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Camden’s History: Past, Present, and The Future

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Camden's history over the bridge

Camden’s History

A brief look at Camden’s History. Purchased by Richard Arnold and William Cooper between 1680 and 1682, Camden was originally referred to as Cooper’s Point, and later renamed Camden by Jacob Cooper, Charles Pratt,and the Earl of Camden from the United Kingdom. By 1688, a ferry was being operated across the Delaware River, connecting Philadelphia to then West Jersey (now South Jersey) for trading purposes. The ferry, which was located on Ferry Street, was established by William Royden but later abandoned. The Cooper family took over the ferry in 1695 and would allow the ferry to make stops along the coast of the Delaware River. People started to settle at these points, and these settlements make up what is now, the beautiful city of Camden.

Throughout the 1700s taverns, several hotels, pleasure gardens and ferry houses were being built throughout the city.  These Ferry Houses were eventually torn down but to this day, only one remains; the Benjamin Cooper House. The house was built in 1734, and was owned and lived in by the Cooper Family, and was used as the headquarters of British Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie during the Revolutionary War.

Expansion of the City of Camden

In the first half of the 1800’s we see the city of Camden become more and more residential. Several lots across different sections of Camden were being sold at very fair prices to crowds coming in from South Jersey and Philadelphia. Between the years of 1870 and 1920, the cities population grew from 20,000 to 116,000 people. Early settlers were mostly of German, British, and Irish heritage. By the early 1900s, Italians and Eastern Europeans were dominating the town, and people could often be found socializing at their local synagogue or church.

Polish immigrants brought baroque architecture, the Jewish community started the first Orthodox synagogue in South Jersey, and Italians brought great influence over the cities politics and economy.

Camden at it’s core is a melting pot!

Camden continued to grow and by 1821, the city had its very own newspaper, the American Star. With a rising population, brought a growth in industry. Some of the industries were blacksmith, several factories, iron works, chemical plants, and a nickel works, which supplied a majority of the nickels manufactured for the U.S. The city also had some success with their rail line, the Amboy Transportation Service, which ran between Camden and Amboy. Following that success, Camden continued on with another great rail service, which journeyed from Camden to Atlantic City.

RCA-Victor, The “Nipper Building”

The RCA Victor is a major piece of Camden’s history.  Since their founding in 1919, RCA Records has produced many timeless artists such as Elvis Presley, Lou Reed, and more recently, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. Although the company’s current headquarters are in New York City, their first headquarters was right here in Camden, New Jersey. In 1896, Eldridge Johnson developed a spring motor for a hand-cranked music player that would be able to consistently spin a disk for music listening pleasure.

Johnson started manufacturing records by 1900 to be played on what he coined the “His Master’s Voice.” Johnson did so well with his “Victor Talking Machine” that in 1929, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) merged with his company. RCA-Victor made Camden into a center for broadcast, and RCA helped in the development of television. In 1969, RCA also played a role in the moon landing, by making it possible to communicate with Buzz Aldrin, Jr. from space with the use of a backpack radio system that was built in Camden.

Currently, The RCA-Victor are luxury apartments, repurposed by Dranoff Properties.

Great Camden Theater and Movie Houses

Camden’s history with theaters has always been rich and lively, from staging Vaudeville performances, theater plays, live concerts, and eventually showing films. Camden’s first theater was called “The Temple Theater” which opened in 1892. One very notable theater house was The Stanley. The Stanley opened February 19th, 1926 and brought in a big crowd from Philadelphia who at the time had a ban on Sunday entertainment.

The Stanley featured big names like Joe E. Brown whom you might recognize from films such as “Some Like It Hot” and “Around the World in Eighty Days”. Other notable figures who have performed at the Theater were, Cass Daley, Mayris Chaney and Edward Fox, Cappy Barra’s Swing Harmonica Ensemble, as well as other acts.

Unfortunately as the silver screen started gaining traction, many theaters were converted into movie houses. Camden is also home to the first Drive-in Theater! Patented by Richard M. Hollingshead Jr. in the mid-1930’s, “Park-In Theatres Inc.” in Camden was America’s first drive-in.

Camden’s History: Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Knowing Camden’s history possessed early on in the creation of this incredible city. The progress of the city has been halted for a long period of time after the economy collapsed after the Second World War. Factories in the city were shut down, leaving the corner stone of Camden’s economy to plummet.

