• December 5

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    AIGA 5th Annual Deck The Halls And Walls Poster Auction – An Off the Wall Event for On-the-Wall Art

    This is your opportunity to walk away with one-of-a-kind autographed prints and posters for just about any wall in your home, office or work cubicle. ALL auction proceeds will benefit two exceptional arts-centric non-profit organizations: The Other Side Arts (TOSA) and VSA Arts of Colorado. And that’s one gift that everyone can appreciate!

    When: Wed, December 5, 2007, 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
    Where: Access Gallery, 909 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
    Info: AIGA

  • November 30

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    AIGA November FAC – Composition

    Enjoy a beverage, nibbly things and the company of fellow creatives – all while browsing the modern design store Composition. It’s the November FAC and the crew at Composition have invited us to check out their all-new section dedicated to paper products and design books.

    About Composition. In May, The New York Times championed Denver as an emerging “style-conscious city with great shopping.” When reading the article, we weren’t surprised that the big city reporter first talked to Jennifer Roberts, the owner/curator behind Composition. If you haven’t checked out her tasty boutique it’s an always-changing display of Jack Spade messenger bags, Frietag recycled wallets, chic housewares, toy cameras , fun gizmos and a brand new section for books and stationary that features MATTERIAL, the new paper products line from local designer Rick Griffith.

    When: Friday, November 30, 2007, 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (Please RSVP by Wednesday, November 28 so that Composition can prepare enough food and beverages for all attendees.)
    Where: Composition, Belmar, 7180 W. Alaska Dr., Lakewood
    Info: AIGA

    Object+Thought – R. Justin Stewart Gallery Opening

    + Gallery in conjunction with Object+Thought present Partitioned 12–18 by R. Justin Stewart, November 30th-January 25th. Curated by + Gallery interns Michelle Soler and Aniko Vetter.

    When: Opening reception – Friday, November 30, 2007, 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
    Where: Object+Thought, 3559 Larimer Street, Denver
    Info: Object+Thought

  • November 29

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    AIGA BuzZ : Independent Designer Holiday Gathering – Bowling Night

    Kids, family, spouses, and friends welcome! We’re combining this with the BuzZ Holiday party, so there will be BuzZ regulars there and The Creative Group will sponsor the lanes and a certain amount of beer. Shoes are 93 cents to rent. We’ll have people from a few collectives around town as well… (the Hive and Art+Anthropology to name a few)! The lanes will be paid for so come out and enjoy some fun!

    When: Thursday, November 29, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
    Where: Bowl-Ero Lanes, 5480 W. Alameda Ave., Lakewood, CO 80226
    Info: AIGA

  • Advertising How To... Part 5

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    How to keep your job. By Sensitive Writer.

    Being that advertising is one of like three professions where you can do completely ridonkulous things and still remain gainfully employed, you may think there’d be no need for a column on this topic. However, that pesky little doctrine of American law known as “at-will employment” does rear its ugly head from time to time. As a result, employers are free to “discharge individuals” for “good cause, bad cause, or no cause at all.” So how can you protect yourself from any and all causes?

    1. Invaluability over Invincibility.

    The best advice I ever got from anyone on this topic was “Become invaluable to your clients.” Which, at first blush, sounds way more like account service advice than creative. But really, it’s the best all-around advice there is. Because once your client loves you, the agency kinda has to, as well. You’ll be requested to work on their business, come to their meetings, and go out with them to all-you-can drink dinners. All of which, granted, is a lot of work, but it pretty much means you’ll be a more permanent fixture than the names on the door.

    2. Exactly where are those logos?

    Devise an organizational system no one else can figure out. Logic being: if they can’t find your stuff, they’ve got to keep you around so at least someone can find it. This is usually best accomplished by either devising your own folder system on the company’s server, or, better yet, leaving files randomly strewn about your desktop. And when IT inevitably asks you if you were backing your files on the server, a simple “we have a server?” will send them scurrying back to their caves and buy you another 6 months.

