Optimizing the Ecological Footprint of your Boston-based Business

Ecological Footprint Hazards

Our increasingly paperless society has a gigantic ecological footprint.  Tablets, laptops, desktops, cellphones and fiber optic data transmission networks which may all replace paper in some ways, not only take vast amount of energy to produce and function; their operation requires the use of rare earth elements (REE’s).  And herein lies the conservation conundrum because the extraction and use of REEs devastates the environment.

REE’s must be extracted from the ground through open pit mining which involves digging out large areas of land to substantial depths and bringing these materials to a location for the extraction. The mining consumes large amounts of fossil fuels, results in air and water pollution and leaves behind scarred ecosystems. During extraction, REEs are separated from the geological material that encrusts them using water, solvents, chemicals, and toxic materials which my pollute the air, ground, or water with terrible consequences. The unwanted rocky leftovers often contain radioactive material, which tends to be found in the same deposits as the REEs.

It is unusual to find REEs in concentrations high enough for economical extraction and the supply is declining. They have special properties that are crucial to our modern devices and are irreplaceable since synthetics do not exist. There are no substitutes for REEs. Also, electronics contain hazardous substances like cadmium, leas and mercury which can poison the soil and water.

Although only tiny amounts of REEs may be used in each device, at a global scale the amounts are enormous. For examples, a typical cell phone contains a little over 0.1 ounce of neodymium (in the tiny rechargeable battery in the screen), and europium, terbium, and yttrium (in the liquid crystal display screen). In the US alone, there are roughly as many cell phones as people and therefore 1000 tons of REEs are embedded in just one kind of device. Worldwide, close to 150,000 tons of REEs are used every year in the manufacture of electronic devices and instruments.

The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most people obtain a new cell phone about every 18 months and that only 1-10% of cell phones are recycled in the US. The rest end of in landfills as electronic waste. In 2005, about 65000 tons of electronic waste in the US was from cell phones or less 1% of the electronic waste generated by the US.

We live in an era where the constant demand for more and better electronic devices demand and require more REEs as well as more electricity for both manufacture and use of the multiple devices. This results in an impact on the ecological footprint.

Ecological Footprint Benefits of Using Recycled Paper Products

White paper production does have a cost but it also has the following unique inherent sustainable features over many other products, for example electronics:

1. It is made from natural and renewable raw materials, trees, which are the product of soil, water and sunlight and can be re-harvested, re-planted and used indefinitely if forests are managed properly.

2. Paper helps to increase levels of literacy and democracy worldwide and plays and important role in protecting goods and foodstuffs during transit.

3. Paper is one of the most recycled commodities in the world with levels of over 65% recovery in North America and paper can be recycled 6-7 times to make new paper products.

4. Paper production is one of the highest users of renewable energy, with over 65% of energy coming from renewable sources as biomass.

5. Well managed and third party certified forests provide numerous environmental, social and economic benefits throughout North America, including protection of air and water and acting as a carbon sink to help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

6. Paper and paperboard recovery in 2013 resulted in a reduction of 149 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to removing 31 million cards from the road in one year.

Ecological Footprint Alternatives

Two studies on the ecological footprint have found that paperless initiatives do not save trees. The loss of markets for paper and other wood products, a large portion of which are produced from wood harvested on privately owned land, increased the risk of forest lost. The number of trees on managed forest lands has been increasing considerably over the last 60 years due to responsible forestry practices. Wood is a valuable renewable resource . Even in a declining market for printing and writing paper means:

a. Using less paper does not mean that wood harvesting will be reduced

b. Similar or rising volumes of wood are being harvested in key forest regions of North America for other sues including lumber, fuel pellets and pulp for use in production of packaging, tissues and textiles

c. The market focus is likely to shift to other opportunities besides paper given the broad utility of wood, global needs for raw materials and incentives of many forest owners to derive income from their lands.

Private forest ownership and stable paper markets create a synergy that has long yielded tens of thousands of jobs, rural income and strong incentives for continued investment in forests for the near and long term. However, if efforts to reduce wood markets succeed over a long period of time, the result will likely be a loss of forest lands rather than the reverse.

North American forests are a global resource providing critical renewable raw materials for a variety of societal needs. Large areas of these forests are managed by millions of individual landowners, many of whom rely on their forest for income. Without a market for wood from pulp and paper manufacturers, significant numbers of landowners will turn to different markets or perhaps reduce investment in tree planting. Should markets for wood simply dry up, then there is a very real likelihood of land conversions to other uses such as urban development or agriculture result in the trees being cleared for these other applications.

