17 July 2012

[ad_design] Apple-fy Your World

2859.From the introduction to the blog Applefied Ads, which is a very apt explanation:

Lately I have noticed how relatively boring  ultra simple Apple's advertising has become.  It has turned into Product + Product Name + Hands-Touching-Product-formulaic-advertising BS.
It spawned an idea.  What would it look like if this formula was applied to all products.  Would it work?
Well, would it?

See the rest at http://applefiedads.blogspot.com

Prepare to be whelmed. 

[logo] Your Logo Is Not Cool, Hipster

2858.Noting the trending preponderance of logos based on an X-shaped division … such as:

A designer of acerbic mien has started classifying them in Your Logo Is Not Hardcore, a tumblr blog that has rather disturbingly more entries than you'd think.

[logo] Big Sky Branding: Now Bigger, With Extra Added Sky

2857.That other western collegiate athletic conference, the Big Sky Conference, comprising eleven full member schools and two football-only schools in nine Western states, has decided it's time for a makeover. The original logo:

Out with the old, and in with the new:

The new look certainly is more memorable than the old look, which wasn't bad, but isn't all that memorable. Old: there's stock typography, a type outline which is something of a cliche in the sports design world, and the skyward spark coming from the 'I' adds a dash of interest but really doesn't deliver that much in the way of excitement.

Maybe a change here was for the better, and we think it does improve on the old image. The type doesn't look like it came from a font file but rather some design happened to it. The logo also recalls the roots of the conference; while the BSC now fields members from the Pacific coast to North Dakota (Portland State University plays in the Big Sky), the charter members were six schools in the Intermountain West, the fabled "Big Sky" country of America. So there's the ice blue on the mountains and the deep blue of the sky. There's also a theatrical approach to the way the words spread out in a perspective way, although it does rather remind one of a Wheaties box in some way.

In this article in The Oregonian (which is really just a press release released as an article (the last paragraph is the giveaway) one interesting and thoughtful note is that the logo is also designed in a school-color appropriate version for every Big Sky school. The organization behind the actual design work is SME, Inc, which gave the Pac-10 (Now the Pac-12) it's new look and attitude.

Our verdict here is that we don't know if it's going to be up for any design awards or inspire a great deal of passion, but it's a solid and timely redesign that replaces a rather unimaginative design that was a bit tired and due for replacement.

(H/T to the commenter "Unknown" in this posting, who wasn't that wowed with it, but knows a neat subject when he sees one).

10 July 2012

[pdx] In Which We Find Out Where Mr. Mattress World Got Off To …

2856.Where is Jon Hiner? doesn't have the same rhetorical intrigue that Who is John Galt? does, but if you're are Portlander of at least 10 years standing, you've probably wondered once or twice.

After all, the Hiner divorce was a thing of legend, though mostly kept on the Q-T. Back in the early Oughties, the local chain Mattress World became an advertising mainstay, it's jingle catchily reminding us that It's not too late to sleep like a baby. Then, in about '07, Jon and Sheri Hiner, both beaming up unto then in their goofy little commercials, split. Jon suddenly disappeared from the commercials.

You could still sleep like a baby, but Jon would have to do that somewhere else, it developed; he and the wife had split the sheets. And Jon appeared to sink into obscurity (though, latterly we find that that's because of a little non-compete clause in the couple's divorce) while Sheri steered the ship with notable success until she foundered on the State of Washington's sales-tax shoals.

While suffering a bout of insomnia I happened to see … much to my surprise … Jon Hiner! Selling beds! From his single location! Which looks (via Google Street View) like this these days:

Locals to the area (and habitu├ęs to the area like The Wife™ and myself) have seen several businesses use this space over the past decade or so. There was once a branch of the late, lamented Schuck's Auto Supply there; it was at one time a Parker Paint store.

And now, it's where Jon Hiner has, since 2010 it turns out (he has kept a quiet profile!), established his beachhead in the inexplicably, bizarrely-vigorous greater Portland bed market. Of course, with Sheri back in the game at the rebooted Mattress World, now under different management as Mattress World Northwest, I'm guessing we can all go back to sleeping like a baby.

If you want to hear Jon's word about it here you go: http://whereisjonhiner.com, which might have more information than you counted on hearing about the Hiner-Hiner split. 

Sleep World is at http://sleepworld.cc, if you really need a mattress badly enough that you'll go straight there from a slightly-read blog to get one.

[ad_design] When Coca-Cola Was … Just What The Hell WAS That Little Guy, Anyway?

2855.This from our Middle-Southern Californian correspondent, Gigan Tirell, who sends these photos along with the comment Damn, Coca-Cola had some CREEPY advertising. Those

Yes, Tirell, those eyes …

Look into those eyes, and the phrase Have A Coke become less of a suggestion but an imperative you cannot … no, dare not resist.

I'm not sure what it is about advertising from different eras that makes it so inscrutable sometimes, but the wide-eyes of that little cherub, with the white hair combed back as though he were a villain from Batman (yes, the Adam West years, the only one with such self-aware ironic stuff going on) are disturbing in a way that reaches into the root of your soul, that chills you to the very core … just like Coca-Cola does!

Holy Schmidt!

Yes, mommy, I'll drink Coke, just make that horrid little guy go away, I promise I'll never misbehave again, please mommy …

Which is, of course, the sound of your inner resolve whimpering in moral and ethical surrender. You'll now drink exclusively Coke and the Pepsi heretics will get theirs, yah boy …

Oh, my. I seem to have gotten away from myself there.

Old-time ads. Inscrutable, I tell ya.

Thanks, Gigan Tirell. I think. 

03 July 2012

[teh funnay] Maybe They Should Put Better Screens In The Childrens Hospital Windows

2854.There does seem to have been an disturbing amount of kids falling from windows in Portland these days. Never fear, though, The Oregonian is on the case, even if the advice is oddly limited:

Original story here

The first tip I'd have might probably have myself would be to keep your kids away from the windows at Randall Children's Hospital.

On the other had, if a kid had to fall from a window, I'd want it to be there, what with the doctors close at hand and all.

[Out122ndWay] 122nd Avenue Graffiti Blogging

2853.Anyone can freeway-blog. It takes real courage to do this sort of thing:

You can see it there in the distance: a white design, limned in red, over the southbound lanes of NE 122nd Avenue, at the railroad overpass. If you know how narrow the road gets there, even without traffic, you'd need a gut-check before climbing up there. 

Some 20 feet over that patch of hard asphalt, between Fremont Street and the I-84 egress/access, a plaintive question is asked:


The idea of graffiti to get people to ask themselves questions like this leaves me torn. I don't care for the  defacing of anything with graffiti, however, this one has definite style going for it, an almost Banksy-esque approach. Clearly stencilling was used here, no doubt to aid in composition as well as the getting-in-getting-out speed.

The biggest question for me, I guess, is why here? Certainly 122nd is busy-busy, and thousands of cars go that way each day. However, it's in such a tough spot to see … you wouldn't think so, but but the time you're up under it, close enough to see, it's flashed by, and even if you could crane your neck to look as you go under you're taking your eyes off some very precarious road. Big trucks use this stretch. They has to.

So, we'll give them points for going outside the box and style, at least.

And maybe seriously question a society that does not value their educators. Some of us have been doing that for a while, now.