Consolidated Press – Seattle’s Printer

For over 80 years, Consolidated Press has been a part of Seattle’s thriving and vibrant evolution. When our doors first opened in 1934 near the famous Pike Place Market, no one could have imagined that our city would be the center of technology, innovation, retail, and tourism that it is today. Fast forward many decades and one big move down to Sodo, Consolidated Press brings print and mail projects to life for many of the companies that have helped drive Seattle’s success and bring new people to the region to live, work, and play. Here are some of the Seattle-based projects that help tell the story of our great city. 

travel magazineDestination guidebooks 

No destination is complete without a guidebook. Whether sending these out to prospective visitors or handing them to customers who have just arrived, tour books and guidebooks are a great way to welcome new business and help retain customer loyalty. These are often kept for the duration of a trip or stay and taken home and shared with others. 

Gameday books and fan guides 

Our location in Sodo makes us a little partial to our neighbors in the Stadium District and beyond. Whether you root for the Seahawks, Mariners, Huskies, Sounders, or our new NHL expansion team, the Kraken, fans love to take home a piece of the action. Gameday books, fan guides, commemorative player rosters and more are all a part of the ultimate fan experience.  

Direct Mail to Reach Your Community 

Seattle is known for its many distinct neighborhoods, each with its own unique style and flavor. Community events and festivals are the glue that keeps our city together. Seattle Farmers Markets serve the city population providing food access and promoting Washington State farmers. Communities participate in the National Night Out with neighborhood block parties and other relationship-building events. Rack cards or direct mail are great ways to reach residential-based lists to spread the word about events and other important initiatives in your area.  

Pass booklets 

Amongst Seattle’s many attractions are its wineries and breweries. Woodinville, the popular wine region about 45 minutes outside the city, is home to more than 100 wineries. Locals and visitors pick up pass booklets to take advantage of discounts and find information along our many wine and beer trails throughout the region.  

Consolidated Press is proud to be a part of Seattle’s rich heritage and looks forward to growing along with its strong future. We are honored to serve our many local companies and organizations with effective solutions in print — direct mail, brochures, catalogs,  booklets, and more to help them stay on time and on budget. Let us know how we can help with your next project. 

 

 

Sales

Direct Mail and Catalogs Give You a Purchasing Advantage

In this most digital of the digital ages, a catalog that shows up in your customer’s mailbox still delivers. While so many aspects of people’s lives moved online – from Zoom meetings to telehealth doctor appointments – putting a printed piece into consumers’ hands remains a reliable way to build brand loyalty and drive sales. 

Eyes on the Prize 

Consumers spend more time with direct mail pieces than online ads or email marketing. On average, advertising mail is part of a household for 17 days. Up to 90% of mail gets opened, as opposed to only 20-30% of emails. Every generation reports being a fan of physical mail: looking forward to receiving it, taking the time to read through it, and preferring to engage with it instead of marketing emails.  

The tangible nature of direct mail evokes positive feelings in recipients, creating memories and connections. Catalogs, in particular, are accessible in many settings and at almost any time, allowing consumers to browse and shop at their convenience. The way catalogs enable companies to incorporate content, telling a story while featuring products, has a lot of appeal for consumers. 

Most companies use a multi-page marketing publication to introduce consumers to new products and feature a select number of items rather than everything “on the shelves.” In addition, when catalogs and brochures are used to present seasonal offerings, customers look forward to what is next from the company. 

Options to Shop 

The high visibility format of a print catalog invites people to browse while also giving them various ways to make a purchase. These page-turning engagements have proven over and over again to drive sales. Catalogs are most successful when used as a launching pad to omnichannel marketing. They inspire people to use their phones to purchase more than social media ads do.  

  • 72% of people surveyed said catalogs make them more interested in a retailer’s product 
  • 84% have made a purchase after seeing an item in a catalog 
  • 60% of catalog recipients visit the website associated with the catalog they receive 
  • Direct mail recipients spent 28% more money online or in-store than people who didn’t receive direct mail 

Combining catalogs with direct mail postcards is another way to boost browsing and shopping engagement. A postcard with a promotion reminds customers that they were interested in an item, and now they can save by using a special offer.  

