It’s no secret than in the last decade, nerd culture has undergone a revolution from scorned and ridiculed to a multimedia powerhouse. The force that drives Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters and televisions most successful–both critically and financially–programming. Not only are all the movies and shows made for and by nerds but now we have a ton of content about them. But back in 2007 (doesn’t sound like a long time ago, does it?) we really didn’t have anything that cast nerds as the leading men and women. At least, not until September 24th–the date that Chuck Lorre’s new (at the time) sitcom, “The Big Bang Theory” premiered. Then we were all treated to watch the social dynamic of a group of geeky scientists change as a pretty, popular girl was thrust into their midst.
If you’re not familiar with the show, it breaks down like this: Leonard Hofstadter and Sheldon Cooper are two socially awkward physicists (as well as roommates) working at Caltech in Pasadena along with their friends Howard and Raj (an aerospace engineer and astrophysicist, respectively). They are all living their normal, nerdy lives when a pretty waitress/aspiring actress named Penny moves across the hall and Leonard falls for her. Hard. This disrupts their social norm (which is of particular concern to the obsessive-compulsive Sheldon) and hilarity ensues. In the first season a lot of the jokes and comedic through-line were based around the gulf between Penny’s world and the boys’. Her not understanding their references–them not understanding her social confidence and competence. This sort of became secondary, however, as time moved on and the characters developed and grew. The focus shifted to the relationships more than the gimmick and in it’s fourth season it became the highest rated comedy on TV.
Along with this popularity came merchandising. T-shirts emblazoned with Sheldon’s catchphrase, “Bazinga!”, began popping up all over the place, as well as posters. Which brings us to the Big Bang Posters that we carry at Posterservice.com. There are six Big Bang theory posters to choose from with different cast photos and art that you can frame and hang in your nerdtastic home theater where you watch the show in it’s constant syndicated reruns.
And of course, you wouldn’t want to have your new Big Bang Theory posters hanging naked on the wall–Sheldon Cooper would never allow that–so you’ll want to pick up poster frames for your posters. At Frameusa.com we have a wide selection of poster frames to choose from. Our Budget Saver frames in black are always an excellent choice to frame your tv and movie posters.
So get your Star Trek shirts on, heat up a warm beverage or some Thai food, hang your newly framed Big Bang Theory posters and kick back to enjoy some nerdy goodness for a few hours. It will do you good. If nothing else, you’ll learn some science factoids.
“Space–the final frontier…these are the voyages of the Starship–Enterprise…” This is the most iconic lines from all of television history. It is part of the introduction that preceded each episode of a little science-fiction program that debuted this week in 1966. That program, about a group of intrepid explorers hurtling through the furthest reaches of our galaxy on a scientific mission of discovery, would go on to spawn a media giant; a pop culture phenomenon that included songs, halloween costumes, parodies, fiction, fan fiction, a cartoon spinoff, FOUR spinoff series (that all debuted twenty years after the original was cancelled) and 12 movies (with more yet to come). I don’t think it needs said but just in case–I am, of course, talking about Star Trek.
A million blogs’ worth of content could be written about Star Trek and has been, so I’ll stick to the basics of the original series. In the 23rd century, Earth has managed to find peace and prosperity here at home and has made contact with several different extra-terrestrial life forms. Humankind has conquered interstellar travel and we now have a space fleet to protect us and are part of an intergalactic Federation of Planets. A science vessel, The Enterprise, is sent out to the very limits of space, “the final frontier”, to see what it can find and what civilizations it can make contact with and learn about. To, “boldly go where no man has gone before.” It framed a hopeful message: that, instead of a ruined oppressive dystopia, our society would flourish and racism and war would be put aside and we’d come together as a species to further our intellect and better the universe around us. It was made up of, what was in the 60’s, an ethnically diverse cast and promoted tolerance. It was colorful and the stories were compelling.
It was also just good sci-fi fun. Colorful costuming, exotic sets, great monsters, cool spaceships, a little bit of sex appeal (Uhuru’s mini-skirts and those green alien women Kirk was so fond of) made it something fresh amongst the courtroom dramas and westerns that dominated the airwaves. Also, William Shatner’s Captain James T. Kirk and (the late) Leonard Nimoy’s commander Spock had one of televisions all time most enjoyable bro-mances, Kirk being a brash, emotional man of action (and of the ladies) with Spock counterpointing as the Vulcan science officer whose species valued logic and subdued all emotion. They were like the Odd Couple in space and it was hilarious, touching and adorable.
