20 July 2010

Two Major Offenders



I would love to work on these brands and their retail promotions. There is a difference between marketing and design. Huge difference. Not only do designers think differently about a problem but it is our job to inform and to delight. When they come together is seems like the perfect dance. Someone here was stepping on each others feet. And I think the designer walked away limping.

In researching Back to School promotions, I was moved to share with you these two offenders.  A client will come back with the most cliche of themes. AND yes this has happened to me as a designer. Back to School is a hard season to solve for. It is reaching out to the mass market. Moms and kids of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes.

The flood of rational questions begin to swirl in my mind:
Do we really have to communicate with expected knowns and noisy layouts for a season to be sucessful?

Why did these examples land on unimagined design?

How many times are we going to see a sloppy handwriting caring the weight of "Back to School" theme? Or apples with type on them?

Does any kid marvel at mediocre handwriting?  Are kids even writing as much as we use to in school? Do they still bring apples to school for teacher or even know of that reference?

Does this really appeal to Moms? Do they like to see apples and poor handwriting?

What happened to the delight?

Yes, it did inform me of the promotion. But where is the charm? Where is the craft? What happened to the design part of this problem.

Also, its July! What happened to summer? Do we really need to rush everything?

It would be a huge shift for retailers to embrace the "now" and not "what's next". I wonder if you could do both and still stay ahead of the competition. You might gain more brand champions for life by living their life cycle instead of always beating them to it. This isn't something any retailer is willing to do and there isn't enough research to support not starting promotions 3 months in advance. No one can win on that argument.

I recently went through 4 rounds of Back to School promotions. I gave them the works, the deluxe, the rational and still in the end I got a handwritten fax with a small sketch and a cliche theme. While this option will never see the light of day in my book, I have 3 other rounds that solved the problem in the sandbox they gave me to play in. And I learned how to sell my work to clients who may or may not be listening. No matter how hard you sell through what they need, sometimes they get what they want. These two examples seem to reflect just that.

Sidebar:
Maybe next year these clients could come to Periscope! This would be amazing! How much fun would it be to rock out some kick-butt retail and, in the end, increase their sales. Seriously, I dream about getting clients that need a change and are willing to take the steps to rock it out! They are great brands with longevity and who knows what the future will hold for them.

Last inquiry:
I wonder if they beat last years sales with these tactics.

15 July 2010

MPLS Aquatennial & Adam Turman


In Sunday's Star Tribune was this great booklet on Minneapolis's own Aquatennial. I never lived in city that have more made up summer events for a excuse to throw a really long party and be outside. But that is what 8 month of winter will do to Minnesotans. The get cabin fever and plan the entire summer full of great events like this one.

Adam Turman, an amazingly talented illustrator and desiger, did the cover. Love the type.

After living in this great state I've yet to go. This weekend I will be soaking up summer and celebrating that fact that Minnesota has lakes!

LifeTime Fitness Torchlight 5K



(video... well we are all critics)

Periscope will be running this year. While I don't really believe in organized exercise (that is just my inner fat girl rejecting working out), the Scope is currently the second largest group to run! Hope to have pics to share after the event.


by hellodave

MPLS Egoist


When can I get the shirt?
MPLS Egoist hit our creative community July 1st! This site is dedicated to "featuring the best local creative from the best local talent at the best local agencies."

Periscope was welcomed to the site this week with a Red Robin feature. Pretty nice tweets too.

The new AIGA MN Website is Live!


The new AIGA Minnesota Website is live. After a year in the making, we are so proud finally have a web present that 1. we can edit ourselves, 2. looks really great and 3. showcases all the programing, volunteering and social media opportunities that AIGA MN offers its members.

Thank you to Kyle Meyer and Clockwork for designing and developing this site. Amazing job!

Last night was my very last board meeting and it felt so good to roll off. I left seeing a member who I met at the AIGA MN New Member Nights a year ago become the new In-House Designer Associate Programing Director. The next director of Membership will be Sam Michaels, designer at Studio on Fire, who is going to do an amazing job. She has lots of spunk to boot. Love that chick.

Looking back on the last two years, I'm really grateful to of donated my time to AIGA. I learned that I'm fearless and will to lead a group with humility and gratitude.

What's next? Right. The rest of July (2 weeks) will be for me!! and my family. My sister and niece are moving today to Minneapolis and will be staying with us for sometime. They are leaving the great state of Hawaii. I know. I know. But its really expensive to live there and it does get old having to deal with tourism. Trust me I'm from Florida.

August is the big 30/30. I've decided to chair AIGA MN's design show! And I will be starting a few new personal projects.
1. A shop
2. A book (well the one i've been working on and off on.)

The day is short and I'm always hunger for more time.  Today, the Minneapolis Farmers Market downtown, did not disappoint.
Flowers for my guests!

And you could say I'm go through a pink phase!

13 July 2010

The way it was done.


Design story: The Decanter from Landor Associates on Vimeo.


We need to bring back the "glamour" of design. The mystery of the magic. Being a creative is the best job in the world. Think smart, play and sell. Craft is everything in design and advertising. This movie by Landor is lovely.  I still have a few former teachers and friends working there in New York.  Lovely heritage.

In honor of more glamour in design, I've clean my office and rearranged the digs. It feels so much better.

Paper Kisses Ya'll

Okay so work is a bit more manageable. Back to posting more often.

First up...

Hello Orlando. I'm missing the sunshine state as summer ticks by. But to my delight here is Nick Sambrato of grain & gram located in the great state FLA.


Grain & Gram: Nick Sambrato, Printmaker from Grain & Gram on Vimeo.


Sweet printing. And if you believe my dearest Anna, he is single.

Number 29: The search continues

30/30 List is going well.
But 29. has been trying at best. The manufacturer doesn't make these amazing pink glasses... anymore. Crap. Plan B.

I still would like pink frames and lately my mind has been all blush and bashful. Here are the sets I found and purchased on Ebay. Hope they fit. I have my eye on two more and a gray set and black set if these don't work out.





I know this whole movie by heart and still love it. Bless your heart.