Archive for March, 2011

Ian Bray, ink stained wretch

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

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We have worked with Ian since the 1980s. He was just a young boy starting out back then…. Ian has written much of our most notable work, all of the Bravo campaign as well as the highly successful Luna Pizza and Beer books. He’s definitely a brain worth picking.

Who are you?
Professionally, a grizzled freelance writer/producer/creative guy.
Personally, a husband, father, brother, parent wrangler, uncle and friend.

What do you do?
I write anything and everything for anyone and everyone. Discount store flyers to national multimedia campaigns. I write websites, product labels, ads, corporate positioning, TV and radio spots, annual reports, newsletters, corporate videos and weaselly micetype disclaimers. I’ve written medical manuals for colorectal procedures and funny TV spots for airlines. Because I consider myself a craftsman, no job is too small – it just needs to be fundamentally interesting. (Thus the colorectal job.)

Why do you do it?
I love the creative process, exchanging and growing ideas with others.
But mostly, I do it for money.

Where do you do it?
I had an office in Yaletown for years, but now I hang my hairpiece in White Rock.

When do you do it?
Officially, I’m at my desk by about 7 AM, Monday to Friday.
Unofficially, I’m always thinking.

@awsamuel and her connection to all things social media

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

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Alexandra Samuel is a whirlwind of social media activity. You can follow her on Twitter @awsamuel as well as read her blog posts on Harvard Business Review, among others. I worked with Alex on a project with my 3rd year students this past fall, re-imagining the ebook. Great project for both me and my students to take our brains out for a good run!

Who are you?
I’m a writer in the sea of social media: sometimes swimming, sometimes drowning. I’m lucky that my work lets me think about how to help other people (mostly) swim: I run the Social + Interactive Media Centre at Emily Carr University, where I help BC’s creative and tech companies tap the incredibly skills and creativity of Emily Carr faculty and students. I come from the tech sector myself, as the co-founder of Social Signal, a social media agency.

What do you do?
I develop and lead research projects that advance the use of social and interactive media in a range of companies and industries. For example we’ve helped Paperny Films develop its vision for an online community to go with its upcoming TV series for the Food Network, Eat Street. My colleague Glen Lowry collaborated with Work at Play on classroom uses for their social media platform, DEQQ. And I’m really excited about the work that Jonathan Aitken and I have been doing around re-imagining electronic books in partnership with BookRiff and now with the Mozilla Foundation, too.

Why do you do it?
Well, I have a really good shtick I could insert here about how the Internet is changing just about every aspect of our world, which desperately needs changing given the incredible variety of crises we face, and which could be our very best hope for pulling ourselves out of this global nose — dive if we can take charge of our lives and society online and use it to fix our problems instead of making them worse. And that is definitely why I feel like the Internet — and our individual lives online — are so worth attending to. But the truth of why I do it is honestly that I just really, really love touching my computer. A lot.

Where do you do it?
Hmm, right now I am in bed. I would be embarrassed about how much of my blogging, tweeting and report-writing gets done in my bed, except that I have a wicked home media setup that would otherwise be totally wasted. So I try to mix up all the bed-based computing by spending lots of time working in cafés. And also, I do actually work in an office — but that is for human-to-human work as opposed to my human-to-computer work.

When do you do it?
I get pretty cranky if I don’t get at least 6 hours of sleep, preferably 7, so I try not to do it between about midnight and 7 am. Most weekends we have a scheduled family outing or two. And then Monday nights Gossip Girl is on from 9-10. Other than that, assume I’m doing it.

Chava Glouberman translates English to Spanish for our clients. She is a fascinating individual.

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

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Who are you?
I am an immigrant who has gone through the settlement process on more than one occasion. I was born in Paraguay, the daughter of Viennese parents who, at the time of the Anschluss in 1938, seeing the writing in the wall for the Jews there, left that centre of high culture and modernism for the jungles of Southern Paraguay. Several years later, the family moved to Buenos Aires. When I became a young adult I immigrated to and settled in Israel, drawn to the country by the strong belief of the right of the Jewish people to a land of our own, hopefully a free and secure one. My next move was to Canada, following the footsteps of my Canadian partner and our young children.

What do you do?
I work for MOSAIC, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting immigrants and refugees with their settlement and integration needs. Through a variety of programs and services, MOSAIC gives its clients the tools necessary to participate fully in Canadian society. Since its inception over 35 years ago, MOSAIC has become one of the Lower Mainland’s largest immigrant-serving organizations.
At MOSAIC, I work for the Interpretation and Translation Services. My position is Production Manager of the Translations Department. Besides holding a degree in Economics with a major in Business Management, I have an extensive background in language-based work environments, retail service and business planning. Over the last 20 years, I have worked with freelance contractors from a dizzying array of cultural backgrounds.


I am an experienced user of database, word-processing, graphics and formatting software, I also have a keen understanding of cross-platform needs and capabilities, publishing, and communications. For many years I have been serving as the webmaster of our organization and lately I have become even more deeply immersed in all aspects of Social Media and its impact on our agency.

Why do you do it?
I am a keen learner. IT and Social Media fascinate me. The rapid pace of technological advance keeps me engaged and on my toes. The salutary result is that despite the advancing years I still feel young.

Where do you do it?
I am still working at MOSAIC. MOSAIC is to me more than a place of employment. It is an organization that I respect, value and admire. MOSAIC gave me and many others like me an opportunity at a time when our lack of Canadian experience made us less than attractive in the employment market. During my earlier years here I saw the Interpretations Department bloom and explode with unprecedented success. In my capacity as the Manager of the Translations Department I observed the same thing happening again. With the hard work of our team we managed to turn two startups from volunteer outfits to viable fee for services entities, productive in their own rights and important to MOSAIC as a whole.

