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600 B Frazier Dr. Suite 130 Franklin, TN 37067
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600 B Frazier Dr. Suite 130 Franklin, TN 37067
Offer good at the AlphaGraphics Franklin location only. Contact us for details @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Coupon code EDDM_BP2015. Offer expires 9/30/2015.
Offer good at the AlphaGraphics Franklin location only. Contact us for details @ email@example.com. Coupon code BCS_BP2015. Offer expires 9/30/2015.
Buy any vinyl banner sized up to 36” x 60” and get an identical one free. Offer good at the AlphaGraphics Franklin location only. Contact us for details @ firstname.lastname@example.org. Coupon code BOGO_BP2015. Offer expires 9/30/2015.
5 Things You’ll Need for Your Next Trade Show Booth
Trade shows are a great place to interface with potential customers. Most convention or trade show exhibition halls are noisy places bustling with activity. Grabbing the attention of eventgoers requires some effort. Making an impression that lasts beyond the show takes a lot of planning. No one wants to start setting up for a show only to realize that something was over looked.
Here’s our list things every trade show booth needs.
No. 1 - A Hop Up Wall or Retractable Banners
A hop up wall is a printed or dye-sublimated cloth graphic that stretches across a collapsible aluminum frame. Hop up walls are lightweight, easy to assemble and available in sizes to accommodate any trade show booth. Order hop up walls at least 2 weeks before your event.
Retractable banners are vinyl, cloth or heavy paper graphics that are printed then loaded into a metal banner stand. Retractable banners graphics are relatively inexpensive and can be changed out easily. These types of banners are available in lots of size options and are usually paired together in sets of 2 or 3.
Order retractable banners 1 – 2 weeks before your event – longer if your banner will be a non-standard size.
No. 2 – Table Coverings
Most trade show venues offer tables for each booth. Make the most of that real estate with a custom printed table throw or table runner.
Dye-sublimated cloth table coverings can be printed with colorful graphics, logos, contact information – whatever will grab the attention of the crowd.
Most table coverings are wrinkle resistant and can be washed (with care). Order table coverings 2 – 3 weeks prior to your event.
No. 3 – Informational Material
Catalogs, brochures, rack cards, tri-folds, flyers, sales slicks, price sheets, order forms – your booth may need any number of these. Informational materials are great ways to send people home with reminders of how your product, service or organization is different than all the others they saw at the show.
Bright graphics or pieces of unusual size or format will be more memorable. Order your printed materials one week before your show – sooner if you need help getting your pieces designed.
No. 4 – Business Cards
Business cards are still a very viable way of passing along your contact information to potential new clients. Special treatments like embossing, foiling and UV coating can make your card stand out.
Adding features like QR codes or NFC tags can help you make your printed business cards more interactive.
Order your business cards one week before your event – sooner if you need design help or special finishing.
No. 5 – Giveaway Items
Everybody likes a freebie. Promotional items can be a great vehicle for keeping your company’s name in front of a prospective new customer. The more unusual or useful the giveaway item, the more desirable it will be.
There are literally tens of thousands of promotional items available so there’s usually something to fit every budget.
Order your promotional items 2 months before your event.
Being prepared for your next big event will take the pressure offer everyone manning the booth. Having everything ready and available will help ensure you make the most of the personal interface with booth attendees, which is really what’s it’s all about anyway.
- AlphaGraphics Franklin is a provider of print and marketing materials serving middle Tennessee.
15 Acronyms for the Modern Workplace
With the increase in texting, more and more acronyms are creeping into our everyday vernacular. Some of the most commonly used ones are making the leap from texts to emails. Making use of these in emails between members of your team can cut down on keystrokes and email length.
Here’s our list of the top 15 acronyms that the crew at AlphaGraphics Franklin uses daily.
-COB – Close of business
-F2F – Face to face
-IAM – In a meeting
-IMO – In my opinion
-JTOL – Just thinking out loud
-LET – Leaving early today
-LMK – Let me know
-MMYT – Mail me your thoughts
-NRN – No reply necessary
-OOO – Out of Office
-PRB – Please reply by
-SME – Subject matter expert
-SOT – Short on time
-TLTR – Too long to read
-TYT – Take your time
Here are a few less common but equally useful ones:
-AFAIK – As far as I know
-AFPOE – A fresh pair of eyes
-BAU – Business as usual
-BTW – By the way
-CLM – Career limiting move
-CWOT – Complete waste of time
-FWIW – For what it’s worth
-FYEO – For your eyes only
-GTK – Good to know
-HTH – Hope that helps
-HWGA – Here we go again
-ICYMI – In case you missed it
-IDK – I don’t know
-IME – In my experience
-NMP – Not my problem
-NTK – Nice to know
-NWR – Not work related
-P&C – Private and confidential
-PCM – Please call me
-WFH – Working from home
AlphaGraphics Franklin is a commercial printer serving the Cool Springs, Franklin, Spring Hill and Nashville area.
