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Promote Yourself with
A little padding

At the recent Multicom I picked up a number of really well produced pads. The printing industry of course, likes pads because they're inexpensive to product, and usually takes care of piles of trim-off paper. What a great way to use scraps.
__ Mobility Inc, a lithographer in Richmond VA gave a nice 5.5 x 8.5 pad with a simple color bar across the bottom, and their contact info set at a slant. There is actually a very light ghost pattern of their logo in the background which, unfortunately, could not be picked up by the scanner. It's a nice, highly usable pad printed on offset paper. (Pop Up a picture of this pad.)
__ The Triangle Printing Company took a really unique approach: triangle pads! These were very innovative, and quite a few attendees commented on the design. These too were printed in process color on a 60 lb. offset paper. While the shape is unique, I felt they went a little overboard with decoration. Three unrelated visual images seem to all compete for the theme; a little wizard, Santa like character, the rainbow triangle at the top and a ghosted stop watch. As you can see the ghost did scan, probably a clue that it's too dark for comfortable scratch pad use. I try to avoid putting image where the user would be writing their notes. Interesting to note: Triangle did not use an address, so now I have no idea where they are. (Pop Up a picture of this pad.)
__ S&S Graphics from Baltimore used bold type, "memo" and a rainbow bar to decorate their pads, which I suspect will be a highly popular pad. While I don't usually recommend lines on a pad, theirs are gray and spaced as more of a graphic element than lines to actually write on. The color gray is nearly too dark for writing over. Theirs was very thick with nearly 100 pages. (Pop Up a picture of this pad.)
__There were lots and lots of other pads at the show ranging from very small Post-It note pads, in all kinds of shapes and colors to full size 8.5 x 11 pads for serious note-taking. Many of the samples simply weren't really intended to be used which is a real shame. One company printed their pads on coated enamel stock. Impossible to write on even if it does show off color printing well. Another had their pad so full of advertising that it seemed like a pad of ads. Probably intended for file thirteen.

Tips for effective scratch pads:

  1. Always use a 'writable' paper, NOT coated or high tooth colors.
  2. Keep advertising to a minimum. Make contact info very small
  3. Keep the major portion of the surface open for writing. Don't cluster it up.
  4. Bright color stock always stands out and people are more inclined to use it
  5. Make sure the pads stay together. Several we got broke off the chip backing before we got them back to the office.
  6. If you can afford it, Post-it Notes make the best giveaways. But they're expensive.

The most important thing to remember is to design the pad giving the user a reason or a strong desire to use it! Forget what you want to put on the pad and concentrate on what you think the target market will most likely want to use. You'll find they'll use the pad and spread it around. This gives you good exposure, and a good reference.
Our scratch pad templates will give you some ideas, and some usable designs.

Have fun, and stay in touch...
Fred


Other Articles in this series:
Wag The Dog: Creative Self Promotion
Scratch Some Success: scratch pads for direct mail promotion
Make A Professional Padding Press: quick and easy step by step instructions

Other great promo ideas: "
Personalized Envelopes"

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