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New Stuff and Inspiration

Macklemore raps about thrift stores

Macklemore of Seattle made this rap song/video. It’s hard to imagine a better ad for Goodwill.

Frank Gehry is having more fun.




I’m convinced that Frank Gehry has more fun than any architect alive today. The architect stereotype conjures up black turtlenecks, manicured fingernails, and a serious expression. I don’t know what Mr. Gehry is like as a person, but his buildings can’t possibly come from that stereotype. I like to imagine him more like a kindergarten teacher.

His new project is the Biomuseum in Latin America. It will feature species that originated in the Panamanian Isthmus.

Neon Museum




For those among us who have a soft spot for vintage lettering, and Las Vegas lore, we can now wander among some of the classic neon signs that once lit up the strip. Neon Museum opened last week in Las Vegas. The new outdoor museum has a collection of 150 Las Vegas signs from as far back as the 1930’s.

Many of these come from what Young Electric Sign Company used to call ‘the boneyard.’ The boneyard was a place where old signs used to go, not to die, but to teach. YESCO sign designers would make a mecca to the boneyard to learn from the lumbering beasts whatever they could take away about engineering, graphic design and culture. And YESCO gave numerous private tours by appointment only. It was a place where signs were revered and the importance of the signage industry on American culture was easily understood. Now, they are on display for all to see.

Why so much love for these old signs? They were designed by “craftsman from a bygone era, when people drew with pencils, heated and bent glass tubes, filled the glass with neon and argon gas, cut and shaped metal and fiberglass, and then hoisted larger-than-life tableaus onto buildings and above roads filled with men and women who were falling in love with cars.” NYT

“Several fonts were created and became widely used, including Atomic Age letters from the early signs of the Stardust, which was demolished in 2007.” NYT

Follow the frog

Great ‘lil vid for The Rainforest Alliance.

This is the write up on the YouTube page for this video:

You don’t have to go to the ends of the Earth to save the rainforest. Just Follow the Frog! Shop for Rainforest Alliance Certified products here:

The Rainforest Alliance is a nonprofit conservation organization that holds Charity Navigator’s highest rating of Four Stars:

What’s behind the green frog seal? Only farms that meet rigorous sustainability criteria earn the right to use the Rainforest Alliance Certified seal. These criteria address all of the three pillars of sustainability — environmental protection, social equity and economic viability — and farms are evaluated by independent, third-party auditors. Learn more about Rainforest Alliance Certification and its impacts here:

This film was written and directed by our talented friend Max Joseph. You can follow him at
Produced by Aaron Weber from Wander:

New book for inspiration

Every now and again you just need something cool to look at, ya know? We like to get new books, look at new art and just be dazzled by the creativity that is being produced in the world today. So today, we bought a tattoo book. For years tattoos represented gangsters, jailbirds, bikers and military men. The art was crude, the subject matter fairly similar. But today tattoo artists have elevated the art form to, well, art. We were blown away by the interesting new styles we saw in the teaser for this book and thought it’d be a great new form of inspiration for us. So we ordered it. Can’t wait to read Forever the New Tattoo.

Light painting skeletons

LA-based artist Darius Twin has taken “light painting” to a new level. Leaving the shutter open for long periods of time, it’s possible to “paint” images into the picture. Obviously, this means lots of trial and error, and also remembering where you’ve painted. Apparently this yields a slim amount of usable images, but these chosen few are really slick.

The images here are all skeleton-based, but there’s other cool stuff on his site.

Angry Voicemail

Next time a customer calls to complain, instead of cringing, thank them. It could be your next viral video. This one has almost 3 million hits on youtube.

Retail isn't dead. It's reincarnating.

State Farm says retail isn’t just for selling. They are using retail space as a platform for learning. The picture above is their new ‘Next Door’ Community Café in Chicago where they offer financial coaching, classes and community space. The public is invited to use the space for anything from teaching yoga classes to open mic nights.  Here’s where the learning part comes in. While State Farm is helping people work toward their financial goals, they are also learning more about what consumers want and need, and how it can help. A research analyst is planted on site and tasked with turning observations into actionable insights for the company. Financial coaches use an iPad app designed to guide conversations with consumers toward a deeper understanding of their unmet needs. In qualitative research, recruiting is usually time-consuming and tricky. The ‘Next Door’ concept takes it right out of the equation.

You can learn more about the how retail is reincarnating in The Future of Retail, published by IDEO.

"Let's start with a poem."

I went to hear a talk with the founders of Nature’s Path last week, husband and wife, Arran and Ratana Stephens. The thing that struck me the most is that Arran started the talk by reciting a poem. And he concluded it by singing a song his father wrote. In the advertising world, that just doesn’t happen. Ever. Dozens of business books talk about brand ideals and core values. But when a CEO  shape shifts into a traveling bard before your eyes, that speaks louder than a thousand flow charts on brand positioning by some MBA. For over an hour, he and Ratana bestowed the crowd with words of wisdom. Here are a few I scratched down:

“A success is a failure that never gave up.”

When a reporter asked Arran why he thought he had a chance to compete with the big cereal companies like Kellogg’s and General Mills, he replied with two questions of his own. “Have you heard of Goliath? Have you head of David?”

“If we abide by the bank’s covenants, we do so out of fear. If we abide by our own covenants, we do so out of pride.”

“She can make a nickel scream.”

“GMO stands for God Move Over.”




Hard to read?



“It’s tough when something simple becomes so hard, isn’t it?”

Great ads make you feel something. These ads, from the Brazilian Rehabilitation Society from Parana, make you feel frustration, lack of control, confusion and exhaustion. Along with a side serving of nausea from the color combinations. Intentional, of course. Simple and smart. Made by Guarda (Chuva). via Osocio