Artwork Tips

Here is some information about vector vs. bitmap images:

Artwork Tips

For Promotion: Gift or Giveaway

Giving gifts is an important part of corporate strategy. From the presentation of an award of recognition to the handing out of small items to prospects at a special event, giving is essential to building good relationships. All levels of giving items for business should be considered part of the “gifting” process.

The giveaway at a trade show or special event can and should be considered a gift. Even a low-cost promotional item can be given in a way that enhances its perceived value. If you follow proper guidelines in selecting the right item and presenting it as a special gift, the “giveaway” becomes a gift.

Always consider the objective of the gift. Is it an incentive to visit a trade show booth, a thank you for your business, or a gift to introduce someone to your business? Thinking about the reason for giving should be a guide for selecting the proper item whether the budget is $1 or $100.

Next, consider the recipient of the gift. Knowing the characteristics of the audience can be helpful in selecting a gift. People in different professions will likely respond differently to gifts. Another important factor is knowing how the items will be distributed. Will they be handed to each recipient personally or will they be sent by mail? Will they be given at a special event or delivered to each recipients home?

What was once considered a “giveaway” can be more effective when thought of as a “gift”. The difference is mostly in the amount of thought that is given to selecting and distributing the item. Giving as a gift or “gifting” makes a positive difference.


Logos come in all styles

The following offers some of the key elements to consider when developing logos for any type organization or event.

To be truly effective, a logo MUST have a useful one color version, even if it is multiple colors.

Suppose they end up co-sponsoring a charity event, with 50 other sponsors, and every logo will be printed in a single color on the back of a t-shirt.*

It must work well in a variety of spaces: round, square or rectangular.

Think of pencils, and of tapered coffee cups! If the logo typically is a single long line of text, design it so there is also a “stacked” version, and probably a “bug” version as well.*

Be very careful with fonts. While special fonts can be pretty, make sure that legibility is not compromised, and that serifs and fine details will print in all applications.

Realize that very obscure fonts will often “translate” themselves when transferred electronically, so you must send reference and include fonts every time you convey these.*

Don’t EVER use all caps on a cursive fonts. Make sure each character is capable of standing alone.

Ever seen script where you don’t know if that letter is an I, an S, a J? It’s not uncommon to have the name reduced to initials, and they still need to be recognizable.*

Colors: Try to use colors that are readily available in many different mediums. If you choose a special color… be aware that sometimes it will not work AND that you will always pay more for a special color match.

Registration: Tight registration of two or more colors causes complications on many items so try to have an alternate version that avoids the tight registration of colors.

*Consider if it will embroider well??? It will not do well in thread if it includes gradients, fine detail and vanishing “tails”.

*Tag Lines: Does the tag line disappear when reduced to a common, useable size?

*Print on Dark Colors: How does it reverse? Be sure to have options for printing on dark colors, for engraving and debossing the logo.

If it was modified to laser in wood or etch in glass, how does it look? Remember….on these items, it’s cut, or don’t cut. Again, this is a reason for a good one color design. So, if your company is “Orville

Redenbacher”, get a nice piece of line art for the founders image.*

Shape: What if you wanted to produce it as a piece of jewelry? Is it of a shape, detail that you could make award rings and pendants with it, or service lapel pins?*

Some of the great logos we all know:

Coca Cola could have anything they want. They use a simple RED logo, with both a recognizable script (that you’d know in ANY LANGUAGE) as well as Coke, which is in a nice basic font.

McDonalds. Large yellow arches are all that’s necessary.

Hallmark. You could recognize this from the H alone.

CBS – the always open eye of the camera.

Simple is beautiful~

*The personality of the company should be reflected in the logo. Madame Fifi’s Fine Resale Boutique just screams for a different look than Joe’s Slop House.

(Thanks Teri for your ideas)*


Strategies for Raising Funds

Favorite suppliers for this category:

  • Pioneer Balloon Co
  • ets express
  • AmerIcan Calendar

How much do you need to raise? How are you going to use the money? Who is your target population to get the money from? All these are questions you need to think about carefully before you decide HOW you are going to get the money.

