Thirst for Knowledge

Ready for your next global crisis? Oh wait, it’s already here. The coming water shortage is clearly illustrated by the new poster and iPhone app, Virtual Water. A large format, cleverly designed poster shows us how much fresh water is embedded in the ordinary everyday products we consume. Such as: an industrially farmed chicken requires 1170 liters of water to bring it from farm to fryer. Much of this information is contained in the authoritative research paper, Chapagain, A.K. and Hoekstra, A.Y. (2004), Water footprints of nations, Value of Water Research Report Series No. 16, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, the Netherlands. To make this information palpable and palatable, designer Timm Kekeritz of Raureif created a set of infographics that make the issue of virtual water and the water footprint impossible to ignore. The Virtual Water app, which includes a wider range of products, is also available for download on Apple’s iTunes App Store.


Why We Love Advertising

License to Steal
Picasso said it best: Good artists borrow. Great artists steal. Which should make this video for Diesel one of the greats.

Here's the original, and I do mean original.

From Jean Luc Goddard's Bande A Part.


Print is not dead

Print is not dead. It just went on a diet.

You can immortalize your tweets in print, thanks to Tweetnotebook. Remarkably easy to use, elegant in design, Tweetnotebook slurps all your tweets between the covers of a stylish notebook reminescent of the beloved Moleskine travel diaries. Each page features one random tweet at the bottom of an otherwise blank page. Its an odd experience seeing a year's worth of passing interests, random shout outs, and flitting mental engagements. Part diary, part trip down memory lane, Tweetnotebook is an artifact of a the digital age meant to endure for the ages. Utility, craft, engagement, and serendipity all combine to create an experience that borders on delight. Perhaps now that there's an easy way to publish tweets, we'll see a new prose form: Twitterature.



Picture This
Drew Hodges, CEO of Ad agency SpotCo discusses the creative decisions that went into the design of the new poster for the revival of La Cage aux Folles. The producer, Sonia Freedman hung the candidates on her walls for a week, asking herself, which ones would stand the test of time.

You can learn what Hodges has to say about poster design and see all 8 posters here. Turns out to compete for attention in in Times Square simple bold and iconic are winners. In other words, an image you can see and recognize from 10 blocks away.


Songbird Takes Flight

New Work From Wordstrong

Songbird, an open source, cross platform media player for PCs, smart phones, and MP3 players launches with a new version, just in time for the big Consumer Electronic Show in Vegas. With over a million downloads so far, and a deal to roll out Songbird on a new generation of Phillips Media Players, Songbird sounds sweet.

The new website, designed by Zaudhaus, puts the player front and center. There's information about features, adds-ons, and partners, and but really, who needs to read when there's a big fat Download button staring right at you. And that's what makes Songbird so cool. Keep it simple, keep the copy to a minimum, don't sound like a teenager, and get out of the way of the Download button.


It Was The Best of Designs; It Was The Worst of Designs

Best and Worst of 2009
Aristotle used the term logos to mean rational discourse. Of course when it comes to logos and their design there’s nothing rational about it.

With that, let’s get to the Brand New list of the best and worst logos of 2009. It’s a shocking list, mainly because some of the “best” old logos, say for example Paul Rand’s goofy, interconnected, puzzle of a logo for YALE that first must be deciphered before it can be read, are actually (to my mind) awful examples of logo design. Meanwhile, some of the “best” new examples actually bear close resemblance to the logos included in the “worst” examples. Confused?

Good. Let the mudslinging, invective, and personal beefing begin!


Branding Is Dead. Long Live Branding!

Branding is so over

You know a trend has come and gone when there's a "Dummies" book devoted to it. Well, now there's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Branding Yourself, by Sherri and Ray Paprocki, which turns the techniques of product branding into a self-help guide for the aspirational.

If branding is designed to uncover and then communicate what is most authentic and emotionally compelling about a product or service, why not a person? And if the advice is the book is simplistic and obvious, well, the title did explain it was for complete idiots. But before scoffing at the breathless descriptions of personal brands like Rachel Ray, Donald Trump and Oprah, remember the most important advice in the entire book: if you don't brand yourself, rest assured, someone else will.