With the announcement of a $1 million dollar grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub needed a polished and attractive backdrop for the press conference stage. Not only would it be in the spotlight of the media, but also be host a number of important local, state and federal leaders. SignsXM provided them with a 9’ x 7’ step and repeat backdrop, as well as two 3’ x 6’ foot retractable banner stands.
“In addition to helping us prepare for a major news announcement, we looked to the creativity of CustomXM to give our new location a sense of permanence. The interior and exterior signage and graphics they produced accomplished both with great success.” – Warwick Sabin
SignsXM also provided The Hub with window decals to add additional exterior branding to an exterior that is still a work in progress. A large acrylic contour cut Launch Pad sign greets the guest from the entrance facing Broadway.
“The banners and backdrops created by CustomXM not only allow us to brand internally, we also use them for events and activities outside of the Innovation Hub.” – Warwick Sabin
The $1 million dollar grant will allow the Hub to complete building renovations, including establishing the Silver Mine co-working space.
The good news is that for printing services in the North Little Rock area (and Little Rock area too, I suppose), I have one less competitor to worry about. With the recently announced buyout of Office Depot by Staples, I should now rest easy knowing that some of my competition is going away, right? Since this merger will result in fewer big-box office stores, those businesses needing printed collateral, stationery, marketing materials, banners and posters will now be more willing to visit us, right?
But wait, what about VistaPrint? They keep growing, and continue to expand their global reach and online presence. Certainly they are a competitor. And in this soon-to-be-released commercial, they do a wonderful job of storytelling. It’s the classic story of the prodigal son returning home, and the subtle product placement is nicely done:
Okay, wipe away those tears and continue reading.
Have I lost business to Staples, Office Depot and VistaPrint? Certainly. Have I lost sleep over what these behemoths have done to our industry. Certainly not. (I’ve lost sleep for other reasons, but maybe those are for another day.)
I know that as big and as inexpensive as these competitors have become, they can never replace what we have at CustomXM. In this touching tale of “The Postcard,” I, as a business owner and marketer, have questions arising from the story of Barrett & Son Bakery:
- Who consulted with them on their branding?
- Who assisted with the design of their logo?
- Who installed some of their banners and signs?
- Who advised them on the need for consistency in their marketing efforts?
- Did they purchase a database, or was EDDM a better solution for their postcard?
- Surely they incorporated the use of social media as part of their marketing efforts?
- And most certainly they developed a cohesive strategy and plan to implement all these efforts, right?
I certainly agree that the online and mega-mortar providers do a good job in fulfilling many business needs, especially if these needs relate to commodity items. But certain customized products and services require more than a simple SKU. They require conversation, a dialogue, maybe even a face-to-face meeting. They require the personalized attention that our team at CustomXM has been providing for over 48 years.
I enjoyed The Postcard video. But more than that, I enjoy the never-ending stories we help create for our customers, and we’ve been doing this for 48 years! But let’s face it, the story of Barrett & Sons Bakery is most likely fictional. That’s where we have the upper hand on VistaPrint and the others. We are proud to share this story of a REAL Bakery, now in its 3rd year. What we lack in video and audio quality as compared to that of The Postcard, we certainly make up for in passion and snarkiness. And please note that this video was made months before The Postcard.
Once again, wipe away those tears and let us know how we can help tell your story. And we can even let you buy business cards online, too (500 full color for $58.00)!
If you are familiar with any visual or graphic design related topics, you probably have heard or even used the phrase, “white space is our friend.” White space, or negative space, is simply that: an unmarked portion of a related graphic, print, canvas or other medium where images or text do not appear. I’ve recently come across an interesting use of negative space that is more literal in nature. It is space so negative, that it doesn’t exist. In theory and in reality, it is full of holes.
Vinyl banners have been a mainstay for outdoor announcements and signage. You see them everywhere – grand openings, auto dealerships, community and sporting events. Banners and signs like these are affordable and effective sales tools. They begin working the moment you put them up, and don’t stop until you take them down. And when the need arises for these to be outdoors for an extended amount of time, or depending upon the height at which these banners will be displayed, you may notice banners with half-moon slits cut into them. This is done to allow the wind to pass through the banners. After all, most advertisers would prefer that they remain banners, and not 6’x10’ sails.
But this may not be the most attractive answer to this problem.
Fortunately, an esthetic and functional solution exists, and it’s a wholly pleasant improvement to the situation that involves negative space. Or it’s a holey improvement. Mesh Banner material, a digital media that is 60% material and 40% air (give or take) provides a solution that has some rather eye-catching benefits. This material holds full color images in a stunning fashion, and actually blends into the environment with a near translucent effect depending upon where the direct light hits it.
Until recently, I was under the impression that this material was best suited for outdoor environments only. But a visit to JCPenney in North Little Rock showed me how effective this material can be indoors too, especially in the retail environment. In the photos below, you can see how this mesh banner provides an artistic product backdrop when the primary light source is in front of it. Yet, it can appear nearly translucent allowing for product display behind it when the stronger light is behind it.
It becomes a very affordable, yet highly effective piece of interior display design.
So if you are looking for an effective way to get your message across, don’t make your audience read between the lines. Instead, let them look through the holes.