I love Cleveland. I love typography. What about Cleveland and typography together, you say? Yes, please, I say. Meet Type City Cleveland, begun in 2007 as a class project at the Cleveland Institute of Art by communication design adjunct professor Chris Ramsay. Here’s how it works: Students pick a Cleveland venue, select a typeface representing the “atmosphere, mood, and overall feel” of the location and then design their selection using their chosen type. As their about page says, “Creating images with type. Type as image. Beautiful letterforms, interacting together, combining to form a wonderful rendering. What could be better than that?”
It’s that Trick ‘o’ Treat time of year again and, despite the fact we’re all “adults”, this is when our costume-loving-inner-child rears its head. If you’re anything like me, you’ll spend the entire year coming up with kill-er costume ideas, only to forget them the day before the big Halloween party. Fret not! I am here today to share – with all you eleventh hour planners – some past and present MRA costume ideas. If you can’t depend on a creative agency for a good costume idea, who can you depend on?
Sigh. Another week, another bout of mind-numbing depression. Another hangover from watching the cruelest joke God ever played on mankind: The Browns. And now I sit here asking the one question that every Browns fan asks an average of, oh, 12 times a season. “Why do I do this to myself?”
It defies science, really, that hundreds of thousands of us put ourselves through the same emotional train wreck every week. It goes, from what I can tell, something like this:
When you work in an office year-round, stuff starts to pile up. I’ve heard that every once in a while (as in every 5–10 years), it’s a good idea to gather your fellow officemates and do a thorough cleanup of all shared space. Why? I’m not really sure. But I think it has something to do with the storytellers at A&E and their popular horror series, Hoarders.
No matter the reason, there’s no denying all of the fun stuff you’re sure to find on your lemony-fresh adventures. I’ve even found what I thought was a clone of our beloved producer, Jim Bird. A closer look revealed that the “man” standing before me, incredibly life-like and dressed to kill, was actually made of cardboard.
So the question is, to keep or not to keep? Personally, I think it’s a no-brainer. The only other cutouts I’ve seen have resembled Edward Cullen and Michael Jordan, so obviously cardboard is a body treatment reserved for the privileged few. But believe it or not, not everyone here agrees with me. What do you think?
After several weeks of live testing, today’s the day we officially go public with the new Melamed Riley blog and website, both designed to better reflect who we are, how we work, what makes us different – our brand. We hope you like what you see and appreciate what you don’t see, a bunch of snappy names for everyday agency processes and methodologies all adorned with a little ™. The practice has become laughable. Surf from one agency website to the next and you’ll quickly see what I mean. ™’s galore! In a transparent attempt to differentiate themselves, many agencies have been busily trademarking cute names for everything from brainstorming sessions to ordinary online surveys. Nuttier still, in the vast majority of these cases, you can bet an application for an actual trademark was never even filed. Why bother? You can just slap a nifty ™ on a word and voila, it looks like you’ve got yourself the next big breakthrough in marketing. (You know, I just might trademark myself.)
Our very own John Butler keeps his office well stocked with snackage to encourage visitation throughout the day, an offering that usually includes such PB dip-worthy items as pretzel rods and pita chips. Until they start making peanut butter jars with the circumference of a paint can, there are going to be issues.
The crickets are part of a promotion that our client, a major producer of professional pest control products, will be featuring at an upcoming trade show. Customers who eat a cricket will be entered to win fabulous prizes. Since this whole cricket-eating business was our idea, we thought it only fair that we sample the critters first.
Did you know there are around 900 species of crickets? We had three of them: “Sour Cream & Onion” crickets, “Salt N’ Vinegar” crickets and “Bacon & Cheese” crickets. And you know what? They weren’t bad. Unless you consider foods that explode into barf-inducing bits of legs, antenna, thorax and eyeballs bad, in which case they were pretty freaking bad.
The trouble with eating crickets isn’t the taste, it’s the shrapnel. They produce the same kind of oral debris as shredded wheat, but instead of delicious, sugar-coated shredded wheat, it’s assorted bug fragments just small enough to get stuck between every possible crevice of your mouth. If you think having a bit of spinach in your teeth is embarrassing, try a cricket abdomen.
