Archive for Spotlight

Why the QR code is failing

Source: imediaconnection.com

They have become the standard violator appearing on advertising; in the corner of print ads, across billboards, on buses, or in pieces of direct mail — even peppered throughout this article. You’ve seen them; that little block of even littler squares. Unfortunately the technology behind QR codes was not invented for advertising and marketing; we are just co-opting its usage, and it shows.

From the relative lack of public understanding of what they even are, to the dearth of creativity in their usage, the QR code is destined to become just the little box that geek built. But if it does go the way of CueCat, only we are to blame. Here’s why.

The current use of QR codes in advertising is…
I could finish that statement with “stupid,” “useless,” “uncreative,” or “uninspiring.” Surprisingly, that is not news to anyone at advertising agencies or brands. QR codes seem to be a last ditch effort; an ignored piece of “Hey, throw a QR code on there that leads to our website.” But why bother? The general public seems largely oblivious to what they are used for, and why they are on all those ads. In my informal “on the street” survey of 300 people last month, I held up a sign with a QR code on it and the phrase: “Free gift if you can tell me what this is.”

I was not asking them to decipher it, just tell me what it actually was. Here are the results:

  • 11 percent correctly answered QR code or quick response code
  • 29 percent responded with “Some barcode thingy”
  • Seven percent guessed some variant of “Those things you stare at that get 3D when you cross your eyes. What picture is it? I can’t seem to get it”
  • The remaining 53 percent tried everything from a secret military code, Korean (uh really?), to an aerial street map of San Francisco

My survey was conducted in San Francisco, the veritable Mecca of the planet for tech, so it only goes downhill from here. When I asked those who knew it was some type of “barcode” how they could decipher it, 35 percent answered “with their phone.” When I asked them to actually “read” it with their phone? Only 45 percent of those were able to do it, and it took an average of 47 seconds for them to take out their phone and find the application to read the QR code — not exactly a “quick response.” Remember that agencies are putting these on moving buses and highway billboards.

Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the minister of infrastructure and the environment in the Netherlands has actually proposed banning their use on highways, and in Maryland, it is just as illegal to scan a QR code while driving as it is to text. If you are going to use a QR code in an advertisement, make sure the consumer doesn’t only have five seconds to get at it, and that it’s not a potential disaster for them to do so.

Interestingly, the vast majority of surveyed users who were unable to scan the code were on iPhones. The iPhone, unlike Google’s Android, does not come with a native QR code application.

The success of a technical solution is dependent on the ease with which that technology can be used by the general public. A good example of this law is Flash implementation in web browsers. It’s just there. It works. If it’s not there, it installs itself in a couple clicks. Having a standard application and process for consumption is necessary for mass understanding and adoption.

Knowing all of this, are QR codes effective or useful in advertising?

QR code usage now
Most of the QR codes found in current advertising are an absolute waste of time. I personally tested over 200 random QR codes I saw in advertising for this article, and it was a wake-up call to how absolutely uncreative agencies and brands have become. And I say “agencies and brands” because it’s really not the QR codes fault: A QR code is a tool, nothing more, and it is a poor marketer who blames the tool. The vast majority of those I scanned landed me on a webpage that was the same URL as in the ad itself. That is about as useful as telling someone your name while wearing a name tag.

There was a time when QR codes for marketers had more promise; when phones were not all decked out with keyboards. Everyone hated predictive text input on the standard dumb-phones, especially if you had to type in a URL. It was just too difficult to type anything substantial. But then there was another issue: Why bother shooting a QR code with those dumb-phones when their browsers sucked?

The industry shifted right past the need for most of the current uses of QR codes in marketing — URLs, vCards (contact information), email, and SMS messages. The QR code for marketing was a quick, simple way to get and transfer that information, and yet the keyboard proliferation of smartphones made those uses unnecessary. It is why most “business card” scanners fail. Most people I know in the industry have purchased one at some point, and most are gathering dust in a drawer. Why? It’s faster, unless you have an ungodly amount of them, to enter them manually. QR codes can now be found on the back of many business cards, but how many of you have ever scanned one?

