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To paraphrase Ted Royer, Creative Director at Droga5, advertising is about "being the thing people aren't looking for."

What a great line. It applies today more than ever. We are in a worldwide competition to communicate more effectively than others. The fun part is that we have all these new tools to play with and a playing field is as close to level as it has ever been.

Have at it!


Check out my InDesign Ideabook...

315 template files in 19 different categories -- Everything from brochures, newsletters, and direct mail to packaging, calendars, and books (one CD works with both Mac and PC). Use two or three files and you'll pay for the entire book and disc...

For Adobe InDesign  Here  For QuarkXPress  Here 

Meet illustrator Fiona Hewitt

Here is yet another example of how a smart, talented illustrator has transformed their work into a bit of an industry. I spotted this shopping bag at a retailer recently and it struck me as different and interesting. So I did a little investigative work and tracked down the illustrator, Fiona Hewitt.

Hewitt bills herself as an expert in "Asian Kitschology." As she puts it, her inspiration comes from the years she spent trawling the flea markets and junk shops of Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong.

Example 1... Here 

Example 2... Here 

Example 3... Here 

Fiona Hewitt's Website... Here 

Hewitt's store is Here 

An interview with Hewitt... Here 

Gotta have the shopping bag? Here it is... Here 

A good idea does not necessarily make for a good design

Timothy Prestero heads a nonprofit dedicated to "creating new products that allow social enterprises in developing countries to offer improved services and scale more quickly."

His experiences in tackling the complex process of designing products and bringing them to market has taught him some important lessons. I point you to this because I believe some of his advice translates quite well to the field of graphic design.

Thanks to my friend Owen Zanzel for raising the flag.

Timothy Prestero TED talk... Here 

The DtM project portfolio (5.6MB PDF)... Here 

Prestero's Design That Matters website... Here 

You might also want to read, Prestero's article for Innovations a journal published by MIT Press: Better by Design: How Empathy Can Lead to More Successful Technologies and Services for the Poor (670KB PDF)... Here 

Asked what he does all day, graphic designer Milton Glazer responds, "I move things around until they look right."

From the Design Store 

Tintbook CMYK Process Color Selector: A palette of 25,000 CMYK process colors in print... Here

Color Harmony Guide: From French designer Dominique Trapp... Here 

Communicating With Color: Based on Leatrice Eiseman's seminars on the psychology of color... Here

Graphic Design, Referenced: A Visual Guide to Graphic Design: One of my favorite design books... Here 
A new resource for learning about integrated branding

The folks at Beakbane Marketing in Toronto, Canada are working to create a resource for the marketing industry: A site that will document some of the many pieces and parts organizations create to build their brands. Collateral, packaging, advertising (print, radio, TV, online), identity, and so on - the whole of which we think of as of the integrated brand.

As they explain it, "There are many sites on the Internet that show astonishing advertising or that show phenomenal online communications. Or clever corporate identity. Or beautiful products. But there are no sites that show how savvy managers are creating brands with a singular vision that are expressed coherently across diverse modalities."

The website is and you are invited to join in by adding your client's brand or another brands that interest you.

Here, for example, is how the tourism folk in Newfoundland and Labrador are developing the brand for their region of the planet...
Print advertising... Here 

TV spots... Here
And so on... Here 

The home page... Here
I've written more about integrated branding here... Here 

Meet illustrator Colin Johnson

I'd classify Colin Johnson as both an illustrator and an artist (it looks as if his commercial work is mainly editorial). I am particularly fascinated with his intricate, small collages (check out the page sizes). There's a link below that shows the process.

Example 1... Here 

Example 2... Here 

Example 3... Here
Johnson's website... Here 

A step-by-step look at his collage process... Here
Johnson's advice for illustration students (aren't we all?)... Here 

An interview with the artist... Here 

As I am sure you are well aware, the iPhone 5 is out.

Amazing how Jonathan Ive can make me feel as though I'm living in the dark ages with my 4GS. They may as well say, "You must be the kind of pathetic loser who settles for second best -- for a big, clunky, heavy, slow, tiny-screened 4GS, when they can have this!"... Here

May I recommend... 

Topaz Labs... Killer add-ons for Adobe Photoshop Here A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial. Here Thousands of typefaces from hundreds of foundries... Here 
What is graphic design? Average pay? Outlook for the future?

Though I believe it is important not to view one's self as a statistic, I thought these definitions and predictions from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics were worth pointing to.

Graphic Design... Here 

Art and Design Occupations... Here 

How to refresh a great idea

Here's an experiment worth noting... "What happens when legendary admen of yesteryear are given cutting-edge digital tools to revisit their greatest moments? If Google's Re: Brief is anything to go by, you unlock the creative potential of new media advertising."
As they explain it, "With people spending more time online than ever before, it was time to put digital advertising to the ultimate test. We selected four of the most iconic commercials of all time, and asked the legendary creatives behind them to re-imagine them for the digital age. These advertising icons defined the mediums of the past. Now they're back to help shape the medium of the future, prove that great ideas come first, and inspire a new generation of creative minds along the way."
I found it interesting that the veterans seemed to view the current technology as very complicated. In reality, achieving the same production values and communicating the messages are far easier than they were when these ads were created.

About the project... Here
The project documentary... Here 

Volvo... Here
Coca-Cola... Here 

Alka-Seltzer... Here
Avis... Here 

The trailer to "Lincoln"

Here is the trailer to the much anticipated Steven Spielberg film "Lincoln" -- a gritty look at the final four months of President Abraham Lincoln's life -- some of which was shot here where I live in Richmond, Virginia. Here 
About this newsletter

I try to remain as objective as possible about the information I share here. Unless I tell you otherwise, I receive no compensation from the organizations and people mentioned except for occasional product samples. I am an affiliate of and -- that means, if you purchase something from them, I get a small commission. Comments? Suggestions? Write me at [email protected] -- Chuck Green