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Summer Favorites; Beverage Edition

It’s no secret that the staff here at Trampoline enjoy a good drink or two. So much so that we’ve dedicated a significant chunk of our working lives to them. Visit the office and you’ll find a well stocked fridge, bar, kegerator, and coffee pot. Catch our team on the weekend enjoying a variety of alcohol related pastimes, from brewing beer (Staci is our fearless leader in this regard) to jamming out at a local watering hole. It’s safe to say we take our fluids very seriously.

For most of us, the competition for our beverage of the summer was stiff, no pun intended. The following list is a collection of drinks, artwork, and thoughts on what it means to be refreshed in the summer months. Pour yourself a beverage of your choice (we don’t judge!), sit back, and pick our brains.


Allison
:

My favorite summer drink is kind of a cheat answer because it involves two of my all time favorite drinks: gin and champagne. Mix those two with some lemon juice and simple syrup and you get my favorite cocktail: the French 75. It’s fizzy and botanical and just plain delightful. Drink it pinky up!

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Rob:

Oh G and T, Oh G and T,

You are the summer drink for me,

You’ve got the lime, you’ve got the bubbles,

Have 1 (to 10) and forget about your troubles,

Its fresh and crisp and easy to sip,

Great for a back porch or a boat trip,

Oh G and T, Oh G and T, the summer drink for me

Is it 5 o’clock? Alas, I long for thee

John:

Call me old fashioned, but I’m a fan of an ice-cold beer – preferably a strong IPA — after a long work week. It helps when your client, Druthers, serves up one of your favorites — the All-In IPA. A close second to IPAs are wheat ales like UFO, Hoegaarden or Allagash White. Unlike some craft beer connoisseurs, I won’t turn my nose up at a Bud Light or a cold PBR on a hot day! Hoo-ray Beer!

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Amanda:

My favorite drink is always my first drink. Which, in the summer, means at dawn. Yes, I’m deviating from the largely alcoholic list, but the truth is that coffee will never let me down-iced or hot, espresso or straight joe. The sensation of that first sip, no, even before that, the anticipation of the first sip, feeling the mug in my hands, smelling the sharp aroma and feeling the warmth from the pot, it is exquisite.

The perfect cup has cream, not creamer, thick, white, and ideally poured from a glass vessel. Not much sugar, but enough to stir a couple of times with a small spoon, the clinking of metal on ceramic priming me for the sensation of that first sip.

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Derek:

My fave summer sipper/slammer is also non-alcholic (surprise), as seen in a creative brief.

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Leslie:

My favorite summer beverage is refreshing and crisp with New York State apples and a hint of sweet: Peach! and more Peach! This cider pairs great with lakefront and adventure, two pups in the water and humans tagging along with their thirst-quenchers. Cheers to never-ending summers and Nine Pin Specialty Peach Tea Ciders!

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Sean:

In a home with three pre-teens…you drink what’s available.

I could fill a steamer trunk with Capri Sun™ straw wrappers.

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Oliver:

The Uinta Detour double IPA packs a delicious punch, and sends me deep into aromatic memories of a Rocky Mountain Pine Forest on a warm summers day. Both me and Uinta were made in Salt Lake City, Utah, and appreciate the allure of a refreshing brew paired with a big mountain view. The Detour is my go-to companion for any summer adventure.

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PaulaYou get the gist.

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Staci:

Bell’s Oberon

When our Communications and Media Specialist Megan asked what my favorite beverage is, it took me about three days to really wrap my mind around it. You see, I take my beer very seriously. My husband and I are homebrewers, plus I’m 4 months pregnant, so I wax nostalgic about the memory of it quite frequently.

Bell’s Oberon is my favorite Summer beer. It’s an American Pale Wheat Ale: a limited release with a smooth, citrus taste and fruity aroma. It has a brightly-colored, funky sun label design that draws me in, too. Brewed in the great mitten state, it takes me back to my Michigan roots. It wasn’t always readily available here in New York, so when I discovered that they started distributing here, I was excited.

Oberon is a great beer for a backyard barbecue, a camping trip, or a nice dinner out with friends. Now, if only Bell’s would release a clone recipe so I could brew some myself, I’d be thrilled.

Cheers!

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Megan:

I’ve been trying for a long time to be a beer person. As a brand spankin’ new college graduate, I have a special place in my heart/liver for $2 Busch Lattes and Natty Light pints (Busch Light and Natural Light respectively, for those with anything resembling self-respect). Craft beer is a staple in the office, with packaging (and samples!) coming in and out faster than you can pay your bar tab.