In 2012, Camden’s violent crime rate was recorded at 2,566 for every 100,000 people. In 2011, 42.5% of the city was living below the poverty line, with the average household income at $21,191 per year. In 2012, only 49% of high school students were able to graduate. This allowed Camden to eventually become one of the most dangerous cities in America labeled by Neighborhood Scout.

Furthering Education in Camden

Despite being known as one of America’s most dangerous cities, the people of Camden are now doing their part to try and restore Camden to the bustling city it once was. One topic in particular that the city of Camden wants to focus on in continuing their education. With universities like Rutgers Camden, Rowan, and even Camden County College, it has given the community and city hope. Rutgers Camden is now making it even easier for Camden residents to continue their education. With the university’s new “Bridge the Gap” campaign, New Jersey residents with families making less then $60,000 will have their tuition waived. If the family is making between $60,001 and $100,000, Rutgers Camden will cover half of the student’s tuition.

Camden is hoping to bring Community Schools to town as well. Which will provide health and social services during and after regular school hours. New York and Cincinnati have recently implemented these programs successfully. Allison Steele from Philly.com says that community school models can make available for students, “anything from medical clinics and food banks to day care and after-school tutoring.” It is said that this program has resulted in student performance, and has grown graduation rates.

Future Business In Camden

Under the New Jersey Economic Opportunity Act, Camden has made it even more exciting to work in Camden. By giving out incentives to large businesses in Camden, the city has cemented over $2.1 billion dollars in development to create a vibrant business community throughout the city. These incentives are an attempt to create jobs and help redevelop the town’s economy.

Organizations like the Philadelphia 76ers have not only built their new practice facility in Camden, but also are bringing their entire corporate headquarters to Camden. This act will bring over 250 jobs into the city. Lockheed and Martin is another company coming to Camden. They too are bringing in upwards of 250 jobs to the city. Formally Cherry Hill’s headquartered Subaru is developing their brand new headquarters near the current Campbell’s Soup off, giving the city an additional 500 jobs to the region. Holtec International are creating 3,000 jobs over 5 years and 10,000 jobs over the next few decades, all of which are to be Camden residents. Together with Camden County College, Holtec is working to put programs in place to teach the skills needed for a vibrant work environment.

The Future of Camden

Despite Camden’s history, the city is destined to be great.

If you look at the infrastructure and geographic landscape of the city, there is no reason why Camden New Jersey can’t be the next Silicon Valley. Located in-between two of the busiest and affluent cities in America (Philadelphia and New York City), the city of Camden can pull resources from both sides and also be the bridge for startups and tech professionals to work, learn, network, and of course have fun!

Companies like Cooper’s Ferry are allowing startups to grow in the city, but with newer startups like GoQuest, the city of Camden hopes that this is the beginning of a new tech boom for innovation, entrepreneurship, and tech.

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New Jersey Loosens Up on Magic Mushrooms

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New Jersey becomes the recent state to declassify possession of magic mushrooms. Lawmakers added the provision to lessen penalties for psilocybin, the active chemical, to a marijuana bill in November at the last minute. The provision was removed from the bill but would be voted on separately later. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill in early February, reducing the classification of the drug.

Magic mushrooms have been illegal on the federal level since 1970. The Controlled Substance Act lists magic mushrooms as a Schedule 1 narcotic. This is the most criminal category of drugs due to their high potential for abuse. Psilocybin lists along with heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine.

The bill declassifies possession of up to an ounce of mushrooms from a third-degree crime to a disorderly persons offense. It reduced penalties from up to 6 years in prison to a maximum fine of $1,000 or six months in prison. This is not to be confused with decriminalization. Decriminalization removes the potential for jail time.

Advocates cite studies that claim that psilocybin may have helpful applications for cancer and HIV patients. It can also treat depression. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University posted findings from synthetic psilocybin trials. The trials show that 71% of their patients experienced a clinically significant response to the treatment. 54% of the patients recorded a total remission. Doctors also cite that there is no risk of overdose or addiction.

“What is different about psilocybin, compared to other mood-altering drugs or pharmaceuticals, is the enduring meaning and belief changes that can occur. People feel ‘reorganized’ in a way they don’t with other drugs,” says Roland Griffiths, a Neuropharmacologist at Johns Hopkins

New Jersey lawmakers first saw legislation for psilocybin only months ago and quickly passed a bill. The same cannot be said for marijuana. The state has been grappling with the issue since 2014. The State Senate moved to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults, but Governor Murphy has yet to sign the bill. Disagreements over the penalties of people under 21 put off the signing.