It is important to understand that forest resources are used for many different products in addition to paper. For example, in the south US, forest landowner have embraced the emergence of a growing bioenergy industry that produces fuel pellets from wood. The new bioenergy industry is currently consuming a quantity of wood equivalent to about 16% of that going into pulp and paper production, up from 0% in 2008. Canada has seen a steep decline in paper production, and the use of pulpwood for papermaking due to mill closures over the past decade. However, harvesting rates have remained the same or increased due to the acceptance by saw mills of new markets for pulp in making textiles in India and energy pellets. The energy pellets serve an export market that is seeking lower carbon production of energy supplies. Rather than asking which is better, paper or electronic communication, we should be working to determine which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment while meeting social and economic needs.

For additional information, download our free whitepaper, How Print Grows Trees or visit our website to find out how Kendall Press Recycles! We would love to hear from you!

All About Trade Shows: Handouts

In every trade show, the showcasing representatives should have a specific purpose. That purpose could be just general networking, to promote a new product/service etc. Whatever it is, you can bet that there is some form of handout thatmit tote bags will help you accomplish that goal. We’ve discussed products that can be used as hand outs in previous articles. Click on the links to learn more about these topic and examples from these products.

In this article, we will focus on two examples to highlight how to use handouts. As a general goal, you need to identify your purpose before every tradeshow, and for every purpose, there will be certain types of handouts that are more effective than others. Before we move on, I want to briefly expand upon brochures, booklets and promotional products, some of the most commonly used handouts.

  • Brochures: Best used to outline your company and its products/services. Can also be used to talk about one particular product, i.e. if you wanted to bring attention to a new product, you can feature it on a brochure.
  • Booklets: More commonly seen with rich context. Many of the booklets we print are used to present research. This will be more successful when you are in a trade show where you are expecting people to come to you with a desire to learn.
  • Promotional products: Extremely effective in raising awareness and just reminding people that you are there. (see image above for example tote bag)

Let’s go through the whole process together in this example. Your company is one that benefits greatly from a strong social media presence and is active with original content. You learn that the expected audience in the next trade show you will be participating in is expected to be young adults. Therefore, you identify that your goal is to generate as much attraction to your social media accounts as possible. One handout you may consider is what we call a social media card. Basically, it is a business card that instead of listing a specific person’s  contact information, it lists your company’s social media accounts (example template below). social media cardObviously just handing out social media cards isn’t the most effective way, handouts are only as effective as you make them to be! One common tool that is used is a giveaway. The way it works is that you would have a set number of prizes, and each social media action would put in that person’s name in a raffle a certain number of times. If you value your Instagram presence more, people who follow you on instagram gain 2 entries in the raffle, while people who like you on Facebook might only get 1 entry. One option to create giveaways electronically is through Gleam.

Recently we were invited to a vendor fair by one of our customers. We’ve been working with them for a while so most of their employees already know us. We knew that a decent amount of people there will know about us and our services. Those that do know us however, might not know all of our products and sevices. With that information, we idientfied that the best handouts would be be promotional products and brochures. The promotional products we choose are simple Kendall Press mugs, pens and to-do lists. These products are small, have our contact information on it and will hopefully serve as a reminder that we are there for them if they need us. We also brough in some Kendall Press brochures for the people who are less familiar with us, so that they can have a quick summary of the company and products and services that we have to offer.
brochures

This article is part of a series designed to help companies prepare for trade shows called All About Trade Shows. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave one below. In addition, Kendall Press offers many services beyond just print material to help you prepare for trade shows and similar events. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together to ensure the best presence for your company, please contact us by clicking on the button below!

 

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The Art of Business Cards

In our previous article, we guided you through the design of Booklets, Brochures and Catalogs. Those are more for when you have people’s attention and generally serve a more in depth purpose. In this article, we are going to be talking about Business Cards. When do you need to have a business card? All the time. I have personally coincidentally met and talked to at least 5 people who are very high in terms of the business ladder and I will never get a chance to exchange business cards with them because I did not have one on me. When you ask someone for a business card, you are expected to have one on you to exchange. With that said, we are to discuss business card designs, if you want to read up more about using business cards, you can do that here. The information on the front of the business card tends to be pretty standard. Here are the essentials you need to include on the business card:

  1. Company Name
  2. Card Holder’s Name and Position
  3. Phone number (company’s, company’s + card holder’s extension, or direct card holder’s number)
  4. E-mail (company’s or card holder’s e-mail)
  5. Address (and P.O. Box if applicable)
  6. Company slogan or what service/product the company offers (NO MORE THAN 3-5 WORDS)

We are going to be looking at 5 different business cards that were printed at Kendall Press for companies in Boston, Winchester and New Jersey. When discussing the business cards, keep in mind that the design of the cards needs to reflect their respective business type. You will see how the design of cards differs depending on the level of formalities and professionalism required by their fields. The sixth step is bolded because it is the least obvious of the steps and is the most overlooked. However, if the person who holds the card is not sure what the contact information on the card can provide them, then the card is ultimately useless!

