Friday, August 28, 2009

"Yes, a secret man" is an anagram of...

"Yes, a secret man" is an anagram of Caster Semenya's name, the controversial, South African female athlete suspected of being a man. (The 18-year-old ace is said to have very high levels of testosterone in her body.)

Via NixtaDaily Star UK

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Why one wife now chooses to shop alone

Thank you Rufus.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Night of the Adeaters


A film about people who have been laid off from the advertising industry:

Lemonade The Movie, website

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Pepsi Logo Redesigns / Coca-Cola's Brand Consistency

The blog that I pulled this from had this titled as "Brand Logo Consistency". That probably isn't the most useful way to think about the comparison. Both are in fact true to the nature of each's brand. Coke's position has always been about authenticity, it is the original, "The Real Thing". Coke's logo should and has always been true to that. It's a timeless and iconic symbol. Pepsi on the other has always played hip, upstart to reframe Coke's position as stodgy heritage. Pepsi is the brand of youth, their latest tag "The Voice of a New Generation" has been the fundamental theme for years. No matter what year it is, Pepsi is that generation's cola. Now that I think about it, the new logo makes Pepsi look a bit like an old tart in hot pants. Somehow she's still getting away with it.

1992–1993: "Be Young, Have Fun, Drink Pepsi"

1997–1998: "Generation Next" - with the Spice Girls.

1999–2000: "For Those Who Think Young"/"The Joy of Pepsi-Cola" (commercial with Britney Spears/commercial with Mary J. Blige)

Even more amusing than the Pepsi logo changes is the list of slogans from the Wikipedia entry on Pepsi. It's like looking through a high school yearbook. Some truly embarrassing, insipid shit.

Mark Borchardt on the whole Coke/Pepsi thing, in an outtake from American Movie (perhaps the greatest documentary ever made.)

Thanks Meruleru!!!

The Economy Where You Live (Interactive Map of the US)

From NPR, Interactive Map: The Economy Where You Live. (Foreclosure, jobless rates and household income by county.)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Mr Hobbs needs a Moonman!

Please Vote for Passion Pit's video for The Reeling! Nominated in the MTV 2009 Video Music Awards in the Breakthrough Video Category.

Click here to vote: MTV Video Music Awards, Breakthrough Video

My friend John Hobbs along with directors Sam Stephens and Ariel Danziger created the video. They way they went about creating it is pretty incredible. After they shot the footage for this new video he and his partners printed out every frame, thousands, manipulating/distressing them then glued them into thick bricks. They then built custom animation stands so they could rip/tear/animate the transitions etc., reshooting frame by frame then reimporting it all.

Congrats John! Will see you in a few weeks!

VOTE! DO IT NOW! Please.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Resonance: a film about design strategy

My irritation with IDEO publications is that they all talk around process and never discuss in detail or reveal specific process techniques. What you end of paying for is an expensive piece of PR for IDEO. This film, Resonance (a film about design strategy) by innovation consultancy Continuum also "talks around" process but is still a great, short watch with a couple of quote gems:

"...a good design strategy is actionable, you look at it and you know what to do next, and sometimes the things that are called strategy end with the insights and not the ideas, and you don't know what to do with them, you read it and you say "that's really interesting, I understand my customer so much better now... now what?"

"an insight is a really good question and an idea is a really good answer"

"were trying to come up with something that you can't think of today, but tomorrow is obvious."

Resonance from Continuum on Vimeo.

One of the primary process used in uncovering peoples explicit and tacit needs is called contextual inquiry, it involves direct interviews as well as the observation of people in the natural, actual setting of their lives and work. There actually aren't very good resources about this online (Usability Net, Wikipedia) but a great (although not quick) read on the subject of contextual design is Contextual Design: Defining Customer-Centered Systems by Hugh Beyer & Karen Holtzblatt.

Dispute Finder .022

Intel Research Labs has come up with a Firefox add-on called Dispute Finder that "highlights disputed claims on web pages you browse and shows you evidence for alternative points of view. Watch the Videos to learn more."

