Inspiration: Chalkboard Typography

Simply beautiful. That's all I have for you today. Some lovely type on chalkboard executions. No computers. Just a set of skilled hands and a good pair of eyes. (There are tutorials on how to fake it in Photoshop though - if your hands are unsteady traitors like mine are.)

Be inspired.

Marvellous Chalkboard Typography

PauloGabriel Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:37

Everybody loves a beautiful set of typography, but there's one style in specific that really catches everyone's attention. It's chalkboard typography... a handmade wonder for everyone's delight.

These are some examples of awesome chalkboard types done by some really talented artists, because it's clear that being made in a chalkboard by itself won't make any type beautiful, but it depends on the hand behind it... people with an eye for beautiful handmade typography. Don't forget to visit their portfolios for more of these! They'll appreciate it. Cheers. ;)

Typos, Tyops & Mispellings

Truth be told, I'm a bit of a fiend about spelling and grammar. The Internet short-hand and texting have practically ruined all that is good and sacred about the English language.

I got a text from my cousin recently that had "gud" "kool" "wud" and "i no rite!" and bits of my heart chipped off and fell into a deep abyss. It was pretty painful.

But he’s 18. (Not that it's acceptable, but I just don't trust anyone born after 1990 to understand anything.)

When I see adults, especially people at work, write foolishness like this, I want to beat them with a hot pipe.

Don’t let words make you look stupid (wrote about it here but felt it was worthy of repeating and ramming down your throats one more time).

A simple typo or misspelling can totally change the meaning of your sentence. And are a personal in the communications field - it kinda helps to be able to communicate effectively.

Here are some commonly misspelled and misused words that I need you to get right before 2013.

And while we’re at it. It’s A (space) LOT. Not ALOT. This site has a funny and memorable way to help you get it right.
The Alot is Better Than You At Everything.  

Tell your friends to tell their friends to tell their friends.

10 Most Innovative Viral Video Ads of 2012

First and foremost, let's just be clear that you don't make a viral video. You make a video,and people make it go viral. The virality (yup I made that up) isn't guaranteed.

Honestly, it's hard for advertisers/brands to get things to go viral because people often see through the BS - unless you're distracted by the Old Spice Guy's rock hard abs.

That being said, here are 10 cool video ads from 2012. Be inspired!

Is Your Campaign Working?

This campaign totally tickles me. It's quick. It's smart. It's funny. But when the chuckles die down a slew of questions pop up.

What are they selling? Books? But you pretty much just gave me the cliff notes versions, so why should I read it now?

And now that I've seen these great ads, what do you want me to do? Just laugh? What's the call to action?

Is there a website? A location? Something? Anything?

Granted this is from Italy so maybe it's popular there and I'm just out of the know, but I'd still like to know who the brand is. When I tell my friends about these ads I should be able to say "Just saw this cool ad by (brand) for (product/service)."

Tip: Think about that when you're working on your stuff.

Is it explicit who you are advertising for?
Is the product/service evident?
Are the product/service benefits clear?
Do people know what to do next? (go to a store? go online? light themselves on fire?) definitely goes into this on a very detailed level but you should be asking yourself these questions.

Here's the campaign for Quercus Books, which according to my BFF Google, is a bookseller/publisher.

Using Pop Culture In Your Book

You know that saying - art imitates life. Or life imitates art? It's kinda like that for advertising.

Advertising influences pop culture and pop culture influences advertising.

For a minute there, everyone was says Whaaazzzzzup and Got (insert anything you think of)?

Advertising did that. 

And a lot of advertising is based some way on pop culture - Seen recently in Old Spice Saves The World before 2012 game

And Verizon Fios's Break Up With Cable meme campaign

And Deisel's Pre-Internet Shoe campaign

What's important to note here is how their entire campaign isn't based on the pop culture reference - the brand is still very relevant and there is usually strategic reason as to why they're using that device. Diesel's is the best example - they're relaunching a shoe from 20 years ago - before the Internet and Facebook.

