As we celebrate our 10-year anniversary, our top ten lists continue! For this month’s list, we are prepping for next week’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Everyone has his or her favorite place to celebrate, favorite food of the day or nostalgic memory of a St. Paddy’s Day in the past. Here’s what the Thinkers have to say:
Favorite Ways to Celebrate St. Paddy’s Day
- Marching in the St. Paddy’s Day parade
- Studiothink’s annual St. Paddy’s day party
- Watching the parade along the route for general debauchery
- Enjoying a perfectly poured Guinness (with a shamrock on top!)
- People-watching… ANYWHERE.
- Corned beef sandwiches at Simon’s in Brecksville
- Irish Car Bombs (drinks not explosives)
- Listening to Flogging Molly and Dropkick Murphys
- Shamrock Shakes
- Wearing green!
Do you have special St. Patrick’s Day memories? What’s your favorite way to celebrate? Share your photos from the day with us and show us how you celebrate using the hashtag #10years.
Keep watching for our monthly top-ten lists and our Thinker Thursday posts on Instagram every Thursday at 10:10 a.m.!
In 2004, CEO Christine Lobas launched the Studiothink brand with a freelance designer and a vision. Now celebrating ten years in business, Studiothink is a firmly established full-service brand management company offering marketing strategy, content marketing, public relations, graphic design, web development and culture development services.
To commemorate our 10th anniversary, the Studiothink team is “thinking big” when it comes to showcasing our mantra: “Listen. Think. Do.” Watch for our monthly top-ten lists, and witness our company culture on Instagram during Thinker Thursday, every Thursday at 10:10 a.m, to see the creative juices flowing through the Studiothink office.
Launching the top-10 lists, Studiothink put together top-ten acts of love and kindness to be carried out in February.
Here are a few ways to show you care this month:
- Pay for the order behind you in line
- Visit a nursing home and have a meal with seniors
- Ask everyone in your office to wear something red for American Heart Month
- Leave an anonymous hand written note on a co-workers chair thanking them for something they did well, giving them a compliment or telling them how much they are appreciated
- Help someone shovel their driveway
- Invite someone eating alone at a restaurant to eat with you
- Help someone brush off his or her car on a snowy day
- Top off a strangers parking meter
- Write a handwritten letter/card/postcard to someone you haven’t talked to in awhile (handwritten, not email)
- Donate blood
What would you add to the list?
Up for a challenge? Show us that you completed something on our list, and challenge us to complete an act of love or kindness of your choice! Submit a photo on our Facebook page and tag it #ST10Challenge.
Ask the Thinker Series
Before your jobs go to the printing press, there are several things that must be done to make sure it will look its best. Busy printers have to balance a tight schedule, so they want to make sure that each project is properly prepared to avoid problems at the press. If you’re having your job printed on an offset printing press, your printer will first take your digital files and make film negatives of them. These negatives will then be used to create metal plates through a process that’s similar to camera film development. If you have a four color (CMYK) design, there will be four plates — one each for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Once the plates are made, your project is ready to be printed.
An offset press does a lot of things in a very short amount of time to properly execute high-quality printing. Sheet-fed offset presses and offset web presses use similar processes, though web presses use huge rolls of paper for high-volume printing, while sheet fed presses are just that — printed sheet by sheet — and are more suitable for short- or mid-range runs (250 to 50,000).
Regardless of the paper feed type, once it is loaded on the press, it passes under a series of rollers, two of which work together to put the printed impression on the paper. Before that happens, ink and water are applied to the printing plate, which itself is mounted on a roller. The ink binds to the part of the plate that contains design elements; the water is applied to the white space portion of the paper. Oil is mixed with the ink to ensure that the ink and water repel each other and there is no smearing or blotchiness on the finished product. The plate cylinder transfers, or offsets, the design onto a rubber blanket roller, which in turn transfers the design onto the paper. In four-color printing, this process is repeated four times (once for each color) before the printing is complete and the job is ready for finishing. Often, the wet paper is run through an oven to dry.
Depending on what you are printing, you might require finishing services, such as binding and cutting. After your job is off the press, it will be put on another machine, such as a stitcher for stapling, gluing and other processes. Finally, it will be cut to size and packaged for shipment.
As you can see, graphic design is just one part of a very complex printing process. Each step of the process has a specifically designed benefit. Even though most offset printing presses work very much alike, the actual quality of your job depends on a number of factors, including your printer’s attention to detail and press maintenance, the type of press it’s printed on, the quality of the ink and paper and even the quality of your design.
Ask the Thinker Series
It’s about much more than simply collaborating with co-workers to complete a project.
Teamwork is about something bigger than individual jobs or tasks; bigger than work or competitive athletics. It’s about the recognition that each of us operates as a piston rather than the whole engine.
When I think of the epitome of teamwork, I think of some of the world’s most iconic and fascinating structures: the Empire State Building, the Great Pyramids, the Golden Gate Bridge, the JW Marriott Marquis in Dubai. These beautiful, yet complicated, constructions can be whittled down to a common thread—teamwork. Individuals operating with other individuals in small groups, larger factions and giant teams built these massive works of art together, as one.
I believe we build our own fascinating structures all the time, but not by ourselves. Even a painter needs materials, canvas and inspiration, which are all made possible by other people and their surroundings. Collaboration is present in waking up to an alarm because electric companies keep the power on. It’s in the mutual reliance on fellow drivers to yield before making a turn across traffic. It’s in relationships, on teams and in the workplace.
