• Advertising

Keeping It Simple at Standard Issue

From “PR Rules: The Playbook—The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Supersizing Your Small Business.”

By Hope Katz Gibbs, with Kathleen McCarthy
Authors, PR Rules: The Playbook

Michael McGinn and Sharon Gresh founded their Brooklyn firm, Standard Issue, in 2005 with one simple idea: “We believe in collaboration led by experienced vision.”

The design/consulting firm specializes in creating exhibit spaces, website design, branding, naming, systems, info graphics, and more. And each member of their six-person team has worked with brand leaders at cultural and aesthetically driven companies—including Herman Miller and Kenneth Cole.

“Our mission is to be a model for collaboration, facilitating the contributions of our designers and collaborators,” says McGinn.

Whether they are designing an ad or an exhibit for Herman Miller (see below), clean lines, clever copy, dynamic design, and elegant execution are the keys to this firm’s success.

Take a page from McGinn and Gresh’s playbook:

  1. Keep it clear. Sure, the cost of an ad may be more than you’d like to spend, but that’s not a reason to jam it so full of messages that it confuses or bores readers to death.
  2. Keep it clean. Resist the temptation to fill the ad with everything you sell.
  3. One thing at a time. Focus on the one thing you want your customers to know today. They’ll learn all the other good things you have to offer as they get to know you.
  4. Keep it simple. That way it works best in print, radio, TV, and online.
  5. Less is more. A few very carefully chosen words and perhaps a memorable image can be very powerful.
  6. Smart sells. Work with the best professionals you can afford.
  7. Beware of asking creative friends for favors. Sure, creating good ads will cost you money, but you don’t want to waste your investment in the ad space you’re buying by using someone other than a professional. Advertising pros may not know your business (yet), but they know more than you do about advertising. You’re paying them for their expertise, advice, and guidance.
  8. Listen to them.

Learn more at www.standardissuedesign.com.

Photo above: Standard Issue designed and produced “Alexander Girard: An Uncommon Vision,” for Herman Miller. Coinciding with the 2014 NYCxDESIGN Week and ICFF, the exhibit and retail installation was on display May 17-28 in New York City, and was an introduction to the work and passion of Girard, Herman Miller/s Director of Design form 1952-1973. Learn more at hermanmiller.com.