February 03, 2010

Picture + Paper + Personal = The Perfect Postcard

For anyone who laments the demise of printed mail (the funny stamps! the feel of paper!  the thrill of opening that metal box and seeing something other than a bill peeking out from the stack!), but relishes the speed and convenience of e-cards (I'm too lazy to go to the mailbox I'd rather just click a button!), Hazel Mail may just put your communication conflicts to rest once and for all.

The nifty program lets you upload your own photo from your computer or phone (yes, there's an app for that). Then it will create an actual postcard (i.e. paper), stamp it and mail it anywhere in the world, all for way less mental and financial hassle than it would cost to find a mailbox in the middle of nowhere. In the high technology vs. personal touch debate, this scores a solid  "best of both worlds." Easy as a Twitpic but just as personal as a handwritten letter from your childhood pen pal.  No, I didn't have one either, but I've read about them, and they sure seem swell.

All it really means, of course, is that instead of getting the typical birds-eye view of a beautiful landmark, my family and friends can now look forward to receiving snazzy prints from my ever-in-development "Hey look where my feet have been" series. Thanks, Hazel!

GC Feet

December 22, 2009

The Moment Jars

Every year, our team collaborates on a winter book. Mark writes the story, Lure Design designs the book, Kim Fox does the illustrations, and Drive New Media develops the website. This year's book, The Moment Jars, is about a man who captures the special moments in his life and places them in a jar. It's a wonderful story, probably my favorite one yet (though I seem to say that every year) and a beautiful book, but what really set this year apart from the others was the success and far-reaching impact of the website.

The Moment Jars is a pretty simple site, with a pretty simple idea: share your own special moment and add your virtual Moment Jar to the collection.

Moment Jars web

The response has been amazing. First, we shared it with friends and family, who were great about adding their own moments and memories. But it was the mention in Swiss Miss (recently named one of the world's most influential design blogs) that really gave us our big break. Soon there were moments rolling in from all over the world. We had Italian moments. Spanish moments. Even one from all the way in Japan. There were moments about having kids, and moments and about being a kid. Moments about leaving home for the first time and moments about finding home in unexpected places. There were many, many moments about falling in love. Almost as many about falling out of it. At last count, there were over 500 moments in all. Most were short and sweet, though one was too long to leave in a jar. As one blogger pointed out (in a very sweet post which I can't seem to find again), not a single one was about money, possessions, or any other material thing. A great reminder, especially at this time of year, that life's most precious gifts aren't anything you pick up at a store.

Now here's the funny thing. While the website proves that people all over the world want to capture the moments of their life in a tangible way, the story the book tells makes you question that desire. How? You'll just have to read it to find out.

Share your moment, and purchase The Moment Jars book here.

June 23, 2009

The Real Transformers


Let's set the whole matter of legality aside for a minute. We can learn a valuable lesson from North Carolina University student Joe Carnevale, the infamous "Highway Monster Artist" who created this sculpture (and now faces criminal charges for it). We are all - companies, agencies and individuals - looking for new ways make an impression. To attract attention. To get people to stop what they're doing and give us a few precious seconds of their time. Most are looking to the neverending stream of new technologies to get the job done, and certainly, that must be part of the strategy. But could we be overlooking some very powerful tools simply because they don't look like tools? No one's talking about them. There's no buzz surrounding them. That's not what they're there for. But as Joe Carnevale proves, the world is full of opportunites to transform ordinary things into extraordinary attention grabbers. It just takes courage, creativity and the willingess to do something unexpected.  

April 23, 2009

Green Reading

Just in time to celebrate Earth Day, we found out that our winter book The Reds, The Greens and the Sweetest Honey Anyone Had Ever Tasted scored an honorable mention in the Green Book Festival, an annual competition honoring books that contribute to greater understanding, respect and positive action on the changing worldwide environment.

