Support

Until November 26 two large hands are emerging from the Grand Canal at the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel in Venice, as part of Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn’s monumental installation titled ‘Support’ which highlights the very real threat climate change causes to the city of Venice.

To quote an article from urmagazine: “Reflecting on the two sides of human nature, the creative and the destructive, as well as the capacity for humans to act and make an impact on history and the environment, Quinn addresses the ability for humans to make a change and re-balance the world around them – environmentally, economically, socially. Support sees Quinn reflect on and readdress these global issues by echoing the meticulous execution and technique of the Masters of the past to create a powerful and unique sculpture which will be displayed during the Venice Biennale 2017.”

The artist’s website currently features a video showcasing the installation process.

Support by Lorenzo Quinn – Venice Biennale 2017 from Lorenzo Quinn
Image via urdesign courtesy of Halcyon Gallery and Lorenzo Quinn

2017-05-23T08:49:52+00:00 May 22nd, 2017|Big Thinking, Design, In The News|Comments Off on Support

Give Bl _ _ d / #MissingType

In their #MissingType campaign, London-based PR company Engine Group and NHS Blood & Transplant, tried to get people’s attention by eliminating the letters A, B and O from public landmarks and participating brands across the globe.

missing-type-opera

Image by Sydney Opera House via Instagram

missing-type-msterdm

Image by Iamsterdam via Twitter

missing-type-marmite

Image by Marmite via Twitter

The (missing) letters – A, B and O – are used to identify the main blood types. The campaign hoped to reverse a decline in new donors and encourage blood donations to meet the need for blood in the future.

According to an article on NPR the NHS said: “The shortage of new donors is a worldwide phenomenon… A survey of blood services participating in the Missing Type campaign found the number of first-time donors per year had dropped more than 27 percent between 2005 and 2015.”

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 August 25th, 2016|Big Thinking, In The News|Comments Off on Give Bl _ _ d / #MissingType

FlyBabies

In honor of Mother’s Day, JetBlue gave passengers on a recent flight from JFK to Long Beach a reason to smile every time a baby cried.

An announcement was made at the beginning of the cross-country flight, that travelers would receive a 25% discount off their next ticket purchase every time a baby cried. In the end passengers applauded the babies who helped them get a free ticket.

Not designed to increase sales, but rather to create more compassion among travelers, JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston said, “We’re hoping to inspire … conversation and know that while it may be tough for you to sit next to a crying kid, we hope you can think about the stress that parent is going through,” he said. “And maybe we can be a little bit more supportive of moms.”

Another airline made passengers very happy for a different holiday.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 May 5th, 2016|Big Thinking, Humor, In The News|Comments Off on FlyBabies

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

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

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

The Future is Here

When Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) went on their second adventure, traveling 30 years back in time to October 21, 2015, they most likely didn’t anticipate the excitement that would accompany the movie more than a quarter of a century later.

While everybody is talking about “Back to the Future II” and which predictions came true (video conferencing, big screen tv’s, virtual-reality goggles, the cubs (having a chance at) winning the world series) and which didn’t (flying cars, hover boards, “Jaws 19”) – two brands are emerging as true winners of product placement years after the fact.

Pepsi Perfect - Back to The Future II

Image via Click 2 Houston

PepsiCo released a limited edition Pepsi bottle today to pay tribute to Marty McFly’s arrival in the future and to celebrate one of the biggest movie franchises of all time.

“Pepsi fans asked and we heard them loud and clear,” said Lou Arbetter, PepsiCo’s senior director of marketing, in a statement. “The ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy was as big a moment in pop culture history then as it is now, 30 years later. We are excited to be part of this moment and to bring fans something only Pepsi could deliver – and there’s no need to wait – the future is now!”

PepsiCo even released a commercial for the product launch. Not that it was necessary to sell the product. Retailing at $20.15 – to commemorate the year – the bottle had a limited run of 6,500 and appeared to have sold out immediately.

Nike, whose shoes had also been featured in the 1989 film, released 1500 replica pairs in 2011, and although they were not of the self-lacing type as in the movie, the company raised $4.7 million dollars for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.

Having filed a patent back in 2009, Nike did confirm that an actual self-lacing shoe was in development, teasing fans yesterday with a tweet to Michael J. Fox stating “see you tomorrow.”

Maybe today is the future?

Update: Self-lacing are indeed here. Nike send a pair to Michael J. Fox along with a hand written letter from Tinker Hatfield, the shoe’s inventor. The self-lacing shoes will be produced in 2016 and once again auctioned off to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. The actor showed them off, appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

2017-05-22T13:16:58+00:00 October 21st, 2015|Big Thinking, Humor, In The News, Videos|Comments Off on The Future is Here