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Moonshot Thinking & the Age of Innovation

Tue, Mar 15, 2016 @ 01:18 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Literature Design, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Advertising Design, Business to Business Advertising, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature Design, Design Agency, Ad Design

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Wed, 03/09/2016 - by Kaylie Duffy, Associate Editor, @kaylieannduffy

This blog originally appeared in the March 2016 issue of Product Design & Development.

Kaylie_Duffy_headshot_small_3.jpgThe media often portrays the present world as a war-torn planet on its way to self-destruction. Images of poverty, disease, violence, and civil unrest often fill our T.V. screens when we turn on the nightly news.

With all the negative imagery we see on a daily basis, it may come as a surprise to find out that the Earth and its inhabitants are actually getting progressively healthier, safer, and more educated.

Peter Diamandis, XPrize Foundation CEO, reiterated this point throughout his keynote speech at SolidWorks World 2016 in early February.

A multitude of students, engineers, designers, and hobbyists crowded into the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in downtown Dallas to hear the engineer, physician, and entrepreneur explain how technology is turning areas of scarcity into abundance.

“It’s my pleasure to talk about the implications of exponential technologies, and the realization that in this room are sitting the minds that are going to be creating the future,” began Diamandis.

He explained that the news media preferentially feeds its viewers negative stories, because that is what most minds pay attention to. In fact, an ancient sliver of the temporal lobe called the amygdala acts as an early warning detector. It scans everything humans hear and see for anything that may be harmful.

So, given the array of news stories watched and read throughout the day, most individuals will preferentially focus on the negative news. But according to data presented by Diamandis, the world is actually in an extraordinary place.

“Over the last 100 years, the per capita income for every nation on this planet has more than tripled,” explained Diamandis. “The human lifespan has more than doubled, the cost of food has dropped 13-fold, energy has dropped 20-fold, transportation [has dropped] hundreds-of-folds, and communication [has dropped] thousands-of-folds.”

Therefore, if we take the time to examine the numerical evidence for abundance, it is quite incredible.

Peter Diamandis. Image credit: SolidWorks
Diamandis presented a number of graphs throughout his keynote, explaining that airplane accidents are almost nonexistent, while automobile-related deaths are reducing yearly. Another eye-opening graph showed how the annual global death rate due to natural disasters is declining.

“Look how this has dropped as we’ve put assets into space to view the Earth; as we’ve gotten better sensors and networks with the ability to actually predict natural disasters before they happen and get help to individuals in that golden hour,” said Diamandis.

Why is this happening? Why are we creating this extraordinary world of abundance?

According to the XPrize CEO, it’s a direct result of the exponential technologies we’re creating and the financial ease of creating startups in the present day.

“Back in 2000, the cost of the bandwidth, the servers, the software, the people was $5 million dollars to get a startup going,” mused Diamandis. “Today after [Amazon Web Services], after open source, we’re down to $5,000.”

Because the former prohibitive cost of launching a startup has dramatically dropped, the number of entrepreneurs, engineers, and innovators creating the technology of the future is radically increasing. Plus, the bright minds of today are using better tools to build better tools, which in turn build better tools.

In 2010, the average thousand-dollar computer was running at about 100 billion (1011) calculations per second, which is more computational power than the entire U.S. space program had in the 1960s and ‘70s. However, seven years from now in 2023, the average thousand-dollar computer will run at 1016 calculations per second.

View more: Top 5 from SolidWorks World 2016

“[That’s] just a number. Unless you speak to a neurophysiologist, who says, ‘That’s the rate at which your brain and my brain does pattern recognition,’” said Diamandis. “Twenty-five years later, now a thousand bucks buys you the computational power of the entire human race.”

The point that Diamandis was making is that faster, cheaper computational power is the bedrock on top of which the Internet of Things, robotics, 3D printing, synthetic biology, artificial intelligence (AI), and a variety of other technologies are progressing.

In addition, the planet now has more connected individuals than ever before.

