#117 See & Be Seen

#117 See & Be Seen
#117 See & Be Seen
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Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

There are some people you see & just can’t forget.

These peo­ple make an impres­sion on you with their out­ra­geous fash­ion style.
Or they are extreme­ly like­able because of their gen­uine, dynam­ic per­son­al­i­ty.
Per­haps they blow you away with out­stand­ing cus­tomer ser­vice.
Or maybe they are just the most intel­li­gent per­son in the world.*

But what if you meet someone who is all of the above? 

Well, I did meet that per­son. His name is Saul Colt. & this is what he wears:

To match these:

As worn by Saul (he’s on the left):

Why is this guy so memorable?

I got to know Saul near­ly ten years ago, as some­one who real­ly cared about find­ing a solu­tion to a quirky prob­lem I was hav­ing with my timekeeping/​billing account, which is Fresh​Books​.com (whom I’ve hap­pi­ly been with over ten years). At the time Saul was on the Fresh­Books staff, as their mar­ket­ing genius & all-​around keep-​the-​customer-​happy guy.

A year or two lat­er, I received an invi­ta­tion to attend a din­ner with fel­low Fresh­Books users in a trendy Hol­ly­wood restau­rant (named Ketchup — red, of course). Din­ner was excel­lent & meet­ing oth­ers who loved Fresh­Books as much as I did was fan­tas­tic. The Fresh­Books crew was there, too, includ­ing Saul Colt. Unbe­liev­ably, he remem­bered me from our short online chat a cou­ple years ear­li­er. But what real­ly blew me away (and made Saul unfor­get­table — besides his glass­es & ten­nis shoes, of course) was his heart­felt response when I divulged that I prob­a­bly should­n’t be a guest at their expen­sive din­ner, as I was still at the free lev­el of ser­vice. He said, “We’re just real­ly glad you’re using Fresh­Books & thrilled to have you join us.” I will nev­er for­get that & I’ll nev­er for­get Saul.

(Short­ly there­after I was using Fresh­books to prac­ti­cal­ly run my busi­ness, & I was get­ting paid on time like nev­er before. I even­tu­al­ly signed up for the paid account, & for $14 per month it’s been my best invest­ment. If you want to know more about them, drop me a line or vis­it Fresh​Books​.com & try it free. This is not a paid advert; I just love Fresh­books!)

Even­tu­al­ly Saul branched off & found­ed The Idea Inte­gra­tion Co., sky­rock­et­ing clients’ busi­ness­es with his unique gift of pro­mot­ing their brands & retain­ing their clients. He has been named as one of the iME­DIA 25: Inter­net Mar­ket­ing Lead­ers & Inno­va­tors & cit­ed as one of Canada’s best com­mu­ni­ty builders/​experiential mar­keters. Chris Bro­gan once referred to Saul as “exact­ly who you want rep­re­sent­ing your com­pa­ny.” 

Years later, not forgotten

From time to time Saul still helps out Fresh­Books with their honest-​to-​goodness (& high­ly appre­ci­at­ed) efforts of keep­ing their cus­tomers hap­py & suc­cess­ful. A few months ago I received anoth­er email from Saul. This time it was an invi­ta­tion to not one, but two din­ners on his dime. One was for the Fresh­Books “fam­i­ly” & the oth­er was for his friends in Los Ange­les. He stat­ed adamant­ly that I should attend both because I belong to both! Is that gen­er­ous & from the heart, or what?

Dresden Room, HollywoodI could only attend the Fresh­Books group, but am I glad I did! It was at a his­toric Hol­ly­wood restau­rant, the Dres­den Room, & you could feel the pres­ence of Bog­a­rt, Ben­ny & Berle. I’ve been to a lot of clas­sic restau­rants but this was a first. What an ele­gant, mag­nif­i­cent evening, again with old & new Fresh­Books friends. I even stayed after din­ner to check out the retro-​style enter­tain­ment in the lounge. (The Blood & Sand is their sig­na­ture cock­tail.) 