American Girl Takes Middle Tennessee by Storm
American Girl mania has officially hit middle Tennessee with the opening of a new store in the Cool Springs Galleria just south of Nashville. This 9000 square foot American Girl store is the first in the middle Tennessee area. The store’s grand opening on Saturday, May 30 attracted over 7000 guests. Family-friendly events were planned for the day,giving girls from 3 to 12 (the chain’s target demographic) plenty to squeal about.
Adding to the American Girl frenzy will be an upcoming fashion show hosted by and benefitting Mercy Community Healthcare. Girls with an interest in modeling for the show are asked to attend open call auditions at Cool Springs Galleria on June 20th. Click here for more information about registration for the November 14th show.
As Mercy Community Healthcare’s print vendor, AlphaGraphics Franklin got a sneak preview of these events when printing American Girl backdrops and invitations for the show. Colorful backdrops were 59”wide and over 7 feet tall. Printed on non-curling semi-gloss blockout banner material, these backdrops were designed to create a great background for fashion show participants. Loaded into retractable banner hardware, these backdrops are easy to carry and to assemble. Sturdy and durable, these backdrops are guaranteed for multiple uses and will last well beyond the American Girl fashion show in November.
The American Girl phenomenon is sure to continue in middle Tennessee. The new American Girl store is now open Monday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. and on Sundays from noon until 6 p.m. Visit the new store online at americangirl.com/retailstore/nashville to see what all the fuss is about.
Putting It All Together - Print Binding Explained
Depending upon the type of document you print, there are lots of ways to finish it. Often, printed pieces are simply stapled together. Other times, you need something bound in a more permanent and more polished way.
Commercial print experts can help you determine the best bindery method for your project. Some of the most common bindery methods are saddle stitching, perfect binding, and spiral/loop/wire binding.
Saddle Stitching uses 2-3 staples in the spine of the document to bind the pages together and is best used for brochures and small reports. This method requires pages be printed in signatures (2 large sheets printed front and back then folded in half). For that reason, the total page count of a saddle stitched document must be divisible by 4 (2 fronts, 2 backs).
Perfect Binding uses glue to bind inside pages to a cover. Perfect binding is often used for for books and catalogs.
Spiral Binding uses a heavy plastic coil threaded through holes drilled at the edge of the document. This is a great option for printed PowerPoint presentations and other small reports.
Double-Loop Binding is similar to spiral but using heavier double-loop wire - perfect for small reports that need a more polished, durable binding.
Comb Binding uses flat plastic teeth looped through holes in document side - one of the least expensive methods of binding and great for documents that will have frequent changes.
How a document is bound not only serves the function of holding the document together, it also determines how the document looks and how it can be used. Selecting the wrong type of binding for any document can detract from the appearance and usability of a piece.
Still have questions about bindery? Contact our bindery specialists at email@example.com or call us at 615.786.0280.
5 Things You Need to Know before Your Next Business Move
(From a Cool Springs business who survived one)
Changing locations isn’t easy. Your customers are used to your existing locations. All your business stationery points to your old address. Moving means boxing and unboxing everything in your office. It’s a lot of work but often a necessary part of doing business.
If you’re facing a move, there a few things you can do to lessen the impact and make the move easier to manage. Here are few tips we learned the hard way in a recent move.
1. Your move will disrupt traffic flow and customer/employee access for both your old and new neighbors. It's a good idea to make neighboring businesses aware of your upcoming move and to be as accommodating as you can.
2. Notify your clients,customers, vendors and business associates well before your move. Then remind them again. And again.
3. Update your business cards before the move and have them ready to start distributing the minute you move. Have your business stationery updated and printed as well.
4. Pay a mover to pack and move the big stuff. Most movers are insured and they know what they’re doing. Professional movers will come armed with the right equipment, movers tape, dollies, and ramps...all the necessary accoutrements. And did we mentioned they’re insured!
