Monday, November 17, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, my friend was flipping through a magazine that she got in the mail.

"What is that?" I asked.

"I don't really know. I was going to give it to you," she said, handing the publication to me. "I don't really get it," she confessed.

Upon thumbing through the pages and getting a brief overview of the content therein, my mind was already spinning circles and my eyes were excited.

"I love this," I told her.

"I knew you would," she said. She was rolling her eyes at me.

What was in my hands? A magazine for Veer Visual Elements. It's an online resource for photography, illustration, and type: elements for creativity. The pages give a "stream-of-consciousness" approach to finding a concept to sell a dog snacks, while clearly advertising all of Veer's elements of design along the way. Brilliance, if you ask me. Eye-catching, clever, a little bit odd but in a catchy, "hold me here" kind of way... that's marketing at it's finest.

Ever since I received this magazine, I have read it over and over. I keep reading my favorite lines to friends, strangers in the grocery store, and people I meet off the street. Ok, it's not that bad. Really, I've only shown it to a couple of family members and then some of my friends who happened to need a piece of entertainment, so I'm not exactly backing innocent strangers into corners and waving in their face. However, I do plan on sharing more with you.

The title is called: Achievement, Octane Fever, and Justice. In smaller print: The Possibilities (and Perils) of the Unfettered Creative Mind.

Could that last line summarize my mind in a nutshell? Perhaps.

We move on to the opening pages:

Follow a mind freed by massive choice.

Need a concept for selling dog snacks. Need caffeine. Triple shot, no foam. What's the angle? Taste? Crunchability? "Meaty" goodness? Why buy a dog snack? Why have a dog? (Visit Kristi's blog and you'll really wonder.) A pet is a wild animal curled up at the end of your bed. We love dogs because they don't have cell phones (yet). Dogs connect us to nature.

Dogs are the essential. Dirt, the smell of a forrest, where food comes from. Hunting for food at midnight.

I hunted for neo-retro sneakers at that slick mall. Slick is cool. Nowadays everything has to be cool. Dog bones need to be cool. They need to be... bauhaus. Modernism. Mods on Itlian scooters. Clean living under German aesthetics. Less is more. Less is more what? Image? Can't we just talk? Will anybody listen if we just use words?

Just words. Dog people are down-to-earth. (Except pink-poodle people.) You can say a lot with words. But it doesn't hurt to dress 'em up. Killer cocktail dress? Friendly sweater? A friendly sweater like you'd wear in a Christmas TV special.

Christmas in the mountains. Woolly sweaters. Big smiles. Hungry bears. Would your dog fight a bear for you? Would snack gratitude buy his loyalty? "These snacks will save you from a bear attack." That's a killer value proposition. But really, the only bears most people worry about are the Wall Street kind. Especially accountants.

And it goes on... I wish you could see the layout, photography, and typography, because the size and placement of the wording says a world of a lot more than just reading it from a computer screen. However, these words will have to do.

I really dig the concept, the words, the imagery- all of it. Good job, Veer.


Today, I returned to gray Illinois. Actually, the word that was going through my mind when the plane descended out of the bright blue sky from above and towards the ground beneath me was "drab." The trees looked dead; the colorful leaves are mostly gone. The sky had a thin-and-growing layer of pallid clouds that were hanging there, casting a dim light over everything. And then when I stepped out of the plane, that topped all. That was like the cherry on top, to get to feel that ice cold air envelope my entire being and remind me that even though I just enjoyed 80 degrees and sunshine all week long, colder days are on their way.

It's ok, though, really. I love IL, and honestly, it's where the party is most of the time. You can't beat the people that live in the heart of Central IL. You can give me sunny skies, bright pink flowers and 75 degrees every day, but in the end, it's the relationships that matter.

Anyway, my tank is about on empty... I got about 3 hours of sleep last night so I'm going to head that way and hope that I make it there within the next hour or so (making myself move in the direction of "bedtime" is a large part of the battle in my world.)

Love you all, I'll be back soon.



Heather said...

I still don't understand the concept of Veer- apparently I am not the target market and you are. More power to you, I say.

Welcome home!! It IS the relationships that make home, well "home". Let's make a date for Thursday afternoon. My head should be above the textbook sea for a few hours at that point.

Kristi said...

Hmmm... I wonder what wonderful friend gave you that. Seriously when I got it in the mail, I thought, "what?" My immediate next thought was, "Taryn will love this." End of thought.

Kristi said...

Thank you for changing the blog names for me... you're a great friend.