Extraordinary Print from 2021: Ideas for Your Marketing Strategy – Part 1
| Posted on 12/6/21

Extraordinary Print from 2021: Ideas for Your Marketing Strategy – Part 1

We’re celebrating our customers with a look back at some of our favorite and most creative print projects from the past year. They took marketing must-haves and stationery staples and gave them unique and refreshing twists you’ve just got to try. As you look ahead to a new year, let these ideas for your marketing strategy become a reality.

A saddle stitch calendar printed with Chicken Daddies and a man in shorts with a chicken on the cover.

Saddle Stitch Calendar: 100# Coated Gloss White Cover with 100# Coated Gloss White Text, 11 x 8.5″

Six custom wall calendars lined up and printed with Chicken Daddies in white and men posing with their chickens.

Calendars: Tangible Use
& Comic Relief

We’ve all seen wall calendars with photos of lovely landscapes or historic monuments. But what about farmers in prairie dresses and short shorts posing with their chickens? Danielle Brock, owner and photographer of Chicken Daddies, gave calendar printing a comedic twist with just that.


What began as an online challenge has turned into a business for Brock, customizing Saddle Stitch Calendars with full-color imagery. “I posted the photoshoot to social media and people really enjoyed it! I then decided to turn it into a series of calendars,” she said. “The quality and colors were fantastic.”


Hint: One of our favorite ideas for your marketing strategy? Offering calendars for sale online and protecting them with shrink wrapping like Brock did. As a full-service online printing shop, we make it easy for you to choose to wrap them individually or in bundles.

A stepped accordion brochure printed with A Benefit for Adaptive Recreational Sports standing open.

Two hands holding an unfolded stepped accordion brochure printed as a food and drink menu.

Stepped Accordions: Menus,
Mailers & Missions

With a designer fold like our Stepped Accordion and graphic designer Megan Rayle’s inspired layout, it’s really easy to get excited about marketing brochures. Created for a nonprofit fundraiser, Rayle’s accordion fold was part program, part promoter.


“I love how the Stepped Accordion stands out with its unique folds and the ability to highlight tabs,” said Rayle. “We used it to create the menu, as well as highlight the nonprofit’s mission and impact. They looked fantastic on the tables.”


Hint: With matching envelopes and variable addressing options, Stepped Accordions can be marketing mailers, too. See how: Stepped Accordion Fold: Create Enviable Marketing Brochures

Four small posters printed with custom fantasy artwork and female fantasy characters on each one.

Small Posters: 100# Coated Gloss White Cover with Ultra Gloss UV Coating on front, 19 x 27″

Posters: An Artistic Medium

When it comes to poster marketing, it’s not all event promotion. For illustrator Christian Angel, it’s a way of life and a way of business. Inspired by characters from games and anime, as well as French painters, Angel’s Small Posters reveal double-take detail and complex composition beneath an ultra gloss UV coating.


“I sell these posters at anime and comic conventions and other various fantasy art trade shows,” said Angel. And of poster printing with Smartpress? “The quality and packaging is always amazing. It’s such a blessing to be able to get such high-quality prints at an extremely fair price for my small business.”


Hint: Angel’s trick to printing multiple custom posters with different artwork in the same order? One of our most convenient online printing services: Versions. Just choose the same size, stock and finish on each poster and you’re good to go.

Two rolls of circular roll labels with El Moose in white letters and a moose design in red.

Labels: Your Branding Solution

Pivoting your business model is essential to meeting your customers’ needs, whether in a pandemic or not. Camila Aguirre, proprietor of El Moose, did that with one very important print project: custom labels for online and to-go sales.


Along with product designer Macarena Costa, Aguirre finished her Circle Roll Labels with a professional gloss laminate before applying them to homemade salsa packaging.


“Like many restaurants during COVID, we were looking for ways to continue to serve our loyal customers and keep our staff safe,” said Aguirre. El Moose’s to-go pantry was one way for her to do that, along with Smartpress’ “high-quality labels and responsive customer support.”

