Blog

We love a little nostalgia.

That's why when we saw this video in the Vimeo Staff Picks today, it seemed... familiar?

FOOD from Siqi Song on Vimeo.

The concept is simple– record an interview with a person or a group of people, and then edit it and frame an animation around it, creating characters to match the voices you've recorded.


That's right, Creature Comforts should strike a bell! An animation-documentary style that still holds up today, 25 years later.

The humor comes into play because although the interviews themselves aren't particularly funny on their own, the animator has the opportunity to add some comedy through the character situation he creates.

In the case of the FOOD video, talking hotdogs who like avocados and a cheeseburger (who doesn't understand people who don't like cheeseburgers) are ironic characters. The situations they discuss would likely categorize them as cannibalistic, but because the viewer is looking at an animation, the circumstances become oddly humorous. The best is a raw chicken, complete with natural tics like scratching her neck, discussing how she saw footage of chickens in a slaughterhouse and "couldn't go back." It's clever, it's funny, and it's possible for animators to continue using this system to create more and videos– real life is hilarious, and even more so when it is translated to the life of an inanimate object.

Posted: 5/29/2014 2:21:08 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Last week we touched on some great examples of collage being used in design today. Whether for one specific restaurant or a nationwide brand, mixing textures and objects is a successful solution for a lot of companies.

Clothing Companies. Larger ones like Anthropologie have been digitally piling photographs for years. They've added ribbons and tags and other pieces of things to create an environment of "collecting" that matches the environment of their stores.

Anthropologie1Anthropologie

Even a smaller company like Braintree knows that combining textures and pieces of paper gives, at its very core, the appearance of being interested in vintage ephemera to a consumer that is likely interested in the same.

Braintree

It may be subconscious, but if you are a person who cares about old photos, and antiques, and vintage pieces, than you already like this brand. Even if you don't care for their clothing, you appreciate their aesthetic and that's enough to keep you around the site a bit longer.

Animation. This one is a bit different, as it may not immediately come across as blatant "design." It's a music video, but yeesh, it is gorgeous.

Air Review - Young. from MiraRuido on Vimeo.

 

This video has less of a branding purpose, but is still looking to appeal to a certain kind of viewer. The black and white against the colors, the contrast between old photography and new scenery, the constant mix of styles - all for an audience that appreciates the same.

I guess it's nothing novel, but collage is on par with other design tools as far as gaining a customer/user/fan who appreciates the same style as the brand. Apple is sleek and simple because its users are the same. Anthropologie is eclectic and colorful because it's customers are as well. Collage is just the simplest way to attract people with mixed styles. Artsy meets sleek, excessive meets minimal - it's the best of many worlds.

Posted: 5/23/2014 11:09:32 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


Collage, loosely defined as a "collection of various things," is not for everyone. The first image to pop into your brain when you hear "collage" is probably something you made for your friends in middle school when in need of decoration for a room or locker. While this has its place, collage in the "real" world (no offense, middle schoolers) is an entirely different beast.

I might be attaching the word a bit weakly here, but hear me out. In the last few years, aesthetic magnetism has changed. People are drawn to nostalgia, eclectic mixes of old and new, and are embracing the combinations of textures and vibes that companies, restaurants, and businesses are putting out. We embraced the digital for a time, and now we're reverting back towards an affinity for all things layered and pseudo-tangible.

Take Chipotle. Off hand you might think Chipotle has a very clean and streamlined look, and they do. Their restaurants are a neat, industrial combination of wood and corrugated metal, and their menu is clean. Where the collage comes in is the juxtaposition of this clean industrial physical space with the playful, hand drawn doodles on their bags, and the experimentation with layering real objects on their website.

Chipotle_WebsiteChipotle_Website_2Chipotle_Website_3

The result? A clean place to eat with a nod to the organic, free-flowing attitude the company has. Collage can be a very effective way to portray all personalities of a brand.

Next up is a beloved Boston haunt, The Beehive. The place, their website, their attitude: it's all a hodge podge of a historic art form (letterpress) and a contemporary attitude. Once again, using collage to blend together two attitudes works very well (and honestly, helps keep the place quite popular!).

Beehive1Beehive2Beehive3

What better way to indicate that your restaurant/bar/music venue is worth coming to than to parade it as a place that is eclectic, is good for many different kinds of people, and most importantly that it respects and acknowledges history? As a customer, you may not even think about it, but by combining the aesthetics of letterpress and updated urban casual-chic (it's a thing, we swear), The Beehive has put you in a place where you respect their musician-choosing abilities and you're sure you'll get a tasty classic cocktail. If they appreciate the age-old hand craft of letterpress AND they know what's trendy, it's the best of both worlds.

We'll continue to investigate collage in our next post, so check back!

Posted: 5/15/2014 11:43:18 AM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments


There are night people. There are morning people. And then there are Creative Mornings people.

Just kidding, all of these people are often the same person. If you haven't heard of it, Creative Mornings is a "breakfast lecture series for the creative community." 82 cities around the world have been getting up early on a Friday morning to hear inspiring words from some of the best designers and creative people.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 8.56.48 PM

Erik Spiekermann gave a talk on type:
 

Some life lessons from Aaron Draplin:

And words of wisdom from Aniekan Udofia:

Why should this matter to you? Creative Mornings Boston returns on May 30th! It's been on a bit of a hiatus, so we're  psyched to see our local chapter of Creative Mornings returning to the scene.

Susan Piver, New York Times bestselling author, will be speaking on May 30th at 8:30am at WeWork Fort Point. Stay up to date on all upcoming talks on the Creative Mornings Boston site, or follow them on Twitter.

Posted: 5/8/2014 2:51:05 PM by Amanda Wahl | with 0 comments