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3 Fun Facts

You may not know about Kim Smith, designer/illustrator/president of TCG

1 Growing up, she always wanted to be a “card club lady.”

Kim hates games, almost any kind, and doesn’t know a thing about playing cards. But growing up, that’s what she thought her mother’s job was, and so that’s what she would be, too.

“It wasn’t really the playing of cards that intrigued me; it was more about the beautiful table layout set perfectly before everyone arrived…all the forks spread out in a tapered pattern…all of the napkins stacked neatly, so that you could easily grab one…and the punch cups hanging along the side of the punch bowl evenly spaced out. (Precursor to art directing, perhaps?) But I think my favorite part was, after I went to bed, listening to everyone’s laughter.”

2 Her father was a painter and wallpaper hanger.

And Kim loved to make Barbie doll fashions from discarded wall paper books.

“The wall paper was really stiff to work with, but my Barbie had fashions unlike any other, that’s for sure. It kept me busy for hours on end, and I still love wallpaper. I sure wish I had all of those old books!”

3 Her great uncle had a barbershop where the current TCG office is in East Petersburg.

“My father would bring me to Aunt Blanche to get my bangs cut from time to time, and I always loved that I could get a tootsie pop out of the bottom drawer when I was finished.”

Some things just don’t change, TCG usually has candy near the very spot where those lollipops were kept so many years ago.

You can read more fun facts about the staff at TCG click here and here.

 

 

What We Love

happy valentine's dayAround Valentine’s Day, talk of love is all around. But for us, love is in the air all year long. We’re always talking about how much we love what we do and how fortunate we are to work with clients we love. We do work we are proud of for people we admire—how cool is that!

And we often find that what we give out comes back to us ten-fold. Here’s what we mean…

These are the kind of love notes that really make us smile!

You are ALL the most kind, sincere, hard-working, and fun group of people I know.  When I think of a work ‘culture’ I would love to be a part of and one I wish for my kids – it’s yours! – Lori Rowley, Armstrong World Industries

“I love working with the folks from TCG! They are creative, responsive and detail oriented. I can always count on them to do a great job.” – Lori Moran, Geisinger Holy Spirit

“The quality of the work TCG does is second to none. It is high-impact, on target and always creative—but creativity with purpose, creativity that has a direct impact on results. That’s what I love about TCG!” – ­Nancy Draude, Customer Experience Experts

If you want to see what our clients are talking about check out our portfolio here.

Seeing red…

 why that color?Color makes a statement….sometimes it’s a whisper, sometimes a shout.
In our world of advertising and design, we follow color trends, but a color should not be chosen because it is trendy. Decisions about color should be strategic, inspired – the right color for the job.
Take red, for instance…
 
What do Coke, Target and Staples have in common? All use red in their logos. 
 
“Red is a very eye-catching color, very memorable and emotional,” TCG art director Kim Smith says. “That’s why many memorable brands use it.”
 
Color is a form of non-verbal communication. Think of the businessman who chooses a red power tie. He wants to make a statement that he is in charge and ready to take action. 
 
Retailers pay close attention to the psychology of colors. Visual cues, including color, help persuade shoppers. Red is seen as a color that motivates action in retail settings, both online and in-store. KISSmetrics, provider of online analytics tools, says that red creates urgency and is often used in clearance sale notices and signage.   
 
Sometimes, red is used to suggest anger or rebellion. But it also is the color most associated with two beloved holidays—Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Like every color, red has its upsides and downsides in design.
 