People will not adopt a technical solution that serves to replace a manual task, if that solution is less efficient than the manual task it replaces. How could we think that QR codes for marketing would work any better than CueCat? Did we not learn the first time?

What benefit could they provide?
QR codes for marketing are an interesting concept in search of a more efficient solution. They have been adopted by the advertising industry, but were not created for it. Developed by a division of Toyota, they were initially used to track parts in vehicle manufacturing. It is not the QR codes fault that the vast number of agencies are as creative as dryer lint; it is no wonder, in an advertising age of increasing focus on direct response metrics, that creativity has been sucked out of agencies.

Creative usage of a technical solution increases its viral potential and positive brand association. If you are going to use a QR code, then be creative with it.  I get paid to come up with digitally strategic sound ideas for agencies and clients, so I am going to provide you with five ideas for better uses of QR codes. I believe that if you tell someone their ideas suck it really does not help them “unsuck,” and that is sadly too often the feedback many Creatives get. However, if you show them the types of ideas that are possible, then you can help catalyze their own ideation to be more successful. These are but a few.

Idea one: Scavenger hunt
My first idea is a scavenger hunt using QR codes placed around a city. Each clue leads to the next clue but requires the clue before it to make sense, and each clue is placed in an ad for your brand. You initially blast a single QR Code to people via a print ad or email. The program can be scaled to cities across the U.S. and the world, enabling you to have a global scavenger hunt. It is not important what the “prize” is at the end: That could be handled a variety of ways. It is important to use technology in ways that engage people and help foster interest and buzz outside of the program itself.

Idea two: Bar coasters dares
QR codes on bar drink coasters with dares for the person to do, such as “Go up to a woman and tell her this… [a phrase in a different language]” The trick is that most of the time neither party knows what is being said. That spurs an inquiry which usually results in some type of social interaction. Engaging with consumers and encouraging the social aspect helps solidify your brand in a positive reinforcing way. The phrases, pickup lines, dares, whatever you want to use are just ways to encourage social interaction associated with your brand. And social interaction associated with your brand is what causes positive reinforcing moments of memory that greatly facilitate positive brand recall.

Idea three: Print or online banner adjunct promotion
If you include a QR code in a print ad, instead of having it just go to your website, create a promotion where some of the thousands of QR codes printed on those ads win something. What you are really trying to do is have people engage with the ad you are already paying for. You do not actually believe that when you have an ad printed on a newspaper or a magazine that most people actually notice it, do you? Use creative ways to encourage engagement with the mediums you are already spending money on. You could do the exact same promotion online with banner ads. If you really want people to notice your online banner ads, then give them a reason to not only look for them but engage with them. Do not have the print ad or the banner be about the promotion: Have it communicate what it normally would. The QR code on it is a technique to help facilitate the message you want communicated in the first place. It’s a way to get people to pay attention to you!

Idea four: Triggering curiosity sells
The “unknown” sells, as does the creative use of our own “imagination of possibilities.” One of the greatest advantages of QR codes is that you cannot read them without technology. Use that. Develop a strategy for implementing QR codes on your ads that go to a webpage with something provocative on it. Or just have it say something that the ad could not, like a tagline that is way over the top, or some hidden message for those willing to engage with it. People like to feel as if they are part of an “in” group. They will go to great lengths to try and differentiate themselves. Your ad can provide the ego with a nice little hit of juice.

Whatever you do, try not to do not do what Calvin Klein did. The below billboard was to go to some “steamy too hot for the billboard ad.” If you want to break through the clutter, PG-13 at best isn’t going to cut it. What I ended up thinking was “lame attempt;” and I am not that different from you. Although CK has gotten some press for the stunt, it’s not about press that speaks to the ad industry, it is about press that speaks to the consumer that is important. If you are really advertising something “uncensored” then take a risk. Really Calvin? That’s as much as you are willing to push the edge? Lame!

If you want to take the risk, take the risk. Warn people, but take the risk. Don’t send people to something that has them feel ripped off when going there. That’s negative brand reinforcement. The internet is NOT where “uncensored” means PG-13.