Deciding the strategy for raising funds is one of the most important steps in meeting the goal. Yes, there are many good opportunities and gimmicks for raising funds. Selecting the best one for your organization is sometimes difficult. Weigh factors of potential profits against the time and effort required to implement the fund-raiser and if there are other reasons to use this particular strategy.

Often you cannot raise the total amount from a single effort and multiple programs are needed. Know the potential amount of money any single fundraising program can raise and use this information as part of the strategy to decide on what different programs will work best. Building a series of efforts over a year is often more productive than a single campaign.


  1. Direct Solicitation
  2. Scrip Programs
  3. Participation Events
  4. Selling Merchandise or Services

Direct Solicitation 

Usually the best fundraising effort is to simply ask for the money. State how much you need and for what purpose and then communicate the need to people who can give toward the cause. The key to success in this strategy is to find the target audience who can afford to give and is sympathetic to the “cause”. The “letter” is also important because it must communicate clearly what you want, why and ask for money. Who the letter if from also will influence the results.

In a school, if the parent population can afford to give the amount required, this is the obvious target. The community business and resident population is the secondary target but also important. If the parent population cannot afford to give the amount required, you must research the alternative resources in the community. Local businesses both large and small often are the most productive target.

SCRIP Programs 

A “no cost to purchaser program” that works well to raise funds are SCRIP programs. Local merchants are donating a percentage of their revenues from SCRIP certificates sold by the organization. This helps to promote the business as well as raising funds. There are National organizations who organize SCRIP programs or they can be done locally. It is an effective way to raise funds, but requires a substantial time to organize and promote the program. It also often entails a cash flow of significant funds that must be managed carefully. The profits from SCRIP programs on average can range from 5 to 10% of sales and is a good ongoing fundraising program.

Participation Events

“Thons” and Participation Events have excellent potential to raise funds in various ways. They also serve to bring the community together. Events require many hours to organize and implement, but offer more different opportunities for fundraising within the single event.

Whether it is a Walk, Run, Skip, or Dance-A-Thon, Fashion Show, Entertainment Production, or Auction it can be a success with good planning, promotion and enthusiasm. Events where pledges are made ahead of time or where tickets are sold as the primary focus for funds must also include other fundraising efforts.

Don’t forget to sell advertising in the program, include t-shirts or other merchandise to promote the event, include other mini events within the event such as face painting or bake sales to add to the potential revenues. Even be sure to put a collection box for direct cash donations at the event. These extras can sometimes even exceed the primary fund-raising focus of the event.

Selling Merchandise or Services

Deciding what to sell is difficult. There are many good programs offered by companies who will help with all the paperwork and organization required for merchandise sales. Analyze these carefully. Give first consideration to the questions “What will sell to our target community?” and “How much would be earn from this program?”. Also look into what else might be available that would work better before you decide. Brainstorming is an excellent technique for this decision process.

Merchandise varies according to what it is and the potential profits. Candy, Holiday Cards and Gift wrap seem to be popular choices where there are several Fundraising Program Companies to help. There can be higher revenue potentials in T-Shirts, Coffee Mugs or other merchandise but more work to organize and find good sources. You might consider a safety campaign and sell First Aid or Disaster Preparedness Kits as both a fund raiser and community awareness project. Look for a good Promotional Products Counselor in your area who would be willing to work with you on this effort.

Sometimes there are big results from small efforts. Look for high profit margin items and good selling opportunities. For example, arrange with local shopping centers to sell Balloons at local shopping center events. Balloons and the helium may cost around 20¢ – 25¢ (for big ones) each and you can sell them for $1.00 or more at an event. To generate even more money you could get merchants to donate certificates to put inside the balloons and then sell the “surprise” balloons with certificates inside for $10.00 or $20.00 each (or more)!

Pick the right merchandise or service to sell to the right target audience and this type program will work. Be creative. Find the best opportunities. It does require substantial effort and organization, but it can be effective. Getting students involved is a good learning opportunity for them.

Don’t Forget to Thank Your Donors and Volunteers

A simple thank you note goes a long way. Don’t forget to recognize those who give and those who volunteer to make your fundraising effort work. Although incentives and rewards is another topic, it is important to remember that your next success may depend on your showing your appreciation now.

Appendix of Fund-Raising Ideas – Merchandise Sales

The following are just a few alternative ideas for fund-raising merchandise programs:

Cookbook Programs – a great way to earn funds for an organization.

