April 2010

License Plate Frame

Please print out the license plate frame below and affix it to your car’s license plate if you:

  1. Drive less than 50% of the speed limit most of the time.
  2. Make left turns from the right turn only lane when the light is red.
  3. Make right turns from the left turn only lane when the light is red.
  4. Leave your turn signal on for more than 30 second intervals.
  5. Swerve from the left lane to the right lane going way too slow, and don’t let me pass.
  6. Brake for crossing leaves.
  7. Don’t understand that left hand green arrows mean you should turn left, and not just stare at them.
  8. Don’t let people merge into traffic on the higway when they are trying to get on in the correct place.
  9. Drive in the shoulder.
  10. Wait until the absolute last possible moment to merge left when getting onto the highway.
  11. Don’t understand the GIANT signs telling you that you are in an exit only lane and then swerving out of said lane at the last second to go where you actually were supposed to go… I mean how much bigger does that sign have to be?

I'm a moron - don't drive too close to me.

Please print this out and affix to your license plate.

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Seamless Patterns

I often struggle with background images and patterns for websites.  This article from Shutterstock is a great reference and clearly explains how to make a seamless pattern in illustrator. Good Luck!

http://www.shutterstock.com/newsletter/100/article3.html

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Bad Copywriting at its Best

There is nothing worse than intending to write one thing, and having it come out as something else.  Take the truck art pictured in this post, for example.  I have seen this same graphic on every AAA truck.  You would think that someone MIGHT suggest some alternate wording to make it sound like they are doing something other than changing the batteries in your television remote control. Unfortunately, as I have said before, most people don’t actually read what they write – they just send it to print.

My advice to everyone is to read, re-read, and then read it again.  And once you are done, have someone else read it too.  Get as many fresh eyes as you can. Everyone makes mistakes, after all we are only human, but the don’t let YOUR marketing materials end up as someone else’s punchline.

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Silly Error Messages

One of my pet peeves is the “coming soon” page on a web site, only second to the “This site is under construction” notice.  These are two very silly notices to put on your website.  The primary reason that I recommend against  posting them  is because usually they stay posted for weeks, months, or more! If you don’t have content don’t post the link.  If your site is ‘under construction’  just post your name, logo, phone number, or some other USEFUL information and leave it at that. The internet is so fluid, and websites are very easy to change (and anyone that tells you other wise is either lying or trying to make a few bucks off you). There is no reason to post a link to a page until it is actually there.

The other day I was driving to the gym and passed by a sign in a shopping center.  The digital portion of the sign said “NO FONTS.”   Now, the obvious question of “If there are no fonts, why are we able to display this error”  is put aside to ask, why are you posting this message?  The back side of the sign was displaying normally (not shown in photo). A blank sign would have been less silly looking than an error message of “NO FONTS” posted on Route 1 for every one to see.

Many parents and grandparents have been known to say, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I like to modify that rule and say, “If you don’t have anything useful to say, don’t say anything at all”

Plato said “A wise man speaks because he has something to say; a fool because he has to say something.”  By that rationale, if your content is available, by all means post it.  If nothing is there to see, don’t post the link to it until it is ready unless you intend to play the fool.

Imagine going to a restaurant and seeing on the menu “Fillet Mignon…COMING SOON”  Now, the customer is thinking… “hmm I could really go for a Fliet Mignon,  lets go somewhere else.”

Look smart, act smart, and people will believe you are smart (whether or not you are ACTUALLY smart  is irrelevant.)

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Visual Paths

A long time friend of mine and a great musician Damon Grant has a habit of always pointing to something or someone in the photos that he posts on Facebook.  There is always something striking about the photos even though they are usually just random snapshots from a social event.  The reason behind this is VISUAL PATHS.  By pointing to something he is creating a strong visual path to guide your eye through the image.  Instead of just staring at random faces in the photo, the eye is guided along a path which creates movement and a natural flow.  More examples and information can be found in this great article by iStockPhoto.com.

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=697

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