Reach and Recall – The power of Promotional Products!

The results are in and once again, Promotional Products carry more Reach & Recall value than other forms of traditional media. Check out this 2 minute video to see the results of the study. Note: There is background music on video, so adjust your speakers accordingly.

Celebrating the life and accomplishments of our founder, Ann Morrissey.

On this coming Thursday 02/13/2014, our family will put to rest our company’s founder and my grandmother, Ann Morrissey.







She was 92 years old and spent many years of her life dedicated to the Promotional Products industry, working for equality and women’s rights before the national movement had even begun. She was an amazing person who carried herself with class and elegance, treating every person she encountered with dignity and respect. Our family is so very proud of her and I thank her for giving me the opportunity that I have today to be in the position that I am with the family business.

A few interesting things to know about my grandmother..

  • She started her career in 1953
  • She was the first woman elected to PPAI’s Board of Directors and served multiple terms
  • She worked with the U.S. White House for their promotional product needs and once dined with President Nixon and the first lady.
  • She was Counselor Magazines first female “Man of the year”, which was then change to “Person of the year” so that she would accept the recognition.
  • She won so many national and regional awards that my office walls could not fit them all.
  • She was very active and served many roles for the Chamber of Commerce.
  • She was a woman who was way ahead of her time. Rather than bow to the skeptics and those who didn’t want a woman in a position of power, she dug in with a work ethic that they themselves did not posses.

She did all of the above while still balancing family life. As a child I listened to my grandmothers voice knowing not to mistake her soft spoken words as a place of weakness because she could roll up her sleeves and handle any task (including me) as good as any man, if not better.

She was small in size, but I have enormous shoes to fill.

We love you Grandma..

Half-a-Cent – Study finds that Promotional Products average a Cost Per Impression of only $.005

Beating out Radio, Newspaper and Television, Promotional Products score big with smart advertisers looking to make big time impressions on small time budgets.

A 2010 study was conducted with businesspeople in the New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, London, Sidney, Toronto and Montreal metro areas to determine the value of media and the cost per impression made with the target audience.

The Conclusion? Promotional products have a lower “cost per impression” than nearly all forms of media.



What is an “impression”? 

An impression is created when a person sees or hears your brand image/message featured in some form of advertisement. Impressions are critical in the effort of creating brand awareness. The more a person sees your brand message, the higher the chance that they will one day do business with you.

Top 5 product categories which average the highest number of impressions..

#1. Bags – 1078 impressions per month

#2. Caps – 443 impressions per month

#3. Pens – 437 impressions per month

#4. Shirts – 344 impressions per month

#5. Calendars – 295 impressions per month


Calculating Cost Per Impression


Impressions are calculated by multiplying the number of times an item is seen/used by the number of people that saw or used that item and the brand message it carries.

As an example, let’s look at a branded Bic Pen costing the advertiser $.46 per per pen for 300 pieces, a total cost of $138.00 for this order.

Based on the findings of the study, writing instruments average 437 impressions per month, which would mean that this particular pen would have a $.001 cost per impression.

For the sake of argument, let’s calculate this example at half the amount of impressions, bringing it in at 218.5 per month. This equates out to $.002 per impression. Even at just 100 impressions per month, the cost only reaches 4 cents per impression!

So what happens if this advertiser gives out all 300 pens at an event and then decides to be conservative by calculating each pen at just 100 impressions in six months time.. This calculates out to 30,000 impressions at a cost of $0.0046 per impression. In 6 months time, the advertisers brand message was identified 30,000 times! All for $138.00 in branded Bic Pens!

What about that $35 branded shirt you’re wearing?

Did you realize that shirts average 344 impressions (views by others) per month? That equates to $.10 per impression after just one month. What happens to that number after 6 months? Your impressions average 2064 over 6 months and your cost drops to $.01 per impression.

Other findings from the study..


Top 5 types of promotional products used by those who participated in the study..


#1. Pens – 46%

#2. Shirts – 38%

#3. Calendars – 24%

#4. Bags – 23%

#5. Caps – 16%


Ability to identify the advertiser..

