Category Archives: Marketing

What is a good ad?

The best ads are the ones that make us feel “If I had this [product or service], my life would somehow be better.” Think about it. If the product or service doesn’t have the ability to inspire that thought, that’s … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Copywriting, Marketing | 143 Comments

Hiding in plain sight

  Another example of a logo that looks deceptively simple but contains a hidden element that you may not see at first glance– This logo for the London Symphony Orchestra reads nicely as a graceful abstract shape, and on closer … Continue reading

Posted in Branding, Graphic Design, Logos / Identity, Marketing | 168 Comments

The message IS the message

You may have heard the saying “the medium is the message”.  Not so. Sometimes we think “What I need is a brochure!” or “A new website will increase profits!” when what we really need to be thinking about is getting … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Copywriting, Graphic Design, Marketing | 444 Comments

After Mad Men

Before Mad Men, there was The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, a seminal 1955 novel by Sloane Wilson, later made into a movie classic by 20th Century Fox. In it, Gregory Peck represented the archetypal mid-century advertising man and … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Marketing | 555 Comments

Benefits vs Features

You’ll notice that the actual product being sold on the left is only a very small part of the entire ad. Now imagine the same ad space showing only the product, with callouts identifying its features: size, materials, weight, etc. … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Graphic Design, Marketing | 168 Comments

Advertising mixup: Santa, meet CONAD!

On December 24, 1955, Sears ran an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper which included a special phone number children could call to talk to Santa. Unfortunately, the phone number was misprinted; it turned out to be the number for … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Graphic Design, Marketing | 593 Comments

Hidden in plain sight

I’ve always enjoyed the smiling Amazon logo but didn’t realize I was missing out on a more subtle message it contains as well. What I hadn’t noticed was that the smile is also an arrow. An arrow that points from … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Graphic Design, Logos / Identity, Marketing | 518 Comments

Can you hear color?

What if you heard a piano concerto whenever you saw the color pink? Or tasted blueberries when you saw the numeral 7? How about describing the smell of a hyacinth as a series of  concentric circles? Believe it or not, … Continue reading

Posted in Graphic Design, Marketing, Packaging | 1,216 Comments

When the message is hard to hear

Sometimes we need to communicate a message about a very serious subject and yet engage readers with an image that is pleasant and inviting. Dining Out for Life is an annual fund-raising event. The image for this campaign manages to … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Graphic Design, Marketing | 292 Comments

Cherchez la femme

The Starbucks siren/mermaid (see previous post) is not the only company figurehead who had to clean up her image. In a logo designed to promote tourism, Marianne  (France’s female counterpart to America’s Uncle Sam) was depicted along with the slogan … Continue reading

Posted in Advertising, Branding, Graphic Design, Logos / Identity, Marketing | 865 Comments