Written on March 1, 2011 at 7:58 am, by admin
You can be sued for just about anything. And just one person can sue the most successful international companies for millions if that company isn’t careful about product labels.
In the case Liebeck vs. McDonalds Restaurants, a woman sued McDonalds Restaurants for $640,000 because her coffee was too hot. Coffee is the 2nd most popular hot drink in the world, and those who drink it expect it to be hot and love it that way. However, due to the Liebeck lawsuit, now McDonalds has placed “Caution: Contents Hot” on their coffees.
Companies put excessive disclaimers and instructions on their products to ensure they’ve covered their bases precisely, but occasionally company lawyers seem to get a little out of hand. Here are 8 instances of fine print – on everyday products – that make us cringe:
Warning: Do not eat iPod Shuffle
A fifty-dollar meal can taste pretty good, unless the meal is made of metal. Yes, it really is hazardous to eat an electronic mp3 player. When reading the capabilities and instructions for the 1st generation iPod shuffle, you’ll notice the second instruction warns customers against eating their new iPod. If this really is necessary to address in the instructions, maybe it should be first on the list so customers don’t eat the iPod while reading the rest of the information. The newer iPod shuffles exclude this warning, so people must not be swallowing the devices anymore.
Vidal Sassoon Hairdryer: Never use while sleeping
We all follow a typical wind-down routine each night before falling asleep. For some of us, the routine includes teeth brushing, face washing, and possibly watching an episode of our favorite TV series. And then there are those who try to sleep and complete their night routine at the same time. Just so you know, it is never safe to fall asleep while blow drying your hair! If you are looking to save time at night and get more sleep, make sure you don’t multi-task and sleep with objects connected to an electric socket.
Rowenta Iron: Do not direct steam at people or animals or iron clothes while they are being worn
A warning like this makes you question why it’s so specific. Do people normally not know that putting a 400 degree iron on your clothes while wearing them will burn your body? And does the ironer get in steam fights with other people and animals often enough to make this warning necessary to write?
America’s Fishing Lures: Harmful if swallowed
There are lots of things that lure people. How many women would have purchased the popular makeup bareMinerals without first watching the enticing infomercials? And how many more men are drawn to use the p90x workout videos after seeing their friends reach successful results? But it’s not just the media-supported items that are luring people to use their products on their bodies. The same hook that lures a fish to its death has written “Harmful if swallowed” on the front of the package. Maybe it’s just me, but a pointy fish hook doesn’t lure me the same way these other products do.
Nabisco Easy Cheese: For best results, remove cap
As a seasoned customer, you can figure out how to use a variety of products without even glancing at the instructions. Sometimes product instructions are necessary for use, and then other instructions are merely convenient. This Nabisco instruction goes beyond convenient to completely obvious. It was most likely intended for a very young child to read. But then again, by the time a child can read, they know that in order to use a product, you must first open it.
Duraflame; Warning: Risk of fire
You should never judge a book by just its cover… but you can definitely judge a product like this by its title. You might not immediately recognize what dura stands for, but flame gives a lot away with this product. The word flame is synonymous with fire. Hopefully you are at risk for creating a fire with Duraflame, because that is precisely why you bought this product in the first place.
Clorox Disinfecting Wipes: Do not use as a diaper wipe or for personal cleansing
When I think of babies, the first thing I think of is that baby in the store giving their loud wail they somehow can keep up for hours on end. I never actually ask “Why is that baby crying SO hard and long?” Maybe the baby is hungry, sleepy, or both. Or maybe their mom used stinging Clorox wipes to clean their rear rather than a diaper wipe! That would definitely make the baby’s cry seem more credible. It’s always good to read labels, especially in situations like this.
Motorola Razr: Do not try to dry your phone in a microwave
Most cell phones have liquid damage indicators on the phone, and will not replace the phone if it has been tripped. And most cell phone insurance policies won’t cover water damage. So if you’ve just dropped your phone in water, it makes sense that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to dry the phone before the water ruins it. My first thought would be to use a blow dryer on cold to dry it, but this only pushes the water around inside the phone. There are a lot of guides online that explain how to dry it. Putting your cell phone in the microwave is NEVER mentioned as a good method of drying. Just think this through. Your cell phone is metal. What happens when you put metal in the microwave? Yes, it lights on fire. Just imagine what happens when you put a metal phone with electrical capabilities running on electromagnetic radiation attached to a lithium battery in a high-powered microwave? Let’s just say you’d be better off using a dead, wet phone rather than one you just got out of the microwave.