Easy-to-track results 

Deliverables such as ROI and attribution are easy to track by using catalogs as well. Leveraging industry databases allows companies to segment customers by buyer behavior, product or service niche, and vertical, getting the right product details into the buyer’s hands. Catalogs can be tracked by mail date, customer codes, and source codes to accurately attribute sales. Companies can also use information from digital apps to track how specific catalogs are performing.   

Supporting Sustainability 

Before decrying the potential environmental impact of printing catalogs, know that the print and paper industries have a long history of developing and employing many eco-friendly practices. Sustainable systems are much more in demand now. Vegetable- and soy-based ink long ago replaced petroleum-based ink; vegetable-based inks release only 2-4% volatile organic compounds (VOCs), compared to the 100% of solvent-based inks. Energy sourcing and usage, responsible forestry and paper supply chain certifications and recycling programs all come together to reinforce the positive footprint printed materials bring to the marketing arena.  

Ask about our commitment at Consolidated Press toward sustainability, waste reduction, carbon emission reduction, and other steps in place to protect the environment. Working with a knowledgeable printer will give your catalog a look and feel that your customers will respond to while meeting your company’s eco-friendly goals.  

 

 

Paper Demand Creates A Need to Strategize

Paper and packaging manufacturing are feeling the squeeze as demand for printed goods continues to outpace the supply of paper. It’s a sign that industries are recovering from the pandemic, but what does it mean for consumers? Consolidated Press is ahead of the curve with a healthy supply of materials in stock, and we want to share just a few tips and tricks that will come in handy for our clients who purchase printed goods. Our goal is to help you save time, money and more than a few headaches in the future.  

Plan Ahead 

Preschedule the print jobs you know are on the horizon, particularly as we enter the crucial holiday catalog season. If you can provide your print service provider with estimates of the number of projects, materials needed, and page counts, they can, in turn, place supply orders now for paper goods to have in stock at a later date.  

What’s Happening 

There are critical shortages in the supply chain required for the manufacturing of paper. International imports of paper are at a lower volume than normal forcing domestic mills to try to pick up the slack. COVID-19 protocols and short-staffing are also causing slowdowns in production cycles and port operations across the globe. This perfect storm of circumstances leaves inventory low for many paper suppliers. It also means that paper prices are increasing.  

How We Can Help 

We constantly manage our customer expectations and make every effort to not disappoint anyone or delay work unnecessarily because of supply shortages.  

  • Work with your sales rep to identify projects well in advance 
  • Be creative about the size, shape, or type of paper you’re using for your printed piece to help with both supply and costs 
  • Consolidate projects into one print run to save time, money and paper 
  • Target or segment your audience for greater impact at a reduced volume 
  • Look at other printing options like roll-to-sheet versus sheetfed 

The road to economic recovery will have a few speed bumps along the way, but we’ll get through this together. Ultimately, the temporary supply shortages are a sign that more and more companies are investing in the future of commerce, and that’s a win for all of us. Know that we have your back and, when in doubt, pick up the phone to discuss your options for print success with Consolidated Press 

 

 

direct mail

Direct Mail is Worth a Thousand Words

According to a study of commercial printing trends, direct mail campaigns are on an upward swing. It’s expected that almost 72% of corporations will use direct mail, including catalogs, postcards, brochures, and books. Well-executed direct mail campaigns have a higher response rate than digital tactics, and direct mail reaches audiences that online campaigns don’t 

An outstanding metric to note is that companies of all ages – even new companies founded in the digital age – use direct mail. Companies 10 and 20 years old are leveraging direct mail at rates of 14.5% and 15.8%, respectively. Google, Amazon, Door Dash, and industry leaders in real estate, health care, leisure and travel are all using direct mail marketing to reach consumers.   

direct mail

Sending a postcard as a direct mail marketing piece is a quick and versatile way to get consumers’ attention. Using eye-catching graphics, an attention-grabbing headline, and quality card stock gives a postcard heft and authority. A brochure mailer has the advantage of giving consumers more information than a postcard, while still providing contact information and calls-to-action. Staying in front of your customers with relevant, targeted messages and offers can help keep your business front of mind.

