Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Top Proofreading Marks Everyone Should Know... What They Are and How To Use Them.

Whether you are writing and sending your document to an editor for review, or working with your printer on corrections needing to be made, it is important to have a basic understanding of editing to ensure not only that your document maintains the integrity of how you want it to look and sound, but it is done so with correct punctuation and grammar.  

Proofreaders use a standard set of marks to dictate changes. Understanding these marks can give you a helpful advantage when communicating with a printing professional. The most commonly used marks are generally for insertion, removal, punctuation and grammar, however, there are many more that address spacing, layout, font too.

Trying to communicate a desired result can sometimes be frustrating and overwhelming, especially when it comes to editing, and often times conveying the changes you want to a professional can be a bit intimidating 
as well.  To help bridge that gap we have selected the most commonly used proofreader’s marks and their uses to help you better communicate with your printer, and feel more confident in knowing how to ask for what you want.

It should be noted that proofreading marks can vary slightly in form from person to person like dialects in language, but the function remains the same across the board. Proofreaders who use these symbols on a regular basis can navigate these slight variations well and can typically intuit the needed change, so don’t be afraid to use them! 

The chart below showcases the most commonly used proofreading marks and there use. Learning these simple marks will give you the ability to both understand edits and request them with ease.  

Happy Editing! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Candy Cane Macarons!

Candy Cane Macarons
For the macarons:
110 grams almonds, blanched
90 grams egg whites (aged 3-5 days in the fridge)
25 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
Start by putting the almonds in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add in the powdered sugar and give it a few pulses to combine. Set aside.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or you can use an electric mixer), beat egg whites to a foam. It should resemble bubble bath at this point. With the mixer still running, slowly add the granulated sugar and continue beating just until smooth and stiff peaks have formed. Check it often so you don’t over mix. You want to stop right at the beginning of the stiff peak stage.
Add the almond mixture to egg whites and carefully incorporate with a spatula. You want the mixture to be thick enough to pipe, but thin enough that it won’t form peaks when piped. I suggest testing the batter by spooning out a small amount on a plate and checking that the batter “melts” into itself. If it doesn’t, give it a few more strokes and try it again.
Place macaron batter into a piping bag fit with a large, round tip and pipe small circles (about 1 inch to 1 ½ inches in diameter) onto your prepared baking sheets. Let macarons rest for at least 45 minutes to an hour, or until a hard shell has developed on the top. You can test this by carefully brushing your finger over a macaron. If it feels dry, you’re ready to go. If not, give it another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 300F. Bake for 9-11 minutes, one baking sheet at a time. Let cool completely before filling.
For the filling:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
12 Tbs butter, at room temperature
1/8 tsp peppermint extra
For garnish:
crushed candy canes
Whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over a small pot of simmering water and whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves. You know it’s ready with the you cannot feel the sugar when you rub a small amount of mixture between your finger.
Transfer the bowl to the stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to beat the egg whites into stiff peaks, about 10 minutes. The bowl should be cool to the touch before you move on.
Switch over to the paddle attachment and set the mixer to medium speed. Add the butter one Tbs at a time, letting it incorporate before adding another piece. Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat until the buttercream comes together. This will take a while, so don’t worry if it looks soupy or curdled at any point. I find that it helps (if it’s not cooperating) to briefly chill in the fridge for a few minutes and then remixing. Once the buttercream is smooth and together, add peppermint extract and mix on low speed until combined. Place buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a small circle onto one macaron shell. Top it with a similar sized shell and squeeze together carefully. Roll the macaron in candy cane pieces for garnish.
Recipe from Tartelette

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Holiday Savings Event!!

We're in the spirit of giving!

Mention this ad to receive 20% off on all orders placed now through December 23rd!

While you’re at it…

Spread the holiday cheer!  Share this ad on your 
Facebook and Twitter page to extend this offer to your family and friends too!

This is our way of saying thank you for your continued support of our local business.  Our commitment to our community if very important to us, and we value each and every one of you.

Wishing you all health and happiness in the New Year!

Happy Holidays,

  CR Print

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Are Vinyl Banners More Effective Than Digital Marketing?

