Archive for September, 2008

Okido: Hot, New Line for the Holiday Season & Beyond

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Introducing Okido – A delightful and affordable new art and stationery line with a vibrant personality! Fun, Function, and Fashion come together in this broad assortment of colorful products that include colored pencils, pens, crayons, erasers, paper pads, and stationery sets, which are sure to appeal to teens and tweens alike. The visual impact is optimized through clear packaging that not only completely shows off all the product inside, but is also reusable to minimize waste and maximize function. All you see is color and product!

Just in time for holiday is the Okido end-cap assortment! Not only great for back to school and impulse items, Okido products make for fantastic gifts and stocking stuffers, at down-to-earth price points all under $10. This end-cap assortment gives you the perfect selection of items in a rainbow of juicy colors, that are sure to inspire customers to mix and match their favorite ones. Available to ship early October. For more details, ask your MacPherson’s rep.

Strathmore Holiday News from Don Bradley

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Strathmore Artist Papers
Retailers:  there’s still time to enroll!

Strathmore Artist Papers™
is hosting a global artist trading card swap this holiday season. Join in the excitement, promote this innovative consumer promotion and receive great retailer benefits.

Join by October 15 and receive the following:
•    Promotional swap material including display header card with entry forms, poster with entry forms and 50 postcards for handouts or store mailings
•    Chance to win $2,000 Retail Value of Strathmore® products*
•    Increased traffic and sales as consumers purchase supplies for the swap!

*Winner will be randomly selected from all retailers who enroll in the promotion by October 15, 2008. Winner will be notified by November 26, 2008.

How the Swap Works:
Every participant is a winner and receives an original artist trading card!
•    Consumers create their own holiday or winter-themed ATC
•    Participants mail ATC and entry material to Strathmore Artist Papers Swap Headquarters (postmarked by November 26, 2008)
•    Entrants receive another artist’s original work from somewhere around the world! (postmarked by December 15, 2008)

Retailers, enroll today in the Great Holiday Swap by registering at: Artist Trading Card Enrollment

Destined to be the largest artist trading card swap ever!

Are You Making the Most of Manga? Letraset Can Help!

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

The market for Manga books and merchandise has seen continuous year on year growth, bringing commercial opportunity on a surprisingly broad scale. Outside of Japan, some of the world’s largest Manga and comic markets are in Europe, with North America also accounting for a sizeable section.

Manga is a Japanese art form, originating in graphic novels (comic books) and now, increasingly, a part of mainstream popular culture.
Manga fans will consume just about anything Manga-themed, and related art supplies are very much in demand. Regardless of artistic ability, end users are keen to recreate their favorite character artwork or even produce their own amateur comics – and as a result, Letraset’s Manga Art products have been a huge hit, with unexpectedly high sales levels across the range.

Many strong indicators tell us the customer base is definitely out there – a recent Comic Convention attracted over 120,000 visitors in a single weekend! And with a current marked shortfall in high street availability of Manga art supplies, proactive retailers have begun tapping into this alternative revenue.

For more on Letraset Manga Art products, contact your MacPherson’s representative today.

Mike Mankowsky’s September Elmer’s “Krazy” News

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

We’re pleased to announce the launch of “Commercials Gone Krazy,” a nationwide video contest in which participants can create and submit their own Instant Krazy Glue® commercials online.  Be sure to tell all your friends and colleagues!

Each contestant can submit one video and it must address the theme “Commercials Gone Krazy.” Entries must be one minute or less and in miniDV, BETA SP or MP4 format. It’s free to enter and those who wish to create their own “Commercials Gone Krazy” video can visit the contest Web site, Commercials, to sign up.

The Grand Prize winner gets a trip for two to Hawaii, which includes some crazy adventures like…snorkeling, a helicopter tour and even biking down a volcano! Additional winners will receive $250 Apple® Gift Cards and Krazy Glue T-shirts. Visit Commercials to learn more and to sign up for the Director’s toolbox. Participants sign up to receive contest updates, reminders and exclusive video outtakes.

Also, we now have available a limited number of full color Conte posters for your in-store use. There are 2 versions, one highlighting the Conte Crayons and the other our Conte Sketching Pencils. They are 16” x 24” in size and have 2 grommet holes on the short side for easy hanging.  Please let your MacPherson’s sales representative know if you are interested in one or both of these posters, or you can contact me at, and I will have them sent to you at no charge. Also, please feel free to e-mail me at any time with ideas, questions, or concerns.  Your input is extremely valuable, and I would very much appreciate your comments and suggestions as to how we can better serve your product needs. ~Mike Mankowsky

Craig’s September 2008 ColArt “Holiday Gift Giving” News

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

As the busy Fall BTS season winds down, ColArt has launched a very exciting Holiday Gift promotion packed with a selection of new sets, as well as some old favorites, at great savings through MacPherson’s.