Tip: An important thing to note though is that pop culture is constantly changing and what's popular this month/year will be old news soon. Imagine if you had a whole campaign around MySpace in your book. Aaaaawkward.

So while all these ideas are cool and topical, this might not be the case when you graduate or after your first year at work. Make sure you choose wisely.

The Lesson: When you're working on stuff for your book or work or whatever, make sure there's a reason you're using the pop culture reference and make sure it fits with the brand. Or any reference really - a historical character/event, a superhero, a celebrity, an elephant... Whatever it is, it needs to have a reason for being in the ad and with that brand.

You can't just use things for the sake of using them. That's called borrowed interest. It's gimmicky, lazy and sucks.

Don't suck.

Promote Yourself

Sadly, having a great portfolio doesn't necessarily guarantee you a job.

It may take some time, and some work, to get your foot in the door. There are hundreds of other creative wannabes out there. How are you going to stand out from the creative crowd?

How are you going to get your name out there? How are you going to show your skills, enthusiasm and overall awesomness to the world?

I've already shared a few examples of ways to promote yourself - Creative Job Hunting

and featured a few student projects that have given them notarity, like Go Art Director Go 

and TypeConnection 

And an entire a class at the Creative Circus did CCHS 2012 

I came across this fun piece on AgencySpy and thought it was another great example of ways you can get seen - and written about*

*Just make sure your book is as awesome as your idea. 

Get to work!

Photoshop Fails

Whether you're an art director or a copywriter, knowing how to use Adobe's Creative Suite is going to take you far in this business.

Copywriters, it helps to know your way around the programs. Just in case your partner is busy or absent or nonexistent and you need to get shit done asap. Even just being able to put things together to make a PDF is going to help you.

But art directors and designers - if you don't know how to use these programs - how to make layer comps, how to organise your files properly and how to design the shit out of ads - then you need to get to work. Immediately. 

It's your job to know the ins and outs of Photoshop and inDesign - and shoot if you can throw in some AfterEffects and/or 3D imaging you're golden.

When it comes to your portfolio - having the work in your book look polished, professional and print-ready - stuff you'd see in a magazine or online or wherever for real for real makes a big difference.

Check out these sites for Photoshop Tutorials

Photoshop Tutorials
Adobe Tutorials
Planet Photoshop
Abduzeebo Tutorials (not free)

And promise me you won't commit any of these Photoshop Fails

Like this one from Business Insider 

Or these

Or overphotoshopping

Inspiration: Cure For Eyeball Boredom

A coworker introduced me to this site and I'd like to introduce it to all of you.

Visual News, meet the Creative Wannabes. Creative Wannabes, meet Visual News.

 This site is pretty much creative porn. Colours everywhere. Awesome design pieces. Murals. Art projects. Infographics. Photography.

It's tagline is "The Cure For Eyeball Boredom" and it needs to be on your list of Sites That Spark Creativity

Hope this gives you a jolt of inspiration and brightens up your Tuesday.

Here are a few of my favs so far: 

Lessons from iPhone

Remember when the first iPhone ad came out?

On a hunt for inspiration this weekend, I was looking for brands that have a distinct look, style or branding element that sets them apart from the rest. Something that when people see it, they'll know exact who the ad is by.

Apple is good at that. Always clean, simple, product focused and I'm pretty sure it's the same voiceover guy throughout. 

I came across this post with 89 iPhone ads from 2007 to 2012. Jackpot!

It was great to watch the evolution of the campaign - and the product. 

As a creative wannabe, this is a great campaign for you to learn from.

Look at how the product is always king.
How they make product demos look sexy.
Keep a keen eye on the things that stay consistent and the things that evolve.
How they can talk about different product features and still keep the same style and ad format.
The fact that they usually focus on feature per ad - one single message.
And especially note the branding - you almost always know it's an Apple ad.

Watch all the ads here
Apple's iPhone: The Complete Campaign