What Do Stock Photos Really Cost?

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD Businesses wanting to maximize their marketing spend often opt to cut out a photography budget in favor of stock photos.  But this ends up being a penny wise and a dollar foolish. Our agency used to have good working relationships with a number of photographers and would routinely manage photo shoots for our clients.  Everything from in-studio product shots to staged locations with hired talent.  Design often needs photos and the old adage that a “picture is worth a thousand words” still holds true.  However, what has happened is now the pictures often tend to be low-cost stock photos purchased online. […]

Let’s Talk Resolution

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD No, the logo you copied from your website won’t work for print.  Here’s a quick overview of image resolution to help you more effectively work with your marketing agency. All images are made up of tiny squares of color called pixels.*  The clarity of an image results from how big the pixels are relative to how closely you view them.  Resolution is in fact just a description of the density of pixels; typically described by the number of pixels per inch (ppi). […]

By |Blog, Technical Topics|

What to know about Colors: RGB, CMYK & PMS when working with a full service marketing agency

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD Fun fact: the colors on your computer screen are not the same as the colors you see in print. Really. Here’s a quick overview of the types of color and what it means for working with a marketing agency. You may have heard of RGB or CMYK and even PMS with reference to color, but these acronyms can be glossed over. Most people think colors are all the same, regardless of media or medium; that orange is orange is orange. Right? Well, think again. […]

A Quick Guide to Understanding Logo File Types

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD So you have a great logo and now you want to put it on everything.  But, which of the myriad file types your agency or designer gave you is right for each application?  This will explain it. Upon completion of your gloriously heart-stopping, tears-of-joy inducing logo, your marketing and design agency lovingly provided you with all of the file formats you would ever need. How nice of them! However, each file has a crazy suffix at the end that no amount of “textspeak” can decifer. All you want to do is some light voodoo magic: update your invoice template in QuickBooks and add your logo to your e-mail signature. That’s. It. […]

Why do Envelopes Cost So Much?

Custom printed envelopes can seem expensive because they are converted; meaning they are printed flat, die cut, then folded and glued together.  This extra processing drives up the cost. Envelopes are one of the three items Rains | Birchard Marketing routinely designs and produces for new clients as an integral part of business stationary.  Everyone needs business cards, so when designing those, our agency also designs the letterhead and #10 envelopes to match.  Over the years, many new clients have been surprised at the high cost of printing standard envelopes when compared to letterhead at an equal quantity on the same paper.  […]

Tips for Writing an RFP for Marketing & Creative Services

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD About half of the Requests for Proposals (RFPs) we receive won’t yield quality responses because they’re written incorrectly.  Here are some tips for writing an RFP that will get results. […]

By |Agency Selection, Blog|

How Much is a Powerpoint Presentation Worth?

PowerPoint is a ubiquitous business mainstay. Everyone has it, and technically, anyone can use it. But before that program gets fired up, ask yourself, how much is your company’s success worth? […]

By |Blog, Marketing Strategy|

5 Reasons to Not Let Your Commercial Printer Design What They Print

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD Printers don’t have a vested interest in the design of what they’re printing.  If you’re willing to invest in printing, hire a graphic design firm to create what you print. Let me preface this post by saying that the commercial printers Rains | Birchard works with really are valued partners and it is through our close relationships that we turn intangible designs into something you can hold in your hand.  That being said, printers are not designers. […]

By |Blog, Production|

A Full Service Marketing Agency Should Provide “Soup to Nuts” Service.

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD  “Soup to Nuts” includes everything start to finish.  It’s all inclusive. An outsourced marketing department should provide all services needed. […]

By |Agency Selection, Blog|

If you have a budget in mind, share it with your full service marketing agency.

BY MATTHEW BIRCHARD Clients sometimes don’t want to disclose their budget to their agency, but knowing this parameter of a project is vital to its success. One of the first questions I always ask a client when we’re discussing a new project is: “What’s the budget for this?”  This isn’t asked just so I can estimate to that full amount.  In truth, knowing the budget for a project helps me to understand the importance of the project in my client’s mind. […]

By |Agency Compensation, Blog|