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Exclusive Zpd.TIPS from Z promotion & design
Volume 4- 2003

The Zpd.TIPS archives has been divided into 5 10-week periods. As you click on the links below, you will be taken to that section of the tips.

Volume 4 Number 1

After taking a week off for a new years greeting, let's get back to our look at using video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: Use Your Words!

Let's first consider the words.
Consider your audience.
Don't talk down to them.
Don't talk at them.
Writing a script is not like writing for reading (like a paper, book or article) - write conversationally. Remember you are talking to people.

Next Week: How are you going to say that?

Volume 4 Number 2

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: How are you going to say that?

If email has taught us nothing else, it has taught us how important inflection, volume and facial looks (and other non-verbal communication) is. As a script is written, the writer is keenly aware of the inflection and non-verbal communication he/she wants to convey – they have to direct the narrator/actor through direction in the script – on location (during taping – video or audio) it is up to the director to interpret the direction.

Next Week: ah… the sound of music…

Volume 4 Number 3

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: The Sound of Music

Music is important to your production. You should think about the tone you want to set and choose your music accordingly. Remember that music is copyrighted. Don’t plan on using your favorite Beatles tune without planning to pay something to Michael Jackson (he owns the rights)! Most production facilities have purchased music packages you will be able to use without worrying about copyright infringement. Or you can talk to ASCAP or BMI to determine the cost to use your favorite tunes for your purposes.

Next Week: sounding off

Volume 4 Number 4

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: Sounding Off!

Sound effects… in a video? Definitely! You don’t think those TV punches actually sound like that… do you? A well placed sound effect can help make a point, attract attention or just provide a more universal sound – something everyone can relate to (a telephone ring).

Next Week: shhhhh…

Volume 4 Number 5

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: shhhhh…

Sometimes silence is golden. Do not feel obligated to talk (or have an announcer) throughout the entire video project. You can use silence to make a point. Or, break up the talking with some music. Or, break up the music with a voice. Plan your use of music, voice, sound effects and silence in ways that enhance your message.

Next Week: what you see is what you get…

Volume 4 Number 6

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: what you see is what you get…

Now let’s begin a discussion about the visuals. Consider how you will use video, graphics, animation (2D and 3D), photos, illustrations and text to make your point. There are specialists for each area, so plan ahead and be sure someone is coordinating the effort – you want the final video to be cohesive – you don’t want it to look like it was done by different people. Over the next few weeks, we’ll look at each visual area.

Next Week: video…

Volume 4 Number 7

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: video…

If you are producing a video, think videographer – that is a professional to shoot your video. The advance of home video equipment to almost professional quality, does not mean the amateur’s ability to shoot professionally has advanced to the same degree. Would you trust yourself to handle professional pans, zooms and tilts? What about lighting? What about frame composition? The point of your production is to convey the professionalism of your business – don’t start with less-than-professional video – you can’t fix it later!

Next Week: graphics…

Volume 4 Number 8

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: graphics…

What are graphics? For our conversation, graphics are visuals that need to be created specifically for your video. These may include backgrounds, graphs, charts, models or other information for which you don’t have video. Make sure your graphic designer knows television/video there are specific idiosyncrasies to video you need to design for.

Next Week: animation...

Volume 4 Number 9

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: animation…

There are basically two kinds of animation – 2D and 3D. For our discussion, 2D animation is movement of graphics. For example, moving bar charts/graphs, showing movement of equipment (pistons, gears, etc.), revealing text to emphasize the voice, or basically anything that moves on your screen on the x (left to right) axis or y (top to bottom) axis.

Next Week: flying though the z-axis…

Volume 4 Number 10

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: flying through the z-axis

3D Animation in video production can be costly - depending upon its complexity and length. Typically people create a 3D version of their logo (or other text-like elements) or they create their own universe in which they play and manipulate "reality".

Next Week: cost versus flying logos…

Volume 4 Number 11

Zpd.TIP #11 seems to have become a victim of a numbering error... so we will move on to #12.

Volume 4 Number 12

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: cost versus flying logos…

If 3D Animation is costly, why would anyone pay to have their logo fly through space? To grab the viewer’s attention! Some of the ways you could use your animated logo include… explain how the elements of your logo come together. Use your animated logo as a transition between scenes. Open and close your video with it… and then put it on your web site.

Next Week: Creating your own universe

Volume 4 Number 13

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: Creating your own universe…

The real beauty of 3D Animation is the ability to create your own universe and then manipulate it in any way, shape or form – either representing reality or your imagination. For example, if you need to recreate an auto accident – use 3D animation… if you want to create an invasion from Venus – use 3D Animation…

3D Animation is an incredible tool – use it wisely!

Next Week: Putting it all together.

