Dot Whacks for Impact

dot-whack3 We all know what a Dot Whack is, even if, like me, we don’t recognize the term. It is mildly embarrassing to admit that, despite decades of employment in the marketing field, I had not heard the term “dot whack” until I worked at Amherst Label.

Not that I hadn’t designed and ordered dozens of dot whacks in my career—because I have. I called them shiny stickers, or attention-getting labels, and added them to printed pieces for impact. Or, like everyone else enamored with the photoshop drop shadow introduced in the 1990s, I simulated dot whacks. A “simulated dot whack,” is a trompe l’oeil (fool-the-eye in French) make-pretend label, similarly added after a design is complete to look like what I now know is called a dot whack.

Barron’s Dictionary of Marketing Terms provides a useful definition of a “Dot Whack.”

dot whack sticker or printed representation of a sticker placed on a direct-marketing piece to indicate that new information has been added or a new offer is being made. Dot whacks are usually small and may be round or starburst shaped. They should be brightly colored and positioned so as to be highly visible. Yellow is often used…. A dot whack might be placed on a catalog cover to indicate that sale priced items can be found inside. A dot whack might also be used to make an offer to a selected segment of a mailing. For example, it may contain a free shipping offer for first-time buyers or a discount on orders over a certain value

The term has been around for at least two decades, with a definition in the Urban Dictionary dated 2004.

a dot whack is a round sticker affixed to a direct mail piece with a special offer. Alternately, it is a printed sticker with a cast drop shadow to simulate a stickerized dot whack.
August 2002 issue of Target Marketing written by Pat Freisen. By psoup in san antonio, February 11, 2004

In several glossaries, I have found Dot Whacks listed after Dot Gain. With a background in printing, I knew all about Dot Gain. (The spreading of ink when printed that affects the size of dot screens in halftone photographs, dot gain must be taken into account when scanning photographs).

Now I’m happy to share my new favorite term, Dot Whack.

Call us at Amherst Label when you need a Dot Whack pressure sensitive label.

dot-whack1• Either permanent or removable

• On glossy, metallic or colored stock

• With varnish or laminate

• In a variety of shapes and sizes: square, round, serrated, star-burst, custom.

A Dot Whack shouts about the importance of what it is affixed to. Makes it stand out with aplomb. Gets noticed. Everything is better with a Dot Whack.



A removable Dot Whack label for a special, limited edition book is printed in metallic ink and varnished for a tasteful sheen.

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