What do I do?

Simple and clear storytelling. I’m not there yet with telling the story of what I do, but I’m working on it!

I have been honing my elevator pitch recently since I am pitching new accounts. I tested my new pitch at a creative group I belong to, and a wise writer sitting to my right rocked my world after my response to the query of what I do by disagreeing with me. I’m in marketing and advertising I said, I am a strategic brander, and not a designer really, no, I’m an art director and a creative director. Design is part of what I do, but that’s not really just all of it. I’m not a writer either, although that is part of what I do. Yes I do advertising, but that’s not all I do, I am a strategic communicator. “What does that mean?” Um, well . . . I come up with the big idea, and see that concept through the various mediums whether it is visually in an ad, a logo, or a direct mail piece, a website, an article I have custom written or creating a flash mob. I brand people, small, medium and large companies I said.

“Oh. You’re a storyteller” she said. . . .Pause. Shock, then the slow creaping realization. ooooooohhhh. Smart. Of course that’s what I do. Boiled down, make it simple to understand instead of using buzz words or making it complicated can help the audience paint the picture for themselves! Isn’t what I already do for brands?! Thinking about making things simple led me to reading an article by at mmidentitylab.com. He wrote about the annecodote that someone once presented Ernest Hemingway with a very interesting challenge; they said there was no way he could write a worthwhile story in only six words. His response?

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Yes he was a writer, but he was presenting so much more than that, he was presenting a story, a concept, and that is what I do. I develop ideas wrapped around a company, product or a person. I do the behind the scenes thinking, work and the presentation to create the stories of the brand. If I am good at what I do, I could only dream of being as brilliant as Earnest in his presentation of a brand story. Why? It’s simple. Literally. That one sentence contains so much depth and possibility. If you’re an optimist, you could hypothesize that the shoes were simply the wrong size. If not, those words conjure up a much different image. Maybe it’s a note from a single mother that’s struggling to get by; maybe it’s a would-be father that just lost both his wife and his child in one fell swoop. No matter how you view that very (very) short story, one thing is clear: there is power in that simplicity.

An idea that is condensed to its very essence allows you to get your point across in a way that is succinct, meaningful, and memorable. However, minimalism isn’t reserved for literary legends. Take a look at some of the most prevalent brands around. You’ll find more than a few strategies and messages that accomplish more with less. For instance, LEGO—a brand that revolves around simplistic ideas—has always had taglines that are sparse yet effective. The brand has had only two slogans though out its epic 80-year run: “Just imagine” and “Play on.” Also, take a look at some of LEGO’s advertising; you’ll see that simplicity rules—and exactly why it works.

Here are a few questions that I use to create a simplistic strategy for each brand I am communicating for:

  1. Can I boil the business down to a few key words?
  2. Can this ‘story’ be told quickly or is it a teaser for a series of stories?
  3. What medium does this ‘story’ need to be told in? Words? Pictures? Both?
  4. Where does this ‘story’ need to be for the target audience to see it?
  5. What is the key singular idea behind the message in the story?

These responses build a strategy that harnesses the power of targeted simplicity and can create effective communication to the business or brands target audience. Harnessing the power of simplicity in brand storytelling helps businesses deliver potent messaging that resonates with audiences and makes an impact. This for me is the fun part, and I get to do this everyday! This is strategic communication. This is what I do.

How was my story? I’m still working on it! I’d love your feedback!

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typography for a cause

After dipping his feared fists in blue paint, Wladimir Klitschko, holder of four major heavyweight boxing titles, has punched the 26 letters of the alphabet individually on canvas to create a unique, distinctive font. The initiative is all part of a unique charity project  – and Monotype is in full support.

wladimir Klitschko vs. Illiteracy; fist font

Wladimir Klitschko punched the 26 letters of the alphabet on canvas to create a unique, distinctive font. Image courtesy of the “Klitschko vs. Illiteracy” initiative.

So what does boxing have to do with typography? A lot when it comes to fighting illiteracy.

Frank Wildenberg, managing director of Monotype GmbH explains: “This is a great effort by Wladimir Klitschko to bring attention to the problem of illiteracy which affects children internationally.”

“This campaign worked with our typeface experts to offer the public a ‘fist font’ that is striking, but also easy to read,” Wildenberg adds. “We’re proud that Monotype is in the corner of a world heavyweight boxing champion helping children to read.”

