Hello from Dave and Alicia at the export awards ceremony at Star City! Well, we were up for Young Exporter of the Year but we didn’t win tonight… Of course we are having a good time anyway! Just listened to Premier Christine Keneally speak with Aussie-USA morphed accent. A bit like Tango Media, I guess! (For the non Australians, Keneally is like the governor of the state. She has one Aussie parent and one American parent and grew up in the US, hence the weird accent.) The morphed accent will probably happen to Alicia too, at some stage…
We are seated at a great table of VERY fun people from Pactel, HSBC Bank, Adaptronic, and Rabo Bank. While we are all thrilled to be nominated, none of us have won in our categories. And I think we all figured that out early on, as we are seated at the back of the room. Sort of like the rowdy table of errant cousins at a wedding… but no mind, we are having a blast! And of course, we are thrilled to be nominated. And quite pleased that we can relax and have a few drinks once the winners in our respective categories are announced… By the way, a big hat tip to the super guys at PCT Global / EnduroShield who did win their category of Small to Medium Manufacturer!
Anyway, thanks for checking in… we’ll keep you posted on the next escapade. Cheers from Tango Media!Read More...
One of the perks of my job is attending book launches. For those outside the industry, this is when a recently published book makes it’s debut into the market and into the media. I’ve been to various launches for a big variety of books in America and Australia over the years. Today, I attended the book launch to end all book launches… for former Prime Minister John Howard’s memoir entitled Lazarus Rising (HarperCollins Publishers Australia).
This book launch was a morning tea held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney, and the turnout was huge… as expected. Several hundred attendees including a sizable contingent of press. The atmosphere was a bit ‘White House Press Corps’ meets publishing folk. There were quite a few ‘shoe-throwing’ jokes, thanks to last night’s episode of Q&A when an audience member threw his shoes (I’m told it was both shoes, I missed the show) at the former prime minister.
The launch was kicked off by Michael Moynahan, the CEO of HarperCollins Publishers Australia, who introduced broadcaster Alan Jones who was there to officially launch the book. Jones provided a great summary of Howard’s career and then introduced the author himself.
John Howard gave an interesting speech which included a gracious series of ‘thank yous’ to people who had worked on the book, from his own staff to the HarperCollins team. When the speech concluded, the book selling and book-signing began. From where I stood, the copies of Lazarus Rising were selling like hotcakes!
Now you may be asking, where does Alicia fit into all of this? Good question. I designed the picture section of this book. (For publishing novices; those are the glossy photo pages found within the book’s text) Picture sections are a small part of the book, but according to the ABC journalist I was seated next to, an important one because a reader inevitably turns to those pages first.
Have I mentioned that I just love how journalists can word things?Read More...
Well, I’ve given you the list of benefits and I know you’ve been waiting for baited breath for the list of Top 5 Challenges of Designing for Overseas Clients. Here they are:
- The time difference: Serving the US market from Sydney means starting my workday at 6am so I can catch the last hour of New York’s work day. Enough said.
- Fluctuating exchange rate: Dealing with a fluctuating exchange rate is a bit like trying to negotiate your way through a fun house, with the walls constantly moving and the floors dropping out from under you… especially when the exchange rate fluctuates the ugly way. I’m looking at you, insanely-high Australian dollar.
- Gaining new clients: It’s a tough sell, convincing a potential client to work with a designer based so far away. And we designers generally don’t enjoy selling ourselves in the first place, do we?
- Staying involved from afar: I find I need to work twice as hard as stateside designers in order to not drop off the industry radar. This means business travel, subscribing to every industry newsletter I can find (MediaBistro, Publishers Weekly, Publishers Lunch, who am I forgetting?), and keeping on top of the industry changes from half a world away. On top of actually designing the books, of course.
- International payments: Here’s a fun little gem… it takes some US checks (or cheques, if you aren’t American) up to 8 weeks to clear. This, of course, is after the time it takes to actually issue the check and the postal service of 2 countries to deliver it.
Now after saying all this, I think the benefits are important outweigh the challenges. Of course, I may not be so eager to admit this at 6am…Read More...
Hello readers, my name is Connie Hatzikalimnios (pronounced Smith) and I’m writing to you from Lancaster, Pennsylvania USA, my hometown and that of none other than Tango Media’s design director, Alicia Freile.
