PUBLISHERS NOTE: GUILTY PLEASURES
New York Magazine recently published a brilliant article called
“Pessimism Porn,” capturing the growing national obsession
with surfing the net, lusting after bad economic news. Everyone has
their particular favorite source to satisy the not-so-secret desire
to ogle market volatility, mass layoffs, salary cuts, home foreclosures,
plant closings, tax cheats, Ponzi schemes, celebrity bankruptcies,
and the like. It hurts so good, and I am as addicted as anyone. In
recent days, though, a nagging doubt arises: Could it be that
pessimism porn is not merely a guilty pleasure but an affirmative
cause of economic pain? Remember, this is the first recession
played out in a totally plugged in, completely connected, 24/7 new
cycle age, and the flood of information is as unprecedented as it
is overwhelming. Before writing this idea off as crazy talk,
consider that our collective fetish for finding and spreading
negative news accelerates panic and uncertainty, undermines
confidence and blunts action. It is not a healthy pattern for
self or society, and I want out. So here is my plan: Avoid business
news as much as possible. Resist the temptation to gossip (even
if yet another Cabinet member turns out to owe back taxes). Take
cold showers as needed. Find at least one bit of good economic
news every day and and share it with a friend, colleague or
— Gordon Kaye
GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
In a twist on user generated content, Skoal smokeless
tobacco users were given the chance to program a 12-page
print advertorial section in the publication’s
January 2009 special 55th Anniversary issue. The co-branded
issue represented the first time Playboy has collaborated
with an advertiser to offer user generated content and
printed additional issues for non-subscribers. The 12-page
Skoal section featured the following consumer-programmed
elements: interviews with Playmate Kara Monaco and
rodeo/football star Walt Garrison, anecdotes and stories
and jokes from consumers, and a photolayout of 11 Skoal models.
A New Chapter
Poulin + Morris names Brian Brindisi a Principal of the
firm, which he joined in 2000. He has led innumerable major
projects, been published and honored everywhere meaningful,
and was a 2009 GDUSA Person To Watch. Previously, Brian
was responsible for graphic identity and promotional print
programs for several design consultant firms in New York. He
is an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts where
he teaches visual communications and where he received his
BFA. Says Richard Poulin: “This is the beginning of
a new chapter in the firm’s twenty year history. Doug
and I are thrilled about this new collaboration and the
strength in our collective ability to challenge ourselves
in continuing to create meaningful work.”
Finesse, a dominant haircare brand of the 1980s, is hitting
store shelves with a “salon-worthy” look by
Little Big Brands. “We were given the assignment to
increase shelf impact for the brand while solving some
substantial challenges the original design represented,”
said John Nunziato, creative director. “The previous
package was difficult and costly to print. Simplifying
graphics and using techniques to enhance each substrate
was key to a vibrant, upscale new look.” The redesign
features a retro-inspired structure, an identity upgrade,
a “self-adjusting” icon, stronger brand blocking
on the shelf, upscale matte finishes to distinguish the
styling line, and color coding.
Images And Intimacy
Picturehouse, the one day event that puts creative
professionals together with image providers in a friendly
and intimate setting, comes to Chicago on April 16. The
venue is the River East Arts Center, and registration is
free for professional art and picture buyers. This year,
a new free seminar has been added, featuring Nancy Wolff,
Counsel to PACA and leading authority on copyright, who
will present “Copyright/Copywrong in Image
Licensing” in the morning.
Berry Good Site
Creative Company of McMinnville OR recently completed
development of a new website for Hurst’s Berry Farm,
the leading shipper of fresh berries in the Northwest. Goals
include making the site visually appealing, consistent with
printed literature, and easy for the staff to update. Led
by Director of Client Services Steve Donatelli, the design
firm developed a clean look for the site that incorporates
images of fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and
Baldwin Begins ‘Creative Practice’
A new agency — or “creative practice” as
founder David Baldwin prefers to calls it — ” has
opened its doors to offer advertising, design and brand
content services. BALDWIN& begins in Durham NC with 6
employees and one project-based client, the post-bankruptcy
Nortel. David Baldwin is a former partner and executive
creative director at McKinney, lead guitarist in a band, and
current chairman of The One Club.
NEW PRODUCT: AFFORDABLE MAPS FOR LESS
MORE GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
A Solution Unfolds
When Verizon wanted to promote signups for their fiber
optic services on the West Coast, they considered new media
options. But sometimes the cost effective solution calls
for traditional media. In this case, USFI/marketing
communications of Dallas TX proposed direct mail.
“Targeting the audience and engaging them in a
tactile, visual and verbal experience seemed to hold the
most promise, since we were promoting an entirely new
level of media experience,” explains creative
director Steve Ealy. “The challenge was to create
an analogous experience for the recipients of the
promotion, so they would be appropriately teased.”
