American Heart Association – Client Spotlight

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The American Heart Association (AHA), founded in 1924, is the nation’s oldest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.  With more than 22.5 million volunteers!  With this support network they have fund research, fight for public health policies and provide tools critical to saving lives.

PromoSpark has the privilege to work closely with the American Heart Association, providing custom apparel for the Red Out program. Red Out, like many of the AHA programs, focuses on cardiovascular disease awareness.  This program is unique among the other programs though, because it specifically targets school-age kids.  Schools can design their own Red Out program with students, faculty and staff, as well as the community.  This allows for a lot of freedom – and we’ve seen schools host athletic events, assemblies, and even events honoring survivors – the possibilities are endless!

PromoSpark has provided custom printed T-shirts, other apparel and promotional products to the Red Out program all across the country.

We designed a custom website so the American Heart Association staff could easily place orders any time of the day.  We warehouse printed shirts to accommodate the quick turnaround needs of the program.  PromoSpark is in a prime shipping location delivering to most of the country within 1-3 transit days!

We asked Susan Leonard, Director of the Youth Markets Customer Service Center, about her experience working with PromoSpark and the Red Out program.  “From help with design, shirt selection and actual ordering going on over a period of 6 months, we have been extremely pleased with PromoSpark.  We would certainly recommend PromoSpark to anyone looking for promotional products and great customer service!” We love hearing that Susan, and look forward to working with the AHA for years to come!

For more information on the American Heart Association, click here!

Author: Sarah Ellis

Sarah is a strong and hardworking sales manager, and the best vice president PromoSpark could ask for.  She never gives less than 110% on anything, and makes an impression everywhere she goes.

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What is Vector Art?

What is Vector Art?


Vector art is created using specific software programs, such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw. These programs use geometric points, lines, and shapes to create art that is clean, camera ready, and can be scaled infinitely, without any loss of quality. A Bitmap logo or JPEG/PNG is made of pixels, which becomes very blurry and distorted as you enlarge the image.

In the demonstration below, we designed our logo using both formats and then zoomed in.

comparison of the same image done as vector vs bitmap

In the Bitmap art, the edges of the art become distorted when the picture is enlarged.

With art such as sponsor logos, we will need Vector art to achieve the proper print for your shirts.

How can you tell if your art is Vector Art? One good indicator is the file type. Vector artworks are usually created in Adobe Illustrator, and are commonly saved as specific file types. The four most common Vector file extensions are .ai, .pdf, .eps and .svg.

Unfortunately, just because a file is saved in one of these formats, does not mean that it is vector art. Sometimes, people open and re-save the file in a Vector format, without recreating the art using the vector editing tools. Only art originally created in a vector-editing program, such as Adobe Illustrator, is truly Vector Art.

Without a copy of a vector-editing program, you can’t truly verify if an image is or isn’t Vector Art. PromoSpark understands this limitation, so we provide this service, free of charge.

Author: Amy Wiehaus

Amy is a creative and good-hearted graphic design artist with big ideas and dreams.  You can bet that anything she gives her best is going to blow you away.

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Alzheimer’s Association – Community Spotlight

 

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On December 19, 2016 PromoSpark adopted a 4lb, 18 inch baby boy named Johnston.

It may seem odd for a company to “adopt” a baby – but let us explain, and you may find you want to adopt one too!

This baby is a therapy doll to an Alzheimer’s patient at Arden Courts of Winter Sprints in Winter Springs, Florida.  There has been a lot of research on the benefits of therapy dolls for Alzheimer’s patients, and studies have found that patients in the middle and later stages of Alzheimer’s find therapy dolls comforting.

People with Alzheimer’s disease tend to forget the most recent memories first.  So, having a doll often helps them find comfort in the memories they still have, like raising a child.  The doll provides sensory stimulation and can help improve behavior by reducing aggression and agitation.   As humans, we want to show affection, give love and receive love; therapy dolls provide Alzheimer’s patients a safe way to do that.

When asked about the dolls, Mindy Ross, an advocate for Alzheimer’s Awareness commented “I have seen firsthand how having a therapy doll can truly make a difference to those suffering from this dreaded disease.”

PromoSpark is honored to help provide a therapy doll for Arden Courts, and will continue to provide branded apparel and promotional products for events that support the Alzheimer’s community.

If you’re interested in supporting this incredible cause, we encourage you to visit the Alzheimer’s Association website.

 

Author: Sarah Johnston

Sarah is a hardworking business owner with big dreams and a bigger heart.  As a mom, wife and business woman – she understands that nothing in life worth doing is easy.

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7 Musts For Your Weekly To-Do List

Welcome to 2017!  Because 44% o resolutions involve organization and self-improvement, January is “Get Organized Month”.  Follow these easy tips to manage and achieve your weekly to-do list!

