Posts tagged ‘Zag Fort Worth’

Printerrific!

RolandoBeing a successful graphic designer means knowing all facets of the industry: PMS colors, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, software, product packaging and more.

But one area most amateur designers do not take into consideration when creating their work is the printer.

In a world consumed with computer screens and 1080ppi, people are progressively losing the love and admiration they once had in holding a well-designed printed piece in their hands.

The printer is a graphic designer’s best friend – they can make your work look terrific or terrible –  and I thought I’d introduce myself: Alex and I were off to Curry Printing Inc. for a press check and a mini tour.

Below are my top three experiences at Curry, in no particular order:

  1. The Smell. As you walk into the front office, you are greeted by intense smells of ink, oil and glue. You have to get used to it, but it lets you know what you’re getting yourself into.
  2. The Eyes. I consider myself to have a pretty good eye until I met Cody Curry. He is the owner/president of Curry Printing, and he put my attention to detail to shame. While we were conducting our press check, Cody pointed out spots and blemishes (what he called hickies) that were the size of a grain of salt – no exaggeration.
  3. The Hands. Everyone at Curry Printing is so nice. We are greeted with smiles and firm handshakes – it definitely put me and Alex at ease at our first press check. Quality, precision, and customer service are what Cody said sets Curry Printing apart from the rest.

One thing is certain, printing is serious business that could make or break your hard work.

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08/05/2009 at 11:03 AM 1 comment

Zag Recess: We met Tim Love!

collin-polaTo work at a marketing agency, you need to be ready for anything. Quick changes, deadlines, last minute meetings; it’s a stressful world we live in, but it’s a world in which we thrive.

However, sometimes we just need to kick off our shoes, get out of the office and have fun as a team. These outings have become known around the office as “Zag Recess.”

Today for recess, we went to the grand opening of The Love Shack in the new So7 development.

First off, may I suggest to anybody reading this blog that you should go ASAP. The food was delicious and original (which is kind of hard to do with a burger).

The most exciting part though had to be when we met celebrity chef Tim Love. For those who don’t know, Chef Love is the owner and executive chef of The Lonesome Dove Western Bistro in Fort Worth. He has also competed on Iron Chef America (which he won) and Top Chef Masters, so to steal from, Ron Burgundy he’s kind of a big deal.

Chef Love was nice enough to chat and take a picture with us. I’m pretty sure Alex, the office chef, was about to pass out from excitement like one of those girls who saw The Backstreet Boys for the first time (just kidding Alex).

All in all, great outing, but we’re already looking forward to next week – G.I. Joe Friday here we come!

Also, the blog Fort Worth Renaissance was kind enough to feature Alex’s post about The Love Shack (like I said, Backstreet Boys fan. Last time Alex, I promise) on their Friday web links. Thanks guys.

08/01/2009 at 4:17 AM Leave a comment

Gimme some lovin’

AlexWith the entire office scrambling to get work done this week, I decided a trip to The Love Shack was in order.

For the hungry Fort Worthian, the second Love Shack is set to open in the new So7 development across from Montgomery Plaza. The original, which opened two years ago, still stands in the Stockyards.

The last couple days this week have consisted of soft opening lunch services – to work the kinks out. The official grand opening for the So7 Love Shack is this Friday, July 31.

The New Love Shack Bar

I recently visited to see how things were working out. Expecting utter chaos – that’s what soft openings are for after all – I was instead greeted with controlled chaos. Everybody was scrambling to get something done, but things were moving smoothly, and of course, the food was spectacular.

The Double Dirty Love Burger, Fries and a Abita root beer - bliss

The Love Shack is the project of celebrity chef, and native Texan, Tim Love. He is also known for his upscale Lonesome Dove Western Bistro and White Elephant Saloon in the Stockyards. Love was also a contestant on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and a winner on Iron Chef America.

This chef-driven burger is easily my favorite bite in Fort Worth.

If you don’t trust me, recent accolades for The Love Shack include spots in Texas Monthly’s “50 Best Burgers in Texas” and renown publisher Conde Nast’s “Top 105 New Restaurants in the World.” A Star-Telegram review said the signature Dirty Love Burger was “quite possibly the most perfect burger on the planet.”

Is your stomach growling yet? Stop reading this and go get yourself some Lovin’!

Some Love Shack photos (some old, some new)

07/29/2009 at 11:21 PM 1 comment

Everything is bigger in Texas

AlexAs I was driving down I-30 on Sunday, I was anxious about two things: attending my first football (soccer) match and being able to see what $1.15 billion and three years of construction bears.

I was bound for Cowboys Stadium.

From the two 300-feet arches to the sheer amount of glass, Cowboys Stadium is really something out of this world. It easily dwarfs anything in the vicinity – the highest point on the Titan at Six Flags is 60 feet shorter than just one of the arches.

The building is so big that I had to back up 100-yards to fit it in the frame.

Sunday was the final game of the World Football Challenge, a soccer tournament featuring well-known clubs from around the globe; it was my favorite club, Chelsea of London, pitted against Mexican giants Club America.

Though the previous games were played in large venues, there’s none bigger than Cowboys Stadium.

It took a while, but after firmly clamping my jaw back to it’s normal, upright position, I stepped inside the mothership.

Immediately, visitors are greeted with an enormous concourse, but the piéce de résistance is the 50-yard scoreboard – the largest high-definition display in the world. And again, my jaw dropped.

Cowboys Stadium HD Screen

Overall, the experience was pleasant, though not without a few caveats. Parking is a nightmare, security is dodgy and concessions are pricy, but what’s new.

This stadium has a bright future ahead. With a diverse card of events like Paul McCartney next month, the NBA All-Star game in 2010 and Superbowl XLV in 2011, there’s no doubting the marketing potential for the city of Arlington as well as the Metroplex.

The investment brought forth by the city of Arlington and Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones will be returned – though it may be a while. Like they say in Field of Dreams, “if you build it, they will come.”

If anything, this building is a testament to the classic slogan, “Everything is bigger in Texas.”

I’ll be hard pressed to find anything quite like Cowboys Stadium.

Below is a gallery of more photos I took on Sunday:

07/29/2009 at 1:09 AM Leave a comment

Networking is easier than you think

alexn-polaI recently attended a Fort Worth Ad Club luncheon with Kelsey and Collin where Hank Blank of Blank & Associates, a Southern California advertising agency, spoke on “Networking Your Way to More New Business.”

I’m a copywriter – I work with words, and personally I’m shy, so meeting new people is more like a chore to me. Needless to say, networking typically isn’t my gig, but this luncheon led me in the right direction.

Blank stresses that networking takes effort and time in creating and building relationships, maintaining those relationships and referring back to them when the time comes.

I’m not trying to imply that you have to devote 99 percent of your time to being networking – once the effort is made, it becomes a habit; then the rest is maintaining that effort.

The juiciest bit of advice I got was “if you want somebody to think of you, you have to think of them.” Being the cliché guru, I compare that to what The Beatles said in their final song: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” Or even, “what goes around comes around.” Alright, I’ll just stop now.

Once I was able to connect the dots together, making a conscious effort toward networking has become an easier pill to swallow (last cliché I promise) because not only is it important to my own career, but it can lead to helping more people down the road.

Like I said, I think the luncheon really helped me grasp the idea of networking. Now I just need to turn these words into actions.

07/24/2009 at 3:49 AM 1 comment

To be or not to be on social media

KelseyThat is the question. With Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Plaxo, Flickr, Ping and blogs (have I lost you yet?) all inviting us to connect, the question becomes rather obvious:

“Everyone’s doing it, why not?”

Instead of simply jumping into the pool of social media, it’s important to decide whether or not one or all are right for your goals. So first things first: what are your goals?

Thanks to a meeting on social media at the Business Assistance Center, I learned a good list of questions any business should ask before deciding to take on social media.

  1. Strategic planning: what are your goals for marketing yourself and your company? And how do you plan to do it?
  2. Tactical knowledge: what do you need to execute this plan? (i.e. classes, one-on-one training, books, etc.)
  3. Operational procedures: how much time and effort will be required to attain your marketing goals?
  4. Avenues: which networks are the best to reach your goals? (i.e. LinkedIn is directed to a more professional base, while Facebook caters to more of a social network)
  5. Continuous improvement: will you be able to maintain the social networks you are on?

By asking yourself these questions, it will become clear if you are prepared or not to take on social media as a marketing tool.

I must advise you on one point in particular; instead of jumping into all of the avenues at once, first dive into one and become an expert.

Remember, social media is a process, like any other marketing strategy, you must be patient and willing to learn.

Enjoy!

07/22/2009 at 1:22 AM Leave a comment

Web design made easy

LigiaI recently attended a seminar called “Web site Design Made Easy” taught by Smat Webdesign and was inspired to share some of the things I learned, as well as some tips of my own.

As an up-and-coming Web designer, you have to know the good, the bad and the ugly of the field.

Let’s start with the bad: Murphy’s Law is the reality of web design. The law states that if something can go wrong, then it will. From experience, when you first start in Web design, you’ll find that about 97 percent of the time, nothing will work the first time around. Now here’s the good news: Web design is all about practice, patience and most importantly, learning from mistakes.

Before you run and scream at the sight of HTML code, relax, grab some coffee and start by reading the tips below.

  1. Plan out your Web site on paper. What will be its purpose? Who will your audience be? Write down the pages you will include (i.e. About, History, Products, Contact, etc.).
  2. Once you have an idea of what the content will be, start to plan the layout and look of your site. I highly recommend to research, research, research! Go online to different Web sites so you can see what you like and what you don’t. Inspiration is the key ingredient to web design.
  3. Draw a rough sketch of each page and try your best to be as detailed as possible. It isn’t necessarily how your Web site has to look in the end, but it will serve as a guide. This step is crucial because it will save you time later.
  4. Now you’re ready to get on the computer and work your heart out. There are countless resources that will guide you through HTML and CSS – I’ve listed some of my favorites below. Start with HTML, which will be the basic structure of your Web site. Learn what the basic tags are, what they do and how they will look on a browser. Then move on to CSS, which will control the design of your Web site.  After you have a basic knowledge of what to do, it’s all about trial and error.

Here are some useful resources to get you started:

»             http://www.w3schools.com/html/default.asp
»             http://html-tags.info/
»             http://www.websitebeginner.com/
»             http://htmldog.com/

The last piece of advice I can give you is don’t be afraid to start! Begin with the most basic designs and you’ll see that, as long as you keep using your resources, you will keep learning and most importantly, improving.

You can’t expect to build a beautiful Web site overnight. It’s going to take time, research and dedication.

Good luck!

07/17/2009 at 10:55 PM Leave a comment

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