AMPERAGE Marketing & Fundraising

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11 Hours A Day

We spend nearly 11 hours a day with electronic media. I didn’t read this in a newspaper or a book, I read it online on an internet-connected PC. Now consider we are only awake for about 17 hours a day, that’s a huge percentage of time staring at a screen.

time spent with medium

Statista says that some of this is multitasking time otherwise, “we wouldn’t get a whole lot done these days.”  But it does make me think about two important things:

  1. How our communications needs to be specifically designed for the illuminated computer screen in a variety of sizes, and
  2. How a well designed print piece on high quality paper really stands out in the sea of digital sameness

I do find that I miss the tactile experiences of reading on paper. Reading from a screen for long periods of time are a strain on my eyes and are not satisfying.  There are hundreds of studies on comprehension, but little consistency in the results.  We do know however, people are skimmers and not readers these days–that’s either caused by our busy lives or a result of reading from a screen

The largest screen we view is a digital billboard. Here you can really see the difference in a well-designed digital billboard and a design that would have worked better on a printed poster board. You also quickly notice that there should be different designs parameters for daylight digital displays than nighttime digital billboard designs.  There probably should be different daylight designs as well depending on sun angles and time of day.

We spend a lot of time looking at screens. It’s time for our designs to acclimate to the new medium. It’s not a white piece of paper.

Written by:

Mark wrote his first direct-mail fundraising letter in 1981 for the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. The effort raised a few million dollars in undiscovered wills and legacy gifts. From that day forward Mark discovered a love of the big idea that moves the needle. After 12 years at KWWL, Mark became a business owner as a co-founder of ME&V — rebranded as AMPERAGE in 2015. After 25 years of leading creative teams in video production, graphic design, PR, writing and web development, Mark transitioned out of ownership in 2021. Today he serves in an employee role as special projects consultant. He is creatively ambidextrous — son of an artist and engineer — and famous for distilling complex ideas down to a few words and a few visuals. Mark is a writer. When he found that many nonprofits struggled with complex branding puzzles, he wrote the book, “NonProfit-NonMarketing .” He also wrote a novel called “Reenactment.” Mark is an active blogger OneMinuteMarketer® with nearly 1,000 readers each week on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter. One of his most popular YouTube videos is on “How to Look Good on Zoom.” One of Mark’s fondest business memories was being named to INC 500 two times and attending the INC 500 conference with other winners. Mark is considered by some a Civil War expert (and that explains his novel). Mark also served as an adjunct professor in the business and in the communications departments at Wartburg College. Mark is a graduate of the University of Iowa and is currently vice president of the University of Iowa Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board. Mark is married to state Sen. Liz Mathis, and the two love to travel, even when it means being trapped by a volcano in the Czech Republic for three weeks.