Design

Apple to Launch New Mobile Advertising Platform?

Apple to Launch New Mobile Advertising Platform?

Will “iAd” be the end of print, or the beginning of the end for mobile advertising? We're only days away from the launch of the iPad, an event that some say will determine the future of the magazine and newspaper publishing industries. But wait, there's more. Only days after the iPad's release, rumor has it that Apple will be unveiling what the speculative geek circuit is calling the “iAd.” And you thought they were gonna let us poor ol' printers down easy! At this point, no one is exactly sure what iAd is going to be. There's been little indication as to which platforms the new technology will apply to, although the most recent buzz is that the mobile ad world's “next big thing” will impact every facet of Apple technology, from the iPad to iTunes. It might be all about delivering location and interest-specific ads to i-users. A device would know where you are, and by the same token, […]

Bright Lights! Big City! Poster Printing!

Bright Lights! Big City! Poster Printing!

The intricacies of campaigning on Broadway… Poster design is a complicated process, and the higher the stakes, the more complicated it gets. Sometimes, a client simply needs one great image for a short-run print campaign that's not going to involve any other elements. Other times – whew! – things get a bit more serious. For example… The New York Times recently published an article on the process of designing a poster for a Broadway show. They spoke to Drew Hodges, chief exec over at SpotCo. Entertainment Advertising (recently in the news for their racy portrayal of Miss Piggy). SpotCo. created the print ad for a new run of the famous musical, La Cage Aux Folles, on Broadway. The criteria for the poster? Where to begin…. It had to be funny and sexy, but not just funny or just sexy, because viewers have to get a strong sense of all the things that the musical is about. It also couldn't be […]

Recession-Conscious Postcard Printing

Recession-Conscious Postcard Printing

Share space, save money! When business is slow, owners and managers are faced with an inevitable quandary: They should advertise to pique consumer interest, but how can they afford to when business is slow? Luckily, at Hotcards, we're kind of experts on low cost printing. Why? Because it doesn't matter how good the economy is or how great business is going, print buyers always want an unbeatable price – especially in the era of gang-run, go-digital-or-go-home, web-to-print mania. So what's to be done when even the $108.00 price tag on a run of 1000 postcards sounds way over-budget? Cut the cost in half by sharing the card with another business! Over the last year, many small businesses have been combining forces and sharing ad space. Because two-sided, full color postcard printing is the norm, it's easy to design a mailer or club card with a unique ad on each side. Take, for example, this card, advertising vegetarian dining in Barcelona, […]

Why Bother To Redesign Print?

Why Bother To Redesign Print?

There’s a right way, and a wrong way, of posing the question… At a time when the print industry is supposed to be either fading gracefully or balling up – turtle style – in the hopes of coming out of this recession alive, Fortune Magazine is doing the unthinkable. It’s – gasp! – redesigning. One of Time Inc.’s major newsstand players, Fortune is coming out this month with a whole new look, and we’re not talking leaner, meaner, and cheaper. The Fortune redesign involves the addition of relevant new sections, as well as heavier paper stock, and a matte, rather than gloss finish, for the cover. To wit, Fortune has redesigned up, creating a more expensive-to-produce magazine… In an interview today on AllThingsDigital, Fortune editor Andy Serwer talks about the overhaul with an almost comically skeptical Peter Kafka. Kafka seems unable to prevent himself from asking incredulously after the increase in expense, “could that possibly be correct?” And when Serwer […]

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Print Ad Gallery

Vancouver 2010 Olympic Print Ad Gallery

Adventures in brand diplomacy. Through cold, through ice, through recession, the tradition of epic Olympic games print advertising prevails! The Olympics is always a hugely busy time for printers, as print advertisers – often with very different agendas – compete for attention on the world stage. First, there's the official Olympic committee stuff – the mascots, the slogans – but most of all the carefully designed winter Olympic poster, from which springs all other print collateral and represents the very soul of a nation. This winter in Vancouver, the green and blue maple leaf, shot through with scenes depicting the Canadian wilderness, has fans and critics. For some, the symbolism is too obscure, while others criticize it as being overworked. It seems that at the Olympics, as in advertising, you can't please all the people all the time, and if you try, the result may be that nobody is satisfied. Next in line for print ad attention are local advertisers. […]

Will the Hollywood Sign Become Ad Space?

