Between random samples, showroom samples, client projects and our personal water bottles and tumblers, there is a lot of drinkware floating around 435 East Diamond Avenue. Some pieces find their way onto a showroom shelf or to a corner in the office kitchen, but most of them get tossed into jumbled boxes and storage containers.
Julianne spotted a smart storage solution on a blog yesterday, and we just might have to put it in practice.
We thought our clients and readers- especially those with crowded supply closets- might appreciate this trick as well. Enjoy!
Tarika (pronounced like Erica with a T) Hammernik is a recent addition to our art team. We're so thrilled to have her at Sonic, and you should be too! She plays a huge role in making sure your materials look sharp!
How long have you been working at Sonic Promos? I'm pretty new to the team! I started working here mid-February 2013, so a little over two months.
What role(s) do you play here? I am a graphic designer, production artist and more. I do a wide range of work, but to put it simply: I make our clients' design and product needs a visual reality. I also take care of our personal design projects and make sure we stay on-brand.
Best part of the job? I get to be creative and practice what I love on a day-to-day basis! That being said, I also enjoy the routine work. A certain amount of repetition is calming in life. We also recently upgraded to Macs in the art department- that's definitely a bonus!
Worst part of the job? Sometimes a clients' vision, however nice it may be, won't work for a certain product. I have to be the one to spoil their ideas! To remedy this, I can come up with an alternative design or have one of our brand managers find another product that better suits the artwork.
What's your favorite kind of project to work on? I really enjoy the more creative projects that come our way. I especially enjoy those that need art done completely from scratch. Projects of this kind give me an opportunity to use my illustration skills. Our in-house design projects tend to offer a lot of creativity as well!
What do your coworkers love to tease you about? Pretty soon they'll figure out how dorky I am, but as of now, I'm in the clear.
I recently had the opportunity to spend a night at the Aloft Hotel in Dallas. Aloft is one of nine brands under Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.
Aloft positions itself as a modern, fresh and fun destination, and I certainly felt that theme as a guest, in every detail, right down to the mini bath products and other hotel freebies.
The hotel's decor was gorgeous- my room, the lobby and common areas, truly every space- but working in promotional products, it's the little branded details that really catch my attention.
Take the notepad and pencil above, for example. How stinkin' cute are they?
They're not just cute, they're a smart use of promotional products, and they embody a best practice by which I like to abide.
The best practice I'm referring to is asking yourself, with every project- can it be just a little bit better?
With notepads, adhesive or non-adhesive scratch, standard decoration includes a 4-color process sheet imprint with optional full bleed. Many businesses just print their logo at the top, maybe a phone number or website at the bottom of the pad, and call it a day. To me, that seems like a waste. You've already paid for the entire sheet imprint, so why not get playful with design and create something more attention-grabbing?
Aloft upped the ante on a simple notepad (without upping their piece price) with the addition of the "a-list" ghost imprint. It's very subtle, and I'm sure many guests wouldn't pay it a second glance, but to someone like me who appreciates a good pun and clever design, it added a little something to my experience.
Take a lesson from Aloft, and before you sign off on your next promotional piece, take a moment to ask yourself (or to ask your trusted promotional rep)- can it be just a little bit better?
We're in the office today- feeling a wee bit jealous of schools and government employees- ready to kick off the week with another recap of the ASI Show in Dallas.
If you missed Part 1 on Friday, we covered apparel and drinkware. Go read that first, then join us below to learn about new items for 2013 in audio, desk and displays. Grab some coffee too- this post is a little lengthy.
Every time I attend a show, one of the first suppliers I visit is OrigAudio. These guys know quality audio products, and they always always have something superbly cool to demo. You might remember me gushing about the Cubicool speakers in last year's Orlando recap. This year, the spotlight was on their new portable vibration speaker, the Epishock.
OrigAudio has had great success with their other vibration speaker product, the Rock-It, but unlike the Rock-It, the Epishock produces excellent sound quality on any firm surface (the Rock-It works best on hollow surfaces) with ten times as much power.
Another difference between the two products is their decoration potential. The Epishock is decorated with full color digital printing, an improvement from the Rock-It's spot color screen print.
