Postcards 1.4  

By now you should be receiving card #5 in our new postcard series covering design and communication trivia.

Cards 1-4 have covered:

1. What Design is and isn’t. There is good design and bad design.

2. You need the art as what? Do I need an eps, a jpg, a gif? The acronym alphabet of file types.

3. e.g. vs. ie. Do you know the difference?

4. Black and White. A review of the color systems employed by graphic designers.

Card number 5—if you haven’t received it yet—touches on Hyphens, en dashes and em dashes. Which do I use and when?

We love to use design speak over here at art270—but what do you think? Have you learned something new from our postcards? Have a topic you’d like us to cover? Would you prefer that we just send you our thoughts via email? We’d love to hear from you. Be one of the first ten to reply to this email with your thoughts on our postcards and we’ll send you a $10.00 Starbucks Gift Card. Just be sure to supply your address when you write back. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

P.S. If you haven’t been receiving the cards, please let us know and we’ll send you the cards you’ve missed.

Could your business benefit from a postcard series like this one? Call or write Dana Breslin at 215-885-2756, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

MC3 Posters nwslttr  

When I recall these words taken from a quote by the renowned graphic designer Paul Rand, I tend to change the spelling and the meaning slightly to say “...make it big...make it ‘read,’ ” as inspiration for designing a promotion that needs to quickly catch the eye of an urban audience. At one time, a graphic designer’s tried and true method for promoting an event or advertising a product was the poster. From the mid-19th century through the mid-20th century, posters dominated communications. From dynamic, single-color letterpress creations, to beautiful full-color stone lithographs, posters were an opportunity to make a graphic impact on a wide audience. Today, with new production technology, the poster has grown both exponentially larger, appearing as huge banners that can cover the entire side of a building, or they have succumbed to miniature sizing on phones and tablets for electronic advertising like Facebook and Instagram.

Every once in a while, however, there is an opportunity to revitalize the pedestrian-scaled poster. Colleges still recognize the power of the poster to advertise to a continuous flow of foot traffic, pulling the attention of students away from micro-size phone images. Check out these two posters, designed by art270 Vice President Dianne Mill, for recent Montgomery County Community College art exhibitions. The faculty art show poster has a little fun mimicking renaissance still life paintings, and the student art show poster highlights the actual art students for the imagery. Both solutions helped to create conversation and drive a larger show turnout. 

When was the last time you used the power of the poster to promote your event or advertise your products and services? If you work in a high foot traffic area, you should think about posters. Do you ride the train every day or take a bus to work? How many times have you read that same poster at the end of the train car or on the train platform day in and day out?

Could your business benefit from well-placed poster exposure? Call or write Dana Breslin at 215-885-2756/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Inspire  

I’m sure you, and especially the Temple faithful, have heard enough Owl puns, but I couldn’t resist.

Introducing Inspire, a spanking-new, never-before-seen magazine for Temple University’s Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts, which includes Boyer College of Music and Dance, the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, and Temple Performing Arts Center. This 32-page plus cover magazine highlights all that is new and happening in the performing arts at Temple University including feature articles, student highlights, performance schedules, reviews, and lots of great reading for Temple Arts alumni. This very first edition, designed by art270’s Dana Breslin, focuses on potential new building initiatives meant to handle the unprecedented growth of Temple’s arts programs. The early response to the new magazine has been overwhelmingly positive with hoots and hollers for more. Take a look at the magazine here and stay tuned for more new magazines designed by art270 coming this Spring.

Ready to get started on a new magazine or another publication for your organization? Call or write Dana Breslin at 215-885-2756/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

Intl  

One of the things I like most about the graphic design profession is that I am continually meeting new people, learning about new subjects, and being immersed into other worlds. This past fall was no exception when art270 had the opportunity to redesign and produce Princeton International Magazine (int’l) an annual publication that highlights Princeton University’s international initiatives and projects. The publication introduces readers to the innovative and multifaceted learning, research, and teaching being conducted across the globe by undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty members. The freshly updated magazine designed by art270’s Senior Designer, John Opet, is full of great photography, great storytelling, and now an easy-to-read and compelling layout that brings it all to life. Go to here to read stories from this issue and more.

Ready to bring new life to your publication? Call 
or write Dana Breslin at 215-885-2756/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

 

 

 

Video scorchedHave an idea for a new video? Need someone to take that rough concept and run with it? Check out this new video work from art270 in partnership with John Welsh. We’ve put together a “teaser” of video shorts to give you a sense of our creativity and capabilities. We can develop a storyboard, write the copy, interview subjects, provide voice-over talent, add music and soundtracks, shoot and edit—using still cameras or video. We’re story tellers and we want to help you tell your story.

