Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's not me, It's you College - Part 2

Dear College,

I didn't sleep at all last night.  I had to gather all the things that belong to you--papers, portfolios--and spent the entire night making sure I got it together.  I still can't believe after today I will never see you again.  Is splitting up really what you want?

Does the sacrifices I made for you mean nothing?  I could have left you a year ago because of my connections with AP, but I believed in us and decided to give you another chance.  I even went abroad to London to see the world with you.  Why are you breaking up with me?? Is it because I gained a couple pounds (okay maybe like 10) since I've met you?  Is it because I suck at beer pong... I swear I can fix that.  I promise no more air balls.   

I know that someday we will work things out, maybe when I figure out what I want from our relationship.  

But for now, do you know how I'm going to deal with this breakup??  I'm going to deal with my good friends Jameson, Goose and Gin and we are going to have the best weekend being dumped by College ever!  That's right College, this isn't a joke anymore... I'm moving on!

Yours Truly,

p.s. No matter what the rumors say, your crazy-ex Asher Roth never loved you more than me.

It's not me, It's you College

Graduating is like breaking up with College.  It is never easy.  Well here's what I have to say:

Dear college, 

After four years, I would think I meant more to you.  Is this really what you want?  To end it?  I didn't spend all this money on you to be jobless and homeless.  Some of my best memories were with you--trashy frat parties, hockey games, flip cup (YOU taught me that!).  Does this mean nothing to you?

I mean, I know I have been difficult... I'm still sorry about the bathroom incident, but I cleaned up my mess and had the towel rack fixed.  And I'm sorry if I ever complained the bed was too small or your food was awful.  I take it all back.

What about the friends I've made after I met you?  I love them like my own, and now you're telling me I can't see them anymore.  Can't we work things out??  Lately you've been acting strange and avoiding me, seems like you're more interested in younger people... I saw you hitting on that campus tour.  Also, you're asking for gifts... $20.09? You know I don't have money.   

I guess it's better that we end things now, but I will never forget you College.  Even though you dumped me, I love you.  

Yours truly,

Guess it's time to get out there and find someone else:
Recent Grad wanting to hook up with a Full-Time Job.  Call me.

The return of Holland-Mark

Today I attended the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange's Digital Combine Job Fair to see what interactive/digital agencies there are in the greater Boston area. Most of them were companies I've never heard of: Accela Communications, Boston Interactive, e dialog, Media Contacts (Part of Havas Digital), Pixel Bridge.

The agency I found most interesting is Holland-Mark. Jake (the intern there) told me the agency used to be pretty big in New England (200 employees, $200 mil in billings) and actually went bust in the early 2000s when the economy slumped. Only about 18 months ago did Holland-Mark start up again (now has an office of 20) and its goal is to be the largest independent agency in New England.

Jake gave me a pack of Holland-Mark playing cards as a gift. I would have preferred an internship or job, but I did get an offer for a portfolio review!

I guess you can never have too many cards. The Holland-Mark website plays off these cards, and you can play solitaire or 52 card pick up (very cool):Just from meeting Jake (the intern), Ben (the proofreader) and Caroline (the creative) from Holland-Mark, the agency seems like a cool place to work and a place that's going to grow.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

ELIE TAHARI site redesign - Stripes or No Stripes?

After many rounds of concepting, I finally settled on a redesign for the ELIE TAHARI site; however, I'm not sure what background works best: Stripes or No Stripes?
Click the image to enlarge. Before I turn it in Thursday, I would love any feedback or comments.

YAY for finishing school... 2 days and counting.

Creative Cafe and Screening of Art & Copy

Today was an advertising-filled day. First, I had a portfolio review, organized by COM, with Boston art directors and copywriters. Met with Art Directors from AMP Agency and Connelly Partners, founder of Embryo and a freelancer with 20-years of industry experience.

Here are some useful pointers I got:
  • A book should look polished (use better paper, high-quality print outs, trim edges, etc.)
  • Some Art Directors (especially those with design backgrounds) are looking for technical skills and a strong understanding of design
  • Call an agency's receptionist to find out what the office culture is like to decide what order to present work (i.e. a hipper agency may like more non-traditional/graphical work)
  • Read creative books + annuals
  • You can't always teach a designer to concept, but you can teach a conceptual (big idea) kid how to design
  • San Francisco is like Boston, they're secondary cities (to LA and NY respectively), but much more creative than LA or NY
  • Blow out all concepts into full campaigns (print, outdoor, online, DM, packaging)
  • Have at least four of these full campaigns
  • Don't do things by formula
  • Take a bad ad and redo it for (fun and) practice
  • Volume is not important in a portfolio
Secondly, I headed down to the ICA for the Independent Film Festival's screening of "Art & Copy" a documentary about advertising creatives directed by Doug Pray, who also did Surfwise, Scratch and Hype!. Pray said the film's concept is: "If you hate advertising, make better advertising."

