Monday, January 31, 2011

Come Into The Closet - Ikea




Ikea's new ad campaign is an interactive flash-based dance scene, where all the movements are controlled by sound. Four different rooms are featured, all full of storage solutions and creative organizing systems. It is an incredible way of creating a sense of belonging and detail observation while the viewer plays with the key boards or uploads its own songs for the characters to robotically move. As well as an effective illustration of the product function through fun interactions on absurd styling scenes!

Gracias Bitsi ;)

Rock, Paper, Scissors

Things we Forget 2

thingsweforget.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

10 Simple Truths Smart People Forget

Hey! Here is a quick reminder of simple truths we tend to forget, and that collectively
govern our potential to grow and progress!  

By: Marc
#1 – Education and intelligence accomplish nothing without action.

#2 – Happiness and success are two different things.

#3 – Everyone runs their own business.

#4 – Having too many choices interferes with decision making.

#5 – All people possess dimensions of success and dimensions of failure.

#6 – Every mistake you make is progress.

#7 – People can be great at doing things they don’t like to do.

#8 – The problems we have with others are typically more about us.

#9 – Emotional decisions are rarely good decisions.

#10 – You will never feel 100% ready when an opportunity arises.

Read more about this 10 simple truths here!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Silvia Tcherassi

AMAZING SPRING * SUMMER 11 Pret'a'porter


Life & Lemons

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bedtime Memory Building

If knowledge is power and your mind is the container of this knowledge, then the more you improve your mind’s memory capacity, the more knowledge your mind will retain and the more power you will have at your disposal.  

Over the last six months I have been practicing a particular bedtime memory building exercise every night before I fall asleep.  And it’s really been working wonders for me.  In this short time, I’ve noticed that I’m now able to remember smaller moments in my days, and instantly recollect details from these moments that I used to completely forget.

In a nutshell, here’s the memory building exercise:
Every night, as you’re lying in bed ready to fall asleep, review what you did during the day from start to finish in as much detail as you can possibly remember.  Start with the exact moment you woke up and got out of bed and finish with the moment that just passed as you laid back down in your bed.  Visualize every single detail in your mind, each and every step you took in sequential order from beginning to end as if you were watching a video recap of your day.

The first few times you do this, you may be surprised with how few details you can remember.  You’ll likely jump quickly through your recollection of the day from one major event or block of time to the next without recalling any of the meticulous details from the smaller moments contained within those larger time blocks.
But after just a few short weeks of practicing this exercise, you’ll notice an obvious improvement in your memory and you’ll gradually get better and better recalling even the minutest details from your day.  Your goal should be to grow your memory to the point where you can visualize the particulars present in every scene of every waking moment over the course of the day – the conversations you had, the people who were present at the time, the song that was playing on the radio, the billboards and people you saw when you were walking or driving home, etc.
And although I usually fall asleep long before I completely recap my day (this is totally normal), after six months of routinely practicing this memory building exercise, I have noticed the following benefits:
▪ My memory has improved, especially my ability to recollect the minute details present in various situations over the course of a day, week, month, or longer period of time.
▪ I’m living more in the moment.  I’m now more observant and aware of how I’m spending my time when I’m actually doing things throughout the day.  
▪ I’m more keenly focused on the task at hand.  I now absorb myself more in everything I do so I can extract the details and fully recollect the moment. 

▪ Outside of recapping my day every night, I have improved my ability visualize other aspects of my life as well.  Future goals, past milestones, to-do’s, tasks at hand, etc.

▪ I also seem to fall asleep more easily.  Often in the middle of recapping my day, I peacefully doze off into a deep slumber.

So give this bedtime memory building exercise a try.  It’s simple, relaxing, mentally stimulating, and seriously thought-provoking.

Read more at neuromarketing.com

Piggy Jars at my work desk


In Middle English, "pygg" referred to a type of clay used for making various household objects such as jars. People often saved money in kitchen pots and jars made of pygg, called "pygg jars". By the 18th century, the spelling of "pygg" had changed and the term "pygg jar" had evolved to "pig bank." Once the meaning had transferred from the substance to the shape, piggy banks began to be made from other substances, including glassplaster, and plastic.
An alternative theory, and the one usually given for the origin in German sources, is that in Germany and surrounding countries the pig is a symbol of good luck or good fortune hence keeping money in a piggy bank will bring good fortune.


...and you have to break them, to get your savings out! 

Amazing Central Park Aerial view!

Wise Words!

