On unexpected gifts that made me LOL and people who’ve helped me navigate the fun intersection between design, advertising, business, online media, and more ~ Chas ran off to India for the holidays (surprisingly, not to find himself, like others i know have been) ~ as advisor and old friend of NOTCOT ~ i asked him to show me some awesome design from india ~ leave it to an ad man to find a way to mix his passion and mine ~ i was gifted with this book (and lots of pictures of india! including ads of india! But also the beautiful found throughout on his adventures.) But back to the book: Welcome To Advertising Now Get Lost by Omkar Sane. The book cover cracked me up. The idea that it had so many playful illustrations throughout was great as well. And if you read it ~ it’s a playful look at the world of ad agencies in india… from the creative directors to the art directors to the clients to the pitches and more… perhaps a lot of it is similar to how it works here. And amidst making a mockery of much of the process (filled with local references), it’s pretty funny, and an amusing perspective on how things work. And as creatives who may either live in a similar world, or tap in to it regularly ~ you’ve got to take a peek at some of the illustrations inside by Aindri Chakraborty on the next page.
CES is always madness, but in recent years when there have been more and more people i get excited to meet up with there, you’ll notice that my posts about the technology become more discriminating (and there’s less awesome to share, sadly) ~ and i actually end up finding more inspiration in the unexpected and beauty in the chaos. The other night patterns seemed to be my thing… large crazy vegas patterns that were popping up and screaming to be photographed… Or maybe me + drinks that night = pattern obsessed, but really i blame the mandarin oriental bar. It started with dinner hosted by HTC (where i might have gone unexpectedly fangirl when next to me was PCMag’s Sascha Segan mentioned his wife is the awesome artist Leontine Greenberg)…. great conversations with some fun journalists, the HTC marketing and design folks (SO fun and sweet)… followed by “O”… then regrouping for drinks at the Aria with the boys of Cool Hunting… then drinks at the Mandarin Oriental… and as the group dwindled down, and the drinks and inspiration kept flowing… you can take a peek on the next page of the visuals that captivated me!
One team of the Puma Penguin Army stands guard in my house, roaming between the hallway and office, to the media center and fireplace… a second team has gone on an adventure with the amazing Birds of a Feather photo-blog photographers Lou Mora and Sarah Yates. Where they will go and what they will get up to is in their hands now! First i got a mysterious messaged that they were getting carded by security… next i get these pictures. Somewhere on their roadtrip between LA and San Diego they seem to have stopped off outside the refineries near El Segundo… See the super fun pics on the next page!
Flipping through the last issue of V magazine, and as fun as the issue itself was, i couldn’t help but fixate on this recurring object filled font! So, naturally i snapped a bunch of pics to share it with you… it’s filled with iphones and purses and masks and champagne glasses and mittens and snow flakes and trees and sunglasses and rings and shoes and airplanes and more! See more close ups of this font and its various instances on the next page…
Merry Christmas ~ it’s been quite the branded animal holiday season for crazy packages here at NOTCOT this year, and as that “last day before christmas” delivery chaos kicked in, the most beautiful and mysterious box arrived from White Rabbit Inc. (via Fallon and Syfy) ~ you know, that special recon team that the Queen of Hearts has? With the fun microsites and awesome Alice mini series? So now i can BE part of that crazy team, and run around as a White Rabbit too!!! Check out my new latex rabbit head? I must admit its a little freaky up close, but i can’t stop poking at it. Also what better gift to receive than vials of Clear Conscience, Hope, Reassurance, Flying High, Desire, and Serenity to ring in the new decade? One can only dream that they’d perform as labeled if sipped ~ but the fun little legal note warns me otherwise. Just in case. Imagine if it were as easy as it is in Wonderland? Where the Queen lures (ok, traps) humans from our world into her casino, only to pull raw emotions out of them and through their feet to create essences for bottling by the Wonderland Tea Shop ~ they are afterall “Tea for the soul, from the soul.” So take a peek on the next page for a full unboxing as well as some Rabbit-Penguin shots…
Worth: The Evolution of Financial Intelligence. There are two aspects to this article. Firstly the design - which was actually enticing enough to make me not only grab a copy and flip through it, but to then purchase it at its pricey 20$ price tag to further dive into its Monocle sized uncoated/matte velum glossy covered magazine and take pictures to share its interesting layout/design choices with you. So on the next page you’ll find many examples of some of my favorite visual details of this recently updated magazine.
