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The Printy City

Summer’s here, the temperature is on the rise and I’ve been basking in the warm glow of

the Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Victory (OK, I mean the summer sun!).  Taking advantage of the weather, lately I have been skipping the ‘L’ ride on a work day to explore the city a bit more.  Of course, being in the print and digital communications industry over five years, it is challenging not to been OVERLY aware of the amazing signage adorning this incredible city during my trek to 420 W. Huron St.

Strolling from the heart of the loop to Cushing’s River North office provides ample opportunity to see a variety of printed pieces.  From large fashion billboards, banners along State Street, marketing folks handing out postcards, flyers, coupons, window clings, restaurant menus, business cards, vehicle wraps – Red Eye!  –  I always make it a point to keep my eyes open.

It’s hard not to admire different layouts, color schemes and just imagine the brainstorming behind the final product.

And then the questions start popping up:

  • Is the flyer on 80# matte?
  • Why did they choose to go with 4”x 6” instead of 6”x 9” dimensions?
  • Did it just not make sense to use a glossy coating on the brochure?
  • Who are they marketing to?
  • Was the collateral put together using InDesign or Photoshop?
  • Did they consider outdoor elements before picking that material?
  • Why did they choose adhesive versus printing directly to the piece?

Lately, one of my favorite things to see is any kind of application on glass windows, particularly acrylic on glass.  I’m sure Chicago natives and tourists downtown have caught me staring at exterior window graphics as if admiring a 100 year old painting at the Art Institute of Chicago.

I can’t help it – the look is simple, yet visually striking.

Our clients have been starting to request this printing service more often.  It’s been interesting to see it become a more common finish and practical application for businesses looking to promote their brand.

It is fascinating to see how printing trends have changed in the last five years… Can’t wait to see what the next five bring.

One thing I have come to realize, print is part of our everyday lives and isn’t going away anytime soon.

Wonder what new signs I’ll see on the way home?

What types of print marketing around the city intrigue you the most? Feel free to share in the comments below. 

Valerie Solver

Valerie is Cushing’s Senior Marketing Coordinator and has been with Cushing over five years, starting off in the Accounting Department, ultimately deciding to major in Marketing at DePaul University. The Problem ‘Solver’ manages Cross Media Campaign development among other duties. Out of the office, Valerie is doing yoga, trying out new restaurants, spending time among family and friends while enjoying the city life. Click here to see her Google

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