Bright Ideas From Push Pin Graphics

A New Route To the Classroom

Cutting Sprawl Down to Size

In like Clark Kent, Out like Superman

Moonlighting Referees

Media Watch: Call for Proposals

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Kathleen McGinn Spring and Bart Jackson were prepared for the June 25, 2003 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Interactive TV: Is It Finally Coming?

On December 1, 1977, Warner’s QUBE, opened for business

in Columbus, Ohio, as the world’s first commercial interactive television

service. It worked well and subscribers seemed to like it. But it

was too expensive to operate and was discontinued. In December of

1994, Warner tried again — this time digitally — with the

"Full Service Network" in Orlando, Florida. Though once again

popular with many subscribers, it was closed three years later due

to high costs. Yet Europe seems to have made versions of interactive

television work.

This information comes from Andy Kienzle, director of content

solutions for Newton Gravity Shift, a media company at 2425 Pennington

Road. He has rounded up interactive TV experts to talk about the future

of new television on Wednesday, June 25, at 6:30 p.m. at a meeting

of the Princeton Media Communications Association at Newton’s offices.

Cost: $24. Call 609-818-0025, ext. 146.

So, with all the advances in technology, is this country finally going

to get to experience interactive television? George Breen, president

of Digital Video Arts (www.dval.com), a subsidiary of SeaChange International,

and Patrick Sheehan, vice president of client software for the

digital ADCO subsidiary of ACTV, answer the question at the PMCA meeting.

Both work on developing the software for cable settop boxes and cable

headends that enable aspects of interactive television.

With over 25 years of product development and management experience,

Breen now heads the television industry’s only development firm exclusively

dedicated to digital settop box software. Under his direction Fort

Washington, Pennsylvania-based Digital Video Arts has been commissioned

to develop software applications for six of the companies listed in

Kagan Research’s "Big Seven" of interactive manufacturers,

equipment providers, middleware vendors, and programmers.

Breen was one of the inventors of DVI technology at Sarnoff. This

technology was the first commercially viable digital video technology.

Breen also worked for early computer companies, including Commodore

Computer, before starting his own consulting firm.

Sheehan has over 20 years of experience in the design and development

of real time multitasking software and hardware systems. For the past

eight years, he has concentrated on the field of digital television

settop boxes. Sheehan has worked with several real time multi-tasking

embedded kernels including OS-9, PSOS, VxWorks, and several proprietary

specialty operating systems. Most recently he served as the director

of settop box software for ACTV (www.actv.com), where he managed

the engineering group that developed the ACTV interactive television

application currently being certified by Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.

Sheehan’s current work involves the targeting of specific advertisements

to specific demographic groups.

Top Of Page
Bright Ideas From Push Pin Graphics

All art is designed, at least in part, to persuade.

The message may be overt, as is generally the case with an anti-war

poster or a perfume ad. It may be more subtle, as is the case with

a still life that entices you to view fruit in a new way. The artist’s

mission is to take a message and wrap it up into an eye-catching presentation.

Few artists do as well at blending message with intriguing depiction

as does Seymour Chwast, one of this century’s most innovative

illustrators (See examples on his company’s website, www.Pushpininc.com)

Anyone who has an interest in graphic art, advertising, or the art

business will want to attend Chwast’s talk, "Power to the Art

Director," on Thursday, June 26, at 10:30 a.m. at Sarnoff. Cost:

$85. Register at www.NJCAMA.org. The New Jersey chapter of the Communications

Advertising and Marketing Association (CAMA) hosts Chwast — and

many other speakers — as part of its fourth annual conference.

Chwast, who grew up in the Bronx and Coney Island, took a great interest

in the art of the street. He received his first formal training at

the age of seven in a Depression-era WPA writing project. Then, in

1948, he entered Cooper Union, but chaffed under that institution’s

rigid instruction.

In l954, after several less-than- fulfilling stints with the New York

Times, Esquire, and Conde Nast, Chwast was ready to put his own ideas

into play. Joining with Edward Sorel and Milton Glaser, with whom

he had studied at Cooper Union, Chwast founded Push Pin Studios.

