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Plaza Graphics February 18, 2020


The world of business and finance gets skewered, as Bottom Liners tackles subjects such as foreign takeovers, office policies, getting a raise, and the fast-paced world of Wall Street.
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The off-the-wall humor of Off the Mark puts a refreshing spin on the things we see every day ... from your favorite icons to your least favorite trends, from commercials to pets to computers. Slightly skewed and just a little twisted, Off the Mark scores a bull's eye with readers looking for a laugh.
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In today's complex world of family issues, Focus on the Family provides grounded, practical advice for those dealing with family problems.
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A whimsical, slice-of-life view into life's fool-hardy moments.
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News From
Gary Cowan
Idea of
the Week
Marketing Tip
Uncommon Product of the Week
Tech Tip





Lend Color to Your Design


#Inspiration



Educate and Entertain


Command with a Click
A Message From Gary Cowan
The Way I See It

I recently had the honor of attending an anniversary celebration for a couple who was celebrating 65 years of marriage. Their family helped them creatively display many beautiful photos, news clippings, and other reminders of the years gone by. Some of these items included their first clock radio, a beloved childhood toy, and the receipt from their first car. While they move and talk slower than they did before, their love for each other has withstood the test of time.

When asked how they were able to stay together for 65 years, the wife replied, “We were born in a time where if something was broken, you fixed it… rather than throwing it away.”

Here’s the way I see it: Perhaps Richard Bach said it best… “True love stories never have endings.” If you’re looking for a way to help tell your story in print, we’d love to help. After all, other printers may be nearby, but nobody comes close.



Gary Cowan
Idea of the Week
Use Color Contrast to Trick the Brain

What would you say is the primary organ used for your sense of sight?
While many would quickly answer that question with "the eye," it's actually your brain. Why?

Because while your eyes do collect visual information, your brain is the mastermind behind it that interprets the data in a way that is meaningful to you.

You can manipulate the brain to your advantage in your designs by merely adjusting the hue, value, and saturation of different colors.

Color Theory Basics

As you get started with your next design, revisiting some basics of color theory can be helpful.

Did you know that the human eye adjusts when focusing on colors of different wavelengths? This is why colors with longer wavelengths appear closer while those with shorter wavelengths seem more distant.

Cool colors (blue, green, purple) seem to recede, while warm colors (red, yellow, and orange) seem to close in or advance. In multicolor compositions, contrasting colors can create all kinds of movement.

 

410-green-red-fish.jpg

 

Here are some other brain-manipulating techniques you can experiment with on your next print project.

1. Create More Contrast
The greater the difference between a figure and its backdrop, the more sharply defined (or near) a figure will appear to be. A dark figure will come forward (toward the viewer) on a light background, while a light object will possess more depth when placed on a dark background.

 

410-crab-red-white.jpg

 

2. Experiment with Different Hues
On a dark blue brochure, a light blue subheading will advance slightly, but a bright yellow headline will leap forward. If your background and foreground are similar in hue (like a hot pink background with yellow font), the yellow will read much cooler than it does on dark blue.

 

410-octopus.jpg

 

3. Use Dull, Neutral Backgrounds
Using backgrounds like tan or grey when you want to draw attention or create a primary focus in your design. Dropping nearly any color on these muted shades can make your focal point sing!

 

410-starfish.jpg

 

4. Influence the Way Viewers Perceive Size
Did you know an object in a lighter color seems larger than an equally-sized object in a darker color?

 

410-fish.jpg

 

Here’s a more real-world example: a political advertisement contrasting two people may use a photo of the opposing candidate wearing a blue shirt positioned in front of a cool green background. Next to this photo, the favored candidate wears a gleaming white shirt while placed before a dark blue background. Though the portraits are equal in size, the white to blue contrast exerts a visual force on the eye that makes the favored candidate seem larger. This gives “the good guy” a substantial, energetic persona that dominates the page!

Every element in your design exerts a visual force that attracts a viewer’s eye. Use color contrasts to make your products advance, to increase the weight of your focal point, and to stir an emotional response in your audience.



See more great ideas like this!
Click here to visit the Plaza Graphics Ideas Collection.

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Marketing Tip
#HowManyHashtags


Hashtags are a great way to increase awareness, boost social shares, and ensure your posts are seen by more people than just your followers. But did you know that when you misuse hashtags, they can lower the credibility of your content

Here is a quick overview of how many hashtags to use on your social posts:

  • Twitter: Twitter engagement increases by 21 percent with 1-2 hashtags. However, Twitter engagement decreases by 17 percent with 3+ hashtags.

  • Instagram: Photos with 11+ hashtags get the most interactions. As of 2019, you may use up to 30 hashtags on Instagram, but be careful to choose relevant hashtags to prevent looking spammy. TIP: By adding hashtags in your comment(s), you will also increase engagement.

  • Facebook: It is recommended to use 1-2 hashtags on Facebook. Consider a popular hashtag, and a custom hashtag for your business, such as #CitrusCountyOranges

  • Pinterest: Use only 1-2 hashtags, and ensure they are unique hashtags to help Pinners find your content.

While there are additional social networks, hashtags are most popular on the above four social networks. If you’d like help promoting your business and social networks in print, we’d love to help.



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Uncommon Product
Kids Activity Worksheet


Custom printed activity worksheets are an excellent way for businesses to educate children about their industry. For example, a dentist could create custom activity worksheets that provide a mix of educational tips for dental care, as well as fun facts, trivia questions, and a challenging maze or other game.

While activity worksheets are often designed to educate and entertain children waiting for an appointment, they can also include important information for parents, such as stats and facts about why dental care is essential for children, a guide to dental care, and your contact information.

Activity worksheets can range from a simple handout to a folded brochure or multi-page booklet and can be customized with endless varieties of information. Do you have a “No Cavity Club” that features monthly give-away prizes that you’d like to promote An activity worksheet would be a great place to mention this!

Activity worksheets can also be a fun way to distribute your newsletter, providing a mix of news updates with fun facts and industry tips.If you’d like help creating the perfect kids activity worksheet for your business, our team would love to help!



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Tech Tip
Getting To Know Your F Keys


Function keys (or F keys) are shortcuts located along the top of a computer keyboard and have been around since 1965. While they typically serve as keyboard shortcuts (such as merely clicking F5), they may be combined with one or more modifier keys (such as clicking Alt+F4).

Many laptops and various keyboards have icons on the function keys displaying the default function of each key. Based on your system settings, you may need to hold the “Fn” modifier key to perform system actions.

While function keys can be programmed to do just about anything, here are the most common uses for function keys in Windows throughout the years:

  • F1 - Display help screen

  • F2 – Rename the file

  • F3 - Open search tool

  • F4 – Open or close address bar (Alt+F4 - Close the current window)

  • F5 - Refresh contents

  • F6 – Move cursor to selectable areas

  • F7 – Microsoft Office spelling and grammar checker (Shift+F7 opens Thesaurus)

  • F8 - Boot in safe mode or extend your text selection

If you’d like help creating custom print marketing that can withstand the test of time, we’re here to help!



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