Touching the Soul: Marco Naef at the Flatterschafft Arts Center.

25 December 2013 – A single strand of coloured party lights dangles from the ceiling and a slowly dissolving series of photographs, colours and lyrics lights up the wall. Standing alone on a makeshift stage, Marco Naef addresses the huddle of spectators who listen to his carefully chosen words. His songs are sorrowful, thought-provoking and sometimes deeply sad. Accompanied by his acoustic guitar, a couple of distortion pedals and a loop machine, Marco Naef is a local D.I.Y. artist who I am sure we will be hearing more about in the near future.

Thanks to Marco and the Flatterschafft team for a lovely evening!

Release Party: 2014 Karo Diary – The Old-School Paper Diary.

20 November 2013 – We are pleased to announce that we will be presenting the new Karo Diary at Flatterschafft (see below). Stop in and have a glass of prosecco with us – we are celebrating our 20th edition! With special guest Marco Naef, singer/songwriter from Basel.

Release Party: Saturday, 7 Dezember 2013, Solothurnerstrasse 4, 4053 Basel-Gundeli, 5:30 until 8 pm.
The Flatterschafft Art & Design Market will be open from 10 until 8 pm, with open studios and festivities.
Flatterschafft Party after 8pm on the 1st floor.
Think globally, act locally.

Flatterschafft: A new arts center in Basel.

The board members of Flatterschafft: Mimi von Moos, Oli Muff, Steven Schoch and Sanja Lukanovic (Adi Bünzli and Sebastian Mundwiler were not available for the photo).

18 November 2013 – A group of creative individuals has banded together and opened a studio building on Solothurnerstrasse in Basel. The idea was to get a group of artists and musicians together and build up some networking in the local arts scene. The town hopes that this will revive the somewhat desolate neighborhood. “We wanted to create a place where we could share infrastructure and various knowhow,” explains Steven Schoch, one of the initiators of Flatterschafft. At the moment there are 57 members, not too bad, considering that the idea came to light just one year ago. The project is a success as there are 16 studio spaces and 8 band rooms already rented out – and at reasonable prices.

The building is located directly behind the main train station, is owned by the Swiss Railway (SBB) and has been vacant for quite a while now. “We met several times with the SBB and were able to get a contract for interim use until the end of 2016,” said Schoch. To get the building in shape for the needs of the artists and musicians, the group received financial support from various institutions. Once everything is set up and running the building should be self-sufficient, requiring no additional funding. The band rooms are in the cellar (for acoustic reasons) and the artists’ studios are distributed over four floors. One collective has set up a metal workshop and a group of photographers have set up a studio with darkrooms.

Even though the tenants have already moved in, the arts center still has a ways to go before it is completed. There will be a public space explains Schoch, “We have a community room for everyone to share, as well as a 200 square meter project room for performances, exhibitions and events.”

The group is open to ideas and the potentials are unlimited, “We want to reach out and get to know the neighborhood, and see how Gundeli ticks,” says Sanja Lukanovic, one of the six board of directors. She has gotten to know the surroundings better, and emphasizes that the location of the studio building is very positive. She especially appreciates the small nearby shops. Schoch sometimes likes to think of the neighborhood as a small version of Barcelona: “It has something urbanesque.” – First published on 21 August 2013 in the GundeliPlus newspaper.

> flatterschafft.ch

Good typography: Use smart quotation marks, not the dumb ones.

27 September 2013 – Typographically correct quotation marks and apostrophes are curly or sloped. They are also known as “curly quotes” and the British occasionally call them “inverted commas”. "Dumb quotes", or straight quotes come to us from the typewriter. In traditional printing, all quotation marks were curly. But typewriter character sets were limited by mechanical constraints and physical space. By replacing the curly opening and closing quotes with symmetrical straight quotes, two slots became available for other characters. Unfortunately, many improper marks make their way onto websites because of dumb defaults in applications and CMSs. Please use correct quotation marks and apostrophes. You will make a good impression.

Single opening: copy/paste ‘ or ‘ or ‘
Single closing & apostrophe: copy/paste ’ or ’ or ’
Double opening: copy/paste “ or “ or “
Double closing: copy/paste ” or ” or ”

> Straight and curly quotes.
> Quotes and accents.
> Smart Quotes for Smart People.

Current Exhibition: Spaghetti Dinner.

10 September 2013 – Do-it-yourself graphics have become a trendy form of expression — just as cheap housing districts once filled with artists and subculture evolve into hipster neighborhoods, then to be taken over by mainstream retail. This publication pays hommage to old school commercial art from the 1970’s and early 1980’s.

> The Spaghetti Dinner exhibition catalog is available at Karo Publishing.

