Wednesday, October 31, 2012

60th Anniversary Corvette Will Sport New Logo

Hunter Communication recommended reading from:
NY Daily News

Link to article:
GM Hints at New Chevrolet Corvette

The 7th generation, 2014 model of the venerable Chevy Corvette will make its first appearance on the eve of the North American International Auto Show, the 13th of January 2013.  GM assembly plants will stop producing the 6th generation model in February and start rolling out the new version six months later.  As is the tradition with Corvette, the crossed-flags logo has been streamlined and updated, and this is the only bit of the new design GM has released so far.

Excerpt: "The first of the new C7 Corvettes is expected to roll off the line in Bowling Green on June 30 - 60 years to the day that the first 1953 model was produced, according to two suppliers familiar with the automaker's plans but not authorized to speak on behalf of GM.

The C7's formal unveiling in mid-January also marks the anniversary of the Corvette's debut in January 1953 as a GM Motorama 'dream car' concept in New York. Since then, GM has built and sold more than 1.5 million Corvettes, although annual sales have slowed in recent years as higher vehicle prices, rising fuel and insurance costs, and growing competition from Europe and Asia have eroded its once fiercely loyal owner base.

To rekindle interest in the Corvette, especially among younger, affluent buyers who tend to favor imported brands, Chevrolet has completely overhauled the car for the first time since the sixth-generation model was launched in July 2004."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Pop-up Fashion Carts Debut at the Grove

LA's the Grove shopping center
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Los Angeles Times

Link to Article:
Local-fashion-filled 'Pop Carts' roll into the Grove Nov. 15

Upping its trendy fashion credentials, the Grove shopping center in LA will roll out "pop carts" devoted to the wares of three up and coming LA designers. Adding an upscale twist to the style of popup stores, restaurants, and the ubiquitous food truck, the "pop carts" will be a temporary installation in the pedestrian-friendly mall, taking up residence from November 15th till Valentine's Day.

Excerpt: "Rather than selling Crocs and doggie T-shirts, these haute carts will offer’s $45 heart-shaped clutches and $350 jeweled head bands, Clare Vivier’s butter-soft leather coin purses, purses and weekend bags from $55 to $500, and Heidi Merrick’s silk print PJs and decorative pillows from $39 to $325.

The Pop Carts will not look like any others on the property. The designers will give them their own individual look and feel. The fashion carts have the same ephemeral appeal as food trucks and pop-up stores, and the potential to make the Grove feel even less like a homogeneous mall. They also come at a time when the shopping center is trying to up its style quotient with several new, more fashion-forward tenants, including TopShop, a J. Crew Men’s store and Vince.

'There are so many designers who want to be on the property, and we starting thinking about where else we could put people,' said Galit Shokrian, senior vice president for marketing and communications at Caruso Affiliated, which owns the Grove. 'We thought, we have these carts all over the property, why not change them to designer carts rather than carts selling iPhone cases. We reached out to designers and they loved the idea.' "

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crunch Fitness Burbank Named "Best of LA" 2012

Crunch Fitness, Burbank (Hunter Communications photo)
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
LA Weekly

Link to article:
Los Angeles Best Gym  - Crunch Fitness, Burbank

Annually, the highly regarded weekly local paper the LA WEEKLY  puts out a special edition devoted to finding the "Best of LA" in myriad categories.  This year's edition went a little off the usual Venice-to-West Hollywood axis in the "best gym" category, choosing the newly opened Crunch Fitness located in Burbank Town Center as the best of the best.

Excerpt: "Pole-dancing classes mean never say die! This chain, known for its multitude of cutting-edge classes, such as the famous spin workouts and the more unusual AntiGravity Yoga and X-Pole Dancing, offers the perfect mix: the reliability of a chain with the creativity of a boutique gym. The Crunch Fitness Burbank location opened across from Ikea at the beginning of April and boasts a clean, industrial-style atmosphere, easy parking and monthly fees that are considerably lower than some gyms' pre-recession, bankruptcy-inducing payments."

 Note: Hunter Communications handles marketing at the Burbank Town Center, home to Crunch Fitness Burbank.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Men Outdo Women in Shopping for Online Fashion

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Business Week

Link to article:
Male Shoppers Outdo Women as Web Offers Haven From Mall

Men often HATE the retail shopping experience of going to a mall and trying on clothes in the dressing room.  For them it is a task, while for women it is more like a sport.  So a new breed of online men's fashion retailers is cashing in by encouraging guys to do their clothes shopping in one fell swoop.

