Monday, August 31, 2009

social media - do you get it?

> I was pleased to read something that was forwarded to me from a twitter follower: "It wasn't that long ago that it was understood: every business needs a Web site. Today: every business needs a blog (got one!). Especially for ad agencies (and design studios). We are supposed to lead, not follow our clients. Social media is mainstream. Your agency's credibility is suspect if it talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. The growth of new media mandates agencies' participation."
> I can't agree more. What I hear a lot is "I don't get it". Taking the conversation a little further, I've found that people who "don't get it" are still thinking that a blog is only an online scrapbook/journal about the life of their children; that twitter is only used by teens who want a more immediate way to talk about nothing; that FaceBook is only for people who want to know everything about their friends' lives. Open your minds and think about the great (free!) resource that's available by utilizing social media for business.
> I'm still refining how I use each of my accounts, but that's what's great about online media. It's constantly-evolving, and in order to lead your clients, and to show that your company is forward thinking, make sure you evolve along with it!

Friday, August 21, 2009

trip down memory lane

> I spent the past several days with my family in a small town on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. We were surrounded by gorgeous scenery. It was fun to catch up and spend time with everyone.
> On the way, we took a detour, stopping in Rexburg where I attended Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho). We drove by the apartments I lived in, and the Wendy's where I worked for a year. And for 2 marketing events, because of my red hair, they had me dress like "Wendy", waving to passing cars and handing out balloons.
> I loved my time at Ricks College. It's where I discovered design, and even stayed for a year after my graduation to take more design and art classes. It's also where I had my first paying design job. I was hired to design a logo for a mens' apartment complex, and had to enlarge and paint it on a sign that would be posted facing the street. Thankfully production techniques are better now!
> The apartments have a different name now, and I was disappointed to not get to see my sign. But over the years that have gone by, I'm not surprised either. I have a low res scan of the logo, and after so many years, (even for a beginning design job), I'm not embarrassed to share it here (you won't catch me in that Wendy's outfit though!)

Monday, August 10, 2009

dreaming about wood type patterns

> Patterns are really popular right now. Digital files, printed papers, and fabric are covered with flourishes, swirls, dots, florals, and layered textures. You can even buy digital files where the edges are designed to align, creating repeating patterns, so you can duplicate and make them as expansive as you'd like.
> In my eBay treasure hunts, I found a couple items that fascinate me. I've got a couple of fabric printing blocks that I "won" on eBay that are now decor in my office. Back in the early days of printing, when type was set by hand, patterns were also created using the same technique. Wood blocks were hand-carved—some in painstakingly fine detail, inked, and pressed onto fabric or paper again and again to create an all-over pattern. The blocks are notched out in just the right places so the printer could mark and repeat the pattern as often as necessary.
> During a fitful night last week when I wasn't able to sleep, my mind wandered instead of shutting down and letting me sleep. The up-side is that I came up with some ideas about how I could use my collection of type and wood block patterns, to create...well, stay tuned...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


> Last week, I had a niece and nephew with me for the day. We had a lot of fun together.
> For lunch, we made "mummy dogs" (pigs in blankets, but instead of a large single piece of dough baked on the outside of the hot dog, we cut the dough into strips and wrapped them "mummy-style" around the hot dogs, baked them, then used drops of mustard for the eyes after they came out of the oven).
> We dipped big pretzel sticks into melted chocolate, decorated them, and ate way too many of our delicious masterpieces.
> The most fun though, was watching the kids play. Since they were really young, Maci and Ethan have loved playing with my Mr. PotatoHead toys. Ethan is more interested in my Legos now. Kids are the most creative people. They have open and uncluttered minds, and are able to build, draw, and create without a preconceived idea of what is expected. If I can somehow draw creativity from my own inner-child, I think my whole creative process will be more exciting, more unusual, and more unique.
> Spending time with "my kids", watching them play and invent creatures, and spaceships, and masterful creations was a great day for recharging my creativity (and the chocolate pretzels were a nice bonus).