83% of those surveyed in the U.S. said they could name the advertiser on a promotional product that they had been given, with glassware (87%) and shirts (86%) having the highest recall.

Reasons for keeping an item..

75% of those surveyed said that the items usefulness is the primary reason they keep an item. The next highest reason was an items attractiveness, coming in at 27%.

Impressions of the advertiser..

41% of U.S. respondents indicated their impression of the advertiser was more favorable after receiving a branded promotional product.


Business after receiving a branded promotional product..

60% of respondents in the U.S. say that they have done business with the advertiser after receiving the branded promotional product.

Likelihood to do business in the future..

Among those who had not done business with the advertiser since receiving the item, 27% of U.S. respondents thought it likely that they would eventually do business with the advertiser.


Fate of items not planned to keep..

62% of respondents indicated that when given an item they do not intend to keep, they choose to give that item to someone else rather than throw it away.


Number of promotional products owned..

U.S. respondents have the most promotional products, averaging 9-10 items that contain and advertisers brand.


Importance of branded merchandise..

57% of respondents indicated that the brand name of a product is important, but only 18% consider them very important.


Gender & age marketing..

Males are more likely than females to own branded shirts and caps, while females are more likely to keep bags, writing instruments, calendars and health & safety products.

Those 45-54 years of age tend to keep the most items given to them (averaging 9.8 items) while those aged 22-34 tend to keep one less item than their more experienced counterparts.


The end result, promotional products not only have a great cost per impression, but they also get results. By using promotional products, small businesses are able to compete with their bigger budget competition and achieve a better result with less money.

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

What’s working in content marketing in 2013? A look at how content, SEO and social media all work together when doing it right.

How Will Technology Affect marketing To Younger Generations?

Over the weekend, I saw a commercial where children were sitting around talking about how much they love to read. Instead of showing them flipping through the pages of an actual book, however, they were holding up Kindles! With recent studies showing that more toddlers can play a computer game (58%) than ride a bike, it’s time to face the fact that children growing up in our high-tech world are going to experience everything in a much different way than I and many other generations have. The Kindle commercial got me thinking – what does all of this mean for marketers?

The facts below illustrate key findings and how the information can be translated in a way that may help marketers to target younger generations as they come of age in this new, technology-centered world.

Fact: 58% of boys and 59% of girls can play a computer game or make a mobile call (28% boys, 29% girls). This means that the tech gender divide between boys and girls is almost nonexistent. Takeaway: There may be less gender stereotyping with online and mobile advertisements in the future. This may mean larger and more diverse markets for products and services that typically were marketed mainly to one specific gender in the past. Additionally, both men and women will be equally accessible through mobile and internet channels of communication.

Fact: More than half (51%) of six to nine year-olds use some type of children’s social network, including Webkinz and Club Penguin. Takeaway: Many individuals today still insist that social networking sites such as Facebook will die out over time. This fact, however, proves that social networks will continue to become an important form of communication for children in the future. The sense of community that they find through these sites, and the opinions and experiences that they find on there, means an even higher likelihood that friends, family and acquaintances in these networks will play large roles in how they perceive brands and products.

Fact: 7% of babies and toddlers have an email address created for them by their parents. Takeaway: It can be assumed that most children in this age will have several email accounts: a personal email set up by them or their parents, a school email address and possibly a work email address down the road. The personal email will always be the most important, and they will be maintaining these email accounts for a much longer time than any of us have so far. Because of that, email marketing will need to be eye-catching, relevant and infrequent in order to grab their attention. Otherwise, they’ll just learn to filter everything that they don’t want to see.

Fact: Almost half (47%) of eight and nine year-olds talk to their friends online. Takeaway: When’s the last time that you saw someone showing their friend something that they found in a newspaper? The days of sharing tangible news items are over. In our world, and in the world of future generations, information will continue to be transferred quickly from one person to another via online communication. This means that a brand’s online presence must not only be informational but entertaining as well in order for it to be shared. A good example of this is the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” commercial, which has exceeded more than 45 million views on YouTube. At the end of the day, however, it is still a product advertisement.

