BRANDGUIDE.PRO by AlphaGraphics West Valley helps companies manage brands across multiple communication channels. BRANDGUIDE.PRO builds industry leading XMPIE B2B ordering portals to help you manage everything from print to fully integrated multi-channel marketing automation. Explore the Industries menu to learn what others in your industry are doing to strengthen their brand. We also publish helpful articles about how to create and manage a wide range of graphic communications, from websites to vehicle wraps, data management to email newsletters and lots more. Get started simply by clicking the button below.

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When setting up #10 Envelopes for printing, our general rule of thumb is to put the logo 3/8" away from the left and top margin. The press needs a minimum of 5/16" for a gripper.

Eliminating the White Box Effect


By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-18

We often get files which, when printed with default settings, produce boxes behind some graphics. What's happening is that there are two elements with different color spaces that won't show differently on the screen but do output differently when printed.

The InDesign Secrets blog has an excellent article about how to deal with this issue:

http://indesignsecrets.com/eliminating-the-white-box-effect.php

Posted in: Adobe | 15 comments

Custom Restaurant Menu Design


By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-18
Custom Restaurant Menu Design

AlphaGraphics works with restaurant managers to create the perfect menu for you.

Designing a menu can be an intensively creative process on the part of the designer AND on you as our design team works closely with you to bring the vision you have for your restaurant to life.

We don't believe in taking a template approach to menu design. Your restaurant is unique and deserves a menu that brings your uniqueness to life.

We'll begin by having you provide as much detail about your ideas as possible. You'll also provide us with the text for your menu and any files you would like us to incorporate into the design. It's important to gather all of this information at the beginning so our designers have the best possible background and resources to work their magic for you.

Once we have everything, our entire design team will meet discuss and then we'll open a Restaurant Brand Guide Tracker for your project where you and our designers will exchange ideas and manage the proofing process as your menu takes shape.

After you love the final design, AlphaGraphics can produce your menu on a wide variety of materials, from basic 20lb to non-tearing paper, laminated and even substrates like PVC or heavy boards. Just ask about your options when you submit your design request.

If you have any questions call our sales team, or go to the Menu Submission Page if you're ready to get started.

Posted in: Services | 4 comments

Signage Winner!


By Bryan Baker, 2016-05-17
Signage Winner!

Congratulations to Mo' Bettah Hawaiian Style for winning our sign giveaway! 

Cool sign created right here at AlphaGraphics West Valley -- printed on our flatbed and cut on our Zund router.

Posted in: Signage | 0 comments
Optimizing Your WordPress Database – A Complete Guide

Kevin Muldoon of wpmudev.com has compiled an excellent article about many steps you can take to trim the fat off of your Wordpress installation. It entails getting rid of a lot of the data stored in your database which you probably don't need.

https://premium.wpmudev.org/blog/optimizing-your-wordpress-database-a-complete-guide/

Posted in: Wordpress | 1 comments

Using Facebook Notes to Increase Your Reach


By Bryan Baker, 2016-03-26
Using Facebook Notes to Increase Your Reach

nptechforgood.com published an article relating how using Facbook Notes can help you reach more people than timeline posts.

"In September 2015 Facebook resurrected the Notes app with a new design and still today Notes seem to get more exposure in the News Feed (though for how long, nobody knows). If you are like most nonprofits on Facebook and have experienced dramatic loss in reach and engagement over the last year, then experimenting with publishing Notes on Facebook to increase reach and engagement as an alternative to spending on adverting is worth a shot. On the Nonprofit Tech for Good Facebook Page Notes are currently receiving 3X the reach and engagement as photos and links. That said, here’s how to get started with Facebook No"

Read the full article at nptechforgood.com.

Posted in: Facebook | 12 comments

How to Install Wordpress Manually


By Bryan Baker, 2016-03-17
How to Install Wordpress Manually

We upgraded our Bluehost shared hosting server to a VPS (Virtual Private Server). Bluehost managed the switch with only a few issues for which they patiently found solutions.

Today we attempted our first Wordpress install on the new server and it takes us to the dreaded MOJO Marketplace; something Bluehost began using a couple years back, I believe. I've hated it from the beginning.

