Posts tagged “real”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • Meet The New Authenticity – an older post here about a topic recently revisited in my interactions column – One package had a label with a jagged edge, meant to suggest torn paper. It didn’t look like real torn paper, it looked like a manufactured torn edge. Some people really liked it, but one person called it as unacceptably fake. He pointed to another packaging label that he had purchased, as this one had a more realistic-looking torn edge, where the paper was frayed and small threads and fibers were visible.

    He was very clear that both of these edge treatments were done by machine; that no paper was torn by hand. The vernacular of the jagged paper was completely unacceptable. The more realistic (as he imagined it) frayed edge was the right way to do it.

    It’s a bit of a post-modern take on authenticity, where it’s more of aesthetic that supports suspension-of-disbelief, rather than some extremely absolutely True and Real version. What does the way it looks let me comfortably accept into my reality?

The Hand-made’s Tale

Real real…


At Verve Coffee Roasters, my favorite cafe in Santa Cruz, each cup of coffee comes with a cup insulator hand-tied from a napkin by the person serving it. It’s a nice little touch that makes that cup of coffee seem special and folksy.

and fake real…


AT&T, keepin’ it unreal with a fake photocopied-annotated-and-passed-around-the-office flyer–a piece of marketing collateral that they mailed to my house. (It’s crumpled because I threw it out, then decided to write about it and rescued it from the trash.)

What are companies thinking when they send us stuff like this? Fake real, with its pretensions to authenticity, is even worse than fake.

Related posts:
Quickies: Fake Authenticity
Don’t Brand Me, Bro
This Space Available
Meet the new authenticity


About Steve