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What Are Promotional Product Set-up Charges

August 9, 2018 Written By Joellen Reichenbach

One question I get asked several times each month is, “Why are there set-up charges?” I thought now might be a good time to explain what is involved in setting up each imprint job on a promotional product, and why there is a charge called a ‘set-up fee.’ 

Are you ready to learn something new?  Here we go!

A Blank Slate

All promotional products start out as blank products – a pen with no markings, a t-shirt with no image, a crystal award with no names, or a bottle with no branding. But each of these items has a specified area on which machines can print, deboss, emboss, etch, engrave or embroider your logo and marketing message.

In order for printing machines or embroidery machines to create your imprint they need an informational guide to know exactly what they need to do. That guide is called a ‘screen,’ ‘plate’ or ‘die.’  Without this screen or die, the manufacturer is unable to imprint your promotional product.

The Set-Up: Creating the Screen, Die or Plate for Imprinting

The type of promotional product you choose and the method of imprinting your message will drive what type of set-up is required.

Say you wanted to print on a pen in one color, in that case, you would need one screen. If you choose to print a full color (or multi-color) logo on your item, you’ll need multiple custom screens – one for each color. If you wanted to create an award, the engraving process would require programming the computer properly.

And if you wanted to deboss a product (which means pressing a message into a product so that it was below the product’s surface – for example, one of those silicone wristbands), you would need a die. A die is creating by carving the logo or message copy into a mold. The mold is then filled with liquid metal and then cooled to produce the die which is then used to deboss the product. If you remember what a typewriter’s letter element keys looked like, that would be similar to a die.

Each screen, plate, die or even computer program must be custom-created containing your logo and/or message. The set-up fee is the cost to produce this custom tool. This fee will vary based on not only the type of tool needed for the job but will also depend on the manufacturer.

The ‘Why’ Behind the Set-up Charge.

So as you can see, quite a lot of work, time and materials go into ensuring that your promotional product is manufactured correctly. This time and material is why there is a set-up fee on every product order.

Contact us today if you have further questions about set-up fees or the process of creating a promotional product, a.k.a. your Silent Salesperson, helping you promote your business!



The One Piece of Art Your Business Needs

June 23, 2017 Written by Joellen Reichenbach 

As a business owner, there are some key resources that you need to keep in your tool box as you build your business. We all know that we need a good accountant, attorney and banker. But what most people don’t think about is the camera-ready artwork of your company's logo.

Camera-Ready Logos Make Professional First Impressions

When you print your logo on business cards or on a pen do you feel like you should get your eyes checked because it seems fuzzy or it’s “just not right”? If so, you likely have a situation where you’re using a version of your logo graphic that is not what we call ‘camera-ready’. 

Your logo is your brand identity. It’s the first representation of you seen by your potential clients. So you’d better be sure it’s exactly what you want to portray. It needs to be legible and memorable.

You spent a lot of time and money working with a graphic designer to create your logo. Every time you use it – no matter how you use it - it should be crystal clear. So what do you need to have to make sure that happens?

Why You Need Multiple Versions of Your Logo

Your marketing takes many different forms and your logo will be used many ways in the course of doing business. Sometimes you’ll want your logo all by itself, sometimes you’ll want your logo with your tagline, sometimes you’ll need it with your tagline and phone number & website, and sometimes, you’ll just need your logo with your tagline and website.

In addition to all of these potential combinations, you may need your logo in black & white for some uses, and in full color for others. This means you’ll need your camera-ready logo designed in full color, spot colors, and black & white.

Each logo version is used for different marketing applications. You should reflect on how many ways you’ll use your logo. Will you have pens or mugs made? Will you need a brochure? Will you use billboards or car wraps? For each application, we’ll need your logo graphics file – but due to certain imprinting processes, your promotional products vendor may need your logo supplied in a different color format.

Style Sheets Clear Up Confusion

A style sheet is an important part of your logo toolbox. This information sheet provides your company with a comprehensive list of all of your logo’s elements from colors to typography.  It allows you to know your exact corporate colors, and your brand’s typeface so you can ensure that every document that leaves your office is in sync with your brand.