The cuts included in this composite video include scenes from videos for TGW Conveyor, a leading manufacturer of warehouse automation equipment, spectacular fly-through drone videography of an abandoned coal breaker, a poignant interview with an “accidental” art model, cool time lapse video of the Philadelphia landscape, and a mini-documentary on Pennsylvania mine fires. Production included both stationary, hand-held, and drone mounted video and still photography.

Copy was developed in collaboration with the client, and voice talent, music and editing were provided by art270.

Ready to put your project in motion? Call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request to see the complete videos. Be sure to ask what we can do for your company.

 

 

 

 

art270Website

Admit it, you know you’ve been anxiously waiting for it…introducing a new and improved art270 website. It’s live, it’s fresh, and it’s different! Like the shoemaker with worn shoes, this has been much too long in the making. We’ve been so busy building websites for everyone else that re-making our own site has been on the back burner since, um, forever. If nothing else, the fact that our last website has functioned effectively this long should tell you a little something about our ability to create and build sites that last. Take a look around and give it a test-drive and let us know what you think. We've added new case studies including more interactive, video, and branding. Want to see more of our work? We need to hear from you. Designing for yourself is about the hardest thing you can do. We need your eyes and ears. You know best.

Looking for an update to your website? Call This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.to talk up ideas for a fresh new site.

 

 

 

Ryan

This past summer, art270 was represented in the California Enduro Mountain Bike Series by Ryan Mill who rode for Team art270. The races that took place over two consecutive days in the California mountains proved to be challenging and bone rattling competitions. The first race in June tackled China Peak California, a beautiful ski mountain south of Yosemite National Park in the Sierra National Forest. Race two took place in late August at North Star Ski Resort, near Lake Tahoe, California, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

An enduro race involves riding a mountain bike up a steep mountain trail to the start of the race where you barrel back downhill racing against the clock through boulder fields (affectionately called Rock Gardens) across table tops and around fast, tree root and rock-filled single track paths to reach the finish gate at the bottom. Then you do it all over again, typically five times in a row, riding different routes down the mountain to challenge your riding skills and your endurance. Imagine if you had to ski to the top of a mountain each time you planned to ski back down—with no breather between runs!

Ryan represented art270 well, racing in the Expert Class and finishing injury-free, tired and dirty, but with a smile on his face. Ryan is now training for future races on Mt. Rose California, a 10,000 foot plus mountain just south of Reno, Nevada. Stay tuned for updates as Team art270 strives for a place on the winner’s podium.

Looking for a creative way to expand your brand or get your message out to a new audience? Call This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to talk up ideas about a new approach to your marketing.

 

 

IMG 0135 2

Here’s one for you. This fall the art270 staff will have a freshman, a sophomore, a junior, and a senior in high school. Adding to that line up is a college freshman and a college sophomore, and a second year graduate student too. Fortunately for the parents, the kids are spread out among three families.

Why am I sharing these odd stats? Who better to have on your team than seasoned professional communicators that are right in the throws of the college admission process? We have a student that has moved through three different colleges on the path to grad school; we have a college sophomore working through the growing pains of settling on a major; we have a college freshman that has just experienced the recruiting and decision process; and we have four more students lining up in high school that are planning for college.

We’ve waded through the viewbooks and eblasts, and made the college visits. We’ve listened to the enrollment pitches and talked to the recruiters. We know what it takes to make your school stand out among the competition. We know education, and we know how to talk to students...because they’re our kids.

Want to talk more about what it takes to capture the interest of a college student? Call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out what this team of seasoned college parents can do for your recruiting program.

 

icons

Today was one of those days. We all have them, but since I’m doing the writing, I get to tell my story first. I was attempting to download files from one of the many file sharing sites available on the web, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to actually download anything. Now you’d think that a site made for a specific purpose should have the process wired, but alas, I was dumbfounded. Across the top of the webpage were a series of overly-simplified symbols that were supposed to guide me through the process—except I had no clue what these symbols were supposed to represent. In ancient cave paintings, a stick figure with a spear chasing a bison meant “hunting,” and if I'm walking through a public space, a set of symbols showing a simple man or woman figure means “toilet,” but what does a dot followed by a dash mean? Or how about two dots? Two dashes, anyone? Now if we were speaking in Morse Code I could tell you that a dot followed by a dash is the letter A, two dots is an I, and two dashes represent the letter M (yes, I was a Boy Scout)—but they were definitely not using Morse Code here.