Excerpt: "Men who have had to live with department stores designed primarily for women are flocking to websites such as Bonobos and Thrillist that push convenience and a fast shopping experience. And these sites are capturing a growing part of the $41 billion fashion e-commerce market by providing services like recommending items based on personality or shipping trunks of clothes to a guy’s home so he can pick.

'Men don’t hate fashion, they just hate shopping the way it’s designed for women,' said Ben Lerer, founder of Thrillist, which gives men tips for activities or products and then sells them. 'The young generation of guys love to shop, they love to talk about the brands they like and they really care about how they look.'

While women’s share of the online clothing market is still more than double men’s, the men’s market is growing faster, at a 13 percent annual rate compared with 10 percent for women, according to NPD Group, a consumer tracking service. And that growth gap is seen by many as about to get wider.

'It’s an area of e-commerce that companies are only just now starting to really figure out,' said Joshua Goldman of Norwest Venture Partners, who specializes in retail deals."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Director Punks Screening Audience Dressed as Arclight Usher

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to Article:
Rian Johnson Dressed Up as Arclight Employee, Introduces 'Looper'

We've heard of "Don't quit your day job".  Filmmakers for years have snuck into theatres and test screenings to gauge audience reaction, but writer/director Rian Johnson took a novel approach at the midnight screening that led off the opening of "Looper" at the Arclight Cinemas.  He dressed in the official Arclight usher uniform, strode to the front of the theatre and recited the film introduction that employees would use, word for word.

Excerpt: "Hopefully after the release of the excellent film Looper, writer/director Rian Johnson will enter the elite group of filmmakers that film fans recognize on the street. That, obviously, has not happened yet. Thursday night, Johnson posed as an usher at Arclight Cinemas in Hollywood, CA and introduced the midnight screening of his film. He didn’t say he was the director. He dressed like a normal employee and gave the same speech that preceeds every single screening at the Arclight. Very few people were in on the joke...

If you’ve never been to Arclight, it’s important to restate that every single screening has an introduction just like this, almost word for word, and every employee wears not only the blue shirt, but that weird name tag and everything. Johnson was perfectly disguised. He just happened to be the writer and director of the film these hundreds of people were so excited for, they went to a midnight screening. I’m glad a few people chuckled and were in on the joke."

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Open Dyslexia Font Faces Legal Challenge

From the Dyslexie font
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
Font Designed to Help Dyslexic Individuals Gets Legal Threat

Open Dyslexia, the font we mentioned last week that was designed to aid in the reading challenges that dyslexic people face, has a few challenges of its own now.  Abelard Gonzalez, the designer of Open Dyslexia, was contacted by font designer Christian Boer (who sells an alternative font called dyslexie for $69 USD per "single-use" license) to "cease and desist" distributing the free font.  Apparently Boer (who used the same free Bitstream-Vera-Sans font in designing HIS version) was not pleased to see a free font competing with his in the marketplace.  It's a brand war in the typography world!

Excerpt: "Abelardo had already released the font for free and was not planning on backing down, which was probably the exact opposite of the reaction Boer wanted. The fact that Boer felt threatened enough by a free font shows just how weak his position is. Abelardo even admits that Boer's font is better and has become even better as a result of having more competition in the market. So why does Boer feel the need to threaten the competition? Shouldn't the fact that he can provide a better alternative be enough incentive for people to seek him out? Or perhaps, if people and companies are turning to cheaper or free alternatives, maybe it's a sign that he might be charging too much?"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Trying Biodegradable Packaging

This pulpy mess once held an earpod!
Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article: 
Want to Dispose of Apple’s iPod Packaging? Just Add Water

Apple is quietly testing biodegradable packaging materials with the latest edition of its Ipod players. The tapioca starch-based material quickly dissolves into loose pulp when the earpod case is immersed in water.

Excerpt: "Apple’s long been a leader in product package design and has often touted how eco-friendly its products are (though not all always agree). However this is the first time, in our memory, we’ve ever seen a portion of Apple’s packaging that could all but disappear in warm water.

The EarPod case doesn’t completely disappear, but when placed in warm water, it pretty soon becomes pliable, and soon falls apart. After a few minutes, the result is a bunch of pulp (see inset photo). Do not, however, try to dip the iPhone 5‘s EarPod case into water. That thing is all hard plastic."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Photo of the Week -- October 22, 2012

Metro Link commuter train at the downtown Burbank Train Station.  Photo was shot by Hunter Communications staff and has been "put to work" on the new Burbank Town Center website debuting November 1 (see below).