Alicia and I grew up together. We met during an all-elementary choir recital and immediately bonded when we discovered that each of us on separate occasions and at different schools had managed to vomit (involuntarily) on the same unappreciative principal. We’ve remained friends ever since, even after her sojourn across the world to Sydney, Australia, thanks in large part to the Internet. For the past year I have been freelancing as an image researcher for Tango Media. I’ve enjoyed watching Alicia’s business grow, and I’m happy to be a small part of that. When she asked me to contribute posts to the Tango Media Blog, I was thrilled.
I’m a book collector. I enjoy reading printed matter of all kinds – magazines, auction catalogues, newspapers – but what surround me in every room of my home are books. I am not opposed to digital media, I like having access to multiple online news sources at my fingertips simultaneously. I’ve read eBooks, I follow blogs and I participate on social networking sites. But I will always maintain that nothing can replace a book in my hand. I love the way books feel, I love the way they smell and the way they stimulate and soothe. They’re my security blanket.
And so through the years, my slightly compulsive acquisition of all kinds of books has amounted to a modest library that travels with me wherever I move. Since college, I’ve packed my books carefully in boxes and transported them to new apartments in Washington, DC, Virginia and New York. With each move, the number of books (and boxes) has increased, but I have never really minded packing and lifting and hauling them to their new home. I have never considered them a burden… until now, that is.
I recently moved into a new apartment, and for the first time I left the majority of my books in their moving boxes for months. Other than some cookbooks and paperbacks, I had no desire to unpack, shelve or read them until a few weeks ago. But now that the unpacking is full steam ahead, and my books surround me once again in every room, I have begun to rethink my hold on them and their hold on me. As I revisit and reorganize my collection, I hope you’ll join me for the ride and all of its detours.Read More...
By now, you may have seen the happy news that Tango Media has been named as a finalist in the 2010 Premier’s NSW Export Awards in the Young Exporter of the Year category. We are pretty stoked about this for two reasons. One, we work extremely hard to offer our services to local and overseas clients; and two, I love being called young.
This has me thinking quite a bit about the differences between designing solely for a local market versus designing for local AND overseas clients. I have several friends who also work in book design; some are in Australia and others are in the US, but I’m the only one I know who designs for both local and overseas clients consistently. My local market is Australia and my primary overseas market is the US. The challenges of working as an export provider of book design services are unique, but so are the benefits… I’ll focus on the benefits today and save the challenges for another time.
I’ve put together a ‘Top 5′ list of the Benefits of Designing for Overseas Clients:
- Keeping my finger on the pulse: Through my US design work, I know what is trending early on… before that trend hits the Australian market. This applies to book topics, design trends, production techniques and innovations in marketing and technology. Ultimately, this helps me to be more prepared to serve the local markets when these trends eventually hit.
- Designing for different sub-markets: One service Tango Media offers is Spanish-language design, layout and typesetting. This is very welcome and appealing to US clients, but Australia has a tiny number of Latinos and this service just isn’t needed here. By exporting this service to the US, I’m able to keep this particular skill current and not let my diseño en Español get rusty.
- Maintaining an industry presence from afar: Building and keeping a network is difficult no matter where you are, but it’s especially tough when you are living overseas as I am. Out of sight, out of mind… it’s completely true. By working with US clients, I am far away but not forgotten. I’m constantly communicating with people in the industry and I’m continuing to grow my network.
- Designing unique products: Earlier in my career, I worked for a publisher that created many book-plus products… or kits. These kits, containing a book with an accompanying item, are sold in Australia but generally are imported from other countries. So there is less opportunity to design book-plus products for Australian clients. Through exporting my design services, I am able to design them for US clients and keep my skills in this area sharp and my portfolio up-to-date.
- Being an early adapter of technology: Whether you spell it as e-books or eBooks, there is no escaping they are affecting the industry big time! As an exporter of book design services, Tango Media has been creating and distributing eBooks for US clients for a while. Now that the eBook craze is picking up in Australia, we are better prepared in offering these same services to local clients… and the local clients appreciate that we have overseas experience in eBook creation and distribution while still being local to them.
Of course, these benefits are specific to working as an exporter to the US market, as opposed to working for smaller overseas markets. Stay tuned for the list of challenges… soon to come!Read More...