GRAPHIC DESIGN ENEWSLETTER / FEBRUARY 10, 2009
IN THIS ISSUE:
Publishers Note: Retail Branding In A Recession
I once offended a few of you by mentioning that I suffer from museum fatigue, an overwhelming lethargy that strikes me in major metropolitan museums, driving me to the nearest Mies van der Rohe couch. Not proud of it, but there it is. Now, another admission: I get the same symptoms when forced to shop, combining a deep malaise with a loss of bearings, relieved only by a bottle of soda or a gum ball from the nearest coin-operated machine. Not surprisingly, the vagaries of store positioning escape me, though I have learned to recognize a good gumball from a stale one.
However, a new study by Interbrand Design Forum — seeking to identify the top 50 U.S. retail brands in terms of present net value — has caught my interest because the results so reflect this moment in time. The key finding: low prices trump panache as big box stores crowd out department stores at the top of the list. Wal-Mart ranks number one, with Best Buy, The Home Depot, Target and CVS rounding out the top five. Several online sellers like eBay, Amazon, Dell and Net Flix also show strength, as do specialized firms like AutoZone and American Girl. Department stores, though, are clearly under duress. Some score well, e.g., Nordstrom and JC Penney, but many iconic names such as Macy’s, Saks and Sears, are conspicuously absent. Quoted on the results in Brandweek, Doug Spong of Carmichael Lynch Spong, says: “Department stores are caught in a no man’s land... They don’t offer the price advantages that the distributors do and they don’t offer the expertise of some of these luxury goods and other highly-sought after brands ...”
Addressing the bigger picture, Lee Carpenter, ceo of Interbrand Design
Forum, opines that “in a recession, brand is more important than
ever... Retailers are now realizing that brand transcends its traditional
marketing role and should be adopted as an idea that runs through every
part of the company. During a period of increased competition and lowered
sales, brands that have successful propositions, such as Walmart, and offer
an engaging shopping experience, like Best Buy, will come out on
top.” My advice to retailers: follow Lee Carpenter’s
advice, and always remember that an engaging shopping experience
demands a soda machine.
— Gordon Kaye
After 26 years of service, Richard Herbert, executive vice president and general manager of Pantone, has left the company to pursue new challenges. Billy Chien, vice president of finance at Pantone, is interim general manager until a permanent replacement is named. Richard’s rare blend of technological, marketing, leadership and personal skills have contributed immensely to Pantone’s continuing leadership role in the market.
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Budget cuts and lean staff levels have pushed many creative teams into overdrive. As a result, now more than ever, on-the-job success depends on your ability to show grace under fire. Here are five tips for performing like a pro when the heat is on and stakes are high:
1. Go With The Flow. Adaptability is an invaluable skill. If priorities change and your boss asks you to move from one project to another, embrace the new challenge and demonstrate your ability to learn on the fly.
2. Strategize And Prioritize. Take a few minutes to develop a game plan before diving headfirst into any project. By thinking strategically and constructing a road map on the front end, you can spot potential hurdles before they slow you down.
3. Don’t Procrastinate. Worrying about a project doesn’t count as working on it. Rather than putting off your most pressing deadlines, hop to it. Getting these assignments out of the way first will lower your stress level and make your overall goals seem more manageable.
4. Ask For Help. Some jobs simply can’t be completed by one person. If you’re doing everything possible to meet your obligations and still see no end in sight, ask for assistance. Identify duties that can be delegated and request backup from your supervisor.
5. Turn Downtime Into Prep Time. After a high-intensity period passes, decompress by making note of the lessons you just learned. What factors, if any, caused you to fall behind schedule? If leading a project team, how could you have communicated goals more effectively? Reflective thinking will help you streamline your pressure-handling processes and prepare you for the next big brush fire.
The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis. Find more information at www.creativegroup.com
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GRAPHIC DESIGN EVENTS
Now Through February 20. New York NY. AIGA National Design Center hosts 365: AIGA Annual Design Exhibition 29. All selections will eventually be housed at the Design Archives at the Denver Art Museum in Colorado. Methodologie is responsible for the exhibition design.
Now Through April 26. San Francisco CA. Museum of Craft+Design. San Francisco Graphic Design 2009, an exhibition presenting leading edge work from the likes of Philippe Becker, Josh Chen, Barbara Vick, Christopher Simmons, Cinthia Wen, and many more. Michael Osborne is the curator and exhibition designer.
February 21. San Francisco CA. AIGA San Francisco and the AIGA’s Center for Sustainable Design present Compostmodern 09, an annual interdisciplinary conference for designers and business leaders. GreenBiz editor Joel Makower is emcee; GDUSA is a media sponsor.
February 26-28. Miami Beach FL. Operated by the Printing Association of Florida, Graphics of the Americans is a premier trade show for the printing and publishing industry for North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. A newly-redesigned website is full of useful information.
March 6. Houston TX. Association of Professional Design Firms (APDF) sponsors Leadership Forum: Rethinking Compensation at the Hotel ZaZa, with a welcoming reception by member firm Savage on March 5. The forum addresses “Compensation” across all graphic design disciplines.
March 7-8. Chicago IL. Future History 3 explores current and future curricular challenges and innovations of design education. At the downtown Hotel InterContinental.
March 12. Ann Arbor MI: Renowned designer and architect Richard Saul Wurman is the speaker at this Penny Stamps Lecture Series, co-sponsored by AIGA Detroit, University of Michigan School of Art and Design and the Penny Stamps series.
March 12-13. Boston MA. Managing any employee presents challenges, and special challenges are encountered when managing creative staff. This seminar sponsored by Design Management Institute and presented by Dr. Leonard Glick of Northeastern University deals with the common and classic issues.
March 18. Designer, filmmaker and author Hillman Curtis speaks to the AIGA NY chapter as part of the Design Remixed series. He was GDUSA’s Readers Choice selection as 2009 Person To Watch.
March 22-24. New York NY. The American Forest & Paper Association’s 132nd Annual Paper Week takes place at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan. It’s the premier pulp and paper industry event, with most top papermakers and many distributors in attendance, to discuss trends and issues that ultimately effect paper buyers and specifiers.
March 26-28. Milwaukee WI. The University & College Designers Association (UCDA) presents “The Big Brand Wolf.” At this ‘must attend’ UCDA Summit, the focus will be on how to stay fresh and current in these changing times, to see the forest for the trees, and how to battle the wolf.
April 3-4. Union NJ. “Thinking Creatively,” a two-day, world-class conference for creative professionals and students, take splace at Kean University. Organized by the Art Directors Club of New Jersey (ADCNJ) and The Design Center at Kean University, the conference features 23 sessions and 24 speakers promoting and celebrating the value of creative thinking.
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