Volume 4 Number 14

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: Putting it all together

Over the last few months we have talked about the video, the audio and the graphics. Now it’s time to put it all together – The Edit. Regardless of how you are using the video, the edit puts the story together in an entertaining and cohesive manner. The edit will take more time than you think. Over the next couple of weeks I’ll give you a bit of a primer of what to expect during an edit session.

Next Week: Timing is everything.

Volume 4 Number 15

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: Timing is everything.

In the world of video, there are 2 fields to each frame and 30 frames in each second. A 30-second commercial is 900 frames and each frame can and should be viewed individually. You want to make sure all frames are good, clean and come together correctly. You have options for getting from one frame to the next in the way you put your project together.

Next Week: From one frame to the next...

Volume 4 Number 16

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: From one frame to the next…

The way you put your project together sets the tone. Your options include:

  • a cut – a clean, abrupt change from one scene to another.
  • a dissolve – putting two scenes together by fading from one to the other.
  • a wipe – transitioning from one scene to another where one scene wipes away the other in a pattern.
  • an effect – an all-encompassing term for putting two scenes together using digital means to manipulate one scene to or from another.

Next Week: the sound of editing

Volume 4 Number 17

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: the sound of editing

Your edit session will include sound. Typically you will begin with the voice track. Then add video and graphics to match the voice. When the voice and pictures are in place, it’s time to put in some music to finish setting the tone of your piece. Of course there are other ways to edit… but that’s next week.

Volume 4 Number 18

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: another sound of editing

Rather than edit to the voice-over, you can edit to music. Let the beat/sound determine your transition, as well as your timing.

Regardless of your project – communicate with your editor before you begin and throughout the process. Remember that they are the professionals that know how to make your project a masterpiece.

Next Week: whadda we do with it now?

Volume 4 Number 19

Continuing our look at video as part of your overall marketing plan... This week: whadda we do with it now

Your finished product! Place it on your web site (or portions of it)… Dub it to Videotape or DVD and send it to your clients… use it as part of a press release… give it to your sales force to assist them in their job. Keep in mind that you can use your video or portions of it in many aspects of your marketing plan fulfillment. Need some ideas, give me a call!

Next week: creating a identity

Volume 4 Number 20

This week we are going to begin to look at developing an identity. In my opinion, developing an identity is one of the top two investments you should make in your business. Second only to a well thought-out marketing plan (of which identity should be a part).

You identity is simply how you are viewed/perceived by the community – and more importantly your target audience. Next week we’ll look at some examples of national identities so give you better concept of what a well-developed identity does for you.

Next week: riding the red wave…

Volume 4 Number 21

Continuing our look at developing an identity, we are going to look at a couple of examples…

Coca-Cola. Red. Coke is it! The wave. The Coca-Cola Script. – and you can probably name most of their product line.

NBC. The peacock. “30 Rock”. Must See TV. – and you can probably name a number of their programs – even some you don’t watch.

Your ability to instantly identify with Coca-Cola and NBC is a testament to their success at marketing an identity. But they are multibillion-dollar companies and you are… well, not a multibillion-dollar company. It doesn’t matter. You must still develop and market your identity. I’ll help you discover how.

Next week: getting started

Volume 4 Number 22

Continuing our look at developing an identity, we are going to look at how to get started…

Getting started involves a complete understanding of identity… how it is created, developed and nurtured. The first thing you should know is that you have complete and total control over the image you create. It begins with an understanding of your business, your marketplace and your target audience. From that information you begin to determine how you want to be perceived in order to gain the largest market share.

Next week: getting started

Volume 4 Number 23

Continuing our look at developing an identity, we are going to look at how to get started…

When you are comfortable with “what you want to be” in the eyes of your market, you then begin to craft your identity. The elements that typically make up your identity include:

  • Your Logo
  • Color
  • Typeface
  • Icons/Symbols/Shapes
  • A Positioning Line/Statement
  • Message

Those of you who have been with Zpd.TIPs know that for the next few weeks we will look at each of these elements in more depth.

Next week: logo

Volume 4 Number 24

Continuing our look at developing an identity, we are going to look at your logo…

Your logo is defined as a graphic representation of your company, usually a combination of letters and symbols.

Everyone knows what a logo is… but what about the thought process that goes into developing a logo. When Z promotion & design tackles an identity project, we consider the following:

  • The type of business you run
  • Your audience
  • Usage… TV spots, Large Signage, Small Labels, etc.
  • How it looks in one color (black and white)
  • Your budget for reproducing on letterhead, etc… number of colors you can afford.
  • Your personal likes and dislikes regarding logos, symbols and colors

Next week: how a logo is designed

Volume 4 Number 25

Continuing our look at developing an identity, we are going to look at how your logo is designed…

Different designers approach logos in different ways. Some will offer you a few choices from which to pick the symbol that will represent your child (business), other will work with you until you are pleased with your new logo. Z promotion & design follows the latter process. And, I can only speak for how we do things as I give you insight into our process.

