Sales is one of the main metrics that entrepreneurs use to measure if a business venture is successful or not. And one of the main ways to drive sales targets is through advertising. Businesses who want an edge in terms of promoting their products and services would usually take advantage of traditional methods and put a twist to them in order to attract more customers.
Using rack cards as a print media marketing tool is one such innovation. But before any business owner can have appealing rack card designs, he or she needs to know the ins and outs of rack card creation using rack card templates. In this article, we provide different examples of rack card designs and we will also provide other useful tips to help increase customer engagement.
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What is a rack card?
Most people may not be familiar with the term rack card since it is commonly used as jargon in the print media industry. However, almost everyone is familiar with the cards shown in most lobbies of any business establishments. Perhaps this is because these objects are unappealing and so are often overlooked.
Rack cards are sometimes called brochures. These printed documents, however, are more prominently placed in racks found at the side of a firm’s front desk or reception area. Also, rack cards can both be promotional and informational in nature. They provide information about a person or a business and would also often include discount offers and other customer loyalty benefits.
Advantages of using rack card PSD templates
- To hone your own designing skills. On the other hand, those who already have graphic design skills may still use PSD templates as a way to further improve their skills. Pre-made PSD templates allow them to build upon the existing template and also learn about other designing techniques from these templates.
- To save money. Another advantage of using PSD templates is that you get to save money that would have otherwise been spent on commissioning a graphic artist to create a PSD template from scratch. Most likely, the output will be the same. Or, if you are looking to create the card design PSD yourself, you can save money spent on coffee runs while you are creating the PSD templates.
- To save time. One of the main advantages of using pre-made PSD templates of any rack card design is the time savings it gives you. Card design PSD templates take a lot of time to create after all. You may bypass this procedure in the card-making process and instead just focus on the design modifications that you could make.
- To create appealing promotional material if you do not have graphic design inclinations. Not everyone is gifted with a creative eye. PSD card templates are advantageous for the less artistically inclined since it allows them to have artistic card designs without squeezing their brains out trying to think of a good rack card design idea. Also remember that rack cards are meant to appeal to a lot of people who can become your customers. Creating mediocre rack card designs will not help your business at all.
- To conform to industry standards. In the graphic design industry, most editable image files are stored using the .psd file format especially when graphic artists use Adobe Photoshop in editing images, illustrations, or vectors. And since the PSD file format is used by most graphic artists and printing firms, it is now an ubiquitous industry standard. Also, if you already have the Adobe Photoshop software program installed in your computer, it would be easier for you to use template documents that can be easily accessed in your own computer.
- To maintain image quality. Photoshop is a great tool for preserving the quality of your images unlike other image file extensions like .jpeg. Using a PSD template also makes sure that you can customize the images and layers included in the file at any time. For instance, you may have to create a photography template design as a course project. But when your teacher asks you to make revisions on the template design, you may easily go back to the drawing board of the PSD file to make changes to the template design without having to redo everything.
Those are a few of the advantages of using a PSD template. So if you are still on the fence whether or not to use these document templates, just remember that when you are creating any kind of rack card design, you will need all the edge that you can get.
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How to create a rack card using PSD templates
Creating a rack card using a PSD template is unlike creating handmade card designs. For rack card creation, it is more practical to follow some of the guidelines for designing business cards instead. This is because rack cards function more like a business card. Also, handmade greeting cards do not use card templates.
Written below is a step-by-step guide on how you can create your own rack card design template from scratch:
- Sketch how you would want your rack card to look like. This is an integral part of any design project as it will organize your design ideas. By creating a rough sketch, you will also see an outline of how the card design layout looks like. Doing this gives you perspective on what may work as an idea and what really works on paper.
- Gather information that you would want to include in your rack card design. Part of the preliminary tasks you should do before commencing on any design project is to find out as much information about the project as you can. To illustrate, if you are creating credit card design templates, you would need to gather all information on what details are needed to be included in such a card template design. For a rack card template, you would need to collate information regarding the company or business person, the specific service discounts they want to offer, and the business’ contact information.
