Magnet Redux

self portrait, Self Promotion

In the first or second year of business, I printed up a limited amount of business card size promotional magnets in full color, thinking that clients could stick them to metal filing cabinets, or refrigerators, anyplace other than stuck in a file folder where it would get lost. These seemed to be popular items, so I went whole hog the next time, printing up larger sized magnets. The printing cost was more expensive, so I did this one in two color. The magnet was designed to fit in a normal sized envelope and would come with a folded card stock brochure (from which the self portrait caricature below was taken).

Well, this was just about the time when computers were starting to be used more frequently in pre-press and design, and I got an angry phone call from one magazine who received my promo package complaining that it sat on his desk in a pile of mail and was in danger of erasing his floppy discs (he didn’t say whether or not it actually had caused any loss of data, just that it was thoughtless of me).

Well, it shook me up, and needless to say, I abandoned the ‘magnet’ promotion from then on out, preferring to err on the side of safety, and not to piss any more potential clients off. It probably should have occurred to me to at least not send them to any ‘mac’ or ‘pc’ themed magazines (which is where the angry phone call came from), as they would be the ones most likely to be using computers in their design work at this time. (only three years earlier and I was still doing pasteups the old fashioned way)

At this point, I was still drawing with physical art materials, and shipping finished artwork out via federal express. We had a computer (an early mac, with limited memory and software), but it was mainly used for bookkeeping and word processing duties (I might have started keeping track of my mailing list on the computer around this time). The idea that I would someday do ALL my work in front of a computer wasn’t even within the realm of possibility.