blog.Drewprops.com > Category Archives: Smart Design

Siri Goes “Bonk!”

2013_starcops_001

For the last week or so I’ve been trading messages with my friend JD about the new movie “Gravity”, as we both share an interest in a sci-fi sub-genre referred to as “hard” science fiction (fictional stories which adhere to real-world technology and physics while avoiding the temptation of using inexplicably “magical” technologies). I’ve also been upgrading to a new smartphone all week and a few days ago I had a bit of a technological Continue reading

Sticky Stuff Hits YouTube

Hey look! It’s my friend Joe in his very own YouTube-style infomercial showing off his cool temporary adhesive product called “Joe’s Sticky Stuff”. I did the artwork for the product tin, but Joe and his family have been the people making this product a success. I think they did a great job with this video because in one minute you know exactly what the product does! Fast and clean, just like Joe’s Stick Stuff!!

Wanted: The ElderPhone

ElderPhone Concept SketchWestern culture is driven by youth, something we all hear (and ignore) when we’re young and grow to believe (and resent) as we age. Recently, after watching my 70-something parents struggle with my Dad’s terribly tiny cellphone, I joined that group of people who are calling upon industries across the spectrum to add the over-60 demographic to your product lineups, and fast. While service industries (primarily, pharmaceuticals, healthcare providers and medical equipment suppliers) have spent several years in preparation for the golden years of an aging Baby Boomer generation, it seems that there are precious few consumer-oriented companies who have given it a second thought. Companies like OXO, who are actively looking to reinvent products for people with reduced strength and limited mobility, are few and far between. For evidence of this you need look no farther than your own cellular telephone. Do you even know how to work that thing?
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Bluetooth Geekery

ThinkGeek Handset
Completely without justification, I am the proud owner of one of these doohickies: an old-fashioned telephone receiver that works with my cellular phone using Bluetooth, the same wireless technology that afflicts the walking cellphone zombies you see everywhere these days. Want one?
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Is Zune Microsoft’s .Net Stalking Horse?

To date the MP3 player-buying public has voted with their wallets, showing that they prefer the clean user interface, no-fuss hardware/software handshaking and pure style points of Apple’s iPod. But if Microsoft can force a price war with Apple by selling their new Zune at fire sale prices, Apple will be forced to drop the prices on their hardware to meet market forces. Is this media player merely a shield, a stalking horse meant to clear the decks for Microsoft’s .Net future? Or do I need to stop being an armchair analyst? Don’t answer that.
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State Or The Art

State Or The Art sign
I love entrepreneurs, really I do. I find that they’re composed of equal parts boundless energy, raving manifestos, wild promises and confusing double-talk that they themselves cannot fully rationalize if given a dozen whiteboards and a tub full of dry-erase markers. I mean, have you ever watched the “You’re Fired” show with Donald Trump? Those people are crackers. The thing that I love most about entrepreneurs is that they stereotypically have more bad taste than marketing savvy. Case in point, a homemade sign that my Dad spotted while we were out around the city on Father’s Day (he snapped the photo that accompanies this article).
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Thompson Ventulett & Sauron

Emersion
It was a wild and stormy night so I settled in to re-watch the last half of Peter Jackson’s 800 minute extended version of ‘The Return of the King’. At the point when Frodo finally reaches the entrance to the Crack of Doom I was struck by the design of the stonework around the entrance, all hard planes and jutting fins. Bereft of humanity, soulless and sullen, it looked ever so familiar and tugged at my memory but I wasn’t sure why. And suddenly, in the ruddy light of Mount Doom’s coursing lava, I knew. I knew where I’d seen that alien style before. I’d seen it in Atlanta…. it’s the in-house design style of the large Atlanta architecture firm Thompson, Ventulett & Stainback! Seriously. I kid thee not. Are you familiar with the AT&T Promenade building in mid-town? Sauron’s evil eye winters there. You know that stingy little building they squeezed in where Gorin’s diner used to be? I have it on good authority that it was designed by a very cross orc who was having a very bad day. No lie. Check it out. But that’s not all. These guys are so bent on filling the world with their inhuman designs that they are beginning by switching the meanings of words to confuse people and possibly to kill innocent fish. Read on…
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The Art Barrier

Darkside of the Garden
I know that art is subjective and that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but it’s hard to remember artistic aphorisms when you’re staring down the barrel of somebody’s trashy art collection. How many times have you found yourself turning your head sideways trying to make sense of what I like to call a “disaster in oil” perched on someone’s living room wall? How many times have you squeezed out an appreciative, knowing smile when that art-proud owner gestures toward a framed testament to bad taste to announce that it’s a “What-cha-ma-kinsky” as though the works of “Whatchamakinsky” were being taught in schools and sought after by money-laden 1980’s era Japanese businessmen? The reality is that very few of us will ever buy work by an artist who will break out and gain notoriety, the signal-to-noise ratio is simply too high. The best we can hope to do is to bore our friends and acquaintances with our perceived good taste.

Having said all that, I’d like to tell you about my latest purchase of a Whatchamakinsky, aka Atlanta artist Leann Zafuto, whose work is currently being shown at boswellGallery in Decatur. I think that Leann’s work stands a very good chance of breaking the Art Barrier and I’d recommend that you consider picking up one of her paintings while she’s still affordable.
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Running on Fumes

burger sackOkay, who’s the wiseacre that let Trump’s kids back in to Burger King’s ad department? What you see here is an unmodified, un-Photohopped scan of an advertisement from a take-out bag from Burger King that I was given a week or two back. I was sitting there watching television, eating a hamburger, reading a magazine, sipping a soda, when my eyes happened to land on the bag. I immediately sensed something was wrong but it took me four times through this paragraph to spot the error. I wonder how many of these went out before somebody caught the error. Scratch that. I wonder if anybody caught the error. Can YOU spot it?
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