The original series only lasted 3 seasons (a total 79 episodes) having its time-slot moved around by NBC, but the cultural impact secured an ongoing legacy for Gene Roddenberry’s optimistic vision of our future. It reached new heights of popularity in syndicated reruns, reaching a second audience of youngsters who hadn’t been around for its first run and in 1978 (probably boosted by the success of “Star Wars” the year before) “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” debuted as the first in a series of films that is still going strong. We won’t get into the good vs. bad films debate or the transition from Original cast to Next Gen cast to the J. J. Abrams reboot–we’ll just say that there’ve been a lot of popular, quality films in the series.
Star Trek has also generated a HUGE fandom and memorabilia is much sought after. If you’re a collector you want to take good care of those really valuable pieces. How should you store and display your mint condition Mr. Spock action figure (complete with phaser and tri-corder)? At Frame USA we have a number of shadow box frames that would be perfect for your collectibles. Our
Shadow Box Elite has just under an inch of useable depth and would fit an action figure perfectly with plenty of space to mount the accessories separately (unless you want to have Spock holding them, in which case there’s room for that too). Or maybe you need a large shadow box for the carefully laid out diorama you’ve created of a space battle between the Enterprise and a Klingon Bird of Prey. Our Shadow Box Showcase comes in sizes up to 24×36 or even 30×40 and has 2 1/8″ worth of useable depth.
It’s a beautiful wood shadow box that is available in 4 finishes (black, white, honey and cherry) to give your Starship battle maximum gravity (haha, see what I did there? Gravity…space…ok).
Even if your Star Trek stuff only consists of autographed photos you’ve taken with the cast–your treasured picture of yourself with Nimoy doing the Vulcan “live long and prosper” gesture–you want to keep those in nice picture frames that you can put on your wall. In keeping
with the modern feel of the series, our Black Narrow series is a sleek wood picture frame with a stylish bevel that would show off your framed photos in style.
If you don’t have any Star Trek goodies but are looking to start collecting, you could start with posters and poster frames. That’s an easy and affordable place to start. Posterservice has some fun Star Trek posters to choose
from. And once you have your posters picked out, you can bounce right back over to Frame USA to choose some posterframes to mount your new 24×36 posters in. Our Simply Poly poster frames in black or our Budget Saver poster frames would be ideal choices for framing your poster art.
So as you seek out new life, and new civilizations this week, set your phasers to stun, turn off your communicators and kick back to enjoy some hopeful, high-adventure space travels. And whatever you do, don’t get tangled up in a swordfight with Commander Sulu–he is good at that.
Sometimes you want to reinvigorate the interior design of a room that’s maybe gone stale. Maybe you still like the color scheme and the furniture but it feels like it needs a little…something. Something to give it some new life. One trend that’s hot right now in decor is gallery walls or frame clusters. This is a method of grouping picture frames of varying sizes and profiles, though similar in style, on a wall or in an area to give that spot a theme. The idea for your frame cluster can be broad or specific. You can use framed posters, art or photos to create a sort of mini-environment; a photo wall that feels like a special part of the room. Using frames this way helps to give the room a bit of purpose and personality.
Maybe you don’t have a spare room to set up as a home office, so you’ve pushed a small desk into a corner of your bedroom or dining room from which to do some work. It just feels a little out of place and intrusive just stuck in there like that because it’s so solitary. Use the two walls that form the corner you have it in and put together your Office Gallery Wall. At Frame USA we have a number of different wood picture frames that would be perfect for creating this effect. Three frames that would be ideal for this would be our
Making sure to choose different sizes and orientations (some portrait, some landscape) choose images that are calm and neutral. Maybe black and white photos of landscape and architecture. Illustrations and line art in muted colors are also good for creating an office feel, and of course, any business certificates you may have that you like to display. Then, working at about two thirds up the wall from the surface of your desk, begin arranging your cluster of picture frames. With sizes ranging from 5×7 to 11×17 (probably not much bigger than 16×20) you can put your biggest in the center and put your smaller frames along the outside. You can do the opposite approach and put your biggest frames on the outside and get smaller as you near the center. There are an infinite number of ways to arrange your picture frames. If your office is in the corner, use both walls that create the corner. This gives your spot the feel of a separate space, not just a haphazardly placed desk shoved into a room for necessity.
Using wall gallery picture frame clusters can create interest in different settings. In the kids’ room there might be a lot of posters and colorful, whimsical art. Our
Colori picture frames come in many fun, vibrant colors and putting a wall gallery above a child’s bed would give them a place all to themselves where they can daydream happily.
