Friday, March 2, 2007

Sundance Institute...Opportunity for the Aspiring Filmmaker

Sundance is one of the premiere independent film festivals in the world. Its founder, Robert Redford has created one of the most successful organizations for aspiring filmmakers looking for awareness of their projects and hands on support from proven professionals.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Brand image reinforcement at Creative

Young and trendy...Creative ads display heavy emotions from young and trendy consumers who are having fun and appear at ease with the technology. Usually, the Creative displays are in close proximity to Apple iPOD and are quite contemporary in design. You can not miss them, which engages your consideration.

Creative and its approach to brand marketing

Creative is truly a global company, based in Singapore and targeting a 18 - 49 year old market. Traditionally, they always bundled their products with major PC manufacturers and avoided appealing to the high end side of the PC audio marketplace. It was always viewed as the perfect peripheral to a prepackaged system. Today, they are considered low end, as Bose, Harman Kardon and JBL started integrating with the personal computing community. Creative is considered a step down today. They are trying to build their brand back within the MP3 space and sales indicate they are succeeding.

The award of the ZEN Patent in August 2005 was an important milestone in our research and development efforts, particularly for personal digital entertainment products. It recognized our early innovation and development efforts in portable media players. The ZEN Patent was awarded to Creative for our invention of the user interface for portable media players, including many of the Creative ZEN and earlier NOMAD® Jukebox MP3 players, and found in some competing players, such as the Apple® iPod® products, and certain cell phones with music functions. The ZEN Patent covers the user interface that enables users of portable media players to efficiently and intuitively navigate among and select tracks on players which store large numbers of songs.
--Excerpt taken from the 2006 Annual Report located at

Emotional attachment to my Zen V

Creative is expanding the power of the personal computer with a wide range of interactive PDE products that comprise MP3 players, portable media centers, multimedia speakers, digital and web cameras, PC peripherals, graphics solutions, revolutionary music keyboards, and video & communications products.These products and solutions are marketed to consumers and system integrators through a worldwide distribution network that include traditional marketing channels, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the Internet.Creative's product innovations have won numerous international awards and accolades throughout the years. The more recent and notable awards include the "Best of CES" awards for four consecutive years in 2003 (Prodikeys), 2004 (ZEN Portable Media Centre), 2005 (ZEN MicroPhoto MP3 player) and 2006 (ZEN Vision:M MP3 player). The Creative ZEN Micro also won the Ziff Davis Media "Best of DigitalLife 2004" award.

My brand, CREATIVE

Thanks to my sons and a love of smooth jazz (not readily available on most radio stations), I really love my MP3 player, the Zen V from Creative. Creative (NASDAQ: CREAF) is the worldwide leader in digital entertainment products for the personal computer and the Internet. Creative was founded in Singapore in 1981 with the vision that multimedia would revolutionize the way people interact with their PCs. Famous for its Sound Blaster sound cards and for launching the multimedia revolution, Creative is now driving digital entertainment on the PC platform with products like its highly acclaimed Zen and MuVo lines of digital audio players. The company's innovative hardware, proprietary technology, applications and services leverage the Internet, enabling consumers to experience high-quality digital entertainment - anytime, anywhere.

Over the years, I have remained loyal to the Creative sound products because they have performed nicely and always receive solid reviews. I've never had a problem with any product selected from their lineup. Also, the designs are usually contemporary, but not too far out, just hip enough. The name of the company is symbolic and one of the first to brand with the multimedia PC community. I feel about them as folks do about the Saturn product line.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Mixed message for kids

I have always felt ill at ease with the signs warning of "Children at Play". In most cases, it gets the point across to motorists, but I've always feared that it might promote play in the area by children. After researching it online, I find that a number of jurisidictions across the US are questioning whether the sign should be redesigned or replaced entirely.

Click It or Ticket! One of my favorite signs!

Yes, this warning sign was quite creative and its message about as clear as you can get. The rectangle shape is designed to relay important information to the public and the color coordination emphasizes the most important message...buckle up! The sign uses a font style and size with the symbol of a belted driver that is clean communication. Last, but not least, the receiver understands what the law requires and the consequences.

One of my favorite Broadway plays

In thinking about the right culturally ladened sign, I immediately thought of the poster for Smokey Joe's Cafe. You can almost hear the music, crowd noise and see the smoke rising from the image. It immediately transports me to the place and the experience of the Broadway performance. The off centering of the graphic catches the attention and the color coordination, blue and purple font colors against the black background with the border of neon signs is catchy.

A distinctive computer logo

I've always liked this software logo more than the product. I use Final Draft, which has more features and is the industry standard for screenwriting.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pictures are worth a thousand words...

Our readings inform us that images serve three functions,
  1. Pictures
  2. Symbols
  3. Signs

As we continue our work on the documentary, Driving the Magic: The Carl Jackson Story, we learn that one of the most powerful images of Mr. Jackson's life happened at the 1995 Masters golf tournament. The embrace of golf legend, Ben Crenshaw by his longtime caddy, Carl Jackson triggered hundreds of international sports stories. I cannot post the image on this blog, but you can do a search online for Carl Jackson and golf and find it with no problem.

Welcome to our town...

My parents are 78 years old each and lifelong residents of North Carolina. As a kid, they told stories of racial segregation and the psychological warfare applied against them via signs and symbols. My father informs me that nothing hit home as hard as "Whites Only" signage.

Symbols of strength and fortitude

Phillip Simmons, a master blacksmith and resident of Charleston, SC has created international works of art in iron. His gates in particular tell stories and deliver symbols that miss the untrained eye.

Time Passages...

I love the sleek, welcoming design of my Apple 30" Cinema display. It is where I spend most of my time these days editing video on Final Cut Pro. Apple has done an outstanding job with emotional design. The Apple systems have distinctive designs and the workflow of the operating system is an art unto itself.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A view of our family farm (Iredell County, NC) from the kitchen window of my parent's home. Today, the family of wild turkeys have decided to take the day off! Yes, that is a golf fairway...the result of two summer's work by my younger brother. To the far right of this shot, in the woods, lies the grave of a revolutionary soldier. We know very little about this man, but it is a story I plan to research one day.
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