When fancy Fonts work


Now that you followed my advice in Convince With Simple Fonts and eliminated complicated fonts from your websites and printed material, I’m going to tell you that there is one situation where fancy, hard to read fonts can actually work better than simple ones. If you are selling a costly product, describing it using a hard to read font will suggest to the viewer that more effort went into creating that product. As part of their ongoing cognitive fluency research, Hyunjin Song and Norbert Schwarz of the University of Michigan found that restaurant menus are one such case.

Presented test subjects with a description of a menu item printed in either a simple font and a more hard to read font. The subjects who saw the difficult font rated the skills needed by the chef significantly higher than the subjects who saw the simple font.

Restaurant Menu Lessons
These findings suggest that a restaurant wanting to justify higher prices could print the menu descriptions in a font which is harder to read. In addition, other steps that affect the cognitive fluency characteristics of the description could amplify the effect of the fancy font. Long descriptions with big words will also slow down the reader and imply that more effort and skill is needed to prepare the dish. The menu snippet in the illustration exploits several of these characteristics, employing mixed fonts and and unusually long descriptive text.
Of course, it is logical that the content itself should also suggest the skill and time needed to prepare the dish. 
As with most marketing efforts, best results occur when all the elements are in sync. 

Beyond Restaurants
There’s a Neuromarketing takeaway here for all kinds of businesses: complicated fonts make things seem more difficult. If you want to convince customers that your product involves tedious steps to make, or that great skill is required to deliver the service you provide, slow the reader down with harder to read text and big words.

One Big Caution
To me, the danger in trying to exploit cognitive fluency using fancy fonts and complicated text is that your potential customers won’t be motivated enough to struggle through it. Restaurant customers are likely to read the descriptions because they have no choice if they want to order food and know what they will get. Customers looking at a product brochure or a print ad might simply skip the text altogether. Could a lingering sense of complexity still remain, even from a brief glance? Perhaps. But I’d recommend using this approach sparingly – overdo it and you might lose the customer’s attention completely.

Neuromarketing.com

Should I work for Free?

By Jessica Hische
Who's ready to stop working for free? Hopefully you are! If you have any doubts, consult this handy chart below. Start in the middle and work your way to your answer!


See more of Jessica's work at jessicahische.com/typographizes

Accessory Report

Louis Vuitton Monogram Cheche duffel GM

Manolo Blahnik Lace-up leather sandal

Louis Vuitton Metal bracelets

1. J. Crew  2. UGG Australia  3.Marni  4. Kenneth Cole  5. Donney & Bourke
6. Madewell  7. Portolano

Style.com

Chanel


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thank you Dove

No wonder our perception of beauty is distorted...

A Must Watch

Watch this simple-amazing-interactive-design work from this website!
http://producten.hema.nl/




Things we forget

The Moment

by David McRaney
The Misconception: You are one person, and your happiness is based on being content with your life.
The Truth: You are multiple selves, and happiness is based on satisfying all of them.

Have you ever been so sick you spent a week on the couch?
What do you remember from that period of time?
Mostly nothing, right?
All throughout your life great big patches of experience are tossed aside and forgotten. You turn around sometimes and think, “It’s March already!?” or “I’ve been working here for five years!?”
To understand the difference between experience and memory, you first need to understand a little bit about self.
Your sense of self is just that – a sense. A figment.
The person you imagine yourself is really just a narrative, a story. You tell this story to yourself and to others differently depending on the situation, and the story changes over time.
For now, it is useful to imagine there are two selves active at any given time in your head – the current self, and the remembering self.

The current self is the one experiencing life in real-time. It is the person you are in the three or so seconds your sensory memory lasts, and the 30 or so seconds after that in which your short-term memory is juggling all your senses and thoughts.
You taste the ice cream and it is good. Then, you remember you tasted the ice cream. Then, in five years, you have no memory of tasting it at all. Sometimes, rarely, something else happens which prompts you to move the memory into long-term storage.

Think back now to all the times you have tasted ice cream. How many true memories do you have which aren’t just dreamlike wisps? How many stories can you tell about tasting ice cream?
The remembering self is made up of all those memories which have passed into long-term storage.
When you replay your life in your mind, you can’t go back to all the things you have ever experienced. You can only go through all the things which went from experience, to short-term memory, to long-term memory.
So, going to get ice cream is not about building awesome memories. It’s about being happy for a few minutes. It’s about gratification. The happiness derived from such an experience is fleeting.

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman has much to say on this topic.
He says the self which makes decisions in your life is usually the remembering one. It drags your current self around in pursuit of new memories, anticipating them based on old memories. The current self has little control over your future. It can only control a few actions like moving your hand away from a hot stove or putting one foot in front of the other. Occasionally, it prompts you to eat cheeseburgers, or watch a horror movie, or play a video game.