Style sheets are also an important tool for your vendors. When working with a promotional products company, you’ll be asked what font your company name and tagline uses. You’ll also be asked which Pantone colors are in your logo. (That’s the PMS number.) If you don’t know, anyone trying imprint a promotional product will not be able to help you easily.

What Type of Graphics Files Do You Need for High Quality Printing?

Most people know about .jpeg graphics files. What you need to know is that a .jpeg format is not camera-ready artwork. A .jpeg is just an image of your logo which can be used on websites and social media applications. It is simply a picture of your logo. But a .jpeg file can't be altered or adjusted to create camera-ready artwork. This also applies to .tiff .gif .png files as well.

You will need the following art files (in full color vs. one color). It is extremely important to ask your graphic designer for the following files:

  • You will need what are called .eps files. These .eps files need to have all fonts converted to outline and saved down to a CS5 or lower. You personally won't be able to open this file unless you have the Illustrator or InDesign artwork software but your promotional products vendor and print vendors will be able to open them. It is critical that you don’t delete them!
  • Along with the .eps files, you should ask your graphic designer for .PDF files so you can view what should be in each .eps file.

A Quick Tip on Saving Your Logo Files

Be sure to keep your artwork file titles the same so you know what each file contains. For example:

  •    selectsalesFullColorLogo.eps

selectsalesFullColorLogo.PDF

selectsalesFullColorLogo.jpeg

  •    selectsalesoOneColorLogo.eps

selectsalesOneColorLogo.PDF

selectsalesOneColorLogo.jpeg

Storing Your Valuable Camera-Ready Artwork

Your camera-ready artwork files are part of your corporate tool box. You need to keep these .eps files in a safe place. It’s critical for your future marketing applications. It is always best to have them saved in multiple locations just to be safe.

I always suggest keeping them on a CD, a flash drive, on an external drive, and in cloud storage in addition your computer’s My Documents file. It would be a smart idea to keep an additional copy of your logo files with your corporate documents. You can never go wrong with burning a CD and placing it in a plastic sleeve inside your three-ring corporate binder.

 Having your own files allows you to be able to move forward with your marketing materials without waiting for your graphic designer to get back to you. I have had situations where a client’s graphic designer either moved away with no forwarding information or went out of business, so be sure to maintain your corporate artwork files in-house. 

Your financial investment into your corporate branding can provide an outstanding return if you know exactly where your .eps, .PDF, and .jpeg electronic files are every time you need them during the implementation of your marketing plans. Just as you use your accountant during the tax season, your attorney during your legal issues, and your banker when you need a loan, your artwork files are another key partner you need to run a successful business.

Copy of Do Your Everyday Office Products Have a Marketing Message

August 6, 2012 By Joellen Reichenbach

How many times have you scrambled to find a piece of paper in your office so you can jot down a quick note before you forget it? You grab your favorite pen and – bang! – instant peace of mind. Have you ever noticed how many office products you use each day? Or how many have marketing messages imprinted?

Look around you  it might be the first time you really notice the calendars, pens, sticky pads, mouse pads, staplers, scissors, paperclip holders, notebooks, clocks, coasters, telephone pads, mugs, and even the screen saver on your computer that pops on and off throughout the day. Do you see all of the silent marketing messages that you’re continually absorbing without realizing it?

The sticky pad you used to jot down that quick note was there another message already printed on it? What does it say? Or how about your favorite pen – do you remember where you picked it up? Which company has their logo and phone number on it? These hidden marketing messages are in plain sight even if you don’t see them consciously each day. When you need the services represented by those companies on your desk, who do you suppose you’ll end up calling?

Promotional products are one way to keep your name in front of your contacts or future customers, and everyday office products are a perfect way to start! Office products give you the opportunity to deliver your message every time a potential customer picks up a pen or a mug, or looks at a calendar.

By the way, if that sticky pad you used earlier doesn’t have your company’s name and contact information on it, just give us a call! At Select Sales, we can help you start an idea board for everyday office products that will help you gain market share on your customer’s desks. Remember, promotional products are more than just a pen or sticky pad, they are your companys message in front of your customers all the time.

Have you used promotional products to keep your message in front of potential customers?