Thanks again, Saul. As a trib­ute to this mem­o­rable guy, I cre­at­ed Amper­Art #117, See & Be Seen, & saved it for Valen­tine’s Day. After all…

Hearts are passé
For Valen­tine’s Day
Here’s some­thing else red
For you instead

Hey, it must be Saul!

*Saul pro­fess­es he’s the most intel­li­gent per­son in the world. I tend to agree. Or at least, he’s the world’s most mem­o­rable.


IF YOU LOVE GOOD DESIGN & WANT TO KNOW WHAT MAKES IT GOOD

chaz sez ...

My blog, chaz sez, will soon be a month­ly fea­ture at
Des​i​moneDesign​.com (my pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design web­site). It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing — and what it means to do those things prop­er­ly & pro­fes­sion­al­ly — but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & raving…like the Uike logo.

SUBSCRIBE TO SEE WHAT CHAZ SEZ NEXT

 


Production notes for #117 See & Be Seen:
Original size: 20x30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Fonts: Antique Olive
Ampersand: Antique Olive
Credits:
Shoe: Nike Air Force 1
Glasses: ask Saul
You may repost the image & article. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#78 His & Hers featuring Word of the Year & Color of the Year

#78 His & Hers


#78 His & Hers
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

New word & colors for your Valentine… whoever they are

Don’t you agree it’s always been awk­ward, when you didn’t know the gen­der of the per­son in a sen­tence, to have to write “he/​she” & “he or she”? Amper­Art #78 His & Hers was inspired by this sit­u­a­tion. (Frankly, I usu­al­ly just write “it” whether it’s a per­son, ani­mal or slice of piz­za.) So we’d usu­al­ly say “they” which up till now was not prop­er gram­mar, espe­cial­ly in writ­ing.

But it is now. “He/​she” can now be prop­er­ly referred to as a sin­gu­lar “they.”  As in “Whether his is a tie or a tablet, or hers is a neck­lace or a note­book, give them a gift they can real­ly use.” (You could also give them a sub­scrip­tion to Amper­Art which is absolute­ly free.) 

Accord­ing to the Wash­ing­ton Post,

We know about sin­gu­lar they already — we use it every­day with­out think­ing about it, so this is bring­ing it to the fore in a more con­scious way, and also play­ing into emerg­ing ideas about gen­der iden­ti­ty,” said lin­guist Ben Zim­mer, lan­guage colum­nist for the Wall Street Jour­nal, who presided over the vot­ing…”

Full Wash­ing­ton Post arti­cle here.


Word of the Year & Color of the Year

They” has been named the Word of the Year for 2016.

Again, from the Wash­ing­ton Post arti­cle:

Sin­gu­lar “they,” the gender-​neutral pro­noun, has been named the Word of the Year by a crowd of over 200 lin­guists at the Amer­i­can Dialect Society’s annu­al meet­ing in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Frankly, I nev­er heard of a Word of the Year till now. But I do know there is always a Pan­tone Col­or of the Year — except for 2016 it’s plur­al (not sin­gu­lar like “they”); there are two Pan­tone Col­ors of the Year:

Rose Quartz & Serenity

Rose Quartz & Seren­i­ty are Pantone’s Col­ors of the Year for 2016. I like Pantone’s deci­sion to fea­ture two col­ors — just like His & Hers — so we can have fun with more amper­sands. And these two col­ors are per­fect for Valen­tines Day. (I dare you: go ahead and express your love with a bar of soap, in the appro­pri­ate col­or of course, and see just how much they love you back.)

More about Pantone’s Col­ors of the Year (all years shown — lots of fun) at Pan​tone​.com.

