Archive for June, 2008

The Big Idea – Artist Trading Cards

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Big trends have a way of sneaking up on you and Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) are no exception. What are we talking about? ATCs are miniature pieces of art that are traded around the world. Artists create, trade and collect art at organized swap events, either in person or online. The only official rule is that the trading card measures 2.5″ x 3.5″.

The movement started in 1997, when M. Vanci Stirnemann, a Swiss artist, created 1,200 cards by hand as part of an exhibit. On the exhibit’s last day, he invited others to create their own cards and trade with him during the closing reception. The movement has skyrocketed and many other artists now organize major “swap” events. Today, there are ATC swaps online and in almost every major city around the world. ATCs are traded, not sold. However, there are some artists who chose to sell cards. Cards that are sold are called Art Card Editions or Originals (ACEOs).

Of course you could always make your own cards, but Strathmore has made it easy by developing a line of Artist Trading Cards – downsized versions of the same Strathmore papers that artists use for their full-sized art, conveniently cut to the official trading size – to help retailers take advantage of this huge opportunity. Because all the rest of the materials needed to create the cards are staples of any art store, these blanks make it easy for artists to join this large and growing movement. The cards are available for a range of mediums – drawing, watercolor, acrylic, oils and mixed media collage.

Here are some ideas for jumpstarting your store’s success with ATCs:

  • Increase store traffic and sales by organizing events such as presenting how-to sessions, organizing swap nights and sponsoring contests.
  • Make in-store signs pointing out that the small, non-intimidating size encourages artists and emerging artists to experiment and create more art so they can trade and collect with others.
  • Strategically locate signs near other categories such as small tools, dry media and paints to encourage artists to experiment with different mediums.
  • Reach out to schools, clubs and other organizations to promote the arts in the community.

Art Alternatives News

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Art Alternatives Sketch Book ProgramSketch Book Imprint Program
You work hard to put your store name out there and create an image for yourself – what better way to reinforce your message than imprinting your store logo on our Art Alternatives wire- and hard-bound sketch books? We’re taking orders for 2009 Winter BTS season now. Order forms are due June 13th so don’t wait! Your imprinted books will be delivered in December 2008. Remember that to receive the best discount, 70/20% off each book, order a full skid of 576 books. Ask your MacPherson’s contact for more information and an order form.

Art Alternatives Stretcher BarsStretcher Bars
Art Alternatives introduces an inexpensive, quality alternative stretcher bar for the serious artist. Made of kiln-dried pine wood, these stretcher bars feature finger jointed construction for stronger, straighter, warp-resistant bars, and have a tongue and groove miter for easy assembly. Our stretcher bars measure 11/16″ deep x 1-5/8″ wide and are available from all our warehouse locations in a wide range of 49 sizes.

Craig’s May 2008 ColArt News

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

ColArtIt’s Fall BTS time and we are featuring several new and exciting products as well as essential best-sellers:

What’s New?

  • Winsor & Newton’s giant 200ml tube Artist Oil in 40 popular colors
  • Liquitex Professional Acrylic Inks, 30 colors in 30ml & 150ml bottles
  • BASICS gesso in 250ml tubes as well as half- & full- gallon pump-top jugs
  • Derwent’s Tinted Charcoal in 24 subtle colors
  • Reeves Water-Mixable Oil Sets, Linseed Oil and Water-Soluble Wax Pastel sets
  • Color & Co value-priced School Brush Packs

Must Haves:

  • All Winsor & Newton 37ml Artist Oils, assortments & open stock
  • All Winton oil colors, assortments & open stock
  • Galeria Acrylic 200ml, assortments & open stock
  • All Winsor & Newton canvas – all ranges and new rolled stock, primed & unprimed
  • Derwent Coloursoft pencil assortments
  • All Derwent Tin sets and new Canvas Pencil Wrap

CAP Dealer Exclusives:

  • All Liquitex Heavy Body & Soft Body 2 oz. tube colors
  • All Galeria 60ml tube acrylic colors and mediums

Plus, there’s still time to take advantage of ColArt’s NAMTA show special – the new Winsor & Newton Artist Oil Color 200ml Tube Assortment is at an extra 20% off through June 30th!

The Secret is Out – New Products from Golden Artist Colors!

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Golden Artist Colors launched an entirely new product line – OPEN Acrylics – at this year’s NAMTA show. The uniquely relaxed working characteristics and remarkable ability to remain wet on the palette give OPEN Acrylics tremendous versatility, allowing artists a wider range of techniques to explore, including portraiture, plein air painting and other applications.

OPEN Acrylics will begin shipping July 1. Contact your MacPherson’s sales representative for the introductory terms. To learn more about the new OPEN Acrylics product line, visit and look for them in the upcoming July/August SMIAB.