"Ridiculously Super"

That's how our client at Burbank Town Center described our use of this photo as a background for the "Public Transportation" page on the shopping center's new website.

The new Burbank Town Center website makes its official debut November 1 with all the "bells and whistles" -- pun intended -- of our new Gen5 website platform that, among other things, is heavily photo- and video-infused.  

Watch our blog for lots more info in the next couple of weeks.

Following Arby's lead, Wendy's Ditches Old-West Logo

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Wall Street Journal

Link to article:
Wendy's Redhead Gets a Makeover

It seems like "Wild West" and "Old-Fashioned" are now the kiss of death in fast food logos. Less than a month after Arby's ditched its swinging door saloon style, Wendy's has streamlined its logo to make their iconic redhead more approachable and welcoming. The Western style font is replaced by handwritten style, and "Old Fashioned Hamburgers" is nowhere to be seen.

Excerpt: " Wendy's Co. is sticking with red pigtails with its new logo, but the freckled little girl looks slightly older, and will no longer preside over the slogan "Old Fashioned Hamburgers."

The more modern, simplified version of its young girl mascot and the lettering around her marks the first change to Wendy's logo in nearly 30 years, as the burger and Frosty purveyor hopes to rebrand itself as a higher-quality fast-food chain.

The Wendy's name and mascot were inspired by founder Dave Thomas' then eight-year-old daughter when he opened his first restaurant in 1969. Wendy's tested several versions of the new logo, which will go into effect in March, and found that consumers were attached to the Wendy image herself.

'It was important for our brand to evolve,' Chief Marketing Officer Craig Bahner said. 'We wanted to keep all of the key, iconic elements, but give it a much more inviting, contemporary look.'

In the new logo, Wendy is popping out of the circle. 'We didn't want her to be contained. She is much more approachable that way, and the handwritten font is much more personal,' Mr. Bahner said.

Wendy's removed its age-old tagline "Old Fashioned Hamburgers" because it has branched out from that original staple to offer salads, chicken and other menu items."

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shopping Centers Now Filling Vacant Retail Spaces

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Wall Street Journal

Link to article:
Malls See Fewer Vacancies

The recent economic stagnation has seen many retailers paring down locations and closing unproductive stores, but recent figures from the third quarter shows less vacant space in America's malls and shopping centers. Besides new and booming companies like H&M, Lululemon Athletica, and TJ Maxx, new tenants include non retail companies such as health care offices and media studios.

Excerpt: "At the Santana Row shopping center in San Jose, Calif., Swedish fashion retailer Hennes & Mauritz AB opened a 28,000-square-foot store during the third quarter in a formers Borders Group Inc. space. Other new arrivals include fashion and accessories seller Kate Spade New York, New Zealand's wool-clothing seller Icebreaker and an outpost of the Veggie Grill restaurant chain. Meanwhile, British luxury retailer Burberry vacated its 5,000-square-foot store there.

Some malls are filling vacancies with tenants other than stores. Greg Maloney, president and CEO of brokerage Jones Lang LaSalle's Americas retail division, said the Bel Air Mall in Mobile, Ala., signed United Healthcare Services Inc. last quarter into a 1,200-square-foot former store, where the company is showcasing its services. Similarly, Myrtle Beach Mall in Myrtle Beach, S.C., recently signed local game show 'Sqrambled Scuares' to film in a 3,700-square-foot former jewelry store.

Even big-box centers, home to many retail chains hardest hit by online sales, are showing signs of a rebound. Big-box centers in the top 54 U.S. markets posted an average vacancy of 6.4% in the third quarter, unchanged from the second quarter and well removed from the measure's recent high of 7.9% in 2009, according to the CoStar Group, which collects and analyzes commercial real-estate and economic data."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hooters Rebrands Itself for Women and Families

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Bloomberg Businessweek

Link to article:
Hooters: Fun for the Whole Family

Hooters has never been known as a favorite destination for women and families, but a new marketing rebrand aims to do just that.  Replacing dark wood with lighter, contemporary looks, adding patios, freshening the menu with salads and lighter fare, new CEO Terry Marks is aiming to broaden the appeal of the breast-centric dining chain.

Excerpt: " The wall-to-wall dark wood, posters of bikinied Hooters girls, and tables of titillated guys downing pitchers of beer and making cracks about the chain’s 'great wings' makes for a decidedly frat house vibe. Yet Chief Executive Officer Terry Marks’s makeover of the ultimate guys’ place depends heavily on paying more attention to its core customers’ wives and girlfriends.

