Six Degrees of Separation … no more

For years Frigyes Karinthy’s 1929 theory of Six Degrees of Separation led us to believe that any two people are separated by just six degrees aka friendly acquaintances. But today – the day Facebook turns 12 and deemed “Friends Day” – they also just shrunk that number to 3.57.

According to VentureBeat‘s website, “In newly released statistics, Facebook claims that its services have reduced the degree of separation between users — now 3.57 degrees, compared to 3.74 degrees in 2011. The company interprets this is a sign that in the past five years, we’ve grown more connected globally, something it hopes to continue to advance through its various initiatives.”

6 Degrees of Separation

To see how close or far removed from everybody you are on Facebook, log into your account and visit their “separation research” page.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 February 4th, 2016|Big Thinking, In The News|Comments Off on Six Degrees of Separation … no more

Humor Does It – Health Insurance Style

As the first month of the new year is coming to an end, so is the open enrollment period for health insurance. And health insurance companies want to make sure you know it – with mailings, phone calls and advertisements…

One company is taking to the approach with humor: OSCAR – the healthier health insurance. While the campaign launched last year, it is still going strong… too bad they only provide coverage in New York, New Jersey, California, and Texas.

oscar-healthinsurance

2017-11-08T09:38:15+00:00 January 21st, 2016|Design, Humor|Comments Off on Humor Does It – Health Insurance Style

Pantone Colors of the Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity

Pantone Colors of the Year - Rose Quartz and Serenity

The Pantone Color Institute® – always up for a surprise this year – for the first time announced two colors of the year for 2016. While they are called “Rose Quartz” and “Serenity” they might have come straight from a baby announcement, as they are essentially shades of light pink and baby blue.

While Christina Binkley from the Wall Street Journal joked “It’s twins!” Pantone insists that is not the case.

“Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times. … Joined together, Rose Quartz and Serenity demonstrate an inherent balance between a warmer embracing rose tone and the cooler tranquil blue, reflecting connection and wellness as well as a soothing sense of order and peace.” Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute was quoted on the company’s website.

Quite different than Benjamin Moore’s choice for the Color of the Year – Simply White – or Sherwin-Williams 2016 pick of Alabaster.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 December 3rd, 2015|Design, In The News|Comments Off on Pantone Colors of the Year – Rose Quartz & Serenity

Thanksgetting, Really?

Black Friday kicked off the countdown to the Holidays, with the official start of the shopping frenzy, followed by Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

But in recent years Thanksgiving has been losing more and more ground, with retailers opening their doors earlier each year, cutting into the time people used to spend gathered around the dinner table, listing the things (or people) they were thankful for.

While some stores took a stand and decided to stay closed for the holidays this year, one retailer’s message was simply a reflection of greed. Verizon’s message was “Thanksgetting – Get more for the Holidays.”

Thanksgetting via Verizon

It’s one thing for businesses to always be thinking about the bottom line, they want to stay in business after all, but to be so blatant … it’s not really in the spirit of the holidays.

What do you think – is honesty the best approach?

Image via Verizon

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 November 30th, 2015|Design|Comments Off on Thanksgetting, Really?

Happy Thanksgiving

thanksgiving

As we come together between parades and pumpkin pie, in small gatherings or crowds, we give thanks – taking a moment to marvel in all the things we tend to take for granted.

Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 November 26th, 2015|Design|Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving

Mistakes Happen

map-ben-carson

Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson’s campaign shared a U.S. map on various social media platforms with several states positioned and shaped incorrectly – presenting a reimagined Northeastern United States.

As Citylab pointed out: “In Carson’s America, most of New England has broken free from its anchors east of New York, drifting so far up the coast that Connecticut is now as far north as Vermont. Massachusetts and New Hampshire are even farther north, falling solidly above Real America’s border with Canada. But that should come as good news to Vermont, which now gets miles and miles of prime beachfront property to the south and east.”

Image via Citylab

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 November 20th, 2015|In The News|Comments Off on Mistakes Happen

The Word of the Year 2015 is… not a Word

This is a first. Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is not a word, but rather an emoji – 😂 – ‘Face with Tears of Joy’.

Word of the Year 2015

Oxford Dictionaries said that the pictograph “best reflected the ethos, mood and preoccupations of 2015” and provided a brief history of the word: “An emoji is ‘a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication’; the term emoji is a loanword from Japanese, and comes from e ‘picture’ + moji ‘letter, character’. The similarity to the English word emoticon has helped its memorability and rise in use, though the resemblance is actually entirely coincidental: emoticon (a facial expression composed of keyboard characters, such as ;), rather than a stylized image) comes from the English words emotion and icon.”

The use of emojis has seen an enormous growth, as usage more than tripled in 2015 over the previous year. While emojis have been adopted as a form of expression, even bridging language barriers, they are always open to interpretation. What the writer tries to articulate while using a certain emoji might not necessarily mean exactly what it stands for or the recipient reads into.

Take the quiz below to see what I mean:

For the shortlist of other contenders for Word-of-the-Year, check out the article on Oxford Dictionaries blog.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 November 17th, 2015|Humor, In The News|Comments Off on The Word of the Year 2015 is… not a Word

Starbucks Customers Are Seeing Red

Starbucks Red Cup

As a non-coffee drinker I am not one of the people anxiously awaiting the reveal of Starbucks’ red holiday cups. I noticed them in the past, but didn’t pay much attention. This year there is no avoiding it though. The controversy over the past few days was a bit surprising to say the least, as some people declared this years two-toned ombré design, with a bright poppy color on top fading into a darker cranberry, and lacking the typical seasonal decorations, wasn’t Christmassy enough. (Some even going so far as to declare there being a War on Christmas.)

Starbucks’ website states that “Taking a cue from customers who have been doodling designs on cups for years … this year’s design is another way Starbucks is inviting customers to create their own stories with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas.” and quotes vice president for design and content, Jeffrey Fields, saying that the company “wanted to usher in the holidays with a purity of design that welcomes all of our stories.”

But there has been quite a stir on social media with people vowing to boycott the coffee giant, while others point out that the red cup, paired with the green colored logo is speaking to the prominence of Christmas this holiday season – not Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday for that matter.

Fortune stated in an article on it’s website, that “In recent years, the Starbucks brand has become closely associated with the holidays. In its January earnings report, the company said that one in seven American adults received a Starbucks gift card during the holiday season—up from one in eight the year prior. And in its release introducing its red cups this year, the company said that in the 48 hours following the release of its 2014 red cup, a photograph of one was shared on Instagram every 14 seconds.”

All this controversy over a cup that’s meant to celebrate the holiday season. In the end it all comes down to this: People are still getting their coffee at Starbucks (even many of those who vowed to boycott the chain) and the brand most likely won’t be hurt in the long run.

Image via Starbucks UK

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 November 11th, 2015|In The News|Comments Off on Starbucks Customers Are Seeing Red

Humor Does It

Pumpkin Spice

A sense of humor can go a long way and businesses can profit by engaging with customers and making an impression by stepping outside the realm of the expected.

“Laughter relieves stress and boredom, boosts engagement and well-being, and” – according to Harvard Business Review – “spurs not only creativity and collaboration but also analytic precision and productivity.”

2017-11-08T09:34:05+00:00 November 4th, 2015|Big Thinking, Humor, Inspiration, Local|Comments Off on Humor Does It