Color is a powerful element in designing great packaging. The right colors, chosen to complement one another, can turn curious consumers into loyal customers who will select your product from a sea of competitors. Improper color execution, however, can turn people away from your product. Developing the right color scheme for your product is a process that requires careful consideration, research, and collaboration with experienced professionals.  

The Profound Effect of Color on Our Mood 

We can feel calmed, invigorated, happy, sad, excited—even nervous—based on a color we see. We associate color with people and places, particular memories, and our surrounding environment. 

With all of this being said, it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that making your product packaging aesthetically pleasing is essential to the success of your brand. In fact, an expertly designed package can make the difference in sales, brand recognition, and the success of your product sales overall. 

When you’re picking colors to represent your brand, make sure to consider color associations.  

How does color influence consumers? 

Color conveys messages based on our cultural backgrounds, our life experiences, and our unique preferences. There’s a reason that environmentally-conscious companies choose green for their packaging. Green evokes a sense of balance and harmony with nature. Similarly, companies that provide customer service or consumer goods tend to lean toward blue because it translates to a sense of trustworthiness and integrity. 

Here’s a quick rundown on common emotions associated with color among consumers in the Americas and Western Europe.  

Red – Creates a sense of urgency, which is good for clearance sales. Encourages appetite, thus is frequently used by fast-food chains. Physically stimulates the body, raising blood pressure and heart rate, associated with movement, excitement, and passion. 

Blue – Blue provides a sense of security, curbs appetite, and stimulates productivity. Blue is the color of trust and reliability, and the different shades give even more depth of meaning. Bolder blues represent a more serious or professional product. Lighter blues present more creativity and light-heartedness. Blue also contributes to calmness and security. 

Green – Associated with health, tranquility, power, and nature. Used in stores to relax customers and for promoting environmental issues. Green stimulates harmony in your brain and encourages a balance leading to decisiveness. 

Purple – Commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. Stimulates problem-solving as well as creativity. Frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products. 

Orange & Yellow – Cheerful colors that promote optimism. Yellow can make babies cry, while orange can trigger a sense of caution. Used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers. 

Black – Associated with authority, power, stability, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence, but can become overwhelming if used to frequently. 

Grey – Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. But too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression. 

White – Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state. 

The Importance of Careful Color Combination Selection 

Most packaging will contain a combination of colors. Selecting effective color combinations can be cumbersome and when executed improperly, can have a negative effect on consumers. Your selection of color should be pleasing and balanced. Colors should not compete for attention or clash too much. The right color combination can drive sales and improve your brand’s image. The wrong color combination could turn customers away to your competition.  

Because color selection is so important, we strongly encourage business owners to work with professionals. This is not the time to try your hand with a DIY approach. Professionals have the education and experience necessary to help you execute your vision with panache and professionalism.  

Another helpful tip our team recommends is to test your colors on the material you are printing them on before running the entire batch. Different materials hold and display color differently, so you will want to make sure that the color you want is true to your vision before you invest in hundreds (or more) of copies. 

Pel Hughes is a woman-owned enterprise that serves businesses in diverse industries. If you are looking to design your packaging with a greater focus on color selection, give us a call at (504) 486-4686 and lets start a conversation. Our team can help drive revenue and increase brand awareness through outstanding package design. 

Marketing in the 21st century is certainly dominated by digital channels. While having a content-forward website and blog along with an active social media presence is essential to a business’ survival, print advertising and direct mail still have a place in every business’ marketing strategy. In fact, properly executing direct and print marketing initiatives can increase the effectiveness of your online marketing campaigns and drive sales. Getting the most out of your print marketing and direct mail requires careful planning and professional support.  

Following are three important ways printed material can complement and increase online sales. 

Personalization Resonates with Consumers 

Printed media allows the user to touch something and see the products on display in their hands. They identify more intimately with the company and its products than they do online. Research has shown that personalized mail resonates with every generation, including boomers and millennials.  

Stimulation of the Senses 

Printed media also provides a pleasing feast for the senses. For example, the recipient can hold a catalog. They can see the products on the pages. At times, it might even be possible for them to smell fragrances. For younger people, this stimulation of the senses is a welcome break from the more impersonal online experience. Older generations find printed media rekindling memories of their youth. Either way, it is a winning situation for the sender. 

