My wife loves to watch “deals” websites that specialize in children’s and moms’ stuff. Zulily is one of those sites that she recently ordered some items from. Now, I know, I know. It’s not magic related, but I couldn’t get over the thank you card they sent along with her order and I think there’s something we can learn from it. Here, have a look at it:
First of all, here’s a short comment on the design: all of the design elements work well to portray a store that specializes in baby and motherly products. It’s simple yet elegant and is soft and calming. The thing I really liked about it, though, is the copy around the edge of the card which reads:
A simple card isn’t quite enough to thank you properly. You deserve something extra. Please consider yourself high-fived and confetti-showered. We also did a happy dance in your honor. With spins! Still, we want to give you more. That’s why we put a Very Fun Thing on the back of this card.
Of course on the back they put a fun, short activity that you may or may not take part in.
That short bit of copy around the edge adds a fun, light-hearted human element to what would normally have been a bland, yet well-designed thank you card. Personally, I think it takes it up a notch to being remarkable and all it cost them was a little time and creativity.
Consider how we can add that human touch to our own materials. Sometimes all it takes is interjecting a little conversational humor.
By day, I work for a high end grocery store in southern California and we receive all sorts of products that come in to be photographed for our ads. One product was this Planters mixed nut bag that had us all in the office laughing our faces off!
Obviously, they were going for more of an artistic look, showing just some elements of Mr. Peanut. I’ll tell you though, the first time I looked at it I thought to myself, “This looks like a crime scene!” Maybe it’s just me, but I fought the urge to draw in a monocle just for completeness. Or maybe he was robbed at nutcracker-point for his monocle. I just don’t know.
Anyhow, there is a lesson to be learned here: look at your concepts and ideas from every possible angle and have others give you feedback on it as well before you finalize anything in print. Jussayin’.
I just had to share this with you all. I was at Target today and happened to walk through the bargain aisle. You’ll just love what I found!
As you may have heard, it was announced today that Steve Jobs passed away. He truly was a great creative man who had a knack for being able to tell what people wanted before they wanted it. If only some of us magicians could master that!
Of course he’s responsible for more than a few things, like creating computers and hand-held devices that are as beautiful as they are easy to use, or changing the way people buy and consume media.
I’d like to direct your attention to an article, One thing we owe to Steve Jobs, published on CNN, that credits Jobs for the fact that you have the choice of a multitude of fonts on your computer. It’s a very interesting story and offers a small look into Jobs’ life you may not have known existed.
For a little more inspiration, here is A Collection of 60 Inspirational Steve Jobs Quotes About Life, Design and Apple.
Mr. Jobs, thank you for being a great example of creative thinking, leadership and good old hard work. Take a load off, sir…you deserve it.
What do magicians love more than their cards, coins and other performing materials? One word: Pockets! Especially for close-up workers. I doubt anyone knows their pockets inside and out more thoroughly than a magician. After all, we do have to have a place for all of our magic stuff when we go out, right? (See Stuff Magicians Like No. 4.)
Truthfully, pocket management is as much of an art as magic itself. There is something beautiful in being able to have pockets loaded with props without looking like it. Add to that having places to ditch items without fear of them clanking into other props, letting your audience know what you just did, is just amazing. It takes careful planning, routining and a certain finesse to make everything seem above reproach. Of course, on the other hand, you have clumsy magicians constantly rummaging through their overstuffed pockets looking for their hot rod.
I bet we all have a favorite pocket or two as well. On the top of the list would probably be the Topit. I know that I really enjoy the coin pockets in my suit jacket. My runner up is my left breast pocket, where I like to ditch my jumbo coin.
I can also think of a few tricks that depend on pockets. Um…card to pocket? Coin through pocket? Two in the hand, one in the…POCKET? Oh and what about the awesome color changing pocket trick? Okay, I made that last one up. But actually if you think about it, the pockets would theoretically change color in a quick change act where the clothes change too, right? So where would all these tricks be without pockets? They’d probably end up in that weird “Beyond” section of Bed, Bath & Beyond.
So there you have it. Pockets are just as important to the art of magic as magic. Savvy?
(The idea for post came from William Draven over at The Magic Session Lounge.)
Aaron Wheeler had me do a redesign of his postcard. Here is a before and after. Please watch the video for details on the changes I made and why.
The Mandala starts Volume 2 and celebrates one year of being magic’s first all-digital magic magazine!
If you are a subscriber, you will see my latest article in which I discuss angles. Not the angles you’re thinking of, but, rather, angles that you can incorporate into the design of your marketing materials.
This issue also features the cover story on The Alchemy of A.Bandit, an article telling the tale of a fusion of magic and art that sprung from the fertile minds of Derek DelGaudio and Glenn Kaino. This issue features other articles by Shawn McMaster, Lou Serrano, Rich Cowley, Tony Clark, Paul Romhany, David Byron, Brent Geris and Tom Burgoon.
We are also very excited to welcome Max Maven as one of our regular columnists! You won’t want to miss even ONE of these! It promises to be a fascinating offering. Subscribe today!