Taking Direction: Classic. Current. Unexpected.

Original thumbnail from brainstorming session shown next to finished cover design.
Original thumbnail from brainstorming session shown next to finished cover design.
We recently completed a new membership brochure design for the Lake Charles Symphony. I'm particularly fond of this layout and concept because the client was clear that they needed an image did the following; honor the generations that have supported them, inform that they are also contemporary, and always evolving into unknown territory to stay relevant toot seen audiences. There you go; past, present and future. 

I tasked Chad Blankenbaker with creating an original design based on our meeting. Design a violin, painted in a classic style, transforming into a loose, contemporary painting with unique, loose colors, then morphing to an original, unfinished blue-line drawing of the same violin. 

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The Boys Are Back In Town! Parker Pal Returns to Southwest Louisiana. Orange You Excited?

It's been almost two years since our little orange buddy decided to spread out to desks all over southwest Louisiana. It's always a treat when we're visiting a client and we see Parker Pal sitting on a desk, or at a greeting counter. His smiling face, along with the Parker Brand mark, serves to remind our customers that Parker Brand Creative Services is their friend in advertising. Well, now Parker Pal is back, and we're pretty sure our blaze-orange oddity wants to make your desk his home.

Lake Charles Advertising Agency

We'll be posting clues to Parker Pal's location as he makes his way around southwest Louisiana hotspots. All you have to do is stop by our office and give us your best guess! We'll be posting the answers to Parker Pal's path, but the best way to find out—and to pick up a Pal—is to stop on by! You can meet the Parker Brand Creative Services team, see how we do what we do, and while you're there you can become a member of our Loyal Blocks loyalty program. There are some pretty cool perks to be earned when you become a Parker Brand fan!

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Sulphur, Louisiana Advertising Team Brings Home "Best of Show" at AAF Lake Charles American Advertising Awards


Many may not know this, but the advertising that represents Southwest Louisiana tourism on local, regional and national levels is produced in Sulphur, Louisiana. On Saturday, February 22nd, this work was recognized by the American Advertising Federation's Lake Charles Chapter at the annual American Advertising Awards©. Parker Brand Creative Services—the full-scope advertising agency that produced the work—received a Gold ADDY© Award for their "Spice of Life" print media campaign created for the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. Consequently, another project related to this same campaign—the "Spice of LIfe" press kit folder (entered and produced by the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau) also received a Gold ADDY© Award in its category. At the end of the American Advertising Awards ceremony, Parker Brand Creative Services' "Spice of Life" print media campaign was further honored by receiving the prestegious "Best of Show" ADDY© Award.

Parker Brand wins all the Addy Awards
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What happens when you eat Pop Tarts in your office chair?

Make sure to clean the fold in your office chair...

...or this might happen!

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Lake Charles, Louisiana Advertising Agency Reflects On The Value of Creative Partners

I recently gave a presentation to a potential client and they asked that I cover much of our young brand’s history. Putting our brand story into a formal presentation gave me some time to take pause and reflect on our origin, where we’ve been and where we’re going. Whether our Southwest Louisiana advertising agency signs this client or not, I have found great value in the revisiting our story. It has reminded, yet again, that my wife and I are building something special, and that the methods by which we operate are unique because of the creative partnership that we have with each other.

Lake Charles Advertising Agency

You see, there’s a reason we call Parker Brand clients “creative partners.” That name has its roots in my creative process, going back to my conviction that creativity—even the process of creating—should be shared. Working in a void has value. It makes you a stronger creative, evolving your creative strengths and skills in ways that you might never have imagined, but working with a creative partner can push your further and help you reach plateaus that were perhaps unreachable on your own.

My formative years as a professional creative were spent working alone at my sign company, years before I hired my first employees to assit with production. My earliest clients trusted me as an individual, and all of the creative work, including the initial brainstorming, project management and production was handled by me alone. From the initial meeting, into the concept, through the design and production, I was the sole driving force. I learned a lot in these early years, and I didn’t depend on an advisor, manager or director to get me or my clients through. Experience was my best mentor, and it still is.

As valuable as those years of being dependent on my own steam were, my next evolution as a professional creative came when I met my wife and creative partner at Whitbeck Advertising. Michelle Parker (then Michelle Bruney) was the senior designer at the Whitbeck agency, and we were often left to our own devices, creating the plan, the timeline, and the design concepts together. Our work, I found, was better because of our individual strengths and many of the creative methods that we use today were formed during that partnership.

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Oran Parker to Present at Fusion 5 Business Leaders Event - Sept. 17, 2013


Oran Parker, owner and director at Parker Brand Creative Services, will be sharing his new presentation at the Fusion 5 Business Leaders event on September 17, 2013.

 

The event will be held at the new Southwest Louisiana Seed Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and will feature a morning line-up of guest speakers focusing on subjects ranging from team building, business relationships and brand building.

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Let It Soak

The other side of transformation

Oran Parker
Oran Parker

If there's one marketing mistake that I've seen made time and time again it's pulling the plug on an advertising campaign before it's had a chance to truly find legs. If I'm being honest, then I have to admit that it actually makes me feel a bit sad because I know what comes after the campaign is canceled.