- Choose a font family and a font style. Just like designing business cards, creating a rack card template also means that you need a specific typeface family for all the paragraphs and sentences that will be included in the card design. Most rack cards are informational in nature so you need to use readable font styles. For example, handwriting font styles may not work well in a rack card design since they can be difficult to read. Instead, most graphic designers would use Sans Serif or Serif fonts in order to increase readability. You are not limited to using these two font families. It is your job as a graphic designer to explore and find other font styles that will translate your brand’s image into the rack card design.
- Determine the color scheme. After choosing a typeface for your rack card design, it is now time to select a color scheme for the entire card design. Color selection is essential because you need your rack cards to stand out in its placement in lobby and grocery counter racks. When designing a rack card, you should also keep in mind to use the CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black) color model. CMYK is the color model used by most printers so make certain that you use them in your designs to ensure that your finished rack card designs stay true to their colors when printed.
- Choose a layout to follow. After choosing a typeface and a color scheme, it is now time to choose a layout to follow. A card design layout is the arrangement of all the elements in a card design template. And since a rack card has limited space, you may follow magazine brochure or modern newspaper layouts to ensure that only necessary information is printed on the rack card.
- Set up the card page bleed space. A bleed space in printing is the area at the border of your card that will be included as a printing space but will later on be cut off once the card is trimmed. If a bleed space is not created for any rack card design, the card page will sport a white line border created by the paper when it is cut out. Bleed space typically measures 3 mm to 6 mm. Deciding on a bleed space first will allow you to place all your design elements and text boxes away from it so that they will not be trimmed away after printing.
- Adjust positioning accordingly. As you begin to add text and other design elements into the rack card layout, you may adjust their positioning accordingly. For those who are following a pre-made PSD template, the positioning of all design elements may have already been locked in and all you have to do is to fill out the text or change the color schemes to your preference. However, if you want to make modifications, you may do so easily.
- Create and/or add business logo. An integral part of any promotional material for any business is its branding method. Some companies use mascots or they have a catch phrase. But for most companies, they just use a business logo design. If your company or client does not have a logo yet, you should make sure that you create one to include in your rack card design. Logos help increase the visibility and recognizability of a brand so every business owner should have a logo for their respective businesses. If you are unfamiliar with creating logos, you may check out our useful tips for logo designing guide.
- Add other design elements if desired. If there are other design elements that you think your rack card design lacks, it is now time to add them. As always, these design elements should still fall inside the rack card design’s margins and should also sport the same typeface and color scheme.
- Take a break. You have now hurdled the most difficult parts of rack card creation. By now, you already have an acceptable rack card template in your hands. But it is too soon to tell if it is really the perfect rack card design. So for now, just take a short break and get back to the card template later on.
- Look at the card design as a whole and check for any flaws. After spending a few minutes away from your design project, it is now time to get back to it with fresh eyes. Look at the rack card design as a whole. Do you spot any flaws that you wish to enhance or altogether remove? If so, it is now time to make any necessary changes.
- Proofread the paragraphs of text included in the card. While looking at the printable card template, you should also look out for typos, spacing, grammar, and hyphenation issues. Make the necessary corrections as well.
- Take a last look at the completed template. Are you satisfied with it? Ask another person to look at it. What do they think? Evaluate their criticisms and make changes on the card design if you agree with what they commented on.
- Test print the rack card design using a home printer if available. It is often not enough to meticulously review a rack card design template in your computer. It is better to test print a copy of the rack card and see for yourself how the colors and layout appear in its printed form. Check how the card looks versus how you wanted it to look. Often, issues with the color schemes will arise once a template is printed out. That is why you should always use the CMYK color model when creating your PSD templates.
- If everything is to your satisfaction, congratulate yourself because you now have a completed rack card design template!
- The next step, if you choose to proceed, is to print out the rack card designs. Most rack cards are printed in bulk since they will be used as promotional materials. You may need to purchase your own printer and inks if you want to personally print out the rack cards by yourself. Or you may also make a deal with a printing shop that can print out your rack card templates in PSD in multiple quantities.