It’s a good movement for companies in our nation to be specific with what they are selling, but sometimes it’s a little overkill. A lot of the cautions probably come from an experience or two where someone was being creative and accidentally used the product in a destructive manner. If that sounds like your style, be grateful someone else tested the product in this way and got the company to put on a no-brainer warning on the front. That warning just saved you from your next most embarrassing moment.
Written on February 17, 2011 at 8:11 am, by admin
Check out this excellent infographic about book writing from our friends at Contently.com:
What do you think?
Written on January 24, 2011 at 11:01 am, by rachel
Even in this age of digital everything, printing a book provides a certain level of satisfaction. There is something special about holding a book in your hands and knowing that you are the one who brought it to life. The real problem new authors face is that getting picked up by a publishing house is nearly impossible. That doesn’t mean they can’t get their work in to print, it just means they have to take charge of the situation.
Approaching Book Printing Alone
If your goal is to get your book printed in such a fashion as to make it look just like any other professionally published book, then the local print shop is the wrong solution. Online, you will find publishers who are willing to print your book in paperback or even hard cover form, assign it an ISBN number and offer you a cover design all for a very reasonable price.
The more copies you want, the less they will cost per copy, as is the case in any print job. The reasons for wanting to see your work in print vary, but the printed word still carries emotional weight, and by offering a book to potential clients and interested parties you present yourself as a serious professional.
The Online Book Printing Process is Straightforward
Once you have completed your book and spent the time necessary to edit and proofread it, you can submit the manuscript to your printing firm. The most common format is a PDF or a Word document, but most printers offer a driver that you can use for unusual publishing software.
Take a good look at how the book lays out in the print driver because that is exactly how it will appear when printed. If you want to play with the size of the book or its layout, this is the time to do so.
Determine how many copies you want, the size of the pages, what type of cover design you desire and so forth. Once everything is the way you want it you are ready to place your order.
Select a Printing Company with Experience
Because book printing is a bit unusual, in that not every company has extensive experience with the process, you want to make sure that you select a printer that has the right credentials. There are online printers which specialize in book printing and if you want your book to come out right, it can pay to spend a little more time finding the right firm.
3 Good Uses for Your Published Book
Now that you have your book in hand what can you do with it?
1. Offer it as a valuable incentive to people who visit your website and sign up for your email list.
2. Take it to conferences, events and business meetings and pass it out to all interested parties.
3. Sell copies when you present talks, lectures or informational sessions to the public.
Book printing is just one of many ways you can use print services to establish your credentials, market your company and get your business in the public eye. Combine disparate aspects of effective marketing to help your business grow and thrive.
Written on January 24, 2011 at 10:51 am, by rachel
If you have never printed up more than a few business cards for your company, then it is high time you learned about all the things that a good printing firm can do for you. Understanding the different print methods, common options and services available will help you to make the best decisions when it comes to designing an effective marketing plan.
Color Printing versus Black and White
There are three common abbreviations you will see when considering how to print up your project; 4/4, 4/1 and 4/0. 4/4 indicates that you are using full color on both front and back. 4/1 involves using color on the front and simple black on the back. 4/0 means color on the front and nothing on the back.
Each method is best suited for specific projects. For example, a poster is usually printed in 4/0 while business cards may do best in 4/1. Different objectives lead to different designs. Unless you want your poster to be seen from both sides, there is little point in wasting money printing something on the back. Adding a calendar or appointment reminder on the back of a business card is extremely helpful.
Additionally, it is important to remember the color helps sell. Color attracts the eye, makes a bigger impact and increases excitement. The only thing you want to print in black and white consistently would be simple flyers, and those can often be handled with simple copying rather than true printing.
Digital Printing versus Offset Printing
Digital machines are now capable of producing excellent, clean pictures and text, something that wasn’t an option even a few years ago. In small batches, digital printing is less expensive than offset, and the turn around time is usually shorter. Offset printing, a process that involves preparing a plate, is more efficient and financially viable once you go beyond 1000 copies. It also offers better definition if you enlarge something a great deal.
The key factors in choosing between the two methods are size of the batch and the amount of time you have before the product is needed. A decision is fairly simple to make once those issues have been addressed.
Where to Find Your Printer
Few local printers can handle the kinds of jobs that small to mid sized businesses need on a regular basis. Because printing equipment takes up a great deal of room, small storefronts can’t accommodate the presses. That means that any job you require will have to be sent out, often electronically, to a central location for completion. Adding additional middlemen adds cost.
