Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Bear of a Client

Just wrapped up a holiday promotion for a client. The fastidiousness of this particular client, from type treatment and color, to message and approach was, in a word, exhausting. We went round after round trying to get it just right.

"No, no, no, too grey, it needs to be warmer."

"Meh, I'm not feeling the graphic."

"We absolutely have to do the custom band."

"Let's do 50."

"Make it a hundred."

"Change 'chump' to 'freeloader' and then it's good."

"I just really prefer 'torrent' to 'barrage' in this case."

I'll be honest, there were moments when I doubted we'd be able to get it out on time, but just before the refs called it, we eked out one last swing. And so, without further ado, the Trampoline Design* holiday promotion.

*Yes, we are our own worst client. Thank goodness this only comes once a year.

5 Years Strong

Here we are, five years later. Our offices have changed, growing and reflecting a greater body of work, our families have changed, one growing and the other entering the, gulp, teen years. The approach we take to design and messaging has changed very little, we weave honesty, daring and irresistible design into every project. We are at once humbled and proud of these first five years. We are looking forward to the challenge of continuing to stay fresh, relevant and, simply irresistible (or cheesey). C'mon, you love it.

Click here to see us at our start.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Artful Repurposing

The white, winter wonderland concept was a little overdone—and conjured images of a snarling Billy Idol. The Berkshire Museum wanted to stand out, to present a different kind of holiday extravaganza. What better way to do it than to go green in the whitest time of the year!

This year's Berkshire Museum Festival of Trees is green— abundant with incredible artistry using sustainable materials and presenting an earth-friendly, eye-dazzling display of holiday cheer.


Exhibit Panel

Gala Invitation

Go Green!


Thursday, December 4, 2008


Winters in the Adirondacks can be rough, the whole, "you can see your breath" thing loses its charm after, oh I don't know, three days. It's probably not a turn of phrase that anyone suffering with asthma really appreciates as they can't catch it, let alone see it.

A while back we mentioned a project we did with the North Country Asthma Coalition. This morning we received word that people can now see how to catch their breath in a bigger-than-life fashion.

Here's hoping this campaign helps kids in the North Country Ease Their Wheeze.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

70 Years of Powder

A 70th wedding anniversary is recognized with gifts of platinum, while cotton is assigned to the second year of marriage. This being our second year working with Alta, cotton fit the bill as we designed t-shirts to celebrate Alta's 70th. It was an easy assignment to tip our hat to 70 years worth of powder: as precious as platinum and every bit as beautiful.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Check out the guy at 3 o'clock

You've been waiting for this.
The sitter is lined up.
You've got the dress (or suit).
You are ready to seriously tear it up.

And then you see him (or her). The one person that can ruin it all,
maybe it's an ex, maybe it's just a creep, either way, your perfect night
seems in danger of being slimed.

Tribune Media Services recently requested an invite that would scream:

"You know that guy?

He won't be at our party.

Click to view html.

Did you get an invitation?




Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bleak Does Not Call for Bland

It's no secret that even those of us tucked blissfully away from the hustle and bustle of big cities are feeling the pinch. Times are tough, concerns are high and temperatures and budgets seem to be in a sprint toward zero. Here's the thing, now is not the time to go silent. This isn't a cue for companies to stop promoting themselves or for those with great ideas to stop thinking.

They say, "Desperate times call for desperate measures," these bleak times do not call for a bland approach. As each dollar becomes more precious, what you do with it should become more important. You have a brand, a product, a mission and it must be sustained. Looking back, even to the Great Depression, the common thread was a consistency in advertising investment.

Procter & Gamble. To this day, P&G maintains a philosophy of not reducing advertising budgets during times of recession, and the company certainly did not make any such reduction during the Depression. It's not a coincidence that P&G has made progress during every one of the major recessions. While competitors cut ad budgets, P&G increased its spending. While the Depression caused problems for many, P&G came out of it unscathed. Radio took P&G's message into more homes than ever, and P&G became a pioneer in effective use of that medium...more from this article

We will emerge from this, but as we move forward, it will be the individuals and organizations that continue to sculpt their message and carry their voice that will succeed. Rather than hunkering in and waiting for the dust to settle, align yourself with the individuals and companies that can continue to communicate with your audience. The value and potential in staying connected is more critical than ever.

