May 31, 2011

3D Brands

El momento del café
A link to an article that tells you how and why Starbuck's branding program has been so successful. Reading the article it made me think about how modern marketing actually could pick up a thing or two from design principles.

When working with visual elements, 3D included, changing one composite have  consequences for other objects and perspectives. In the same way you have to adjust or add elements in a branding program to obtain the big picture you want others to see.

To read the article: The Brand Experience

May 20, 2011

Spellbinding facts about Trolls (Internet & Real world)

The homeland of Trolls
Lately I've stumbled across several articles addressing internet trolls and how they can make life miserable for anyone having internet sites depending on interactions with readers and customers. For many, success lies in the numbers and responses you accumulate on your site, but in the long run bulk responses and internet trolls can have a strong negative impact and hurt your credibility as a dependable source of information.

NPR (Public Radio) is one site that has initiated a troll hunt. To read more check this article: Public radio decides it's time to chase trolls away.

TechCrunch a popular blog about all things tech related has minimized the problem by using a Facebook commenting plug-in:  Facebook comments have silenced the trolls - but is it too quiet?

But here's the creative twist of today: I am introducing you to the old world of trolls. To get you in the right ambiance we need some music! You've probably heard this piece numerous times from commercials and  movie or perhaps you've hear it from recordings made by "The Who", "Electric Light Orchestra", "Erasure" or "Metallica". Originally composed by Edvard Grieg and premiered back in 1876. "In the hall of the mountain king":

What you might not know is that this piece is a description of a human being facing the horror of the Trolls in a mountain. And you are hereby warned about explicit lyrics:

Slay him! The Christian's son has bewitched
The Mountain King's fairest daughter!
Slay him!
Slay him!

May I hack him on the fingers?
May I tug him by the hair?
Hu, hey, let me bite him in the haunches!
Shall he be boiled into broth and bree to me
Shall he roast on a spit or be browned in a stewpan?

Ice to your blood, friends!

Mårten Eskil Winge 1872
"Thor's battle with the Ettins"

Trolls first appear in Norse Mythology about 1000 years ago. They have numerous forms and shapes and are grouped into categories. Without explaining every category they can in general be categorized as fierce (but not very smart), ugly beings usually with a bad agenda.

Found in isolated areas and rough nature like mountains, caves and thick woodlands and some lives in waters and in the ocean too. They can be big or small. Some are human looking and some are true monster-like with several heads. Enemies of  Gods, all things good and humans in particular. They operate between sundown and sunset because exposed to sunlight they turn to stone.

The popularity of the new movie "Thor" is another entry into the subject since he is known for having fierce battles with giant trolls ("Jotuns") It's really exiting to see Norse mythology being used as creative inspiration for new movies in 2011. The Norse mythology is a kaleidoscope of Gods, colorful figures, trolls, drama and myths. If you are into Greek mythology I highly recommend you  to explore the world of Asgard! : "The Norse Gods"

After the Viking era and the Christianity of Scandinavia the myths and legends from Norse mythology continued to live on in Scandinavian folklore evolving into a rich fairytale tradition and as an inspiration source for traditional art forms like poems, paintings and music. Even in modern times it is a cultural phenomena still having influence on it's surroundings. Do you know there are mountains  and roads named after Trolls, like "Trollstigen" ? (The Troll ladder).You  have oil fields in the Northern Atlantic discovered in 1979 named "Troll". So is a science station and a landing base in Antarctica and even a record label too. Trolls has become modern time tourist attractions and popular souvenirs.

Teodor Kittelsen 1906
As a child I grew up with the colorful world of fairy-tales, myths and trolls making each walk in the woods an exiting and imaginary place and they certainly has contributed to creativity. But there is another side to fairy tales that might not be so well known. From old times they have played a significant role as advisories and even as "parental guides". Through story telling back to times when people could not read and write they functioned as entertaining guides to what was wrong and right, good and bad and how to be smart and overcome the "trolls" in life and sometimes just being a simple guide to common sense. To give you an example, here's a short story translated to English:

"Boots Who Ate a Match With the Troll"

Today the myths about Trolls continue to inspire modern creators and here's a trailer to a dark comedy movie "The Troll Hunter" first released in 2010 with recent viewings in 2011 at the Sundance FilmFestival, San Fransisco International Film Festival and Boston Independent Film Festival:

I might be far away from the origin of Trolls and sometimes I think I know how Thor must have felt falling down in the Nevada desert. The tropical landscape of Florida is far from rugged mountains, but still there are reminders. I've heard stories about the "Chupacabra" and the "Pechuen" from South American Mepuche mythology so in some sense I know there are other similar myths. Nevertheless we are just entering into a summer season when Thor makes his sound remarkable vivid around areas like Miami (he must have a hang for the tropics like I do :-) Reminding me of old landscapes, heritage and most importantly about being strong and fight the wicked ways of trolls. You don't believe me ? Trolls love to intervene and poke with humans. Beware! 

May 7, 2011

A passionate plea

Ardor II 
I’ve always liked words and some things haven’t changed. Just as I did when I was a child I still get fascinated by words, by the layers of direct and indirect content and just purely the sound of them. Some are exotic and complex, others have colors and taste while some are simple and basic. And every language has its own aura of words. English is my second language but the awareness and fascination is by the contrary even stronger.

Words are in many ways like spices and similar to cooking you know that too much of a spice can certainly kill a good meal just like too little makes the food bland and uninteresting. I got inspired to write about words today after reading the blog article from Jonathan Fields, and I sadly have to agree. In our modern times inflation hits hard some of our dearest words. And they are out there suffering the abuse and sometimes misunderstood use.
The word “Passion” has always had a secret place in my heart, not always sure where it has been hiding in-between the heart chambers but it’s always been there among other indescribable sacred words. And there I said it; indescribable which “Passion” should be. “Passion” is a feeling and a state of mind worthy of being the bridge in a passage of an Isabel Allende novel. “Passion” is like an indescribable sugar rush burning down your veins and it certainly doesn’t happen to you every day.  Actually the word origins from an ancient greek verb meaning "to suffer" and in medieval times the word was used as a reference to Christ’s suffering on the cross! This might explain why the word “Passion” has synonyms in several languages related to fever, heat and pain. So now you know a little bit more about why we have modern expressions like “Burning love” and “Sick of jealousy" as expressions for passionate love.

Nowadays “Passion” is everywhere after being hijacked and used in every culture and subculture you can think of related to written media and especially in advertising and marketing. It is certainly not the first time it has happened. There are many other words tired of the limelight. As an individual contributing to traditional arts and visual expressions another word that comes to mind is “creative” which is also sulking under too much exposure. I have found myself in situations where I have been asked to describe what I  do and my work and “creative” is ironically a word I try to avoid; simply because it does not measure up to its original intentions: creativity. I guess both “Passion” and “Creative” are running on empty.