Adobe is training me to be a jerk, #Adobe sucks

  A few weeks back I needed to work over the weekend to catch up from a bout with the flu. No one wants to give up a weekend to work, but sometimes there just isn’t another option. And then my computer went wonky, and then InDesign crashed, and then nothing worked. I was able […]

What Have You Learned Today?

In the “old days,” you attended K-12 classes. Then maybe you went to college, got a degree, got a job and progressed by working hard or making lateral moves to other companies to get ahead. Throughout your career, you learned from experienced people you worked with, and maybe you got a grad degree, but even […]

What else can catalogs do? Let’s talk return rates.

I’ve been working with a new client and in our first group meeting, where we get to know the company, we talked about pain points. One of the things that came up was that they had a 20% return rate. For some companies that is cause for considerable alarm, for others it’s not even going […]

Tips for Building a Great Team

In his new book Smarter, Faster, Better, Charles Duhigg looks at what makes a great team. One case study looks at Google where a group of innovative thinkers spent four years trying to answer this question. First, they looked at who was on a team and could find no pattern. It was only when they looked […]

Want to be more productive in 2017?

Want to make 2017 the year you get a spectacular amount of good work done? Start by getting organized with these organizational basics. Take care of yourself. If you don’t feel well, aren’t eating right, aren’t getting enough sleep, or are feeling generally stressed out, guess what? It’s going to be very hard for you […]

FIVE Catalog Design Fails

When assessing or critiquing catalog design I’m of the belief that every issue could “always be better.” However, most criticism points to small deficiencies that at the end of the day, do not make a big difference in overall results. Collectively they can make a big difference, but only if your catalog layouts truly stink […]

You won’t remember the pain

So right now, as you sit exhausted and numb from another holiday onslaught, take 5 minutes and write it down. Write down everything that didn’t work well. Write down what did work. Write down the things that made you go “Huh.” Write down the things that made you go “Wow!” Don’t worry about getting it right, […]

Rudolph and Catalog Trivia

It was 52 years ago today that Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer aired on TV. But what you may not know is there’s an important connection to the catalog industry. Back in 1939 Aaron Montgomery Ward (of THE Montgomery Ward store empire) asked copywriter Robert May to develop a coloring book for store patrons. The […]

What is value?

This seems like an easy question to answer, but value isn’t objective. Each of us knows what we as individuals consider a value. For me a vacation value may be an upgraded spa package or admission to museums and shows included in the price. Value to someone with more disposable income may be limousine service […]

How I learned to be happy and love the chaos

This fall, I was honored to be asked to speak at the NEMOA directXchange conference as part of the Xpress talks. If you have not been to a NEMOA conference I can’t recommend them enough, and I’m not just saying that. Though most of the presentations are longer and more in depth, Xpress talks are […]