But honestly? If I’m ordering myself a drink in the summer, expect it to be mixed.

There, I said it.

It’s summer, it’s warm, it’s the only time of the year that it’s acceptable to sit outside under an umbrella with a nacho in one hand and something cold and fruity in the other. Does this make me less “chill”? More high maintenance? Do I care? Ask me again after a few refills.

Join the Team-UPDATED (a second time!)

Summer is winding down and things are revving up here at Trampoline, which is why we are here sharing this throwback commercial from Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. It’s time for us to find that perfect mix as we grow our team. This clip will demonstrate that we aren’t afraid of a little bit of low-res cheese. It’s also foreshadowing that we are looking to do more than staff an open position, it’s to connect people and ideas in a way that strengthens our team and gives you an opportunity to sweeten your skills.

 

 

Ideally, you will be open to learning new things, being flexible to adapt to changes in workflow or assignments, and also a fan of this area.

Things we aren’t: a massive agency, a huge town, users of words like maven, thought leader, or ____-preneur.

Things we are: Passionate about design, solving communication riddles, flaky pastries, craft beers, and kombucha. Ok, so that last one may only be Megan and Amanda.

Graphic Designer

We don’t take adding designers to our team lightly, but the time has come. We are looking for someone with 3+ years working as a designer. We value opinions and confidence, particularly when they are paired with an appreciation for design, typography, process, and clear communication. The process at Trampoline involves collaboration between the different members of the team—one of the reasons why we do require that this position be on-site.

Designers (we currently have 8) work with clients as well as production vendors. The work in the shop ranges from branding projects and ad campaigns, to print magazines and annual reports, with a bit of social media and digital advertising thrown in for good measure.

Fine print: Must have a mastery of Adobe Creative Suite, Word, ability to do battle with Publisher through clenched teeth and a smile. Some familiarity with HTML, video, and photography would be swell.

This position will report to an Art Director and assist in mentoring junior designers.

Please respond with work samples, availability, and references.

 

Junior Graphic Designer

We don’t expect you to be an expert, but we do expect you to be proficient in the Adobe Creative Suite. You can anticipate acting as a support for our current design staff. This could involve re-sizes and re-prints, assisting with proofing and research. If you have video/animation skills, or an interest in learning, all the better. We love a well-rounded, knowledge-hungry designer. As a member of the team, you will participate in creative concepting sessions and the crit process. There will be times when you go on-site for client meetings and events. Our clients range from higher-ed and health care to ski resorts and non-profit organizations.

You’ll have a senior team member who will serve as a mentor. We understand that there will be times when you have questions or need guidance; there isn’t a day at Trampoline when someone doesn’t learn something from a co-worker. Our goal is to have you grow into a larger role, but to do it at a managed pace. There are opportunities to allow everyone a chance to spread their creative wings.

We hope that you will be someone who wants to be here for a while.

When you respond, please send work samples and references.

 

If you think you might be a fit for either of these positions please send us an email with your resume.

 

It’s Up to You

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People like to give advice, sometimes it’s a gift, other times it’s predictably hot air. 

Specialize in something.

Establish your niche.

Narrow your focus.

Stay in your lane.

The tricky part of navigating life, relationships, and the marketplace is to know when to listen, when to nod politely, and when to trust your instinct. Over the course of our nearly fourteen years in business we have heard a lot of advice, some we quote greatly for its evergreen brilliance. 

“If it doesn’t work, kill it quick.”

“If you don’t love it, don’t show it.”

“That’s not how the internet works.”

There are other moments we look back on and realize we should have listened to our gut. This is a long-winded way of saying that no one knows what’s best for you, but you. Have some fun. We guarantee that when you enjoy what you are doing and who you are doing it with, it comes through in the final product. 

Listen, keep what works, and move along.

Building a tower of TP for Morcon at the Wood Theater in advance of the Adirondack Theatre Festival‘s production of  The Boy in the Bathroom .

Branding Fun

“That’s work?” is something we hear a lot as we post snippets from our days. It’s undeniable that we get to do some pretty fun stuff in pursuit of the shot.

Putting a face on things is something we love—that can be places, products, or even events. Is it luck or strategy that so much of we get to brand are activities we love? It’s both. Combining work and play means that the passion we have will translate to the mark that’s created. This isn’t to say that non-playful projects get less passion, in fact, it means that our satisfaction keeps us alert, hungry, and game to push concepts to make them stronger, whether it’s an annual report or an ad campaign.

