Each year, the CACCC honors the person or organization who’s had an extraordinary impact on the abused children of Collin County. This year, the Eagle Award was presented to Launch Agency for calling attention to the good work of the Center, an organization that operated under the radar for approximately 20 years.
Agency principal Diane Seimetz on the Eagle Award, “While we don’t donate our time and talents for recognition, it’s a great feeling to know you are making a difference when you do.”
Mike Newman of the Plano Profile on the CACCC: “Their mission is a simple, to-the-point one: ‘to provide safety, healing and justice to children victimized by abuse or neglect.’ The job of accomplishing it is anything but simple.”
Launch principals Seimetz, Michael Boone and David Wilgus are grateful for the honor. And express thanks to the talented team that worked so hard on behalf of the CACCC, including Alexandra Watson, Jon Fullrich, Laura Carroll, Ryan Ingram, Reuben Miller and Alison Hamilton.
To learn more about the CACCC, visit www.cacplano.org.
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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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A new Mercedes-Benz dealership will open soon in Grapevine, Texas. To help Park Place Dealerships tout the groundbreaking, Launch Agency created invitations to the ceremonial event using some groundbreaking printing techniques.
Printed on Cromática lavender paper, the invites have the nostalgic look and feel of architectural blueprints. Art director Reuben Miller and print producer Laura Carroll worked closely with the printer, Colormark, to attain the right effect – first adding a layer of flood metallic blue ink to create the architectural “grid,” then double-bumping the white type to make copywriter Alex Slotkin’s copy pop off the page. The invites were sent in a white mailing tube to current Park Place customers and City of Grapevine VIPs.
Launch also created an online version of the invite using the same theme. To see it for yourself, check out the animated invite.
Despite impending thunderstorms, the May 20 event counted more than 100 guests, including the mayor of Grapevine, the head of the Grapevine Chamber of Commerce and a representative from Mercedes-Benz USA.
Park Place Motorcars Grapevine is expected to open in August of 2011 and will feature a 27,000-square-foot showroom, a service shop with 71 bays, and one of only two Park Place BodyWerks paint and body shops in DFW.
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The Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County held its annual fundraiser at the Hilton Anatole, Dallas, and Launchers Alison Hamilton, Reuben Miller, and Diane Seimetz were on hand. Reuben designed the Center’s new brand identity earlier this year, and along with Diane and Alison, helped create the on-stage presentation “Impact Moment,” which depicted the struggles of abused children, and the relief the Center provides.
The gala’s theme this year was “Rock On!” and that it did. The band, World Classic Rockers, was the featured entertainment, consisting of former members from Santana, Journey, Boston, Steppenwolf, Toto, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. In addition to the entertainment, both live and silent auctions were held with all proceeds going to the Children’s Advocacy Center.
The event was chaired by local philanthropist Carolyn Speese—wife of Advocacy Center Board President, and Rent-A-Center CEO, Mark Speese (a long-time Launch client). A key sponsor of the event was Launch client Park Place Lexus, which generously donated several Lexus vehicles to the raffle.