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An Ode to Your Spellchecker…

I love Hubbards cereal – truly a great NZ breakfast cereal. I also love their wee A4 folded to A5 printed “clipboard” flyer that they include inside their cereal boxes. Their latest included a wee gem of a poem, about spellcheckers – that small piece of software found in virtually all our computer and smartphone interactions. Dick Hubbard reminisces about how he first practiced his “handwriting at school on a ‘slate’ with a slate pencil. Then it was a lead pencil. Then it was a nib pen with ink from inkwells… then there was a new invention out in the shops called a ‘ballpoint pen’. They were banned at his school because it was felt they would corrupt good writing! I wonder wat thy thnk abt txt.

He goes on to share this Ode to Spellcheckers that had been sent in by Val D. Enjoy!

Eye halve a spelling chequer,
It came with my pea sea,
It plainly marques four my revue,
Miss steaks eye kin not sea.

Eye strike a key and type a word,
And weight four it two say,
Weather eye am wrong oar write,
It shows me straight a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid,
It nose bee four two long,
And eye can put the error rite,
Its rare lea ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it,
Am shore your pleased two no,
Its letter perfect awl the weigh,
My chequer has told me sew!


90% of respondants “could not imagine living without a letterbox”

How effective is Direct Mail? A 2013 Consumer Research into consumers’ attitudes to brands’ printed marketing, has revealed that 79 per cent of consumers act on direct mail immediately, confirming the power of printed material.

The research (part of “From letterbox to inbox 2013″) also found that a greater percentage of people visited a brand’s website in response to direct mail than responded to an email. Nearly half those surveyed said they had retained printed items.

According to the findings, consumers regard direct mail and other printed communications as being essential to their overall experience of brands of which they’re customers or in which they’re interested.

Respondents also highlighted the essential role direct mail plays within their lives as consumers, with 56% saying they found printed marketing to be the “most trustworthy” of media channels.

Rachel Aldighieri, Director of Communications and Insight at the DMA commented “People continue to value direct mail and printed communications from brands, finding that it plays a seamless role within their connected worlds, offers some qualities not found in other comms and is an essential part of the overall ‘brand experience’.”

“Many people today easily could choose to conduct their lives entirely online, but they don’t. For brands to market effectively in a truly connected world, they must fully recognise the role that print comms play and will continue to play for many years to come.”

90% say that they ‘could not imagine living without a letterbox’ and one in five (20%) believe that printed communications will never be replaced entirely by digital, compared to just one in 10 (9%) of people aged 55 or older.

David Cole, MD of fast.MAP, commented, saying;

Direct mail is twice more likely to engender trust than email. Post is also seen as more memorable and authoritative, whereas email provides the ease of response and the ability to share. We can therefore see how direct mail can then lay the foundation to make the role of email as a tool for response work much harder.”

*The findings were part of From letterbox to inbox 2013, an attitudinal print tracking study of 1,232 UK adults conducted by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) and fast.MAP. All respondents completed an online questionnaire comprising 28 questions. For the original article visit

Chameleon Mug

The Magic Mug…

Remember those pens that you used to be able to get where there was a small boat that you could pretend to slide up and down the inside of the pen just by tipping it up and down… or the one with Marilyn Monroe in a black swimsuit that would disappear when tipped upside down? Ok, so maybe not – and you missed out – however we found this great technology which shows a full colour image when heated…. and it’s a mug.

Simply pour yourself, or a client a hot drink and watch any image or branding slowly appear on the surface of the mug. It’s something a bit different that could catch your clients eyes! To find out more about these mugs, check out and search ‘chameleon style’ mug.

To see this mug in action click here.

mug becomes mobile-friendly | For ordering print on the run… becomes mobile-friendly becomes mobile-friendly

Did you know that smartphone usage nearly doubles each year? In fact, by the end of 2013, mobile connected devices will out-strip the number of people of Earth*.

So, for those of you who literally live out of your mobile device(s), we’ve made sure the new site revamps make it easier for you to browse and order your print products as well as request quotes and look back to previous jobs.  Order buttons have specifically been made larger and product images are also bigger so that if you’re on the hop, you can find the product and order it quicker.

We’ve also reduced the amount of images that display on the front page by over 60% – which will make a huge improvement on homepage loading time – less time waiting and more time finding what you need.
Dropdown menus have also been added to more products, giving you more product options.  These render really well – with various devices supporting either zoom in and rollover features, or radio buttons.

We’ve tested the site on the popular web browsers, and it looks great.  However, if you notice something that could be improved, then please let us know.
*Stats from

Surprise Customers with a Pop-Up Card

Here’s a great idea that was spotted overseas. We create a die-cut effect that gives your business card the 3D pop-out effect. It has been mentioned that “Pop-up pieces become points of conversation in their own right and get people involved in your product or service right away. You can pop-up a person, as seen here, so that they become a self-standing card, or you can pop up any object.” Other examples could include, real estate agents that might want the “FOR SALE” sign in the yard on the postcard image to pop-up or fitness clinics may want to say “We’ll have you up and running”. Let us know your own ideas.



