As Earth Day approaches this Sunday, thousands of tips on increasing environmental awareness are spreading on the Internet. The discussions range from taking personal responsibility to how corporations can be more ecologically conscious. Last October, we talked about how print materials are still a viable option in the digital age. There’s also ways to use printed marketing materials and keep “Mother Nature” in mind.

Type of printed materials

The most obvious solution is to opt for recycled paper. The options for recycle paper are increasing in regards to quality and cost-effectiveness. But there’s more! Altering what type of products is used when creating printed material can save paper and money. For example, it may not be necessary to use fancy thick paper when a thinner cardstock would do because the quality of paper used can have major effect on waste. A flier that is expected to be put up on a wall doesn’t need the same quality and thickness of paper as say, business cards, which should be printed on high quality paper.

Be mindful of quantity

Courtesy Care created postcards that were catered to their target audience in both their Oklahoma and Arkansas locations. This allowed the home restoration company the ability to print fewer of each type of postcard and have a greater impact with targeted printing material.Keep in mind the printed material’s target audience when deciding what and how much to print. Printing companies give discounts for larger orders, but it’s not necessary to splurge on 1,000 hand-outs when 500 will suffice. Also, where will the printed materials be distributed? If the target audience only visits one local coffee shop, don’t print enough material to distribute in coffee shops all over town.

Decrease size

It shouldn’t take an entire page to describe what could’ve been said on a half sheet. Been receiving a lot of political mailers lately? Many of those could express the same message on a smaller piece of paper which would A) cost less money to print and mail, and B) use less natural resources. Understanding what key message needs to be communicated helps work through this blunder. If the key message that needs to be understood is that an event is happening Saturday night, don’t increase the page size to clutter with unnecessary information.

Universal usability

Create printed materials that can be used over time and not frequently changed. A business card doesn’t need to be redesigned and reprinted five times each month. Brochures don’t necessarily need to be updated every month. Brochures that direct consumers to a permanent location for updated information work much better than having to reprint because of new monthly events. Also, if a company is expecting to undergo major changes in the upcoming months, such as a rebranding, it might not need to print current material that will become irrelevant in a few weeks. The Belford Group is an experienced image-building marketing and website development agency, with more than a decade spent providing creative marketing and advertising solutions to fit any budget …and any medium. Call us. We’d love to hear from you. 479-443-9945