The current self is happy experiencing things. It likes to be in the flow.
It is the remembering self which has made all the big decisions. It is happy when you can sit back and reflect on your life up to this point and feel content. It is happy when you tell people stories about the things you have seen and done.

Kahneman proposes this thought experiment:
Imagine you are preparing to go on a two-week vacation. At the end of this vacation, you will drink a potion which will delete all the memories from those two-weeks. How will this affect your decision? Knowing you won’t remember any of it, what will you spend your time doing during those two weeks?
That weird feeling you are having thinking about this is the conflict between your experiencing self and your remembering self. The experiencing self can easily choose what to do. Sex, skiing, restaurants, concerts, parties – all of these things are about being happy during the event.
The remembering self is not so sure. It would rather go to Ireland and look at castles or drive from New York to Los Angeles just to see what happens.
It turns out, based on his research, there are two channels through which you decide whether or not you are happy.
The current self is happy when experiencing nice things. The remembering self is happy when you look back on your life and pull up plenty of positive memories. As Kahneman points out. A two-week vacation may only yield a handful of life-long memories. You will pull those memories out every once and a while and use them to be happy. There is a serious imbalance between the time you spend creating these memories and time you spend enjoying them later. The current self doesn’t like sitting in a cubicle. It feels caged. It could be doing something fun.
The remembering self doesn’t like not having enough money to build new memories, so it is willing to grind away and delay gratification.

Life for you and many others is full of conflict between these two selves over how best to be happy.
Kahneman’s research suggests that happiness can’t be all one or all the other. You have to be happy in the flow of time while simultaneously creating memories you can look back on later.
To be happy now and content later, you can’t only be focused on reaching goals, because once you reach them, the experience ends.

To truly be happy, you must satisfy both of your selves.
Go get the ice cream, but do so in a way which is meaningful, a way which creates a long-term memory.
Grind away to have money for later, but do so in a way which generates happiness as you work.
If you live for the moment, for pure gratification, the moment is all you will ever have. You won’t be able to sit in a rocking chair and tell stories. But, at the same time, if you think happiness comes at the end of a process, as some achievement or status or possession, you will be miserable both before and after the pursuit.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Hugging also...

Winter 11/12 Branding Trends

Winter 11/12 Branding: 360° 
360° is a neo-vintage direction, where hobo chic meets an eclectic thrift aesthetic.
This vintage collection draws on the hobo's life on the road, gathering discarded trinkets such as bus tickets, found pieces of metal and distressed remnants.


Winter 11/12 Branding: FAUX REAL 
Faux Real is a dark luxury trend, where fake becomes the inspiration for a new aesthetic. Faux no longer means cheap. Play with the boundaries between the real and the artificial, applying fake-making treatments to materials and products. Experiment with matt and dry-to-the-touch foam plastics, rubber, wet-look latex and hidden embossed branding effects.


Winter 11/12 Branding: YOUR SPACE
Multi-use solutions and stripped-back constructivist typography to create a simple and edited direction.

More at WGSN.com

Robot A Day

This amazing Robots are handmade and by Robot a Day. It is part an art project, a chance to build a robot army, and a bit of a laugh. It's a creative endeavour with a simple framework.

So it’s a pouch for your robot? The robot is the pouch. The pouch is the robot. 
You can put whatever you want inside.
Can I buy your robots? Yes you can! Check out  etsy.com for them.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Remember

Spot The Fake Smile - Take this Test

Click on this link to see how accurate your are recognizing fake and genuine smiles!
www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/smiles




Most people are surprisingly bad at spotting fake smiles. One possible explanation for this is that it may be easier for people to get along if they don't always know what others are really feeling.
Although fake smiles often look very similar to genuine smiles, they are actually slightly different, because they are brought about by different muscles, which are controlled by different parts of the brain.

Fake smiles can be performed at will, because the brain signals that create them come from the conscious part of the brain and prompt the zygomaticus major muscles in the cheeks to contract. These are the muscles that pull the corners of the mouth outwards.

Genuine smiles, on the other hand, are generated by the unconscious brain, so are automatic. When people feel pleasure, signals pass through the part of the brain that processes emotion. As well as making the mouth muscles move, the muscles that raise the cheeks – the orbicularis oculi and the pars orbitalis – also contract, making the eyes crease up, and the eyebrows dip slightly.
Lines around the eyes do sometimes appear in intense fake smiles, and the cheeks may bunch up, making it look as if the eyes are contracting and the smile is genuine. But there are a few key signs that distinguish these smiles from real ones. For example, when a smile is genuine, the eye cover fold - the fleshy part of the eye between the eyebrow and the eyelid - moves downwards and the end of the eyebrows dip slightly.
Scientists distinguish between genuine and fake smiles by using a coding system called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), which was devised by Professor Paul Ekman of the University of California and Dr Wallace V. Friesen of the University of Kentucky. 




Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Strong Brand Works with Others - Gucci

How many Gucci items do you own? Before answering, remember that Gucci stores also sell Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen, Oscar de la Renta, and other brands. From its humble beginnings as a single-product firm, Gucci has grown and evolved into a dominant player in the fashion industry. The path was not always easy. Gucci started in Italy, took a detour through Bahrain, and has ended up in The Netherlands.
The House of Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci in Florence, Italy, in 1921. Gucci was the son of a leather craftsman. While visiting Paris and London, he was impressed by the sophistication of the cultures he encountered. He returned to Italy to open his store, which sold small luggage and saddlery. Soon Gucci was a widely popular store, selling exclusive leather goods.
As the Gucci company grew, the product line continued to expand, as did the number of locations. Rome and Milan were two of the new sites. Guccio Gucci died in 1953, leaving his company to his brothers and family members. The Gucci heirs opened new stores in London, Paris, New York, and Palm Beach.
When the Gucci family sold the remainder of its interests in the company in the 1980s, the firm that purchased it was located in Bahrain. Unfortunately, the company had expanded so quickly that it had lost control over quality and distribution.
The newest owners are the Gucci Group NV, located in Amsterdam. The corporation fixed many problems by issuing shares of stock to finance growth. Currently the Gucci line includes watches, leather goods, perfumes, jewelry, and other items. Gucci Group NV now owns and operates 348 stores around the world.
In the United States, Gucci is marketed as a seductive, high-fashion brand. Visitors to the Gucci Web site can view the many products and stores that are all part of Gucci’s image. High fashion is a major feature of the Gucci line. All of Gucci’s products are advertised to enhance the same position.
Recently, Gucci appointed three new creative directors. One directs the women’s ready-to-wear collection, the second leads the men’s ready-to-wear collection, and the third manages the company’s fashion accessories.
Gucci provides an excellent example of how the leaders of one company were able to take a single line of products and eventually build a powerful international presence featuring dozens of products and brand names. Maintaining a cutting-edge position and image drives the marketing team at Gucci to innovate and grow with each new fashion trend.
Design Concepts. Pearson Learning Solutions 3. vbk:0558522637#outline(3)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Friday...and build a tent






Brands Must Stand For Something

Brands that stand for something connect with customers on an emotional level. Does your brand scream status? Does it value generosity? Is it elegant and refined? Does it care about the environment? Is it a rugged brand? Does it support family values? Does it love the outdoors? Does it cater to children? Is it open minded and progressive? Is it a brand for achievers? Does it believe in survival of the fittest? Does it scream creativity? Is it non-conventional? Is it rebellious? Is it fun loving? Is it naughty? Or is it nice?  

People connect emotionally with brands that stand for things that are important to them. They become loyal to those brands and they become advocates for those brands. They also often use those brands as a way to say, “This is what I stand for.” That is, people use brands to express themselves. 

Organizations that work with their customers to further common values become almost like trusted friends to those customers. 
We work with brands to help them identify their values and their personalities and their character and their archetypes. For instance, a brand whose archetype is Healer heals or attempts to heal or restore others to full health. A brand whose archetype is Achiever is driven by accomplishment, while one whose archetype is Guide is driven by helping others navigate through obstacles to particular destinations. Archetypes identify the underlying motivations of the organization. 
It is well worth the time and effort to determine what your organization stands for, what it values, how it behaves and what motivates it to behave in those ways.  Then it is important to systematically reinforce and communicate those values inside and outside of the organization.

BiTSi

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

An extraordinary book...and a gift from my father



Juan Salvador Gaviota-
Jonathan Livingston Seagull-
by Richard Bach

"Jonathan is sick and tired of the boring life in his sea-gull clan. He rather experiments with new, always more daring flying techniques. Since he doesn't fit in, the elders expel him from the clan. So he sets out to discover the world beyond the horizon in quest for wisdom." -  Tom Zoemer

8 Irresistible principles...

Bright Bolds


Mikael Floysand - Everyday Magazine


Thirst·y Collection

thirst·y/ˈTHərstē/Adjective
1. Feeling a need to drink something.
2. (of land, plants, or skin) In need of water: dry or parched. More »
Dictionary.com


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Morning

Color of the Year 2011: Honeysuckle

Here is a little history of Pantone picks for the past couple of years, colors that have been seen on fashion runways and everywhere around us.



