14 December 2007

Fall Portfolio Show

Last Wednesday evening, the Art Institute of California – Orange County held its fall portfolio show. I teach the final graphic design portfolio class and am very happy for my students that are graduating. They put on a nice show and their portfolio where well designed. I would like to wish the graduates the best of luck in their next step. Remember that the secret to your professional and personnel careers is passion. Keep the passion and you will be successful.

04 December 2007

Gift Card Design

If you are looking for a designer that can assist you with the design of your gift card project, please let me know how I may assist you by contacting me.

It is that time of the year when major gift decisions must be adjudicated. Many people, $80 billions worth it is estimated last year, chose to give gift cards. That may be a shocker but did you know that is also estimated that $8 billion went unclaimed on those gift cards or expired. With that kind of profit it is no wonder you can find 100s of different gift cards. I was in my local Vons (that Safeway for the right coaster) and they have 250 choices. You name it and they now have gift cards. The California Lottery now offers gift cards and so does Goodwill. I am sure my wife would love getting a Goodwill gift card. Who said a diamond says I love you?

The design of gift cards has dramatically improved over the years. When they first started to come on the market they where nothing more then a company logo and a dollar sign. They worked but over time some how cash went out of fashion. Gift cards became the choice du jour. Designs have evolved in style to meet this huge demand. Now you can find gift cards that light up, sing to you, let you record a message for playback and have images that transform when you turn them like a 70s holographic baseball card. Target has made collectors of this “art form” over the past few years. I am sure we are all holding our breath in anticipation of how Wal-Mart will introduce a smiley face gift card that winks and tells you how much you are saving to try and top Target.

I have observed Starbucks has gotten into the action in a new way this holiday season. I was at my local Starbucks the other night using the last $1.53 left on the card that I found under the seat in my car. I glanced down and noticed that they have an offer where you can design you own personal Starbucks gift card (sort of). But we all know design comes with a cost. For paying $25 you get to customize a gift card. Here’s how it works; go online and pick from a few card options, mark it up with your coffee drink of habit, add you name and they will send you a $20 gift card in a pretty box which includes shipping. So for only $5, you can design your own gift card. What a bargain?

So fellow designers, keep up the new and innovational designs. The future is bright for gift cards. Corporate America thanks you $8 billion times over for losing or forgetting your gift cards. Remember to look under your sofa cushions for those lost cards and if you are buying for me, cash works best but I will gladly accept checks.