My Christmas Traditions Have Changed

December 14, 2017

The only thing in life that never changes is that everything changes.  My Christmas traditions have evolved over the years from having small children, who are so excited about Christmas, the teenage years and finally to having adult children.  After the children left, Ken and I continued to put up a tree and all the decorations.  We celebrated with them and when the grandchildren came along it was all fun again.  I still celebrate with my family but now that Ken is gone, I just can’t seem to bring myself to put up a tree.  Each ornament is a memory of years gone by and they are precious memories.

I will be enjoying the trees that my family has put up and making new memories.

Merry Christmas to all.




End Of An Era

December 11, 2017

For years we have been offering our customers a free NCOA update on their mailing lists. Unfortunately, due to the rising cost of software and labor we will no longer be able to offer this service for free. The cost, effective, January 1, 2018 will be $45.00 for lists under 5000 and the cost for lists from 5000 – 30,000 will be $95.00.  For lists over 30,000 we will provide a quote depending on the size of the list.

If you have any questions about this service, please call me at 865 584-2265 or email me at


All About Color In Printing

November 29, 2017

There are two kinds of colors used in Printing. Process colors are created by mixing cyan (blue), magenta (red), yellow and black inks in varying percentages. Spot colors are special premixed inks that are used instead of, or in addition to, process inks. These spot colors come in a wide range of colors, including florescent and metallic. The most commonly used spot color are PMS (Pantone Color Matching System).

Spot colors provide the greatest color consistency. Spot colors are mixed using special formulas, no matter which printer you use, when you choose offset printing, your colors will match. When using spot colors with digital printing however, there will be slight variations, because each digital printer interprets and converts the spot color to CMYK differently. Colors on the digital press will look very different than colors printed on a conventional offset press.  Digital printing is toner and offset uses ink.  If you run a small run on a digital press and then order a much larger quantity that must be printed on a conventional offset press don’t expect the colors to look the same because it is two different processes and two different inks.

The types and number of colors you choose to use will greatly influence the cost of your printing project. It is always cheapest to print black/grayscale, followed by one color (usually a PMS color), then two color (usually PMS plus black or two PMS colors), and on up to specialty inks. Three colors are priced at the four color rate.

The picture in this blog post is made up of the four basic colors, and this is why the process is called four color printing.

Pure black is most commonly used for text, outlines, and smaller areas of black. Rich black is used for backgrounds or large areas of black, even in text. It appears darker and richer in contrast, because it mixes percentages of all four colors.

All blacks should be set to OVERPRINT in your artwork. Overprinting is any printing that is done on an area that has already been printed. For example, if you have text over a colored background, the text should be set to overprint. Shapes that do not overprint knock-out the background color, like a hole punch, leaving an empty space. This is especially troublesome for text, where the press operator must try to line up the letters precisely within the empty spaces. This can cause a “3D” effect on your text.

For your next four color printing/mailing project, call me Phyllis Burns at 584-2265 for a free estimate for printing, list acquisition if needed, mailing labor and estimated postage.  You can also email me at

Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. is a 100% women owned state of Tennessee Women Business Enterprise (WBE).

In Printing It All Starts With The Artwork

November 28, 2017

There are a few things you should know about preparing press-ready files for printing. The first is setting up your document as the correct size. If your artwork is going to have BLEED – that is any element (color, images, text, etc.) that extends up to or past the edge of a printed page – your document needs to include an extra 0.125″ on each edge that will be trimmed off to give it a nice, clean appearance. To recap, your size will be the trim size plus bleed. Trim size is the final size of a printed piece after being cut from the sheet of paper that it was printed on. Say you wanted an 8.5×11 flyer with a picture border. The artwork you send us should be 8.75 x 11.25. If the artwork doesn’t have bleed, then the document will simply be the trim size.

Want more information and tips on printing and mailing?  Email me at and I will send you a FREE resource guide for printing and mailing projects.  Also our estimates are free and you can request an estimate at our website or email me, Phyllis Burns.  We are a printer who knows mailing and a mailer who knows printing.  That is truly a great combination.

