Friday, July 29, 2011

Happy Ham Day!

Today we celebrate the bi-annual LS holiday by feasting on ham and sharing our intern book presentations. If I could, I would send some ham over the internet so that you could share in the feasting, but as that technology is currently unavailable to me, the best thing I can do to share the celebration with you is to give you a summary of the book I am presenting on.
“The Big Book of Package Design” is my kind of book–97% pictures. It is a wonderful resource for gathering design inspiration. The book opens with brief remarks from the authors. In his opening comments, Will Burke breaks down the characteristics of good packaging. First of all, good packaging is meaningful. It communicates a shared value between the brand and the target audience. It tells them that the product is something they need or want. Secondly, good packaging is compelling. It causes consumers to identify with the brand by offering a new experience, different choice, or fitting into their lifestyle in a new and unexpected way. Finally, good packaging is authentic. It clearly conveys the product or experience the consumer will be purchasing. It sticks to brand values rather than only to trends. This summary of good packaging gave me a lens through which to evaluate the many examples of packaging that the next 375 pages contained. Here are a few of my favorite package designs from the book, and what I liked about them.

Student work by Stephen Rennekamp and Todd Vachon

Compelling: use of wit turns the package itself to turn into a conversation piece
Authentic: package visually communicates milk+beer(+humor), which is exactly what the product is.

Karacters Design Group, for Silver Hills Bakery

Meaningful: communicates that the product is natural/healthy with muted colors and the texture and color of the bread
Compelling: clear windows in bag cause unexpected interaction between the product and the packaging
Authentic: natural-looking packaging communicates whole grain bread

Meaningful: fun for kids, helpful to parents

Compelling: offers a new/unique handwashing experience
Authentic: fun, stands out, unique

Alyse E.
Creative Intern

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Keep on keeping on

There is still so much I need to get done before that looming date of August 12 arrives. It makes me tired just thinking about it. But then, when I think about it a little more, it makes me excited. Take these last couple weeks, for example. We’ve all got so much to do. The interns went to last Wednesday's Indians game, where we tweeted about the game from the Social Suite! I’ve got loads of copy to write, edit and start sending to the client throughout the week. Last Friday was Ham Day, which was tasty, fun and far less stressful than I thought it would be, as the intern book report presentations had to be rescheduled due to unexpected client work.

Yesterday, the interns got to tour 717 Ink and help screen print our intern t-shirts. They look great! But I can't post any pictures of them until our big reveal at tomorrow's Intern Party/Parent Night. We'll be showing our parents the cool stuff we've done this summer and giving them a look around Liggett.

That’s a lot going on.

And then I think about the other jobs or internships I could have had this summer. I doubt that any week or two at another place of employment would be this crazy/fun. The Liggett interns get to do work any intern would hope to be involved with, and we get to experience so much that is outside of the agency but still all about the industry. I’m sure many people would love to go to an Indians game during the middle of a workday. Who wouldn’t? But we were looking forward to the social media experience we got to have just as much as we were the game itself.

Work is challenging. Work is stressful. But my work at Liggett Stashower has never been dull. That alone is far more than many people can say about their jobs.

Isabelle J.

Creative Intern

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

In a Perfect World No One Would Compromise

In a perfect world the client would instantly fall in love with all of the designer’s first drafts, budgets would be thrown out the window completely, and just for good measure we would all be millionaires living in mansions. It’s pretty safe to say that this isn’t the world we live in. Throughout the intern t-shirt design project our design has seen a lot of drafts and a lot of compromise. Keep in mind that this is a fun project for the interns, but it also gives us a little taste of what the process is like when taking an idea from concept to print while ‘working for a client’. Our client is technically the agency, but we still had to write up a creative brief as well as stay under a set budget.

Since the initial stages of our design process, the final design has seen about ten to fifteen different drafts with as many color choices. Then once we decided upon a final design we had to take into account our budget. Apparently all over prints with twelve different colors don’t come cheap, but I like to think you should always leap for the moon before reeling yourself back down to reality. I’m not going to call myself a finicky designer, but I’m a finicky designer. I don’t like to compromise, but like I said before, this isn’t a perfect world and I’m not the one footing the bill. So after reviewing the budget we figured out that this twelve color all over print needed to be something more like a 5-color basic screen-printed t-shirt. I think the design world isn’t so much about settling to satisfy your client, but I think it is more about making a compromise that makes the client and yourself satisfied. At the end of the day you are working for your client, but you always want to make sure that you are proud of the product you’re putting out. I’m not going to show you guys our final design just yet, but here is a little sneak preview.

Also, I wanted to show you guys the 2011 Intern Crawl Group photo so check that out below, and like always, catch you guys next week.