As society becomes increasingly mobile outdoor advertising continues to be an effective part of a healthy marketing plan. Statistics show us that the average person spends more time away from their home than they do in it, with an average of 18 hours a week spent in a vehicle. Due to our commuter lifestyle, outdoor advertising remains a very powerful and inexpensive medium for reaching and targeting a mass audience.
Banners can be used to effectively:
All too often these simple marketing tools are overlooked as companies move more and more towards digital advertising and social media outlets, however, studies show banners can actually surpass other marketing channels when utilized and designed correctly. Banners can be effective as a stand-alone marketing alternative or in conjunction with print ads, internet, and other forms of marketing.  While the concept of a banner is simple, there are several things to take into consideration when creating a banner… 
1.   Right Location – Define your target market, identify your target demographics, and focus on regions with the greatest saturation of those demographics.
2.   Right Message – Highly visible and concise content is critical. It must be both attention drawing and easy to read.
3.   Capture Interest –Combine a unique message in a unique location with a unique landing page at a simple URL to draw curiosity.
Let us take the guess work out of your next banner and enlist the help of the professionals at CR Print. We can guide you in choosing the banner type and design best suited for your marketing goals. Call us or stop by for a free quote today!

31115 Via Colinas Suite 301
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Inspiration from Acts of Courage

 As American actor and social icon John Wayne said, "Courage is being scared to death …and saddling up anyway." Observed acts of courage are nourishing to the spirit and inspiring to all of us. In business, this is just as true and important as it is anywhere else.

Three company leaders who went above and beyond the call with their courage, demonstrating the kind of direction that characterizes great leadership, are the CEOs of Bluebell Ice Cream, Canada's Maple Leaf Foods, and Southwest Airlines.

After many were taken ill, and three people died from a listeria bacteria contamination of Blue Bell ice cream products, the company voluntarily recalled some eight million gallons of their ice cream products from retail shelves. Once the severity of the situation was known, CEO Paul Kruse recalled the products and initiated a program of employee training and plant sanitization that would take four months to complete. Four facilities in three states had to be sanitized and thoroughly inspected and tested for the presence of the bacteria before production could resume. There was the distinct possibility that the company would be unable to financially survive this hiatus while 1,400 employees were laid off, and an equal number being partially furloughed. Kruse secured capital from an outside investor and saved the company.

A similar circumstance faced Maple Leaf Foods' CEO, Michael H. McCain, when numerous deaths were attributed to contaminated meat produced by his company. Meeting the obvious media interest, he stood resolutely in front of the cameras accepting responsibility for the problem. Not all leaders are cut out to handle this kind of pressure, or deliver a necessary and potentially disastrous response with this much courage. An old, Latin proverb tells us that fortune favors the bold, but abandons the timid. Maple Leaf Foods was saved because of McCain's bold resolve and dedication, which rested on the foundation of his courage.

The CEO of Southwest Airlines, James Parker, displayed a similar courage in the face of a different kind of threat. Deep in the shadow of the recent horrific events of 9/11, the trend for businesses was to cut workforces and pull back on expansion projects in the recognition that far less prosperous times may lay immediately ahead. But, while these fears gripped industries nationwide, and particularly the airline industry, one airline CEO made the brave choice to buck this trend. Only three days after 9/11, Parker announced that Southwest would not be cutting employees, and in fact, would be keeping them all, as well as initiating a new profit sharing program with them.

These CEOs are cut from a different cloth than some, such as those from some of the large Wall Street banks prior to the 2008 crash, as well as Enron and WorldCom, to name a few. These companies were unable to find the ethical internal compass to reject risky operating plans in the name of artificially elevated profit taking. The scandals that ensued in each case demonstrate a lack of courage and a lack of commitment to ethical standards in business. True courage in leadership is as valuable as any given asset for an organization, no matter how large or small.

Ernest Hemmingway said that courage is grace under pressure. The three CEOs of Maple Leaf, Blue Bell, and Southwest certainly had an element of grace under pressure, but they had more than that. Echoing what John Wayne said, author Arthur Koestler wrote, "Courage is never to let your actions be influenced by your fears." These three men did not let either notions of greed, nor the fear of failure sidetrack what they knew they needed to do. They saddled up, anyway

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Every Door Direct Mail…
Is It Right For Your 

    Okay, so most of us have heard of every door direct mail, or as it is referred to in the industry, EDDM. If you haven’t, you’ve most likely received a piece of it in the mail at some point…That 20% off coupon from a big box store, or that advertisement announcing a local insurance agent… they are EDDM’s and you received them because you fit the area demographic of a consumer who would be most likely to use their services.

