#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.


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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

#28 Good & Good For You

#28 Good & Good For You


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Originally created  nearly a year ago as part of my upcoming Health & Nutrition series, I am releasing #28 Good & Good For You as my August 2013 contribution to the Advertising Slogans series.

Scouring the Internet to find out what brand used this slogan, I simply can’t find it. So maybe it was never actually a product slogan. But it sounds like one, so I’ve selected the hottest item in the universe to carry the tagline. See “chaz sez” below.

In the process of searching, I came across some very interesting ad campaigns & slogans from the past century. Here’s one that also includes a “hall of fame” of great old ads, including many from European products (the website is in the UK):

Here are two other lists, the first containing 400 slogans (of which many famous ones such as the Milk Advisory Board’s “Got Milk?” are curiously missing):

chazsezLOGO-85x64

Since I can’t find a commercial brand that ever used the phrase “Good & Good For You,” I’ll tag it as my own personal slogan for the hottest product in the universe: good ol’ fashioned sunshine. It’s definitely Good & Good For You, although I won’t be getting any this Labor Day weekend, being unusually overcast & gloomy in good ol’ sunny Southern California. If you can recall where the slogan was originally used, please let me know. But it will still be my personal tagline for that big ball of fire in the sky.


 

PRODUCTION NOTES
Original dimensions: 20″ x 30″
Program: Illustrator
Font: Plantin

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#48 Cool & Comfortable

AmperArt #48 Cool & Comfortable


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“Cool & Comfortable” was a popular advertising slogan before mid-century, as far back as the 1920s, & then again after mid-century,  right up through the Disco Era.

Early on, it was used to draw crowds to air-conditioned movie palaces & businesses — “It’s cool inside!” — which were often colder than the local storage plant.

A few decades later the fashion world (if you can call polyester jump suits fashion) claimed its revolutionary new man-made fabrics were Cool & Comfortable. & sexy.

Enjoy some old ads for “modern air control” and “mod fashion”…

This 1953 The Saturday Evening Post photo features both synthetic air & synthetic fabrics. The caption says “Baby, it’s cool inside! A singed sun bather is invited to beat the heat inside an air-cooled Las Vegas, Nev., hotel. Next: air-conditioned streets.” Looks more like he’s saying “You want heat, you got heat. Don’t open that door & let the cold air out!”

1953-newsp-ad-air-cond500

You might enjoy these entire pages from that edition which contain wonderful old ads & some interesting facts about the evolution of a/c on The Saturday Evening Post’s website.

Decades later, this ad promises instant love & romance just by slipping on this one-piece wonder:

polyesterMore great fashion of the era, posted by Steve Hauben of the Data + Design Project:: Cool & Comfortable (& Sexy) Polyester

Choose one: Does my latest background image remind you of a sexy fashion textile or a sexy air conditioner filter? Either way, stay Cool & Comfortable this summer.


 

PRODUCTION NOTES:
Original dimensions: 20″ x 30″
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Fonts: Teen (a font which is very similar to a loose, contemporary hand-lettering style of the era), Amienne (ampersand)
Ampersand: Amienne (tilted)
Background: pattern from SquidFingers.com (lots of free patterns); posted by 1stwebdesigner.com (22 free seamless pattern sources)
CREDITS:
Air conditioning photo: Gene Lester, The Saturday Evening Post, June 6, 1953.
Clothing ad: Visual News; posted by Steve Hauben

 

chazsezLOGO-85x64

It’s been Cool & Comfortable in Southern California the past couple weeks (I like the heat, so anything below 100 degrees Fahrenheit is fine by me), but two weeks ago it was so hot I blew three circuit breakers till I found the outlet that could handle the air conditioner in my studio. Even when I’m not around I want my cats to be Cool & Comfortable.

I hope you are enjoying your summer. Thanks for subscribing to AmperArt. Please invite your ampersand-fan friends & colleagues to subscribe–tell them it’s fabulous & free.