When Should You Show Employees Appreciation

March 24, 2017 Written by Joellen Reichenbach 

If you missed National Employee Appreciation Day on March 3
rd, it’s not too late to show your employees how much they mean to you and your company.  Employee awards can be given all year long.

 How Employee Recognition Programs Improve Business

Your employees can take your business to success levels you’ve never dreamed. They can also hurt your company more than you thought possible. An employee appreciation award is a simple way to ensure that your employees feel valued. 

It’s a known fact that when employees feel appreciated they are more likely to behave and make decisions in the best interest of your business and your clients. 

 The results of showing employees appreciation can result in other huge benefits to your company. They can:

  • Improve employee morale
  • Reduce employee turnover
  • Increase teamwork
  • Drive higher productivity from teams and employees
  • Motivate employees
  • Build loyalty
  • Encourage specific habits

 When to Present an Employee Appreciation Award

One question I hear quite frequently is, “I know that employee recognition is a good idea and it can help my business. But when do I give an employee award?”

There are a number of reasons to give out awards. There are the standard milestone-type awards and then there are more creative moments to recognize an employee. Let’s start with the typical occasions:

  • Years of service
  • Top sales revenue creator
  • Peer recognition
  • Employee of the Month
  • Habits you want to promote (such as punctuality)
  • Birthdays or work anniversaries
  • Achievement
  • Attendance
  • Community Service
  • Volunteer 

For more non-traditional occasions, try these. If you’ve ever noticed your employees taking any of the following actions, these might be award level events for your company:

  • Taking on extra shifts or working overtime
  • Working on days off
  • Covering for employees on vacation
  • Adding new procedures that streamline workflow
  • Changing a policy that increases profit margins
  • Taking ownership of projects
  • Organizing company events
  • Uncovering a safety issue and preventing injuries
  • Supporting fellow team members

Once you start looking for actions and events, you’ll find that you can recognize your employees for a job well done easily.

What is the Best Employee Recognition Gift?

This can be a challenge but luckily you’re reading this post (and Select Sales is always available to help you create a perfect employee appreciation award).

Yes, employees always love cash - but that is not the only option!

Try these traditional employee awards:

  • Plaques
  • Lapel Pins
  • Printed Certificates
  • Ribbons
  • Badges
  • Trophies
  • Crystal, Acrylic, Glass or Wood Awards

 Or you can give untraditional awards to show your gratitude to your employees. These gifts can be more functional and can even be targeted to individual employees’ interests!

  • Blankets
  • Folding Chairs
  • Coolers
  • Backpacks
  • Trunk organizers
  • Travel mugs
  • Watches
  • Embroidered Clothing

If you are interested in giving out employee awards but aren’t sure what your next step should be, give us a call!

Did You Know?

Speaking of awards … our company, Select Sales, has been the proud award sponsor for the Freddy Awards http://www.freddyawards.com since 2003. We believe in supporting the growth of our community. The Freddy Awards are awarded for excellence in high school musical theatre in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas. The high schools competing for the awards include Northampton, Lehigh and Warren County, NJ. Held each year at the State Theatre in Easton, this year they will be aired live on WFMZ Channel 69 on May 25, 2017. Make sure to tune in!

Fun (& Dirty) Facts about Business Floor Mats

Fun (& Dirty) Facts about Business Floor Mats
February 16, 2107 Written by Joellen Reichenbach 

These facts might just be enough to convince you that you really need a floor mat or two!

 Did you know?

-          91% of shoppers choose a store because of appearance.

-          Floors are the top spot customers look for business cleanliness.

-          Estimated costs of removing one pound of dirt from an office building: $500+

-          One square yard of carpet can accumulate one pound of dirt in 1 week (and 2x that in inclement weather).

-          Vacuum cleaners only pick up 10% of dirt from mats.

-          Dirt & dust cause 9 out of 10 computer system failures.

-          1500 people can remove 42% of your floor’s finish.

-          Average cost of a slip-related injury exceeds $12,000 (and more than 30% of worker injuries are slip-related)

Wondering How to Order a Floor Mat?

We get asked a lot of questions about ordering custom entrance mats. One of the most common questions is:

“I only have one entrance to my business. Is it ok if I just order one custom mat?”

The answer is yes, of course!

