Archive for the ‘New Words’ Category

Let’s talk about… PMS

May 5, 2010

I’m guessing that if you are like most people, the title of this blog meant something totally different than what it means at Print Resources. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your gender), this post does NOT cover any sort of female physiological or hormonal disorders.  (Or how to avoid crying for 30 minutes straight about the lost dog on tv.)

I’m talking about something much more important to your business, your brand, and your promotions – COLOR!

Rainbow Dog

I'll never lose you in THIS!

Specifically, the Pantone Matching System (PMS) – a system for correctly matching ink and material colors across a wide variety of applications. Because when you can print anything from a t-shirt, to a business card, to a stress ball, to a pen, to a… holy cow that’s a lot of different ways to print! What if you end up with McDonald’s yellow instead of Burger King gold!?

The answer, my friends, is PMS. (See.. it IS good for something…)

PMS  Color Swatch Book

A PMS Swatch Book

The evolution of the PMS color system is a pretty cool story.  Basically, a guy named Lawrence Herbert, who worked part-time for Pantone Printing and had a chemistry degree from Hofstra, decided to take on the enormous task of organizing the stock of inks and pigments Pantone kept on hand.  Considering the fact that I avoid organizing our small collection of catalogs like they are covered in Anthrax, Larry seems like a pretty ambitious guy.

Mr. Herbert’s system organized colors by shade and assigned each a number. A few decades later, all that ambition led to a $100 Million Dollar company based almost entirely on producing the tools necessary to make sure the Colts stadium cups don’t show up on game-day printed in Patriots blue.

This week, your new word is PMS.  (Okay maybe several words and not really that new for some of you, but “new spin on an old acronym” is a mouthful…)

Have you ever received a product that just wasn’t “kelly green” enough?  Or looked at your logo on your computer and seen Blue instead of the Purple on your business card? Knowing your PMS colors takes the guessing game out of color by ensuring that the printed ink matches your branding. In turn, this protects your brand, and could save you time, money, and a lot of frustration when you order printed products.

For example, one time we ordered some custom putty for a client of ours.  We requested PMS 144 Orange, but when the packages arrived the product looked neon red! Luckily it was just a chemical mistake by the supplier who immediately fixed the problem, replaced the product with the correct color within 24 hours, and apologized profusely – but had we not known what PMS 144 was supposed to look like, this could have been a much costlier mistake!

putty

144 Orange... and... whaaa!?

Do you know your PMS colors? Do you reference them when you place orders with your printing and promotional products company?  Do you have any horror stories of something showing up in the wrong color?

Feel free to share your stories/colors in the comments section!

Later Gators!

P.S. Want to know your PMS colors, but not sure where to start?  See if your company has a Corporate Identity Guide, ask your graphic designer, or heck…. ask us!

P.P.S. Print Resources PMS colors are 143 Orange, 653 Blue, and 2602 for Promo Purple.

The 13th Nugget

March 11, 2010

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I have a bit of a love affair with New Orleans.

I have good reasons.  For one, my boyfriend grew up there, so I am literally in a relationship with a real New Orleanian. I also went to school down there for a while, which gave me ample opportunity to eat delicious Cajun/creole/southern/fried/soul food.  Just typing that sentence made me want to jump on a plane and get a Roast Beef Po’ Boy for dinner.

Heaven on a Plate

Dripping with extra tasty goodness.

Like any great relationship, my affair isn’t one-dimensional.  I could go on and on about the things I love about the crescent city.  (And if you’d like me to tell you, I’m sure my coworkers would appreciate the break.) But this is a blog about promotional products, so today I’d like to discuss one of my favorite promotionally related words/traditions from The Big Easy. (Promotionally = not a real word.)

Your new word for the day is: lagniappe. (Pronounced ‘lan-yap’)

When I moved to Louisiana in the fall of 2006, I had never heard of this word.  One day my boyfriend used it to describe an extra chicken nugget he’d received at the drive through.  He described it as “a little extra gift, like a thank you for your purchase.” I’m pretty sure they just counted wrong, but who doesn’t appreciate an extra chicken nugget?

I love this word; lagniappe.  One, it sounds nothing like how it is spelled. And that is because it is a Creole word – a melding of French and Spanish and any other language around back in the 1700s.  ( ♥history♥) Two, it is steeped in tradition.  I mean, it’s only been around for over 300 years, which is more than you can say for the word “texting”. (Okay also not a real word… Maybe in 300 years.)

Lagniappe is defined as “a small gift given with a purchase to a customer, by way of compliment or for good measure; bonus.” Examples?  How about that 13th donut the baker threw in, just as a thank you.  Or the time you purchased a souvenir on vacation, and the shop owner gave you a bookmark, just because.  Or that free dessert the waiter threw in for making him laugh?  All lagniappe.

So how does this relate to promotional products?  Because my guess is that much of the lagniappe you receive/give is a product right from our industry. There are thousands of inexpensive, but useful, items that would make great lagniappe, and (most importantly) keep you on the top of your client’s mind.  A pen is a great example.  Or a keychain.  Or how about these awesome cookies.

Logo Cookies

I just found these recently and am kind of obsessed.

So my question to you is, what is some of your favorite lagniappe?  Do you remember those businesses that threw in that ‘little something extra’?  Did it prompt you to choose one business over another with comparable services?  And what are some ideas that you could use in your business to give that extra, unexpected “thank you” to a customer? Share your comments and ideas in the comment section below!

(Because, as awesome as it would be, we just can’t ALL give away chicken nuggets.)