Avoid Prepress Woes – 3 Tips to Speed Up Your Order


If you’re about ready to send us artwork for your postcard magnet order, you may want to check out this brief post on common mistakes before you do. Fixing any of these issues will help save hours or days on your order’s production time.

These three simple tips should help you save time and avoid unnecessary delays and frustrations.

1. Fonts to Outlines

By far the most common and easily avoided mistake we encounter are fonts that haven’t been converted to outlines. Our prepress system doesn’t use fonts at all.  So if the fonts in your file haven’t been converted to outlines, things will come to a stop. Here’s a handy tutorial on how to convert fonts to outlines in Adobe Illustrator.

2. Spacing / Reserved area

As a reminder, magnets must be positioned at least 1/2″ away from any edges on the postcard, and from the area reserved for addressing. The addressing section needs to be a blank white rectangle that’s at least 2.625″ high X 4″ across. The indicia and return address needs to be above this rectangle.  The indicia needs to occupy its own clear space that’s at least 1/2″ x 1/2″.

We have templates available for many of our products that contain an exact breakdown of ideal dimensions and spacing requirements. They’re available to download on this page.

3. 300 DPI

High-resolution photographs make a world of difference. Not only will they help you capture the attention of your recipients, but they’re also vital on a technical level when it comes to printing. The higher resolution an image has, the crisper and cleaner it will be once it’s printed. Now depending on where you place the image in your layout, and its size and complexity, it is occasionally possible for us to work with images that are slightly lower than 300 dpi. But when you have images that are 100 dpi or below, things are going to look blurry and bad. There’s really no way around it.

If you find yourself having trouble locating high resolution photographs, just let us know — we’re more than happy to help you secure great stock photos at an affordable price.



We hope you find these three tips and guidelines useful, as we’re always striving to make our process as easy and hassle-free as possible. If you have any tips of your own, or if there’s any problems you experience that you’d like us to tackle in a future blog post, please let us know in the comments below.

5 Things We Need To Design Your Next Postcard Magnet


Whether you plan on designing your postcard, or if you want us to develop artwork for you, here are the 5 key ingredients you’ll need to get started:

1. High-quality photos.


People process images instantly, which is invaluable when you have just seconds to get someone’s attention. If you’re a pizza place, you should have a picture of your mouthwatering food. If you’re a plumber, show off your clean trucks and smiling crew. Just make sure any photos you use are high resolution (at least 300 dpi), so they print well.

 2. A Call-to-Action.


You need a direct and concise call-to-action to ensure your recipients engage with your offer. It can be as simple as Call Today for an Estimate or Donate Now. Time sensitive offers and deadlines work.

 3. Contact Info.


This may seem obvious, but make sure your viewer can contact you! It can be anything from a phone number to an e-mail address or a website – ideally all of them, if they’re applicable. If you’re a brick-and-mortar location it’s a good idea to have your address or even a small map to show your whereabouts.

 4. List of Services.


It’s important the recipient knows what it is you can do. Whether you’re a law firm or a medical clinic, if you offer more than one service, be sure to provide a list. You don’t need to get too detailed, either. Bullet points and brief lists work best.

5. Logo, Colors, Motifs.


Your company has a visual brand, whether you realize it or not. If we’re developing your layout, refer us to your  logo, website, and any other promotional items you’ve distributed in the past. Ideally, you want all of these things to feel harmonious and unified, including your new postcard magnets. When developing your image layout it’s good to include elements you’re using elsewhere such as similar colors, typefaces, and imagery.


There. Five pain-free, no-nonsense tips on creating effective postcard magnets. Do you think we missed anything important? What do you look for first when you receive promotional mail? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Finally, if you’re interested in having one of our talented graphic designers create a postcard for you using these principles, please contact us today at 1-800-233-6690 or by e-mail at will@magnetbymail.com – we’d love to help.

5 Tips & Tricks for Adding Text To Images


The point of marketing is to deliver a message. And if you have a message, it’s very likely you’re going to have text – make sure your audience can read it!

One of the most common marketing mistakes we see is copy that’s hard to read because of the background it’s on. Most people instinctively know that dark text is easier to read on light areas…


…And light text is easier to read on dark areas.



Unfortunately, it usually isn’t that simple. Often times you’ll find yourself working with a complex image that has many colors and areas that are both light and dark. That’s when things get interesting. As you can see below, you have your work cut out for you.


But have no fear, we’ve put together a mini crash-course with 5 easy tips that’ll make your words impossible to miss.

