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Despite the headline, it is actually the very human publisher of the National Enquirer and Star supermarket tabloids who has filed a Chapter 11 plan. In a bankruptcy petition in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, American Media lists virtually no assets, and debts of between $500 million and $1 billion. Like other magazine publishers, the company has struggled with a weakened economy and the tendency by readers turn to internet alternatives for news, information and gossip. Which gives me the opportunity to note that, in contrast, GDUSA magazine made it through year 48 – thriving – a testament to the talents of our wonderful staff and the vitality of the graphic design community. As for the Enquirer, the hope is that it will emerge from the bankruptcy in 60 days, says Chairman, President and CEO David Pecker. And, yes, that is his real name.

— Gordon Kaye


Printing Made In The USA
Always enjoy your letters from the publisher in the magazine and enewsletters. In reference to the “I Wish America Made More Things” piece (September 2010): All printing done in the US is “Made in America” and since 9/11 I have been trying to make that point within the printing industry with little traction. I’m proud to be an American and all of printed products manufactured here should exhibit the label “Made in the USA.” The quality of American printing is outstanding… and we are rarely recognized for our contribution to the economy or the culture. I have never met anyone in the industry that wasn’t proud to be an American… I wonder why my industry doesn’t show it more? We are excellent craftspeople, and one of the oldest and most resilient industries that mankind has created. We are creative with an endless capacity to manufacture that creativity. GDUSA is one of the few to throw the printing industry a “life vest” of praise in a sea of negativity.

— Jon Kaufman, Allied Printing Services, Manchester CT

Digital Death Becomes Her
In regard to the item in last week’s GDUSA enewsletter about Kim Kardashian posing in a coffin and other celebrities faking their “digital deaths” by refusing to Tweet or participate in social media until a certain amount of money was raised for charity…

I usually roll (the eyes) with the psychosis that is pop fame but this “Digital Death” really offended me. These stars stopped doing something for free to gain something for cash. I agreed with Danny Bonaduce that it’s emotional blackmail. I also agree that it would have been better to do something, anything, to show even a modecum of sincerity. People are people. I still can recall all those fraternity/sorority college parties masquerading as social awareness. At least they did something, even if it was self indulgent awareness. This event sought to raise cultural sheep herding to a new greener pasture. Apparently they had to call in $anta to save their cause by paying for 50% of the drive. I wish the masses would realize why every star/athlete creates his or her own charity. It’s taxing to sit through yet another new charity that shelters the innocent and the earnings. Lastly, I found it offensive to fake death. Anyone who is currently going through a family loss, like myself, finds joking about death in poor taste. What’s next? Gosselins camping with Palins? Now that’s Taste Free TV.

— Tom Renk, Principal, Designcog, Indianapolis IN


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 22, postmarked.


freemason Chen Updates Freemasons
Chen Design Associates collaborated with California Freemason magazine’s editorial team in a redesign of the publication. No small task with a readership that ranges from 18 to 103 years of age, and comes from a broad range of careers, cultures and lifestyles. The redesign launched with the October/November 2010 issue, and CDA will continue to art direct, design, illustrate, and produce future issues. Lest you believe Freemasonry has been relegated to history, it remains the world’s first and largest fraternal organization.

Animation Domination. Not.
Advertisers are rolling out their holiday-themed ads, many of which feature animated character. Research from The Nielsen Company suggests that marketers may be sacrificing audience engagement when heavily using animation in commercials. In an analysis of television ads across all product categories, Nielsen found that live action ads were more effective than animation ads. For all major categories, live action ads scored 22 percent higher than animation-only ads in Brand Recall. The pattern also held across all major demographics and both genders.


Creative Edge is an online collection of thousands of videos and books, providing on-demand full searchable access to expertise in graphic design, web design, digital photography and much more. Visit to day for an exceptional introductory offer… Click Here


FUSE Fuse Is Lit
The popular brand design conference, FUSE, is scheduled for April 11-13, 2011 in Chicago. The aim of the conference is to unite top brand strategy, identity and design leaders so they may share ideas for enhancing creativity and innovation. The conference will encompass experts from many sectors including, brand management, package design, graphic design & design research. Keynote speakers at the event will include: Michio Kaku, Jacke Koo, Karim Rahid and Ian Schrager. GDUSA is a media sponsor of the event.

Brain Trust
Former LPK, Interbrand and Chase Design veteran, Gary Whitlock, joins Marsh, Inc., in the newly created leadership position of Executive Creative Director. Whitlock will guide and reshape Marsh’s creative efforts, with key responsibilities in new business development, internal workflow and creative staff development. COO Alan Roth notes Whitlock’s deep understanding of “neuroscience and its impact on how people create, ideate and make decisions…” Whitlock is trained as a psychotherapist before going on to study design at the Art Center College of Design.


Big savings for designers on envelopes from the No. 1 online envelope company…


target Obsession By Wieden+Kennedy
The crazy Christmas shopping lady in Target’s holiday campaign has been named one of the year’s freakiest characters. This courtesy of Adweek’s AdFreak blog. The all-in-red obsessed shopper is the work of Wieden+Kennedy, and is described as the wierdest character ever to represent a major marketer. You can see all 30 of the blog’s choices for Freakiest Ads of 2010 at…

Favorite Color? Grey
Addressing the greying of America –for the first time Americans over the age of 65 outnumber those under 20 –Karen Atkinson has written a Huffington Post entry called “Aging as an Artist.” Addressing ageism in the arts, she writes, in part, “In the early 21st century being an older artist (and by this I mean being over 50) seems to generate the kind of repulsive response from curators and galleries that being a woman, a homosexual, and a person of color has generated in the past. Ageism, it seems, is the new bigoted response to what’s not selling, right up there with the racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia that have marked art world snobbery and greed for so many decades.”


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.


spartan Spartan Story
To celebrate the grand opening of the Michigan State University Medical School campus in downtown Grand Rapids MI, advertising agency Extra Credit Projects developed a print and outdoor campaign that’s turning heads. Featuring the familiar Spartan football helmet, the ads are intended to inform the public about the new location as well as enhance the brand in the region. “It’s a really big deal for the city to be able to officially be a part of the Big Ten,” said agency principal Rob Jackson.

Nordstrom Gets Real
Director Andrew Walton of production company IDENTITY has helmed a series of intimate documentary-style vignettes for Nordstrom. The campaign, titled “Career Mode,” sits on Nordstrom website and real Nordstrom customers sharing thoughts on their style and how what they wear to work defines them personally and professionally. Says Pia Hunter is Creative Director, Nordstrom and she notes that she “wanted real stories from real people and of course, to capture our customers in their best possible light.” One of the four films features a marketing freelancer…