Var­i­ous shades of each col­or were used for the bath­room tiles in this month’s Amper­Art #78, His & Hers. The wire tow­el hold­er is just one use for this fun & func­tion­al amper­sand acces­so­ry. It can be con­fig­ured as a wine rack, pho­to frame, jew­el­ry hold­er, and more. Even­tu­al­ly I’ll be fea­tur­ing this in the online Amper­Art gift store, but for now the patent is pend­ing and can be made to order in a vari­ety of mate­ri­als & fin­ish­es. Please inquire.

To Do & To Don’t List

AmperArt-TO-DONT-LIST-2016-227w

Here’s a fun & func­tion­al TO DO & TO DON’T LIST fea­tur­ing the Pan­tone Col­ors of the Year for 2016 to help keep his & hers goals on track for 2016.

The new design fea­tures the Pan­tone Col­ors of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz & Seren­i­ty.

Down­load the TO DO & TO DON’T list here and print out sev­er­al copies for your friends.


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. There’s lots for both his & hers inter­ests — design­ers, typog­ra­phers, copy­writ­ers, artists, pho­tog­ra­phers, just about any­one in the cre­ative field … who­ev­er they are.

Most arti­cles will cov­er var­i­ous aspects of design, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing. (more…)

#79 Love & Be Loved, a Valentine’s poem

 

Love & Be Loved


#79 Love & Be Loved
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Dear Amper­sand Lover,

Hap­py Valen­tine’s Day!

A love­ly poet inspired my 2015 Valen­tine’s Amper­Art piece. In fact, her poem actu­al­ly con­tains an amper­sand. Her poem’s title is also my Amper­Art title: Love & Be Loved.

How blessed
We are
To love
& be loved
For love is
God’s work
in our hearts

The poet­’s name is Saman­thi Fer­nan­do. She is a Cal­i­for­nia Poet who writes inspi­ra­tional & spir­i­tu­al poet­ry.

Her writ­ing is remark­able. I am not a huge poet­ry fan, but what Saman­thi writes — & the way she writes — touch­es my heart. Her way with words is com­pelling, suc­cinct, crisp, mod­ern. (I like mod­ern.)

Vis­it Saman­thi’s blog, where she’s writ­ten lots of poet­ry. You don’t just read her poet­ry, you feel it. The pho­tog­ra­phy in the head­ers is all hers, too. Just like her writ­ing, her visu­al com­po­si­tion is stun­ning. (If you don’t think the Valen­tine’s head­er mea­sures up to the rest, don’t blame it on Saman­thi. I con­tributed that one.)

Fall in love with Saman­thi Fer­nan­do’s poet­ic min­istry of hope & heal­ing at http://​starsafire​.star​rayz​.com/​w​o​r​d​p​r​e​ss/

rosegoldSOLIDHUEhearts

Concept & design

If you find aes­thet­ic beau­ty in this Amper­Art piece, you can thank Saman­thi for that as well. She intro­duced me to rose gold, which she says is very pop­u­lar in fash­ion & décor right now. (I should know this stuff.) I find it a valu­able addi­tion to my list of favorite col­ors. I pre­fer sil­ver over gold. Sil­ver is light, crisp, mod­ern, where gold is heavy & old (just sayin’). How­ev­er, sil­ver just does­n’t con­vey the rich­ness of gold, & that’s where rose gold comes in. Con­tem­po­rary, invit­ing, & rich.

The lock­et was orig­i­nal­ly sil­ver, so I sam­pled some acces­so­ry pho­tos (thanks, Tiffany) & lay­ered the new col­or over the sil­ver, turn­ing the heart into rose gold. I wish I could do the same to every­thing—I mean for real. Every piece of alu­minum, stain­less steel, pewter & even my sil­ver Cray­olas — open up Pho­to­shop & turn them all into real gold! (On sec­ond thought, leave the Cray­olas alone; I like them just the way they are.)

