MagCloud Pet Love

MagCloud Team PetsHere at MagCloud, we love pets, so it’s no surprise that some of our team members have published “Puppy’s First Year” photo books, created wall calendars or even made custom placemats for their furry friends.

Whether you have a goldfish, a Peterbald cat, a purebred Great Dane or a rescued mutt, there’s bound to be a product that will help you pay tribute to your furry (and sometimes fur-less) companions.

petphotobook

Create a Photobook

Using cool action shots, fun Instagram photos or ‘selfies’ of you and your pet, you can create beautiful square photobooks to commemorate your pet’s first year, or as a gift for your favorite animal-lover.

Blank templates to get you started with MagCloud’s square product are available in the Getting Started section of the site. Or if you want a little more help with design, you can use our partner Poyomi. Poyomi is a web service that lets you take your desktop or online photos and easily lay them out as a calendar or photo book of many sizes and have them printed and shipped on-demand via MagCloud.

MagCloud_flyer_paws_stackMagCloud’s Flyer Product to Promote your Pet Cause

If you’re involved with a pet service, cause, or adoption agency, MagCloud’s glossy flyer product is perfect for pet adoption flyers or event promotions. We personally love a good ‘yappy hour,’ or ASPCA fundraiser. You can spread the word for your cause or event for as little as $0.24 a copy when you order 20 or more digest-sized flyers.

Posters Turned into Personalized Placemats

montyplacematMonty, MagCloud’s unofficial mascot and Canine Consultant even has his very own personalized placemat for a water bowl in his office. Using the poster product in a landscape format we created a custom graphic that looks like a sketch of a place setting on chalkboard. While the poster isn’t 100% waterproof, it does hold up well, and at $2 for a new one, it can be changed out seasonally, or swapped for holiday and sports-themed versions.

You can download this image to create your own–just place it in any MagCloud 18 x 12″ poster template in your favorite software and add your pet’s name in white text.

Enjoy Pet Photos Year-Round with a Custom Calendar

SATO Fundraiser CalendarCalendars aren’t only for a new year, you can still create a custom photo calendar to enjoy through the end of 2014. We’ve modified our 2013 calendar templates to go from July 2013 to December 2014 in our Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) and Small Square (8″ x 8″) formats for InDesign CS4 and newer, and Apple Pages. Just download the template for the size of calendar you want to create in your software of choice, add your photos and use the included instructions to export a PDF for uploading to the MagCloud website.

InDesign CS4 and newer: Standard template  |  Small Square template

Apple Pages: Standard template  |  Small Square template

If creating your own calendar file in InDesign or Pages isn’t for you, then this could also be a great time to check out our partner Poyomi. In addition to photo books, Poyomi lets you create a calendar just by uploading your photos from your computer, SmugMug, Picasa, or Facebook, and then you can have it uploaded automatically to your MagCloud account.

Discover and Enjoy other Pet-Centric Publications

If that’s not enough pet-mania for you, Monty has picked out some of his favorite publications available in the Pets Category of the MagCloud Shop.


Pup Culture May / June 2013Pup Culture

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

Spot MagazineSpot Magazine

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

Animals VoiceAnimals Voice

Features articles about the history and plight of pit bulls. Also: Wild Horses, Factory Farming, Whales and Dolphins, Endangered Wildlife, Horse Slaughter, and other news and information regarding the rights of animals


Pony PalsPony Pals

July’s issue is full of great pony stories, summer tales, art, horse themed crafting projects, and a great tale about Equitarian Initiative in Haiti.


Shelter Pet MagazineShelter Pet Magazine

Everything Pet in the Northwest–We cover pet health, welfare, events, and just about everything else for our readers in the upper-left-hand-corner of the map.

InstagramAnimal lovers: be sure to stay tuned for a MagCloud Instagram pet contest coming your way soon!

Summer Wanderlust

summertimewanderlustWhether you’re planning a big family vacation, or a small weekend staycation during the summer break, wanderlust seems to be an epidemic during warm summer months. In the Travel and Vacation Category of the MagCloud storefront, you can find all sorts of great publications to help inspire your travel whims, help you plan your trip, or inspire you to document your family adventure when you come home. And if you don’t get to travel anywhere this summer, you can always enjoy a good read on your lunch break and take a mental vacation.