Idea five: Transparency
Use QR codes to provide transparency in a way that has not been done before. Use an SMS QR code to send direct feedback to your brand straight to a real person in the company, and create a human face for your brand by doing so. Imagine getting an SMS back and having a real contact at a brand you enjoy working with? There are bound to be systems to handle and integrate SMS outreach with your social media efforts. The key is to provide people with a direct simple way to have a voice.

Whatever you do in your digital efforts, stop adhering to the status quo. Your message is getting lost there.

Conclusion
The current uses of QR codes are just not cutting it. What we’re missing is a killer campaign that will train people to use their phones to scan.

Further, until Apple includes a native QR code application and automatically integrates it with their camera application, QR codes will remain a curious oddity for the technically proficient geeks and bleeding adopters. Such is the power of the iPhone to influence.

Does it hurt to use them in your ads? Not really, unless the payoff to the consumer is so incredibly lame that it causes a negative appraisal of the company among influencers. So please do not use them to just send people to your homepage URL. Most of us can read, and type faster.

Sean X Cummings is founder and difference maker at SXC Marketing.

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Creative, spooky and inspiring

Every now and then we come across some great ideas, of which we then save in our memory banks hoping to someday use a piece of someones inspiration…This Halloween I thought I would gather up some of the most creative and gooly materials for your inspiration.

Don’t just throw a party, get creative!

This Halloween Survival Kit invite is fabulous! Complete with wooden stake, silver bullet, holy water, mirror, and matches. Source: A Brooklyn Limestone in Progress

Spoktacular gravestone invitations with some texture and imagination.
Source: Skip to My Lou

I don’t know about you, but we were kids who thought the Ouija Board was the scariest thing out there…well someone created an invite and I love it.

Source: Chica and Jo

Start your creepy theme with a severed finger invite–yikes….
Source:Martha Stewart

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Specimen bottle invites, let your imagination run wild…
Source: Martha Stewart.

Movable, jointed skeleton invites.
Source: Martha Stewart.

All in the details – simple and easy to make…but fun and different.
Source: Parents magazine

I love this idea for a Zombie Prom party or a Dead Bride!
Source: halloween forum.


High fashion with flair. Source: Paper Crave.

Certainly pretty makes the cut now and again, even on halloween.
Source: Craft

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can find some pretty cool pre-printed invites out there too.
Source: Shindigz


Source: 4HalloweenCoffins

Sometimes found items can be a great start for some really cool stuff, so check out everything from candy eyeballs to glow in the dark teeth at Oriental Trading Company and start having some fun.
Source: Oriental Trading Company

These X-Ray invites are from an old blog post, but worth mention for sure…
Source: Haunt Style.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens blog

And for the video talented (you know who you are)
create one of these really scary, jump out of your seat invites. a great way to send a digital invite.

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Creativity, problem solving, teamwork, communication, decision making….what should we teach our kids?

From the article:
Why Education Without Creativity Isn’t Enough By: Anya KamenetzSeptember 14, 2011, Fast Company

This article is a great reminder that we as a nation might be doing some things right….there is room for improvement…AND this is the real punchline by golly we must stop cutting out all the creativity, as our kids will be ill prepared to enter the workforce that will (guaranteed) be inundated with outsourcing and foreign competition. Our world is getting smaller in a sense because our kids will compete against children from China and India for their jobs…it will be a different time, we are already seeing a little bit of it now, but I think we have barely scraped the surface.

The Center Cannot Hold

In today’s job market, midlevel jobs are being eliminated, moving workers to either high- or low-end employment. (Women have made the most of this shift.) The U.S. university system does a good job of prepping people for the high end.

“At the top of the market are the jobs everyone wants. And guess what? These are the jobs that many graduates of the American education system are well prepared for. These jobs require creativity, problem solving, decision making, persuasive arguing, and management skills. In this echelon, a worker’s skills are unique, not interchangeable.”

Read the full article here

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How to top the charts, create a best seller, get noticed…and make millions in 7 days

No..this is not one of those get rich at home things…Read more to learn a “REAL” success story on how good marketing and an even better product made this man a millionaire in a little more than a week.

http://bit.ly/ffSkOr

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I dream of this day

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Tis the season for some cool holiday cards

This inspirational list of greeting cards represents a more creative approach to designing a Christmas promotion!  Christmas is a time of good cheer, so  there’s no reason why your cards can’t reflect all those cheery, silly, and joyful things that we associate with the holidays.

