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The logic we use to understand the world as it is can hinder us when we seek to understand the world as it could be. Anyone who comes up with new ideas for a living will recognize the challenges this truism presents. It means that to get organizational support for something new, you need to pay as close attention to how the new idea is created, shared, and brought to life as to the new idea itself. New year, new ideas.
When the question of what will define 2017 comes up, the response most often includes words like “Trump” and “populism” and “division” and “anger.” “Green” — not so much. Yet if you believe the team at the Pantone Color Institute, which calls itself the “global color authority,” green will be everywhere in 2017. Not just any old green, of course: Pantone 15-0343, colloquially known as greenery, which is to say a “yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring.” Green with envy.
PepsiCo is introducing a premium bottled water brand called Lifewtr that appears aimed at Coca-Cola's Smartwater. Debuting in February, PepsiCo's product is "pH balanced with electrolytes added for taste," according to a press release issued today. PepsiCo will seek to differentiate Lifewtr via its packaging. The label, which the marketer described as "the brand's biggest equity" and where the brand name appears in all-caps, will feature rotating designs created by emerging artists. The worth of water.
Art Peck, the CEO of Gap Inc., has had enough of creative directors. Gap eliminated the position in early 2015 and has been pushing instead for a decentralized design process where different teams create the designs for Gap and the brands it owns. This loosely organized, data-driven approach has benefited some of Gap’s biggest rivals, including Zara, but so far, it doesn’t seem to be working for Gap. After seeing the seventh straight quarter of falling sales, it’s now time to face the deeper issue. Not so black and white.
Taco Bell is ringing in the new week with a new look and a new address. The fast-food chain is updating its logo for the first time in more than 20 years. The new look coincides with Monday's opening of its first flagship store, located on the Las Vegas Strip. The revamped look and sexy location are the latest ways Taco Bell is trying to connect with young, hip diners. Out with the old, in with the new.
Andrew Dent, vice president of library and materials research at Material ConneXion, is like a sommelier. Presiding over the world's largest library of materials, his job is to listen to the requirements of his clients and come up with an innovative material that suits their needs. His level of obsession in this field is such that he makes Apple's Jonathan Ive, a fellow Brit, seem like he's never done his homework. Here, he identifies a handful of the cutting-edge materials that he thinks will be important to designers over the next few years. Flexible batteries, velcro metal, conductive inks, oh my.
When was the idea of a brand born? A comprehensive timeline of branding, all the way from 1 BC to today, developed by Lauren Cascio and partner Matt Miksa, begins with a simple argument: that the world has always been branded. Here, an exhibit about branding traces its millennia-old history and points to its ominous future. More than a mark.
Now, as television is trending toward ’80s-era creations like Stranger Things, The Americans, Halt and Catch Fire, and The Goldbergs, decorators are finding it increasingly difficult to fill their sets with gadgets that won’t cause nitpicking fans to froth at the mouth. It’s a very first-world Hollywood problem, but a fascinating one. One man's trash is TV's gold.
Think of the dusty pinks and faded blues in ads for popular products like the underwear brand Thinx, or the makeup company Glossier. Soft gradients have seeped into trendy web design. Then, earlier this year, Pantone broke with tradition to name not one but two shades for its color of the year. Rose Quartz and Serenity, apparently selected to speak to a more gender-fluid world, also served to solidify the trending pastel palette. If pastels weren't dominating consumer products before, they definitely are now. So why are all these pale tones coming on so strong? To predict the future of color, look back at the past.