“[The planet’s population] just crossed the seven billion mark. We’re on a rampage to make people healthier and better educated,” explained Diamandis. “Back in 2010, we had 1.8 billion people connected on planet Earth. Today, we’re about 2.9 billion. The low estimate by 2020 is that we’ll go to 5 billion connected minds.”

The 5 billion new minds coming online will lead to a massive increase in innovation, representing tens of trillions of dollars flowing into the global economy. Due to the abundance of improved technology and increased connectivity, Diamandis believes that we can take part in moonshot thinking.

“Today, you have the ability to be audacious... to take your grandest dreams and make them true,” he mused. “Moonshot thinking is the ability to go ten times bigger, rather than ten percent bigger.”

Startups can now start with a clean sheet of paper, using the best design tools, the best robotics, the best AI, and the best materials. And when you approach a project with this clean sheet of paper, you can create a product that is ten times better.

“Today any of us who wants to solve a problem – to use the tools of design to take what’s in your mind and manifest it – can,” explained Diamandis. “We’re living during the most extraordinary time in human history.”

Email Kaylie.Duffy@advantagemedia.com.

Kaylie Duffy
Associate Editor
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Purchasing printed marketing communications.

Mon, Oct 26, 2015 @ 02:20 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Printing, Literature Design, Promotional Brochure Design, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Advertising Design

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There might not be as much printed marketing communications today, but it still plays an important role.

Printing is more of an art than science. Here are a few things to master:

  • Use high-resolution images
  • Properly prepare your high-resolution PDF files for printing
  • Select the right paper to showcase your beautiful images
  • Printing brokers are worth their weight in ink
  • Press checks prevent time and money consuming problems
  • Wrap your precious brochures in 25 piece packages so they don't self-destruct in a sales person's car trunk
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Printing methods today are almost like high quality photography. Printing quality is based on how many lines per inch the small dots that make up images measure. Years ago 133 lines per inch was common, today 300 lines per inch is the standard. With photographs that have 600 lines per inch of resolution your photos will pop right off of the page. The detail will amaze your reader and really make a good impression of your product or service.

All the high resolution in the world will be lost if your files aren't prepared properly. Some common text editing and publishing programs may not be accepted by a high quality printer. Adobe's programs such as Illustrator and InDesign are the industry standard and will coach you step by step on the proper preparation of your files. Small files cannot make great printing.

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Great printing comes down to great paper. Most printers will use a number two grade paper if you don't request a higher grade. Higher grades of paper are smoother to render your high-resolution images. Higher grades of paper are whiter to bring clarity to your images. If you want to be environmentally responsible, you will want to use Forest Stewardship Certified (FSC) paper. FSC paper is only a few cents more expensive but the logging practices used to make the paper preserved the forest eco-systems where they were harvested. It takes tens of thousands of years for a forest to establish a symbiotic eco-system between the animals, insects and plants. Clear cutting a forest destroys that eco-system. Even if you planted the same number of trees of the same species, that will not bring back the insects and animals. They left when the trees were clear-cut. FSC forestry only cuts a small percentage of mature trees while preserving the smaller trees, under canopy scrubs and ground cover. Preserving the eco-system so the insects and animals can't tell the difference.

Printing is a mature profession. It pays to hire a professional to manage your printing requirements. You'll receive a competitive price, a high quality job, on time and shipped to save you in the long run. Sure you can purchase printing online but be careful. Test out providers and see their quality and delivery before trusting your annual report to them. Professional printing brokers, like Lohre & Assoc., have relationships with printing factories that only sell to professional brokers. What is the role of a professional broker? A professional broker is an individual or organization who knows the printing process and can be sure that the files are prepared properly, inks and paper specified correctly, and finishing operations are understood and communicated. Printing factories to the trade don't have the time to educate the general public and waste valuable press time. Anyone can learn the trade but printing job shops won't work for the public.

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Press checks will save you more grief than you can imagine. We went to a press check last week and immediately realized that a varnish had been applied to the entire sheet. This feature wasn't in the client's graphic standards. Potentially, many issues might have resulted if undiscovered: placing blame, job delays, added costs and wasted paper and time. No one would be happy except for the paper and ink companies. Even though the job had been specified properly with the Customer Service Representative (CSR), a previous version of the specifications that were subsequently revised is what the pressman received inadvertently. It only took a few minutes to stop by the press during the press check and it prevented a ton of problems. Everyone was happy and the client never even knew.

