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Ford Fiesta Movement - Round 2

Kyle Rohde and I submitted a video to become the next Fiesta Movement agents. In 2009, Ford launched the Fiesta Movement, a huge success in building buzz for their new-to-the-states, Fiesta. In 2010 they are continuing on that momentum with round 2 of the Fiesta Movement. This time it will be in teams, and the challenges will epic. Please watch our entry video and shoot us a comment. They are announcing the new teams on Feb 22!

The Great REACTOR Garage Sale

It's 2010, and we're purging. Which is great news for you, because we have some great deals on office equipment, gadgets and furniture. Email hello [at] yourreactor [dot] com if you have questions or want to see any items in person.

IKEA Desks (images above)
2 Awesome, matching desks. These are very sturdy, the table tops are black/brown and are in great condition.
$100 each

MAC Desktops
450 mhz G4 (housed in a G3 case), superdrive, 256mb RAM, Two 80gb Hard Drives, OSX 10.4 — $50

Dark grey Power Mac G4 Tower, (send email for specs and price)

PowerMac G5 tower, 1.8Ghz, 2.5GB RAM. (send email for price and additional specs)

IKEA roll-up shades
2 white sheer shades
32"W x 8 feet tall — $10 each

HP Business Inkjet 2800 Printer
13" x 19", awesome POSTSCRIPT printer. 4 ink cartridges CMYK (Doesn't play very well with Mac, I would suggest PC)
$200 ($500 new)

2 IKEA coat hooks that look kind of like antlers.

 Samsung Blackjack Cellphone, hardly used
3G, Windows Mobile 5.0
Comes with all original accessories, including a never-used extended life battery and charger — $50

Jabra FreeSpeak 250 Bluetooth headset in box (only used a handful of times) — $25

Jabra FreeSpeak out of box, $15

ATT 974 Professional Office Phone — $70
This is an awesome phone

Hawking Broadband Booster
Prioritizes broadband for VIOP phone calls — $15

2 Lacie External Harddrives,
180GB each,
Porshe Design — $20 each

2 Pair High Performance RAM Modules
Dual Channel OCZ PC2 6400 DDR2 2GB (1GB each module) — $60 each pair

JBL Creature Computer Speakers- Sub-woofer works great, small speakers not so great — $15

Belkin USB Hub 7 port — $10

Nokia Bluetooth BH-800
Smallest Bluetooth I have ever seen, works great
All original accessories including lanyard $40

Portfolio Track Light Fixture. New in box, never opened. $15

Shark rechargeable sweeper vacuum with touch-free dust cup
Works best on carpet.
Model V1917SI, 7.2 Volt DC (extra wide 13" version with 3 speeds) — $30

Mini-fridge, white,
Whirlpool Model EL03PPXMQ with small freezer compartment
2.8 cu ft Compact ENERGY STAR® Qualified Refrigerator--White-on-White

Microsoft notebook optical mouse 3000, with scroll wheel and extra buttons — $10

Vonage phone adaptors. The larger one doubles as an ethernet router with 4 ports.

3 Reasons Print Design is Not Dead

Like the promise of a flying car and a cashless society, the invention of interactive technology (including the internet and all things digital) was supposed to eventually mark the end of print. All of these are dreams and haven't happened yet. The closest one to reality is the cashless society, but it'll probably never happen. I rarely carry cash anymore, but I still need it on occasion and it just doesn't seem feasible to create a money-charging technology for every single aspect of our lives. Tipping a bar tender or a coat check person at a party comes to mind. There is also a huge movement in the US to go back to cash-only budgeting as a way to limit over-spending. But I digress...

(Print, as I refer to it, is brochures, packaging, direct mail, even business cards. Basically, it's hand-held, physical printed pieces of marketing.)

Reason 1: Digital content is now striving to be more like print.
E-book readers are the prime example of this (Kindle, Nook, Sony eBook, etc). The technology of electronic ink is super cool and tries to mimic the printed experience. It's awesome technology and I can't wait to see where it goes, but this may just be the closest digital content will ever get to print.

Reason 2: Sustainability
The Print Council released a report recently, called Why Print is Green, that describes 10 specific ways in which print is green. "Our industry is a leader in recycling, sustainability and pollution control,” says Ben Cooper, Executive Director of The Print Council. “In fact we pioneered putting those concepts into widespread practice over the past three decades...Media buyers and marketers who believe that print is lagging as an environmentally friendly medium need to know these facts, which show that print is in fact leading in this critical area.”

A few facts from Why Print is Green:
  • In 2008, more than 57 percent of paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling, more than any material
  • Less than 10 percent of U.S. power comes from renewable sources, but in the pulp and paper industry, that figure is greater than 60 percent
  • The average person’s paper use for a year — 440 pounds — is produced by 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the amount used to power one computer continuously for 5 months

Reason 3: The Experience
This is the most important reason: A well-crafted print piece will engage at least 4 of the five senses – sight, sound, smell and touch. Whereas a well-crafted interactive piece will only engage two senses – sight and sound. (I suppose you could argue touch if you count the keyboard, mouse or touchscreen, but there is not enough variation in feeling to make the case).

Humans crave a sensory experience and we rely on our abilities to see, hear, touch, taste and smell. The more of those senses that are engaged, the better. Therefore, I say, print can have a longer lasting impression than digital media.