Here are a few identities we’ve created for activities that take you from bike seat to chair lift, from river rapids to mountain peak (on foot, Jeep, or wheels), and maybe—when you’re all done—to a nice hammock.

Over the Top—a new 10k Mountain Bike and 5k Trail Run at West Mountain.

Over The Top

The New Country of Saratoga 5K Race and Obstacle Course was also on West Mountain. Over snow, above icy water, alongside fire, and through a good deal of ice, runners and to hoof, crawl, leap, and tube their way to the finish line.

New Country
We have some major cycle nuts on staff, this has always been a mark we wanted to take a swat at. The Black Fly Challenge—a 40 mile cycling event from Indian Lake to Inlet (or Inlet to Indian Lake depending on the year)

BlackFly

The mind behind Brant Lake Bike Park asked us to help him create an identity to match his vision—A project to create single track trails across 200 acres of beautiful Adirondack terrain.

Brant Lake Bike Park

For their 5th anniversary the Lake George Land Conservancy wanted an updated mark for the  Hike-a-Thon—A day with 17+ hikes to choose from in the Lake George Area.

Hike-A-Thon

Kaatskillz—A pro-Am event at Hunter Mountain with skate park inspired features including hips, bowls, and rails. Making this was as fun as taking to the slopes.

Kaatskillz

Some jobs just fall in your lap. John Duncan, the genius behind SOC, strolled into a coffee shop 12 years ago. He liked the branding, asked who did it, and then came knocking. We’ve been working together ever since.

SOC

Turns out you can do more than ski at Hunter Mountain. They asked us to build upon the icon system we’d created for other events.

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Our work with Hunter expanded to work with Wildcat, Crotched, and Attitash. This Alpine Slide icon is for the feature at Attitash, which, for authenticity’s sake we just had to try.

Alpine Slide

A new twist was to introduce some of our favorite places to a foreign audience. Go North is a brand, an invitation, and an itinerary to take travelers through our part of the state, produced for The Wild Center in collaboration with the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, Warren County Tourism, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau , and I Love NY.

Go North

 

Branding is fun. Maybe we can work together…or should we say play?

 

Tips for the Yosemite Traveler

[Photos & video below]

As an East Coast kid, California seemed like a fairytale world where movies were made and surf bums lived out their days in Volkswagen vans in search of the epic wave. I admired it from a distance like a child admires his or her favorite superhero; unsure whether I’d ever get the chance to travel there. That dream came true recently when my now-fiancé and I (I’ll touch on that) visited Yosemite National Park.

We spent a total of three days in Yosemite, flying cross-country from Albany to Fresno and renting a car  — a gas-sipping Ford Fusion Hybrid — for transportation. Tip #1: Rent a hybrid over an SUV. Use the money saved on a nice dinner. We booked our accommodations on March 1st: three months early, but still not soon enough to get the prime campsites on the “valley floor,” where you’re a stone’s throw from the trailheads and attractions. Instead, we bounced around: from a campsite on night one, to a bed and breakfast in Groveland, CA on night two, and returned to the valley for the third night to stay in a “tent cabin” — which wasn’t quite “glamping” but close. We weren’t complaining about having a bed to sleep on after a full day of hiking. 

Tip #2: Reserve your campsites early, like February, if you want to snag a campsite on the valley floor for consecutive days. 

We made the most of our three days in Yosemite, setting out at sunrise and not returning to base camp until well past dusk. We checked off an impressive number of sights: Tunnel View, the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Falls, Bridalveil Fall, Vernal Fall, and meadows and roadside vistas that seemed untouched by the passing of time.

Thanks to our friends (and Trampoline client) Fountain Square Outfitters, Alexis and I were well-equipped for our adventures. In addition to the FSO gear we already owned, owners Matt and Nancy Fuller hooked us up with some essential (and lightweight) gear, including the MSR Mutha Hubba three-person tent; Thermarest sleeping pads; Luci rechargeable solar lights; ENO Doublenest Hammock; Patagonia Torrentshell rain jackets, which kept us dry when I proposed to Alexis at Bridalveil Fall (yeah, that happened!); and GSI stainless steel wine glasses that kept our champagne ice cold when we celebrated later that night. Not from FSO but worth mentioning was my zero-degree EMS sleeping bag circa 1974 passed down from my father. We stuffed all of our gear into the waterproof Patagonia Black Hole Duffel and didn’t have to check a bag at the airport — clutch for cross-country trips where you risk luggage being lost in transit.