Post-press processes are the final touches on your printed marketing communications. Don't let it become your downfall by not understanding the grain of your paper, how to score and fold, and properly packaging and shipping your finished product. We always wrap our literature in packs of 25 so when they are shipped or stored in a sales person's car trunk the vibration will not sandpaper the ink right off of the page. Industrial sales literature can last for decades. There is no sense in wasting any due to high moisture environments, dust, or vibration.


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How to Create Emotional Marketing Communications

Wed, Mar 20, 2013 @ 11:04 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Advertising, Industrial Marketing Advertising, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Literature Design, Promotional Brochure Design, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Marketing and Advertising Fun, Advertising, Cincinnati Advertising, Advertising Design, Business to Business Advertising, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature, print advertising, Advertising Literature Design, Corporate Advertising Literature, print advertisements, Cincinnati Literature Design, Advertising Agency, Ad Design

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To create marketing people love, you need to appeal to their emotions.

As said in his blog, "People buy on emotion—and justify by logic." You can learn more about emotional persuasion at the Wikipedia post where it lists these appeals to emotion:

  • Advertising
  • Faith
  • Presentation and Imagination
  • Propaganda
  • Pity
  • Seduction
  • Tradition

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This ad "connects" with the viewer because it contains a human hand. The connectors on the fingers make you think about why they are there. Are they hurting the hand? What are they doing there? Adding a body part into an ad is like adding a person. It's also one reason testimonials are successful when there's a photo of the person, looking at you, telling their experiences. If the story is good enough, your opinion will be changed.

 

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Why does this ad evoke a visceral reaction? No one likes a messy job. Here's a solution. And then, there are those hands again! You only have a few seconds to introduce the main benefit and visual that backs it up. The double entendre, from something that you can hold in your hand to a push-button effort, always helps develop the main visual and headline. Your brain looks at it like a riddle. And who doesn't like trying to solve a riddle?

 

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This is one of the most humorous ads the agency has ever produced. It was fun to do and started out as a takeoff on the Splice Girls, but the lawyers said we had to make it a parody. So out went the attractive young ladies, and in came the construction workers dressed in drag. Those husky models were a bit surprised at the costumes we had for them! Like other successful ads we've done, it was immediately ripped out of the publication and stuck on the company billboard with callouts of the likely suspects in the company identified! It's the print equivalent of going viral.


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This is the most "graphic" ad the agency produced and so were reactions. Some people really didn't like it, but most were amused and everyone remembered it. Phone calls to the client (immediately after publication) complained it cast the industry in a bad light. (The rendering business is in the business of reducing carcasses to pulp for further processing.) This ad style is hard to pull off. Industrial marketing's job is to tell a simple story with a benefit. Not to polarize the market or give the viewer any reason to go elsewhere. If you can't be funny, memorable and educational in industrial advertising, you're on thin ice. Negative ads almost always backfire in B2B. Your local TV news is all about bad news, social media is about good news. Read more about that effect in The Economic Times.


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The use of strong, evocative words can make your ad work. The play on words leads to the small application photo.


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Trade show displays can elicit feelings as well. It was a bit of a roller coaster ride for the creator of Connectosaurus Rex. Can you imagine having sold the idea and then having to build it! This is a highly conservative industry, but the final product was a big hit. We even added a sound track. As the visitor walked by the monster piped up and told a joke!

This is bull

Last but not least, this ad won awards for its direct simplicity. Rules were made to be broken and this ad was negative toward the rumors competitors were circulating about our client. The ad reiterated those rumors and then refuted them.


If you liked this post, contrast it with Green marketing communications. Where you are going to have to use your brain, at some point.

How to Create Green Building Marketing Communications, Mar Com Blog post


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Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

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Integrate Your Corporate Brochure Strategically Into Marketing Communications

Tue, Feb 05, 2013 @ 01:48 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Literature Design, Promotional Brochure Design, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Advertising, Advertising Design, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature, Advertising Literature Design, Corporate Advertising Literature, print advertisements, Cincinnati Literature Design

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The introduction, the elevator speech, why choose me?

