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Making Your Mark Online

(February 2011) posted on Thu Feb 03, 2011

How a strong Web presence can give print providers a competitive edge.

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By Paula Yoho

Shock and awe
The old adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” applies in the digital world, too. Not unlike the sign that hangs in front of your brick-and-mortar location, the landing page for your website is the gateway to your business and, in many cases, may be the first time a prospective client sees your work. Just as you wouldn’t invite clients into a facility that is dilapidated or unorganized, a visually engaging home page free of clutter and unnecessary information grabs the attention of visitors and draws them in to look at the rest of your site.

A good example of a clean home page design is Kubin-Nicholson ( Viewers are drawn in by a large logo and somewhat-kitschy slogan (“Printers of the Humongous”), and, below, a horizontal scrolling bar of colorful images showcases crisp examples of the company’s current projects. Its top navigation bar links visitors to the site’s other pages, including “Why K-N,” “Request a Quote,” and
“Specifications” (the latter provides not only file/mechanical specs but also specs on various Kubin-Nicholson equipment). Below the project gallery, the large-format print specialist, with locations in both Milwaukee and Dallas, divides its key home-page data into three categories: “large format commercial,” “everything outdoor,” and “K-N events.” Readers are linked via clearly labeled subheads within each category, guiding them directly to the page of information in which they’re interested. After clicking on a product category, you’re prompted to enlarge each sample image with the phrase, “Click to make humongous,” echoing the shop’s slogan.

Oshkosh, Wisconsin-based OEC Display ( also incorporates a scrolling gallery of images on its home page, though with a completely different look and feel. Rather than placing emphasis on its own projects, OEC utilizes common stock-like images that highlight the quality of its work and the shop’s attention to detail. Each color graphic is matched up with a concise phrase in bold type – “exceptional,” “grand format,” “qualified team,” “precise detail,” “quick turnarounds,” “worry free,” “dynamic color,” “ultra-high resolutions” – each descriptive of OEC’s core-value proposition.