We capped off our trip by driving from Yosemite to San Francisco. We had dinner at a great restaurant/brewery, Thirsty Bear (awesome branding!), and then headed to our hotel near the airport, where we were able to take our first shower in three days and sleep in a real bed before we flew home the next morning.

My first trip to the Golden State exceeded my expectations, and I’ll miss it. What I won’t miss is the traffic and congestion during peak hours; from noon until about 5 p.m., when Yosemite Valley turns into a carousel of cars and buses on the valley’s only main road. Tip #3: Get an early start, pack a lunch and hike outside of the valley floor during peak hours. Return in time to catch sunset.

Unfortunately, photos don’t do Yosemite any justice — which brings me to Tip #4: Go and experience Yosemite for yourself. 

Yosemite_Mosaic

Go North: an Adirondack Invitation

“We have a story to tell and a vacation to market, but no name or look…we would like you to create that.”

It’s kind of the ideal scenario when the story and journey are situated in one of the most picturesque regions of New York State and the client is someone you enjoy and admire. Working with the Wild Center in conjunction with the Adirondack Regional Tourism Council, Warren County Tourism, the Saratoga Convention and Tourism Bureau , and I Love NY, on this project was exciting.

The goal was to package a tour-based itinerary that would loop through Saratoga Springs, Lake George, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid to be presented on an international stage. For us, this meant creating something that was not rooted in insider language or regional specificity. Consideration was given to translations and scalability to include other parts of the region at a future date.

We presented half a dozen name options, each with its own spin. The concept that was selected, Go North was followed by the simple line: The sights, shops & stories of Northern New York.

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The itinerary was unveiled at the U.S. Travel Association‘s annual business conference, IPW, in Washington DC earlier this month. We created shirts to allow the team at the conference to represent Go North in both language and person. The itinerary branding on the front of the shirt, paired with the partner brands on the back, created the opportunity to spark more conversations with attendees.

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According to The Wild Center, the project aims to recruit new tour companies and travel agents to highlight Northern New York in their travel product offerings online, in print catalogs, and brochures. “We found that for the international market, the Adirondacks is a tourism ‘black hole.’ There just isn’t information out there to help draw people up and out of New York City,” said Patrick Murphy, Group Sales Coordinator at The Wild Center and one of the GoNorth team members.

Once the branding and naming were established, we worked to create iconography, maps, and other visuals to bring Go North to life. A brochure told the expanded stories of the potential stops on the tour, from the activities they could enjoy:

Go Hike

Go Eat

Go Learn

as well as the places they would experience, from waterfalls and fountains to casinos, museums, and shopping. Each  A rack card and preloaded, branded flash drives made it simple to share information.

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The website for Go North, to support the print collateral, was developed by Mannix Marketing, who worked swiftly to ensure that the Go North was ready to Go Live for the conference.

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The Luxury of Pickiness

Picky

Selective

Discerning

Choosy

Overparticular

Opinionated

Fickle

As we all participate in the sprint/marathon/obstacle course for people’s attention the truth is that consumers, with very few exceptions, have the luxury of pickiness. They get to go full on House-Hunters-judgey and define their own expectations and reasoning.

 

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They can tune you out, be drawn to new things by a fleeting sparkle, or even change their minds without explanation. Being sneaky, disingenuous, or half-hearted is no way to win someone over. So what the heck are you supposed to do when algorithms constantly change, ad rates soar, the market gets crowded, and something like a fidget spinner comes along and makes your product or service as appealing as week-old potato chips in a bag that wasn’t properly closed?

 

We would suggest that the first thing you do is laugh. We’re all misunderstood, burned, and wounded from time-to-time, and the stories are often amazing. Honestly, finding true love is hard and the pitfalls along the way are inevitable, brand love is every bit as tricky.

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If consumers are picky, let yourself be upbeat, undaunted, and unyielding in your offering of your service or product. Remember that what you offer is something of value, it serves a purpose, produces an emotion or an outcome that is desirable. When people try to define you in a way other than that, go back to center.

We sell candles—-> We deliver light.

We write copy—–> We bring stories to life.

We have cabins for rent—–> Your yet-to-be-made memories live here.

