Arts

Who is our customer? Let's look at Drucker's second question.

Who is our customer? Let's look at Drucker's second question.

The second of Peter F. Drucker's five most important questions is "Who is our customer?" Like all of his questions, it is deceptively simple. The most common wrong answer, given by default, is "the people in the decision room."read more
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Artists

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Artists

I’d like to discuss creativity with the 7 habits of highly effective artists outlined by Australian 3D artist Andrew Price as the springboard. Here are my thoughts and tangents on each point—a sort of supplement to the talk, if you will.read more
On Rigor and Creative Block

On Rigor and Creative Block

What do you do when a client asks you to recreate the brilliance of a campaign you came up with years ago? That’s a lot of pressure. Illustrator Christoph Niemann cites Chuck Close saying it's about showing up and “enabling the chance for something to happen.” In other words, us professionals don’t need to count on dumb luck. What a relief.read more
Exhibition Advertising: Leading with Strategy

Exhibition Advertising: Leading with Strategy

Along with our client, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, we are proud to have won a first prize in the American Alliance of Museums' 2016 Museum Publications Design Competition.read more
Inspired by AAM2016

Inspired by AAM2016

The American Alliance of Museums 2016 conference in DC left me refreshed and inspired: "If we are trying to solve all the problems inherent in figuring out how to do interstellar space travel, what are you doing?"read more
Cinema and Museums

Cinema and Museums

Fashion design is ancient, and the origins of that Seventh Art known as the cinema date back at least to the 1890s. In other words, U.S. museums are long overdue to recognize these vital forms of artistic expression.read more
What is your story?

What is your story?

I’ve never felt moved to support an institution like American Ballet Theatre, even at a level as basic as buying a ticket to a show. But once I heard this story and saw the face of one person in the company, it made me think that I must go.read more
Price and Pleasure

Price and Pleasure

Does it feel better to pay a lot for something? If we pay a lot for something we need it to be good.read more
Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

Visual Brand and 360 Brand: What's the difference?

What is the difference between a visual brand and a true 360 brand? How do you get your organization to think beyond just the visual brand?read more
The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

The Farmyard: Decision-making in Large Organizations

If you are like most institutions the pressure to capitulate to the requests of powerful factions within your organization is likely very real.read more
Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Nonprofit Marketing Return on Investment

Return on investment in a brand initiative is very important. Measuring the results of any initiative and doing proper goal-setting for a project is an essential part of good governance, of good strategic behavior. But how do you measure the return when you are not really selling widgets?read more
Music and Museums Undergoing Digital Transformation

Music and Museums Undergoing Digital Transformation

As the museum world undergoes its digital transformation, it might look to the music world, a field in a relatively advanced stage of digitization, for applicable lessons.read more
What are museums for?: Chris Ofili at the New Museum

What are museums for?: Chris Ofili at the New Museum

What are museums for? Are they envelope pushers? Receptacles for beautiful art? Legitimizers for criminals or perverts?read more
Burning Man and the Brand of America

Burning Man and the Brand of America

Does America have a brand? And if so, what can Burning Man tell us about it?read more
Madeline Gins (1941-2014), thank you.

Madeline Gins (1941-2014), thank you.

I loved Madeline Gins. I loved her as a friend and collaborator, as a sometimes co-conspirator. I loved her as my parent in New York. I loved her as the truly original spirit and intellectual light that she remained until early this morning.read more
Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

Your Brand Idea: Who but Horton can hear it?

If your Brand Idea is succinct, meaningful and consistently and coherently expressed, it will be able to break free. It will be hearable outside of your brand bubble, outside of Whoville.read more
Legend of Novo and Other Dreams

Legend of Novo and Other Dreams

Everyone has dreams. What you may not realize is how your dreams may be hinged to the dreams of others.read more
Internet Bias and The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

Internet Bias and The Dream of the Fisherman's Wife

The Internet is the great connector but only of what it has in it. So put yours in or be damned by it to silence. Only porn it seems had the power to penetrate the membrane that separates my pre-Internet writings from the entirety of human knowledge that we can access today at the stroke of a key.read more
Custom Web Experience: Vineyard Theatre

Custom Web Experience: Vineyard Theatre

The Vineyard Theatre is a wonderful nonprofit theatre that produces three new shows every year. One of America's preeminent places for the creation of new plays and musicals, the Vineyard has produced an astounding array of notable and award-winning works by both new and well established playwrights.read more
What if museums were run like successful companies?

