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vancouver With the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics about to begin, my first thought for this column was to make a few Canadian jokes about butter, bacon and beer, and be done with it. It's a tendency to go for the cheap and easy laugh, of which I am not proud. So less said aboot it the better. Eh? My second idea was more on point: since there has been comparatively little written about the graphic look of the Vancouver Games, I wanted to know more. What I discovered is that the official symbol of the Winter Olympics is a contemporary interpretation of the inukshuk. For those of you who are Inuits, that is surely explanation enough. For the rest of you, let me elaborate: for centuries the Inuit people of Canada's Arctic stacked rocks in human form to create the inukshuk, a guidepost that provides direction across the vast horizons of the North. Over time, the inukshuk became a symbol of hope, friendship and welcome. The current emblem is a specific inukshuk known as Ilanaaq or "friend". The design was chosen by an international judging panel from more than 1,600 entries from every region of Canada. Rivera Group of Vancouver submitted the winning work, created by a team that included creative director Elena Rivera MacGregor and designer Gonzalo Alatorre. And there, in a nutshell, is the allure and the enigma of Canada. You start out wanting to make fun. But then Canada charms you with its decency, modesty, quiet intelligence and good taste. Eh?

— Gordon Kaye


mcdonalds A Taste of the Olympics
McDonald's is the official restaurant of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and with that comes advertising, athlete-themed packaging, and various signature programs for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Mary Dillon, McDonald's Global Chief Marketing Officer says that several new television commercials will be aired in the U.S. and Canada, that and in-restaurant graphics are featuring popular winter athletes on McDonald's packaging.

Hard Choices
AIGA has resigned its membership in the International Council of Graphic Design Associations. Richard Grefe, executive director of AIGA, explains that the decision was two-fold. First, Icograda was moving too slowly on a central premise of AIGA's participation: the creation of a pan-disciplinary design organization that welcomes all designers regardless of specific discipline, including graphic, interior, and industrial designers. Second, financial considerations require the AIGA, like all groups today, to make hard choices about committing resources and setting priorities in a world that is changing at a rapid pace. Icograda did not make the cut.

cruisewest Agency Gets Onboard
Cruise West, a leading small-ship exploration company, has selected remerinc of Seattle WA as agency of record. One of the first new marketing efforts is the "Theirs/Ours" campaign, designed to position the company as the obvious alternative to the glitz, size, excess and impersonal nature of mega-ship cruising. In a series of humorous executions, the mega-ship experience is compared with Cruise West's closer, more personal and authentic experience.

Made In China
"Made in China, made with the world" is the theme of an advertising campaign masterminded by DDB Guoan, the Chinese branch of New York-based DDB. Commercials in the US, Europe and Asia show teenage girls dancing at a bus stop using an MP3 player, made in China, with software from Silicon Valley. Another shows a jogger tying his sneakers, made in China, with American sport technology. The object is to refute the scandals involving Chinese-made products. "Many products made in China are designed in cooperation with other countries," DDB Guoan account director Rich Zheng said. "It helps create a positive, objective image for our products."

tw Taking It Personally
When two companies merge, the investment bankers may be done, but for the graphic designers it's just the beginning. In the case of the merger between Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt - two leaders in benefits, risk, financial services, talent and rewards - Interbrand was challenged to create a distinctive voice for the new company. The solution is a logo tht symbolizes a personal commitment by Towers Watson to their customers by "putting their name on the line" with a personal signature of the company. The identity combines a strong word mark and an approachable signature symbol. Says Craig Stout, Senior Creative Director at Interbrand: "The Towers Watson identity demonstrates a push toward honesty and bold simplicity in design."


Patrick Dustmann wins the first Bridgeman Blank Canvas Competition. Artists and designers were invited to redefine a fine art masterpiece. To make it challenging, entrants had to be inspired by one of ten pre-selected paintings, and then use at least three images from in their design. The title of Patrick Dustmann's piece is "Disturbing the Tranquility of the Garden." His inspiration: The Great Wave of Kanagawa, from the series '36 views of Mt. Fuji' by Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849). More on the story, the winning piece, and GDUSA's involvement at...


Serving Up Coupons
Fast food chain Wendy's International is rolling out a mobile coupon campaign, in partnership with Options Media Group Holdings. Restaurant patrons in the Northeast are now able to opt in for mobile coupons and ads, and in return, get discounts at select Wendy's locations. Coupons are received via text messaging and can be redeemed on mobile devices when presented to cashiers. According to Options Media's CEO Scott Frohman, "Consumers tend to look at text messages quicker than e-mail, so it's an instant result for the brand."

you You, On Display
Wayne Hunt and the team at Hunt Design recently completed graphics and a permanent exhibition for Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. The 15,000-square foot exhibit is a celebration of the body, mind and spirit. The exhibit showcases the extraordinary workings of the human body, the choices people make, the environment in which we live and the role of medical technology in our lives. The exhibit's 50+ interaction displays are created to appeal to children and adults alike.

