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mister_kaye I was on a panel on Monday at Graph Expo and was asked what advice I would give graphic design firms to survive during this strange period. In the past, I would have focused on new media, new technologies or the latest styles. Instead, I found myself talking about the need to professionalize your companies: to spend more time selling and developing new business; to institute quality account management; to write or update a business plan that identifies your financial goals; and to build in some time for self-promotion and publicity (By the way, consider this an invitation to send news to GDUSA!) I know it is hard to find time for these activities, and I know it is contrary to the temperment of many designers who just like to... well... design. The alternative, though, is to live project-to-project or, as design firm consultant Ted Leonhardt puts it, “working ‘in’ your business instead of ‘on’ it.” That makes you especially vulnerable to choppy economic waves. And chop they do.

— Gordon Kaye


Save Your Soul, Again
book The first edition of “How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing Your Soul” quickly won widespread acclaim and esteem in the design community; it quickly became a trusted source of practical advice and philosophical guidance for young designers. This updated edition covers the growing importance of social responsibility, professional ethics, and the rise of digital culture, and adds chapters on professional skills and the creative process.

Houston Hunts
Here’s a great idea from the Lone Star state: Houston’s AIGA chapter is sponsoring a design-orientated scavenger hunt with the aim of promoting local designers, the creative scene, and the Houston Food Bank. Teams are charged with locating and solving nine clues leading to design challenges, the culminating challenge being a poster-off aimed at communicating a social message. An awards ceremony, with DJs, drinks, raffles and food conclude the day. Saturday October 16 is the date.

Wine To Water
resveritrolDragon Rouge and Preventiv Water are teaming up to put the “French Paradox” to bed in the minds of consumers. Preventiv has been marketing a health water with the ingredient Resveritrol, the component of red wine believed to be accountable for longer life and unique health benefits. But they have not been able to shake its perceived association with alcohol. Enter Dragon Rouge, who renamed, repositioned, and created a new identity for the beverage. Evr, as it is now named, has clean, impactful packaging which features a distinctive logo and a health benefit chart.

The New Math
This year’s DMI annual conference is based on the notion that there exists five key “macro-shifts” currently taking place, in Geopolitics, New Leaders, Social Media, Urbanization, and Sustainability, and how Design can help in new “value creation.” For those keeping score at home, that’s M5+D=nV, according to DMI mathematicians. Speakers from the realms of corporate branding, education, science and design will cover topics ranging from Smarter Cities to marketing to the “Sunshine Generation,” China’s answer to Generation Y. It takes place October 25-27 in Providence RI.


The employment outlook for creative professionals will remain stable for the fourth quarter, according to The Creative Group Hiring Index for Marketing and Advertising Professionals. A net 3 percent of marketing and advertising executives surveyed anticipate increasing personnel in the next three months; this compares to a net 6 percent increase in hiring projected last quarter. Following are the top five specialty areas in demand among executives who intend to hire:

1. Public relations — 12%
2. Marketing research — 12%
3. Social media — 11%
4. Account services — 11%
5. Print design/production — 10%

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


Book Floors Clients
floors Industrial flooring manufacturer Johnsonite commissioned Cleveland-based agency Marcus Thomas to create a high concept, hardbound book for clients. In “Possibilities2,” Johnsonite floors are installed in unlikely settings from Great Lakes to a gas station. The 12”x12” (tile sized) book is 46 pages with 8 gate folds, and has a unit cost of $50; it will be delivered to all clients, both big and small. Marcus Thomas also created complementary print ads and a microsite for the project.

Kesler’s Fired Up
Congratulations to Patrick Kesler, who not only was recently promoted to Senior Art Director at Rizco Design, but has now been recognized by NJBIZ in their “40 under 40” awards program. The recognition honors men and women who make headlines in their field, share a commitment to business growth, as well as enrich and serve their community. Kesler, a volunteer fireman, has designed award-winning projects for local businesses and non-profits.

A Name With Heart
moxy Minnesota-based design consultancy HartungKemp has completed an ambitious series of branding projects for medical device company Lutonix, maker of a breakthrough drug-coated artery balloon Moxy. HK was tasked with naming the balloon, creating product and parent company identity, and designing of an educational web site for doctors and patients. According to Stefan Hartung, “We wanted the brand name to represent the game-changing spirit behind the device.”


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 whitespace 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. whitespace
2. Comic Sans Love T-Shirt. There's no denying the pervasiveness of Comic Sans. How do you feel about it, deep down in your heart? Love it, love to hate it, or hate that you love it — this t-shirt conveys the mixed emotions on a comfy gray American Apparel T-shirt. Comic Sans
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. cufflinks

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.


You Can Only Gain
Design has the power to change the direction of businesses, provide fuel for economies and even change lives. Provocative thinkers from a wide range of disciplines will inspire and reinvigorate at “Gain: AIGA Design and Business Conference” this fall in New York. Hear business, design and thought leaders share their innovative approaches to generating greater return on investment, fostering emotional connections and providing positive brand experiences for customers. It takes place October 14-16.

Black Fig Evokes Black Tie
blackfig Phillips Design Group of Boston has recently wrapped up work on the launch of Black Fig Vodka, the only natural fig infused vodka in the world. Seeking differentiation in a crowded premium vodka market, the design team at Phillips emphasized the sensuality and sophistication of the boutique product. Steve Phillips says the project included naming, identity, packaging, launch strategy, collateral and a website.

This Is Big
More than 750 layouts, compiled by Joel Anderson, Katie Jain, and Erin Mayes, fill this essential volume entitled “The Big Book of Layouts”. It’s a stockpile of clear, compelling layout designs that range from traditional to cutting edge, and includes techniques that can enhance any layout, print or online. Detailed analysis and descriptive info on each featured design, which include ad campaigns, billboards, invitations and book covers, will aid designers of all levels. Collins Design publishes.


photolibrary Photolibrary, a leading global independent producer and distributor of stock images, footage and music, has gone live with their new website. A cleaner design is optimized to use the horizontal real estate of professional monitors, and background color can now chosen by the user. Basic searches are streamlined with similar images suggested, advanced search options are easier to access and use, new image preview page showcases alternative images (matched by color and keyword/s) make it even easier to find the right image, and light boxes and shopping cars can be accessed with a simple drag and drop system. Glenn Parker, Photolibrary Group CEO comments: “As always Photolibrary seeks to provide its clients with an improving experience when searching our image, film and music content. We hope that our users like the changes we have made.”


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