So in honor of our own summer wanderlust, today we’re featuring some of our favorite travel-inspired publications on MagCloud.


LittleIndianalittle Indiana Quarterly Magazine

little Indiana: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Small Indiana Towns (population 15,000 and less). Just like littleIndiana.com, the magazine takes things to a whole new level! Find information about Indiana’s restaurants with outdoor seating, mom and pop ice cream shops, a young couple that renovated a building and restored a downtown, memories of summer from a town that no longer exists, a business on the brink of closure, and plenty more! Don’t miss regular features like “From the Hoosier bookshelf” and the Indiana trivia crossword puzzle.


toandfromTo & From: The Paris Issue

To & From Magazine merges travel and lifestyle.
The newest issue features Paris, “the City of lights.”


Tourism TattlerTourism Tattler: Kenya

The July edition of Africa’s premier Travel Trade Journal features Kenya, plus articles on Business, Conservation, Events, Hospitality, Legal and Marketing issues.


BVI NewbieBVI Newbie

A quirky and colourful guide to the BVI for residents and visitors. This books uses tongue-in-cheek commentary and bubbly design elements which keep the reader entertained and at ease when the time comes to move to Nature’s Little Secrets. This handy guide book also provides step by step instruction for several unfamilliar practices and/or procedures visitors often face while in the Virgin Islands.


Don’t just read about others’ adventures, publish your own.

Rather than let those sunny summer memories fade with your suntan at the end of the summer, start planning now to chronicle your summer adventures and photos into a cool summer recap magazine, or travel photo book printed through MagCloud. You can create a personal memento in magazine format to easily share your memories with family and friends in print and digitally.

Save and scan ticket stubs, itineraries and after your trip, compile all of your pictures and memories into a Square photo book or scrapbook using Apple Aperture  or Photoshop to share with your friends and family! If you’re not a big designer or super savvy with software–not to worry–you can try out our partner Poyomi’s on-line tool for photo book design.

Need some inspiration? Check out some of these great examples published on MagCloud:


DisneylandDisney Vacation 2013

To & From Magazine merges travel and lifestyle.
The newest issue features Paris, “the City of lights.”


 Hawaii Trip 2012Hawaii Trip 2012

A 8″ x 8″ book of photos from the Splonskowski family 2012 trip to Hawaii

Celebrate Camera Day

iStock_000018371321SmallerHappy Camera Day! There’s no better time than the present to get inspired to publish your own photography creation or cruise over to the MagCloud Shop and check out some amazing photography magazines.

In honor of National Camera Day, we’re highlighting a few of our favorite photography-centric blog posts and some great publications on MagCloud dedicated to photography in all of its forms. Whether you’re a mommy-tog, a professional wedding or portrait photographer, a hobbyist or just a fan of beautiful imagery, you’re sure to find cool ways to use MagCloud or a publication in the Photography category that fits your interest.

Turn your photos into something amazing

Don’t let those photos just sit on your hard drive–they deserve to be in print. To help get you inspired check out some of our past blog posts about using your photographs for unique MagCloud projects:

Still needing some inspiration? Check out our Q&A with photographer Holli True.

Discover Photography Publications on MagCloud

Denim+GraceDenim + Grace

Denim+Grace is a Photography Magazine created for Photographers. The encore issue contains 94 pages of marketing, branding, posing and inspiration. With artists working in genres ranging from weddings to boudoir, children to seniors, and even iPhoneography- there’s sure to be something inspiring and enlightening for even the seasoned artist. Beyond our featured photographer articles and artist pictorials, the June 2013 issue includes an inside look at a new studio, a first-hand experience from an NYC Workshop with Sue Bryce, the highs & lows of being a business owner and so much more!


Lemonade and LensesLemonade & Lenses

Lemonade and Lenses’ second annual senior issue. Featuring Articles by Angela Richardson, Meg Borders, Brittney Zambrowicz, Amanda Holloway, Kalyn Yeager and Leslie Kerrigan.


moziMozi Magazine

Now available, Mozi Magazine’s Wedding Issue! This beautiful new issue is loaded with astounding imagery and inspirational content from some of the industry’s most admired artists, including Simply Bloom, Ben Sasso, Bobbi+Mike, Julie Paisley, Zach and Jody Gray, Totally Rad Actions, Design Aglow, Fotofafa, and more.


seniors style guideSenior Style Guide

Senior Style Guide Magazine Issue 5 features educational articles from Lindsay Horn, Brittni Shroeder, Kody Hadja, Andi Artze, Stephanie Newbold, Kristen Weigel, Feuza Reis, Lexi Vornberg and Addie Gibbons.


dcist exposedDCist Exposed

DCist Exposed is the Exhibition Program for the 2013 DCist Exposed Photography Show.