Don D.

Creative Intern

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here's just a few of my favorite things...

At our monthly agency meeting on Wednesday, each of the interns took part in the "Favorite Game", a timed questionnaire that put us on the spot in front of all our co-workers at LS. Needless to say, it can make a girl kind of nervous. Luckily, I rattled off my favorites quickly enough to earn the top spot among the interns.

Today, after reminiscing on yesterday, I decided it was one of my favorite days here as an intern at LS. Part of what made it so great was the intern crawl that we organized. We met with interns from other agencies around town like Brokaw, Dix & Eaton, Cleveland Magazine and Landau PR. I loved to have the opportunity to walk around the great city of Cleveland and talk about our experiences with one another. We went to each agency and toured their space...each of them was so unique! At LS, I found that I was extremely proud of the work we do here as interns. It was fun to be able to brag about the projects we've been a part of and the awesome people we work with. Not to mention, everyone LOVED our office.

Now that my time here at Liggett Stashower is winding down, I'm starting to realize all my favorite things about working here: the unicorn designs plastered around my cubicle, the zebra printed Duck® Tape that covers my cup full of pens and the opportunity to work with some of the greatest minds in the communication industry. So, to quote the great "Sound of Music", if I'm ever having a slow day where I'm feeling tired, "I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad."

See ya next week!
-Brand Management Intern

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

< You're It! >

Last Monday, I began work on a small web project. I was excited to start some interactive work, as I am considering pursuing a career in that field. I was a little nervous at first, as it has been several months since I have done any HTML/CSS, but I only needed to do some very basic HTML and swap out some pictures, so it was a nice project to get me back into the flow of web work.

The possibilities brought about by innovative merging of technology and art are remarkable, and this is why the field of interactive design is appealing to me. I began looking into interactive design more after taking a class on Processing. Processing is a java-based “open source programming language and environment for people who want to create images, animations, and interactions.” ( I love the way art-programming and web design combine logic and creativity. As frustrating as it can be to search through your code for the missing semi-colon or end tag, it is incredibly satisfying once you find it!

A couple cool examples of what can be done in Processing:

Alyse E.
Creative Intern

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The long and the short of it

At this point during my time at Liggett, I've been able to work on both quick, turn-it-around-in-an-hour projects and time-consuming, you’ll-be-working-on-this-for-the-next-month projects. And both have proven to be challenging and exciting in different ways.

Copywriting tasks that are expected to be completed ASAP or in an hour or two can make me nervous- especially when I feel like the ideas or words just won’t come. But that nervousness can help energize me and get my mind going. It’s also a great feeling to complete an assignment quickly and efficiently. It’s rewarding to see a finished (or at least nearly finished) product in such a short amount of time.

But the longer projects are a different story. They take dedication and a lot of organization. I’m working on writing what will end up totaling much more than 10 pages of website copy for a client right now. While it is worthwhile to be so highly involved with the overall content of the site, it can be a challenge to maintain a high level of excitement about the project, as it will last more than a month. However, it is reassuring to know that there is time to fully collect my thoughts and organize the content as clearly as possible.

After working on long-term and short-term projects, I know I wouldn’t want there to be only one or the other. Like it’s said, everything in moderation. And I’m glad I’ve been able to experience both.

Isabelle J.

Creative Intern

Monday, July 18, 2011

Crawling With Interns

The intern crawl is nearly upon us. It’s a Liggett Stashower planned event just for us. We, well Isabelle mostly, rounded up other interns throughout downtown Cleveland in an effort to give us a greater picture of the agency scene around this area. We are going to grab lunch with all of the interns around noon this Wednesday, and then the game plan is to visit each of our respective agencies (five including our own). I think this is a great idea, and an awesome way to get a little taste of some of the other agencies in the surrounding area. We may not be returning to LS after we graduate, but who knows, we may end up somewhere else in Cleveland, so what better way to get our foot in the door? I’m pretty interested to talk and compare internship experiences with all of the other interns. My guess is they will pale in comparison, but joking aside I’m excited for the experience. Networking with other interns will probably prove just as important as with anyone else because 5 or 10 years down the road we will probably be in positions to help one another out.

On a less exciting note, we have less than a month remaining here at Liggett. I can only try to ignore how fast it will go, and attempt to squeeze all of the experience that I can out of each remaining day. The summer has been blazing by, and I imagine things won’t be slowing down.

Catch you guys next week.

Don D.

Creative Intern

Friday, July 15, 2011

We're No One-Trick Ponies

One of the biggest projects that has been a part of our internship experience here at LS is the intern t-shirt design. None of us really did too much with the project until the last week or so, when the entries in our timesheets seemed to be full of mostly t-shirt activity.