    3. “I dunno, Lenny always fixes it.”

    Find the hole in the departmental skill set and fill it in. No one likes to be pigeon-holed, but it really does behoove you to be the guy who can fill-in-the-blank. So if you’re the only one who can fix the color copier/download YouTube videos/work the DVD remote/make espresso/write radio/turn off the alarm you’re guaranteed to always have a job.

    4. Bear Claw, anyone?

    Bake. Or, if you’re at a lack for your inner Martha, buy. Nothing secures your place in a company like donuts or chocolate chip cookies. Many a layoff discussion ground to a screeching halt when someone proclaims “we can’t possibly get rid of Amanda! Who’ll make zucchini bread with chocolate chips? And just like that, sha-pow, some shmo VP gets canned instead.

    5. Competency: it’s the new clever.

    If all else fails, do your job well. Sure it sounds simple, (and, um, really obvious) but seriously, there are a TON of folks sliding by with a C- average resting on their laurels of longevity and personal connections. The minute a new CD or president comes in, the first folks to go are the ones who’ve been sitting in their fat offices polishing their commemorative 15-years-of-employment chairs with their silk hankies. And who’s gonna move into that office? That’s right, my friend. You.

    By following at least 4 of the above 5 tenants, you should bulletproof your tenure for quite a while. Provided you don’t succumb to some major screw-up like accidentally cc’ing your client on a rant about how stupid he is or deciding to “work from home” for three weeks straight. In which case, all the apple fritters, client shmoozing and DVD player expertise aren’t gonna save you this time. You’re on your own. But if you do figure out a way to recover from a blunder of those epic proportions, please be sure and let me know. I’m certain it will come in handy some day.

  • Creative Crackdown, McDonald's Outdoor

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    McDonald’s needed to let people know about its freshly prepared breakfasts and gourmet coffees. Karsh\Hagan shot high-style photography for these boards and put them in high-traffic areas.

    (Click images for a bigger view.)

  • Creative Crackdown, Jamba Juice Promo Site

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    This new site courtesy of Xylem CCI promotes a drink called 3G (Guarana, Ginseng, Green Tea) from Jamba Juice that you can only find out about by coming to this site after receiving an email – the drink is not on any store menus yet.

    (Click image to visit site.)

  • November 20

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    AIGA BuzZ: Independent Designer Roundtable – Paying The Man: Taxes & Accounting for the Independent Designer

    What is BuzZ? BuzZ is a monthly roundtable for Design Independents in the Denver Metro area, which focuses on the issues that are most important to the business of being in business for yourself. Each month the group concentrates on a specific topic as well as provides a medium for networking and sharing resources.

    Monthly topics vary and are sometimes supported by professional presentations. Topics focus on areas such as: technology, taxes, contracts, self promotion, sales and more. BuzZ meets on the third Tuesday of each month. If you are a freelance professional in the Denver area, you are BuzZ. Be there!

    WE HAVE A NEW LOCATION! Our new location is Panera Bread at 13th and Grant. We’ll be in the community room with pastries and coffee, sans the espresso machine noise!

    When: Tuesday, November 20, 2007, 8:30 AM to 10:00 AM
    Where: Panera Bread, 1330 Grant Street, Denver, CO 80203
    Info: AIGA

  • Advertising How To... Part 4

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    How to re-sell an idea to your Creative Director after he’s already killed it. By Sensitive Writer.

    There is nothing more crushing than after a whole half-day of brain-numbing concepting, you emerge victorious with your next One Show Pencil idea, and your Creative Director kills it before it even sees the light of day.

    What’s a hardworking creative to do? Stick it in the recycle file and resell it at your next internal presentation, of course. But, sadly, more often than not, you run into that phrase every creative is loathe to hear, “I think I’ve already seen that.”