Users can also submit to Dispute Finder "snippets to highlight and what evidence to present for alternative viewpoints. You can create a new disputed claim, mark new instances of a claim on the web, and add evidence that supports or opposes a claim."

Monday, August 03, 2009

Product innovation: Beer in a box

In a effort to raise sluggish beer sales Miller is test marketing a home draft beer system. Beyond the unique packaging innovation the strategy is clearly meant to drive increase consumption. The 1.5 gallon unit is small enough to fit standard refrigerators but large enough to be a big, obvious reminder that there is beer on tap waiting to be consumed.

WSJ: MillerCoors Tests a Draft-Beer Box for the Fridge

MillerCoors, the second-largest U.S. brewer by revenue, has begun testing the 1.5-gallon "Home Draft" for its biggest brands -- Miller Lite and Coors Light -- in about a half-dozen cities, including Dallas, Phoenix and San Diego. The boxed product, which is designed to fit into refrigerators for drinkers to consume periodically, rather than for one-time party use, comes amid packaging overhauls by the U.S. units of Heineken NV and Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

New Developments in Web Typography

A good article on typography and the web, from Slate magazine (of all places): Down With Verdana! Typography on the Web is basic and dull. A startup called Typekit will fix it.

Latest versions of most browsers no recognize the CSS rule @font-face that allows for the embedding of fonts in web pages. This page (screenshot shown below) demonstrates what can be done with @font-face (displayed in Firefox 3.5)

The company Typekit offers subscription based service for the licensing and use of fonts online.

The advertising/editorial blur

This quote is from an essay by Rick Poyner titled Branded Journalism. It appears in the excellent collection of essays on design and visual culture called Obey the Giant.

It would love to see what this really looked like. It would be interesting to track connections between advertising and editorial content digitally across media channels, particularly if you could tie it all the way up to the media holding companies.

In reality, the divide between editorial and advertising has rarely been absolute, especially in the fashion and shelter titles. "Some years ago Henry Wolf, the magazine art director, took a copy of Vogue and attached a colored thread to every ad that related to some editorial mention within the issue," says Milton Glaser, editorial designer and co-founder of New York magazine. "When he was done the results looked like a small Persian rug."

The Body Lexicon

From The Globe and Mail, and article on the slang used to describe the body parts of middle aged women. Funny and horrifying at the same time: Obsession with aging female parts has created a new body lexicon

The Bitch Wrinkle
Also known as Chapter Eleven (an appropriate illusion to bankruptcy, given the cost of Botox). It's that wrinkle - some have two parallel lines - between the eyebrows.

Quilting Pattern
When wrinkles start to form in a horizontal pattern along with the vertical ones. Found primarily on the lower cheek.

Vampire Dinner Lips
We could call the lines around the lips by their quasi-medical term, perioral wrinkles. But that's not much fun. Better to follow Diana Athill's lead. In her recent memoir, Somewhere Towards the End, she wrote of the aging process with an admirable sense of humour. "One of my dearest old friends could never get it into her head that if, when doing herself up for a party, she slapped on a lot of scarlet lipstick, it would soon come off on her teeth and begin to run into the little wrinkles round the edge of her lips, making her look like a vampire disturbed in mid-dinner."

Ringed Tree Trunk. Also known as the Ropey Neck. We have Nora Ephron to thank for drawing our attention here. In her book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, she observed, "You have to cut open a redwood tree to know how old it is, but you wouldn't have to if it had a neck."

Gludgeons. Otherwise known as Dewlaps. The little bulge of skin where the arm meets the torso. Vogue named the body part in their August 2008 Age-less Issue.

Bingo Wings Or Dinner Lady Arms. Even Madonna, a super-fit 50-year-old pop star, was revealed to have them - the flabby undercarriage of the upper arms - when she waved to fans earlier this month.

Crepey Cleavage
Not worth displaying with the same confidence the area once inspired.

Also known as The Pooch.