"We had no capital and fortunately very low rent," recalls

Chwast. When times were good, the partners might take home $25 a week.

"I think a turning point came with our promotional magazine `Push

Pin Graphics.’ People saw it and liked our style," he says.

It is difficult to envision a collection of graphic design and illustration

that would not contain Chwast’s work. He has created more than 100

posters, many of which have been shown in the Metropolitan Museum

of Modern Art and the Library of Congress. He has illustrated more

than 30 children’s books and several animated films, and has launched

scores of buying frenzies with his clever ad campaigns though he is

the first to admit that it was Glaser who came up with the famed I

Love New York campaign.) He has been elected to the Art Directors

Hall of Fame and awarded an honorary Ph.D. by Parsons School of Design.

Chwast still runs his firm, now called Pushpin Group, and says he

devotes most of his creative time to "illustrating several children’s

books."

Before advertised messages of the type that Chwast’s shop creates

breaks, it must pass back and forth between a client, an account executive,

and an art director. If the entire advertising process stays in-house,

the CEO, the ad manager, and the creative person fill the same triangular

roles. While artist-patron resentment is ancient and cliche, Chwast

says the ad development process can, if well managed, be a cooperative

team effort.

Know the flow. The client has a product and the germ of

a message. The ad agency fleshes out the message, and then turns it

over to the art director and his staff. The art director must envision

the best way to take the message to the public. His delivery can be

clever or artistic, but neither cleverness nor fine art can be his

goal. Once the prototype advertisement is completed it requires review.

Like scientific theories, advertisements demand substantial input

from many sides before they gain acceptance.

While this flow chart of roles and duties is scarcely new or complex,

there is a tendency to try to short circuit it. Clients often hold

up a vision and want to use art directors as mere sketch artists.

Ad agencies often allow themselves to be bound by rules of current

ad-fashion. The art director can help the process, Chwast says, by

keeping a constant flow of sketches and ideas circulating.

Establish a style. Chwast’s style was a known commodity

from the beginning of his career. Steven Heller of the American Graphics

Arts Institute noted that Chwast’s "strength is not in the rendering,

like so many sentimentalists before him, but in the concept and design.

He always expresses a beguiling sense of humor."

Whether you are the actual artist or the art director uniting several

efforts, if you have established your style, the client and agency

are less likely to be surprised by the final product. But this does

not mean that the art director can be inflexible. The message, and

not his creative style, must hold sway.

Use technology to keep communication flowing. "The

art director should act as liaison between his artistic staff and

the clients," says Chwast. The more constant he keeps the flow

of communication between the two groups, the less likely it is that

resentment will occur. The technology is currently so advanced that

the creative staff can do two or three retouchings on call, right

in house, along with the total typesetting. In former days, Chwast

remembers, all such changes used to have to be ferried back and forth

by messengers, which took a lot more time and allowed positions to

become a lot more entrenched.

Technology allows all parties to view the developing ad as an ongoing

process, rather than as a flat item to be rejected or approved. The

result is a smoother process through to final approval.

"Some things are just not illustrateable," says Chwast. "For

example, how do you portray the security provided by fire insurance?

All too typically, we turn to the negative side — a huge picture

of a burning house." But for those art directors who can portray

an abstract concept in a novel way, a host of clients awaits.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
A New Route To the Classroom

Prospective teachers now have an alternate route to

certification. Mercer County Community College (MCCC), in partnership

with the New Jersey City University (NJCU), is one of the New Jersey

community colleges that will offer an intensive program to prepare

alternate route teachers for the classroom. The training begins on

Monday, July 7, through a program called "New Pathways to Teaching

in New Jersey."

MCCC hosts a free information session on Thursday, June 26, at 6 p.m.

at its West Windsor campus. Call 609-586-4800, ext. 3281, to register.

Program participants will be able to earn 15 graduate credits awarded

by NJCU, or they can register as noncredit, certification-only students.

There are three program components; this summer’s Pre-Service program

(Phase I), the Core program (Phase II), which runs from September

through May, 2004, and a Capstone Summer Institute in June, 2004.