If you work with an online printer you avoid the middleman, get to proof your work almost instantly and you will save money too. Online printers have less overhead to cover, and their prices and specials make them the logical choice when you have to stay within budget.
Perhaps one of the best aspects of working with an online printer is that you can get assistance from qualified professionals at the drop of a hat. Most large online printing firms keep customer service people on staff, available either by phone or internet chat, for just this reason. In a matter of minutes you can upload your graphics and text, design whatever publication you need and get back to the business of running your business, knowing that your project will be on your doorstep in a matter of days.
There is no reason for print projects to put you off any longer. Get printing and move your company towards even greater success.
Written on January 24, 2011 at 10:45 am, by rachel
If you are investing the time and energy to make new business cards, chances are you’re wondering how to make business cards that people will hold on to. After all, the whole point of distributing business cards is to let people know who you are and what you do and to make sure they know how to get in contact with you if they need to hire you or buy something from you, so you want to be sure they keep your card handy.
Think about when you come home from a trade show or conference and have a pile of cards to sort through. What makes you keep the ones that you do? If you are like most people, you are going to keep the ones that you recognize either because you remember the person who gave it to you or you were significantly impressed by the product line that you remember thinking that you want to get more info on that one.
Custom business cards can both stand out and be memorable. Forget traditional black on white cards with the corporate logo, your name, job title, address, and phone number. Those are the first cards to be pitched. After seeing 600 faces all weekend and shaking as many hands as possible, how many generic business cards are going to mean anything? Not very many. Most people don’t pay much attention when they get a business card, so they aren’t going to remember anything about it when they come across it again. Unfortunately, for the one who passes out boring cards, that first review will usually be when the recipient is sitting next to the wastebasket.
One technique the printing services are using now is to print on both sides of the card. This provides several opportunities for customizing. Consider these ways to make your business cards original:
• Visual Arts: Use the back of the card as a canvas. You can either come up with an original design for the card itself, or use a photo of a piece of your work and let the card be a mini-print
• Food Services: Prepare one of your more elegant dishes and get some good photos. There are lots of tips online for how to get good shots, if you aren’t much of a photographer. Lay it out with attractive dishes and flowers so that the picture you take can fill the surface of the card with an image that the viewer will want to take and eat.
• Engineering: Take a photo of one of your more impressive designs. Bridges make impressive photos, but even roads can be interesting if photographed from the right angle. You can even use landscaping, buildings, or anything else that people will associate with your company – even if it begins with “Holy Cow, I didn’t know you designed that!”
• Personal Services: Adorn you business card with pictures of “Shiny, happy people,” and you will start to give people the immediate impression that you are good at what you do (so maybe you can help them solve their own problems too.)
Even if you aren’t exactly in one of these categories, there is probably enough similarity to at least one of them to get you started on designing you own. Cheap business cards are available from just about any of the online printing businesses that you can find, so even if your first design is a flop, your investment was minimal and you can always try again!
Written on January 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm, by rachel
In addition to an already extensive list of printed products, 48 Hour Print now offers high-quality printed DVD products. If your product or any of your marketing material is being delivered to customers in the form of DVDs, you can create a very professional impression by having the labels and packaging professionally printed.
48hourprint produces the liners in the traditional black plastic DVD covers, the newer and lighter DVD case, and even a tri-fold cardboard DVD booklet that involves no plastic for the green-oriented business and its customers.
If the DVDs you are producing will be handed out as freebies or sent through the mail as part of a mass marketing campaign, you may prefer to go with printed DV wallets. These are a simple card stock folder, the size of a DVD, that are easy to mail because they do not add weight or bulk.
The printed labels that are applied directly to the DVD itself can be fully customized with your own design. The offset printing method used by 48hourprint.com produces sharp, crisp images and easily readable text. You’ll also have your choice of uncoated or high-gloss adhesive stickers for the labels
Once you have designed the print master, you can produce as many or as few of any given product as you desire. For instance, if you would like to have the same design printed on the DVD itself and the sleeve liner or booklet case, you can create one template and use it to create the print master for both products.
If you are producing a series of DVDs, you may want to have a background template that is the same on all of them and simply add new text and perhaps a new graphic image for each item in the series. This gives your product line continuity and makes it clearly a set.
As the printing company name implies, 48hourprint.com has a two-day turnaround on most orders and DVD products are no exception. This is unusual in the printing industry, as specialty products such as DVD covers often have a two-week or longer turnaround time.