This year, you will note the abundance of sets with open-window packaging designed to allow consumers to see what is actually in the set. New Sets are available in all product ranges and price levels, including:

Winsor & Newton: All New Sets – 60% off!
New Art Sets featuring Cotman, Galeria and Winton
New Wood Box Sets w/open window design (Cotman, Galeria, Winton, Sketching)
New Box Easel Sets (Cotman, Galeria, Winton)
New Easel Painting Sets (Cotman, Galeria, Winton)

New BASICS Complete Studio Wood Box Set – 60% off!
New Ultimate Painters Box Set – 57.5% off!
New Heavy Body Complete Easel Set – 60% off!

New Inktense Deluxe Wood Box Set- 55% off!
Reeves/Color & Co: All at 60% off!
New Reeves Complete Sketching Set
New Reeves PBN Artist’s Starter Sets
New Color & Co Young Artist Discovery Box
New Spoty Workstation Kit

In addition to these great new Gift Sets, MacPherson’s is offering:

Winsor & Newton Series 7 Limited Edition Brush Sets at 75% off! (while supplies last)
Liquitex Painting Knife Ring Sets at 65% off!
Derwent 24ct. Water Colour Tin Value Packs with Cotman Pad & Brush at 60% off!
W&N BRISTOL Easels at 65% off!
Contact your MacPherson’s sales rep for these and all the other ColArt holiday savings!

Industry News

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Creative Catalog Concepts is pleased to announce that industry veteran and retail superstar Mark Sorak has joined the company as Director of Merchandising for the Art Materials division. In this role, Mark will be responsible for coordinating with manufacturers, retailers and MacPherson’s to produce retail marketing pieces that include the 2009 Sourcebook, seasonal sale flyers, promotional calendars and on-line stores.

Clairefontaine, maker of the best selling Rhodia Pads is feeling the profit margin squeeze:  Office Products International(OPI) Magazine reports that France-based paper stationery manufacturer Exacompta Clairefontaine has seen first quarter pre-tax profit drop by over 50%.

Congratulations to Cindy and Craig Lemley of Dakota Art in Mt Vernon, WA. who were married on Sept. 6th at the Smith/Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA.

Our heart goes out to Larry and Susan from Arizona Art whose Phoenix, AZ store/office was severely damaged in a freak storm that occurred in the first week of September. The office and warehouse side of the building collapsed in hurricane force winds. Repairs are expected to take several weeks.

Michaels, whose annual sales are topping $3.3 billion, opens its 1,000th store on Sunday, September 14 in San Antonio, TX. Michaels has unveiled a new logo and tagline (“Where Creativity Happens”) in conjunction with the 1,000th store.

Pearl Arts & Crafts has closed two stores this year (Huntington Beach, CA and Altamonte Springs, FL) and has recently opened a new store in Selden, NY. Selden is a community 45 miles east of NYC on Long Island.

After 61 years in business, Zim’s, the craft industry icon is closing. The two stores in Utah will shut their doors on Nov. 1. The company was founded by Eleanor Zimmerman and her late husband, Cliff.

Purchasing Notes

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Our buyers love to keep our sales force informed of the latest twists and turns in product and supplier information. Here is a peak at the latest entry:

By popular demand, we have added the “T-Pin” from Moore; this item is listed on the Moore sell sheet from the last SMIAB. Click on the small image to the right for a copy of the sell sheet (2008 New Item Insert). The item number is MP72T-PIN-20, and the sell sheet shows the retail pricing. Product will be available in all 3 MacPherson’s DCs in the next two weeks, ans samples will be included in the next SMIAB shipment.

The Invisible Canvas/ Art Connector Kit (MP484) will be available in all DC’s in the next two weeks. This item was in the last SMIAB mailing.

A tip from the Color Wheel company:  stores that display the book “Color is Everything” right next to the Color Wheel have experienced sales not only of the book, but have also had sales of the Color Wheel increase.

Just a reminder that the Amsterdam Acrylic 250ml jars are now the Amsterdam 250ml tubes, with new item numbers and UPCs. If you have an assortment with the jars, ask your Canson or MacPherson’s contact for new bar codes labels and a conversion chart of the item numbers.