Marks, a former Coca-Cola (KO) bottling executive hired last year to redo the chain, wants to remove the Hooters stigma so men aren’t embarrassed to put a visit to the chain on their expense accounts and women aren’t so quick to veto a meal there. 'Face it, females are 51 percent of the population,' says John Gordon, principal at Pacific Management Consulting Group. 'They’ve enjoyed more employment growth, and you can’t ignore them.'...

Marks has spent much of his 10 months with Hooters improving the menu, which now touts fresh, not frozen, wings and hamburger patties. The chain has doubled the number of salads to six, replacing iceberg lettuce with mixed greens and adding shrimp, spinach, and fresh herbs to give women and health-conscious men more choices."

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Video: Space shuttle Endeavor's final journey features spectacular chase plane footage and the music of the "Blue Danube" from "2001: A Space Odyssey"

This Hunter Communications-produced video is a celebration of the final ferry flight of the Space Shuttle Program era as space shuttle Endeavour, mounted atop NASA's modified 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft, made its way from Kennedy Space Center in Florida to Los Angeles International Airport, arriving Friday, September 21, 2012. 

A compilation of spectacular clips shot by NASA from both chase planes and the ground was edited to the music of the Blue Danube -- the elegant waltz forever associated with the wonder and possibilities of space travel by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

The video features flyovers of several NASA facilities the Stennis Space Center, Michoud Assembly Facility, Dryden Flight Research Center, Ames Research Center and Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Additional, awe-inspiring flyover clips include San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and several of iconic LA landmarks such as the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, downtown LA, Dodger Stadium, Griffith Park Observatory and the Hollywood sign. 

While Endeavour's permanent home is being built --, a new addition to the California Science Center in Exposition Park called the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center -- Endeavour will be on display in the Samuel Oschin Space Shuttle Endeavour Display Pavilion beginning October 30, 2012.

Arclight Encourages Ipads During Movie Event

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
Movie Theater Encourages Patrons to Play With Ipads

Second Screen Live!, a cooperation between See It First and the Arclight Cinemas, is one event where patrons WON'T be chided for leaving their Ipads on during the film.  A special screening of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS will entertain viewers with interactive games, trivia, and singalongs they can access on their Ipads during the film.

Excerpt: "The event description, posted by Movies in LA, promises “fun challenges, speed trivia, sing-alongs,” prizes and more at the planned screenings, which are happening October 22 in Sherman Oaks and October 24 in Pasadena. So this isn’t a normal screening — it’s not like the ArcLight is bringing iPads into the Saturday matinee showing of Seven Psychopaths. The Nightmare event is more akin to the Disney movie sing-alongs hosted at a bar in my neighborhood. I wouldn’t normally tolerate drunken idiots yelling at the screen, but in that context I’ll happily make an exception.

On the other hand, if this event goes well, you can bet there’ll be many more like it. And the more common iPads become in movie theaters, the more normalized that kind of despicable behavior becomes. Some exhibitors have already floated the idea of separate “text-friendly” screenings for those who can’t bear to turn off their precious iPhones for 100 minutes, and this seems like a step in that direction."

Note: Hunter Communications handles marketing at the Sherman Oaks Galleria, home to ArcLight Sherman Oaks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

NYC Brands Metro Cards with Paid Logos

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Brand Channel

Link to Article: 
Mind the Gap: NYC Rolls Out Doubled-Sided Branded MetroCards

It used to be that the only name on a transit card was the name of the Transit Authority itself. Now, the NY MTA has reversed years of tradition and introduced a new Metro Card with branded business ads and logos on both sides. Softening the blow of commercialization, at least many of the branded advertisements can be used for discounts at companies such as the Gap.
Excerpt: "New York City’s subways and buses have about 8.5 million riders every day. Transit cards are carried by everybody from construction workers to hedge-fund managers and tourists from across the globe, to nannies minding children and rap stars who own basketball teams and concert/sports venues. And now the MTA has finally debuted a way for marketers to reach that card-clutching audience by placing advertisements on both sides of the MetroCard.

In the launch campaign for the two-sided branding opportunity, New Yorkers may find themselves swiping cards with Gap ads across the front of them that not only spread the Gap name but offer 20 percent discounts for those that visit the retailer’s new flagship store — the first ad to appear on the front of a MetroCard, the fare payment medium on all New York City subways and buses, since the mid-1990s."

