Friday, July 31, 2009


Trampoline sent Amanda to BlogHer 2009 in Chicago. For those of you unfamiliar with BlogHer, just click the picture to the left and visit the site. Or just call anyone who was at the Sheraton on River Street as 1,500 texting, micro-blogging, social media-loving women commandeered every available outlet, seat and cranny of space and companies like Ford, Crocs, Nikon, Tide and Tim Gunn, PepsiCo and more courted them as sponsors.

Our objective was twofold, continue our immersion into the blogging and twittering realm and have another face-to-face confab with Leslie, our coding-ace from Catapult.

Snapping riverside glamour shots with Carson Kressley was not anything we expected, but as the show is called Look Good in Pictures, we'll assume that since they uploaded the shot Carson gave it the a-ok. #ApprovalAtLongLast

After the glitz and glamour of Carson and blogebrities like The Bloggess, the morning keynote had literary heavyweights Tina Brown of The Daily Beast, Ilene Chaiken creator of Showtime's The L Word and Donna Byrd of The Root. The discussion ranged from product endorsements— Subaru was the first company who said "yes" to The L Word, and how racy is too racy— Brown lamented that it is a reality that saucy pictures get the greatest hits, and Byrd spoke about the Professor Gates incident (pre-Beer Summit).

Chicago was a beautiful host city, with the grandeur of the Loop's Millennium Park and the magic of the Grant Park shell. Even caught repeated glimpses of one of our clients.

The 2008 BlogHer was equally impressive in the surprisingly chilly in the summer (should've paid more attention Mr. Twain*) San Francisco.

So for as beautiful as Chicago and San Francisco both were, we're pretty excited that in 2010 BlogHer will be setting up camp in Gotham City.

*Mark Twain: The coldest summer I ever spent was a winter in San Francisco.


Thursday, July 30, 2009

You Take the Good, You Take the Bad*

Opinions on social media are a dime a dozen, and it would seem that the passion of the people who love social media is evenly matched by the zeal of the naysayers.

Social media isn't the silver bullet, nor is it the devil. It is simply a tool that you can use. There are organizations that seem better suited to it, whether for the audience they are trying to reach, the staff they have to devote to it or simply their desire to participate.

We are quick to offer that the results will be gradual and the time commitment significant. Can you think of anything that isn't? Maybe those little bath capsules that turn into sponges, that happens quick and with little effort, but the satisfaction, pretty short lived.

It really boils down to this— knowing who you are and what you are and reaching out to people. Doesn't have to be thousands of people. Far better to talk to ten listening people than shout into a crowd of a thousand who aren't.

We're lucky to have a vibrant community right here in the Adirondacks, whether it's looking north to these folks, or south to these folks. Anyone can participate in social media, it starts with hello, continues with listening and eventually blossoms into a conversation.

Let's get started. My name is Amanda @DesignTramp, what's yours?

*Did we mention our hold music is chock full of '80s goodness?


Sing It

No sense gilding the lily.

Marcella Sembrich Opera Museum = Exquisite

Amy Stevens = Elegant

Sembrich + Stevens = Design Harmony


Thursday, July 23, 2009


Our design and our approach can speak for themselves, but the truth is it's the artists behind the mark and the message that make the magic. Here's a look [read: listen] at what's playing in our office on any given day.


PAULA: American Girl

"Never Say Never" – The Fray
"The Climb" – Miley Cyrus
"American Girl" –Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
"Her Diamonds" – Rob Thomas
"Funny the Way it is" – Dave Matthews Band
"You'll Think of Me" – Keith Urban
"Good Intentions"– Toad the Wet Sprocket
"Sometime Around Midnight"– Airborne Toxic Event
"I Saw" – Matt Nathanson

Check out Paula's picks.

SEAN: A List of Demands

"List of Demands" – Saul Williams
"Let’s Stay Together" – Obadiah Parker
"Sweet Lorraine" – Sammy Davis Jr.
"American Saturday Night" – Brad Paisley
"Novocaine for the Soul" – The Eels
"In the Meantime" – Spacehog
"In the Heights" – Original Cast Recording
"Least Complicated" – Indigo Girls

View Sean's playlist.

AMY: The Luckiest

"Then" – Brad Paisley
"The Luckiest" – Ben Folds
"It won't Be Like This For Long" – Darius Rucker
"Here I Am" – Lyle Lovett
"I'm Alive" – Dave Matthews and Kenny Chesney
"Summertime" – Kenny Chesney
"Short Skirt, Long Jacket" – Cake
"Everytime" – David Gray

Get Amy's music.