We begin with a conversation to discover the answers to the questions from last week’s tips. Then it’s off to our secret designers’ cove where we develop a series of ideas using a single color – black. Those ideas are presented to the client where they have a few options… they may love one as is (rarely happens) – they may hate them all and send us back to come up with some new ides (has happened once since 1996) or they will typically send us back to revise some of what we have created.

In the interest of brevity… next week… what happens next

Volume 4 Number 26

Continuing our look at developing an identity, what’s next in logo design…

If the client has sent us back for revisions, we comply. Usually we are able to narrow down the options and the client finds a logo they love. Really! The next step is to add color(s) to the design. This is the same iterative cooperative process as developing the logo to begin with. How many colors, the client’s color preferences and the intended audiences are all considered at this step. Upon determining the logo colors… we are done. Z promotion & design provides the client with every file format you could ever want as the final deliverable.

It is up to the client and is a good idea to have your logo trademarked and registered. We do not offer that service, nor do we check copyrights during the design process, so it is a good idea to have your attorney involved in the process, as well.

Next week… color.

Volume 4 Number 27

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

As many of you may know there is a psychology to color. Different colors mean different things and bring on different emotions and can even invoke purchasing. The meanings vary from country to country (something to consider if you are a global company). A Google search will provide a plethora of sites and color meanings. I found one site ( from which I will quote over the next few weeks…

Next week… looking at specific colors.

Volume 4 Number 28

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

In our search for the meaning in colors, let’s look at two or three a week.

BLACK: authority, power, bold, serious, distinguished and classic. It can also be associated with evil and submission.

BLUE: security, authority, faithfulness and dignity, fiscal responsibility. It can also be associated with coldness and depression. Studies have shown people are more productive in blue rooms.

Next week… the some more colors.

Volume 4 Number 29

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

This week’s colors:

BROWN: richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness, solid, reliable. Light brown implies genuineness.

GRAY: authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity. It is traditional and conservative.

GREEN: health, fertility, freedom, freshness, healing, tranquility, jealousy, status and wealth. It is easy on the eye and is calming and refreshing.

Next week… a couple more colors.

Volume 4 Number 30

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

This week’s colors:

ORANGE: pleasure, cool, excitement, cheer, endurance, strength and ambition. It is a great highlight color.

PINK: femininity, gentleness, well being and innocence.

PURPLE: spirituality, royalty, luxury, wealth, sophistication, authority, mournfulness, upscale and artistic. It can also be feminine and romantic

Next week… another batch of colors.

Volume 4 Number 31

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

This week’s colors:

RED: excitement, strength, sex, passion, vitality, aggressiveness and commands attention. Great for accents and it actually stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing.

WHITE: refinement, purity, devotion, contemporary, truthfulness, sterility and refreshing.

YELLOW: warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness, jealousy, deceit and cowardice. It also appeals to intellectuals and is a good accent – it enhances concentration, speeds metabolism, but can be overpowering.

Next week… which one(s).

Volume 4 Number 32

Continuing our look at developing an identity, colors…

After the last few weeks of looking at the psychology of color, you’re probably more confused than ever. Nevertheless, when it’s time to choose the color(s) to represent your business look at the psychology as it relates to your audience. And consider your usages and the cost factor. Is it more important to print with two, three or more colors than one single color? … and why?

Next week… typefaces.

Volume 4 Number 33

Continuing our look at developing an identity, typefaces…

There are thousands of typefaces from which to choose. But, there are three basic categories; Serif, San-Serif and Specialty fonts.

  • Serif Fonts: these are the fonts with “feet” – such as Times New Roman or Palatino (Mac)
  • San-Serif Fonts: these include the popular Arial, Helvetica and have no “feet”
  • Specialty Fonts: these include scripts, handwriting, dingbats or other “strange” fonts.

Over the next week or so we will look at the best uses for each font… and how it relates to a logo or image.

Volume 4 Number 34

Continuing our look at developing an identity, typefaces…

Generally speaking, serif fonts, such as Times New Roman, Palatino, Bookman, etc. are best used for body copy. Although sans-serif fonts (Arial, Helvetica, etc.) look great in paragraphs; neat and clean, research has determined they are not as easily read and better used for headlines.

However, for your logo you are more concerned with conveying a feeling, rather than pure legibility (although important). So before you begin the process, determine the image you want your logo to convey, and make sure your graphic designer understands it. And, be prepared to look at a number of variations to see how you react to the typeface.

Volume 4 Number 35

Next, be sure the typeface you have chosen is legible. Some things to consider…

  • How are you being shown the concept?
  • Is it large and bold?
  • Is it shown electronically… are you printing it out?
  • Have you seen it in various sizes and in context of usage?
  • In how many different ways will you use the logo? TV, Print, Billboards, etc.