If you perform your individual job at a high level, that’s a testament to you. Yet that’s in addition to the colleagues, clients, vendors, suppliers, customers, family members and/or consultants that contribute to your success. In the wise words of Jonah Hill from Superbad, “This whole thing is bigger than you Fogel!”
So keep building your fascinating structures, and keep in mind the teamwork behind them.
Ask the Thinker Series
Too much work stress over a long period of time has been found to have a negative impact on the workplace – productivity, retention, health, interpersonal relationships, engagement, job satisfaction, motivation, creativity/innovation, and the list goes on.
With wellness at the top of mind for employers, organizations trying to control steep health care costs, and the need for a highly productive and efficient workforce, solving the problem of work stress is a priority. If we care about our employees, their well-being, and the health of our businesses, we must also start caring about work stress and helping our employees better manage it.
Employers can offer programs and resources to help their employees manage stress and help them achieve work/life balance such as employee assistance programs, counseling or coaching, wellness programs, paid time off, flexible schedules, family-first philosophies, time/priority/stress management educational programs, and added benefits like financial planning. Some companies have begun to offer on-site stress management therapies for example massage and yoga.
But stress management initiatives and programs are only part of the solution. What is often overlooked in solving the problem of work stress is the workplace itself.
It’s clear that work stress is often influenced by work itself and the work environment. Focus on engaging employees, managing and communicating with them well, recognizing them, listening to and using their input, making sure they fit into the right jobs, offering fair pay, providing advancement and development opportunities, and ensuring they aren’t too overloaded through more effective management of workload and problem solving. These are the common “pain points” among employees.
Oddly enough, the problem of work stress seems to have peculiar similarities to the problem of engagement and suggests that the issues are probably intertwined. Employers can make a difference and positively impact employees’ work stress by not only offering stress management resources and programs, but by truly creating a more engaging work environment and satisfying jobs.
Ask the Thinker Series
A Copywriter is someone who elegantly blends language that sells, educates, informs and entertains. They create the words you find in advertisements, brochures, websites, billboards, scripts and just about everywhere else these days.
Unlike a standard writer, who creates their own characters and worlds, Copywriters must embody the essence and voice of the specific client they are currently writing about. And on any given day, their focus must shift between a number of industries, products, goals and media.
Beyond that, a good Copywriter knows how to dig below the surface and discover what the client really want to say and what the audience truly wants to hear. That means they must have excellent research skills and an even better eye for differentiating characteristics. They also take into account factors such as usability, accessibility, placement, length, etc. There’s a myriad amount of elements that must be taken into consideration, before a single word even hits the page. Writing is actually the last step in a lengthy process.
To boil it down, a Copywriter creates the right message, addressing the right audience, at the right time and in the right place. I guess you could say a Copywriter’s job is to get it right.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner and that means food, fun and fireworks. So, in order to help you make the most of our nation’s Independence Day, we’ve done some of the legwork to find you five of the areas most exciting holiday attractions and festivities.
1. Tall Ships Festival—head up to North Coast harbor (The Port of Cleveland, behind FirstEnergy Stadium) to see some of the world’s most majestic ships still sailing the open waters. Visitors can meet with crewmembers, climb aboard these symbolic and enchanting vessels and wrap the evening with great view of the city’s fireworks display. Fireworks will begin at 10:00.
2. Red, White & Brew—the Greater Cleveland Aquarium invites you to join them for a whale of a good time. You can witness the splendors of the sea, before venturing ‘top side’ to watch the city’s fireworks display.
3. Americana Festival—where do more than 70,000 people flock on the 4th of July each year? Centerville, Ohio! An old fashioned celebration, this even features a family 5K, over 300 vendors and exhibits, a petting zoo, parade, classic car show and so much more. And as with all true festivities, the day culminates in a spectacular fireworks show.
4. Old Glory Day—there’s fun on the east side too. Chardon Square is hosting a wonderful, family friendly event from 1:30 to 4pm on July 4th. Children can decorate their bikes, wagons and big wheels to join in a parade around the square then enjoy scrumptious ice cream treats at the finish line. There will also be live music, games, a pie eating contest, a balloon artists and much more. They encourage families to pack a picnic and spend the day with friends and neighbors.
5. Ashville’s 4th of July Celebration—take a trip to the city of Ashville for an energetic festival unlike any other. Famous for their fish sandwiches and Triple Treat Shows, the party kicks off with a Grand Parade the morning of the 4th. Festivities continue throughout the day and lastly, an extravagant fireworks display to close the show.
Ask the Thinker Series
I’m asked this question a lot, or it’s often phrased as “You’re the PR person, you should be in front of the camera.”
I’ve heard this many times throughout my career, and it’s a tough for people to understand. As a media coach, we (public relations professionals) help develop key messages, communicate with the media to understand what the topic or story is about, and also train the spokesperson to handle the interview and stay on message. We preach transparency and open communication, with “always tell the truth!” as the cardinal rule of working with the media. If a question is asked, and the spokesperson doesn’t know the answer, then we counsel the spokesperson to say that they don’t know, but will get the answer as soon as possible.
Since we work and help prepare the spokespeople, I can see how this can be a confusing topic. There are certainly instances where the spokesperson is not available, and only in those cases – once all other spokespeople are exhausted – should the PR person step-in without hesitation and deliver the key messages.
Ask the Thinker Series
At the bare minimum, a company needs:
- a name
- tagline/phrase/descriptor (optional but recommend)
- #10 envelope (standard)
- business cards
All marketing materials are then branded to visually relate to this “core pack” of materials. Marketing materials include:
- ads (digital and print)
- social media sites
- sales kits
- direct mailers/invites
- promotional items