In the dining room, maybe you have a bare wall that could use a little something. A cluster of frames showing family photos in a rustic picture frame like our Appalachian Barnwood frames might be just
the thing to give it the warmth you’ve been looking for.
Picture frame clusters are a fun and easy way to turn any old room into a unique gallery that says something personal about how you like to enjoy that space. Create a photo wall that reflects what you want that room to say.
We all appreciate the impact “Star Wars” has had on pop culture. It can’t be overstated. Whle “Jaws” may have been the first major
“summer blockbuster” in 1975, “Star Wars” came along and nearly doubled it’s lifetime box office (and I’m just talking about the very first Star Wars movie, now referred to as “Episode 4” in the franchise canon). It’s soaked into our identity and vernacular. Everybody knows what a lightsaber is–even kids who’ve never even seen one of the movies. If you go up to someone and say, “Long ago….” there’s a good chance they’ll come back with, “…in a galaxy far, far away.” It both influences other media and infiltrates it. There were a ton of no-name knockoff space operas in the years that followed, trying to cash in on the Star Wars fever. Of course, without the talent and passion behind them they were easily forgotten. And Star Wars is routinely mentioned in music (Weird Al has at least two or three songs about Star Wars), been the central theme of TV shows (remember when Leonard and Sheldon broke into Skywalker Ranch on “The Big Bang Theory”?)…it’s one of the most ubiquitous films of all tme. Maybe THE most.
The original theatrical run of Episode 4 was just not enough for people. VCR’s and movie rentals were still a few years ahead of the mainstream and people wanted to see this movie over, and over again. So on August 13th, 1982, two years after the seconf film (The Empire Strikes Back!) was released, Star Wars burst into theaters again, blasters blazing. It included the trailer for the third (and supposedly final) film, “Return of the Jedi.” During this run it grossed over $15 million. A five year old movie that everybody had already seen. People just couldn’t get enough of Luke Skywalker, stanring off into the burning Tatooine sunset. They needed to relive Han Solo asking, “Who’s scruffy looking?” And everyone needed more R2-D2 and C-3P0 in their lives (we still do).
That would be amazing enough except that Star Wars got ANOTHER WIDE THEATRICAL RELEASE! Almost twenty years after the original run George Lucas gave us the (fan-loathing and overly retconned)
Special Editions. These were digitally remastered, had a ton of extra scenes added, other scenes and musical cues tweaked, it made a ton of money, I don’t care for them at all. So let’s move on to the release of the VHS Special Edition Boxed Set. This happened, AGAIN on August 13th, the summer of 1997. This was where George Lucas and the fans he’d given so much to broke up. The Special Editions were released with no plans to offer the original theatrical versions (the ones that he didn’t mess around with). Star Wars fans were (and still are) furious. They mostly did not like the additions and changes and didn’t understand why they couldn’t get cleaned up restorations of the originals (evenutally they were included, bare bones
and with no re-mastering as secondary discs with the special Edition DVD release). Star Wars fans are passionate, to say the least, and were crestfallen. There’s even an entire documentary about the rift between Lucas and his fans (The People VS. George Lucas).
With Disney having taken over the franchise and the first film under the new regime due out this Christmas, hopes are high that the movies will get back to their glory days. It’s doubtful though, that they’ll ever be able to recapture the magic of that first run, of that first film (or that second run for that matter). So while you’re thinking nostalgic thoughts about enjoying Star Wars with your dad as a kid, playing with your action figures and making the little guns go “pew pew!” why don’t you head on over to Posterservice.com and check out our selection of Star Wars posters. Maybe pick one (or all of them) up, frame them with posterframes from Frame USA and relive those Alderaan days and Tatooine nights (and get ready for the onslaught of new movies).
In today’s blog we’re going to spotlight an artist that we at Frame USA/Posterservice have had the pleasure of working with: Marc Allante. His print “Achilles” is one of our most popular posters and anytime we get new art from him we’re always pleased and excited.
Marc was born in Hong Kong and is currently based there where he is represented by the Avenue Des Arts gallery. He has lived in Sydney and London as well and it’s this blend of eastern and western cultures that informs his unique vision.
A self taught artist, Marc creates his images by combining traditional Chinese inks with European watercolor and pen techniques. He has a distinct style, often incorporating a paint drip and spatter look. His subject matter is varied with animals and architecture comprising much of his most striking work. In particular he has a way of capturing the energy and joy of birds in flight. He also incorporates silhouettes to create romantic imagery like his popular “Two Step.”