Fact: The rise of the internet is strengthening our ability to scan information rapidly and efficiently. Children are becoming more skilled in where to find things and less skilled in actually remembering information. Takeaway: Future generations aren’t going to remember exactly where they see an advertisement online. They will, however, remember how to find it again if it sparks their interest! Providing valuable product information and creating engaging, memorable content will be the best way to grab the attention of future generations. Since younger generations will be used to quickly scanning sites for information, high quality, colorful images will play a very important role in how to draw them in.

Technology and communications are changing, and they will continue to change. Marketing to a younger generation will be a challenge. Will your business be ready for the generations to come?


AVG Digital Diaries and The Huffington Post

Is print dying? Not so fast!

This post contributed by Pamela Thomas from Proforma’s Corporate Headquarters in Ohio.

Is print dying? Not so fast!

Working at a print and promotional company for almost a year now, I utilize both mediums, and also use social media to support campaigns that I’m working on. But is print dying? This question has been a common topic around the marketing world since the internet and social media adoption has increased, and quickly seems to be taking over. Many businesses have changed their marketing to the web mainly because it is cost effective. Regardless, print is still powerful and a necessary component for businesses throughout the world.

Newspapers – Even though some newspaper companies are closing due to technological advancements and availability, some people still prefer to have something tangible compared to pulling it up on the internet. They are portable thanks to laptops, tablets or e-readers, and if you want to read one in the car, you can. But remember, battery life can only last so long.

Brochures – Companies still order brochures. It is an easy way to show all your products and services on one piece of paper. They are typically priced very reasonably and serve as a great marketing tool. Cards – Most companies will send out a company holiday card or a birthday card to you as a gesture of appreciation. It shows more sincerity than sending an online e-card.

Direct Mail Campaigns – Direct mail is one of the most overlooked yet effective and inexpensive ways to increase your company’s presence.

Coupons – At the checkout of your local grocery store you may have used coupons to get items at a discounted rate. Coupons are often times available on the internet. Be sure to setup your printer to take advantage of various offers.

These are just a couple examples of the main printed items that are still used and are just as powerful as before. The best way to market your business is to use as many printed, promotional or online tools as possible. Sometimes print and the internet work together to create a campaign, you just have to know how to use it.

Banners We’ve Done!

This post is simply a photographic list of just a small fraction of the banners we’ve done for our customers. If your business uses banners, you could save a lot of money by allowing us to produce your banners for you. Our quality is fantastic and our pricing is excellent. Give us a call today for a quote! 970-416-9090

CSU Ram Welcome Horizontal

Advanced Roofing


Big O Tires Specials


clays xmas lights

___ Columbine Health Systems

CSU Ram Welcome

CSU Student Diversity

Firehouse Xpress

Fort Collins Baseball Marriott Fort CollinsHOUSKA 09 large banner Houska Generosity Heals


Mantooth Banner w_bleed 0409

NoCo Nightlife

Soccer Fort Collins

Sports Authority


New Whiteboard Video! Check it out

We just completed our new whiteboard video! Check it out and let us know what you think of it..

Mobile Marketing – The Future is Now!


Mobile Marketing – Lead, Follow or get lost in the shuffle!

If you haven’t thought about Mobile Marketing yet, you better wake up and smell the smartphones! The cell phone has become an extension of who we are. It’s not just a way of calling someone anymore. It has become a key method of interacting with our friends, loved ones, customers, colleagues and the rest of the world. What used to take multiple devices to accomplish, can now all be done right from that personal handheld box of technology that we just can’t seem to live without.

Did you know that..

  • There are 6 billion cell phones in the world and 327 million of them are in the USA.
  • There are over 5 billion text messages sent each day in the USA alone.
  • It takes an average of 4 minutes for a person to read a text and an average of 48 hours to read an email.
  • Over 50% of internet searches are done through a mobile device.
  • Of Facebook’s 600 million members, over 300 million access using their mobile device.
  • Over 200 million YouTube videos are viewed each year on mobile devices.
  • Over 50% of twitter users (165 million) use their mobile devices to tweet.

