Thursday, September 15, 2005

Using Photographs on your Business Supplies

By Christina VanGinkel

Creating personalized business cards, and other business supplies such as flyers, brochures, postcard mailings, and other business related material yourself is easy thanks to the advances made in the digital camera and computer fields, whether you only create the design and send out your printing, or do it all yourself from the initial design to the final printing. Snap a photograph of your business's building or an item that represents it, upload it to your computer, and you will be on your way to creating professional looking supplies. Moreover, by following a few simple suggestions, you will keep your business materials looking sharp and memorable to all your associates and customers.

Choosing a Photo to Represent your Business

When deciding on what to photograph, keep in mind that the picture that will eventually end up on your business supplies will in almost all instances be printed relatively small. One exception may be if you use it as a watermark on your business stationary, but even then, in its lightened form, lines of the image will be more important than busyness, so keeping the lines of your chosen picture clean will enhance your final output. Because of this fact, keep it basic. If snapping a photo of the actual building the business is located in, try to exclude items such as parked vehicles, as they will only detract from the clean lines of the building. If taking a picture of a sign that represents the business, ask yourself if it will be readable in its miniature version. By keeping the final printed size and various uses in mind when taking the photo, you will end up with a better photo for its intended purpose.

Choosing a Font

Font choice is as important as the photograph. Pick something that scans well, and is not hard to read. While going with a fancy font may look good initially, too busy a font will just annoy the person trying to read it when they really need it. Size of the font should be large enough to read easily also, but not so large that it fills the entire card. Leave white space.

Front and Back Printing Choices

I always recommend leaving the back of the card blank, unless you use it to print an exclusive coupon on it. This is not recommended for all business, but if you are selling a service or goods that other competitors often offer discounts and coupons for, this is a good way to keep your card in the forefront of someone's wallet. Another example of acceptable two-sided printing would be if you were an artist and your chosen photograph is of a piece of your artwork. Save for a copyright mark on the side of the photo; print all your other information on the opposite side.

In House Printing or Hire it Out?

When printing your materials, home and small business printers have become so advanced, that unless you are printing large amounts of supplies at once, it is very acceptable to use printed materials you do yourself. Do not skimp on the supplies, use perforated, pre-made business card blanks for example, and instruct the printer to print in high quality and not ink saver mode.

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