Congratulations to the winners of the OPEN Acrylics 2 oz. tube set-up & mediums booth drawing:

  • Hyatt’s of Buffalo, NY
  • Hilo Art & Glass of Hilo, HI
  • Blaine’s of Anchorage, AK

The new Digital Mixed Media products are going strong, inspiring unique surfaces for printing and offering retailers a host of cross-selling opportunities, creating incremental revenue. Contact your MacPherson’s sales rep for more details on merchandising options for this must-have line.

Chartpak News from Steve Rossney

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Chartpak unveiled its new merchandising concept at NAMTA this year. This concept features Chartpak, Grumbacher, Koh-I-noor, Pelikan and Maco brands as a “Store Within a Store.” The concept includes the beautiful new Grumbacher acrylic paint and brush displays, metallic headers, custom branding posters, shelf labeling strips, and specific power panels with merchandising headers included.

grumbacher brushes
In the past 18 months Chartpak has launched 9 new brush assortments under the Grumbacher brand, brought back the hallmark of professional watercolor with the launch of Grumbacher Finest Watercolor and revamped the paint sets with new, attractive, up-to-date packaging. Koh-I-noor’s packaging was also updated and several new items were introduced.

Retailers will definitely benefit from Chartpak’s new, integrated marketing initiative, historic brands and the extensive range of products offered. Contact your MacPherson’s rep for info on setting up the new merchandising concept in your store!

Dan Canny’s Sanford May Facts

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008
  • The new Back-to-School Prismacolor corrugated floor display was received very well at NAMTA. The quantities are modest and MacPherson’s is offering the display at a 50/20% (60%) discount off of the $1,472.22 MSRP for BTS.
  • Perfect for impulse purchase placement throughout the year and particularly at BTS are the new eraser 72-piece display canisters. Available filled with Pink Pearl erasers (SA70521), Kneaded erasers (SA70531), or the Design Artgum erasers (SA73030).
  • The Prismacolor Accessories tray is a convenient corrugated counter display that contains the Design Multi-Pack Eraser Set (SA73318), Prismacolor Sketch Accessory Set (SA3750) and the Prismacolor Turquoise Sketch Accessory Set (SA24187). All three of these items are great BTS items and should be in a high visibility location in your store during the BTS season.
  • Designed for the independent fine art dealer, the new Prismacolor 60-Piece Pencil Set contains 52 different colors and extra pencils in white, certain grays and the colorless blender. MacPherson’s is extending a special 50/10% off promotion on this item for BTS, so you’ll win when you add it to your own BTS promo.
  • The Prismacolor Artist Competition ends on May 31, 2008. The 2009 version will kick off in August 2008, so there will be plenty of lead-time for potential entrants. Sanford has received well over 500 entries to date and expect evenmore before the close of the contest. Thanks to all of you for helping publicize the contest.

Strathmore Artist Papers News from Don Bradley

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Strathmore Artist Papers 2008 Back-to-School Promotion is in full swing. Highlights of the promotion include 16 must-have items with an extra 20% off. Why the deep discount of 20%? Featuring these items on end-caps, floor stack-out displays and in your flyers will increase traffic and create excitement in your stores. To complement the 20% off offering there is also a great mix of pads, sheet stock, books and inkjet papers with an extra 10% off. The BTS promo includes the new Inkjet Iron-On Transfer Sheets at 20% off. This item has taken off and the sell through is excellent. In addition to the great discounts available to you through August 15th you may qualify for 90 days dating on drop ship orders.

Strathmore launched a “Green” Initiative at NAMTA in Reno that includes a BTS promotion featuring 18 “Green” items. The promotion includes the new 400 Series Hemp Charcoal pads in four sizes as well as some of the popular recycled sketch and drawing pads, plus a selection of Windpower items. Ready to ship in mid-June and promoted at an extra 10% off through August 15th, the new hemp paper contains 25% hemp, a readily renewable fiber, and 75% post-consumer fiber – a truly tree-friendly product. A new header sign and five new shelf talkers that promote the “Green” aspect of these products are available – check them out on Strathmore’s web site or ask your rep.

As you read in The Big Idea, the introduction of Artist Trading Cards at NAMTA was met with rave reviews – this may have been the most exciting thing at the show! This single price point line of blank cards is in response to a growing trend among artists that are producing original art to be traded with other artists. We believe that our ATC offering will help create interest in Strathmore Artist Papers as well as generate sales of media and art tools. The assortment contains 12 each of 10 facings ($2.49 per pack) for a total retail value of $298.80 and includes a free counter display through August 15th.

Ask your MacPherson’s sales rep for more info regarding these new products and exciting promotions.

