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A perennial concern for architects that might not get the attention it needs are print materials. Especially for new firms, the thought of keeping promotional collateral in print probably seems dated, but even in a digital world their value can’t be overstated. From packaging to business cards, there are many items still needed in print form, and for architects, the look and feel of these materials is a reflection of their design sensibilities.
In the past, custom-designed print materials have typically been either too costly to afford or too time consuming to make. Recently, however, the power of advanced, graphics-heavy web interfaces combined with the relative ease of coordinating distribution networks in the digital age has brought professional custom printing within anyone’s reach. The rising star in this new market is Moo, an online purveyor of print collateral worthy of a designer’s eye.
Below is a roundup of essential print materials any architect should have on hand for their firm, large or small.
As the staple collateral item, business cards have never fallen out of favor, and likely never will. Because stopping mid-conversation to record someone’s contact info is no less awkward with digital technology than it was before, the simple hand-off of a business card will probably continue to be a hallmark of networking for some time.
This particular item is Moo’s stock-in-trade. With a range of options covering unusual dimensions and paper types, business cards can be created from hundreds of design-forward templates and images, or users can upload their own designs for final formatting. The Printfinity feature can also be used to set a different image for each card, creating a pocket-size portfolio.
While not technically a print material, business card holders are nearly as vital as the cards themselves, since encouraging people to hand them out can be challenging. Logic follows that if everyone at a firm were given a fashionable business card holder, they might be inspired to give their cards out more often.
Departing from the typical single card dispenser, Moo’s premier business card holder fans out to display multiple cards, supporting the use of different images on each card as a miniature portfolio. Such a feature is a conversation starter by itself, easily helping to put a firm’s business cards out into circulation.
As T-squares and parallel rules have fallen by the wayside, the sketchbook has risen as a symbol of the architecture profession. Promotional opportunities with this item abound: potential clients at meetings, recruits at career fairs, or nearly anyone who visits a firm can walk away with a branded memento that reminds them of the firm and what they do.
A book full of blank pages is also quite handy, because even people who don’t draw still take notes by hand. As such, Moo’s custom notebooks can be ordered completely blank or lined, with or without branding, and even the type of paper can be specified, ensuring this item gets put to good use.
If you’re starting a new firm, you might be astounded at how much business still relies on hard copy submissions. Pre-printed labels for mailings and other submissions can help ease that process, automatically covering basics like return addresses and allowing opportunities to show off a logo.
While mailing labels might not seem to be the sort of print materials that move or inspire, they certainly offer that possibility, as labels from Moo can be customized with their templates or overlaid with an original design.
The thought of a postcard may conjure up notions of tourist mementos, but they’re far more useful for architects as a simple handout. The advantage of keeping promotional cardstock at this size is its ability show off high-quality images in a way smaller print materials can’t.
Matte or gloss, thick or thin, border or not, Moo’s postcard prints can easily covey both pictures and information. Like their business cards, they can also be ordered with a range of different images and designs in a set, making them more like a business card for a whole firm instead of a single employee.
Flyers might be used less frequently than any other item on this list, but they’re still essential in certain situations. In-house announcements, special event hosting or attending trade shows and conferences are just a few examples where a set of custom-printed, eye-catching flyers will prove useful.