Blog Archives

Subliminal Message Helps To Strengthen This Ad.

June 25th, 2011  |  Published in Advertising,Creative,Design

It’s Day 21 of my 28-Day Creative Challenge and I’m well over halfway through sorting and organizing my creative morgue files. The ad that I selected for today is from March 1994. It shares a variation of a concept also used on the Day 11 ad. Both ads feature a powerful photo of two people who at first glance are very different from each other. The copy tells us that they ARE very different people but with something in common — the PowerBook.

The writer kept the copy to a minimum, giving us two easy-to-read lists to quickly skim. Subliminally speaking, because nowhere is it written, we understand that the PowerBook is liked and used by both the young and the old. The designer’s use of color for the Apple logo and white space to frame the photo works to make this a strong ad and a real keeper for my collection.

Time For Good Concept And Design.

June 23rd, 2011  |  Published in Advertising,Creative,Design

Day 19 of my 28-Day Creative Challenge.

Check out all the “white space” this ad has. What a concept — and I mean that both literally and figuratively. It uses only 23 well-chosen words in both headline and body copy, a golfing photo that uses psychology to appeal to our hedonistic nature (that’s worth at least a thousand words, right?), and a powerful product shot. Toss in the two logos and a wee bit of descriptive copy that includes price, and we have a strong, clean ad. And that’s how it’s done folks!

This ad has certainly found a home in my creative morgue files as a reminder to continue to fight for “white space.” If you’d like to participate in my 28-Day Creative Challenge, please send me links to download or printed samples of creative work that you find inspiring. If it inspires me too, I’ll feature it here along with a link to your blog or website. Or you could just post a comment.

Paper Drink Coaster With Logo And Website.

June 19th, 2011  |  Published in Advertising,Creative,Design

Day 15 of my 28-Day Creative Challenge.

Paper drink coasters aren’t just for bars anymore. They’re a great way to keep your logo, website and also telephone number in front of clients and prospects. Be sure to give them plenty. Leather one’s are nice as well, and will last much longer.

I hope everyone has had a fabulous Father’s Day today!

28-Day Creative Challenge: Day 4

June 7th, 2011  |  Published in Advertising,Creative,Design

Today I selected the 2009 Annual Report of Fortune Brands. What better way to showcase the company’s 67 logos? They’re crisp and clean on a bright white background and form an interesting pattern all their own.

Would you like to be part of my 28-Day Creative Challenge? Send  me links to download or printed samples of creative work that inspires you, and if it inspires me as well, I’ll feature it here along with a link to your blog or website.

Have a great day!

continued: Pen-and-Ink, Do I Still Have What it Takes?

March 1st, 2011  |  Published in Illustration  |  2 Comments

This artwork was drawn when I was working as an art director at a small advertising agency. They needed a quick illustration for their client “The Original Cookie Company”, remember them? I think that they are owned by Mrs. Fields now, but don’t quote me on that. This illustration, created for their countertop sign at the mall is the very last thing I’ve drawn with a Radidograph pen in nearly 20 years.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Rapidograph pen here’s a photo of my old ones recently rescued from the attic. Last week I bought crisp vellum paper and shiny new Rapidograph pens at Hobby Lobby to replace these. By the way, Hobby Lobby, if you need a new logo give me a call.

When I got my new pens home I was so excited to fill them with ink and, of course, made a sticky, black mess of it – all part of the creative process. I’ve also ruined the first piece of expensive vellum paper I started on. I guess now that I’ve made my first mistake I no longer have to fear making it and am free to move forward. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. I hope to have something to show you by the end of the week. Oops, did that sound like a commitment?

Institutional Ads Increase Brand Awareness.

March 23rd, 2009  |  Published in Advertising

Why is it that new business owners will spend thousands of dollars on inventory, buildings and equipment only to neglect advertising and marketing? 

A couple of years ago I attended a Chamber of Commerce networking event. It was held at a new, upscale furniture store and the husband and wife owners were our hosts. As I roamed about the store, drinking wine and greeting other Chamber members, I met the husband’s mother-in-law. She confided in me that her son-in-law had invested everything in the store and that she prayed it would be a success.

When I met the store owners and questioned the husband about advertising, I learned that he had assigned all advertising and marketing to the Store Manager. As I ate my way across the room, sampling strawberries from the chocolate fountain, and cheeses and veggies from the buffet, I finally found the Store Manager. He quickly let me know that he had their advertising under control and he happily showed me the Grand Opening ad that he had just ran in the local paper that day. The ad was one-half page of white space with a very small store logo in the center. Under the logo, in very small type it said “Grand Opening”. I can’t remember for sure if the address was even listed.

I was horrified when I saw this “Institutional Ad”. An Institutional Ad is fine for well-known companies trying to increase brand awareness – not for stores like this one without name recognition. As a matter of fact, many large, well-known companies don’t have the budget to run an ad that’s not driving home some critical selling feature or encouraging the consumer to act.

It was no surprise to me when this store closed in less than two years. Why would someone invest everything and then turn something as important as their advertising over to an unqualified employee? With the relatively recent invention of the computer, anyone who can learn the software programs can produce advertising and they do! But not the kind that inspires and motivates the public to take action – that takes an experienced professional.

Effective Use Of Color In Design.

March 17th, 2009  |  Published in Design

Everyone knows the importance of red to Coca-cola, brown to UPS and pink to Mary Kay, but color is important for more than logos – color is an emotional tool that effects us both mentally and physically.  Red can actually make the heart beat faster, raise the blood pressure and stimulate the pituitary gland. A recent study proves what advertising experts have known for years about red –  that it makes men feel more amorous toward women and willing to spend more money on us.

skin-bookmdSome companies give little thought to color selection. Some select colors for their advertising based on the CEO’s personal preferences or let printing costs drive their selection. In the example shown here they probably saved money by using the company’s two logo colors and black. Unfortunately the logo colors are green and blue which create very disturbing skin tones. When you read the text you’ll discover that the photos represent patients that have used the company’s line of skin cleansers and moisturizers. Hmm. Wouldn’t you prefer to see healthy, glowing skin?

Never use green, blue or red for skin tones unless using them for their psychological impact. Use green skin tones for illness, blue for death and red for embarrassment or pain. With studies showing that nearly 80% of consumer purchasing decisions being based on color and packaging alone, shouldn’t we give color selection the respect it deserves?

TIP: Expect brilliant, sunny-yellow Mimosa to be popping up. The Pantone Color Institute has forecast it as the 2009 color of the year!