Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

Just saw this on Gawker, and my mind is completely blown.  Clearly, the ad execs who dreamed this up would have been better as futurists/psychics than as…well ad execs and creatives.

Just let Tom Selleck tell you all of the amazing things that AT&T would bring you in the future.  Except, as Hamilton Nolan pithily points out, that AT&T would not be the company to bring it to you (at least in this iteration).

Although according to Stephen Colbert, perhaps they have, in some way or another (edited to add:  I realize that the innovative arm of the old AT&T was left to die at Lucent, but the telecom monopoly reference is still relevant).


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For many who do any work with quantitative data–specifically, having to display quantitative data, doing it in a way that is interesting, relevant to the audience, and yet is more creative than just a standard table or bar chart is a ceaseless quest.  I own several of Edward Tufte’s books as he is considered one of the biggest names in this kind of thought, and one of my personal goals is to attend one of his day-long seminars one day to hear the man himself speak on how to creatively display quantitative information.  The illustrations in his books are completely staggering, but are also beyond the abilities of any presentation software I’ve encountered–so alternatives need to be considered as well.

Enter Nicholas Feltron, a designer who has created his own visual “annual reports” for the past few years and recently co-founded Daytum.com, a site that encourages users to start tracking their own habits, consumption, and activities–really, anything that could be remotely quantifiable.

Here’s a screenshot of the homepage, to give you a taste:


(image source)

I submitted my email to gain an invite to submit to the site–once I do, I’ll keep you posted on any interesting charts that come my way…

(article found via swissmiss)

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About a year ago, Michael introduced me to the glory that is IKEA Hacker, and with Diana’s recent mentions of the fabulous Swedish retailer and the current economic climate, encouraging creative uses of budget-friendly furniture seems significantly more appealing than promoting buying pre-distressed furniture or fixtures at places like Restoration Hardware.


(Image from IKEA Hacker)

There are some ridiculously creative ideas out there, such as this one that took a bathroom cabinet and turned it into a comprehensive jewlery case, or this one that took a popular frame and turned it, in multiple sizes, into wall art, that it’s impossible not to be inspired.

Check it out for yourself:


(image from IKEA Hacker)

How is this not fantastic?

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Perhaps it’s my cynicism kicking in, but the more I hear about Web 2.0, the more I want to respond “Web 2.0?  More like Web two-point-eh.”

A recent project at work that circled around the topic really got me thinking about this apparent need within Millenials to be seen as influencers or vanguards of some sort–so many of us have a rich Internet presence between social networks, personal websites, blogs, tumblelogs, photo/video/140-character text/whatever-sharing sites…I think you catch my drift.  Perhaps it’s an offshoot of a very common phrase so many of us (especially those in upwardly-mobile-middle-class-suburban communities) heard growing up–“you can be whatever you want to be, and YOU can make a difference!”  Hell, Time’s Person of the Year in 2006 was YOU, complete with shiny paper meant to act as a mirror so you could gaze adoringly at yourself.  It’s as if it’s our duty to have a presence on the Internet, lest we be branded as terminally uncool and clearly not with the program.

It’s also a way for us to, in theory at least, fulfill our dreams of reaching some level of celebrity–but the legitimate kind, of course.  The thinkers, the artistes, the people who change things–those are the titles we aspire to, though some will happily take the mantle of “notorious” if it’s a way to eventually reach legitimacy (which, in my view, seems it would probably be as successful as Michael Corleone’s plan of turning his family’s buisness legitimate in The Godfather Part II).  Some have seen some success from being a boundary-pusher, but enjoying a year or two of blog success is by no means a indicator of future gains or losses.

Though the project was the initial provocation for mulling over this topic, a few examples of aspiring for “influencer” status have jumped out at me and really made me ponder: (more…)

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“Tag clouds,” like the one to the right of this entry, are just fancy ways of organizing the topics discussed most on a particular blog.  The larger the type, the more entries are tagged with it–it helps you get a feel for the subjects an author will write about the most.  On this blog, for instance, “commerce,” “fonts!,” “fashion” and “photography” are tagged the most, so they are the most noticeable.  In a report I did for work, I acutally used this kind of layout to emphasize the words and phrases most liked and disliked among respondents to provide a stark visual contrast that would be immediately recognizable, and overall it worked quite well. 

Now it seems that there are those out there who want to look at whole brands from this perspective:


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Arial is not Helvetica;


Yes, it’s another font post, but it’s so much more than that:

An exhibit devoted to linking science, art, design and even commerce?  I am so there–the website alone is profiling some 300 projects (50 not featured in the exhibition itself) across various categories.  Between this and the color exhibit I previously mentioned, expect many future posts featuring highlights of each.  And it looks like my next MoMA outing will be a very long one.

To wit, per the website:

 Over the past twenty-five years, people have weathered dramatic changes in their experience of time, space, matter, and identity. Individuals cope daily with a multitude of changes in scale and pace—working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, and being inundated with information. Adaptability is an ancestral distinction of intelligence, but today’s instant variations in rhythm call for something stronger: elasticity, the product of adaptability plus acceleration. Design and the Elastic Mind explores the reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world by bringing together design objects and concepts that marry the most advanced scientific research with attentive consideration of human limitations, habits, and aspirations. The exhibition highlights designers’ ability to grasp momentous changes in technology, science, and history—changes that demand or reflect major adjustments in human behavior—and translate them into objects that people can actually understand and use. This Web site presents over three hundred of these works, including fifty projects that are not featured in the gallery exhibition.

Curious?  Check it out here.  And stay tuned for a detailed dissection in the coming months.

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Summer Overture;

On a random evening, I found myself wondering if the genius of the Requiem for a Dream website was still up; fortunately for all of us, it still is:


Go to the webiste: http://www.requiemforadream.com/

 Seriously, it is one of the most innovative movie websites ever created.  ::sigh::

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