Changes in Pinterest Contest Rules couple of years ago when Pinterest was the new kid on the block, I received an invite to join but was apprehensive to join yet another social media site. But, I kept hearing about it—Pinterest was all the buzz on the design and lifestyle blogs I read regularly, so I had to check it out and see for myself what all the chatter was about. Immediately, I was hooked and started the dark path of losing hours of screentime to the electronic boards.

Marketers are always looking for new ways to connect with their audience – to reinforce their brand, build new followers and create loyalty. And as with other social media sites, the professional marketers soon found ways to make Pinterest work for them. (Since 80% of Pinterest’s 70 million users are women, it makes sense that they would be interested in reaching this targeted audience in new ways such as “Pin It to Win It” campaigns where you earn entry into a contest by pinning a certain image.)

Using social media for marketing isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In my opinion marketing can be mutually beneficial if what’s being marketed to me is actually something I’m interested in, but it looks as if the days of “Pin It to Win It” campaigns are gone. Pinterest changed their Brand Guidelines (which seems kind of a weird section to place these kind of usage rules), and now it seems they are trying to enforce them with threats of legal action.

While Pinterest doesn’t appear to prohibit all types of contests, they do prohibit the Pinning Parties and “Pin It to Win It” campaigns that have become so popular. Marketers, bloggers and brands will have to come up with new creative ways to involve Pinterest in helping them gain traffic.

According to the Pinterest Business Blog, “Pinterest is about inspiration. Businesses are most successful on Pinterest when they encourage people to explore and share content that represents their authentic interests.” If this means less spammy contest pins and a more authentic community experience, it may be a good thing.

What do you think? Is it important that Pinterest remain authentic and not “muddy” the community with marketing campaigns and “false” pins? Does it matter to you?

If you’re interested in more topics like this, consider our new Social Media Marketing Essentials Certificate program. The Overview of Social Media Marketing course and Digital Marketing Strategies are both being offered in the spring 2014 semester beginning in February.

The Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

I recently came across this online museum of forgotten art supplies –  where tools of the trade that have died or have just about died a slow death are cheerfully exhibited.  Sadly, it is not a physical, actual bricks-n-mortar place (I wish)…but it is a really amusing site, with over 500 images of art supply artifacts, all contributed by visitors to the page.  See their artifacts here.

Loupe. Image from Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.

Be sure to check out the prehistoric computers and photography sections.  Beware, if you remember too many items, you may begin to feel old.

Image from Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies

Image courtesy Museum of Forgotten Art Supplies.

Not only do I enjoy the former tools of the trade and thinking about how differently designers and artists work now —  but it is always hard for me to resist old typography, cool packaging, and interesting design styles.

Enjoy some design history and be glad that you no longer have to use rubber cement!

Photography Competition at Philadelphia Musuem of Art – deadline January 2014


The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art recently announced their third biennial Photography Competition. The Competition is open to all photographers age 18 and over.

A jury of nationally recognized experts will select 6 photographs by 6 different artists. Each winning photograph will enter the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and will be exhibited by the Museum as part a special celebratory event to take place in June 2014. Additionally, the winning photographs will be sold individually in editions of 15. Each winning artist will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and will be paid a 5% commission on sales of their prints from the edition of 15.

Deadline: January 10, 2014

See past winners here.

Good Luck!


Infographics, Information + Ethics Talk: DesignPhiladelphia–Oct 17

As part of the continuing DesignPhiladelphia festival, join this free discussion–Oct 17, 6:30 – 8:30 pm


Ariel Braverman - image courtesy of DesignPhiladelphia

Designers influence how information is interpreted and what meaning is extracted by transforming facts and figures into powerful data visualizations and infographics for non-expert audiences. What is a designer’s obligation to the data? What if a tiny lie makes for a better picture? Join Electronic Ink designer Ariel Braverman in a discussion exploring challenges and tactics for visualizing data in an effective, meaningful and ethical way.

1 South Broad St.
19th floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107


Grassroots Game Conference–Oct 14-20

If you are interested in understanding game usage, having games made, or making games for any purpose, the Grassroots Game Conference is intended for you, and you are warmly invited to participate.

The Grassroots Game Conference (October 14-20) is specifically formed to bring more entities and individuals into the creative use of game development. It isn’t a game industry/tech conference and it isn’t a “gamer” conference.

There are three great reasons to live and work in games in Philadelphia:

1. Creative Community. Everything from food to robotics; this is the core of the city’s wonderful transition of the past decade.
2. Incredible University Talent and Expertise. More than 300,000 university students in the area and a bunch of the most impressive experts anywhere teaching them.
3. Physically a wonderful place to be, with beautiful locations and a very reasonable cost of living.

This conference emphasizes games made by small teams, an approach that is credibly viable in our region rich in creative and technical resources, but without a history of large-scale game development. This is the second year of the conference, and once again, presenters from across the country and Europe will have significant announcements and insight, including new initiatives in education and professional game creation in this region.

