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Specialty Applications


Bumper Stickers

Although they’re not as ubiquitous as they used to be, bumper stickers still have a respectable role to play as a form of outof-home (OOH) advertising. Unlike most other types of OOH, bumper stickers aren’t static: they move around continuously, introducing themselves and their messaging to new audiences wherever they go.

The first bumper stickers appeared a few years before the start of World War II, attached to bumpers with wires rather than the pressure-sensitive adhesives that were eventually adopted. Screen printing has been the traditional process for making them, although wide-format inkjet systems work equally well for production in smaller quantities.

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Counter Cards

Also known as easel backs, counter cards are quick, inexpensive miniature signs that can grab attention and trigger sales wherever they’re displayed. Placed at checkout desks and cash registers, counter cards are especially good at driving last-minute impulse purchases.

Although they’re most frequently seen in retail settings, standup counter cards are also a good choice for presenting visual information in classrooms, conference rooms, and courtrooms. The 8 1/2" x 11" format of most counter cards is easy to scale up to whatever dimension the application requires.

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Door Hanger

In postal parlance, “the last mile” is the distance between a distribution hub and the final delivery destination: typically, someone’s residence. Letters and packages aren’t the only items that can traverse the last mile to reach consumers. Door hangers have been doing the same thing for years, often with highly rewarding results for the advertisers represented on them.

A door hanger is what the name indicates: a printed piece with a slot or a cut-out that enables it to be suspended from a door handle. Displayed this way, a door hanger probably will be the first thing a person sees when she or he returns home. The day’s mail is still out of sight inside the mailbox or, if it was dropped through a door with a mail slot, on the floor behind it. The door hanger snags the invaluable first impression by default.

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Header Cards

There’s no simpler or more economical form of packaging than a clear plastic bag or pouch topped by a header card. The header card, also known as a bag topper, has three functions: to seal the bag by being folded and stapled over the open end; to provide the punched hole for the shelf hook from which the bag will hang in the store; and to furnish printable space for brand messaging and product information.

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Image of a tag on a wine bottle.


Hang tags aren’t the same thing as packaging, but they’re as close to packaging as some products ever come. The fact is that some items don’t need to be enclosed in containers and may even be better off at retail without them: a bottle of Bordeaux in a wine shop, for example, or a hockey stick in a sporting goods emporium.

But, shoppers still need information that describes nonpackaged goods and tells how to use them. That’s the job of the hang tag: part business card, part label, part brochure, and part invitation to purchase. No other single printed piece carries as many responsibilities in retailing environments as hang tags, which often are the only form of promotion a product on a rack or a shelf with many others like it will receive.

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If a ticket sold to a movie theater patron or a concertgoer contains only admission information, the ticket is doing only half of its job. As a printed piece engaging the attention of the person holding it, a ticket is a natural vehicle for promotional content. And, it’s not necessarily just a one-time opportunity: in many cases, people hold onto their ticket stubs after the event is over, taking the messaging home with them.

This is why event tickets represent the same kind of chargeable advertising space that billboards, posters, and magazine pages do. Think, for example, of a restaurant in a theater district that wants to attract a post-show crowd. There’s no better place to display its name and address than on the backs of the ticket stubs that scores of these patrons are carrying out of the theater with them.

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Bookmarks first appeared in the sixteenth century, and these printed place holders have been essential accessories for book lovers ever since. With a bit of creativity applied, they can serve an additional purpose: as long-running marketing vehicles for products and services of nearly every type.This is because people keep and re-use bookmarks, continuously revisiting the messaging they carry. The ongoing exposure can add up to strong brand awareness at a fraction of the cost of what other print media, such as billboards and transit advertising, charge for the repeat impressions they deliver.

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Print Finishing and Embellishment Applications

Many printers have found that trying to maintain their profit margins just on the basis of print quality is a losing proposition. As a result, there’s been a growing appreciation of the value that the techniques of embellishment are proven to add.

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