Public Relations, Ad Specialties Share Movie Promo History
The PR specialty often referred to as event promotion co-existed comfortably with the generic marketing label “Advertising Specialties”, a category comprised of often useless junk offered as customer engagement bait, usually sold from monthly catalogs sent out by merchandisers ranging from post office box headquartered side gig entrepreneurs to large resellers on the national stage.
Key rings, pens, notepads, and refrigerator magnets are top-of-mind when it comes to booth memorabilia and convention mementos, but the global pandemic and a freshly minted set of hygienic standards upset that business model.
For one enterprise zone, though, ad specialties were the stuff creative dreams are made of, and represent a time that’s come and gone in the history of over-the-top, cost isn’t a problem promotion. Before YouTube trailers, micro-targeted ad pop-ups, Netflix, and streaming on-demand content, the movie industry for one brief period relied on often wildly imaginative product tie-ins to lure paid views and valuable word-of-mouth. Continue reading →
Have you ever clicked open a marketing email you’ve subscribed to — I use Apple Mail, but other email clients like Outlook are also affected — only to discover those email newsletters aren’t loading the images that are integral to the message? When the images that form the heart and soul of structured email content aren’t displaying, showing up as only a question mark on a blue background, it’s a big problem for both sender and recipient.
If you’re using a web browser for email; Gmail, Yahoo, etc., then this isn’t a problem. It may be, though, for anyone using a desktop client to retrieve their mail.
Look for the ellipsis menu icon to the right of the URL search display field.
Saving A Web Page As A Screen Shot
Saving a screen shot of a web page usually means being able to capture only the visible portion of the page, including all the unwanted browser tabs that might be open, along with any toolbar bookmarks, neither of which have anything to do with the web page itself and can even prove embarrassing if left in place.
Saving a web page screenshot is not the same as “save web page as”, which downloads the HTML code and can include the resources. Firefox now has the screenshot widget in the toolbar, and it’s a simple, three-step process of selecting the action, choosing the content desired, and downloading the file format. Continue reading →
Jack, the Jack Russel terrier that owned the shop, quickly became the face of the brand and was successfully incorporated across all social channels.
Local SEO Grows This Austin Plumbing Contractor’s Business
Locally focused social media marketing and local SEO is the great equalizer that enables independent retailers and service providers to compete against major national brands and regional franchises. The reality, though, is that for many, using Google to gain advantage all too often ends up being occasional posts to a personal Facebook page.
Projects included the design and implementation of an original brand identity, a website, a self-hosted blog, several social channels maintained with both created and curated content, publicity and promotion, and one-off design projects.
Last spring a 10-year relationship with Austin, TX plumbing contractor Wilson Plumbing came to an end. During that time, a company with no prior social footprint, no internet presence, and no paid marketing or advertising, grew to over $2M in sales, all derived from a narrowly defined by zip code local market of a relatively few square miles. Continue reading →
R/GA founder Bob Greenberg had no idea then that just four years later COVID would become the pandemic few foresaw coming and that no one had a plan for.
R/GA Documentary Ambushed by COVID
Documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit’s examination of global agency R/GA’s decision to consolidate their New York City headquarters in Workplace couldn’t have been more prescient. Released in 2016, the movie explores the creative push that resulted in the open concept, two-floored new home to hundreds, in the world before Covid.
Hustwit’s reputation for delivering award-winning quality insight into the intersections of design and type with culture and society is unique. Workplace joins Objectified, Rams, Urbanized, and Helvetica in shedding considerable light on how our immediate environment influences our shared experiences.
Until there’s a real social or political revolution, the office will be a feature of global capitalism for a long time to come.
Is #WFH a Permanent Address?
In Workplace, Hustwit examines the thinking behind R/GA founder Bob Greenberg’s ideas for a unified office atmosphere that can physically drive creative inspiration, the agency’s lifeblood. The architectural firm Foster + Partners is tasked with delivering a functional concept that solves both the physical and psychological needs of one of the world’s top digital agencies that showcases technology and fosters collaboration.
