states united

Despite my avoidance of politics, I am fascinated by designers who create pieces inspired by the government.
Take Greg Beauchamp, for example, and his stunning States United - inspired by Barack Obama's following words:
It's the answer spoken by young and old, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled and not disabled - Americans who sent a message to the world that we have never been a collection of Red States and Blue States: we are, and always will be, the United States of America.
Beauchamp also has an advertising documentary out, Art & Copy that I'd love to see.

What really struck me in the Creativity article is the idea behind the work. His goal is for States United to reach Obama directly via online word-of-mouth. The point, should he succeed: everyday citizens have the capacity to grab the president's attention.


customer service is key

For Valentine's Day I ordered my sweetheart a wonderfully-designed Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) shirt online...but had a hell of a time picking the right size. I decided to err on the side of caution since American Apparel shirts are notorious for shrinking; upon inspection we decided it would still be too big.

I e-mailed CafePress, the company that creates the shirts, to request an exchange and had resigned myself to eating the shipping costs. And then I received this reply from a CafePress.com Support Associate:
I am sorry the item you received does not fit perfectly. I want you to be 100% satisfied with everything you purchase at CafePress.com. I am ordering you a replacement right away in the new size at no additional cost.

There is no need for a return! I do not want you to incur any additional shipping charges. Please keep the original as our way of saying thanks for shopping at CafePress.com.
So I have two shirts for the price of one, despite the fact that it was completely my fault ordering the incorrect size. The cherry on top: CafePress fufills SU2C orders at a 25% discount, enabling SU2C to direct the difference toward cancer research.

I am so impressed with CafePress, and the work of SU2C, that I couldn't resist sharing my story with you. I don't get any kickbacks, pinkie promise. But please do at least consider these two organizations the next time you're feeling charitable or creative.


moma goes to brooklyn

Photo courtesy of happycorp

New York's Museum of Modern Art has taken over the Atlantic Avenue/Pacific Street station in Brooklyn - by replacing ad space with reproductions of works from its permanent collection.

I'm all for exposing art to the masses, a la Transport for London's Platform for Art campaign. What's even cooler is the integration and thought process that went into such a well-rounded undertaking.

According to the Creativity article...
  • Street teams handed out brochures and maps of the exhibit
  • On the campaign website, visitors can download an audio tour for more info about 10 of the 58 pieces on display
  • Calling a posted 1-800 number gives users additional information about the project and connects them with the membership department
  • Typing in a three-digit code plays an audio track with artwork information
  • Museum educators also offered tours of the subway exhibit
The exhibit, in conjunction with thehappycorp, runs through March 15th. If you're in NYC, be sure to check it out!


newsflash: media needs to embrace change

With the topsy-turvy nature of our economy lately, it's no surprise change is finally knocking on the media industry's door. In a Market Watch article today, Jon Friedman explains that another side effect of the times has lead to the decreased value of media celebrity, with CNBC's Jonathan Wald as a cautionary tale.

But what really bothered me was the following logic:
What this means to the public is that journalism quality is going to sink. TV stations will try to hire younger, less experienced, less sophisticated news professionals as a way to keep costs down.
Did Friedman really just say that? Yes, yes he did. An eternal optimist and relentless advocate for giving new talent a chance, I have many qualms with the above paragraph.
  • One: Okay, okay - journalism will change because of the influx of novice reporters. But that's a good thing. Journalism has been in dire need of a makeover for some time. We're no longer living in an era of good ole boy newsrooms with reporters old enough to be my grandfather. Somehow, the industry missed that headline.
  • Two: Fresh minds mean fresh ideas. For example, maybe we'll see more integration with social media, like Twitter feedback from viewers on the ticker at the bottom of the screen.
Think of how the Bush administration communicated with constituents over the past eight years. Now think about Obama's communication methods during just the first few weeks in office. That's one big breath of fresh air - and one that was long overdue.
  • Three: What if Barbara Walters was never given a chance? Even the great Miss O herself was once wet behind the ears. Point is, there are bright, eager journalists out there with brilliant ideas but without a platform from which to execute them.
What it boils down to for me is that being young and inexperienced is not a weakness. It's an opportunity - not only for the new grad entering the workforce, but also for the employer smart enough to hire a change agent when they meet one.

february looks like...

etcetera, etc.
etcetera, etc. - by verucasglory on Polyvore.com

My fashion-maven cousin shared Polyvore with me some time ago and I am officially in love with the site. I'm obsessed with collages - and Polyvore rocks because it's a custom mishmash of fashion, interior design, music...whatever floats your boat.

I haven't posted in a while (my apologies!) so I thought I'd share my February fixations with you.