Yo Creatives, Your Job is Safe from Robots

If you are in the creative department, your job is safe for a good long while. Research scientist, and AI provocateur, Janelle Shane used artificial intelligence to try and name paint colors. She fed the AI 7700 Sherwin Williams color samples. Below are her results.   Enjoy your holiday weekend, secure in the knowledge that your future […]

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 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 […]

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 […]

What can you do with 16 more pages?

It’s official, postage is going up about 2.5% for catalogs—bummer. BUT the weight threshold (piece pound break) for weight based postage on catalogs has been raised from 3.3 oz to 4 oz. (Translation for newbies: If your catalog weighed over 3.3 oz. the USPS charged extra to mail it. The new limit is 4 oz.) Depending on how many […]

Bravo Lands’ End!

It took me a while to open my Fall Lands’ End catalog because I wasn’t expecting much and previous catalogs have left a small dent in my forehead from banging it on the table as I browse. Boy was I wrong! This season’s catalog is a benefit driven, customer loving gem, that celebrates everything that Lands’ […]