These are all goals of the introductory corporate marketing communication brochure. A combination of visual magnetism, history, curiosity and purpose. You certainly want someone who actually reads it to come away clearly understanding who you are and why they should trust you with their business.

In this example the company has three divisions. One division had invested in an attractive line of product literature and a corporate overview. Their marketing communications needed the corporate overview because the market didn't know the parent company as well as other players. When the time came for one of the other divisions to need a corporate brochure it was a natural to borrow some of the design elements and customize it to their market. The results are that as a whole, if all the divisions were being presented, the parent company looks focused on their markets and their customers.

Brochure Cover Design 1Brochure Cover Design 2

The brochure cover's number one purpose is to get someone to pick it up and open. In this case it is the reflection of a photo from the founding of the company in 1951. Hundreds of employees attended a holiday program in their new plant; the photographer captured them as they all turned around the face the camera. When we create the third brochure we'll use the same reflected image but in their product.

Cover Strategies:

  • Visual Magnetism - Use a clever visual technique that intrigues the reader and teases them with what the company does
  • Company name needs to be prominent
  • The company tag line should point to mission and vision

Usually these brochures don't stand-alone and are a continual process of evolution from previously printed pieces and web sites. And that's a good thing; rarely does a brand need a complete overhaul. The best thing is to stay on course and make small corrections. This sequence of photos illustrates the evolution of a rock crushing machine company over the last 50 years.

Brochure Design 1Brochure Design 2Brochure Design 3Brochure Design 4

Now for the reveal - the first spread! Make it good because it sets the tone for the rest of the brochure. 

Brochure Spread Design

In this example a cutaway drawing is used to illustrate the benefits and features of the product.

For multiple page brochures and catalogs a consistent grid is needed to establish the rhythm of information. To show the user where to find the information he is looking for. English readers follow an established path from the upper left to the upper right to the lower left and then the lower right. A "Z" path.

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This image illustrates the cover and inside page grid for a four model machine tool spindle drill head.

Brochure design Cincinnati resized 600

This inside spread illustrates all the different voices you can mix and match to provide content and not tire the eye:
• Clear statement of who we are
• Our sister companies
• An aerial view of the plant says it all about the size and capabilities
• Our personal sales approach
• Our history through the group photos and the timeline
* For more information go to our web site

Finally, after the brochure is all done, out in the field and selling product your job isn't done. Listen closely to the feedback coming from the field and incorporate new ideas and benefit/features that help market the product. Sometimes the simplest changes help push just the right buttons in the sales cycle.



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Technical Illustration Guide for Marketing Communications

Tue, Jan 15, 2013 @ 10:52 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Advertising, Literature Design, Process Equipment Marketing, Creative Industrial Marketing and Advertising, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Equipment Marketing and Advertising, Advertising Design, Industrial Process Equipment, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature, print advertising, illustration, technical illustration, Corporate Advertising Literature, print advertisements, Advertising Agency

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Technical illustration has evolved along with the industrial revolution and then the computer age to be an integral part of marketing communications.

Fortunately, it has also become easier over the years and now technical illustrations can be mastered by all types of employees.

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Notice how easy it is to see various elements in the illustrations above. Important parts are tinted red and the red color projects off the paper into the foreground. The blue border recedes into the background and makes the panel appear in three layers: Background blue border, middle ground gray valve and foreground red components.

Still, many lessons learned over the centuries by illustration artists haven’t been written into computer software and that is where history can come in to make your technical drawing better:
1. Make sure your illustration can be copied in black and white. Use black lines for the most important and blue tints that will disappear when you copy the illustration.
2. Red color brings the object to the foreground and blue recedes the item.
3. Better to use callout lines and place the descriptive text next to the described item than labeling the illustration A-Z or 1-N.

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To the right, here’s another example of warm colors being used for important parts of the technical illustration and blue tinted objects receding behind the particles. It helps communication to use the red shift to help communication and not hinder it.