The addition of DVD products to 48 Hour Print’s already extensive list of products means that you have an even greater branding opportunity. You are now able to use the same template images and layout for your printed paper materials that you use on your DVD. Being able to produce all your printed goods in one location simplifies ordering and also makes it easier to manage your designs and keep track of costs.
Written on January 12, 2011 at 12:09 pm, by rachel
In today’s economy you have to be creative and maybe even a little bit aggressive in your marketing campaign. Printing bike stickers is a trendy option that may just give you that little bit of an edge you are looking for.
Bike stickers are applied directly on bicycles as well is on bicyclist’s helmets. Similar to bumper stickers, bike stickers are smaller and, generally, themes trend towards the interests of bike enthusiasts.
Popular themes on bike stickers include environmentalism, the rights of bikes to be on the road, and bike and gear brands. Some are made for children, and others are just plain humorous. Also, like bumper stickers, bike stickers have to be made to withstand the elements, so they are generally printed on vinyl and have some kind of UV protection to keep them from fading or otherwise deteriorating from exposure to the sun.
Online printing companies such as Uprinting.com make it easy to design and order custom stickers. In fact, if you need some inspiration, check out the collection of bicycle stickers they assembled on their blog at http://blog.uprinting.com/bicycle-bumper-stickers-27-rad-designs-to-pop-wheelies-with/. You’ll see that a lot can be said with very few words. For example, the sticker made by urbanbicyclist.org contains the organization’s name and the simple phrase, “One less car.” In just those three words, they have expressed the value of riding a bike by alluding to all the negative impacts of driving a car.
There may be only a few good places on a bicycle to display your sticker, but the helmets worn by bicyclists and skaters have also become popular places to put statement-making stickers as well. And, of course, there are some that simply include brand logos for the brand of bike or board of preference. The advantage of this placement to marketers is that helmet stickers are likely to get noticed and even though helmets are relatively small, they can sport quite a few stickers.
In designing a bike sticker to represent your company, you’ll want to choose a design that appeals to a younger crowd. This will often be something consisting mainly of the graphic with the simple statement or even just your brand name and logo to identify it. The point is just to get a little more exposure. Unless, of course, you’re in an industry that relates directly to bikes, in which case you may want to be a little more forward in drawing attention to yourself.
On the other hand, if you’re located in an urban area, you may find that the majority of bicyclists consist of professionals who commute to the office by bike so you will want to take a completely different approach. You may also want to produce larger custom bumper stickers for cars in the same design or at least using the same theme. The more you can get the word out there, the better as far as your marketing is concerned.
Written on January 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm, by rachel
Every professional, from a self-employed lawn cutter to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, needs business cards; however, the fact that business cards are one of the oldest traditions in business doesn’t mean you have to stick to stodgy designs. Of course, the more unusual cards do cost more to print, but it may be well worth it for you in the end. Here are a few of the latest trends in business card printing.
• The first and most simple modification to the business card style would be to include color graphics. Online printing companies like Uprinting.com and Vista printing literally offer thousands of templates for you to choose from.
• Another recent trend for jazzing up your business cards, while remaining in the very affordable category, is to print on both sides. Online printing companies have developed software that allows you to upload your own images. In this case a beneficial way to use the image may be to print the back of your card either with a picture of your product, or if you are in a service business you may want to just print it with an attractive attention-getting design.
• Die cut to customize. Even something as simple as rounding the corners can make your card more interesting and more appealing to tactile customers. Die cutting can also be used to create a completely unique card by punching out letters or even your company logo.
• Another way to create business cards that stand out is to change the general shape of your business cards. You could go with a square card rather than the traditional rectangular. Some people opt for a very small square card, about half the size of a normal business card, or you could go slightly larger with a card that is approximately a 3 x 3″.
• Printing your business card on a magnet may incline your customers to keep it around because they either stick it on a refrigerator or metal filing cabinet. If you’re going to the extent of printing your business card on magnets you want to make sure it features an attractive graphic image, as well as all your basic contact information.
• 3D, or lenticular, cards top the list as far as being a fairly simple technology with a high end effect. These are the cards with the plastic washboard surface that lets you see either of two completely different images depending on the angle from which you view the card. 3-D cards are another version in which you have a single image but the illusion of depth is created by the card surface.
