Archive for November, 2011

Deck the halls with Squid Ink insights!

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

With the largest holiday buying season in full swing, all shoppers and businesses alike will have noticed the tremendous spike in advertising and marketing campaigns… but how do you make your company stand out of the crowd during this overly ad-saturated season? Squid Ink has a few quick insights for you before heading back out in to the holiday rush.

One thing to consider asking yourself before promoting a new campaign during any holiday season is, “What do our customers really need to know now, that is different from any other season of the year?” If you just want them to know your product exists, you maybe falling short. Remember, consumers are bombarded with ads of all types, from digital to print, social media to hidden QR coded messages… you want to stand out by understanding what your customers really need and applying this to your campaign.

All consumers need context, remember this! They want to know why your product or service is a good choice for them or the group they are purchasing for. If you show them an ad, make sure the context is also applicable to the specific reason for purchase. The more you can appeal to their need for the product, versus just the desire for it, the more they feel the need to buy. Context driven marketing also helps campaigns target specific demographics, especially in the age of Facebook and the technology generation gap that is still apparent. Embrace the mobile movement!

Consumers at the holiday season also want a story and a connection to you and your product. This is a season tied to emotion and they need to know how your product is made and/or what brought you to create it. This marketing tactic is extremely valuable if you have an environmentally conscious product, or something that stimulates the local or national economy during its current state. Remember, the passion that drives you to sell, can inherently drive them to buy!

Finally, target consumers’ seasonal behaviors. Analyze your target market’s specific seasonal buying behavior and realize that generally, no matter the state of the economy, there will still be peaks and valleys in purchase trends for your specific product. Do your research diligently for previous seasons and find out if your prospective consumers respond best to pre-holiday sneak peeks, frantic Black Friday sales or if they are the ones that hold out for post-holiday deals. Anticipate their behavior and you will build their anticipation to buy your product.

Take this advice and step back to appreciate the sales that come rolling in faster than Santa’s sleigh! For now, and in expectation for tomorrow’s turkey fest, we wish you all a wonderful holiday weekend from our Squid Cave to yours!

Meeghan Dunleavy, Director of New Business

Squids on the move… literally!

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011

Squidette, Meegs, Auntie Meemee (I have a very adorable little 19-month old nephew), Director of New Business… we Squids wear many hats over here in the Squid Cave, but do you ever wonder what, outside in the fish tank of life, occupies our spare time? For this Squidette, it’s a mix of family, friends and dance rehearsals… after all, if you have the tentacles, you may as well boogie!

I believe dance is a way to not only exercise the body but also the mind. It’s athletic while also enabling a form of great personal expression; everyone should try to cut a rug once in a while, it’s good for you! Over the years, I’ve danced professionally for local sports teams such as the Wichita Thunder and Wichita Wild, as well as for charity and benefit performances. Through these great organizations I’ve been blessed to participate with these local charities, have met many wonderful people and close friends and have also gained a further appreciation of Wichita and the people that live and work in our wonderful city.

Even if you’re not a dancer by nature (even those with two left feet!), or a footloose and fancy-free kind of person, I hope you can take time to boogie on down with your friends and loved ones this holiday season; it will at least help us burn off all the turkey and stuffing!

Meeghan Dunleavy, Director of New Business

A Squid unplugged…

Monday, November 21st, 2011

This time of year, I sometimes have a hard time concentrating on what sits before me on the desk. While I know that there are many priorities and many clients vying for attention, the recent nip in the air and changing of the leaves has signaled the arrival of hunting season, and plenty of distraction to go with it.

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. I get to spend some extra time outdoors with friends and family, and connect with nature in ways most people don’t get to experience. There really is no good way to explain the effect of watching a Kansas sunrise and feeling the temperature drop as the first rays break the horizon, or how it’s enhanced by the yipping of coyotes and gobbling of wild turkeys. There’s no adequate description for the solitude or spiritual refreshment that occurs while sitting in stand watching and listening to the world wake up without the ring of alarms, honking of horns, or hum of our everyday electronic gadgetry.

I’m sure volumes could be written to describe the benefits of being able to unplug, even for just a short time, but suffice it to say that, for me, it’s a tonic with no comparison. The anticipation of a crisp and cool morning, waiting for the warmth of the sun to reach your face and signal the start of a new day is almost overwhelming by the time the weekends arrive. And regardless if the deer show up or not, I know where I’ll be come Saturday… and priorities will change.