Legitimize Your Business 

Last, but not least, printed media helps a business appear real. There is no shortage of fly-by-night companies using the impersonal nature of the Internet to sell products of inferior quality or dubious origin. Print marketing and direct mail initiatives can drive sales by separating you from the competition and legitimizing your business.  

When you provide QR codes, website URLs, and business handles for your social channels on direct mail and print advertising, potential customers can find your business with ease online. Connecting digital marketing with print can help increase sales while expanding your brand’s reach.  

Start a Direct Mail Print Campaign Today 

The goal of any successful marketing campaign is to capture new customers and retain current clients. Printed media remains a primary means of doing so. Our team of graphic designers can help you develop polished materials that protect your brand and convey your professionalism.  

To stay ahead of the competition, get started with a direct mail print campaign today. Contact our experts at Pel Hughes to learn more.

In the last couple of decades, online initiatives like websites and social media have taken the spotlight when it comes to marketing. While digital marketing is definitely worthwhile for building a brand and increasing sales, there are still many reasons to invest in conventional marketing efforts.  Although many businesses prefer to skip phone books and magazines for advertisements on Instagram and Google AdWords, there should still be room in corporate budgets for some print marketing. One aspect of traditional marketing that still serves companies of all sizes is the corporate brochure.

What Makes a Great Corporate Brochure 

The brochure has limited space; after all, it’s just a tri-fold piece of paper. We’ve all seen them taped to our front doors to advertise a local roofing company or to promote a tourist attraction near a hotel we are staying in. Since space is sparse, a brochure’s content should be attention-grabbing, concise, and informative.

Great corporate brochures typically have a strong handle on the following elements:

  • A defined audience: determine what’s important to your potential customers. Is it your company’s expertise? Is it your approach to service? Or perhaps it’s your affordable offerings. The aspects that make your company unique and the aspects that impress your existing clientele should be a focal point of the content throughout your brochure.


  • Sharp, attention-grabbing photos: select images that will appeal to your potential customers. This means you can’t waste space on a brochure with pictures of your office building. Photos need to convey what your business can do for your clients. This means if you run a catering service, small but clear images of delectable meals would provide a powerful illustration of what makes your company stand out from your competition.


  • A professional appearance: make sure your brochure looks polished. A messy brochure with lackluster copy is not worth your time or money. Your brochure needs to make a memorable impression. This means that you should consult experts at graphic design, printing, and copywriting. Their feedback can help you avoid embarrassing faux paus like Comic Sans font, poor color combinations, or misspelled words.


  • A good use of headings: a heading can help summarize the content of your brochure. People skim copy; they’re busy. Headings should help grab attention.


  • Condensed copy with bullet points: consumers love bullet points online and in print. It makes skimming and comprehending your copy quick and easy.


  • A strong call to action that incentivizes customers: an incentive will help nudge a potential client to act quickly. Great incentives are promotional offers and discounts.


  • Customers have a clear course of action: this means your contact information and website’s URL should be easy to find.


  • High quality paper: the paper used for your brochure should be thick and sturdy. Thin and flimsy paper could send the wrong message. Besides, thin paper may not stand up to the bottom of your customer’s purse or satchel.

While many forms of traditional marketing have moved to the digital space, the brochure is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Corporate brochures can be an affordable marketing tool—especially when compared to print, radio, and television advertisements.

With such a wide range of print marketing materials available, keeping track of return on investment on sales, marketing and promotional items can be a headache. In today’s financial climate, though, with advertising budgets shrinking, you need to know what’s working and what isn’t if you’re going to make the most of limited resources.

Before you can track ROI on printed marketing materials, you need to establish the desired response, and include a call to action on all your brochures, flyers and other promotional literature that allows you to measure the response it generates.

Popular ways to track the source of sales and leads include voucher or coupon codes tied to special offers and allocated to different print media and contact channels, customised website landing pages and QR barcodes.

