Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Winter Holiday Greeting Cards

Winter Holiday Greeting Card Ideas

15 Ideas to Jumpstart Your Winter Holiday Marketing Designs

Can you believe it's time to start planning for the winter holidays? Time is flying by! We thought we might give you a jump start on your holiday designs by posting some unique and interesting holiday greeting card designs. Maybe something here will inspire your winter marketing campaign or spark an idea for your designer this holiday season.

1. Die Cut Pop-Up Holiday Card by Mario De Kauwe

This stunning design features creative die cutting and folding for a memorable and elegant holiday card. This card is printed on shimmery cover stock for extra shine and includes a coordinating shimmery envelope.

2. Corporate Card with Foil Stamping by Christina M. Pesce

This elegant design was printed on metallic paper stock and features foil stamping on the snowflakes and border for an extra shimmer and rich textures.

3. Linen Texture Card by Tiffany Capoccia

This simple and pretty window cutout design is printed on linen cover stock for a rich textured feel that contrasts nicely with the flat style of the design.

4. Advent Christmas Card by Ian Walsh

This clever advent calendar countdown card allows the customer to interact with the design in a fun way.

5. Die Cut Snowflake Holiday Card by Becca Heuer

Using careful planning and simple die cuts, this intricate tri-fold card design creates layers of fun and definitely has that "wow" factor. A custom matching envelope brings it all together.

6. Modern and Fun Corporate Holiday Card with UV Coating by Michele Boles

This fun design takes advantage of textures glossy cover stock and adds that extra pop with UV flood coating. Adding a spot varnish for selective gloss would be fabulous on a design like this.

7. Snowflake Ornament Holiday Card by C├ítia Rodrigues and Miguel Castanheira

This card provides the receiver with ornaments to assemble and use to decorate their tree. The snowflake designs are die cut so that they are easily removed from the background. Matching custom envelopes complete the presentation.

8. Die Cut Tri-Fold Winter Card by Mandisa Fabris

This die cut card is double sided for extra space. An elegant tri-fold makes it fun to open the card.

9. Christmas Card with Specialty Folding by Polina Mineva

This Christmas card features specialty die cutting and folding for a unique presentation.

10. Corporate Holiday Card with Foil by Harnessing Light Design Studio

This beautiful holiday card features a touch of foil stamping for an elegant finish. The unique folding also grabs attention.

11. New Year's Postcard by Olivia Sciacca

This postcard is a simple way to touch base with your customers at the beginning of the year. A strong simple graphic on the front encourages the viewer to read the information on the back.

12. Polar Bear in a Snowstorm by Aimee Pong

This designer uses spot varnish to create a unique and humorous holiday card.

13. Holiday Card with Embossing and Debossing by Michelle Alonso

Using silver and gold foil, this sparkly holiday card has a glamorous feel with both embossed elements and debossed elements.

14. Ornament Die Cut Card by Jess Foy

With unique colors and fun patterns, this card stand out among the rest. With die cut ornaments printed on thick coaster board included in the design, this is one that will be displayed all season long.

15. Thanksgiving Holiday Window Card by Scott Withers

This cleverly designed see-through window creates the shape of the corporate logo on the front and opens to a surprise design on the inside. Stand out and show customers appreciation with a Thanksgiving holiday card instead of more traditional holiday cards.

Whatever your style or design, we can help you create a custom holiday greeting card that will stand out among the rest and impress your clients. Our high-quality printing elevates even the most simple design into a treasured memento. Ask us how we can help you with your holiday printing today.

Friday, 14 October 2016

The Horrifying Side of Print

The Horrifying Side of Print

Revealing the Dark Terminology of Print

In the spirit of Halloween and in an effort to take some of the fear out of print, here are the definitions of a few of the creepiest words we use as printers. Read on if you dare!


Including bleed in your artwork ensures that the ink will print all the way to the edge of the page without trimming off anything essential in your design. Bleed refers to a space around the artwork that falls outside of the final printed area. Bleed allows for a margin of error—to ensure that your document will look professional after it is cut to size.