Of the crawling nature of the issue, Gov. Murphy says, “This hasn’t been an easy fight, nor has it happened as quickly as I would have liked, but we are in a better place, a smarter place, and a more just place than ever before.” 

New Jersey is only the latest state to put forth legislation for psilocybin. Colorado was the first to loosen restrictions back in 2019. Oregon passed legislation in 2020, as well as some major cities such as Washington D.C. and Somerville, Massachusetts.

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Best Unlimited Graphic Design Companies Of 2021 (+25% Promo)

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Top unlimited graphic design companies featured image

Looking for an alternative to a freelance graphic designer or trying to scale your business using your existing team? A new wave of companies who call themselves “Unlimited Graphic Design Services” are disrupting the creative industry, providing a solution to what is usually an expensive and unpredictable task. Here’s what their offerings have in common:

  • Monthly subscription model
  • 24-48 hour turnaround time
  • Work with their vetted team of designers
  • Unlimited design requests
  • Cancel anytime

Which Provider Should You Choose?

We’ve done the homework and curated a list of Unlimited Graphic Design providers for you and also negotiated special deals on your behalf. You can see them all below and decide which one fits your needs.


Unlimited Graphic Design Providers

What Does Unlimited Graphic Design Mean?

These unlimited graphic design services have a monthly subscription business model. That means you can sign up and cancel whenever you like. What sets them apart from your typical freelancer, agency, or in-house designer is you gain access to a workflow that is designed to be quick and to the point.

You’ll communicate with their team through Trello, email, or an online platform. The option given is dependent on the company you choose. For example, only a small selection of services provide a custom built online platform for their customers.

Once you’re connected to their workflow, you can begin submitting as many design requests as you want. Although they all claim “unlimited”, it generally means you can “create” unlimited design requests. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work on them all at once. Usually, they just work on one design at a time. When one completes, they start the next design.

The usual turnaround time is between 1 – 2 days, and that’s just for the first draft. It doesn’t mean your entire request is complete. If you don’t like it, you can request as many revisions as you want, and that will take more time. So it can take up to a week to actually get the design complete if you have a lot of revisions.

Another thing to keep in mind is content. You need to be able to have everything ready and provide all the content needed in order for their designers to get started.

Are they worth it?

If you have a lot of design needs, they’re definitely worth it. Being it’s a monthly recurring investment, you’ll need to make sure that you have the need for an ongoing graphic design service. This graphic design service model is comparable to outsourcing a designer yourself, except much of all the management work is done by the company. The quality of designs and turnaround time also tends to be significantly better when outsourcing a designer yourself.

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Review: The Truth About 99Designs

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Getting graphic design work done can often be a challenge. Where do you even start? Hiring a full-time graphic designer is expensive and risky. Hiring a freelancer online can take a bit of time. And often times, your designer works in a completely different timezone, making collaboration near impossible.

That’s where 99Designs come in. The company offers a talent-sourcing platform where you can create a design contest and have designers from all over the world submit their entry. You pay 1 flat fee for the contest and guaranteed many drafts. Sounds too good to be true? Let’s find out!

99designs Review

In order to review 99designs accurately, we prepared several projects to submit on the platform. These projects are things that we actually have a need for and may use if the design results returned are good enough.

We’ll go through the entire process that 99designs laid out and follow all rules and instructions given to us. Upon receiving the design work, we’ll pass it around internally to 10 people in our office and simply give a yay or nay. Whatever the results are, will be the numerical grade given. Let’s begin!

What 99designs can do?

In short, just about anything but they’re limited to just graphic design. In our quick 99designs analysis, they offer the following design services:

  • Logo & identity
  • Web & app design
  • Business & advertising
  • Clothing/Merch
  • Illustrations
  • Packaging
  • Books & magazines
  • And more…(the remaining categories are a bit obscured or too niche to list)

It’s a fairly extensive list and seems like if you’re a new startup or business, they’ll cover most of your initial design needs.

What 99designs CANNOT do

As the name implied, 99designs only offers graphic design. They can design a website or app for you, but you will need an independent development team to code it. 99designs also currently don’t offer content support, which isn’t that unusual. Whatever you want designed, you’ll need to provide all of the content before hand.

And that also means you need to do all the proofreading as well. Whatever you submit to be designed, will be designed. The designers usually won’t comment or question your grammar mistakes. So be sure to double and triple check all your content before submitting it to be designed.

