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stories 2016


An easy, fun way to do thank yous.

For students:

Every connection you have with a professional puts you one step closer to a job working there. It may take 10 of these. This is an easy way to get the first one.

Far too many people, and most especially students, don't send them. And as I'm really talking about students, I really mean SEND them a thank you. An email just doesn't cut it any more.

I used to do the thank yous below, often as an in-class projecte. Throw a bunch of magazines on a table and go at it.

My first rule of thank yous is to say something that the person being thanked will know you heard something they said.

The 2nd rule for these thank yous is that you need some tape—generally speaking, not the clear kind.

The examples shown here are from a 2-day field trip in November 1999 where when 10 of us took over the office of Peter Wood, then Creative Director at Ogilvy in New York City. Just in case you cannot read the text I'll provide it.

↓ The text reads -

Anti-     as a rule.

This one is probably my favorite for a couple of reasons. Those 4 "anti-"s are from 4 consecutive lines in the magazine and it captured an attitude of Peter's being generally against everthing. Always pushing the limits. And I love the way that "Wonderful" works. After you look at that word a moment you realize it is from a headline that has at least a word after "Wonderful" and also a word before that last set of quotes. Seriously, you would never think that up working in InDesign.

The black tape is completely opaque and obliterates anything that is under it. Later there are some using white tape which leave hints as to where the words came from.

↓ The text reads -

On the road.
On the ball.
On the phone.
But always on.
Tell her.
Then tell everyone.

This one has a nice bit of blue, light green, and then dark green tape to create that undeline element.

That opening text was nice to find in one piece with that large parenthesis (yes that is all one piece of found type).

↓ The text reads -

3 Number of years left before the project reaches its deadline
Who would've dreamed it?"

Probably someone made up a long strip of the color "underline" and offered it to the group.

The slight off-kilter of the final line is nice.

↓ The text reads -

eyes on the stars
Thank     you

↓ The text reads -

Middle-of-the-road is for painted yellow lines.
Simple, yes. basic, never.
don't      fit in the groove

I think Peter used a line somewhat like that first line. He was always talking about pushing things somewhere.

↓ The text reads -

Curiously strong
Ignite the soul

I would have loved finding that word "goosebumps."

↓ The text reads -

A real eye-opener?

I like the edge you get from all of those aligned torn edges.

↓ The text reads -

Dessert of the month
People like you.

Nice compliment to call Peter "dessert." Simple to the point.

↓ The text reads -

1 How do you lure visitors to a themepark?
You cook.

I love referring his office to a "theme park."

↓ The text reads -

One Passion
Beautifully Designed.

Peter was from England and his layouts were always beautiful.

↓ The text reads -

First      Idea

Probably kind of a warning back to the student designer.

↓ The text reads

Master Class
Simply together.
"Furniture for Life"

Nice to reference the group. And thinking about the experience as "furniture for life" is pretty wonderful.

↓ The text reads -

Fine Wood Work
Nobody else

Must have been a surprise to find the word "Wood" when doing a thank you for Peter Wood.

↓ The text reads -

Some meetings are like     Food      .
Tips for teacher talks
•prepare erly by asking your childe what's going well in class and what's not
•Afterward, check in regularly with the teacher by phone, e-mail and note

Those tips work as a warning that this person is going to be back in touch soon.

↓ The text reads -

ray Guns
it can work

May be one that I did, given the word "Ray."

I always discouraged students from including their name and just add the thanks as being from the group as a whole. Nice to not get selfish with a thank you. I like how the white type gives you a hint as to where the word came from. I think the connection between the word "I" and "it" sets up an interesting bit of copy.