He’s a versatile artist whose voice continues to change and develop in new and unexpected directions. Check him out at his website Marcallante.com to see his full portfolio and where he will be exhibiting. While you’re at it, follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@marcallanteart) .You can also come over to Posterservice.com and search “Marc Allante” or go to our Art Posters section to see the 24×36 posters we currently carry. If you are looking for art to put in picture frames that encompass beauty, color and joy, you’ve found it in Marc’s work.
It would be an understatement to say that comic book adaptations have overtaken television. One web article lists 42(!) announced series based on comics of all genres. Superheroes, horror, sci-fi and some plain old comedy (a series based on Archie Comics called “Riverdale” is being prepped by Warner Brothers Television). Due to the episodic nature of both mediums, these stories seem to fare better (both critically and with viewers) than their big screen counterparts. In a television show, as in a comic, characters can develop and change over time, and story arcs can be more fully explored. In a movie, you have a limited amount of time with your audience to try and deliver a fully realized story. So maybe it’s not so surprising that these tv adaptations seem to connect better with their viewers.
One of the greatest comic book-to-small screen success stories is AMC’s “The Walking Dead.” Based on the series by Robert Kirkman, TWD follows a group of survivors navigating their way through a zombie apocalypse (or more accurately, a post-zombie apocalypse world). It is gritty, violent and gory but depicts it’s characters’ attempts to hold on to their humanity in a world where being humane usually gets one killed. Now going into it’s sixth season, TWD continues to pull high ratings and generate buzz. It’s been so successful in fact, that AMC had launched a spin off series, “Fear the Walking Dead” to begin in August. “Fear the Walking Dead” will show the beginning of the plague that eventually decimates the world and show the collapse of civilization. “The Walking Dead” is not the only horror comics series to be adapted recently either. “Constantine” based on the “Hellblazer” comics from DC received critical praise at NBC, but wasn’t able to pull in the ratings it needed to make it to a second season. The CW gave us “IZombie” this year, based on the DC Vertigo book. Upcoming horror comics turned tv shows are “Lucifer” (the FOX network)based on a character from DC’s “Sandman” comics, and ” Preacher” based on the highly acclaimed DC Vertigo comic.
Of course, it’s the superhero comics we know best. They’re brightly colored and feature characters we can rally behind. This last year saw Marvel expand their Cinematic Universe (the films and shows that all tie in to one another) further into television with multiple titles. “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” returned for a second season and “Agent Carter” premiered, both at ABC, both part of the Avengers franchise. And over at Netflix, the new “Daredevil” reboot was just released to mainly positive reviews (especially for Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of Wilson Fisk, AKA Kingpin). All three shows connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and characters from all of them may now show up in other films and tv shows within it. The big surprise, however, is the success that DC has found on television. They haven’st done very well with certain properties on the big screen (aside from the Tim Burton and Chris Nolan “Batman” runs and Christopher Reeve era “Superman”). Over the past few years, however, they’ve managed to build some very well received shows with “Arrow,” “The Flash,” and “Gotham.” All of which tweak their mythologies some but with a sense of fun that is sometimes missing from their movie adaptations. DC has also two adaptations coming up from the “Superman” universe; one is “Supergirl” premiering in November at CBS and “Krypton” which is in develpment at SyFy.
The last few years have been called a “Golden Age” for television with so many scripted series pushing the boundaries of what storytelling can be, and what kinds of characters resonate with us. Comic books inject so much color (sometimes light, sometimes dark) into the medium that it’s easy to see why producers, writers, directors and actors fight to grab up these properties and try to bring them to three dimensional life.
So kick back, grab some popcorn and a drink, and strap in–your favorite characters are about to step off of the page and into your living room. And after your thrilling adventures are over, click into Posterservice.com and pick up one of (or all of, why not?) our many comic book, movie and tv posters to hang on your wall.
A Day in the life of a Customer Service Representative from the eyes of an outsider.
Like any other company Frame USA Employees go through training when they first get hired. They spend time with their manager and go through what they are supposed to do day in and day out. Frame USA however has a different training process, instead of having a training day or two day training, Frame USA employees have an entire week of training. They spend time with each department and learn how to do each part of the company. The employees won’t become masters at each process but they will become familiar with it.
This training week comes incredibly in handy when we have employees out of the office, whether it’s for a trade show or for personal reasons. Other areas of the departments can fill in for them if they get really busy throughout the week.
This week we have 2 employees that work in our customer service/sales department out of the office at a Trade Show. This leaves only 4 other employees to man the area. That’s where I come in.