One cost-effective method to reach customers is with self-mailers. A quick way to get your offers or branded materials into the mailstream is by creating a self-mailable piece or publication that can be inkjet addressed inline as it is printed—no inserting into envelopes or additional assembly work. The printed piece catches the eye as soon as it lands in the mailbox.  

More Direct Than Email 

  • Consumers like getting mail, and they especially seem to like postcards and catalogs.  
  • Because of their tangibility, direct mail pieces last longer than emails.  
  • Direct mail postcards are perfect for coupons. Putting a coupon on a postcard makes it easy to hold on to, and easy to use. 
  • Direct mail is also perfect for images. On a postcard, a powerful image paired with short, concise copy tells the receiver everything they need to know at a glance. With brochures and catalogs, companies have the opportunity to tell a longer story, and still emphasize image and copy elements. 
  • Response rates to digital interactive elements, also called digital calls to action, have doubled in the past four years. These callouts include social media channels, QR codes, and prompts to visit a website. 
  • Postcards and brochures are versatile. These types of direct mail come in a variety of sizes and card stocks, with specialty coatings and graphic elements that can make an immediate impact. 

Consolidated Press is your printing partner for direct mail. Contact us to talk about specialty printing, unique sizes and special mailing rates. 

 

Quality Assurance

International Standards for Print Quality Give Sensitive and High Profile Pieces the Attention They Deserve

Quality assurance provides peace of mind for our clients, especially those in critical industries like medical and pharmaceutical.

Consolidated Press offers Quality Assurance on each and every one of our projects. We pull pages from every run, and examine them for defects, splotches, wrinkles and more. Those pulled pages are set aside and stored for three months. Quality Assurance, or QA, focuses on sampling in process and final production to identify, isolate and report defects.

Quality Control, or QC, prevents defects in the first place. Using quality attribute based checklists, in process inspections are performed to identify and correct defects throughout the production process. QC is a proactive quality system element. Both the QA and QC elements of CP’s quality system are ISO 9001 based, with focus on actively developing and improving processes with a focus on eliminating defect root causes.

Consolidated Press has applied international standards of quality assurance to the printing industry to ensure our most sensitive clients and high profile pieces are consistently printed with the highest quality every time. This is how we do it:


CP
hired an experienced and highly qualified Quality Assurance Specialist. Our QA specialist, Heidi, has been in the print industry for 32 years. She knows the print process thoroughly, and is devoted to building and controlling processes to prevent mistakes and defects at every step.

SOPs STOP problems before they start. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been written for all departments within CP, from estimating to billing. As these documents are created or updated, affected employees are trained. The quality assurance specialist maintains training records and assures that all documents are readily available for employee access and use.

Documentation is king. Documents that are necessary to assure the quality and consistency of CP products and services are maintained electronically and stored on the CP network. Documents are assigned a control/revision number and entered into a document log maintained by Heidi. As documents are updated, the control/revision number is refreshed and affected employees are trained on the new/revised document.

Each individual job is assigned a quality process level. CP developed print grade guidelines to establish acceptance criteria for products printed by CP and for material provided by subcontractors. Print grade 1 guidelines are used for the medical and pharmaceutical industries, annual reports and high-end marketing collateral. Print grade 2 guidelines are used for direct mail pieces, magazines and directories.

Grade 1 jobs get extra attention. Print grade 1 jobs go through an additional quality step and are tagged to receive formal sampling by the quality assurance specialist. The pulls taken from each operator are examined, defects are identified, with inspection results recorded/charted. Charting the defects is used to identify trends and to pinpoint opportunities for improvement.

ISO based quality assurance is a rare find in the printing industry but customers find it here every day.

At Consolidated Press, we help the pieces fall into place.