Monday, October 15, 2012

Photo of the Week

Space Shuttle Endeavour on Martin Luther King Boulevard as it nears end of  a 12-mile, slow-moving trip through the streets of Inglewood and Los Angeles, making its way from LAX to Exposition Park and the California Science Center.  Endeavour will be on permanent display in its own pavilion at the Science Center beginning October 30.  Photo taken Sunday, October 14, 2012.  

New Font Designed to Assist Dyslexic Readers

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
Does This Font Truly Help Dyslexic Readers to Read?

Dyslexia is a perceptual problem where the brain rotates and misinterprets visual information, and affects about 10% of the population.  By analyzing HOW the dyslexic brain confuses printed letters, and then making subtle changes to confound that process, Abelardo Gonzalez, creator of the new (free) Open Dyslexic typeface, hopes to increase reading ability in dyslexic readers.

Excerpt: "Your brain can sometimes do funny things to letters. OpenDyslexic tries to help prevent some of these things from happening. Letters have heavy weighted bottoms to add a kind of "gravity" to each letter, helping to keep your brain from rotating them around in ways that can make them look like other letters. Consistently weighted bottoms can also help reinforce the line of text. The unique shapes of each letter can help prevent flipping and swapping.

OpenDyslexic also takes a different approach to italic styles. It is generally recommended that italics be avoided in reading material for dyslexia. However, instead of taking the normal approach of 'slant x% for italic,' OpenDyslexic's italic style has been crafted to allow for its use for emphasis while maintaining readability."

Friday, October 12, 2012

"Colorific" Pantone Hotel Brings Award-Winning Design to Brussels

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Pantone Hotel / Travel + Leisure

Link to Article:
Pantone Hotel in Brussels Centre
T + L Design Awards

How to make a smallish hotel in a chic shopping district stand out from the pack with a makeover that is clever, not cutesy? The new Pantone Hotel in Brussels gets its theme and inspiration from the worldwide color authority's swatches of the most vibrant, intense hues, set against minimal white rooms. No less an expert judge than Travel + Leisure named the hotel to its top design award for a smaller establishment.

Excerpt:  (Hotel website) "The PANTONE HOTEL invites you to experience the city of Brussels through a lens of color and a spectrum of comforts. From the moment you arrive, our “hotel of colors” will awaken your senses to an array of delights and playful surprises.

Impeccably designed by Michel Penneman and Olivier Hannaert, The PANTONE HOTEL, Brussels showcases the color of emotion with a distinctive hue on each colorous guest floor. From vivid to subdued, for business or leisure, our unique boutique hotel perfectly suits your savvy palette and colorful imagination.

From a design perspective, The PANTONE HOTEL, Brussels is built on an exceptional use of contrast; a white canvas provides clean space for saturated colors to pop. Guest rooms feature unique photography by esteemed Belgian photographer Victor Levy.

Welcome to the center of the color universe."

Excerpt: (Travel + Leisure) " It’s a gimmick, but it works: this 61-room hotel features one distinctive Pantone color per floor, ranging from vivid to more subdued. The Pantone Hotel is built on contrasts; white walls provide a blank canvas for saturated colors to pop. At the shop are Pantone products of all sorts, from furniture to iPhone cases."

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Auto Dashboards: Good Graphics Saves Lives?

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Popular Science

Link to Article:
How Better Typography Could Reduce Car Crashes 

Automakers strive for a unified, attractive look throughout their products, right down to the stylized dashboard displays. New research shows that switching from an artsy, squared-off typeface to a more legible "humanist" font decreases the length of time a driver needs to read dash information, speeds up reaction time and reduces the likelihood of a serious accident.
Excerpt: "The researchers were looking to measure drivers’ 'glance time,' literally the amount of time their eyes drifted over to the device (and off the simulated road). Curiously, the two typefaces produced little change in glance time for the female drivers. But for the men, the results were significant. ('The gender issues here are a fluke of psychology,' Reimer posits, and they might relate to the different ways that women process information or interact with this type of technology.)

Across the two studies, the men required 10.6 percent less time to read the humanist text than the square grotesque. This may not sound like a lot, but that’s the equivalent of about 50 feet in distance in a car traveling at typical highway speeds.

