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A Healthy Dose of Awards


Our expertise in healthcare has earned us a long list of honors over many years. In the past six weeks, we’ve been notified of a dozen new awards for work we created in the past year for Holy Spirit Health System.

In 2013, Holy Spirit celebrated the 50th anniversary of its founding. We worked with the health system on a commemorative video, as well as special programs for a celebratory mass and a dinner event. Those three pieces were chosen for seven different awards:

50th Anniversary Video

  • Platinum Hermes Creative Award
  • Silver Communicator Award
  • Merit Healthcare Advertising Award

50th Anniversary Mass Program

  • Gold Hermes Creative Award
  • Silver Communicator Award
  • Bronze Healthcare Advertising Award (judged with the Dinner Program)

50th Anniversary Dinner Program

  • Silver Communicator Award
  • Bronze Healthcare Advertising Award (judged with the Mass Program)

In addition, we earned these honors:

2013 Annual Report

  • Platinum Hermes Creative Award
  • Silver Communicator Award
  • Merit Healthcare Advertising Award

For Your Life Community Newsletter

  • Merit Healthcare Advertising Award
  • Honorable Mention Hermes Creative Award

The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition that honors the professionals who are “the messengers and creators of traditional and emerging media.” The program is administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals. For more than 20 years, The Communicator Awards has been recognizing excellence in marketing and communications among agencies and companies around the world. Healthcare Advertising Awards are sponsored by Healthcare Marketing Report.

This year’s program marks the 31st year for the competition, which is judged by a national panel of industry experts.

Run for fun and a really important cause

Man and bright light.

The YWCA Lancaster Race Against Racism is coming up on Saturday, April 26, starting at 9 AM. The Race starts and ends at Musser Park, East Chestnut and Lime Streets, in downtown Lancaster, and goes on rain or shine. You can run or walk or do both along the 5k/3.1 mile course. A Kids’ Fun Run begins at 10 AM.

This is a favorite event of ours, and it’s not just because we’ve provided pro bono design support since the race’s first year. It’s because, with its focus on eliminating racism and empowering women, the event deserves attention. A host of local businesses support the Race and more and more people participate every year.

Along with the Race, a Humanity Fest runs from 7 AM to noon, to showcase the cultural diversity of the local community. Ethnic foods, locally handmade crafts and fair trade products from around the world will be featured.

The Race Against Racism is a great way to spend a Saturday morning and an important way to show community spirit. Gather friends and family and join in!

Learn more at

Thinking about eggs and baskets


With Easter around the corner, maybe eggs are on your mind. They are on ours and that led to wondering about the origin of the expression, “putting all your eggs in one basket.”

Turns out this idiomatic phrase has been around for centuries. The first printed record of it was in 1660, and it was considered well known even then. It means that you should not focus all of your resources on one hope, possibility or avenue of success, or just one person. If that one person fails you, you will be “broken” and left with nothing, i.e., no eggs.

If you put all your eggs in one basket and then drop the basket, you will break all your eggs. Similarly, if you pin all your hopes on one course of action and it fails, then you are left with no recourse. A better strategy is to put your eggs into several different baskets for safekeeping…to put your money or time or investment into several different things. If something happens to one of your baskets, you have other baskets remaining as backup.

You likely can see the wisdom in this idiom for many aspects of your life. We think it makes sense in advertising, too. That’s why we advise clients to send their message out through multiple media channels for greater success. It’s risky to rely on just one avenue to reach the target audience.

Seeing Red

Man and bright light.

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,” explains our visual wizard, Kim Smith. “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.”

What makes a great client?


We recognize great clients because we have worked with so many of them over our 24 years in business.

Great clients:

  • Understand that this business is part art, part science
  • Work with us as a team
  • Give us constructive feedback
  • Respect our professionalism
  • Want us to succeed as much as we want them to succeed
  • Share the kudos
  • Say “thanks”

We’re very lucky to have a long list of great clients. And we can’t say this often enough to these wonderful people: Thank you!

So Social

social media for blog
America is online and loving social media. That’s not really news, but the
latest statistics from Pew Research Center’s Social Networking Fact Sheet
show how engaged we all are, at every age:

73% of all Internet users are now active on social media
90% of those between 18 and 29 years old are social media users
78% of individuals aged 30 to 49 are engaged in social media
65% of people between 50 and 64 are active on social media
46% of those 65 years old and above are engaged in social media

Among all users of social media, more women than men are active: 78% vs. 69%.
In each category, these percentages include a range of income and education levels.
The take-away? The more you know about the media you consider using,
the more strategic and effective your campaigns will be in reaching your target audience.



Driving Client Success


quotes for blog

Thanks for the wonderful compliments from the Wynn Volkswagen Volvo dealership in Norristown, Pa. They are a great client to work with.


Mailings That Motivate


Some direct mail formats have higher “open and read” rates than others, according to a study conducted by Nielsen and RAPP Germany. Their study, “Future of the Mailing,” tested five different types of mailings from a fictitious travel agency, sent to 1,800 subjects. The five types were a mailing in a standard envelope, a mailing in a printed envelope, a self-mailer, a wrapper and an email.

The format that generated the highest open and read rate was the mailing in the printed envelope. Second best response came from the email. The mailing in the printed envelope was twice as likely as an email to motivate the recipient to recommend the offer to a friend or acquaintance. On the other hand, email performed strongest for moving recipients to search for further information on the specific offer.

Here are three take-aways from the study to improve the success of mailings:

  1. Use real envelopes. They give a perception of high value.
  2. Personalize it. Make the personalization immediately apparent, such as in the address of the envelope or in the subject line of the email.
  3. Use both print and email, depending on the objective of your mailing.

Thanks to our friends at WhiteOak for sharing this insight with us!


Picking The Perfect Paper

picking paper for blog

Mark Twain said, “Clothes make the man.” We say paper stock makes the printed piece.

Choosing the right paper stock is an art, and a science. There is much to consider: coated, uncoated, matte, textured or not, the weight of the stock. But the most important consideration is how the stock will enhance and complement the printed piece.

Selecting just the right paper is a skill we have mastered over time. In fact, for us it is an award-winning skill. Neenah Paper recently gave us an Award of Excellence for our use of their stock on two pieces we designed for Holy Spirit Hospital’s 50th Anniversary. We’re flattered – and proud that we made our client look so good.


Carla, our “Numbers Mover”


We are a tight-knit group–partly because we are a smaller agency, but also because we’ve known one another and worked together for a long time.

Of course we have each other’s backs and can easily jump in someone else’s seat when we need to. But when one of us is missing, we really feel it.

Carla, our “Numbers Mover,” has been out for a while due to illness. She is a vital part of our team and without her, we felt like a piece of the puzzle was missing.

Carla came in to work for a little while on Monday and we are so excited to have her back. She looks great and is feeling better and stronger every day. We really missed you, Carla!