5. Finally, think of your move as the biggest team building exercise you'll ever do (and one you're not likely to repeat any time soon). Allow employees to work together to get common areas set up, to problem-solve together and to help one another get their workstations up and running. Allow for some silliness and encourage it. The camaraderie your team builds on moving day is priceless and one of the few things that will come "free" with your move!
AlphaGraphics Franklin moved to a new facility in October 2013. Visit us in the Cool Springs area at 600 B Frazier Drive, Suite 130 or visit us online at www.franklin.alphagraphics.com.
Upcoming Franklin Tennessee Event focuses on Great Food and a Great Cause!
Pigging out for a good cause sounds like a little slice of heaven! That slice, along with a varied assortment of other tasty morsels, will be served up on May 8th as Eat the Street returns to Franklin, TN. Eat the Street brings together some of the area’s best food trucks featuring some of the best street food to be found. Over 20 food vendors will be participating.
The Eat the Street team, led by Amy Kovar of Gray Public Relations, has been busy promoting the event, which benefits the 21st Drug Court. Marketing collateral such as postcards, flyers and banners have been printed in anticipation of the event. Social media accounts have been abuzz promoting the event. Promotional giveaways (including some nifty travel blankets) have been readied for the event.
All efforts are purposed with making the event a success – for the food vendors, for the event attendees and for the event’s benefactor. The success of Eat the Street will help ensure that area residents will continue to have access to the unique alternative sentencing program. The 21st Drug Court provides constituents of the 21st Judicial District of Tennessee with a cost-effective alternative to traditional punishment. Non-violent offenders whose crimes result from drug or alcohol addiction engage in a highly supervised 2 year program which helps promote life changes that lessen the likelihood of recidivism. Learn more about this program at 21dc.org .
Eat the Street will convene on May 8 from 5pm – 9pm in Franklin’s new Bicentennial Park on 3rd Avenue. Learn more about the event and to see a list of participating food vendors, visit eatthestreetfranklin.com .
AlphaGraphics Franklin is a proud sponsor of this event. For more information about banner and promotional printing, please visit us at franklin.alphagraphics.com .
In Defense of Printing: Why “Paperless” Isn’t Necessarily the “Greener” Option
Chances are you’ve never heard of digital deforestation. It’s a relatively new way to look at the environmental impact caused by the switch from printed material to digital forms of communication. Things like email, online magazines and newspapers, and paperless billing have an environmental impact all their own.
Digital technology uses a tremendous amount of resources. All our data has to be stored somewhere and the digital “cloud” is in reality a large data center somewhere. (In actuality it’s a series of large data centers in multiple somewheres).
Large data centers require vast resources to operate. Those centers consume resources when they are built and convert huge tracts of water-absorbing land into dry seas of concrete and pavement. The accompanying cellular towers that carry all this cloud technology are dotting the landscape with ever increasing frequency and claiming their own share of land and environmental resources. And at the tail end of the technology life cycle are ever-growing mountains of discarded computer equipment piling up in landfills, posing risks to wildlife and ground water.
As it turns out, paperless communication isn’t as green as once thought. And printing on paper isn’t necessarily as bad as we’ve been made to believe. In fact, printing – putting ink on paper - is actually a sustainable business practice that makes good environmental sense.
Paper is good. Paper is made from trees which benefit the environment in a number of ways. Trees reduce soil erosion. Trees recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen. Trees provide habitat for wildlife. The responsible harvesting mature trees makes room for new tree growth. Flourishing woodlands are a sign of a healthy ecosystem.
Trees are the ultimate “green” product. And the paper made from trees is recyclable. In fact, paper is one of the easiest materials to recycle and reuse.
Most trees used for paper production are now grown on sustainable tree farms. Tree farming creates thousands of jobs for Americans and pumps millions of dollars back into our economy. The forest products industry in the U.S. has pushed for industry-wide adoption of sustainable forestry practices that include environmental impact reviews and certifications.
That push to make the paper industry “greener” has filtered down to commercial consumers of paper products. Most paper suppliers now provide products that that are manufactured using cleaner energy and using more ecologically sound processes than was the case 20 years ago.
Commercial printers have a vested interest in developing responsible business practices utilizing sustainable resources. Most commercial printers recycle their waste paper and conserve paper whenever possible. What makes good business sense for the commercial printing industry is also good for the environment.
