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.
Take 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
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.
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…”
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 email@example.com or give us a call at 717.569.7705.
PMS 2096, Ultra Violet, is Pantone’s choice for color 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?!?”
Santa 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.
We’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.
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
You 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.
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!!
We’re honored to have just finished working with Ephrata National Bank (ENB) to tell their story in their 2016 annual report. The cover, shown here, features a photo of the ENB main office, dubbed the “Grand Lady on Main Street,” as it appears today. Inside the report is found a photo of the main office from 1936 that shows how the building’s façade and the name have remained steadfast over the bank’s 135-year history.
This is our fourth year helping ENB with their annual report and it’s rewarding to work with a company of great integrity and strong dedication to the communities they serve.
1 He’s a paper sculpture pioneer.
Jeff did his first paper sculpture in art school for a National Library week contest, which he won. His three pieces became available for schools to purchase and hang in the library.
“Looking back, they were pretty ugly,” Jeff recalls. “But at the time, paper sculpture was not well known or being done by anyone. I thought it was my idea and perhaps it was.”
Jeff began doing paper sculptures for “real” around 1990. His first one was a birthday present for Kim (our art director). He estimates he has completed well over a hundred pieces and sold or given away all but a few.
2 He is a PEZ collector of epic proportions.
At a grocery store in Ohio, during a car show many years ago, Jeff spotted his first novelty PEZ candy dispenser, with a Mario Brothers design. Thinking it was “cute,” he made the first purchase of what would become an outsized passion.
“After that trip, I went online to learn more,” he says. “That’s when I discovered Ebay and the world of people who collect these little pieces of plastic. And that’s when my collection started to grow and my wallet started to shrink.”
Jeff now owns “well over 1,000” PEZ, ranging in value from a few cents to $700. He adds current designs and could be tempted to add older ones…maybe.
“I would need to spend $200 or more on those,” he says. “The mortgage seems more important than a 1970’s Mary Poppins PEZ.”
3 He has always wanted to race cars—so he did!
A trying medical issue in 2003 led Jeff to thinking about things he had always wanted to do but, for whatever reason, had not. And that led to his “novice at best” racing adventure.
It took selling his motorcycle and a prized original 1975 MGB to get him on the road. With his wife’s blessing, he then bought a new 2004 Dodge SRT-4. He made a few more purchases…suspension work, tires, shocks, etc….to transform the car into “a big go-kart on steroids.”
“Next, I discovered racing clubs all over the country where anybody with a ‘normal’ road-worthy car can come to national tracks and race,” Jeff explains. “Really, I’m not kidding.”
His racing adventure took off from there.
“My first event was Watkins Glen, the same track that NASCAR uses and it was a blast,” he says. “I was a race car driver! Although, everyone was passing me. Racing, as it turns out, is really hard to do well.”
Jeff went on to race at Pocono raceway twice, two tracks in West Virginia and Watkins Glenn two more times. He stopped three years ago, but says he may do it again. Regardless, he can list “race car driver” on his resume. For real.