In addition to offering world class printing services, Pel Hughes provides in-house graphic design for our clients who need new logos, signage, direct mail, business cards, and other print materials. If you’re new to working with a graphic designer, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to expect from the process. The main thing to keep in mind when working with a graphic designer is that the process is collaborative. Your feedback is an important part of the process. That being said, there are some ways you can streamline your communication and expedite the design process by avoiding common faux-paus 

Following are some helpful tips to make your collaboration with a graphic design team more productive.  

#1 Keep Realistic Expectations with Your Graphic Designer

Creating a graphic for your marketing and advertising materials is a process. The first draft you see might not be in line with your expectations. This is normal; however, as most first drafts are used to guide the design process. The end result could look radically different from its initial draft. Consider the first draft a litmus test for what you like and what you don’t like.  

#2 Ask Questions  

It’s perfectly acceptable to ask a graphic designer questions. Seasoned graphic designers know that many folks are not acquainted with the design process or industry lingo. One way to make your communication especially effective is to send your questions via e-mail. Interruptions—particularly telephonic ones—can slow the creative process. While not all questions are easy to formulate in written form, most are, so feel free to send e-mails with your burning questions from time-to-time.  

#3 Provide Examples of What You Like 

Although graphic designers are talented folks, they aren’t mind readers. Before you initiate the process for the first draft, we recommend sending over examples of logos, color schemes, fonts, and print materials that you find striking. Even a cover photo on Facebook or an Instagram post can make for great inspiration.  

When you send examples to your design team, it helps them understand the overall aesthetic you desire and can help them develop a clearer path forward.  

#4 Avoid Using Bland, Non-Descriptive Feedback 

Throughout the design process, your feedback will help determine the direction of your project. Non-descriptive and general feedback is usually not very helpful to the process. There are five major components to design, which are: layout, fonts, images, color, and general aesthetic. When providing feedback, discussing what you like or don’t like about each specific component is helpful. 

 For example, many clients may ask their design team to make their project “pop”. These kinds of statements don’t really move the graphic design process forward. Instead, specifics like “could we try a white background to make a logo stand out more?” or “Could we try a different font?”  would be more beneficial to generating a design you like. Details with clear and direct instructions can make a world of difference for you and your design team.  

The design process can lead to generating beautiful and well-received materials for your business. If you’re looking to create stunning print pieces for marketing and advertising, give our helpful team a call at (504) 486-8646 or request a quote online 

Marketing is the lifeblood for many businesses. The problem, however, is that managing marketing and advertising campaigns takes serious effort and time. Fortunately, technology has made producing marketing and advertising materials much easier with digital management systems. Our team at Pel Hughes offers Storefront—a management system that can increase efficiency and reduce your costs when it comes to handling your marketing campaigns.  

Following are four ways that Storefront can help your business.  

#1 A Convenient Hub for All Your Print Materials 

You can liken Storefront to a digital library. This system can store all your campaigns and other materials like tags and logos in one central location. Let’s say you need to update a franchise restaurant menu or edit existing materials like personalized business cards; you can do so with just a few clicks. Then, you can send these materials to the printer with ease.  

Beyond saving you time and money, Storefront can also set permissions for your account’s users. This is especially beneficial to enterprises with multiple locations or franchises. You can also enable customization for your users. This can be advantageous if you offer different services or prices from different locations. 

#2 Monitor Your Marketing Inventory & Order On-Demand 

Storefront allows for easy reporting. This is helpful for evaluating your marketing budgets or determining which materials are ordered most frequently. Automated reporting helps decision makers understand which materials are most effective and most used. It can also help ensure that your business stays within budget. 

Ordering on-demand also reduces wait times when collaborating with printing companies, marketing agencies, and freelancers. Having your materials in one convenient, secure location accelerates the deployment of your marketing and advertising campaigns.  

#3 Protect Your Brand’s Identity 

Sometimes, businesses with multiple locations and franchises can see inconsistent branding when local managers are left to their own devices. Maintaining a cohesive brand image is crucial to any enterprise’s marketing and advertising efforts. 

