Adobe Design Hacks

Presented by Printing Services Design Team: Laura Mazuch, Julie Longo, Lisa Anderson and Sysouk Khambounmy

The Printing Services design team presented on Adobe Design Hacks, highlighting some useful tools for InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.

InDesign Paragraph Styles

InDesign Nested Style

InDesign Image Placement / Object Styles / Anchored Objects

InDesign Master Pages

Illustrator Clipping Masks

Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Smart Objects

Photoshop Refine Edge Tool

Photoshop Basic Color Correction

Mailing 101

Presented by Christopher Holder of the USPS

It’s no secret postage can be an expensive part of any communications campaign. Chris Holder gave an informative presentation to audience members, demonstrating cost saving concepts and educating them how to explore their mail project options ahead of time.

Holder explained that postage costs are determined by:

  • Size/shape/weight of the mailed pieces
  • Automation attributes
    • Are the pieces machinable?
  • Sortation level
    • How much pre-sorting is involved?
  • Location
    • The distance between where the pieces are being mailed from to where they are sent.

“Any of these things that you, the campaign manager, can do ahead of time to make it easier and less work for the postal service will save you on postage,” Holder said. “Any piece that is designed and developed to meet postal service machinability specifications and helps cut down sorting time will cost you less.”

Holder told the audience that it is to their advantage to know and understand those mailing specifications and to “become part of the process” when planning their mail campaigns.

Holder offered examples of cost saving initiatives such as:

  • Consistency
    • Sending the same type of piece from the same location at the same time of month for an agreed upon timeframe. An example of this is a monthly organizational mailing. Doing this, Holder said, may grant a postage discount.
  • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM)
    • Saturating a selected area or carrier route(s) with your communication piece. These pieces are not personalized, need no address and no sorting or machinability is needed. These are simply consistent printed pieces that are delivered to every address on selected routes.
    • This type of campaign is highly situational, Holder explained. He offered as an example of a local pizza shop or new business saturating a particular neighborhood with their promotional mail piece.
  • Good data
    • Proper data planning is essential to saving money and providing better campaign results, Holder said.
      • Ensure good, accurate addresses in mailing lists.
      • De-dupe lists.
        • No duplicate addresses.
      • Use a professional list service company.
        • Data service provider
        • List broker

Holder also cited mail rate promotions that the United States Postal Service offers its customers.

“I bet you didn’t even know the postal service offers discount promotions,” Holder asked the audience as he presented the year-long calendar. “Sometimes these postal discount promotions are as simple as adding a clickable ride-along to a campaign or a minor design change to a piece”

Holder concluded, saying that even a two-percent discount on a large mailing campaign can equate to saving thousands of dollars for postage. He said it’s always worth looking into or asking about these promotions.


Invasive Species AR Exhibit at the MN State Fair

If you are visiting the Minnesota State Fair this year, make sure to visit the invasive species exhibit located in the 4-H Building. The exhibit uses Augmented Reality (AR) to demonstrate how invasive species are all around us, even when we don’t always see them. It is meant to help people notice the presence of invasive species and learn ways to prevent the spread on land and in the water.

A big thank you to University of Minnesota Extension and 4-H for trusting us with your important message about raising awareness of invasive species in Minnesota.

To learn more about the project, please check out the project portfolio page, where you can try scanning the codes from the exhibit.


PTS Shuttle Videos Win Three Awards at 2018 Northern Lights Awards

Printing Services was honored to win three awards in two categories at the 2018 Northern Lights Awards, part of the Minnesota Association of Government Communicators.

“How to Ride”

  • Agency, Event, Program or Service: Bronze Award
  • Promotional Video: Bronze Award

“Where Routes Go”

  • Agency, Event, Program or Service: Merit Award

Thank you to Parking and Transportation for trusting us with this great project. We thoroughly enjoyed working with you!


Augmented Reality as a Communications Tool

Shawn describes the three most common types of augmented reality, shares both University and non-University examples of AR, and discusses how augmented reality opens new doors for communicating the University’s important messages.

University of Minnesota Law School incorporates Augmented Reality (AR) into their Viewbook


The University of Minnesota Law School became the first department on campus to incorporate Augmented Reality into a publication. Printing Services was proud to produce their new viewbook from start to finish, by offering graphic design, video production, augmented reality and printing. The viewbook contains three interactive pages, which include six videos (2 transparent introduction videos and four edited interview videos) and dozens of links to Twin Cities restaurants and attractions.

With increased nation-wide competition for prospective law students, the University of Minnesota Law School was looking for a unique way to capture the attention of students looking for a prestigious law degree. With the quick scan of a smartphone or tablet, this printed piece comes to life with a video message from the dean, video interviews with staff, faulty and students, and interactive links with more information about the Twin Cities area.

To view the entire project, including the full-length videos and publication flip-book, go to our Law School portfolio page.