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In Living Color

Nicole C. Crews

Executive Editor Nicole Crews embraces Tangerine Tango - Pantone's 2012 Color of the Year.

MANY EDITORS, LIKE ME, ORIGINATED AS CREATURES OF THE black and white page - writers and word nerds who liked to let the reader's imagination do the illustrating. That was all well and good for the pre-Information Age. But in today's digital world of multimedia information sources where online, print and video merge, attention span is truncated and competition clamors for face time - we've had to get creative. And when I say creative, I mean visual.
     Illustrative and color-driven, the modern magazine editor breaks out of the four-wall prison of the type-written page with great images, informative graphics, an accompanying website and social media sites that feature video elements and infinite possibilities.
     The casual industry could easily be compared to old-school media.
     What was once considered the way to design outdoor furniture, manufacture it, market it and sell it has changed dramatically over the years, and the suppliers and retailers who have embraced those changes are the ones that are still in business. Outdoor furniture has evolved from a few cast-iron benches and weather-resistant wood deck chairs to fully upholstered sofas and all-weather wicker deep seating. Casual fabrics have gone from stiff solids and stripes to sophisticated prints and even outdoor leather, velvet and felts with all of the trimmings. Many factories have made their way overseas and others have embraced sustainability. Suppliers and retailers have had to become educators in an effort to communicate the science behind outdoor fabrics, finishes, cushioning and care. Multi-tiered advertising has become de rigueur. Trade shows have grown from their minimalist infancy into design and entertainment extravaganzas. Online and catalog sales and full-scale furniture stores have made their presence known amongst casual retailers. And as casual grows - even more changes are in store.
     It's like Steve Jobs said, "The overall point is that new technology will not necessarily replace old technology, but it will date it. By definition. Eventually, it will replace it. But it's like people who had black-and-white TVs when color came out. They eventually decided whether or not the new technology was worth the investment."
     Color me casual, but isn't that reason enough to join us in February for our inaugural Casual Living Conference?

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