There are times when going paperless just makes good sense, especially for small to mid-sized businesses. However, before opting out of printing altogether, companies may want to take another look at the environmental impact of their decision. Sometimes, putting ink on paper may be the greener option.
Window Dressing: Using Window Graphics to Increase Traffic In Your Nashville Business
Have you ever driven past a Taco Bell when you’re hungry? With their windows almost completely covered by colorful images of tacos, burritos and all other sorts of meaty, cheesy delights, it’s had to drive past without stopping.
Taco Bell understands the power of a suggestive graphic. They also understand the wonderful advertising opportunity right under their noses. Windows are blank slates and any business can learn to use them as spaces to build brand awareness, increase traffic and boost sales.
Most businesses readily spend marketing dollars on in-store signage, POP displayers and sales collateral but often neglect to leverage one of the biggest advertising opportunities available to them. Storefront windows are the perfect place to post colorful graphics that can catch the eye of passersby. And, with the variety of options available, window graphics can be much less expensive than other means of advertising.
Window graphics can be used by just about any type of business. They can advertise products, services, specials and promotions. Well-placed graphics can also block sunlight (or visibility) inside a business or give employees and clients a better view than the parking lot.
Window graphics are usually categorized by the materials used and each type can offer varying degrees of visibility.
Sticker or Cling?
Stickers, sometimes called decals, are adhesive backed graphics that can be mounted inside or outside a window. These are semi-permanent and can be repositioned during application but, once affixed, often have to be removed with soapy water and a little elbow grease. Stickers are the strongest, most durable type of window graphic. Some are weather resistant and won’t fade easily.
Window clings are repositionable. These use no adhesive but rely on static to cling to the inside or outside of windows. While these are usually not as weather resistant as decals, but they can be repositioned and are easy to replace. Clings are great for temporary offers, promotions or seasonal displays that will need to be removed and replaced often.
Opacity vs. Visibility
Both clings and decals offer visibility options. Opaque substrates will limit visibility. These usually have a white background and can be cut in any shape. These substrates work great when trying to create some privacy within or when needing to block direct sunlight.
Perforated allows visibility out but not in. These are a perfect solution when you want to allow customer and employees some visibility out while still blocking some of the view inside the building.
Clear cling substrates offer full visibility in and out. These are great for large areas like doors and storefronts but can also be used inside on mirrors, salad bar sneeze guards, glass display cases, convenience store coolers and in any other place where a quick graphic change-out might be required.
Regardless of the type of window graphic used, it’s wise to check local ordinances regarding signage. Once you know what you can and can’t do, step outside and take a look at your storefront from the street. Chances are, your business could benefit from a well-design, colorful graphic to entice passersby.
Ready to start window-dressing your business? Contact AlphaGraphics of Franklin to learn more about our design and large format printing services. 615.786.0280.
7 Things Every Business Owner Needs to Know about 3-D Scanning
3-D printing has been around for decades. It's a method of taking a digital file and "printing" it using avariety of materials to make a 3-dimensional object. These digital files were usually created by designengineers and could take hundreds of hours to create, often at a substantial cost.
Enter 3-D scanning. New state-of-the-art digital scanners can quickly, accurately and relativelyinexpensively create those digital files by scanning an existing object and converting the scannedinformation into editable digital files.
So what's the big deal? 3-D scanning is revolutionizing all sorts of businesses and industries whilecutting time-to-market and development costs.
Because they are fast AND accurate, 3-D scans can be used in lots of different ways. Instead of creatingnew design files, prototypes and molds for every modification, existing products can be scanned anddigitally altered to create ready-to-manufacture products.
Here are 7 things every business owner should know about 3-D scanning:
- 1 - Because they use lasers to scan point clouds on an object, 3-D scanners are highly accurate and canquickly capture even the most minute details of an object.
- 2 - 3-D scanning equipment is portable. Handheld scanners are lightweight enough to use anywhere,allowing scans to be made of objects that could not be scanned before - like heavy equipment and evenbuildings.
- 3 - Building scans can be used to create scaled down 3-D replicas of buildings for architects, buildersand buyers. 3-D scans have been used to plan infrastructure and to anticipate environmental impactbefore construction.
- 4 - 3-D scans can be used to inspect and analyze a product or prototype to ensure it meetsspecifications before it is mass produced.
