Unique Printing Ideas from 2020: Strategies for Your Business – Part 2
| Posted on 12/23/20

Unique Printing Ideas from 2020: Strategies for Your Business – Part 2

As the new year approaches, now’s the time to give your custom print strategy a refresh. In Part 1, we offered some of our favorite creative marketing ideas for online printing projects, and in this Part 2, we’ve got even more. The past year has taught us to be on our toes when it comes to designing and messaging, so let these unique printing ideas inspire you and your business.

A step and repeat banner with a black and white newspaper clippings design for Easter.

Step and Repeat Banner: 13 oz. Smooth Vinyl – Opaque Matte with 3″ Pole Pockets in all four sides and an Adjustable Banner Stand, 111 x 95″

Step and Repeat Banners:
For Interactive Backdrops

For graphic designer Erin Doerflinger, creating a Step and Repeat Banner for First Baptist Charlotte meant an opportunity to trade in the traditional for the unexpected when promoting Easter services.


“Our goal was to mimic the look of a newspaper, providing good news for a change, in a world seemingly overrun with bad news,” said Doerflinger. Instead of the typical repeated logo design, Doerflinger’s backdrop banner provided service details.


Doerflinger used banner printing not only to create a space for “visitors [to] take pictures, then post them to their social media channels,” but also double as a background for video collateral. “The printing quality was fantastic, and it was really eye-catching, which is exactly what we wanted,” she said.

An SEG with an image of a smiling man holding a beer.

Silicone Edge Graphic + Frame: Aberdeen Soft Knit 4.5oz, 48 x 48″

The corner of an SEG wall graphic with the printed fabric folded back, revealing the underside of the aluminum frame.

SEG Wall Graphics:
For Brand Cohesion

Traditionally found in office spaces and retail environments, SEG Wall Graphics created appealing advertisements for Chris Vaughn, marketing director and founder of BarrelHouse Brewing Co. Vaughn’s Silicone Edge Graphics aligned the look of four taproom locations.


“We wanted a graphics solution that was easily processed, drop-shipped to multiple locations, [with] ease of installation, and of course, incredible visual impact,” he said. “After getting our hands and eyes on the SEG system, we immediately began switching all of our wall graphics over to it.”


With vibrant dye-sublimation printing and interchangeable graphics, SEG printing is a technique Vaughn will keep on tap: “From the ‘quick-swap’ frame system to the quality of the prints, we couldn’t be more excited about this product!”

A custom notepad printed with on the menu at the top and days of the week for meal prepping.

Notepad: 70# Uncoated Smooth Text with Chipboard Backing, 11 x 8.5″

For Purposeful Planning

For most, custom Notepads are practical and functional, even promotional. Rachel Rosenthal, owner of Rachel and Company, added stress-relieving to that list with her Life Design Meal Planning Pad.


“[It’s] designed for business families or professionals to plan their dinner schedule for the week,” Rosenthal said. “Dinner can cause a lot of stress, but meal planning for the week can significantly simplify the process.”


Providing ample planning and list-making space, Rosenthal’s notepad printing has been a success, with her customers raving about functionality as well as quality: “[It] turned out well beyond what I was expecting. It was professional-looking, and working with Smartpress was truly a seamless process.”

A stack of custom cards printed with a design featuring three girls holding hands.

Greeting Card: 130# Uncoated Smooth White Cover Folded to 5.5 x 4.25: with matching A2 Kraft Speckletone Envelopes

A custom card printed with a colorful drawing of three girls holding hands on the front and a brown envelope behind it.

Greeting Cards:
For Relevant Regards

Erin Fox, owner and illustrator of The Moxie Fox, turned an Instagram doodle into some do-gooding with custom Greeting Cards. With a “Girl Gang” design celebrating diverse friendships, Fox “thought that doodle could use a glow-up, so I re-painted it with the intention of having it printed on a card.”


Fox sells her products with social responsibility in mind – and greeting card printing is part of that. “Giving back is a main focus of The Moxie Fox,” she said. “A portion of all proceeds is donated to various organizations, many of which are female-run.”


And with previous experience with Smartpress, Fox’s online printer choice was easy. “I would never have gone anywhere else! The cards turned out perfectly, [with] excellent weight, bright colors and perfectly-fitted envelopes.”

Two hands holding an unfolded brochure printed with custom fantasy graphics and artwork.

Brochure: 120# Coated Matte White Cover, Z Fold, Folded to 4.125 x 5.75″

For Handy Publicity

To promote her artwork, graphic artist Saramiel Alvarez got creative with Brochure printing. Diverging from a typical portfolio booklet, Alvarez’s custom brochure was a sampler that still provided a professional presentation.


“[It’s] an efficient way to showcase my artwork to art directors and agencies around the U.S.,” she said. “I can easily and economically send [them] by mail to prospective clients.”


Smartpress offers many brochure designs and fold ideas, plus online printing services like free paper samples and ink technologies, all of which Alvarez experienced. The samples “made it easier to have an idea of how I wanted the brochure to look and feel,” she said. “[And] color can be tricky, but [it] came out on point.”

Two hands holding two custom business cards with a vertical orientation and an orange, blue and white design.

Business Card: 120# Coated Matte White Cover with Soft Touch Coating on Both Sides, 2 x 3.5″

Business Cards:
For Captivating Contact

There’s nothing ordinary about Brian Faulkenberry’s custom Business Cards. As owner and principal creative of The Southpaw Collective, Faulkenberry imagined unique business cards with a vertical orientation and overlapping content that lets the design do the networking.


“The overlap produced all kinds of interesting shapes and colors,” Faulkenberry said. “We want[ed] it to feel a little frenetic, even touching [on] chaotic, while still living in a strong grid. Our clients say they really feel like Southpaw.”


With customizing options like UV coating, rounded corners, even perforation, your unique printing ideas are limitless. Faulkenberry’s finish of choice? Soft-Touch laminate. “Smartpress offers so many options, in terms of finishes and bindery,” he said. “And the ordering process is bulletproof. Miles beyond other online print vendors.”

A stack of custom booklets printed with bridal photography and a woman in a strapless gown on the cover.

Saddle Stitch Booklet: 80# Coated Matte White Cover with 100# Coated Matte White Text Interior Pages and Ultra Gloss Coating on both sides of the cover, 8.5 x 11″

A marketing booklet laying open to a spread showing a woman in a wedding dress.

Saddle Stitch Booklets:
For Advertising Assets

Photographer David Martin Jr. turned to Saddle Stitch Booklets to achieve his business goals. Wanting a photography-forward piece, since that’s indeed his business, Martin showcased a recent bridal session and designed with intention.


“I chose the most impactful images, uniform in style for the best presentation [and] wanted to keep the words to a minimum, leaving a much bigger impact,” he said. “My strategy was to showcase it in the sales room at the venue.”


For Martin, booklet printing was part of a bigger business initiative to lock down more gigs, ensuring every couple leaves the venue with one of his booklets. Part art book, part marketing asset, “the final product came out fantastically and [had] the high-end finish I was looking for,” Martin said.


Hint: Miss part 1 of our unique printing ideas? Get them here:

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