 Inconsistent brand messaging can produce a series of hiccups and unintended complications. With Storefront, company leaders can ensure that only approved materials are utilized. Since each user’s permissions are set by their superiors, you can eliminate the threat of inconsistent, unapproved campaigns. Decision makers can also add approval settings to each user’s profile, which adds additional protection in maintaining a cohesive brand identity.  

#4 Easy Payment Methods 

Storefront makes paying for and billing your marketing materials much easier. The interface accepts payments from PayPal and major credit/debit cards. It also allows for invoicing and purchase orders for businesses with multiple locations and franchises.  

Storefront takes a lot of the hassle out of maintaining and ordering advertising and marketing materials. With Storefront, you can protect the brand you worked so hard to develop while increasing your efficiency and reducing your marketing costs.  

If you’re interested in utilizing an online management system, we encourage you to give our helpful team at Pel Hughes a call. Pel Hughes is a woman-owned enterprise that serves businesses of all sizes in both private and non-profit sectors. We offer in-house printing and fulfillment as well as graphic design services. Visit our website or call us at (504) 486-8646 to learn more.  

Every industry has its own vernacular and the printing industry is no different. For customers, however, these words may be unfamiliar. To help, our team has compiled a handy guide to help you learn more about common lingo you might hear among print professionals. Understanding this terminology can help you learn more about the wide range of services that Pel Hughes has to offer.

Digital Printing

In the past, printers relied on screens and plates to produce materials. Today, however, printers can print items from digital files. Digital is highly efficient but there are still instances where traditional print methods are necessary. 

CMYK, RGB, and Pantone

Choosing color is one of the most important aspects in branding and advertising. CMYK and RGB are color systems—each with different purposes. Pantone is not exactly a color system; it’s a color library with about 1800 variations. 

Unfortunately, color doesn’t translate the same across different mediums. For example, RBG (which stands for red, blue, and green) is used to convey color on computer monitors and device screens while CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black) is a color system utilized in printing. 

These different color systems can make printing from digital artwork a little tricky. When digital logos, ads, and other graphics are generated it is important that they are compatible with CMYK to ensure that your materials match your digital ones once they’re printed on paper. Knowing your pantone color numbers can be of great help to your graphic design team and the printing professionals you work with, too.


In the print world, “weight” refers to the thickness of the paper you’re using. Thicker paper is more substantial, making it ideal for business cards and brochures. Lower weight is ideal for corporate letterheads. 

Variable Data 

Variable data makes it possible to print materials with interchangeable elements without stopping the print process. A great example of variable data is printing envelopes, personalized direct mail, or letters with different addresses or names. 


This term refers to the number of prints on a piece of paper. Utilizing as much space on a piece of paper as possible saves money and reduces waste. 2UP is particularly useful for producing post cards, packaging, and business cards.


Bleed entails a print extending beyond its cut lines. For instance, the term “full bleed” involves printing beyond paper’s cut lines to avoid unwanted margins around an image or background color. When a full bleed is needed, printers will have to use larger paper to avoid unwanted breaks in color around an image’s borders. 

It’s important to bring up bleed with your graphic designers so that they can accommodate your needs when developing your images in Photoshop, InDesign, and other software programs. 

The pros at Pel Hughes utilize the latest technology to help you develop stunning print campaigns. We offer expert assistance with direct mail, banners, signage, business cards, and more. Our team can help you develop cross channel marketing that will set your enterprise apart from the crowd, too. 

We have worked with businesses and organizations in diverse industries throughout the United States. Give Pel Hughes a call today at (504) 486-8646 to learn more about our services. 

Word processing and desktop publishing packages allow our team at Pel Hughes to create eye catching content. While we have the software to produce professional and attention-grabbing print materials, it’s our fine-tuned experience that really impresses our clients. 

Aside from producing quality copy and the great design on your print materials, the next biggest hurdle is ensuring that the copy is readable. Many DIY marketers make common readability faux paus on printed materials that can look unprofessional, busy, and amateurish.  

Great flyers, direct mail, and brochures need an organized structure and layout with a clear typeface for optimal readability. Below we will provide some of our tried-and-true tips for developing great print materials for optimal readability.  

