Graphic Design

Purpose of the Receipt

With Amazon Prime free shipping, and the savings you can get from subscribing to products (e.g. baby stuff just shows up at our house on a regular schedule and we get a price break for having a standing order), the UPS guy knows us well. The only problem is that the receipts that come with the order often don’t show the total.

It’s not like there’s a shortage of white space here.

Graphic Design Great Marketing

Rebirth of the Cool

While in Traverse City, Michigan over vacation (“Up North”) for those in the know, I came across a store called M-22. They had casual clothing with the M-22 logo on it, a highway that runs along the coastline and is travelled by kiteboarders. You can read their story here and check out their stuff.

In the store you can see that the merchandising was done with the brand in mind – it’s not just “How much crap can we put our logo on, and how cheap can we get it”, but rather going a higher quality route. Between having a higher quality product, and the hip Tribes-style appeal of the kiteboarding community you’ve got a great brand that will attract all the cool kids… at least for a couple of years until enough middle-age bozos like myself start wearing the stuff regularly.

Amid a whole street of “Traverse City” T-Shirts, and lots of cherry or fudge related tourist bait, M-22 takes the higher ground. What’s your edge?

Graphic Design

Adobe CS4

I’m watching the Launch Broadcast right now with our video pro. They are working with the RED camera. I think I need this.

Geek Stuff Graphic Design

Friday Night Fights!

Clarence was asking where the hell I’ve been so I had to break out the HUGE GUNS for FRIDAY NIGHT FIGHTS!:

I haven’t seen anybody show these off, I hope I’m not recycling. Your eyes do not deceive you – that’s The Greatest vs. The Man of Steel (getting spanked by the Dynamite Right!). This was a DC Giant Size from the 70’s that hasn’t been reprinted because of the legal rights to the images. The cover has over 100 celebrities including such 70’s-tastic stars as Sonny Bono, Jimmy Carter, Frank Sinatra and Telly Savales.

Graphic Design Productivity Booster The Marketeer

The Greatest Marketing Post in the History of the Universe

It’s so powerful that you only have to read step 1.

I’ve been fortunate enough (if you want to call it that), to have now spent more that 10 years doing website redesigns. There have been perhaps 7 times during my career where I’ve considering stabbing someone in the throat with my pen to stop the insanity during a meeting, and 5 of those were during website-by-committee meetings.

Seth says those are instant deal breakers – he’s making the world a safer place AND keeping me out of prison. I can’t thank him enough.

Graphic Design The Marketeer

Some Great Marketing – QOOP

I took a bunch of pictures over the 4th and uploaded them to Flickr and noticed a button that said “Make Stuff” when I looked at my photoset. This took me to a site called QOOP (no idea how the hell to pronounce it). That let me put together a book of 49 shots for around $25.
My QOOP BookI really like the way it came out, the book is 5×7 and the pages are full bleed (there’s no border on the pages, the ink goes right to the edge like a magazine).

What impressed me the most was some marketing thought behind it. Even though they have a terrible name – I tend to come from the “cup of soup” school of marketing, (how about mymagazine, myphotobook, anything besides a word that doesn’t mean anything) they did make a fantastic move: After I wrapped up the sale I was offered a second copy of the book for only about $5, I couldn’t refuse it at that price and of course I’m going to pass it off to another possible customer (and now write about it). It’s difficult to get pass along to work with every product, but with photos it’s incredibly easy.
Inside my QOOP bookThey also do posters and a bunch of other stuff, I may check out some of the other services.

Brain Buster Graphic Design Lead Generation Productivity Booster

The next level in gaming

With the holiday next week I was setting up my calendar for the week after that and found that the next WebInno meeting is coming up that Monday, July 9th. If you want to see what’s going on at the cutting edge of internet technology in Boston these meetups are required viewing. Just sign up on the wiki and show up to watch the presenters give a short demo, and check out the other presenters around the room and mingle at one of the better Tech who’s-who in Boston. I’ll be there and have managed to convince some other Boston bloggers and podcasters to show up so swing by if you’d like to grab a drink.

