NOTE: MORE CONFIDENCE
Remember last spring when the pundits detected "green
shoots," the beginning of the end of the recession. Then
other metaphors came into vogue — "jobless recovery"
and "housing market meltdown" and "zombie banks"
— indicating that forecasts of an upturn were premature. Now,
however, there is a growing sense of optimism about a solid design
market recovery. In the previous enewsletter, I cited an upbeat
FunctionFox survey of small creative businesses to support the
point. Now let's add two more bits of evidence: the AIGA Confidence
Index and The Creative Group Hiring Index. The AIGA study, which
tests designer sentiment, is at a relatively robust 98 — up
from a dire 51 in October 2008 and consistent with attitudes during
the relatively prosperous 2005—2007 period. AIGA respondents
believe the worst is over, and are planning to invest in people
and infrastructure. The Creative Group national poll finds that
the job situation for creative professionals is at least stabilizing.
Moreover, marketing and advertising executives are optimistic about
attracting new business: 86 percent said they are confident in their
firm's prospects for growth in the second quarter. Both organizations
report in during Q2, and by then we'll have a better sense whether
the shoots have blossomed or withered.
— Gordon Kaye
The 2010 Super Bowl may be over, but Landor Associates has created a
new visual identity system for all future ones. As announced by the
NFL, the new system will first be used in 2011 for Super Bowl
XLV. Landor's strategy for places at the heart of it the Vince
Lombardi trophy, given to the Super Bowl's winning team each
year. Depending on the NFL event, the new system allows for
complementary elements to be introduced. The released version, for
Super Bowl XLV in Texas, is the first example of a region-specific
identity which will include each year's stadium venue and the
appropriate roman numerals. "The focus of the new identity
for the Super Bowl is the Vince Lombardi trophy, which is the most
logical and iconic expression for the overall brand," said
Nicolas Aparicio, executive creative director at Landor.
Design Ignites Change has announced its inaugural 2009 Implementation
Award grand prize winner: PieLab's Pecans! The award program recognizes
exceptional proposals for design intended to make the world a better
place, and grants their creators the financial support to realize those
visions. Pecans! is a budding pecan product enterprise led by low-income
youth in Hale County, Alabama. Recent design school graduates mentor
16-24 year-old high school dropouts participating in a Department of
Labor YouthBuild Program. The $12,000 award from Design Ignites Change
will provide capital to get a business off the ground and, in turn,
gives the kids a chance to expand their skill sets: everything from
perfecting the best pecan brittle recipe, to developing a brand identity
and market strategy, all while completing their high school diplomas or GEDs.
Independent integrated branding agency Blue Marlin has created vibrant
new packaging for True Lemon, cold-pressed and crystallized lemon that
has "the potential to revolutionize" lemon usage. Blue Marlin
explored a number of different of different routes to express the brand's
personality. The final visual identity uses a mouth-watering hyper-real
illustration of the fruit's skin that really jumps off the shelf at you.
It is loud and proud and conveys a message that the product is real
lemon, only more intense.
INHOUSE DESIGN AWARDS
The deadline for entries has been extended,
briefly, to March 31. American Inhouse Design Awards is the premier
showcase and recognition program for outstanding work by inhouse
design / marketing / communications departments. You can request a printed
from by emailing email@example.com. Or you can download the entry form
GRAPHIC DESIGN NEWS
An Exercise In Branding (visual)
Equinox has introduced "My Body. My Biography," an advertising
campaign created by the ad agency, Yard. The campaign plays on the idea
that a person's body tells a story about his or her life. Highlights include
gym members providing intimate interviews to go with their portraits, shot
by renowned fashion photographer Kenneth Cappello, and presented in a grid
fashion for print and signage.
The Estate of Lester Beall, the pioneer and avant-garde American graphic
designer, was seeking a web presence with a vintage modern approach. Jargon
Boy's Greg Chinn found a way to showcase the history of Beall, emphasizing
Beall's early developmental career, output and lifestyle. Functioning as a
primer to Beall's work, the website shows salient examples form his iconic
portfolio. Viewers can see Beall's early design work, drawings and paintings
from the family's personal collection and peek inside his working Dumbarton
Farm design studio in Brookfield, Connecticut. It's a family affair: Chinn
is married to one of the artist's granddaughters.
