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How Design Recap

“I design and print all of this stuff!”

The best thing ever to hear if you work at a creative printing company, am I right? Last week, Cushing exhibited at the How Design Live Conference, right here in the Printy City. The show attracts over 3,000 professionals, including graphic designers, art directors, and marketers. Sponsors include names such as Adobe and Shutterstock.

Every person who dropped by the booth, and let’s be honest, we pulled some folks in, had their hands in some facet of design or collateral:

Ad creation, mood boards, project quotes, creative direction: its a list too long to include!

And the quote above? Yes, that’s real. Thanks Charli Holloway of Michigan Fitness Foundation!

How Now Brown Cow

How did we get involved? The How Design team had a pressing, last-minute print need.  Presenting sponsor Neenah Paper, a Cushing vendor, had the paper. 500 sheets of classic linen white pearl 13” x 19” paper (hey when you read a printing blog you’re going to get all the details) arrived at Cushing on Friday.

How Design Recap 1 How Design Fliers Packed Up For Welcome Bags

The print ready files were beautiful with heavy color saturation. Testing on our Canon and Indigo, the 6” x 8” postcards printed, dried and cut fine. With time to spare. the save the dates made their way into welcome bags.

Before I forget, we assisted with a last minute foamcore, VIP sign sign, finished in the nick of time!

How Design Recap 2 VIP Entrance Signage

The Show Must Go On

Before I get to the show experience, I need to mention: We move in June (Follow it Here).  All our our banner stand hardware is in boxes. Who came to the rescue? Steve Trickey of course … he heads up all things engineering and unearthed brand new banner stands in the basement.  A separate display stand ‘shout-out’ goes to Christine Fetting. She found one behind her desk which became the exhibit booth centerpiece.

How Design Recap 3 Cushing Booth


HOW about the conference?

The hush of a show floor before the doors open is peaceful. Vendors organize tables, placing business cards and materials out for prospects. You hear the occasional branded tablecloth flap across the show floor. Two floors up, a torrent of design professionals sat in educational seminars. A few hours later they would swarm the trade show floor fresh from a kick off keynote and full of questions:

  • What types of paper do you offer?
  • Can Cushing order custom media for my company or project?
  • Is privacy film permanent or can you offer a temporary adhesive we can switch out once a quarter?
  • How quick can your turn around custom bound books?

How Design Recap 4 Josette and Christing Working the Booth

  • Do you print business cards?
  • how many wall graphics and decal installations do you complete each month?
  • Are you able to print and install outside of Chicago?
  • How often are you shipping outside of Chicago?

Many had a story to tell or an ambitious project on their mind.

Chatting with attendees, print marketing is very much alive and well. Many attendees were moonlighting as freelancers; more than one mentioning direct mail is underappreciated. By the way, have you seen this terrific article from Target Marketing about using direct mail?

How Design Recap 5 Christine Chatting with Potential Clients
Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute – one of the top resources on digital marketing, is quoted in Print Works (National Paper Organization publication) and says “print cuts through clutter.”

And it’s not just lip service, saddle-stich and in full color, they just so happen to print their own quarterly magazine.

So What’s Next?

How Design Live is in Boston in 2018.  The conference is back in the city of big shoulders (and large format graphics) in 2019.

One thing is certain: there are so many talented creative professionals shaping design. And we met so many of them last week! Both print and online, we are excited to see what happens next!

Jon Davis

Jon Davis is Cushing’s Marketing Manager. From blogging to online communications, Jon writes about client developments, environmental branding, and much more. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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