Size doesn’t really matter!


I have seen so many times lately my peers bragging about how many people they have in their email database and the relatively short time it has taken them to get a database that big. But the question that immediately pops into my head is… what is the quality of the people in that database?

Now I understand that it is not always the person you know who will buy from you, it could be a referral from them to someone in their circle of influence that ultimately leads to a sale, but I can’t help but think that the quality of the person referring and subsequently the quality of the lead, should be the focus, especially if you are looking for growth in your business.  I remember my business coach telling me over and over, ‘people refer like’, which means they will refer people like themselves.  So if you have a database full of people that are price driven, difficult to deal with shoppers why would you want to receive referrals from them?  It only wastes your time and that of your sales team.

Instead we are starting to find success in really getting to know all the people in our database. Who they are, what they like, what they look for and what is important to them.  Then we market to them with information that is relevant, timely and will help them.

It is important to remember that increasingly generation y is starting to be in positions of influence and they have grown up being bombarded daily by literally thousands of different forms of advertising, if they be on the backs of taxi’s, in iphone apps, magazines, billboards, emails, online banners, television, radio +++ so what is going to stop them from just deleting or tuning out to these sorts of advertising formats?

Sending out email blasts to 2500 people that you don’t really know much about and telling them things that you don’t really know if they want to know and then not really measuring the results, you have to question the effectiveness of this kind of activity. Doesn’t this really just contribute to the bombardment of advertising that we all receive daily?  I know I personally receive upto 10 email newsletters a day and I automatically delete most of them.

Wouldn’t businesses be better to spend the time focusing on analysing their email marketing campaigns in particular to find out who clicked through and then did they buy, what is the return on investment for that campaign? Online advertising makes it so easy to get the results.  Imagine being able to report back on your marketing activities with information such as ‘ we have secured 50 new business leads in the last quarter from our email marketing campaigns which has resulted in our website generating 20% more interest than our competitors. Our last email campaign drove 12 new enquiries to our sales team and we have learned that there is a trend in prospects wanting to know more about X product or service?

I want to see more of my peers bragging about these kinds of results instead of the size of their database. I really believe it is not the size that matters it is the quality and how you are measuring it.

Yours in design


Annual reports are yum





I just wanted to share this little gem which shows what amazing things can be achieved when you have a creative agency and an open-minded client. Croatian creative agency Bruketa & Zinić have designed an annual report for food company Podravka, the biggest food company in South-East Europe, that has to be baked in an oven before it can be read. Called ‘Well Done’, the report features blank pages printed with thermo-reactive ink that, after being wrapped in foil and cooked, reveal text and images. Empty pages become filled with content after being baked at 100°C for 25 minutes. To be able to reveal Podravka’s secrets you need to cover the small booklet in aluminium foil and bake it. If you are not precise, the booklet will burn, just as any overcooked meal. If you have successfully baked your sample of the annual report, the empty pages will become filled with text, and the illustrations with empty plates filled with food. The annual report is printed on paper Conqueror Laid Brilliant White 120 g/m2, Munken Polar 130 g/m2 and Soporset 90 g/m2 and written with typography Thema by Nikola Djurek and Lexicon by Bram De Does.

Yours in design,

Christmas lights…

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and hundreds of people around Brisbane have certainly proved to be jolly with their magnificant Christmas light displays.

Res North 3rd Everton Hills

I have to admit, going Christmas light looking is one of my favourite annual pastimes. I love not only seeing the displays, but the reactions of everyone when they see something they like. It’s a truly magical time of year.

My favourite display was at 17 Bowers Road South, Everton Hills – it was a Christmas wonderland. It won the best residential display on the north side of Brisbane in 4KQ’s competition, and I could definitely see why. Seriously – I have never seen anything like it. I am sure it would have taken all year to design and put up. There was goodness knows how many lights, a rainforest walk-through, lots of separate displays, and a couple of giant fireworks lights. Amazing. They even had a sausage sizzle, and a merry-go-round for the kids.

