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Trajan at the Movies!

April 19, 2012
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In the blog I Love Typography (which has only a slightly less cool name then my blog) John discusses the prevalence of the typeface Trajan in movie posters. Whether movie posters designers are getting lazy or not doesn’t seem to be the sole reason for this. Trajan is a very great choice for many movies that need a strong typeface for the title with a nice sharpened/angular serif. Here are some examples from the past.



There is an entire set of photos on Flickr devoted to finding movie posters that use Trajan. However, after looking through them, it seems the 163 posters they have is blown out a little too much. Many of the posters in the collection aren’t even close to Trajan.

Looking at this trend, I have to believe that movie poster designers need to get more clever with the typefaces they either chose to use or have made for the movie. Movies these days are huge endeavors, often with budgets in the nine-figures. The movie Avatar had it’s own typeface designed for the films native language that was used for subtitles (which looked surprisingly akin to Papyrus). Trajan is a beautiful typeface that has been around for over twenty years, but it is absolutely time to move on.

When looking at a new movie, I would imagine it would be easy to use Trajan. The great weight distribution on the stems of the letters, the beautiful serifs that scream edginess and sophistication all at once, and finally the fact that it’s completely in caps and small caps. It really does make a great type for a movie. But with the money being tossed around in that field, there is no reason that more thought shouldn’t be put into them, resulting in less similarity among typefaces chosen.

One of my recent favorite typefaces is a beautiful serif typeface named Archer. I tend to resort to it when designing something for myself, or even writing something. It has nice even weight serifs that are modern, yet classy. Really a beautiful typeface. But when I see myself using it, I force myself to examine why I’m using it, and if not for a good reason, to examine a new one to select. It’s all part of the process of expanding your design repertoire.


Just because a typeface looks good in a situation doesn’t mean it’s the right one for it. All type faces had personalities, and just like people, you have to make sure the personalities of the type and the project mesh, or you will get a chaotic final product.



May 27, 2010
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So I’ve decided to start using Tumblr instead of WordPress. You can follow me at See you on the other side!

Posted in Uncategorized

Simplicity and Beauty in Package Design

April 22, 2010
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New work from Landor for Old Spice.

With customers complaining that Old Spice’s old musk smell has always remained the same, Old Spice decided to release a series of new scents not given names like “New Wave”, “Fresh Start”, or “Invigorate”. Instead, they released a series of smells that are exotic location based, and Landor designed some sweet new packaging to go along with it. Above you can see the Denali, Fiji, and Matterhorn scents. Now, I could not even begin to guess what these scents would smell like, I’m a huge fan of the new look and the bold step away from the crappy selection that is men’s deodorant.

I like the switch from dark bottles to the white ones. Clean, concise, and very reflective of what the American public is feeling right now. At the far end of this recession, Americans are looking for clean and simple product design. You will see it all over the place, companies are using a lot of simple color and design patterns. Sometimes black and white with one accent color. Sometimes a very simple design scheme. It seems that we are tired of complexity. At home, in the news, and in our commercial design. And these new designs from Landor mirror that wonderfully. You have the red Old Spice emblem, and then you have an accent color for the location banner. And to integrate the central emblem into the scene, you have one piece of nature going in front of it in every scene. A tree in Fiji, a hillside in Matterhorn and reeds in Denali.

I will definitely be trying these out in the future. I think I’m going to start with Cyprus. The light blue of the location banner and the scene itself seem to reach out to me more than any of the others.

Google’s Corporate Transparency

April 20, 2010
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Google has taken the next step towards corporate and government transparency by releasing the number of times that national governments have requested data and requested the removal of data from the web giant. The stats listed below represent a six month period from July to November 2009. It equates to about 20 requests per day in the US, which came up second to Brazil, based on the popularity of Google’s social networking site, Orkut.

I like the presence of this website, as it shows that Google is really working towards making these governmental request stats available to all users. It goes far and beyond what other companies provide. And they are still working to provide more statistics to the public, but are trying to put them into meaningful numbers prior to release.

The stats don’t list any sort of details about each request, and I am pretty sure that is some of the information that Google is trying to put together for future updates. And these numbers only reflect criminal investigations, and not national security issues that companies are not legally allowed to release.