Canson NAMTA Follow-Up from Kevin Morrison

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Make a color statement in your store! To celebrate the introduction of the Amsterdam Acrylic Standard Series (formerly known as Van Gogh Acrylic), a new merchandising system has been designed to accent the features of this vibrant 70-color student range. This new merchandiser has a very sleek and clean look that allows color to take center stage. The ultra-clear tubes let the intensity of the individual colors show through. After all, you’re not selling tubes, you’re selling color!

New to the range this year are hanging 250ml Amsterdam acrylic tubes, large 500ml and 1000ml jars, Amsterdam acrylic mediums and painting nozzles. The addition of these new items makes Amsterdam a versatile, extensive and complete range of student acrylic color. If you have not already done so, now is a great time to upgrade to the complete range of 70 colors. In most fine art retail stores, student acrylics boast the highest unit sales of any other paint category, yet offer the fewest color choices for consumers. Many consumers benefit from a larger range of colors as they may not know how to mix paint or prefer to paint straight from the tube. Royal Talens was the first to acknowledge that these consumers want more color choices and the Amsterdam acrylic range offers quality, price and a large selection of color.

If you want to make a statement that says “I sell artist color”, consider adding the Amsterdam Tower Assortment to your store. This impressive, eye-catching tower of color contains both 75ml and 250ml tubes and makes quite a powerful statement when placed in a prominent location in your store. Right now you can purchase the Amsterdam Tower assortment for only $515.00 net drop ship with free freight. In addition you can add full cartons of any other Canson, Talens or Arches brand items to receive standard drop ship discounts. Ask your MacPherson’s sales representative how Amsterdam acrylics can make an impact on your sales.

Walter Foster News from Dan Weidner

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Get ready for your back-to-school customers with these must-have books that can help take any artist’s painting skills to the next level.

Utilizing the Color Mixing Recipe books from Walter Foster you can help your shoppers take the mystery out of mixing color. The Color Mixing Recipe Series began with a system developed by William F. Powell, one of Walter Foster’s more prolific authors and a renowned master of color. The system he devised includes a printed acetate color mixing grid to measure specific amounts of each color in a recipe. These recipes expand the color possibilities from a more limited basic palette to create hundreds of colors.

Color Mixing Recipes for Oil and Acrylic (FOCRC-2) has more than 450 color combinations and the proper mixing quantities to create each color. In addition to the color recipes, there is an explanation on the basics of color theory, portrait colors, hue, values and color intensity. Artists love the range of colors they can mix utilizing the recipes this book. The Color Mixing Recipes for Portraits (FOCRC-3) provides the recipes for over 500 color combinations for skin, eyes, lips and hair. This reference takes away the mystery of the difficult color mixing variations encountered when painting portraits. The most recent addition to the series is Color Mixing Recipes for Watercolor (FOCRC4). This book is divided into sections covering color theory, color recipes, value recipes, intensity recipes, portrait colors and a color guidance index. It is a fantastic reference for any watercolor artist to get the most out of a basic assortment of tube colors.

Elmer’s and Bienfang BTS News from Mike Mankowsky

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

A variety of new products and programs were well received by the attending retailers at the very successful NAMTA show, and MacPherson’s will be featuring the following new products in the July/August SMIAB:

  • Elmer’s Clear Glue – It dries clear, is flexible when dry, is ideal for children, and is washable, safe and not-toxic. 78% of moms indicate that they will purchase this product. Available in a 5 oz. size.
  • Elmer’s Glue-All Dual-Tip Glue Pen – Designed with 2 applicators; a fine point-tip for precise application and a broad-tip spreader for bigger jobs.
  • Elmer’s School Glue Dual-Tip Glue Pen – Same great features as the Glue-All Dual-Tip, but in a washable formula. All Elmer’s school glues now feature the unique no-run formula.
  • Conté Crayon Matchbox Display – Unique sliding matchbox design package contains an assortment of black, white, bistre and sanguine Conté Crayons in a sponge insert. They all offer a high pigment composition and unlimited possibilities of use: sketches, portraits, landscapes and still life. The 24-piece counter display features 4-crayon boxes with a list price of $4.02 – the same price as the 2 crayon card. A great value!

During the BTS season, remember to take advantage of the recently introduced Guideline foamboard from Elmer’s. Available in traditional white and black-on-black, these 20″ x 30″ foamboards feature faint gridlines printed on one side. The white version comes in a 2-sheet shrink-wrapped pack that contains a color slip-sheet. The black-on-black is available in a 10-sheet carton (single sheets, no shrink wrap). Also available is the 36″ x 48″ Project Display Board version in white.

