Branding discussions, audience capture, real-life experiences working with the media, managing a designer, public relations for dummies, the wine business, smoke and mirrors and more. Marketing in the North Bay hopes to deal with all of these issues.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Old Vines Rock

Old Vines Rock - A little fun I had with

Monday, March 01, 2010

Huffman Communications and Mediabend Launch New Closure Website

Using the powerful tools created by Mediabend CMS, the creative and technology teams at Huffman Communications launched a new website today for Nomacorc Closures of North Carolina. The site which features the latest in web design structure, will allow the client to add and remove content including: videos, testimonials, content and press releases. Also included with the site is the latest SEO (search engine optimization) capabilities as well as Google Analytics used for tracking end-user activity and web promotions.

With the launch of the US site, still under development is the French, Dutch, Italian, Spanish and Chinese versions due out in the next coming months as content is created. The site can be seen at


Thursday, February 04, 2010

Ok where have I been?

Well let me tell you it has been a long four years sense my last post. I have reduced staff, watched clients shut down, resize or what ever and frankly, it's been tough to catch my breath.

The Napa Valley and the wine business within it has changed too. My plan is to evaluate a number of topics over the next coming months and get back into the game.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Preserving the Essence of Napa Valley

What is Napa Valley? What does the brand mean to those who can drive here - versus those who have to travel here by plane or other methods.

On Tuesday July 26th the NVCVB in cooperation with the NVEDC will be presenting a Program of Work that will support a Destination Strategy for Napa County, to the County Board of Supervisors. I plan to attend and will report back to the blog.

Is anyone going? Did you go and what did you think?

ButterCream Bakery Launches New Website


Napa, California - ButterCream Bakery today launched their first website with the same ìlook and feelî as the day the family opened their doors for business in 1948. The website features information about how the Closs family first started the bakery, the diner menu, cake options including wedding, traditional, fancy, themed and novelty cakes, and donuts, donuts, donuts!

The website also features interesting food facts like: On average, the bakery serves 480 people on the weekends and 300 eggs per day!

When they first started, David and Bobbi Closs came to work at 2:00 am, seven days a week, to open the Yajome Street bakery in Napa. Soon, word spread about their delicious donuts and the family began making cookies, pies and cakes. It wasnít too long before the bakery added a grill for breakfast and lunch.

In 2002, Gerry Closs, son to David and Bobbi, renovated the Jefferson Street bakery and diner with its trademark pink and white stripes. Open 7-days a week the bakery and diner are home to many Napa locals. The bakery and diner staff are some of the most welcoming and family-friendly people in Napa Valley.

For children 12 and under, the ìkids menuî offers all the favorites like French-toast, Mickey pancakes, corn dogs, grilled cheese ìsammiesî and hamburgers.

ButterCream Bakery is known for giving back to the community and continually donates food items and money to various organizations, including:

Napa Food Bank
Homeless Shelter
American Cancer Society "Relay for Life"
Hands Across the Valley
Molly's Angels of Napa Valley
Napa High School
Vintage High School
Hospice of Napa Valley
City of Napa Recreation Department
4-H Club
Napa Active 20-30 Club
Napa Valley Expo
Napa Valley College Foundation
Napa Police Dept.
Napa Fire Dept.

The next time you crave a Danish pastry, donut or are looking for a place to have a home-cooked meal, drive on down to 2297 Jefferson Street in Napa. ButterCream Bakery will welcome you with warm smiles, open arms and cookies.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Typeface logo solution

One thing that bugs me is when I see a sign or logo where a designer (or someone claiming to be a designer) fails to look for the subtle details that makes for decent design. Ok, maybe there is not the budget to go into full development of a unique logo? Maybe all you can do is work with a typeface to create an original look? Fine, I get it; sometimes that is what we get. If that is the case, work with the fonts a little.

Back in the 80’s, yes I said it - sans computer designers, I had the opportunity with work with a small software application used to capture the essence of a font. We had to create a “path” around the bitmap font to smooth it out if you will. Using a MAC 512 we swapped floppies until the application loaded. The application was the precursor to Adobes’ Illustrator®. Back then, while creating paths around bitmap fonts we learned the computer was not as smart as we hoped. We needed to print out the text, wax it, and then kern the heck out of it to make it flow. Today, computer do so much more then they did back then, however they’re far from perfect. So designers don’t loose the fine art of kerning and leading.

My suggestions may seem old school but it will certainly help in your final design.
- Print out your text solution as large as your printer will allow – black and white.
- Look at the art upside down, in a mirror or tape it to the light box or window so the art reads backwards.
- Study how the letters interact with each other. Does one character dominate another? Are there any gaps between the serifs, or descenders and/or ascenders?
- If there are issues, pull the font into an application like Freehand® or Illustrator® and play with the kerning.
- If you need to, convert the fonts to paths (outline view). Ungroup them and start manipulating the characters until there is balance to the text.

Virtually every word that appears in a logo or display, should go through this amount of scrutiny.

To our clients, (speaking on behalf of a my fellow designers) please give us the time to do this and don’t accept less from your designer. Recognize that this is what separates an OK design with one that has been carefully crafted specifically for your needs. Everything should be intentional and thought through.


Can you capture a driver these days?

Have you ever tried to market to the person who is addicted to their ipod or mp3 player while they drive? Impossible? Are Podcasts the future for marketing?


Welcome the first posting of “Marketing in the North Bay”. My hope is that this blog answers the basic questions, which frequently come up regarding marketing in the North Bay. Issues for example: Public Relations, Web Design, Graphic Design and even capturing the illusive, transient consumer of the North Bay.

First you have to understand that in the North Bay there are several types of consumers and each has their own way of engaging businesses. Not everyone is going to listen to the radio, read a newspaper, commute to work, watch TV, play video games, live in the secluded hills nor even listen to Pod-casts. So, a little homework is the best thing you can do.

Anyway, let’s discus the basics on this blog. Let’s talk about the audience. Let’s talk about branding or getting a little PR attention. There are so many experts in this region from free-lance journalist, designers to hard-core marketing people in the North Bay, let’s bring it!