Your ability to position yourself is significantly enhanced by the unfortunate and rash decision that some organizations make to cut their marketing budgets. Strong creative, intensity of message, potency of purpose, these are the things that a targeted campaign can have when created with a partner. And, might I say, it's all that much more fun if your partner has a trampoline...


Monday, November 24, 2008

We've all been there

It's safe to say we've all been guilty of the odd typo or printing glitch— I once sent an email saying that I would "ass it along." And, just like the excruciating mix of discomfort and amusement you experience during awkward movie scenes, there is a thrill when you catch one not of your making. This particular grammatical hiccup was enlivened by uncanny ad placement.

Here it is for your catty pleasure.


Friday, November 21, 2008


Ok, so the headline is cheesey, but there is nothing but class and polish when it comes to the plaster artistry of our award-winning client and friend, Erin Lonergan. This month Erin's work can be seen within the glossy pages of the Better Homes and Gardens Kitchen & Bath special.

We know firsthand how incredible plaster can be as she has performed magic in our homes, texturing our walls and coloring or lives with her incredible talent and personality.

Congratulations to Erin, from all of us at Trampoline!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

There's no doubt we're lucky to live in the Adirondacks. We have at our fingertips:

Health care
Imaginative Folks

Unfortunately something that comes with exceptional quality of life can be prohibitive cost of living realities. Recently an organization we've begun working with, Adirondack Community Housing Trust, had the opportunity to participate in an article published by the Albany Times Union regarding the increasing struggle to secure affordable housing in the northern points of our region.

The Adirondacks, of course, have never been an easy place to live. It sometimes seems the word "hardscrabble" was invented for the region, so frequently is it used to describe life there.

Still, some say the out-migration of residents is accelerating, fueled by housing-price increases. The result? The park's towns become second-home havens, lacking their former vitality.

"More and more, you see dark houses at night," said resident Alan Hipps. "You don't see people on the porches, and you don't have the social cohesion that you used to."

Hipps is the head of an organization, Adirondack Community Housing Trust, that is trying to address the problem. Created last year and funded by a $1 million state government grant, the trust subsidizes housing costs for lower and middle-income families.

The families buy the house and have full ownership rights. But the trust takes ownership of the land, then leases it for $25 annually to the home owner.

If the house is sold, the owner gets 25 percent of the increase in value, with the remaining 75 percent helping the next buyer afford the house. The idea, Hipps said, is to keep the homes forever affordable.

The trust is also developing two small subdivisions, and is looking for a buyer for a donated house in North River.

So far, the trust has helped one family buy a home, while three others are about to close on purchases. About 60 families have enrolled in the program. Read more...

We are looking forward to working with an organization dedicated to making it possible for more people to call this beautiful corner of the world home.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The economy, technology, consumer expectations; together they demand an evolution, if not of practice, then at least of thought. Whether it's speaking to a younger generation or finding new ways to connect people, we need to adapt.

We've been working with the Memorial Foundation in Yakima, Washington on creating a strong, multi-dimensional presence online that reflects the passion and personality of the organization and its mission. An admittedly game organization, the CEO is a self-professed "iPhone packin' Grandma," the Memorial Foundation is creating an entire online forum devoted to their donors called NetCommunity.

As the direction, capabilities and spirit of the community become more defined, we are excited to have a role with imbuing NetCommunity's face with vibrance and energy. NetCommunity presents a dedicated environment for communication and recognition, connecting donors, volunteers and beneficiaries of the many programs funded through the Memorial Foundation

The truth is, regardless of economic climate, we must still communicate; asking for gifts, proposing investments and driving a momentum of philanthropy. You might think we have reached a recession-imposed end of giving, but let's not give up hope.

