#55 Returns & Exchanges

AmperArt-55-Returns-Exchanges

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The day after Christmas must be as dreaded to retailers as the day after Thanksgiving is welcome—you know, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year.

Used to be, before online shopping & big box stores, all the department stores from Sears & Penneys (as it used to be called), to Saks & Nordstroms, had a special window or room all its own (with a classy, discreet sign) that handled returns, exchanges & complaints. Next to that was the gift wrapping service & layaway department.

Remember the smell of fresh popcorn & candy when entering your neighborhood Sears?

Today a couple stores still offer a comfortable setting for such returns & exchanges (no candy or popcorn, though), but the big box & deep discount chains mostly just have a return counter (with a tacky “Line Starts Here” arrow hanging from the ceiling) and a  trail of customers (all “dressed up” in the latest Big Box fashion) that extends out the door.

So December’s AmperArt #55, Returns & Exchanges, repeats the trip to the same brick-&-mortar store (or the online equivalent) that November’s AmperArt #54 portrayed: Stop & Shop (in case you missed it, get trampled here). (more…)

#53 Deep Dark & Mysterious

Deep Dark & Mysterious

Haunting Halloween. This AmperArt piece doubles as a Halloween theme & a possible entry in my Advertising Slogans series, as I vaguely recall seeing this a long time ago advertising who-knows-what. We’ll let that be a deep, dark mystery.

Coincidentally, my main graphics computer went dark yesterday for no apparent reason. After unsuccessfully reviving it after 4 hours of probing & tinkering, it remains a deep, dark unsolved mystery. Which is why, having to use a less-than-optimal computer for graphic design, this AmperArt materialized at the midnight hour on Halloween.

PRODUCTION NOTES
Original size: 20×30″
Program: Photoshop
Fonts: Univers, Usherwood (ampersand)

#52 Quality & Dependability

Like my Jeep!


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AmperArt #52, QUALITY & DEPENDABILITY, is from the AmperArt Advertising Slogan series. It’s a term that used to be more prevalent, decades before today’s Cheap & Disposable merchandise. Other words that come to mind are: solid, reliable, unconditionally guaranteed (not just a limited warranty) & service with a smile.


 

listen up!I remember when products were made with quality & they were truly dependable. Not so much anymore (except for Jeeps & iPhones & OXO*). But I am very glad that I have friends who fit the description of QUALITY & DEPENDABILITY. My family & friends are of the highest integrity—honest, genuine, sincere—& they are very dependable—from helping out in a pinch to being on time. Unlike most of today’s products, my friends are not disposable!


*My love affair with OXO

(as in hugs & kisses, although that’s not what the name was intended to imply)

OXO is an outstanding company, truly the definition of QUALITY & DEPENDABILITY. I love the visual & comfortable styling of their products (which is mostly kitchenware), the carefully R&D’d usefulness (unlike some gadgets that are more difficult to use than if the task was rendered manually), & even the name & logo. Okay, very much the name & logo, even though I’m not a fan of red.

Their absolutely no-questions-asked guarNow I even enjoy doing my dishes!antee was put to the test recently when my OXO soap-dispensing dish brush broke (quite surprisingly—although I use it constantly as it even turns washing dishes into a likeable task). In searching for the instructions to get a replacement, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting several pages on the OXO website, as each one introduced me to another amazing facet of their company: the origin of the name; how each product is developed; and the personalities & hobbies of their employees. One of those wonderful employees, a cheerful woman by the name of Brooke, answered my questions about the broken brush & she struck up a conversation as if we were old friends.

“Would you like the same model or the newer model with added features?” (Newer, of course—& I do like the added features, including the fact that it’s completely black, no red, not even the logo.) She asked if I could send a photo of the broken part—but it’s okay if I couldn’t. (I did.) She said they’ll send a replacement out immediately. (They did. Immediately.)

Brooke even subscribed to my personal design project (which you’re reading now), AmperArt.com, which really showed me how kind & considerate the Oxonians are (their term, not mine). Hey! “Kind & Considerate”…that’ll be a new AmperArt creation!

In case you’re wondering…no, this is not a sponsored endorsement. I simply love OXO! (They say it’s pronounced “ox-oh” but I prefer “o-x-o” and when I told Brooke why, she even noted my reason.) Someday I’ll write an amazing testimonial about my ’96 Jeep which just won’t quit, or Apple, which is ahead of any other device by eons.

You will probably enjoy the OXO website (oxo.com), especially the about page for some interesting facts & figures. Further down the page, you’ll experience a refreshingly human experience as you learn about the employees’ favorite hobbies, pets, languages & inventive uses for their products (use the spaghetti strainer as a backscratcher). If you want a personal review of my OXO experience, just email me, or read about my favorite dishwashing tool, even more than the automatic dishwasher, here.


 Please tell other ampersand fans about the
QUALITY
of  each AmperArt design & the
DEPENDABILITY
of one issue per month, guaranteed. 

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Thank you.


 

PRODUCTION NOTES:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Program: InDesign
Fonts: Copperplate, Industria, English Script (ampersand)
Inspiration: Maytag washing machines, Craftsman tools, Jeeps—all from the 1950s & 60s