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Recent happenings

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A new air of confidence for large magazine media brands

February 5, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Tony Silber describing the American Magazine Media Conference for Folio:

Yes, the “media” part of “magazine media” was an emphasis, but there was a kind of cockiness in the air this week, based on a growing realization that magazine brands are really, really good at creating world-class content—across platforms. And aggregating audiences. And generating revenue. "Yes," the unspoken sentiment seemed to be, "Facebook, Google, Buzzfeed and other new competitors lead in some ways, but they’re not as well rounded as we are, nor as skilled in content creation as we are, and they don’t have generations of brand loyalty working for them."

Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp took a swipe at the approach of many digital-only media brands when he said, “People who don't want to write listicles and want to do serious journalism are attracted to Time Inc.”

Ouch, BuzzFeed.

Maria Rodale also made a reference to low-quality internet content, but more obliquely, when she said, “Consumers are willing to pay for media that’s free of bullshit.”

But Hearst’s Carey put it best. “Who would have thought that the magazine business was such a springboard to all of these other media forms,” he said, “but we’re seeing that.”

Three reasons why print still matters

January 29, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Lisa Licker, owner of EMI Network, a content marketing and custom publishing company:

AllBusiness.com, an online resource for small businesses, reports that 56% of consumers trust print marketing more than any other method. For some customers, the tangibility of print translates to credibility. For others, the fact that print is traditional and time-tested means it’s also trustworthy. Whatever their reasons, consumers have expressed their confidence in print.

Have marketors gone overboard for digital?

January 26, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Shareena Patel at Print Power:

What you see is not necessarily what you get! Whilst digital channels offer tremendous reach, there is increasing questioning around the truthfulness of digital effectiveness. According to the latest Edelman Trust Survey, print and other traditional channels are still tops for trustworthiness.

Print ads attract more shoppers than social media

January 16, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Timetrades’ 2016 State of Retail Report surveyed 100 senior-level decision makers in retail and asked "What are some major initiatives your organization is using to drive in-store traffic?" Timetrade found:

As consumers are using their mobile devices mostly to compare prices, retail decision makers are trying to find the best ways to engage with them. Retail decision makers indicate they are looking to marketing campaigns through social (79%), special instore events such as sales (74%) and mobile ads (54%) to drive in-store traffic.

Then they surveyed 5,444 consumers asking, "Of the following marketing initiatives by retailers, which ones are most likely to drive you into their store."

Consumers respond that special promotions displayed on retailers’ web sites (55%), print ads (49%) and email campaigns (38%) are top initiatives that will most likely drive them into the store.

So while marketers are looking at new ways to attract shoppers, such as social media, consumers still find print advertising more engaging and effective. Social media campaigns (20%) and mobile ads (18%) were less than half as effective to respondents as print campaigns.

How has design changed since 1980?

January 15, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Zachary Petit for Print magazine:

So, how has design—and especially “award-winning design”—changed over the last three-and-a-half decades? We decided to break out the very first Regional Design Annual and find out. […] Why all the black and white? Cost restrictions made it so that longtime editor Martin Fox and his team could only select a handful of designs to feature in full color. Imagine how some of these would sing with just a few pops …

Thirty-six years looks even longer ago when viewing some of these designs. It makes me wonder what average, every-day designs were like.

Senior marketing figures back printed media

January 14, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Pablo Del Campo, worldwide creative director at the Saatchi and Saatchi agency:

There's been a lot of talk in our industry about how new media has transformed everything, but print still represents the toughest creative challenge in the business. If you can do great work in print you can do great work in any other media — that's because print, the oldest form of advertising, is a creative exercise in simplicity and distillation.

Being captivated by a print ad is similar to looking at a great painting or photograph in a museum. In a busy, crowded world, it's a moment of silence, stillness and communion of ideas between viewer and artist.

It's not all digital, Millennials want print

January 12, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /    

Aaron Manogue, Marketing Manager at Omnipress:

Now with the emergence of Millennials in the workforce, yet another dilemma faces each and every one of you. How does the largest generation currently in the U.S. workforce ... want to consume these valuable resources?

That’s why we conducted some in-depth research to find out just how exactly they prefer to consume educational materials, and the results were truly interesting, and will probably surprise most readers. A generation that has grown up most of their lives in the era of the internet, computers, and digital content, still hold a very high value for print and in some important cases even prefer it.

A beginner’s guide to kerning

January 10, 2016   /   By Michael Cohen   /   ,  

Janie Kliever at designschool.canva.com:

Have you ever looked at a word or phrase you’re typesetting and something just looked off about it?

It might just be a kerning problem. Kerning refers to the amount of space between two letters (or other characters: numbers, punctuation, etc.) and the process of adjusting that space to avoid awkward-­looking gaps between your letters and improve legibility.

It’s important to note here that kerning is a visual exercise; it’s about the perceived amount of space between letters rather than the actual distance between them. Kerning involves adjusting your typography to look right rather than creating mathematically equal spacing.

Kerning may seem like an unnecessary or unimportant detail, but adding it as a quick extra step at the end of your design workflow can make a big difference in helping typography-­focused projects look polished.

Software has gotten much better at kerning and word spacing but a bit of manual kerning is still sometimes necessary to make it look "right." It's also important to remember that not all software is the same. And even if you use the right layout software with the right settings, you can still be let down by a poorly spaced font.

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