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If you advertise with rack cards, you know how competitive it is - and how limited you are to be creative beyond design. Most racks are designed for 4-inch by 9-inch rack cards, and when you're up against the best of the best (as in a tourist area) it can be difficult to stand out from the pack even with an incredible design. Rise about the rest and take advantage of different rack card size dimensions by breaking convention - no matter what size your rack slots are.
Many racks are tiered with a plexiglass face so that the rack cards' fronts are always visible. Since you can't print rack cards that are wider than your allotted slot, you can instead print slim rack cards that stand out as anomalies amongst their contemporaries. With the right design, slim can be sexy, and the empty space around your rack cards can draw immediate attention. Even better: If you have access to your slot, insert a sheet with a background design behind your rack cards for an interactive experience or to add attention-getting contrast.
Slim is sexy, but in bigger is often better. The problem is that you can't print extra wide rack cards because they won't fit in the slots, and extra-tall rack cards might disqualify you because you'll obscure your neighbors. There are some workarounds: If you can get the top rack, you might be able to print extra-tall rack cards. You might also try getting away with a rack card that's slightly taller - say, 1/2-inch, so that it just edges out your competitors' rack cards (place a powerful headline in your extra space). Another alternative is to see if you can hang an extra-wide slot on the exterior of the rack itself, or even bring your own rack on a pedestal with extra-large slots.
Another unique way to stand out is to have the top of your rack cards die-cut so that a shape rises out of its slot. It could be as simple as a zigzag line or a small triangle that's just a little bit taller than the rest (see "Bigger is better"), or it could be a more intricate die cut in the shape of something relevant to your business - a roller coaster, for example. As you can see, being different is the most critical factor to rack card success. Your message, offer, call to action and targeting are all also important, but keep in mind that none of these things matter if your rack card can't get the first look. Use these ideas as inspiration for creating your own rack cards in unique dimensions that sell.