Superheroes of Design

When I learned that Marvel Studios patriarch Stan Lee passed away recently, it struck a chord with me. I collected Marvel comic books and trading cards growing up; it’s largely what sparked my interest in drawing and graphic design. I filled countless notebooks with sketches of Spider Man and Wolverine, and monopolized the TV watching X-Men cartoons on Saturday mornings. My comic books gathered dust as I got older but my love of drawing only grew, eventually leading me to a career in graphic design.

You may be wondering how Stan Lee and comic books tie into December’s theme of focus?

Comic books are a great example of the four-color printing process in its purest form; but it’s only through close inspection with a magnifying glass (called a loop in our field) that you’ll notice the color separation into halftone or Ben-Day dots. This printing method, that is so often associated with comic books, was first devised in the 1930s as a cost-effective way to create shading and secondary colors in mass-produced comics and newspapers.

In the 1960s, artist Roy Lichtenstein built his fame mimicking comic books of the time, meticulously hand-painting halftone dots at enormous scale. Still today, artists and designers alike lean on the halftone technique, whether to keep costs down when screen printing apparel and merchandise, or to give their artwork a nostalgic look.

I’m not the only one at Trampoline that has a penchant for pulp fiction. Sean has boxes full of comic books from his days as a collector, and looks for any excuse to incorporate comic book stylings into his work. Rob also jumps at the chance to use halftone dots to give a poster a touch of pulp fiction. It’s our way of harkening back to the heyday of pulp fiction, and the superheroes of design.

Sean’s pulp fiction parody can be seen here in an ad for Meyer & Fuller PLLC.

 

Rob’s rockin’ retro poster for Druthers Brewing Co. used halftone dots as a pattern to give it a pulp fiction effect.

 

Call us biased, but we think Megan Coloccia’s Batman and Robin are the cutest superheroes of all time.

WE’RE SEARCHING

For the meaning of life, and also for a new member to join the Trampoline family! Every person that we add to the mix here in the studio shapes who we are. We hire great people and see where they shine to mold positions around them.

A large group of co-workers have a planning meeting as they stand around table.

The morning huddle, going over deadlines and meetings.

Our current opening is for an enthusiastic, resourceful and creative Communications and Production Associate. This is a unique, exciting position that supplements both the account and creative teams in order to serve our clients. We like to immerse ourselves in the culture and voice of our clients in order to help best tell their stories, and we hope you do, too.

Six people stop and pose for a picture at Wildcat Mountain.

Reporting for duty mountainside at Wildcat Mountain.

One day you’ll be writing an Instagram post, the next, you’ll be researching vendors who can source merchandise, and the next, you’ll be meeting with a client to kick off a new project.

– Manage day-to-day client projects including but not limited to oversight of creative production, timelines, budgets, verbal and written correspondence with clients.

– Research and develop third-party quotes and coordinate production process with designers and vendors.

– Manage client advertising budgets, develop plans and place media on behalf of clients.

– Support Partners and Account team on large client accounts, projects, and/or business development activities, as needed.

– Effectively collaborate with internal creative teams, business partners, and vendors.

– Manage Trampoline and client social media strategy, content curation, ideation, and execution. Access and interpret analytics and report back to clients and Senior Leadership team.

This role requires strong:

  • Attention to details
  • Organization skills
  • Creative written and oral communication skills
  • Customer service (internal and external)
  • Basic math skills
Five co-workers and one teenager stand arms laced before a 5k race.

Rotary 5k in Tramp Track shirts.

Our team and culture are unique, and we’re looking for an extraordinary person to join us. You don’t have to know it all, but you do have to be willing to learn. A degree is preferred. This position is located at our Glens Falls office and is full-time with benefits.

An iPhone screen showing people in a brewing facility.

Could this be you?

 

If interested please send resumé, cover letter, and work samples to:

amanda@designtramp.com

staci@designtramp.com

 

 

The strength of our work is our people

We’ve been talking about focus this month. It got me thinking about how and why we focus on certain things. There are areas where we are deliberate, methodical even and others where our focus on one thing makes us miss something else. It’s why I like the idea of having a word for a month, it’s a mechanism for revealing stuff we might otherwise wholly gloss over.

The last year or so we have talked a lot more about a process. Before we kick off a project, we gather background information and relevant context to make sure everyone understands the objective, budget, and timeline. We talk to the client to get a sense of their attitude and how to best arrange the team and process. When we get a quote on a print job we take into account paper stock, extras, pricing, and timing. The same attention to detail happens in the hiring process—what are this person’s strengths, how will they integrate into the current workflow, will they create new opportunities, and can we offer them something meaningful.

These are all great things to do, but something stopped me in my tracks about a month ago. I was walking to my computer, and I passed Staci’s desk. It’s beside a huge window, the sill of which is lined with photos of her family. Her desk always has some sort of snack. On this day, there was an avocado which reminded me of how during Staci’s pregnancy she sat next to Allison, who signed up for emails describing the approximate size of the baby on a weekly basis. One week he was the size of an avocado.

 

Work space with personal items, a baby bottle, documents, and food.

Her chair was empty as she leaned over a proof on the work table with a junior designer. I could hear her characteristically thoughtful feedback on the layout and the way she presents a balance of constructive criticism and praise. Her son Kaiser, who just turned one, was sitting in his stroller flirting with two or three Tramps.

I am guilty of not always remembering just how much Staci has going on, or John, or Megan, or Oliver. I looked at the bottle on her desk, the datebook open with a girls’ night scheduled as well as a chiropractor appointment. These things were alongside ad layouts with notes and her computer screen open to an InDesign file brought into focus how much each person has influencing their perspective. It’s easy to get distracted by the client, the work, and the push to get things done. Nothing happens without the person.