Yasutomo has discontinued the Hake Brushes MacPherson’s stocks (YOBT715—YOBT718). The brushes will be replaced with a new series that will be available in mid-October. When the new line is available we will alert our sales force, and they in turn will alert you!

We have just learned that the rack for the Da Vinci Fluid Acrylic 1 oz. bottles has changed; the new size is 36”h x 21”w x 10”d. Please see the note below from Da Vinci Paints:
“We felt the point-of-purchase for the 1 oz. bottles (which we anticipate will be best-sellers) should also be different than that already found in the market. This is why during the display design process we decided to make unique changes by hanging the bottles from the neck (like a tube) rather than standing them in rows, as is standard with bottles. This change is what forced the display width to be widened beyond that of the original design. Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause but feel the benefits of the unique presentation will add to everyone’s success with the product. All future orders will be shipped promptly since the displays are now in stock.”

The Klutz books in the most recent SMIAB have been delayed by the manufacturer. We should have inventory in all 3 DCs by the end of September or beginning of October.

Dixon has let us know about a backorder with the 2.2 lb. packages of Das Pronto clay (DT00316 White and DT00317 Terra-Cotta). Dixon expects to have stock the first week of October, and weÆll have our shortly after that.

Hot Off the Presses! GOLDEN Just Paint #19 Newsletter Focuses on OPEN Acrylics

Monday, September 15th, 2008

The latest 12-page issue of the GOLDEN Just Paint Newsletter, which focuses on the new OPEN Acrylics product line, will begin hitting mailboxes on September 15, so be on the look out for it!  The newsletter will include a Consumer Sample Kit of OPEN Acrylics, and will be sent to over 21,000 artists, art educators, retailers and distributors worldwide.

We’ve learned that the best way to describe OPEN is to hear from the artists who have been experimenting, discovering and participating in the line’s development throughout the process. In this issue Mark Golden asks four artists with very different working styles to share, from their perspective, the opportunities and challenges in working with OPEN. Golden Artist Colors Technical Director, Jim Hayes, has also written an article for this issue, explaining the progression and development of OPEN Acrylics.

You can access the online version of the newsletter by going to:
Just Paint Online

To gain an even more comprehensive understanding of this new line’s innovative qualities, go to the Technical Information Sheet links below. Here, your staff has access to in-depth answers to early questions being asked by artists regarding such topics as layering, blending and also varnishing.

OPEN Acrylic Colors Product Info Sheet
OPEN Acrylic Mediums Product Info Sheet

OPEN Thinner Product Info Sheet

Open Application Guide

If you’re interested in receiving copies of the Just Paint #19 newsletter, please contact your MacPherson’s Sales Representative for more details.

Hot Deals from Royal & Langnickel

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Royal & Langnickel is offering the “Deal of a Lifetime” on 7 new brush lines. Each line features double crimped brass ferrules and our exclusive Silk Touch handle. Buy two assortments and get one assortment of equal or lesser value free. Receive a 50+50% discount, plus free racks and free freight. These are your choices:

Aurea, which means beautiful, is a blend of natural bristles with a special multi-diameter synthetic hair.
Bordeaux is Royal’s smoothest red synthetic filaments ideal for the heaviest acrylics.
Imia features the finest quality interlocking boar bristle hair.
Longhandle Majestic has been designed with the same exacting standards as Royal’s existing Majestic line with multi-diameter taklon hair.
Mini Majestic are perfectly sized for precise detail painting encompassing the largest variety of miniature brushes on the market.
Sofia has the ultimate blend of 50% Kolinsky sable and 50% of the finest taklon hair. With unrivaled color holding capacity and durable sharp edges and points.
Vienna is a unique blend of the best quality synthetic hairs with exceptional durability of a taklon brush with the stiffness of a bristle

This is a limited time offer so take advantage of these new exciting lines of brushes! Don’t wait. Contact your MacPherson’s representative today.

Video of the Month – Remembering Fallen Heroes

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Susan Kocsis submitted this video report on a saint of an artist doing her part to honor some of America’s heroes.

Art Dawg of the Month – Shelby!

Monday, September 15th, 2008

We have had many entries (3) for the Art Dawg of the month contest and we are pleased to present the first winner, Shelby (she’s a girl!). Shelby is the store manager at the Art Rooms in Maryland. She also recently celebrated a birthday. Join me in congratulating her and please send in your photo entries for the coveted “Art Dawg of the Month” contest. And for the runners up, don’t get discouraged, you just may be the winner next month!

Here is Shelby’s acceptance speech:

Oh, my tail is wagging at the honor!  My name is Shelby and I am a good old american mutt. I manage my human’s store “The Art Rooms”.

