I always like visiting other editing houses and production companies. The most recent issue of Creative Review talks about how ad agencies and design shops are cutting edge places for architects, because they're always willing to try new floor plans.
I was in Paris recently and found myself behind this van at a stoplight.
Mess that it was, I can't say which line, image, or bullet point was the first thing to catch my eye. But couldn't help noticing the man-holding-the-lightbulb clip art (sorry about the camera phone resolution).
How do I know it was clip art? I had seen it before in Jon Steel's book Perfect Pitch, where he rails on awful presentations created with awful PowerPoint clip art. Here is a scanned page from Jon's book that uses the exact same clip art to make his point.
Maybe S.E.R. Électricité could use a copy of Jon's book. Assuming his arguments apply to van art as well.
(I also recommend Jon's other book, as well has his brilliant performance as Hurley.)
I like cities that display art in public places. Chicago does it. And so does Geneva. Right now, there's a sidewalk exhibition along the Bergues Bridge downtown.
I'm sure a lot of people think it's cool. But if you're at all familiar with "Powers of 10" by Ray and Charles Eames, you'll know it's just a blatant rip off. Which makes it less cool.
The Bergues Bridge version isn't as interesting or as comprehensive as the original, but at least you don't have to put up with the soundtrack or the voiceover that sounds exactly like a guy wearing a short-sleeved, button down shirt with horned-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector.
Unlike the Eames version, this one goes into the man's testicle. Ouch.
Sperm cells are apparently more interesting than strands of DNA.
(There's a crossover point mid-bridge where we go into the woman to see her ova before pulling slowly back to outer space.)
Despite being a rip-off, it's pretty cool to look at these panels and then look up to see you're actually there - something the original film doesn't offer. Unless, of course, you're watching it during a picnic near Lake Michigan. (I once saw Coldplay in the United Center, and they showed a clip of "Powers of 10" on the screen behind them, which comes pretty close.)
This morning, in the middle of presenting some ideas to my creative director, I got very nauseous. Five minutes later, I excused myself and went and threw up in the restroom.
Outside of vomiting, I felt fine. But I left the office to get some fresh air. Then, while I was in the park, I threw up again. Of course people throw up in parks all over the world. It's one of the things that ties the human family together. But I somehow vomiting in a park made me feel strangely European.
As it so happens, two police officers were passing on my last few heaves. As I stood up from my crouched position, this is the conversation that took place (translated literally):
POLICEMAN: Is it going?
POLICEMAN: Is it not going?
ME: I think I eat something bad.
ME: I vomit in the office. In the toilet in the office. Then I come walk in the park. And I vomit.
POLICEMAN: Is it going?
ME: I think so now.
POLICEMAN: (makes a drinking gesture) Coco-Cola! Drink lots of Coca-Cola!
ME: Yes. Thank you.
I've heard it said that the highest tier of brand-dom is when a brand becomes a verb, i.e., when you Google something, or FedEx a package, or Xerox a paper. But I'd have to say it's when a brand is thought to improve someone's health. Especially in spite of being sugar water.
A friend of a freind started Obama in Our House - a kind of Flat Stanley project with a 6-foot cut-out of the President that's traveling the world (he came to me by way of Sweden).
I decided to use him as part of my Halloween costume this year.
In Geneva, the big Halloween party for expats is our church party, which gets bigger every year. It's a little funny that a few Christian faiths eschew Halloween as a night of bats, monsters and pumpkin worship, but the Mormons embrace it as a night of pot-luck fun and free on-site baby-sitting.
A few observations on bringing a 6-foot Barack Obama cut-out to an LDS/expat party:
1. The Africans love him. No matter what country they were from, little African kids in the building would call out his name and jump up and down when I walked down the hall with him.
2. The Americans loved that their kids knew who he was. No matter what their political position, Americans are so happy that their kids aren't totally out of touch with the homeland that they recognize who's in charge. (An American friend of mine said she became concerned last Fourth of July when they pulled out the Stars and Stripes and her daughter asked, "Mom, what crazy flag is that?")