Archives for category: Design for the Everyman

With all the recent Pride festivals and parades going on across the country, I was inspired to create a gesture that expressed how I felt about being able to be proud of being a who I am. “Life is Good” is the result. I was inspired by the typographic posters of Tres Tipos Gráficos & Manuel Sesma’s typographic poster series called archetypes.

I used the Garamond typeface in CMYK as the different layers of the piece.

Simple, Beautiful, Meaningful. Enjoy!

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This book is one of the most insightful reads that I have gotten my hands on lately. If you want to know where we are going in this new economy, READ THIS BOOK! The insights vary from what makes “Build-a-Bear Workshop” successful to even Disney World. It ties in so many different strategies dealing with branding and user experience. I couldn’t set the book down while reading it. I know its been out for a while but if you don’t own a copy, I highly suggest you get one asap! 

Valentines Day can be one of the most exciting and thoughtful days of the year. If you’ve ever felt that warm feeling when you receive a valentine, then you know how set apart you feel when you receive a valentine’s day card or a box of chocolates.

With that said, have you ever been surprised to get a card or box of chocolates from someone unexpected? If you have, then you probably remember the feeling of guilt when you get a surprise valentines gift and don’t have anything to give back in return…

That feeling of guilt is why I designed a solution for the “Oh S#%* I didn’t get you a anything” problem. We are giving these cards out at Quality Printers and QP2 Creative to their clients. We then explain that clients are to put these cards in their top desk drawer and forget about them until they receive a valentine gift from an unexpected party… When they get an unexpected valentine- they have something to give back! You could say, Quality Printers and QP2 Creative are setting our clients up to win this Valentines Day.

I still recommend that you try not to forget your significant other on Valentines Day… even these cute little cards may not be able to help you at that point.

Lorina Harris’s first gallery exhibit at the Southern Maryland Creative Cultural Center was an fantastic and inspirational event featuring all of the arts. Dance, music, poetry, and paintings all worked together to interact and inspire the local community of Southern Maryland. It was a great event, and I am excited for the next one coming up on February 18th from 6:30 – 9:30pm. Stop by if you would like to experience the arts in Southern Maryland!

I just finished reading another book (Words That Work, It’s Not What You Say it’s What People Hear) by author, pollster, and political advisor Dr. Frank Luntz. After a very insightful read about words and phrases that work within our culture, Dr. Luntz concluded his book with 21 words for the 21st century. These words were taken directly from many of his polls that he has conducted with hundreds of thousands of Americans. I thought these words were fascinating and I was very excited to discover that I have been using many of them in the brand strategies that I’ve been working on for clients. Some may seem like common sense and others maybe not. I thought I would share them with you. What do you think of when you read these words/ phrases? Do you think that they have been and will become as important in this 21st century as Dr. Luntz describes them to be?

 

1|. “Imagine” “Inspire”

2|. “Cleaner, Safer, Healthier”

3|. “Comprehensive / Long-term”

4|. “Accountability”

5|. “Results” “Solutions”

6|. “Hassle-Free” “No Worries”

7|. “You’re in control / You Decide”

8|. “Efficient” & “Efficiency”

9|. “Reliable”

10|. “Respect”

11|. “Renew, Revitalize, Rejuvenate, Restore, Rekindle, Reinvent”

12|. “The Simple Truth”

13|. “Consequences”

14|. “Bold Action / Getting it Done”

15|. “Peace of Mind”

16|. “Independent Certification”

17|. “Mission” “Commitment”

18|. “Cutting Edge”

19|. “Common Sense”

20|. “Convenience”

21|. “Exceeding Expectations”

Bio about Dr. Frank Luntz:

Frank Luntz is one of the most honored communication professionals in America today. “The Nostradamus of pollsters,” said Sir David Frost, Time magazine named him one of “50 of America’s most promising leaders aged 40 and under” and he is the “hottest pollster” in America according to the Boston Globe. Frank was named one of the four “Top Research Minds” by Business Week and was a winner of the coveted Washington Post “Crystal Ball” award for being the most accurate pundit.   His focus groups have become so influential that presidential candidate Barack Obama had this to say following the PBS presidential debate,“When Frank Luntz invites you to talk to his focus group, you talk to his focus group.”