Keep typography simple 

Selecting one font family for your entire printed piece makes it easier for the eye to decipher when glancing across the page. Choose a font that has many different weights, sizes, and styles to use for headings, quotations, or to emphasize a particular section. Build variety playing with these variables instead of switching between multiple font families. Popular font families are Serif (which includes Times Roman) and Sans-Serif (which includes Helvetica) for producing crisp, clean, readable copy.  

Stay consistent 

Consistency will lend authority to the look of your piece and will become part of your branding for that particular item. Therefore, be sure that all of the headers look the same, including size and font type. The same goes for sub-headers and pull-quotes. This helps readers digest your materials because the content is clearly organized for their comprehension. 

Use upper and lower case 

Using standard upper and lower case letters make the wording easier for people to read. This format is also what readers are familiar with and expect to see. While you can use all capital letters for emphasis in rare cases, it is not a good idea for regular print. All capital letters for a block of text is cumbersome on the eyes. Moreover, there is a negative connotation with copy that is all capital letters as people find it aggressive and unprofessional.  

Keep lines short and add white space 

People tend to read three to four words per eye movement. It’s a good rule of thumb not to have your reader make more than two eye movements per line, so limit your lines to six to eight words. Space is always a concern with printed materials so it’s important to develop concise copy to make reading as easy as possible for your potential customers. Flyers, billboards, and posters will work best with short, bulleted points and plenty of white space. Using adequate white space increases readability by helping your eyes focus on the content.  

Use serifs 

Serifs are the little, extra strokes or flourishes at the end of the main strokes of a letter. They flow well from one letter to the next, reducing eye fatigue. Like the rest of our bodies, our eyes get tired when they have to do a lot of heavy lifting. Long printed documents such as books or sizable reports are easier to read when serif type fonts are used. 

If you’re concerned with readability, contact Pel Hughes. Our team has vast experience working with businesses of all sizes in a wide range of industries. We can help you develop compelling print pieces to win over customers and build your brand. Fill out a contact form or give us a call at (504) 486-8646

There’s a reason Fortune 500 companies invest big bucks into market research. Understanding consumers’ needs, wants, and habits can help businesses increase their sales, develop new and innovative products, and improve existing offerings. The tried-and-true survey still exists for a reason: it provides reliable and useful data for enterprises in diverse industries.

Here’s four good reasons to consider deploying a survey to boost your customer service and improve your business operations.

Honesty from Existing and Potential Customers 

Anonymous surveys solicit more honest answers than an in-person or phone-based conversation. Customers are more likely to provide candid feedback when they can do so without worrying about offending someone. This is especially useful for business owners who interface with their customers on a regular basis and develop friendly relationships. Customers may not express their true feelings about products and services in scenarios like these. Anonymous surveys can give consumers the safe space they need to share their opinions and concerns freely.

Online-Based Surveys Can Be Affordable 

While holding market research in a large conference room to test products with curated consumers can be quite expensive, sending surveys to customers after they make a purchase through e-mail is more affordable than you think. E-mail based surveys provide a lot of usable data for pennies on the dollar. Saving money on surveys while receiving troves of useful data can help develop effective advertising campaigns tailored to your customers and their preferences. Data from surveys is great for optimizing future advertising efforts.

Customer Retention 

When business owners take the initiative to care about their customers, it makes a good impression. Today’s consumer is savvy and wants to spend his or her dollar with companies who value their customers. Feeling heard and seen goes a long way. Sending easy-to-fill-out surveys after purchases, customer service calls, or once a year to touch base can go a long way in establishing long-term relationships with your customers.

Learn More About Your Customers and Competition 

The data from surveys is very useful. Beyond the questions themselves, you can group responses from a number of demographics including age, gender, annual income, level of education, professions, region, and frequency of purchase. This information can help you improve existing products and/or develop new ones that meet the needs of consumers from a variety of backgrounds.

If you haven’t implemented a survey or if it’s been a while since your last one, now’s the perfect time to give one a try.

Although printing is a core aspect of our business at Pel Hughes, our team also provides data processing and list acquisition to help our clients maintain the useful data that helps their businesses thrive. Our clients include casinos, credit unions, and much more. To learn more about how we can help you foster new revenue streams, fill out our contact form by clicking here or call (504) 486-8646.

