Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dragging My Way Through Wednesday

Coffee in the San Francisco skyline mug, the sound of my nasally coughing for music. Oy. My name is House, Greg House. No, I'm not a diagnostician, I just play one on TV. No wait, that's Rock Band I play on TV... I am clearly dazed and delirious from lack of sleep (no more diet coke before bed), overwork, and the Cold That Wouldn't Die.

Yesterday I remembered something I wanted to do to trick out my permanent showroom in Dallas and I'm going to SHARE. It looks like a great service and was way inexpensive. Occasionally--but not as often as I would have thought based on the price and apparent ease of installation--at the shows I do some people have cool vinyl signage affixed to the walls of their boothes. Maybe it's the company name or logo in individual letters, maybe it's cute decorative graphics. Whatever it is, it always adds a really nice, professional touch to the display.

So in my balls-to-the-wall work mode yesterday I researched various companies offering easy-to-mount vinyl lettering and finally settled on Do It Yourself I ordered "Siyeh Studio" in six-inch high letters (Tiger Rag font) and "Hot Art in Warm Glass" in three-inch high letters to put on one of my white walls in the Hemispheres showroom. There were other source options that looked good (one company has reusable lettering that costs about 50% more but it can be reused several times--good for shows), but looked like a good starting point.

Another display option that I have been contemplating for a few months and finally bit the bullet on yesterday is a monitor for showing a slide show of my complete catalog. I make just too many pieces to take examples of all of them all shows, and, yet, it is my experience that people primarily buy what they see. In the showroom where much of my clientel is likely to be designers looking for custom pieces, it it even more important to have images of my consignment work--kitchen backsplashes, livingroom over-the-mantle installations, large custom windows, etc.

I looked at many technology options for a system--from digital picture frames to an old iPod plugged into a monitor--and I finally decided upon a 19" flat screen lcd TV on a stand with a built in dvd player. It's sleek, it's compact, and--best of all--it's easily updatable technology that a chimp could operate.

Digital picture frames are nice, but there is a learning curve to using using them, they have a high size:cost ratio, and updating the images requires swapping out memory cards or sticks. The prices for the latter two have come down drastically in recent years, but they're still more than a writable dvd. Using the old iPod was great idea in terms of cost and repurposing hardware lying around the house (I'd ahve to buy a new pc lcd monitor, but it is the cheapest option in price by far), but the usability was problematic and I never did figure out how to get it all connected to work.

Given the primary initial use of the system--a permanent installation in a showroom and operated by the showroom manager without my help--a dvd player made the most sense. I haven't read the detailed specs yet, but I think I have sacrificed a little in picture resolution (I think the dvd output is only 720X480 or something like that). However when the system gets shut off and needs to be restarted--as you know it will more than once over the next few months--the showroom manager will have no trouble turning it on and pressing "Play". Another advantage to this system is that I can update my slideshow just by sending the showroom a new dvd and asking them to swap it out. Low(ish) cost, low tech, high output. And what would a picture show be without a chair? The pic at right is the IKEA piece Dave picked up for me earlier in the week to put in the showroom too.

Time to get to the studio. An order to ship, two loads to fire, and a shopping trip with Todd to get more supplies for the showroom ahead of me in the day.


Bill said...

Have you considered that your "cold" isn't a "cold", but maybe something that you actually might need antibiotics for?

Dee said...

and when is your doctor's appt hmmmm?????? bill, maybe you can talk to dave to help convince her IT'S TIME TO GO TO THE DOC!! ;)

Anonymous said...


Sit in that chic red chair, put your feet up and watch a video. Time for a little slow down girlfriend.