Reindeers and kitty's and snowdrops and Aaaaah!!! (lovely illiustration)Reindeers and kitty’s and snowdrops and Aaaaaw!!! (lovely card by popular illustrator Aica)

Designer, Rebecca Gelder is sending her clients and friends Santa's beard for the holidays!Designer, Rebecca Gelder is sending her clients and friends a “do-it-yourself” Santa beard for the holidays!

Amazingly eye-catching design by Jim Kim. Based on a Chinese Propaganda poster this Holiday card is bizarro brilliantAmazingly eye-catching photomanipulation and illustration design by Jim Kim. Based on a Chinese Propaganda poster this Holiday card is bizarro brilliant

 

1255651260845893Funny corporate card for Grocery Store company (hence the shopping cart) by vector design expert, Rojo Revolution (that looks fun!)

Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, Kathleen Tom has created a beautiful Holiday card with a Buddhist blessing: May you filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.Influenced by Hayao Miyazaki, Kathleen Tom has created a beautiful Holiday card with a Buddhist blessing: May you be filled with loving kindness. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you be happy.

Ha! Really funny company card from Illustrator Bob Johnson for Pacific Wine CompanyHa! Really funny company card from Illustrator Bob Johnson for Pacific Wine Company

This is such a brilliant piece of typography and digital expertise from Flavor Innovator Design Studio!This is such a brilliant piece of typography and digital expertise from Flavor Innovator Design Studio!

Blown away by this beautiful Far Eastern winter scene by German Illustrator, Natalie Ratkovski.Blown away by this beautiful Far Eastern winter scene by German Illustrator, Natalie Ratkovski.

Subtle winter colors in this wonderful little illustration of a Reindeer by Hola Cocoa!Subtle winter colors in this wonderful little illustration of a Reindeer by Hola Cocoa!

Wonderful and imaginative "edgy" style of design/illustration from Jessica GrundyNutcracker Girl – Imaginative “wonderlandy” Greeting Card from Jessica Grundy

Accent Art Direction & Design is about as cool as they come when it comes to design - with a long list of clients such as MTV! I love this "small world" design in which Miguel Vega has created his own mini holiday landscape and photographed it for his holiday cards! Accent Art Direction & Design is about as cool as they come when it comes to design – with a long list of clients such as MTV! I love this “small world” design in which Miguel Vega has created his own mini holiday landscape and photograph it for his holiday cards!

Watch how Graphic Design studio Mind Castle create their company greeting card. It’s brilliant tro see the creative process at work. This is such a gorgeous design

 

our creative process/. 01 from Casey Warren | MIND CASTLE on Vimeo.

This "Picasso'esque" tryptych card is wonderfully illustrated by Themrock  - dig the typography too!This “Picasso’esque” card (part of a tryptych) is wonderfully illustrated by Themrock – dig the typography too!

This typographical christmas card by Karol Gadzala is not only unique but clever, cool, and beautiful as wellThis abstract typographical Christmas card by Karol Gadzala is not only unique but clever, cool, and beautiful as well

This 3D pop-out tree christmas tree card by designer Giovanni Russo is a lesson in subtelty and elegance.  This 3D pop-out christmas tree card by designer Giovanni Russo is a design lesson in subtlety and elegance.

Great little scrapbook style illustrations in this collection of "alternative" Christmas Cards by Hannakin - no pictures of santa or snowmen hereGreat little scrapbook style illustrations in this collection of “alternative” Christmas Cards by Hannakin – no pictures of Santa or snowmen here.