Custom gold foil business cards printed as baby shower invitations with Books for Little Miss Smith in the middle.

Foil Business Card: 120# Coated Matte White Cover with Gold Foil, 3.5 x 2″

Foil Business Cards:
Beyond the Norm

Instead of leveraging Business Cards for their most common use, graphic designer Lauralee Végvári designed them as book request cards included in a friend’s baby shower invitations. Similar to an RSVP, the cards asked guests to bring a book for the baby and stunned them with foil printing in glittering gold.


“Starting a book collection for this little girl was perfect and allowed everyone to write a note welcoming her to the world,” said Végvári. “They really added that touch of elegance for this event and set the right tone from the get-go.”


Hint: Business Cards make great package inserts for businesses, too. Learn more about adding that kind of professional touch (and other custom print ideas): Packaging Inserts: 7 Ideas (& Tips) to Increase Engagement

Two hands folding over the corner of a custom backlit sign printed with two silver rings for a jewelry store.

Backlit Sign: Backlit Film, 39 x 39″

Backlit Signs: Modern Messaging

Looking for a way to illuminate your marketing signage in the new year? Look no further than Backlit Signs. Skipping traditional posters and window decals, Rose Naves designed backlit lightbox displays for in-store marketing.


Part of A.JAFFE’s creative and marketing team, Naves went with large imagery and simple copy to impart the jeweler’s message. “It’s the most effective way for brands to stand out beautifully indoors or outdoors,” she said.


As a premium online printer, we offer these custom signs in various sizes and even with an eco-friendly substrate option. Follow Naves’ lead and design yours to brighten up any space or highlight any product.

Two hands holding multiple fanned-out scripture cards designed with collated printing.

Collated Printing: 80# Coated Matte White Cover, 4 x 6″

Collated Printing: Dealing Inspiration

Collated Printing projects come in all shapes and sizes, but one that blends the spiritual with the sweet? Leave it to Emily Saxe, founder and managing editor of To Unearth. Along with Sheryl Aeschliman, founder, author and speaker at Simply Scripture, Saxe designed devotional cards for women with Bible verses paired with deliciously detailed fruit imagery.


“These cards really encourage women to engage more with our resources,” said Saxe. “Our customers love placing them in their Bibles, posting them on fridges or sticking them to mirrors. [With Smartpress,] our products always turn out looking professional for a price we can afford as small business owners.”


Hint: Need packaging for your scripture cards or custom playing cards? Try Tuck Boxes. Design yours for online printing in three different sizes and add branding for a complete look.

Two custom die-cut magnets overlapping each other, with on showing the front and one showing the back.

Die Cut Magnet: .020 mil – White, Complex Cut, 18 x 17″

Magnets: Success Takes Shape

For marketing that sticks, it’s got to be Die-Cut Magnets. With simple and complex die cutting, these custom magnets can truly come in any shape and size to promote any product or business. Take Jerry Beck’s magnets, for example. As the owner of Beck’s Ice Cream, Beck knows the importance of relevant advertising and that’s reflected in the shape he chose.


“We use these magnets to stick on our ice cream freezers and counter displays,” he said. “This was our first project with Smartpress and we are extremely satisfied with the final result. The magnets came quickly, the colors were beautifully printed and everyone is happy!”


Hint: Want to take your business’ branding on the go? Check out our custom Car Magnets for your company vehicle.




Saddle Stitch Calendar Design by Chicken Daddies
Stepped Accordion Design by Megan Rayle
Small Posters Design by Christian Angel
Circle Roll Label Created for Re-Branding of El Moose by Macarena Acosta 2021
Gold Foil Business Card Designed by Lauralee Végvári
Backlit Sign Design by ©A.JAFFE
Collated Printing Design by Sheryl Aeschliman, simplyscripture.org & facebook.com/MySimplyScripture | Emily Saxe, tounearth.com and facebook.com/tounearth
Die-Cut Magnet Design by Malynda Resh

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