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Tuesday, 27 December 2011 13:41

Interview with Idea Mensch

Idea Mensch interviewed me & my business.


I was very honored by the article and my thanks to Mario. I can't say anymore about speading your company's message to your audience.


Published in marketing 101
Wednesday, 23 November 2011 12:55

Start with Why (part 1)

Ben Sandberg - PDX Fix It

I started working with a friend of mine that is a local Joomla web developer that was looking to rebrand himself. 

I have started this new book by Simon Sinek, "Start with Why". All I can say is that I usually start off the conversation with, "What is your PURPOSE".



We went through the discovery process and researching his competition and target market. I went through and made four pages of conceptional ideas. 


Looked at mood board printouts with various colors and images (icons). Dug deeper into what was his "purpose". By discussing more he found that he had quite a few different directions he could take his company.


Presentation of three polished concepts that I liked and completely identified his personality. My challenge was to make his brand memorable and his company's URL to stick in his customer's head. We also talked about what are the descriptive key words that describe him and his business. So if your potential clients are trying to look for you what would they Google search for?


I really thought that makes Ben unforgettable is that he is always wearing those shoes that have the toes sticking out. He loves those and I think that it is one of the funniest things that I will always remember about him.


Ben told me that his wife, Amanda, was really impressed with the brand discovery process and wanted me to do her company's logo. It is really nice to have people that are excited and see the real value of having a purpose.

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 26 August 2011 07:09

Don't Give Up - Inspiring Thoughts (4)

From an article posted in the Costco Connection by Andrew Lock on "Don't Give UP".


Charles Schulz

"every cartoon that Charles Schulz (creator of the comic strip Peanuts), submitted to the yearbook staff at his high school was rejected.



Published in marketing 101
Thursday, 23 June 2011 08:06

Great Brainstorming Idea #1

Great Marketing Idea to Help City with Speeders

I just saw this video. It was amazingly brilliant. Why can't we come up with more contests to deliver great ideas like this?


The Speed Camera Lottery - from


"That’s a question Volkswagen recently posed in a public contest — and the winning entry was the Speed Camera Lottery, conceived by Kevin Richardson of San Francisco. Richardson’s idea, quite simply, is to build a better speed trap. Strategically placed traffic cameras will photograph all passing cars. Drivers exceeding the speed limit are sent tickets, while those obeying it are pooled into a lottery funded by the fines. Every now and then a randomly selected winner is sent a check."



Published in marketing 101
Friday, 17 June 2011 06:46

Inkspot Advertisement for Publication

Catch their eyes!



I was very happy with this ad that I created for local CEIC publication. It does a couple of things…


1. It will stop people when they are reading publication because of curiosity. Why does this cow have a funny icon on him? Now they have to read the copy.


2. It is humorous which reflects on my personality and business model. 


3. The icon (or QR code) is one of the fairly new social media technologies that will actually direct you to my website blog if you were to use a QR reader on your smart phone.


We also thought about putting a testimonial from another CEIC member but I thought that it would disrupt the clean layout. I love the white space!


Do you have any other samples of good layout that has plenty of white space?


© 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved

Published in marketing 101
Monday, 28 March 2011 11:58

Stand out in a crowd

St. Patrick's Day Marketing.

Our crazy neighbor down the hall, Frank DeSantis, in one of his many costumes. Always gets your attention when he is in the room.



 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.


Published in marketing 101

Humor in Marketing that gets them talking

A buddy of mine, Rob Grant, sent me this email from a micro-brewery (Rogue Brewing) that has a wonderful marketing program that gets their client base involved (evangelists) and talking about your business to everyone.


Marketing Letter



Now you can sign up!

So, I ended up going to their website and signing up to get my own Rogue Nation Passport. I love marketing merchandise like this. . .and you know I will show all my friends and clients! 


Smart group. If I were going to work for someone, this would be one of the creative places that I would put my heart & soul into.


 © 2011 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Friday, 12 November 2010 11:42

Wants vs. Needs

You know what they say, "A picture tells a 1000 words". Well, it works with cartoons, as well. I try to explain this to my daughters all the time. Hopefully, they like my clients will figure it out.


Grand Avenue - Sunday Funnies






© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Saturday, 30 October 2010 15:27

I Love Terry Bradshaw's Persona

I love watching Fox Sports on Sunday Morning!


Have you ever watched the football analysis on Fox Sports? They have four football legends give their thoughts and projects throughout the football season. Curt Menefee (Sportscaster), Terry Bradshaw (pro quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers - 14 years), Howie Long (pro defensive end for the Oakland Raiders - 13 years), Michael Strahan (pro defensive end for the NY Giants - 14 years), Jimmy Johnson (Pro football coach for the Dallas Cowboys & the Miami Dolphins - 10 years). There is a lot of male machoism and guys just having the time of their life, telling stories of the real sport that they love. It is camaraderie at it best!


You ask what does Fox Sports have to do with marketing?


Well, I was in to visit my dentist the other day and I picked up the latest issue of the Sporting News. In it there was an article about Jim Kelly telling the story of who his idol was and is to this day (as told by Mat Crossman). He tells as a kid that he admired the Steeler's quarterback for his toughness and arm strength. And when he met him personally he was really impressed with Terry's attitude of "telling it like it is". "He doesn't sugarcoat anything. He says what's on his mind."



There are plenty of people that may disagree with what Terry says in public but he is not afraid of the critics. That is probably why he has been married a couple of times and is often the butt of every joke. But you know that he takes it with great assault.


I like to describe my personality like Terry's jovial persona. He is very laid back, gives these Southern analogies and has lots of people that love him. He is able to laugh at himself and recognize that life is not that serious. I have been found on many occasions to say silly dumb things that usually come out very wrong. But like my father-in-law says, "That is Mike and he would never intentionally say anything to hurt the ones that he loves".


The clients that have been with me the longest know that I will tell them what I actually feel about their marketing questions and I am not there to take advantage of them. I will bend over backwards to show them that I really believe in them and how they can grow their business.



I don't mind having some of the same qualities as Terry Bradshaw. I am memorable, my clients won't forget me. Sometimes I think that my personality is the best part of Inkspot Graphics!


© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 14:10

15 Minutes of Fame in NY

I'm Famous!


A friend of mine (an art director for an ad agency in Portland, OR) used my likeness (cartoon) in an Adidas "We Are The Champions" ad that was used in a New York subway station.


You know sometimes it is just good to not take it all too seriously. Life is short and we need to enjoy the small moments. What tiny events have made your day?


© 2010 Michael Johnson - Inkspot Graphics. All rights reserved.

Published in marketing 101

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    This blog will provide you with examples of my experiences of marketing.  I am a professional educator and story teller.  My goal is to help your company succeed by telling your story.


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“I hired Mike Johnson to assist me with a branding concept for my bookkeeping business in January of 2008. His work has been impressive! He helped me develop my advertising foundation and designed several key promotional pieces. I love my new company image and would highly recommend his services for anyone seeking marketing materials. He is very knowledgeable and a friendly professional. Thanks, Mike!”

-Lisa Soto, Action Bookkeeping