GDUSA Newsletter AUGUST 2011










Our “Design-A-Cover Contest” is too new for us to predict the kinds of images or subjects we will see from our readers. What we are beginning to learn is that a blank cover is a blank canvas upon which designers can express their innermost thoughts and concerns. Looking at all the 2011 entries, here are a couple of observations. September 11 turned out to be the single most frequent cover theme, as the tenth anniversary of that horrific day beckons. Our collective economic travails provided the second most common theme. It’s a glimpse into what is weighing on the design mind and, in retrospect, not so surprising after all. The winners will be shown in the September GDUSA magazine which publishes, coincidentally, on September 11.

— Gordon Kaye

Graphic Design News

To celebrate the life and legacy of Betty Ford, a tribute has been created that recognizes her love and friendship with former President Gerald Ford, her hometown, and all that she touched through her work. “We wanted to honor her in a simple, iconic way that reflects her spirit and energy, and is anything but the typical stodgy memorial,” said Rob Jackson, Creative Director at Extra Credit Projects, the Grand Rapids MI firm that designed the tribute. “We hope it also introduces her to a younger audience that may not be as familiar with her impact.” Billboards and posters featuring her bouffant silhouette and BFF (Betty Ford Forever) are appearing in Grand Rapids, Palm Springs and other cities across the country with which the Fords were associated.

A shiny new logo, identity program, and extensive advertising campaign for Red Lobster have been created by Grey New York. The new ads feature actual employees and others associated with the brand sharing real, unscripted stories about why Red Lobster is different than other restaurants in an effort to give the chain a greater sense of authenticity. The ads also debut the logo, an updated lobster icon that is noticeably more red and shiny than past versions. It is already clawing its way onto restaurant signs — 700 locations are being remodelled in a design “inspired by the New England coast” — as well as menus, gift cards, a redesigned Facebook page and website. Grey New York President and Chief Creative Officer is Tor Myrhen.

Los Angles-based advertising agency Adore Creative created the winning campaign for Russia's bid to host the 2015 FINA World Championships (the world aquatic championships). This marks the fourth time the agency has been called upon by the Russian sports establishment to work on a media campaign. Previous Adore’s international campaigns have helped Russia win hosting rights to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and the 2013 Universiade Games. Rupert Wainwright is Adore CEO and Executive Creative Director.

The ultimate Chinese cultural symbol is the dragon, and 2012 is the Year of The Dragon. For this auspicious year AIGA China has partnered with PoloArts to support the first annual China International Design Competition. The competition aims to promote communication, exchange and interaction between China and the rest of the world by encouraging designers of all kinds to create innovative works based around the theme of the Chinese dragon. LEARN MORE >


Companies noted in GDUSA magazine often provide free samples, swatchbooks, promotions, catalogs and other free information to our readers. If you missed this opportunity in the past month's issue, it is not too late.


New work from Wing for the 2011 New York International Latino Film Festival pokes fun at Hollywood clichés and the shortage of Latinos in mainstream movies. Shown here: The Role of Latinas in Hollywood movies. Not surprisingly, housekeeper swamps the other choices such as surgeon, architect or entrepreneur. Wing Chief Creative Officer is Gustavo Asman.


Our 2011 showcase of award-winning Inhouse Design projects is now live on our website. It is complemented with a look at the Inhouse Creative Team of the Future.


Compensation in the design industry remains relatively flat, according to the new AIGA|Aquent Survey of Design Salaries. Little or no growth characterize many creative posts. The survey itself also reflects a state of flux in the market, as many new positions and job descriptions were added to this year’s survey. Looking more broadly, the AIGA notes that while its quarterly Design Leaders Confidence Index shows rising optimism, the sobering facts remain: 12,000 students of communication design will graduate from four-year programs each year, more than can be absorbed into the current workforce. “For all designers and creative professionals, it is important to take every opportunity to build skill levels and broad knowledge, even during economic slowdown,” said AIGA Executive Director Richard Grefé in a statement about the results. “If designers are to provide effective communication, messaging and branding in the new global economy, they must understand the cultural context for design solutions and clients’ needs. This will depend upon knowledge, judgment and agility, not just skills.” The data itself is presented online in a more interactive way than previous, with a Design Salaries site created by Gesture Theory. LEARN MORE >

Pearlfisher has created an identity for Lebanese retail chain specialising in fast casual food - Zaatar W Zeit. The hip chain has taken a deep-rooted symbol at the heart of Lebanese culture - the Mankousheh or traditional Lebanese wrap - and modernised it for a new generation. Jonathan Ford, Creative Partner at Pearlfisher, said, “The new logo is a distinctive, modern marque that provides a more literal and graphic expression by creating a simple link between the thyme and the oil, the leaf and the droplet, and forms a distinctive ‘Z’ within the negative space.” Creative Director on the project was Natalie Chung and the Designer was Will Gladden.

The French government has unveiled a new national logo to help boost tourism and make the country feel more welcoming. The logo features the tagline, “rendezvous en France”. Tourism Minister Frederic Lefebvre, who unveiled the logo at the French Consulate in New York, bemoaned that France has lost its number one spot in Europe for tourism to Spain. The design was chosen by over 87,000 voters in an online contest.

Take Five! Career Tips

From The Creative Group

Working Hard, Playing Hard

Are you planning to attend a company BBQ or baseball game this summer? It might be in your best interest. Nearly two-thirds of advertising and marketing executives surveyed by The Creative Group said employees who socialize outside of the office enjoy more productive working relationships. Following are five ways to maximize your time:

1. Break Out Of Your Bubble. Strike up conversations with those outside of your usual circle - especially those who work in other departments. Have a few non-work topics to bring up, such as travel plans or movies.

2. Don’t Monopolize Anyone’s Time. Most people want to mingle, so avoid extended conversations, particularly when talking with executives who may have many people they want to chat with during the event.

3. Have A Positive Presence. Showing enthusiasm for those around you can go a long way toward building your professional reputation.

4. Limit Libations. If alcohol is offered, restrict yourself to one or two drinks. That way, you’ll be sure to remain professional - and not end up featured in a YouTube video titled, “My Drunk Coworker Rocks the Chicken Dance!”

5. Take Pictures. Snapping photos is a great way to break the ice at an event. Even better, you can share the pictures afterward, both with people you know and also those you’ve just met, to begin nurturing the relationship.

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled interactive, design and marketing professionals with a variety of firms. For more information, please visit Connect with The Creative Group at or