Geyrhalter Design has revamped the packaging for Evolution Fresh, a family
owned fresh juice company sold in over 500 stores in the West including Whole
Foods, Pavilions and Gelsons. The design firm focused on creating a consistent
brand image. By introducing a revised red identity with all-red caps it
enables the brand to stand out from direct competitors such as Naked and
Odwalla. The label stock was changed to matte laminated finish, which creates
a semi-metallic effect when refrigerated, to underscore a sense of freshness. A
unique color designates each juice, and whimsical illustrations evoke a
homemade feel. Kari Yu was lead team member on the project.
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Winter Park Poster
Ken Bowser, digital artist and instructor at Full Sail University, created
this year's poster design for the 51st Annual Winter Park (FL) Sidewalk Art
Festival. Bowser created a mixed media piece consisting of several different
techniques and disciplines. The final piece was the result of a line drawing
and a comprehensive color rendering culminating in a six-gig color corrected
final. This is the first time the festival has allowed a digital piece to
be used for the poster design.
Coupon Use Skyrockets
Annual coupon use is on the rise for the first time since 1992, according
to Inmar, a promotion transaction settlement company. Coupon distribution
last year hit the highest level recorded since 1988. An estimated 3.3
billion packaged goods coupons were redeemed, a 27% increase over the
2.6 billion redeemed in 2008. Matthew Tilley, director of marketing for
Inmar's promotion services division, doesn't foresee coupon redemption
continuing at current levels but does expect growth of 3-5% annually
for the foreseeable future.
Each April, the Academy of American Poets creates and distributes almost
200,000 copies of the current National Poetry Month posters to schools,
libraries, bookstores and community centers to help promote the month-long
celebration and to increase poetry awareness. The 2010 poster was designed
by Marian Bantjes and features Wallace Steven's poem "Final Soliloquy
of the Interior Paramour." Copies of National Poetry Month posters
from previous years are available for sale.
FIVE CAREER TIPS FROM THE CREATIVE GROUP
A polished resume and portfolio aren't the only
tools advertising and marketing professionals need to land their next
job. A new survey shows a sterling digital presence is important, too. Nearly
three-quarters (72 percent) of advertising and marketing executives
interviewed said they are likely to search for information about prospective
hires online. Another 59 percent review job candidates' LinkedIn profiles
and 44 percent check out their Facebook pages.
Here are five tips to help professionals build
their digital reputation:
1. Create employer-friendly profiles.
Make sure the information you post about yourself on sites such as LinkedIn and
Facebook showcases not just your personal interests and hobbies, but also
your expertise, dedication to your field and ability to communicate effectively.
2. Optimize your information. Help employers
find you online by integrating key words that describe your skills, specialties
and positions of interest into your profiles. For example, if you're an
advertising copywriter specializing in the automotive industry, you might
include terms such as "copywriter," "automotive," and
"ad copy" into your profile.
3. Design for impact. Make sure all
job-hunting materials have a unified look and feel, including online content.
For example, you might create a Twitter background with similar design
elements that appear on your resume, business cards and online portfolio.
4. Keep certain details under wraps. Use
privacy settings effectively so information that you don't want employers to see
won't show up in a search. Also, avoid publishing anything that could damage
your reputation, even to an audience of friends. You don't want comments made in
the heat of the moment to come back to haunt you.
5. Self-promote. Your ability to post
thought-provoking commentary and build a large Twitter or Facebook following
can influence an employer's decision to hire you. Be sure to include URLs
to professional profiles when communicating with hiring managers.
The Creative Group is a specialized staffing
service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals on a
project basis. For more information, please visit
You also can follow us on Twitter @CreativeGroup and Facebook
FOR TODAY'S ENEWSLETTER
More on the AIGA Design Leadership Confidence Index at...
FunctionFox Small Creative Businesses Survey...
See all the Design Ignites Change winners...
Visit the Lester Beall website at...
A fuller view of Marian Bantjes poetry poster...
GDUSA 2010 Web Design Awards...
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