Dr. Luntz has written, supervised, and conducted more than 2,000 surveys, focus groups, ad tests, and dial sessions in over two dozen countries and four continents over the past decade.  Frank has become the go-to consultant when Fortune 100 companies and their CEOs need communication and language guidance, from General Motors to Federal Express, Disney to American Express, from AT&T to Microsoft, from Lowe’s to Pfizer, from Kroger supermarkets to McDonalds to the entire soft drink, hotel, and motion picture industries, as well as for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable.  In some capacity he has helped almost 30 Fortune 100 companies navigate the economic climate and connect more closely with consumers.

The “Instant Response” focus group technique pioneered by Frank has been profiled on 60 Minutes, Good Morning America (on Election Day 2008) and on the award-winning PBS show Frontline.   He has been a guest on virtually every talk show in America, including Meet the Press, Nightline, The Today Show, Charlie Rose, The Jim Lehrer News Hour, The O’Reilly Factor, Tavis Smiley, Montel Williams, and Hardball.  He also served as a consultant to the award-winning NBC hit show “The West Wing.”

More media outlets have turned to Dr. Luntz to understand the hopes and fears of Americans than to any other political pollster. In 2008, Frank was the “Focus Group Czar” for Fox News, conducting over 40 sessions in 14 states, as well as co-hosting four live hour-long prime time specials and dial sessions during every debate.  He was a primary night and election night commentator for The News with Brian Williams on MSNBC in 2000 and for Hardball in 2004.  His reoccurring segments on MSNBC/CNBC, “100 Days, 1000 Voices” won the coveted Emmy Award in 2001.  Frank has conducted focus group sessions for all three major television networks, two of the three cable news channels, PBS and the BBC, as well as for The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and U.S. News & World Report.

Frank is the author of The New York Times best seller Words that Work: It’s Not What You Say it’s What People Hear. Now out in paperback, the book explores the art and science of language creation, and was awarded the 2008 Audie Award for the best business information/educational audiobook of the year.  His latest book, “What Americans Really Want … Really” addresses the private hopes, dreams and fears of the American people, and has been nominated for the 2010 Audie Award for the year’s best non-fiction audiobook.  He has written about language for The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, the Financial Times, The Times of London, and The Washington Post.

When he is not consulting, Dr. Luntz can often be found in front of a classroom. From 1989 until 1996, he was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught courses at Harvard and George Washington University.

Frank graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with an honors Bachelor of Arts degree in history and political science, and was awarded a Thouron Fellowship.  He received his Doctorate in Politics at the age of 25 from Oxford University. He spoke for 24 straight hours as part of the Oxford Union Society’s Guinness World Book of Records debate. In the spring of 1993, Frank was named a Fellow at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, the second youngest individual ever to receive this honor.

I have had the privilege of working with Lorina Harris these last few weeks with a new exhibit in the Southern Maryland Creative Cultural Center in Quality Printers and QP2 Creative’s office.

Lorina, a visual artist and instructor at Art Smart Studio, has a love for all branches of the arts. She is regularly seen supporting the arts in Southern Maryland many times through her position on the board of directors at the Charles County Arts Alliance.

Born and raised by parents who emphasized the importance of the arts, Lorina began studying art and design from an early age. Her vigor for creativity and artistic expression was cultivated even further when she studied art in the Netherlands at the Amsterdam School of the Arts. After living and studying in the Netherlands for over a decade, Lorina and her family moved to the US and settled in the DC area in 2005.

Lorina continues to create and instruct in Southern Maryland through her private practice, Art Smart Studio, in Bryans Road, Md. Her pupils range from children to adults at all skill levels.

Her exhibit titled Eclectic Journeys: A Visual Account of Life, on display at the Southern Maryland Creative Cultural Center is reflective of a range of times and places throughout Lorina’s artistic exploration and career. The exhibit contains everything from figurative to abstract artworks that all wrestle with the dilemmas of connecting a physical world with numerous abstract ideas.

Come by and see the work of this amazing artist!