    How Creative Directors have this skill I have no idea. Perhaps the entire area in their brains devoted to “General Memory” has been over-ridden by “Shit I’ve Killed Memory.” Because most I’ve known can’t remember anything: names, clients, meetings, what they just asked you, what project they assigned you, whether or not they approved your vacation, when your last raise was, the fact that no you are NOT Michelle in Media you just both have blonde hair, where they’re going, where they’re supposed to be, or what they had for lunch. But pull out a recycled idea – even half a dozen years later – and suddenly it’s “Didn’t you try to sell this to me for Hardees in 1998?” Really? You don’t remember my last name, and yet you remember this spot with a talking dog from last decade. (See upcoming article: Becoming a Creative Director in 5 Easy Steps).

    So is there any way around this conundrum? Well, if there wasn’t, I wouldn’t have a column, would I?

    1) Find a new Creative Director.

    This can be accomplished one of two ways. a) Launch campaign to have Creative Director fired (not recommended, as it’s dangerously close to “Baby out with the Bathwater” strategy and you’ll probably lose your job in the process. Which is a lovely segue to b) Take all your dead ideas to your next job. The best thing about a new boss is that all your crappy old ideas seem shiny new to him.

    2) Re-pitch your idea as your Creative Director’s idea.

    If he hates it as your idea, you have a fairly good chance of him loving it as his own. As much as it sucks to utter the words “You know, I still kinda like that idea you had about…” it sucks less than seeing your pride and joy wither on the vine.

    3) Punt the idea to another creative team.

    This is even more painful than having your CD get credit for your ideas (since that happens all the time, anyway) but it can be used in an emergency. If the idea is truly great, you can sleep well knowing it’s at least alive and out there, even if it has no idea who its real parents are. Hopefully you’ll at least get a slash.

    4) Have the ACD approve it while your Creative Director’s on vacation.

    This is a little sneaky and devious but then again so’s this business. And it goes without saying that if your CD hates it, your ACD will love it.

    5) Blackmail.

    Yeah, it’s a last resort. But chances are you’ve seen your Creative Director in some sort of compromising position that he’d rather not have his wife/child/partner/Head of Account Services see. Document it, use it, delete it. And get over the guilt.

    So there you have it. Pull out that trash can, uncrumple all those brilliant concepts, and get your pitch on, baby. Cause dead is a relative term.

  • November 9

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    NDAC – Post Modern invites NDAC Members to their 4th Annual Casino Party

    Wanna get lucky? Post Modern hosts their 4th annual Casino Party! Pack aces up your sleeves and join us for drinks, dancing and gambling… the legal kind!

    When: Friday, November 9, 5:30 (doors open), 6:30 (gambling starts)
    Where: Post Modern, 2734 Walnut St.
    Info: RSVP by October 31 to rsvp[at]postmodernco.com

  • November 8

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    3OLOGY Creative Music Works and Mystery Cabal Welcomes
    The Invisible College Quartet

    3ology, a Colorado-based improvisational trio, will perform as part of the “Soundscapes presented by Mystery Cabal” series bringing their unique approach to making music to Denver. Together, saxophonist Doug Carmichael (Mojomama, C Spot Groove), acoustic and electric bassist Tim Carmichael (C Spot Groove, Ryan Elwood Trio) and drummer Jon Powers (Shannon Wexelberg, Sanskrit, eveningtide) produce a paradoxical sound that is both avant garde and melodic, edgy and spacious. Brandon Vaccaro is a composer, performer, and sound artist based in Denver, Colorado. he has worked with a number of ensembles including the Tosca String Quartet, The Experimental Playground Ensemble (TEPE), and the Vinca Quartet. His works have been performed throughout the United States and in Greece. Brandon will be performing w/ friends :: Chris Rippey, Paul Hembree, and Steven Snowden, bringing an exciting new collaboration representing some of the best improvisers in Colorado. What will be sure to be sensory swell in the ongoing experimental music series @ Object+Thought, the evening will be further graced by video artist Sarah H. Dot.

    When: Thursday, November 8, 7 PM
    Where: Object + Thought, 3559 Larimer Street, Denver
    Info: Object + Thought

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