Saturday, January 30, 2010

11 Creative Outdoor Advertisement Designs

While most local boards seem to be a brochure, these capture the excitement and imagination outdoor advertising could be in this region but often isn't allowed, or expected to be. No stock photos, hokey messages or trite attempts to act on nostalgia; these are a designer's dream!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mwd Colorpsych08

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Gen Y

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

[INTERVIEW] 10 Questions With Mark Wolfe of Mark Wolfe Design | Shouts & Hollers

[INTERVIEW] 10 Questions With Mark Wolfe of Mark Wolfe Design

Posted on January 19, 2010 by Bill Gardner
Filed Under Art, Featuring, The Arts | Leave a Comment

Q: As an artist, a graphic designer, web designer, and photographer does art as work and art as hobby intersect, or do you you see them as two separate things?
A: Art and design have always been what I am about and what I choose to do every day, all the time. I employ two types of photography, commercial and fine art. The commercial side complements my graphic work and the fine art allows me to try different things through photography. I’m able to not only lay out a publication, print ad or website, but I’m also able to fill these in with my own photography and design abilities. My graphic design background helps in composing subjects and understanding the workings and theory behind my art and a means to promote, direct and utilize it in a positive way.

Q: Do you consider yourself more of a commercial artist, or as artist making art for the sake of making art?
A: Both. I believe the lines between fine art and commercial art have been dissipated by the pop art movement in the fifties and sixties with Andy Warhol, Richard Hamilton and Roy Lichtenstein. Today we have Tim Biskup, Yoshito Nara, Takashi Murakami, Robert Williams and Mark Ryden. I am amazed at how many talented designers have fine art leanings and musical abilities. I believe that graphic design is an excellent form of self expression. Many graphic design campaigns are featured as modern art. Art and design are natural cousins and work well together. Art for art’s sake, as the saying goes, needs no justification. I’m just doing what I’ve always wanted to do and I’m very blessed to able to have been received so well across artistic borders and venues.

Q: What is art?
A: The concept of art has transcended traditional meanings and views. Art is no longer institutionalized or trapped in any one classification thanks to viral artists, street artists and of course lowbrow art. Art is now in disarray; Duchamp saw it that fortunately! Art is now the exploration into the subconscience and the exploration as to how our environment can sometimes surround us and overtake the individual.

Q: Who are your influences?
A: As a designer I am influenced by the early work of Milton Glaser. His work allowed me to explore the exact field I felt I wanted to be in. Later I was introduced to Neville Brody, David Carson and Paul Rand. Rand influenced my love of corporate identity and Carson gave me my love of typography. Glaser joined those two worlds perfectly. Glaser is the perfect designer. As far as photography goes I started with Steiglitz and Takashi Amano. I love newer works by Noah Kalina, Michael Williams and my friend Debbie Hill. For my fine art such as pastels and illustration no one has influenced me more than José Posada.

Q: Do you have any shows coming up?

A: I will in the spring. I’m concentrating on some commissions now. I hope to feature more work in the near future. I’m hoping to do more collaborative work with my partner and muse, Amy Williams. She always inspires me to grow more as a visual artist!

Q: How do you choose what goes into a show?

A: It’s an eclectic approach. I never limit myself that way. Usually I choose what work will best fit in the environment meant to be reflected or theme chosen as the focus of the exhibition.

Q: How was the experience of working with East End Main Street on HallowEast, and ArtMares?

A: Pleasure and pain. Seriously, a lot of work went into both. I’m very pleased how each were excepted by the public and the artists locally. Ultimately it was a testing ground for what I could do and how something like these two exhibitions, which have never been done here in Charleston, would be embraced by our population. The volunteers and supporters of East End Main Street were super human and very dedicated to making this first ever type of event work and it showed! There are certainly things I will do different next year, but as a whole I’m very proud of what we accomplished. Positive repercussions are still being felt today and so many more artists and individuals want to be part of them in 2010.

Q: Do you have anything special planned for FestivALL this year?
A: I hope it will make it. It is another photography exhibit exploring the relation of animals to people. It should be fun to see.