Derek Pletcher, Creative Director

I love to see your smiling (@font-)face!

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

@font-face exampleFor those of us who build web sites for a living, (and for those who like to dabble), the days of being limited to a handful of available fonts are fading into the sunset. A new day has dawned and the choirs of angels are singing. Ok ok, the technology has been around for a while, but the browsers are finally catching up. I’m speaking of my personal favorite, the @font-face CSS method of incorporating custom fonts into your web design. Halle-freaking-lu-JAH!!!!!!

The @font-face method only requires a few lines of CSS and is therefore very easy to use without any third party tools. There are a number of free-font sites as well as commercial options available via services such as Google, Adobe and MyFont.com. The typeface possibilities are now endless, but not without proper testing. The “gotcha” is that certain fonts will render slightly different when testing cross-browser and cross-platform, so one must have a fall-back solution when testing to ensure that your your chosen font(s) works with all browsers (mobile browsers included) and all platforms. What looks right in Illustrator may not look the same on your website. Some fonts play nice, some don’t. Also, one must consider rights, usage and fees when using copyright protected fonts on your site.

In short, be sure to do your homework, test your designs, obey the (copyright) law and pump out those beautiful website designs!

Have fun!
Mark Maack, Web Services Manager

Life outside the Squid Cave…

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

When I was in college, I remember thinking, “What do graphic designers do when they aren’t designing?” Now, a year and a half after graduating from Tabor College, I realize that we never really stop designing. However, we do make time for other things in our lives, so here is what I have been up to away from the office. This past August 20th I was named the Assistant Soccer Coach at Heights High School in charge of the C-team guys. Coaching this season was a lot of fun, but very different from being a lifelong player. My wife Megan, who is AMAZING, woke up with me every morning to prepare scrambled eggs for my breakfast and help give me a great start to the day!

Other than that, it’s life as usual. Fall, which is my favorite time of the year, is in full swing and Christmas list requests have already started rolling in from my parents. Yes, they may be early, but I doubt they will ever beat Hobby Lobby in their Christmas season unveiling!

Until next time…
Dallas Pruitt, Graphic Designer

A Good Year.

Monday, November 14th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that it’s already November… where did the year go? Apparently there’s a lot of truth to the old saying that days go faster when you’re busy! For us here at Squid Ink, that’s certainly been the case, and I must say I’ve been grateful for work and the strides forward that we’ve been able to make with clients both old and new.

Our spring and summer months saw us working through another successful season with Music Theatre of Wichita, and with the Wichita Wingnuts baseball team. We also added a few more web clients, including one in particular that ended up with an outstanding e-commerce site. If you’re interested in bowhunting, make sure you check out www.magnusbroadheads.com.

We generally gear-down a bit at the end of the summer and take a brief pause between projects, but this year we ended up moving full-steam ahead in support of a renewed association with the Wichita Thunder. The transition of ownership and a new philosophy about promotion has been a welcome change for the Thunder, and also for us. New opportunities seem to be surrounding them and we’re very happy to be a part of their team again this year. Along those lines, our work with the Thunder and INTRUST Bank Arena has gotten us noticed a little further south, and we managed to get a foot in the door with the Tulsa Oilers hockey organization.

Things look bright for Squid Ink going into winter, with no shortage of things to do and some bright lights on the horizon. I want to say a very sincere thank you to my team for all of their dedication and hard work… it’s been a great year so far!

Derek Pletcher, Creative Director

The Year of the Squid! 2011: Squid Ink Creative style.

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

What an exciting year it has been for Squid Ink Creative! The Squid Team began its 2011 creative journey designing posters and ads and shooting TV spots and sneak peeks for all 5 hit Music Theater of Wichita shows. Making Music Theater’s creative projects come to life every year can be a challenge as it’s the Squid’s job to make each of the 5 shows shine individually, while simultaneously adhering to the specific upbeat Music Theater brand. It’s a challenge that keeps us on our toes – one we look forward to conquering every year. From Music Theater season straight into baseball season, the Squid Team stepped up to the plate bringing cohesive brand designs to both The Wichita Wingnuts and to the National Baseball Congress World Series Tournament. Baseball teams may get a short rest between seasons, but there was no rest for the Squid. Hockey season and the Wichita Thunder’s 20th Anniversary season was upon us. Now, the Squid’s goal was to design a one-of-kind logo for the Wichita Thunder, representing their 20th Anniversary in the Central Hockey League. Beyond the logo, the Squid Team designed posters, giveaways, season tickets and the supporting motion graphics that go into making an exciting game-day experience. If you haven’t seen the annual Thunder Intro Video, which can be viewed on our YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/squidinkcreative, we suggest you get over there right now to see what the buzz is all about!

