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that’s some spooky etymology

spooky etymology halloweenWhat better way to celebrate Halloween than with a little spooky word etymology!


A dig back in time to mid-19th century Scotland reveals that this word originated to startle crying children (perhaps to make them stop?) and soon was adopted by those pretending to be ghosts.


Rooted in Old English, this word originally meant ‘the soul as the seat of life.’ Authors in the 11th century began to use it as we do today, to refer to the soul of a dead person who wanders among and haunts the living.

Jack o’ Lantern

Carving pumpkins to create the classic jack o’ lantern face is believed to have originated with the Celtic culture, which celebrated summer’s end and the last harvest on October 31st. Children carved gourds and placed a burning lump of coal inside to welcome loved ones who had died in the past year and to protect against mischievous spirits.


Monstrous creatures from European folk tales of the Middle Ages, goblins are generally depicted as meddlesome troublemakers. In these stories, they’re mischievous or downright mean, and usually target and terrorize children.

Trick or Treat

Various stories about the origins of trick-or-treating abound. The popularity of the activity in the U.S. is traced to native traditions of Scottish and Irish immigrants. Young people, dressed in costumes, went door to door in their villages and accepted offerings to pray for the souls of the homeowners’ dead relatives. The tradition evolved to one in which children would perform a trick—tell a joke or sing a song—in return for treats such as fruit, nuts or coins.

It’s National Design Week!

good design graphicOctober 15–23, 2016
Design is everywhere—in communication, advertising, architecture, art, fashion, furnishings, landscapes, consumer products—literally in all aspects of our lives. The color, shape and functionality of things around us have a purpose, by design.
Sometimes design is so subtle that you barely notice it. That’s often the best kind of design. It doesn’t shout at you; it whispers. The best designs happen organically and grow into the answer they are meant to be. If you find yourself thinking, “there’s just something about that ad, that picture, that garden, that sweater, that chair…,” well, you’ve been touched by good design.
For us, graphic and multimedia design are creative “products” that take shape as we develop work for our clients. Design is what we do—and we love it. In fact, as far as we’re concerned, every week should be Design Week!

media dollars

megaphone media graphicWhat combination of media is best to reach your target audience — direct mail, radio or TV spots, billboards, online or print ads? How can you make sure they see your ad?

We have the expertise to help. We…

• Start by developing a comprehensive media plan that makes the most of your advertising dollars.

• Understand the available options and have an ongoing relationship with all media outlets.

• Meet with media reps and evaluate the pros and cons of media choices.

• Do the research needed to make sure that your message is placed where it will have the most impact.

And after you’ve approved the media plan, we…

• Make sure that your advertising gets the best placement and runs when and where it is supposed to, for the agreed-upon amount.

• Streamline billing into one monthly media invoice.

How easy is that?

Keep in mind that we don’t represent any one particular media outlet, or favor one type of media. Our only motivation is to make sure that your message gets to your target audience.

“We always make sure that our clients get the best value for their media dollars. That allows them to focus on their business while we focus on making their advertising campaign a success” –Margie Seagers, media  coordinator 

spend well

spend well piggy bankWe pride ourselves on getting the most for the advertising dollars you have to spend. It’s something we’ve been doing—and doing well—for more than 25 years. Whether your budget is tens of thousands of dollars or just a thousand dollars, we know how to get you the biggest bang for your buck.

Our process is fairly simple:

• If you have an established budget, we allocate the dollars based on what you need to achieve and what it will take to reach your goals.

• If you don’t have a budget but know what you want to do marketing wise, we’ll build a budget based on your goals.

No budget is too big or too small. We have worked with small retail clients with one location to large corporate businesses with multiple locations, products and services.

Says Carla Wood, our own financial wizard, “At TCG, we are good stewards of our clients’ advertising dollars, always managing budgets as if it was our own money.”

clean, clear & clutter-free

design quoteClean, Clear & Clutter-free

When you think of advertising, think of Montana — wide, open spaces. It’s what we call “white space” and it’s one of the most important characteristics of an effective ad.

“White space is important not only for print and online advertising, but also essential for broadcast and outdoor advertising,” says Susan Sempeles, creative director.

What else makes an ad effective?

• Clean design — that means wide-open white space to spare.

• A strong headline — verbs are your friends; go easy on all the adjectives and adverbs.

• A single message — don’t load your ad with everything there is to know about your product or service.

• Simple language — that doesn’t mean you can’t be clever with your copy, but don’t do it just to be cute.

• To-the-point copy, not a lot of it — enough said.

• A typeface that’s easy to read — with the personality you want to convey.

• An eye-catching visual — but only if it adds to the message;   remember, ads that are all copy work, too!

• Smart logo placement — it almost always belongs at the bottom of your ad as a signature.

That’s how you break through the clutter.


Art takes flight in downtown Lancaster

original bird painting by Kim SmithStop by Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom in downtown Lancaster this coming weekend where a collection of paintings by our very own art director, Kim Smith, will be displayed among this unique store’s inventory of fresh-made olive oils and balsamic vinegars. Talk about a feast for the senses!

The show, which features paintings of birds and flowers that Kim has created this past year, opens during Lancaster’s First Friday, October 7, with a special reception from 7 – 9 PM. Kim also will be on hand at Seasons on Saturday, October 8, painting live from 11 AM – 1 PM, during Lancaster ArtWalk. Her work will remain on display at Seasons through the end of November.

Kim’s bird paintings, like the one pictured here, have been creating a bit of a buzz. She shares the story of how these paintings “took flight.”

“I met a local photographer through Facebook, who photographs birds,” Kim explains. “I asked him if I could create paintings from his photographs and he graciously agreed.”

Kim gives each bird painting her own touch, which she says stems, in part, from her graphic design training.

“They have a graphic look,” she says. “They are a little unexpected, a little whimsical, a little fun.”


Kim Smith: Love Birds & Posies

Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom

36 West King Street, Lancaster

Friday, October 7, First Friday Reception: 7 – 9 PM

Saturday, October 8, Lancaster ArtWalk, Live Demonstration, 11 AM – 1 PM

Art on display through the end of November