The digital world has definitely changed the landscape of marketing and advertising. Many forms of traditional marketing have waned in popularity but that doesn’t mean all conventional print advertising is obsolete. One form of marketing that still deserves your attention is direct mail campaigns. When executed effectively, direct mail yields great results. The best way to increase the effectiveness of your direct mail imitative is to make it personal.

The Case for Personalized Direct Mail 

Response rates for direct mail are higher than most think. According to the National Association of Advertisers, direct mail solicits responses about 5.1% of the time. This is sustainably higher than the response rates of e-mail, social media, and paid search, which are .6%, .6%, and .4%, respectively. When a consumer sees his or her name on a piece of mail, it helps establish a feeling that this person is valued by your business.

The response rate for direct can be made much higher when mail is personalized to its sender. Estimates indicate that responsiveness increases 135% when mail is personalized with the recipient’s full name.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the following statistics:

  • Direct mail incentivizes up to 40% of new consumers to try new businesses
  • Over 50% of consumers in the United States trust print mail more than any other form of advertising
  • Around 70% of people in the United States find direct mail more personal than the Internet
  • Direct mail resonates with millennials, too; about 30% of millennials are willing to take action after receiving direct mail
  • Response rates for direct mail for ages 18 to 24 is about 12%

There’s psychological reasons for personalizing mail, too. Modern human beings are inundated with information on a daily basis. To survive, our brains have become hyper-effective at filtering out irrelevant information. A great example of this is how we all have an uncanny ability to tune out conversations happening around our cubicles or in line at coffee shops. Since our brains are hardwired to push away chatter and messages that aren’t intended for us, personalizing mail helps break through this psychological defense mechanism. When we see our full names on a piece of mail, it allows us to turn off auto pilot and accept a message that is actually intended for us to read.

Pair Your Direct Mail and Digital Marketing Campaigns 

Direct mail and digital marketing don’t have to compete with each other. In fact, these two channels can cooperate. Providing a promotional offer on direct mail, to be used in an online store, is an effective way to merge these two forms of marketing. Since 90% of consumers will visit a website before calling a business, it’s important to provide easy links to websites and social media accounts on print advertising.

Our team at Pel Hughes is experts at helping businesses develop beautiful and effective direct mail campaigns. If you’d like to request a quote or talk to a knowledgeable member of our staff, fill out this easy contact form.


To say that most aspects of our daily lives are “going electronic” is an understatement. In fact, it’s wrong – we’re already there. Creative industries ranging from content marketing to creative design have moved their platforms to electronic formats. However, from time to time we still hear people argue that electronic content will never replace the good old-fashioned ability to pick up a book or magazine and connect with it on a different level.

This may be the case, but in the world of publishing, taking such a narrow view can hurt not only your revenue, but it may also be hurting your clients. Publishers should be thinking beyond the mere simplicity electronic print can bring, and consider what additional benefits consumers can receive through electronic publishing.

In this article we provide an overview of electronic publishing, or e-publishing, and discuss a few of the advantages of e-publishing for both you and your clients. We want to help you to start thinking outside the box, and recognize that e-publishing is here to stay – and that’s a good thing for those that know how it can be leveraged to maximize for readers and publishers.

What is E-Publishing?

On the surface, e-publishing is fairly simple. E-publishing is the electronic means of publishing content to an electronic form. At its most basic level, this includes the digital publication of books, magazines, and other types of literature. Digging a little deeper, it also includes the development of digital catalogs and libraries. This can include publications such as reference and technical publications, as well as encyclopedias and dictionaries.

Taking a step back from more complex publications such as encyclopedias, e-publishing also includes the publication of short stories or other simple collections. Essentially, e-publishing means that any work can be distributed electronically. And this can be extremely valuable for writers ranging from high school story writers to universities and corporations.

Better Reader Experience 

Arguably the greatest advantage of e-publishing is that it provides the reader with a much better way to experience the content they’re digesting. To start, e-publications are convenient for readers. All of their desired reading material can be stored and organized digitally, meaning those shelves and nightstands that are overcrowded with books and magazines can now become a thing of the past.

