Monthly Archives: December 2014

Surviving a Family Holiday

scribble paperDealing with family this holiday season will be the greatest challenge many of you will face all year. Here to help, New Ground Creative (Solutions!) has some simple, crafty design ideas to get you through this holiday season with as little need for future therapy as possible.

Challenge: Aunt Mabel’s/Uncle Jerry’s Mistletoe Sneak Attack
Solution: Removable acne. Go get some masking tape and paint it with very high-gloss red nail polish. Cut into small dots and put them all over your chin and mouth area when visiting family. After the event, unstick dots and voila, no need to drink a bottle of Listerine/bleach.

Drawback: Your incredibly good looking cousin will also see this, but this isn’t West Virginia and you shouldn’t care what your cousin thinks.

Challenge: Mom Wants you to get Married
Solution: Magazine ad and keyring. Go to the local grocery store and buy a Men’s Fitness or Cosmo. Find a suitable-looking mate inside and cut their picture out to fit in a picture keyring. Show keyring to family and tell them that he/she can’t be there because they are spending time with their family; a very close, big family that you can’t wait to meet. Fake an incoming phone call, cry, say they were injured in a plane crash and you are distraught. Leave the house and go to bar.

Drawback: Tough to manufacture tears. Your family may insist you can’t be left alone in your state.

Challenge: Dad Wants “you two kids” to have a Grandchild
Solution: Baby doll, Baby Bjorn and torn paper scribbles. Make a lot of crayon scribbles on ripped out notebook paper. Buy a baby doll and a Baby Bjorn or other such carrier. Show up at your event with the doll in the carrier. Don’t look too rested or put together or they’ll know you’re lying. If questioned, say that he/she is sleeping and hand them one of the scribble papers saying, “he/she made this for you for Christmas.”

Drawback: Tough to pass a doll off as a real child. Of course, if you’re found out, start to cry, say nothing and run out of the house. Go to bar.

Challenge: Incredibly Successful Relative
Solution: Tinfoil Nobel Prize medal. Here is all the information you need to make a very passable Nobel Prize medal. Don’t brag, just quietly and righteously wear it at your family event. Try to pick something obscure as the area in which you won. Don’t think “Peace Prize” or “Mathematics” but rather, “Humming” or “Baked Goods.” If anyone points out that the real medal is more gold-looking, roll your eyes and say, “Do you believe EVERYTHING you see in the media? Don’t be a sheeple!” If found out, start to cry and run out of the house. Go to bar. Ask for a free drink as a Nobel Prize winner.

Drawback: None that we can think of.

Insights abound

Vermont Insights LogoThis was a fun project that we just finished working on and we wanted to share with you what some of our thinking was. Vermont Insights is a data site for policy makers, philanthropists, nonprofits and a host of other users to make sense of who we are as a state. An extension of the amazing nonprofit, Building Bright Futures, Vermont Insights provides the tools and resources to make better decisions for Vermont communities.

They approached us to create a logo and tagline for the site. It was challenging because we wanted to make it engaging and friendly without being too cute. After a couple of really, well, insightful conversations, we created a lot of possible concepts and settled on the pie chart within a lightbulb. The thinking was that it was important to make it clear that this was about data—especially as the name doesn’t mention data and Vermont Insights could mean a lot of things. We also wanted to bring out that visual of great ideas coming from the resources on the site. We all have tremendous access to information these days but it’s harder to sift through it to build an actionable plan. That is exactly why this site is so necessary.

As for the tagline, Communities Connected by Data, we wanted to reiterate the data-driven nature of the site but balance that with the sense of community that makes Vermont such a cool state. The concept of connection—in both the human meaning and the information meaning—was also important.

All in all, we think these pieces are pretty cool and they feel like a natural extension of all of the nonprofit work we’ve been doing over the years. We’re sharing this because it’s a project that, like so much of the work we do for our clients, will have a big impact.