With all of those amazing facts above, the most astonishing fact of all is this…

  • There are over 25 million businesses in the US and only 5% currently use mobile marketing.

I can promise you one thing with 100% certainty… All of the above statistics are guaranteed to only go up. Just consider that ten years ago, there were only 86 million cell phones in the U.S., compared to 300 million in 2012.

So how do you, the business owner or marketing director, get in the game and ahead of the curve before your competition?

The answer is simple.. Scan this QR Code to receive a PDF document showing you all of the ways you can get into Mobile Marketing and the services we can assist you with.


Proforma Big Dog Branding teams up with the Super Bowl Champion NY Giants!

Proforma Big Dog Branding is honored  to be working with the NY Giants on some of their promotional items for the Super Bowl!

Please check out the following links from the multiple media outlets that have covered our story.

Fort Collins Coloradoan

Northern Colorado Business Report

Denver’s 9 News interviews Arthur Bartell

Denver’s 7 News interviews Chris Morrissey – Sound is quiet.. Working on a better copy.

From inside our industry

PPB Magazine

Do you know what this is?

First Harddrive












If you don’t recognize it, maybe you will recognize the next picture…

Believe it or not, the first picture is of the first IBM 1 GB Hard Drive from 1981. Man how far we have come! It was just 30 years ago where we had a 1 gb hard drive that was the size of a Vispa (todays Moped) and now we can carry the same capacity drives on our pockets!

Technology is a great thing and if you would like to talk about the cool technology products that can carry your imprint, please contact us!

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Cotton prices reach the highest level since the civil war.

Cotton Chart

Valued Customers,

Increased cotton and other raw materials costs have prompted industry suppliers Gildan, Hanes, Port & Company and Jerzees to announce price increases. These increases will range from 5% on basic t-shirts to 10% on sport shirts and fleece. These prices will be effective Monday, Nov. 1.


Cotton prices are at record highs and we believe there will be more price increases in the coming months.  We monitor yarn costs and supply daily and don’t see an end to rising costs in the next few months. It is truly an unprecedented time in global manufacturing and sourcing.

If you have an upcoming project involving apparel, please contact us so that we can find you the highest quality product for your budget.

Chris Morrissey – President – Proforma Big Dog Branding

A Promotion To Be Remembered…

New Zealand Alzheimer’s Society hits a nerve with a memorable promotion:


The goal:

Design a memorable piece of communication that raises awareness of the disease’s early warning signs, like memory loss, as well as reminding everyday New Zealanders of the importance of Alzheimers New Zealand.

Concept: Actual working erasers were hollowed out and fitted with USB memory sticks. The message displayed on the top is: ‘Alzheimer’s erasers your memories. Save them’, with the reverse side featuring the Alzheimer’s New Zealand logo and website.

Results: Alzheimer’s New Zealand distributed these eraser/usbs amongst the public, various local organizations, as well as distributed them to local politicians, with a letter, in an attempt to raise awareness of the charity. Feedback has been very positive and they’ll hopefully continue to leave people with some sort of understanding of what people with Alzheimer’s go through everyday, and where they could turn for more information and support.

Recommendation: While I believe this was a very creative promotion, I would have liked to see a call to action with this promotion in order to help the organization achieve their ultimate goal of awareness as well as give them stronger, more measurable results.

Either way, I rate this promotion with an A+ grade because of it’s creativity and unique approach.

This promotion is a great example of how to take the ordinary and turn it into the extraordinary!

Social Networking – Do you Poken?

Social networking just got easier! A lot easier!

Poken, the newest and coolest way to re-connect with the outside world once you get back in front of your computer.

Poken is your electronic business card that gives people everything you want them to know about you. When you meet someone and want to exchange information, you just touch your Poken to theirs and it automatically exchanges the data for you to retrieve later! No more wasting time finding a pen an paper or digging for your business cards. Poken makes it simple!

