‘Production Tips’ Archives

Postal Rates Take a Small Climb in January 2018

Wed, Dec 13, 2017

The U.S. Postal Service has new pricing planned for the New Year, but with single-penny increases per piece, it won’t break the bank for most. Coming January 21, 2018, the current price of mailing will see a 1.9% increase overall.

Here’s the lowdown:

  • First-class (“Forever”) stamp will increase from $0.49 to $0.50 each
  • Postcards will increase from $0.34 to $0.35 each
  • Metered letters on the rise from $0.46 to $0.47 each

As always, contact your agency liaison or mail house representative to get specific postage estimates in order to adjust your postage budgets accordingly for the year.

U.S.P.S. Announces Changes for 2017

Fri, Jan 20, 2017

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: first-class postage rates are going up. But nothing too drastic! The U.S. Postal Service announced changes affecting first-class, standard and non-profit mail that went into effect Jan. 22, 2017.

Here are highlights of some of the changes:

  • First-class stamp increased from $0.47 to $0.49 a piece
  • First-class flats increased from $0.94 to $0.98, each addl oz. costs $0.21
  • Postcard rates will remain the same at $0.34
  • What was known as “Standard” mail (formerly “Bulk”) is now being referred to as “Marketing Mail” by U.S.P.S.

Production Professionals: Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

Tue, Jan 5, 2016

Marketers are constantly tasked with coming up with fresh content to keep their client campaigns dynamic and on the cutting edge.

Designers are challenged with keeping creative “nouveau” and current with the latest color and typography trends.654-hall-of-dreams-2

And it’s no different for production professionals charged with making a client’s print collateral stand out from year to year. The copy may be spot on, the design may look stunning, but if the piece doesn’t get noticed in all the mailbox clutter, all could be for naught!

Postage Increase Kicks Off June

Tue, Jun 16, 2015


Experiencing a feeling of déjà vu all over again? Well, you should. The United States Postal Service announced postage increases affecting first-class, standard and non-profit mail that went into effect May 31, 2015.blog_new-usps-rates_may31-2015

Here are highlights of some of the changes that went into effect:

  • First-class postcards increased from $.34 to $.35 each
  • Additional ounces for first-class mail increased from $.21 to $.22
  • International first-class letters went up from $1.15 to $1.20
  • One ounce first-class flats increased to $.98, and two ounce pieces increased to $1.20
  • The price of a first-class stamp remains at $.49

Variety Is the Spice of Life…So Add a Little Cayenne!

Mon, May 18, 2015

We’re all guilty of it — sorting through the mail and immediately tossing out the “junk” direct mail without so much as a glance in order to whittle down the pile to the “meat and potatoes” (e.g., bills, catalogs, personal correspondence, store coupons). So as a marketer, how do you keep your messages from becoming “junk” to becoming more “meat and potatoes?”

Fold Me Once, Shame On You, Fold Me 10 Times and Hit It Baby!

Fri, Mar 29, 2013

What makes for great marketing? Well a lot. But one thing that all brands need is to get attention. Breaking through the clutter is vital to get your message out. You want people to a) see your brand among the letters and brochures in their hands, b) recognize your brand and hopefully smile because they like you so much already and c) stop and look at your mail piece and be intrigued enough to say, “I’m going to open this!”

Toss Your Thinking Cap and Grab a Cup of Joe

Tue, Jul 17, 2012

It’s not just athletes or mice in a maze whose performance is enhanced by a jolt of java.  The latest studies have shown that we desk jockeys can put away our reading glasses and benefit from a cuppa as well. Apparently, getting mildly caffeinated (200 to 400 mg) before proofreading your reports and e-mails will help release your verb tension (my specialty, obscure puns) and improve your ability to spot errors in subject-verb agreement and proper use of tenses. Oddly, though, you’ll still have to use your spellchecker, since spotting misspelled words isn’t affected, nor is citing …er… siting (pardon me while I take another sip of my latte) sighting homophones. Let’s all stand and do the Brain Wave now that we’re perked up (sorry, I can’t help milking it).

If You Fold It, They Will Come

Thu, Apr 19, 2012

Last week, CSG Production Director, Danielle, gathered all the CSGers together for a Lunch & Learn to share all the latest printing, folding and production tips and tricks she’s picked up in the past couple of months.

We started the Lunch & Learn with a bit of show and tell. Danielle shared various pieces that she’s seen using a “soft touch” varnish. Instead of the glossy varnish you may be used to, this varnish adds a silky texture to your direct mail pieces. It gives you the sensation of touching cloth, when you are actually holding a piece of paper – very cool. It’s also reasonably priced, so if you’re interested in adding something like that to your next piece, be sure to let us know.

Print Sprints into the Future

Thu, Jul 21, 2011

Augmented reality?. . .QR codes? . . . polyester paper? The world of printing has certainly been changing in the last few years. There are new tools, new products and new applications popping up steadily. I attended a free seminar recently that reminded me that we all have to keep our marketing eyes peeled so we don’t fall on our typefaces. Here are a few of the trends we need to take into consideration as we plan our campaigns. 

Postal Rate Increases Go into Effect April 17

Thu, Apr 14, 2011

The United States Postal Service announced postage increases that go into effect April 17, 2011. The price of a 1 oz. first-class letter will remain $0.44, however, the cost of each additional ounce will increase from $0.17 to $0.20. Rates on postcards are increasing by $0.01 to $0.29. There are also rate changes for other mailing services, including Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services and Extra Services. It’s best to contact your agency liaison or mailhouse representative to get specific postage estimates in order to adjust your postage budgets accordingly. CSG has also put together a cheat sheet for your convenience.