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how we love Luhrs!

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!

If we’ve piqued your interest, check out this season’s offerings at

dare to doodle!

If you’ve ever been told that doodling is a pointless waste of time, fear not. It turns out that doodling is an awesome way to unlock creativity and stay engaged.

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.

happy independence day!

Brand Loyalty Quiz

Do you find yourself buying the same brands over and over? Why is that? Are there things you buy that you could care less what brand they are? Why is that? Let’s get a little more specific.

Make a list and see if you Have a Brand or Don’t Have a Brand, for the following products: Car, Smart Phone, Tablet, Laptop, TV, Coffee, Shoes, Laundry Detergent, Juice, Potato Chips, Peanut Butter.

You could list all consumer products you purchase. This just helps to get the conversation started. What has made you loyal or not loyal to brands you’ve listed? Do believe that those you are most loyal to are the ones that did the best job of fulfilling their brand promise?

The Brand Promise

succeedWhen you make a promise, mostly likely you keep your promise. A promise speaks to a person’s character, values and quality. The same goes for companies. Their brand promise says that what a company promises they are going to deliver to the people who interact with them. It is your company’s promise of what makes you different, special, better or unique – it is what your brand fulfills for those who interact with it. Companies who consistently keep their brand promise are the ones who have the highest brand loyalty.

Think of your favorite brands. What do you think their brand promises are?

The Way of the Wax Seal

0134-001 ENB 2013 annual report_annual

If the image of a wax seal conjures up medieval courts with kings and such, there’s a good reason for that. The use of wax seals began in the Middle Ages by royals and bishops when issuing official documents. The wax seal on a document proved its authenticity. Eventually, wax seals found their way into usage by one and all. Tradesmen began to use them and then ordinary townsfolk.

Here’s a thoroughly enjoyable read and more on wax seals, including how to make them:

Today, the idea of a wax seal still suggests that an item is elegant and special, even regal. That thinking was behind the image of a wax seal we used in creating a new logo for our client, The Registry for Excellence. They specialize in custom-designed plates and other unique items for employee recognition and academic and athletic achievement. The new logo is shown here on pull-up banners designed for use at trade shows.

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.”