HR Graphics Uses DesignMerge

September 4, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General 

“DesignMerge is great software! We only use it for numbering and it’s worth every penny. It allows us to take on more work and not be afraid of meeting deadlines. It’s a must for any digital printing outfit. We can’t wait to explore what else it can do for us!”

HR Graphics

DesignMerge Customer Testimonial

August 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

“The DesignMerge Software has far exceeded our expectations, as well as expanded our capabilities in the realm of variable data production. The easy-to-navigate interface, combined with its robust functionality make it user-friendly and very much capable of processing practically all document types and layouts that contain multiple variable components.

We have used DesignMerge to create new templates for all of our outgoing mail applications. We also use it on a weekly basis for all of our internal correspondence to over 300,000 members and partners. DesignMerge, in my opinion, far surpasses all other software applications that offer similar functionality. I highly recommend DesignMerge for any and all companies that require variable data production.”

Aaron Price
Print Center Supervisor
World Changers Church International


Minuteman Press in Lebanon OH Uses DesignMerge to Grow Their Business

August 14, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge 

Minuteman Press in Lebanon Ohio has been a community fixture for over 30 years. They pride themselves on being a complete source for all their clients’ printing needs and have always been on the leading edge of technology. They understand that investing in technology can actually save client costs and improve efficiencies. The DesignMerge Variable Data Software helps them to do just that!

Following is a short interview with Matt McGrew, the Prepress/Graphic Designer at Minuteman discussing how the DesignMerge software has helped them to improve their bottom line by bringing more jobs in-house, and offering expanded design options to their clients.

What business challenges have you faced in the Variable Data Printing (VDP) market?

Some of the challenges we face in the VDP market are getting clients involved in the process of creating databases, seeing the value of personalized pieces and that VDP is not a difficult process and can have a positive effect on ROI.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

We chose DesignMerge because of the ease of integration into our workflow. We mainly use the Adobe Creative Suite and having a VDP product that works with InDesign makes for a comfortable and familiar learning process.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

DesignMerge has allowed us to bring many jobs in-house that we would have previously sent to a mail house. We have also found that printing variable data info directly on a piece saves time and lessens the amount of handwork. For instance we have some forms that would be printed, cut down, then taken to be numbered an our numbering machine. Now we just print the numbers as we print the form. As you know any way time can be saved helps

What types of jobs do you do with DesignMerge?

We do addressing of postcards, envelopes and other mail pieces, letters with as many as 25 different pieces of personalized info, numbering of forms and raffle tickets.

Do you see this aspect of your business growing in the near future?

We definitely see the growth potential of VDP. The personalization of printed materials, advertising, and the convenience of having a one-stop place for all of your direct marketing needs should only increase with many clients needing to be more conservative with their budgets.

To read this case study online and view a sample VDP job from Minuteman Press, please click here.

Graceland University Relies on DesignMerge to Target Student Recruitment and More!

June 12, 2013 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Graceland University is a private, liberal arts university with 2,300 students and 150 faculty members located on a residential campus in Lamoni, Iowa and an urban campus in Independence, Missouri. The sponsoring church is the Community of Christ, though Graceland celebrates its non-sectarian heritage dating back to 1895 when the university was founded. Students enjoy more than 50 academic majors and programs, a 15:1 student/faculty ratio and 19 varsity and 10 junior-varsity sports.

Following is an interview with Steve Edwards, Director of Creative Services at Graceland, discussing how DesignMerge has helped tto arget student recruitment efforts, while also providing for an increase in general marketing efforts to current students, their parents, alumni and more.

What VDP challenges have you faced in the Education market?

Our most significant business challenge was to cost effectively market to high school students interested in a liberal arts university for higher education. As with most colleges and universities, there is a lot of competition with student recruitment, and the process has become more competitive over the years as universities have implemented variable data technology to personalize their message and target interests directly to prospective students. While we recognized the need to implement variable data printing into our marketing campaigns, each time that we looked at doing variable postcards through an outside service, it was decided that the cost was just too high.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

Graceland was looking at doing variable data brochures and postcards. And at the same time we were also evaluating several new digital presses. We purchased a Canon C6000 and were thrilled that DesignMerge was part of the purchase! We were immediately pleased with the DesignMerge software.

How important do you feel it is to create personalized marketing materials for the purpose of student recruitment/retainment?

The studies all say that you get an increased rate of return when personalizing. I think it’s similar to when main-stream printing moved from black-and-white to all color. Personalization has become so widely adapted that I think it really stands out in a negative way when a piece, especially a postcard, doesn’t have it. It would be along the lines of not placing the recipients name on a letter.