Wladimir KlitschkoKlitschko’s art prints which will be auctioned live on Ebay. Image courtesy of the “Klitschko vs. Illiteracy” initiative

Wladimir Klitschko Partners with Monotype to Knockout Global Illiteracy

Wladimir Klitschko weighs in: “Charity means to give something back and usually you shake hands on the red carpet and say something. But today was a little different, and I’ve done it the way I can do it the best – with boxing! Over 250 million children around the world are illiterate and will only have a future if they have an education – today we’re trying to make it happen!”

Monotype’s typeface experts optimized the free font to ensure quality and clarity. Fans across the world can download Wladimir Klitschko’s fist-painted font for no charge from Monotype’s ecommerce site.

Wladimir Klitschko; Fight Illiteracy, MonotypeWladimir Klitschko’s fist-painted font available for free from Monotype’s ecommerce site Linotype.com. Image courtesy of Monotype

Voluntary monetary contributions will go to the Klitschko Brothers Foundation, in partnership with German charity organization BILD’s “A Heart for Children” charity to combat illiteracy internationally. All funds raised will go toward educational projects for children, and all of the painted prints created by Klitschko will also be auctioned live on Ebay for a limited time.

Watch Klitschko in action:

Klitschko vs. Illiteracy from Klitschko vs. Illiteracy on Vimeo.

Klitschko vs. Illiteracy is a project by the Klitschko Brothers Foundation in cooperation with the German charity organization BILD hilft e.V. Ein Herz für Kinder.

This is a great effort by Wladimir Klitschko to bring attention to the issue of illiteracy which affects children internationally. For more information, visit www.klitschko-vs-illiteracy.com.

- See more at: http://www.howdesign.com/design-creativity/design-change/fist-font-world-heavyweight-champion-wladimir-klitschko-swings-knockout-global-illiteracy/?lid=JFhwnl040714&j=668004&e=alex@alexandradouglas.com&l=115971_HTML&u=21702931&mid=1303284&jb=59&et_mid=668004&rid=240555246#sthash.k7oFONv5.dpuf

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beautifully designed hand-lettered typographic posters & graphics

All hand lettered, these are beautiful and striking.

Polish graphic designer Tomasz Biernat creates beautiful hand-lettered typographic posters that are a delight to behold.

His simple and striking designs are rendered in white against dark backgrounds, and include a print of former Apple head Steve Job’s famous quote, and other inspirational sayings. Besides posters, Biernat also extends his love of logotypes to business cards and wine labels.

Check out some of his posters below and view more of his work at his website and portfolio.

[via Tomasz Biernat]

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#freefontfridays 103. Epique Victorian Ornamental Typeface

Todays free font is free for members and was found on one of my favorite sites, Creative Market. www.creativemarket.com.

103. https://creativemarket.com/Aditsaputra/14503-Epique-typeface


epique-1-90x60epique-3-90x60 epique-2-90x60There are so many typefaces I love that come from www.alterdecofont.com. I love vintage looks, especially when paired with something contemporary and quirky it’s pure magic! Epique typeface, it’s a victorian and ornamental typeface, it’s inspired by old victorian and ornamental typography design, with a modern and clean shape and it’s perfect for creating a wedding invitation (initial),a headline, or logotype, or even a t shirt/apparel design.


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Wild Card Wednesdays – Cool and smart product designs

As I troll the internet everyday, I gather products that catch my eye. Interesting and clever Industrial design, Interior design, product design etc.

via trustmeI’madesigner

OMNOMNOM COOKIES cookie holder at the bottom of a cup; don’t need to use another plate for the cookies — with Elisa Longo and July Mamichula.

Rekindle – a prototype of a candlestick holder that transforms into a brand new candle as the original one burns. Ingenious! It works like this: as the flame melts the candle’s wax, it collects in a mould below, which handily has a wick all ready and waiting. When the mould fills up, the recently re-dripped new candle can be removed, and voila, something new! Now the process begins again.


Come in / Go away – FromUpNorth — with Wijaya Swanz.

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Wild card Wednesdays – Cool things found on the internet

Some things just catch my eye.

A Femme Fatale’s Ring Gun



In the early 1800s saw the height of the Industrial Revolution and personal protection guns were all the rage. Large enough to be worn on most any finger, the revolver had to be manually rotated through each cylinder. 