Excuisite Illustration of the Madonna and Child by Parker Fitzgerald and Brittany RichardsonExquisite illustration of the Madonna and Child by Parker Fitzgerald and Brittany Richardson that mixes modern illustration with ancient imagery from the Book of Kells

Robot Reindeer“Rudolph the Robot Reindeer, had a nose with exceptional polar singularity!” (Brilliant digital design by Travis Purrington)

Union rules!! Elves can take a cigarette break every 2 hours! (love this funny design by French Designer Caroline Breault“Union rules, Santa!We don’t care how busy you are, we don’t work Christmas Eve and it’s in our elftract that us elves get to take a cigarette break every 2 hours! (really cute design by French Designer Caroline Breault)

Superb design and even better concept from designer Manuel Olmo-Rodriguez. These Christmas Playing Cards depict characters from holiday festivities. (it would be really easy to do something similar with rounded corner business cards)Superb design and even better concept from designer Manuel Olmo-Rodriguez. These Christmas Playing Cards depict charcters from holiday festivities. (it would be really easy to do something similar yourself with rounded corner business cards)

Nothing says "Christmas" quite like a Giant Squid!!! Awesome!Nothing says “Christmas” quite like a Giant Squid!!! Awesome!

Just brilliant! This abstract idea of "Christmas" has no traditional connection to Christmas imagery, and yet it still feels wintery, angelic, and oddly seasonal! I love this! This surreal “Christmas” card doesn’t connect to any traditional Christmas imagery, and yet it still feels wintery, angelic, and oddly seasonal! I love this design by Stefanos Michaelides!

Bored of sending out "typical" corporate christmas cards, UK design company - Display Ground sent out "construct-it-yourself" Christmas Mailers instead. (wish they'd have sent me one! I want one of these to make!!)Bored of sending out “typical” corporate christmas cards, UK design company – Display Ground sent out “construct-it-yourself” Christmas Mailers instead (wish they’d have sent me one! I’d really like a little Pimp Santa”!!)

It's that old favorite Christmas tale of Good old Saint Nick getting chased by a man-eating-Christmas-Tree (by It’s that old favorite Christmas tale of Good old Saint Nick getting chased by a man-eating-Christmas-Tree (by Darren Calvert)

These aren't your "typical" corporate Christmas Cards by design company, Bunch. They are part of a whole Christmas product campaign to go alongside diary planners and desk calendars! Simple design but really eye-catching!These aren’t your “typical” corporate Christmas Cards by design company, Bunch. They were part of a whole Christmas product campaign last year, to go alongside diary planners and desk calendars! Simple design but really eye-catching!

I've featured Geo Laws work previously on this blog - I'm a fan! Great mix of illustration and Photography. Christmas card sophistication!I’ve featured Geo Laws work previously on this blog – I’m a fan! Great mix of illustration and Photography. Christmas card fashionable!

Ultra sophisticated and chic Christmas card designs by MujiriUltra sophisticated and chic Christmas card designs by Mujiri – traditional but yet very modern and cool!

"Mr. Darcy! I find it most presumptious of you to believe that I will surrender to your affections beneath this most barbarous of Yultide adornments!" (Regency period cards - beautifully illustrated by Joanne Renaud)  “Mr. Darcy! I find it most presumptious of you to believe that I will surrender to your affections beneath this most barbarous of Pagan adornments!” (Regency Period cards – beautifully illustrated by Joanne Renaud)

Last but not least, here's a Festivus card for the rest of us  - illustrating that most noble of  Festivus tradition - The Feats of Strength! (a card for those who are not so into traditional Christmas celebrations) Last but not least, here’s a Festivus card for the rest of us – illustrating that most noble of Festivus traditions – The Feats of Strength! (a card by Ryan Robert’s that’s definitely not for those people who are into traditional Christmas celebrations)

Source: Overnight Prints Design & Print Blog

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Thinking truly outside the box. Unsuspecting shoppers get a real surprise while they sit in the food court enjoying their lunch.

Here is a photography studio who really took marketing to the next level. I show you this as a little inspiration to get you thinking about really REALLY creative ways to get your message out there.

BUT, please note they never once put out a message about the business, they did not solicit the shoppers, they did not do any traditional sales pitch… but you know people said, “who did that?” and “Why? The result…this Photography company has been featured on all the major news stations and with over 7 million visits to youtube and growing these guys hit a home run, they increased their name recognition in a heartbeat! Kudos to Alphabet Photography, and thanks for the holiday cheer!