The second aspect is the business of it ~ as you’ll see in the video and press releases from just a few months ago, this 18 year old magazine title was acquired by Sandow Media (of LUXE and New Beauty) in 2008 ~ and only 2 issues ago completely redesigned. Not only in look and feel, but also focus and revenue model. In a time where we are watching magazines close monthly, print dinosaurs falter, and online advertising still finding its legs (at least conceptually!) ~ Worth magazine has taken on an interesting concept lead by publisher Patrick Williams (from the Economist and Conde Nast’s Portfolio - which while also beautiful and infographic heavy, didn’t last long): “The Worth Leading Wealth Advisor Program” where essentially they have wealth advisors underwriting the profits of the magazine by having them thoroughly vetted, and if accepted they pay for an opportunity to write articles for the magazine and have 100 copies to distribute (to their clients and potential Worth future readers?). This is in addition to their advertisements as a revenue stream… and their bold move not to allow subscriptions (unless you are considered a high net worth reader and happen upon a free subscription), the only way to acquire Worth is to pay their $18.95 cover price. And Patrick even says in the Bloomberg interview that “We want to be known as the 20 buck magazine, which makes us the most expensive magazine in America.” Funny thing is when i first landed on their site, the most surprising usability issue i encountered was not being able to find a subscribe button, usually they are huge, flashing, or begging you to click them on magazine sites. I guess not being allowed to subscribe will make some want it even more…?
Business aside. Its a gorgeous magazine, and i am quite intrigued by their layouts and typographic decisions. The paper also feels stunning to hold in your hand, and it’s quite an interesting read… awaiting future issues to see if it holds up. Oh, and i’m smitten by the fact that they have lovely Object of Desire pages. See pics on the next page ~ as well as the Bloomberg video.
Happy Holidays! Here’s what just came from Winstanley ~ and this little plastic petri dish came with playful cheeky cards warning us how to deal with the H0H0 Chimney Flu as well as two jingle bells… and they lead you to play this addictive holiday season version of brick breaker. See more pics of the silliness on the next page!
Sometimes i get so excited i think in pictures. Too giddy for words? So many stunning details to show you? SO, after showing you the awesome ads that came together in McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama ~ as promised, here is a look inside the newspaper itself. Basically i sat down outside with newspaper and camera in hand, and as i got excited reading through it, snapped pics of the visual details that grabbed me… and omg there are a LOT, so here is the curated down visual inspiration from the Panorama to give you a taste. As for the intellectual literary goodness, you’re really going to have to grab a copy and catch up on that yourself, but for the visual overview and some of the hilariously inspiring details this should whet your appetite for the moment. Hope you enjoy it as much as i do!
We need more of this in our lives. I feel like such a slacker right now. Suddenly i want NOTCOT in print. Anyhow… go see the pics of what newspapers SHOULD be like!
p.s. … also, blogs and websites will never be as fun to take outside and shoot… with a camera.
I love print. I love magazines first and foremost, and newspapers right behind that. They just FEEL so good! All these lists of things that became obsolete in the last decade keep including magazines and newspapers and honestly it just makes me want to cry a little. And you know what else i absolutely adore in those mediums? ADVERTISING! When its good… which so often it can be amazing. Also collectively, taking a look advertising in a magazine or paper says a lot about the publication itself. Picking the right ads is critical ~ as much as people seem to want to squeeze anything on sites some days (yes, you advertisers know who you are) ~ choose wisely. Also if EVERYTHING moves digital, what am i supposed to read when the power’s out and its a gorgeous sunny day? Hmmm?