These exciting creative opportunities kept us swimming along fast and hard this year – it’s a wonder we found time to fit much more into our work-tank. But, we are Creative Squids and keeping every talented tentacle submerged is our specialty. Spaced throughout the larger projects in 2011, the Squid Team provided INTRUST Bank Arena with motion graphics and video support for the 360 degree ribbon board, video display, and a giant 30’ X 30’ sign that can be seen from Kellogg. We took on a complete branding project for Evangelical Friends Church. We also did the redesign of two of our long-standing clients’ websites, Tech Systems and Magnus Broadheads, whose original sites we established several years ago. In addition, we redesigned Magnus Broadheads’ online store and are currently designing packaging for their products, which will completely absorb the newly redesigned brand.

In the midst of heavy work, we realize changes are a necessity for our company to achieve growth and success. We have hired Meeghan Dunleavy as our Director of New Business. Meeghan brings a range of talent to this already diverse team, with experience to serve your business in marketing, sales, project management, entertainment, promotions and customer relations. This will allow Squid Ink to provide more specialized services to our clients. We want to handle your marketing and advertising needs along with all things creative. As we branch out in the vast area of Social Networking, we will provide what it takes to help you sort out your social campaign on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or whichever network may come riding in on the next wave.

As we wind down a successful jam-packed year, we just can’t help but feel enthusiasm for our future! We are thrilled about all the changes being made to better serve our clients. Our ultimate wish is to provide our clients with a marketing, advertising and creative partner for the life your company. If you are looking for a team of creative professionals that will understand and help enhance your brand then you’ve come to exactly the right place.

Squid Ink Creative and You… Let’s swim together in creative genius.
Frank Lichtlin, Chief Creative Officer & Managing Partner

I Feel the Earth… Move… Under My Feet…

Monday, November 7th, 2011

When I moved to Wichita from Miami, I pretty much crossed hurricanes off my natural disaster checklist and side-graded to the prospect of the occasional tornado. Thankfully, I missed out on Hurricane Andrew and avoided the Andover tornado by a day (I arrived in Wichita the day after). However, I was caught totally unawares by the tremors that shook the region recently as a result of the earthquakes in Oklahoma.

I’ve already been through one earthquake in my life, but I was too young to remember the experience. Now, as an adult, to actually feel the earth’s vibration and have no control was truly unique. I know my friends in So Cal are rolling their eyes, but really, Kansas? I live near the rails, so when I heard the rumble I thought nothing of it. However, when the room started shaking I knew exactly what was happening. For about 30 seconds everything noticeably swayed and I just sat and rode it out, wondering how long it would last. The tremors were small, but surprising nonetheless.

I couldn’t help but think about people in the world who have suffered through major quakes and what the terror of experiencing a “big one” must be like. It’s so easy to see the stories on the news or read about them on the web or in the paper, and have a detachment from the story. Yet, to catch a small glimpse of the experience brought it home while giving me an appreciation of how fragile the earth is and how quickly things can change. I’m thankful that the damage in Oklahoma wasn’t too bad, all things considered, and hopefully this experience will be the exception rather the norm.

Mark Maack, Web Services Manager

Wichita Thunder vs Missouri Mavericks: Rivalry Sneak Preview

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Rival (ri – val) – (noun): One who attempts to equal or surpass another, or who pursues the same object as another; a competitor.

The Squid cave has been a flurry of activity this week in anticipation of a heated battle between both of the undefeated Wichita Thunder and Missouri Mavericks. The Thunder front office asked the Squids for a special intro video to mark this intense rivalry hitting the ice in Wichita tonight; thus we swam over to the INTRUST Bank Arena earlier this week for a super secret shoot.

While we can’t show you everything yet, Syd the Squid wanted to give you die-hard Thunder fans a little preview to hype your anticipation for this heated rivalry. If you’re like us, you just can’t wait until the moment when this video will show in the darkened Intrust Bank Arena to the roar of thousands of Thunder fans.

One other thing though… Syd felt like making you work for a preview this time, so grab your phone and scan this QR code for you super secret sneak preview!

Until tonight… GO THUNDER!
Meeghan Dunleavy, Director of New Business

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