August 18, 2014

Archives

Todd Lancaster – VP, Creative Director

Actually, there are three things that, for some reason, have inspired me throughout my career. I’ve never been one to keep up with industry news or other agencies. I don’t want to be influenced by other people’s take on advertising. I’d rather be inspired by books and movies and music, which can lead to unique advertising concepts.

One thing that’s always inspired me is skateboarding. I was super big into it back when I was a teenager, when the Bones Brigade and all those guys were big. And it’s not really the design surrounding skateboarding so much as the motion of it. It’s hard to explain, but I feel like the fluidity of motion inspires the way I think and design, even now.

Another inspiring thing for me is kind of strange. I love black and white movies, and I watch On the Waterfront pretty much every time it comes on TV. I recently found out that the buffalo plaid jacket Marlon Brando wears throughout most of the movie was actually green and not red. I can’t explain how this inspires me, but I actually found myself thinking about it while I was working through some design concepts the other day.

The third thing that’s been inspiring to me is an interview with Dave Grohl I saw online. One of the things he talked about was resisting the urge to self-edit. You don’t like it when other people mess with your stuff, so why do it to yourself? The imperfections that go along with spontaneity are sometimes the most interesting parts. I try to remember that with design.

April 21, 2014

Find your favorite spot

The theme for this year’s Zoo Preschool is animal markings and habitats. And because the whole point of the preschool is to teach young kids about animals, we decided to make the direct mail piece interactive and educational. The piece featured a soft, natural color palate and a fun illustrated style, which was carried out across all media including the campers’ t-shirts. Any day we get to to create cartoon animals is a good day. And from the photos, it would appear these preschoolers found their favorite spot at the Fort Worth Zoo.

October 29, 2013

Cover Your Sneeze

Flu season is once again upon us. And without knowing it, a lot of extra germs could be as well.
The CDC requires healthcare providers to post visual alerts instructing patients to practice respiratory hygiene or cough etiquette. Most of the time, this manifests itself as cheesy cartoon illustrations, which are printed and laminated in-house. In other words, another flyer in a hospital or clinic that you don’t care to read. When JPS brought this challenge to Schaefer, we found a way to get the message noticed.

Photography by Robie Capps
 

September 13, 2013

Zoo Ball 2013

Our poster for the 2013 Zoo Ball features custom illustration by creative director Todd Lancaster. In keeping with the event’s psychedelic theme, we printed this poster in the style of blacklight posters from the ’70s using UV inks and purple flocking for a textural element. Posters were delivered in a tube that included a blacklight bulb, so the recipient could get the full effect. Other printed materials for the event were illustrated in the same style to further the theme.

Happy Friday, everyone. And to the Rangers fans among you, happy Home Opener Day as well.

This season is particularly exciting for us because one of our clients, Nolan Ryan’s Beef, is beginning their reign as official beef and hot dog sponsor of the Texas Rangers. While this probably isn’t the most shocking news you’ve heard all week, it does mean you can look forward to some pretty tasty food at the ballpark this year.

It’s been a scramble to get everything done in time for today’s game, but it’s also been a lot of fun. One of our first assignments was to create a ten-second jumbotron animation to promote dollar dog nights. Now, to be fair, dollar dogs kind of sell themselves. Apparently, senior designer Charlie Howlett recognized this and chose to use it to his advantage.

Everyone, meet Howdy, the official Hot Dog of Nolan Ryan’s Beef. Be sure to keep an eye out for him next time you’re at the ballpark.


Recently, I caught up with Charlie outside the Schaefer men’s room to see what he had to say about creating a new American icon.

Scott: So Charlie, what do you have to say about creating a new American icon?
Charlie: I can only hope he becomes an American icon.
SYou’re being too modest. So how did Howdy come about?
C: It was pretty natural, actually.
S: Care to expand on that?
C: Well, [creative director] Todd and I got the assignment and decided we needed to create a character – a walking hot dog. So I sketched him out on the window with a dry erase marker and we knew we were onto something special.
S: Were you worried the client wouldn’t go for him?
C: We always hope that clients will find the humor…
S: Slow down, I can’t type that fast.
C: Well, you should record it. That’s what real journalists do.
S: I’m not a real journalist, Charlie.
C: Fine. We. Always. Hope…
S: Stop it.
C: (laughs) We always hope clients will find the humor in what we do. Luckily, the NRB folks loved it.
S: So how did we land on the name Howdy?
C: We had been tossing some names around, but it was the client who suggested “Howdy.” That’s when we knew they loved him as much as we did. (pauses) We thought he had legs before…
S: (groans)
C: …but that’s when we knew he could really run.
S: (groans louder)
C: That’s the truth, Scott. That’s how it happened.
S: Sure it is. Anything else?
C: Actually, seeing Howdy helped my (3-year-old) son get a better idea of what I do all day.
S: Well, not all day, but that’s cool. So is he a fan of Howdy?
C: He is.
S: That’s how you know you nailed it. Well, thanks for taking the time to chat with me, Charlie.
C: My pleasure, Scott. I’m going to go get a hot dog. It’s Opening Day, you know.
S: I did know that. That’s what this blog is about.
C: So are you going to take me out to the ballgame? You know, take me out to the crowd?
S: Okay, I think we’re done here.