NOTE: WEASEL WORDS
“Cautious optimism” is a weasel-y phrase,
used when one wants to be upbeat about the future but is basically unsure
and does not want to scare the audience. I know first hand, having
employed it dozens of times in 20 years as GDUSA editor to avoid
hard predictions. Nevertheless, “cautiously optmistic” may
be an accurate descriptor of these strange economic times. The Design
Leaders Confidence Index of the AIGA reports that professional
graphic designers — yes — “expressed cautious
optimism in the most recent assessment of the design
economy.” To translate: the index dropped but remains positive
in the historical sweep. In addition, no one surveyed believes the
design economy will weaken further. That is about right — we
will not be “boldly optimistic” until companies or
consumers feel more confident to spend and invest. And while we
are talking about weasel words, let’s bury “the New
Normal” to rationalize sustained unemployment and
mediocre growth. We are better than that. Probably.
— Gordon Kaye
Girl Scout Makeover
On the other side of 30, the iconic Girl Scouts logo by the equally
iconic Saul Bass, has lost some of its smoothly swooping lines,
gained some bangs and a jauntier nose. The servicemark is now an-all
lowercase affair in Avenir. The makeover is the work of New York
design firm OCD and part of a long term, multichannel brand
campaign designed to reacquaint the country with the organization
and communicate girl power.
TED Visits Cincy
TED, the legendary Technology, Entertainment, Design
conference, is launching a program of local self-organized
events. At TEDx Cincy, videos and live speakers will spark
discussion and connection among Cincinnatians. Organized
along the theme of Passion, the conference will feature many
of the area’s leading thinkers, innovators, artists,
philosophers and entertainers. TEDx Cincy is organized by a
partnership led by the LPK design agency and backed by
Proctor & Gamble, the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber,
and Agenda 360. October 7 is the date.
New York State Of Mind
New York’s Empire State Building unveils a multimedia
exhibit in the Visitors’ Center. Created by Seattle’s
Hornall Anderson, the exhibit educates the public about the
building’s energy efficient retrofit. The narrative-driven
installation blends digital media and museum-quality
exhibits. All designs are rooted in the iconic stature of the
building, but decidedly modern and forward looking.
Into The Woods
In September 1996, a group of designers started Into the Woods
as a total immersion into nature and their own creative core. Bigger
than ever today, the 2010 event — sponsored by AIGA Seattle
and hosted at Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort — presents
creative thinkers on what makes them tick and invites designers
to explore their passions via a series of workshops and roundtable
discussions. Speakers include Steve Frykholm and Gail
Anderson. The retreat is scheduled for October 15-17.
NEW GDUSA STORE
GDUSA has teamed with Veer to offer
creative professionals the most fun and interesting
merchandise available. Current offerings include the
following items and much more.
|1. White Space T-Shirt.
Veer’s fairest tee places whilespace front and center,
making negative space the compositional element. The Whitespace
T-Shirt adds aesthetic balance to any designer’s
wardrobe. It’s American Apparel 100% cotton.
|2. Kern Zip-Up.
Next time you have to explain kerning to a layman, you’ll
have a live demo just a zip away. The soft navy blue fleece
on this fitted lightweight jogging jacket won’t pill.
|3. Ampersand Cufflinks.
For those who like to be clever on and off the cuff, these Ampersand
Faux Cuff Links are just the thing. Wear them like regular cuff
links on French cuff shirts, or as button covers on pre-buttoned cuffs.
Veer provides visual elements for use
in professional creative work, such as graphic design, motion design,
advertising and filmmaking. Products include stock photography,
illustration, typefaces, and unique merchandise.
Lawyers Are The News
Carbone Smolan Agency of New York has redesigned Cravath,
Swaine & Moore website to showcase the firm’s elite
brand. CSA’s novel approach creates a website similar
to a news outlet website, with current highlights of the most
important deals and cases with which the firm is involved. Headlines
are at the forefront. The new site strips away Flash-based
animation for a simplified HTML structure that can be viewed
on all media devices.
Talk At Me
A new white paper, Twitter & The Consumer-Marketing Dynamic,
reveals that the popular site is primarily for people not
corporations. While 90% of tweets come from consumers, only 12%
mention a brand. And tweets from corporations tend to talk at
people. “Marketers use Twitter to broadcast, while consumers
use it to converse,” comments Sarah Hofstetter, SVP emerging
media and brand strategy at 360i. As a result, says the
paper, Twitter is not yet clicking with brand marketers.