1) Remember To Keep it simple

Keep your list short and simple – you don’t need to write out every step for achieving your goals or make a list with 45 items on it.  Keep your list limited to 3 items per day or less.

2) Give Yourself an Easy “In”

Start your day by checking something off your to-do list is.  Make the first item on your list something you can accomplish first thing in the morning, and let that lend momentum to the rest of your day.

3) Plan Ahead

Always prepare your to-do list in advance.  Set aside 1-2 hours for “planning” every week and make this time a priority.  Play nice music and plan the week out with a calm and relaxed mind.

4) break big projects down

Avoid adding tasks to your to-do list that cannot be completed in the time allotted. A common goal is to reorganize the house, but this isn’t realistic for a single day.  Add a smaller goal, such as “Declutter Closet”.  Once that is complete, add the next small task.  You can accomplish daunting projects much more easily if you take one step at a time.

5) Resolve to make it happen

It’s very easy to let life get in the way – you will get sick or other priorities will come up.  Resolve to make time for the items on your list, and to make them a reality.  Don’t let “I don’t have enough time” ever be an excuse for you.

6) Learn from your mistakes

When life does get in the way, learn from it.  Instead of feeling ashamed for not completing your to-do list, look at it objectively – what can you do to ensure accomplishment next time?  What are ways you can restructure your day before it’s too late?

7) Celebrate when you succeed

People are VERY quick to feel like they have failed by missing a day, but when was the last time you patted yourself on the back for NOT missing a day?  It goes both ways!  Let this motivate you moving forward.

Author: Amber Steward


Products to keep you on track!

5 Tips for Keeping your New Year’s Resolutions

According to Statistic Brain, only 8% of people successfully achieve their New Year’s resolutions.  In fact, less than 50% of people even maintain their resolution past six months.  We want to help you beat the odds in 2017, so here are a few tips to help you!

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1. Write it down & keep it around

Your goals should be in writing, and placed where you will see it each day, reminding you of your goal.  Even further, make sure that you write down something POSITIVE.  A goal is a place you’re going – something you’re working to achieve and it’s a good thing!

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2. Make S.M.A.R.T. resolutions

S.M.A.R.T. is a classic system used for setting goals, and is probably one you’ve heard of before.

  • Specific: If your goal is vague, “I want to lose weight”, you haven’t really set a goal.  How much do you want to lose?  Do you want to lose on the scale, or a percentage of fat?  Be specific.
  • Measurable: It’s important that you set your goal that can be measured.  If we continue with the weight loss example –decide to lose 40 pounds of overall body weight.
  • Attainable: Your goals need to be possible.  It’s not realistic to lose 40 pounds in a month.  Set real, healthy and safe goals that are realistic and manageable.  They don’t have to be easy, but they shouldn’t be impossible.
  • Relevant: Think what you want for yourself and your future, and why you want it.  This will help you set goals you care about, and the more you care, the more likely you are to keep trying.
  • Time-Bound: You need a deadline.  If your New Year’s resolution is to lose 40 pounds in a year, then you know your deadline is December 31st of 2017.  Make sure you set multiple checkup deadlines, like 10 pounds every 3 months.

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3. Don’t stop, even if you fail

Slip ups are normal and they WILL happen.  If you become discouraged the moment something goes wrong, you’re never going to succeed.  Don’t have an “all or nothing” mentality either; just because you had one glass of wine doesn’t mean you should drink the whole bottle. Accept that you will slip up, and that things will not go your way 100% of the time.

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4. Hold yourself accountable

Share your goals with your family, friends, and co-workers.  Post your progress on social media, take photos when you meet a deadline and keep the fact that you’re working toward something in the forefront of your mind.  Get a buddy, and hold each other accountable and motivate one another.

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5. Take it seriously & schedule it in

It’s too easy to say “I don’t have time to do this today”.  Schedule time for the things you will need to do to achieve the goals you set for yourself.  Keep a calendar on your phone, set up reminders, and go through the motions to schedule in the things you need just like any other important events you have.

Author: Amber Steward


Products to help keep you organized!

5 Safety Tips for Holiday Travels

The holidays are closing in, and everyone is traveling.  We wanted to help you prepare with these quick safety tips.  Whether you are flying or driving, these are for you!

1. Keep Your Phone Close

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Your phone is used in case of an emergency.  However, it’s also your news source, camera, and web browser.  Keep your phone close, and bring along chargers so you can keep it charged.

BONUS TIP: Check out these great FREE apps for your travels:

  1. Uber – call for a ride when you are left carless
  2. TripCase – keep flight itineraries, alerts and plans organized
  3. Google Maps or Waze – get directions and traffic alerts anywhere

2. Make sure someone knows your itinerary/schedule

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Keep someone in the loop.