Convio and JupiterResearch have released a study that gives nonprofit fundraisers new and valuable insight into the expected online giving of Americans in the upcoming holiday season. The report As we read the data, the news is good: Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! A report asked 175.6 million online users over 18 within the United States about their online giving intentions for the holiday season. Some things to note from the report:

51% say they plan to give to charities through an online avenue;
24% of these say they will give $100 or more;
Despite what they say is a worse financial situation than years prior, 46% say they plan to donate;
61% say they will give about the same amount as last year, 6% say more, 33% say less.

Where do they plan to direct their donations?

53% to faith-based charities;
43% to human and social services;
37% to disease research and health services;
37% to animal welfare;
31% to international relief and disaster assistance.

Where do we go from here? We must be fluid in our communication, striving to use the tools that reach our audience and allow us to appeal to their emotions and or sense of duty. Maybe the key will be an online forum or an HTML email, maybe it's in Facebook or YouTube.

There is a world of possibility and a community that will give if asked. Adopting the spirit the Glens Falls Hospital Foundation used when it said, Your gift this year makes our whole promise possible, your willingness to explore new avenues of communication will make anything possible.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Still 2.0

Sometimes an idea is still great a year later.

This year The Sagamore elected to go with an HTML email for their holiday mailer. We kept true to the idea of still as it does capture the essence of winter in the Adirondacks– calm, timeless, still.

A New Face on 90 years

Established in 1918, relevant in 2008.

Quandt's Fish Market in Amsterdam, New York has spent the last ninety years moving with the times, culminating in a position now as a full line distributor carrying everything from food to paper products, to chemicals and equipment and supplies. They dove head first into positioning themselves on the web as not just a company, but as a genuine, family-run business intent on providing quality service and products.

Take a peek at their site, if not for our funky design, then for the priceless photos dating back to the company's earliest days.

A signature of the Quandt's approach is usefulness, which led to the introduction of a tool to assist their clients in their endeavors in the food service industry.

What more could you Quandt?


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

3,000 Square Miles? Really?

We got a call from one of our favorite print reps this week.

He was knee deep in prepress on a year-end awareness piece Trampoline recently finished for Glens Falls Hospital (pictured above and below), and, like all good print reps, he has sharp eyes.

"I think I've spotted a mistake on your Hospital brochure" he said.
"Bummer" I sighed. It happens.
"It says that they service 3,000 square miles. That can't be right."
"Phew. Nope, that's not a mistake." Sweet relief.
"Really? 3,000 square miles? That's a big footprint."

He's right. That's a lot of ground to cover.

Of course, this was the whole idea behind this piece. An opportunity to state clearly all that our hospital has to offer, and celebrate that we live in an area where the latest medical advances are right here—helping to save lives.

In spite of the fact that the Hospital towers over downtown Glens Falls, many in the community are unaware of all it has to offer, and the number of people who benefit from the services provided and programs offered. We're doing what we can to let folks know.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Client to Trampoline: "You'll never Illustrate Textbooks."

Well, maybe he's right.

We couldn't seem to cram enough greenery into the above graphic, designed to illustrate how upland development can impact water quality.

"We need more trees in there" said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of the Fund for Lake George. "Rocks, shrubs, bushes—fill it up."

"Sure, we can do that" I answered, secretly wondering what constitutes a bush, and how a shrub was any different.

Peter was right. As usual. Populating stream banks with trees, undergrowth and boulders helps to filter out harmful nutrients that exist in storm water runoff.


Given the choice of categorizing John McCain as a bush or a shrub, I'd definitely say he resembles a Bush.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Arriving on the Red Carpet

Next up for Tribune Media Services: A redesign of the website dedicated to their A-List suite of products. Named and designed by the team at Trampoline, the A-List materials cater to the Cable/Satellite/TelCo segment of the Tribune audience. A-Listers include companies like Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, DirecTV, and Comcast. Rest assured, they all have a shirt.

After the site goes live, we'll be developing materials for a Post-New Year's bash at Planet Hollywood in Vegas. Check back for some after-launch linkage.

