Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

From Concept to Completion. Creative Advertising and Graphic Design Services.


How Did Graphic Design Work Before Computers?

Many people fondly remember the “good ole’ days.” Back when everyone sat down for Sunday dinner, singing kids played hopscotch in the streets, and couples could get into the drive-in for a nickel—those were the days!

Of course when it comes to graphic design, the nostalgia starts to…wear off. Before the advent of programs like Photoshop and InDesign, creating logos and ads was a significantly more painstaking and time-consuming process than it is now! It involved cutting out pictures and text with razor blades, carefully gluing (or waxing) things in place, and drawing perfectly straight lines, over and over.

Hunter-McMain, Inc. has been in business since 1989—and when we started out, we didn’t even use computers! Our designers can remember back (not so fondly) to long hours cutting and waxing down all the components of an ad until it was just so—only to start over from the beginning when the client decided he wanted a different font or a new image.

In fact, we still have some old design tools sitting around the office! Designers used tools like these to create their designs:

Lectro-Stik WAX (left, center) was applied to the back of type photo paper to attach it to art boards. Rubber cement (right)was used to adhere regular paper or “placement” photos (that is, photos used to determine the placement of an image within the ad.)

Lectro-Stik WAX (left, center) was applied to the back of type photo paper to attach it to art boards. Rubber cement (right)was used to adhere regular paper or “placement” photos (that is, photos used to determine the placement of an image within the ad.)

These special pens known as Rapidiographs, were for creating specific line-widths by hand.

These special pens known as Rapidiographs, were for creating specific line-widths by hand.

This “die-cut” was a specially made (and expensive) metal stamp, used to emboss paper! The designer usually owned the die-cut and sent it to the printer to use on the final product.

This “die-cut” was a specially made (and expensive) metal stamp, used to emboss paper! The designer usually owned the die-cut and sent it to the printer to use on the final product.

This fancy stuff is called Letraset. The letters could be rubbed off onto paper one by one, but it had to be done right or parts of the letter wouldn’t stick and the image would be ruined!

This fancy stuff is called Letraset. The letters could be rubbed off onto paper one by one, but it had to be done right or parts of the letter wouldn’t stick and the image would be ruined!

This great video by the publishing and multimedia company Airows shows the pre-computer process of building an ad! Our veteran designers at Hunter-McMain have confirmed that, yes, this is actually how they used to do it. Watch:

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BONUS: This beautiful tool is called the “Gentle Rub Electric Eraser.” That’s right, it’s just an eraser. That is ALL it was used for. You’re welcome.

Gentle Rub Electric Eraser.

Gentle Rub Electric Eraser.

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Happy Halloween!

HalloweenCheep

We’re celebrating Halloween so here’s a little history lesson… Halloween is shortened for All Hallows’ Evening, also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th Century. Halloween was influenced from ancient Celtic festivals, which took stock of supplies and prepare for the winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops. Bonfires frequented the festivals to which insects were attracted to, which led bats to the area. Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Trick-or-Treating has been a customary Halloween tradition since the early 1950s. The tradition of going from door-to-door receiving food already existed in Great Britain and Ireland in the form of “souling”, where children and poor people would sing and say prayers for the dead in return for the cakes. Guising–children disguised in costumes going from door-to-door receiving food and coins, predates trick-or-treating, and is recorded in Scotland at Halloween in 1895. Many carried lanterns made out of scooped out turnips. Since pumpkins usually grow best in the fall, it probably evolved into the jack-o-lanterns we know of today.

Today, Halloween has exploded into many activities–trick-or-treating, attending costume parties, decorating, carving pumpkins, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, visiting haunted attractions, playing pranks and horror films. Wiki.answers.com claims that Halloween generates $6 million each year.

We hope you have fun tonight!


The Direct Mail Advantage

cheepcheeppostcards

Ask any expert in advertising and they will tell you there is no better way to sell a product that is more successful or cheaper than direct mail.

Direct mail is the only way to target your audience. Yes, you might reach a couple of million people advertising in a popular regional magazine, but out of this investment what are your actual odds in reaching the exact audience you are trying to target? Consider the amount of competing ads in a magazine, the money spent (as high as $28,000 for a full page ad) and the audience needing your product could mean a lot of wasted money.