The solution: the mailing piece appears subletter sized,
with bold white type on a black field asking,
“Ready for something really Big? Look
inside.” As recipients open the piece and the
offer literally unfolds, they’re presented
with imagery of the giant-screen TV.
Adobe Serves Layer Tennis
The 2009 Layer Tennis tournament, produced by Coudal
Partners and presented by Adobe Creative Suite 4, has
started. Layer Tennis is a series of live online design
events where creative professionals swap files back and
forth in real time while a third party offers
play-by-play commentary. This season, 43 live matches
can be viewed and will run every Friday until May 29.
“Adobe is excited to be a sponsor of the Layer
Tennis tournament and we can’t wait to see what
designers do with our Creative Suite tools this time
around,” said Mala Sharma, senior director,
product marketing for Creative Solutions at Adobe.
New Look Nivea
Pearlfisher has redesigned Nivea For Men, the number
one brand of male face care, for global relaunch. Packaging
is rolling out across the U.S. this winter. Jonathan Ford,
Creative Partner, Pearlfisher, says: “We have
modernized and brought the range together by streamlining
the packaging colors. Silver, blue and white are the dominant
colors with different color coded focal points featured in
the center of the packaging to help male consumers distinguish
between sub-ranges and navigate instore.” Will Gladden
was designer on the project.
Clean Design is twice ranked in the Triangle Business
Journal’s annual 2009 Book of Lists. According to firm
president Natalie Perkins, the firm makes the list for top
advertising agencies, and internet marketing and design firms
in the increasingly competitive Research Triangle. Rankings
are based on the number of advertising professionals in the
Triangle — anchored by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill
NC — and the number of Triangle employees dedicated to
these disciplines. Clients include John Deere, IBM, Lenovo,
and Progress Energy.
buildOn, a Stamford CT-based non-profit that creates
afterschool programs, has introduced a new logo and brand
identity executed by Courtney & Company. The firm was
responsible for the brand strategy, design and a direct
mail announcement. With over 290 schools built around the
world, Courtney & Company wanted the logo to reflect
the organization as a global movement with a hands-on
ethos. The “O” was given a painterly feel to
evoke a grass roots organization.
Razorfish Cuts Staff
Pioneering interactive agency Razorfish, now Microsoft-owned,
has laid off 70 employees across its Portland, Seattle, Los
Angeles and San Francisco offices. This represents around
4% of the work force, and follows 40 from its New York
offices in October. “The workforce reduction is a
difficult but necessary decision to effectively manage
Razorfish’s business through a challenging economic
climate,” stated Sally O’Dowd, public relations
manger. “Meanwhile, the net impact to our other
clients is anticipated to be minimal. Indeed, despite
challenging times, many clients continue to invest in
digital marketing because it is measurable and delivers
a higher return on their marketing spend...”
DON’T PLAY GUESSING GAMES WITH COLOR
GRAPHIC DESIGN BOOK BEAT
Women of Design
More than half of the graphic designers in the U.S. are
women and their work is everywhere, and yet they are not
celebrated or recognized in the same way as their male
counterparts. Women of Design, by Armin Vit and Bryony
Gomez-Palacio, explores this contradiction while shining
a light on the work of industry veterans and newcomers
alike. HOW Books is the publisher.
Few have left a deeper impression on the world of typography
than Jan Tshichold. Not onl was he a master in his field,
but he wrote high influential books and became instrumental
in promoting the modernist design strategy called the New
Typography. This substantial volume, edited by Cees W. de
Jong and published by Thames & Hudson, covers with lavish
illustration his life, career and work. Jan Tschihold-Master
Typographer is distributed by Norton in the U.S.
Adobe Photoshop CS4
Created by Steve Johnson of Perspection, Inc and published
by Que, this step-by-step exploration of Photoshop CS4 is
as comprehensive as training books come. It includes more
than 600 of the most essential tasks, as well as workshops
an ACE exam objectives. Its thoroughness is no surprise: author
Johnson has written more than 45 books on a variety of sofware.
Did you know there are 18 mantras for successful
advertising in our new age of digital communications? You
will, after you read Advertising Next by Tom Himpe an
published by Chronicle Books. Each of the mantras is presented
as a response to recent cultural phenomena, from the advent
of green marketing to blogging, from social networking sites
to user generated content. Himpe explores, illustrates and
defines a new set of rules for brand behavior in a digital
age, and brings them to life with 150 actual campaigns.
COMPETITION ENTRY FORMS
American Inhouse Design Awards
American Web Design Awards
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 Americas 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 the GDUSA 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.
BETTER MAPS FOR LESS
Fascinating and affordable maps for graphic designers and art directors.
NOW ON GDUSA.COM:
PEOPLE TO WATCH
Our 46th annual selection of People To Watch, with profiles, commentary and more.