March 14, 2007

Happy π day!

We're on spring break right now, so all the things I need to get accomplished seem a lot less pressing. Instead, I figured I'd check in here and post three things I thought about on my walk (more of a wander, really) in to work today.

[A new shop in Galesburg]First was that I noticed a new shop in Galesburg. I was walking down Broad and observed that the recently-vacated tiny storefront on Ferris (formerly Barb's Hitchin Post, and vacant a long time before that) appeared to be occupied again. I wandered a little closer to check it out. Now, the fact that there's a new shop in town would certainly not be blogworthy (it wasn't even the only one I saw this morning—the old thrift shop on Cherry is now a hair salon), but I had to take a picture of this place for the sign.

[A self-refuting sign]You probably can't make it out in the above photo, so here's a blow-up of the sign. I ask: if you were someone that had something to advertise or sell or just show off, would you hire this place to do the graphic design? Hint: no. This is not the scruffy barber problem; this is the marketing interview problem. There are ways to incorporate a Ferris wheel into the logo without violating principles of graphic design, but evidently these folks don't know them.

Further on in my wander, I accidentally bit off a small corner of the napkin with which I was holding my breakfast. Obviously, I took it out of my mouth and discarded it; but a moment later, as I finished the danish, I crumpled the (rest of the) napkin and stuck it in my pocket, since there was no trash can handy. Why was one littering and the other not? On reflection, I'm fairly sure that even the most fastidious non-litterers would, in picking a stray hair off a sweater or brushing dandruff or such things, just let them fall, even indoors. Because it'd get vacuumed up later and in the meantime wouldn't be particularly visible. So then (think I) what about in truly enclosed environments? I suppose you could still vacuum there, though, since a vacuum is really just a powerful fan blowing through a filter. And this led to the real thought of the morning: you know what you never saw on Star Trek? Even with all the walking down their long, curving hallways, you never once saw staff (human or robotic) vacuuming or cleaning it.

(Welcome to my brain, folks. Enjoy your stay!)

After stopping at an ATM, I was wandering through Seymour, and next to the publications office I saw a sign that said something like this: "Meetings every Tuesday in this door —>" So of course, I thought, "Really? It seems kind of narrow to fit even one person. What is it, an inch and a half wide, maybe?" Not that the meaning wasn't clear, of course, but what could I do? It's like I was channeling my father.

"My biggest problem is that we are trying to shoehorn abundance into scarcity because our economics are utterly unsuited for coping with abundance. It doesn't matter if you are talking about 'movies' or 'television' or 'youtube' or 'music' or 'programs': it's all data. There is only negligible cost associated with making a copy of data and distributing it. And after distributing it you still have it." --Sam Walker

Posted by blahedo at 12:15pm on 14 Mar 2007
The other day I passed (on North Harlem as I recall, probably in Norridge somewhere) a sign shop whose sign was so busy and incomprehensible that there is no way I'd consider using their design services (which, after looking the sign over three or four times, I discovered they actually had). The sad thing is, so many marketing businesses seem to be very bad at marketing themselves. One wonders how they get any clients at all. Posted by Kelly at 3:51pm on 14 Mar 2007
*sigh* Don't get me started on the woman that does the grapic design for one of the theatres I work with. Everything is pink and blue gradients in rounded boxes with her name all over it and the theatre's actual logo nowhere in sight. The woman has absolutely no concept of a "unified design standard". Posted by Chelsea at 9:29am on 15 Mar 2007
[EDIT: The author of this comment was commenting on my post "Here we go again...", so I've moved it there. -blahedo] Posted by Marcy Weckler Barr at 9:15pm on 17 Mar 2007
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