“If you need to use the color as shades, tints or values, it goes pink, which often doesn’t work well,” Kim says. “Sometimes, red is tough to work in conjunction with other colors, like green. Then it always looks like Christmas…always.”
With some business categories, red carries negative connotations. In healthcare, red reminds people of blood. In finance jargon, to be “in the red” means you’re losing money.
“The bottom line,” Kim adds, “is that red is often a bold color choice and best used with care.”
Did you know that red is the highest arc of the rainbow? Learn more fun facts and interesting information about red from international color expert Kate Smith, ICS, CMG: All about the Color Red

ground hog day

Of all the things that might keep you up at night, inconsistency in punctuation of national holidays is likely not one of them. But it does bother some grammarians and a handful of other logical thinkers.

ground hog dayTake Groundhog Day. It’s a day we give a large rodent weather-forecasting power and hope he gets it right. But why isn’t it the possessive Groundhog’s Day? Like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day? The day clearly belongs to the groundhog, as the others belong to mothers and fathers. Which brings up another question. Why aren’t those two days Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day? Or Mothers and Fathers Day? We celebrate all veterans on Veterans Day. Though you may see that noted as Veterans’ Day. Presidents Day is another conundrum. It celebrates a couple of important presidents…it’s their day. So why is it not Presidents’ Day? April Fool’s Day? Now we know there’s more than one fool out there, so why isn’t it April Fools’ Day or April Fools Day?

You get the idea.

However, there is something that’s true of all holidays: In the end, it matters not how you punctuate them, but how you celebrate them!

By the way, did you know that Groundhog Day could have been Badger Day? The German immigrants who came to Pennsylvania brought the tradition from their homeland, where badgers had forecasting prowess. Here they found a plentiful groundhog population, but nary a badger.

The Cheery Grammarian, who is the master of fun facts like these, resides at TCG Advertising & Design and can be found on Twitter, musing about punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, spelling, word origins…all those things you probably paid no attention to in school. Follow at: twitter

Does anyone really read the copy?

does anyone really read the copy?

The challenge is to write copy that draws the reader in, stirring an emotion. Every word is important, whether two or two hundred.

Copy that is precise and powerful breaks through the clutter.

Here are a few tips guaranteed to elevate your copy:

Verbs are where the action is. Use adverbs and adjectives sparingly. Often they are speedbumps, slowing down your reader.

Take your reader by surprise. Who says you have to go from point A to point B? Maybe A leads to D instead.

Clever copy can be good, as long as it resonates. If your reader doesn’t “get it,” it’s not the reader’s fault.

Find the strongest emotional connection and stay with it. Don’t load up your copy with every feature or benefit of your product or service.

Don’t exaggerate. And skip the jargon.

Stirring emotions.
You can give potential customers facts and features.
Or you can tell them a story.
A client offering long-term care insurance wanted to tell boomers why they should plan ahead for their parents.
Our solution: Share your personal experience.

“We knew we could not force our parents into any decisions. Then something happened that made the issue more urgent…”

opioid and binge drinking campaign

Precise and powerful.
We were asked to create a message about opioid abuse and binge drinking.
Our solution: Strong words that quickly punched up the point.

Maybe you find copywriting a challenge…or maybe you love to do it, but lack the time. We have the solution. From a complete campaign to a newsletter article, an annual report to an online ad, we do it all. Let us know how we can help you! Just send a note to ksmith@tcgad.com or give us a call at 717.569.7705.

It’s going to be a “magical” year

PMS 2096, Ultra Violet, is Pantone’s choice for color of the yearcolor of the year for 2018. It’s a beautiful blue-based purple that, they say, suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies head, and the discoveries beyond where we are now.

That’s a tall order for a color!

According to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, “We are living in a time that requires inventiveness and imagination. It is this kind of creative inspiration that is indigenous to Ultra Violet, that takes our awareness and potential to a higher level. From exploring new technologies and the greater galaxy, to artistic expression and spiritual reflection, intuitive Ultra Violet lights the way to what is yet to come.”

Pantone has been naming a Color of the Year since 2000.

Our art director, Kim Smith, embraces the possibilities of Ultra Violet.

“As an artist, I see this as a magical color that will brighten our year and add personality wherever it shows up,” she says. “And if it’s lighting the way to artistic expression, what’s not to like?!?”

