Monthly Archives: March 2012

Best Instagram photos

IF YOU DON’T KNOW about Instagram, you are r-e-a-l-l-y out of touch! Instagram is an iPhone (soon to be Android, too!) app that makes sharing photos with others a snap. It also features built-in filters that help you give your photos an old-timey or worn look.

I’ve used it. I like it…but I think there are better iPhoneography apps.

Regardless, Instagram is a hit with millions. And recently, the Instagram team chose a dozen photos as “the best.” There’s more than just a little disagreement over the choices, but that’s part of what makes iPhoneography and photo sharing fun.

Take a look here. See what you think. Then let us know.

Leave a comment

Filed under Photography

Why newspaper advertising still matters

HERE’S A BRIEF PIECE from veteran political media consultant Tom Edmonds that makes the case for advertising in newspapers. I found it in the Bulletin of the South Carolin Press Association.

Edmonds makes a strong case.

Why newspaper advertising still matters

By Tom Edmonds

Convinced that fewer and fewer voters are turning to newspapers? Think again.

Just as soon as you’re sure about a new trend, a survey comes out and says, “Not so fast. That’s not exactly true.”

For instance, take a look at the “givens” in this year’s political landscape. Young voters are increasingly turning to the Internet for campaign news, right? Wrong. But at least Twittter and Facebook play big roles when it comes to getting campaign information, right? Wrong. And nobody but senior citizens gets their news from newspapers anymore, right? Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

For starters take a look at the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey of over 1,500 adults (read that 18 plus) conducted January 4-8. It found that young adults—18-29 year olds—who get their campaign news online declined from a high of 42% in 2008 to just 29 % today.

Even among Facebook and Twitter users Pew reports that “most say they hardly ever or never learn about the campaigns or candidates through those sources.” Where then do young voters get their campaign news (if they get it at all)? Maybe they’re among the 9% that rely on late- night comedy shows to find out what’s going on. Should we be concerned that this big important voting bloc is not serious about our elections? Well maybe not.

Under 30’s were only 18% of the total voters in 2008. I guess there was no “rock” in Rock the Vote. In fact, this group was the least likely to actually show up and vote. The most reliable voting bloc? That would be seniors by a mile. In fact, 70% of Americans 65+ voted in the last major election followed by 69% of those 45-64.

I know what you’re thinking. Where do the most likely voters get their campaign news? Well it’s not late-night comedy shows or Twitter, that’s for sure. It’s actually newspapers. A whopping 80% of voters 35 and older are regular readers of newspapers in print or online. Yes, I said online.

According to another national survey in January of this year, Moore Information’s American Voters Media Use Study, one in four Americans report using a mobile device for campaign news and of those newspaper sources are the number one choice for 58%. Even among young voters who do use smartphones et al for campaign news a whopping 62% go to newspaper sources. And it’s not just “mobile devices.” Newspaper websites rank #1 in 22 of the top 25 largest markets.

Need more proof that newspapers have made a comeback when it comes to political news and advertising? In the 2002 elections, the newspaper industry collected a paltry $35 million for political advertising. It’s likely that more money was spent on bumper stickers that year. But fast forward to 2010 and the newspaper industry increased their take nearly tenfold to over $300 million in political ad sales.

So, will newspaper advertising be hyped as the hot new trendy thing for the 2012 elections? Not likely. Then again, just when you’re sure you know something it turns out not to be true.

Tom Edmonds is a veteran political media consultant based in Washington, D.C. He is past president of the American Association of Political Consultants and the current chairman of the International Association of Political Consultants.

page1image28360

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

A photo is worth…well…lotsa words

iPHONE APPS ARE FUN. Fun to experiment with. Fun to show off. Fun to…well, they’re just fun. But occasionally, an app comes along that can used to help create a “serious” design. One of those apps popped up during a recent web-surfing session.

WordFoto is available for the iPhone. There are some indications that it also comes in Android flavor, but I haven’t been able to verify that as yet.

What WordFoto does is re-render a photograph, using whatever words you choose. And—as you can see from the examples above (created by yrs. truly)—the words can be cast in teeny-tiny letters or letters so large they almost obliterate the face. And the options are many:

• The original photo need not be a face. It can be any pic you want to use.

• The custom styles option allows you to use varied typefaces, and the developers are promising more fonts in the next version, perhaps with the option to install fonts you prefer.

• You can adjust the type size and color.

• You can crop the original photo.

• Or…you can use WordFoto’s presets.

A WordFoto’d image, such as the rightmost Lincoln image, can be used to help create a special section cover for Presidents’ Day. Another idea: WordFotoing a US flag for July 4th. Or a creche photo for Christmas. All you have to do is create the image in WordFoto, then send it to yourself as an email. I tried that left Lincoln image on a tabloid size InDesign file and it looks clean and professional.

No, this is not an ad. And, no, I’m not getting a percentage.

Here’s more on WordFoto.

And here’s the link to WordFoto in the App Store.

Have fun!

Leave a comment

Filed under Typography

Trust comes first

HERE’S A PLUS FOR NEWSPAPERS: Those between the ages of of 18 and 35 were most likely to see newspapers as credible.

The number of people who care about who reported something first is rapidly diminishing. Instead, what matters most is the trustworthiness of the source. These findings are reported in a recent survey on attitudes toward the media.

The survey was designed to look at consumer perceptions of both social media and mainstream media sources such as television, radio, Internet news sites and newspapers, and it was focused specifically on news coverage of the upcoming U.S. election.

When it comes to “perceived credibility,” traditional news outlets can take some comfort from the fact that the survey showed that newspapers, cable news and network news sources have the highest levels of credibility, much higher than blogs and social media sources. But the bad news is that only about 22 percent of those surveyed said they found traditional sources to be credible (blogs and social media were seen as credible by just 6 percent).

2 Comments

Filed under Other

Putting our fonts on the table


WE ALL HAVE our favorite typefaces. Well, we ought to! My favorites usually run to the serifs: Kepler, Photina, Bodoni, Baskerville, Garamond Condensed. But then, I’m also partial to some sans serifs: Akzidenz Grotesk, Antenna, Vonnes, Tasse.

And then, there are some I like…but struggle with because they are sooooo overused: Helvetica, Times, Myriad. They, of course, are on the “Periodic Table of Typefaces” created by the folks at squidspot.com.

Which leads me to the following question (I may live to regret this!): What is your favorite typeface…and why? Don’t tell me you don’t have one! As I stated earlier…we all ought to!

My favorite? Easy: Kepler. Uhhh…with Photina running a v-e-r-y close second. Kepler is elegant, stately, classic. Photina is a bit more playful but still neat and stylish. Kepler is Faith Hill in a slinky black dress with diamonds. Photina is…well…Faith Hill again—but in cowboy boots and jeans and a rhinestone-studded tank top. Either one is a class act.

So, what typeface turns you on?

7 Comments

Filed under Typography