If Art’s In Everything, It’s Also In Advertising

I’m a huge proponent of brands hiring artists to produce something of lasting value. And I love to see a local company step up and support the artists in their community. Alden State Bank in Alden, Michigan made good on both of these ideals when they put John T. Unger on their signage needs.
Unger describes the work:

From across the street, the trout looks almost photoreal, which was really the look I was going for. The tile is iridescent glass from the Sicis line, so when the light hits it, it makes the trout look even more realistic.

I love tile work. I love trout. I love a beautifully rendered brand identity. So this 4′ x 8′ sign is hitting on all cylinders for me.
Unger doesn’t limit his creativity to the objets d’art he makes. He brings it to his marketing, as well. He admits to making $150K selling fire bowls from his Web site last year (on a total of 100,000 annual visits). Now, he’s asking his audience to help him finance a new $400K studio building on his property. His creative financing plan is essentially this: he’ll make a series of custom mosaics (just send him a photo) for the following prices:
2 x 2 foot mosaic $2,500 limited to 100
3 x 5 foot mosaic $7,500 limited to 50
4 x 8 foot mosaic $16,500 limited to 10
I’d love to see a company like Burgerville buy a mosaic for every location. I say this because I love this man’s outlook. From his “About” page:

I wake up most days thinking about how I want to change, fix or improve some aspect of the world. And after a couple cups of coffee I get started on it.

[BUY] Buy one of Unger’s fire bowls!



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.