We’ve got the scoop on Santa!

santa in the parkSanta has been spotted in East Pete and we know a thing or two about that. For three Saturday mornings in December (2nd, 9th, and 16th), Santa can be found at the Community Center in the Park, from 9 AM to Noon. He’s available for picture-taking and you also may want to pass along a hint to him about what’s on your Christmas list this year.

This free event is one of a number in 2017 sponsored by the East Petersburg Events Committee. We are actively involved with the Committee, both as a small business based in East Petersburg and in providing creative services for events, which we often donate. For us, it’s all a labor of love!

Other highlights of Santa in the Park include:

  • A life-size reindeer on display
  • Cookies for the kids at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen, presented by Geneva Bakery
  • Model Train Table and a Dollhouse Display*
  • Reindeer food bar where kids can put together treats to feed Santa’s Reindeer, presented by Wee Care Day School

*This is so charming that we couldn’t resist adding our own special holiday message.

 

Looking for a partner?

 

howdy from tcg advertising & designWe’re saddled up and ready to be your sidekick. Collaborating with our clients is one of the things we do best. Together we create out-of-the-box thinking and solutions. Working collaboratively with clients gives us the opportunity to soar creatively. And that’s what puts the “fun” in our job.

Challenge Us

Let’s get together and create some cutting-edge breakthrough work. We can start slowly—maybe with a project. Our best work is always the result of a client-agency partnership. When you find the right partner you know it.

Click here to see some of the work we’re proud of.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished together as a team.”— Krista Walton, Marketing Communications Specialist, Armstrong World Industries

 

Lend an ear to your end-users

 find us brochuresYou have information about your products or services and you want to put it in the hands of customers and potential customers. How do you package it? How do you market it? Let your end-users help you answer those questions.

In 2010, we developed a fold-out brochure for our client Holy Spirit that included all their locations and a map illustrating those locations. The piece, which we named “Find Us Where You Need Us,” was designed to fit into a small pocket on a Lucite stand that also held other material about the health system and was placed in waiting areas of their doctors’ offices and outpatient centers. It gave easy access to information the health system wanted patients and families to have—and that those people wanted as well. It was the perfect size to fit into a purse, jacket pocket or glove compartment.

Since the piece was first printed, it has grown as the health system has grown and is now a handy-sized booklet. Its usage has grown, too, as patients, partnering medical offices, staff and visitors find it helpful over and over again. At one point, the suggestion that the printed piece was not necessary because the same information could be found on the health system’s website was met with an outcry of opposition. The consensus was that lots and lots of people preferred the information in a printed form that they could simply pull out of their pocket.

The evolution of this particular project reminds us of these important points: Your end-users are smart. Listen to them.

Want to see more of our work? Click here.

A little bit of glue goes a long way…

julie rehman the glueYou may not know about Julie Rehman, the “glue” of TCG

1  She had a little alphabetical fun with her kids’ names.

Julie has four kids who are two years apart: Zach, 27; Elizabeth, 25; Olivia, 23; and Zoe, 21.

“It was pointed out to me when we had Zoe that her name is the first letter of each of the other kids’ names and they thought we planned that, but we did not,” she says. “But we did give Zach and Zoe the same initials on purpose, ZTR.

2  She likes doing upcycle projects.

“I always have some sort of project started in my garage,” she says, “or several at once. I am currently painting a shelf unit for my daughter’s house that she purchased at a yard sale. I also am painting a bedside table that I retrieved from the curbside in my neighborhood. And I have a brass headboard to paint in the line-up, purchased at a used furniture store.”

We’re sure there are many more projects, just waiting in the wings…

3  Around her house, she is “the handyman.”

Julie explains that her dad was “a fix-it guy” and she learned a lot from him.

“I fix things like the toilet, the sink, the kids’ bikes,” she says. “I can put in door locks, replace drywall, paint, put together furniture. I need help with some things, like plumbing, I have a friend who is teaching me. I enjoy fixing things.”

Now you know why we call her “the glue” of our agency!!