What if museums were run like successful companies?

If you are not marketing and innovating, you will be eliminated from the market place. In business this happens all the time. More than 80% of the Fortune 500 companies from 1955 no longer exist. Maybe this sounds like an entirely different world from yours. I'd suggest that it is not.read more
Marketing of the Bronx Museum

Marketing of the Bronx Museum

Museums exist in particular places. The Bronx Museum exists in the South Bronx; it's a contemporary art museum located right in the middle of the poorest community in the continental United States, a community that could not be more distant from the stereotype of the whitewall, high art tradition underpinning much of the aesthetics and behaviors that permeate the world of contemporary art.read more
Museums and Motivation (Trouble with Gamification)

Museums and Motivation (Trouble with Gamification)

How can museums use motivation more effectively to engage visitors and other constituents? What are the dangers and opportunities of the "gamification" trend, and what can museums do with insights obtainable from the motivational factors within games?read more
Consumer Insight: Singles (Family Life Cycle for Museums)

Consumer Insight: Singles (Family Life Cycle for Museums)

Singles, age 18-35, are a very large and growing population, particularly in metropolitan areas, even relatively small ones. This makes them a very desirable consumer target. They are also important because the habits formed during one's single life are tenacious and strong.read more
Kids Games for Museums

Kids Games for Museums

When thinking of games for museums it's hard not to let your mind think of hits like “Angry Birds” which had 200-million downloads by May 2011. Players worldwide spend 200 million minutes (=380 years) on the game each day. This demonstrates that people do love to play well-crafted snack food style games that have optimized game play mechanics (easy to learn, hard to master) that are addictive and fun. Should museums try to replicate or imitate this? Probably not.read more
Kyoto Journal Covers

Kyoto Journal Covers

Kyoto Journal Covers from the early 1990's. Top issue is "March of the Transitive," with a feature article by Madeline Gins.read more
Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

Consumer Insight: Find Your Trim Tab

What can you do that will be effective at getting the word out, but will not break the bank? Is there a relatively inexpensive tactical shift can you make right now that will yield significant long term results? The answer is yes. It's just a matter of finding it. It will not be obvious or easy.read more
Reversible Destiny Website

Reversible Destiny Website

The new Reversible Destiny Foundation website is a metaphorical extension of their persistent and active interference with death and the death-dealing habits that populate a normal life. She aims no lower than to free you physically and mentally from the confines of assumption about your body, your perception of the world, and—very literally—to free you from death.read more
Call me trim tab.

Call me trim tab.

So what do you call this thing that does NOT take massive effort, but has the potential for great positive effect far beyond its seeming capacity? I think one very good answer to this question was was provided in 1972 by Buckminster Fuller when he said the following in an interview ...read more
Madeline Schwartzman's See Yourself Sensing Website

Madeline Schwartzman's See Yourself Sensing Website

Rarely do you get handed a project with some of the coolest, strangest images and ideas on the planet as your visual assets. This was the case for the book website for Madeline Schwartzman's See Yourself Sensing.read more
New-York Historical Society Digital Newsstand Ad

New-York Historical Society Digital Newsstand Ad

This New-York Historical Society digital newsstand ad for their Times Square Photo Contest successfully collected over 1,200 public submissions.read more
Arakawa + Madeline Gins

Arakawa + Madeline Gins

Arakawa Shusaku — July 6, 1936 - May 19, 2010. It was 1991, and I was fresh from Japan, adrift in New York, and uncertain of my destiny. It was Madeline and Arakawa who found me (especially Madeline). They took me in, fed and nourished me with scraps of wisdom—and curry—from the kingdom of intellectual freedom in which they habitually dwelt. They surrounded themselves with young minds. They fed us daily from a seemingly endless supply of insight and compassion...and stories. They respected our thoughts and gave them room to grow.read more