Click HERE to watch a video and get a better idea of the possibilities the Poken can offer you.

Poken is available in different shapes and sizes and can be customized to meet your needs. Question is, will it catch on? Give me your opinion on this new product by adding a comment!

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Case Study – Direct Mail Success!

Marketing executives know, up to 70% of direct mail messages get thrown away within seconds and many of them don’t even get opened. Higher readership ensures higher response rates. Marketing & sales messages must get immediate attention and create impact when the mail is delivered.

That was the dilemma facing the St.Louis Rams NFL team.

Wanting to create a “buzz” in the corporate community through the executive network, the St. Louis Rams wanted to market their upscale boxes and luxury seats to appropriate corporations.
They saw the Brandelope and immediately sensed this was no ordinary mailing envelope.

The high impact envelope
that gets results!

The St. Louis Rams were concerned that the message they spent many hours designing and printing would take a flap-first dive into the garbage can.

In fact…A recent analysis of response rates validated their belief that the largest percentage of direct mail campaigns remain sealed in a bland, typical bulk mail envelope.

The Brandelope is designed to get the attention that your company deserves which is exactly why companies like the St. Louis Rams are purchasing them!

If your mailing looks like it’s not important, then people don’t think it is important. Brandelope’s get opened which is the first and most crucial step in delivering your message.

Financial planners, Internet businesses, Magazines…Companies both large and small are turning to the Brandelope for their high impact marketing envelopes.

Direct mail is an important part of marketing any company. Can your company afford to develop, print and mail information that will remain unopened and be tossed in the trash?

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and ecommerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Polly Want A Bottle?

bpa-free-bottlePolly Want A Bottle?

You’ve read it, heard about it on the news and from your friends and co-workers… That Polycarbonate bottle that you love so much is possibly leaching a chemical called Bisphenol A, into your body. While there is no solid evidence that it is actually happening to you, you have to admit, it gives you a very uneasy feeling knowing that the words “chemical” and “your body” are never good when placed in the same sentence.

As you stand above your recycle bin, ready to drop your beloved bottle in with the newspapers, aluminum cans and those Evian plastic bottles that you secretly put your lips to when you mistakenly forgot your favorite bottle at home… You suddenly remember that you gave out this same bottle at the company picnic, to all of your employees and customers! Yikes!

If your company has used Polycarbonate Bottles in your past marketing or internal efforts, you know first hand how much your customers and employees love your bottle! Now you find out that your bottle might just be doing more than you bargained for and you’re wishing you could go take them back.

While it is smart to avoid any future exposure to BPA, the good news is that you can still utilize water bottles in your marketing efforts! After all, they are one of the best promotional products out there with one of the highest ROI’s for the money!

Well now there is a better solution, one that will build your relationship with your customers, brand your company’s good name and let them know how much you care for their health and their business.

The solution… BPA Free Polycarbonate Bottles! They are here and in high demand! There are tons of colors and styles to choose from, but stock availability is in question because the demand is so high.

They are made from various safer plastics that are manufactured without the use of Bisphenol A and have been determined safe by the FDA. The bottom recycle code number is the key to knowing if your bottles or the bottles you are looking to purchase, are safe. According to the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, the safe numbers are 1, 2, 4 & 5.

A simple way to remember it is this… Use 4, 5, 1, & 2. All the rest aren’t good for you!

Bottles with the number “7” are the bottles that pose the most concern and have sparked the BPA debate.

So why not take a possible negative situation and make it a positive marketing effort that will strengthen your relationships with your employees, your customers and your prospects, building goodwill and appreciation for your brand.

No matter what company you choose to work with for your next order, make sure they are knowledgeable in the BPA controversy so that they can make sure to guide you to solutions that are truly BPA Free.

Proforma Big Dog Branding can show you many options in BPA Free bottles. Call us today for an e-mailed presentation of BPA Free Bottles.

