Illuminated Paper Sculptures

As paper enthusiasts, we are always looking around the web for exciting new ways to use our favorite medium. We recently came across this beautiful example while perusing one of our favorite art & design blogs: This is Colossal. These gorgeous silhouette sculptures (created by two artists called Hari & Deepti) are layered light boxes that consist of intricately hand cut paper and are back-lit with LED lights to create a dramatic effect that brings the whole composition to life.

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Be sure to watch the video here to get a fascinating time lapse view into the painstaking (though ultimately rewarding) process:

If you are as inspired by this great work as we are, be sure to contact us for your next 3D paper project and let’s see what we can come up with together!

Dimensional A/B Testing

It’s not uncommon to check the temperature of water before you dive in, so it’s no surprise many of our clients turn to A/B testing when using dimensional cards for the first time.

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A/B testing is a great way to evaluate the improved response rate you’ll get from using a 3D mailer. We’ve put together a short Q&A to help get you started:

What’s the best way to test dimensional marketing products?

With any experiment, you want to isolate and test one variable at time. That variable is the dimensional card. You also need a control to compare the results to, which will be your traditional mailer.

Evenly divide your recipient list and keep your copy, graphics and marketing message the same for both mailers. The only variation (other than dimension of course) should be a different promotional code or landing page URL for tracking purposes.

What quantities should I compare?

While there’s no maximum, testing on a pool that’s too small allows outliers and abnormalities to have a greater influence on the results. If you only sent out a handful of each card type, and several of your list addresses were bad, the results could be inaccurately skewed toward one side or the other.

We recommend a minimum of 1000 pieces for each mailer when testing. It’s very common for our clients to maintain their normal mailing quantities and divide the list, sending half traditional and half pop-up mailers for their first test.

How do I select a product?

Bigger and pricier will not necessarily increase results. It’s more important to choose a dimensional card that best highlights your product or service. This is done by evaluating the type of pop-up, display or interaction you are looking for. There’s an ideal product for every need and budget.

For example, a company that manufactures tires may want a custom mailer that is round or rotates to drive focus to the product. A provider of medical or technical services may want a FlipBook with the page space needed to present all of their information in a more engaging way. A trade-show invitation StandOut will be displayed, generating additional interest and possible attendees beyond the initial recipient.

What results can I expect to see?

Immediately, the go-to answer is higher response rates for the active promotion. How much higher? Traditionally, dimensional mailers can perform 4-5% better than their flat counterparts. That’s an additional 40-50 responses for every 1000 cards sent.

But in the long run, brand exposure is what turns a company into a household name. Don’t be surprised if on a future visit to a vendor, your 3D mailer is still hanging around on display. We commonly receive feedback of leads and sales coming from dimensional cards years after they were sent, and in fact, it’s something that frequently happens to us! This is a long term benefit that flat mailers simply do not provide.

At 3D, we pride ourselves in helping companies of all sizes market more effectively. To get started on your own 3D mail campaign, contact us today:

3D Paper Graphics – Dimensional mailers and marketing products.
3D Paper Greetings – Event invitations, business cards and holiday cards.

Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn

Ever wondered what goes into creating a pop-up book?

This video courtesy of Smithsonian Libraries takes you through the process with two of the best in the business: Author / Artist Chuck Fischer and Paper Engineer Bruce Foster, who were featured as part of the 2010-2011 Fold, Pull, Pop & Turn Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

This fascinating and informative video walks you through it from start to finish, and provides a great snapshot of the production process here at 3D Paper Greetings. We use the same methods shown in the video for our projects; specifically the creation of die-lines and prepress layouts (or “nesting sheets”), hand assembling comps and working with remote production plants to manufacture large quantities to be distributed worldwide.

Take a few minutes to enjoy this video, and you’ll have a new appreciation for what we and all other paper engineers do!

Fun Logo Quiz & the Importance of Branding

Here at 3D Paper Greetings, we appreciate the power of good branding.

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As an artist, you know you’ve succeeded if the consumer can recognize your company just from its logo. Taking it to the next level, some huge companies (like Apple, Nike, Target, etc.) have become so prevalent that many people can remember and draw their logos from scratch!

That’s the ultimate goal of branding and art direction – you want the consumer to be so familiar with your company that they can recall your brand simply from hearing or reading your name.

In honor of the power and importance of branding, we are sharing this fun link from Time.com where you can take a short quiz to measure how well you know your brands. Enjoy!