Along the way, you’re introduced to euphemisms like huddle rooms and floor plate, as Hustwit covers the journey from existing quarters to imagined outcome through move-in day. Continue reading →
In 2004, digital photography was still chiseling away at film, and smartphones with cameras their equal weren’t yet on the horizon, which means my visual record of a one-time-only first time ride is a little sparse.
With a nod towards a simpler time, when digital distractions were non-existent and Saturdays meant itching to get out of the house and on the road, this piece does a little off-roading into the unique geography that makes up the Oakhurst-Yosemite-Huntington Lake triangle in the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
News of architect I.M. Pei’s passing this week at the age of 102 touched off memories of my early years spent as a commercial photographer shooting everything from rock bands to cookie-cutter real estate housing developments to a nightmarish oxy-acetylene catalytic torch that could melt concrete. One of those adventures included two days in Washington, D.C., for an assignment at the then still new National Gallery of Art East Wing.
Though usually associated with his unconventional Egyptian pyramid inspired design solution at the Louvre, my path crossed his for a very brief moment the time I photographed his landmark atrium, with its signature Calder mobile floating lazily overhead while my client’s grove of ficus trees softened the sharp angularity of the structure’s beautifully polished marble surfaces, in the nation’s capitol.
If It’s Thursday It Must Be Washington
The gallery shoot was part of an extended romp around the heartland, with previous stops on the road that week in Wichita, Milwaukee, and the still under construction Minneapolis Zoo. It was the last leg of an exhausting schedule, which perhaps explains why I failed to take advantage of the unique access I was granted to this memorable national landmark. Continue reading →
File this one under the header of why I love the web. Gridlover’s simple, powerful, and free app lets you style your site CSS for type directly in your browser, and the WYSIWYG user interface make the experience pleasant, fast, and easy.
Typically, CSS type coding for your web site or individual page requires imagining what the results will look like, and that’s not always easy. Switching views back and forth in Dreamweaver can be tiresome, and introducing variables like line height, scale (between tags), and font size tend to get bogged down, if not impossible when you’re dealing with thousandths of whatever metric you prefer – pixels, ems, or SCSS.
What About Web Fonts?
Web fonts? Previewing the results typically requires updating the code and previewing online, which isn’t exactly elegant. Seeing the end result in Gridlover simply requires pasting in the HREF link and you’re there.
Try it yourself and see why using Gridlover to set up your type style sheet is a no-brainer. It puts the fun back in designing your site’s typography, instead of a chore that has to be dealt with.
In the latter half of the 20th century, nobody was busier – or better – than graphic designer Saul Bass when it came to movies, TV, print, and corporate branding.
His title design work for the movie blockbusters of the day — films like North By Northwest, Anatomy of A Murder, The Man With The Golden Arm, Vertigo, and many others — is still revered for its attention demanding content and arresting concepts.
Saul Bass was the graphic force that single-handedly changed the look and feel of American popular and corporate culture. His signature style was applied to virtually everything that had to do with print, film, or television, long before branding became a thing.
West Side Story — A Masterpiece That Stands Alone
The prologue intro and title for West Side Story is perhaps the single greatest movie title ever designed. Taken together, the two components are 10 minutes long, and set the stage for the film epic to follow.
Adding to the impressive design is the fact that at the time, there weren’t any multi-plex cinemas. When you went to the movies, you watched in an auditorium with 600 or 700 other viewers, gathered together and gazing up at a screen designed for viewing wide aspect CinemaScope or PanaVision stretching to the ceiling.
Before Apple, It Was All Done By Hand
Students today should be reminded that his complex and complicated movie title sequences were conceptualized and produced long before digital design software could even be imagined, let alone implemented. Then, accuracy was measured with a wooden ruler, a stopwatch, a film cutter, and some tape. A minor note, he did all this without Google and YouTube for reference.
His unique approach to title sequences was a spectacular break from the cookie-cutter template marketing methods cranked out by studios that had evolved little from the early days of film. His dramatic style used static design elements to convey mood, feeling, and focus to what had been traditional for the sake of tradition — and it worked.
Today, two-plus decades since his death, his work from a half-century ago remains vital, and is itself a continuing source of inspiration across a variety of media.