I LUV U

In devel­op­ment, an ear­li­er ver­sion of the art­work had a can­dy heart where the pen­dant is. I want­ed some­thing that said “I love you.” What bet­ter than those icon­ic hearts! I tried “I LUV U” but that was too friv­o­lous. In fact, I felt the can­dy heart itself was friv­o­lous and too “can­dy pink” for such a beau­ti­ful poem, which required a sophis­ti­cat­ed design. I bro­ken­heart­ed­ly (not real­ly, but it is the theme here) decid­ed to sac­ri­fice the words “I love you” for a more ele­gant image. I found sev­er­al beau­ti­ful pen­dants with gold & sil­ver & gems…then I found this. A sil­ver pen­dant, beau­ti­ful­ly hand-​tooled in an organ­ic ham­mered fin­ish, with the words “I love you” in sev­er­al lan­guages. The per­fect piece!

That is, until Saman­thi com­ment­ed on its col­or, sil­ver. No, it was­n’t the rich col­or I had con­ceived for that ele­ment of the art­work, but that’s the col­or it was, & gold would actu­al­ly clash with the oth­er col­ors of typog­ra­phy and back­ground. Then she asked if I had could pos­si­bly make it rose gold. Yes, I’m sure I could — if I knew what rose gold was. She direct­ed me to a few exam­ples & voila! Rose gold is the per­fect col­or for the lock­et and for the poem!

That just goes to show…you can teach an old design­er new tricks!

Wish­ing you a love­ly Valen­tine’s Day.
Love & Be Loved


 chaz sez ...

 

To Roslyn, Andrew & Robert:

I love you!

Actu­al­ly, the head­ing this time should say “Char­lie sez…” because that’s what I’ve always been to my sis­ter & broth­ers, and to my very old­est friends. (I acquired the name “Chaz” in my drink­ing days…I was called “Chaz the Spaz.” Some of my art­sy friends liked it so I kept it. Eas­i­er to write, too. In fact, I can’t even prop­er­ly pro­nounce my giv­en name, “Charles,” named after my Sicil­ian grand­fa­ther, Car­lo. Though I detest being called “Charles” — too for­mal! — I like the fact that it offers so many options, such as “Chuck,” “Char­lie” & “Chaz.” My sis­ter calls me “Char.”) I do digress. Chaz the Spaz.

Just the oth­er day I was think­ing, sad­ly, about the fact that as my broth­ers & sis­ter are get­ting old­er (me too — I’m the old­est) we see each oth­er less fre­quent­ly. I’ve moved 100 miles away & one of my broth­ers is plan­ning to move over­seas. Plus, my sis­ter is kept busy with work, kids and grand­kids. And my oth­er broth­er is miles away and busy, too.

We’ve always been close as a fam­i­ly, and I am extreme­ly grate­ful for that. It hurts to hear when fam­i­lies are torn apart. I think we stick togeth­er part­ly in hon­or of our great par­ents who bestowed immense love upon us; and also just because we respect and love each oth­er a great deal. Although I don’t deserve much respect for all the fuck-​ups I’ve pulled in my life, end­less­ly ask­ing my fam­i­ly to bail me out or lend me mon­ey (lend?). Still, we stick togeth­er.

But at the same time, it seems we’ve phys­i­cal­ly been drift­ing apart.

I cher­ish all the trips we took as kids to vis­it our uncles and cousins (on my dad’s side, just a few cities away; our moth­er’s fam­i­ly was in Indi­ana, sev­er­al states away). My par­ents’ sib­lings were all very close, and they vis­it­ed each oth­er fre­quent­ly — by long dis­tance tele­phone calls if not in per­son. I felt the warmth among them, the love.

When will it be too late, I was won­der­ing recent­ly, when one of us is gone before we all got togeth­er as a fam­i­ly again? It was a very sad thought.