AmEx Offers Design
American Express has launched LoyaltyEdgeSM, a practice area to help corporate clients develop or enhance loyalty programs. Delta Air Lines is the first client. The division offers program design and execution, loyalty and redemption options, customer service, targeted marketing and analytics services based on the needs of the clients. "We have a lot of experience with loyalty programs and we decided that now was the right time to expand that experience to our strategic partners to help clients implement, enhance or change their loyalty programs," explained Mona Hamouly, American Express spokesperson.

peru Crossing Borders
Ruzow Graphics, a Connecticut-based boutique, has designed and illustrated a pro-bono logo for Builders Beyond Borders (B3)'s 2010 trip to Peru. B3 organizes construction projects in impoverished communities around the world and recruits high school participants. The image of the logo represents the Nazca Lines, a series of ancient geoglyphs located in the Peruvian desert, believed to have been created between 200 BCE and 700 CE. Ruzow Graphics prides itself on such on "bold, memorable design style."


Thinking of tapping your coworkers for some career wisdom? You may want to reconsider. Nearly six out of 10 advertising and marketing executives polled said they have received bad career advice from their colleagues. Bosses didn't fare much better, with 54 percent of respondents saying their managers have steered them in the wrong direction. Following are five tips to help you solicit useful career advice:

1. Find The Voice of Experience. When seeking guidance on a particular issue, get perspective from someone who has faced a similar situation. For example, if you're looking to transition into a particular niche, talk to someone who made a comparable change. If you're having trouble finding suitable contacts, use social networks like LinkedIn to expand your reach.

2. Let Your Ambitions Be Your Guide. The people closest to you have different perspectives about what's important in life — and what should be important to you. For instance, your parents may value security more than you do. When contemplating advice, be sure to differentiate between the ambitions others may have for you and your own.

3. Help Them Help You. Even those who aren't personally invested in your success may find it hard to provide counsel if they don't know your career goals. By describing your professional objectives and values to your acquaintances, you'll help them give better guidance.

4. Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket. When making an important career decision, tap many sources for advice, including recruiters, career experts and trusted mentors. A variety of information can help you make the most informed choice.

5. Keep It Coming. Thank everyone who takes the time to provide career guidance, and keep in touch with all helpful sources, returning the favor when you can.

The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a project basis. For some examples of bad career advice cited by survey respondents, visit...


unifoil Typface Bold and Balanced
Unifoil, a leader in metallized and holographic materials, debuts a new logo designed by Morello + Company. The design, incorporating the tagline "inspired substrates," communicates a brand message of innovation, sustainability and visual impact. The logo incorporates a version of Handel Gothic typeface that is bold and balanced, with softened edges. Morello + Company chose all capital letters for impact and to send a message of strength, but transformed the "O" into a unique symbol of interest.

Second Life For Dow
The Scott & Miller Group recently used Second Life, the online 3D virtual world, to help Dow Chemical design a customer hospitality and business center at the National Plastics Exposition tradeshow. The agency built a virtual replica of the 36,000 square foot ballroom and applied a variety of graphic theme approaches. Clients were able to login to Second Life and, using avatars, walk around the virtual room to evaluate layout and design. "The ability for clients to 'get inside' and explore and our ability to make design changes on the fly kept everyone focused and streamlined the rue33 review and approval process," said Tom Leinberger of the marketing communications firm.

Sam Raises The Bar
Dragon Rouge has created a brand identity for Rue 33, Sam's Club's premium vodka brand, to help drive club member loyalty. The identity is built around the concept of 'French premier grand cru vodka.' The packaging mixes a frosted background and see-through effect, recognizable design cues from premium vodkas, and a line of poplars, a traditional representation of wine estates. The effect is a contemporary elegance and charm of the spirit, with subtle red, white and blue highlights to reference the French heritage of the product.

7-Eleven Stocks Up
7-Eleven is expanding its 7-Select private label line to include 15 bakery-type snack products. 7-Eleven has put in significant effort this year to succeed in the private label sector, introducing a range of products, such as sandwich bags and olive oil, as well as refining their labeling and packaging.Said Joe Hermes is 7-Eleven senior product director for bakery and produce.


Neenah Paper FSC Webinar - February 23
A free webinar hosted by Neenah Paper on what FSC Certification means to designers, printers and their clients.

Graphics of the Americas - February 25-27
More educational sessions and bonus opportunities than ever to help graphics professionals stay ahead of the industry curve at the 35th anniversary show in Miami.

Surtex Show - May 16-18
SURTEX is packed with the latest trend-on artwork, designers and licensors from around the world. A chance to license your art and design. At the Javits Center in NYC.


American Inhouse Design Awards is the premier showcase and recognition program for outstanding work by inhouse design / marketing / communications departments. The deadline for entries is March 18. You can request a printed from by emailing Or you can download an entry form immediately at...