It isn’t necessary to be like everyone else or to feel it’s a failure if you don’t appeal to all people. Be you and for the right people that will be more than enough.

Learning the Ropes

“Hey Allison, would you be open to sharing your impression of Trampoline from the perspective of a new-to-the-team person?”

“Sure,” she said, “Could I do it in a comic?”

Everyone thinks about it for a minute. “Don’t see why not.”

“Great,” she said cracking a sketchbook.

“Thanks!”

Here it is:

Comic-Spread-01

Chemistry is the essence of communication

 

Chemistry does not happen in a vacuum, well, maybe high school chemistry does, it wasn’t my best subject. The chemistry I’m talking about is connection; the emotional or primal response people have to a person, place, or thing. It’s sensing as you walk into a place for the first time that you belong there. The voiceover in a commercial that makes you feel happy. The lines on a page that transcend ink on paper and instead become a battle cry or a love song.

Chemistry is the fuel in everything we do at Trampoline, because in the end getting market share isn’t about numbers it’s about hearts. Successful campaigns build loyalty and momentum, both of which are rooted in an emotional connection. It may be related to value or quality, but it is sustained by the relationship.

It’s ferreting out the words, colors, and placement that will allow an audience to feel the spark of connection, a literal pull to read more, get closer, and to commit. Keeping sight of the importance of chemistry is how we can let an idea we love or a font we think is beautiful be replaced by the elements that will mean the most to the gazes we want to hold. This is about us, as in more than one person, one agency, or one client.

A recent meeting at the studio to present creative had us crackling with anticipation. We had arduously pulled, poked, pared back, and refined a large project. At one point as the entire team was gathered around the table, Derek said, “You have too many wonderful things going on, we need to give a few of them more space to just be amazing.” He was right and we all knew it, but it was still daunting to edit. Hands grazed the paper, Staci said, “I just love what you’ve pulled out and how it feels.” We got quiet, Rob nodded. “I know you’re right, this is good. I can do that.” We stood around the table taking it all in and knowing that the changes would make it that much stronger.

“Chills. Gorgeous work,” and then murmurs of “beautiful” and “really great work” as we all walked back to our desks.

Sometimes I think it’s actually that struggle that is the best part, almost like a sub chemistry between the designers and writers. I believe that effort stays in the piece, invisible, but there.

As our friends from Double H reviewed the pages we waited. “It’s really…I love it.”

We laughed and exhaled and called for high-fives.

 

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Draplinspiration

Good designers know that there is always more to learn. It’s an interesting industry to be a part of, like a log rolling contest. The rules and methods are constantly changing, and designers are systematically challenging the status quo. You have to keep shifting your feet to keep up, otherwise you’ll end up in the drink.

One of the ways we do that is to learn from fellow designers. On Monday, four of our designers attended an intensive logo workshop at SUNY Adirondack with one of the greats, Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Company.

We filed into a tightly-packed classroom filled with computers, and waved hello to a few friendly designer colleagues and students who we recognized. The room buzzed with excited anticipation, wondering how many swear words and pearls of wisdom Mr. Draplin would bestow upon us.

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

Dressed in one of his signature trucker caps, full beard and sweat pants (he is a rockstar on the road, after all), he absorbed the energy in the room and began the workshop. He whizzed through Illustrator quick keys and stories about past clients as we fervently scribbled notes and sketches in our books. He told the story behind his work for President Obama and opened up his working files to show us how he works on a daily basis. “Don’t tweet this!” he’d proclaim, followed by “Keys to the kingdom!”

Aaron Draplin running the design workshop.

One of the most interesting anecdotes he shared was his journey from Michigan to Portland, Oregon. (He and Staci later shared a moment when they talked after the workshop and discovered that his mom hails from the same hometown that she does: Livonia, Michigan.)

Draplin's hand drawn map of Michigan.

After the workshop, the entire team sat in on his presentation—filled with the same heartwarming, hilarious and inspiring design stories, more swear words, and insight into the design industry.

Our team came away feeling inspired and refreshed, excited to have touched base with a designer we all admire. We laughed and shared, and came to work the next day with the tips we’d learned fresh in our minds.

Design is all about evolving, listening to the world, and moving people with the art we create. And when we learn and get inspired together, we benefit as a team. You see it in the work we produce. As he stated when he closed out the workshop, “I know this is going to sound really ‘Bob Ross-y’, but inspiration is infinite. Catalog those things around you.”

Draplin puts Rob in a headlock.

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