The story of a boy born on the day Pentagram opened and how his life has been tracked (and kerned) by forty years of Pentagram design.
We have a special guest joining us this week for the Vinylphile Files, my partner in crime, Kate Kidder. Before grabbing some lunch, we stopped in to the local record shop where she picked up The Best of The Drifters: Up On The Roof and Jr. Walker & The All Stars: Greatest Hits. I managed to find Walter Carlos’ Clockwork Orange (more of a supplement to the official soundtrack for the film, which was composed by Wendy Carlos, formerly Walter Carlos). Also making its way into my record collection is Cat Steven’s electronic/folk album, Izitso.
And in the interest of keeping things interesting, here’s a playlist of favourite songs from each album.
Branded films are the logical evolution of commercials and product placement. Rather than just inserting their product, message, or offering into content that audiences are flocking too, brands are electing to create that content — to become that flocking point. It’s not a new avenue, but it is an advancing one. For example, this short film titled ‘A Therapy’ was commissioned by Prada and recently premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Recent years have seen branded films from Chivas Regal and Dior, to name only a couple. A somewhat similar tactic is now being employed by Nike Football, who created an interactive cinematic experience on YouTube. The marketing for the film Prometheus is also using short films to extend the word of the feature-length, something I mentioned in an earlier blog post.
These branded shorts aren’t marketers emulating filmic direction and tropes to evoke the sense of cinema. They are marketers hiring Hollywoodland talent (actors, directors, the whole kit and) to build their products and brands into immersive experiences. The films go a long way in defining the tone of a brand, and building a narrative for its products. They can range from conjuring mystique and intrigue around an understated brand to standing as a veritable instruction manual for a boldly presented one. Even standard 30-second spots are coming to resemble these branded films more and more.
The question that lingers around these branded films is whether they are hearkening to media trends gone by, or the evolution of the old ways into something modern and relevant. Brands sometimes serialize the shorts (New Era for example) to create identification between their characters and the audience. The coming years will either see these films fall by the wayside, or develop into something even more immersive. But as they are, largely events of passive viewership, they may not last. However, if the films are now considered impartial enough to screen at Cannes, who knows where they can go. Genuine entertainment will hold audiences, whether there’s a brand behind it or not. If you can get your audience knowingly engaged with your brand for seven straight minutes, you must be doing something right.
Inspired by counting machines, Traffic Manager Paul Duque learned to use Illustrator for the first time and created Wallpaper of the Week #07 – “Abacus”
Alan Turing would be proud.
Aaron Draplin is a designer, a collector, and a working class american. He believes that history should be preserved and that we should be thankful for the modern tools that designers so often take for granted. You can find his giant collection of old logos, typography, and illustration on his flickr, or on his personal blog.
This week the vinylphiles in the office brought in a modest haul. Anthony found the 1 month old Death Grips debut studio album, “The Money Store,” while I found a re-released classic; “Wild Style: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack”. Hopefully this light load keeps me popping and locking until next week.
Wallpaper of the Week #06, designed by Ana Morgan, celebrates National Bike Week. The kinetic spiral geometry expresses the secret to cycling; perpetual motion. The colours employed in the work hold aloft two significant elements to the sport. The first, the fiery red tones of the right-most wheel, communicate the speed and passion of the sport. The complementary greens throw a nod to the environmental benefits presented by cycling. Finally, the connectivity and overlap of the separate components in the image show how in their best moments, the rider becomes one with the bicycle. — C.E.
Alligators swimming the sewers, mole people bunkered in subway tunnels; New York City is no stranger to denizens of the underground. But Dan Barasch and James Ramsey are pushing this reality further still. The duo are turning an abandoned trolley terminal, abandoned in 1948, into an actual underground park.
The space, dubbed ‘Delancey Underground’ or ‘LowLine’, will be NYC’s first underground park. LowLine is embracing the digital capabilities of 2012 to convert a subterranean cave into a gala of sunlight, greenery, and fresh air. It’ll use fiber optic cables to gather and transfer sunlight from the surface. The cables will even support photosynthesis, making natural trees and shrubbery a definite inclusion in LowLine. Barasch and Ramsey are partnering with the same engineering firm working on the + Pool initiative, also in NYC. + Pool is working on developing filtration systems that would make public pools possible in some on New York’s most befouled waters.
The LowLine project already ran on Kickstarter, and raised more than enough funds to proceed into its next stage. This seems revolutionary. It’s terraformation. It’s one small step closer to (Kim Stanley Robinson’s) Red Mars, Green Mars, Blue Mars.
All in all, this is really, really cool.