The BTS promotion is now hitting the streets, with outstanding values on X-Acto, Conté, Bienfang and Elmer’s. In particular, you can maximize your profitability and turns by taking advantage of the BTS drop ship program, which provides extended discounts and free freight on drop shipments of Bienfang pads totaling just $1,500 list. Any of our other products can then be added with additional discounts and free freight. Use the newly updated 2′ and 4′ planograms for adhesives, X-Acto products, and Elmer’s kid’s products as a checklist to isolate key SKUs you might be missing and as a guide to most effectively organize and merchandise these items.

Ask your MacPherson’s sales representative for details and information on any of the above-mentioned new products or programs.

Logan’s New FoamWerks is a Hit at NAMTA

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Logan Graphics introduced FoamWerks foamboard modeling tools and accessories at NAMTA this year. Designed for artists, framers, architects, photographers, 3-D model makers, crafters and sign makers, FoamWerks tools cut foamboard easily and precisely. The complete range – 21 new SKUs with seven tools, eight replacement blade packs, five accessories plus Foamboard Magic, a 72-page full color project book – allows users to cut circles, straight lines, beveled edges, V-grooves, freestyle designs and more. FoamWerks products will be available from MacPherson’s warehouses mid- to late-June 2008.

Hot Deals from MacPherson’s

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

MacPherson’s purchasing and creative services teams produce and send out a Hot Deals drop ship promos e-mail to customers who have “opted in” to our marketing e-mail list. Below is summary of the latest copy. The actual e-mail is a pictorial “teaser” that has hot links through to the complete details located on our web site.

  • Grumbacher Finest Artists’ Watercolors Assortment Display
  • Jacquard Pearl-Ex .1 oz. Jars Assortment Displays
  • Kolo Small Book Spinner Assortment Display
  • Liquitex Professional Acrylic Ink Assortment Displays
  • Pentel Hyper-G Retractable Liquid Gel Pen Assortment Display
  • Polyform Studio by Sculpey Planogram Assortment
  • Rembrandt/Talens Amsterdam Acrylic Standard Series Assortment Displays
  • Winsor & Newton 40-Color 200ml Artists’ Oil Color Assortment Display
  • Canson FanBoy Entry Level Manga Assortment
  • Golden’s Digital Mixed Media Bundles

Not receiving Hot Deals in your e-mail inbox? Click here to sign up!

Industry News

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Our best wishes to Bob Brown, former head of Daler-Rowney USA, who has been battling cancer.

ColArt, producer and marketer of the Winsor & Newton and Liquitex brands, has announced a USA Minimum Advertised Pricing (MAP) program. The program encompasses ColArt’s premium brands and will be phased in over the next 9 months. For complete details on this and all other MAP programs that we are aware of, visit the Dealer Zone at

Michaels Executive VP and Managing Director Harvey Kanter has resigned effective May 25 to pursue a top leadership role at another company. Until his replacement is named, the merchandising organization will report to CEO Brian Cornell.

Mike Parker, Senior Buyer for art supplies at Michaels, will be leaving the company soon for personal reasons.

Aaron Bros. Sr. Vice President of Merchandising, Ken Norton, has left the company effective May 11th and until a replacement is found the merchandising team will report to president Tom Bazzone.

Chartpak has acquired the art and engineering vellum paper business segment of Permalite, Inc. to be branded under Clearprint.

Polyform has named Wendy Carney as its Director of Sales. She was recently the Director of National Accounts for Wilton.

Julianne Eastman, sales rep for A&A Associates, is recently engaged to Michael Miller. Congratulations, Julianne!

Loew-Cornell will be closing its Englewood Cliffs, NJ office June 27, 2008. The corporate parent, Jarden, is moving the operation to Cincinnati, OH and merging it with its playing card division.

Michael Cornell, Loew-Cornell’s group president, has left the company.

Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services raised Jo-Ann’s corporate credit rating to B from B- and senior subordinated notes to CCC+ from CCC, citing improved cash flows in the past six quarters through better merchandise and inventory management, more efficient marketing and other cost controls. S & P said the outlook is positive.

Jennifer Lubelsky has recently left her position as Buyer at Barnes & Noble College Stores.

Mike Hartnett, in his online newsletter Creative Leisure News, reports that Herr’s is closed; the remaining inventory reportedly has been trucked to a retail location in Green Bay, WI for liquidation. The company, founded by industry pioneers Doug and Grace Herr, was at one time one of the leading distributors in the industry.

Congratulations to Speedball who won the “Best Product Award” at NAMTA 2008 for its Screen Printing Instructional DVD.

Our sincere sympathy to the Steinberg family, owners of Lee’s Art Shop in NYC, on the recent passing of patriarch Gil Steinberg.

Tonya Hill, sales manager at Speedall, left the company shortly after NAMTA.