The size of the bleed you use depends on its purpose. A document intended for print on standard paper or cover weight stock that bleeds off the edge of the printed sheet should have a bleed of at least 1/8″ (0.125 inches or 9 points) on each side of a document which requires bleed.


When printing a saddle-stitched (stapled) booklet, you need to consider the thickness of your finished product. If you tried using notebook paper and staples to build your own book as a child, you are probably familiar with the frustrating challenge of getting the edges of your booklet to line up neatly.

For a booklet with a lot of pages, it is more difficult to fold flat due to the combined thickness of the paper. This bulk causes the inside pages to extend out past the outside pages as shown in illustration A below.

The outer pages have more bulk to fold around, so they will appear to lose a little bit of width with each additional page. To prevent this from happening, printers use creep to adjust the size of each page just slightly. This creates a clean beautiful edge to your booklet and consistent margins on each page as shown in illustration B above.


Simply put, the cut is where the printed design is trimmed to its final size or shape. If a printed piece is in a shape other than a standard rectangle, then a die cut will be used. Occasionally, a printed piece will be kiss-cut which means that the cut does not extend all the way through the substrate, but it can be easily torn apart by hand later, such as with magnets or stickers. Very intricate designs will often be laser cut for crisp edges.

Die Line

When your printed project will be cut into a unique shape, it usually involves die-cutting. Examples of a die cut shape are hang tags, name tags, parking hangers, door hangers, or custom envelopes.

A die is similar to a rubber stamp, except it is used to cut a shape rather than leaving an ink impression. It takes a lot of skill to create a beautiful die, especially for more intricate designs. This means that complicated dies tend to be more expensive. Be sure to check with your printer before you design your artwork to make sure your die cut will fit in your budget.

When you are preparing your artwork for printing and cutting, you should include a die line which shows the printer where you want the design to be cut. The die line should only be created using vectors to prevent jagged edges. The die line is typically indicated using a spot color that contrasts with the artwork colors. Name your layer “die line” so that your printer knows what your intentions are for the project.


The gutter is a little extra space used to accommodate the binding in books and magazines. When your document has multiple columns or facing pages, you will need to set the gutter width. The amount of gutter required will vary depending on the binding method you choose. Gutter is also used to refer to the space between columns of text in a page layout, although the official term for that is the alley.


When a row of small holes are punched into a sheet of paper, it creates a part can be torn off easily. Perforation can be seen in coloring books where the pages can be torn out of the book. It is also commonly used with coupons, flyers, stamps, and tickets.



Although these three letters can cause dread in women (and men) everywhere, when it comes to print terminology, these letters refer to the Pantone Matching System. PMS colors allow printers to create consistent colors and maintain brand integrity.


The slug is part of a design document that is located outside the trim line or design artboard, therefore it will not appear in the final printed piece. However, it is occasionally included in the design file and contains information about the project such as the title and date or specific instructions for the printer.


Similar to bleed, trap refers to a fail-safe method which prevents possible problems with registration during the printing process. In offset printing, the different colors are produced on separate plates which are then layered individually onto the paper. Even the most careful and skilled printers can’t align each layer perfectly every time. Therefore, the use of trapping can make room for slight variations that happen naturally during printing.

When the layers of color are slightly misregistered, you get an effect similar to the one shown in the image below.

In order to prevent this from happening, high quality printers will use trapping to create a tiny overlap between the two layers.

Although we take care of the trapping when you print with us, it is important to keep in mind how trapping works as you design. For example, if you are printing small colored text on a dark background, make sure that your font isn’t too thin and choose a sans-serif font if possible to prevent the little serifs from getting lost during trapping. In this situation, it’s also a good idea to slightly increase the space between characters and lines.

As you can see, there's no reason to be afraid of your friendly neighborhood printer. At least not this year... Bwahahaha!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Employee of the Month - October 2016

Evan Carson - Employee of the Month

October 2016

Congratulations to Evan for being selected as our Employee of the Month for October 2016. Evan works hard and always tries to "make it happen" for our customers. Thank you, Evan, for being such an asset to McNeil Printing.