Additionally, e-publishing affords readers the ability to share content with a wide audience, instantaneously. Students, teachers, corporate training offices, and many others can distribute the same content to peers or employees, and these readers can electronically search for the content they require. And not only can it be shared instantaneously, it can also be done in more secure manner.

Interactive and Current 

In a similar category to creating a better reader experience, e-publishing can provide elements for the reader that hardcopy print simply cannot. For example, e-publishing allows publishers to be more creative with their designs, and even insert components such animation, audio, video clips and hyperlinks. The latter, hyperlinks, can be used both within the material itself, or even take the reader to another document or to relevant content online.

The ease of editability of e-publishing also means that content can always be current and up-to-date. As opposed to hardcopy, electronically editing can be completed with a few strokes of the keyboard, keeping readers current on any changes or updates to material their viewing. Moreover, the notion of electronic editing also means that mistakes can be more easily avoided, and if they are made, easily corrected.


The last advantage that we discuss related to e-publishing is a big one for publishers. By using analytics to track reader behavior, publishers can analyze and better understand how readers are responding to your content. Publishers can track open rates, readership, and clicks by platform and application data. This means that publishers can make data-driven decisions to improve content as well as marketing strategies. This type of data gathering just isn’t possible with hardcopy publishing.

Overall, e-publishing offers a more interactive, current, and overall more dynamic and simple reading experience. It also provides opportunities for publishers to gain further insight into their clients, and transform their organization into a modern mobile enterprise.

As a designer, one of the most important decisions you must make is when to use specific types of color. For years, there have been debates about which color printing method is supreme: process (which uses a variety of four main colors), or spot (also known as Pantone Matching System). 

Admittedly, there can be a lot of confusion when determining whether to use spot colors or process colors, and understanding the difference between the two can be the difference between a good and great final product. This article provides a brief look at some main differences between spot and process colors, and some advice as to why and when to go with each type of color process in your design. 

What are Process Colors and When Should They Be Used?

Process color is a way of mixing inks to create colors during the actual printing process itself. A process color is printed using a combination of the four standard process inks: cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). Typically, process colors are used in offset printing, and are the more common method of printing. Although the amount of process colors through CMYK may seem endless, process colors actually provide a limited color range. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be used, however. 

In fact, process colors can be excellent for specific printing jobs, especially when the job is small. For example, a print job that requires multi-colored designs and photographs such as full color books, brochures, flyers and postcards would do well to use process colors. Moreover, your printer at home and even most commercial printers go with CMYK to print texts and images. And as the technology that uses CMYK advances, we’re seeing that most magazines and newspapers are printed using process colors.

How Do Spot Colors Compare?

Spot colors are usually created through the Pantone Matching System, or PMS. A Pantone color is a standard color in the PMS that is used as a color reference system in most printing and printing-related industries. Spot colors can vary widely and by utilizing a system such as PMS, spot colors can be consistently reproduced and ensure accurate production of printed or manufactured goods across the globe. 

As noted above, process colors can be fairly limited in their color range as the final colors are merely a combination of CMYK colors. Because spot colors layer an infinite amount of colors, they can provide a much more vibrant and detailed color. In addition to the variety of options, spot colors provide much better consistency from page to page. When printing a solid color with process inks, there may be slight variations in the color balance that can affect the color’s consistency. While spot colors may cost a bit more, they can add a lot to your project making the extra cost well worth it in the end. 

When To Use Spot Color 

Spot colors are best used when colors are outside of the CMYK range or when accuracy is crucial, such as in company logos or color-specific brand elements (think Starbucks green or McDonalds red and yellow). Spot colors should also be used in printing jobs that require printing over a large area because spot color inks can provide more even coverage. Additionally, projects that require special effects such as metallic or florescent colors should use spot colors. Spot colors can add a little something extra to your project. 

There are a variety of things to consider when deciding to use spot or process colors. It’s important to look at each project individually and assess what the correct option is for that specific project. 

Although most of the country has transitioned to a largely digital lifestyle, the “email vs. direct mail” battle continues to thrive in the marketing world. And many are surprised that although there was an upswing in email marketing over a decade ago, there is more than enough recent research to show that direct mail has made a significant comeback. 

