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Holiday Designer Gifts




Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, the Kardashians, Ryan Seacrest and other celebrities have pledged to sign off social media platforms to raise money for charity. It’s all part of a campaign called Digital Life Sacrifice to benefit Alicia Keys’ AIDS charity. The stars have signed off sites including Facebook and Twitter, and will not sign back on until the charity raises $1 million. For the campaign, they have filmed “last tweet and testament” videos and appear in ads showing them lying in coffins to symbolically represent their digital deaths. The intention is praiseworthy. But, one might ask, do they have it backwards? Perhaps the money would be more quickly raised if they promised not to sign back on – ever – if the goal is met. I know it that would motivate me to dig deeper.

— Gordon Kaye


mister_peanut Nut Up
Mr. Peanut, the longtime Planters mascot, has received an update that includes an authentic brown coloring, a grey flannel suit, and a voice supplied by Robert Downey Jr. for tv spots. The campaign comes from the New York office of Being, a spin-off from TBWA Worldwide. As to why the fuss, Jason Levine, Planters' senior marketing director, says “this is all about contemporizing Mr. Peanut. He's one of the best-loved advertising icons in America but we'd found that people didn't really connect with him beyond nostalgia.” Kris and Alisa Wixom are the creative directors at Being.

Calling All Freelancers
Compared to freelancers, job hunters have it easy. All they have to do is find one employer to hire them, then they’re done; freelancers can never rest. That’s the message of Martha Retallick, a Tucson AZ freelance graphic designer and photographer, who has written a detailed how-to guide to making legal cold calls to solicit business. While she does not ignore email, she has a fondness for the phone. “At a time when social media and texting are all the rage, working the phone is still a valuable skill,” says Retallick. “I’ve found my most lucrative clients via cold calls.”

shaun_sundholm Rockstar To Art Director
Shaun Sundholm, formerly lead singer in garage glam rock band, The Deadlines (including a three year tour and two albums) Baldwin&, Durham NC. He will art direct the agency’s Burt’s Bees and BMW Golf accounts, among others. Previously Sundholm was art director at McKinney and an interactive art director/designer at Wieden & Kennedy on the Nike, Starbucks, Old Spice and Target accounts.


You can now download an entry form for GDUSA’s fastest-growing national competition. It is presented by GDUSA and sponsored by Neenah Paper. The deadline is December 10.


Invisible Pop Up Stores

Sam Masters Tequila
The global tequila market is growing, fueled by the premium and ultra-premium segments. This month, Sam’s Club introduces a private brand tequila – Calle Azul – with an identity reflecting the theme of “mastering the art of tequila.” Dragon Rouge developed branding and packaging. “The visual identity balances the best of the old and new for Mexico, with a modern font for Calle Azul to convey the contemporary feel of Mexico and a bold, expressive sun as a direct reference to Mexican heritage and its central role in nurturing agave’s finest qualities,” explains Marcus Hewitt, Chief Creative Officer of the design consultancy’s New York office.

Seniors Surfing
Research on the most easily-read graphics, typeface, colors, and other elements helped RadiantBrands create an online presence for Miami-based Seniority Matters. The resource site connects senior citizens with activities and services throughout southern Florida. According to the Pew Research Center, 42 percent of today’s web users are over the age of 65. “Seniors are becoming an important but underserved market and are increasingly searching the web for resources,” comments Steven Donaldson, a principal of RadiantBrands.


Whether it’s decking the halls or planning for parties, the holiday season brings with it a host of distractions for employees. It’s only natural, then, that one-third of senior managers surveyed by our company said their employees are less productive the week before a major holiday. Following are five tips to help you juggle multiple priorities during the busy holiday season:

1. Make A List, Check It Twice. Examine deadlines for upcoming projects and adjust them as needed due to holiday schedules. Check in with coworkers on their vacation plans to avoid unexpected delays or setbacks due to employee absences.

2. Exchange The Gift of Time. Delegate time-sensitive tasks and responsibilities to colleagues to take them off your plate and offer to return the favor when they’re out.

3. Tie Up Loose Ends With A Bow. Don’t leave people hanging while you’re away. Before departing for vacation, update your voice-mail and e-mail auto responses, and show team members how to find critical information.

4. Make Merry Selectively. Prioritize the events that are most important to you, and don’t feel pressured to attend every holiday function. If you aren’t traveling for the holidays, remember you can still take time off to shop, plan meals or attend to other year-end tasks.

5. Remember, Santa’s Not The Only One With Helpers. If your department is spread thin, consider freelancers to help with year-end projects. A staffing firm can help you identify skilled candidates.

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


satoru Trust Guy
CBX has promoted Satoru Wakeshima to General Manager, a new position. He is responsible for senior management on client engagements and operational leadership across the entire CBX organization. Satoru’s expertise in brand consulting spans more than 20 years and over 150 brands. He has held management positions at Sterling Brands, Frankfurt Balkind, and Desgrippes Gobe. He has led design, strategy, innovation and brand equity initiatives M&M’s, Dove, Snapple, 7UP, Del Monte, Milk-Bone, Pathmark, Miracle-Gro, Gillette, and others. “Satoru is renowned throughout the industry as the ultimate ‘Trust Guy,’” says Managing Partner Gregg Lipman.

The Human Option
People are the “plus” in a new “Options Plus” brand campaign from TricorBraun. The company is a leading supplier of rigid packaging in North America. The campaign focuses, not only on the company’s ability to offer customers an impressive array of options to meet their packaging needs, but also on TricorBraun personnel and the services they can provide. Of all the options, explains CEO Keith Strope, it’s the human one that is the “plus”.


With Blurb, you’ll find all the tools you need to make your own photo book, whether you’re making a personalized wedding album, cookbook, baby book, travel photo book, or fundraising book. It’s fast, easy and fun. Create and order your own book by December 31 and get a 20 percent discount.

Learn more at


Multiple Layered Bottle
As part of an “artist series” of Hennessy cognac bottles, multimedia design firm Laundry! and its Creative Director P.J. Richardson teamed with popular DJ Steve Aoki to design a bottle for French distillery. Incorporating Richardson's distinct bubble art style, seen in his graffiti and skateboard art, the bottle features multiple layers and a dense animation quality.

Kubis Comes Aboard
Thad Kubis, president of NAK Integrated Marketing and managing director of, has been named to the board of directors of Marine Marketers of America. Kubis’ first act will be to initiate a value-added online webinar to address critical marketing issues of the day including emerging technologies, CRM, MROI, converging media, social media and networking.


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. And don’t forget that the holiday season is upon us.

1. 2011 Typography Calendar.
Lovers of modern design and typography will recognize many of the names in this year’s calendar from Studio Hinrichs.
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. Three Notebook Designer Set.
A fun 3-notebook set, each can hold 32 pages of brilliance, with covers featuring ampersands amper-sandwiched between suggested uses. Made from 100% recycled paper and soy-based inks.

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.