    The concept is simple, but the impact can be huge.  EDDM utilizes postal routes in order to mail your marketing material to every residence within a specific area for a flat rate without having the names and addresses of those you wish to target. What most people don’t know is EDDM isn’t just for mass mailings to entire zip codes.  EDDM gives you the ability to pick and choose specific neighborhoods or communities, giving you control over the demographic your marketing resources are reaching and in turn allows you to better monitor your marketing efforts.
This can be a highly advantages move for a small to medium size business owners looking to maximize their marketing budget.  The benefit of being able to hand select your targeted market will save you money by being able to limit the material waste cost of you printing and paying lower postage rates. With EDDM your marketing material goes straight to the consumer’s home and has a much higher rate of being viewed and utilized.  

    To best utilize EDDM you will want to use the help of a professional. The USPS has several guidelines for EDDM marketing materials and a professional printer can guide you on the sizing and paper requirements as well as help you design an ad that is unique and eye catching to the consumer. CR Print offers comprehensive EDDM services backed with extensive knowledge of area demographics for your business type, marketing material design and printing, as well as the ability execute your mailing services when you need them and on time.

Call us today or stop by for your free estimate!

CR Print
31115 Via Colinas Suite 301
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How do your Business Cards Add 

up? ...    

Many of us out there think of a business card simply as a way to exchange contact information…little more than a fancy note card for someone to remember your contact info by and having little weight to bare in the networking process. So we invite you to ask yourself… “how do my cards add up?”  
 In a world saturated with options, our business cards are sometimes the very first impression of our business to potential consumers and are almost always the most lasting.  We will give you the insider scoop on what makes a business card great, share some common misconceptions about quality, and tell you how you can turn your business card into a powerful networking tool sure to make a positive (and lasting) Impact!

    What makes a great card great?
     A lot goes into a great business card, and a professionally designed and printed one vs. something you order from a popular online website will put you in a class above your peers, but that doesn’t mean it has to be difficult, or as expensive as you may think. That being said, the old adage “You get what you pay for” can ring true when it comes to how you choose to represent your business.  It’s good to keep in mind that a business card is a marketing tool just like an ad in a magazine or a direct mail marketing postcard and should be looked at as such when it comes to deciding on a budget.  
   Design is key.
    There are a couple of main components to a great business card. One of them being design. Design can make or break your card’s appeal and if you’re are looking to make a distinguished impression, this should not be left to a common template. The right design can create a lasting impression and determine whether or not your card gets noticed. The difference is truly in the details.
Think of your business card as a continuous ad. They are the longest standing marketing tool you will have and it is important that they make the right impression to consumers. A common misconception about having a business card professionally designed are the costs associated with it, leaving many business owners choosing predesigned card layouts online…the same layouts being used by countless other businesses. You are one of a kind and your business card should be too!  
The reality is, a standard card design and layout can be accomplished exactly as you envision it for less than the cost of the average lunch meeting and that initial investment can greatly affect the impact your cards have on consumers.   
    Next up…paper.
    The second aspect of a noteworthy business card is the paper type. It greatly impacts both the look and the feel of your card, two major aspects of it being memorable. Although they may seem like a quick and convenient option, when ordering cards from an online printer you are given the same handful of standard card stock options as everyone else.  The benefit of having you cards designed and printed through a professional printer is that you can be professionally guided through your options and can choose a unique paper type that best suits you, not the bottom line of the company you are ordering from.
   What's the next step?...

    If you are looking to set yourself apart from the crowd and take your business cards to the next level, you should strongly consider having them designed and printed at CR Print. You may be surprised to find how fast, easy and affordable designing your cards can be while having the added benefit of a friendly and knowledgeable professional working with you personally to achieve the best possible outcome. Put your card at the top of the                                                       stack! Call us or stop by today for a free quote! 

CR Print
31115 Via Colinas
Westlake Village, Ca 91362
818. 879.6050