To learn more visit the http://www.alphabetphotography.com/

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When logo’s go bad, you look bad

A logo needs to look professional, tell the story of your business, and be memorable. A logo is the foundation of your brand image and may be the first impression of your business, and possibly the last. Take the time and money to invest in your logo, it is as important as the space your do business, the equipment you use or the product you sell. A good logo will be the life of your business.

When Logos Go Bad – Logos That Suck

As seen on Design Reviver

Logos have always been an integral part of a company. In fact, many consumers mistakenly assume that a company’s logo is their brand. Branding is a huge marketing movement right now and the logo is only a fraction of what makes a company’s brand. However, to the ordinary customer a logo speaks volumes. It is a first, and sometimes last, impression. It is the single, mainstream representation of what you do and you will be judged by it. Therefore, it is important to spend time, effort and money to be certain that your logo does not suck. Here are ways to design a sucky logo:

Amateurism


A common mistake in logo design is creating something that looks cheap or unprofessional. If you are using clip art or stock, it will send the message that you are not original or unique. If the images are blurry or distorted because you are using the wrong software or file format, people will be put off by your logo. Once they are put off by your logo, they will judge your company by their first impression. Not all logos designed by amateurs will look poorly done, but it is imperative to show your new logo off and get valuable feedback on its quality before finalizing it.

Mistaken Symbolism

(This symbol could easily be mistaken for a crop circle or alien hieroglyph)

A logo is your company’s first elevator speech. It is the first attempt at marketing. What goes into your logo matters. Sometimes your logo could showcase something inappropriate and you not realize it. It is best to show it around to trusted individuals to see if they get an interpretation you were not expecting. Optical illusions can be tricky and people can see different things. Incorporating people or stick people images? Pay close attention to position and placement to avoid being inappropriate. If people are able to locate something ‘dirty’ or sexual in nature anywhere in your logo if it is not supposed to be there – then you need to go back to the drawing board. The same is true for showing your product in use in your logo. This can backfire when perception and customer impressions get involved.

It is just as important to think about the wording of your logo as there are many phrases or words that could have double meanings. Sausage can be sexual if used in an improper context so unless you own a sausage company it is best to avoid it. Same for names like Johnson, Peter, and John. Be cautious if incorporating words that can be different things.

Sketchy

It is always great to start off with a hand drawn design, but when it is time to go to print the logo needs to look more professional. Hand drawn artwork can be cute and quaint, but a mainstream logo needs to be able to compete and your competition is most likely not using a cute design.

Spacing

If you are going to use multiple words without proper spacing, you better be certain the words cannot be misinterpreted. A popular example of this is using Kidsexchange instead of Kids Exchange. This method can be used effectively like in Petsmart where either Pet Smart or Pets Mart are both appropriate. Be certain to really pay attention to your wording if you intend to omit spacing.

Being Too Personal

Inside jokes and personality quirks that are unrelated to your business should be left out of your logo. If you are overweight but are running a bakery, your logo does not necessarily need a fat guy or gal in it. Instead of being a nice representation of you as an owner, people will be reminded that if they eat your goods they will gain weight. This is the opposite of what you want to accomplish. If you like to drink a lot and your friends all call you Lush for fun, this does not mean you need to add this charming bit of your personality into your business brand. Your customers do not need to know that much about you in order to spend money on your products or services.

Multicultural

This one can get tricky because no one is an expert in all cultures. However, something that seems perfectly appropriate to you may be majorly offense to another culture. If you have quite a few Indian customers, it is not a good idea to advertise cow slaughter or to even poke fun at cattle. The cow is sacred in India and this will run your Indian customers away. If you want to ensure you do no offend anyone accidently, ask people of various cultures what they think of your logo. You never know when something fairly innocent to you will send another family running in he opposite direction.