Q: Do you have a website?
A: Not only do I have a main website for MWD, but I also design them, remember. I am available on these sites as well:

Q: How has social media changed your business?
A: It’s been a major shot in the arm! I am such an introvert and don’t ever enter award shows as a principle so my ability for exposure has been very limited. Until now. Social networking allows me to concentrate on doing what I love and having so many more people from all over the world know what that is and show such support for it. I’m overwhelmed by online communities and the means of communication and sharing they offer. It’s the way I connect with the outside world and keep everyone up to date (and minute) with who I am and what I’m doing. There’s been nothing to compare to how social media tools have grown awareness in MWD. It’s only getting bigger. I’m currently the third highest followed person in WV on Twitter with currently 7,000 + followers and my social media sites are gaining numbers every hour! Social media is the only way any business is going to succeed now. Traditional media campaigns and print are out of style and not as influential as they once were. Stay away from social media at your own risk these days if you want to grow your business or awareness to the public at large.

Q: What’s in the future for Mark Wolfe and Mark Wolfe Design?

A: Right now things are pretty good with MWD. There is so much growing competition now from smaller shops and other sole proprietors, but I have a solid following and loyal clients. I will continue to stay low key and just under the radar as I have since I started. It’s what I like. I have an iPhone app coming out soon and I will continue to lecture and offer more classes on social networking, which has become a specialty of mine. The sky’s the limit really and I’m going to enjoy the ride.



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I was featured in an online magazine this week, Thanks guys!

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What is the graphic design process? | David Airey, graphic designer

What is the graphic design process?

Published on October 9th, 2006 Leave your thoughts »

graphic design

A good graphic design process is structured around ensuring the client gets the highest quality solution and service appropriate to their business, marketing or communication problem. There are four major steps involved in graphic design.

  1. Briefing
  2. Design
  3. Artwork
  4. Production

While the detail below explains the steps involved in the graphic design process, your graphic designer will tailor his / her processes to suit your requirements. For instance, you may choose to brief your designer in detail at a later stage, after you have provided the signed off text. The process that best meets your needs can be discussed with your designer.

1. Briefing

The briefing stage may consist of either or both of the following:

  • Initial informal discussions between you, the client, and your designer – covering project objectives, timing and budget.
  • Formal meetings to discuss your project in detail and clarify any technical issues including budget, timetable and corporate identity guidelines.

2. Design


  • The designer reviews the brief, background material and identity standards to ensure understanding of the project context and your corporate requirements.
  • The designer develops the draft concepts and preliminary designs and selects the most appropriate options for further development.


  • The designer presents visual solutions and explains design decisions.
  • Together you will evaluate the visual presentation against the brief.


  • Following your review and feedback, the designer amends the material as required and, if necessary, presents you with new design(s).

3. Artwork

  • Your designer prepares the artwork files and provides a proof (email or hardcopy).
  • You either approve the artwork by signing the proof, or mark-up changes you’d like to make.
  • A further proof is provided if required.
  • Any “author’s corrections” (client requested changes to content already provided which may include additional charges: these should be detailed in any quote conditions provided with your initial quote).

4. Production

The designer forwards the artwork to a commercial printer.

  • The designer views the printer’s proof and passes the proof on to the client for approval.
  • In some cases, the designer can conduct a “press check” of the printed sample while the job is running on the printing press.

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Most creative bus and bus shelter advertisements | creativebits

Marketing Through Social Media is Not Easy. Plan Accordingly. | Kyle Lacy, Social Media - Indianapolis

Marketing Through Social Media is Not Easy. Plan Accordingly.

January 18th, 2010 Posted in Social Media Community, Social Media Expert, social media, social media marketing, social media mission

If you haven’t figured this out already… running a small business is not easy… managing a network of 100 sales professionals is not easy… running a marketing department with a budget of $100 million is not easy. Accordingly

Marketing your products and services is not easy.

Nothing in this world… that is worth anything of value is EASY to obtain. Well…unless you grow money on trees or you are just THAT good (Ben Affleck in Boiler Room)… The majority of us have not found the seed to grow a tree that sheds Mr. Benjamin Franklin ($100 bill for the layman) twice a year.