'In the vehicle, fractions of seconds are the difference between avoiding accidents and colliding with things,' Reimer says. At 65 miles per hour, you cover 95 feet every second in a car. 'In most other environments that we think of, the safety benefit from fractions of a second doesn’t have the consequences it does in a vehicle. Even in aviation, encroachments between planes are measured in minutes, not seconds.'"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Arby's Logo Re-branding Gets "Meh" Reviews

Old stylized Arby's logo vs new

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
NPR Blog
Link to Article:
Nearing Its 50th Birthday, Arby's Gets A 'Fresh' Makeover, New Logo

The 48-year old roast beef and curly fries fast food chain, Arby's, is retooling its image, menu, and now even its venerable logo. The new turkey sandwiches and lava cake may be tasty, but reviewers are spitting out the dumbed-down and revamped logo. What was stylish and Wild West is now middlebrow corporate modern, and ill thought out.

Excerpt: "Arby's has just about 3,500 restaurants globally, compared with Subway's 34,000, according to Bloomberg. And the chain's gotten low ranks for its food in a couple of big diner surveys, including this one from Consumer Reports last year. So it was ready to make some changes.

One of the changes was to the logo. While the iconic ten-gallon hat remains, the font that sits on the brim is now smaller and more modern-looking, sporting a deeper shade of red.

Over at the branding blog, Brand New, they're lamenting the change:

'The Arby's giant hat logo is one of the most fun fast food chain logos: oversize and over-Western'd without any excuses. Their classic road signs, sadly less common now, are always a sight to behold. Even what looks like cheesy typography is a very nice, condensed bit of slab serif that filled in the hat properly. The new logo retains the hat shape, along with some unfortunate 3D extrusion, but replaces the typography with some flavorless, sans serif with a lowercase 'a' and the sharpest, biggest (and is that shiniest?) apostrophe that no logo ever needed.'

As part of its makeover efforts, Arby's plans to add as many as 12 new products this year, Chief Marketing Officer Russ Klein says. The chain introduced hot turkey sandwiches this month and plans to branch out widely, perhaps to a peppermint milk shake, a molten lava cake and miniature sandwiches, he tells Bloomberg."

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vote for Garment Industry "Made in LA" Logo

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Los Angeles Times

Link to article:
Mayor Announces 'Designed/Made in LA' Logo Contest

Los Angeles is the second major apparel industry in American, after New York, with over 10,000 companies and $13 billion annually. To highlight the homegrown fashion, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced a competition for a hangtag logo to identify garments designed or made in LA.  You can vote on the various logo submissions HERE.

Excerpt: "The 'Designed/Made in Los Angeles' program asked for designer submissions from locally based businesses including garment maker American Apparel, Youth Monument, marketing and events agency (No Subject) Los Angeles, fashion showroom and branding agency 722 Figueroa and the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, and 21 submissions have been posted online for the public to vote on through Friday.

'L.A. style is casual and low-key, but our design and manufacturing muscle is anything but,' said Mayor Villaraigosa in a statement released Oct. 5. 'The Designed/Made in Los Angeles initiative will help our thriving apparel industry grow with a unified brand.'

The winning logo, and additional details about the larger 'Designed/Made in Los Angeles' initiative are set to be announced at a press conference on Oct. 15. That’s the first day of L.A. Fashion Market week at the California Market Center, the twice-yearly event around which various and sundry Los Angeles Fashion Week events are traditionally clustered."

Monday, October 8, 2012

Video of the Week

This video was posted on the Sherman Oaks Galleria's YouTube Channel showcasing instructors from Arthur Murray Sherman Oaks dancing to "Pennies from Heaven", as part of the Sherman Oaks Galleria's "Dancing Under the Stars" monthly event.

“Dancing Under the Stars” is a free dance party the first Friday of every month,  part of the Galleria LIVE! free community events program. Now in its seventh year,  Galleria LIVE! encompasses all types of performance including music, dance, kids club, holiday celebrations and more.

Hunter Communications handles marketing at the Sherman Oaks Galleria.

Google Plans new Maps for iOS, Adds Indoor and Underwater Mapping

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
While Apple Waits, Google Is Busy Making Indoor Maps and Underwater Maps

Iphone and Ipad users are eagerly awaiting the day that Google releases a new map app to replace Apple's new, lovely but very flawed iOS 6 map (that was so far from being tested and ready that it advised users that the only route from San Francisco to Sausalito required a ferry trip). Now Google is sweetening the pot for users of its maps with indoor maps of public buildings and gorgeous aquatic vistas in its street view of underwater locations.