Technical drawings are quick and easy with Adobe Illustrator but communication takes a quantum leap when you add an isometric dimension. And all the measurements in the three dimensions can be taken directly off of the drawing.

For the ultimate in communication learn to use a 3D program like AutoCAD or Lightwave. Objects can be rotated to where they communicate what you are trying to portray and then fine tune the sectioning.

Steps 1, 2 and 3, will never go out of fashion for describing a sequence of events in a technical illustration. As is shown in this operation drawing, to the right, the viewer can easily see the important parts because they are tinted red as you go through the process.

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Our resident illustration artist, Art Director, Robert Jeffries, has created the perfect dimensional drawing here by coloring the important things black and the less important items blue. The dimensions and their locations will come across in a poor thermographic copy.

Technical Illustration Separtation of Planes

Don’t let your chart junk interfer with communication! When laying out a chart, remember the numerals are the most important thing. Don’t make the grid black lines and the text blue! It won’t copy and it will give your reader eye strain.

Your eye naturally follows the three step process in this technical illustration, to the right, because your eye follows the red colored objects.

Classic tinting and shaping of the different planes in your technical illustration is important to separate the planes. Remember, a change in direction means a change in tint. Any object can be clearly drawn by just using gray tints. Adobe Illustrator has some great tools for this as you can position the changing highlights across a surface to make it look like anything from round to oval.


Always remember that we read from left to right and from top to bottom. Arrange your multi-step technical illustrations in that order to make them flow most naturally. If you’re illustrating for other languages follow their conventions. Japanese read from top to bottom and from left to right.

It might sound obvious but the closer an item is to another the more related it should be. That means captions should be close to the object it describes. Even visual elements relate more to each other if they are closer together. The further away an object is from another the less it relates to it. And this also means that items that relate equally to each othr should be spaced equally from each other.

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This simple two step process comes across beautifully because it reads from left to right, the callouts are near the object and it would still communicate it you removed the blue color.

 



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All the components we have discussed in this blog come together here in this simple but beautifully communicated technical illustration, to the right. The black lines clearly outline the important features. The warm colors emphasis the features being discussed and if copied would turn a medium gray tint.

In the Diverter Valve illustration below, you will see how naturally understood the tan colored pebbles flow. It’s because they seem to be floating on top of the blue colored valve. The pebbles’ color helps communicate the message.

We hope you have enjoyed this primer from Cincinnati technical illustration and drawing from Lohre & Assoc. It's what comes from over 35 years of experience, so don't get discouraged. Good design is obvious. If you keep that in mind you won't go wrong. Sometimes I say to my staff, "Does it pass the two-by-four and a six-pack test?" Have your audience drink a six pack of an adult beverage and hit them over the head with a two-by-four wooden board. If they can't understand what you are trying to communicate, go back to the drawing board! Chuck Lohre.

Technical Illustration & Photo

 

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2013 Industrial Marketing Communications Trends to Watch

Fri, Jan 11, 2013 @ 10:16 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Advertising, Literature Design, Industrial Marketing and Advertising Literature, Cincinnati Advertising, Advertising Design, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Advertisement Design, Advertising Literature, Advertising Literature Design, Corporate Advertising Literature, print advertisements, Cincinnati Literature Design, Advertising Agency

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2013 is shaping up to be a big year for industrial marketing communications.

Process Equipment Marketing300

Internet marketing communications is being redefined by what's called inbound marketing. It's focusing on getting folks to visit your site, providing the content they want and tracking their visits so you can display custom ads just to them all across the internet as well as offer them targeted content. Fortunately there are tools that make this easier and less expensive.

Trade shows are continuing to be a necessary component of marketing communications but once again almost instant responses to visitors requests via email/Twitter and combining trade show leads with internet leads centralizes customer relationship management. And the tools are there to make this task easier and less expensive.

Finally the printed sales literature component of your marketing communications is taking a page from the internet as well, for shorter sound bites of information but also to encourage engagement of the prospect.

If you would like to learn more about inbound marketing, please request our Guide to Web Site Content and Prospect Management, below.

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