- 5 - 3-D scans can be used to reverse engineer products and parts allowing existing objects to be recreatedquickly. 3-D scans have been used to create replacement parts for older equipment for whichno existing molds or plans exist. Reverse engineering also allows product designers to scan their existingproduct lines to make improvements before incurring the costs of creating expensive injection molds.
- 6 - 3-D scans can be used to create amazing animations and renderings which can be an invaluable toolfor businesses looking for investors. New products or inventions can be demonstrated even before aprototype is made.
- 7 - 3-D scanning is revolutionizing how orthotics and dental devices are created. Scans can be donesafely and without patient contact. 3-D scans can be used to create braces, dentures, casts, shoeinserts,face masks for burn victims and even prosthetics which are custom-fitted for individual patients.
While the scanning equipment and software can be costly, 3-D scanning services are readily availableand are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to the cost of traditional product developmentor part fabrication.
As the technology of 3-D printing improves, 3-D scanning will become an even more important tool forbusiness owners in the fields of consumer products, construction, design, healthcare and any businessthat needs to have a hard-to-source product or replacement part made quickly.
Want to learn more about 3-D scanning or see a demonstration of a handheld scanner in action?Contact AlphaGraphics of Franklin at 615.786.0280.
Finding the Right Print/Marketing/Communications Partner
Business marketing and communications are more than just cool business cards and high-end letterhead. To be competitive in today’s crowded marketplace, new businesses need to connect and market to a diversified audience - both in print and electronically.
New start-ups are often overwhelmed by everything they need to get up and running. Business cards and letterhead are just the beginning. Signage, sales collateral, catalogs, manuals and business forms can also be on the “must have” list. Then there are promotional products like branded pens and giveaway items that fledgling companies often need to acquire. And, most especially, new businesses need a digital footprint and an online marketing strategy.
Finding trusted vendor partners can be a challenge for any new business. Sometimes an all-in-one collaborator can be the right answer. Building a relationship with a one-stop communications supplier who can offer budget-friendly and on-the-mark solutions can relieve some of the uncertainty of new business launches.
A print and marketing partner who can customize services that will expand and grow along with a new business can help the bottom line and may also offer entrepreneurs an outside source for expertise in areas such as design, marketing and sales. Solutions partners who can help anticipate the needs of a growing business can provide invaluable insight that entrepreneurs often overlook.
So how does a new business find the right print/marketing communications partner? It often requires a little effort and time on the front end but the payoff will be worth it.
Identify current and future communications needs. Maybe it’s only business cards and a web presence today, but in time the needs of any new business will expand. These needs may include brochures and flyers, large format signage and, possibly even an online web-to-print solution. A good communications partner should be able to handle all of those requirements and offer other ideas the new business manager may not have anticipated.
Determine the importance of speed and proximity. Online print vendors may offer excellent pricing but might not be responsive to a quick demand or a smaller print run. There’s also the cost of shipping to consider when ordering printed products online. A local print partner can usually provide more personalized service with a quicker turn. Local vendors will often make time to discuss a project and identify cost effective ways of completing any project. A local printer may also offer free delivery.
Ask lots of questions. Any communications partner should be ready and willing to respond to all your inquiries. Ask about equipment, about turn times, about pricing. Ask to meet with any design and marketing staff if your needs will include help in those areas. Discuss digital marketing including social media, email, mobile marketing and website SEM/SEO. A full service provider should be able to coordinate marketing efforts to leverage print with digital options.
The best print/communications partner is one who is accessible and flexible. As a business grows, its needs will change. A good vendor is one who can adapt and grow with you.
Say “goodbye” to juggling multiple print and communications vendors and “hello” to your local marketing communications experts. AlphaGraphics is a locally owned and operated, full-service marketing communications company. We're experts in design, printing, online marketing and direct marketing solutions.
When you partner with us, you are partnering with an expert who can drive results for your business using a multi-channel approach:
• Branding and Identity
• E-mail marketing
• Direct marketing
• Online marketing
• Mobile marketing
• Business solutions
• Print services
With AlphaGraphics, you get the convenience of working with a local business partner and the resources of one of the country’s largest print/communications company. As a locally-owned franchise, we’re rooted in the community and dedicated to helping neighboring businesses grow. As part of the AlphaGraphics network, we have access to the latest technology and business tools to help you expand the reach of your business.
Check us out online then contact us to learn more about what we can do to help your business grow.