Phone orders and enquiries

By allocating voucher or discount codes to each brochure, flyer or leaflet, you can identify which items are generating results and calculate the value of each before ordering reprints. Also, train customer service and sales staff to ask where customers who don’t provide a code heard about the company, and track these.

Website responses

You can track website responses through the use of personalised landing pages (PURLs) including codes customised for each customer. This ensures their exposure to your offer remains constant between printed and electronic media, (using the same look and feel, the same headings and call to action etc) and reduces consumer confusion, thereby increasing conversion rates.

You can also use analytics packages such as Google’s analytics to track which pages customers view before ordering or abandoning an order, and use this information to reduce leakage and increase ROI.

Using response codes

You can use text response codes, barcodes, known as QR codes, or discount coupons and vouchers to track responses. Ideally, include a text code in the URL for your website that matches the discount or offer code collected by phone staff, and include a QR code for those who want to use them.

  • Response codes that aren’t tied to a special offer give the consumer no incentive to share the code with you, so always add value to the code in some way, whether it’s a discount, a free bonus or extra product to encourage customers to use the code. If you hand materials out at trade shows, use location specific codes so you can see which regions are more responsive to which offers.
  • QR codes (Quick response codes) are square barcodes that can be scanned by smartphones and QR apps. Scanning the QR code opens the smartphone browser at the customised landing page, making it quick and easy for those with the right technology to investigate your offer. Make sure the page matches the promotional material, and conversion rates can be high.

Using a control code

If you track the ROI of all print materials, you can see which campaigns are profitable and which aren’t. Then, when it comes time to reorder, you can keep the best performing offer, use that as a control and make changes to underperforming materials, using a new code.

You can replace campaigns which don’t perform as well as the control, making one or two small changes and unique codes for each variant. At the end of the new campaign, if the control still outperforms it, you make more changes and try again. If the campaign outperforms the control, it becomes the new control and you keep that campaign and run another alongside it to try and improve response rates and ROI further.

Whether it’s digital or in print, your marketing campaign is only as successful as the metrics that generated from your strategy. One of the reasons that digital marketing has become so effective is due to the large amount of tracking points that can be collected. Unfortunately, many marketing teams believe that tracking can only be done with digital campaigns. However, when used correctly, tracking is just as important (if not more) for print marketing campaigns. 

Tracking print marketing campaigns can help you determine if your marketing dollars are resulting in leads and eventual revenue, as well as what specific parts of your marketing are responsible for those leads. Below are three ways that your business can start to effectively track your print marketing campaign.  


  • Vanity URL’s


Most print material these days comes with a regular web address. And for good reason. It’s a good way to connect the consumer that views your print materials with your online presence. However, it’s virtually impossible to determine which leads are attributed to the consumer going to your webpage based on your print material, or if they found another way there. A vanity URL solves this problem. 

A vanity URL is short, easy to remember, and most importantly, it’s unique. For example, let’s say you run plumbing company. Instead of printing your standard http://www.this web address, you add a simple URL such as You then redirect that to the plumbing page on your website. From there, it’s simple to track which visitors are arriving from the vanity URL and how well the print material is generating leads.


  • Unique QR Codes 


Another effective way to track your print marketing campaign is to make your materials digitally interactive. By allowing your audience to be interactive with your print piece, you can call users to take action that signals they’ve viewed your printed material. A great way to do this is through the use of unique QR codes. 

By adding a unique QR code that takes users to a specific website or trigger a download of an app, you can use that interactive feature to measure overall engagement. Once you track and measure the data from this engagement over time, you can then tailor your print marketing materials to what is most effective for your audience. 


  • Human Dialogue 


Although it may not be as modern as QR codes or as fancy as vanity URL’s relying on what your audience tells you is a tried-and-true method for tracking your print marketing campaigns. It’s simple: ask your audience how they heard about you, with “printed materials” as one of the options. This can be done as part of a form when they are checking out at your website, or even as part of a more formal survey that is sent out after they make a purchase. 

Unfortunately, you likely won’t get extremely comprehensive results using this method. But collectively, this will help you determine the proportional impact each of your strategies has on bringing new people to your business. These questions will also help in validating more qualitative ROI results, and add a valuable additional method for obtaining useful information for your marketing team. 