I would definitely recommend going to see it before Thursday December 24 (when the official viewing time ends) between 7pm and 10pm.

For a list of other fabulous displays click here.

Yours in design,


Memories on my walls…


I’ve always been a poster pilferer. I go to gigs and take them from the walls get them signed by the band then frame them. My Skunkhour poster from The Go tour is my pride and joy. My best friend recounts and experience of regret the time we saw Alex Lloyd at the Waterloo (in the days well before Amazing and before he doubled in size). We had argued tooth and nail to get a poster from a guy that swore he had his eye on it first only for the lovely Maree to leave this prized possession in the taxi on the way home!

And after seeing Skunkhour again the other night (fantastic, a joyous occasion, best gig ever! So good to see the guys back together again) and trying to get my hands on a poster (the venue stuck them on the inside of the glass – damn) made me really think about these valuable and if not valuable, definitely memorable and maybe sentimental prized possessions. Looking back through the history of rock concerts there’s a common thread with all the truly great posters… they are simple. Bold colours and shapes and more like a piece of art than something you flogged from a venue. They capture a feeling and a moment in time and you will forever be reminded of that as it hangs on your wall. Of course the ones that are truly treasured are the great concerts that changed your life, even if only for the two hours the band was on the stage. Some are both beautiful and capture a memory of a life changing night out. The Go is one of these.

Yours in design,

Amazing Astounding Stop Motion

Being a fan of nicely done stop-motion, I came across this video clip in a recent youtube browse. Not only is the effect beautiful and perfectly achieved, the song is pretty catchy too. To the untrained eye, the production just looks like a cool music video, but if you sit and think about the patience and accuracy it must have taken to make, it’s mind blowing. Every single movement of anything in frame is a still picture taken from a fixed camera. The subjects must remain in exactly the same position until the next shot, where they (and the props) get to move a millimeter and then freeze until the next shot, where they get to move another mm and so on. The video goes for 3.5 minutes, and the number of seconds, let alone fractions of seconds, required to make this is enough to make anyone squirm in their seat from impatience. But the hard work certainly paid off, with a beautiful and original music video. Definitely my fave creation of the year.


B_E_E Clever

I spied this clever marketing on a series of postcards in an eco store in Bellingen, NSW.


B_E_E – ‘Beauty Engineered for Ever’ is a range of cleaning products from New Zealand and these postcards perfectly embodies their drive to be “designed for pleasure, function and the environment”. I just love the way they have interacted their bold products with Mills & Boon style illustrations.


B_E_E is a multi-layered product: designer packaging, latest eco-technology for superior performance, dermatologically tested to be gentle on the skin and they’ve achieved Environmental Choice accreditation meeting the most stringent global eco standards.

Not only is the packaging ultra ‘green’, they smell nice from the essential oils and leave your hands softer too.

Their label designs use witty statements projected boldly over the space of the labels in a bid to stand out on the supermarket shelves next to well known household names such as Sunlight. The design is simple and ingenious, Brigid Hardy, the woman behind this breakthrough brand knew the importance of investing time and money to get the branding spot on before hitting the public.

I have now discovered how easy it is to find their products in Brisbane, you too can find a stockist nearest you >>>

Applications you can find online

The web has become an interesting melting pot of application design and development.
Before the web, applications were held captive by the terrible desktop. They could only be installed by manhandling multiple 3.5 inch hard disks or CD’s that would end up with more track-marks than a junkie.
Documents produced by desktop apps that had to be shared were difficult to manage. Two people could not work on the same document without making multiple copies and trying to figure out a way to distribute them.
Desktop apps do have their place of course – for example they are very secure (very difficult for hackers to compromise something they can’t access remotely), but the web has enabled the application to be accessible wherever you are – on your computer, your friends or your iphone (if your luck enough to have one!)
Web Apps have even bagged themselves a website that hands out prestigious, badge-rific trophies for innovative web apps (Im pretty sure desktop apps don’t have the equivalent, their badges would be 256 color gifs anyway).
The 100 top Web apps for 2008 can be viewed at Webware

Yours in design,