Posts tagged “poster”

Pumping For Thrills

The other day, my car on fumes, I stopped at a 76 station. While I was filling up, I noticed some amusing signs. One was a taxonomy of bugs, as seen post-windshield. The other suggested some stretches to do while you waited. Master shot and details, below.

I guess they’ve had this campaign for a while now, but as an infrequent 76 customer, this was my first time seeing it. The tone confuses me: I can’t tell if they are wry or serious. I guess, yeah, it would be good to stretch during a long drive. But why are the names of the exercise all smart-ass driving jokes? And it would be good to learn about the bugs around us, but smushed ones? It seems like something BoingBoing would link to, but not something a mainstream American corporation would post next to the pumps. I’m all for brands unstodgying themselves, but they aren’t taking a holistic approach to the experience (go figure). Other than seeing those signs, everything about my gas station experience was like every other time I’ve filled up at every other station. Except the buyers remorse when I found gas cheaper elsewhere an hour later. If you want to reframe your commodity as a destination, you have to think a little bigger than just swapping out the credit card ads for bug posters.

ChittahChattah Quickies

Hollandia Produce Launches Squircle Packaging [The Packer] – I was thrilled to come across the term squircle the other day, in the context of this packaging redesign. Of course, Wikipedia has something to say about it and the name has found its way to content and design firms, too.

Hollandia Produce LLC is launching a clamshell redesign – called the Squircle – for its Living Butter Lettuce. The design incorporates features of both a square and a circle, optimizing space and enabling automated packaging systems. On the shipping side, it gives a 20% increase in units per pallet…Consumer and frequent-user focus group studies showed the new design maintains brand recognition while attracting first-time buyers.

Thirteen movie poster trends that are here to stay and what they say about their movies [Oh No They Didn’t!] – Compilations of visually similar, to put it gently, movie posters. In the way that the entertainment industry has created tropes within the content of the film that engage us in actively creating the plot at the same time as are following it, the marketing of film has established its own set of visual memes and cultural cues. Repetition and familiarity establish shorthand, and while we may decry the lack of originality, the predictability seems to work financially. Bonus from All This ChittahChattah years ago: Good ideas never go out of style.

Run For Your Life – Apparently all action heroes run through the same blue-lit, narrow alleyway when trying to escape/catch the bad guys. It’s also possible that graphic designers just re-use the same stock image of the running guy over and over again. The movies themselves are pretty similar to the Black/Orange ones except that all the explosions have been replaced with angst.

Hunk Gets Chunky: Personal Trainer Vows to Get Fat [ABC News] – While at one point in the article this is dismissed as a publicity stunt, the idea of producers experiencing what their consumers experience is compelling. From Black Like Me to Patricia Moore and now Fat Like Me. It seems unlikely that this trainer can replicate the motivational, cognitive, emotional, gustatory and many other issues that affect body image, diet, and exercise, but at least mechanically trying to lose weight as his clients are should be revelatory. I hope he does something with this experience.

The 32-year-old former underwear model has ballooned from about 180 pounds to 233 since last month. He has given himself until the end of March to get to his goal of 265 pounds, a weight he intends to keep for a few months. “A lot of my clients have been skipping classes,” he said of the motivation behind his burgeoning pudge. “I decided I really didn’t understand what they were feeling and their emotions.”

Dinosaur bones an untapped market for luxury set [SF Chronicle] – The recent story about the blinged-out iPad made with crushed dinosaur bones is obviously part of a larger trend towards dino luxe. I really love days when you can’t tell the real news from the fake news.

“Market value comes down to what a person is willing to shell out for a dinosaur,” says the 60-year-old dino dealer, who has been in the business since 1985, selling Jurassic ribs for $350 each, Cretaceous toes at $295 a digit and a 16-foot-long Camarasaurus tail for $20,000. Wall Street recognition will be fast and furious once he can supply the market with dinosaur genitalia, says Prandi…Hollywood stars Nicolas Cage and Leonardo DiCaprio in 2007 entered into a spirited bidding war at I.M. Chait auctioneers in Beverly Hills over who would go home with a 67 million-year-old T. rex skull. Cage’s $276,000 bid won the day. “Whether a Brontosaurus looks good in your salon is a matter of taste, Lajotte-Robaglia says, “but these customers are young wealthy people who grew up mesmerized by Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ and find the aesthetics of a dinosaur more interesting than a Picasso.” Prandi says confirming a dinosaur’s provenance is just as tricky as verifying the authenticity of a work by the Spanish master. “A lot of people call me up from all over the country and say, ‘I found a dinosaur in my backyard,’ but it turns out to be a rock that looks like a dinosaur,” Prandi says. Even so, the United States remains the world leader in mining luxury dinosaurs.

