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LNP interviews our visual wizard Kim Smith

LNP interviews our visual wizard Kim Smith“You want to be an artist but you just don’t have time, right? Don’t tell that to Kim Smith. The owner of TCG Design for 27 years – and mother of three – wakes up every morning at 5:30 a.m., completes a small painting and posts it to Instagram while you’re hitting the snooze button for the third time.”

This is an excerpt from an article about our visual wizard, president and creative director, Kim Smith, in LNP Inside Sunday Magazine on Sunday morning. It’s all about her commitment to painting every morning before she heads to the office. We are so proud of her!

Bringing the cancer-fighting mission to life

cancer coalition videoSince 2014, we’ve worked with the PA Department of Health’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control on a variety of projects. From this hard-working group of folks comes guidance and action plans that positively impact the lives of Pennsylvanians. Under their direction, The Pennsylvania Cancer Coalition brings together medical specialists, health data experts, patient advocates, cancer survivors and cancer organization representatives to plan and carry out activities that target the state’s most prevalent screenable cancers, the geographic areas hardest hit by these cancers, and the most vulnerable citizens. 

 
That said, it can be difficult to translate the work of government agencies into language that resonates. That was the challenge we faced when asked to make a short video that describes the work the Coalition has planned for the next few years. We worked on this challenge with Lamphouse Films, a Lancaster-based production company just loaded with talent.
 
View the video and tell us how we did in meeting the challenge. Please comment below.
 
Check out other video and TV work in our portfolio. We truly shine at telling stories, delivering messages and creating excitement in visually captivating ways. And we work with budgets of all sizes. Give us a call and let’s talk about your next project.

 

Soles of Lancaster

local artists handprinted sneakers
From the first race 20 years ago and every year since, we’ve supported the Race Against Racism event sponsored by YWCA Lancaster. With its focus on eliminating racism and empowering women, this important event is near and dear to our hearts. This year, to mark the 20th anniversary of the race, the YWCA invited 20 local artists to transform a pair of Converse sneakers into art. And Kim Smith, our very own art director, was one of the local artists selected. It was a perfect project combining her love of painting and design with a great cause. All 20 sneakers will be on display at the YWCA Lancaster and also at the Race Against Racism on Saturday, April 28. If you are in the area come out and support the YWCA Lancaster!

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ground hog day

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.

ground hog dayTake 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

Does anyone really read the copy?

does anyone really read the copy?

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.

Stirring emotions.
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…”

opioid and binge drinking campaign

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 ksmith@tcgad.com or give us a call at 717.569.7705.

Looking for a partner?

 

howdy from tcg advertising & designWe’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.

Challenge Us

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

 

Lend an ear to your end-users

 find us brochuresYou 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.

A little bit of glue goes a long way…

julie rehman the glueYou may not know about Julie Rehman, the “glue” of TCG

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!!

Reporting the ENB Story

ENB Annual ReportAnnual reports are an important and time-honored way for companies to tell the story of their past year’s performance and share their vision of the year ahead. We help many clients accomplish that task in a way that reflects both their specific industry and their unique personality.

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.

We have years of experience working on annual reports and we’d love to work on yours. We can do the whole enchilada, or just the design or copywriting, whatever you need. See more that we’ve done here.

Time To Update Your Marketing Material? 5 Reasons To Do So

five reasons to update your marketing1 If you can’t recall when you last updated your marketing material, it’s time. If it’s been more than two years, you should at least evaluate your material to assess whether it is still working for you.

2 Do you truly know whether your marketing material is still working for you? Ask your sales people. Ask your customers. You can ask the senior executives in your company, but know that while these smart folks have insight and perspective, you really need the views of staff on the front lines.

3 Do your marketing materials make you look like a modern company? Now, that word may sound like a throwback to another era, but modern connotes contemporary, of current times. Do your marketing materials have a modern look? Is the design contemporary? Of course you want to maintain your unique identity and there can be great value in holding on to components of your company’s legacy. But you also want your customers and prospects to feel they are dealing with a company that’s current, innovative and forward-thinking.

4 Has some major aspect of your business changed? Did you introduce a new product or refine your market niche? Your marketing material may be due for a change as well.

5 Do you look good across all the media you use? Your logo and design style may look great on your printed brochure, business card and website, but what about on an electronic billboard or in an online banner ad? How does your brand hold up on social media, which is an entirely different viewing environment? Now may be a good time to update your logo, typefaces, color palette and other design components of your corporate identity to ensure that you stand out and are consistently identifiable wherever you are in the public realm.

Here are some marketing pieces we are proud to have created for some great clients.

Have questions about your marketing material? We have answers. Call us at 717-569-7705 or send an email to: ksmith@tcgad.com.