Fashion has taken on a breezy vibe. Whether decked in muscle shirts and camo shorts or flowing dresses, the trend has moved to minimalist, feather light.
The pace on clogged urban streets has a lethargy to it, despite the pressures of the working world. Clambering out of offices, faces lift to the sky for a brief sunlight kiss. Workdays end with lazy evenings of cool drinks on patios and decks.
As we are deep in the dog days of summer, celebrating with passion in our hearts and caution in our actions, it's difficult to believe that within a few short weeks it will be back to school for students in this corner of the world. Though autumn's official arrival is a long way off, once kids return to classrooms and universities, we begin to think in terms of shorter, less lazy days. The weather seems to understand this too, as the heat and humidity dissipate, stopping by only for intermittent interludes to remind us there are still a few golden days remaining.
In the domain ruled by those working in advertising and promotions, however, the time to start thinking about this is now. For the past few months, marketing campaigns have been challenged to inspire people to leave the sunshine and shop. With the exception of summer sporting goods, camping gear, swimwear and flimsy fashions, which are purchased out of necessity and usually done so in quick stops, people are reluctant to hide indoors on brilliant summer days.
This changes as parents prepare their youngsters for back to school. Teachers too are busy getting supplies for the coming year. While they might not be hitting the shops just yet, they are certainly starting to think about it.
It's been a while, but I still remember the annual outings to the mall with my four kids. Usually taken sometime in mid-August, we arrived with a list prepared over the previous few weeks. Particular attention was paid to what school supplies were required for that year, and of course, new clothes. Fall fashions had been dragged out of summer storage and mini fashion shows staged, resulting in the need for an essentially new wardrobe as the growth spurts of a young family can be relentless.
Away from home, working for a community newspaper, I had a front-row seat for the scurrying of the advertising department as they switched their creativity to back-to-school promotions, while still sweltering in summer's heat. As staff returned from lazy vacations at cottage country and campgrounds, sharing stories of bonfires and mosquitoes, pools and beaches, ad reps' thoughts were all about classroom materials and autumn fashion.
They pored over clipart, flipping past the fun-in-the-sun images they had spent so much time with the previous few weeks, to find images of reading, writing and arithmetic, of teachers and classrooms, of falling leaves and school bells. While once upon a time, these were accessed in weighty books, that littered the production room and light tables, the internet eventually became their resource. The online subscription graphics service, iCLIPART.com has a wonderful collection of ad starters for all types of promotions. Here's a link to some perfect for education promotions, including back-to-school:
iCLIPART.com Education Ad Starters