The summer Phase I program requires a bachelor’s degree with a minimum

GPA of 2.75. It introduces students to the realities of teaching as

a career and focuses on needed skills and classroom management. At

the end of the summer, participants may continue in Phase II if they

are employed as an alternate route teacher, or if they are continuing

with the program for graduate credit and have obtained a certificate

of eligibility from their county superintendent and have access to

a hands-on teaching experience with children.

All aspects of the curriculum will build upon the Master of Arts in

Teaching (MAT) degree available through NJCU.

Top Of Page
Cutting Sprawl Down to Size

Sprawl is big — literally as well as figuratively.

It presses on aspects of New Jersey life as diverse as epic traffic

tangles in Home Depot parking lots, families of dislocated deer trying

unsuccessfully to cross freeways, economic and racial segregation

in public schools, and rising tax rates. Governor McGreevey has declared

war on sprawl at a time when few state residents are able to escape

its effects.

On Friday, June 27, a People’s Summit for Regional Equity takes the

measure of sprawl in New Jersey and offers solutions for reining it

in. Myron Orfield, author of Metropolitics, presents his new

study, New Jersey Metropatterns, at the event. Other speakers are

David Rusk, a former mayor of Albuquerque and author of Cities

without Suburbs, and John Powell, director of the Race and Ethnicity

Institute at Ohio State University. The event takes place at 10 a.m.,

at the Douglass Student Center. For more information and to register,

call Dianne Brake of the Regional Planning Partnership at 609-452-1717.

Cost: $50.

The summit is sponsored by the New Jersey Regional Coalition (www.regionequity.org).

Members of the coalition include Isles, New Jersey Future, the Coalition

for Affordable Housing and Environment, and the New Jersey Public

Policy Research Institute (NJPPRI). Co-chairs are Marty Johnson

of Isles and Roland Anglin of NJPPRI.

New Jersey Metropatterns, which examines the state’s demographics,

concludes that a tendency toward low density development pushing ever

farther into the state’s remaining undeveloped land is hurting communities

in every economic strata. Here are some excerpts:

The most suburban state is badly stressed. New Jersey

is an extraordinary state. It is by most measures both the most densely

populated and the most suburban in the nation. It is the only state

in the nation to be considered entirely "metropolitan" by

the U.S. Census Bureau. Its development patterns are shaped not only

by its own cities, but also by proximity to two of the nation’s largest

cities. Although slow growing compared to the rapidly growing Sunbelt

states, it is among the fastest-growing states in the Northeast. The

state has the highest median income, the highest school spending per

student, and among the highest housing prices in the country.

Despite its overall wealth, New Jersey is not immune from patterns

of social separation and sprawl that strain all states. Its communities

are profoundly divided by income and race. Geographic stratification

is threatening every New Jersey community — from the most impoverished

to the most affluent. It has already had devastating consequences

for the poor, leaving many of them trapped in segregated neighborhoods

with limited economic and educational opportunities. Now it has begun

to diminish the quality of life and opportunities of working and middle-class

residents. The rising waves of protest against congestion and the

loss of open space suggest that no group — not even the wealthiest

suburbs — is fully satisfied with the status quo.

The old labels no longer apply. As the state grows, simple

classifications that divide the state into cities, suburbs, and countryside

are increasingly out of date. As the heart of this report is a more

complex typology of New Jersey’s 566 municipalities. This classification

systems takes into account a variety of social, fiscal, and physical

characteristics of each place.

The classification system shows that a growing number of New Jersey

suburbs are struggling with stresses typically associated with large

cities. There is a group of suburbs with significant and growing poverty

in their schools and weak tax bases. There is another group of slow-growing

places with few social needs, but whose property tax bases are below

the state average and falling further behind. And a large group of

fast-growing, middle-class suburbs is struggling to provide the schools

and infrastructure it needs with just average resources.