What type of variables are considered in a recruitment piece?

We use VDP for addressing, personalizing names, event-based text (i.e. if a student hasn’t yet paid their deposit, we include a sentence encouraging them to do so), photos based on gender of recipient, entire pages based on academic and sport interest. The simple fact is, if we can imagine a way to segment a population by data, we can use VDP to reach them.

In what other ways have you utilized DesignMerge?

We use DesignMerge in our Annual Fund program (again, a postcard). The VDP on these range from a simple name and address to changing out the entire card face based on academic major or graduation date. We’ve also used it in our homecoming mailing packet, printing multiple letters, pre-filling registration forms with name and address information, and swapping out entire letters based on graduation year. Nametags for various events are extremely easy to produce with DesignMerge. And we’ve also seen an uptick in campus offices having us merge their letters since we can do it faster with DesignMerge than they can through MS Office.

What are the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

We’ve found that DesignMerge’s seamless integration with Adobe InDesign has allowed our creative department to generate complex database-driven publications without having a database reporting specialist. Furthermore, since implementing DesignMerge we’ve been able to greatly reduce our inventory, save money on our overall mailing costs and reduce the number of printed pieces we send out since those that we do send are much more targeted.

Jupiter Minuteman Press and DesignMerge Party Like Rock Stars!

June 7, 2011 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

Jupiter Minuteman Press is “the little print shop that could!” They are a small quick-print shop in southeast Florida, and have a wide spectrum of clients.  Their specialty is customer service.  By understanding their client’s job from start to finish, they help prevent their clients from having to do a job twice! Their motto is “Powerfully Positive Efficient Production”.  Following is a short interview with Barb Watson, owner of Jupiter Minuteman Press, discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges with a solution that has resulted in increased profits and an expanded customer base.

“We started using DesignMerge about three years ago for a specific job with a national financial institution.  The project was a double-sided, 8.5 x 11 letter with 26 fields of variable data for 300,000 of their clients.  We worked with a local mail house using text fields, bar codes, and numeric fields. This project came to us at a time when we were searching for a variable data printing solution and talking with several VDP companies about their products and services. Needless to say, we were very surprised with what we learned! One company allowed us to use their software for a three week trial, but refused technical support because we had not made a purchase yet. Guess why we chose not to purchase? Two other VDP companies never returned phone calls or email! So imagine how delighted we were with DesignMerge, a superior product and company that provided us with a Web Ex demo, free trial software and excellent technical guidance.  The choice was clear: DesignMerge was the perfect product, with outstanding technical support, to enable this “little print shop” to stay ahead of the big dog printers all around us!”

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

Our biggest challenge is pricing out our jobs.  Most of our clients are still trying to understand the value of variable data printing as it relates to their ROI.  This concept is a lot more sophisticated than just applying labels to a direct mail piece.  Much of our job is educating customers, showing them that their profit will increase with one-to-one personalized campaigns.  Additionally, DesignMerge enables us to seamlessly create superior design work that just a few years ago was unimaginable.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

We chose DesignMerge for two reasons.  First and foremost is their outstanding technical support and customer service.  DesignMerge technical support has returned my calls after hours simply because they knew we were working overtime to get jobs finished. If the solution isn’t readily available, their support team always gets back to us within 24 hours. The second reason is that DesignMerge is completely American-made and supported software product.  Every line of code was written in the USA. We know that when we have questions they’ll be answered, and we won’t be routed to another country or logged into a queue for a call back … maybe, whenever! We’re also confident in our investment with DesignMerge, that as our variable data business grows, DesignMerge will continue to meet our needs.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

Results with DesignMerge have been fantastic! We are now able to offer and do more for our clients with personalized design and marketing.  Recently, we printed name badges for a major baseball tournament for all players, their respective teams, their stats and coaches — adding a level of accountability and security to the event. This wasn’t even something we thought of during our variable data printing research!

Additionally, we’ve personalized many events by adding the year to the sequential numbering on raffle tickets. i.e. 2010-0001 through 2010-6000. We’ve personalized school events with name tags that include department and grade levels. Stadiums have contracted with us to create parking passes for press agents, sports players, managers and team executives. We even had the occasion to create press badges for a well known rock band this summer. With DesignMerge, we are all partying like rock stars!

Eastern Michigan University Teaches Variable Data Printing With DesignMerge!