For more consumer knowledge on the topic of BPA, please visit this link for an article from the Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of promotional products, printing services, ecommerce websites and eco-friendly marketing solutions.
To reach Chris:;

Fantasy Football – Big Dog Bruisers vs. The FF “Experts” (Yahoo)

The so-called “experts”

So the draft results are in and the geniuses at Yahoo FF have rated my draft a C+. They pulled no punches in their reviews of my drafting talents. Of course, I was in the bottom three along with the only other two owners who didn’t auto-draft. The rest of you are Wussies.

So here’s what they said..


Screen Shot 09-11-17 at 09.59 AM

Screen Shot 09-11-17 at 10.00 AM

I’ve been playing FF online since 2002. I have had 22 teams in that time and have finished in the top Five in 16 of those leagues, of which 6 times I won the league, twice in 2nd, 4 times in 3rd and 4 times in 5th. I think I have a decent grip on how to play and compete, but I also know that I don’t play the safe bets. I am a risk taker. When I gamble big, it pays off… So a guy like me isn’t going to fit into the Yahoo Lemming group.

Want to get a good draft rating? Just stick with their list and let the machine pick for you. That doesn’t work for me. If I win, I want it to be on my own skills. Sometimes I flop on a pick, but not very often. Taking risks is where it’s at.

Like in 1998 when I took Vinny T in a live (in person) draft and the commish (Keith) laughed so hard that his pitch sounded like a 14 year old boy in the throes of puberty. Did I mention I won that league? Keep laughing Keith.. It keeps the fire in my belly hot! 😉

Or in 2004 when I was in two leagues (different owner groups) and took Trent Green in one and Jake Plumber in the other and was made fun of by the other owners, only to win both leagues. I guess I have a knack for picking QB’s.

So fast forward to this years draft and Yahoo just “puberty laughed” and I have taken notice.

UPDATE – Week #1. is in the books and my C+ rated Big Dog Bruisers beat the B rated Obi Wanna Blowmi who got the #1 pick in the draft. This win earned me the Underdog award of the week and that’s my brother, so that makes it really sweet.

Big Dog Bruisers




Personal relationships protect buyers.

Here is yet another example of what can happen when dealing with companies over the internet. Pricing may look good, but product quality is often times lacking. Nobody wants to have their logo associated with a poor quality product.

Here’s an example that has picked up some negative attention for obvious reasons. Imagine as a buyer that you find a great online deal for moisture management shirts. You place your order and have them decorated with your brand and then find out after the fact that the care instructions are extremely offensive.

My advise… There are tangibles that internet companies cannot provide and the biggest one of these is a trusting relationship that you have a marketing professional looking out for you.

Gentlemen if you happen to ever buy a shirt that reads like this, tread lightly… That is unless you like quality time with your couch.

(This is an actual tag from the inside of a shirt)


2014 Color of the Year

Radiant Orchid… Have you ever heard of it? Me either.. But Pantone has announced that it is the color of the year for 2014. According to Pantone’s Leatrice Eiseman, Radiant Orchid is “one that draws you in with its beguiling charm. A captivating harmony  of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid emanates great joy, love and health.”

Radiant Orchid

While I don’t predict we’ll see professional sports teams incorporating this color into their brand anytime soon, you can be sure that you will see this color in the fashion world as well as your local paint store soon.

For the record, Radiant Orchid is listed as PMS 18-3224.

* Image borrowed from

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and e-commerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

Five critical things to remember when developing a new brand.

So you’re thinking about creating a new logo. It could be that you’re a startup company working to get yourself up and running or maybe you’re a long standing company needing to create a brand within your brand. The task of creating your identity is of massive importance and one of the absolute most critical things you will do in setting up your company or brand.

Here is a list of things to make sure you consider when taking on a task like this.

#1. To Hire or Not to Hire? – As one of my sons used to say when he was younger… Are you a good “drawer”? If you have a knack for design and an ability to put it to paper, then you could possibly design your own logo. However, if you’re idea of design involves stick figures and crayons, you should probably seek the assistance of a professional. These services are not cheap, but well worth it if you’ve never done something like this before.