The A-List landing page

The sales collateral

The booth

The email


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Attack of the 3 Foot Inhalers

If you live in the Adirondacks of New York State, keep an eye out for giant asthma inhalers that will be on display throughout the region.

The North Country Asthma Coalition, a branch of the American Lung Association recently launched an eye-catching and memorable awareness campaign in the North Country, Ease Your Wheeze.

The Campaign, consisting of large-scale inhalers mounted in communities throughout Warren, Washington, Franklin, Hamilton and Essex counties, targets school age children and their parents. Each inhaler displays exterior Suess-like artwork and contains informational flyers highlighting the triggers, symptoms and treatments for children with Asthma.

Trampoline created the oversize inhalers to bring the issue of asthma to the forefront of the public consciousness. Rather than run billboards and speak to families in conventional ways, we hoped to create something memorable, and exciting. The campaign also includes a series of awareness ads placed in local and regional publications. Each ad takes on a specific asthma-related issue through the use of Suess-icle rhyme and color palettes. For more information about this campaign, contact Marcie Lee of the North Country Asthma Coalition, (518) 832-6937.

Friday, October 24, 2008

An Update: She's Here

A perfect 10.

Born 10/22/08

Elizabeth Grace Stevens

9lbs 8 oz


Congratulations to John, Amy and Luke.

Welcome to the world Ellie.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Who's running this joint?

Not sure if it's nepotism or a flagrant disregard for child labor laws.

She's a force behind the keys, too.

"Twampoline Design, c'nai help you?"

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Blare Finch Project

It had all the makings of a good suspense film. The believable kind.

Our party met Upstate.

Way. Up. State.

Some members were old friends, others new to the fold. The sun set on our backs as we looked north into the high peaks. Word came that an important attendee would not be joining us. Disheartened but resolute, we continued off the pavement into untamed wilderness.

We had prepared well enough. Creative comps had been mocked up and competitor campaigns studied. Packs balanced, boots oiled and six-packs still sweating. Derek had fishing poles stashed and a Leatherman at the ready. We were traveling deep into the Adirondack Park to a lodge built by the Finch Paper Company. Tony McDowell VP of Sales & Marketing had assembled a team of creative powerhouses from Crosby Associates in Chicago, Doyle Partners in New York and Fort Franklin in Boston. We were all there to help develop a strategy to take Finch into 2009 and beyond, advancing the appeal of Finch's line of uncoated papers—in the midst of the very woods from which the pulp was harvested.

We wound our way up through the peaks, through the rusty swing-arm gate that had greeted us at the turnoff. Several miles up a dirt logging road, our caravan pulled off to let an enormous pickup pass, heading in the opposite direction. It was the property's caretaker, called away for an emergency. As the sun sank behind the hills it became clear that we were on our own.

Another locked gate blocked our path, and as keys were produced and vehicles crossed through, a chilly October wind shook the leaves from the birches that surrounded us. The swing-arm groaned as it clanged back into place. It sounded like a warning.

When we reached the lodge—empty, cold and eerily quiet—we took in the view and set to work, gathering firewood, and starting a dinner of steak and potatoes with sautéed peppers and mushrooms. All this against a backdrop of uneasy Deliverance wisecracks.

Mount Marcy looked on, the first snow of the season letting us know we were in for a cold night.

Yeah, I'm totally dropping the whole horror movie thing.

It's way too much work.

Cut to the end—the worst thing that happened to our Band of Brothers was leaving the woods to discover that the Dow had dropped 1,000 points. As for the rest of our time at Boreas Lodge, it was a blast.

We sat down around a warm hearth, reviewed the past year and charted the next.

Derek found a fishing hole (surprised?) and set out to catch himself a story.

Four hours later he returned, along with Bart Crosby who had joined him at the brook. They both held their hands about yay apart and looked excited. Without any sort of photographic evidence, the rest of us were skeptical. After all, these were two men that told tales for a living.

The Adirondack High Peaks did not disappoint.

Nor did the water, with it's glassy reflection of autumn.

The Finch Paper retreat was a marvelous place.

And while the road out was a little bumpy...

The way ahead was clear.