Survey Says: Americans Love Themselves

Saturday, November 19th, 2011

Because we’re marketers and we love surveys, and because it’s that time of year, when the NFL dominates the American landscape, we just have to share this.

Even though I’m sure we’re not allowed to repost anything from

Poll finds Packers’ Rodgers more popular than Santa Claus

By Marc Sessler |

Nice try, Mother Theresa — and we appreciate your service and all — but you’re no Aaron Rodgers.

Not in the state of Wisconsin, at least, where the Packers’ Super Bowl-winning quarterback rates as the most popular figure behind only Abraham Lincoln and Jesus.

Rodgers tallied an 89 percent favorable rating with respondents.

Nationwide, Lincoln knocked home a 91 and Jesus rated a 90 in the survey conducted by Public Policy Polling.

Meanwhile, only 1 percent of Americans see themselves unfavorably.

Other humans less popular than a guy who throws footballs for a living:

» George Washington: 86 percent favorable rating
» Mother Teresa of Calcutta: 83
» Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: 74
» Mahatma Gandhi: 64
» Santa Claus: 67
» Nelson Mandela: 64
» Steve Jobs: 62

(Insert appropriate comment about society spinning out of control.)

Impressions October 5

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Chihuly flowers

California looks sad tonight, at least the part of California where I am, which is San Diego. Specifically, driving from the 163 to the 8 W, into the Rosecrans and Midway area. The streets were dark and shiny from the falling rain. The people who normally stand at every intersection, holding their hand-lettered signs, were nowhere to be seen. It was sad out there, and not just because the news of the death of Steve Jobs came this afternoon, although that may be the reason.

Office remodeling begins at SDCYB

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Our favorite place to volunteer (pro bono graphic design, PR, board position) – San Diego Civic Youth Ballet. We are finally starting the process of converting chaos into something more manageable for staff, parents and students who use this space on a daily basis. A talented Master’s student at SDSU is drawing up designs…more info to come here on the pk-pt blog and Kevershan Testerman on Facebook.

The little guys in uniform are not office staff. They’re Nutcrackers, destined for sale in the boutique in December.

In Honor of The Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29th, 2011
"25 year old artboards"

before I worked on a computer...

My friend, Susan McMonagle and her co-conspirator, Rebecca Abbott Souther came up with the idea for this recipe book in 1982 when Queen Elizabeth visited the western shores of the US. I was recruited to help with the design and production. In 1986 the first edition was published. I’ve been dragging around the artboards ever since. Since this is the 25th Anniversary of the first printing, and the year of The Royal Wedding, I decided to make an electronic version. Be sure to see pages 22 and 23 for my fabulous “Prince Charming Cheesecake.”  Enjoy and happy eating.

Advertising Taken to a New Level

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Yes, this is a real house on a real street. Adzookie – a mobile marketing firm – has come up with the idea to transform an entire house into a billboard, in exchange to cover the full costs of mortgages for 3-12 months, depending on the contract. Absolutely crazy, right? Well, about 10,000 applications have been received just this month!

These lucky homeowners are getting their bills paid. But, I am just imagining a house on my street that was chosen by Adzookie. A house on our street that we have all put in numerous dollars for landscaping and keeping the area clean, nice and a pleasant place to live. This new advertising medium affects everyone and everything surrounding the property – neighbors, friends, the town or city.

This madness is planned to start next week. This controversial campaign will be interesting to watch being carried out. Stay tuned and check out the Adzookie website for more information.

New Digizine

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Check out our digizine of the Sundance Spa photo shoot in San Diego. Click through the pages for an on-location experience…

Dingbat Modern

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

We were in La Jolla on April Fool’s Day, and attended the Opening Reception of Dingbat Modern: Florence Ashford.

The most fun I had was running into John Odam (graphic design buddy, musician and videographer), and Janet Ashford (mother of the artist, writer, designer and musician). John and Janet were in the band “Lime in the Harp” that played the music at our wedding 13 years ago. John’s band now performs at “The Field”, at 7:00 pm on Sundays.

The show is on view April 2 – May 7, 2011. You should check it out!

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library

Rotunda Gallery

Dingbat Modern: Florence Ashford

The oldest of printing techniques, letterpress is a relief printing process in which movable, reversed, and raised letters and designs are inked and stamped onto paper. It is a slow and arduous process—sometimes requiring each letter to be handset one by one to create a word, sentence, and eventually fill an entire page. While most manufacturers discontinued letterpress production in the 1960s and 70s to make way for newer technology, fine press and printing shops have adopted the unique process into a specialized art form.

