Of Interest – May 8

Information Design Patterns – a nice collection of common information design approaches; includes detailed descriptions, usage and examples.

QR codes are paving a way to share and hide media – I don’t think QR codes have really caught on in the States, but I think they offer a lot of potential for unobtrusive mobile/real-world advertising.

Best ATM Interface Yet – a nice write-up of the new Wells Fargo ATM interface — with pictures!

Brightkite – I’ve been using brightkite for a few weeks now; I’m still trying to get a handle on the possibilities it offers — I’d like to see location-enabled integration with Yelp, Upcoming and other local-centric services and advertising. I think it could really take off with GPS-enabled phones and/or automated updates. If you’re looking for an invite, hit me up on twitter or e-mail.

Speaking of twitter, Is JetBlue using twitter to spy on its customers…or blow their minds? is a good read — describing one guy’s personalized big brother-type experience with a notable brand. I can envision a day when this approach becomes unmanageable for big companies (like when the lawyers get involved). For now, it’s really exciting to see this kind of interaction with customers.

Good Ideas Have Legs

Since discovering the barbarian group’s website a scant four days ago, I’ve become completely hooked. As my feed reader inches closer to 500 unread items and my attention span dwindles accordingly, I cringe at their rapid succession of long form posts (4 of ’em so far today). However, each time I’ve taken the time to actually read the full posts, I’ve been rewarded by well-crafted ideas and a little rush of inspiration.

One today’s posts really hit home:

Agnosticism, media and otherwise touches on a subject that has been raised many, many times in my office the past few weeks. Quoting:

“… agnostic ideas, ideas that solve client’s problems without filtering them against a pre-set media vehicle or creative skill set […] sometimes that’s a television ad, sometimes a website, sometimes an LED display on a blimp, sometimes all three. But, who the hell knows ahead of time?

The gist (to me) being: don’t cut the legs off your ideas by defaulting to traditional/tested/comfortable forms of communication — if an idea is good, it will shine anywhere.

The Producer of the Future

Creativity Online has posted a nice video tour of CP+B’s Boulder office. Normally, I would have posted this as a link dump kind of post, but the first half of the video is interesting enough to warrant a post of its own.

The folks at CP+B are talking integrated producers — meaning they pair specialists in web, video and interactive on projects. As they work together, those specialists push projects to new places with the added benefit of learning new skills along the way. As they begin to see projects from different perspectives, you end up with a video producer who could excel at creating (or overseeing the creation of) a website, web pros shooting videos for online spots, etc.

This kind of idea has been knocking around in my head for the past year or so, but this video does a great job of putting the disparate ideas in my head down on pixels. I think this approach is a natural evolution of online media and those who create it.

Watch it ASAP — I think Creativity locks their content behind a subscription page after 7 days or so.

Link Dump

Lots of good stuff out on the ol’ interwebs this week. In no particular order:

The Orange Underground – an interesting campaign for Cheetos by Goodby Silverstein. There are a lot of nice little touches, like the pattern overlaying the video and the cheap “paper” and felt-tip pen drawings in the cookbook.

Exiled!, a new show from MTV. Take the Super Sweet 16 kids and send them to live with tribes in Africa and Antartica. It sounds like a joke, but the Fallon Planning Blog has the skinny.

Guinness, Life of a Dot, a nice progression of their award-winning Evolution spot. I think these pieces complement each other nicely without trying to rehash the exact same idea.

CP+B’s Holiday Card – made for a select group of their clients, this card features a nice little customizable video and some surprising interaction at the end. (Use this code: 547WERT)

More on the CP+B tip, they’re doing some nice work for Domino’s now; taking them back to their “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee.

Cool Flash-based website for Soïa & Kyo, a fashion outerwear maker. Love the 3D space mixed with the hand-drawn elements.

Recent readables

What’s Plaguing Viral Marketing – I don’t really agree with the argument here, but it’s an interesting read; the researcher posits that viral marketers are targeting “Influentials” who can quickly spread messages and ideas like, uh, a virus. He argues that “normal” people are just as influential, and marketers focus on large groups of sheep. Meh, back to the lab.

10 Things You May Not Know About the Web Developer Toolbar – everybody loves a list, me included. I’ve found 5 out of 10 of these tips really useful in the past week.

Icon Design: Anti-Aliasing – great write up, and it reminded me of a underused little setting in Illustrator, Pixel Preview (option-cmd-y).

Hot links, 7-11

The new MK12 is here! the new MK12 is here! The best part of the site? They’ve posted a huge archive of their work — you’ll be in a daze for days.

Just Do It South Africa — a fantastic new Nike campaign from W+K Amsterdam. Check their blog for samples of the print work, which features beautiful photography and pitch-perfect copywriting (the real star of the show). Similarly, the TV spot (below) looks stunning, but the VOs and sound design make it sing.