Blog Archives

Day 1 Challenge: Just How To Begin?

June 4th, 2011  |  Published in Creative,Design

It’s Day 1 of my 28-Day Challenge and I don’t know where to begin so I’m cheating. I’m sharing with you something that I had taped to my wall because there was no room in my creative morgue for it. That’s just sad right?

I tore this page from a Pantone direct mail piece. The colors are vibrant and the image is wild! If a client asks me to design an energetic piece that really pops, I know just the colors to use. By the way, the Pantone Fashion Color Report for Fall 2011 is out and can be downloaded for FREE.

Maybe I should begin by moving all my files from the file cabinet into a BIG box…

FREE Bookmark – Fall 2010 Fashion Colors

April 23rd, 2010  |  Published in Advertising,Design

Winter was nearing it’s end as Pantone LLC released the PANTONE® Fashion Color Report Fall 2010. With the bright colors of spring and summer still months away it was hard for me to get excited about fall colors.

Now that spring is finally here I’ve taken a peek at the fall season’s color pallet. All that I can say is “move over spring and summer because fall is going to be gorgeous”. We’ll all want to include these trendy colors in our fall wardrobe, and of course, in any advertising and marketing promotions that are scheduled to release in the fall.

To help you do this I’d like to give you my “Top 10 Fashion Colors for Fall 2010″ bookmark. You can use it as a bookmark or take it along with you to the shopping mall to use as a guide. It even includes CMYK values for my graphic designer friends. Click here and download yours now.

Customers Criticize Retail Ads & Promotions.

January 14th, 2010  |  Published in Advertising,Design,Public Relations

Reading manRecently I gave a prepared speech on advertising to my Toastmasters group. Afterwards, long time member Chet P. approached me with the following request: “If you see that guy at Marc’s, tell him to make the type bigger because I can’t read his sale ads.” Marc’s is a NE Ohio, locally owned, deep discount store, and Chet is one of a growing number of older folks who can’t read small type. And by older I mean over 40. I told Chet that I didn’t think it would do any good to contact the store owner because it’s a common problem in the industry.

Designers have been complaining for at least 20 years that the sale ads are too crowded. In the past, we would discuss the merchandise in meetings and the merchants could be persuaded to run less items. Today, the economy and the advertising industry are both in chaos and the merchants seem to have the upper hand. I also blame those young “whipper-snapper” designers who are still able to read small print. Just because 6 point type is available doesn’t mean you have to use it. As a matter of fact, advertising disclaimers must be at least 8 point type to meet the retail advertising regulations of some states.

Did you happen to see the “FREE Gift with $20 Purchase” offer that another Ohio-based chain store advertised over the Christmas season? The “free gift” was just an empty box—a plain, white gift box that stores like Macy’s routinely give away. The store’s Facebook fans discussed it at length and called it “CHEAP.” To quote Charlotte Beers (Advertising Hall of Fame 2009 inductee) “It’s not what you say [FREE] but what they hear [CHEAP].”

Spring 2010 BookmarkDOWNLOADS

Spring really is just around the corner, at least as far as the fashion industry is concerned. If you haven’t downloaded your “TOP 10 Colors for Spring 2010” bookmark, CLICK HERE to get yours now. Use it as a bookmark or take it along as a color guide when shopping. Graphic designers will find the CMYK values given for each color handy, too.

Looking for unique events to celebrate? CLICK HERE to download your very own “2010 Retail Promotional Calendar.” Never miss National Karaoke Week or National Bathroom Reading Month again.

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!