PUBLISHERS NOTE: PEOPLE TO WATCH PREVIEW
The January GDUSA magazine — which features our 2009 People To Watch picks — is hot off the press and winging its way to you. Well, actually, the presses aren't really hot, just slightly warm, and it's the Post Office that will deliver it, so "winging" is a bit of hyperbole. Sorry, I get overexcited by the first magazine of the year. Realistically, just be glad if it arrives at all.
Anyway, each year for decades we choose a group of People To Watch who embody the spirit of the creative community. The criteria: individuals who we have come to know and respect for a combination of talent, leadership, success, insight, business savvy, community service and newsworthiness. It is a subjective process — this is a field deep with special people doing special things — so please let us hear from you about others who deserve recognition. Even without a bailout, we expect to be around to publish these picks for many January's to come.
Here is the 2009 selection: Marc Alt, Brian Brindisi, Norman Cherubino , James Clunie, Hillman Curtis, Becky Eason, Charlyne Fabi, Gretchen Finch, Jeff Fisher, Stanley Hainsworth, Mark Hamilton, Sagi Haviv, Linda Henneman, Julia Hoffmann, Timothy Holmes, Vicky Jones, Seth Labenz, David Langton, Jake Lefebure, Kevin Lyons, Ed O'Brien, Michael Ozan, Mark Randall, Roy Rub, Brian Singer, Ted Stanaszek, Dana Steffe, Shalmir Tippit Johston and David Turner.
As you will see — when the magazine reaches you — coping with the economic downturn is very much top of mind for our best and brightest. Their comments strike three overlapping themes. First is the need to run a smarter business that is well-positioned to pursue new sources of revenue. Second involves the importance of keeping a positive attitude; yoga is a popular pastime. And the third theme concerns food. How are you weathering tough times? "Eat more pizza," says Jake Lefebure. More brown bag lunches, promises Brian Brandisi. For James Clunie, it is "less desserts and more soups." Dana Steffe has "started baking my own bread" and Ed O'Brien is "cooking more."
Perhaps this reflects food's power as a primal metaphor for economic feast and famine. Or maybe our panel was just hungry when they sat down to answer our questions.
— Gordon Kaye
GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
Color Us Optimistic
According to Pantone, Mimosa embodies hopefulness and reassurance in a climate of change. This trait wins the warm engaging yellow — PANTONE® 14-0848 Mimosa — the color of the year for 2009. In a time of economic uncertainty and political change, optimism is paramount., contends Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, and no other color expresses hope and reassurance more than yellow. She adds: "The color yellow exemplifies the warmth and nurturing quality of the sun, properties we as humans are naturally drawn to for reassurance. Mimosa also speaks to enlightenment, as it is a hue that sparks imagination and innovation."
The advertising industry is guilty of "pervasive racial discrimination" that not only underhires and segregates African-Americans but pays them less than comparable white employees. That according to Cyrus Mehri, a partner in a civil rights litigation firm and head of the Madison Avenue Project, which is investigating racism charges. Mehri, working in conjunction with the NAACP, is laying the groundwork for a possible class-action suit. "The NAACP and my firm are joining forces to take on the advertising industry to end the long era of purposeful discrimination," Mehri told a recent press conference. The industry, Mehri continued, "has robbed the African-American community of equal opportunity, good positions and, most important, their dignity."
Phillips Design Group, Boston, has redesigned Scrabble, the venerable Hasbro game, with the goal of creating an emotional connection to the brand for a younger audience. Research indicated that the game, while extremely well-known, was intimidating to some and tended to attract an aging demographic. The solution: a new look that features "fun," using Scrabble tiles in bright colors and shapes to evoke energy. Plus a message of inclusivity via use of the tagline "every word's a winner" on the box and elsewhere.
HP SPECIAL PROMOTION
Why settle for 'good enough' printing when you don't have to?
MORE GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
Yoplait redefined the European yogurt segment in the '90s by introducing yogurt-to-go, targeting teenagers under the Yop brand. With current teens in mind, Yoplait asked Dragon Rouge to help create a new product — from concept to its positioning, naming and visual identity. Multiple products were filtered through research and the winning idea was a yogurt-based sparkling drink positioned around the idea of "free your mind, stimulate your senses." Dizzy by Yop has been introduced with packaging that provides unique cues for the category including an aluminum bottle, bold purple color, block letter typography filled with symbols, and a playful moose character.
Sign Of The Times
The New York Times has begun to sell an ad unit on its front page for the first time in its long, gray existence. The first placement was from CBS, a two-and-a-half-inch horizontal strip at the bottom of the front page. Although many major newspapers have offered advertisers front page spots, the Times has held itself out as too serious for such matters. But the publication is reportedly in financial distress, with plunging ad revenues; it recently announced plans to raise cash by mortgaging its headquarters in Manhattan and selling its stake in the Boston Red Sox.
The Concept Farm and the American Heart Association have teamed for a bold campaign whose purpose is to make consumers aware of the signs of a stroke and encourage an immediate call to 9-1-1. "We went in with the mindset that when it comes to saving lives, nothing is too far out," said Hank Wasiak, Concept Farm Partner and board member of the AHA. The campaign includes three intense tv spots and a deep interactive presence, including a website with an unexpected tabloid design. Co-creative director Gregg Wasiak says, "We needed the work to live up to the line and shake things up for the category... Stroke is scary, but the creative doesn't have to be."
Better Maps For Less Click Here
MORE GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
When HZDG, a 100-plus DC metro area graphic design, relocated its headquarters to a new 15,000 square foot space, president and executive c.d. Karen Zuckerman challenged the staff to design the space themselves. This spawned a team building event in which teams are assigned a space to design over a ten week period. "At the end of the challenge, we will have finished our office space, we will have made it 'us,' we will all have gotten to know one another better, and we will have a story to tell. Plus, with the economy in the state it is in, it is more cost effective for us to do this work rather than bring in interior decorators. What better challenge could there be?" says Zuckerman. Results to come.
Schawk, Inc. has acquired DJPA, an international brand and packaging design firm with offices in England and The Netherlands. DJPA's clients include Unilever, Grolsch, Warburtons, Heinz, Friesland Foods and Burton's Food. Schawk has been expanding its capabilities through acquisitions and internal development, and its Anthem Worldwide strategic design company has grown considerably. David A. Schawk, president and ceo, said, "DJPA has been selected to facilitate the strategically important lead role to expand Anthem's design business in Europe." Anne Marie Pagliacci is executive vice president, managing group director of Anthem Worldwide.
BoatU.S. Magazine, the nation's largest circulation recreational boating magazine with over 600,000 readers, has undergone a major redesign and been re-launched with a new look, layout, content and features with its January 2009 issue. The redesign has been spearheaded by boating publishing industry veteran Bernadette Bernon, who was recently appointed consulting editor, and implemented by inhouse graphics department head Carla Shamblen.
NOW ON GDUSA.COM: AWARD WINNERS GALLERY
The award winning projects showcased in the 2008 American Graphic Design Awards Annual are now also posted on our (exceedingly) popular website, too. Showcased pieces can be found by Category (e.g., Annual Reports) or by Design Firm/Department. Assuming all goes well, winners of all future GDUSA competitions will also appear on the site going forward. Come take a look!