My mommy buys lots of stuff from a MacPherson’s. Paul Mulcahy comes to visit us often and I love to jump on him to say hello. Even if my people call me “No jump Shelby”.

Anyway, I was locked up at a place called Cecil County Humane Society in Chesapeake City, Maryland when I was born because they said I was a mixed between a Shelty and a Beagle and the humans where I was born said that I was not good enough nor of good breed! My mommy and daddy adopted me on January I was 4 months old.

I come to work at The Art Rooms everyday and I work very hard. My job is to greet people at the store. Sometimes the artists people come and play with me (we run all over the store and they even bring me treats!)  My first birthday is September 7th and The Art Rooms (the store) is celebrating it with a big Art Alternative Canvas Sale plus other stuff too!  I will be getting my own doggy cake and gifts. I sure hope I can have my picture in your Art Dog Magazine!

Thanks an awful lot, big licks, high fives for you and the staff!

Industry News

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Michigan/Ohio SLS rep Joe Thumann has left the the art supply business.

Commercial Art Supply has hired George Ross as their new Director of Retail Operations. He was formerly retail manager of Charette.

According to NAMTA, John Mark Eastman and his wife Erica recently welcomed baby #2, Carter Lewis Eastman. Erica delivered on 8/1/08 (same birthday as grandpa Ken Eastman). Carter was born 7.9 lbs and 20” long and everyone is healthy.

Starnes Art Company in High Point, NC is closing down. Owner Jordon Reece has decided to pursue another career opportunity.

Forbes Magazine reports that shares of Jo-Ann Stores Inc. soared Thursday August 29th, one day after the sewing and craft company reported a narrower loss in the second quarter, and raised its fiscal 2009 outlook above Wall Street expectations. The stock advanced $2.27, or 10 percent, to $24.94, trading on heavy volume. The stock is approaching its 52-week high of $26.50. It has traded as low as $9.03 in the same time frame.

Big Idea – Aerosol Art Brings a Community Together

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Recently, MacPherson’s collaborated with an Oakland-based local arts & entertainment paper called the East Bay Express in an effort to promote understanding and appreciation of aerosol art as a valid and upcoming art form.

The East Bay Express first held a newspaper box painting event. An invitation was extended to 40 local artists to come out to the Oakland Museum on a Sunday in June, and paint a newspaper box using Montana Gold spray paint. Seasoned users and artists new to painting by spray can shared the full spectrum of 91 colors to create their own unique works of art. The newspaper boxes turned out amazing, and they’ll be placed at highly trafficked areas in the local community for all to enjoy, becoming eye-catching functional works of public art.

Before placing the finished boxes out in the community, they were exhibited at the Oakland Museum in July during the East Bay Express “Best of the Bay” party. This was a nighttime event that was free to the public and featured live music, dancing, art vendors, food & beverage vendors, a skateboard demo area, as well as community groups. In addition, 4 local aerosol artists did a live mural painting on Art Alternatives canvas. There was also a Montana/ Art Alternatives booth, where people could come and get their name done graffiti style with Montana Hardcore markers on a 12”x12” Art Alternatives canvas free of charge by a local artist. People of all ages lined up for over an hour just to get their own personal piece of art to take home!

The party was attended by a few thousand people, who enjoyed themselves by eating, drinking, and dancing the night away surrounded by incredible works of aerosol art!

Montana Cans Flagship Store Tour

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Take a tour of the Montana Cans flagship store! Founded by Ruediger Glatz and Tim Latif in 1996, Montana’s humble beginning started in Heidelberg, Germany. With Montana Cans’ growth into the premier artists’ spray paint brand across the globe, the Montana flagship store has finally been opened in Glatz’s rustic hometown, which is also the location of the Montana Cans head office. See what Montana Cans is all about first hand in this short video clip, with a few words from CEO Ruediger Glatz himself.

Holiday Advertising as Easy as 1-2-3

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Want to make the most of the upcoming holiday season? Who doesn’t? MacPherson’s and Creative Catalog Concepts (CCC) have teamed up to provide three eye-popping flyer options designed to drive current and new customers into your store to shop. Here are just some of the details:

• Two 8-page and one 4-page versions to choose from
• Free imprinting of your store info on the front & back of the flyers
• Get $50 off your invoice when you use an optional Strathmore module in your artwork
• The 8-3/8″ x 10-7/8″ size is ideal for newspaper insertion, and can be folded in half to get the best mailing rates
• Super easy to order! Take care of your holiday advertising in just minutes, then turn your focus right back to your BTS business
• Deadline to order has been extended to September 5th

You can see full versions of the 3 flyer options using these links:

Holiday Flyer Version 1
Holiday Flyer Version 2
Holiday Flyer Version 3

You’ll find the ordering information here:
Holiday Flyer Ordering Instructions

Have questions? The friendly folks at CCC can answer any question, help you plan your distribution, offer mailing advice and more. Call 800/260-1353 and ask for Cindy, or e-mail

TRIA Quality Control

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

To the consumer, most manufactured products are just practical, everyday items for general use and consumption. But all manufacturers know that behind this perception lies an attention to detail that must be sustained millions of times a year.

