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Getting The Design Process Right

Katherine Gouldin Katherine Gouldin Brand Communications Associate
Lori Langway Lori Langway Senior Account Manager

Design. It’s one of the initial stages of any mail campaign. In fact, it’s one of the first steps on the list – share your preliminary art with your production team at PS!

Putting a critical eye on preliminary art will ensure you don’t run into any surprises down the road. First, a mockup of the mail piece is created, based on the specifications of each of the mailing components. This step will enable you to get a weight and thickness for the mail piece — something essential in confirming postage rates. A mock up also ensures that the mail piece is set up correctly. Did you determine how each component folds, that the reply device easily inserts into the return envelope? That everything fits inside the outer envelope? Doing this mock-up early in the process is the best way to ensure that the mail piece is mailable and within your budget.

Your production manager will then create a design SOP (standard operating procedure) to reference and ensure that each of your specific needs is being met.

When reviewing art there are a lot of details to consider. Postal requirements and classifications make that process even more detailed. How will this be mailed? Does it qualify as a letter piece of a flat? Flats are larger than letters, and therefore are generally heavier and more expensive to mail. Calendars and magazines are mailed as flats, for instance.

Another important design aspect to look for are bleeds. Artwork that includes a bleed, where the color or image “bleeds” off of the edge, requires more paper and ink. This can require different bindery processes depending on the piece. This can all add up to a higher production cost.

Speaking of ink – how many colors are being used? Are your brand colors required? Do you have a specific Pantone color you need to use for your logo? Does the design include full-color photographs that require a four-color build? These are the types of things to consider, as the elements within the artwork will guide the decisions in how to best produce the piece.

The experts at PS will determine the best solutions out there for your mail campaign and your budget.

This review early in the process will set you up for success in the next step of the process: Printing!

About the Author

Katherine Gouldin
Katherine Gouldin Brand Communications Associate

Katherine is PS’ Brand Communications Associate and she has been serving with PS since 2019. Living in Great Falls, Virginia, Katherine loves writing and reading about self-improvement topics, practicing mindfulness meditation, trying international cuisines, and learning about people’s stories. Katherine is passionate about philosophy and spiritual development, she lived in Italy for five months, and she has been skydiving twice and highly recommends it!

Responsible for supporting and executing internal and external communications for PS, Katherine ensures consistent brand messaging and engagement. She supports PS leadership by writing the company Win Report and newsletters, gives a voice to the incredible work being accomplished at PS through blogs, manages social media and supports sales enablement activities. Katherine loves contributing to a mission that has purpose and makes a powerful impact.

Lori Langway
Lori Langway Senior Account Manager

Lori is a Senior Account Manager and she has been serving PS since
2015. With over 12 years in our industry, Lori is committed to authentic communication and investing in success. Her clients include Heifer International and Eidolon. Lori’s ability to provide opportunities and promote value for those she serves is incredibly inspiring.

Located in Greensboro, North Carolina, Lori telecommutes full time, where she enjoys spending time with her husband, Heath and their English bulldog rescue named Penelope. Lori also loves crafts of all kinds, upcycling old furniture, and her favorite foods are sushi and Ethiopian dishes.