Employing these strategies will help your business understand whether your printed materials are effectively reaching your audience. And perhaps more importantly, they will help to create and launch better marketing efforts in the future.

As the digital revolution continues to reshape many industries, the printing industry has undergone major changes. Virtually every aspect of the business now incorporates some form of digital applications. From graphic design, to proofs to the actual printing process, there are many new capabilities and efficiencies made possible by digital technology.

Anyone who used a print shop just a decade ago remembers that having even simple documents could be a time-consuming and costly task. It often involved the cost of typesetting and could entail several trips to drop off copy, review proofs, and make changes. Today, you can access the highest quality printing while never leaving your home or office. Along with these changes, even the smallest companies can demand beautiful graphics and sophisticated layouts.

As branding becomes more important to all companies, consistency and quality in all printed media is more important than ever. And perhaps more importantly, it is something that customers have come to expect. Now is the time to make the switch to outsource printing, if you haven’t already.

Reduce Cost, Maximizing Efficiencies

With the enhanced capabilities that technological advances in printing affords, many business owners and print managers are finding that it is most efficient and cost-effective to deal with a dedicated printer. As virtually all aspects of print marketing are now stored and manipulated digitally, a dedicated printing company can build a portfolio of items needed to produce any type of printed materials.

Instead of attempting to communicate your look to multiple individuals, you can maximize efficiency by working with one competent printer with solid design staff to establish exactly the image you want to present. All of the elements that affect your brand are then ready to be used across whatever printing is needed. This cuts down on costs, makes response times very quick, and ensures a consistency in all printed media. It also makes it easier to hold one source accountable for quality and performance.

Enhance Your Brand, Reduce Your Risk 

As mentioned above, consumers have come to expect professional digital printing. The best way to ensure you are meeting your consumers expectations to work with a professional in the printing industry. When you partner with a print vendor you have the opportunity to be on the forefront of new technologies and innovation in the industry. You are working with experts that are investing in new technologies to ensure their name doesn’t suffer. And this means your brand conveys that innovative and modern look.

Moreover, by working with a dedicated print company you can take advantage of their ability to protect sensitive consumer data. Most companies in this area are required to have disaster recovery plans in the event their software or facilities are hacked or damaged. While you are focused on other aspects of your business, if a server crashes for example, you may lose all of your electronic marketing materials. A printing company plans for this and will have all of your data stored, backed up, and ready to be recovered.

Outsourcing your businesses printing needs will help you reduce cost, maximize your workforce, enhance your brand, and ensure your material is safe. Make the switch from in-house printing to a dedicated printing company now.

If you are in the business of manufacturing, one of the most important aspects of your distribution cycle is packaging your product. In fact, a recent study shows that packaging plays a key role in the purchasing decisions of 72% of American consumers, and other one shows that 61% of consumers say they are much more likely to become repeat purchasers of a product that comes in premium packaging.

Most successful companies don’t look at packaging as a cost, but rather an opportunity. Packaging is likely the first interaction that a consumer has with your product, and you want to ensure that this is a positive experience. In this article we discuss how your business can benefit from using a third-party packaging company, and why it’s so important for many industries.

Cost Considerations 

Whether you’re manufacturing software CDs, homemade cookies or distributing herbs and spices, packaging can be a major concern from a cost and distribution aspect. Not only do you have to decide what the packaging is going to look like, but you have to take into consideration what it takes to package your product. Two main factors will definitely come into play here: cost and control. Let’s look at the former first.

Cost considerations generally go like this: How much will packaging supplies cost, how much does the equipment cost to package your product and how much will the labor cost to package your product?

If you plan to package the product yourself, your company will bear the total cost of all of these aspects. You’ll have to purchase equipment needed to package numerous products, as well as buying the necessary supplies, and supplying all of the needed labor. Depending on the product, equipment alone can be prohibitively expensive. Once you start to factor in the remaining monetary costs and time expended, it may push you well over your budget.

However, a dedicated packaging company will have the necessary equipment on hand, and can get extensive discounts on equipment. (Buying in bulk really does pay off.) Moreover, labor costs will be reduced as dedicated packaging companies can split labor costs across multiple jobs. Considering the mere volume of work done by a packaging company, the cost passed along to you is far less than if you were to do the work in-house.