I didn't love the film as much as I loved the people in it
... David Kennedy (Wieden+Kennedy), George Lois ("I want my MTV" campaign), Hal Riney (Reagan reelection), Lee Klow (TBWA/Chiat Day, Apple), Mary Wells (Braniff Airlines), Goodby, Silverstein... these people defined/shifted/revolutionized advertising and I admire their work and character so so much.

Long day, sleep time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Coach Parker Thanks the Fans

In last Thursday's (April 23, 2009) Daily Free Press, Coach Jack Parker thanked Terrier fans for their undying support in a full-page ad. He also restates that this year's team was the best hockey team he's every coached! It's official and in paper.

It's nice of Parker to recognize the fans and build excitement for next season. Even though I don't know my post-graduate plans, I already got my tickets for Red Hot Hockey at Madison Square Garden this Thanksgiving. SO EXCITED.

I figured not too many people read the Freep (Daily Free Press) anymore, so in case you missed Parker's love letter to all the fans, click on the image above to enlarge.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stikman Still Lives

When I was in D.C. for the Frozen Four, I found these cool robot figures on the crosswalks and wanted to know why they were there or who put them there. Last September, the Washington Post wrote about these street Robots called Stikman that were placed there by an anonymous street artist. Sometimes it pays to be emo and stare at the ground all the time, because you may find a pleasant surprise like Stikman!
So when you're in D.C., keep a look out for the Stikmen because it seems some are fading away.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fed Ex "Doodle" Flyers

FedEx street teams were on my campus passing out these flyers. The street team had weird screens strapped onto their chests that was playing a video (I didn't stop to watch)... but a girl gave me an almost blank sheet of paper.

I probably would never use 'FedEx Office Print Online' services, but this flyer is really cute. The headline on the top says "I've got time. To doodle." Well I actually don't have time to doodle... but I found myself doing it! Click the image to enlarge, and see what I had time to do.

Boston Hockey Warm-Up Playlist

Click images to enlarge and read playlist

I had to design a CD package for class, and I did one for the BU Hockey Warm Up Playlist. I really just wanted a reason to get the warm up playlist from Agganis Arena and find out what that TECHNO SONG I've heard since freshman year is (it's "The Funeral" by Plasmic Honey). Thanks again to Agganis' marketing manager Jessica Connor who was really quick and helpful in getting me the playlist.

So, for all you BU Hockey fans and seniors who show up an hour early to home games to watch the team warm up, here are the songs we've grown accustomed to this past AWESOME season.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marathon Monday Recap

Phew, thank god yesterday is over.
While many in this wonderful country stumbled into their cubicles to start their work week, Bostonians woke up early to celebrate the infamous MARATHON MONDAY (also Patriots' Day, Sox, Celtics & Bruins games)! As this is our final Marathon Monday, my roommates and I decided to go big or go home.

We all agreed to drink the miles (that's 26.2), and the day went a little something like this (thinking about it already hurts):
  • 8:30 am - My alarm goes off... I hear roommates giggling in the kitchen about how I told everyone I would be up at 8 am. I blame it on watching Live Free or Die Hard the night before... Bruce Willis can totally mess up your natural body clock.
  • Our kitchen smells yummy of bacon, french toast and mimosas: BREAKFAST OF CHAMPIONS.
  • We are all decked out in our running outfits and marathon numbers (thanks to my photoshop skills). I think we look more like Dogtown Z-boys and then grab a board and skate across our apartment.
  • 9:00 am - (Two) Guests arrive, breakfast begins! I pop our $4 Trader Joe's sparkling wine, roommate makes cranmosas (cranberry + champagne), I drench my french toast in maple syrup, whip cream and strawberries, secretly ate about eight pieces of bacon, (turkey and regular) and am very sad when the bacon plates are empty.
  • 9:05 am - Pop another two bottles of $4 Trader Joe's sparkling wine. Too full for more French Toast. We turn on the news to see where the runners are... wheelchair people have started, women are running... oh, now the men. THE MARATHON HAS BEGUN.
  • My roommate and I do a lap down our apt hallway... I win.
  • Roomate marks five tallies in purple sharpie on my left arm- Mile 5... great pacing.
  • 10:30 am - head over to South Campus apartment on Beacon Street to be closer to the marathon.
  • Watch the women runners on TV, then men, then women... eat Shaws brand BBQ chips, all of us agree Shaws brand chips are REALLY GOOD.
  • Drink my Vitamin Water concoction... on mile 7 now, and the women are near BU's campus. We head down to the street to cheer them on!
Okay, so sometime between the first time we went down to the street, I see Men's winner Merga running by, I yell "MERGA! MERGA! MERGA!" I ate a turkey sandwich I packed and a hot dog from Johnnie's Fresh Market. I see my London roommate Larissa and jump on her... lots of cheering, walking, talking...
  • 4:00 pm - Head back to our apartment. Unusually starved, I make a bowl of ramen.
  • We turn on one of my favorites 40 year-old virgin.
  • Done eating, I grab my blanket and jump on the couch.
  • Laugh, laugh, laugh... right about the time Paul Rudd calls Seth Rogen gay for listening to Coldplay, I pass out on the sofa. I later find out our poor friend Sophie is the only one awake, everyone else is sleeping.
  • I wake up around 7 something with the celtics game on. Head is pounding, look at wrists... only got to mile 11. I quit.
  • 8:00 pm - GOSSIP GIRL. The last bottle of $4 Trader Joe's sparkling wine we saved sits in our fridge, untouched.
Apart from the aching head, Ray Allen shoots a game winning 3-pointer, The Hills gets juicy and I feel like Marathon Monday lasted three days.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Key to Curing the Recession = Tiffany's