Burns Mailing & Printing is a 100%  owned Women Business Enterprise, certified by the State of TN, certificate #072706-01


How Did I Become The Owner Of A Mailing And Printing Company?

October 20, 2017

Phyllis Robinette Burns President and Owner of Burns Mailing & Printing

That is a question that I asked myself sometimes, how did I get here? As most of are aware, life sometimes just happens.  I did not start out to be a business owner and when I started I knew nothing about printing except that I was married to a printer.  My career has taken multiple turns as I started out to be a nurse.  That was in 1961 and back then they would not let you get married and remain in school. (We did not have any civil rights in 1961) I was in my junior year when Ken and I secretly got married, but we did not like living apart so I left and we went to Florida for better job opportunities.  Both Ken and I worked at Cape Canaveral until our first daughter came along and we worked our way back to Knoxville by way of Atlanta for a couple of years. I stayed home with our daughters, as we now had our second child and that was a great time of bonding with my daughters.  After they started school I went back to work and my last job before joining Ken in the printing business was Vice President of Toyota of Knoxville where I ran all of the finance offices.  The auto business requires long hours and Ken and I felt like we were not getting to spend as much time with each other as we would have liked.  So I took a leap of faith in 1990 and joined Ken in the printing business.  That was what it was in 1990, just printing.  I had to quickly learn all about printing so that I could sell and assist Ken with things like estimating, writing job tickets and much more.

Some times doors are opened that you did not even know existed and the next door to open was because of ALCOA.  They moved their marketing and communications to Knoxville from Pittsburgh.  We started printing for them and they asked me who did fulfillment and I did not know anyone who provided that service.  Fools rush in where angels dare to tread, so we started doing fulfillment and mailing.  Did I know anymore about mailing than I did when I started in printing?  The answer is definitely not, but with the help of some knowledgeable people at the USPS, we got really good at mailing.  We added graphic design to offer our customers a one-stop convenience for direct mail.  Our customers like the fact that they have to come to only one business to get everything accomplished.

Ken, the love of my life, and partner passed away in 2014 from Leukemia, but with the help of my wonderful crew here at Burns Mailing & Printing we are still going strong serving our customers. We are a 100% State of TN certified Women Business Enterprise (WBE)

If you are looking for a one-stop convenience for direct mail give me a call at 865 584-2265 or email me at

Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. Paused From Our Work Today

October 6, 2017

As fall has arrived and it will start getting colder, I decided that we need to have one last cook out at work today.  We grilled hot dogs, had all the fixings to go with it and sat down as one company. I wanted it as an opportunity to thank my great team at Burns for all their hard work.  I have a team that works hard, appreciates our customers, knows the importance of getting our jobs out and giving quality work to our customers. Fall is our busiest season but we paused today to celebrate together as one team.

If you want to experience working with our great team at Burns Mailing & Printing, give me a call at 865 584-2265 or email me Phyllis Burns at

Wishing all of you a Happy Fall.

Millennials And Direct Mail (With A Response Rate Of 5%)

September 25, 2017

Millennials range from ages 20 to 26

Millennials are in a category all their own. They were raised in the digital age and technology is second nature to them but that doesn’t mean that they don’t respond to traditional marketing methods such as direct mail. They are on the go, buying houses, renting apartments, buying cars and they are a force in the workplace.

What does all that have to do with direct mail?

Direct mail has continued to be a great source for marketing with a response rate of 5% as compared to digital marketing with a response rate of less than 1%.  I recommend to my customers that they do both direct mail and social media marketing.  Millennials are experiencing digital fatigue but they still spend a lot of time online, so use direct mail to guide them to your website or social media page and give them a reason to go to your page, such as an offer of something free such as consulting, free estimates, or a discount. The marketing landscape is always changing but direct mail remains as influential as ever, or more so.  When I started in the mailing business in the early 1990’s the response rate was 2-3% and now it is 5%.

At Burns Mailing & Printing, Inc. our consulting is FREE to our customers.  I just showed a non-profit how to save over $4000.00 in postage and all it took was sitting down and listening to what they had been doing and what we could do for their organizations. Call me, Phyllis Burns,  today for a FREE consultation 865 584-2265.  You may email me at for a free estimate.