Control Over the Process 

Secondly, control can be a challenge either way you go. If you do your own packaging, you keep complete control over the packaging design, graphics, etc. However, most packaging companies are more than willing to work with a company to achieve the packaging design they want. This means that, even though you may not have total control over the packaging designs, you will have significant input. The control the packaging company keeps is typically only affected by the packaging process limitations.

Easy Decision

If you own a large company that manufactures millions of products a year, an in-house packaging department likely makes fiscal sense. However, if you run a smaller shop, the benefits a dedicated packaging company can provide are well worth the extra cost. Not only will you end up staying within a budget, but you will also save time, hassles and surprises.

As a designer, one of the most important decisions you must make is when to use specific types of color. For years, there have been debates about which color printing method is supreme: process (which uses a variety of four main colors), or spot (also known as Pantone Matching System). 

Admittedly, there can be a lot of confusion when determining whether to use spot colors or process colors, and understanding the difference between the two can be the difference between a good and great final product. This article provides a brief look at some main differences between spot and process colors, and some advice as to why and when to go with each type of color process in your design. 

What are Process Colors and When Should They Be Used?

Process color is a way of mixing inks to create colors during the actual printing process itself. A process color is printed using a combination of the four standard process inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). Typically, process colors are used in offset printing, and are the more common method of printing. Although the amount of process colors through CMYK may seem endless, process colors actually provide a limited color range. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used, however. 

In fact, process colors can be excellent for specific printing jobs, especially when the job is small. For example, a print job that requires multi-colored designs and photographs such as full color books, brochures, flyers and postcards would do well to use process colors. Moreover, your printer at home and even most commercial printers go with CMYK to print texts and images. And as the technology that uses CMYK advances, we’re seeing that most magazines and newspapers are printed using process colors.

How Do Spot Colors Compare?

Spot colors are usually created through the Pantone Matching System, or PMS. A Pantone color is a standard color in the PMS that is used as a color reference system in most printing and printing-related industries. Spot colors can vary widely and by utilizing a system such as PMS, spot colors can be consistently reproduced and ensure accurate production of printed or manufactured goods across the globe. 

As noted above, process colors can be fairly limited in their color range as the final colors are merely a combination of CMYK colors. Because spot colors layer an infinite amount of colors, they can provide a much more vibrant and detailed color. In addition to the variety of options, spot colors provide much better consistency from page to page. When printing a solid color with process inks, there may be slight variations in the color balance that can affect the color’s consistency. While spot colors may cost a bit more, they can add a lot to your project making the extra cost well worth it in the end. 

When To Use Spot Color 

Spot colors are best used when colors are outside of the CMYK range or when accuracy is crucial, such as in company logos or color-specific brand elements (think Starbucks green or McDonalds red and yellow). Spot colors should also be used in printing jobs that require printing over a large area because spot color inks can provide more even coverage. Additionally, projects that require special effects such as metallic or florescent colors should use spot colors. Spot colors can add a little something extra to your project. 

There are a variety of things to consider when deciding to use spot or process colors. It’s important to look at each project individually and assess what the correct option is for that specific project. 

#1 Pharmaceuticals
– Medication labeling & packaging
– Guidance for medication for medical staff and for patients
-Legally mandated notices for proper treatment and side effects
#2 Healthcare
– Support documents for hospitals
– Key information for dental practices
– CDC guidance for COVID-19 treatment
– Inter-practice communication
– Patient discharge paperwork for post-care
#3 Communications
– Local newspapers & magazines
– Community bulletins on COVID-19
#4 Public Health
– Health & Safety information from government
– Mass public information campaign about COVID-19
– Key Information distributed to sanitation workers
#5 Food Industry
– Food & nutrition packaging components
– Grocery store signage for sales & ads
– Restaurant signage & menu cards
– Directional signage
#6 Legal
– Court documents & proceedings
– Important signage
– Time-sensitive Information
#7 Governmental Support
– Election ballots & mailings
– Time & classified-sensitive materials
– Information to Medicaid & Medicare recipients
– SNAP benefit information distribution
– Important ID renewal & expiration notices
– 2020 Census forms & supporting documents
#8 Financial Institutions
– Onboarding documents for online banking
– Mailed statements for current customers
– Support documentation for financial professionals to continue work

In today’s digital-driven marketing world, printed materials often sound like a superfluous burden on both companies and consumers. However, despite the increasing popularity of online marketing techniques, the brochure plays an important role in a company’s successful marketing structure. 

