416-435-4753 mike@mikebeard.com

This one was the beginning of a new string for me. Lover’s Creek, with an innocent cupid carrying the banner, this little angel sold a lot of family homes right here in Barrie.

Later on, when I had done more than a few of these logos for Geranium Homes communities here in Southern Ontario, a ranking member of the builder’s association remembered the series. “If you’re the one who made the communities – and the ads – so friendly, so approachable… good on you!” he said. Up until that point I was wondering if anybody really got it.

I probably did (wrote, designed and produced) over 200 full page newspaper and magazine ads for the home builders of Toronto. A screaming run on Wednesday night for the Star, Thursday afternoon for the Sun, first with art boards, later with actual colour film. What we used to call ‘service bureaus’ had killed off the colour stripping industry. Well, that was after Apple killed off all the typesetters. And so the story goes.

Every success is disruptive nowadays. Following right along, we sent files over wires and accepted proofs back in the same fashion. I began to get used to technology racing ahead of those who used it.

By the mid 1990’s, with the home building industry lagging behind other early adapters on the ‘information highway’, I joined a web studio and stayed there for five years. I gave up the ads I loved and did web sites. I’m still doing both today.

The little cupid popped out of the newspaper, literally flying over other, more conventional housing ads. She was such a hard worker! Some weeks we ran double page spreads with 4 communities all across, East to West, each anchored with its bright logo. My little studio eventually helped Geranium win a big award, The Grand SAM from the Toronto Home Builders Association. I think it was the advertising series in general that won. We didn’t really use the term back then, and there were many people involved in Geranium’s success, but this is what we now call branding. The theme was cordial and neighbourly… and it worked.

Again my thanks to Geranium Homes, a great community builder.