Whether it was genuine backtracking or an elaborate P.R. ruse, we may never know. But Gap has quickly junked its new logo after what it calls an “outpouring of comments from customers and the online community in support of the iconic blue box logo.” Cliff Kuang at Fast Company design blog has tracked the logo flap from the start. (Fast Company also brought attention to Tropicana’s bad orange juice carton design, which The Hot Sheet noted at the time.) He says, “You gotta wonder: Are rebrandings — whether bold and visionary or downright terrible — impossible in the age of Twitter and Facebook? Will companies know when an outcry isn’t pointing to a terrible design, but rather just people refusing to embrace change?” But you also gotta wonder whether some of the outrage came from designers sore about how Gap commissioned the new logo. The company used the reviled “crowd-sourcing” method, in which designs are solicited at large… for free. No member of the design community – hurting for work like everyone else these days – would appreciate a logo created that way. Such practices drive down artists’ fees even further, especially when pursued by major corporations.
Dennis Hopper’s art will always be overshadowed by his films. That only makes his art that much more intriguing. Dennis Hopper Double Standard at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary reveals an artist fully engaged with the aesthetics and issues of his time, although not directly propelling them. The time in question is from the early 1960s through very recently. (Hopper died May 29 of this year.) The largest share of work here are his photographs. They document not only Hollywood and rock music (images of Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones with a sitar, and a young, bikini’d Jane Fonda are among those that are iconic and compelling), but the kinetic Los Angeles art scene and major social issues. These include the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Freedom March, and the 1967 Sunset Strip curfew riots, which Hopper documented tellingly. Unfortunately, MOCA stacked the hundreds of photos in 20-foot-high towers, making it impossible to get close to some of the best. Why not put the Geffen Contemporary’s cavernous spaces to better use and Read More
From Arch Daily comes these photos of a home for the Modern Stone-Age family. “What do you think of this crazy stone house tucked into the Fafe Mountains in Portugal? Constructed between two giant stones and linked with a concrete mix, the house is rumored to be inspired by the popular American Flintstones cartoon. Although quite unusual, the prehistoric-looking residence does feature some traditional components such as windows, a front door, and even a shingled roof. As you might expect, the house’s design attracts thousands of tourists each year.”
The tiny atoll of Midway is one-third the way between Hawaii and Tokyo. But even here, 2,000 miles from the nearest continent, the ongoing, rapid destruction of the ocean is distressingly obvious. Just look – if you can stomach it – at the photos Midway albatross chicks by Chris Jordan. He can describe them better than we can (from his website):
“These photographs of albatross chicks were made in September, 2009, on Midway Atoll, a tiny stretch of sand and coral near the middle of the North Pacific. The nesting babies are fed bellies-full of plastic by their parents, who soar out over the vast polluted ocean collecting what looks to them like food to bring back to their young. On this diet of human trash, every year tens of thousands of albatross chicks die on Midway from starvation, toxicity, and choking. To document this phenomenon as faithfully as possible, not a single piece of plastic in any of these photographs was moved, placed, manipulated, arranged, or altered in any way. These images depict the actual stomach contents of baby birds in one of the world’s most remote marine sanctuaries.”
Jordan is currently returning to Midway to film a documentary.
PCA last month launched comprehensive, integrated marketing campaigns for the City of Riverside (California) and St. Mary Medical Center Long Beach, a member of Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). Both campaigns employ PCA’s integrated services and include regional print and online advertising programs, as well as innovative social media and public relations strategies.
Read a press release announcing the campaigns’ launch here or click below to learn more about the creative process. Read More
International design firm Cuningham Group Architecture, just announced that its St. Jerome Parish Hall remodeling project has achieved LEED® Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). St. Jerome Parish Hall is the first project in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to become LEED® certified. It was certified Silver per the USBGC “New Construction and Major Renovation” Category, Version 2.2. THe Parish made a commitment to create a “green” hall within the remodeling project, and sustainable goals were in place from the outset as Cuningham Group, Stonemark Construction Management and the client collaborated on the design. Features include innovative mechanical system controls; new skylights to boost and equalize ambient lighting in the gym; water-conserving restroom fixtures; new glazing; new lighting and lighting control systems; reused or selected materials with significant recycled content; and better metering of electrical power.
