Unique Printing Ideas from 2020: Strategies for Your Business – Part 1

If we’ve learned anything this year, it’s that print’s never going out of style. Whether for professional marketing materials or personal endeavors, custom print makes it easy to pivot from the status quo to the new normal and everything in between. Take a look at this refreshing round-up of unique printing ideas for meeting strategic goals and strengthening connections. And then get inspired to use print for your own business!

Creative poster printing

Large Posters: Poster Paper, 20 x 20″

Large Posters:
For Showcasing Artwork

Illustrator Jeff Lee Johnson customized Large Posters for his Dark Reflections series. “Having always loved art with hidden or intentionally obscured elements, I decided to paint a series of related images to explore the theme of hidden horrors,” Johnson said.


Blending a “love for period art with my passion for subtle horror and humor,” Johnson offers his custom posters to a growing worldwide customer base in an online store – a process made simpler with help from Smartpress.


“The ordering process is easy and straightforward and the turnaround time from order to pick-up is very fast,” Johnson said. “The posters have excellent color fidelity to my intention, feel substantial and have a lovely luster finish.”

Custom postcard ideas

Postcard: #120 Coated Matte White Cover, 5 x 5″

For Packaging Inserts

As Director of Marketing and Creative Services at Killer Brownie, Jessica Uttinger turned to postcard printing for a multi-layered marketing tactic. Uttinger used custom Postcards not for greetings but for visual indulgence inside perfectly packaged gift tins.


“[I wanted] to create something that might linger in a person’s home after our brownies had been eaten,” Uttinger said. “I wanted them to feel a sense of coziness and decadence before they even took their first bite.”


With a design suited to the senses, marketing postcards like Uttinger’s are perfectly baked for social platforms. “Customers share their unboxing experience on social media,” said Uttinger. “Therefore spreading the good word about our ooey-gooey gourmet brownies!”

Print your own greeting cards

Greeting Card: C1S 12pt folded to 5 x 7″ and matching A7 envelopes

Greeting Cards:
For Personal Connection

For Raymond VanTilburg, senior art director and vice president of OffWorld Designs, Inc., a cute design took him from T-shirt to greeting card to business boost. Revealing his timely imagery first on social media, VanTilburg took advantage of Smartpress’ online printing services for custom Greeting Cards.


“The colors make it pop,” he said. “And the subject matter takes a lighter look at the state of the world. People like that they can add their own sentiment inside [and] the look and feel of the card.”


You can make your own greeting cards in custom sizes, ink, coating and stocks, something vital to greeting cards. “They are a nice paper weight and look like something you’d buy at any retailer,” VanTilburg said. “Smartpress has been very easy to work with and the final product was exactly what I wanted.”

Creative poster printing

Marketing with posters

Small Poster: #100 Coated Matte White Cover, 16 x 20″

Small Posters:
For Displaying Details

Artist Isaac Dushku took a small-scale approach to big-time impact, using Small Posters to showcase highly-detailed hand-drawn maps. “I love classic fantasy books and the maps they contain,” Dushku said. “I tried to capture both the magic of California and the spirit of fantasy.”


Using Uncoated Smooth-White stock in 100# cover weight that his customers love, Dushku’s posters depict a wide range of states and countries and are available via his website, Lord of Maps. He said, “I am a happy [Smartpress] customer and trust them with my business and reputation.”


And while the artwork is challenging, poster printing online was easy for Dushku. “Smartpress is extremely easy to work with,” he said. “They’re very transparent, insanely prompt with shipping [and] the quality is a given.”

Design your own floor graphics

Floor Graphic: 4mil vinyl with anti-slip velvet laminate, 24 x 24″

Floor Graphics:
For Health & Humor

As a designer at MVO Marketing, Gracie B. Gummere created a message for a client that hits the mark. For a restaurant’s custom Floor Graphics, Gummere merged a slogan with safety measures.


“This restaurant uses fun punchy copy associated with chickens,” Gummere said. “‘What the Cluck?’ is a phrase we’ve used in a lot in their smaller pieces of collateral [and] this was the perfect instance to use it.”


Customizable by size, vinyl material, die cutting and more, social distancing floor graphics and decals were easy to create with a premium online printer like Smartpress. “I love their unbeatable prices, quality work and responsive customer service,” said Gummere.

Unique business card printing

Business Card: 120# Coated Matte White with Soft Touch Coating on both sides and 1/4″ rounded corners, 2.52 x 2.52″

Unique business cards

Business Cards:
For Branding

Laura Hammonds, owner and designer/illustrator of Dbl Feature, turned Business Cards into practical packaging supplies. “I specifically use these cards as branded backers for my pins,” Hammonds said. “They allow me to include a little business info and carry my brand image throughout my products.”


Doubling as traditional business cards, Hammonds’ customized approach to unique business card printing features an unconventional size and Soft Touch laminate that always gets noticed.


“My customers rave about the Soft Touch matte feel of my cards. [They] fill that special little sensory element that’s so important when designing wearables,” Hammonds said. “Believe it or not, paper has a lot of power in the impression of a brand and product.”

Unique rack card printing

Rack Card: 130# Uncoated 100% Recycled White Cover, 3.5 x 8.5″

Rack Cards:
For Gift Certificates

Rack Cards generally land on reception desks in high-traffic areas, promoting your business to customers on the go. But Tula Spa owner, Amy Dray, saw an opportunity to create custom gift cards with an eco-friendly focus. “We’re all about client experience, quality and environmental impact,” said Dray. “We stay away from plastic gift cards and prefer a printed paper rack card instead.”


Designed to evoke the energy of the spa itself, Dray’s rack card printing strategy included not only a recycled stock, but also special attention to color. “Our spa colors are very soft and desert-like. We want our clients to feel safe, warm and healing energy when they enter our space and we feel that this gift certificate [promotes] this feeling.”


“The quality and care that Smartpress brings to each project has been stupendous,” she said.

Custom wall graphics

Wall Graphic: Repositionable, 24 x 24″

Creative printing ideas

Vinyl Wall Decals:
For Awareness & Activism

Vinyl Wall Decals for a good cause? That was Steve Siewert’s goal when he co-founded Java Relief. Creative Director at Thirst Creative, Siewert let Smartpress handle the online printing while he handled the philanthropy.


Partnering with Rev Cafe, a coffee shop in Port Au Prince, Haiti, Siewert’s custom wall decals “go into the shop to help the branding of Java Relief [and] are a great visual that simply draws people in.”

Ideal for branding of all kinds, Smartpress’ decal printing features removable adhesive and single- and multi-piece options. Siewert’s decals coordinate with other labels and stickers, which he also relies on Smartpress to print:


“I am always impressed with the quality of Smartpress. They are my first stop when printing anything from brochures, business cards, stickers to banners. The prices are great, the print options are endless and their customer service is outstanding!”


Hint: Get more unique printing ideas in part 2:

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