For example, direct mail is now tied with social media as the second-most used medium, and has a higher response rate than any digital direct marketing outlet. Additionally, 76% of consumers say they trust direct mail over digital channels when making a purchase. Even large companies are taking notice. Goldman Sachs Group recently invested $25 million dollars to integrate direct mail into email-based marketing automation platforms.

That said, there are still plenty of businesses and organizations that prefer email as the foundation of their marketing strategies. In this article, we point out three of the largest problems faced by email marketing strategies, and how they can be solved by direct mail. 

Problem 1: Unsubscribes

Although most of us love seeing the link to “unsubscribe” at the bottom of an email, this can be devastating to marketers trying to reach a broad audience. The chance that your email message will catch your customer at a time in which they are busy, or maybe just not in the mood to receive another email. When this happens all the customer has to do is unsubscribe from your email system, and they can be lost forever. And it only takes one time. 

If your organization relies on email as its sole form of getting messages to your customer, you are one click away from losing that customer. Direct mail eliminates (or significantly decreases) the possibility that your message will forever be directed into a junk folder. Typically, if you catch your customer on a bad day, the worst they’ll do is toss your mail in the trashcan. You’ll still have tomorrow to reach them. 

Problem 2: Lack of Personalization

Email has become so popular in recent years that it’s nearly impossible to find a company or organization that doesn’t have an email list to which they send consistent updates. One of the main problems with this is that there isn’t much room for creativity or personalization. Each message is put together quickly, and sent to bombard the recipient’s inbox. 

However, even more than just popularity or the ease of use, email and the associated digital technology is sophisticated. When you visit a website, that website can track your IP address, gather information on you, and start sending you email regarding their product. 

Direct mail brings back the personalization that is lost in the standard email blast. Approximately four in ten people look forward to checking their mail every day, and this isn’t by accident. Direct mail adds that personal touch that allows consumers to interact with your message and they don’t see themselves as just another name on an email “bcc”.

Problem 3: Overkill 

Similar to the problems of lack of personalization and the dreaded unsubscribes, email can suffer from a significant overkill to a consumer’s inbox. With the amount of emails that individuals receive on a daily basis, any email that isn’t immediately read is almost guaranteed to wind up in the trash. This is even truer when you consider recent changes to platforms such as Gmail, which may try to assume where a recipient would like an email placed (e.g., the Promotions folder). This overkill almost guarantees that your message will not be seen.  

Direct mail solves this problem in more than one way. First, recipients only receive direct mail once per day. Although they may receive multiple pieces per delivery, they aren’t bombarded with mail throughout the day. Moreover, sending a piece of direct mail, with content, postage, etc. is not as simple as throwing together a standard email draft. It takes more time to create these messages, thus, there aren’t as many sent to assault your consumer. 

Although many marketing teams continue to believe that direct mail is dying, those that see through this false narrative are already in a much better marketing position. By finding a medium that effectively and efficiently utilizes email and direct mail, you will see increased revenue, and more importantly, happier customers.

#1 Pharmaceuticals
– Medication labeling & packaging
– Guidance for medication for medical staff and for patients
-Legally mandated notices for proper treatment and side effects
#2 Healthcare
– Support documents for hospitals
– Key information for dental practices
– CDC guidance for COVID-19 treatment
– Inter-practice communication
– Patient discharge paperwork for post-care
#3 Communications
– Local newspapers & magazines
– Community bulletins on COVID-19
#4 Public Health
– Health & Safety information from government
– Mass public information campaign about COVID-19
– Key Information distributed to sanitation workers
#5 Food Industry
– Food & nutrition packaging components
– Grocery store signage for sales & ads
– Restaurant signage & menu cards
– Directional signage
#6 Legal
– Court documents & proceedings
– Important signage
– Time-sensitive Information
#7 Governmental Support
– Election ballots & mailings
– Time & classified-sensitive materials
– Information to Medicaid & Medicare recipients
– SNAP benefit information distribution
– Important ID renewal & expiration notices
– 2020 Census forms & supporting documents
#8 Financial Institutions
– Onboarding documents for online banking
– Mailed statements for current customers
– Support documentation for financial professionals to continue work