Category Archives for Printing

Agency Resources


Let Proforma GIS manage your marketing

What are you looking for in a advertising agency? Do you want that firm to have cachet with dozens of people to work on your projects? Does using an agency make the outcome look like you wanted? Let’s talk about retainers. What are the reasons for retaining an agency? One reason for using retainers is access, with the monthly billing you are setting aside time for that agency to work for you. If you’re marketing goals are not clearly defined and set in stone that billing could be going to projects that are not on track. Maybe there is a better way to get agency services without retainers and high overhead. Proforma GIS has the in house agency services.

Hire Proforma GIS

Proforma GIS is an independent marketing resource. Agencies have a lot of resources on staff and need to pay for all of the overhead. Proforma’s in house agency works on a different paradigm. Our Virginia based studio has account managers, designers and developers that handle the day to day production. Where Proforma keeps the overhead down is our extensive resources of freelance designers and developers our supplier partners that support the production side of delivering the tangible commercial printing, promotional products and digital media.

Hire staff for Agency work
Can you also do this advertising agency work in house? Yes, depending on the amount of work and what your brand’s story is and what are the deliverables to engage your audience. The process of managing multiple suppliers, diverse products and tight deadlines make having a partner that can carry the load might make sense. Look to Proforma GIS to partner with you and your in house staff to build the most cost effective team.

Proforma GIS advertising agency video

Marketing Resources


Proforma Marketing Resources

Some business owners think that marketing is expensive and that it is just not needed. At the point when the steady flow of business dries up is not the time to start marketing. Start with a plan to market your business that includes steps that need to happen to get your business in front of the people that buy what you sell. Once that plan is finalized a schedule of implementation is set up. The actions are delegated to people or vendors to act or deliver the collateral. Proforma GIS can help your business at any stage of this process.

Here are some thoughts on how Proforma GIS can help drive business:

Is part of your plan to help sales get in front of new prospects? How will that happen? How will they contact the prospect? Do you need a promotional product to warm up the phone call that tells a story of how your business could help?

Are your plans next year to go to one trade show per quarter? What are your goals for that trade show? How are you going to stand out? What is going to drive attendees to your booth? How will you follow up? What does your booth look like? Do you have a printed brochure with a call to action? Are you going to give out promotional products to folks that stop by the booth? Or will you send them a direct mail piece to drive them to receive a special promotional product?

Do you have these or a big marketing project to accomplish quickly? Is your team already tasked to other projects? There are a lot of steps and a lot of decision points to consider; Proforma GIS can help. We have the resources that will bring an entire project together. Marketing Strategy, Graphic Design, Print, Direct Mail, Promotional Products, Trade Show Booths, Video and Digital Media all under one roof. Proforma has an infinite amount of resources. Proforma GIS will manage all to the steps along the way so you only need one contact and that means your brand will stay consistent.

Take a moment watch this video to see how Proforma GIS will be your partner and resource for your next marketing project or check out our website here: Your Marketing Partner Proforma GIS

Let Proforma GIS Enhance Your Branding


Proforma GIS Branding

Proforma GIS is a leader in the printing, promotional products and packaging industries with a creative edge to add impact and value to your brand. As your agency without the agency fees, we provide the most innovative and cutting edge product and service solutions. We partner with our clients to develop marketing campaigns and print collateral including branded direct marketing, awareness programs and integrated marketing solutions. Most recently, Proforma worked with a large financial agency to create a multi-faceted print campaign to invite customers to inquire about available services that weren’t being utilized. The organization needed a fresh new look for all their printed products and wanted Proforma to oversee everything from the concept branding and design to the final product.
The client decided they wanted to send customers an innovative direct marketing piece. Their overall concept was Ideas in your Head and wanted to increase awareness of their financial planning services. Proforma suggested using Proview see-through postcards. On the postcard was an X-ray of a skull with a note card pinned to the head saying, “{Your financial plan}… Is it just in your head?” The postcard also informed bank customers that an invitation to a small group session would arrive shortly, where they could enjoy food and beverages while learning how to update and improve their financial planning.

Additionally, Proforma provided branded Brown Kraft envelopes to hold the postcard. Each envelope was stamped in big red and yellow letters with the words, “X-Ray Film Please Do Not Bend.” To complement the project, Proforma supplied branded brain-shaped stress relievers bearing the slogan, “Is it just in your head?” to be given to customers who attended the small group sessions onsite.

The client loved everything about the campaign, from the intriguing mailing envelopes to the ‘brainy’ stress balls. The campaign was a hit with clients, too. With the success of this project, Proforma continues to work regularly with the financial agency on all their marketing and branding campaigns.

