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Posts from September 2006

I love t-shirts

And I love digital things.

So I really love these digital t-shirts that Philips have just unveiled - obvious opportunities for branded t-shirts / promotional staff etc.

And whilst I would hate to contribute to an explosion of neon somatic spam, I know two things:

  1. Delivering value alongside messaging to consumers is the only way we earn the right to talk to them in the first place
  2. People never refuse a free t-shirt

PS. Bestival absolutely rocked - photos have been Flickd.

Excursion into liminal space #2

As part of my ongoing investigation into liminal space, accepting that there is some disagreement as what constitutes such, I'm off to Bestival.

As the world's largest fancy dress party, it seems there is a specific attempt here to invert normal order and abandon indentity, which seems to make this a good contender for a liminal space.

I'll let you know what I find.

There has been a lot of festivals this summer, as I'm sure everyone has noticed. Not just brand experiences but numerous specific attempts to move beyond the reach of brands with smaller and more 'alternative' festivals.

PSFK picked up this Guardian article that talks about it.

To me this is part of something much bigger. I have an idea that the digitisation of content has led to it being devalued and that there is consequently a premium placed on transient, one time only experiences. More on this when I get back. Once I've thought about it a bit.

Oh and if you happen to be coming down to the Isle of Wight - do say hi. I'll be the one dressed as a black and white jester thing.

Wicked Syt

Spotted this wonderful grafitti near Archway in London.

Whilst I may not buy into Saatchi's Lovemarks like J C Penny has, it's a fact that some brands achieve a place in our hearts / minds that is way beyond favourability or preference.

[Note: I also can't believe there is going to be a sequel to Lovemarks - The Lovemarks Effect. For a good review of Lovemarks see Russell. ]

And to large extent I think this is founded on what they do, not what they say.

Or, more accurately, brands for whom there is no disconnect between their communication and their service/product, where brand behaviour is a template for everything the company ever does and when this behaviour somehow strikes a chord with people, that cuts through the well established cynicism with which real people treat companies.

So perhaps looking at how these 200 brands that have been nominated as Lovemarks  by real people will allow us to pick up some clues.

Looking at Apple, Superman, Google, Family Guy, The Beatles, 42 Below and LEGO as examples of brands that have got it right probably isn't a bad place to start.

Loving the Penguin

By now everyone in and around east London will have seen this clever bit of urban spam for Penguin. I like it - it's smart and turns a boring space into something appealing, like EINE has been doing for years all over the East End.

But I don't want to talk about that.

Penguin has an excellent email newsletter that I've received for ages. However I've never bought anything because of it, until this morning.

Penguin are reviving the lost art of the weekly serial with The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters: A Victorian Adventure for the Digital Age. It looks lovely and gothic - I love the idea of serialised fiction - but they've also been very smart in converting this idea online.

There are only 5000 subscriptions available and you can only subscribe online. By building exclusivity in alongside a very sensible price point [£25] they made the online purchase an easy decision to make.

So go and sign up. Before they are all gone.

Web Trends


This week I was contacted by Carl from HyperIsland - a Swedish New Media Design school - who wanted my thoughts on web trends and that.

His questions are below, with my answers, but since I'm all about the collaborative web,  it might be interesting for Carl to get your thoughts too.

Question 1
What do think is the hottest in the web industry at this moment?

It's all about web 2.0. But that's a meaningless phrase. To me it is:

Collaborative wisdom / creativity - meta tagging, folksonomies, open source creation, sharing, involvement

Question 2
What do you predict that we will see more of on the technical side in the near future?

Dynamic web functionality - Ajax, Comet

Thin client computing - Google Spreadsheets

Question 3
What future trends do you think we’ll see in the next 2 years?

More interconnection - xml style data sets that can be manipulated and used in different ways.

Question 4
What would you recommend us students to learn?
4a. Design
4b. Tech
4c. Management

If you had to choose one thing what would that be?

That really depends on what you want to do - increasingly online design and tech will be interlinked.

I think design is in some ways going to be a higher order skill set - something that can't be outsourced - but design will be difficult to untangle from tech.