Another thing to note, 99designs cannot deliver on time. The delivery runs on a rather flexible schedule that can take up to 2 weeks or longer. So if you need something done fast, 99designs may not be the best solution, even with the expedited delivery add-on purchase.

99designs’ ACTUAL pricing

When we audit 99designs’ pricing structure, we found a few of their categories to be confusing. Categories such as Logos, Web & app design, and Business Advertising can be misleading or vague. For example, when choosing a logo design, you might think you have to buy one of their packages that starts at $349. But with a bit of patience and knowing where to navigate, you can actually just buy a single logo design without any add-ons.

To avoid confusion, I’m going to break down a few of the categories below just so you know exactly how things are priced.

4 Different Tiers

After you fill out the first page of the project brief, 99designs will ask you to pick a tier. The lowest tier will give you the fewest number of design submissions and will usually be assigned to junior artists. Meanwhile the more expensive tiers get more design submissions and often given to more experienced designers.

The price breakdown below assumes you’re going with the lower price tiers, since that’s what most people tend to choose.

Logo & identity prices

Logo alone: $299
Packages: 5 packages offered between $349 – $599

Web design, Website Re-design, and WordPress Theme design prices

The $599 promotional price is NOT for an entire website design or re-design. This is just for ONE page. If you want multiple pages to be designed, 99designs will charge you PER PAGE. The more pages you want designed, the most it will cost. However, you’ll get a steeper discount per page if you request multiple pages at once.

As of now, 99designs only offer up to 5 pages designed initially. If you need more than 5 pages designed, you’ll likely need to hire a designer from 99designs afterward to continue working on the project.

1 page = $599.
2 pages = $749.
3 pages = $899.
4 pages = $1049
5 pages = $1199

Landing page design prices

Landing pages are charged at a flat rate of $349 since it’s just 1 page. There are no options for multiple pages. If you want additional pages to be designed afterward, you’ll have to create another $349 landing page contest, and that’s not cost-effective. If you have a landing page with multiple pages, you’ll have to cough $599 for the web design package.

App design prices

For the advertised price of $599, you are NOT getting an entire app designed. You’re paying PER page of the app to be designed. The more pages you want done, the more it’ll cost. But it’s the initial page design that will cost the most. The more pages you need done, the cheaper it is per page to be designed.

1 screen = $599
2 screens = $699
3 screens = $799
4 screens = $899
5 screens = $999

Business & advertising

The prices for Business & advertising are all over the place and might not make any sense. For example, why does it cost $299 for an Album cover design…when it costs only $199 for a Podcast cover? They’re both square dimension graphics with basically the same requirements. If you need an Album cover design, you can just request a “Podcast cover” to save money.

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of what you can get at each different price points.

Starting at $149: Billboard, Tradeshow banner, Banner,

Starting at $199: Postcard, Flyer, Leaflet, Direct Mail, Poster, Podcast cover, Signage, Menu, Website header, Resume, Word Template, Tradeshow Booth, Other business advertising

Starting at $299: Album cover, Brochure, Booklet, Pamphlet, Email, Email newsletter, Powerpoint template,

Starting at $349: Car/truck/van wrap

Starting at $599: Infographic

Extra Add-ons

In addition to the base cost of the project, you can pay for additional add-ons.

Dedicated support: For a price of $129 extra, you can have access to dedicated customer support should you run into any problems.

Guaranteed: This doesn’t cost anything, but it basically negates your 100% money-back guarantee with 99designs. The reason they offer this is because how designers are paid. Often times, they’re paid pennies for participating in your design contest. Out of possible 20 – 30 design submissions, they will only get paid a reasonable fee IF you choose their design.

If you request a refund, no one gets paid. Therefore, if you choose this option, designers have more confidence that there’s a stronger chance you’ll commit.

Here’s what 99designs promises if you choose to negate your guarantee.

  • Have more designers participating
  • Receive 50% more designs on average
  • Get a wider range of creativity

Private contest: This $59 add-on gives you the assurance that your design/intellectual property won’t be leaked onto Google or used by designer. Designer will sign an NDA to ensure they protect your privacy. You can even use your own NDA.

Duration: Typical turnaround for 1st draft is 4 days. Need the design in a hurry? Pay a small fee for expedited delivery.

