Category Archives: Marketing, Advertising & Branding

Caveat Venditor! (Seller beware!)

I monitor a lot of different sites, looking for more business for my design firm. Sadly, a lot of the sites that match those who need a designer with people like me are filled with scammers, looking to make a quick, illicit buck off of coders, scribes, and graphic artists. Here’s a prime example of a scammer’s job request:

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Job type: Web Design Continue reading Caveat Venditor! (Seller beware!)

Flavor of the Month.

Something weird is going on. I can feel it. But I can’t really figure out exactly what…or why. I’m not a big “conspiracy guy.” I’m a believer in Occam’s Razor, and I think it’s nuts to see a conspiracy behind every tree and under every rock. Still, there is something weird happening, and I’d like to know what is the deal, here. I am speaking, of course, about the selection of flavors found in over the counter medicines and oral care products. Here’s what I mean… Continue reading Flavor of the Month.

Transitory State

Bruce-Jenner-Vanity-Fair-cover

When I was a kid, life was simple. There were boys. There were girls. Boys played “Army.” Girls played with dolls. Boys wore pants. Girls wore dresses. Life was good. I think I was 12 or so, before I heard the words “queer” and “gay” and learned that they meant “homosexual,” and was told what “homosexual” meant. I soon learned there was a whole panoply of people who had different ideas about sexuality. Boys who liked boys. Girls who liked girls. Boys who liked girls and boys, and vice-versa. Boys who liked to dress up like girls (and vice-versa). And then boys and girls who had their bodies altered to look like girls and boys, respectively. Confusing. I thought it was weird then. I’m not sure I think it’s any less weird now. Especially given that Bruce Jenner has “transitioned.”  Continue reading Transitory State

Is Tinder Hot?

IMG_0521My daughter recently talked me into signing up for “Tinder.” If you’re not familiar, it’s an iPhone app that’s designed to help you meet people. Apparently, it’s evolved from being something created for “hookups” (read: “meaningless sexual encounters”) into an app that facilitates meeting people for actually dating.

What makes this interesting is that it’s all based on Facebook, and the pictures you post here.

There’s a lot of different dating sites out there, each one slightly different in their approach. eHarmony makes you go through a long and laborious process before you even get to chat directly with someone in whom you might be interested. Continue reading Is Tinder Hot?

The nature of Heaven. And Hell.

You know that joke about what countries would be in charge of things if this were Heaven or if it were Hell? You know the one…where in Heaven, the British are the police, and in Hell, it’s the Germans? Well, I got to thinking about how that would apply to technology. And I came up with this: Continue reading The nature of Heaven. And Hell.

What’s in a name?

Buy--)Rakuten

I’m on a bunch of email lists. Comes with the job of being a marketing guy. For some time now, I’ve gotten emails from Buy.com. I don’t buy a lot from them, but it’s interesting to see how they promote specials, format their emails, etc. Recently, I’ve been receiving emails from Rakuten.com, “formerly Buy.com.” Um…wha? Continue reading What’s in a name?

(In)Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Packaging Design

I am a creature of habit. I freely admit this, as it’s something I have in common with most people. Don’t believe me? Okay, riddle me this, Batman, when you go shopping at your local grocery emporium/supermarket/superstore, and you’re looking for a particular brand, what do you look for? If you’re like me (and millions of other homo sapiens), you’ll look for the color, general shape, and size of a package, in order to locate it quickly. This helps me find things and avoid a lengthy search. Now most things are (usually) pretty easy to find at my local Kroger or Walmart. But there are certain items that defy definition of what part of the store they should be found. Instant mashed potatoes, for instance. Some stores put ’em with the 3 minute rice. Some don’t. But as long as I can spot the big red box of Hungry Jack, I’m a happy camper. But my visual shorthand system has come under fire lately, from an unexpected source: marketersContinue reading (In)Consistency is the Hobgoblin of Packaging Design

Teen Teachable Moments in (Louisiana) History.

Well, we (my 14-year-old daughter) and I just got back from Lake Charles, LA, where she competed in the Louisiana State Social Studies Fair. Well, “competed” isn’t exactly the right word. She entered. She did her best. She excelled. And she did not win. But for her to have “competed” would have required that they actually stage a competition, which, sadly, they did not. What they did do bears some explanation – and analysis. Continue reading Teen Teachable Moments in (Louisiana) History.

Where do you get your ideas?

If I’ve heard that once, I’ve heard it a thousand times. And there’s no single – or right – answer to the question. Not trying to be difficult. I just really can’t tell you, because I don’t know. In this, I’m not alone. Most creative people have the same dilemma. But I divide ideas into two categories in my own work – revolutionary and evolutionary. I’ll use a recent project to explain what I mean.  Continue reading Where do you get your ideas?

R.I.P. Thomas Kincaid, 1957-2012

I just heard that Thomas Kincaid died suddenly today. It’s estimated that one in every twenty homes in America have one of his mass-produced masterpieces in it. Not ring a bell? Okay, how about this: Go to virtually any mall in America and look for the shop that sells paintings. Odds are the sign outside the door reads “Thomas Kincaid, Painter of Light.” Ahhhh. Now you get the connection. Now being an artist myself, you might think I’m all about mocking Kincaid. But I come not to bury him, but to praise him.  Continue reading R.I.P. Thomas Kincaid, 1957-2012