Lost FreedomLost Freedom

Lost Freedom is an inspirational magazine featuring young and inspiring photographers, writers, and artists.


What’s your favorite photography publication on MagCloud? Share it with us in the comments!

5 Ways to Boost Your Small Business this Summer

Business growth red graphic relaunched with a trampolineIt’s National Small Business week! While summer can be seen as a time to unwind, take vacation and spend more time with family, it’s also prime time for businesses to re-focus and refresh their company’s strategy and/or marketing plan. Here are 5 ways you can give your small business a little boost this summer.

Refresh your marketing collateral

Need marketing collateral but don’t have budget to hire a designer? With the wealth of free templates for flyers and brochures today, small business owners can create marketing material without having to enlist the help of agencies and freelancers.

Get creative with your summer sales

As many businesses hold sales throughout the summer, stand out by trying new things with your sales promotions. Get creative and think of how you can take giveaways and discounts to the next level (without breaking the bank). Instead of holding a typical giveaway or discount, you can surprise potential customers on social media with freebies or discounts. You never know, they may turn into loyal customers and big brand advocates!

Monitor trends

When was the last time you monitored current trends? With a smaller bandwidth, small businesses often focus more on day-to-day operations during the year, that typically makes following trends and issues that impact overall business strategies a second priority. Take advantage of longer summer days to catch up on current events and industry trends that may impact your business. It may transform or inform your business goals and strategy.

Network, network, network

With a high number of conferences, webinars, speaking and network events, summer is prime time to take advantage of networking opportunities. Meet with potential business partners and people who can provide new information to help you improve your business. Keep your company at the forefront of peoples’ minds by giving them engaging company brochures or eye-catching one-pagers.

Plan ahead, re-evaluate, set forth

Take advantage of summer business lulls to work on long-term business planning including re-evaluating your company’s strategy, goals and objectives. Are they still in-line with current trends and customer needs? Identify what’s working and what’s not to re-focus your business strategy so that you can gain an edge in your industry. After you have an idea of what your small business needs to stay ahead, set forth! Summer is the best time to make sure your company is on track to meet its goals for the rest of the year.

What else can SMB’s do to boost business this summer? Share your ideas with us in the comments section below!

Celebrating Dads and Grads

With Father’s Day this Sunday and the school year coming to a close, today we’re going to highlight some ways to use MagCloud to do some last minute shopping for Dad, and also how recent graduates can use MagCloud as they commemorate the past and look toward their future.

MagCloud Gifts for Dad

18 Month Photo Calendar

DadCalendarThe mid-year timing of Father’s Day is a perfect opportunity to create a custom photo calendar that your dad can enjoy through the end of 2014. We’ve modified our 2013 calendar templates to go from July 2013 to December 2014 in our Standard (8.25″ x 10.75″) and Small Square (8″ x 8″) formats for InDesign CS4 and newer, and Apple Pages. Just download the template for the size of calendar you want to create in your software of choice, add your photos and use the included instructions to export a PDF for uploading to the MagCloud website. With MagCloud you can order just a single print copy for your dad, or order additional copies for other family members.

InDesign CS4 and newer: Standard template  |  Small Square template

Apple Pages: Standard template  |  Small Square template

If creating your own calendar file in InDesign or Pages isn’t for you, check out our partner PoyomiPoyomi lets you create a calendar just by uploading your photos from your computer, SmugMug, Picasa, or Facebook, and then you can have it uploaded automatically to your MagCloud account.

Custom BBQ Recipe Book

If your dad loves to grill, pull together his go-to recipes into a custom recipe book. Click here to check out our recent post on National Barbecue Month for templates and tips.

Print and Digital MagCloud Publications

No matter what your dad is into, from cars or technology, to sports, cooking, or travel, chances are good you can find a MagCloud publication about it. Print copies always make a great gift for reading on the beach this summer, or if he has an iPad, get Dad an iTunes gift card that he can use to purchase digital versions of the publications he likes.