Election Campaign Posters Around The World

Tokyo, 2002. Don’t you just love the jogging inset?

Bali, 2007. I was reminded of Wanted! posters.

Brussels, 2009. All the European Parliament election posters we saw had an “ordinary-person” vibe to them, just slightly gussied up for the poster.

More pictures from Belgium here.
More pictures from Bali here
More pictures from Japan (2002 here, 2008 here)

Collateral Damage

I got this thing in the mail from a company called Veer. The cover slip said: “A giant hand. Angsty Cats. Rioting Models.”


How could I not open it?


It turned out to be a huge advertisement poster. It was so big that once I’d unfolded it, I had to lay it on a chair.

It looked like such a pain in the ass to fold it up again that I left it lying there and went and made coffee.

I was standing in the living room again a few minutes later deciding what to do with my Saturday morning, and I started absentmindedly reading some of the copy on the poster.

It was like I’d created a Veer billboard in my living room.

There was a picture of a sweatshirt I thought was kind of cool. Turns out it’s for sale at Veer’s website. (Veer’s primary business is selling stock photography, fonts, and other graphic design resources.) Then, a description of an animated short that sounded interesting, free to view on the site.

Next thing I know, I’m on my way to Veer’s website, looking for the sweatshirt and the film. Wow. They really got me, didn’t they!

In consideration of the web’s enormous power and ubiquitous presence as a commercial tool, I think this is a testimony to the continuing importance of things you can touch, that interpose themselves in our three-dimensional spaces.

But the story’s not over…


Veer’s website is down.

At this point, I’ve been so adroitly manipulated from being a complete bystander to actively seeking out this company that I’m sure this shutdown itself is also part of the strategy: a way to get me to come back on Monday and talk to someone at Veer, hooked in just a little deeper by thinking I’ve serendipitously ended up with this 10% discount opportunity.

Now I’m caught up in this interesting meta-story–curious about Veer’s tactical moves, wondering if they are being as deeply strategic as I’m imagining?

This whole interaction is an object lesson in the complexity of moving a potential customer back and forth between realspace and webspace, and how many interesting ways there are to go about pursuing this objective.

We’ll see if I use the 10% discount to buy a sweatshirt.

Japan pictures – part 3 of 3

I’ve uploaded nearly 1300 of my Japan pictures to Flickr. For reasons I’m sure you’ll understand, I haven’t added titles or tags or descriptions proactively, but please add comments or questions on flickr and I’ll gladly offer a story or explanation.

Meanwhile, I’m including some of my faves here, as well as part 1 and part 2.


The Dirty Jobs

Plumber Protects is an interesting site from American Standard, manufacturer of toilets and other plumbing stuff.

They are taking a stand in support of the work of their main customers, plumbers, casting them as heroes with career advice, and swag such as some well-designed posters, including the obligatory constructivist image

(although one has to wonder about the level of intended or perceived irony).

And of course, the comic book.

American Standard Will Make You a Superhero.
Want a chance to star in your own comic book? Tell American Standard why YOU should be next . You might get to star your own Mega Plumber comic book adventure.


Do you do business with any company that casts you as a hero, even in a less literal fashion?

Poop on toilets, please

Lilly posted (a different image of) this poster:

Originally uploaded by h0mee.

The URL in the poster redirects to their blog which, among other things, tells residents of the Mission in SF where they can the poster to put on their own street.

The poster is pretty dramatic, with an interesting do and don’t icon flow. Gives insight into the problems some communities are facing.

DUX posters

I took a bunch of photos of the posters at DUX and put ’em on flickr. Flickr is acting up right now and doesn’t seem to find all the photos with the “poster” or “postersession” tags. Very strange. I’ll blog this anyway, assuming that it’ll get sorted out.


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