Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Monday, January 25, 2010
I watched The Hangover for the first time about a week ago. Near the end (spoiler alert!), after they find a tiger and a baby a baby, steal a police car, count cards, make a hostage exchange, etc., I was disappointed in myself for not figuring out that the groom-to-be was on the hotel roof until Ed Helms said that hotel windows don't open in Vegas. I knew the answer, but the story was so complex, I got distracted.
I'd like to take this opportunity to call Flash "My The Hangover of software." Flash gives me the set-up, but, as it reveals its capabilities as I design, working through the intricacies, I see more and more tools, but lack the clues to get to the end… in a haze of getURLs, buttons, clips, timelines, and repetition. I can't quite remember what I learned last time. My education was in multimedia design, but as I've moved along it's been harder and harder to grasp the programming. Clearly, it's me struggling to use both halves of my brain––Flash is an admittedly great tool, that I have to (suck it up!) relearn every couple of months instead of curling up with some popcorn. Check out this header:
Somehow my sister and I shorten Thanksgiving to T-GIVO over email a few years ago. I think it was just the right mix of being too lazy to type a 12-letter word out and our weird genetic bond that gives us an understanding of the other's strangeness.
What's even more strange than my sister and I is the sudden onslaught of Thanksgiving greeting cards. I can see a Thanksgiving greeting making sense in business. It is non-denominational (unless you count "American"), but more specific than Happy Winter (with a Purely Coincidental Large Chunk of Time Off Around December 25th). But why in world would you buy Aunt May a greeting card to help her celebrate the fact that she has to make turkey and fixin's for 17 people and 9 children? Not to mention clean the bathroom because Uncle George is tired and four beers deep into the couch after his harrowing experience racing against the clock and the other 3,000 people at Safeway to score some fresh sage and three eggs.
Needless to say, I approve of my client's approach, using the greeting as an extra and not the only message. Using the "card" as an email header, they sent out a festive e-blast with some solid info for their members––two birds with one stone. (There's got to be a less violent way to put that––let's say two pies with one fork, in honor of our food-based holiday).
Here are the comps I sent them, although they ultimately went with a more elaborate version of the first:
Every year at work, we strain to make our annual report as interesting as possible. I already know what you're thinking: oxymoron. I looked through tons of samples and the most "entertaining" ARs seem to be laden with extra pages containing art with a brilliant quotes with low transparencies, so that they appear to whisper inspiration… on beautifully textured paper. I love this look, but it's a no-go when you are trying to save money and time.
Trying to borrow inspiration from the text (aka a list of items we did last year), I stumbled on the phrase "sea change" and was struck clueless. SEA CHANGE? A moist, salty version of regular change? So I did what all good researchers do and Wiki'ed it. Turns out this is from Full Fathom Five, a section of The Tempest.
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them — Ding-dong, bell.
This was awesome not only because Jackson Pollock based his best-known piece of work on it, but because it applied directly (not to the forehead) to the theme that transformation, though painful, will improve things. And then you get to ring a bell according to Shakespeare. I did my best to use a mix of these themes for the cover, resulting in a message that says, "Even through sea change, our focus should be on students."
Feel that kelp!
As many weddings as the average person has been to (I just counted and I think I'm up to about 15), you'd think the population of America would have a good understanding of how and why the RSVP system works. You'd be wrong. It amazes me that even at my best friend's low-key wedding, she had to follow-up call some strays who couldn't seem to get their postage-ready cards back in the mail within five weeks.
Still, the wedding was lovely and so were the invitations. Designed by the happy couple and myself, check them out below.
Here's the invite for the intimate ceremony:
And here's the invite for the potluck picnic they had the next day:
And ever-difficult to return RSVP card:
Just heard from the bride––someone bought them Rock Band II! I'm sure it was because the invites were so awesome. Seems like a fair trade.
Living just outside the Capital Beltway, I know that I will be severely less angry during the day if I leave after the HOV lanes are open. For those of you unfamiliar with the DC-Metro area, let me share with you the formula for calculating how long it will take to get from point A to point B:
B – A = amount of cars x drivers who are still technically asleep + how badly you need to be on time (squared)–zooming down the shoulder at great risk of being chased by state police
Too bad Nostradamus checked out almost 450 years ago––we could sure use his predictions about how long it will take to finish the Hot Lanes…
All complaints aside, I'm enjoying November as a time to catch up on things I've been meaning to do. Last year it was Nanowrimo (watch for the publication of my unedited novel!) this year it's blog time. I plan to showcase a few of my designs, plug things I like and generally share a lump of Sarah-thoughts with people who have time to follow link after link on the the Internet as a way to get through the day.
I get through the day by thinking about the loveliness of Holland Cox products. Here's a card Valerie and I designed: