Hello there my furry and human friends! This past week I had the pawesome opportunity to virtually lecture at my local university and I got to speak about a topic that is close to my heart. Adoption. For those of you that may not know, I used to be one of the adoptable pups from Griffin Pond Animal Shelter and when I met my human it changed my life along with some other pups in the office. Check out our stories!
No one wanted me because I was a “runt,” so I was the last lil pug left in a litter of puggies. I had to watch all my brothers and sisters go to their furever homes one by one. I was only there for 24 hrs and it made me so sad! Finally, my human Jamie came and found me and we’ve been best buds ever since. I can’t stand it when she’s not around, I start to make sad sounds!
I was a stray for a good part of my life, but I was ok with people. I had some training and my new human lady found me and took me off the streets and I felt like a new dog! I started feeling like myself again and not so scared – I could be comfortable and safe in a house.
I was previously living in an abusive home, my owner didn’t like me much. I moved around a lot – I had 4 homes before I was a year old. Finally, Dennis and his family took me in and I quickly bonded with Dennis. They tell me I became his “therapy dog” because I’m full of energy and help keep him active with his Wobbler’s Syndrome, which can be discouraging for him sometimes. I’m so happy I found my furever home and met Dennis!
Hi there I’m Mars! You may know me as the sleepy bagel or the dachshund that barks at you after you leave (sorry I’m trying to protect my human and I’m a wise boy). This past week our goodest boys and best girls had our monthly obedience training today, directed by yours truly.
We’re still able to produce great content with our clients while practicing safe social distancing. We all have a very powerful camera right in our pocket on our smartphones. We’ve challenged some of our friends to get creative with their devices and film their own footage that we can then edit into engaging branded content.
Here are some tips we put together for filming your own video at home. Grab your phone and a handy dandy helper if you can — it’s tough being the talent and the director at the same time!
Shoot at the highest resolution possible in your settings. 1080 is better than 720, but 4K is best. The higher the number of frames per second, the better. 60 frames per second (fps) is preferred.
Experiment with light and be aware of your main light source. For instance, direct bright light may be a little harsh on your face and cast strong shadows. Softer, natural light is more flattering. Take advantage of the light coming through windows without getting so close you need sunglasses. Contrary to what a lot of people think, overcast or cloudy days are actually the best for filming because clouds filter the light.
Film with your phone horizontally, not vertically. The camera on the back of your phone is generally better than the front facing camera, this is where a helper might come in handy. Place your phone on a flat surface at eye level with your subject. Don’t attempt to hold your phone for filming! Make sure the lens is clean and your subject is in focus, tapping a face on the screen will tell the camera where to focus.
Framing your shot is important. Align yourself with the center of the screen. We don’t need to see your whole body – we’ll want to focus on your face. You can sit or stand however you’re most comfortable, but remember to stay in one place for the duration of filming. Be conscious of the environment you’re in; make sure the background is not too busy or distracting. Get creative! Move a plant into the background, add a soft blanket for a different texture, or remove excess clutter.
Find a quiet place with no background noise, silence other devices, and turn the TV off. Let others in your home know you’re filming to avoid any on-camera disruptions. Do a test to make sure there is no echo in your space and make sure to speak loud and clear.
Every project we have the pleasure of working on has its own special place in our hearts, but every now and then, there are those projects that stand out from the rest. This past weekend was a humbling experience to see our work awarded for creative excellence at the American Advertising Awards (the Addys).
The American Advertising Awards is a multi-tiered national competition that begins with a regional entry. For our Posture fam, entering this competition is a time for us to reflect on what we’ve accomplished over the past year and really appreciate the partnerships that have allowed us to create such amazing work.
The night was filled with inspiring work from all over the region. Cheers to all of the creative professionals and students who were honored this weekend at The American Advertising Awards and THANK YOU to our friends and fellow business owners who trusted us the opportunity to bring their vision to life.
Here’s a glimpse at the projects that brought home awards.
Gold Addy, Judges Choice and People’s Choice
Our favorite part of this integrated brand campaign was entwining the mystery of the Madame and the history of this gorgeous downtown space. Between the tantalizing social ads, sultry website, and intriguing guerilla campaign that involved leaving “Jenny’s keys” around the city with an invitation to her bawdy house, we were bursting at the seams ourselves just to get a sneak peek into the Madame’s jazzy little speakeasy.
It was quite the challenge condensing a year’s worth of creativity into a single sizzle reel, but we’re proud to finally produce a piece that shows off our favorite work while being as high-octane rapid-fire in-your-face as we are. And of course, we made our own music, too. You’re welcome 😉
Fighting for Change
Silver Addy: Interface & Navigation
Sometimes we do our best work when there is a social cause at stake, and this project proved just that. This website and video interview series centered around fighting for a conversation within our country via effective campaigns that inform the public on key issues. We strived to match that positive energy through this website’s bright and engaging user experience.
We’ve been working with our friends at Avanti for several years now on continuously building brand awareness with a new generation while showing an appreciation for the history of this product. After re-launching their web presence, we were delighted (and a bit sweaty) when we had the opportunity to capture stunning drone footage of the fire-curing process at the crack of dawn in Kentucky and Tennessee.
When your business has “fancy” in the name, you’re already setting the stage for a classy website experience. Our goal was to challenge ourselves technically (we love playing in React!) to create a web presence for this architecture firm that fits their modern style and forward-thinking mindset. It’s always gratifying to see a brand that you sprouted several years earlier take on new life in a fancy website form.
We’ve partnered with Electric City Roasting on their package designs since they were just a baby bean. Every time we collaborate on new packaging, we try to push the brand further while maintaining the integrity and recognition that coffee enthusiasts and baristas have come to know and love.
Some people are gifted with the innate ability to come up with brilliant ideas and innovative solutions effortlessly. The rest of us, however, are forced to work with the complexly (and sometimes clunky) mechanical minds we’ve been given. They grind along well enough if we oil them frequently, but it’s easy to get behind on mental maintenance. Creativity requires vigilance and lots of self-care. It’s almost like taking care of your car but deserves a little more thought.
Here are our tips for keeping your creative mechanics sharp and running well:
1. Preventative maintenance
Keeping cognitive creation at it’s prime requires preventative maintenance like a cars oil change. Instead of chugging the nearest 5W-30 caffeine, make sure you’re paying attention to how well your engines running, and be sure to take measures accordingly. If you’re feeling drained, don’t push yourself more than necessary.
2. Refuel often
A good day’s work of creative output comes from a lifetime of creative input. Your creativity is based on your lifetime of experiences that have led up to this moment. So keep living your life and feeding your creative side. Make sure you are participating in something you are passionate at least once a day.
3. Rotate your tires regularly
If you’re constantly wearing on the same old tricks you’ve always used, you’ll get worn down. You need a new perspective from time to time, and that requires some time and effort. Whether that’s throwing a new
4. Just get in the car, damnit.
Half the battle is showing up, getting your pen on the page. Chuck Close put it best by saying “Inspiration Is for Amateurs—The Rest of Us Just Show Up and Get to Work.” Most of the time while we’re simply waiting for something to spark our creativity, we could instead be putting effort into creating using what we already have in front of us. Sure, you’ll have some days where you’re fired up and roaring to create, but other days you’ll have to make do with what you can get.
5. Drive with confidence
When you’re out on the road, there are a bazillion other things you could focus on, but it takes a bit of focus and self-confidence to really hone in on driving your creativity to the finish line.
I knew pretty early in life that I would pursue a career in something related to visual art. Whether it was drawing banners or building crafts as a kid, I was always pretty artsy-fartsy. I identified and thrived in this area because I was exposed to it and given the opportunity in school and at home to be as artistic as I could. I was lucky. Not every kid has those opportunities.
Research shows the arts offer benefits far beyond creativity — they increase productivity and focus, they boost confidence, teach problem-solving and so much more. Regardless of their benefits, budgets and curriculums in our public schools make it difficult for our children to be exposed to visual and performing art.
So when our team started thinking about what local organizations we wanted to support this holiday season it was only natural that I thought of something that has had an impact on me personally. I’ve had the pleasure of working hand in hand with Arts in Education NEPA, a partnership organization of The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and NEIU 19. Their mission is to advocates for arts education in schools and communities. They administer quality learning experiences in the performing and visual arts.
The most widely known AIE NEPA program, Arts Alive, is celebrating their 26th year this summer. Arts Alive pairs professional working artists and students in grades K-12 for four intensive weeks each summer. And the outcome is nothing short of remarkable. They create a safe space where no one feels like an outsider and anything is possible. Students self-esteem skyrockets and the boost in confidence trickles through all of their studies improving their grades and attitudes with lifelong lessons they will take with them throughout the year.
What’s even more remarkable is the effect these programs have on children with more serious needs. I’ve personally met autistic children who entered the program as a nonverbal student and have found their voice through Arts Alive… literally and figuratively.
Support of AIE NEPA provides scholarships and transportation to students that otherwise wouldn’t have access to quality educational art programs.
Show your support for the arts and build a virtual gingerbread house for AIE NEPA!
Join the Posture House Party now through December 31st and share your house on social media with #PostureHouseParty to vote for AIE NEPA as the winner of our grand prize — a cash donation plus design and digital support totaling $5,000!
We live on the 3rd floor of a popular downtown spa and salon, so we’re pretty tucked away doing our web design thing. Most spa-goers think we either do waxing, some sort of chiropractic service, or excel in eyelash extensions. We were thrilled at the invitation of our downstairs neighbor, Alexander’s, to exhibit for First Friday. Getting down to business, we set out to create an experiential installation that helped illustrate what we did all day. But just what did that mean? (Besides Doug’s afternoon naps.)
We decided on two concepts which centered around coding and design. At its core, our daily tasks involve putting certain actions, commands or thoughts into a machine (or Macbook Pro) and anticipating a desired result or reaction to make some slick websites. We also use computer programs to help us design unique branding and awesome interactive elements for our projects.
To put our daily workings into a tactile experience, we used a microcontroller called a Makey Makey (a fun programmable device) to put the spectator in the driver’s seat. We programmed various interactive pieces around the space with hand-wired controllers projected to large screens. We constructed our own old school video game controller as well as a cornucopia of wired fruit (yes, delicious, nutritious, AND conductive.) Using their own energy as the conductor, visitors became part of the program as well as the designer. Their own actions layered different motions, shapes and sounds on our interactive canvases throughout the evening to create unique works of digital art.
We also exhibited some of our own generative art. What’s that, you ask? Generative art utilizes computer algorithms and user input to build textured patterns of image and design in static and dynamic forms. These selections were produced using software which was programmed to start minimal and grow while exploring the complexities of computer calculations in stunning and captivating visual pieces. Umm… still sound like Greek? TL;DR: We created these sweet designs by setting certain rules in the computer and then letting it go wild!
It also turns out that most of our team is, was, or would like to be in a band. Pooling their talents Captain Planet-style, our musical forces combined for an awesome evening of entertainment. This, coupled with Kat’s harvest sangria recipe (thanks Pinterest), some culinary delights from Vine Cafe, and a bunch of curious people – all helped answer the question we were asked throughout evening:
Recently, we had the opportunity to host a social media and design session with NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners) NEPA at the Posture office. We were thrilled to have this opportunity to not only share what we’ve learned over the years as an agency, but also discuss ways we all handle the daily challenges that we all encounter with our businesses on social media.
A lot of great points arose from our session with these driven business leaders, and today we’d like to share our 5 favorite takeaways with you:
Respond (positively) to criticism
It’s tempting to just shut out the haters – but when you own a business, shutting out a hater means shutting out a customer. And their family. And their friends. And probably their friends of friends. This is what reputation management refers to – actively engaging in online comments and reviews to build customer trust. Responding positively to a bad customer review or comment and trying to “make things right” is more likely to regain trust and prompt the customer to return to a business. Other followers can see how the negative situation was handled and build trust with your business, too. With the proliferation of reviews and recommendations on social media, our peers are now viewed as authorities on a variety of topics. Make sure trashing your business isn’t one of those topics.
Sorry, but your social media followers actually can see through bullshit. If you’re constantly pushing your product or service in their face you’ll come off as “fake.” Try finding creative ways to introduce your product in everyday situations while giving them a glimpse into who you are as a person/group of people. Post about your mission first to show where your values lie. Talk to your social following like you would a friend. Otherwise, your followers will have difficulty relating to you or engaging with you – and will bump you out of their feeds fast.
Take advantage of free resources We’re not saying these resources can take the place of the quality and depth of detail that an agency (wink, wink) can provide you, but photo editing apps like VSCO Cam can help you improve your image quality outside of Instagram while Canva or PicMonkey can help even the most “design-challenged” folks on a budget create eye-catching image layouts on the fly. License-free stock image sites like Unsplash are a must to protect yourself from copyright infringement – always give credit to the author of your images if you did not take them yourself and they are not clearly labeled as royalty- or license-free. Free post scheduling software baked into Facebook is super helpful for loading up your posts ahead of time – or you could use a platform like Hootsuite or Buffer to manage content on multiple accounts at once.
Variety is the spice of life Have a sale, event or promotion going on that you really want to push? Great, post away! Using the same image/content and posting it every day of the week, however, isn’t going to attract the attention of your followers as much as it will bore them. Find different ways to frame the same event or promotion that will continually grab potential customers with exciting new announcements and eye-catching images. Even try mixing it up a little every time with the types of events and promotions you post so you and your brand don’t become “socially predictable.”
Have fun Posting on social media shouldn’t be something that keeps you awake at night. Talk about what comes naturally to you and your business in your daily routine and have fun with how you use photos/video to get people’s attention and share your unique experience. Really liking a popular meme? Go on and work it into a post – your followers may see you as more human. You don’t need a whole marketing team to do this – you just need to be you!
It was a successful night at the NEPA American Advertising Awards (formerly the ADDYs) held earlier this month. Posture proudly accepted a gold award in the category of marketing sales and promotion for the design of the Metz Culinary Management sales kit.
The Posture team has always been big supporters of The American Advertising Federation, but our favorite event is definitely the ADDYs. Both Kathryn and myself have served on the AAF board of directors for several years and have seen not only the work that goes into this event but also the increasingly competitive quality of entries that come from all across our region.
The Award-winning work
We’re especially proud of this project because it was a true collaboration of not only the Posture team but also our good friends at Metz. We were tasked with packaging sales materials in a new way that would reflect the company values of fun, integrity, quality, hospitality, balance and respect. Once we immersed ourselves in the family-driven, guest-first culture of Metz, our task became much easier.
Using the core company values as our guide we organized information in an interactive and engaging reader experience. Tiered pages created a pacesetting telling the story of the company, while bright colors represented the quality of fresh ingredients. The heart of the packet housed a colorful depiction of the values that drive the team at Metz. A pocket folder in the back of the piece contains matching supplementary material which provides a customizable aspect to the sales piece.
District Two Awards
Our winning work along with eight other professional entries will now advance to Pittsburg where they will represent Northeast Pennsylvania in the District Two competition. District winners will then compete nationally at ADMERICA in New Orleans. Congrats to all of the 2016-2017 ADDY winners!