College Copy Shop Presents:
Christmas Card Beginnings.
People have been sending Christmas cards since 1843 when John Callcott Horsley illustrated the first collection. Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed in London and sold that year for a shilling a piece. In 1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America.
Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs to remind you of spring. The designs continually evolved with changing tastes. The World Wars brought cards with patriotic themes. Quirky illustrated studio cards with sometimes risque humor caught on in the 1950s. Currently there are a wide range of preferences. Nostalgic, sentimental, and religious images continue in popularity, and reproductions of Victorian and Edwardian cards are easy to obtain if you’re feeling a bit historic.
In 1974 the Alberta Government declared the first Monday of August an annual holiday to recognize and celebrate the varied cultural heritage of Albertans.
That year and again in 1975, a multicultural concert was held at Fort Edmonton Park to celebrate Heritage Day. This occasion marked the early days of the Edmonton Heritage Festival, which plays an important role in promoting Alberta’s heritage.
This day is also historically linked to the abolition of slavery in the British Empire in 1834, but was chosen primarily for its timing: between Canada Day and Labour Day, one of the longest stretches on the Canadian calendar without a holiday.
It is celebrated under numerous names, most boring of which is Civic Holiday.
Happy Heritage Day from the friendly staff here at College Copy Shop!
Papyrus, the word that paper is derived from, has been around since 3,000 BC. Papyrus was used in the same way as paper is today but is made from flattening out the stem from a marsh grass in Egypt called Cyperous Papyrus. The Mayans also made a similar product for making books and the peoples of the pacific islands made something similar into clothes and ritual objects. These sheets were more like a mat and wouldn’t be classified as paper today.
Paper-making is a process where plant material is macerated until each filament is completely separate, mixed with water then screened and dried in a thin layer. This process has been traced to first century China durring the Han Dynasty (207 BC – 9 AD), and a paper made using mulberry and other fibers along with fishnets, old rags, and hemp waste. Emperor Ho-Ti’s chief eunuch Ts’ai Lun was known for his experiments in creating the process and has become revered as the patron saint of paper-making.
In the beginning paper was used for wrapping and padding and only started being used as a writing medium regularly in the 3rd century. By the 6th century paper was more common and sheets of paper were beginning to be used for toilet paper. Shortly after that paper was known to be folded and sewn into square bags to preserve the flavor of tea. The Song Dynasty in China (AD 960–1279) was the first government to issue paper currency.
The introduction of water-powered paper mills in 1282, allowed for a massive expansion of production and replaced the previously laborious handcraft. Paper-making centers began to multiply in the late 13th reducing the price of paper to one sixth of parchment and then falling further, allowing for paper to evolve into what we know today.
A Great Brochure Design is a Great Marketing tool!
A brochure is a great way to spotlight your company and products. Whether it’s a stand alone document or part of a larger package, a great design will help give your clients something to hold onto but if it’s not appealing, they won’t.
The Main Ingredients:
1 – Text:
You know your business best. Give writing a try. Put down all the ideas you’ve got and see what happens. If you like the type of information you’ve got but don’t think it sounds right it’s time to call a copyrighter. There’s lots of options online but if you work best in conversation and face to face you may want to find someone local.
2 – Imagery:
Photos or illustrations are essential. If you don’t have any, my best suggestion is to find a professional photographer. When cost is an issue, there are a lot of great stock photography websites. Make sure if you’re downloading images that you have the right to use. Two sites to get you started are http://www.sxc.hu and http://www.istockphoto.com.
Content is Key:
Everything you put on the page is content, from the colours you choose, to the text you include. If you’ve never done this before it may be overwhelming when you think of how much (or little) space you have to fill.
The front panel or cover of your brochure is where you need a hook. Make sure this is easy to read and easy to understand. If you’re having a sale, brought in a new product or are an expert at something this is where you want to highlight it. Having a brochure with only your company name on the front isn’t going to cut it. A tag line is a great way to highlight what you do in a few simple words, combine it with a great photograph (a photo or illustration is essential), your logo of course and viola! A message that pops.
A picture is worth a thousand words
Great photographs and graphical elements can mean the difference between a brochure that gets opened or one that goes in the recycle bin. A picture isn’t always a photograph, it could be an illustration, a table or graph or design elements like lines, squares or other shapes.
Make sure there is a graphical element on every panel. If you don’t have enough photographs or your content is better served by diagrams and graphs use your photos to draw the reader in. Placing them on the front panel and the outside right (the panel you see first when you open the front) Using a combination of illustrations and captions to call out text and main points will increase the likely hood of your text being read. Great graphics, combined with meaningful positioning is crucial to readability.
Being simple and to the point is a great way to lighten your brochure and allow for more images but if you’re sending out a brochure as a request for more information make sure there’s more information for your client. Don’t be afraid of long text when it fits the situation.
Headings or titles are generally the first things read and photo captions the second. From there the eye will flow from the top right to the bottom left. If you’re text heavy, the middle may not get read. Break up longer text into easy to digest chunks with appropriate headings or pull quotes. Keep readability in mind when deciding on the main points for your brochure and where to put them.
Aside from what text to put in is how it is written. Simply running spell check won’t replace good editing. Spell check doesn’t catch it if it’s the wrong word, the grammar is incorrect or if you’re repeating yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, (and you shouldn’t) find someone else to proofread for you. If you don’t catch it, one of your clients will.
Give them more:
This one should be a no brainer. Make sure your contact information is on the back of your brochure. With more and more people scanning business cards for contact information it’s a good idea to make sure it’s all together at the top or bottom of the panel.
A QR code is also a great addition and easy and free to create if you already have a website to link to. There are a lot of different options for this but one I found is http://www.qrstuff.com.
Put it all together:
There are a lot of great layout tools out there to use. From MS Word (not my favorite but a very common program that comes with templates) to Illustrator (my favorite but an expensive option if you’re not using it regularly). At this point it can all fall apart if you don’t put thing together in an appropriate way. My suggestions if design isn’t your forte, use a template or a designer. Templates can help get you started and should keep you from making any major design no no’s. A designer will take it to the next level. College Copy Shop has lots of experience with brochures. We can help polish what you’ve put together or can simply print them as is if you’ve got something that looks great.