In 1974, the U.S. Department of Transportation commissioned the American Institute of Graphic Arts to develop a series of international symbols. Fifty symbols were adopted, including many of the icons we’re familiar with today in airports and other public spaces. Common symbol sets have been developed for other purposes as well, and get this—we all know what they mean. Looking at the illegible symbols in this file sharing program got me thinking, why reinvent the doorknob every time we need to speak in shorthand?

As graphic designers, our number one job in life is to communicate—efficiently, effectively, and in the simplest manner possible. So with tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I present to you a set of symbols that should solve all of these problems (at least for English-speakers).

Of course no set of symbols is perfect. We’ve already recognized that these are only good if you can speak the language, but my point is this—Keep it Simple Stupid, a.k.a. the KISS principle. Good design doesn’t need to be reinvented with every new problem, and it certainly should not be complex. Tell your story in a direct and straightforward manner and I guarantee you’ll be happier with the returns.

Lost? Need help finding your way? Want to see a few examples of art270-designed wayfinding systems and infographics? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll send plenty to get you inspired.

 

 

50Years Poster 25x35

From April 12–28 Montgomery County Community College will hold it’s annual student art exhibition at the Blue Bell and Pottstown campuses. art270 was asked to design a poster to promote the fifty year anniversary of the event. The resulting poster was a “New Years Eve-style celebration” featuring current graphic design students. The students were handed a paper diagram for a set of glasses made from the number 50, and asked to add their own personal artistic touches. Considering they were given just a few minutes to complete the task, the resulting photos of the students donning their masks are lots of fun, adding a colorful and playful twist to the poster. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by and enjoy the work of these young and aspiring artists. You won’t be disappointed.

art270 founders Dianne and Carl Mill teach at Montgomery County Community College. Dianne is on the full-time art/design faculty, and Carl guest lectures. Photography of the students was provided by John Welsh.

Have an event on the horizon that needs promoting? Want to see more art270 poster and event collateral design? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll send you more fun project samples.

 

Steve 300aFor those of you who know Steve Kuttruff, you will remember him as a talented and focused artist—and a good friend. During his thirteen-year stay at art270, he worked as a senior graphic designer, managing a broad range of communications projects that included business identity and branding, annual reports, periodicals, and marketing collateral of all kinds. Steve will always be known for putting a little extra spin on every design solution—and for creating the current art270 logo that we’ve put to good use for more than 13 years. We are thrilled to announce that Steve will be rejoining art270 in sales, marketing, and a design and planning role. We’re looking forward to having his humor and smile back on the team.

Steve graduated from Penn State University with a BA in graphic design in 1989 and began working at art270 in 1990. In 2003, Steve returned to school full-time to earn his degree in special education. While teaching at the elementary school level he also began coaching a sport that he grew up with—diving. With the success of his coaching, Steve moved on from the classroom to the pool and has been the diving coach at La Salle University since 2007. Steve has developed state champions, USA Diving national finalists and Olympic Trials qualifiers.

Give Steve a call or send him an This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to say hello, or if you don’t already have an art270 contact, give him a call to arrange a meeting to discuss your next project. He is looking forward to getting to know you, and how art270 can serve you best.

 

logos 270

This week I had an opportunity to teach a graphic design class at a local college. As you know, I spent about 10 years on the staff at Temple University’s Tyler School of Art, thus getting back in the classroom is always a treat for me. The subject for this class was logo design, so a good portion of my lecture focused on what makes a good logo. Since the points we reviewed are fresh in my mind, I thought I would share them with you. See if your company logo passes this test. Successful logos should meet, at a minimum, these six criteria:

1. Simplicity: Is your logo streamlined and pared down to only the most important components? Overly complex logos just become visual clutter.

2. Memorable: Is your logo distinct among your competition? Does it leave an impression?

3. Versatile: Does your logo work in a variety of media? Will it work large and small and read clearly in all applications?

4. Appropriate: Does your logo work for your industry without being cliché or obvious?

5. Targeted: Is your logo appropriate for your audience?

6. Timeless: Don’t be trendy. Aim for longevity.

art270 has designed and developed logos and identity systems for more than a hundred businesses, organizations and events. A few that you might bump into in your travels include Montgomery County Community College, Brandywine Realty Trust, William Penn Foundation, Bartol Foundation and Philadelphia Futures.

— Carl

 

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