How to reward employees and give to a worthy cause at the same time using these gift cards

Gas prices – ouch!

A great way (especially with gas prices the way they are!) to reward and recognize your team is with gas cards or grocery cards.

Consider the Kroger family of stores gift cards – if ordered through your favorite charity, Kroger gives 5% of the value to the charity – for the life of the card!

So you can give a small gift or token of appreciation, and give back at the same time, and then when the recipient reloads it – 5% goes back to the charity!

We did this here at LazerDesigns and gave back to Global Refugee International – GRI with some gas/grocery cards for our entire team. Each time Team Lazer members reload their card, GRI gets 5%.

Do you have a non-profit? Learn more here and sign up, and post in the comments a link to your webpage or facebook page so we can check out your cause!

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Where are Buck Knives made? In the USA? Overseas in China? How do I tell?

We get asked a lot “What do you have made in the USA?” We love that question and are happy to support domestic production with our Made in USA gifts and promotional items.

Buck Vantage *MADE IN THE USA*

Buck Vantage *MADE IN THE USA*

Custom engraved Buck Knives are one of many items and brands we carry that are proudly made in USA.

Many Buck Knives are made in their Idaho plant, and some Buck Knives are made overseas – how do you tell which Buck knives are made in the USA, which ones are made in China?

Update on 3/12/2013: Today, Buck makes 88% of their knives in Idaho, USA, and 12% overseas. They continue to work hard to bring more and more production to the United States.

Here’s our handy list, with  many of the common Buck Knife models. This is not a comprehensive list, but may get you started. Wondering about a knife not here? Send us an email and we’ll let you know.

If you find this list helpful, please share it on your social networks and support Made in USA items!

Remember that any Buck Knife carries with it Buck’s famous Forever Warranty, and we find that Buck Knives made in China still have superb quality and durability.

WHERE ARE BUCK KNIVES MADE LIST

BUCK KNIVES MADE IN USA BUCK KNIVES MADE OVERSEAS

Do you have any additions, corrections to this list? Post in the comments below! What is your experience with Buck knives made in the USA vs. knives made in China?

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LazerStone Outdoor Plaques installed and protected by Morris B. Scquire Foundation

Have you ever needed a quality outdoor plaque? Finding an outdoor safe personalized plaque can be a challenge!

A challenge we’ve solved!

Outdoor Plaques installed by Morris Squire

Outdoor Plaques installed by Morris Squire

These Lazer Stone plaques are outdoor safe, durable and elegant, and Morris Squire put them to great use as shown to left and in their blog post here.

Lazer Stone outdoor plaques can be used for pet memorials, memorial plaques or any where a stone-like plaque is needed.

These custom outdoor plaques are not actual stone, but solid acrylic - better than stone in many respects:

  • Lighter than stone
  • If it gets scratched, scuffed, or otherwise damaged, a quick buff with 300 grit sand paper restores the finish to new!
  • When applying a sealant to the plaque, they are protected from UV radiation and the elements
Lazer Stone Pet Memorial Stone

Pet Memorial Stone

One great benefit to these plaques is they can be color filled in any color – or even multiple colors!

These plaques are made in Colorado, are laser engraved in our Broomfield, Colorado facility.

How do you make the Lazer Stone Plaques Outdoor Safe?

By spraying the plaque with a paint sealant or urethane sealant, you will seal in the color filled engraving and the plaque – protecting it from harmful UV rays and the elements.

Custom Outdoor Safe Plaques

Multiple colors on outdoor safe plaques

Morris Squire found that Varathane, from Home Depot, and 8 to 10 thin coats gives years of protection to the custom plaques.

You can also request that they be “Made Outdoor Safe” when placing your order with us and we’ll do the work for you.

How will you use your custom outdoor plaques? Send us your photos, we love to see them in use!

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What about artwork? How to submit camera ready, high quality artwork for great printing results

Here at Lazer Designs, we get to review A LOT of logos and images.  Sometimes they are ready to be lasered, and sometimes, well, sometimes they need a little work.  When it comes to laser engraving, or just about any other printing method, the better the input artwork, the better the output!

So, when you are choosing your art, look at the file type and go with the highest resolution possible.  If you have a VECTOR file (EPS, AI, PDF, CDR) this is almost always the BEST OPTION!  However, we understand that not everyone has access to these types of files, so we also accept .JPG, .TIFF, .PNG, .PSD, and Microsoft Office files at a 300dpi+ resolution.
For resolution, take a look at these examples:




Low quality image This image is LOW quality, and would not laser as well as a higher resolution image. The jagged edges may come across when lasered. (this was a .gif used on a webpage)
High quality image This image is higher quality, with crisp edges, and would laser well. (this was a 300dpi .PNG file)

If you’re not sure how your art will look or if you can’t find a high resolution image, just email your logo to us ahead of time and we’ll take a look and provide any tips and feedback. Remember to tell us what you want to engrave it on – some surfaces are more forgiving than others!

