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mister_kaye “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
girl_scouts 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
empire_state 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.


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.


cravath 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.

genius_of_design Celebrating Genius
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.

Under Wraps
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.


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 coworkers.

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 or


UKAiH 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.

Money Shots
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.

victore 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 redundancies.


istockphoto 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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