The holidays, in particular, can be a time when each day carries the weight of family obligations, poignant memories, and extra to-dos. I can appreciate the idea that personal issues aren’t for the workplace, but in so many ways we can’t separate a person and the rest of their life.

A mom holds her baby

I am grateful for the way that the people coming into Trampoline each day are unafraid to reveal their entire selves—dysfunction, delight, and massive distractions. When we are able to focus on lifting one another up, whether it’s creating a lactation room or giving advice on how to contest a traffic infraction, it strengthens our team and our process.

We’re planning a lunchtime visit to Mik and Milo, Friday we’ll be brewing a custom beer with Staci’s husband guiding us along with our friends at Mean Max, and on Fridays, we’ve started a tradition of walking down the block to take aerial yoga classes over the lunch hour. The work is essential, but it’s nothing without the people.

 

Changemakers

In the Spring of 2017, there were 11 Tramps creating in our studio. Over the course of the next three quarters, we added 5 more positions—accounts, production, design and social teams all benefitted from additional personnel.

Change can be hard.

Staff configuration, client needs, business plans…we’ve always been nimble with an ability to stretch and flex as needed. The last twelve months—and the 14 years previous—prove that we should not fear change but we should embrace it.

Without change we would never have assembled this amazing staff.

Change continues.

We’ve made space for even more positions in 2018. A videographer, a proofreader, and more designers, creating award-winning work in Glens Falls.

Change adds up.

A 2016 study found that the daily ritual of staff buying coffee and lunch can total $3,000.ºº annually. This summer, 19 hungry Tramps will hit the sidewalks of downtown, for a latte, a rice bowl or the Chef’s Whim. That’s a $57,000 change to our local economy in meals alone.

Change creates space.

Revising our structure has created room for new opportunities, relationships and revenue.

A change in approach.

Our growth led to the creation of necessary processes to guide our business.

Do you see a pattern?

Don’t fear change. Move with it, accept it. There are good things ahead.

 

The Intern Story

It’s snowing, I’m late, and I have no idea where to park!

Those were the thoughts running through my head as I looped around the slick streets of Glens Falls the morning of my first day as an intern at Trampoline. By the time I walked through the door to the office I was frustrated, flustered, and mortified for being late. The fabulous Meg Erickson showed me to my desk, as the introvert inside me cowered in fear as I realized the reality of an open concept office. My computer screen is wide open. My work is on display for everyone to see. I don’t like teachers looking at my work before it’s complete, let alone an entire group of people I don’t know! Ugh, what did I get myself into? Feeling like a bug under a microscope, I settled into my first day and hoped I would get used to this…

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Working it While We Work—POP Pilates

How awesome would it be if you could get your workout done while you were at work? When one of your co-workers is a group fitness instructor and your employers have an open mind, YOU CAN!

Last Friday I had the pleasure of teaching POP Pilates at Trampoline! What is POP Pilates? POP Pilates is a group fitness class that is a twist on classical Pilates. It combines ab-chiseling and total body defining moves to give you a full body workout choreographed to upbeat pop songs!

Since becoming certified to teach POP Pilates in 2016, I have found so much enjoyment in bringing this incredible format to new students and giving them a great workout they feel proud of! To say I was excited to teach a class at Trampoline was an understatement. I still couldn’t believe this was something we could do right in the office! I was excited to share my passion with my fellow Tramps and give them the special POP Pilates brand of positivity and encouragement.

As we set up the conference room for the class, I could sense some nervousness. Truthfully I was nervous too, what if they all hated me after I put them through the killer ab challenge? Or the crazy cardio track? Thankfully that didn’t happen. Everyone loved POP and I wasn’t fired for making my boss do hollow rock ab holds 😉

For me though, the best part was the feedback I received from my co-workers who didn’t take the class. They weren’t even watching, but they could hear me teaching through the double doors that separate the office from the conference room.

“You are a beast!” said Sean

“We were all sitting up straighter in our chairs just listening to you.” said Patty

“When I heard you tell the class that they’ve already done two rounds so they can do one more, it melted my heart. You have found your true calling,” said Allison

Wow. Those are the things I live for as an instructor. I want to bring positivity and motivation to my students. I want them to leave my class feeling good about themselves and of course wanting to come back for more.

POP Pilates is going to become a regular feature at the office once I begin working full time. As one of my Facebook friends commented on the photo from class; “You have POP Pilates in your office? Where do I apply?” Exactly. Trampoline is that cool.

I am thankful I will be able to continue pursuing this passion once I begin working, both in the office and outside of it. After seeing my passion for teaching, Amanda and Paula have agreed to let me leave early on Thursdays in order to make it to one of my classes in time. As far as jobs, benefits, and work-life balance go, that small accommodation means so much. I can’t wait to become a full time Tramp, and the official fitness instructor of the office.

 

National Write Your Story Day: The Story of Trampoline

Today is National Write Your Story Day. As a partner at an agency that specializes in storytelling, through visual elements and words, I can’t help but approach this day with delight. We’re celebrating our 15th year in business and I want to take the opportunity to look back on all that has changed around us, personally and professionally.

It was late fall 2003 when we incorporated. We shook hands as newlyweds and new parents at a campground in Dorset, Vermont, pledging to create a company that put family first and would have an unerring focus on design and communication that hit the mark. The early months were lean, with late nights and light paychecks (if any). Two of us held full time jobs to keep us all covered by health insurance, the books were done after bedtime, headlines written before sunrise.

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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. Read more

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.

 

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