99designs pricing review

Overall, the prices can fluctuate quite a bit depending on which tier you select and how many add-ons you buy. I wouldn’t say 99designs prices are cheap, because they’re fairly expensive for just 1 design. They are cheaper than hiring an in-house designer or a design agency, but there are definitely much cheaper options. The one benefit of 99designs’ model is that you get a lot of drafts for that price, so you have much more to choose from during each round of revisions.

How long it REALLY takes to get your designs

There’s 5 rounds total that you need to go through before you can get your design files. Each round can take anywhere from 1-2 days up to 14 days to complete. Most of that does depend on you. If you give feedback quickly, you’ll get your design files much faster. Here’s a breakdown of the 5 rounds.

Round 1: Qualifying round (4-5 days)
In this round, 99design sends your project out to all qualified designers in their talent pool. Designers can choose to accept or ignore your contest. Once enough designers have accepted your contest and submitted their design work, you move onto Round 2.

Round 2: Select finalists (4 days)
It’s probably 4-5 days now since you started the contest and your designs are finally in. You’ll have a lot of designs to choose from. Now you have 4 days to review the designs and select up to 6 designs that you like. Any designs you don’t select will be rejected. Designs you select gets to move onto the next round.

During this round, there’s a 99designs review feature that lets you share the submissions with others via a shareable link. You have 4 days to select your finalists! Once chosen, the contest will be moved to the 3rd round.

Round 3: Final round (3 days)
In this round, you’ll need to leave revisions for the selected finalists. Your finalists will work on as much revisions as you give them in this round. If you don’t like something, you can request more revisions and they’ll keep submitting. Keep in mind you only have 3 days for this round.

Round 4: Choose a winner
Contest is now officially over and a winner must be selected. In this round, you can create and send a poll to everyone you want feedback from to see which design is the best. You can only select 1 winner.

Round 5: Handover (5 days?!)
Your designer now has up to 5 days to hand over all of the design files and any copyright materials to you. Yes, you read that right. 5 days.

So…how long does it really take?

Let’s assume that you’re super responsive and you complete YOUR part the same day 99designs notify you…

Round 1: 4 days for all initial designs to come in
Round 2: 1 day to select finalists (because you’re responsive)
Round 3: 3 days for final round of revisions
Round 4: 1 day to pick a winner (because you want the files fast!)
Round 5: 1-5 days to get files

So you’re looking at between 10 – 14 days to complete a single design project. If you’re a new startup or business that doesn’t have strict deadlines to meet, this delivery window is perfectly fine. If you’re more established and looking for someone to help you meet an aggressive marketing schedule, 99designs may not work for you.

How to get QUALITY designs from 99designs?

If you’re coming to 99designs with a limited budget for graphic design, then chances are your results will vary. From my experience, the lower tier designers often just use templated graphics from Freepik or Envato.

If you want high quality designs from 99designs, here’s what you’ll need to do.

  1. Sign up for higher tier: Choose Gold or Platinum plans. They’re significantly more expensive, but that’s what you need to get experienced designer’s attention.
  2. Fill EVERYTHING out: When creating your project brief, do not skip any steps. Fill out as much information as you can and spend time creating a solid brief.
  3. Give additional examples: The last field on most form will ask “Is there anything else you would like to communicate to the designers?”. Use this opportunity to give more information. Also include even more examples of what you like and don’t like. This helps the designer narrow down your preferences.

Pros & Cons of 99designs

We’ll start with the PROS

  • Affordable compared to hiring an inhouse designer
  • No hiring or managing of designers. They do all of that for you.
  • Lots of designs to choose from for each round
  • One platform can cover most of your design needs
  • Easy to use platform
  • Clear indicator of how far along your design is
  • Offers a 100% money back guarantee

Now for the CONS

Who is 99designs really for?

99designs is best suited for startups, small businesses, entrepreneurs, and anyone just starting out. The prices are affordable and you get a lot of selections. Having 20+ drafts submitted to you is a great benefit, especially if you’re starting out and have no idea exactly how you want to brand yourself.

For larger businesses, marketing teams, and agencies, 99designs may not be the best fit given how expensive the bill will eventually be if you need 10+ designs per month. The 10 – 14 day delivery window can also be a major setback if you’re trying to meet deadlines.

  • Can get expensive if you have consistent design needs
  • 10 – 14 day delivery
  • Design quality is mediocre unless you’re willing to pay a premium
  • No real way to interact with designer except through feedback
  • Customer support is a paid add-on

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