Last August, I was pegged to plan and orchestrate the annual Members Party for our local AIGA chapter here in Nebraska. I serve as the Membership Chair for The American Institute of Graphic Arts chapter here, so it was a natural.
The only thing I was worried about was designing the promotional materials. Graphic Design for a target market of professional designers is trouble. I would be exposed as a fraud!
I'm humble enough to admit what I'm not as strong at, and get someone else to do that. I can write, and I can brainstorm crazy ideas. So my plan was to get someone to design what I told them to. One of my good friends, Hillary, agreed to take on the task of designing my ideas.
In early December, we gathered to figure out how to promote this event. The speaker is Kit Hinrichs, renowned designer and partner in Pentagram, a big time studio and agency. How to do this? The easy solution is to do something with flags, since Kit has one of the world's largest private collections of american flags. But everyone does that. So I refuse to even so much as include a flag anywhere in the piece! No!
I've always got two or three ideas floating around inside my head, but on this night I had nothing. So my creative partner on the project offered me some nasty ass liquor. Like that would work. You bet.
Ten minutes later, Ninja Cops was born.
A couple of days beforehand, I had wondered how cool it would be to have a candy bar named after you. That's like the ultimate honor. Key to the city? Nice, but what the hell does it get you into? The janitor's closet at City Hall? No, I think a candy bar would be better. This thought was quickly gone with the wind, as I moved on to my next quandary: how they make Chickin-in-a-Biscuit taste so damn bad. Chickens, biscuits, that's good stuff, but the cracker, not so much.
Anyway, I'm sitting there on the floor, and spewing out ideas left and right. I remembered the candy bar thing, and said it. And Hillary said, hey, KitKat! And I said, you bet, we send everyone KitKat bars with a new label that has all the info for the party!
Turns out its cost-prohibitive to mail candy bars.
But the idea was too good to let die like the fish at the end of the Faith No More video. How to incorporate the candy bar became Job No. 1.
That's where the PartyKit idea sprung from. We create a booklet showing all the items you need to have a good party, and we put 'em together in a kit, and call it PartyKit! Yes! And use the KitChing bar as one of the items! And give away real actual KitChing bars to all members at the door! Yes!
So with the idea settled on, it was up to me to write the copy to make it work. I did what I always do: cue up iTunes, put on Eddie Murphy's "Party All The Time", and got writing.
I imposed a four-line limit on myself -- no more than four lines of copy on any one page. I tend to ramble, and I need to prove to the world I can also be brief.
Quite literally 15 minutes later, the whole thing was written. Once I have an idea, it almost writes itself. Genius is a bitch of a burden.
I can't reveal what's in the book just yet, as it went to the printer this morning and will be back next week. I am not going to ruin the surprise. When it mails, I'll post it here so that those readers not receiving one in the mail can see it. Here's a preview of one of the pages:
Copy reads: "Ever watched a movie without the soundtrack? Terrible. Remember: Music turns bad movies into better movies. Imagine what it does for a party!"