K’Werk: 2013 Image Brochure.

10 September 2013 – The new brochure introduces KWerks philosophy and educational process, with portraits of current and former students and how their classes help them to develop their careers in art and design. The brochure was intentionally designed with modest means, serving as a tool for acquiring financial support as well as providing information for partner institutions. The brochure is also intended to appeal to parents and encourages them to enroll their children in KWerks program.

> The new K’Werk Image Brochure.

10 tips for professionals.

Alexander Graham Bell’s first known sketch of the telephone. Sketches, undated; handwritten text dated 1876.

23 July 2013 –Michael Hastings, who was a reporter for BuzzFeed and Rolling Stone, died in a car crash this past June. He was just 33 years old. Last year, Mr Hastings wrote the following advice for you and young journalists in general. His advice can be applied to practically all professions:

1. Devote yourself to your work.
You basically have to be willing to devote your life to journalism [Ed.: substitute your profession here] if you want to break in. Treat it like it’s medical school or law school.

2. Be modest.
When interviewing for a job, tell the editor how you love to report. How your passion is gathering information. Do not mention how you want to be a writer, use the word “prose”, or that deep down you have a sinking suspicion you are the next Norman Mailer.

3. Work your way up.
Be prepared to do a lot of things for free. This sucks, and it’s unfair, and it gives rich kids an edge. But it’s also the reality.

4. Write facts.
When writing for a mass audience, put a fact in every sentence.

5. Keep it simple.
Also, keep the stories simple and to the point, at least at first.

6. Expand your knowledge.
You should have a blog and be following journalists you like on Twitter.

7. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
If there’s a publication you want to work for or write for, cold call the editors and/or email them. This can work.

8. Be concise.
By the second sentence of a pitch, the entirety of the story should be explained. (In other words, if you can’t come up with a rough headline for your story idea, it’s going to be a challenge to get it published.)

9. Love your work.
Mainly you really have to love writing and reporting. Like it’s more important to you than anything else in your life — family, friends, social life, whatever.

10. Accept failure.
Learn to embrace rejection as part of the gig. Keep writing/pitching/reading.

> Michael Hastings on Wikipedia

Print is not dead – Why your company needs a book.

22 January 2013 – We have to agree with Joe Pulizzi from the US company Content Marketing Institute: Two of the most important things you can do to launch and/or grow as a business are 1.) maintain a blog and 2.) publish a book which covers your particular specialized market area. According to Mr. Pulizzi’s latest marketing research, approximately 80 percent of companies have a blog, but less than 30 percent have a book. If you are going to position yourself and/or your company as one of the leading experts in your niche, you need a book. And this does not mean an eBook distributed solely online, but a solid book that is printed on paper and bound.

There is no better way to show true leadership than a printed book. It is one of the best customer freebies that you can conceive, and once the book has been published, you have a fabulous resource for developing additional content for your blog. Creating a book which will make an impact on your business is anything but easy. This can be less of a burden if you have the help of an experienced design company who is in tune with the publishing industry.

10 tips for making your book happen:

1. Define your audience.
Who will be reading your book? Who would you like to target?

2. Define your mission.
What do you want to accomplish? Be clear as to what you want your readers to get out of the book and what you want to get from your readers.

3. Draw up a timetable.
Perfection is unattainable, so keep to your schedule. As soon as you finish your book there will be new research, new stories, and new perspectives that you would have liked to have published. Don’t worry about it and just use them in your next book.

4. Collect content.
Don’t start from scratch. What material do you already possess which could help form the initial workings of some key chapters? Do you have material on your blog?

5. Financing the production.
Up-front investment can come from selling bulk shipments to partner companies, so that basically you will be splitting the tab. Or you can find a generous benefactor who would like to support your message, helping you with monetary funding or distribution.

6. Collaborate in powerful ways.
Do you have key, non-competitive partners that target the same customers as you? If so, consider asking them about teaming up with you. When the book is finished, you have two different networks in which to promote your product.

7. Include your heroes and role models.
If it improves your content, include key examples from industry influencers and/or partners. The more people you include into your stories can lead to more opportunities for outside sharing.

8. Consider a ghostwriter.
If you are not a proficient writer, consider hiring someone to do this for you. If you do not have the funds to do this, you can consider bartering, where you offer your own resources in exchange for professsional writing, editing and/or proofreading.

9. Promotion.
Everyone likes a party – so be sure to invite your target audience and everyone directly involved to toast the new book. Send out press releases and sample copies and update your blog.

10. After the party…
On a regular basis, invite potential clients to your office for coffee and continue to distribute personally signed copies of your book.

> Content Marketing Institute