 

You see, running a successful brand building  campaign has everything to do with letting people know who you are, but in a medium sized market like ours the budgets are quite modest, which is only part of the reason a young business might pull a fresh campaign.

 

A brand—young or experienced—still has to let the public know about what they offer, and to do that you need some marketing dollars and a plan of action (I talk about this a bit here). But what I find is that advertising (or communicating) is looked upon as an expense rather than an investment, and that's what I'd like to see change.

 

Marketing and brand building—not unlike many other things in life—take the proper amount of time. How much? Well, that's different depending on what you're trying accomplish. Wine, whiskey, cheese, sunk cypress; these are all examples of things that come out the other side of the waiting. These things become something new, they are transformed by staying the course, and arguably, they are better, because they are allowed to go through this natural process. I'm challenged to think of anything worth noting that doesn't follow this rule, from maraschino cherries to the jar of dill pickles in my refrigerator. If you want the reward on the other side of transformation, you have to let it soak.

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Lake Charles, Louisiana Advertising Agency Helps Delta Tech Brand Up For Summer Classes

There is no shortage of education opportunities in Southwest, Louisiana, and Delta Tech wants to make sure you know about everything that's available to you through their training programs. To do this, Delta Tech has enlisted the help of Parker Brand Creative Services, a Sulphur, Louisiana advertising agency that serves the gulf coast region from from southeast Texas to the eastern-most border of Louisiana.


"With any client, our first goal is to assess the brand," says Parker Brand owner and director Oran Parker. "We look at everything that's come before our involvement, see what we can do visually to tidy things up and bring the brand's graphics set together. Once we've got a solid pool of graphic elements to work with, we develop our concepts and strategy, then start to make things work for the brand—color signals, logo, typeface, visual echoes, audio—these all have to fall in line for us to create a successful branding campaign."

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Build Wings When There Is No Wind: A Tweet Redux

We're planners, pre-planners, and worry-warts at the Parker Brand. We owe a great deal of our success as an upstart creative team to our obsessive project management process. We like to get our hands on each creative project early enough to really plan ahead, thinking out each scenario that we could run into, then work that into the final creative strategy. It's a lot of work and it pays off.

 

We encourage our clients to do the same. Plan ahead. It sounds like it would be simple, but if what we've seen is true it's a lot harder than it sounds. We don't think it has to be that way, especially when it comes to your marketing.

 

You don't have to have precognitive abilities to look ahead and put a plan in place. It doesn't matter what business you're in; the easy pieces are there. The worst thing you can do—and many do it often—is to do nothing.

 

Start with a calendar. Don't look at this month (forget that; it's too close), but rather look ahead to next month? What's happening next month? It doesn't have to be directly related to your business. Is there a holiday? Is there a local event? If you don't know, then just do a quick web search and see what you can find. Write those event dates down, then move to the next month and break it down the same way until you've finished out a full year.

 

Now you can go through your list of event dates and start striking through them, keeping those most interesting or related to your business in place. Sounds pretty easy, right? It is... and it's the beginning of your marketing plan.

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Lake Charles Advertising Agency Launches 7 New Logos

Creative Guns Blazing

Lake Charles Advertising Agency

Parker Brand Creative Services—the premier logo and graphic design team of Southwest Louisiana—has headed straight into the heat of summer with all of thier creative guns blazing. Admist their entire spectrum of advertisng campaigns produced month-after-month, the Parker Brand team still finds time to shine against their own work in the logo design arena.

 

"We work really hard to bring our customers what they want regarding design," says Oran Parker (the owner and creative director at Parker Brand) ",but we always make sure to put something special in as well; something that they didn't expect. I'm convinced that's why we've been so busy with logo design heading into the summer months. It's out there in the Lake Charles, Louisiana community that there's no need to pay more and settle for less, when you can bring our team in instead. If you want a custom logo design that's creative, effective and built right—something that will stand the test of time—then Parker Brand Creative Services is the brand to build it."

 

Some of the more recent logo designs produced by Parker Brand Creative Services includeRac-Em-BacGrosse Savanne Eco-ToursCoastal CansTurDucKen.comLancaster Oncology Hematology Carethe Porch, and Gator Outfitters.

A Dynamic Of Unity

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Parker Pal says, "Visit Lake Charles, Yo!"

Our oblong oddity is a Lake Charles traveler. Where is he now?

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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Parker Pal... The Peoples' Choice!

Our misshapen mascot has landed again. Can you tell us where he is?

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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And The Green Grass Grew All Around!

Where's Parker Pal now? It's not where you think.

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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Parker Pal's All Wet Behind The Ears, Or Something.

Okay. So it doesn't have ears. No matter. You can still win!

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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A Parker Pal For You? Perhaps...

Your friend in advertising is still getting around.

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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A Parker Pal Double Up.

Parker Pal Is Still Mugging Around.

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

It's Bonus Time!

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Parker Pal's Horsin' Around Again.

Our pal Parker has picked a new place.

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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Where's Parker Pal's Post Today?

Parker Pal has picked a new post. Can you guess where it is?