In conclusion:
Don't get me wrong, I love digital and interactive media and have fully embraced it myself. It has taken a prominent role in our culture and society and I don't ever see it going away either. But I believe that in order to have a successful marketing campaign there needs to be a mix of both digital AND print. I would even challenge digital-only companies to try marketing their products via print as part of an overall strategy.


Walmart Great Value Cereals

I've been watching the roll out of all-new design and packaging for Walmart's Great Value brand. So far, I have been impressed with the clarity and simple nature of the packaging. I don't think it works in ALL cases, but works quite nice in most. I just saw the new cereal boxes and love the playful nature and hand drawn illustrations. This is a great example of expanding a concept while still keeping the base of the design. It's still very recognizable as Great Value, but adds a fun touch for the kiddos. Even the names are fun. Kudos Walmart. Or shall I say "Fruity Sparkles".

REACTOR Trivia 003 - Cars We've Owned

Chase has already owned five cars since he's worked at REACTOR, I have owned one. Here is the historical list of each of the cars we have owned:

81 Mercury Capri
86 Pontiac Fiero SE
84Pontiac Fiero
84 Pontiac Fiero
94 Honda Civic
02 Subaru Impreza
01 Mazda Miata
03 Subaru WRX
05 Pontiac GTO (current)
93 Ford F150 (current)
# of accidents: 3 (all cars were totaled)

1980 Chevrolet Citation
1988 Toyota Camry
2003 Toyota Matrix
# of accidents: 0

Needless to say, we have very different patterns in car ownership and accidents!

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Restaurant freebies on your birthday

Since Clifton just received a lot of free meals from various restaurants for his birthday, we thought it would be a great idea to let our readers in on the fun. We're not just talking a free scoop of ice cream (everyone does that). Most of these deals do not have to be redeemed on your actual birthday, which is handy, because that's a lot of food! Some of them make you sign-up for their email list, but we can attest, they don't bombard you, and they promise not to sell your email. Here are some restaurants where you can hook up to the free food:
Famous Daves BBQ - Join the P.I.G. (Pretty Important Guest) Club and get a special birthday offer in your email. Bonus: you also get BBQ tips for grilling at home. Double Bonus: August 30th is "Dave's Day," they are giving a free entree to anyone named Dave! If your middle name is Dave, you get half price.

Garozzos - Just show up on your birthday with an ID and you get free chicken spidini. Yum!

Houlihans - When you join the email club, you get a free meal on your birthday. Clifton likes to order the Kansas City Strip, a $22 entree! Bonus: you get a free appetizer just for joining plus lots of other cool swag.

Minsky's - Signup for Free Minsky's for Life and get free a small pizza on your birthday. Bonus: free menu items throughout the year.

Red Robin - Join the Red Robin eClub and you get a free burger and fries on your birthday. Bonus: you get a free gift in your email within 24 hours of signup. 
Sheridan's - Become an E-Club member and get a free small concrete on your birthday. Bonus: you get a free treat just for registering.
Baskin Robbins - Join the Birthday Club today and receive a free 2.5 scoop on your birthday. Bonus: You also get special offers, coupons, and a sneak-peek at new flavors and treats.
Cold Stone Creamery - Enjoy a free creation on your birthday. Join the Birthday Club by clicking the link and create a My Cold Stone Account. Bonus: in addition to free birthday ice cream, you'll receive other special offers and coupons.
Did we miss someone? If you know of any other birthday deals, plug em in below!


We're really excited to announce our blog has been added to - an "online magazine rack" of popular topics updated every hour. You just pick a topic by searching, news category, or name, and Alltop brings it to you 24x7. You can find our blog by searching Design or Branding. There's lots of other cool blogs there too!

Is your brand image only worth two hundred bucks?

Commentary by Clifton:
Quickbooks and 99designs team up to provide uninspired logos for a couple hundred bucks.

Intuit (makers of Quickbooks) have teamed up with a website called to help provide logos and branding materials through a vehicle called "Intuit Creative Solutions".

Description of how it works (in their words):
Getting something designed at 99designs is easy. We help you run a “design contest”, where thousands of designers compete to create the best possible design to meet your needs. All you need is a clear idea of what you want designed and how much you're prepared to pay for it ... amounts generally range from $100 to $600 depending on the type of design you require.

I see Intuit as a company that promotes professionalism in small business. Doing it the right way, etc etc... So why on earth would Intuit officially support a "contest" approach to branding a company. Here are my thoughts on the matter:

Some of the logos on 99designs look fine, some are even quite nice, but how can the "designer" know enough about the business to make sure the logo is appropriate for their market and audience and culture. In a contest setting like that, it's just not possible. So while it may look nice, does it accomplish any goals of actually branding a company?

There is a point at which I understand how newly formed businesses with no start-up capital can be tempted by getting a nice-looking logo for less than $200. But I see professional, well managed companies on here that are running these design contests. Ask yourself this question: "Would I, as a professional, ever enter a 'contest', and give away my work for free in the hopes of winning $200." Probably not.

But going back to my main point, why would Intuit support this practice with their so-called "Intuit Creative Solutions". I'm not convinced that anyone on that site is getting a solution. Intuit is certainly not going to use 99designs when they are ready for a logo redesign. I just don't understand a company like Intuit supporting and promoting, where professional businesses can get a logo and brand from an amateur. It's sad, really.

PS, In this blog post, I'm not even getting into why this would be considered speculative (spec) work and why spec work is bad for the design community, devaluing what we do as professionals. That's another post for another time.

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