In the 1970’s, New York City was unrecognizable compared to the bustling city it is today, known for its culture, diversity, and opportunity. Due to a nationwide economic recession and a lack of federal assistance, New York fell into ruin. Crimes such as arson and looting skyrocketed along with the unemployment rate. Homelessness, destruction, and starvation devastated the city population. Additionally, New York tourism was at an all-time low as visitors became scared to visit the city and turned off by its bad press. The city needed a miracle, and it found that miracle in Milton Glaser, a visual artist.
In the 1960s, Milton Glaser rose to fame by photographing Bob Dylan, designing the New York magazine, and conceiving the layout of the restaurant in the World Trade Center. Because of his prominence in the New York creative scene, the New York Department for Economic Development approached Glaser. He met with the agency they chose to spearhead a development campaign to revive New York tourism and change the reputation of the city. The agency tasked with designing the campaign was Wells Rich Greene, and they met with Glaser to conceive an idea for the logo. Funny enough, Glaser came prepared with the design scribbled on the back of an envelope. With input from Wells Rich Greene and further development of the logo, the “I ❤ NY” design we know today was born. Inspired by the opportunity to make a real difference for the city, Glaser did the work pro bono.
None of the parties involved could have predicted what a success the marketing campaign would be. Today, the logo is one of the most widely recognized around the entire world. A tourist can step in any shop in the city and find the design plastered across magnets, sweatshirts, pens, mugs, and hundreds more items. In fact, the logo generates more than $30 million a year for the New York economy, with the Economic Development agency still profiting to this day. Worldwide, variations on the logo can be found everywhere. The campaign, which was only meant to last months, continued on for years, revitalizing the city and its tourism market and turning it into the booming metropolis we know today.
In a dark time, the “I ❤ NY” logo shined a bright light on a city that needed a second chance. It helped change public perception of and bring positivity to the city’s reputation. The iconic logo is an amazing story which showcases the power of marketing and a great brand strategy. CCG’s Digital Shuffle is an expert in such strategy. Looking for a total revamp, a new logo, or the next “I ❤ NY” campaign? Talk to your CCG representative to connect with Digital Shuffle today!
By Marley Niesz
Target® red, Tiffany® blue, and Barbie® pink are some of the many shades made famous by their corporate brands. Did you know that a brand can trademark a color? Turns out they can! A brand can legally register to trademark their brand color(s) to prevent any other similar business from stealing their signature color. As an integral part of print, packaging, and design, it’s no surprise that brand recognition and awareness revolve around color. Take Coca-Cola® for example, whose shade of red is so recognizable that most could identify it without the logo being present. The development of brand standards is much more complex than the average consumer might think. The colors and shades are chosen with purpose to evoke thoughts, feelings, and perceptions of the brand and product itself. This is called color theory, and it is an important facet of marketing.
Think of something as simple as a business card. Did you know that a person is ten times more likely to hold on to a business card that is printed in multiple colors than a card printed in a single color? Talk about capturing attention! It takes about a nanosecond for a consumer to form a judgement about a color, and in judging color, they are judging your brand as well. In fact, a study done by the Seoul International Color Expo found that 85% of consumers make a purchase based on the color of the product and packaging. Because of this, marketers choose specific colors and pairings to influence mood and product perception.
As an overarching theme, warm colors like red and yellow are flashy, energetic, and inspiring. In contrast, cool colors such as blue or purple are more calm, reserved, and subdued. Brands use color to evoke these desired feelings in their customers. Marketers design their logos to reflect the same.
Let’s take Target as an example. Red is bold and energetic, easily capturing the attention of consumers in a shopping center or even on the highway. It contrasts beautifully with white, which conveys style and elegance. These colors are perfect representations of Target’s brand and image. To customers, Target is peppy and fun, a perfect fit for the everyday bustling family. But Target has also entered the affordable luxury market, offering modern fashion lines and home décor lines designed by famous influencers. The white and red logo balances these initiatives perfectly.
Another example of excellent color usage in branding is John Deere®. Their classic shade of green is recognizable anywhere. Green signifies growth and nature, an obvious choice for the farm machinery industry. Furthermore, green also represents stability and endurance. This points to John Deere’s reliability and durability, important facets in the world of manufacturing. Just like Target, John Deere’s brand image is constantly reinforced by its use of color.
CCG created a comprehensive guide on choosing the best color for your product packaging. Check it out for an in-depth analysis of major colors and their value in branding, and talk to your CCG rep to make your brand shine with color today!
By Marley Niesz
Did you know 80% of consumers own a promotional product? While this is good news for brand visibility, how can organizations make their unique branding stand out among the rest? CCG’s experts in branded merchandising work tirelessly to keep clients informed and on the forefront of promotional marketing trends. From pens to polos, CCG combines vibrant art with the hottest products in the consumer market to help organizations increase visibility exponentially.
Where to start? Branded kits have exploded on the market in 2021. Useful for employee and client gifts, virtual conferences, giveaways, and more, kits make a warm impression and leave a lasting impact on recipients. Want to keep it simple? Writing instruments like pens are one of the best-selling promotional products of all time. Welcoming new employees? Employees love company-branded apparel. No matter the product or occasion, contact our CCG experts to make your brand shine today!
In the meantime—check out our February newsletter on trending promotional items for 2021!