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Give us your best guess below.

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Where's Parker Pal Popping Up Now?

How do you get a Parker Pal? Keep reading...

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Where is Parker Pal popping up today?

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Where is Parker Perched today?

How do you get a Parker Pal? Keep reading...

You want a Parker Pal and we want you to have one. Putting this blaze orange oddity on your desk is as easy as having an eye on locations around our local cities. Each week we'll post a picture of a Parker Pal perched in a variety of key locations around Southwest Louisiana. Give us your best guess using the comment area below. Guess once. Guess twice. Guess as many times as you like. All of the correct answers will be put into a randomizer and a winner will be chosen and announced on our Twitter, Facebook and Google+ pages. We'll ship your personal advertising liaison to you, pronto. Simple. Fun. Easy.

Where is Parker Pal perched this week?

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Win a Parker Pal. Go ahead. Win it.

Avoid the sayers. Hire the doers.

The world of advertising has its fair share of "experts" that want your business—scratch that—they want your money. From one end of the spectrum to the other, there's no shortage of neckties, smiling faces and hand shakes that will tell you their particular arm of the media is the very best way to get your message to your potential customers. That's not what we're here for. We're a "big picture" creative team that built on the truth of advertising, not the pie-in-the-sky promises or ad-babble shoveled out by bloated advertising agencies. Our job is to look at every piece of the puzzle, including your budget, and help put the best combination of media tools together so they can work in unison, building your brand recognition while putting your marketing investment back in the bank.

What is Parker Pal? It's your personal advertising liaison.

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A Local Logo Design that Marks the Spot!

Oran Parker
Oran Parker

Our Brand was recently contacted through the LinkedIn network, and asked if we would be interested in creating a new logo design for the Southwest Louisiana Lodging Association. We really enjoy working on logos (and some folks think we're pretty decent at it), so we jumped at the chance to help this local group put a face to their name.

 

Right off the line I knew that this was our kind of project. Midge Singleton, the President of the SWLA Lodging Associaiton, was friendly and very informative. She knew what her organization was all about, and was able to very clearly present a vision for its future.

 

We discovered that there was actually no existing logo in place for SLLA. We also learned more about the Association, which exists to be the regional voice for the Southwest Louisiana lodging industry, primarily representing hotels, casinos, bed & breakfasts, and campgrounds. I felt that these four sectors would be key in the development of my initial idea, which was to play on the mobile map markers that we see in Google Maps, and MapQuest. Midge was very receptive to this idea, so away we went.

I sketched out a few ideas on how the "reverse tear drop" might be used, then worked directly with my wife, Michelle Parker (a talented designer in her own right), to craft a design that would be simple, yet effective as a complete branding system for the Association. Michelle took my all-to-literal interpretation of the map markers, and created a shape that was unique, yet easily identifiable when used in context of the brand trappings.

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Skipping Brimstones


Oran Parker
Oran Parker

Yesterday I had a bit of time to kill before a meeting and I decided to stop by the Henning House right next to the historic Brimstone Museum) in Sulphur, a fine art gallery directed by my good friend Thom Trahan, assisted by the Creative Director Eric Manual.

 

Now, I live in Sulphur, and you would think that being interested in art and creativity, I would stop in more often. Sadly, like most of us, I'm always going full-speed during the day, seldom making that conscious effort to stop and enjoy the things around me. Yesterday was one of those days where I decided to not skip over the opportunity to drop in and visit my friends at the Brimstone, and I'm really glad I did.

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Thoughts on Creative Partnering


Oran Parker
Oran Parker

Markets, whether they be local, national, or global, all have their own sets of vendors and craftsmen that creative companies call on, as well as their own native creative agencies. The competitive nature of business being what it is, you can choose to protect your sources, becoming a bit of an island unto your self, or you can share the load and tap into the collective creativity of the market you operate in.

 

Going forward, it's important that I be clear about the Parker Brand position on collective creativity. I choose to create partnerships, and since I am my brand, and my brand is my bond, that means Parker Brand Creative Services does too. I've reflected on this idea of collective creativity often, and perhaps it is one of the reasons that I've never truly settled into the typical medium-market agency world. In my experience it doesn't leave you open to work with the pool of creative individuals and companies that exist in your market. It locks you into the same team, the same style, the same thoughts, and the same methods of doing things, unless of course you're willing to break boundaries, which is never an easy thing.

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Let's Freshen' Up! A Community Logo Update


Oran Parker
Oran Parker

My first client of the new year came to me with one of my favorite requests... a brand update. These are my favorite types of projects to work on. It's always a joy to see where a business, or organization has been, and to be a part of helping them take the next step.

 

Most of the time I find that there is some history there, and I always try to take that into consideration before I move forward. This often doesn't allow for full creative, which I find to be even more challenging. You see, with an existing brand there are usually pre-existing parameters, a definite arena in which I have to work. This limitation is truly challenging, but in many ways it forces you to be even more creative with the graphic solution.

 

In the case of the Community Oncology Resources Foundation there was already a logo and slogan in place, but neither had seen enough placement to be considered solid identifiers for the non-profit foundation.

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