Supporting Local Artists

Artists should be able to make a living with their art. Over the last half dozen years running nomBat Branding, I feel that I have learned a thing or two about selling art, and I want to be able to share some of that knowledge with the Santa Cruz art community.

This Is Art

Before a person buys a piece of art they need to know something about that art. Before a person can be a fan they need to know something about the artist, something about the content, they need to know the story behind the art. And that is where we are hoping to come in.

The connection we are hoping to offer to artists is the introduction to the story behind the art. Our evetual goal on will be to publish a Featured Artist every day. So keep your eyes open for stories about your soon-to-be favorite artists and their connection to Santa Cruz. And if you know a great artists, please send them our way, you can find our art submission page here: Submit Your Artwork

Santa Cruz Artists

Three Strikes – Bing Maps Streetside Fail

I just remembered today that Jules and I had been out on a walk, and a bing mapping car drove by us. I think it would pretty cool to see us on the “Streetside” map, and so I went looking at bing maps. This is the first time I have used their maps for Streetside views as far as I remember, so I was interested to see them in action.

First I tried pulling the map up on my Chromebook, a computer that I am a huge fan of.

Bing Maps - chromebook

Unfortunately, bing maps doesn’t work on ANY chromebooks, they don’t have an app that supports Streetside either.

Alright, so it doesn’t play well with Chrome, lets try it out on my iphone.

Bing Maps - iphone


Well that didn’t work, since there is no Streetside feature or button at all, let’s try it on a Macbook.


Ok Bing, you failed on a Chromebook, you failed on an iPhone and failed on a Macbook Pro. Three strikes and you are out, maybe next time I am at my grandparents house I will try again on their PC running Windows XP and Internet Explorer.


Good vs. Bad Ad Design

We recently put this handy little visual guide together for Santa Cruz Waves and their magazine clients. We’re hoping it help educate local business owners on what makes an effective ad.


Well-designed, focused ad

  • 0.5 – 1 inch “Safe Zone” around edges for copy.
  • Clear headline / call to action, focusing on a single service or benefit.
  • Clean, well-composed photo or image, supporting the tagline / headline / call to action, unifying the ad. Try and keep it to one or two images.
  • Effective contact info.

    Cluttered, unfocused ad

    • Copy is too close to edges, causing unease and tension.
    • No clear one call to action. The more copy you have, the less people will read your ad. Also, note that the copy seems to float around the page, with no real alignment.
    • Too many images, making the piece too complicated and confusing.
    • Too much contact info, becomes overwhelming.

    This was primarily created with print ads in mind, but many of these pointers can be used across many mediums!

    The Only Three Types of Content

    There are only three types of content.

    content sketch

    Sometimes I feel like I am forcing an idea to be something it isn’t, and I get this feeling like my audience really wants to see something from every angle. When I do this I loose sight of the fact that sometimes a very simple idea (like a cute nomBat) is enough to make great content.

    Simple – Content that can be easily shared. This content shouldn’t take any thought on the part of your audience, and should be immediately like/share/retweetable.

    Thoughtful – Content that you thought about, and that your audience can take a moment to appreciate.

    Complex – Content that is well thought out. This type of content also requires the largest investment on the part of your audience.

    Depending on your market, and the audience you are building, you will likely have a mixture of these three types of content. Just remember, your audience has a particular attitude, don’t make them work for something that they don’t want!