If you spend time around creative people, you come to realize that they don’t always think in a straight line. There’s a free flow of thought that often leads creative thinkers to inspiring and unique conclusions, reached in roundabout ways. Our art director, Kim Smith, is a perfect example of this. When she has time, Kim gets lost in a world where she paints and draws and creates, without the pressure of deadlines and client requirements. She shares her art and blogs about the creative process here. One recent post travels loosely from topic to topic, ending with a thought about black-eyed susans. Enjoy!
“Patience is a virtue; possess it if you can. It’s seldom found in woman, never found in man.”
That quote, of unknown origin, seems rather quaint in today’s world. The truth is, no one is patient these days – not women or men or kids of either gender. We think that’s a pity.
We recently came upon an online discussion about patience and impatience, the bottom line of which was how there is very little of the former in our lives and way too much of the latter. You already know the reasons – technology and other modern advances have given us the gift of being able to get darn near anything we want as soon as we want it. We live in a same-day, on-demand, no-down-time world.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing…well, not all bad. But a life without patience can rob us of important abilities and experiences. The wise folks at Unstuck put it this way:
“Patience is an unsung hero. It enables us to make better decisions. To appreciate the process as well as the result. To tap into empathy, compassion, and understanding. To see things through to the end.”
Without patience, the Unstuck authors continue, “we lack the wherewithal to see things through, to wait for the better outcome, to strive for our heart’s desire when it’s not in front of us at the moment. And that lowers our quality of life in all kinds of ways. Like ulcers and heart issues. Anxiety, anger, and depression. Torn relationships. Compromised quality. Colossal amounts of energy spent on achieving very little.”
In our business, patience is definitely a virtue. Over our 23 years in business, many terrific client relationships have developed because we had the patience to allow them to evolve at their own pace. A lot of creative work resulted for the same reason. Clients have showed patience and trust in our creative talents and great things have happened as a result.
Read the complete Unstuck Blog about patience. The authors include helpful suggestions for when you feel short on patience and advice on how to stay calm. We’re sure you’ll find the whole column interesting, so read it to the end. That is, if you have the patience.
The town we call home is East Petersburg, Pa., in the heart of Lancaster County. On September 13, East Pete (as we like to call it), celebrated East Pete Day with a variety of events: a kid’s fun run, a 5K Walk/Run, all kinds of food—even a Chili Cook-Off—rides, dancing, games and fireworks!
As part of this wonderful community, we were pleased to donate our expertise and design the logo and all event materials. Several of the TCG staff participated in the “Totally 80s” themed 5K. We worked closely with the race organizer, Kristen Troop, who had this to say after the event was over and she could catch her breath:
“Working with the TCG crew on this year’s Totally 80’s East Pete 5K/Kids Fun Run was — in a word — FUN! Thank you for the opportunity to work with your professional, creative team of enthusiastic people. This year’s event tripled participation from 2013. I learned a great deal from your involvement and support throughout the process of marketing the 5K. Your generosity is appreciated!”
Likewise, we loved working with Kristin, whose own business, Wee Care Day School, was a race sponsor. It takes many hands to pull off an event like East Pete Day and we made some new friends in town. It was terrific to see so many people who live and work in the community show their support. Can’t wait until next year!
In creative brainstorming, we say no idea is a bad idea. Every idea came from somewhere and deserves consideration.
James Webb Young, a copywriter of renown in the early years of advertising, devised a practice for generating ideas. In the 1940s, he wrote it all down for others in advertising. Eventually his wisdom became a published book called, “A Technique for Producing Ideas.”
Here’s an overview of his process:
- Gather “raw material.” This includes anything specific to the project or challenge at hand, as well as general knowledge.
- Think hard about the problem. Try various combinations of the elements to create a workable solution. Young said you need to “feel your way” though each bit of knowledge that you gathered. He advised working yourself “to a standstill,” meaning keep at it until you believe you have exhausted every option.
- Allow everything to incubate. Take a break and let your unconscious mind go to work. Young suggests that you turn your attention to “whatever stimulates your imagination and emotions.” Neuroscientists have conducted research that shows the brain is hard at work in the time right before an insight or idea comes to light.
- Welcome the “Eureka!” moment. The perfect idea, the right answer, the ideal solution comes to you, as if from nowhere. But in reality, you had been thinking about it on some level all along.
- Develop the idea further and let it take flight. Test, edit and polish it.
In Young’s view, the most important principle in his little book (it’s just 48 pages) is this: “An idea is nothing more, nor less, than a new combination of old elements.” We think that this charming perspective has never grown old.
More information: http://techniqueforproducingideas.com
We make sure client logos are sized appropriately for how and where they will be viewed – in a print or online ad, on a billboard, in a TV commercial. Your logo is your signature. We know how important it is. It needs to be noticed without overwhelming the message or the offer.
See how we adapted one client’s logo for a variety of media, including an 18-wheeler!
“In a word AWESOME! Love the new look! You and your staff are the best!!”
– Suzette M. Cover, National Sales Director, Registry for Excellence
What has Suzette so thrilled? We had just redesigned her company’s logo and created a new brochure and trade show pull-up banners. The material makes a great impression, unique and professional.
One of our favorite projects comes along every summer and has us thinking of spotlights and show tunes, ballads and ballet. We have been creating promotional material for the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University since their 2005-2006 season. We just finished the 2014-2015 season brochure, which makes us wish for a front-row seat at every show!
In “The Doodle Revolution,” author Sunni Brown reports that some of our greatest thinkers doodled: Steve Jobs, John F. Kennedy, Henry Ford, to name a few. Brown works with companies to teach them how the use of visual language can encourage greater creativity and productivity.
Doodling in the workplace is not a bad thing, according to Brown. Here’s why:
- Doodling engages the mind in a way that helps the doodler think and process information.
- Doodling helps you focus, contrary to beliefs that it shows signs of boredom and loss of focus. It is actually an anchoring task, a pre-emptive measure that can keep you from losing focus.
- Doodling can help find new solutions. “Even if you’re just scribbling in the margins, you’re lighting up different networks in your brain,” Brown writes. Using many neurological networks at the same time creates what Brown calls “a portal for imaging and inventing preferred realities.”
Doodling is a frequent and favorite activity around the offices of TCG Advertising & Design. We always felt it was a way to help us get out of a rut and spark a new way of thinking about an issue or problem. So we say: Doodle on!
Note: We learned about Brown’s book from Entrepreneur online columnist Lisa Evans, herself a doodler.