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what’s old is new again—and really cool

businesscardswebTake a look at our new business cards. How fun are these? They were hand-printed by the very talented Megan Zettlemoyer of Typothecary Letterpress & Designin downtown Lancaster. A tour of her studio is inspiring, not to mention like a mini-lesson in printing history.

It’s so cool to combine traditional letterpress printing with the technology of today. The more advanced the design industry becomes, the more unique and charming the old way of doing things becomes. Check out the photo of Megan in her print studio, filled with beautiful old printing presses, papers, drawers filled with old letterpress type, and these funky old wooden spacers. A feast for the eyes, for sure!

This is Megan in her studio.
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Take us out to the ballgame!

LCCTC Stadium postersIf you’ve been anywhere in the vicinity of the Lancaster Barnstormers ballpark this past month, you may have noticed a lot of hustle and bustle in preparation for opening day at their home field. We found ourselves in the midst of all the fun as we worked with our client, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (LCCTC), who is one of the team’s sponsors this season. To help LCCTC brand themselves in the Barnstormers stadium, we created a huge entrance banner, colorful section signage, floor graphics, step riser signs, cup holder stickers, and sets of “baseball cards” featuring LCCTC students. We had a really good time doing all this “out of the box” creative. We think we hit a homerun!

We’re planning an agency “field trip” to an upcoming Barnstormers game. Maybe we’ll see you there!

A Really Important Race

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The Lancaster YWCA held its annual Race Against Racism on Saturday, April 30. It’s the 18th year for the race and our 18th year supporting the event, with its focus on eliminating racism and empowering women. We have been involved in the race since the beginning, designing the logo, brochures, posters, banners and signage.

We were pleased and proud to have TCG represented this year by Tim Rehman, husband of our go-to person Julie Rehman (we call her The Glue, cause she holds the agency together). Tim placed 21st overall and 1st in his age bracket, running the 5K with a time of 19:04. The rain held off and it was a great day and a terrific event.

We love being a partner with the YWCA for this really important race!

Clairvoyant Client, Award-Winning Work

meninnursing“Your organization should get an award for this production….it is excellent!”

We don’t know whether Carolyn Voorhees has a sixth sense or not, but we greatly appreciated her kind words at the time she said them. And then they came true!

Carolyn, who is a registered nurse and holds a master’s of science in nursing, was director of the Practical Nursing Program for our client, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, at the time we worked with the school on a special video designed to recruit male students to a career in nursing. The lively 4-minute video featured interviews with current male nursing students and recent grads working in the field. A consortium of five career and technology schools funded the video. You can read more about the production in this earlier blog post.

Back to Carolyn’s prediction…The Men in Nursing video did, indeed, garner an honor! It earned a Silver award in the 31st Annual Educational Advertising Awards, sponsored by the Higher Education Marketing Report. The national competition judges educational programs and campaigns against the best in the country.

Earning an award for the video is great, but what’s most gratifying is that it has been so well received by the schools using it. One nursing program director said her current male students decided to use the video to do presentations in local high schools and the community to get the word out about nursing in an entertaining way. Now that’s rewarding!

You can check out the video for yourself right here: Men in Nursing

This 10-Year Partnership Deserves A Standing Ovation!

luhrs 10th anniv webIt’s true…time flies when you’re having fun! And that’s the perfect word for how we feel about the creative work we do with the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center – it’s a full house of fun! The Luhrs Center is celebrating 10 years and we have been working with the good folks there since day 1, designing ads, tickets, brochures and flyers for every season. We applaud the hard work they do to present a delightful variety of entertainers for the enjoyment of one and all. Bravo!

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valentineSending a great big thank you to our amazing clients and vendors for being so wonderful to work with! Thanks so much for making our job fun. Hope this Valentine’s Day brings you love and happiness to last all year.

Image vs. Product Advertising: Do You Know the Difference?

imagevsproductadvaflayDo you know the difference between product advertising and image advertising? Does it matter?

Product advertising…

  • Tells your target audience about the features and attributes of your product.
  • Is most effective when your product has unique features that make it different from or better than your competition.
  • May not be enough to help you stand out because consumers are constantly presented with similar products that have marginal differences.

Image advertising…

  • Defines your product more by its benefits than its functional attributes.
  • Is sometimes viewed as a “luxury” type of advertising that does not deliver immediate benefits or measurable results.
  • Is a showcase for the emotional and psychological qualities that surround your product and affect a consumer’s decision to buy. Remember, the buy decision is not always a rational one based on an analysis of competing product features.

