Cheeps from Hunter-McMain

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


“From Concept to Completion,” Hunter-McMain Delivers Over Twenty Years of Design to Quilts, Inc.

Quilts IncQuilts, Inc. has been a valued client of Hunter-McMain, Inc. and it’s small division, Cheep Cheep Postcards™, since 1991. Hunter-McMain has served the advertising and graphic design needs of a wide variety of businesses in the Houston community since 1989, but our relationship with Quilts, Inc. is unique. With the growth of our two companies has come expanding opportunities for advancement and collaboration. Now, we are delighted to announce that our Cheep Cheep Websites™ division is designing a new website for Quilts as well! We anticipate being ready to unveil the new website design before the new year.

This month, in addition to developing the new website, the designers at Hunter-McMain, Inc. and The Cheeps are busily preparing advertising materials for Houston’s annual International Quilts Shows, which will take place October 24-November 1 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The International Quilt Festival is the largest convention held in Houston each year, as well as the largest annual quilt show in the world.

Hunter-McMain and The Cheeps are dedicated to providing creative advertising and graphic design services for many long-term clients, but we have an especially long and fruitful relationship with Quilts, Inc. According to Hunter-McMain’s founder and CEO Jeanne Parker, “Although we’ve been doing work for Quilts for over twenty years, each year is just as exciting as the last! They started with just one show, and now they’ve expanded to multiple shows in major cities. They’ve grown and we’ve grown with them.”

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In anticipation of the upcoming Quilts Shows, Hunter-McMain is giving away free tickets to the annual Houston Quilt Festival (Oct.24-26) to the first 10 people to like and share this article on social media! Be sure to tag us in your share on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest, and message us for details on where to pick up your tickets! (must be in the Houston area to be eligible)


Advertising That Works! Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor”

This week’s “Advertising That Works!” is interactive—and tasty!

Lay’s latest campaign, “Do us a Flavor: Tastes of America,” takes foods from four different regions of the US, makes them into a potato chip flavor, and asks America to vote!

Lays 4 Flavors

The bags themselves are great advertising: they encourage consumers to vote on their favorite, which also makes them want to buy not just one bag of chips…but all four! Not only does this increase sales in the short term, but it also increases brand engagement by making consumers think about the flavors they’re eating. Even if a given chip-eater doesn’t love any of the flavors, they’re still likely to visit the voting site and express a preference—after all, it’s fun to vote!

Once a consumer actually goes to vote, they encounter a cute website that’s cleanly designed and simple to navigate. Not only do you get to vote, but you also have the opportunity to learn more about the featured flavors. Site visitors can “meet” the “real people” who suggested the flavor from their region!

Lays Meet the Finalists

Lays Meet A Finalist

They can also experiment with this interactive map that shows how each flavor is doing in each state.

Hilariously, the south HATES Biscuits & Gravy flavored chips—I assume that’s because we know what it’s supposed to taste like.

Hilariously, the south HATES Biscuits & Gravy flavored chips—I assume that’s because we know what it’s supposed to taste like.

After you vote you’re redirected to this page, encouraging you to vote as many times as you like, via Twitter, Text or Instagram.

Lays Vote Again

Genius! This gets consumers engaged on multiple social media platforms, and keeps them engaged for the entire campaign! They also get a chance to win $10,000!

There you have it: the Lay’s Do Us a Flavor campaign is fun, engaging—and tasty! That’s why they’re this week’s “Advertising That Works!” We even got in on the fun here at Hunter-McMain, Inc. Our votes were:

Gyro: 4

Rueben: 1

Truffle/Biscuits: 0

I guess we fit right in with the rest of Texas:

Lays Gyro Map


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Top 10 Things Designers Hate: Number 7

Welcome back to our blog series, “Top 10 Things Designers Hate!” If you haven’t already, definitely go check out our previous posts in this series, about “borrowed” images, rate cards, and ads with too much text! Today’s post will cover another topic that is near and dear to the hearts of many designers: Fonts.

Specifically,

7) You say, “Let’s use something fun, like Comic Sans!”