Over-reliance on property taxes creates inequity. Local

governments in New Jersey are highly dependent on property tax revenues

to pay for public services — everything from parks to police and

fire services. In fact, New Jersey municipalities receive 52 percent

of their total revenues from property taxes, compared with just 27

percent nationally.

This reliance on property taxes is pitting local government against

one another in a fierce competition for tax-generating developments

or "ratables." Under intense pressure to both maximize revenues

and minimize costs, communities seek out developments that produce

more in taxes than they cost in services. Over time, this process

has concentrated households with the greatest need for public services

in communities that are the least able to generate sufficient revenue

to provide them.

Bedroom communities are pinched. Home to 20 percent of

New Jersey’s residents, bedroom communities, including West Windsor,

are defined by rapid growth. With their higher-achieving, middle-class

schools, newer, spacious homes, less congestion, and — at least

initially — lower tax rates, these places appear to offer an alternative

to declining communities at the core.

But the speed and scale of growth brings its own stresses — requiring

huge investments in roads, sewers, and schools that often strain even

the hardiest tax base. As communities grow, valued open space is lost

to development and traffic congestion makes getting around more and

more difficult. The way the state is growing, the same problems driving

people from at-risk developed municipalities may gradually reappear

in many bedroom-developing places.

Although this group does include several employment centers, as a

whole these places have relatively few jobs, and their workers have

the longest commutes of those in any community type.

Affluent communities are out of reach of most residents.

Home to just 9 percent of the state’s population, these prosperous

suburbs, including Cranbury, have a large share of the state’s expensive

homes, plentiful commercial and industrial development, few social

strains, and relatively low tax rates.

In fact, with the highest concentration of jobs per resident worker,

and the lowest free-lunch rates of any community type, affluent places

appear to reap all the benefits of regional competition with few of

the costs. Their already low share of poor students fell slightly

in the 1990s. Their tax bases, on average, are over twice the regional

average, and growing considerably faster. Their moderate rate of population

growth assures that they can keep up with needed infrastructure without

overtaxing local resources.

But the opportunities of these places are limited to only a lucky

few. Only 14 percent of their housing units are affordable to households

making 80 percent of the regional median household income or less.

Although they are attracting a deep and growing pool of jobs, high

housing costs mean local employers may have problems attracting low-wage

workers.

Wealth tilts toward the shore. Supported by their supply

of extremely expensive second homes, resort communities, including

Sea Girt, Cape May, and most of Long Beach Island, have extraordinary

property wealth. Home to just one percent of the state’s residents,

resort communities have tax resources that are eight times the statewide

average and have been growing three times faster than those of the

state as a whole. With tourism-based economies, resort communities

have a relatively high and fast-growing ratio of jobs to residents.

Top Of Page
In like Clark Kent, Out like Superman

Keep the cape in the closet. At least for the first

three months on the job. Coming on like Superman can be a mistake

for the newly-hired, says career counselor Don Sutaria. "You

have two eyes and one mouth," he says, tongue only a little in

cheek. "Use your eyes twice as much as your mouth."

On Tuesday, July 1, at 7:30 p.m. Sutaria speaks on "How to Survive

the First Weeks on a New Job" to Jobseekers, a free informational

and networking group for the unemployed, organized by Niels Nielsen,

author of the Princeton Management Consultants Guide to Your New Job.

Call 609-924-2277.

Sutaria, founder and president of Union-based CareerQuest (www.careerquestcentral.com 908-686-8400),

specializes in working with Gen Xers looking for career satisfaction,

middle-aged executives and professionals hitting a wall, and over-50s

trying for a place in a youth-oriented workplace. He also does outplacement

work.

Sutaria himself is a career changer. His undergraduate degrees, from

the University of Bombay and the University of Poona, were in electrical

and mechanical engineering. His graduate work, however, tilted toward

the management side of engineering. Still vaguely dissatisfied with

his work, he signed up for extensive career counseling at Stevens

Institute. There he discovered that he was cut out to be a teacher

or a psychologist or maybe a rabbi.

Already volunteering as a counselor at Marble Collegiate Church in

Manhattan, he figured that career counseling was close enough. He

began his business shortly thereafter, first calling it New Life Career

Counseling.