Nolan Do These Himself?

April 19, 2010
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Minor poster for the Christopher Nolan film “The Dark Knight”

Poster for the upcoming Christopher Nolan film “Inception”

If you may have noticed, these posters from two different Christopher Nolan films are sort of similar. And while Dark Knight was one of my favorite films, and I am very looking forward to seeing Inception. But with a high budget film like Inception, the poster designers could have gone with a poster different then the main character (DiCaprio) standing in a city center with water around his ankles. With subject matter as psychological as Inception, the designers could have done so many different posters. Here is my favorite poster designed for the Dark Knight, incorporating elements from both Batman and the Joker.

Who Wants to be a Superhero?

April 18, 2010
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New York City, home to quite possibly every sort of store you could ever imagine. And with this store, quite possibly the coolest store I have ever seen, 5th Ave in Brooklyn should be a preferred stop.

It’s great to know, that even after centuries of start-ups and companies coming into creation, that either one man or a group of people can come up with a great idea and get financing for such a breakout idea. The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company is located in Brooklyn on 5th Ave, and it will supply a budding superhero with everything he or she would need to kick some serious evil ass. Some of the product categories that you can purchase items from are: Capes, Secret Identities, Gear, Robots/Cybernetics/Mutations, Lairs, Outfitting, Manuals, Lab Supplies and Invisibles.

And while I don’t actually know what is contained in all of the jars and tins that are supposedly carrying muscle enhancement of speed of light serum, I feel like I would most definitely purchase one and have in on some sort of mantle or tabletop.

But what really struck me as extremely well done was the branding and corporate identity of the BSS. They are not just a pure play business, they are a click and mortar company. They have a very well designed website, as well as a physical store front that is a great translation of all of their other branded material.

And here is the website.

After stumbling upon this website from a cursory glance on Google Maps (which revolutionized apartment hunting), I have been nothing but excited to actually see this store in person. But being as I’m in Ithaca currently, my next thought was to put together a mock ad campaign for my portfolio for the company. Maybe a website, maybe some packaging, I feel like designing for this sort of company would be extremely quirky and fun.

And just in case anyone was wondering, if I could have any sort of superpower it would be shape shifting.

No Longer David v. Goliath

April 18, 2010
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It can get confusing out in the tech world, what company owns and runs what products and what options consumers have for certain product categories. I found this chart by Gizmodo that tries and mildly succeeds at clarifying the situation. However, it does shows how confusing it really is because these three power companies that are really competing for the same exact audience with very similar products in the same product categories.

I also think it’s funny that the only Microsoft product I use on this chart is MS Office, and at the same time I use Google Docs.

Posted in Software
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Case 3: NFL Mobile Debuts

April 15, 2010
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April 22nd. A date unrecognized by many, but widely regarded as a holiday in the NFL Community. Yes. I am talking about the NFL Draft. A day of fiestas and cheer, of suspense and regret.

This is not just another NFL draft, but the 75th NFL Draft ever. And we all know how we like to quantify importance by 25s. And with the premier of this event, Verizon has teamed up with the NFL to create the NFL Mobile App. This app will contain free news and information and will be optimized for select smartphones and multimedia devices including the Motorola Droid, BlackBerry Storm and Storm2, HTC Droid Eris and Samsung Rogue (notice the lack of iPhone, as iPhone is carried exclusively by AT&T). This mobile app will feature in-depth profiles of current NFL players and draft prospects, team updates, mock drafts, expert analysis and related content. The NFL Mobile app also includes NFL Network content, highlighted by live coverage of the 2010 NFL Draft. Once the regular season begins the app will also feature live simulcast of Thursday Night and Monday Night games.

This is going to be the official NFL app for those who have Verizon smart phones. NFL Mobile, which will remain free for download through the end of 2010, represents the first major NFL mobile app from Verizon since the carrier agreed to a four-year sponsorship with the NFL to be the league’s one and only mobile media partner. They are taking over for sprint as the mobile partner of the NFL. It is of course aimed at football fans everywhere, as it does not cater to other sports.