Florence Ashford will exhibit her unique letterpress prints, showcasing the 26 letters of the alphabet in Dingbat Modern. Viewers will marvel at the exquisite detail involved in creating each letter, each comprised of as many as 300 careful impressions!

3 Writing Rules You Can Ignore

Monday, April 4th, 2011

I love getting advice about how to write. It seems like it should be easy to sit down and write a blog, or even a company Facebook post. But it’s not. The truth is, when you venture outside your comfort zone of “business” writing, which is where blogs, company Facebook pages, LinkedIn and Twitter usually take us, writing can make you feel like a third-grader all over again.

Sometimes all it takes is one solid tip to break that paralysis about what to write and where to start. But there are cases where you come up against an old maxim that should make writing easier, but really doesn’t.

Here are three common “truths” about writing that I recommend you ignore. They can actually make the task more difficult.

1. Write it the way you just said it and you’ll have no problem!

Some people can do this, but it’s not that easy. Comedians who write their lines, rehearse, write, rehearse and write, and do it again, can often make the transition from spoken word to words on a web page successfully. Not so easy for most of us. Facial expressions, gestures, vocal inflections, and timing all contribute to effective speech. It’s okay to stray from the subject when we’re face-to-face with someone and responding to their comments and cues. Unfortunately, writing is a one-way street, at least until someone responds.

What this means is: Stick to your subject when you write. It’s not a chat. Write a topic sentence, support that idea, and finish with a summary statement. Not exactly how you talk to someone, but it works for writing. The conversational tone, if that’s what you’re going for, will happen organically. Just don’t force it.

2. Write short, simple sentences.

Ernest Hemingway gave us that one. Easy for him to say. Except that everyone from Pascal to Mark Twain has been credited with saying, “If I’d had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.”

The point is, it’s easier to go on and on about a subject than it is to be succinct. Brevity requires editing your own words, rewrites, more edits; and sometimes you just have to start over. It’s hard! Don’t put that pressure on yourself when you’re staring at a blinking cursor. Instead, scale back the subject matter, not what you write about it.

Let’s say you want to blog about How to Make a Cold Call. Focus instead on Preparing for the Call. Even better, write a blog about one aspect of preparation:

Practicing Your Sales Pitch with the Man (Woman) in the Mirror. Write about one action, thing, word – whatever – that works for you and why, and how it’s improved your results. You’ll still have to go back and edit, but trying to jump start a blog by writing short sentences is like starting a diet by taking tiny bites of food. It probably works, but there are easier ways.

3. Write about what you know.

The problem is, you probably know a lot, especially if you’re good at what you do. So where do you start?

Our colleague at Ninthlink, Jeromy Stallings, had an interesting idea. He suggested that the writer and the graphic designer in our meeting switch jobs for a day. Stepping into another role would provide fresh insight and new perspectives for both the writer and the designer. It would also give each of them a new point of view for their blog entries.

What’s the one rule you should keep in mind? Write for a reader. No matter how out there your topic is or your opinions are, you expect someone to read it, right? (Unless you’re writing for an algorithm, but that’s another topic.) Picture your ideal reader and tell your story. Writing is less intimidating that way.

Remember what you learned about writing in fifth grade. Beginning, middle, end. That’s it. State what you’re going to say, support the idea, close the circle. If that sounds like a myth about how to overcome your fear of writing, try it. Then write to me about your experience,

The Neon Shamrock

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

From “The Boneyard” of The Neon Museum in Las Vegas, a beautiful sign of St. Patrick’s Day. The intrepid travelers, Patty K. and Patrick Brian Murphy, took these photos from the other side of the fence at The Boneyard. Imagine seeing them lit up on The Strip at night! (the signs, not Patty and Patrick)

The Neon Museum is active in researching the history of Las Vegas through its signage. Visit their site and when in Vegas, visit the Museum.

Happy St. Patrick's Day from the Patties!

Golden Nugget


Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Patties!

Thank you Google

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Mom and the computer. Nice that she wants to learn how to use Facebook, download music and create a spreadsheet. I’m just not always the right person to help her.

Google decided to take this time-consuming task upon themselves. The website,, has simple, short videos on everything there is to know about the web, communication and finding information on the Internet. It ranges from how to copy and paste to how to create a mailing list. Considering there have been one million views of the site since December, it is worth checking out.

Once again Google has found a way to keep everyone happy- Mom and Dad can learn how to use the computer and their kids can continue to do what they love to do.