“One of the fundamental tenants of our practice is that we have a responsibility to Read More
The BP oil spill offers dramatic evidence about the true costs of a petroleum-based economy. The $20 billion secured from BP by the Obama administration to cover economic damages will not nearly approach the overall dollars needed to repair this calamity, not to mention the true costs of climate change, all of which are being borne by citizens of the U.S. and the world, not oil companies. These are among the messages of leading environmentalist Bill McKibben in his latest call to organize – via the web – for action to curb carbon emissions, the source of climate change. He notes that the planet needs dramatic action “much faster than the political and economic systems are moving right now.” With the oil industry the most profitable and powerful enterprise in history, all that companies such as BP need to do to prevent being taxed for the true cost of environmental damage is to slow down the political process.
Baby boomers should note this message from McKibben’s new, web-distributed video: “Don’t make your lasting legacy on this planet the destruction of its basic physical integrity. That’s what people will remember the boomers for 100 years from now if we don’t clean up our act really fast.”
Infamous street artist Banksy’s documentary, Exit Through the Gift Shop, premiered this week to lots of underground-ish hype (including L.A. Weekly cover story for which Banksy created original art). In the film (which Hot Sheet hasn’t seen yet), Banksy is the subject of the documentary, only to announce that he thinks the “actual” filmmaker – another artist named Thierry Guetta – is more interesting. So Banksy hijacks Guetta’s footage and makes the movie about him. Got all that? Doesn’t matter, say jaded and arts-savvy film reviewers, because the whole thing is hoax. New York Times critic Manohla Dargis comes to that conclusion. So does Fast Company design writer Alissa Walker. Banksy himself denies it. One of the funniest denial quotes ever printed in the New York Times reads: ‘ “I don’t know why so many people have been fooled into thinking this film is fake,” Banksy, or someone purporting to be he, wrote in an e-mail message from Los Angeles.’
So, if they’ve been fooled into thinking it’s fake, who fooled them? Banksy? If so, then it is a fake. Oh, never mind…
The catalytic power of Transit Oriented Developments (TODs) is well-known: Hollywood’s snowballing economic development, for example, includes diverse densities surrounding well-designed transit hubs. But not all TODs were created equal. So ULI Los Angeles (a district council of Urban Land Institute) launched a series of TOD Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) to re-strategize under-performing transportation centers to help them achieve full potential. The first of these workshops – led by volunteer urban-design professionals – recently presented its findings at the Slauson Avenue Blue Line station.
One key proposal may rankle those who support TODs purely to get people out of cars: The ULI TAP urges more parking… particularly, a new parking structure connecting to the boarding platform.
“Adding parking is not ‘good’ from a typical green perspective, but it will increase ridership,” said Jonathan Watts, Slauson TAP chair and principal with Cuningham Group Architecture . Indeed, many successful TODs – from Long Beach’s Blue Line stations to the large Metrolink hubs – include strong “park and ride” components.
The media has taken notice. Articles on the TOD recommendations include Urban Land Institute’s Ground Floor blog, Planetizen,L.A. Curbed, and L.A. Streets blog. Lots of heated comments on the topic – especially whether it’s smart to include parking at TODs – in all these online publications.
ULI Los Angeles will present final recommendations on this on three other TOD workshops as part of June 4, TOD Summit in Hollywood.
Brian (no last name), from Daily Conversations, a grass-roots marketing blog, noticed a panhandler in his neighborhood was getting few donors. So Brian applied his marketing skills. He rewrote the man’s confusing sign, created a clear call to action (“Help the homeless – Donate”), and added an incentive (“Free hand sanitizer”). Brian also moved the man’s donation cup from the down near his foot up to the sign itself, so that people wouldn’t have to stoop or feel uncomfortably close to the panhandler. (Brian equates this to making a website’s “buy” button obvious and attractive.) According to Brian, the man quickly drew a crowd and people were genuinely intrigued by a homeless man giving away free hand sanitizer for donations to help his family/medical bills. Brian reports: “This experiment improved this man’s earnings by over 100% over several days thanks to me, and on top of that I paid him to let me take pictures (which he was very happy about being featured in a blog article online.)” Brian says the lesson for online marketing is to continually tweak one’s home page to generate new interest.