Learn about new hot topics in printing, cost saving tips and special features that are sure to enhance your next project.


How to Cut Mailing Costs

Posted by: Mark Keefe Date Posted: 4/30/12

Reducing excess shipping costs is just one way to make sure you get more bang for your buck. But how? Read on for our essential Blend tips for making the most of your next mailing!

First up? Plan ahead and avoid express shipping costs. Thanks to faster print turnaround times, with enough forward thinking, we can have your mailing printed and delivered to the Post Office with plenty of time for regular mailing. Then, it’s time to clean up your mailing list. In house, constantly proof read and update your mailing list to make sure you’re not mailing products to duplicate addresses or even sending items to misspelled, false or typo-filled addresses. One way you can do this is by checking your files against the National Change of Address file that’s available from the USPS.

Alternatively, why not invest in a specially bought list and leave all the hard work to the experts? Targeted mailings that feature the addresses of analyzed prospects are a great investment, not to mention much more likely to yield good results. Need pointing in the right direction? Here at Blend, we can help you source the perfect list for your direct mailing.

And finally, size matters. So, to make sure your delivery conforms to all the USPS mailing standards, keep your piece at letter size. Or, think about design, ditch the unessential packaging and consider a unique and eye-catching postcard design that doesn’t just look standout stylish in any stack of mail, but also doesn’t cost a fortune to mail. Thanks to our state-of-the-art printers, we can make sure any postcard design looks fun, fresh and imaginative. For more tips and plenty of targeted advice, just give us call and we can help you cut costs without cutting corners.

Recycled Paper

Posted by: Mark Keefe Date Posted: 5/14/12

When Blend first started thinking about sustainability and paper choices, there were no recycled papers on the market with post-consumer waste nor could you find paper certified as coming from sustainable sources. Dioxin was the primary method of bleaching papers and it was polluting our nation’s waterways.

Today there is a dizzying array of choices of paper made to minimize our impact on the environment. In fact, there are now so many choices that it is hard to know what to use. The truth is that there is no one “right” solution. At Blend, we are here to help you navigate through the various environmental characteristics of different papers available.

When talking recycled paper, there are two main types of recycled paper content to consider: Pre-Consumer Waste and Post-Consumer Waste. Pre-Consumer Waste comes from the paper and print manufacturing process. Post-Consumer waste comes from your home or work. Historically we have always reused the waste from the paper making process so the most meaningful recycling is when we capture the waste coming from the consumer. Initially recycled papers had between 10 and 30% post consumer waste content. As manufacturers learn more about making paper from recycled fiber that number is moving up, which means even greater benefits for our environment and an even wider selection of papers to perfectly complete your project.


What's Wind Power?

Posted by: Mark Keefe Date Posted: 4/30/12

Reducing excess shipping costs is just one way to make sure you get more bang for your buck. But how? Read on for our essential Blend tips for making the most of your next mailing!

In the late 1970’s a revolution in energy usage began to take hold across the Golden State. Concerned by the oil crises that had restricted oil availability, Californians began to take advantage of the sun’s power and started to install solar panels. Four decades later, the quest for efficient renewable resources continues, but with one more addition: Wind power. Clean, efficient, sustainable and able to produce energy at about five cents per kilowatt-hour, here at Blend, we’ve been long-term supporters of wind power. But, how does wind energy work? And how are we able to play our part in offsetting our San Diego energy usage without installing any wind turbines on our building? Read on.

When it comes to windmills, we’re all familiar with the basic concept. However, harnessing the power of the wind to create enough power to rival other more traditional power sources is a high-tech endeavor which involves large wind farms filled with strategically placed wind turbines. Simple in design, yet conceived for maximum efficiency, each turbine features a large aircraft-like propeller blade that turns in the wind to create kinetic energy and power an electric generator. But that’s not all; utility-scale wind farms are only placed where wind speeds reach an average annual wind speed of 13 miles per hour. As a result, most of California’s wind farms are located in Altamont Pass near San Francisco, in Tehachapi near Bakersfield and in San Gorgonio, close to Palm Springs.

And, this is where we come in by buying the valuable Renewable Energy Certificates that support the use of wind turbines to create power. The basic breakdown? One Renewable Energy Credit (REC) represents the green attributes of 1,000 kWh of renewable energy, one very important way to help clear tons of carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and nitrous oxide from entering the atmosphere, and, one incredibly valuable way to keep your print job green.

What's so great about digital printing?

Posted by: Mark Keefe Date Posted: 5/14/12

Reducing excess shipping costs is just one way to make sure you get more bang for your buck. But how? Read on for our essential Blend tips for making the most of your next mailing!

Digital printing is a great way to keep your printing cost-effective, eco-friendly and lighting fast! Still not convinced?

Digital printing lowers waste by reducing setup materials. Traditionally, the setup of an offset printing press would require 5-10% waste of paper just to get the colors registered (lined up) and up to acceptable densities to produce accurate color representation. This is due to the high speeds of the offset printing process. But, with the new on-demand digital presses, the first print out of the machine is an accurate representation of the entire print run.

Primarily a toner-based technology, digital printing uses oils or waxes to seal the ink to the paper. This technology doesn’t require chemicals as traditional lithography does. Some toner manufacturers even boast that their inks are edible. This digital process results in less chemicals used for printing and less pollutants or hazardous waste as a byproduct.

Not every digital printing press is of the same quality. Older digital presses or printers may not have the quality you are looking for. Newer digital presses may be designed for specific types of applications and may not be the most cost-effective machine for your project. At Blend, we take pride in using only state-of-the-art equipment and help guide you through the process of selecting the right printing method for your project. If you need help deciding what's best for you and your project, feel free to ask us for a variety of printing samples to visually see the quality digital printing can offer.