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June 19, 2007 meeting notes:

Salutations Staunch Supporters,

After the general meeting, the projector somehow got stuck on the 2-screen setup and Brian nor I could get it to behave. While he worked with that, I did a show-and-tell of my cache of flyers I did by hand with H-E-B and more recently with my computer for the club. I gave my imperfect philosophy which has been honed through years of experience, education, and feedback. Computers have since made my eraser obsolete, and the lettering is quicker to render with CorelDRAW! than with a marker, but not with Adobe Illustrator, more aptly known as Illfrustrator.

You see, when you are hand-drawing letters, you can lightly pencil in skinny or fat letters to fit just right, or erase and re-do to center and later go over with a marker. With Illfrustrator, you must jump through hoops to get the size, width, and placement you want, wasting more time than hand lettering on paper. Don't believe me? I just spoke yesterday at Wal-Mart with a buddy who said he hated Illustrator and I have have not met anyone who liked it. That's why we talk about Corel's vector drawing program in our SIG. I have heard that former Macromedia's Freehand is also a well-behaving draw program. Ah, but I digress from layouts.

When you make a flyer for someone, you want to get 1) all the facts first, then 2) the goal, then 3) the location of the flyer. Folks don't go around looking for flyers to read, so you must get their attention. I ask myself, "For what do we need a response?", "Who is the target market?", and "What is the briefest, eye-catching way to say this?".

I made flyers for a now-defunct music interest group I headed, The MUSIG. I kept in mind posted flyers that could have more ink and color as few would be printed and lots of mileage would be gotten out of those. Then I used Corel DRAW! to easily convert the bold color letters to outline shadows that used much less ink, and then only black. These less-costly flyers were for handouts that could also be copier-reduced to print 2 at a time if needed.

A rule for billboard messages is to not have any more than about 7 words for drivers to read. They can't read more while driving by at 65+mph and ya don't wanna cause accidents! I try to apply that same simplicity to creating flyer headlines as I feel I have to earn potential viewers' attention. An example of my point was once shown by then CAUG pres. David B. at a general meeting on-screen. The goal was to gain memberships for the club and I tried to add cleverness to the mix: "Computer Problems? Join the Club!" This headline-sized lettering was surrounded by a concentric rainbow of colors and anywhere but in the meeting room, would require smaller wording below to explain the benefits, meeting times, and only $25 cost of joining CAUG. Implied in the headline is something that everyone identifies with-- there's a bunch of us having problems, join us! Its not easy to come up with something simple yet clever, but once you have all the facts, it is easi-er.

Hopefully you have seen an additional use for a good draw or even word-processing program. In addition, if you wish to participate in and support an active IBM-compatible computer club, we could use your and your friends' membership support as we help one another with "Computer Problems".

Bruce Switalla

P.S. The board will consider purchase of an expensive bulb or new projector in July as ours finally blew something at DigiCam the following night.


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