The project is designed to allow the interns to capture their experience at LS in a fun and interesting way...which is exactly what we have been doing. For me, it was difficult to envision a final product because I'm not as creative as the other three interns. But when we all came together in the war room on the creative side, I could feel myself feeding off of their imaginative minds.

We ended up going with a unicorn theme, something mystical to represent our magical time here at LS. As we approached our final design, it was amazing to sit back and watch all of us work together. We all brought something special to the table, whether it was a catchphrase, a drawing, or the vendor communication skills to pull it all together.

That being said, I couldn't be happier with the outcome of our t-shirt design even though it's not quite completed. I have a feeling that when it is, it will be a design that embodies our hard work and skills learned while interning here at Liggett Stashower.

'til next time...

-Alyssa P.
Brand Management Intern

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Interdisciplinary Art

Last weekend I went to an art gallery opening in Chicago–“Interrogating the Future of Interdisciplinary Practice”. The pieces experimented with creating art in non-traditional ways through various disciplines. I find fine art and commercial art are very different in many ways. However, the things I learned while looking through the art gallery apply just as much in advertising as they do in fine art.

One piece that I would recommend checking out was a performance piece that addressed where we are (first movement), where we should be (second movement), and where we are going (third movement). The artist performed the piece using a board he created that controlled the audio (speed, scrubbing, pitch and volume) and visuals (arrow size, position, and repulsion) of the piece. I like that this piece could in theory be left in a gallery for viewers to interact with and compose for themselves. I didn't get a picture of this, but you can check out the video here.

Another one of my personal favorites explored capturing motion in sculpture. The artist used motion capture technology to track the movement of a person in 3D space and log it on the computer. Then, after capturing the speed, path, and rotation of the movement, he translated this information visualization into a sculpture. I find this piece interesting because it conveys information in a new and unexpected way. It precisely captures the beauty of a time-based performance and, adding nothing to it and taking nothing away from it, translates it into a static object. This piece is appealing on a logical level as well as a creative level–an important thing to keep in mind not only in the fine arts, but in advertising, too.

Check out a more in-depth description

I was drawn more to the pieces with more complex concepts that left a bit of a gap for the viewer to complete than I was to those with more straightforward concepts that required less cognition. For example, one piece on display was a Flash game entitled “Human Hunt”. Based on the game “Duck Hunt”, the concept behind this piece was ducks getting revenge on humans. The piece was identical to “Duck Hunt” except that you played as a duck shooting humans. Though humorous, the straightforward irony of this piece was not very engaging to me. David Moore emphasized this viewer-completed gap as an important part of advertising and explained it through the metaphor of a spark plug. If the gap is too far, there is no spark. The viewer can’t make the connection. If the gap is too close, there is no spark. The connection is too obvious and doesn’t engage the viewer. But if the gap is just the right distance, there is a spark. The viewer completes the ‘circuit’. The work engages them.

I will close this week with a few more pictures from the gallery. It was an interesting collection of work that reminded me of some important aspects of art and advertising and inspired me to continue to explore use of non-traditional media when producing work.

Alyse E.
Creative Intern

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'll be in a meeting

Meetings can consume your day. Meetings with clients, with account teams or, as would be my case, with a designer. But just because meetings can eat away at your hours doesn’t mean they aren’t productive or, at times, pretty enjoyable.

Throughout my time interning at Liggett, I've had the opportunity to attend various meetings and hold a few of my own with fellow interns. Not only do I get to sit in on meetings with clients, but I’m encouraged to participate and provide thoughtful input when I can. While this can be intimidating, it is incredibly beneficial for all of us interns to experience. We’ll be leading our own meetings eventually, calling clients and presenting our ideas to them. And that would be terrifying without practice.

Yesterday, I attended an all-day client meeting. I was nervous, but I did my homework beforehand and was ready to try to be a productive attendee. And I think I did rather well. I'm sure I’ll become more comfortable and confident at meetings, once I go to more of them.

In a way, we’ll be tested on communication and interpersonal skills before our time at Liggett is up. One of our final client/public speaking/join the real advertising world experiences at LS will be our intern book report presentations during Ham Day festivities. Luckily, everyone will be scarfing down tasty ham, so if I stumble here or there it might go unnoticed.

Isabelle J.
Creative Intern

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A List Always Looks Longer

As we are nearing the halfway mark of this internship, I feel like it is a good time to reflect on some of my accomplishments. Over the duration of the past month I have:

• Created a line illustration of Santa sporting his favorite Hawaiian hat and aviators.