Since my job primarily involves not conversing with customers or vendors and requires me to be on the computer the full day I make the perfect candidate to jump in and help out the customer service sales department while still accomplishing my day to day tasks.
The day of a Customer Service Rep begins like all of the office employees at 8:15 A.M. EST. They spend their morning before we open to customers checking emails from the previous day, processing internet orders that have been placed. Having meetings with their superiors.
Then it happens, the clock hits 9:00 A.M. EST and the phones click on. Some days this is like the stampede scene in the Lion King, silence and then all of a sudden BAM all the phones are ringing at once. Other days there is a steady trickle of phone calls throughout the day.
The Bigger companies that offer a live chat service on their website most likely have a bunch of different teams doing each different part of a CS representative. At Frame USA our team of 6 customer service/sales reps handles it all from live chats, to ordering, to answering shipping questions, and answering billing questions. They do however have help from all areas of the building answering some of these questions.
The same friendly individuals that talk with you over the phones are the same knowledgeable folks answering your questions over live chat.
In between answering phones and live chatting, customer service reps spend their time entering orders from customers as well as outside sales reps. This process although fairly simple can also be challenging, when you have humans entering in orders, you run the risk of human errors happening, for a number to be off resulting in the wrong product being ordered. Frame USA has employed a system to prevent these by having all orders checked over by someone other than the person who entered it.
At first glance, the job of a customer service representative seems fairly easy, but when you get down into the position, as I have this week, you discover that the job of customer service representatives is much more complex. They are the contact to customers. They are the people that can make or break sales. A rude customer service rep, as many of you have probably experienced turns an opinion of the company to a negative one. The job of a customer service rep requires a patient, self-motivating, hardworking individual. Not everyone on this planet has what it takes to hold this position, but in my opinion as an outsider, we have found the 6 who do.
If you would like to give a shout out to one of our reps that have helped you we would love to hear from you, Just leave a comment!
Stay tuned next week as one of our 6 talented CS Reps gives an actual account of a their day.
Community. Whether you’re a business, a family, a nonprofit or an individual, you are formed and molded by your local communities. At Frame USA, we feel that communities from all across the United States can benefit from a little help here and there; especially when they’re making positive differences in their area. We received this great message from Grace Church after we helped them by donating 30+ Unfinished picture frames:
“Dear Dan [CEO, Frame USA],
I bet that by now you have forgotten about us here in Wisconsin, or at least thought that we forgot about you and were acting like the 9 out of 10 lepers who failed to return to thank Jesus after they were healed. On the contrary, we want you to know that we have never stopped thanking you for your kindness and generosity to Grace Church.
It has taken a long time…. to mobilize the missionaries to send in a new picture, to get the frames stained, to order the vinyl and then to get the authorized person to hang the frames on the wall. … The frames are in a really nice formation, and on two different walls as you leave the sanctuary. One side is for Global missionaries and the other for U.S. missionaries….”
Needless to say, we were glad to help such a great cause. Do you have any deserving causes that you’d like to see mentioned or considered for our Charity of the Month? Leave a comment below, or visit our Charity page to learn more. *Note that these frames were sent as Unfinished frames, but wood-stained by the recipients. Just another way to add your own personal touch!
A limited number of these were sent out to the big names in gaming media, like Game Informer and IGN. We’re told that IGN still has this framed print in their main lobby! Telltale Games has ordered from us again as of a few weeks ago for their appearance at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). We’re excited to see what they come up with this time!
Whether you’re setting up a gallery, putting together a nice gift for your customers or looking for a creative advertising strategy, Frame USA aims to give you unlimited possibilities. For a free quote on any of our items, feel free to fill out our Custom Quote form here.
As we peruse the World Wide Web and dig around looking for references to Frame USA and picture frames, we have seen many questions and comments about the quality of picture frames from various manufacturers across the net.
We’ll say it again and again, and then one more time.. We are dedicated to creating raving fansof our frame products and our customer service.
Every manufacturer wants to have the highest quality product at the lowest prices with the highest number of satisfied customers. If that isn’t your goal, then why are you in business, right?
We are extremely proud of our products, but occasionally something slips through. This is true of any manufacturer, whether they produce purple glitter widgets or picture frames. What we want you to know is this — If you ever have any issue with an order from Frame USA, we want you to get in contact with us immediately and give us a chance to make it right.
What If My Frame Order Has An Issue?
CALL – 1.800.577.5920 You can call us at our toll free number anytime between 9-5 PM EST.