Continue reading below for all the useful info.

Continue reading

10 Best Free Stock Photo Sites You Never Knew About


When it comes to design, great stock photos make a huge difference. Unfortunately, great stock photos usually come with a huge price tag as well.

But guess what? Today’s your lucky day. We’ve scoured the internet and found 10 incredible treasure troves of free high quality stock images. They’re yours for the taking, and they won’t cost you a dime. Just be sure to check the fine print, because every site is a little different and some may require attribution depending on how you use them.


1. Unsplash

Why it rocks:

Unsplash adds 10 new images every 10 days, and while the subject matter varies, one thing’s always the same – they’re absolutely stunning. The best part is you can use the images however you want. There’s zero restrictions.



2. Stock Vault

Why it rocks:

Stock Vault has all sorts of images and design elements, including textures and backgrounds. What’s cool about Stock Vault is you can see their most popular and most downloaded items. It’s a great way to put your finger on the pulse of the design community.



Continue reading

5 Tips to Get Your Magnet on Their Fridge


By now I’m sure you’ve realized how awesome postcard magnet mailers are. They’re powerful promotional pieces with proven staying power, and the key to their effectiveness is their exposure rate. Once your potential client or customer makes the decision to use your magnet, they’ll be seeing your message often.  But how do you get them to make that initial leap? How do you get them to stick your magnet on a frequently visited sweet spot, such as the refrigerator or a filing cabinet?

Don’t worry. We have 5 helpful tips:

 What would YOU want on your fridge?

1. Be beautiful

I’m sure this one might seem obvious, but no one wants to put something ugly up on their fridge. If your magnet is poorly designed, cluttered, or if it features unpleasant imagery…guess what? It’s probably not going up. A well-designed magnet makes all the difference. Sometimes it helps to think of your magnet as art instead of advertising. What would YOU want on your fridge?

2. Be useful

If your magnet has information your customer perceives as valuable, they’ll want to keep it around. For example, magnets are a great option for Urgent Care offices because when a medical issue occurs, the last thing someone wants to do is extensive research. Likewise, if someone is getting ready to move, they’ll probably keep a moving company’s magnet around. A calendar of upcoming events is another great way to add some extra staying power to your magnet. People always appreciate convenient reminders.

3. Be relevant

Many people have a product that every household can use, but sometimes you’re selling something to a specific clientele. The beauty of mailing lists is that they can be incredibly focused. If you’re a moving company, you can get a list of people who have recently placed their home on the market. If you’re selling high end yachts, you can get a list of higher-income individuals. The possibilities are endless. The important thing is you’re getting your magnet into the hands of people who, well, could use what’s on your magnet.

4. Peel don’t seal

We’ve found the most successful magnet mailers are the ones that employ easy peel-off glue instead of plastic shrink wrap. Why? Well, for two very important reasons. First of all, in the past we’ve seen situations where the plastic shrink wrap fuses with the postcard, and when the recipient tries to remove it, it damages the magnet. Secondly, if the entire postcard is sealed in plastic, the recipient may not even realize there’s a magnet attached. Removing the plastic wrap is another step in the process, and the recipient might be inclined to just toss it in the wastebasket rather than deal with it. At magnetbyMail, we exclusively produce postcards with easy peel-off magnets for these reasons.

5. Size matters

Fridges and filing cabinets have limited real estate. You need to justify your magnet’s size. If you have a lot of important information you feel your customer needs to have access to at all times, such as a calendar of events or a big reminder of a specific date, a larger magnet makes sense. If all you need your customer to remember is your name and contact information, a business card sized magnet could be the more sensible approach.


And those are the 5 secret ingredients to great magnet mailers. Do you have any of your own tips? Or questions? Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Visual Hierarchy Lesson 4: Whip Your Designs Into Shape


In our fourth and final look at the visual hierarchy of design, we’ll be examining shape. Shape is a relatively intuitive concept because our minds are already trained to break things down to their most basic forms. Many of us grew up playing with blocks and other geometric toys, and we see shapes every day – from octagonal road signs, to square windows and doors. It’s this deeply ingrained familiarity that makes shape such a powerful component of design.

I’ve already discussed some of these concepts in the alignment section, but it’s worth repeating:

Diagonals tend to create a sense of movement and activity.


…As do curvy unpredictable lines.