It is hard to get to where you WANT to go in life. It shouldn’t be easy.

I am amazed that people want the easy way out. How do we make this tool easier to use? How can we spend the LEAST amount of time possible to get a project completed? Why do we have to spend money on marketing? How can I get to the 4-hour work week? No thank you.

Integrating social media into your marketing is not easy and it is not cheap. If you want the intangible (branding) and tangible (product sales) benefits of social media you have to agree to work hard or pay someone to work hard for you.

Don’t confuse or try to convince yourself that social media is the answer to all your problems and concerns. It works when you combine the new with the old, the traditional with the web 2.0/3.0.

If it was an easy thing to accomplish wouldn’t everyone be doing it? Wouldn’t everyone be successful at it?

What is the first step to tackling the monster? We use an acronym to explain the process of marketing through social media.

MOST: Monitoring. Objectives. Strategy. Technology.

Listen. Build. Plan. Interact.

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This is a great article by my friend, Kyle Lacy. Kyle really gets it about social media. I'm always trying to explain to my clients that simply joining Twitter, Facebook, etc. won't be the magic behind huge sales. It's planning and guidance coupled with the understanding of which tools to use and how. Mark Wolfe Design can provide that type of guidance and help.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Soup, Spoons and Social Media  - Journal - Sketchbook B

I went to Subway last week. I don’t typically eat at Subway, but there is one by my office and I didn’t have much time for lunch. As I walked in, on the door, there was a window cling encouraging me to order soup with a combo. When I got in line, I looked up and there on the menu was an ad encouraging me to order soup. At the register there was another sign.

So I ordered soup.

I grabbed a seat. And realized I didn’t have a spoon. I looked up by the straws and napkins. There were forks and knives, but no spoons. So I asked the woman behind the counter – the same woman who sold me the soup – if they had any spoons. After asking another employee, she confirmed that they had no spoons in the restaurant.

The big picture

It seems both silly and odd that a franchisee would go to all the trouble of putting up all the signs and ads and then mess up something as simple as having spoons.

But I think this type of thing is very common in business. Often, we see people obsess over seemingly insignificant details, only to completely overlook a major issue. They work on the details and lose sight of the big picture.

As designers, we see this a lot.

Clients spend time and energy critiquing minor elements of a design, but often forget to shore up the logistical issues that support a campaign. Marketing and design are critical, but so is customer service and support. Think about my Subway story for a second. The marketing worked. I entered the store. And I purchased soup. However because of a minor – but critical – oversight, I was a dissatisfied customer. 

Social media and a lack of spoons

Right now, social media is all the rage. Everyone seems to be talking about how social media can help their business. Worrying that they’ll be left behind if they aren’t on Twitter or Facebook. Consultants are aggressively selling social media services.

But I fear many of these folks are losing sight of the big picture. Social media is a tactic. And yes, it can be an effective and powerful tactic. But as companies develop their social media plans, they cannot forget that it is just the beginning of the customer relationship. Strategically, you need to think through the entire customer experience. What are you going to do with your customers after you reach out to them through social media? How do you want to engage your customers on a continuing basis?

I’m not saying social media is bad or that it isn’t important. There are absolutely uses for social media in business and marketing. Just remember that the social media tactics are only the beginning. You and your company need to prepare for a long-term customer relationship.

Or in other words, when you decide to sell soup, make sure you are ready to provide spoons.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

40 Fabulous 1 or 2 Color Logo Designs and Tutorials for Your Inspiration | Web Design Tutorials and Inspiration | Learn Photoshop Online | Creative Inspiration | Web Resources

The most creative climate change ads you'll see | creativebits

Sparse imagery coupled with a powerful message, these are ads that make an impact with a central focal point. Catchy headers are backed by solid ad copy and sometimes no ad copy at all reinforces the message to the reader.

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The Most Relevant Identity Work of the Decade - Brand New

This is a pretty good over view of design trends among large corporations in the past view decades. I think you can tell the obvious way they have influenced regional designers. The design trend is finally at a level I appreciate; less is more. Color is being used more freely. Hopefully more clients will allow their designers a broader palette just as these translate.

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