Balloon Surprise – Get merchants to donate gift certificates. Put the certificates inside of helium balloons. Sell the balloons at an event for $10. or more each. Recipients pop the balloon to see what they get. Balloons alone at a children’s event can be a big money maker as well.

Pencils – Fun printed pencils can be an excellent fund raiser at schools. Buy these either with school spirit designs or with sport designs. Pencil cost should be less than 25¢ and you can sell them for 50¢ to $1. each depending where and how they are sold. (Fun Erasers work too!)

Safety Program – Sell First Aid or Disaster Preparedness kits along with basic information about safety and preparing for disasters. This is both a fund-raiser and a community service.

T-Shirts – One of the best choices if the design is good. Buy for $5 – 8 each sell for $15 -18 each, a goo margin of profit. Consider a basic white shirt with simple black line art that can be colored in with permanent fabric markers. This makes an excellent activity for kids and keeps the cost of the shirt low for maximum profits.

Summer Fun Kits – Sets of plastic tumblers for around a pool, play toys like flyers or yo-yos, bottles of water at a summer event or even packets of sun protection lotion can make excellent summer fund-raising merchandise with good potential profits.

Personalized Greeting Cards/Stationery – Personalized Cards and Stationery can be a good fund-raiser at a meeting or gathering where orders would be convenient to take. These can also be done with a coloring contest to design cards to be sold.

Mugs & More Mugs – Mugs are very popular and make an excellent fund-raising item. You can get a simple white ceramic mug for around $1.50 each (plus set up and freight) if the design is good they can sell for up to $5. each. Or you can try the popular travel mugs or the stainless steel tumblers and mugs that also offer potential high mark up for bigger results.  There was one example where a thermoses and two mugs were sold at a very high mark up for a Sports Fund Raising Event.


Selecting Gifts: The Right Item for the Right Reason

The gift is a form of communication and it must be appropriate.

Here are some criteria:

  • A gift should be selected for the right reason. To meet your objective.
  • A gift should convey a proper message of its purpose, i.e., it should clearly say “thank you” if that is the goal.
  • A gift should adhere to the protocol surrounding professional gift giving.
  • A gift should reflect thoughtfulness and good taste. And a gift definitely can be fun and humorous if you know that’s what would be appreciated.
  • A gift should not be given as a pay back or as a bribe.

Giving gifts make people feel appreciated and enhance goodwill in a relationship. Careful thought regarding what gifts to choose as well as how to give them make a difference in the results achieved.


Why Items are Kept

Link to information about our industry and tips on building successful promotions. Interesting link on effective gifts for promotional objectives.

Why Items are Kept


About Giving Gifts In Different Cultures: Know The Protocol

In different cultures there are specific rules about giving gifts. It is best to check with a native resident of the country or of that culture to be sure that the gift is appropriate.

Color is a significant factor in many countries. Avoid white, black or blue wrapping in China. Green is a good color to select for wrapping a gift in the Islamic world. Yellow and red are considered joyous colors in India. In Latin America avoid black or purple as a wrapping color. These details will make a difference in the perception of the gift.

It is important to know what items to avoid. Such as, knives or letter openers reflect severing of ties in Latin America. Leather items should not be given in India. And clocks are not a good choice for a gift to someone from China. There are many resources for this information. A gift that reflects that you did your homework is appreciated.

Asian cultures especially have protocol to be considered. In Japan, for example, a gift should be wrapped. But you wouldn’t use white, because white is reserved for funerals. However, red is associated with good health. Also, gifts are recognized and appreciated, but usually not opened in the presence of the giver.

Good gift choices in Western Europe might reflect historic or intellectual appeal. Unique logoed items are appreciated in most countries, but they must be in good taste. In most places it is good to bring flowers when invited to a home but some types are not appropriate and it is better to select an odd number of blooms. In most places a gift should include a personal note or gift card.

Know when to give a gift. In China or Arab countries do not give a gift when you first meet a person so it will not be considered a bribe. However, in Japan it is not unusual for gifts to be presented when first meetings are held.

Be sure to check the local cultural protocol for giving gifts in various countries. The details always will make a difference in the response.

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