In The Genius of Design, design historian Penny Sparke offers a
sweeping view of modern design history. The book’s five
sections take the reader on a chronological journey, from
industrialization, to the Modern movement, to the Bauhaus and
beyond, through austerity and wartime, post-war boom and the
potential of new materials and processes, and finishing with
design in the 21st century. Illustrated with over 350 color
photographs, the book champions design heroes as well as the
social forces like mass consumption that have shaped design.
Amid a still-tough advertising environment, USA Today, for the
first time, wrapped its new section with an ad that completely
obscured the paper as shown through the window of outdoor
racks. The ad for Jeep’s 2011 Grand Cherokee is part of a
$1 million-plus deal that includes online presence as well. In
the past, concerns about editorial integrity, production and
circulation deterred USA Today from selling ads like
this. Things have changed.
FIVE! CAREER TIPS FROM THE CREATIVE GROUP
CLEAN UP YOUR ACT
Looking to make friends at work?
Don’t leave a trail of breadcrumbs in the kitchen.
Forty-four percent of workers interviewed by our company said
making a mess for others to clean up is the most annoying break
room behavior. Following are five tips for minding your manners
in the lunch room:
1. Remember What Your Mother Told You. If
you spill something in the microwave or on the counter, wipe it up.
2. Spare The Air. You may love the
smell of your famous “seafood surprise,” but your neighbors might
not share your enthusiasm. Avoid bringing extremely pungent foods to the
office that could offend your colleagues’ olfactory senses.
3. Stake Your Claim. Label your
food with your name and the date. This will ward off break room bandits and
make it obvious when the item should be thrown away.
4. Get The Hint. Schedule alerts on
your calendar so you’ll remember to take home or toss out leftovers or
groceries from the refrigerator. This will help free up storage space for
5. Do A Little Dirty Work. Clean up
around the break room even if someone else created the mess. By simply picking
up a piece of trash or wiping a table, you’ll set an example for others
to follow and create a more pleasant environment for your colleagues.
The Creative Group is a specialized
staffing service placing creative,
advertising, marketing and interactive professionals on a project basis. For
more information, please visit
Connect with The Creative Group at
The Power Of Art
An increasing body of research indicates that arts in healthcare settings
can improve the quality of patient care, increase staff satisfaction and
retention, and complement the patient recovery process. The University of
Kentucky Arts in HealthCare program recognizes the arts and artists as
positive forces in the healing process. Poulin + Morris developed a
comprehensive identity and branding program for the initiative including
logotype, symbol, promotional brochure, press folder and stationery,
all of which convey human connection, warmth and approachability.
The booming microstock industry has made it possible for
non-professional photographers to show and sell their images. In
Microstock Money Shots: Turning Downloads into Dollars with Microstock
Photography, industry insider (and GDUSA favorite) Ellen Boughn shares
behind-the scenes secrets to taking microstock images that will become
popular with multiple downloads. Illustrated with more than 200 images
and featuring additional tips and advice from top-selling microstock
photographers, the book can help both experience users and novices
navigate these new developments.
Who Made You Boss?
James Victore’s work is sexy, vivid, memorable and often
controversial. Over the past 25 years, the iconoclastic designer
has strived “to make it personal.” In his first book,
Victore leads readers through his greatest hits and tells the stories
behind his inspirations, his process and the lessons learned. The
result is a funny and honest book, and showcases 48 projects that
have been plastered on the streets of New York, hung at MoMA and
featured in magazines.
Agfa Acquires Major Supplier
Of interest to all graphic artists, Agfa Graphics has acquired Harold
M. Pitman Company, a major American supplier of prepress, industrial
inkjet, pressroom and packaging printing products and systems. The
Pitman Company acquisition increases Agfa Graphics’ revenue in
the U.S. to more than $500 million. Agfa expects further growth of
its U.S. top line, resulting from the combination of expertise
available in both companies as well as saving money from eliminating
iStockphoto has unveiled a redesigned version
of its stock multimedia marketplace. The new site offers a clean,
contemporary look and feel, and reflects more than a year of
customer-focused usability research and design. The new site was
built using an innovative back-end architecture laying the
framework for several future enhancements including a new search
interface before the end of the year. The site structure has been
designed specifically around each type of audience that frequents
the site, allowing faster, easier access to content. A revised
navigation scheme, with a renewed focus on the customer, divides
the site into three distinct segments: shop, participate and
help. The work of exclusive contributors is more prominently
featured via large “hero images.” Says COO Kelly
Thompson: “iStockphoto has experienced exceptional growth
since our inception. We’ve grown to over 6 million members,
expanded globally and introduced many new products such as video,
audio and our popular Vetta Collection. The new site not only
meets the needs of our rapidly growing community, but will also
grow with us in the future, supporting features and enhancements
planned through the next several years.”
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