The 2mm guns were typically marked ‘Femme Fatal’, and sold in small oval shaped jewelry boxes. For a time the French company sold them as a matching set, his and hers. These sets were dubbed the Les Companions.


These pipsqueak rounds, 2mm and 4mm, were smaller than today’s .22 rimfire CB. They sound comparable when they fire, but with just 2-5 grains lead flying at less than 500-fps from a cylinder with no barrel propelled by a tiny charge of blackpowder, the weapon only generates less than 2 ft. lbs of force. This is less than most pellet guns today, and is about enough to penetrate an inch of ballistics gel, or one side of a tin can.

 You could certainly gain attention at a dinner party, ball, or gambling establishment with one of these rings hanging from your mitts. It also provided a certain state of perceived security for those traveling alone and, at the end of the day, the round would do some damage at extremely close ranges.

These guns were never made in great quantity and are such a novel item that they appeal to any collector of odd firearms as well as vintage gun guys.


The finely crafted curiosa German silver ring revolver, the band engraved with herringbone borders and legend: Femme Fatale. Top mounted with 7-shot brown-finished cylinder with fold-down fire-blued trigger and outer spring band. Contained with accompanying seven cartridges and tiny screwdriver in green velvet-lined, dark red leather-covered ring case with silver button escutcheon reading: “Femme Fatale.” Case lid with gold line borders and push-button closure. Size of case: 2 1/4-inches X 2 3/4-inches. Estimated worth: $2500 – $4500

Sold by Gregg Martin Auctions, check out another one here.

Underground Dwellings in North Africa


Underground House, Gharyan

A troglodyte cave house in Gharyan, Libya Photo credit: Mike Gadd, found on Flickr

This house was dug out in 1666 and generations of families have lived here … Gharyan, some 100 kms (62 miles) south of the capital Tripoli, used to have hundreds such homes scattered among its rocky mountains… The houses are now unoccupied as the families moved out in 1985. Al-Arabi Belhaj  and his family maintained theirs and opened it up to tourists several years ago. Before Libya’s 2011 war, foreign visitors would sleep in the rooms and eat home-cooked meals – usually couscous – for 100 Libyan dinars ($77). They now plan to open a hotel next year, excavating more rooms within the caves, in the hope that foreign holiday makers will eventually come back to Libya provided security in the North African country improves.



A Carpet made of Vintage Jeans Labels


Found on NotCot.org made by Swedish carpet brand, Polytuft.

Before he was famous, Andy Warhol made artwork for jazz albums…

warhol5 warhol4 warhol3 warhol2 warholjazz

In the 1950s, Warhol made a living as a graphic designer. See more on Dangerous Minds

A Doll House inside of a Guitar

Lorraine Robinson, an artist of all things miniature, made this amazing guitar dollhouse for her daughter as a birthday gift before heading off to college for the first time. Via Laughing Squid.

Inside my Fridge iPhone Case

via The Fancy

More info about Libya’s cave dwellings on Reuters

MI6 once hacked into an Al Qaeda website and replaced bomb making instructions with a recipe for cupcakes.

U.S.-born radical Yemeni cleric Imam Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen. Selection of cupcakes: MI6 attacks al-Qaeda in 'Operation Cupcake'

Image 1 of 2
The magazine is produced by the radical preacher Anwar al-Awlaki Photo: AP/ALAMY
Duncan Gardham

By , Security Correspondent

7:16PM BST 02 Jun 2011

The code, which had been inserted into the original magazine by the British intelligence hackers, was actually a web page of recipes for “The Best Cupcakes in America” published by the Ellen DeGeneres chat show.z

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Free Font Fridays – 102. Zsir

Continuing in the tradition of free fonts, todays free font is free for members and was found on one of my favourite sites, Creative Market. www.creativemarket.com.

102. https://creativemarket.com/AmondoSzegi/2723-Zsir

This cool modern, chunky techno display font is by Fontana Type foundry in Budapest Hungary. The foundry is the first Hungarian digital foundry formed by Gabor Kothay and Amondo Szegi in 1999 in Szeged. The Fontana was created to revive the Hungarian character design walking in the footsteps of Misztotfalusi Kis Nicholas (1650 – 1702) www.fontanatype.hu