For the 2011 the color of the year is PMS 18-2120 HONEYSUCKLE! A rosier hue, vibrant, and sweet!

“ Courageous. Confident. Vital. A brave new color, for a brave new world. Let the bold spirit of Honeysuckle infuse you, lift you and carry you through the year. It’s a color for every day – with nothing “everyday” about it. “ - Pantone


More info at Pantone.com

Why Thank you is more than just good manners!

To take the best known examples, studies have suggested that being grateful can improve well-being, physical health, can strenghen social relationships, produce positive emotional states and help us cope with stressful times in our lives.

But we also say thank you because we want the other person to know we value what they’ve done for us and, maybe, encourage them to help us again in the future. It’s this aspect of gratitude that Adam M. Grant and Francesca Gino examine in a series of new studies published recently in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Grant & Gino, 2010).

They wanted to see what effect gratitude has on the person who is being thanked. Does it motivate and, if so, is it just by making people feel good, or is it more than that?

Double the help
In the first study 69 participants were asked to provide feedback to a fictitious student called ‘Eric’ on his cover letter for a job application. After sending their feedback through by email, they got a reply from Eric asking for more help with another cover letter. The twist is that half of them got a thankful reply from Eric and the other half a neutral reply. The experimenters wanted to see what effect this would have on participant’s motivation to give Eric any more help.

As you might expect, those who were thanked by Eric were more willing to provide further assistance. Indeed the effect of ‘thank you’ was quite substantial: while only 32% of participants receiving the neutral email helped with the second letter, when Eric expressed his gratitude, this went up to 66%.

How gratitude works
The idea that saying thank you makes people more likely to help in the future is unsurprising, although the 100% increase is interesting, but what the researchers were interested in was why this happens.
Perhaps Eric’s gratitude made people feel better, or at least less bad? Or perhaps saying thanks boosted the helper’s self-esteem, which in turn motivated them to help again. In fact the experimenters found that people weren’t providing more help because they felt better or it boosted their self-esteem, but because they appreciated being needed and felt more socially valued when they’d been thanked. This feeling of social worth helps people get over factors that stop us helping. We are often unsure our help is really wanted and we know that accepting help from others can feel like a failure. The act of saying thank you reassures the helper that their help is valued and motivates them to provide more.

Pass it on
The researchers then wondered whether this effect would extend to other people. Would Eric’s thanks make participants more likely to help a different person? In a second study Eric’s thanks (or lack of thanks in the control condition) was followed, a day later, by an email from ‘Steven’ asking for similar help. The percentage who offered to help Steven was 25% when they had received no gratitude from Eric, but this shot up to 55% when they had been thanked.

So the boost to participant’s social worth carried over from one day to the next and from one person to the next. Although the overall percentages were slightly lower, Eric’s gratitude still doubled the number of people willing to provide help.
In a third and fourth study the researchers tested their findings face-to-face rather than over email. They reached similar conclusions, with increases in prosocial behavior of 50% in the third study and 15% in the fourth study. These lower percentages show that the effect of gratitude on motivation depends on the situation.

Now, these studies mostly looked at the situation where strangers help each other. It’s likely that the effect of a thank you on prosocial behavior is more powerful on people we don’t know, because strangers are more cautious about helping each other in the first place.

Thank you!
Since, for most of us, expressing our thanks is an everyday occurrence, we tend to think nothing of it. But psychologically it has a very important role to play for both the person giving and the person receiving.

All four studies reveal that gratitude is more than just a social nicety, or a way of making the helper feel good; it reassures others their help was actually appreciated and it encourages further prosocial behavior.

Amazing article from spring.org

Emir Eralp now Represented by Mara Singer


Check more at emireralp.com

Monday, January 17, 2011

Cave of Crystals

Hidden deep beneath the surface of the Earth is one of the greatest natural marvels on the planet: a giant crystal cave with crystals up to 36 feet long and weighing 55 tons. But this scorching cavern could kill humans after just 15 minutes of exposure.

In 2000, two miners found the cave more than 1,000 feet below the town of Naica in Mexico’s mineral-rich Chihuahuan desert. The Naica mine, run by the Penoles Group, is one of the most productive lead mines in the world, and a huge supplier of the world’s silver. Temperatures in the tunnels hover around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Brothers Eloy and Javier Delgado were excavating a tunnel when they stumbled upon the entrance to the cave. “What we first saw when we went in was a bar, as if ice,” Eloy Delgado said. “And I went in, I shined the light on it, and it reflected everywhere!”

The miner’s light illuminated a cavern the size of a football field filled with the largest natural crystals in the world.