Business Card Example 1

This business card was created for a law firm; the design is of a professional and simple nature. One thing that is not visible digitally, is that the the characters printed are actually printed using thermography. The effect is more commonly referred to as raised print. If you run your finger across the characters, you can feel the characters. It is an option that some people use to make their cards feel unique. We will see in our next example, how law firms, because of the strict nature of their business, look for different ways to make their business cards stand out. Note: The black border is not part of the card and is there so that the card stands out from the background.

Business Card Example 2

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
There are multiple shades of white used in this guide. The shades of white are caused by the different types of paper and/or processes to produce the paper itself; the paper used in the Ashton card however, is especially unique. The paper used for this card is called “curious touch” paper. It has an extremely soft, leathery touch and tends to be more expensive. Instead of leaving the back empty, the designer choose to have a greyscale picture of the Winchester town hall (Ashton is based in Winchester). Notice that the website was not randomly placed on the top left corner of the back of the card. The photo of the town hall takes up most of the center and bottom right sections; placing the website on the top left balances this out and maintains the elegant presentation of the card.

Business Card Example 3

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
When looking at this card, you can immediately tell that this card does not belong to another law firm. Being a design firm, the dots on the card’s I’s have been switched out for triangles to give the card an edgy look. The 3 words “planning, architecture, interiors” are an example of step #6. It hints at what services the company can offer you. On the backside, you see even more so, how less strict business types can have more freedom in designs. The triangle and orange + greyscale themes, shown in the front side of the card, are continued to create a pleasant, cool design followed by their website at the bottom. Note: The black border shown around the front face of the card is done for the same reason as the black border in example 1.

Business Card Example 4

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
Motiv’s card is a sleek orange card with the card’s top-left and bottom right corners of the card are actually curved and the black around is just to highlight the curves. Curved edges is another special effect offered at Kendall Press. My favorite feature of this card, despite how cool the half curved edges look, is how simple and smart their slogan, “design with reason” is. Just 3 simple words, yet it embodies all the aspects of step #6 in creating a busness card. They are catchy, and make sure you know exactly what the company does while fitting in perfect with their mission statement. On the back of the card, to further exemplify how much more freedom these types of companies have to work with, the owner of the card gets to put some terms to reflect himself, creating a more personal touch between the client and business.

Business Card Example 5

Business Card Example
Business Card Example
Business Card Example
The Scenic card is actually one of the coolest cards I’ve seen,unfortunately the pictures do not quite capture that. This is because this card was printed using gold foil stamping. The technique is another unique feature that is available at Kendall Press. The effect is a really sleek and luxurious look that embodies the services that are offered at Scenic. Once again we have a great example of a 3 letter slogan, “Luxury tours & cruises”. it tells you exactly what the company does. You can see that they used their slogan to make almost a logo for themselves as well, instead of just having it written out in a line. In the back, a simple quote that engages potential customers to go on one of the journeys offered by scenic. Note: The name (which goes above the position), mobile number and e-mail have been edited out at the request of Scenic.

Reaching the end of the article, we hope it helped you come up with some design ideas for your own business cards. If you are still lost, need more assistance or just want to leave a comment or question, feel free to leave one below! In addition, Kendall Press provides both designing and printing services to Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and the Greater Boston 128 area. You are welcome to call us or click the button below to send us an e-mail to schedule your free consultation.

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Acknowledgements

Christopher A. Kozlowski, Rahway NJ

Ashton Law PC, Winchester MA

isgenuity, Boston MA

motiv, Boston MA

Scenic USA

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs, A Guide for your Business

Whether you are promoting your business, service, product or just an idea, printed material can be an extremely effective tool for you and your business. Wherever you plan on being, research has shown that printed material is more effective than digital. Let’s talk about just some of the few places that you can use printed material:

  • Booths for trade shows or any event where you are making a presence
  • Presentations, whether it is a thesis or a business proposal
  • Real Estate or any picture/art based showing or offer
  • In your store for overviewsproduct offers/specials or full product lines

You can have printed material to be used as a future reference from your customer’s office or just give them out so people can look at them while walking around a conference, the uses for printed material are endless! Generally speaking, for product/service lists, you would want a catalog. If you want to talk about a specific product, idea or briefly introduce your company, brochures should be your go-to. If you want to have in-depth context or display research, a booklet would be the best option.