If you are flying, let them know your airline and any layovers you may have.  If you are driving, let them know the route you expect to take and the stops you intend to make along the way.

BONUS TIP: 9-1-1 doesn’t work everywhere – before you leave, find the local emergency numbers you may need, and save them in your phone.

3. Less is more

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Try and keep it to 1 large bag and 1 small bag.  If you are traveling in a group, combine suitcases as much as possible.

You are always less of a target if you have less to hold.

BONUS TIP: Wrap fragile items in clothing.  Limit yourself to 2 electronic devices so it is easier to keep them charged and you have less to keep track of during the trip.

4. Be careful with your money

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Purses attract unwanted attention, so avoid carrying them.  Try a travel bag or backpack instead.

Keep a small amount of cash on hand.  If you carry a wallet, get a chain or strap to connect it directly to your pants so it can’t be snatched or dropped.

BONUS TIP: Notify your bank and credit card companies that you are traveling to avoid frozen accounts.  Keep copies/scans of your cards and IDs (front and back) in your phone in case of theft.

5. Plan ahead

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This has two great benefits – it makes traveling safer but it also reduces stress.

If you’re driving:

  • Keep an emergency safety kit in your car, and have your car checked out before you leave.
  • Keep a paper copy of the directions to your destination and a physical map in case your GPS fails.
  • Plot out hospitals, hotels and restaurants along your way, and plan your stops ahead of time.

If you’re flying:

  • Only carry one bag and keep your pockets empty if at all possible, to make security checks easier.
  • Arrive to your first flight early, and review your carry-on for regulated items before going through security.
  • Map out the airports you’ll be stopping at so you know where your gates and the restrooms are located.

BONUS TIP: Avoid bringing any liquids in your carry-on. Instead, bring an empty water bottle or tumbler and fill it once you’re past security.

Author: Amber Steward


Items you never want to travel without!

To place an order, email Hanna.Byrd@PromoSpark.com or call us at 1-800-319-3038!

PromoSpark Holiday Outreach

Tis the season to make a difference!  The holiday season is in full swing, and PromoSpark is working with the Butler County Board of Developmental Disabilities (BCBDD) again this year to help bring some holiday cheer to a local family in need.  We have partnered with BCBDD many times in recent years, and are proud to continue our annual participation in their holiday outreach program.

“I love working for a company that places such a high value on community service,” said Rebekah Law, the newest member of the PromoSpark team.

The whole team came together to make this effort possible.  “I was humbled to see the team come together so easily and effortlessly.  We were able to gather the funds to provide the family with monetary donations, coats and even something extra to make their holidays more festive,” one team member stated.

We, at PromoSpark, feel that giving back to our community is just as beneficial to us as it is to those we are endeavoring to help.  Community service is important to PromoSpark, and we are all honored to participate in such an important cause.

“It feels great participating in a program that will bring joy to a family in need during the holiday season,” commented PromoSpark Vice President, Sarah Ellis.

If you would like to learn more about BCBDD, what they do and the services they offer, please visit their website here.

Author: Amber Steward

Industry Info – Using Glow-in-the-Dark Ink

Whether it’s a bright, green cartoon on a child’s shirt or an eerie rock band’s brand on a hoodie, one of the coolest effects in screen printing is the use of glow-in-the-dark ink.

Let it Glow

Phosphorescent ink gets its luminosity from phosphors – a chemical that stores energy and radiates it out as a glow. Phosphors can be added to ink in a powder or you can buy ready-to-use glow-in-the-dark ink.

Printing Tips

  • Phosphorescent ink can be used on white and colored tees. If printing on a colored tee a white underbase will need to be used.
  • The more glow-in-the-dark powder used and the heavier the ink deposit, the longer the product will glow.
  • Most phosphorescent pigments will have a green glow, but some suggest adding fluorescent ink to change the hue. Glow-in-the-dark pigments can be produced in many colors. The human eye is however most sensitive to green light, meaning that green glow appears brighter and is generally favored by screen printers.

Author: Sara Linz

 

 

Sources:

http://www.screenprinting-aspa.com/screen-printer-tips–tricks/glow-in-the-dark-ink

http://www.physics.org/article-questions.asp?id=63

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Industry Info – What is a Half Tone?

A half tone is a printing technique where small dots of solid color are used to create a blending or gradient effect. We use half tones in our custom artwork to add dimension without adding cost.

For example, below is a screen printed t-shirt design for the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks.

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If you take a closer look, you can see that small dots of solid pink and solid blue overlap to create the illusion of a gradient of purple.

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This is an effective way to add depth, blending and shading onto a custom screen printed shirt design. To design your shirts online visit PromoSpark’s Design Studio.

Author: Sara Linz