Excerpt: "The backlash over deficiencies and inaccuracies in Apple's new maps app has Apple squirming and iPhone users yearning for the day when Google unveils its own third-party maps app for Apple's mobile operating system. That day is coming, eventually, according to The Verge and the New York Times' Bits blog. The Verge reports that Google is 'scrambling' to build such an app, but was caught off guard by Apple's decision in June to drop Google maps from its native apps package. The Times suggests it may be taking Google some extra time because it wants to include 3-D imagery comparable to Apple's.

This must all be of great amusement to Google's Android team—especially since Google's own mobile maps have been getting better and better while Apple users wait. In July the company rolled out 10,000 indoor maps of landmarks like San Francisco's de Young Museum, the Cincinnati Museum Center, and the National Zoo. TechCrunch reports that the indoor maps are coming to France next.

And on Tuesday, Google unveiled 25 new 'underwater Street View' panoramas, with gorgeous pictures of sea turtles and manta rays cruising the Great Barrier Reef, among other submarine hotspots. The images come via a partnership with the Catlin Seaview Survey. The goal, a Google Oceans manager tells BoingBoing, is to make Google maps as comprehensive as possible by extending their reach underwater."

Friday, October 5, 2012

Smart Urban Planning Pays Off in Energy Savings

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Golden Gate Xpress

Link to Article:
SF State researchers show smart growth urban planning conserves energy

Researchers at San Francisco State University have demonstrated that smart urban planning emphasizing density and less distances between home and work can pay dividends in energy saving. Smaller communities in California can benefit by following the lead of smart planning initiatives in San Francsico and Los Angeles. Allowing residents to travel less pays off in a greener, cleaner, and more prosperous urban center.

Excerpt: " A new behavioral economics study out of SF State shows how 'smart' urban growth can contribute to a reduction in vehicle emissions. The term smart growth is all about denser cities with jobs being placed closer to home with more public transportation.

'The results of the study are exciting because it confirms what a lot of smart growth theorists have argued since the ’70s — that people will drive less if urban centers are more "compact" and destinations are more easily and affordably reached without a car,' said Emily Ward, a master’s student at SF State who worked on the project.

By planning urban spaces with smart growth plans, each household could travel 4,400 miles less each year. With just a 10 percent increase in smart growth features in cities, the study shows each house would travel 20 percent less."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

2012 Holiday Season Outlook: Mixed but Modest Rise

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Wall Street Journal

Link to Article:
US Holiday Chain-Store Sales Predicted to be up 3%

The ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) predicts a modest increase in American holiday season sales this year due to economic uncertainty, and lays responsibility for assuaging worries at the feet of Congress. Economic softening, improvements in the housing market, the presidential election and the budget sequestration coming at the end of the year add up to a mixed and confusing picture.  Consumers are afraid to risk spending more until they have a more secure outlook.

Excerpt: "The firm said this year’s holiday season comes with more uncertainty than usual due to increased crosscurrents such as a softening in the economy, improving housing markets, the presidential election and the looming $500 billion in automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases to be enacted in January."

'Despite the cautiousness displayed in our forecast for the 2012 holiday season due to the uncertainty about the automatic spending cuts, Congress has a real opportunity to resolve the issue quickly and amicably to assuage consumer fears, which, in turn, could propel this season’s performance far above ICSC’s current expectations,' said ICSC Chief Economist Michael Niemira.

The firm also expects retailers to add more than 26,000 seasonal jobs this year, a modest increase over 2011."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Victoria's Secret Pulls Down Controversial Lingerie Collection

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Fashion & Style

Link to Article:
'Sexy Little Geisha' by Victoria's Secret Stirs Backlash

When lingerie giant Victoria's Secret launched its "Go East" collection of Asian-inspired sexy underthings, little did they realize the backlash that would prompt calls of racial insensitivity and force them to scrap the line.  Culture blogs and Asian community blogs decry the "hypersexualized" image that reduces Asian women to exotic sex objects.

Excerpt: "'A troubling attempt to sidestep authentic representation of a culture and opt instead for racialized fetishizing against Asian women,' Racialicious criticized of 'Sexy Little Geisha.'

'There’s a long-standing trend to represent Asian women as hypersexualized objects of fantasy, so it’s telling that none of the models wearing the Go East collection appear to be Asian.'

'Sex and sexuality don’t live in a bubble. They intersect with our historical and cultural contexts.

'Donning a "sexy Geisha" outfit to get the ball rolling in the bedroom remains offensive because it confirms a paradigm in which Asian people and their culture can be modified and sexualized and appropriated for the benefit of the West. This particular kind of racism has existed for a long time, and we’re far from moving beyond it,' the website concludes.

