TO: All Eagle Brand Employees FROM: Jim Wesson (EVP, Enterprise Sales) RE: Design Critique of New Eagle Brand Letter Head Design
Sandra (and all),
First, many thanks to Renée for forwarding the new designs to everyone on the company list. Sandra, I know you were reluctant to get input from everyone, but I think we all can agree how important it is to get lots of eyes on something as important as the new “Eagle Brand Enterprise Stool Cover, Inc.” letterhead. I think it was in an in-flight magazine that Rim Coolhouse recently said “BRAND IN DESIGN IS DESTINY IN E-COMMERCE AND BRICK MORTAR.” Although that might have been the Guy Yamaha guy with the world change book. Not important.
So, just a few quick comments from me, but I do hope everyone will share their thoughts directly with Sandra and her team. As you know, I am a bit of an old hand at designing things. Before getting into the stool game, I was a sales lead at Flingman Reps up in Spokane. And, as far as I know, my “Pinheadz!” logo for the bowling league is still used today. (And that was just made in Microsoft Word!). So take my ideas with a grain of salt, but please do let me know how I can help. I have 11 “CD-ROMs” of fantasy fonts that you are free to use as long as you don’t scratch them and agree to return them in their original folders.
First, and most important, can we do something to make the logo BIGGER and more prominent? I’ve done a quick sketch using the circumference of my coffee cup as a reference guide (see attached) and I’m sure we all agree that the new eagle is much easier to see at about three times the current size (I’m not sure what that is in computer picas). Everyone agrees that the new eagle logo my daughter drew is GORGEOUS, so I really want those feathers to stand out over the “Stool” info scrolling through the eagle’s mouth (beak? bill? not important).
BUT, on that same subject, Sandra, what can you do to really make the new design “POP”? I want it to really POP off the page. People get many letters every year, and I want ours to be the ones that never get thrown away — just because the POP is literally almost audible. Even in a desk drawer. I want our letters on bulletins boards because of all the POP.
In design it is also very important that you keep it CLEAN. I like the white paper (or is it ecru? egg? not important) but I think the overall design could be more clean. For example, the fonts on the head part should be VERY VERY CLEAN. Maybe times new roman. At least 20 or 50 or more. Again, I do not know what this is in computer picas, but it should be at least two thirds of my coffee cup (see attached). As you know, a clean font is a way to make a design really POP, and times is a font we already have on our PCs, so it will match very well from the HP printers. Also maybe try “mistral” which is also a very clean font. Have fun with it.
The lines at the top (which are called “rulings”) should be much MUCH thicker and blacker. The contrast with the white paper and eagle’s hat will be stunning and it should be almost like a fence in terms of saying “everything up here by the Eagle is about the company and everything under here is a letter we wrote for you.” That black line will make that clear in a way that is clean and has POP. RE thickness of the rulings, try to hit about one sixth of my coffee cup for this one (see attached)
Okay, Sandra and all, that’s it for now, but this is a great start. Let’s really make this one great and pitch in how we can. Sandra, maybe do four or five variations on my suggestions, and then let everyone comment on them. For inspiration, maybe make one a little more jazzy and another a little more grunge or “extreme.” But not too grungy or extreme, because I think we all agree that people who buy stool covers care a lot about always keeping it clean. And they love POP! POP POP POP! But still keep it clean. And, again, have fun with it, within reason.
“Whenever I go back and re-read an email that I wrote a long time ago, I usually end up thinking, ‘Wow, I sure was confident about the certain success of that thing that no longer exists.’”—Scott Simpson
A listener wrote to ask about the YLNT theme tune. (People do.) Scott fielded the question and he did it well, so I decided to reprint his response here (and to share the instrumental version of the tune above).
The song is called “Pony Gallup (Morning Surprise),” by the Five Senses. They were a mostly-ukulele jam band out of Montreal, famous for their 4 hour sitar/uke trance sessions and subsequent pancake breakfasts. Sadly, their CD’s were deemed “obscene” by US Customs (a clerical error, one can only assume), all copies were destroyed at the border, and the band forgot to hold on to the original recordings.
The band went their separate ways when the entire tenor uke section disappeared while berrying in Greenland. Our possession of one tiny fragment of one song is pure luck: Merlin was working at the incinerator where the ill-fated CD’s were sent to be destroyed. He rescued one half-melted CD, and spent the next year piecing together the 1’s and 0’s—the digital scraps of the once-proud ukelele band’s magnum opus.”