Posts in category New & Noteworthy

New Launch Lab Officially Opens in Dallas Office

LL_RibbonCutting

Staff members gathered for a Ribbon Cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 18 to officially open the doors to the new space. The work stations and meeting rooms came to life immediately as some employees moved into the space that day.

Create. Connect. Captivate. Those are the pillars of the new Launch Lab collaborative workspace that officially opened for business in Balfour’s Dallas publishing plant in November.

The Launch Lab, an open office environment, includes teams of digital, e-commerce, IT, marketing, product and creative services working under the same roof supporting all areas of the business. The Launch Lab will be active in supporting each and every product launch and lifecycle, from yearbooks to championship rings and new product development.

It’s named Launch Lab for a reason. When you think about a launch – there’s energy, there’s many moving parts working together, a significant amount of planning involved, there’s excitement, and the trajectory is upward, fast and forward. That’s the vision for the Launch Lab.

The naming of the different rooms was a project of its own. Avoiding corporate cliches and buzzwords as best we could, names like Pixel, Hashtag and Connect were selected for small huddle rooms. Larger meeting rooms sport names like Sandbox, Wonderwall, Captivate, Inspire and Amplify.

As schools tour our Dallas plant, they’ll be able to take a look at the new workspace and see some of our behind-the-scenes departments that play a huge part in yearbook production, namely our IT teams.

 LL3

The open space towards the back will be used for monthly company meetings to promote new product launches and celebrate employee accomplishments.

LL4

Once full, the Launch Lab will house more than 85 employees.

Make them LOOK! Customized banners lend a professional touch

Moorhead JH Yearbook Banners

Balfour’s  SayIt! Custom Signage lets you and your staff put your  “mark” on yearbook marketing. With the design portal, you can order custom posters, banners, postcards, window clings and more. Use the tools we provide to design your marketing pieces or upload your finished masterpieces to the portal.

Matt Tullos of Moorhead Junior High in Conroe, Texas ordered two coordinating X-stand banners to help his staff promote their pricing structure and give buyers 10 reasons why they should purchase a yearbook. They debuted the banners at open house to help drive pre-sales as well as sell past yearbooks. The result? Success.

“Having professional signage has taken our public image to a whole new level,” Tullos said. “These days paying such a high price for a student-centered and student-created book is a stretch for some kids and their parents. The level of professionalism by which we present ourselves can speak volumes to a wary buyer.”

Prices of the custom items range from $24 for a back of 50 postcards to $100 for an 8′ outdoor banner.

“Having quality visuals at our booth has really helped lend much-needed credibility to our brand,” Tullos said.

To order your custom marketing materials, log onto StudioBalfour and click Sales and Orders>SayIt! Custom Signage.

Fun with Fonts

Sept27_fonts

One of the best ways to illustrate a yearbook’s theme is through the font choices. Whether you’re going for a fun, flirty look or an elegant, classic feel, the typography can emphasize, clarify and support the theme. Consider these suggestions as you narrow your font choices:

  • Select a font that has a large family with plenty of weights – Choosing a font family with lots of brothers, sisters and cousins (i.e. thin, book, medium, medium italic, etc.) allows you to have versatility, but the consistency of the same typeface. Use a book or regular weight for body copy, but consider using an italic, medium or condensed version for secondary coverage type. Mixing light and bold weights are a great way to add contrast in headlines.
  • Establish a type hierarchy and stick to it – Once you choose a size and leading for body copy and secondary coverage, keep to those sizes throughout the book for consistency.
  • Not sure what sizes to use? Try 9 to 10 pt for body copy, 7 to 9 pt for secondary coverage, 16-24 pt for secondary headlines and 48 pt and higher for headlines. Before submitting spreads, we recommend printing pages at 100 percent and comparing to the previous yearbook and other books to verify the size is big enough for readability, but not too large to distract from the other elements on the page.
  • Consider adding an accent font – A fun, decorative or bold font can reflect the personality of the theme and accentuate the tone in a fabulous way. Just remember, it’s an accent for a reason. A little goes a long way.

Did you know? With a new year, we’re excited to provide a host of new typography choices. New font posters will arrive in a few weeks, but in the meantime, here’s the full list of our new fonts and smart combinations.

You could win $500 in our photo contest!

blogheader2

Balfour’s Great Shot Photo Contest has begun! And this time the assignment is Emotion.

No matter where you are in the production process, photo skills need to continue to be improved and reinforced. For interesting photo opportunities, school events provide the actions and reactions of students and staff.

If you are looking for ways to showcase, reinforce and reward photo skills, enter Balfour’s Great Shot Photo Contest. Deadline to enter is April 22.

Read More »

Enter to win in the Great Shot Photo Contest

March_22_Customer CC_Image-v1

What separates a snapshot from a really great image? The story it captures. It’s without question: The more emotion a photo conveys, the bigger the story it has to tell. Whether it’s enthusiasm or exasperation, surprise or sorrow, passion or pain – it is an attention-getter.

Share your visual stories.  Read More »