The Reds, The Greens... is just one of our winter storybooks, an annual collaboration with Lure Design, Drive New Media and Doug Scaletta Photography. All these limited-edition winter storybooks will soon be available for sale at Urban Think! in Orlando. Stay tuned for the meantime, check out the companion website,

February 06, 2009

Two Be Loved

Let's start a passion trend. Choose silliness over cynicism. Smart over smug. Love over hate. Why do I love our Be Loved T for Two shirts?


Because I like the idea that I can "BE" free spirited, extraordinary and ordinary while knowing I am "LOVED."  When wearing the Loved shirt, people ask, “why are you loved?” This is a good question to ponder, especially if I am having a cynical, smug, or hateful moment. My husband wears the Be shirt, people ask, “why the be” and he answers, “oh, because my wife is loved.”  So here’s my message to our T for Two followers and trendsetters: Be yourself, be fabulous, be dorky, and know that you are loved!

November 11, 2008

A fluff piece and Loyale following.

A  cold day in Orlando. I am happy. And wishing for some fuzzy softness to further enhance the hot cocoa, ice-skating would be fun right now vibe. Top on my list--Loyale's Costilla jacket.  I would wear it while dashing off to Boston for a visit to Harvard's Museum of Natural History. Would probably keep it on a hanger to look at right before I fell asleep. What can I say, I'm a consumer, but I don't buy tons of stuff. I'm selective. And not only are Jenny Hwa's clothes beautiful, they are uber eco-friendly. Hats and mittens and boots-off to Ms. Hwa for having the right stuff.

October 07, 2008

A Blog Post Of A Different Color

Image from The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation

Everyone may be talking about green, but Iris Blue and Royal Lilac are the colors of this season. Each year, Pantone puts out a list of the colors they predict will be painted on walls and making up logos everywhere. But a few good guesses or the power of suggestion cannot set the tone of a year’s color swatch. When it comes down to it, color is subjective, based on personal associations and clichés. Where a person lives, their history, culture, and even their language can affect how their perception is colored by. . .well, color.

Going back to green, it takes on a variance of symbolic cultural hues: from “go” to the environment, from freshness to Kermit the Frog, from envy to the alleged aphrodisiac qualities of the green M&M. Ask anyone what the difference is between “Kermit the Frog” green and “green light” green, and you’ll probably get a different answer every time. This reiterates the idea of color being subjective, but does not undermine its power to paint outcomes and opinions.

According to the Institute of Color Research, individuals make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or object within 90 seconds, and that between 62 percent and 90 percent is based on color alone. Take the current elections into consideration. More often than not, the candidates will be dressed in red, white and blue. This is not related to those being the national colors, as much as it is because this particular combination is seen as powerful and presidential. In fact, when the Continental Congress designed the flag, they did not know why those colors appealed to them, either. George Washington said, "We take the stars from Heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing Liberty." Fundamentally, the white stars on the blue background represent a new constellation, or new country, separate from the British, or the Reds. However, no specific symbolism for red, white and blue has ever been determined. And technically, while the red on the flag may be Pantone color 193 C, few people other than you and me actually know that.

Regardless of our confusing relationship with color, and why one shade of red means one thing to one person, and another to their best friend, the importance of color in design and advertising cannot be ignored. Choosing the right palette for our clients is critical to their success. And as color experts, our color sense can truly make sense. Just because the color chartreuse is on the loose at Ikea this year doesn't mean we want to blindly follow the masses. That is unless chartreuse reflects our client's values, audience, message, business in general and a host of other factors. Also have you noticed - color is a bit shifty in nature. It can take on different hues depending on variables like lighting, printing substrates, online applications, etc.. The possibilities for color combinations in design are truly endless. Entire websites have been established to share combinations seen in media and in the mind’s eye of designers. Two of these sites are Kuler and Colour Lovers.

Additionally, if you’re in the Orlando area and want a closer look at how color affects design and reflects a time period, then the Josef Albers exhibit at Rollins College's Cornell Fine Arts Museum is worth checking out. During the 1940’s, Albers studied the chromatic interactions between colors using concentrically arranged squares. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2008.