Well, this time, it's not working at all and a quick chat with Bluehost support tells me the Quick Installer is broken and there is no known time when it will be working. And they send me this link so I can manually install Wordpress.

I figured I might post here for everyone's benefit. The guide is made for hostgator (which is the same as Bluehost, mostly) but should work with slight differences for many cpanel hosting situations.

http://support.hostgator.com/articles/specialized-help/technical/wordpress/how-to-install-wordpress-manually

Of course it's many more steps than a quick install, but once you do it once or twice there's something to be said for doing it this way. For one thing, it helps you understand that Wordpress is using a certain database with certain credentials and your Wordpress directory is located in a certain place and you can change certain things about particular files to make Wordpress behave as it should.

These things are good to know if you're running a Wordpress website.

Posted in: Wordpress | 11 comments

No one wants their posters and other large graphic prints to have a case of the "jaggies". You know, when the edges of letters look jagged instead of crisp, or when photos look fuzzy and pixelated.

It's actually easy to see if a file is going to print clearly at a larger size.

Open the file in most any graphic program or Adobe Acrobat. Often it will open at a reduced size in order to fit fully within your screen viewing size.

At the reduced size it may look OK to print.

But what you should do is view at it at 100% of size you're going to print (most programs will allow you to zoom in and out). The image above is 50%, while the image below is 100%:

To be certain, there are other factors that determine accurate printing resolution, but in general, this simple test works in most instances. Viewing at the 1:1 size, you will have a good idea how your image is going to look when printed.

One final note. Most, if not all, large format inkjet printers have various quality settings. Your local shop may simply run everything at "production" quality which will probably cause things like gradients to print with what is called "banding" -- it looks like steps of color or bars. A quality conscious service provider will be sure to print at the proper quality for each print run, but it doesn't hurt to alert them beforehand.

How to Respond to Your Google Reviews


By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-21

Assuming you are probably always in Google Gmail, we'll start from there. First, click the Apps menu icon:

Click the "More" button and then click "My Business":

If you have more than one business you manage, you'll see this:

Click the menu icon on the right of the property you wish to manage and then click "Dashboard".

You will see a section with basic metrics for your Google Reviews. Click the "Manage reviews" button.

Next you'll see a list of all of your reviews and buttons that let you review and reply to each one.

Finally the fun part -- responding to all of your client's glowing reviews!

 

Posted in: Google | 4 comments

Workspace Branding


By Bryan Baker, 2016-01-21
Workspace Branding

What is Workspace Branding?


We believe the fastest way to impact not only the perception customers have of your business, but also the culture within your company is by changing your space. 

Your space may be many different things, but a great place to start is the physical space in your office, your lobby, your dinning area, your vehicle, your exterior signage, etc. Changing these things shouldn't be taken lightly because the space you create often, if not always, dramatically effects the success of your business.

Your space not only directly (and indirectly) effects your monetary bottom line, but it also plays very much into how your staff feel about the place they work. A professionally branded workspace can't help but give your employees added pride in the place they work.

And, of course, a well-branded workspace works wonders on the perception customers and potential customers have about your company. So much so that they value your business enough to pay extra for your services.

Don't Forget to Think Outside of the Box


Your workspace is more than the walls around you. It's also your vehicles, your website, even your business cards and stationery, your forms, your trade show displays and every single channel you use to communicate.

I've seen so many of our clients change their prospects for success by simply sitting down with our team and discussing their overall brand and how to make it communicate the message they want people to hear and then getting to work on building it together.

Often it takes an outside perspective to express your vision and know from experience how to convey that to the world. We know what's working every day for clients in your industry because we work with them every day and have the epxerience of over 30 years of what works as a foundation to help you build a solid, long-standing brand.

It All Starts Here


Your brand shouldn't be pieced together from online ordering websites who attempt to template you. You need to talk with a person working with a team of people who get where you're coming from and who are invested in taking you where you want to go.

We use the technology behind BRANDGUIDE.PRO to help you organize the development of your brand. To request new services and track our progress. To organize existing materials and keep your brand consistent across many departments. Behind it all is your rep who is supported by our business development, marketing, design and production teams. 

It's easy to get started. Just click the Contact menu and make contact with us.

You need this. Let's get to work today.

Posted in: Services | 2 comments
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