Continuing our success at award shows, Launch loaded up on more goodies this summer.
The 2010 Dallas Society of Visual Communications Show had several Launch pieces in contention for awards, including TV and interactive work for smart center DFW and posters for the Voice Foundation. Members of the Launch team were on hand for the festivities, and walked away with a Bronze award for the Voice Foundation’s “Warning Signs” campaign. Credits include Dean Oram, AD; Kevin Byrd, CW; David Wilgus and Diane Seimetz, CDs; Alison Hamilton, AE; Laura Carroll, print production; Randal Ford, photographer, and retouching by Portus Imaging. This campaign previously was honored at the local and regional Addy Shows. We are equally proud that the Voice Foundation has gotten good traction and awareness from this work.
At the 16th Annual Communicator Awards, an international competition honoring creative excellence by communications professionals, Launch took home an “Award of Excellence” in the automotive category for the Park Place Dealerships website. Launch partnered with developer eCarList to bring it to live. The site mixes an upscale design that reflects the luxurious elements of the vehicles Park Place carries with easy to use inventory search functionality. The Launch team included Richard Wezensky, AD; Kevin Byrd, CW; David Wilgus and Diane Seimetz, CDs; Alison Hamilton, AE.
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Launch was pleased to have been recognized for its work on behalf of long-time client Rent-A-Center.
The Rental Advertising Excellence (RAE) Awards, the rent-to-own industry’s longest held advertising competition honors the best radio, television, print and Internet advertising campaigns created over the past year. The awards show and annual conference was held July 19-22.
Launch won a Gold and a Bronze in the :30 Radio category and a Silver for :30 TV.
Congratulations also go to partner agency Razor for their awards won in support of Rent-A-Center.
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Launch principal, creative director, David Wilgus, played host this past Saturday to scouts from his church. Boy Scout Troop 835 came to the Launch office for insight into the world of advertising. In addition to Wilgus’ words, the scouts were particularly impressed with the “fun” office, replete with all the toys and random decorations that make it comfortable and personable.
As thanks, the Troop sent Wilgus a Merit badge in Space Exploration. The rocket-themed patch matches the Launch decor and will be a great addition to our prized collection of memorabilia. The boys received more than Wilgus wisdom; each walked away with a brand new Launch ball cap.
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We’re ready to impart more wisdom from Launch Art Director Reuben Miller’s experience at the 2010 HOW Conference.
An interesting session, “Building a Business: If I Knew Then What I Know Now,” featured Brian Dougherty and Marcia Hoeck. Dougherty is a founding partner of Celery Design Collaborative, which has studios in both California and Paris. Marcia Hoeck is president of Hoeck Associates, Inc. and acts as a business coach. Her mantra is, “Create a business that will run without you.” These two entrepreneurs described their tried-and-true methods for starting a successful business and growing it — specifically, how to keep from getting sidetracked so you can focus on why you started the business in the first place.
Next they explained Dougherty’s “design backwards” approach. By starting from a design project’s ultimate destination and working backwards, designers are able to make more informed choices, allowing them to creatively avoid many roadblocks that might prevent solutions. The best way to begin brainstorming is to imagine the “best possible destiny for a design. Next, imagine the user’s experience with the design and envision scenarios that would make the experience particularly memorable or valuable.”
Reuben said the last session he attended featured “the most inspirational speaker [he'd] ever seen.” The session, “Rediscovering Play: Bringing Fun and Passion to Your Work. . .and Life,” was given by Kevin Carroll.
Carroll’s childhood was less than idyllic; his parents struggled with substance abuse problems, so he moved in with his his grandparents. One day, he found a red rubber ball on the playground, and from that point on, focused his life on the pursuit of fun and the “red rubber ball mentality.” Now he collects different and interesting balls from all around the world as a source of inspiration. After 10 years in the air force, Carroll spent time with the Philadelphia 76ers and Nike before starting his own business, Kevin Carroll Katalyst/LLC. We don’t do Carroll’s story justice, so check it out after finishing our post.
One of Reuben’s takeaways from HOW was that, “It’s an incredible asset to be a great presenter; it can be the tipping point between whether an idea sells or not.”
Find more information on 2010 Conference sessions visit the HOW website.
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We like to stay on the cutting edge of . . . well . . . everything here at Launch, so we sent Art Director Reuben Miller to this year’s HOW Conference to learn everything he could about technology and design. From printing to design programs to sources of inspiration, Reuben absorbed it all and, fortunately for us, shared his knowledge.
The first session attended was “Inspiration: You Are What You Keep” by Gail Anderson—creative director of design at SpotCo. Her main message was that when we’re young, we gravitate toward certain things, and as we get older, we begin to identify what those things are and use them for inspiration. Those different sources of inspiration make individual designers unique.
Next up, “Print to Web Breakthrough,” was delivered by Mark O’Brien, president of Newfangled Web Developers. Reuben learned a few tricks to make websites more crawlable. For starters, keeping a 300 to 500 word digital newsletter that gets updated once a month is a good way to keep Google bots interested in your site. This will keep your domain high on the Google search list. O’Brien also told attendees of a new web service that allows designers to use non-website-compatible fonts. This service serves up fonts every time a page loads, so that designers can choose any font when creating a website. This allows people to take their favorite fonts online and differentiate their site from others’.
In “Good vs. Great Design”, speaker Cameron Moll, co-author of CSS Mastery and author of Mobile Web Design, pointed out that most people use the word “inspiration” incorrectly. What they really mean is “influence.” An influence is something that affects your ideas, whereas inspiration is the product of your creative thinking and work. Inspiration is something that is earned, while influences can be found anywhere. In the end, the best designs come from turning the things we love, our influences, into something that others can find value in. Moll stated that most of us are starters – we have tons of great ideas, but that’s where they end. Those ideas never reach fruition because most people aren’t finishers. An inhibitor to becoming a finisher is stress, but there is also good stress, which Moll termed “eustress.” Eustress comes from activities that push us in an enjoyable way, such as working out. Last, but not least, Moll touched on the “blur test” in relation to digital hierarchy. As taught in design school, when you look at a design and blur your eyes, you’ll be able to see what jumps out the most. With print, and especially digital, creating a hierarchy is the art of managing, not eliminating elements.
Reuben’s last seminar, “Creating Five-Alarm Concepts,” earned his coveted “bad ass” designation. Speaker Von Glitschka has all of his slides and notes available for download, so instead of a short Reuben recap, feel free to download it all for yourself.
We’ll get back to you soon with more wisdom from the speakers, but until then, please tell us your favorite takeaways from this year’s How Conference.
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First impressions can mean everything. And Jaguar Plano made a memorable one at their Grand Opening event. Guests were met by two women, dressed from head to toe in jaguar print, greeted those entering the newest Park Place dealership. The “Jaguar models” greeted over 200 guests who came for an evening of sleek cars, delectable food, and charitable support for a good cause.
Partial credit for the evening’s success is due to Launch creatives Alex Slotkin and Richard Wezensky, who created a stylish event invitation featuring a stunning profile of a chrome jaguar that “leapt” out of the envelope when opened. Megan Kelly and Alison Hamilton were the account executives on this piece, and Laura Carroll handled print production.
Launch also worked with editor Travis Coan to create a music video which highlighted the evolution — and growth — of Jaguar as a brand and Park Place as the area’s premier auto dealerships. The video featured classic film of Jaguars dating back to the 1960s, shots of the very first Park Place dealership, and stunning footage of the new Jaguar XJ.