TIME magazine's 'The New Frugality' and 'Thrift Nation' talks about how Americans are altering their lifestyles to save money. I think this may not be the of best news.

Boutique owner Jackie Brander of Santa Monica, CA's Fred Segal Fun explains exactly what I am doing: "What I've noticed more than anything is that people are completely staying away. They're not even putting themselves in front of things to buy because they're just not buying, period."

Even with a sad bank account, I can't help but think the lack of shopping will hurt us more; however, today at 9:30 am while working out and flipping through the most recent Glamour magazine (Miley Cyrus on the cover)... I SAW A SOLUTION TO ALL THIS SADDNESS:

A double-page Tiffany & Co. ad introducing their new KEY necklaces. After seeing the glistening silver details of these beautiful key necklaces, a familiar urge to satisfy my love for pretty things HIT ME. It's been months, almost half a year, since I've bought something that's not food, alcohol or hockey tickets.

All I'm saying is that this ad is PROOF THAT ADVERTISING MUST GO ON DURING A RECESSION. Look at Tiffany's, they're introducing a new line of necklaces, one that will probably bring in a load of profit during graduation season when all little girls demand gifts for their hard work. But more importantly, Tiffany cleverly chose what trend to pursue.

This key necklace is nothing new... hipsters have been dangling their house keys around their necks for years, Marc Jacobs came out with a key necklace two Christmases ago. The key trend is quite old, but Tiffany & Co. is king in jewelry and it can make a passing trend TIMELESS.
So, note to brands: Up ad spending and revive your brand with some new products.
Note to (my) parents/blog readers: Graduation gift? *cough* I like the second to the left, silver one on an extra long chain *cough*

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today is CHRISTMAS, Signed Hockey Jersey!

Last Christmas, my second cousin who went to BU for grad school gave me an autographed jersey by the '98-'99 team. I WAS SO EXCITED, until I checked their record: 14-20-3. Not such a hot season, and it turns out he was sent the autographed jersey as an alumni gift; however, Mike Eruzione (1980 Olympic Ice Hockey Champs) signed this jersey in the top left right under the 'BO'.
BUT TODAY FELT LIKE REAL CHRISTMAS, because the best team in Terrier History autographed the jersey I have worn to every game in the past four years. We got Hobey Baker winner #97 Matt Gilroy (also signed with the NY Rangers for $3.5 mil/2 years), Colin Wilson who signed with Nashville Predators and is playing on the US National team... I can't believe how cool this is.
The autograph signing was from 5-6 pm at the Student Union, and the lines were already long at 4:20. The players must be exhausted from all the media and press, but it's nice for them to do this for the fans and especially little kids that look up to them.

Photo Below: Matt Gilroy next to his Hobey Baker award.
Thanks again to BU and the Hockey program for letting all the fans enjoy this National Victory!

Friday, April 17, 2009

ELIE TAHARI site redesign - Round 2

So I finally got around concepting a second homepage for my ELIE TAHARI site redesign project. My two concepts are inspired by two moods, which I had made mood boards for:

Mood Board 1: City Social
I surveyed some friends and this was their least favorite mood out of the two; however, I think the mock-up looks pretty modern, feminine and metropolitan.

'City Social' Homepage Mock-Up
Mood board 2: Bond Girl
I love the high contrast and pop of color. The mock-up is pretty consistent with the current clean style of retail websites.