Brochures are one of the pillars of traditional printed marketing, and a well-designed brochure is one of the most cost-effective mediums to establish your brand, network your firm, and be show off some creativity that is often lost in digital marketing. Below are five reasons why brochures are an essential part of any effective marketing strategy. 



  • High Value 


At the outset, it’s important to recognize that a printed brochure offers the most bang for your buck when it comes to tangible marketing materials. Brochure printing is one of the oldest and established forms of marketing, and a large part of this is due to the simplicity of both construction and production. With the advent of digital printing, companies can quickly develop a simple brochure and have them printed with minimal cost and a quick turnaround time. 

For larger organizations that need to print them in mass, say for a large tradeshow or conference, brochure printing prices decrease if you buy in bulk. Moreover, because brochures have stood the test of time, changes are rarely required once they are printed. This means that you can print numerous copies to save money, and they will hold value for potential customers, loyal clients or business contacts down the road. 



  • Establish Authority 


We all know that digital marketing is on the rise and most organizations can easily and quickly produce ads online. The downside to these digital marketing forms is just that: new enterprises often start with digital and stay there. Companies that use printed sales literature such as a brochure sends the message to consumers that you operate an established business. It shows you are willing to invest in your companies marketing beyond digital, and you are willing to do the same with your clients.   

An important aspect of establishing your authority through brochures to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t skimp on design or printing. Because brochures have the ability to do so much to display your authority in a particular market, it’s crucial to show that you take every part of your enterprise seriously, including brochure printing. 



  • Brand Identity & Personalization 


Similar to establishing authority, printed brochures provide an opportunity to establish your brand identity and personalize your business. While many people view brochures as a lethargic or too-simplistic communication method, it’s likely the case that they are looking at lethargic or boring brochures. A creative and descriptive brochure allows you to showcase your brand to a large audience, and engrain your identity to consumers that are flooded with unimaginative brochures. 

Additionally, printed brochures provide a one-on-one communication with your client that just isn’t possible with digital marketing mediums. Make your brochure eye-catching and thought-provoking, while at the same time approachable. The written material adds a personal touch that we all miss from online marketing, whether we want to admit it or not.  



  • Networking 


Printed brochures are arguably one of the best ways to not only establish your authority, showcase your identity and connect with your audience, they’re also extremely important as a networking tool. Unlike documents, posters or banners, brochures can be printed in bulk and handed out at tradeshows, conferences or even your competitors’ establishments. 

Think of a printed brochure almost like a business card on steroids. A brochure provides information on your business and contact information for potential clients, but it also allows you to provide details on your services and show creativity in the process. They’re larger and stronger, but can still be thrown in a briefcase or backpack for networking events. 



  • Versatile & Tangible


Going back to a comparison with digital mediums, there is only one way to see an online ad – go online. Conversely, printed brochures are very versatile and can be distributed through multiple channels, including direct mail, newspapers, malls, exhibitions, etc. Even if your shop is entirely online, the versatility of a brochure lends itself to effective marketing. Throw one inside your next packaged order or send one to your direct mailing list. 

As we touched on above, brochures also offer the personal touch and convenience of tangibility. According to recent research, 98% of marketers believe that personalization helps advance customer relationships, and 76% of consumers say they trust tangible marketing over digital channels when making a purchase. Additionally, a tangible brochure means that consumers can reference your material at a later time, and the small size and portability mean they can be distributed anywhere. 

Although many companies have jumped on the digital marketing bandwagon and dropped traditional brochure printing altogether, these companies are missing significant opportunities. Leverage the value and versatility of brochure printing to establish authority in your market, develop your brand recognition, and connect with your audience.