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Do we rob customers of discovery?

Does the product, service, or idea you're marketing have a significant positive element or two that you can leave for your prospect to discover?

I got to wondering if, when we reveal ALL of the features of a particular subject and lay out ALL the problems it solves, if we don't tamp down the curiosity that drives discovery.

As a consumer, the fact that I feel as though I have "discovered" something (in my sphere), often makes me an advocate of it.

And an advocate is a customer with a bullhorn.

Be well, Chuck

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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

Looking at art and design in the context of society and science

Rama Hoetzlein is a Media Artist. I stumbled on his timeline of 20th century art and new media recently and I thought it was particularly interesting. He shows us various movements in the arts and media against the backdrop of time, technology, event, population, and so on.

I point you to it for both the information and his technique of presenting it.

Art in the 20th century...  Here

Timeline of 20th century art and new media...  Here

Subjective Media: A Historic Context for New Media in Art by Rama C. Hoetzlein, (452KB PDF)...  Here

Another interesting idea: A portfolio of his work as a timeline...  Here

What is new media art?...  Here

Coined a new term today:

Wimp chill: The chilling effect of low temperature as measured by your distance from the person you are speaking with. You subtract 5 degrees for every 100 miles south one person is from the other.

Simply put, if it is 10 degrees fahrenheit in both New York City and Washington, D.C. (226 miles) the wimp chill in Washington, D.C. would be roughly -1 degrees fahrenheit.

Weather Channel here I come.

See the newest capabilities of the modern web

Once a week Adobe and FWA award The Cutting Edge Award to "the project that best highlights the newest capabilities of the modern web."

The Cutting Edge Award...  Here

The near-perfect sign

Promotional/retail signs are a real design challenge. When you're charged with attracting the attention of folks driving by a business on a very busy road, you've got to strip away all the pretense.

This article by Robert Wilson for Psychology Today points to the simplicity of the concept necessary to produce a effective sign.

(To be precise, I realize billboards and signs can be different animals, but often, the content and visibility basics are similar.)

The Perfect Ad...  Here offers a good overview of signage basics including...

Letter height/visibility calculations...   Here

Color and contrast guidelines...  Here

The United States Sign Council offers the Sign Legibility Rules of Thumb (875KB PDF)...  Here

May I ask for your support?

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.
A first-class e-commerce platform.  Here
Learn any software program, when you want, for only $25 per month.  Here
Host websites for AIGA, Adobe, Samsung, Sony, Dribbble, and many more.  Here
The comprehensive collection of fonts from the world's top type foundries.   Here
Guarantees quality, matches prices, promises delivery, satisfaction guaranteed.  Here

Meet illustrator Frank Soltesz

Frank Soltesz represents the old school, storytelling illustrators whose advertising and editorial work graced the pages of magazines great and small throughout the twentieth century.

Example 1...  Here

Example 2...  Here

Example 3...  Here

A Flickr set of Soltesz's work curated by Leif Peng...  Here

A website dedicated to Frank Soltesz written by his son Ken...  Here

Leif Peng is a talented illustrator as well...  Here

Leif Peng is the curator of Today's Inspiration...  Here

Just curious.

1. How often have you clicked on a banner ad because you were interested in the product/service/idea?

2. How often have you clicked on a banner ad by mistake?

3. Have you ever clicked on a banner ad simply because you knew it would cost the advertiser money?

"A few hundred years of type and typography have established rules that only a fool would ignore."

Matthew Butterick, the author of Typography For Lawyers, Essential Tools For Polished & Persuasive Documents, has published a second book for a wider audience titled, Butterick's Practical Typography.

In its Forward, type designer Erik Spiekermann explains, "A few hundred years of type and typography have established rules that only a fool would ignore. (Or a graphic designer keen to impress his peers.) For all those who need to communicate clearly and even add a modicum of aesthetic value to their messages, this publication provides everything you always wanted to ask but didn't know how to."

I point you to it because I think it is a solid, straightforward text for learning the fundamentals of type composition and a useful introduction to Butterick's particular, workman-like approach to design and usage.

It would be particularly useful to anyone who has an interest in typography but not a lot of experience with it. And to those who write, edit, and compose pages for publication online or in print who want to learn some of the basics do's and don'ts.

Though the book is free to access, the author asks for a donation (yes I did).

Thanks to Russ Mitchell and Cool Tools for pointing us to it.

Butterick's Practical Typography...  Here

We would all do well to point those who don't know anything about typography to this chapter: Typography in ten minutes...  Here

An earlier post about Matthew Butterick...  Here

Microsoft rolls out the next generation of Photosynth technology

This new generation of Photosynth is used to stitch together high resolution images shot with D-SLR or a point-and-shoot camera. It, "combines the tactile smoothness of a stitched panorama with the kind of motion through space that you see in video from a moving platform."

The synth of Mount Everest, was created from a series of high-resolution photographs shot from a helicopter. As you will see, you can pause at any point and zoom in on parts of the particular photograph you paused within.

Thanks to Jeff Green for pointing us to it.

A synth of Mount Everest...  Here

A discussion about what Photosynth is and what it is used for...  Here

A collection of synths...  Here

Scroll down the page to see the types of synths that can be created...  Here

The Photosynth 2014 Technical Preview Shooting Guide (468KB PDF)...  Here

"Junk mail," forced sharing, and the filter bubble

I received an email recently from a PR firm asking me to look at a product that requires a Facebook login as criteria for participation in the use of its service.

I wrote them back to say, "I've got to admit that I have a problem with services that use a Facebook login as criteria for participation in the use of a service. That makes me a bad candidate for an positive outcome."

Do others feel this way? Honestly, I simply don't want anyone looking over my shoulder any more than they already do, feeding me what they think I want to hear.

It recalls an article which appeared in a local newspaper a couple of weeks ago. It discussed what they labeled "junk mail" and featured a reader who had collected a years worth of mail and done an analysis of how little of it addressed any of their real, personal needs. The article went on to ask, "...when is enough, enough?"

To me, these are two stories about the same issue. An important one.

When is enough, enough? My hope is never. Slow or shut down direct mail? To the contrary, I believe it's critical, at this particular place in time, to defend, even encourage, the sharing of products, services, and ideas through advertising (direct mail, newspapers, magazines, television). It not only provides opportunities to buy, sell, and win others to our way of thinking, it is fundamental to the creation of commerce and jobs.

Why so critical now? Because the universe of many Web users is fast becoming, what internet activist Eli Pariser has dubbed, a "filter bubble."

I've mentioned this before. He is referring to the fact that many online services now operate using algorithms that determine, because a particular user has shown interest in "A," that they will, necessarily, be interested in "B." And that, based on the accumulation of that data, the services begin to feed the user more and more of what they have determined to be the user's interests to the exclusion of other, perfectly valid and useful information. Ultimately, the known exceeds the unknown, and the user is isolated in a commercial, cultural, or ideological bubble.

That's why I told the PR firm I didn't like services that require a Facebook login (for example) as criteria for participation in the use of a service. And why we should hold dear what many demonize as "junk mail" and other forms of non-invasive media that provide us opportunities to see, read, and hear offers and ideas. Yes, these forms of communication require you to exert the energy to accept or decline such invitations, but that seems like a small price to pay for the good that free, unfettered commerce and sharing provides.

More about the "filter bubble"...  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