Currently on the iPhone I have the ESPN Gamecenter app, which is a great mobile app that lets me see scores and stats for any game in any sport, and it is free because it runs on an advertising model. However, the app is also very limited. What the NFL Mobile app does that ESPN cannot is not only give in-depth news, but also stream live games. I would be willing to pay for a premium app if it would let me watch games live via wi-fi. There are so many hotspots in cities that that becomes a great commodity. So with NFL Mobile taking advantage of that, it is a great platform for the NFL to push its brand. This deal is estimated at $720m.

I will be paying particular focus on how this app can enhance the NFL draft for the remainder of this blog entry. As I said before, the NFL Draft is a quasi-holiday for all football fans out there. Especially with the class that will be entering the NFL this year, NFL fans like to pay close attention. And it is no accident that this app was released around a week before the draft will happen. That is the NFL equivalent of releasing the romantic comedy “Valentines Day” on Valentines Day. You will generate far more buzz and downloads then you would if released at any other time. A Verizon executive had this to say.

Among the programming that will be available for the first time during the regular season will be the wildly popular NFL RedZone channel from the NFL Network, which airs live look-ins of every key play and touchdown from Sunday afternoon games.  Fans also will be able to watch live streaming of NBC’s Sunday Night Football and NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.  In addition, fans will receive the NFL Network channel, which airs seven days a week, 24 hours a day on a year-round basis, and is the only network fully dedicated to the NFL and the sport of football.

“This is an agreement that has, at its core a mutual desire by both the NFL and Verizon Wireless to provide consumers with what they want on and off the field,” said John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless.  “For Verizon Wireless, it is NFL content delivered over our 3G network so football fans can extend the excitement of the sport long after the last touchdown of a season.  And the NFL content is customizable in that consumers have options from video to ringtones to alerts; the choice is theirs.”

This app makes the NFL experience far more customizable and programmable into each NFL fans lives. You can believe me when I say that I am very upset this is not being offered to the iPhone, as football is my favorite sport and I am a diehard Patriots fan. Not owning cable, I have to scramble every week to find different ways to watch my football games. But with the entrance of this device, it gives football fans options to watch their games, as well as an advanced mobile system to find scores, stats and highlights.

The next step to improving the NFLs standing with tech and mobile users is to utilize the iPad to create an NFL application where you can view all NFL games on the device. I don’t know what people would be willing to pay, but I would easily willing to pay decent money to be able to view all NFL games on a rich media device such as the iPad. For complete viewing, the options for smartphones are a little limited, as you only have a 2″-3″ screen. But with the 9,7″ screen of the iPad, the NFL could have a lot of fun in creating a beautiful looking and great producing app.

What the NFL does have with the iPad as far as branded apps go is the NFL 2010 game. Here is an instructional video.

With the NFL looking to expand into the mobile market, NFL Mobile for Verizon is a great start. It has stats, live games and highlights. This should strike well with the NFLs core demographic, 18-34 year old men. I can just hope that NFL gives Apple users something to look forward to, whether a free app or a paid service. I look forward to the day when me and my fictional iPad can comfortably sit back in a chair and watch some football…Those will be the days.

Spanning Continents

April 15, 2010
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Great idea, great execution, no copy needed. I wish I could call these ads my own. The best ads are always the most simple that can tell you a story. And these ones could not be more simple. One Fedex employee handing another a package in another country simply and quickly.

Agency: DDB, Brazil
Creative Directors: Rodrigo Almeida, Renata Florio, Sergio Valente
Art Director: Max Geraldo
Copywriter: Aricio Fortes
Photographer: Manolo Moran

Posted in Advertising
Tags: , ,

Wish I Was A New College Applicant

March 30, 2010
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As I stand at the edge of the real world, looking at a struggling economy with a weak job market, I think back to my time spent applying for colleges four short years ago. And while I’m still glad I chose Ithaca for everything that this school gave me, most notably, two semesters of Ad Lab and a lot of great times, this wouldn’t have been a poor choice either.

It was just announced that all incoming Fall 2010 Seton Hill Pennsylvania freshman will be provided with a free iPad and 13″ Macbook. Part of their Griffon Technology Advantage Program, they aim to make all of their students completely technology literate. This is also part of the university’s plan to get student to use e-textbooks instead of paper ones.

With free access to these machines, these students will have a huge upper hand when competing for jobs with those who were not provided with the same equiptment.

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