• Painted around 80 tiny door knobs to eventually be placed on, you guessed it, 80 tiny doors.

• Illustrated myself as a zombified unicorn man.

• Put together 15 plastic megaphones.

• Done a lot of word-mapping, which we could map to brainstorming, which might eventually lead to mapping the word bonkers.

• Put around 50 paint cans into bigger paint cans, and then put that can into a box. Try and keep up.

• Designed and laid out some ad roughs that would eventually be printed... Over and over until the printer decided to comply.

• Photoshopped our intern shirt design onto 15 different colored shirts. You can only be sure you don't like something if you try it.

That is just a little insight into my daily accomplishments, but the list could go on and on. Maybe when the end draws near I will compile some more.
Catch you guys next week.

Creative Intern
Don D.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Go play

I’ve been finding it difficult to think creatively when the pressure is on. And in an advertising agency, it seems the pressure’s always on. I have had no trouble with the straightforward projects where I am expected to do exactly what is on the creative brief, but I have been having some difficulty with the more open-ended projects where I have a certain amount of time to come up with an awesome idea and/or design. Creativity is the business. Having a process to follow that helps through creative slumps is necessary. It's not like in school, where you have a few days or a week to brainstorm and refine an idea.

Last week at our lunch with David Moore, we asked his advice about what to do when you feel you are lacking ideas and can’t seem to find creative inspiration. His response was “Go away and go play”. Sometimes you need to completely take a break from the project, go do something else and come back to it later. This is one reason it is important to have interests and hobbies outside of your job. After a long weekend of cookouts, fireworks, concerts and discount-store shopping, I think I am ready to get creative and tackle these projects.

Alyse E.
Creative Intern

Monday, July 04, 2011

The one-month mark

Tomorrow I will have been interning at Liggett Stashower for a month. I can’t believe how quickly it has gone. And I can’t believe how much I’ve been able to experience in just one month here.

From radio spots to the intern t-shirts, I’ve been exposed to many different projects, all of which have taught me something. Much of the learning has involved taking the clients’ feedback to produce copy or concepts that are still creative, yet follow the clients’ guidelines or preferences. This was especially true when I had to write a radio spot for one client and brainstorm campaign ideas for another. My initial attempts were not, as I was told by Liggett Creatives on the account, what the client was looking for. After several rounds of edits and brainstorming sessions, I was able to create something Liggett was satisfied with and something that could be presented to the client.

As far as the intern t-shirt goes, our intern team has worked well together from day one on the project. It’s been fun to begin a project at the beginning. While that may seem silly to say, most of the other work we’ve had involved jumping into a project in the middle and quickly producing material to send to the client.

And last week, the interns were able to have lunch with Liggett President David Moore. Not only was the lunch fun and relaxed, but it was also informative and educational. Mr. Moore shared with us how his career developed, how he deals with creativity blocks and how we can get ahead in the industry.

The coming month holds only more learning experiences and exciting opportunities. Field trips to nearby businesses, the Intern Agency Crawl and the much-anticipated Ham Day are all on the horizon. And I’m looking forward to all of it!

Isabelle J.
Creative Intern

Friday, July 01, 2011

Timing's Everything

The week leading up to a holiday weekend usually drags along, but can you believe it's already Friday? It's quiet here today, which makes it easy for me to focus on some of the projects I've got to finish up before a 3-day weekend full of fireworks and patriotism.

My lesson for this week was all about timing. Whether it's catching a bus or finding a job, timing's everything. This lesson became clear to me when the other interns and myself sat down to lunch with Liggett's Managing Partner & President, David Moore. David has been wit
h LS for almost 10 years, which is almost unheard of in this industry. At first I was a little nervous to meet with David, worried that we would be wasting his time. But I was quickly relaxed when I realized how willing he was to sit with us and just talk about his experiences. He took a break from his chaotic schedule to provide us with some valuable advice.

When I asked him if this was where he expected to be upon starting his career, David chuckled and said that it wasn't. He explained that he pretty much fell into his position here at LS. The timing was perfect in all aspects of his life; his family needed a transition and his previous employer was going through changes. He took a risk in packing up and moving to Cleveland on September 10, 2001 and that risk paid off.

He also spoke about the important relationships he had formed throughout his career and the importance of maintaining those connections. David rattled off the names of people he had been in touch with and where they were working today...a couple of them in roles at some of the biggest agencies in the industry.

Both of the subjects that David touched on during our lunch really impacted me...I know that they will play huge roles when it comes to finding MY first job. I know that my hard work will pay off, but I can only hope that I'll have time on my side when I start looking for work.

'Til next time,

Alyssa P.
-Brand Management Intern