#2. A Great Idea – When you begin to think of ideas for a logo, don’t just stop with the first one you have. Think of at least three completely different concepts and then kick them around.. The more input you can get, the better, especially if you are getting said input from people who want to help you.


#3. Kicking Them Around – Show what you have created to multiple people with whom you trust. Get their input. Find out what they like about each one and what they don’t. Fine tune your concept as you may very well find that your end result includes parts from several of your initial designs.

#4. Fine Tuning, and then Some – So now you’ve narrowed it down to the design you like, or even better you may have two designs you equally like. Now you need to fine tune every little detail. Think about what your design will look like printed on business cards, letterhead, envelopes and promotional products like pens, water bottles and t-shirts. How will it look embroidered? It may look really good at a 8″ X 8″ size, but your logo is going to eventually be printed and branded at all different sizes. So while it may look great on a large format vehicle wrap, how will it look on a pen that has an imprint area of 1/2″ X 1/2″?

Are there any really thin lines? If so, you could have problems printing on anything other than paper. Think long term, Once you know you’re pleased with the design efforts, now it’s time to grab the crayons!

#5. Crayola – I know, the kid in you is screaming Yaaaa!, but the reality is that unless you want to photocopy 50 sheets of your design and then spend hours upon hours coloring like a 5 year old in Kindergarten class, you may want to have your design created in vector art. If you haven’t already, now is the time to seek a professional graphic designer to take your masterpiece(s) from the paper to the screen. The beauty of doing this is that once your logo has been created to vector art, you can easily manipulate colors with a few clicks of the mouse. Just keep in mind, the more colors you have, the more cost involved in having your full color logo printed on a very large majority of business necessities.

Lastly, here are a few additional things to take into consideration during your logo development which will help you avoid additional frustrations and costs when using your logo.

  • If possible, avoid really thin lines. While easy to print on paper based products, not so easy when screen printing on a promotional product, of which there are over 750,000 to choose from, so we’re not just talking pens.
  • Avoid gradients if you can. They may look cool on the screen, but they don’t look the same on paper or other products.
  • Know your colors! I encounter a fair number of companies who don’t know the PMS colors of their own logo! If your brain is thinking “PMS?”, please take comfort in that this has nothing to do with the well known Post Menstrual Cycle. This PMS stands for Pantone Matching System and you can learn more at
  • One more thing on colors, the more colors you have, the most cost involved in in creating your full color logo on products that are screen printed.
  • If your logo is multiple colors, try to create a one color version as well so that you have a version you can use to keep your printing costs down in those times where it is needed.
  • Develop your brand standards guide. This should contain everything you can and cannot do with your logo. It should include information on spacing of text, fonts that are acceptable to use and what specific colors can be used.

Taking these steps will ensure that you will avoid some brand confusion later on. Good luck!

Chris Morrissey is the Owner of Proforma Big Dog Branding, a premier provider of printing services, promotional products multimedia production and e-commerce solutions. To reach Chris:;

* Image provided by

Six Keys To Successful Project Management

Small and large scale projects are happening around us constantly. Whether it’s a new technology that’s being implemented or the execution of a marketing campaign, someone in your organization is running the show. But how do they do it, managing so many personalities (internal and external), deadlines and expectations?

Project management is a complex yet essential role in any business. From my experience, here are a few keys to ensuring that the next project you manage goes smoothly.

1. Understand the scope of the project. As the project manager (PM), be sure that you understand why it is that your company wants to devote their time and resources to this project. They aren’t just trying to keep you busy. They have an end goal in mind, whether it is increased awareness or increased revenue. Be sure you are on the same page as those who originally envisioned the final product.

2. Assemble the right team. Once you know your mission, get the right folks on the bus with you. Start by evaluating your current team. Do you need someone who understands HTML coding or video editing? If someone on your team already knows this or can pick it up quickly, great! If not, make sure you acquire the correct people. Otherwise you’re setting yourself and the rest of the team up for failure.