Ok that’s my little print/ad rant for the moment… mildly triggered by my overwhelming inspiration rush from sitting out in the sun reading, flipping through, and shooting McSweeney’s San Francisco Panorama… which is AMAZING. But since i ended up with so many parts i wanted to show you… lets start with the advertising that grabbed me. Literally with every page flip it was “oooooh amazing picture…. wow what a fascinating read… wait, that pic is actually an AD?” Both the graphics and advertisers that made it in are quite stunning, and together say so so much about the world they’ve created in the newspaper. So before i get to the rest, take a peek at some of the stunning design and fun ads that grabbed me.
This morning i woke up and fell for Keith Noordzy’s “Man Made Disaster Studies” which he has in the latest Gallery 1988 show Paper Pushers. So clean, so thoughtful, so dangerous (both the enormous sea creatures and the weapons of mass destruction) ~ love them! See them all on the next page!
On completely unexpected pieces of mail ~ Anthropologie really knows how to add those special little touches to the customer experience. While i was mixed on joining and getting an Anthro Card when i was at the Man Shops Globe event (and couldn’t help buying something) i gave in and signed up. The benefits weren’t quite clear… but i just recieved a pretty little bubble wrap envelop from them containing the cutest birdthday wishes with a cupcake made from piercings (a fun change from the letterpress trend) and a candle necklace… as well as an in store discount. But presentation matters! And it was such a surprising and adorable card. So thanks, Anthropologie, that was a pretty cute move. Check out close ups on the next page… even the copy is playful.
You’ve seen the other Target Gift Cards ~ but the incredible detail of the artwork and illustrations on the Winter Fishing Hole Game Gift Card deserved a post of its own! Full scan of the game board as well as the pieces/packaging are on the next page in addition to some fun closeups. From the signature on the game’s board, figured out that the design is by brothers, Don and Ryan Clark, of Invisible Creature ~ who posted about the project earlier this month. They do some amazing gig posters, illustration work, and more ~ in particular i’m loving their monsters and creatures tonight! Take a peek at one of the coolest gift cards i’ve seen in a while on the next page ~ and if you think about it, it’s a pretty cheap piece of art that is practically free… you can load it up with $5 to buy the gift card, then use that to buy something else and have the fun game to play or pin up somewhere! Details on the next page aren’t to be missed!
On breathtaking gallery openings ~ SHAG’s “Autumn’s Come Undone” show at the Corey Helford Gallery is incredible. I showed you a preview earlier, and now the full show preview is available here… the show consists of new paintings as well as huge 6-foot wide panoramic giclee panels on canvas ~ in singles, pairs, and triples ~ these larger than life panoramas have so many details going on at once you can literally stand and stare at them constantly discovering more and more! The way they are displayed in the gallery is beautiful in and of itself ~ take a look at the scene on the next page!
Back in March of 2007, Dave Pressler sent over some adorable little Endorphins ~ and ever since, they’ve moved with me to various homes and always lived under or near my monitors. Who doesn’t need some super happy little endorphin critters nearby at all times? Well, he’s gone and dissected one of his larger ones, and anyone fascinated with anatomy can’t help but to stare at what he’s dreamed up is really INSIDE these guys… look at those fangs! And that skull in its… stomach? And that mini spine! It’s all so fascinating, go see closeups on the next page!
On intriguing art that just showed up in my inbox, Moss in association with Edelman Arts presents Remains by Cathy McClure. “Hands wielding scissors, McClure massacres the motor-driven robotic plush toys, eviscerating them through a Geppetto-like taxidermy until she gets down, as she says, ‘into the guts of the piece’.” The truly amazing part isn’t that she guts these toys (didn’t we all as kids?) ~ but she then re-casts the parts in bronze and reassembles them! The result is fascinating… is it now high art? is it still a toy? do they still work? Apparently the original circuit boards, batteries, gears, and voice boxes are all re-installed, but you can’t help but wonder how those gears will handle the new weight… looking forward to seeing these in person, they will be at Moss in NY November 20th through December 31st, with a quick trip to Miami for Art Basel Dec 2nd through 5th… see more pics and information on the next page.