Will the Hollywood Sign Become Ad Space?

Just when you thought it couldn't get more po-mo. One of the most famous pieces of typography on the planet earth is the Hollywood sign. The giant block letters in the hills above Hollywood are iconic, but apparently, that doesn't make them indispensible. Turns out the owners of some of the land around the sign, Fox River Financial Resources, have been trying to sell the land for two years. Luckily, the whopping $22 million price tag has kept the property on the market, and out of the speculative gazes of developers. Now, Trust for Public Lands, a conservation group in California, has struck a deal with Fox River to buy the land for $12 million, turning it into a nature preserve safe from condo builders. Apparently this whole recession? Bad for developers, good for non-profits (at least when it comes to buying at sympathetic rates). Still, $12 million is no small potatoes. In an effort to raise money for the […]

Christmas Card Controversy 2009

Christmas Card Controversy 2009

Gossip, scandal, and holiday printing. Usually, at this time of year, I put together a post about Christmas card design by creating a gallery of celebrity holiday cards and critiquing them. But celebrity cards aren't at the center of the card printing gossip this year. What does have our interest in 2009 is cards that are stirring up controversy. British comic Ricky Gervais sent out an e-card effectively chastising his fans and mocking fellow celebrities for the shameless commercialization of the holidays. And that was one of the least gossip-worthy moves of the season, largely thanks to bloggers who love to get their scandal on: Too Political! Across the pond, UK politician Alex Salmond is just as scandalous for his overtly politicized holiday message, which features a little girl carrying a Scottish flag: Too Offensive! Not surprisingly, here at home, Hustler is getting everybody's Christmas sweaters in a bunch with a religiously irreverent joke card: Too Naked! Writer Bob Cringely […]

e-Cards for Christmas – Really?

e-Cards for Christmas – Really?

There are plenty of times to save paper. This is not one of them. We all know that the holidays have become a little…commercialized. The relentless marketing, the no-holds-barred spendfest, kicking things off the day after Thanksgiving with an event as grimly-titled as 'Black Friday.' It's not exactly the season grandma remembers from when she was a little girl. This year, however, budgets are tighter, and it's not gonna hurt anyone to do a bit less spending and a bit more loving. All over the world, handmade gifts are still a standard part of Christmas, so go ahead, bake some cookies, make a wreath, sing some carols, there's lots of fun you can have for free around the holidays. The one place you should not settle when it comes to the holiday season is on your greeting cards. If you're feeling tempted to send out e-cards this year, don't succumb! The only time an e-card should ever be sent is […]

Using Elevators as Print Advertising Vehicles

Using Elevators as Print Advertising Vehicles

It's like an inside-out wrap – in print! Vehicle wrapping has been a popular advertising vehicle for a while, but it's only in recent years that elevator wrapping has become a trend. In many ways, it's like a newer, better form of vehicle wrap. Just a few of the perks include: Captive audiences – Thousands of people stream through high-rise elevators every day, and allow themselves to be stuck inside for minutes at a time with nothing to do. Nobody likes downtime – A vinyl wrap covering the inside of an elevator in a fun or interesting way won't just be hard to ignore, it will be a much-appreciated diversion. After all, riding in elevators is one of the more awkward urban experiences. Moving parts to work with – One of the coolest features of elevator advertising is that the sliding doors can be used to create an eye-catching effect. The doors can work with each other, and they can […]

Scary Halloween Print Ads

Design 10.29.2009
Scary Halloween Print Ads

Just kidding! Halloween isn't scary anymore! When I was a little girl, my Halloween costume choices were governed by a basic principle: it's gotta be scary. The point of Halloween, my dad explained, is not to channel your inner princess or sugar plum fairy, it's to channel your inner witch, ghoul, or mad scientist. But then, those were the good old days. According to reports, over the past decade, kids' costumes, and concomitantly, Halloween print advertising, have become progressively less scary. Despite what the latest SAW movie would have you believe, the average consumer just isn't that interested in being scared, and Halloween is now more about living out fantasies than giving ourselves a good fright. News stories on the subject point to everything from post-9/11 anxiety to increased consumer alarmism for the de-scary-fication of Halloween print advertising. However, a look at some vintage ads tells a different story, and begs the question, “has Halloween advertising EVER been scary?” Check […]

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