Bookmark This Site

If you spend as much time online as I do, you’ve probably fallen into the dreaded “bookmark rut.” You know what I mean. You get to the office in the morning, fire up the Mac, and hit the same bookmarks day after day.

It’s time to find some great sites that’ll fire your imagination and maybe even help you solve whatever brain bender you’re working on. But this is a two-way street. Please send me your favorite creative sites, and I’ll share them with everyone in an upcoming article.

Here are the sites I can’t live without: Started by two brothers in Vancouver, British Columbia, has thousands of the best print ads of the past 50 years. You can search by decade, product, or special category. You cannot spend less than an hour at a time at this site. Even better, you can use the ads as e-cards to mail to friends. Recently featured on CNN, is my favorite new site. This is the web site of Communication Arts magazine. It’s a great resource for everything creative and art related. Spend some time in the Resources section and find some terrifically talented firms that don’t get the ink they deserve. This is a great way to keep up with the latest trends in advertising. Also, the message board is a wonderful place to have your web site critiqued and have your questions about portfolios and job hunting answered by a passionate bunch of industry folks. If you spend most of your time working in one line of business, you need a creative kick in the butt. This is where to get kicked. Take a few minutes, go to this site, and look up something totally unrelated to your business. Find out how a turbine engine works or how a hot-air balloon works. Get your mind in a different place, and see how much new information can affect your work. Stuck for design ideas? See what’s going on in the industry here. Categorized by “hip,” “cool,” “product,” etc., will help you learn what’s going on throughout the web-design industry. Sure, lots of these sites are done by artists designing for other artists, but you’ll find some interesting information-architecture ideas and graphics solutions, too. This is a great site. More than 1,800 news sources are available in more than 250 industries. Whenever we get an account in, say, healthcare, I go to and have emails sent to me daily about the healthcare industry. Then, they’re forwarded on to our clients. Staying on top of your industry is a good way to keep business and show your client that you’re serious about an ongoing relationship. (I’m getting off my soapbox now.) Want to know your customers better? This is the web site of American Demographics magazine. Every month, you can read about research in consumer behavior and other trends that affect your industry. Arts & Letters Daily online is one massive, amazing site. Set up as a portal, it offers critical commentary from around the world, book reviews about books that may miss The New York Times bestseller list, and a list of links on the left side of the page that is truly staggering. Sure, you’ll see links to newspapers, columnists, and magazines, but scroll down and you’ll find some offbeat e-zines that will really open your eyes. Have you ever read Nerve, LitKit, or Unquiet Mind? Neither had I, until I discovered this site. Did you know that advertising is practiced around the world? That people live outside the borders of the U.S. of A.? content includes Today’s Hot Spots, great ads that are running from London to Malaysia. What a great place to, ahem, “borrow” ideas that may help you win that next big chunk of business! Sign up for its email alerts, and keep up to date with goings on around the globe. L|rzer’s Archive Online Service, the web site of Archive magazine, bills itself as “The World’s Biggest Advertising Archive for Creatives.” Here you’ll find packaging designs, TV commercials, and terrific examples of international advertising. Interesting note: The top four ad agencies that have ads featured in Archive since June 1995 are Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London; Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam; BMP DDB, London; and Saatchi and Saatchi, London.

I hope these sites get you out of the “bookmark rut.” Please make sure to send me as many great sites as you can. I need to get out of the rut, too! Have a great year.

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