Promotional Products : How Effective Are They Really? (Part 2)


RECALL : Promotional products – compared to TV, print and online advertising – consistently delivered on higher recall rates of the company/brand, the product/service or both.
An evaluation was conducted to see how many respondents could remember both the advertiser/company and the product/service/message advertised and in the case of promotional products, the product received, as well. The study found that:

* 83 percent could recall the brand/company advertised;
* 75 percent remembered the product/service;
* 80 percent clearly identified the type of promotional product;
* 74 percent could recall the company/brand and the product/service/message advertised;
* 69 percent could remember all three aspects;

REACTION : This section asked consumers which particular action they took after viewing and/or receiving the advertisement. The study found that:
Consumers made a purchase after receiving a promotional product (20.9 percent) more often than after viewing a print ad (13.4 percent), TV commercial (7.1 percent) or online ad (4.6 percent).

More than half of promotional products recipients had a favorable impression of the advertiser, as opposed to 33.2 percent who had seen a print advertisement, 27.7 percent who had watched a TV commercial and 11.9 percent who had seen an online advertisement.

Nearly 60 percent of consumers reported using the promotional product several times, while 7.6 percent let someone else use the item and 4.4 percent passed the product on to someone else.
of consumers , while 7.6 percent let someone else use the item and 4.4 percent passed the product on to someone else.

14.7 percent of participants reported contacting the promotional products advertiser—a reaction rate nearly three times greater than other media, which generated a 3-5 percent response.

When respondents were asked if they had or had not taken action after seeing the advertisement, TV viewers topped the “had not” list with nearly half (46.4 percent) saying they were not moved to action, followed closely by 41.1 percent for print media and 33.2 percent for online advertisements. Only 23.1 percent of promotional products recipients reported not taking any action.


Promotional Products : How Effective Are They Really? (Part 1)…

So are those promotional pens, magnets, umbrellas or USB’s worthwhile to promoting your business? Here’s some interesting news from the Promotional Products Assoc. International… “PPAI Study Confirms Effectiveness Of Promotional Products When Compared To Traditional Media”

“A late 2009, two-part study designed conducted in the U.S. by Promotional Products Association International (PPAI) and independently fielded through research company MarketTools, Inc. evaluated a cross-section of consumer population about television, print, online and promotional products advertising. The study surveyed more than 1,000 consumers who recalled receiving a promotional product in the past 24 months.

The PPAI Report goes on to say that the first part of the study, titled “Effectiveness Of Promotional Products As An Advertising Medium,” focused solely on promotional products and evaluated the action, reaction and relationship of products and their recipients. The study found that:

* 94 percent could recall a promotional product they had received in the past two years;
* 89 percent could also recall the advertiser;
* 83 percent reported that they liked receiving promotional products;
* 48 percent would like to receive promotional products more often;
* 69 percent generally keep the promotional product;

The study also looked at which promotional products are most popular and where popular items are kept. According to consumers, the top five items that would motivate them to take a particular action and/or lead them to have a more favorable impression of the advertiser were food baskets, MP3 players, clocks/watches, digital picture frames and luggage. Consumers also reported the kitchen and the office as the two most common places to display these items.

The second part of the study, titled “Promotional Products and Other Media” compared promotional products to mainstream media (television, print and online advertising) and evaluated their reach, as well as the consumer recall and reaction to each.

REACH : When compared to the extensive reach of television, there is an obvious disadvantage in this area for print, online and promotional products advertising. However, promotional products were the only media, despite this disadvantage, that showed staggering results in recall and reaction, areas that are often dependent on reach for success.

Nearly half of those surveyed reported receiving more than three promotional products within the past 12 months, while 56 percent reported seeing 11 or more television commercials, 50 percent reported seeing three or more print advertisements and 53 percent reported seeing one online advertisement all within a two-week timeframe.”

Check the following Blog for further information…

Foil your business cards to achieve that extra print with punch!

The secret to simple and elegant business cards


Foil your business cards to achieve that extra print with punch!

Foil your business cards to achieve that extra print with punch!

One of the most important roles of a business card is to catch your customers attention and ensure that they hang on to your card. A key way to engage that emotional attachment to your card is through a mixture of good design and using speciality print effects such as foiling, which we are going to briefly touch on.

Foiling is extremely effective on logos or accents surrounding logos, borders and elegant/decorative graphics on your business card. We recently produced these wonderful cards for Cloud Nine Creative which show just how effective foiling as well as custom diecutting can be.

To produce their business cards, firstly the colours is printed on the paper. Then using the foil die shown below, silver foil is placed between the printed job and the foil die and heated. The heat releases the colouring layer from the foil and binds it to the card. The cards are then diecut using their custom dieline shown top right above.

The final result is a simple and elegant business card. To find out how we can help you achieve a business card that is both memorable and ensures that your customers will keep, just simply get in touch with one of our knowledgeable print experts here at The Production House. You can also check out our range of speciality business cards.