Logo Quiz

Throwback Thursday – How You Used to Order

We recently unearthed a stack of our “vintage” order forms, so we’re taking a look back at how business used to be done, and how it all got started…

2007 – 3D Paper Graphics was a young company, and the 3D Paper Greetings brand name hadn’t been introduced yet. The ShowStopper™ Globe was available to purchase by mail, phone or fax! Some of our customers may even remember these old order sheets. Check out those logos:

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Now which card design was right for you? There were a whopping seven Standard Globe choices that year, and only two Logo Globes to choose from. That pretty much wrapped up the line of holiday cards:

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Time to get personal. There were more front oval options available than there were products. Entering a custom greeting or an envelope return address took some work. Nothing brings out the joys of the holidays more than feeling like you’re taking a standardized test:

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That was it – and believe it or not it worked. Today we’re proud of how far 3D Paper Graphics and 3D Paper Greetings have come in both our designs and our order entry methods. We thank those of you who have been with us along the way.

Creative Pop-Ups Spark Audience Interaction

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The Fortune Cookie mailer by 3D Paper Graphics is a fun and creative direct mail piece designed to engage your audience with its interactive qualities. We’ve put together a short list of ideas on how to use a pop-up mailer in one of your marketing campaigns.

An interactive event invitation:

Let’s say you’re planning a company event or fundraiser and you decide to hold a drawing at the end of the night. You want to achieve as much participation as possible, so you announce the drawing in the invitation. Add dimension: Use variable data printing on the card and the pop-up cookie. Guests drop their cookie into a container as they enter. When it’s time to draw, you announce the numbers or code on the cookie, and your guests match it to their cards.

Your invitation acts as more than just a clever raffle ticket. It drives participation in the drawing because it’s highly engaging.

A trade show giveaway:

Have an upcoming trade-show appearance? You need to provide visitors with a takeaway item so they will remember you. A pop-up like the Fortune Cookie is versatile because it has multiple components. Your visitors take with them an interactive piece to be opened at a later time. Add dimension: Turn your giveaway into a contest entry. Provide a small number of cookies with a fortune containing a congratulatory message and information on how the recipient can receive a free consultation. On the rest, provide a URL and information on how they can follow-up about your products or services.

The interactive nature of your giveaway inspires and encourages recipients to take the first step and contact you after the event.

A building block for a new campaign:

Not sure where to start with a new campaign? You need marketing materials that stand out. When you find them, how do you make the information they contain just as creative? Add dimension: Starting with a unique idea like the Fortune Cookie is inspiring. List your services or benefits in the style of a menu to guide users through what you have to offer. Include an encouraging message on the fortune that ties in with your marketing goals.

The result is a cohesive piece of marketing collateral that’s ready to help launch any new campaign, by becoming a creative jumping-off point.

For more ideas on how to use the Fortune Cookie, request a free estimate.

USPS OIG – Innovative Mail Options

The USPS Office of Inspector General released a white paper on innovative mail options.
We think you’ll find some of those options quite, dimensional.

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Have you heard of the phrase “email overload?” Just think about the last time you went to your inbox and re-opened something more than one day old… It’s cheap, it’s common, but email marketing has zero staying power. Once your message’s five minutes of fame are up, that’s it.

That’s why marketing professionals still turn to direct mail. All things tactile are regaining an advantage in a world full of delete buttons. The question is, how do your mailings avoid the physical equivalent (the recycling bin)?

According to the USPS OIG, “these innovations can help bolster the strength of a message… by using unique materials and designs to capture and hold attention.”

That’s the goal, “capture and hold attention.” First off thanks to the USPS for giving a nod to the best way to do that, innovative mailers. Now let’s talk about how they do it.

Both email and direct mail encounter the same basic problems, quantity and similarity. What stands out gets opened! So any dimensional mail that captures attention is already off to a better start. The real wins happen when you secure all the attention and don’t break the bank doing it.

Enter the existing pop-up for your large volume campaign, the custom engineered box for the high end donors or big players, and everything in between. All are designed to mail flat, many using standard postage rates. Your recipient just opens, enjoys and shares – no apps or technology needed.

An effective dimensional mailer is a campaign in itself, and it needs all the same considerations. After all you don’t want to design it, stick in in an envelope and have it get tossed away with the credit card offers and insurance quotes. By turning to a 3D expert, you ensure your investment generates and keeps the attention you deserve.

Check out all the details from the USPS OIG white paper: https://www.uspsoig.gov/story/white-papers/mail-innovations

Read more on our dimensional advantages in the PDF guide: https://www.uspsoig.gov/sites/default/files/document-library-files/2014/rarc-wp-14-013.pdf#page=19

Don’t think you’re cut out for 3D?

Unsure about 3D? Check out our newest features and services designed to make ordering easier.

Dimensional greeting cards are amazing products. Designing them for you is an amazing service that we include with every order. It’s what allows us the opportunity to create with ad agencies and big brands, small businesses and everyone in between.

So let’s begin with the basics, the Standard Globe. With new designs every year, it’s our most popular product. Personalization is included to make ordering your cards easy and enjoyable, and we’ve updated our website to preview your choices in a brand new way.