Source : Design Reviver

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Some Pretty Killer Business Card Samples

Some exceptional examples of business card designs and conceptual business cards. Here is an updated list.

doggy_business_cards

These doggy, cat and other pet business cards are unbelievably “cute”. Artist Lili Chin, the founder of  doggiedrawings does an exceptional job of creating contemporary portraits of peoples pets -these playful images make great business cards too!

giraffe business card

This business card design was created by Wes Thomas. The laser-cut business card transforms into a cute desktop toy.  Who wouldn’t want a  business  card toy for their desk?

chopping_borad_business_card

Designer Sam Gough of RDA, created a handful of “carved” wooden business cards! Not sure how it was done but the result is amazing! (The kind of card you would only give out to your most beloved clients)

photography business card

Photographer, Toby Keller of Burnblue has created some really slick business cards (that he printed with Overnight Prints.) The spot UV on black print effect has always been a favorite finish of mine. It looks really classy and sophisticated.

sugar sachet business cards

Hows about this for a sweet business card idea! Using sachets as business cards is the  brilliant concept of the Israeli arm of ad agency superweights, BBDO (Gitam BBDO). Each condiment represents a different department. Supercool (and practical)!

qr business card

Reblis designer, Michael Silber, has engaged clients and made the mobile version of his website easily accessible with these neat little QR business cards. If you have a  QR reader app installed on your phone – take a pic and try it out for yourself!

bookmark business card

We love bookmarks as business cards and we love this bookmark business card design from artist,  kunklebaby . She posted it on Overnight Prints Flickr group and we couldn’t resist showing it to the rest of our readers! The luxury handcrafted feel card is a perfect complement to her work.

recycled business cards

This very green and eco friendly business card looks great! This terrific hand-made card was made by Micha Kaufman, co founder of  Fivver. They are created using a  rubber stamp , an address label, and a bit of corrugated card  he found!! Cool!

3 color business card

This great little idea that was posted on the  Overnight Prints flickr page by designer Kenn Wilson. It’s  a  real “lo-fi” way of making your business card really personal and one-of-a-kind. He’s used traditional print methods plus colored pencil touches to create a totally unique and custom “color-it-in” business card.

clapper board business card
This business card in the shape of a clapper board was designed by Ralev.com for a multimedia agency called Feelme Crew. It’s a really creative way to make a more  interactive business card  (not that hard to do something like this yourself!)

address label business cards

These partly hand-made business cards were made by Laura Moretz. They represent a really cool and sophisticated way of using address labels as a feature of your business cards. The superthick stock, clean and classic design, and beautiful font usage, combine to make this a really memorable business card.

Best Business Card 1

This vivid, retro piece of design elegance from Polytron Corporation is an example of really sharp graphical design that is both cool and precise.

Best Business Card 2

This design from swap-bot.com is really cute and playful – perfectly designed  for the fun “swapping” community site that it represents. I particularly like the accompanying “hand-made” matchbox.

Best Business Card 3

Stunning design from Tree in the Sky graphic design studio. The rounded corners really complement the circular design elements. It’s also a great example of Spot-UV printing.

Best Business Card 4

Howard Weliver has illustrated and designed a superb business card to promote his site, welistration.com. I Particularly like the signature spot UV effect that he used.

Best business card design 5

A bad-ass skull tattoo design from Red Sky Tattoo. Love the gold UV on black.

Best Business Card 6

Funny and sweet logo and business card design from wedgienet.net

Best Business Card 7

Oral Fixation Mints are the coolest mints (pun intended). The design of their entire web and print brand is really excellent. The tin box card holders (that usually hold their mints) are a perfect fit for their cards and are a really nice touch!

best Business Card 8

This is such a cool design from Miguel Reyes. The black silhouette on top of the glowing pink color is so eye-catching.

Best Business Cards

This is such a great idea from Mogibo! Make your own little “Ivan Turčin” figure out of a business card!

Best Business Cards 9

Vertex.com have created a business card with a really sweet “3D” effect on them (yes! it’s not actually a box!)

Best Business Card

Excellent folded business card from visual communication experts  BroHouse.

Best Business Cards 12

Fantastic design by Arran Peterson. I’ve always loved the black gloss on black matt effect.

great business card

I wonder if Jessica Acosta read my article about creating fancy bookmarks?  I’m a big fan of bookmark business cards. By creating a business card out of a bookmark, you are making a print product that no one wants to get rid of! (why would they! They can use them as a bookmark!) These are twice as effective, because they look terrific -  I also love Jessica’s doll designs at www.dollproject.com

meatcards_businesscard

Okay…this is far less of a “traditional” business card (unlike the rest of the business cards in this list.) But I couldn’t write a blog about my favorite business cards without mentioning our friends over at meatcards.com! No, your eyes don’t deceive you! That is actually a business card that is also a piece of jerky meat? Crazy, huh!? You can actually print your details on a piece of meat!