One of the most important things to know about design is that Comic Sans is not your friend. Nor are Papyrus, Times New Roman, or any other over-used fonts that can be found in Microsoft Word.

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of  bonfx.com.

This is a good example of a poor font choice. The font is cutesy and fun, but the Harley-Davidson Riding Club should seem cool and tough! Image courtesy of bonfx.com.

Designers see fonts like this as a “lazy” design choice. Since they are so frequently used, they are perceived as all-purpose fonts. That means they are not going to provide that specific, individualized tone that you’re hoping to achieve with your ad. There are even websites devoted to pointing out bad uses of popular fonts.

Not that we don't love the funny papers! Image courtesy of listpod.net.

Image courtesy of listpod.net.

Your designer likely has a stockpile of hundreds of fonts that aren’t immediately recognizable by the average person. They will certainly have something with the feel you’re looking for, but with the added advantage that clients will not recognize it. That means that they’ll think of the font as unique, and associate it with your business—instead of with the Sunday funny-papers.

A great font can help send the message that you want to send, and tell your story, visually. Instead of asking for a specific font you already know about, try focusing on a general look and tone that you want for your ad! It may help to bring in examples of ads you like, and explain what about them works for you. With that information, your designer will be able to generate a design (with a font) that is perfect for you and your business.

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of 1stwebdesigner.com.

This Kodak ad makes great use of typography! By using a font that evokes an old typewriter, they emphasize the comparison they’re making between pictures and words. Image courtesy of 1stwebdesigner.com.

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Drumroll Please…!

laura headshotIntroducing the newest member of the Hunter-McMain team!

At the beginning of 2015 we welcomed Laura Sanchez to join the Hunter-McMain family as Production Coordinator. Laura has a degree from Texas A&M University, and is nearing completion of her Master’s Degree in Digital Media Studies at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

Laura enjoys baking, travel, country dancing with her fiancé, Edgar, and loves her Yorkie, Chacho, “like a son!” Laura’s Master’s Degree has a focus on Graphic Design & Photography, which makes her a dynamic addition to the team here at Hunter-McMain. As Production Coordinator, she has already put her meticulous organizational skills to good use maintaining schedules for the spring Quilts festivals and Home and Garden shows.

She is also using those skills to plan for her wedding, which is coming up at the end of April—just three weeks before she will complete her MA! So congratulations, Laura!

At Hunter-McMain, we’re all about community—we like to celebrate, and we love to eat. Finding “the right fit” was important when it came to hiring a new Production Coordinator. On her very first day, Laura brought an amazing chocolate chip cookie bouquet, and we knew she was going to fit right in!

 


6 Practices for Good Website Design

Business Tips and Trends

1…2…3…4…5!

This is the five-second rule for good web design. First impressions should be clear, concise and to the point. Your value proposition should be clear to your audience on your website and address their needs immediately. If they don’t see content that is compelling to them, then they will leave your website.

Command Your Audience

What do you want your users to do when they first visit your website? Would you like them to call you? Request a quote? Work with you? It could be anything so long as they understand what you’re asking them to do with your call-to-action.

Content Rules the Land

Do not let your content go by the way side otherwise your audience will see outdated content. Be bold, keep it fresh, keep it real and show them your company is active in creating new content. (Note: This also helps your organic search engine optimization!)

Navigating the Road

Moving from page to page in a website should be simple. Don’t litter your site with dead ends, 404 errors, or dead links. Navigation for your website should be smooth sailing!

R.I.P. Flash Websites

Flash websites used to be all the rage until customer bases starting growing via mobile devices. Most mobile devices don’t support flash or the website is painstakingly slow. Avoid flash and stick to the basics.

The Typography Tuxedo

Sometimes, we get bombarded by so many banners flashing, blinking, glaring at us through the computer screen that we can’t even digest the information that the site is trying to communicate. “Respect text contrast.” Take your typography skills out and let it go classic with black on white. It has and still is the most effective way to present type. With the right amount of contrast on your site, it will make all the difference.

 

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