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June 9, 2014
  Digital vs. Offset printing: which is right for your project?

Even just a few years ago, most designers felt the same about digital printing as they did about the concept of “desktop publishing”. But the reality is that digital printing has made huge strides in respect to quality over recent years. And as the options for quality printed materials have grown, so has the confusion.

me: I’ve got some printing quotes for you.
client: “No we are all set- we get cheaper pricing from our guy.”
me: Ok…that’s great. Are they printing digital or offset?”
client: What’s that? I don’t know. What’s the difference?

Offset printing has been around for over a century, and works by transferring ink from a plate to a rubber sheet, which then rolls the ink onto paper. Exact color matching, larger sheet sizes, more paper options, and superior image quality are just a few of the benefits of offset printing.

Digital printing is when a digital image is sent directly to an inkjet or laser printer that deposits pigment or toner directly onto a wide variety of substrates including paper, canvas, etc. Digital printing is done without a printing plate—saving time and money in many cases.

It takes a trained eye these days to tell the difference between digital and offset, but not all digital printing is the same—there are huge variances in quality. “Some machines produce color output that more closely matches offset printing.” says Gina Deschamps of Deschamps Printing in Salem, MA. “We run HP Indigo Digital presses. In our opinion, the Indigo press looks closest to offset printing.”

Consider Digital Printing if: 

  • you require a quick turnaround time
  • you have low quantity job (1000 or less); ideal for smaller formats (i.e. business cards, datasheets)
  • your content and messaging changes frequently or you are creating something with a short shelf-life
  • you have a low quantity job that has a high page-count (books or manuals)
  • you have variable data/image items like customized postcards.

Consider Offset printing if: 

  • you have high quantity job (more than 1000-1500)
  • if your job is a larger format piece such as a pocket folder or a 6+ panel brochure.
  • if you need to assure that you match exact ink colors (PMS matching)
  • when you want to print something that makes a statement with superior image quality, different paper stocks or finishing techniques.

There is a place in the market for both offset and digital printing, and there are so many great options available today. At the end of the day, your printing vendor should be able to help you decide the best way to approach your project if you give them the information they need to give you cost-effective options.

Posted by: Storm digital printing, graphic design, marketing, offset printing, printing, technology 0 comments
October 11, 2013
  A website redesign brings a brand in focus
Intequus had an industry identity issue. They are leaders providing custom hardware solutions for big-deal corporations like Netflix. But their previous website made them seem like less than that.
Stormship started by reviewing and streamlining the Intequus’ previous messaging and marketing visuals, which worked on their own but not collectively. “Stormship did a fantastic job at taking our divergent messaging and visuals and guide us to define the Intequus brand.” says David Guzzi, VP & General Manager of Intequus. The redesigned website—custom built in WordPress in a way that clearly conveyed Intequus’ product offerings to their enterprise-level customers—positioned Intequus as the major industry player that they are.
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October 9, 2013
  Progress Software evolves. Stormship gets involved.
Stormship has been involved with Progress Software  since 2010 as a key design partner. Progress recently updated their OpenEdge product line and needed a set of videos that touted new features. They also wanted the new videos to advance a recent evolution of the Progress brand through their motion design. Stormship managed the entire production of 3 videos, including the scriptwriting, motion graphics design and storyboarding, voiceover recording, and video production.The resulting three videos are the beginning of a full series conveying the advantages of OpenEdge in a new visually compelling style.
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October 5, 2013
  New England School of Photography 2013-2014 Catalog

Stormship recently completed the 2013-2014 New England School of Photography Catalog.

“It’s designed and built for longevity. The layouts are smart. We can update the photos to keep the catalogue fresh, for the next few years, yet keep the design intact. They make it look easy.”— Alison Geehan, NESOP Vice President, Business Operations.

You can preview the viewbook design here in our portfolio, or view the full book design on ISSUU.

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October 4, 2013
  Making Better Presentations, One Deck at a Time


People are often challenged with creating an effective PowerPoint for a presentation. There are the issues of creating the content and graphics on a rapidly approaching deadline. So how do you go about building a great PPT deck?

Our normal response is “Let us do it for you!”, but there are times where that’s not feasible. So we’ve put together a presentation that outlines the “recipe” for making better PowerPoint (or Keynote or Prezi) presentations. We’ve uploaded the deck to SlideShare and you can view it by clicking this link.

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September 20, 2013
  IBM’s Predictive Analytics Video
King Fish Media asked to partner with Stormship and SAC Designs to develop a new two minute video for IBM SPSS Statistics. Working from an info graphic developed by King Fish, we crafted a story and developed the storyboards used to produce a compelling video. Stormship and SAC Designs managed the full production of the video, including scriptwriting, motion graphics design and storyboarding, voiceover recording, and video production.
The end result – a video that was very well received by both King Fish and their client IBM. We look forward to more collaborations with them in the future!
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November 5, 2012
  Envipco is Redesigning the Beverage Container Recovery Experience

You may be familiar with beverage container recycling machines—the ones that you see at supermarkets. Envipco, a world leader in the industry, asked us to create an engaging interface for their newly designed family of Reverse Vending Machines. We were asked to design a user interface that takes advantage of their new high-resolution color LCD display. 3-dimensional images allow the user to easily identify the accepted container types. While color, and bright friendly icons convey the machine’s status to the user—ready, warning, or error. And the user has an uninterrupted tally of deposited containers and cash value. See the results here.

In addition to designing the UI, Stormship created a new print collateral system that highlights the features and benefits of these machines, as well as Envipco’s other recycling systems and industry-leading technologies.

Stormship’s work followed a redesign of Envipco’s Reverse Vending Machines (RVM) recently completed by Thomas Swyst Product Design.

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August 17, 2012
  Progress Software: Responsive Customer Engagment video

Progress Software came to us to create a new style for their online videos. After a fun and fast-paced creative session, this direction was chosen. It was a fresh new style and allowed them a compelling framework to highlight various vertical markets while giving them a consistent look and feel across the board. The first video spotlights their Responsive Customer Engagement.

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August 10, 2012
  Producing videos for profit. (Nimble’s, that is)

Stormship has maintained a number of long-standing client relationships over the years. We’d like to think that it has something to do with the quality of our work, our desire to work as part of the client’s team, and our ability to meet challenging deadlines on occasion. Maybe all three.

Fred Love of Nimble Storage is one of those clients who keeps coming back to Stormship. When asked why, he cited similar reasons to those stated above—proof that we’re not making this stuff up. And while Fred noted that we have created “almost a dozen video projects in six years” with him, he also said “Stormship made us look like a more established player, and that has an immediate impact on our bottom line.” That kind of feedback is worth a million to us.

The result of our latest collaboration is the Nimble Storage 3-Minute Overview video.

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August 9, 2012
  The Cloudnerd Chronicles—an infographic comic book mash-up

Infographics are not a new marketing trend. Like 80’s clothes, they just came back in style. And coincidentally, so has the popularity of comic book heroes. It may seem like an odd combination, but they both provide an excellent opportunity for the left and right sides of our brain to meet in the middle. Accompanying factual information with visual aids helps the audience better understand the data.

So there you have it—the inspiration for the Cloudnerd Chronicles, a marketing piece used at EMCWorld—developed for EMC’s Cloud Storage group—that highlights the benefits of the Atmos Cloud Storage Solution.

Besides, who can pass up an opportunity for a little nerd humor?

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