One of the presenters for next week – Digitalbrix has an interesting value prop – a SaaS offering that allows users to build simple games with out writing code like javascript, flash, etc. I’m very interested in checking this out some more, anyone that has done any web marketing has had a point where someone on high gets the itch to try and create a Flash based game.

David Beisel (the webinno organizer) connected me to Naveena Swamy, a founder at Digitalbrix and I had a chance to chat with her for a few minutes about what they are working on. Casual gaming is a huge market so there weren’t many surprises about the growth potential there, but there were two things that stretched my brain a bit. One was that I mentioned that this would be a powerful tool, and she said that a more important point was that it allowed greater collaboration. With a more powerful tool there’s now less friction between the artist, game concept designer etc. This can be expanded to include everyone playing the games which then generates an entire community.

The thing that resonated even more with me was the ability to use a system like this for prototyping. I can see this as a huge value in designing marketing campaigns. Rather than pick a vendor out of a hat and throw them $10,000 for one campaign, put together 4 or 5 concepts to test before making a final decision. That changes the game completely. Now where am I going to find some free time to play around with this myself?

Daily Life Gaming Geek Stuff Graphic Design Productivity Booster

Virtual Yard Sale

The purchase and sale agreement has been signed so it looks like we are off to a new home! I’ve already begun going through stuff to try and ease the move, and I thought it would be fun to throw my own virtual yard sale. Actually the stuff is on eBay, but I thought it would be interesting to see if any readers were interested. If anybody reading this buys any of the stuff I’ll waive the shipping fees.

Three items for sale:

A Netgear Wired 5-Port Switch, if you are going to wire up some machines for gaming or just want more wired ports at your desk (perfect for trade shows booths or conference rooms).

A Linksys Wired Router, same deal as above but with more features (but I’ve had some trouble getting Apple TV and the XBox 360 extender to work with it, LOL).

And the best for last: A Wacom drawing tablet. Drawing with a mouse is like trying to draw with a potato, a must for illustrators.

Enough with the commercial break, a post about marketing in 20 minutes…

Graphic Design The Marketeer

Goin’ Double Wide

Back in the dark ages (about 5 years ago), designers would still worry about 800×600 screen size. My latest logs show that’s about 2% of my traffic. We’re blowin’ it out, and that means room for Revver – hello higher quality video!


Geek Stuff Graphic Design

Fantastic Four – and Craptastic Print Ads

I used to spend a lot of time at used bookstores when I was a kid in the 70’s. My mom loved to read, and passed that on to the rest of the family. It’s so funny that these places are, for the most part, a lost relic. There’s a unique smell in a used bookstore as the slowly decaying paper takes on its own odor. There were 3 different ones in Pittsfield that I remember, all three of them a big mess inside, but all filled with treasure. This was before the rise of the comic shop, so these were the only places to get comic books, and more importantly – back issues, because it was easy to miss issues that for some reason never made it to the convenience store.

I used to buy comics for a nickel that had no covers on them, it wasn’t until I was older that I learned that these are illegal copies, paperbacks and comics that were returned from the stores and were supposed to be destroyed. Through some gray market action they made it to the used bookstore.

One day I found a giant size Fantastic Four annual and was blown away by this story with Galactus, Gabriel and his Herald, The Silver Surfer. For years I wanted to get the issues but they are classics and one of them is over $150. The irony is that when they hit that price you don’t ever take them out of the airtight bag they are in. Marvel does have a reprint but it’s in black and white and that just never seems as much fun (the exception being material that was written and drawn with the intent of being in black and white.

In the last place I would expect to run into the power cosmic, I found a DVD at BJ’s (the local warehouse club) – 44 Years of the Fantastic Four. All of the issues, in the original format. It’s been fun to cruise through them and read the old stories, but much like when I finally found DVDs of The Six Million Dollar Man, the stories aren’t quite as tight and thrilling as the 12 year old John remembered, but Stan Lee tells and incredible story, and the artwork is classic. Even more fun has been laughing my ass off at all the original ads – here’s a couple classics:

Old Ads ’nuff said!