The beauty of direct mail is a targeted mailing list. You can zero in on a specific audience. For instance, say you only want to reach seniors, who live in a home, in two specific zip codes, whose income is above $75,000 and drive trucks and are left handed. Cheep Cheep PostcardsTM CAN GET YOU THAT LIST! Mailing lists are based on your audience’s past history, their income, their ages, if they have children, their years of education, their purchases, their hobbies, their cars, and so on. Each time you refine your list you eliminate non-customers. The more you know about your audience the easier they are to reach and sell to.

Designing a Direct Mail Postcard. According to the United States Postal Service, 98% of consumers bring in their mail the day it’s delivered and 77 % sort through it immediately. Everybody looks at the postcard, but some experts say that there is 5-seconds to make your point. Using a coupon on the postcard usually gives it staying-around power. Here are few elements, we believe, should always be on your postcard direct mail piece:

  • Your company name and logo
  • Contact information
  • Return address
  • Clear bold headline
  • Subhead that leads to text
  • Graphic image or illustration that supports the message
  • Typography that enhances
  • Make an offer and a Strong “call to action”
  • Great colors that highlights your product or service

Cheep Cheep PostcardsTM has designed thousands of postcards. We are dedicated to producing high-quality direct mail postcards–exactly to your specifications–using custom designed, full-color printing for an exciting and effective way of direct mail advertising. For more information, please call 1-888-222-4337 or visit us at http://www.cheepcheeppostcards.com.

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The Metro News

We discovered a series of ads for Amsterdam’s Metro News that we think is “Advertising that Works!” The headlines all read “Bringing the world to you.” One ad features a fellow reading the Metro newspaper on a train with three world figures sitting around him –Russian president, Vladimir Putin, The Pope, and Angela Merkel, German Politician and former research scientist.

Another ad has a woman reading the news on a park bench while The Queen of England is riding by on her bicycle. These ads were developed by an advertising agency in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, called Animal Farm. We say awesome job!

For more “Advertising that Works!” visit our blog each Friday.

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Today is United Nations Day

unitednationschick

This day recognizes the United Nations organization. The United Nations is an international organization founded in 1945 after World War II by 51 countries committed to maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.

The UN World Food Programme provides food to 90 million people in 75 countries. The organization is made up of a General Assembly (193 Member States), a Security Council (5 permanent members–China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States and 10 non-permanent members), Economic and Social Council (54 members), and an International Court of Justice made up of 15 judges.

For more information on the United Nations visit their website http://www.un.org. Won’t you celebrate this day with us?


Keep It Clean!

KeepItClean-thecheeps

 

This chick at The Cheeps (me) noticed in my daily commute the various company trucks, vans and cars that have plastered their logo plus phone number on the sides of their vehicles. Here in Houston, Texas, there are many companies who advertise this way. The companies varied from Fed Ex, Joe the Plumber, Carpet Cleaning, Custom T-shirts, etc. Many were complete vehicle wrapped ads while several were magnet-style signs, and while others were painted on. I critiqued them on their visibility and whether or not it would actually lead me to find them. (Yes this is what graphic designers do while in heavy traffic). Some vehicles were clean, but several were not. One in particular was a full-blown advertisement on the vehicle, which is called a wrap vehicle. The cost of these are not cheap, somewhere between the price of $900- $4,000. This one in particular was colorful and wrapped from the front to the back and even over the roof. It had a QR code on it, but I couldn’t scan that while driving–even during the traffic jam slowness. It was bold and colorful but I did not see a phone number, an address or company name. It had a very small website address which I remembered though it was not easy to. As it turns out the web address was to the vehicle wrap company, not to the product that was plastered all over the vehicle. Another car had a simple magnet that couldn’t have been more than 24×24 inches that was clear on what the service was, and who to call, and what their website was… All understood while zipping by at 50 mph! They got a great critique from me. The cost for one of these signs is not much more than $50. Whichever type of vehicle advertisement you decide on make sure your vehicle is always clean, make sure your sign is easy to understand, and represents your company in the best way possible.


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Advertising that Works!

We have the opportunity to put together the show handout for the International Quilt Festival and in doing so we receive hundreds of ads in the quilting industry. We make sure they are print-ready and we see many beautiful ads. For this week’s “Advertising that Works”, we are highlighting our favorite! We chose “Contempo”! We love their ads; we always look forward to seeing what ad they will do for each show. What a neat way to advertise their new line of fabric. Thank you for the eye candy, Contempo!

VintageScrapbook