People change jobs for any number of reasons. Sutaria says he was

surprised when his 27-year-old son, Norman, a graduate of Syracuse

University, decided to ditch a career as a photojournalist. "He

did well," says the young man’s father. "I thought he would

like it." But, in the newspaper business, Sutaria points out,

"it’s always bad news." Tired of chasing ambulances, and of

hours that left no time for a social life, his son enrolled in a master’s

program that he hopes will lead to a career as a teacher. Meanwhile,

the ex-journalist’s younger brother, Dale, has left a job in computer

graphics to try his hand as an E-commerce entrepreneur.

Unfazed by these career zigs and zags, Sutaria says that the statistically

average Gen Xer will have four or five careers — not just jobs,

but careers — over a 40 to 45-year work life. For Boomers, it

might be just three careers. But it is clear that nearly every worker

can expect a whole lot of first days on a new job.

Most, says Sutaria, will not be prepared to put down the groundwork

that will lead to a good run. Worse still, a good many will set the

family photo on a desk where they are immediately unhappy.

"I tell all of my clients to do due diligence before accepting

a job," he says. "Ninety-nine percent of people do not do

this." Employers scope out their new hires, he points out, and

the new hires need to engage in some investigations of their own.

"Arrive half an hour early for a job interview," he suggests.

Use the time to observe interactions — and to covertly gather

information. Is the atmosphere formal or informal? Do your future

co-workers engage in pleasant conversation as they pass one another?

Do they appear to respect and like one another? Can you see yourself

dressing the way they do? Do you think you would fit in?

Ask to use the rest room, and engage anyone who happens to be there

in conversation. Spend a little time in the parking lot, too. If possible,

collect a few phone numbers. Ask employees how they like the company.

"At a Merck or a J&J, you find happy campers," says Sutaria.

The same may not be true at some other large companies and at any

number of small and mid-size companies. Better to find out before

signing on. Making a quick — and graceful — exit soon after

starting a job is not easy.

If the job is not what it was supposed to be or what you envisioned,

or if it is clear that unethical practices are the norm, it is essential

to get out fast. Otherwise, it is important to settle in smoothly.

Sutaria offers these tips:

Watch for any undercurrents. "Things are not what

they appear on the surface," says Sutaria. Every office has a

power structure, and it probably has little to do with the pyramid

on the letterhead. "There are alliances you don’t know about,"

he says. Sit back and observe.

Absorb the culture. Even within the same industry, every

company has its own mores. Your goal as a new employee, says Sutaria,

is to "be absorbed without making waves."

Join some teams. In the early days, it is often a good

idea to put your own ideas for projects on hold and pitch in to help

others with their work. Do so, and you will be accepted as a team

player.

Analyze the company’s communications network. Find out

to whom you should report. Does the boss welcome questions? Or does

he prefer that queries go through his assistant? Does he prefer E-mail

to voicemail, or does he like to have his underlings drop by for in-person

chats? Is it okay to float ideas in other departments?

Join the grapevine. There are official lines of communication

and then there are unofficial lines of communication. The latter are

by far the best, says Sutaria. If you want to know what is really

going on, hook into the grapevine. Doing so requires an ability to

be a good listener, and to respect confidences. "Don’t back-bite,"

advises Sutaria. "Don’t pass on gossip. Be non-judgmental. Be

non-moralistic." Strive to be trusted, and the grapevine should

open wide enough to let you in.

Don’t bad mouth yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, especially

in the first weeks on the job. Apologize to your immediate boss, and

get on with your work, says Sutaria, who has observed a tendency for

public self-flagellation. Spreading the word that you goofed up, even

in private conversations after hours, can badly damage your reputation.

Leave the family’s problems at home. Should a relative’s

illness mean that you have to be late for work, tell only your immediate

boss about the situation, and even then, give him only the most basic

information. Talking at length about the kids’ brushes with the law

or going into detail about a parent’s health problems are not a good

idea. Says Sutaria, "your personal life is strictly off limits."