Continue reading

Visual Hierarchy Lesson 3: Here’s Some Straight Talk About Alignment


We’ve been talking about the visual hierarchy of design, and so far we’ve covered size and color. This week we’ll be looking at alignment. Alignment is essentially a method of arranging text or shapes in such a way that they’re aesthetically pleasing while also being easy to understand from an organizational standpoint. Imagine ten people standing in line. If someone stepped to the side, you’d notice them right away. The same rule applies to paragraphs. So far you’ve read several lines of text. If all of a sudden a line of text was centered…

You’d notice that line. It stands out.

That’s because humans like structure and stability, and almost everything in our daily lives reflects this. Our square houses are filled with box-like rooms. Our streets are made up of grids. Our newspapers are compromised of countless columns. We like square and rectangular shapes because they’re predictable and easy to understand. Straight lines tend to feel at rest, while squiggles and curves feel like they’re in motion. Continue reading

Visual Hierarchy Lesson 1: Why Does Size Matter?


The key to successful marketing is successful communication. Of course, the words and images you choose are important, but did you know how you display them is just as vital?

In a series of blog posts I’ll be exploring a concept known as the visual hierarchy. Simply put, it’s how we make people see what we want them to see, and in the order we want them to see it in. And we do this by understanding and applying the four main components: size, color, alignment, and shape.

it’s how we make people see what we want them to see, and in the order we want them to see it in.

Today we’ll be talking about size, the most frequently utilized and easiest to understand principle. Headlines in newspapers are a prime example. They’re big and designed to grab your attention. Think about the countless advertisements you’ve seen where FREE is the largest text on the page. There’s a reason for that… they know you’re going to see it, and with any luck, respond.

Continue reading

Embracing Weird: Advertising’s Shift To The Odd And Unusual


There’s a reason Super Bowl commercials are funny, and there’s a reason they cost millions of dollars: Witty works. Humor had long been an effective tool in an advertiser’s arsenal, and no matter how daring or risqué an ad was, it always had a concrete connection to the product or brand. The punchline was tied to the messaging. Now? Now things are starting to change.

If you’ve been watching television, reading magazines, or surfing the web, you may have noticed a trend – advertising is getting a little weird.

Old Spice ad

Okay, scratch that. Advertising is getting very weird.  But why?

Well first of all, advertisers are becoming aware of the power of social media and sharing. Viral is their new favorite word. And for good reason: a well-executed campaign can yield millions of impressions, now and for years to come, and at no additional cost.

However, execution is tricky because consumers are not easily tricked. They’re bombarded by advertising more than ever, and as a result they’ve developed natural defenses. They’re tuning out, changing channels, and filtering e-mails. If it smells like a pitch or looks like a promotion, their eyes glaze over and they look the other way.

It’s these factors that have created the perfect storm for the odd and unusual. Marketers are minimizing the what, as in what they’re selling, in favor of maximizing the what? As in what the heck was that, I have to show my friends. It’s hard to ignore the people that are important to us, which is precisely why advertisers are so keen on using them.


Burger King - The King

Remember The King? The creepy Burger King mascot that tormented us from 2004-2011? He was arguably the start of all this madness. And while creeping out your hungry customers hardly seems like the best idea, here’s the thing… it worked. People were talking about him, people dressed up like him for Halloween, The Simpsons spoofed him, and most importantly – Burger King profited.

He didn’t look like a fast-food ad. He wasn’t the perfect mouthwatering burger being grilled in slow motion, he wasn’t a waterfall of cola cascading over idyllic ice cubes, he wasn’t the imagery pretty much every other fast-food joint was using. He wasn’t a coupon or an offer. He was just…weird. The perfect thing for people to talk about around the water cooler without feeling like corporate shills. He was so intentionally disconnected from the product and typical messaging that Burger King was able to penetrate the average consumers’ defenses.

The creepy king was a carefully crafted promotional Trojan Horse.

And there’s countless examples of this strategy. Geico television commercials frequently feature short nonsensical skits that have next to nothing to do with their actual product. A pig at a football stadium? Really? GoDaddy has also switched from sexy and provocative to surreal and head scratching.

Geico Pig

Best of all, this approach isn’t limited to video. Print ads can be just as odd. The key is to be memorable, and to have your brand somewhere on the page or the screen so they’ll always associate your brand with that memory.  That’s it.


So as you develop your marketing strategy, consider doing something a little out there. No risk, no reward, right?


I’ll leave you with one of the strangest and most unnerving commercials I’ve ever seen. An advertisement for Totino’s Pizza Rolls that’s nearing 1,000,000 views. From mere word of mouth.

Do I want Totino’s after seeing that? I’m… I’m not sure. Am I ever going to forget the name?

Not a chance.