Volume 4 Number 36

Continuing our look at developing an identity, typefaces…

Consider “fad fonts”. What is the intended longevity of your logo? A font that looks great today and positions you on the “cutting edge” will look very dated in as little as three to five years… so unless you plan to retire, go broke or have the funds to redesign yourself every few years remember that the expression “tried and true” doesn’t have to mean boring. This of this in terms of your icons too. How many swirls and swooshes have you seen in logos?

Volume 4 Number 37

In addition to choosing a typeface, you should also look at the application of style. Style refers to the weight of the font (Bold), Italics, All Caps, Small Caps, condensed or extended and kerning (the spacing between letters). As a rule:

  • Bold – emphasis, shouting
  • Italic – sets an idea apart, titles
  • Small Caps – great for headlines
  • All Caps – also great for headlines

Next week: icons/symbols/shapes

Volume 4 Number 38

This week we pick up the topic of image development with a look at icons/symbols/shapes.

It’s no secret NIKE took a simple swoosh shape and made it an icon. NBC did the same with a peacock, and IBM with three letters (typography). You are looking for the same results, albeit [perhaps] on a smaller scale. As you look at shapes and symbols keep these questions in the back of your mind…

  • Are they timeless, or just a fad?
  • Is it extremely common?
  • Do you have to explain what it means?
  • How can be used in other applications to support your identity?
  • Is it too detailed to be read clearly?

Next week: Uses for the logo

Volume 4 Number 39

This week we pick up the topic of image development with a look at usage.

It may seem foolish to state the obvious, but be sure you have considered the uses for your logo as you develop it. Questions for you consideration…

  • Will you need a horizontal and vertical interpretation?
  • How will it look over a color (or pattern) other than black or white?
  • If you cannot use it as fully designed for signage, what is your “fall-back” sign logo/typeface?
  • How small will it need to be – on a bottle?
  • Is it too much detail for television (not HDTV) to handle the representation correctly?

Next week: Adapting parts of the logo to embellish your identity

Volume 4 Number 40

This week: Adapting parts of the logo to embellish your identity.

What am I talking about? Be sure you use your logo to help create your identity. Let the colors in the logo determine the colors of your ads, web site, brochures and stationary. Let the shapes and symbols help guide the look of your collaterals. Use the typeface, or a complementary one consistently in your marketing.

The only reason you not be as well known in your market as NIKE is internationally, is if you don’t consistently drive your identity through your marketing.

Next week: Positioning

Volume 4 Number 41

Let’s begin with the assumption that you already know your competition and you HONESTLY know yourself. That is, you understand their strengths and weaknesses AND you know your strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have this information, GET IT. Once you know your market you can begin to craft a positioning line.

Next week: Positioning… again

Volume 4 Number 42

This week: a deeper look at positioning.

As you develop your positioning line/statement, you are going to look at what separates you from your competition. Make sure you are looking at your direct competition.

You want to create a short, memorable line that positions you vis a vis your competition – it should not define you, but differentiate you.

Next week: Positioning… a final thought

Volume 4 Number 43

This week: a final thought about positioning.

You positioning line will define you.
It will be positive.
And it will speak directly to your target market – do don’t have to be all things to all people!

Next week: The message

Volume 4 Number 44

This week: The Message

Your message should provide greater insight into your business. It can be delivered via any media; TV, Radio, Print Ads, Web Site, Emails, etc. And, it can be tailored for a specific audience and for the specific on media on which it will run.

Next week: Branding

Volume 4 Number 45

This week: Branding

Over the last 20 weeks or so, we have looked at developing an identity for your business. As we move forward we are going to look at taking that identity and developing a brand.

So, what is branding, other than the marketing buzzword of the decade?

It can be summed up as

a) Creating a public awareness of your business name and identity.
b) How your business is perceived by your customers

Examples… in the automobile industry.

BMW – luxury
Volvo – safety
Ford Trucks – tough, rugged

And I’ll bet you can visualize their logos and remember their positioning lines…
In the world of retailing


each have a perceived value to you; their potential customer base.

Next week: Why develop a brand?

Volume 4 Number 46

This week: Why develop a Brand

So why should I develop a brand?
Branding will accomplish a number of goals. This week I will provide the list, during the next few I will expand on the content.

• Differentiation
• Direction
• Value
• Customer Loyalty
• Staff Retention
• Efficient Marketing
• Effective Advertising
• Increased Profit

Next week: Differentiation

Volume 4 Number 47

This week: Differentiation

In our continued look at developing a brand, this week we are looking at differentiation.
Your first step must be to differentiate yourself from your competition. Explore (honestly) what makes you different, or what qualities you want to differentiate yourself.

Once you are comfortable with this element, you can begin to build your brand around this. Think of how the big box retailers, clothing lines or automobile manufacturers did this to stand out in your mind.

Next week: Direction




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