When do you do it?
Today I do it on a part time basis. The pressures of the managerial position I held in the past require the energy of a younger person. I enjoy the work. I am proud to be associated with an organization like MOSAIC. I could not do without the stimulus, the warmth of my contacts, and the opportunity to continue being productive.

Brand Personality: It’s all about love.

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
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Image by Perry Danforth

We talk a lot about storytelling in brand communications at Herrainco. We like finding and shedding light on our clients’ stories. In a world packed to the gunwales with more choice than you could ever possibly sample, it’s the brands we love that make it. And they don’t have to be big brands. Dave Ansett of Truly Deeply, a branding firm in Melbourne, Australia wrote a lovely little piece today called The Power of Personality in Brand Communications. You can read it here. It’s a great little read and illustrates so well that any brand can be loved, Truly and Deeply!

Cari Bird, Senior Graphic Designer at Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

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Cari wrangles design at the ever growing and changing Emily Carr University. It’s a challenge and she bears up well.

Who are you?
I am a designer, creator, planner and adventurer. I’m an eternal student. I love the outdoors.

What do you do?
I try to have a balanced life - work inside, play outside. I race sailboats, hike, ski and travel to far-flung corners of the earth. When travel isn’t an option I explore new territories at home. Right now I’m delving into the fascinating world of stereoscopic 3D.

Why do you do it?
In my work world, I always have fun, interesting projects on the go! Emily Carr is an endless realm of opportunity. They encourage pushing creative boundaries like no studio I’ve ever worked in. I love being surrounded by raw creative talent - It’s invigorating. In life in general, I love adventure, meeting new people and exploring new territory - it’s why I’ve spent so much time travelling the globe.

Where do you do it?
Vancouver is home, though I grew up on the prairies, I don’t think I could live away from the sea now. I’m lucky to work at Granville Island - it’s teeming with artisans and craftsmen of all sorts.

When do you do it?
You’d think a university would be quieter in the summer but it’s not the case, I’m busy year-round. I save up chunks of time for when I need a breather. Last year I escaped the last of winter by jetting off to Central America for 3 weeks. Bliss!

Pax Vobiscum

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Forgive me while I lead into this with my meandering thinking process and how I ended up on typography and semiotics.

It was the Ides of March yesterday. That led me to the coup on Caesar and his often quoted last words “Et tu, Brute?”. I drifted further to Latin and how much I remembered from the more cloistered days, before Pope Paul VI changed so much about the Catholic Church, including using Latin in Mass. Then I started seeing the words in type and realized how tightly correlated certain things are with certain typefaces. Are you still with me?

I had to get out of bed before dawn to set the Latin phrase, Pax Vobiscum or “Peace be with you”, in a couple of typefaces I thought were what I remembered and then threw in one I knew was wrong, just to see it in comparison.
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I’ll leave it to you to decide which one you think looks more like the Catholic Missal, if you even know what that was (our little books we carried to Church every Sunday — and for many of us every day — that had the words to every Mass and its readings).

My drift here is that there are collective memories about things like type, a vox populi, if you will. Those memories contribute to the semiotics of type. If you look at the examples above — all serif typefaces — you can see very clear differences and, if you are part of the collective Catholic consciousness, or perhaps even other Christian faiths, only one or two of these actually look right.

And, while I’m at it, you should note that they are all set in 60 point type. Yep, they’re all the same size. So if you ever decide to tell your designer that they MUST use a certain point size because some hack told you that things must always be set in a certain size, think again. It depends on the typeface. And the typeface always tells a story.

Pax vobiscum.

Casey Hrynkow is a partner in Herrainco Brand Strategy+ Design Inc. a design firm based in Vancouver British Columbia

Ariella Eini promotes the Partners for Life Program at Canadian Blood Services

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

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Over the last three years I have worked with the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada/BC Chapter in the Partners for Life Program with Canadian Blood Services. This is a great program that encourages members of community groups, professional organizations, etc. to band together to donate blood because “every minute of every day, someone needs blood”. Ariella is an enthusiastic promoter of this program, and I invite you to get in touch with her at the Vancouver Oak Street Clinic at 604.707.3441 and get your organization involved.

Who are you?
I am a Community Development Coordinator for Canadian Blood Services. I am also a baker, gardener, cyclist and hiker that pretends to know how to knit.

What do you do?
At Canadian Blood Services, I work with students, faith-based groups and a wide spectrum of businesses to get people donating blood. It’s a great job! Blood donors are such kind people. I hear the most amazing and inspiring stories that make me so proud to do what I do.

Why do you do it?
Every minute of every day, someone in Canada needs blood. Since we can’t manufacture blood in a lab, the only way for us to have blood available for those that need it is for people like you and I to be rolling up our sleeves and donating.

Almost two years ago now, a close friend of mine was in a terrible bicycle accident. If not for blood donors - the people that generously give up their time for a package of cookies - she wouldn’t be with us today. I am eternally grateful for that and it grounds me in my work everyday.

Where do you do it?
I live and work in Vancouver.

When do you do it?

I’m one of those Monday - Friday working folk. Outside of those hours, you can find me in the kitchen making banana bread, weeding my garden or hiking through the forests looking for old-growth trees.

Casey Hrynkow is a partner in Herrainco Brand Strategy+ Design Inc. a design firm based in Vancouver British Columbia