CarHeader

MagCloud Uses for Grads

Photobooks for Friends

PhotobookBefore you and your friends head off in various directions after graduation, commemorate the fun times you had together in a photobook. MagCloud’s 8.25″ x 5.25″ Digest product is a great size for displaying full color photographs in a nice compact format, and only costs $0.16 per page to print. Check out our blog posts about creating photobooks with Adobe Photoshop or Apple Aperture, or see our Getting Started page for instructions in a variety of other programs. You can also use our partner Poyomi to quickly turn your photos from Facebook or Instagram into a photobook without having to lay them out yourself.

Custom Thank You Notes

ThankYouNow that you’ve received all those generous graduation gifts, show your appreciation with customized thank you notes. MagCloud’s single sheet Flyers in our smaller Digest size are printed on a heavier cover stock that make them ideal for using as flat notecards, and the size fits perfectly into A9 envelopes. All you have to do is use the program of your choice to create a PDF that is either 8.5″ x 5.5″ for portrait notecards or 5.5″ x 8.5″ for landscape notecards, and upload that PDF to MagCloud. Then you can order as few or as many thank you cards as you need, for just $0.32 each (or $0.24 each if you order 20 or more). For instructions to create your PDF, check out the Software-Specific Instruction Packages on our Getting Started page.

Print and Digital Portfolio

Children's Sports Photography PortfolioFor those of you heading into the work world as artists, photographers, designers, architects, or writers, MagCloud is a great option for publishing your portfolio. MagCloud’s print-on-demand features allow you to order commercial-quality printed portfolios at an affordable price, across a range of sizes and binding options, in as few or as many copies as you need. You can even have copies of your portfolio shipped directly to an address list of potential employers using our Ship to Group feature. In addition to having high quality print versions of your portfolio available on demand, you can also make your portfolio available digitally for viewing in the MagCloud Web Viewer, and as a downloadable PDF, using the same PDF you upload for printing.

MagCloud wishes a hearty congratulations to all the graduates out there, and a happy Father’s Day to all the dads!

DIY Wedding Ideas using MagCloud

Maybe its a side effect of Pinterest, and all of the beautiful weddings we keep seeing pop up, but with June being one of the busiest months of wedding season, we couldn’t help but get into the spirit and explore some DIY wedding ideas using MagCloud products.

invites

Custom Party Invites

It all started last month when I created some fun custom bachelorette invitations for a getaway weekend for my friend who is a bride-to-be. Using MagCloud’s digest pamphlet product I designed a fun little invitation that fit into the top 5.25″ of the template. When the prints arrived (each cost just $0.64) I took a quick snip with my scissors and popped them into coordinating 5.75″ x 5.75″ square envelopes that I found at Paper Source.

Then the idea of creating custom stationary using our digest product got me thinking:

How else could you use MagCloud products for wedding DIYs?

programs

Wedding Programs

Whether you have 12 bridesmaids or 2, having a nice wedding program helps keep guests informed of the order of the ceremony, and who you’ve cast in the important roles for you big day. The four-page digest pamphlet–or if you have a lot going on and want to include songs, readings and hymns–a digest-sized 8-page booklet are classically styled and beautiful printed. We also tried using the square pamphlet for a more modern feel. Depending on the form factor you choose, and the quantity you need, a 4-page digest or square pamphlet could cost somewhere between $0.48 and $0.80 a piece, perfect for the bride on a budget.

Like our modern design? You can download the template for Adobe InDesign below:

Wedding Menus

menus

Using our flyer product to create a sleek menu was really simple too. By dividing the page lengthwise (basically creating a 0.5″ gutter right down the middle of the page) we were able to print two menus per flyer and simply cut them in half with a paper cutter when they arrive.

Because our flyers cost just $0.40 print (or buy at least 20 and the price drops to $0.30/print), printing two per page makes them$0.15-0.20 per menu. That means you could print 200 menus for just $30.00 + shipping.

*Note: Flyer publication orders are subject to an 8 quantity minimum in multiples of 4.

Wedding Poster

posterscompared

The wedding poster seems to have surpassed traditional guestbooks in recent years as the popular way to commemorate one’s wedding day. Rather than being stuffed into a box and never looked at again, the wedding poster allows newly-wed couples to enjoy the love notes and encouragement given to them by family and friends for years to come.

