May Day

Always a favorite day of mine. As a young girl, my mother helped me plant small paper cups, filled with fresh potting soil, with pansies that she and I would deliver to the “little old ladies” who lived in my small town neighborhood.

I always wanted to pass this little tradition along to my own daughter, but this remained mostly a wish, not a reality. Living and working in a big city in the 1990’s, with two young children, meant there were many conflicting commitments at this time of the year. End of school parties, end of season sports celebrations, dancing school, horseback riding and the sheer excitement brought on by spring fever. Plus, for me May 1 always arrives much faster than any other day of my year. It’s as if April doesn’t even exist!

Today, as I reflect on my memory of this sweet little tradition, I see my Mother’s young, pretty face, and her ever-present smile. Dressed in a sleeveless shirt-waist dress, my image of her is sheer perfection. Little did I know then, that May Day would become even more meaningful for me as a Mother like her. You see, it is my own daughter’s birthday today. Always here before I know it and always extraordinarily special to me as I think back to another image of sheer perfection. The one of her twenty-four years ago today, and pretty much every day since then. I love you Henrietta. Happy Birthday and Happy Spring! May your summer garden begin today.

Happy Birthday, Henrietta!
Happy Birthday, Henrietta!
Posted in Brand Creation

Color Predictions: 2014

As a researcher, I love to read about predictions and trends, especially as it relates to design—for your business, for your home, for your life.

Pantone recently named Radiant Orchid its color of the year for 2014, so we can expect a whole lot of passion for purple in the coming months. Before the color of the year announcement, polled some color experts to weigh in on what color they thought should be on top. This infographic shows what they predicted.

Two of these color predictions stand out for me: deep blue (PANTONE 286 C) and charcoal gray (PANTONE 425 U).


What about you? What swatches will color your life this year? Find Your Pantone

PANTONE® Color of the Year 2014 Predictions Infographic, November 2013

Posted in Brand Creation

We all need a coach

“Clutter is the disease of American writing,” he declared in one passage that tends to haunt anyone daring to write about Mr. Zinsser. “We are a society strangling in unnecessary words, circular constructions, pompous frills and meaningless jargon.” (Source)

Anne Randolph is my William Zinsser. Check her out and like her page on facebook!


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Copy Briefs – a necessity!

When developing content, it is essential to have a creative or copy brief.

More often than not, it is up to the writer to develop the brief. Small clients rarely have a brief prepared, and are not even certain about how to get the results they are looking for. The writer’s first job is to conduct either face-to-face meetings or an interactive group meeting to obtain the necessary information.

Whatever means you use, I recommend starting with the big picture and drilling down into the fine detail. The rule of thumb for writing projects is 70% organization, preparation and research; 30% is the writing itself. 

To get you started, here’s a Basic Copy Brief Checklist (PDF) from SMW Consultancy.


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Brand creation is the resulting jigsaw puzzle of impressions …

…that the public derives from their interaction with a brand. Shaping these impressions is a mixed bag of brand contacts including: 

  1. Planned Messages, such as advertising and brochures, or any communication controlled by management;
  2. Product Messages, such as the design of the physical product or physical settings;
  3. Service Messages, which constitute any contact the client or customer has with the service process; and,
  4. Unplanned Messages, including word-of-mouth, social media, articles, and publicity.

According to Teemu Moilanen and Seppo Rainisto, authors of “How to Brand Nations, Cities and Destinations,” © 2009, word-of-mouth is probably the most important source of information in forging a positive and lasting brand relationship.

Posted in Brand Creation, Design, Writing