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Now, about the intimidating options… Selecting “Custom Greeting” is not just for those with a full time art staff. Our design team is eager to help with everything from using a particular font for your brand, to setting up a logo on the hang tag or insert card.

We also offer downloadable templates for all of our standard product options including ovals, tags and cards. They are compatible with all versions of the Creative Suite, and you don’t have to be a dimensional expert to follow them. We’ll even give each one a review to ensure everything will look and function properly.

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Right now, we’re also offering an extra incentive on standard products. Use the promo code 3DWEB10 at 3DPaperGreetings.com through Oct. 1st, 2014 to save you 10% on any order.

Stay tuned for part 2. We’ll feature our lines of custom products and demonstrate how easy it is to get into the globe.

The Flight of 300 Paper Doves

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Each year, an enormous yet delicate mobile is assembled by St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, Connecticut. The Pentecost Dove Mobile, designed by the late Roger H. James, “fills the chancel, rotates with the breeze, and symbolizes the Holy Spirit.” In a yearly tradition that began almost 15 years ago, parishioners gather to fold, thread and hang each of the 300-350 paper doves that adorn the mobile.

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The mobile’s designer, Roger H. James, was an engineer at Pratt and Whitney with masters degrees in mechanical engineering and computer science. He was a member of St. John’s for over 15 years and a very talented person who enjoyed organ repair, sailing and sailboat repair and Change Ringing of handbells. Today, Roger’s original sketches and engineering drawings are kept by his wife Darlene and two sons, who are also engineers. The drawings remain a symbol of the expertise and craftsmanship that went into creating the mobile.

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The design is rooted in balance. For the 300 dove version, a main support bar divides the mobile into two sections. Each section is then divided again three more times. This grid allows for 32 corners where strings of 4-5 doves can be hung using thread. Additional strings of doves are also added at the centers of the smaller bars to bring the total number to between 300 and 350. When the mobile is raised, it moves and spins slowly with the natural airflow to provide an amazing scene where the doves take flight on their own.

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The families of St. John’s continue to provide a new collection of doves each spring. The doves are hand folded using detailed instructions that are distributed with the paper squares weeks before construction. On the evening of the raising, everyone gathers with their doves to thread them together and suspend them from the frame. The mobile is raised for Pentecost (roughly 5 weeks after Easter) and remains airborne through Labor Day.

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Above, Roger’s granddaughter Katherine (shown top-right) contributes to the mobile. Roger (shown bottom-right overseeing dove assembly) also designed a larger mobile for Trinity Episcopal Church in Hartford, Connecticut in 2002. The large mobile (shown left) contained 500 paper doves, which when flying in formation actually numbered enough to set off the fire alarm within the church. Since his death, his plans have been shared with Episcopal churches in both Connecticut and Virginia, and the mobiles continue as great legacy which brings people together for creativity, community and worship.

How to Choose the Right Holiday Card?

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There are plenty of daunting tasks in life. Selecting your company’s holiday cards does not need to be one of them. We know making this decision can be nerve-wracking, especially if your clients look forward to collecting your cards each year. To help you get started we’ve put together a few quick tips.

1. Start with the right product – All good holiday cards are display worthy. You want your clients to leave them up for their associates, vendors and customers to see. You should also consider how your audience will interact with your cards. Will they be displayed in offices on desks, in workshops or other environments? Will they be within reach for interaction or up high on a shelf? Understanding this will help ensure you pick a product type that is right for the environment, and will maximize the recognition of your brand’s holiday salutations.

2. Select the right art and design – Who knows what is trending this year? Do you even want to be trendy or will something else set you apart? We all know what a wall full of holiday cards looks like and it’s easy for the formality of sending and receiving greetings to overshadow the messages. You can select something “safe” or “generic,” but if a religious theme or a funny Santa on vacation is more your company’s style, go for it. You want the card to be about who you are as a company.

3. Personalize your cards – When it comes time to personalize your cards or design custom ones, there are a lot of options. Some of the best cards incorporate an important element of the company’s year. Did you move to a new building or launch a new product? Did you get a new logo or rebrand? Do you have a great staff who just loves posing for pictures? If not, then you may want a classical scene or elegant design to accompany your logo.

4. Keep logistics in mind – We’re not just talking shipping and in-time delivery here. It’s common to incorporate signatures from leaders or teams along with holiday wishes. However, signing and packing several hundred greetings can be a problem. Consider incorporating the signatures into your design for a personalized card that’s easy to produce. That way you can still use fulfillment and mailing services which can be a real time saver.

Remember, there isn’t a wrong way to go about card selection. As long as your end product represents who you are, your customers will recognize you when they receive your cards.