Posts tagged “stickers”

Out and About: Steve in Barcelona (1 of 2)

I’m just back from a week in Barcelona for WebVisions, where I led a workshop on fieldwork, synthesis, and ideation, and gave a short talk about championing contextual research within your organization. I’ll be covering similar material coming up in a couple of months at WebVisions Chicago. Meanwhile, I had a bit of time to explore, and found Barcelona to be a beautiful and well-designed city. Here are some sample images, with more to follow in the next day or so (and the complete set on Flickr).

Bounty at La Boqueria market.

Pedestrian safety warning placed in context, as you step from the sidewalk into the street.

Obama British Africa Gin and Rum. Odd description here.

Stickers on the corrugated metal doors pulled down when a business is closed advertise what I assumed was a taxi services but in fact is for locksmiths. Why are locksmith services advertised with such verve?

Gaudi’s La Sagrada Fam??lia, under construction since 1882. Astonishing, even from the outside.

Known in the US as Ice Age: Continental Drift.

Marketing for something via Facebook.

A very modern cinema structure, down by the water, where all the buildings are new and ultra modern. While the whole place is a delicious mix of old and new, classic and modern, this area went just a bit too far into Mall. While this building is gorgeous, its siting and overall vibe is dehumanizing.

Out and About: Julie in Portland

I visited the great city of Portland, Oregon over Thanksgiving week, and noticed some of the ways its denizens use surfaces to communicate and express. Like Steve did earlier in his recent post, Out and About: Steve in Boston, given our recent interactions article about noticing and documenting street art, Kilroy Was Here, I too wanted to share some snaps!

As elsewhere, the backs of city signage serve as canvas for quick-stick expression. The tiki-figure here is one I commonly see in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco, where I live, which surprised me and gave me a little charge, a feeling of connection to home.

A City of Portland sanctioned sticker, which includes a number to call to report damage to this sign, sits alongside its renegade brethren.

Great juxtaposition of two messages about the dangers of inhaling alongside a DANGER sticker.

I appreciated the friendly, bubbly, colorful style against the rainy, grey backdrop of Portland. Contributors to the collective urban collage here seem respectful of each others boundaries – not much overlapping of images.

And, finally, bunnies!

Out and About: Steve in Boston

I was in Boston earlier this week to speak at UI16. During a bit of downtime, I went for a walk and of course, started taking pictures. Given our recent interactions article about noticing and document street art, I wanted to share some of what I saw.

One tag (bundtcake? budcloth? badclam?) and stickers for a cutesy-brand pet waste removal service, a skater magazine, a web/movement/thingy, and a beer label that seems to be fake and actually points to a local art collective.

There’s that tag again, the Eye of Providence (a local reference?), and a DJ promoting himself with an homage to the locally dominant Dunkin’ Donuts branding.

Some buffing of previous stickers, that same beer cum art sticker, and the random and hilarious Vonnegut and crossbones (I found a better one here).

Much larger pieces, including Andre. I like how you can see a little bit about how these were done, as they emanate from the fire escape.

A number of streetlights near here had these colored plastic blocks in letter-like forms. I felt like it was probably “official” since it was in a vaguely design-y district and consistently placed on city infrastructure, but there was no information about it and so it was hard to be sure. And that moment – trying to determine if this is “legit art” or “street art” or one masquerading as the other – was delicious. I passed by here with my local friend Joe and asked him about this. While he didn’t know, for him it evoked the 2007 incident when 8-bit-graphics promoting Aqua Teen Hunger Force caused a bomb scare in Boston.

Under the bridge. Just a more familiar graffiti scene, one that seemed to typical, unremarkable, and even slightly comforting (despite the broken glass I had to step around to take this picture).

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Laptops Look like Race Cars — And Not in a Good Way [] – [Pogue on the ridiculous sticker-on-laptops package] As A.M.D. points out, it’s like buying a new, luxury car­ and discovering that it comes with non-removable bumper stickers that promote the motor oil, the floor mat maker, the windshield-fluid company and the pine tree air freshener you have no intention of ever using….A.M.D.’s research shows that consumers hate the stickers (duh). But they’re not going away, for one simple reason: There’s big money involved. I(Apple famously refuses to put Intel stickers on its computers, even though there’s Intel inside. In doing so, it leaves millions of dollars a year on the table.)…In 2011, A.M.D. will switch to new stickers that peel off easily, leaving no residue; after that, it’s considering eliminating the sticker program altogether. In the meanwhile, it’s going to make affixing its stickers optional. If a computer company chooses not to use the A.M.D. stickers, A.M.D. will still pay it the same marketing dollars to use in other ways.
  • [from steve_portigal] DROID DOES – [Of course this advertising copy is at least partly tongue-in-cheek but I really have to wonder why – even as a joke – this is the sort of thing that we supposedly want out of our devices. The radio ad goes even further, giving voice to the implicit message here by promising to turn you into a machine. Verizon's raison d'etre is to sell phones, I know, but ulp, people, ulp. As we grapple with where we're at with this digi-firehose, Droid is putting a mecha-stake in the ground for us] Turns your eyes into captivated apertures of ecstasy. Its web-busting speed turns your arms into blistering, churning pistons. It’s power, intelligence and intuition. It’s not a better phone. It’s a better you….Its power, ability, brains and skill turn you into a web-rocketing, message-crafting super-you…with web-browsing speed that shoots you from zero to sixty in nanoseconds. It has an intuitive QWERTY keyboard that turns your thumbs into twin, text turbines and steaming diesel email engines.
  • [from steve_portigal] Robert Krulwich on Wondering [Frank Chimero] – Noticing is tough, yet rewarding work, and it begs to be documented. We’ve more tools than ever to do so…Maybe if the noticing started to arrange into larger patterns or there got to be a lot of documentation, I could maybe even print up a book of all the things I had noticed. And wouldn’t that be a nice thing to have on the bookshelf? My Year of Noticing and Wondering — 2010. As a person constantly in a position to produce words or designs or ideas, or whatever it may be, it feels good to give myself permission to kick back and inquisitively absorb things as they come. Part of noticing isn’t seeking, it’s highly reliant on serendipity and unexpected relevancy.

Noise sans signal about stickers

Bullshit punditry from 37signals

Call off the expensive market research and fire the analysts and consultants.

Here’s a great way to find out if a company that makes physical products respects their products and their customers: if there’s a sticker on the product, and it peels off cleanly (and without tearing), then they’re a respectful company. If it tears or leaves sticky residue that you need to scrape off with a razor, then they don’t.

It’s that simple.

What is the ridiculous need to make a big noise by oversimplifying something to the point of absolute stupidity? Stickers are the only measure? It’d be great to suggest this as an interesting indicator of the user-centric nature of a business, but the overboarding is silly, falsely passionate, and hurts useful (and actionable) discourse. The little diatribe is poorly written, to boot. Is the reader the company (who should fire their consultants) or the annoyed consumer (who has no consultants to fire)?

I’m reminded (unhappily) of a previous rabble-rousing-yet-shallow battle cry against flip-charts.

As the Simpsons cynically told us:
Lisa: This is madness. He’s just peddling a bunch of easy answers.
Carl: And how!


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