3. Create a common goal. As the PM you are more than aware of the desired outcome. Share that with your team! Not only is it essential that you know why you’re working on this project but your team needs to know, too. The last thing you want as a PM is to have a bunch of worker mice on your hands. Give their roles meaningful purpose, and show appreciation for it. Genuine appreciation.

4. Develop a schedule with built-in milestones (and buffer time). Yes, you should be working towards milestones! Build a schedule and share it with a few higher-ups as well as your team. Make your expectations for deadlines known and understood by the team. Build individual and team milestones so everyone can stay on track. Ultimately, though, as the PM it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone is keeping up. A little secret is to build buffer time – a day, a week – so that you are always ahead of schedule.

5. Make yourself organized and available. Keep on internal and external communications. If you’re working with an agency be sure to build rapport with a primary contact person. You want to be sure that you have a mutual understanding with each aspect of the project. It’s also essential to have a grasp on where things are currently, where they are going and how you’re going to get there. Keeping organized notes based on your schedule is essential to the success of your project.

6. Evaluate. As the project moves along have your team take notes on what works, what doesn’t and how you can improve. Making notes as you go will ensure that nothing is overlooked. It’s hard to remember how things went at the start of a project six months ago. Reading over detailed notes from six months ago makes the evaluation process much easier.

Originally posted on the Proforma Blog –

Five Tips for Choosing a Great Promotional Product

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, this computer bag comfortably carries your laptop while keeping all the essentials organized. It's made from 600 denier polyester material and features a suspended, padded laptop compartment (fits up to 17" laptop), front compartment with pockets for cell phone, water bottle, multiple accessories and an adjustable / detachable, non-slip shoulder strap. This bag is certain to be a successful product.

Whether traveling by car, train or plane, this computer bag comfortably carries your laptop while keeping all the essentials organized. It’s made from 600 denier polyester material and features a suspended, padded laptop compartment (fits up to 17″ laptop), front compartment with pockets for cell phone, water bottle, multiple accessories and an adjustable / detachable, non-slip shoulder strap. This bag is certain to be a successful product.

Any business that is looking to build awareness in the marketplace needs branded promotional items. However, the amount of options available can be overwhelming. Here are some quick tips that can serve as guidelines when picking your next promotional product.

1.    Items That Reflect Your Business – When selecting a promotional item, whether it’s a t-shirt or a tumbler, think about what would best reflect your business and target audience. You want the item to always be in view and your logo to stand out. Thinking about the number of times an item will be used is also an important consideration. A good example would be a gym offering a promotional CamelBak® bottle. The item will stand out during a workout with the logo prominently displayed.

2.    Get Trendy! – Be forward-thinking about what is trending right now in the marketplace. This will leave a great impression on clients and give you a cutting-edge image. Look at what products are hot in the marketplace, such as computer tablets. Finding a top-notch case or stylus pen could be the exact promotional product needed to showcase your brand and the image you are looking to promote.

3.    Quality Before Quantity – The old saying “you get what you pay for” can be very true in promotional products. The goal is to find products that are of higher quality and will be used longer, so your company’s brand will have greater exposure. Taking advantage of buying products with a higher quality level will increase the consumer’s opinion and create an opportunity to showcase your business logo or message for a longer period of time.

4.    Serve Your Purpose – Like an advertisement, your purpose is to serve the intended business goal and catch the user’s attention. You can think of a promotional product in the same manner. Are you trying to generate general awareness? Is the product for your top-end clients? Are you a new company that is trying to catch the attention of consumers with something fun and exciting? Start with your intended goal in mind to choose a promotional product and this will also help dictate your budget.

5.    Consult a Pro – As a decision maker in your company, it’s your job to work with the proper promotional product professionals to learn what is available and how an item will look when finished. Talking with an expert in the promotional products industry can save you countless hours of research, thousands of dollars and the stress of choosing the wrong promotional product. Relying on their expertise will help you avoid the pitfalls of a trial and error approach and will help get you on the right track to selecting a winning promotional product!


*Article from Proforma Blog