Source : Overnight Prints Design & Print Blog: http://overnightprints.com/blog/

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St. Regis survived Prohibition, wrecking ball and now fire

This photo of the St. Regis Hotel, circa 1906, was taken by local professional photographer Frank Dean after the west wing was added.


Friday, September 10, 2010

A few weeks back when I heard that a fire was in progress at the St. Regis Hotel, I felt a tightness in my stomach, concerned that one of the few historically significant structures left in the downtown area was going to be lost forever. But thanks to the fast work of the Grand Junction Fire Department the building was saved, suffering damage to a small portion of the restaurant, Naggy McGee’s.

The hotel was started in 1893 by William H. and Allie Neff and Anna Scott. It was completed and opened in 1895 as the Grand Hotel and Restaurant.

Harry Earl Barnett Sr. purchased the hotel in 1904 and in 1906 added the west wing, increasing guest rooms to 28, some with connecting baths and some with just lavatories. This addition also enlarged the size of the dining room. It was renamed The New Grand Hotel.

For years, it was a leading hotel in western Colorado. It had a massive bar and a ballroom for nightly dances. The lobby was Mission-style architecture and was the gathering place for guests. Also on the main floor off the lobby was a ladies parlor and sample rooms used by traveling salesmen.

In 1908 with the completion of the third floor, Burnett thought that the hotel needed a new name and held a contest offering a $25 prize to the traveling salesman who came up with best name. St. Regis was it.

Burnett Sr. was a member of many of the service and social organizations in town, and the hotel became the place for these groups to meet.

In 1920, Burnett Sr. sold half-interest in the St. Regis to his son, Harry Earl Burnett Jr., retaining the other half interest for himself. Burnett Sr. died in August 1924.

Over the years, the St. Regis had several well-known visitors, one of which was Jack Dempsey. In an oral history interview done through the Mesa County Oral History Project, Harry Lloyd Burnett said that his father, Harry Jr., and heavyweight boxing champion Dempsey were best friends. Harry L. also said that his father was Dempsey’s first manager. Through the years, Dempsey was a frequent visitor at the hotel to visit Burnett Jr.

In 1924 Rex Howell, owner of the new radio station KREX, broadcast live music from the hotel featuring the Armand de Beque dance band.

Prohibition ended in 1933 and by 1936 the St. Regis opened the first cocktail lounge in town, the Oriental Room and Cocktail Lounge, according to a story in the Journal of the Western Slope.

During the 1940s, St. Regis was a bustling place. Military pilots shuttling from one coast to another stayed there, as did military personnel from Pando and the 10th Mountain Division from Camp Hale near Leadville.

A resident of the St. Regis was William Moyer, best known for giving the city of Grand Junction the first public swimming pool. When Burnett Jr. ran into Moyer walking down the street with suitcase in hand and asked him where he was off to, Moyer replied that he had no place to live because he had no money.

Burnett took him to the St. Regis where he lived until a short time before his death when he was moved to a nursing home. Moyer died in 1943.

The hotel remained popular for train travelers until the automobile became a more popular means of transportation and motels with all the modern conveniences sprang up in more convenient locations.

The St. Regis got a new lease on life during the uranium boom of the 1950s when the bar business became the main money maker. The St. Regis was so popular that the sample rooms on the first floor were remodeled to make room for the crowds.

Burnett Jr. died in 1960, and the hotel was sold to A.W. O’Brien and Amos and Roland Raso in 1961.  By the 1980s, the bar business overshadowed the hotel business, and the hotel was closed in 1985.

In 1986, the St. Regis dodged the wrecking ball, and today this historic building has multiple uses, including condos, offices and the restaurant.

Kathy Jordan is retired from The Daily Sentinel and involved in many preservation efforts, including the railroad depot and the North Seventh Street Historic Residential District.

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