Monthly Archives: April 2014

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

Horror vacui

According to Werner Muensterberger, the author of “Collecting: An Unruly Passion”, horror vacui is “fear of empty space”. His book is a wonderful look at why we collect things and how no matter how much we have, why we still … Continue reading

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Copywriting: it pays to be careful!

In advertising, accuracy is everything. As we’ve all learned the hard way, just one tiny slip-up can change a friendly message into something we never intended to say. In a hasty letter to his boss (a diminutive man of great … Continue reading

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Too much of a good thing?

We all love having options, but did you you know that having too many choices can actually have a negative effect on sales? A classic example of this is a study conducted by Columbia University which offered customers a choice … Continue reading

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A genius by any standard

A good rule of thumb for creative advertising is, if you feel like you’ve seen it before, don’t do it! To stand out, it’s got to be original (in a good way). It would be hard to imagine someone creating … Continue reading

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Typography talks!

You may have heard about the teenager who proposed a way for the federal government to save millions of dollars a year (in ink) by simply changing the typefaces it uses for printing. But were you aware that selecting the … Continue reading

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