'Bond Girl' Homepage Mock Up
Which one do you think is better? I need to choose one to pursue and write up a style guide. I would love feedback and appreciate any comments.

The (dated) Art of Graduation Etiquette

I have 30 days until graduation, and along with my overpriced cap and gown (a whopping $75) came 10 FREE graduation announcements. I am the most anti-graduation memorabilia purchaser ever. I didn't buy senior portraits in high school and I don't plan on it in college. They charge insane prices, something like $90 for three 8x10s, and make you take ridiculous poses (this isn't preschool!). No thank you Herff Jones.

I am a fan of tradition and sophistication, but the formality behind graduation announcements is unnecessary. How are we supposed to live small and decrease the amount of waste we produce if every graduation announcement comes in TWO envelopes?? I swear these things haven't changed since my mom was in college.

Outer envelope? Inner envelope? Name cards? Foil etiquette seal?


I'm surprised Herff Jones or Universities haven't produced an electronic graduation invitation. That'd be pretty cool, OR it'd even be cool if they used less paper. In the end, I printed out 10 copies of a recent photo of myself at CVS for $3, since half the family I'm sending the annoucement to I haven't seen since I was 10. It might be good if they remember me.

But you can consider this post a formal invitation to my graduation...
and maybe a job offer?

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

HOMEWORK POST: Personal Site Web Promotions

WARNING: This post is a bit different because I'm doing it as homework for my Web Design class. I've missed class two consecutive weeks because of the PSFK Conference and Frozen Four, which you all know are two very important milestones in my life, and I need to get a good grade! So, no funny business in this post.

Assignment: Find two personal portfolio sites that have great examples of "promotions"

Personal website/blog for Bobby Solomon, a design, art and music enthusiast
Reasons why I like his site:
  • Great visual hierarchy + organization - The right column begins with a blurb about Bobby and Bobby's website, then leads to his twitter feed and then to a link menu to more content on his site.  Since the links are organized in a solid, grey block, it's easily found on the page.
  • Chameleon ads - The Scion ad below the links doesn't look like an ad.  The white background and bright colors is consistent with the overall site's style.  Scion and Giant Robot are also brands relevant to Bobby's interests and audience.  Yay for online display that works.  Oh, and his daily sites section is a great way to increase traffic to those sites.
  • Cool Content - Under 'The Desktop Wallpaper Project' and '+KN Mixtapes' are some pretty unique wallpapers and mixes for people to download. 
In conclusion, my realization that L.A. is a hub for cool design and not just a bunch of Spencer Pratt crazies and American Apparel wearing hipsters is growing stronger through Kitsune Noir's design conscious site. 

The appeal of this site is its understated simplicity. The only navigation is it's drop down menu at the top:
Rather than promoting work through a traditional rectangle with flashing images, TNOP chooses to list everything in its site in a scroll down menu.  

In each section, TNOP uses one of my favorite new design techniques... HORIZONTAL SCROLLING (I mention this in an earlier post)
In conclusion, this site shows that you don't need witty lines or eye-catching imagery to get someone's attention.  We don't always like to be yelled at.  The drop down menu was so effective it got me clicking on 'shop'.

Terrier Day in Boston!

In celebration of BU's NCAA Hockey Title, BU held a parade with duck boats down Commonwealth Avenue and had free ice cream and cake.  Mayor Menino also gave a speech and proclaimed it Terrier Day in Boston.

Here are some photos from Marsh Plaza: 

Matt Gilroy gave a short speech wishing Eric Gryba a happy birthday and inviting everyone to party at T's Pub (973 Comm Ave):

Thanks BU for the parade, ice cream and cake!

Market that National Championship

As a Boston University communications student, I have to say I am very proud (and even impressed) by BU's recent efforts to promote it's NCAA Men's Ice Hockey National Title. Playing off the momentum of the win, in the short span of a day, the athletics page changed into a championship microsite, the dean of students produced a short clip to announce that there will be a parade and online newspaper BU TODAY is filling up my school email with events and news about the hockey win. homepage:
You can watch highlights, see photos, buy championship gear, recap the season and most of all congratulate the Terriers!!

You need to watch the below film, it's a parody off the Matrix.  Dean Elmore invites you to the Terrier Day Parade:

Last but not least, my good friend Jason Kahn created a site called promoting students to use their print quota for celebratory posters!  Who needs to print out academic material when you have posters like, "Gryba SMASHed":

Mayor Thomas M. Menino officially proclaims this Tuesday, 4/14, as Terrier Day in the city of Boston.  EVERYONE SHOULD CELEBRATE!