On day one memorize names. On the first day, you are likely

to meet 20 people or more. Sutaria keeps a tiny diary in his pocket

and discreetly records names of people he meets. He suggests that

new employees do the same. Another way to get the names down is to

collect business cards. There are also memory programs that teach

techniques for memorizing dozens of names. Whatever the method, he

says that learning names quickly helps the new employee stand out.

Greet co-workers by name on your second day on the job, and they will

be impressed, he says.

Be the first one in. On day two, pull into the parking

lot a half hour early, and then leave a half hour after the official

work day ends (but make sure you know the company’s alarm system first).

"That makes a tremendous impression," says Sutaria. Keep this

up for several weeks, and you will be seen as a hard worker. First

impressions tend to stick.

Keep a file on yourself. It is oh-so-easy to forget the

details on the contributions you make to the company. Come review

time, or an interview for a new job, and it will be difficult to remember

just how much money you saved the company through which project. Sutaria

insists that it is essential to keep a file of written notes for each

and every project. He has even created an acronym for this — PAR

— "What was the problem, what action did you take, and what

was the result."

Bring your PAR file along on your performance review and it will be

a help not only to you, but also to your boss. If it is difficult

for you to remember all of your contributions, how much more difficult

is it for your boss, who has lots of other things on his mind?

Following Saturia’s advice serves two purposes. First, it helps

ease the way into a new job. And second, by focusing on establishing

a solid reputation, it paves the way into the inevitable next job

by upping the odds of getting stellar recommendations when the time

comes to move on. By then, you will have earned the right to wear

that cape.

— Kathleen McGinn Spring

Top Of Page
Moonlighting Referees

Here’s a second job that pays good money and offers

a change of pace — umpiring. You may need to have played the sport

in high school or college, and you may need to take a course or pass

a test, says Cris Maloney, who knows of just such a course,

the one he plans to teach at Mercer County Community College. His

class starts Monday, July 21, at 6 p.m. and continues for three more

class sessions plus practice in umpiring evening camp games. Cost:

$42. Call 609-586-9446.

Maloney was a track and field star at Moorestown High and was attracted

to field hockey as a team sport at Westchester University (Class of

1978). He played men’s club hockey on the East Coast and practiced

with the women on the Westchester team, coached by a former Olympic

coach. He played on the Olympic level at the USOC Olympic Festival

in 1982 and coached in later years. A certified instructor, he has

been coach, sectional umpire, regional director and coach for the

United States Field Hockey Association’s Futures program, and is the

founder of the Garden State Games Field Hockey Event.

Maloney moved to Princeton so his wife could teach at Princeton Day

School and he worked on the Dow Jones campus with Dow Jones Interactive.

Now he is a real estate agent with the Princeton Real Estate Group

and sells college selection software to high school guidance departments.

Field hockey is the exception to the "must have played" rule.

You don’t need to have played it to be an umpire, Maloney says. You

can substitute your knowledge of another sport, like soccer. Games

are held in the fall in the afternoon, and the pay is $40 an hour

in the first year. Says Maloney: "In your second year you could

earn over $100 in a single afternoon."

Refereeing — in field hockey or in other sports — is an excellent

way to keep in shape while bringing in extra income. It can also be

a fine networking tool, making it especially appealing for anyone

who is between jobs, or who just wants to keep his name — as well

as his blood — circulating.

Top Of Page
Media Watch: Call for Proposals

The New Jersey Economic Development Authority

is requesting proposals from companies in the communications and marketing

industry for a one-year, $5 million campaign to promote the state

as a home for business.

The campaign will highlight assistance available to businesses from

the Commerce Commission and from NJEDA programs to help with business

financing and real estate development needs. The objective is to increase

the number of businesses locating and growing in the state, with an

emphasis on life sciences, logistics, and high technology.

NJEDA will make the request for proposals available at its offices

next Thursday, June 26, at noon. The request for proposals can also

be downloaded at www.njeda.com/mp.

NJEDA will take questions from bidders at a pre-bid conference on

Tuesday, July 1 at its office. Wednesday, July 23, is the closing

date for proposals.


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