By Marley Niesz
A billboard on the highway. Mesh signage banners around a construction site. A display sign at a tradeshow. Consumers see grand format printing all around them, yet probably don’t know the name for it or the processes behind it. Known as grand format, wide format, or large format printing, this type of print is manufactured on specialty large print equipment capable of imaging on all kinds of surfaces, and practically unlimited in size, it makes a big impact. Its versatility renders it capable of decorating the exteriors of apartment buildings to wrapping vehicles with custom imaging and messages. CCG prints its grand format projects with ultra-violet inks which are humidity, water, temperature, and sunlight resistant. Although a project’s lifespan can be dependent on the materials used, the use of these specialty inks allows the material and print to withstand harsh weather throughout all seasons. Large format printing began with cut vinyl and screen printing, which has evolved today into advanced digital print by specialty print equipment.
In 1991, company Nash Editions developed the Iris Graphics Model 3047, the first digital grand format printer. It was unique and industry-changing, but also expensive and short-lasting. The printer only used water-soluble CMYK inks, which were easily damaged by sunlight. Additionally, the expenses of this printer made it inaccessible to the general public. Soon after, a collaboration between Nash Editions, Epson, and Durst began the conception of the Epson Stylus Pro 9500 in 1999. This project was groundbreaking for photographers and artists looking to showcase their works in vibrant colors on a large scale. The printing industry was once again thrust into the spotlight with the growing popularity of wide format printing.
In the new millennia, innovations from industry experts Hewlett-Packard and Durst improved large format print quality with high-stability, multi-colorant pigmented ink systems. These new printers produced images that were longer lasting than before. The commercialization of wide format print technology made it much more widely accessible to the average consumer. Today, the options for grand format printing are essentially limitless and can be used by a business or organization for many purposes including trade show graphics, indoor and outdoor signage, banners, backlight graphics, floor-window-ceiling-wall graphics, environmental graphics, vehicle wraps, building wraps to name a few.
In the print industry, grand format projects are printed on a variety of materials, called substrates. Choosing the correct substrate for a grand format project depends on the environment of the project, the size, and the specifics of installation, as different materials have varying outdoor lives. One of the most common substrates used is PVC which is highly durable and ideal for outdoor signage. It produces a quality image that can also withstand all kinds of weather conditions. For large scale projects, durable vinyl makes excellent, smooth banners that are high-quality and affordable. Interior designers love removable vinyl, which is a substrate that can be cut into specific graphic designs, applied to a wall, and removed without any damage. Grand format projects involving photography often use acrylic as a substrate because of its outstanding quality and luminance. For water-resistant and reusable projects, clients often choose gatorboard, a substrate made of lightweight foam between wood-fiber. Gatorboard is easy to transport and durable through all weather conditions because it is water proof. These are just some of many substrates that are used in grand format print.
Wide format printers differ depending on the way they transfer ink onto the substrate. Aqueous ink is water-based, meaning the ink pigment or dye is held in a water solution. This works well on coated materials such as canvases and banners that can be laminated afterward. Solvent is any ink that is not water-based. These prints are water-proof and can be printed directly onto uncoated substrates such as vinyl. Solvent inks are generally more durable than aqueous inks. Another type of ink is dye sublimation, which is diffused into the substrate, producing photographic quality prints. Finally, UV inks are inks that dry under UV light resulting in waterproof, embossed, and vivacious prints. The type of ink used is dependent on the project and the customer’s needs.
Grand format signage has maintained added importance as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to uproot businesses and society as we know it. Social distancing signage can be found everywhere now, whether it is an “Enter Here” sign on the front of a grocery store or a 6-feet apart marker on the floor. These are often made from adhesive-back vinyl which can be stuck to a variety of surfaces and removed after use. Grand format printing is an essential need in society in order to keep people safely distanced and maintain order and capacity.
Furthermore, grand format print takes a large role in company rebranding projects. CCG has successfully worked on a number of customer rebrands which included numerous grand format projects. One rebrand involved the installation of new window and wall vinyl graphics, silicone-edge graphics, and exterior and interior graphics and banners designed to support the new brand identity of the company. CCG also installed directional signage and printed PVC 3D custom signage for the customer. It was a highly successful and cohesive rebrand that could not have been completed without large format print technology.
Grand format print is also in high demand for business grand openings. There are a number of projects which can be used to generate excitement and provide clarity for new customers arriving at the location. A specific example of a grand opening where signage is crucial would be for a real estate development company opening a new apartment building. Typical grand format projects include parking rate signs, wayfinding signs, windmaster signs, and leasing office signs. The feather flags often seen on the side of the road to announce a grand opening also fall under grand format work. Adhesive backed vinyl and window perf graphics can be applied to walls and windows to announce a grand opening as well. All in, grand format is a crucial form of advertising when it comes to these types of projects.
The advent of grand format printing changed the graphic communications and advertising industry significantly and is now an integral part of marketing. CCG’s wide format technology provides clients with stunning grand format graphics and signage to fulfill all marketing objectives. Grand format print continues to be a successful medium for attracting new customers and retaining current ones. Talk to a representative at CCG about elevating your company’s brand image and advertising with grand format print today!
By Marley Niesz
And 7 Simple Hacks for Trade Show Success