Well, a hap­py thought came in as a text a few days ago. It was a mes­sage from my sis­ter — wait, let me find it so you can read it your­self…

Hey there Broth­ers,  i am hop­ing the 4 of us can get togeth­er for din­ner on either Feb­ru­ary 6 or 8.  I spoke to Rob awhile ago and I told him it would be great for just the four of us to “man­ga” (is that spelled right) togeth­er.  I will cook Mom’s spaghet­ti snd meat­balls with all the fix­ins.  Rob is in so hope u two can join.  It will be a De Simone Hap­py New Year din­ner!  ♥♥♥♥♥ Roz

And…

I even have Mom’s spaghet­ti bowl to serve our main dish :)

I felt an immense warmth read­ing that. I felt our close­ness. I felt…love & be loved. I look for­ward to this din­ner very much. Yes, the din­ner itself, as Roz is a fan­tas­tic cook and if she can pull off just a smidgen (one of Mom’s words) of what our moth­er would have made, it will be a real feast. (I’ll bring the Ital­ian cook­ies.) Note: Our moth­er was full Ger­man, but Dad­dy made sure she could cook Ital­ian, and mama mia she could!

By the way, Roz,  it’s spelled “Man­gia!” and you got­ta shout it and use your hands.

Even if just peanut but­ter & jel­ly sand­wich­es were served, being with the best sib­ling friends that I grew up with for the past 60 years is one joy­ous occa­sion I’m real­ly look­ing for­ward to. I miss them very much as the kids we once were (okay, they’d say I am still the same irre­spon­si­ble child­ish brat).

I am very hap­py to tell you, my Amper­Art friends, how much this occa­sion means to me. I want­ed to make some sort of pro­found state­ment at this very spe­cial din­ner with­out sound­ing too pompous or sap­py, but thanks to you, my readers…I think I just said it. Hope­ful­ly my broth­ers & sis­ter will open this Amper­Art & read it.

So, whether it’s “Char” or “Char­lie” or even “Chaz the Spaz”…I want to say I deeply love, & I know I’m loved by, my incred­i­ble sis­ter & my two mag­nif­i­cent broth­ers.

UPDATE: Din­ner was mag­nif­i­cent! My sis­ter out­did her­self. After the antipas­to, the Ital­ian appe­tiz­ers, olives, meats & cheeses, as well as Ital­ian cook­ies & bread­sticks, there was hard­ly enough room for the spaghet­ti, meat­balls & sausage. But we man­aged to stuff quite a bit down, as it was so incred­i­ble to taste “Mom’s spaghet­ti” again. Then there was dessert: can­no­lis, cheese­cake and gela­to. Plus an Ital­ian almond nougat can­dy which dou­bled as a charm­ing place­hold­er.

There was still one more course: the fam­i­ly gath­er­ing itself: just my sis­ter, two broth­ers & myself. We laughed, rem­i­nisced, played triv­ia games like who could remem­ber all the streets in order to the left and right of our house — a good test for senil­i­ty. We all dis­cov­ered, or were at least remind­ed, of events in our child­hood we’d for­got­ten about, and some we nev­er knew.

This meant more to me than the typ­i­cal hol­i­day feasts. That night was a lot of fun & a lot of food, but it did­n’t end when we depart­ed. I still feel the warmth and love that my sis­ter & broth­ers brought to that spe­cial evening, and to my child­hood, and to our fam­i­ly as a whole. I know our par­ents would be very proud that we have stayed so close as a fam­i­ly.

My deep­est grat­i­tude and love to Roz, AJ & Rob­bie (the names they had as kids).

Love & Be Loved…absolutely!


Production notes for #79 Love & Be Loved:
Original size: 10x15 inches
Program: InDesign, Photoshop
Font: Eras
Ampersand: A silver pendant turned into solid rose gold, thanks to Samanthi’s fashion sense
Credits:
Poem: Samanthi Fernando, starsafire​.star​rayz​.com/​w​o​r​d​p​r​e​ss/
Pendant: Андрей Гивель (Ukraine photographer, aka Trionis), 123rf​.com
Background: vec​tor​tuts​.com
Reference for rose gold hue: Tiffany (where else?)
 

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone Design