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The News Chair

5 Q’s with VP of Creative Tim Coulon

He’s a Grateful-Dead-listening-dog-loving-daydreamer. Tim Coulon is the VP of Creative at Coles Marketing. He’s been here for more than 17 years and is still cookin’ up creative ideas that make our clients swoon.

 

1) How do you start your day? Are you a strong coffee/hit-the-snooze button person? Or a lemon water cleanse/yoga up-at-5 a.m. person?

I start by asking Alexa what the day’s forecast looks like. Always Starbucks in the Keurig. Pep talk with my Labradoodle, Woodford, and kiss the fam goodbye. I’m a huge Grateful Dead fan, so that’s on Sirius Radio for the drive in. NEVER talk radio. The last thing I want to hear in the morning to start my day is other people’s opinions. This routine starts my day off right.

 

2) Creative types aren’t really known for finding inspiration at their desks. Where do you get inspiration when you need to get the ideas flowing?

 Daydreaming. Yep. Little sessions throughout the day. I have perfected the craft of daydreaming while working. Thinking about upcoming trips, events, etc. I also listen to lots of music. I believe music is a huge part of where I find my inspiration.

 

3) You spearheaded a lot of creative projects over the years. What’s one that’s surprised you the most? Like, “leap out of your seat fist-pound” proud?

I’ve had so many projects throughout the years, it’s hard to rack my brain. But one that sticks out was for the Humane Society of Hamilton County. Not only did I love the way the project came out, I also directed one of our most successful photoshoots (plus I got to hang out with puppies all day). Nothing bad about that. And these dogs and cats finally found their forever home. Take a look and see the design. It’s clean. Cheerful. Fresh.

4) Trends. Trends. Trends. Give us your graphic design predictions for the year. What’s hot? We want to know! 

 First off, traditional design will never go out of style. Helvetica will never become a passé typeface. Simple has and will always be the better choice. And good typography always goes a long way.

To me, trends are just variations on the simple and traditional. When designers get bored, they try something new. And if it looks good, someone else will see it and use some form of it. Bam … new trend. I will say simple flat graphics/icons are currently hot now. So are bold, big typefaces and colors. But give it a minute, it will change. Who knows what the next day will bring.

 

5) Finally, what advice can you give to clients who are just starting to create a brand/look for their company? Where should they start?

Don’t try to do it on your own. Hire an experienced professional to help. The name, look and story of your brand speaks volumes. It sets the tone for your plunge into the marketplace. Be open to the ideas of the professionals. Remember, they’re professional for a reason.

Clients often look at their own brand from within the fishbowl. Since professionals are outside of the fishbowl, they can develop the brand with the customer in mind, while staying true to the core of the client.

 

Thanks Tim! Contact Tim at tcoulon@colesmarketing.com if you have questions about all things creative or just to talk shop.

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Make Monday your favorite day of the week #motivationalmonday

Happy Monday!

Keep at it, friends. You’re stronger than you think…

 

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Looking Back, Moving Forward

Ever since I started working at Coles Marketing — almost a decade ago (yikes!) — my coworker, Chris Mercier, has been a wonderful mentor and friend.

dsc_0098And at the end of this month, she’s retiring. I can’t imagine the workplace without her, so I thought a spotlight on her for this blog seemed quite fitting.

Q&A with Chris Mercier (it rhymes!)

Q: How did you get started with Coles? Why have you stayed so many years?

A: I joined the company when it was known as Coles & Morrison. I met Candy Morrison first through a non-profit. Working part-time at the non-profit was my first job going back to work after staying home with my two children. In 1998, Candy introduced me to Barb, and I joined the company.

d20_1669Q: Describe Coles Marketing in one word.

A: Family

Q: How has the PR/marketing/communications industry changed over the years?

A: When I first joined the company, six of us shared one email account. We sent news releases through the mail (snail mail). Social media wasn’t even on the horizon. Advertising was limited to print or broadcast. Clients have many more opportunities today to tell their stories.

img_2037Q: What qualities do you think are required of a leader for success?

A: I think a leadership role requires you to think on your feet. Develop honest relationships. Listen to your client to formulate a strategy to help them accomplish their goals. I enjoy the critical thinking it takes to come up with workable strategies for each challenge.

Q: What kind of impression or impact do you hope to leave on Coles Marketing and its employees?

A: I hope people remember that I was a hard worker with a sense of humor.

Q: Offer a piece of advice for up-and-coming PR and marketing executives.

A: My advice to future execs is to be a supportive and contributing member to the team. Always stay one step ahead by staying organized. Don’t be afraid to take on more responsibility, and embrace change.

mercier_5inQ: What’s ahead for you?

A: My husband and I look forward to spending more time in Scottsdale with our daughter, two grandchildren, Jim’s mom and dad and extended family of close to 50. We will also be closer to our son in Portland and hope to travel the western U.S. in the next few years.

 

Chris, we will miss you. You can never be replaced, and we will always remember you as a hard worker with a sense of humor … and so much more!

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