May 24, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Eastern Michigan University is located in Southeast Michigan, approximately 30 miles west of Detroit.  The College of Technology offers a course in Digital Imaging and Reproduction which is part of the Communications Technology major.  Communications Technology is a multidisciplinary major that prepares students to eventually move into mid-management careers in technologies of the communications industry.  The class, CMT 207, implements aspects of digital printing and variable data in the print industry.

The 207 class was revised from the previous content based on film conversion and plate making to reflect new trends in the print industry.  This was a direct result of attending the Teachers Conference sponsored by GATF and PIA in conjunction with Graph Expo.  The future direction of the print industry was very clear based on the various presenters.  Given the increased interest towards digital it became clear that students needed practical experiences to meet the changing needs of potential employers.

Following is a short interview with Dave Gore, Program Coordinator, Communication Technology School of Technology Studies discussing how DesignMerge helped meet the needs of Eastern Michigan University’s leading edge print curriculum.

Why did you choose to teach DesignMerge as part of Eastern Michigan University’s Communications Technology major?

By virtue of being at Graph Expo it was possible to explore the many vendors’ solutions in variable data printing. After listening to salespeople and watching product demonstrations, DesignMerge variable data software seemed to have the best interface with Adobe InDesign and appeared to be more flexible than other variable data products.  It also seemed less dependent on the user having to be a database and XML expert.  This is a clear advantage allowing designers to design and still incorporating variable data without having to spend an excessive amount of time devoted to coding.  DesignMerge seemed to be the best fit especially for the education/teaching environment.

What was the ROI for teaching this class using DesignMerge?

The expectation of exposing students to VDP in this class is that they will be prepared to meet the needs of employers by having had hands-on lab experience with variable data software in their class projects.

The bottom line for us is that our students leave prepared and ready to compete for jobs.  From a fiscal perspective, the ROI was the best we could find by working with the salespeople at Meadows to purchase limited professional copies of DesignMerge supplemented with less costly lab seats for instruction.  This provided every student an opportunity to work with the program.  Since our mission is educational/instruction and we do not see a traditional profit based on our investment Meadows Publishing provided us a way to keep within the very limited budget of our university and still provide students with the best educational experience.

Morel Communications Workflow Enhanced With DesignMerge

May 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, General, Testimonial 

Morel Communications Inc. (formerly Witham and Dickey) is a one-stop shop for printing, headquartered in Portland, OR and servicing the greater Northwest.  They offer a full spectrum of services, reaching a very diverse market.  With roots in traditional offset printing, they have expanded their business into many profitable new market niches by incorporating variable data printing.  Their personalized promotional products range from pens, hats and coffee mugs to full apparel, with the Homestead Cards division offering popular Holiday Union specialty cards that can also be personalized.  And as a premier printer for political campaigns, they provide anything that may need printing, like the “Get The Message Out” Tees in a Jiffy!

Following is a short interview with Joe Lloyd, Prepress/IT Manager discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges with a solution that has resulted in increased profits and an expanded customer base.

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

Our main challenge, moving into the variable data market, was what to charge for this new service.  Realizing that we needed to analyze the market to understand its potential, we asked the questions, “How would our investment in the variable data market grow and expand our business?” “Would we see a profit while offering competitive prices for our client’s ability to personalize their direct mail campaigns and newsletters?” Well, we’ve answered these questions and have installed new equipment to better serve our customers with a HP Indigo 550 6-Color Press and DesignMerge variable data software.  Now we can dazzle our customers with personalized print on everything from books to mailers and anything in between!

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

We chose DesignMerge as our VDP solution because it’s a powerful and cost-effective implementation to a workflow we already had in place.  It’s a simple plug-in solution for InDesign that adds superior functionality without having to leave our composition software.  This smooth integration of DesignMerge into InDesign meant that our operators were up and running in virtually no time.  We also receive great support from the technical staff at Meadows Publishing Solutions anytime we have a question.

Furthermore, DesignMerge is very flexible, enabling us to create everything from quick turn-around jobs with a few lines of variable text, to very complex layouts that involve photos, map locations, and postal bar codes.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

Our ROI with DesignMerge has been phenomenal!  Not only from a profit standpoint but from a customer enrichment standpoint as well.  We are now able to show new and old customers alike, the benefits of variable data printing and personalized mailing campaigns. They in turn, can teach their marketing groups and buyers a new method for increasing sales and expanding business, resulting in a Win-Win situation all the way around.

DesignMerge Chosen To Produce Customer Rewards Program!