 You might be surprised to learn that there are many different styles of mats and you can choose the materials that best fit the look of your business. You can also choose your colors so you reinforce your branding.

 Using floor mats both inside your business and outside provides businesses so many benefits – and free, long-lasting advertising – so your return on investment is very high.

Give us a call to find out how to order your mat. We’ll walk you through the free design process. Ask us about our 100% guarantee with selected manufacturers!

*Statistics provided by Progressive Shopper, International Sanitary Supply Association, 3M, Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, Georgia State University Test, Wausau Insurance Company, CDI Research

Wipe Your Paws: Business Entrance Mats Promote Your Company

February 3, 2017 By Joellen Reichenbach 

I was at the Post Office buying stamps the other day. At the service counter, a delivery man was rolling out clean, new interior mats with a welcome message. You’d be surprised at the many types of mats a business might use throughout their facility from entrance mats, logo mats, foot scraper mats, interior mats, anti-fatigue mats to anti-slip mats, anti-static and static dissipative mats.

And each one provides an opportunity for you to deliver a message.

Messaging on Mats

Welcome! Wipe your paws.

Whether you’re a dog training center using an entrance doormat to welcome customers to your facility, eliminate any slip and fall issues – and protect the finish on your floors, or a university proudly displaying your logo on interior mats in front of offices, mats are everywhere within a building.

Each one of those floor coverings allows you to speak to your prospects, your customers, and your employees. What can you communicate? Message types can vary:

  • Welcome to your clients
  • Branding space for your name & logo
  • Warning messages on anti-static mats  
  • Safety hints on anti-fatigue mats for employees
  • Special offers for customers

Using custom floor mats, you can keep your workers and customers safe while delivering one more marketing touchpoint.

 What an Entrance Mat Can Do for Your Business

If you’re wondering what the value is of a custom entrance floor mat might be for your business, consider this. A survey done by Progressive Shopper found that 91% of people chose a business because of its appearance. Think about that for a second – 91% of choice is based on good looks!

Just by having an entrance mat you can:

-          Promote your corporate brand

-          Give a great first impression to customers

-          Keep your floors cleaner and protect the finish

-          Help ensure your clients are safe from slip and falls on snowy or rainy days.

Types of Floor Mats

As I mentioned earlier, there are numerous ways to use floor mats throughout your business. But you may not realize how many different types of mats there are. I thought it might be helpful to give you a list of them as well as a little information to help you decide what would best fit your needs.

Entrance Mats: The most common type of mat, this is not only one of the first things your customer sees but also the first line of defense against mud, rain and snow. Your entrance mat will absorb and store pounds of dirt and water for easy removal. It also provides a slip-resistant surface for customers. 

Foot Scraper Mats: This mat can be used either alone outside your business entrance or in tandem with an entrance mat. The foot scraper mat takes the brunt of the mud, sand and heavy soil and allows the entrance mat to take care of any remaining dirt or moisture. Using a foot scraper mat helps protect your floor’s finish.

Interior Mats: This mat can be used anywhere inside your facility to provide any number of functions. You may want to use them for spot control in kitchen or vending machine areas to catch those coffee spills. Around copy machines is another popular area to use an interior mat to ensure that toner isn’t tracked around the office. High traffic areas also benefit from the protection of a floor mat.

Anti-Fatigue Mats: If your employees are required to stand in one place for long periods of time, you may want to consider providing anti-fatigue mats. These mats allow employee leg muscles to function normally and increase blood flow which reduces fatigue.

Anti-slip Mats: With the average cost of slip & fall injuries topping $12,000 according to Wausau Insurance Company, not to mention lost time and productivity - every business owner wants to ensure safe footing in any slippery area. If your facility has spaces where oil or grease or water create uncertain footing, an anti-slip mat is probably a good choice for you.

Anti-Static and Static Dissipative Mats: Have you ever thought about reducing static electricity around the computers your business relies on? Electro-static discharge can cause computer failure so you may want to consider placing either anti-static mats or static dissipative mats under and around your computer systems – or any sensitive electronics.

Floor mats are easy to clean - either by vacuuming, wiping, washing out, steam cleaning, carpet cleaning or industrial cleaning. As long as you properly maintain your custom mats, you’ll ensure that your investment is long-lasting.