There will be full-day tracks in: Games and Health, Civic Engagement, Women in Games, Music, Art and Teaching Game Development in K12. Each is keynoted by a noted figure in their field and organized in coordination with expert entities.

The Grassroots Game Conference is intended to serve broad interest in the creation of games by small teams. Every track is focused on bringing game creation together with an existing area of robust interest in this region (art, music, health, education, design, civic engagement and more), in collaboration with leading entities, and will attract even more expert presenters this year from across the country.

Tracks include:

  • Games and the Body/Health
  • Art/Game Collision
  • Games and Gamification for Non-Profits
  • Music/Game Collision
  • Game Creation in k12
  • Games for Civic Engagement
  • Women in Games
  • DesignGamesDesign
  • Plus a three-day Chiptunes Music Festival in Collaboration with 8static.

Tickets are only $20 per one-day track, or $10 for students. Most events are held in the First Unitarian Church, on Chestnut at 21st, but please check the website for specifics, as some events will be elsewhere.

What's Next for Philly? Fast Forward Talk: DesignPhiladelphia–Oct 11

Check out this free talk at the Philadelphia Center for Architecture as part of the DesignPhiladelphia festival:

A lineup of presenters from various creative fields will Fast Forward through 20 slides at 20 seconds each to answer one question: What’s Next for Philly? The event is Friday, October 11 at 6 pm.


Lecture space at Philadelphia Center for Architecture - image courtesy of DesignPhiladelphia

The conversation continues offstage with light refreshments.

No registration required. Admission is free — all are welcome!

Philadelphia Center for Architecture
1218 Arch st.
Philadelphia, PA 19107

DesignPhiladelphia Begins Tonight!

Image courtesy of DesignPhiladelphia

DesignPhiladelphia begins tonight with the PopUpPlace opening party and continues through October 18. View the online guide here.

DesignPhiladelphia demonstrates, supports and promotes the ability that design has to generate innovation, solve problems, enhance daily life and influence both the perception and economics of the region. If you’ve attended in the past, you know how fortunate we are that Philly hosts this incredible festival celebrating the diverse and rich design community here.

Festival events – a diverse mix of exhibitions, lectures and public forums, tours, runway shows, book signings, parties, workshops and open studios – cross design disciplines, from architecture and urban planning to industrial and fashion design, multimedia and graphic design, product and interior design. Set in boutiques, galleries, museums, universities, warehouses, public spaces and city streets, DesignPhiladelphia transforms the city into a stage for ideas and designs of the present and future, highlighting the impact design plays in our everyday lives.

This year’s theme, EXPERIENCEdesign! will spark emotions and engage the senses. There will be opportunities to see, touch, smell, hear and feel the design that surrounds us. Check it out and we hope to see you there!

Fantastic First Week: CE Fall 2013

We just kicked off an incredible first week of Continuing Education courses!

Here is a warm welcome to our 25 new certificate students, our many returning certificate students, and to the 200+ students challenging themselves this fall in our many adult courses in all subject areas, including those who are part of our new Social Media Marketing program. We are happy to have you join our creative community!

Digital photo by Jonathan Wilson, copyright Jonathan Wilson

I am especially proud to see 11 certificate students working on their final capstone projects this term–it is so great to see them reach this important closing chapter of their story. I can’t wait to see how much they accomplish over the next ten weeks.

If you’re still interested in our fall programs, we have some short-course options beginning soon–woodworking to wordpress–and we’d be happy to guide you into a great option. Call us at 215.717.6095.

Student in a jewelry class

And we are putting the final touches on the spring 2014 term planning. Stay tuned! Here’s a sneak peek of new stuff coming in February:  Preview Workshop Day, daytime Senior Series, Experimental Digital Printing, Hip Hop/Funk, Rock Band Jam, and Digital Marketing Strategies.

Student drawing work

Added second section of Foundations of Web Design + Development – now on Weds

We’ve added a second section of Foundations of Web Design + Development, now offered on Weds nights.

Yes, this added night offers identical content and instructor (the amazing Tony Robertson!) as section one on Tuesdays.  This is a comprehensive introductory course to best practices in the industry with hands-on projects using CSS and HTML and more.  Plus this is the first course for our web certificate programs.  Get started now – we have more spaces for those eager to begin!

To register for this, please contact us at or call 215.717.6095.  We can assist you into this or any of our courses starting this week!


Fall courses start soon!

Digital Photo I work by Jonathan Wilson

The Fall 2013 Continuing Education term begins on Monday, September 30th!  Spaces in popular classes are filling up and we are eager to have you join us. Whether you are looking for professional development courses, a full certificate towards a new career, or personal enrichment to stay creative and engaged in the world, we have lots of exciting options for you. Our students are bright and eager and are led by a faculty of industry leaders in art and design.  See the full brochure here.

Here are a just few highlights that I recommend:


Visual Identity Design Project by Melissa Smith