'Considering the complicated history of geishas, repurposing the [geisha] "look" for a major corporation to sell as role-playing lingerie seems a bit tasteless,' says The Frisky, a culture site targeted at women.

Geishas in Japan were professionally trained entertainers mostly targeted at male customers. They have been often misunderstood by non-Japanese as prostitutes."

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Louis Vuitton Risks Logo Fatigue in China

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:
Business Week

Link to Article:
Louis Vuitton Risks Logo Fatigue as Chinese Tastes Mature

The newly-affluent Chinese are voracious consumers of luxury goods, with their nation zooming to fifth in the world in the luxury market.  Now there are signs that flashy, label-oriented brands like Louis Vuitton and Gucci that ruled the Chinese market in its early days have peaked. More mature consumers are turning to brands whose value is seen as connected to their materials and build quality instead of logos.

Excerpt: "Luxury-goods makers early into China have long counted on consumers there to snap up $1,000 handbags and other pricey -- and profitable -- wares. Now, Chinese tastes are changing in ways that may hurt the brands that expanded most aggressively in the country.

As more Louis Vuitton (MC) bags, Gucci wallets, and Omega watches flood cities like Beijing and Shanghai, consumers are eschewing readily available logoed products in favor of more distinctive alternatives.

'As the luxury industry matures, the Chinese are becoming much more sophisticated about the products that they buy,' said Fflur Roberts, global head of luxury goods research at Euromonitor in London. 'It’s not just about the bling aspect.'

The shift to less conspicuous and often more expensive goods, which happened in Europe and the U.S. after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., may dent growth at Vuitton and Gucci, which until recently sold more than half the luxury handbags in the world’s second-largest economy, HSBC estimates."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Photo of the Week - October 1, 2012

Carmageddon II the Sequel at the Sherman Oaks Galleria 

This photo was taken on Saturday, September 29, 2012 at the Sherman Oaks Galleria during the Zumba for a Good Cause event as part of "I Survived Carmageddon II - the Sequel at the Sherman Oaks Galleria" weekend.

With part two of Carmageddon, the closure of the 405 freeway during the weekend of September 29 + 30, the Sherman Oaks Galleria invited visitors to join them and “Survive Carmageddon II - the Sequel at the Sherman Oaks Galleria”! The weekend started bright and early at 9am with a Zumba Class held by Jhon Gonzales, an employee of The Cheesecake Factory located at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The class collected jars of peanut butter in support of the partnership between The Cheesecake Factory and Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity.  We invited everyone to come out and participate in the Zumba Class in exchange for donating a jar of peanut butter to help provide relief to children and adults in need.

Hunter Communications created the backdrop and on-site posters to be placed in Center Plaza of the Sherman Oaks Galleria and visitors were invited to take souvenir photos all weekend long as part of Carmageddon II -the Sequel.

Check out more photos in our Flickr Set >>

Pantone Catalogues 110 Shades of Skin

Hunter Communications recommended reading from:

Link to article:
Pantone SkinTone Guide: 110 Shades of Nude

Matching the many tones and shades of skin color has come a long way since Crayola featured one garish "Flesh" colored crayon.  After scientifically measuring over a thousand variations and accounting for the natural translucence of human skin, Pantone has come up with a color system that presents 110 accurate skin colors for use in packaging, fashion, beauty and healthcare.

Excerpt: " 'The semi-translucent nature of skin makes measuring and reproducing skin tones in print and manufacturing an extremely challenging process,' commented Giovanni Marra, director of corporate marketing at Pantone. 'By starting with actual skin tones and working back to define a SkinTone color space, we were able to catalog the most realistic and reproducible skin tones.

In most other color palettes, the color 'nude' is unfortunately relegated to a few skin colors, but in reality, nature has given us a multitude of beautiful shades of skin. From print, packaging and healthcare to fashion, cosmetics and toy production, the new SkinTone Guide will help companies produce more authentic products in a broader skin tone range.'

The SkinTone Guide features 110, 1.75" x 7" pages, each dedicated to its own SkinTone shade for more accurate visualization. All pages include a small circular cutout so users can hold the guide over the particular skin sample being matched, easing evaluation and improving accuracy. The SkinTone Guide is arranged from light to dark and utilizes an alpha-numeric numbering system that represents both the tone and undertone of each color - from 1Y01 SP (the lightest yellow tone) to 4R15 SP (the reddest tone)."