Catalogs tend to be more straightforward because they are more precise in what they show. They will probably be your best bet for long, undetailed lists in general. If you want to display everything your business has to offer, or a product line or however else you may want to categorize products, you generally want to create a catalog. Most catalogs tend to follow this 3 point checklist for each listing in the catalog.

  1. Picture
  2. Small description
  3. Price

Brochures  tend to vary more in terms of sizes and usage, however they are always extremely short in terms of pages. Our first example is a picture-based brochure which a real estate agent created for a specific unit. On the first page, very clearly labeled, you will see the name of the product at the top, a beautiful picture that they think best captures the most about the product in the center, and at the bottom, all ownership and rights needed for the product. Due to the nature of the product and the marketing that is best for it, only a small explanation is need.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

On the first page, you see the product title again with the price, the small explanation, followed by the necessary pictures. Note how the brochure does not seem cluttered due to the spaces in between the pictures and how the back is left vacant of pictures. It is presented very elegantly and does not leave the reader overwhelmed.

Our second example is one of the most common brochure types with a bit of a kick to it. It is a tri-fold brochure, but its front page is cut in half to present a unique look. Immediately you can tell what the color scheme is; gold, blue and white, this remains consistent throughout the entire brochure. A photo is provided of the first page so that you can better see the color. The gold does not look as well in digital files because it is a metallic inc printed offset. Without even opening the brochure, you can clearly see the name of the company, and what it does. Once you open it up, the name of the company is reiterated to the reader while using the term “partner” to signify that the company does not think of itself as just a tool, it is not just doing a job for you, but it wants to help you grow and succeed.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

Inside, there is a simple overview of what the company offers. On the back, where it is also readable without opening the brochure, you see a brief biography of what the company does, its logo and its contact information. It is said that the first thing that people will do when picking up a magazine/packet/brochure, is turn and see what’s on the back of it. From the content of the brochure, you can easily tell that the goal of this brochure is to introduce the company and what it can offer to you.

 

Booklets are similair to brochures in that they can also be used in a wide variety of ways, however, booklets allow you to communicate more deeply your thoughts and are lengthier, with more context. Scholars have used them to present their research, business personnel have used them for all types of reports and even students have used them to present their thesises, reports and projects. In our example, BRAC uses a booklet to present their research findings. Even if the nature of the booklet you are trying to create is different from BRAC’s, there are many lessons to be learned from their booklet. Starting off we have a picture of one of the women they worked with in the project. It can not be overstated how it is much more impactful to use your own real pictures instead of generic, stock pictures. Despite the topic being in-depth with research, there are very few pages filled with just text and long paragraphs. There are multiple images and graphics that are used to keep the content engaging. In page 4 (the second image), we see an example of that with a graph that is used as a visual guide to the content.

Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide
Brochures, Booklets and Catalogs guide

The picture of Shohiton, followed by her short story, is one of multiple example stories they have in their booklet. The use of their own pictures helps deliver a more personal and deeper connection to their service. In the following image, we see one of the tables that are included in the booklet to help organize their writing and present it in a visually pleasing way. In the last page, there is another example of how they elegantly avoid being overbearing to the reader by using a list for their key research conclusions. Another important note is that there is also a quote significant to their research that is bolded out. This is not the only place they highlight a single quote. Highlighting key quotes, phrases or sentences can be extremely effective whether they are from your own research or from other people. It is also important to note that all the colors and design stay consistent throughout the booklet.

Hopefully, this guide will help you design some print material to improve your effectiveness and presence. If you are still lost, need more assistance or just want to leave a comment or question, feel free to leave one below! In addition, Kendall Press provides both designing and printing services to Boston, Cambridge, Belmont, Somerville and the Greater Boston 128 area, you are welcome to call us or click the button below to send us an e-mail to schedule your free consultation.

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Acknowledgements:

Julia Kenny, Robert Paul Properties

BRAC’s Ultra Poor Graduation Programme, BRAC USA

  • All design: © Danielle Lee/BRAC
  • All photos: © BRAC
  • Page four graphic: © Amplifier Strategies/BRAC