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Other customer engagement ideas
One of the key traits of successful entrepreneurs is being realistic regarding their business goals and how to achieve them. So if you are thinking that just by creating a rack card promotional campaign, your business will soar to greater heights immediately, sadly, you are wrong. Increasing business earnings entails a whole lot more than that. Primarily, a business organization needs to combine different strategies and implement them holistically in order to increase customer engagement. Also, the ability to sustain all these strategies will make a difference in your numbers.
To help new business owners in this area, here are a few customer engagement ideas that you can may implement alongside a good print media marketing campaign to ensure you achieve all your business goals.
Social media. Social media, or social networking services, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat are not all bad. In fact, these sites can help make or break a brand’s digital marketing strategies. Millions of people are connected online nowadays and these same number of people spend so much time in front of a computer or a mobile phone. As a business owner, a rack card campaign will really work well when customers are able to connect with the company right away through social media. For instance, if a customer has questions regarding a rack card promotion, he or she is more likely to use a business’ social media channels to ask these questions. Businesses needs to be there to connect to any prospective customer at the time that the customer needs them. Real-time online client-customer interactions like this often results in more sales than when a business does not have an online presence.
Promotions and discounts. One of the things that customers use rack cards for is to get access to the slew of promotional offers and discounts that they contain. But if you wish to increase customer (both new and current) engagements, you may want to broaden the scope of these sale offers. There are other ways to spread word about a sale aside from creating rack card designs.
Create customer loyalty programs. Another effective customer engagement strategy is setting up customer loyalty programs. This strategy is effectively used by some chain coffee shops and even by airlines. Even if you are operating a small business, let us say a salon business, you may use simple loyalty or voucher cards that customers can present every time they visit your salon. People are more likely to frequent a place if they can gain benefits for every dime they spend on that establishment. Another customer loyalty program that businesses may use is the Refer-A-Friend program. This type of promotional offer is often used for gym memberships. There is no reason why you could not adopt this same strategy for your own business. Customers appreciate it when they are rewarded doing even the most effortless things.
Set up a blog or business website. In the digital age, blogs and websites dominate the online marketing niche. Your website or blog should be very informative and answer customers’ questions. A business website also allows you to create a share page of all the products and/or services that you offer. It is a one-stop shop and your customers do not have to physically go your store to browse your offerings. In connection with setting up a business website, you may even create an adjoining online shopping store within your website. This way, customers can easily shop online and you have gained another sales channel. As an added note, business websites often ask visitors to their sites to sign up to a newsletter as a communication and marketing tool. If you wish to take this route, you may check out these newsletter templates.
Answer customer questions promptly. A simple strategy that has been repeatedly proven to increase customer engagement is when a business’ support team answers a customer’s questions promptly. Whether it is a social media query or a customer calls in to the store, the interaction will mostly likely end up as a positive experience if a customer support team responds quickly. This strategy requires a lot from the management team in order to be effective. If you are a business executive or a business owner yourself, taking a stand to deliver competent and prompt customer service will make a difference in your brand image and in your company’s long term revenue projections. After all, people do tend to value business relationships where they feel like they are treated as valuable patrons. If a company improves their customer service strategies, the rewards will truly be more than that gained by only improving your company’s rack card design templates.
Mobile app development. As mentioned earlier, millions of people are online at any given time. And a lot of them are using a mobile device to access the Internet. If it makes sense for your business, you may try creating a mobile application. This strategy is especially helpful for those businesses that offer unique or essential services to their customers. An example are fast food chains. The people behind these companies have thought about how they could make food ordering easier online. Obviously, the solution is through developing exclusive mobile application templates where customers can type or select their orders and also make cashless payments.
What rack card PSD template will you choose?
As with all card design templates, your decision on which rack card template to choose should primarily be based on your own personal preferences. Of course, there are other factors that you need to consider. But it is important to please yourself first. This way, you will have the much-needed confidence to keep on creating and improving the rack card design that you choose. So choose well and enjoy the card creation process!