An added bonus is this adorable packaging. LOVE the retro lunchbox set.
Check out the Epishock in action:
Another theme in audio products at the show was Bluetooth compatibility. The stereo headphones in the picture above have control buttons for volume, play/pause, forward/reverse, accepting/rejecting mobile phone calls and redial. A built-in rechargeable battery gives you 10 hours of use when fully charged.
In desk items, I saw a lot of little cord keepers, designed to keep your work space neat and tidy. I like that there were models of varying size. If you have a detailed logo that doesn't print well at small dimensions, there are plenty of styles that afford a few square inches of imprint area.
In the category of padfolios and portfolios, I really dug this flip portfolio for iPad. The front cover contains a swivel window, giving you the option to face your tablet out (convenient for presentations) or in (for travel and protection).
3M came out with a few fun additions to their Post-it Note line this year. The folded piece above caught my eye for its imprint potential; it gives you four times the space of a normal sticky note pad to display your message and logo. The blue notes on the far right are specially marked with rounded corners because they have adhesive across the entire backside.
Also from 3M is this adorable pink Post-it Note compact. So fun for a female-targeted promotion.
I can't say I saw anything revolutionary in journal books, but there were plenty of beautiful pieces on display that reminded me just how far a die cut cover and custom insert page will get you.
Interesting cover textures and mini journals with die cut slots for a pen also caught my attention.
Power banks and charging devices are another item category that I saw at just about every booth. There is an item out there to suit every budget and every charge duration need.
Stylus pens are all over the place right now. Read more about the benefits of using a stylus here. My favorite stylus pen from the show was definitely this piece from Fisher. Yep, the makers of the infamous space pen have come out with a stylus pen that will write upside down, underwater, in freezing cold and zero gravity. I want one.
This post is getting a little lengthy- if I haven't already lost you, I'm sure I am about to- so I'm going to move through these last few finds quickly. The hard cover business card folio and gel phone wedge, seen above, would make great choices for an inexpensive trade show giveaway. And for all of you brand-crazed readers that really, really want to look at your alma mater or company's logo all the livelong day, a custom keyboard skin would be totally up your alley.
Moving on to trade show displays, the most interesting item I saw in Dallas was this geometric popup number.
Floor displays are notorious for being a pain in the neck to assemble, but this lightweight popup frame with interchangeable fabric banners is a cinch to set up. The frame weighs more than 50% less than other comparably sized floor models, and I love that the fabric panels are machine washable.
The same stretchy, dye-sublimated fabric is used in this pyramid tent and fitted table cover. I think they have a really sharp, clean look.
So, that sums up my favorite finds from Dallas in audio, desk and displays. Come back on Wednesday for our final post- Health & Home, Auto and Fun ← real catch-all category right there!
Hopefully you're reading this before 10:00 AM and aren't yet burnt out on all things chocolate and sugary, because we've got a sweet post for you today.
Edibles is a huge category within promotional products, encompassing everything from restaurant dinner mints and personalized M&M's to holiday snack towers and cheese boards. The whole goal of promotional marketing is to put your logo on an item that people will take, keep, use and like, so candies and food items, which we all enjoy, are very popular choices.
With most promotional food items, your logo is placed on the packaging or an accompanying item. I mean, you can't exactly brand a nut (or can you?), so you brand a sticky note holder or crystal bowl instead. Mints, gum, nuts- generally the imprint goes on something else.
With cookies, brownies and certain other treats, however, you can get away with a direct imprint on the edible itself. Surface area isn't a limiting factor and edible inks keep the piece safe for consumption.
A current favorite in our office are these chocolate dipped picture treats with sprinkle border. We're partial to the Oreo, but there are also graham crackers, Nilla wafers, brownies, marshmallows, sugar cookies, crispy rice treats and fortune cookies.
Am I making your teeth hurt? Relax, here's an apple.
The edible inks allow for full color artwork, and there are more than 45 sprinkle varieties available to accent your design. If you go the fortune cookie route, you can even customize the paper fortune inside.
Next time you're in the market for an edible promotion, keep these creative picture treats in mind. They're almost too pretty to eat.