Shop online for Branded products here

Quality of design – radar of good design

Today when people are bombarded with multiple messages all day via email, internet, TV, Radio, TV and streaming content, design of your logo is highly important. Prospects and customers make a quick judgment of the quality of your product and service based on many factors. One is logo design and how it make them feel. Look at Apple, the logo is iconic but very simple. It can be duplicated in one color and on many types of surfaces. Logo design is very important to gaining trust of new customers and relating to them what your product is.

The Richmond Trails Foundation logo designed by Darrin Higgins for Storefront’s Design Session services. The Richmond Trails Foundation a nonprofit wanted a simple look, one color that speaks to trails and nature. It is one color so it can be reproduced on many surfaces at low cost and has a “logo bug” component that will help with branding promotional items and signs.


One thing to be careful of is using too many colors. Sierra Nevada Brewing can get away with it on their labels and some promotional items. The logo stands out and is very well designed. But you must budget for the additional printing cost that comes with a complex logo.


The Peterson Nutrition screams of low budget. It is very busy and the figure is not compelling. The same with Pro-Tec Steel, it needs some work.


Businesses that have logos designed more than 20 years ago should look at an update. Since the internet is a great place to showcase your business you need to have first and lasting impression. Proforma works with clients to design logos for print, promotional products and websites. The process takes you through your objectives how you will be using the logo and how many colors. We will supply several iterations to choose from and set up a stationary package of Letterhead, business cards and envelopes. We work with the client to select paper and ink colors. Keep in mind a startup business needs a great identity to get early name and brand recognition.

Email Marketing – patients and consistency


Spam is one word that comes to my mind when I think of Email Marketing. Yes, a lot of emails get sent and go to the junk mail folder and never get read. That is why the message is extremely important. There are many places you can reach your prospects and customers to speak to them about your products and services and email is just one tool. Email marketing is a tool that needs patients and consistency. It is not a rabbit race that wins the email race it is the slow patient tortoise. The first most important is build a list of emails that is your target audience. One way is purchase a list. I don’t recommend that unless you are targeting a narrow audience like bicycle racers. There are plenty of people who are just into bicycles and a target list of enthusiast will give you results. The best way is through prospecting and the hard work of finding and culling the list to your product.
The next step is to use some type of email marketing software. There are several SaaS programs that will work and are very cost effective. I have used Constant Contact and Mailchimp. Both are easy and will work for 90% of the marketing campaigns business currently use.
The most important part of an email marketing campaign is the message and email content. I recommend at least once a month email to a list offers and ideas that would be of value to your customers and prospects. Professional photographs and videos are the visuals that will make the email look professional and not be judged as spam. Proforma GIS can work with customers to craft a campaign and message to drive email opening and send customers to a landing page where a direct call to action is presented to the prospect.
Starting an email campaign is not hard it will just take time and consistency. The best place to start is a list of topics that your customers feel your business brings value to them. Map out the dates and titles. Start writing content of one paragraph with keywords and value statements. Collect the assets of photos and videos, layout the emails and test.

Company stores

proforma ecommerce

Promotional product e-store.

What is a promotional products company store? It is an online store where an organization can list the preprinted promotional products for sale and distribution to outlining offices. Why would a business want to set up a company store program? There are several reasons. One is that promotional products are not being properly utilized by the sales staff. The items could be hard to get out to each team member or cutbacks have restricted the process of getting them to the key users. Promotional products are one of the best tools a sales force can use to gain and maintain business. This value added sales approach will open doors to new clients and give thanks to the steady clients. The online order entry takes the administrative task of taking orders, maintaining inventory and shipping. It gives access to the sales staff and their ability to make independent decisions about their customers and sales needs. Also it has an cost accountability trail and budget management.

To set up a company store can be simple. The first step is to identify the budget and promotional product needs. Are promotional products being used properly? Does the sales force understand how to leverage the promotions? Are your brand standards clear? Is your logo design a foundation of your mission and can it be reproduced on all types of mediums. i.e. Embroidery and one color screen printed garments in a cost effective way? The company store site could be a simple ecommerce platform or a vender like Proforma has a robust system with site and warehouse and distribution services.

Items like sales brochures trade show booths can be set up on a company store site. The management of those items might be for use of the trade show both and banners an email is sent to marketing and it is ship from the home office.

The best way to analyze if your business needs a company store is to map out the products that would be stored the usage and how many locations would be requesting these items. Also the costs you currently pay for your marketing collateral, like commercially printed brochures, signs, banners and all the printed promotional items. Catalog them with purchase history and that is your base data for the store. Set up goals and look at your brand will this program add value to growing sales?

What I do


I have been at implementing print, promotional and marketing of all types for clients for the last 20 years. I found a few things out over time. First cheap is relative. Low cost is real. Fast can happen.