MagCloud’s 12″ x 18″ poster costs just $2, leaving you plenty to spare for a fancy frame. We recommend having your loved ones sign a mat (like this one available from Amazon) rather than directly onto the poster (UV coating which protects the poster, also makes some inks smudge). But if you really want to let folks sign right onto your print, we found that you can do so with Sharpie Metallic Fine Point Permanent Markers.

Get started creating your own! For more design guidelines for our poster product, visit our Getting Started page.

Banners and Pennants

With the “Rustic Chic” style of weddings still ever-popular– pennant or flag signs have become a wedding or shower must-have. We’ve seen every variation from “she said yes” to the classic “Bride” and “Groom” signs on the backs of chairs, and found that the MagCloud standard pamphlet is a great tool for creating your own. With two letters per pamphlet we were able to create this sign for just $6.40. Using fishing line, twine or a narrow strip of ribbon and a glue stick, we simply cut out the pennants, lined the ribbon up in the fold of the paper, and glued the two sides together around it. The 100# cover stock used in our pamphlet product helped the banner hold up in a nice afternoon breeze.

banner

pennant-guideTo create your own banner, each pair of letters will need to be designed as it’s own 4-page pamphlet. We used the standard size, 8.25 x 10.75 publication so that we could get 4″ x 8″ pennants. In order to be sure the pennants look great from all sides, we set the full inside “spread” of the document to be a matching color to the outsides (this hides trimming/gluing errors) and to add a little bit of fun, we added a pattern, like stripes or polka dots, to the back sides for when the banner is blowing in a breeze. For the space between words, we used a heart symbol, so the banner would read “FROM❤MS.❤TO❤MRS.” or “SHE♥SAID♥YES.”

Try it and Save

Interested in creating your own event DIY with MagCloud?
Use promo code MCDIY when you publish and save 15%. Valid through June 30, 2013

More Wedding Reading on MagCloud

Now that you’re in the wedding mood, check out some of our favorite publications in the Brides & Weddings Section of the MagCloud Shop.

SmittenSD Wedding StyleDIY Weddings

5 Ways to Get Your Creativity Going

Creativity pinned on noticeboardFinding yourself in a creative rut? Whether you’re a writer, artist, small business owner looking to spice up your brand or just someone who needs a little refresh, here are five things you do to get your creative juices flowing.

1.     Rest

This may seem counter-intuitive, but a lot of times people can’t get their creative juices flowing simply because their minds don’t have the space— it’s been preoccupied with daily chores and is too tired managing life. Creativity flourishes when the mind feels fresh and rejuvenated. Making sure you get enough sleep until you feel balanced, or deliberately spending an afternoon doing absolutely nothing may be all you need to bring the creative spirit within you back to life.

2.     Keep a creativity journal

Did you have a doodle book when you were little? It might not be a bad idea to start one again. When tending to our day-to-day lives, we often only have limited space for our creative thoughts. A creativity journal will let your mind wander without going into overload since all of your ideas will be down on paper.  Keep a journal with you at all times—you might be surprised where a random idea written down can take you. You can also make your own creativity journal with MagCloud’s compact Digest product, its small enough to take everywhere you go!

3.     Break your routine

While keeping a daily routine helps with staying efficient, breaking out of it can spark new ideas. Even seemingly small actions such as starting a conversation with a stranger at a supermarket can be all it takes to get your creativity back. A trip to the great outdoors or to a quiet place where you can let yourself (and your thoughts) just “be” without judgment can also work wonders. Where would you go?

4.     Discuss your idea with someone different

Since you’ve probably been marinating on your idea (or lack thereof), simply talking to people who have different approaches to life can also help pull you out of your rut and in new directions. They may get you thinking about your idea in ways you never imagined.

5.     Try something unexpected

Trying things that you would never expect to do can take you to a whole new realm of thought. If you’ve ever felt resistance against an activity, now is the time to embrace it. So take that yoga class you’ve wanted to try, make a music playlist from a genre you never listen to, draw if you are a writer, knit if you are a photographer, take on a new hobby (ie. surfing, creating a children’s book, cooking) you’ve never considered before. Notice the new thoughts that start to form in your head. We can’t wait to hear what you find.

What do you do to get your creative juices flowing? Share with us in the comment section below!