May 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

In the December 2010 issue of Digital Publishing Solutions magazine, DesignMerge was featured as the variable data printing solution chosen by Color Ink, Sussex, WI, to produce its customers’ rewards programs.  To read this article, Driving Growth With Digital Print, please click here …

Bulldog Marketing Technologies is Bullish on DesignMerge!

January 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Bulldog Marketing Technologies (BMT) is a data-driven marketing firm based in the Midwest. BMT’s broad client base includes some of the largest automotive dealer groups in the country, as well as over seventy-five car dealerships, and a national restaurant chain with over 150 franchises. Following is a short interview with Mike Staebell, Creative Director for Bulldog Marketing Technologies, discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges with a solution that has resulted in increased profits and expanding business opportunities.

Providing highly personalized communications is BMT’s top priority. Our automotive product line features a wide range of variable print formats including brochures, postcards, self-mailers, and letters. DesignMerge makes it easy to tailor these formats for the intended recipient, resulting in customized vehicle proposals and trade information, personalized quotes, and even service reminders. These highly personalized communications help to familiarize the customer with automotive options before they even visit the dealership; and result in higher retention rates and a faster, more efficient sales process for the dealer.

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

One of the biggest challenges we have faced is maintaining each client’s brand identity in a single print run. Many dealers and auto manufacturers require custom imagery and specific color usage in their marketing materials. DesignMerge allows us to create swatches, logos, and other imagery specific to a given client, and apply them using the DesignMerge rules palette. By avoiding “hard-coded” images and colors in our InDesign templates, we’re able to run a large number of records in a single print run, producing pieces for numerous manufacturers and dealerships while maintaining brand standards for each.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

Bulldog Marketing Technologies chose DesignMerge because it gives our creative department the ability to design attractive and effective print pieces that are personalized to each of our clients’ customers. It also allows us to generate print-ready PPML files that can be sent to many different printers nationwide. This saves us turn-around time, postage, and production costs, and gives us an opportunity to shop around for the best pricing in a given region. For in-house print jobs, we’ve found that DesignMerge cut/stack mode allows us to print address panels directly onto the postcards that we produce, saving us time, money and hassle.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

Since we began implementing DesignMerge, we’ve thrown out our postage ink jetter and have enjoyed faster production, lower costs, and most importantly, more effective marketing materials for our clients. We are very pleased with our decision to choose DesignMerge for our variable data printing needs!

Speedy Print Milwaukee Gets Moving with DesignMerge!

January 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: DesignMerge, Testimonial 

Speedy Print is a commercial digital printer located in Milwaukee, serving the southeast Wisconsin business market since 1972. Their customers include legal professionals, insurance companies, civic organizations, non-profits and general business. Speedy Print offers full design and marketing services as part of an increased interest from their customers who are looking to outsource design and variable data printing. Print quality and customer service is at the heart of their business.

Following is a short interview with Keith Ernst, President, and Amy Messick, Graphics Manager, at Speedy Print Milwaukee, discussing how DesignMerge has helped meet their unique challenges.

What business challenges have you faced in the VDP market?

Our biggest challenge has been educating customers on the benefits of using Variable Data Printing (VDP). Our customers need up-front information on what VDP is, how it works, and what the results might be. In these economic times it can be hard to convince customers of the direct economic benefit that VDP offers them. Once we have been successful in promoting VDP, an additional challenge has been getting our customers to give us properly formatted files.

Why did you choose DesignMerge for your VDP implementation?

Our graphic design and variable printing business has increased steadily year after year. DesignMerge variable data software has enabled us to stay ahead of our competition by offering cutting-edge technology and services.

We initially purchased DesignMerge for two particular clients. One is an insurance company that wanted to personalize ID cards for their customers. With DesignMerge, the ease of printing is amazing, and we have printed over 5000 cards without error. The second company is an Internet company wanting Internet access codes that feature barcodes, where the barcode changes with each access code. Last year we printed over 100,000 barcodes, again without a single error.

As a result of our positive experience with the above-mentioned customers, we have developed additional relationships with other clients using VDP solutions. It really has become an essential component of the services we provide to our clients.

What were the results of your DesignMerge implementation?

DesignMerge has helped us gain an additional 15-20% in new business, while enabling us to increase the number of jobs that we receive from our established customers, as well. The positive trend in personalized marketing will continue to help Speedy Print grow. In 2010 we expect an excellent return on our DesignMerge investment resulting in continued expansion of our business!

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