NYC street with advertisements and print marketing from many brands

Your Guide to Print Marketing Examples in NYC

May 14, 2021

New York City is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, known for its shopping, museums, the annual marathon, and culturally diverse dining. When tourists and locals walk through the different neighborhoods and boroughs of NYC, they can’t help but notice a range of advertising from sidewalk signs outside small businesses to large window signs in department stores. When they go to a restaurant or cafe, it’s the menu that gives them a look at the establishment’s unique creations. These are all examples of print marketing.

While it’s true that digital media has become increasingly popular and has encouraged consumers to make more purchases online, there is no real substitute for print marketing as a vibrant and tangible way to make an impression. Businesses of all sizes need to differentiate themselves from their competition in order to draw customers in. By creating posters, t-shirts, flyers, fashion lookbooks, and more with visuals that are unique to their brand, businesses can form an instant connection with their audience.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, independent retailers, store owners, and city officials began including more signage showing safety rules and regulations. New York relies on print marketing to support all the exciting events in the city while keeping New Yorkers safe.

The New York City Marathon

As one of the most prominent events in America, the New York City Marathon attracts 2.6 million viewers annually, stretches 26.2 miles across all 5 boroughs, and has 28,000 runners participating each year. An event of this scale gives businesses ample opportunity to market their products and services. Many businesses set up their print marketing the day before the marathon at The Expo, where runners pick up their numbers. One of the most popular forms of print marketing used here are coupons from sporting vendors, NYC restaurants, and spas which are included in the runners’ pickup bags. Vendors also use banners, brochures, and cards to make their brands stand out among the competition.

The bigger opportunity for marketing is the day of the marathon, where brands and charities can benefit from custom printed t-shirts. This is because runners are allowed to wear attire from their favorite sporting brand and t-shirts for their local running club or a charity they support. Having your business’ name noticed by the millions of people attending and watching the marathon is an exciting way to connect with new customers.

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

Printing has become especially important to every industry and business over the past year. Small businesses and busy public areas have all relied on print signage to ensure citizens are complying with federal and state COVID-19 laws. A store, for instance, would need a window sign telling customers they are required to wear a mask inside and informing them of the maximum occupancy limit. There might also be a printed sign at the register to let clients know if the store is only accepting debit or credit cards.

In crowded places such as a subway station or hospital, multiple forms of print signage are required to keep people safe. Wayfinding posters are an effective way to prevent overcrowding because they help direct traffic, and floor decals are perfect for ensuring people are standing 6 feet apart to maintain social distancing.

Restaurant owners have also used more print signage since the start of COVID-19. In addition to the regular menus and sidewalk boards, owners now need signs indicating if they are open for indoor dining and the maximum number of diners allowed. Since the initial lockdown, more people have been ordering their meals for either pickup or delivery, and restaurants are using signs to let customers know if they offer these popular alternatives to the indoor dining. Not only does having clear signage help keep customers and employees safe, but it also proves that the restaurant is complying with the law.

Signs are available in a number of colors and shapes customizable to each business and brand, and can even be translated into different languages.


New York City is home to Broadway, the bustling street where exciting shows and performances take place. With a total of 41 theatres, 14 million people attended shows between 2018 and 2019. Even though Broadway is already well known both nationally and internationally, it is still important for theater companies to use print in order to market shows to locals and tourists. Having posters, programs, and sidewalk signs with vibrant colors and pictures is a sure way to draw the attention of potential audiences. There is also an opportunity here to partner with other businesses; for example, a store could hang up the theater’s poster in exchange for a discount on tickets. Additionally, the theater company could sell advertising space in their programs to bring in extra revenue and cross-promote with local businesses.

Print marketing can also be portable, making it possible to expand the reach of advertising outside the city. For example, a theater company could create yard signs to be placed in a wider geographical area. As a result, the show’s marketing goes a long way and the theater could sell tickets to people from other areas who might not have initially considered attending.

Retail in NYC

New York City is known for its luxury fashion, iconic department stores, and unique local boutiques. Each neighborhood has retail stores that represent their vibe, whether they are high-end designers or affordable fashion. Regardless of which end of the pricing spectrum a store falls on, they all rely on print marketing to turn passers-by into customers. Product launches and sales, especially during busy times like Black Friday, require eye-catching posters and signs.

With a multi-channel marketing approach proving most effective, many retail businesses use print to complement digital advertising, balancing out electronic communication with tangible collateral marketing materials. For example, many retailers run ads in fashion magazines that require captivating visuals and copy to capture a reader’s attention. There is also a way to integrate aspects of digital marketing with print marketing. Displaying a custom sign or poster with a QR code is one way to help shoppers make a seamless transition between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.

New York is home to iconic department stores like Saks Fifth Ave and Bergdorf Goodman; these high-end retailers often take advantage of running digital and print ads simultaneously in a way that engages consumers. Saks Fifth Ave once ran an ad in InStyle that allowed select readers to win a free product if they checked in to the store’s webpage via their smartphone. They also included complimentary styling tips during this campaign, resulting in a higher volume of visitors to the Saks Fifth Ave store and website.

Also located in the heart of NYC is Bestype Printing, a local Soho-based printing solutions provider steeped in the history and culture of New York. Over the years, Bestype has built strong partnerships with local businesses by bringing its vision to life through high-quality print marketing. All materials are printed in-house, meaning customers don’t have to worry about delays. Bestype offers same-day and rush printing for businesses or individuals working on a strict timeline.

Are you a busy NYC business leader or marketing professional? Contact Bestype today for your next project!

Image credit: Photo by Joshua Chua on Unsplash

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