Sometimes we will be able to recreate or clean up low quality art.  We are experts with cleaning up artwork and sometimes there is no charge.  If a charge does apply, we will ALWAYS contact you before charging you any additional fees.

What about lasering my logo on Apparel?

apparel artwork for lasering

Apparel (especially fleece) does not show small details as well as other substrates, so we have to be sure details are large enough to show up.

Follow these guidelines for lasering your artwork onto custom apparel:

  • Files must be at least 100dpi in one of the following formats (.JPEG or .PNG) or vector art
  • Files must be black, no color or gradients
  • Fonts smaller than 30 point will not work!
  • Images must be block style. Any fine detail will not show when lasered in fleece! (see diagram)

Other textiles, such as denim, some synthetics and dyed cotton may show smaller details very nicely.

Can you laser engrave photographs?

We can also engrave your photographs! See example of engraved photographs.  Photographs should be in as large a file as you have. Photos look best when there is a quiet background (or solid color in background).

One last important tip: if you have already placed an order with us, reference your order number in any correspondence – doing so will save time and help us serve you better!

Please call or e-mail with any questions or if you would like a quote on your artwork!

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7 Secrets to Powerful Goodie Bag Ideas

So you’ve planned the event, signed people up, signed speakers up, have games and events planned, how do you give the attendees a sense of value after the event, when they go home and reflect back on their investment to attend?

'20111020_060' photo (c) 2011, David Nichols - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/How do you help avoid buyers remorse? Of course, a quality event is paramount – but don’t forget about memorable goodie bags!

Goody bags are a great way to add value to your event! People go home after the event, and see what favors and goodies they received – adding positive feelings to the event and your organization.

Let’s look at a few pointers on how to plan a successful goodie bag promotion and how to make goodie bags with these goodie bag ideas:

  • Ask neighboring businesses to chip in – many are willing to send in promotional items with their name/logo on them (try hospitals, financial groups, athletic stores and services, chiropractors, restaurants in area)
  • If you’ll have different age groups or different demographics, put some thought into having two separate goodie bags for each group
  • Did we mention restaurants? Free food and free food coupons are wildly popular! Many restaurants not only will provide coupons for the perfect goodie bag item, they are prepared to have a booth with free samples of their delicious offerings.
  • If you have ability to choose the imprint on the promotional items, remember it is All in the imprint – put thought into a quality, relevant imprint. Make sure it makes sense to the recipients. Your business name may not mean anything and get little response, but an invitation for a free sample or report, or your unique selling proposition, that may pique interest and encourage people to logon to your site to learn more.
  • Do you get local businesses interested, but not committed? Why not help them by asking for a donation, promising them you’ll do the work of providing a relevant, quality promotional item? Provide them with photos of the promotional gifts you plan to include in the goodie bag, and offer to include their logo. Sometimes, businesses want to be involved but lack the resources or time to plan, so the have to drop out. This is a great way to get ideas for goodie bags – talk to businesses, ask them if they have ideas, and then call us and finalize the ideas!
  • Don’t forget about food! Food coupons, food gift certificate raffles or silent auctions, travel size samples in the goodie bags (bananas, apples, fruit drinks, bars, cookies) and restaurant tables with free samples

Remember, we provide many customized, small items perfect for goodie bags! Browse our site or contact us for personalized help and ideas. Our sales team loves putting together successful goodie bag promotions (we do it for a living after all), so give us a call if you need help.

Any other ideas for a great goodie bag? What’s the best thing you’ve ever received from a goodie bag at an event?

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Laser Engraved Grapefruit – tangy and delicious!

Here at LazerDesigns, we love to play with lasers.

This is a combination you probably have never seen before. A grapefruit. A laser engraver. A shark. And blue color fill paint.

Grapefruit, anyone? Way to go Aaron and Bryce, Grapefruit Engraving Gurus!

Laser Engraved Grapefruit

Laser Engraved Grapefruit

Laser Engraved Grapefruit Color Filled

Laser Engraved Grapefruit Color Filled

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Top 6 Personalized Valentine’s Day Gifts

Looking for something special for that

 
 
special someone?

 
MAKE THIS VALENTINE’S DAY MEMORABLE AND GIVE A PERSONALIZED GIFT.
 

Display your memories for all to enjoy on personalized digital frames

Highlight your special Valentine’s Day memory with a personalized Valentine’s Day photo frame!

Be Mine Sweethearts Frame

Celebrate each other and toast to your love with many fine wine gifts.

Snuggle up with your Valentine in this super soft, warm personalized blanket.

Super Plush Valentine’s Sweethearts Fleece Blanket

What gifts are you giving your Valentine this February 14th? Share your ideas with us!

 
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