Monthly Archives: June 2011

Finding Inspiration In Unlikely Places

Inspiration can come from the most unlikely sources. According to snopes.com, the shape for Coca-Cola’s iconic bottle came from the cacao tree seed pod. The bottle’s designer found the plant pictured in the Encyclopedia Britannica, while he was looking for information on the two plants for which Coca-Cola is named (the coca leaf and kola nut). Intrigued by the striations on the pod, he decided to base his design on that look. The rest is history.

The Post-It note is another story of unusual inspiration. Arthur Fry, an employee at 3M, sang in his church’s choir and had trouble keeping the pages marked in his hymnal. His makeshift bookmarks would fall out whenever he opened the book, causing him to lose his place. A 3M colleague, Spencer Silver, had created an adhesive that was strong enough to stick to surfaces but weak enough that it could be easily removed without causing damage. One Sunday, as he sat in church, Fry realized that Silver’s adhesive might be just what he needed to keep his bookmarks in place. From those bookmarks the idea for the Post-It note was born.

So where do you go to find inspiration? Books? Websites? Blogs? Colleagues? Friends? A walk in the park?

As businesspeople, we live busy, hectic lives. Sometimes, our fevered pace can limit our focus and stunt our creative growth. But inspiration is an important key to improving products, building efficiencies, and growing our bottom line. So today I challenge you to seek inspiration somewhere outside your normal “comfort zone.” It may not lead to a revolutionary product or packaging scheme, but it might just provide the breakthrough you need to push yourself to the next level.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650  * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated

Aesop Knew What He Was Talking About

As a child, I remember hearing countless stories, including the fables attributed to Aesop, the ancient Greek writer. In his tales, Aesop used animals to represent various human traits. He’d then end each story with a simple moral — a life lesson meant to inform and instruct.

One such fable, often credited to Aesop, told the story of an elderly lion, too frail to go hunting anymore. Shrewdly, the lion lured passersby into his den by claiming to be too sick to come out and greet them. When they entered to pay their respects, the lion ate them. One day, a fox happened by, but refused to enter the den. When the lion asked him why, the fox replied, “Because I can only see the tracks going in, but none coming out.”

For children, fables like this provide simple illustrations that serve as cautionary tales. In this story, for example, the child might learn to be wary of strangers or of situations that seem too good to be true.

But fables aren’t applicable only to kids. We, as businesspeople, can still learn a lot from a well-written fable. Again, looking at the fable retold here, we learn the value of prudence in our dealings with potential vendors, business partners, investors, and more. Careful observation of the warning signs others miss can save us (or our companies) from dangers we might not otherwise recognize.

So as you go about looking for ways to improve your business, don’t overlook the power of fables. They’re not just “children’s stories” after all.

Joe Gass @ Heritage Printing & Graphics

5900 Harris Technology Blvd, Ste G, Charlotte, NC 28269 * 704-551-0700 * www.heritageprintingcharlotte.com

22725 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD 20650  * 301-475-1700 * www.heritageprinting.com

Wide Format – signs, banners & banner stands, displays, posters, wall and window graphics, vehicle and floor graphics, decals, backlit signs, point of purchase, end caps and toppers, on-site installation and fulfillment

Offset and Digital – newsletters, magazines, publications, catalogs, conference and meeting materials, brochures, rack cards, presentation folders and direct mail

Veteran Owned and Operated