Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Something has been gnawing away at my spirit for days. Junkmail for Blankets
blog site, hosted by Jeremy Huggins, published a post which read (and I use with permission): "I have stolen:
TIME--I should have listened instead of talking,
DIGNITY--I put you down to lift myself that night with our friends,
IDEAS--passed them off as my own,
GLORY--the way I talked about you behind your back,
AFFECTIONS--with no intention of holding them,
AWAY--I should have stayed."
It is easy to account for stolen pens, DVDs, notebooks, cash, bus tickets and basically anything physically represented. But the abstract properties such as ideas, affections and glory are more difficult to measure and thus seem difficulty to rob. Or so it may seem. Time you can measure. I do it everyday. It takes me about 40 minutes to ride the bus to work. Three hours to design a half page, full-color vitamin ad. Less than five minutes to consume a bowl of ramen noodle soup. 20 minutes to write a blog entry. Stealing time from the company to email a friend about an upcoming gig -- a coulple minutes. Stealing time from my wife by watching the DVD Open Range -- a couple hours. Stealing time from God by avoiding Him when He calls -- several days. The question is how to repay those stolen moments. For the company who employees, me I can stay late and repay the stolen time. For my wife who comforts me, I can take her out for supper and listen to her. For my God who gives me grace and peace, I am here and I am listening.
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Sip Espresso, Gulp Lattes and Visit Often
"I think your sight rocks! It makes me want to sip espresso and gulp lattes!"
My response: Please feel free to visit often, bus your own tables and don't spill chai on the keyboard. Other than that, welcome to the café!
Saturday, August 14, 2004
The Lost Sea
Keith Flynn will be reading his poetry at a local independent bookstore this weekend. In preparation for attending the reading, I thought I would read through his book The Lost Sea
. There are a couple lines from his poems that captivate me.The greasy clouds slide across
the slippery harbor, gathering
the day in sheaves of fire.
from "Landscape with Train after Merton"
andWho was he to question the love of ruin
or the relentless efficiency, so amazed
at the courage of color that he would
never attempt to paint it, only duplicate
its forms, the throbbing knots and gristle
of anatomy books, the tempest poured from
the distances of mirrors or the sea
sighing back again its muscular nocturnal.
from "The Manneporte"
As a child, I remember listening to my grandfather reciting poems from memory. At an early age I was exposed to the beauty of literature, specifically poetry. I suspect most children are not exposed to poetry and therefore ignore or fear it when they grow into adulthood.
I am very much looking forward to listening to Keith Flynn read his poetry.
Monday, August 09, 2004
Instead of graphic design or marketing posting, I thought I’d post an excerpt from a book I just finished reading. The book is Dark Harbor: A Poem by Mark StrandXXIX
The folded memory of our great and singular elevations,
The tragic slapping of vowels to produce tears. . .
Shaping the soul’s solemn sounds on the edge of speech
That carry the fullness of intention and the emptiness
Of achievement. . .
This passage reminds me of the writings from Ecclesiastes: “Then I observed that most people are motivated to success by their envy of their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless, like chasing the wind.”
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Ah, the sweet success of a 1.7% return on investment (RIO). Yes it does look a bit meager. In fact, it appears down right despicable. Most marketing directors would sing hallelujah if they could bring numbers like that to their CEO. The reality of marketing wisdom is that it is very rare for a magazine marketing campaign to bring in a 1% ROI. Predictably, best results for a business to consumer model is to campaign in July and December. The rest of the year you run short marketing campaigns to keep the circulation numbers from dipping too low. That's why those annoying little insert cards (sometimes referred to as bind-in cards or blow-in cards) are in every issue of a magazine. Insert cards represent that consistent brand awareness and subscription (or gift subscriptions) offer. These cards act as a supplement campaign and sometimes the only campaign. Further, because the bind-in cards are inserted into the periodical there is less cost involved in sustaining the marketing campaign. Here is a real world scenario:
- 3 million inserts printed at $30,000.
- 3000 people complete the subscription forms and return the card to the magazine's circulation department.
- Of the 3000 that respond, 30% don't send in the funds for their subscription leaving the magazine fewer new paying subscribers.
- And the ROI reveals the campaign brought in a gross revenue of $100,000.
I am leaving some details out intentionally. As a "thank you note" the circulation department supplies a year's worth of great reading material.
So the question is, am I a Marketing Communications Coordinator fronting as a Graphic Designer? Or am I a Graphic Designer pretending he knows something about marketing?