Stressing the Details
Perhaps suprisingly, stress reliever promotions can be stressful, especially if you're trying to design a custom piece. Thankfully, Promo Marketing is here to rescue you from your worries once again. We’ve spoken with some experts in the field and collected their step-by-step advice on planning a custom stress reliever promotion, from conceptualization to imprinting and color.
STEP ONE: CONCEIVING THE CONCEPT
The first step of designing a custom piece is figuring out exactly what you’re going to make. Certainly you have a lot of options in front of you, stress relievers being designable in nearly any shape. One exception however, would be those owned by other people.
“We have people that come to us and say, ‘Oh, can you make me a Volkswagen car?’” said Francesco Indrio, president and founder of Alpi International, Oakland, Calif. “I say, ‘Well, if you have a license from Volkswagen, we can make you a Volkswagen, but if you don’t, I won’t.’” The take-away point here: Some shapes, even those seemingly common and culturally ubiquitous, may be under a license agreement that make them impossible to use.
A tangential point worth mentioning is licensed property or not, it is important to have a clear conception of what you and your clients want in their designs. Indrio laid out the proof-creation timeline for custom stress relievers, which added up to about 20 days. A reasonable timespan to be sure, but he warned distributors to watch out for fussy or indecisive clients. The creation of an uncolored sculpt alone can take between a week and 10 days according to Indrio, so it’s easy to see how making changes mid-stream can add substantial time onto a promotion’s creation.
STEP TWO: Matching your design to the material
Once you’ve come up with a solid concept, it’s important to check the design and make sure the stress reliever material will be able to handle the shape. There aren’t too many limits on what you can create, but there are a few general guidelines. “It’s best not to get too small,” said Jim Griesen, president of Target Industries, Owosso, Michigan. He gave an example of a client who wanted to have custom dime-sized game pieces made. Griesen noted the creation of such items was “a little more difficult,” and also pointed out that even if you were able to print a logo on the piece, you’d never be able to see it.
Aside from small size, Indrio mentioned that there are certain shapes that are less feasible as well. “A stress reliever, being soft and stretchable, cannot be made into very thin shapes, like arms and limbs,” he said. “They all have to be either attached to the body or made more substantial.”