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It occurs to me that government has a seemingly insurmountable marketing problem.

What got me thinking about this was a proposal by a local legislator to use tax dollars to build a ballpark. Like it or not it's a difficult marketing problem.

In large part, the challenge for business is to convince prospects that they need or want it's products, services, and ideas. They offer, you decide.

While government, on the other hand, is about establishing need or want for others and imploring/forcing them to comply with its decisions. (Don't get me wrong--government provides many good and necessary products, services, and ideas.)

My point is, government's position is (beyond necessity) an untenable one. By its very nature, it usurps individual decision-making and forces it's pronouncements on those who choose not to comply. That is the ULTIMATE hard sell.

Forcing people to do anything (to me) should be a last resort. And government should be, primarily, in the business of creating laws to solve problems that can be solved in no other way. (Politics, I guess, is all about the defining of that threshold.)

Hoping you have a happy, prosperous 2014.

Be well, Chuck

Have you seen 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
One of my all-time favorite advertising campaigns: The Power of the Printed Word

Back in the 1980s, International Paper ran what remains one of my favorite advertising campaigns of all time: The Power of the Printed Word. It was, at once, informative, interesting, and featured input by celebrity-status experts at the top of their game.

You'll not only find it interesting reading (the copywriting is exquisite), you'll doubtlessly find some excellent ideas for structuring and presenting your own information.

The Power of the Printed Word series:

How to make a speech by George Plimpton
How to write a resume by Jerrold G. Simpson, Ed.D.
How to spell by John Irving
How to enjoy poetry by James Dickey
How to read an annual report by Jane Bryant Quinn
How to enjoy the classics by Steve Allen
How to use a library by James A. Michener
How to write with style by Kurt Vonnegut
How to write clearly by Edward T. Thompson
How to improve your vocabulary by Tony Randall
How to write a business letter by Malcolm Forbes
How to read faster by Bill Cosby

The entire series in PDF form (4.2MB PDF)...
Here >

When Doubleday published the campaign in book form, the New York Times, in this article detailing its creation (1985), pointed to the fact that the campaign had generated requests for 27 million copies of the ads...  Here provided the PDF...  Here

Do systems and rules stifle creativity and innovation?

Why do we establish and impose systems and rules? Primarily to regulate behavior and to set performance standards, right? But, before we design and implement them, we need to consider the degree to which systems and rules can stifle creativity and innovation.

More...  Here

I guess we need reminding...

Just because you captured a shocking, interesting, or humorous photograph or video, doesn't necessarily mean you should post it online. The world still needs and values expressions of compassion, acts of judgement, and gifts of grace.

What are the top ad agencies?

Forbes magazine and its Contributor Avi Dan asked 1,850 CMOs and other marketing executives to rank the top advertising agencies. And they voted those below as the top ten.

Why list them here? I think it's important to keep track of the most visible work and these big agencies clearly have tremendous influence on our business.

Though I worked as a freelancer for The Martin Agency and others earlier in my career, when I started my own company, I did not pursue big clients. I became, instead, a small business designer-and, over the years, I've come to think of it as an almost entirely different business.

Thanks to Diane CookTench pointing us to the article.

The article...  Here

The list...

1. Wieden + Kennedy...  Here

2. Droga5...  Here

3. Grey Group...  Here

4. BBDO Worldwide...  Here

5. Ogilvy & Mather...  Here

6. The Martin Agency...  Here

7. Leo Burnett Company...  Here

8. CP+B (Crispin Porter & Bogusky)...  Here

9. Goodby Silverstein & Partner...  Here

10. Publicis Worldwide...  Here

"This is the work I'd be doing if I wasn't a web designer." 
Jesse Gardner of Plasticmind posted this a couple of weeks ago, saying, "This is the work I'd be doing if I wasn't a web designer."

These stunning visual effects demonstrate the state of the art. It's amazing stuff but it makes me wonder about the value of bringing such dreams and nightmares to life. Whether it displaces normalcy.

In any case, WOW.  Here

If you use this link to buy your type from

You won't pay any more but I'll get a commission. And you know what THAT means: My own island! Or, a paddle for the canoe.  Here
Some useful style and proofreading resources

I met another designer online today and immediately pointed to a typo on his website. Yes, I know it's obnoxious, but as I've always said, I'd rather find out sooner than later. Fortunately, I believe he felt the same way.

It reminded me of a campaign that ran a bunch of years ago for a large state economic development agency. They ran a series of ads in business publications, I believe multiple times, before someone noticed that, in the headline of the ad, the name of the state had been misspelled.

What was so extraordinary was the no one seemed to notice. Perhaps an indication of the quality of the ad's impact. Perhaps one of those quirky typos that your brain fixes automatically. In either case, I doubt the account executive enjoyed making that call to the client.

Someone mentioned recently, the technique of reading text backwards for proofreading purposes which prompted me to search out a more comprehensive list of tips. Here are few useful style and proofreading resources I found.

A good list of proofreading tips from Philip Corbett, the editor in charge of The New York Times style manual...  Here

Proofreader's marks from The Chicago Manual of Style...  Here

Guidelines for proofreading from Purdue Online Writing Lab...  Here

Some definitions of proofreading from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (UK)...  Here
Perfecting the photographer to commercial printer workflow

I had a discussion this week with a photographer friend of mine. He wanted to know if I knew how much of a difference there was between saving a RAW file (out of Photoshop) as a JPEG file or as TIFF file. As I researched it, I quickly realized it is a fairly complicated question and was reminded that there is virtually nothing easy about color workflows.

To fast-forward, I can tell you that there is no one good answer. You are always best off going to the commercial printer who will print the final piece and asking them what workflow they recommend for a specific project being reproduced using the specific process/equipment they use. They are most qualified to tell you exactly what type of files will be best and how to configure the settings.

There is, however, a good rule of thumb: RAW, JPEG, and TIFF files can all be saved at different bit depths. And one, common sense workflow would be to adjust the original image in RAW, save it as 16-bit RGB file, edit it in Photoshop, convert it to CMYK, and save it as an 8-bit TIFF or (some say) JPEG file. Why? Because if you knock a 16-bit file down to 8-bit before you edit it, you will likely remove critical, necessary information from the original.

A good overview: The Benefits Of Working With 16-Bit Images In Photoshop by Steve Patterson...  Here

A short blurb about color settings for RAW conversion from Tim Grey and

A couple of examples of good creative thinking...

Here  and  Here

I recommend

A huge library of top-quality, design-oriented tutorials. Click here for a 7-day free trial.  Here

The quality of the search and find experience

Is it just me? I believe the quality of the search and find experience on the desktop is far superior to the experience of using a tablet or mobile device.

Even with voice recognition, sitting in front of a large display with a keyboard makes searches easier to execute and significantly more productive.

Add to that the fact that developers often limit the functionality of mobile and tablet (as compared to the desktop) and I believe there's a strong case to made for using a desktop or laptop for serious research and browsing.

Support,, and

I am an affiliate of several services. If you use these links to make purchases, I get a small commission. Thanks in advance for your support.
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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