Regardless of which method you use to create a more interesting business card, you can find an online printer to meet your needs Getting your custom business cards printed online allows you to get them printed cheaper than you could at the local printer in most cases, and it assures you of a very short turnaround time.
Written on January 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm, by rachel
Almost any business of any size is going to be doing some kind of printing. The smallest, and particularly home-based businesses, may do their own printing on an inkjet printer. Larger, but still considered small business organizations, may have in-house printing copiers that they use to produce their own flyers and perhaps business brochures; however, even these small businesses will be utilizing the services of a professional printing company for business cards and office supplies such as letterhead and envelopes.
As soon as a business’s budget allows, it is always a good idea to have brochures and other marketing material professionally printed. Color printing really makes your message stand out, and there is an amazing array of affordable promotional products that you can print.
Magnets have been popular with realtors for some time, but their popularity is spreading to other businesses. The advantage to printing on a magnet is that it typically will get stuck on a refrigerator or metal filing cabinet and stay there where it is seen regularly and also is easily available when your contact information is needed.
In order to make your magnets be something that prospective clients will keep on hand, be sure to make them not only look good but have some additional function. Printing a larger magnet with a calendar is a very popular way to do this; be sure to include an image that clearly associates the calendar with you or your business.
If you need to print something smaller, you can even do a magnetic business card. You’ll need to get away from the traditional text-only card style. If it’s appropriate to the industry you are in, you could include a picture of yourself, which is optimum for service providers such as realtors and loan officers who want their clients to have a sense of personal relationship with them. If you are in a business such as lawn care, including a picture of a beautifully sculpted topiary will not only make your magnetic card pleasing to look at so that customers will keep it on display, but it will also associate you and your business with quality work in your industry.
Vista printing (vistaprint.com) is an online printer that has been doing magnets for some time and 48HourPrint.com has just added magnets to their line of products. Both of these companies produce high-quality printed goods at reasonable prices and both have a very fast turnaround time so you don’t have long to wait once you place your order.
Magnets cost more to print than brochures or postcards but they have the added marketing advantage of, quite literally, staying power. Online printing companies make it easy for you to design your own marketing products by providing templates that allow you to simply upload and plug in your image, add your text, and you’re done. When it’s time to upgrade your marketing campaign, consider adding magnets produced by one of these online printing companies; and in the meantime, keep an eye on their websites. They frequently offer discounts of up to 50% off your entire order. With savings like that, you can’t go too wrong.
Written on January 12, 2011 at 11:51 am, by rachel
Free business cards seem like a great deal, and in many ways they are, but you really have to consider all of your options when deciding how to present your contact information to your potential customers and clients.
Select a Printing Company for Quality, Not Price
There is nothing wrong with having your first set of business cards printed for free if you don’t have your company logo completed. It is better to have some card to pass out than no card at all. However, when you hand a free card out to someone you wish to impress, understand that their first, instinctive movement, once they look at the front is to turn over the card and look at the back.
People do this because many cards include additional information on the back; perhaps a useful calendar, or they may even use the card as a coupon. What people see when you opt for free business cards is the web address of the company that provided you the cards. Use free cards as a stopgap measure until your real cards get printed.
Color Printing with Generic Cards
Even if you don’t feel that you can afford truly custom cards, invest in color printing. Your cards will “pop” more if they contain color. This doesn’t mean that your card should contain every color in the rainbow, which is worse than no color at all, instead use color in your logo, for your name and phone number or some other critical piece of information.
Adding a single color to a standard, boring business card makes it much more interesting and helps the reader find the information you consider most important. By pulling the eye towards itself, color helps you improve communication.
Always Have Them Around
You can’t afford to miss a single opportunity, so make sure that you always have business cards on hand. Keep an extra box in your car, stock your wallet or purse every day, hand them out even when you just meet someone casually. You never know who will be in need of your services, and by letting people know what you do right from the start, you brand yourself strongly with your company.
Truly Custom Business Cards
You will certainly pay more for unique business cards, but you will also make a much more effective impression. Business cards that are printed on unusual materials such as plastic, metal or wood; have been die cut in an appropriate shape or are interactive, attract more business.
Yes, designing such a card costs more, but the returns are greater as well. No one wants to toss out a unique business card, and that means that when they need your services, your card will be easily identifiable.
Your business card represents you when you aren’t around. What kind of message do you want to send to your clients? Once your company is on its feet, free cards imply that either you are too cheap to invest in your business or your business is doing so poorly that you can’t afford a few dollars for something better. Look at your options and replace your free cards as soon as possible.