I’ll admit, the flavoring helps. Especially the saltiness of Salt N’ Vinegar, which seemed to be the crowd favorite. Bacon & Cheese, which we all assumed would be the best option, was disappointingly mild. It was regrettably lacking in bacon flavor and tasted more like “cheese covered gym sock.” After sampling all three varieties, I think I could’ve gone for a Pepperoni Pizza or Spicy BBQ-flavored cricket. Better yet: no cricket at all.
Most everyone tried at least one. Patrick may have had 10, I lost count. Even our fearless leaders stepped up to the bug buffet. The reactions varied slightly, but I think we all left the table with a sense of accomplishment and excitement about the promotion. Ideas, big and bite-sized, should always be tested for quality. I just hope our next idea involves cheeseburgers.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that:
a. LeBron James has left the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat;
b. the manner in which James departed has left a very sour taste in our collective mouths; and
c. the Heat, now perhaps the most hated team in NBA history, return to Cleveland on December 2.
Ever since James abandoned his quest to bring Cleveland a championship, Cavs fans have been salivating for the Heat’s first trip to town. But how do we – and by “we” I mean both Cavs fans and the Cavs organization itself – handle James’s return? Do we make an ugly scene of it, as many did after The Decision? Or do we turn a negative into a positive? I vote for the latter, and here’s my idea*, born from a conversation with a friend thinking of how to turn December 2 into something constructive:
If we know anything about LeBron, it’s that he’s both an immense talent and someone who loves being the center of attention. Taking away the acrimonious departure, it’s a no-brainer that James’s Cleveland numbers would be worthy of retiring his #23 jersey. So let’s retire it … with a twist. Let’s have a contest. From now until December – for only $1 – you would be able to enter yourself in a drawing. Enter as many times as you’d like, because 100% of the proceeds would go to charity. Before the game, on live TV, the Cavs would draw one name. The winner – let’s say you – would, the night of December 2, sign a one-day contract with the Cavs. You’d get it all: Official warmups, a seat on the bench with the team and a jersey. Jersey #23. Then it gets awesome.
Before the game, as the lights dim, the public address announcer would tell the crowd that it’s time for a very special ceremony. As both teams look on, you’d join Cavs coaches, management, and your family at mid-court. Then, right in front of “King James,” the Cavs would officially retire jersey #23. Not James’s. Yours. The banner, featuring your name and #23, would hang in the rafters, joining the likes of Austin Carr, Mark Price and Brad Daugherty. Then, you would have the opportunity to present the charity’s representatives with a check for the proceeds of the drawing, making the spectacle all worthwhile.
There you have it: Simple, interactive, attention-grabbing and for a good cause. What better way to take a jab at the Court Jester than to poke fun at his legacy in such a good-natured and good-hearted manner? I’d like to think that any Cavs fan would jump at the chance to take part, just like any area charity wouldn’t mind the donation pouring into its coffers. Further, for a team facing life without one of the world’s best players and the challenges that brings, media attention promises to be hard to come by. But not on December 2, when all the world will be watching. Let’s give them something to talk about.
*If you’re reading this, Dan Gilbert, you have my full permission to steal this idea, provided you give me two front-row tickets for the big game.
Fall is officially here and it’s time to bust out the ol’ jacket. Whether you wear it to protect you from the elements or simply for style, your coat says something about you.
Military – You enjoy Dolph Lundgren movies
Pullover – You never mastered buttons or the zipper
Animal Print – You have long nails and like to chew gum
Riding Coat – You own a pair of riding boots, too, but have never been on a horse
Pea Coat – Your favorite TV show is Whale Wars
Bomber – You own a pair of Ray-Ban Aviators and love a young Kelly McGillis
Faux Fur – You care about animals, but still can’t give up your leather belt and shoes
Fur – Meat is murder … tasty, tasty murder*
Shearling – You’re a wolf
Trench – You think clothes are restricting
Capes – You like to fight crime
Hoodie – You avoid people with capes
Fleece – You like to tailgate
Columbia Ski Jacket – You live north of the Mason-Dixon
Match your favorite MR bloggers to their coats: