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135. Peter Coughter on The Art of Presenting.

peter2.jpgIt's been awhile, but here is another edition of our series on how to be a better presenter, The Art of Presenting. This time Peter Coughter, Jr. has graciously given his expertise. Recognized in the advertising industry as one of the best consultants on the subject, Peter is also President of Coughter & Company, a Richmond-based consulting firm, and an Adjunct Faculty member at Virginia Commonwealth University’s AdCenter. Read why some of the top agencies around the country call on Peter for management consulting and his excellent employee presenting workshops. Enjoy. (Link)


134. Mr. Whipple - Rest in Peace.

Just heard that Dick Wilson, the actor who played the Charmin-squeezing grocer in over 500 spots, past away today. (This is one of the more disparaged ad campaigns in history. So much so, that Luke Sullivan called his creative advertising book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This! in response.)

A moment of silence please nonetheless.



133. Chank Diesel's Fonts.

liquor.jpgHill Holliday / Erwin-Penland got a sneak peak at Chank Diesel's High-Octane Fonts presentation that he will be giving tonight in Greenville. (He also gave it at the HOW conference this year in Atlanta.) Chank spoke about his early days working for the grunge magazine Cake and how the led to him designing custom fonts for large corporations like Target and Starbucks. Some of the highlights from my notes were these nuggets:

  1. When asked about naming his fonts, he said the most important thing is that the font name must look good in its own face. (Whioch only seems obvious at first.) Secondarily, it's an opportunity to add another dimension of personality to the actual design.
  2. Discussing his training, he said his school was actually all of the roadside motel signs in Florida and the amateur nature of their type designs. He fell in love with their casual presentation and the relationships between material and message.
  3. Chank doesn't have a standard font design process as he feels using different processes allows for the faces to develop more of a unique personality. The same process would lead to similar characters.
  4. One of the more interesting idiosyncrasies he talked about was being a left-handed illustrator and a right-handed mouse user which affects the letterforms he creates.
  5. He touched a little bit about intellectual property and having to hire an attorney to enforce his copyright against people using his fonts for commercial projects and how that's becoming more important these days.
  6. And I loved the fact that he calls himself an American Alphabetician and considers himself a traveling font salesman.

Overall, Chank is an approachable type designer who isn't afraid to imbue his designs with ample character and style. I'm sure his presentation tonight with the Greenville Ad Club will be well worth attending.

(The image displays Chank's favorite design, Liquorstore, appropriately enough on an actual Liqoor store.)


132. Artist Jeff Canham's Timelapse Video.

painted.jpgFollowing a link from HOW, and going just a bit deeper I found a great time-lapse of Jeff Canham's progress while hand-lettering a sign for the Mollusk Surf Shop sign in their New York City location. I didn't want anyone to miss this little treasure. It's not heavy on process, but these behind the scenes looks are always interesting. (The rest of his stuff isn't too shabby either.) View the video here. Nice to see that craft is alive and well.


131. Ad of the Week: Buckley's.

buckleys.jpgEvery now and then you see something in advertising that encourages, and makes you feel a little better about marketing managers, agencies and the industry as a whole. This installment of the Ad of the Week was chosen not for it's visual sophistication or clever wordplay. It's actually fairly ugly. Nor was it chosen due to some fancy schmancy video director or photographer. This campaign was chosen because it was courageous. (Not courageous in the sense of running into a burning building to rescue a puppy mind you - but courageous in the advertising sense: not scared to death to be honest or self-deprecating about your product. Not heroic, but courageous anyway.) The whole point here is to promote how terrible Buckley's tastes while indirectly enforcing it's effectiveness in relieving coughs and congestions due to colds. Somewhere, there was a marketing director that was OK with saying their product tastes terrible. Not just terrible, as they compare it to 'trash bag leakage' in one radio spot, and  to a 'public restroom puddle' in a tv spot. Now that takes some courage - as it wouldn't be a stretch, should this marketing fail, for the people responsible to lose their jobs. But they won't lose their jobs, because this campaign is memorable, funny, and just a bit disgusting. And one subtle benefit of this campaign is that I bet the taste is not quite as bad in reality as it is currently in my imagination - having yet to try it. So, they are even going to exceed most people's expectations that are set with this creative/strategy. Could it really be as bad as Pig Tongue Scrappings? You can view all 7 of their TV ads - which I saw on NBC last night - via their website. Or on YouTube.  This is a great rejuvenation of a long-term campaign - check out their print (newish and oldish) here.

Still trying to figure out the agency responsible, or if this was an in-house job. Anyone know?


130. Mandolux Multi-Screen Wallpapers.

mandolux.jpgNothing serious to report here, but good nonetheless. If you are like me - the wallpaper on your monitor can totally affect your mood, but I find it difficult finding many that I actually like. You can either design them yourself, which can be fun. But, if you are pressed for time Mandolux has been posting single and mult-screen wallpapers for several years now and almost all of them are awesome. Go check them out. (I'm digging the mykong design right now.)


129. Foo Fighters Album Art.

foo.jpgSleavage has an interesting behind the scenes take on the latest Foo Fighters album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace – and it's artwork. (Check it out here.) Designed by music industry veterans, Invisible Creature, the design theme is explained as well as how it was adapted throughout the liner notes, single covers and vinyl records. I also enjoyed the brief logo exploration and think it's worth a look. Projects like this (and the one below) make buying the actual albums/CD's preferable to a simple download. How would you like to have Dave Grohl as a client? I think I could handle that.

While you are at Sleavage, check out Vonnegut Dollhouse's fold-out dollhouse album art too. Very Cool too.


128. Field Report: House Industries AIGA Event.

It's been a few days since, but I was just sent this summary of the House Industries AIGA lecture that was held in Albuquerque, NM on September 26th. Steve Hinckle, art director at Mckee Wallwork Cleveland (in Albuquerque, the shop that is creatively run by Bart Cleveland who participated in our Art of Presenting series awhile back) sent not only the report but also the sweet poster that promoted it. Thanks Steve.

Click to read more ...


127. Typophile's Typowiki.

typophile.jpgI'm often asked to put together a design resource page - listing sources of inspiration, information, helpful tips, tutorials and anything else that would be of help to a designer. And I'm working on just such a thing - trying to not to duplicate other resources that are out there and giving someone a good idea of the sites that I find helpful in my daily project solving. As far as typography goes, however, I (or anyone else for that matter) would be hard pressed to do better than Typophile's typowiki. This site lists resources in categories like type foundries, printing methods, terminology, and organizations all the way to merchandise, conferences, museums and even other wikis. And because it's a wiki, it's a living breathing document that will continue to grow and adapt to the current design environment. I've been using Typophile for awhile now to stay up to date on all things type, and just now created an account  - allowing me to post articles, comments and contribute to the wiki. I would encourage you to do the same.


126. Marian Bantjes' Work For Saks.

bantjes.jpgI really enjoyed viewing Marian Bantjes new work for Saks Fifth Avenue and their holiday in-store design. Beginning as a collaboration with Michael Bierut and Pentagram, Bantjes eventually was able to work directly with the retailer on the designs. I think environmental design – maybe more than any other medium of graphic design – really allows a designer to spread his/her wings creatively and showcases just how powerful what we do can be. Add this artist's ability to simultaneously make the typography both the image and message and it's all the more impressive. Admittedly, I cringe a bit at the a-little-too-materialistic "Want It" tagline, but it IS work for a major retailer at an important time of the year for them financially. The design-cred of the artwork thankfully allows me to forget about it long enough to enjoy it. Take a look at the project on her site. And while you're at it – let your eyes feast on her sustainability poster.