Friday, November 19, 2010

This is the cover of Jay-Z's new book Decoded.  The ink blot symbolizes himself (or as he sees himself) as an ambiguous entity, impossible to define, and interpreted uniquely by each individual.  I don't know if I buy all that about him personally, but I really like the concept and am interested to take a look at the book just because of that.  I really like the chosen colors on the cover.  It's more subtle and organic than what I would assume Jay-Z would want on the shelf.  Good work Hova!

Good and Bad Infographics

This infographic, Rally Capitol, depicts an approximate attendance at rallies and protests in Washington. Landmarks are numbered and the crowd is color coded according to the estimated number of people present in that area.  Across the bottom are descriptions of six rallies held from 2000 until the present and the estimated number of people who attended.  It packs a lot of information (and a lot of people) into a small, organized space.  A typical depiction would be several bar graphs, but this uses the actual geographic layout and color coded symbols to create a new way of looking at this information.

The image in this infographic, Political Nascar, is needlessly confusing.  On the left is a list of top contributors by industry for each candidate.  On the right are the two candidates as Nascar drivers with their contributors patched on their shirts and pants.  Then there is another set of symbols that represent other types of industries (very few of which are found on the lists on the left) which correspond to the patches on the drivers' clothes.  That was confusing just to explain.  Anyhow, I'm not sure how the numbers on the left correlate to the images on the right and why there's an extra set of symbols in the middle.  Also, what does each candidate have to do with Nascar anyway?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Adventures with Bon Bon

I bought this calendar in 2003.  It features this little Japanese/French girl who goes on adventures throughout the year.  Each month captures her in a different setting.  I've never seen any other Bon Bon gear and a brief Google search didn't bring up anything either.  Perhaps Bon Bon's last adventure was her last (gasp!)  Anyhow, even though the 2003 calendar year is long gone, I still have her snapshots lining my wall just because I like the images so much.  I enjoy the simple shapes used to create such an adorable and mischievious little heroine!

Overthinking It

I stumbled across this blog called Overthinking It.  I'm new to the blogosphere so forgive me if this is one of those sites that everyone knows about except for me (this happens a lot.)  The site "subjects the popular culture to a level of scrutiny it probably doesn't deserve."  This is what I do all day every day!  I particularly liked the post on "Glee"'s misogyny issues.   

Product Package With A Story To Tell

Sam Adams beer boxes include a short and sweet story.  You can't read it from the picture here, but underneath Boston Lager, it says, "Back in 1984, I dreamt of starting my own brewery. I found my great-great-grandfather's 1860 recipe in the attic and began brewing it in my kitchen. This is still the best beer I brew. I hope you will enjoy each sip."

There's a different story on each Sam Adams flavor - Dunkelweizen, Harvest Pumpkin Ale, Octoberfest, Winter Ale, Noble Pills, Holiday Porter, Chocolate Bock, etc.  The Sam Adams website has more narratives.  For example, a new episode is posted every couple of weeks documenting the current Sam Adams/Weihenstephan collaboration.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Kid Koala is a young Canadian DJ/turntablist (I just learned this word) signed to the British record label Ninja Tune. He has participated in several alternative hip hop groups including the Gorillaz.  I found one of his old CDs recently called Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.  This is the CD book, a fun but odd little narrative.  This is only the first few pages.  The entire story is 34 pages.  Check it out.  What do you think happens next?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Really: New Windows Phone 7 Official Ad

Have you seen this commercial?  I think it's funny and smart.  A friend of mine said that she interpreted it as saying, "Our new phone will suck so bad that you won't want to use it."  That's not how I took it though.  First of all, I couldn't stop watching this commercial.  We've all been in or observed these scenarios before and it really makes me want to say, "Really?!" sometimes.  Anyhow, I interpreted the message to be that this phone will be simpler to navigate through, making it easier to find what you're looking for so that you can put the phone down sooner.  How did you interpret it?


I've always been a Cirque du Soleil fan and I despise when people say "Circus du Soleil."  (That's two languages!)  Today I learned that the French-Canadian circus company recently began selling tickets to their Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour, which will feature the King of Pop's music and moves.  Sure, I'd consider myself an MJ fan, not because I feel any innately significant connection to his music but simply because I did grow up in America, where he happens to be a legend and an icon despite his questionable decision-making skills.

There is a unifying narrative woven throughout the show, which takes place in Neverland, "a fantastical realm where we discover Michael's inspirational Giving Tree - the wellspring of his creativity. The secrets of Michael's inner world are unlocked - his love of music and dance, fairy tale and magic, and the fragile beauty of nature."

I'm interested to see where this story takes us.  First of all, the Giving Tree is an intriguing character in the storyline.  The children's book of the same name by Shel Silverstein always had dark undertones to me.  The boy in the book and the Giving Tree shared an odd relationship, unhealthy and somewhat abusive (or maybe I'm just entirely too cynical.)  Anyhow, I'm assuming that Michael's Giving Tree will represent his fame and fortune, which provides for him nearly anything he could ever want, just as the Giving Tree did for the young boy in the children's book.  So I'm curious to see how they will portray Michael's Giving Tree as "inspirational" or if they're going to allow some of its inherent darkness (that I think is there) to shine through.  I could really see it working either way.

Also - "fragile beauty of nature?"  By the time he passed, there was nothing natural about Michael Jackson and I doubt he had any concept of fragility either considering the amount of synthetic drugs he consumed regularly.  I found that phrase to be an odd choice of words in the show description.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Candy Snatcher

When we were constructing these five scenes, the action was so crystal clear to me.  It was interesting to see how everyone else interpreted it.  Shapes and placement are lot more complicated than I thought, making the range of interpretation broader than expected.