The key is to use each type of advertising in conjunction with the other to maximize results. Target’s retail campaign around the holidays is a nice example where both types of advertising blended in an impressive way. Three kids go on a journey to relight a huge Christmas tree, and their mission is sprinkled with some toys that come to life to help. The campaign captures the magic of the season at the same time as it soft-sells a few products available on Target’s shelves and website.

A strategy we’ve used successfully for one of our clients, Lancaster County Career & Technology Center (CTC), started off as an image campaign, to help brand them and raise awareness of the school as an affordable, flexible option for higher education. As CTC needs to promote specific upcoming programs or new specialized degrees, we keep the same branding look and overall message points, incorporating the specifics of the current need. Check out examples of their marketing material here

2016 colors of the year

pantoneIn worlds where color is a big deal—like ours—there’s been a bit of a buzz about the fact that the Pantone Color Institute® named two colors of the year for 2016. The colors are Rose Quartz and Serenity, which at first glance suggest pastel pink and baby blue. Here’s some of what Pantone had to say about the color selections:

Consumers seek mindfulness and well-being as an antidote to modern day stresses, welcoming colors that psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security. Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.

As always, you can expect the color(s) of the year to pop up all over the place…in fashion, furniture, beauty, industrial design, interior decorating, etc.

“It will be interesting to see how these colors evolve this year. It’s a sure sign that light and airy, calm and soothing are in. A great direction for the year ahead,” says our art director and resident color expert, Kim Smith.

 

It all started with Julius Caesar…

blog art leap year

2016 is a Leap Year. That means we have an extra day in February. If you were born on February 29th, you get to celebrate your birthday on your actual birth date for a change.

We have Julius Caesar to thank for the first Leap Years. He introduced the idea to the Romans more than 2000 years ago, declaring that any year evenly divisible by four would be a Leap Year. But that led to way too many Leap Years. Still, the practice continued until the Gregorian calendar was introduced 1500 years later.

Today, Leap Years are declared according to three criteria of the Gregorian calendar. First, a Leap Year must be divisible by four….however, if it can be evenly divided by 100, then it is NOT a Leap Year…..unless the year also is evenly divisible by 400…then it IS a Leap Year.

Why do we have Leap Years anyway? They are needed to keep our modern day Gregorian calendar aligned with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days – or 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds – to circle once around the sun. This is called a tropical year. However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days. (Thank you, timeanddate.com, for that head-spinning scientific, astronomical explanation! If that’s too much history and too many numbers and way more information about Leap Years than you need, we understand.)

Leap Day offers a number of traditions and beliefs – it’s known as a day for women to propose marriage to the man of their choice…it’s the day, in 1692, that the first warrants were issued in the Salem witch trials (some find that significant)…and it’s promoted as a day to “take a leap” and try something you’ve never done before. We also think it would be a great day to catch up on lost sleep and take an extra-long afternoon nap…so maybe that will catch on.

However you choose to mark the year and/or the day, be sure to make it fun. Happy Leaping!

Fantastic Results

armstrong display

Clients come and go…but many of our clients come and stay. We treasure those long-term relationships and feel we can learn from our clients as much as they can learn from us. Krista Walton, Marketing Communications Specialist at Armstrong World Industries – a client for many years – took a few minutes recently to talk about what it’s like to work with us.

Why do you like working with TCG?

It’s such a talented group of people—not only do they bring great design ideas to the table, but their attention to detail is extremely valuable, especially in situations where quick turnaround time is required. No matter how crazy of a request I may throw at them—they always get it done, on time, and the results are fantastic.

What do you think about the quality of our work?

Outstanding! Sometimes I’m not even sure of what I’m looking for—all I have is a high-level idea. But even when given little direction, TCG comes back withdesigns and ideas that exceed my expectations.

What is your favorite piece of work we’ve done for Armstrong and why?

That’s tough—there are so many options! If I have to choose one, I’m going with a display that TCG worked on for many months for one of our retailers. It was a huge project, and there were points when the deadlines were extremely tight—many late nights were involved! I’m proud of what we accomplished together as a team. The display looks amazing!

What kind of results has TCG helped to generate for Armstrong?

All of the great promotional materials and merchandising that TCG designs for us is critical to our success.

Thanks for your kind words, Krista. You are an outstanding client and we look forward to many more years together!