In this respect, TRIA markers are no different. On the surface just a marker, but underneath lies considerable technology with tolerances sensitive to 1000th of a millimeter.

Quality starts with the suppliers of Letraset’s raw materials.

Letraset encourages its suppliers to use the same procedures as theirs. These follow military standard 105E, equivalent to civilian counterparts ANSI/ASQC Z 1.4, ISO 2859 and BS6001 (some countries have their own national comparable systems).

On arrival, components and finished pens go through more than 50 tests to maintain consistent quality levels. Most important is that the parts meet the very strict dimensional tolerances required. This is achieved by sampling component batches and routinely checking with ‘go/no-go’ gauges.

Each part has its own engineered gauge and individual cavity checks are routinely examined.

Certain components such as nibs and ink transorbs require additional measurements carried out on specialized equipment. Nibs are routinely checked on a piece of equipment called a ‘Shadowgraph’ which allows tiny imperfections to be identified and measured.

Ink transorbs are surface printed and require high external sleeve opacity to avoid visual contamination from the ink inside (this often has a higher contrast value). Letraset uses a ‘Macbeth’ opacity test monitor to complete this task.

Letraset’s markers are well known for the quality of their nibs. To evaluate lifespan and wear, pens are routinely checked by completing a full ‘write-out’ test which exhausts the pen and puts the nibs under constant strain and stress.

Letraset has devised a range of its own tests to check very specific requirements for the TRIA marker. Most important of these is a seal test, a simple test whereby the assembled marker is put under pressure in a beaker of water to check for leaks.

Some parts are also checked for structural integrity by putting them under a strain test.

Only once components are approved are they fed onto the production machine and have their batch reference numbers related back to the production run. During production, pens are examined at random to check fit and cosmetic appearance. At the end of the production run all pens are check weighed.

Once manufactured, operators routinely carry out checks for integrity and appearance at each stage where the pen is handled.
Pens are taken from every batch and returned to the laboratory to be check weighed, prior to being put into ovens for accelerated aging. Other pens are kept as retained samples.
Full functionality tests are then carried out by Marketing to ensure the product meets end-user requirements.

Ron Nelson 12/23/1960 – 8/12/2008

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Forgive us for taking so long to write this; we are as shocked as you after learning of Ron’s passing a few weeks back. It’s been a tough thing to accept and we are still trying to get our minds around it. Ron Nelson was an amazing guy to work with, so smart, so caring. He came to work at MacPherson’s nearly 29 years ago on the great recommendation of his mom, Darlene, who was Frank’s secretary at the time. Ron started his career at MacPherson’s sweeping the warehouse floor and quickly showed his uncanny ability to remember products and item numbers. This lead him into our customer service department where Ron quickly mastered the arcane world of art materials, and more importantly, learned the names, voices and habits of the many customers who called. Ron never took helping our customers lightly. Each of you who spoke to him were special to him. What a big heart Ron had! He was loved by his MacPherson’s work mates, present and past, and known to our customers as a kind soul and a great listener with a photographic memory. The art materials community won’t forget you, Ron, you will be missed by so many.

If you’d like to sign Ron’s guest book on the San Francisco Chronicle’s web site you will find it here.

Art Dawg of the Month

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Blurry Cell phone photo of an Art DogThere are real Art Dogs out there, we can feel it. The Art Dog Blog is just a figurative dog, defined as someone or entity that has been involved in this art business for a very long time. Sometimes length of service equates with good things like experience, expertise and yes, occasionally, wisdom. You’ll have to be the judge in that contest! A different standard applies for real Art Dogs who are more appreciated for wagging their tails, slobbering constantly and generally acting as humankind’s best friend. We would like to honor these superior beings with a contest of sorts. No prizes, just glory.

Here’s what you do… If you know a great Art Dog, e-mail a photo to Frank ( There are no set requirements. He or she does not need to have any connection with the industry. Tell us their story too. We will just pick the picture we like best. It’s that simple!