DEREK: Dark-Haired Delight

"Superunknown" – Soundgarden
"Recently" – the Dave Matthews Band
"Think I'm In Love" – Beck
"Not The Same (live)" – Ben Folds
"Cold Shoulder" – Adele
"London Calling" – the Clash
"Lost (w/Jay-Z)" – Coldplay
"Monkey Wrench" – Foo Fighters
"Love Buzz" – Nirvana

Listen along with Derek at home.

MIKE: The Boss

"Magnificent" – U2
"Machinehead" – Bush 
"Dreamer" – Supertramp
"Tunnel of Love" – Bruce Springsteen
"10th Avenue Freeze Out" – Bruce Springsteen
"Cherry Cherry" – Neil Diamond
"Roll with the Changes" – REO Speedwagon
"Brass Monkey" – Beastie Boys
"Love You in the Fall" – Paul Westeberg

Make Mike's music yours.

TRINA: Do You Take This Playlist?

"Wishin' & Hopin'" – Ani Difranco
"White Wedding" – Billy Idol
"Going to the Chapel" – Dixie Cups
"Get me to the Church on time" – My Fair Lady
"Love & Marriage" – Frank Sinatra
"500 miles" – the Proclaimers
"Luck be a Lady Tonight" – Frank Sinatra
"Grow Old With You" – The wedding singer
"True Comapanion" – Marc Cohn
"Falling Slowly" – Glen Hansard
"Slow Dance" – John Legend
Say "I Do" to Trina's tunes.

AMANDA: Words Come Easy

"Crazy Bitch" – Buck Cherry
"Tomboy Bride" – Sally Taylor
"Can't Help Lovin' Dat' Man of Mine" – Jerome Kern
"These Foolish Things" – Nat King Cole
"Baby Girl" – Sugarland
"Stronger" – Kanye West
"So What" – P!nk
"Leave the Pieces" – The Wreckers
"The Good Stuff " – Kenny Chesney
"We Danced" – Brad Paisley
"Lookin' for a Good Time" – Lady Antibellum
Download Amanda's favorites.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

JMZ Architects

It's up!

Not exactly a barn raising, but the creation of the JMZ site involved many capable hands and sharp minds.

It's a thrill to see it live. The next step is to stand back and watch JMZ continue their rise as one of the best firms in the region!

Thanks for letting us participate in a bit of JMZ architecture.


Boys of Summer

Once upon a time we created a logo for The Dome, back then our kids were tiny and the place was not yet a household name.

Fast forward a few years and The Dome is the sweet spot and our once tiny kid is a bona fide pitching powerhouse.

Atta boy, Ben!

Snag it, D!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The extra mile

Home. Life. Auto. Business. Crisis.

Kevin and John O'Brien. They cover our everything. It was easy to give them our all.

Here's to the first phase of our covering their needs: The new look of O'Brien Insurance.


Monday, July 13, 2009

Fund 08 Annual

It's a good thing we have The Fund for Lake George as a client, with this summer's weather, this report is the closest we've come to the lake.

As usual, with the Queen of America's lakes as our subject the piece and the Queen of exquisite design (Amy!) behind the mouse, it is stunning.

Here is hoping so much beauty will find its way into people's hearts and memories and become something they join us in protecting.


Friday, July 10, 2009

IDEATE Launch Party

It all began with an idea and belief that things could be better. Turns out other people agreed, and so it was that Ideate came to have a magical launch party in the wondrous backyard of one of its founders, Dave Duggal.

The celebratory clinking of glasses and soft hum of conversation was punctuated by laughter.

Dave and Ideate partner, William Malyk, moved as fluidly as their code, storytelling and listening as wave after wave of friend and collaborator arrived to celebrate.

The inspiration for Ideate was, at its core, people and the desire to speak directly to their needs. Dave did just that as he swept his daughter in his arms and delivered her to a waiting gaggle of little girls.


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Time for a mid-year sit-down. Three websites are going live in the next week, an annual report press check just completed this morning, a pending rebrand launch, not to mention 3 new blogs have kept us busy. We'll be setting up camp at a little known place some of like to call home.

Fresh salsa.


And time.

Here's to setting off for a summer with fresh ideas, hot creative and satisfying work. Thanks to our wonderful clients for a great first half of the year. We look forward to shaping what the next 6 months hold.