Time

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Have you ever had to defend against the ‘paper is bad for the environment’ argument? We all have, really, and while those of us in the industry know all about the sustainable solutions already in place, consumers, and even advertisers, usually aren’t as well educated. Maybe you’ve even missed out on a sponsorship opportunity because an advertiser felt strongly that print is just a bad thing. Frustrating, right?

That’s one reason Publication Printers offers additional services to help demonstrate and publicize a publisher’s dedication to environmental responsibility. FSC and recycled paper stock are the common examples, but they can be price-prohibitive for anything but the largest orders. In response, we’ve partnered with PrintReleaf to provide a new solution, and we’re the first printer to offer it. PrintReleaf doesn’t have any order size requirements and it’s less expensive than other ‘green’ options. Furthermore, unlike recycled paper which only cuts new/virgin paper consumption by a relatively small percentage, PrintReleaf effectively restores 100% of the paper used to produce a publication.

It’s a very simple concept – we measure how much paper is used in the publications we print for you, you pick which fully-certified reforestry project you want to support, and the PrintReleaf organization manages all the arrangements necessary to get enough trees planted to replenish what was used. You also get the requisite logos to print in your masthead and digital certificate to account for you contribution.


[Not exactly 37.2Kg. It’s more like 37.19736 and change, but who’s counting? Hint: We are.]

If you want to know more about the specifics of the operation, like certification and verification or who they partner with to get the job done, you can visit the PrintReleaf website or give us a call here at Publication Printers. We’re always happy to chat about how we can help you be successful.


Hasbro’s Tough Decision – Social Bullying and the Opportunity for Goodwill

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This was originally posted directly to LinkedIn, but it’s an interesting story for anyone, so we’re posting it to the blog too. There was some great followup in the comments on the original article, so if you’re interested, head over there too.


If you haven’t heard, John Spinello, creator of the children’s game “Operation” is in need of his own medical assistance. His friends are crowdfunding for that assistance.
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Simple Opportunities For Extra Revenue – Lessons from the 2014 Niche Digital Conference

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As a small publisher, your audience may be modest in size, but it’s very specific. That’s why you’re valuable to advertisers. Targeted marketing just converts better, end of story.

Of course, this is no surprise to you. The question isn’t whether or not you understand the value of your audience, it’s whether you’re taking advantage of all the opportunities you have to build your business using the audience you’ve spent so much time cultivating. At this year’s Niche Digital Conference, I came across a lot of suggestions for helping niche publishers succeed (read: how they can make money).

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