Archive for November, 2008
Let’s get this straight: I’m a designer, not a writer. What you are about to read (or not if you value your time) is my first blog entry…ever. Now if you are curious as to how a graphic designer (one who uses a computer daily) has never “blogged” before, let me tell you. If you aren’t curios, tough. I am going to tell you anyway. I am probably the least computer savvy graphic designer ever. I know how to use my computer as well or better than the average person and have an ever-expanding knowledge of the programs that I use to create my designs. But, as I see it, the computer is a tool of my trade I don’t really care to know how it works, as long as it does, and I don’t want to spend all of my free time on it. Does a plumber go home at night after a long day of work and hang out with his or her (yes, women can be plumbers, too) pipe wrench, maybe practice toilet installations? How should I know? I am guessing not, though. There are probably other things he or she would rather do. Well, that’s how I feel after spending 8-10 hours in front of a computer at work when I get home: I am not anxious to jump back on one. So, no, I have never “blogged”, and at the time of this writing still don’t have a desire to.
Blogging is for writers, and too often whiners. I have absolutely no desire to be a writer or public crybaby for that matter. Besides, I have things to do… in the real world…with actual people. Now, don’t get me wrong, I admire talented writers and revel in their ability to entertain or inform using merely a creative arrangement of words. People who make a living writing probably should create and maintain a blog of their own; people who just want to stand up on their little soapbox for a while should not. Nobody cares. The stereotypical “blogger” that I picture in my head is… oh, 37 in his (yes, his, sorry ladies) mother’s basement, lights off, Doritos stained fingers furiously typing insightful quips about the society in which they have never actually participated. I’m just sayin’. I realize this is not every blogger and probably actually only makes up a small (73) percentage of bloggers. There are actually some very talented writers out there using blogs very effectively to springboard their writing careers or as a supplement to their printed works. But blogs are not only for writers and super witty computer nerds.
Blogs can also be very effective in the business world. When a company uses a blog as part of their Web site it can become an invaluable marketing tool for them. One of the ways a blog can be beneficial is that it keeps a Web site current and relevant, helping to maintain a higher ranking position when a potential customer does a Web search for companies within a specific industry. Blogs can do wonders for existing customers as well. They build brand loyalty and stronger client relationships because a customer can interact directly with people inside the company. Blogs also provide a great platform to share information and knowledge, thus potentially creating a better-informed consumer. Blogs can also help the credibility of an organization by showcasing some of the talent and expertise contained within. Lastly, although there are certainly more advantages to a business maintaining a blog, it provides a positive way for a business to gain feedback about their products or services, whether good or bad, directly from the consumer.
There are also some pitfalls to starting and maintaining a blog, mainly the maintaining part. The majority of blogs are abandoned within 30 days of their inception. Starting a blog is very easy but maintaining it takes a lot of time and energy. A company must take steps to ensure that it is kept up to date and not left unattended. An unattended blog allows your message to become lost and allows people with too much time on their hands to spread their message no matter if it is relevant to your company or not.
So blog get your message out there, be careful and diligent in maintaining your blog, but don’t spend too much time in front of that computer. There is an entire world out there that should be experienced.
Well, nay sayers and people who have written blogs before me have given you—the reader—low expectations for the writing skills of the creative department. I won’t disappoint.
My name is Blais. I’m a 12-year-old trapped in a 29-year-old’s body. Or, to be more precise, I have a 12-year-old’s mentality. All the other people that have written on this blog are right there with me. They may use big words and talk like they know a thing or two. But, when you strip them down to their raw form, they are hanging out with me at the mall, trying to look cool and not make fools out of themselves.
At a young age, I knew I couldn’t work a job that required me to do repetitive work everyday. So I checked my options: become an astronaut or do what my family does best. It was a hard choice between space exploration or art. On one hand, I wanted to be Ender Wiggin, a great space command leader. On the other hand, I wanted to be HR Giger, the designer of the “Alien” movies sets. Both involved space. What I have taken from both people is that space is important in either case, or as comedian Brian Regan would say “they’re both good”.
I’m not referring to the ever-expanding empty area somewhere above us. Rather, the delicate area on a page where a good designer finishes his masterpiece; the area that allows the readers’ eye to rest and absorb the message. People get caught up on the price they pay for an advertisement and then decide that what will sell is a huge logo and large text. Not so. Space is good, and as a child I dreamt of it. And as an adult, I strive to help ensure that people remember to include their childhood dreams in their advertisements.
As I grew older, I began school. I found out really quickly that if you couldn’t create waves, you would be lost in the sea of other children that are told not to rock the boat and just go with the flow. That wasn’t me. I was the child that the adults were like “Does that child have parents?” I was a child of the ‘90s—I had long blond hair, wore alternative rock band shirts and rocked a set of headphones that blasted hip hop non stop. I was a walking dichotomy. By looking at me, you would think I was into grunge music and that I hung out on the corner smoking cigarettes being mad at the world. Not true. I was into hockey, tennis, golf, snowboarding and anything that involved athletics.
My music preference, which most people even today would say is suspect, was hip hop. I loved this genre of music. To me, it was far different then “the crap you hear on the radio.” I loved the poets with something meaningful to say. But I’m straying from my underlying meaning. I stood out, I was loud, sometimes obnoxious. I would say things others would just think and keep to themselves. I was known by everyone. Either hated or loved. But at least I sparked a response.
And if there was one thing I learned from this time period, it’s that advertising needs to be that kid in school. The one the faculty and student body knows. Not because he fits in and does what others are doing, but because he is different, bold and wants to make sure people understand who he is.
For instance do you remember ads that were like all the others ads? Or do you remember the ads that shake the foundation of what is “normal”? The ones that defy logic or defy the current state of the advertising community? This is what people notice. Not the minutia, but the creativity that strives to be truly unique. A brand with a voice. A brand that thinks differently, that adds value to its customers.
But like this growing child you must also let go of your advertising. Let it experience life. Grow with a new set of friends and experiences. Release it into the world because you need to let it go. Get back to what you do best and know that you have raised your advertising right. Trust that other people can help grow your brand and make you and your company stronger.
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