36: On point

To start this out I should probably admit that there is a very distinct possibility that I am the only one I know who has thought about this. And by thought I mean really, truly over-considered to the point of obsession.

I am a creature of habit and there are certain routines, places, and compulsive behaviors that I find beyond comforting. One such practice is my by-the-book reaction to a bad day – a trip to the local Target (occasionally pronounced Tar-jay if I’m feeling feisty). I love Target, love love love it.

On one of my recent trips to this glorious place I made the full realization of how much I love the packaging on Target brand products. Typically their packaging is on point with their brand; simple, direct, and aesthetically pleasing. Making this realization for the first time inspired me to do a little more research and figure out how this packaging style originated.

The brand that I am talking about specifically is called Up & Up and features a diagonal graphic-inspired arrow as part of the logo. I mostly remember this brand in terms of health and beauty care products. One of my favorite Up & Up products are the grab-and-go versions of personal necessities such as first aid bandages, aspirin, and allergy medication. They all feature catchy names like “I have a headache” or “I have a cut” – and have replaced all of Target’s old logo and products.

From what I have gathered, this product and logo design was conceived by Wolff Olins, but the rumor mill is on over-drive in regards to who is responsible. Whoever the genius is – I am utterly pleased, both as an avid consumer and as a design-addict.

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34: Body Worlds Vital

In typical holiday fashion, my family looked for any type of activity that would further family bonding and wouldn’t make us fat. This year, we stumbled upon the Body Worlds Vital exhibit at the Anchorage Museum. Walking in I wasn’t quite sure how I would feel about this particular outing – plasticized human bodies with varying degrees of show-and-tell. The original purpose of these preserved human forms was to help medical students and to serve as a study aid in human anatomy. With the rising concern of health and fitness, Bodyworlds has released its exhibits worldwide.

The particular exhibit at my local museum ended up being fairly fascinating. The bodies were organized by skeletal forms, muscle concentrations, vital organs, and occasionally, a mixture of the three. The overarching message or moral that I took away was that nobody should smoke, everybody should exercise, and never say “no” to a glass of red wine. The plasticized bodies were put into different positions highlighting physical activity – running, dancing, acrobatics, and lassoing. I personally wasn’t aware of the physical prowess required to properly handle a lasso, but then again, the entire exhibit was exceptionally educational.

I typically wouldn’t be a fan of something like this; mostly because I am easily grossed out by blood and guts. Body Worlds Vital served as a marvelous exception. I could tell that the curator in charge of this exhibit worked really hard to avoid the thrill-factor of dead bodies. The balance between science, health, and art was exquisitely achieved, and I for one was impressed. My entire family got a kick out of the different organs, plasticized body slices, and skeletal remains – the exhibit satisfied the artist, the student, and the fitness nut.

However, this particular exhibit probably wouldn’t be suitable for younger crowds – mostly because the majority of the donated bodies were male and genitalia was everywhere you looked.

Body Worlds Vital

33: Less of a somebody

I have come to realize that right now in my life I am a full-fledged citizen of Limbo. I go to school, learn some things, pray for my degree, and am supported by my (hard working) parents. I am straddling the line between being a child and being an adult. I have big dreams and aspirations – but my indecision breeds self doubt. I have a vague idea of who I want to be and the life that I want to live, but this idea is hinged mostly on what I know I DON’T want to become. I don’t want to live in a tree house, or work in fast food, or become a hoarder. Fortunately for me these scenarios are ones that I would have to try for, which I don’t intend on doing. Unfortunately for me, these scenarios don’t truly help me define what I want for myself. I would like to become an adult at some point (still waiting on that defining moment) and be responsible for my entire life – without really being accountable to anyone but myself. How am I supposed to have cathartic experiences, adventures, and memoir-inspiring encounters if I am playing by the rules?

With graduation looming in the near future (like a scary three headed dog) it seems as if the time is now to decide what the next chapter will hold. Should I take the safe and semi-responsible route and move back home with the parental unit? Maybe I should try to find a job or internship that pertains to my major and jump head first into the career world? OR I could look behind door number three and do something completely irresponsible, savings account draining, and dream fulfilling. Maybe I should backpack across a foreign continent, or work as a stewardess on a super-yacht (super appealing), or go on a yoga retreat. The side representing my childish impulses is definitely telling me to break out of my shell and learn some shit about the world, but my more adult, pencil skirt wearing side thinks I should start molding myself into a real human being (if that’s possible).

For some of my fellow soon-to-be graduates this decision is a no brainer and they know precisely what the future has in store. I, on the other hand, am a firm follower of the teachings of the Indecision Monster and am always convinced the grass is greener somewhere else. The inside of my brain probably looks something similar to Ariel’s treasure trove in the Little Mermaid. Look at this stuff (bunch of random life facts and anecdotes), isn’t it neat (not literally obvi), wouldn’t you think my collection’s complete (if it were I would be rich and successful) – no matter how pretty I sing I can still clearly tell it’s a disaster. I am interested in too many things that are totally unrelated to each other and in no way help me become a successful part of the advertising world. I like photography, Renaissance-era architecture, astrology (I’m a horoscope-whore), and cultural anthropology. I wish to write a memoir recounting my hilarious yet mildly tragic journey into adulthood, learn to become a calm and wise yogi, and be Alton Brown’s apprentice.

I want to be less of a nobody than I am now, but not really a somebody either.

32: Interesting Read

Founded in 1969, frog designs works to help existing companies rebrand and repackage their products to bring something unique and needed to the marketplace. A truly global brand, frog designs has offices from San Francisco to New York, from Shangai to Milan, and Amsterdam to Johannesburg. Their work spans across the market spectrum – consumer electronics, healthcare, innovations in technology, and education. The most recent addition to their impressive resume is a article compiled for Fast Company about the top tech trends for 2013. Definitely a good read.

 

31: Who’s oyster?

Senior year may be the most terrifying thing that I have ever encountered. Each day that passes I try to get a stronger grip on my days – the predictable days that scare me less. I’ve come to realize that my entire life – up until this point – has been planned out. Preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school, college. That’s been the plan for as long as I can remember, and up until now it hasn’t registered that there is no plan past college graduation.
That’s when it’s up to me. Apparently. Where is that defining moment where everything falls into place and I know I’m following the right path? I know that the world is my oyster (at least in theory), but what happens if I find myself inland? Or dislike the taste of seafood? I know that I can do anything I want, go anywhere, and be anything. Its building myself up in my own eyes that’s the hard part.

Blah blah blah. I’ll be back when my neuroses have calmed down.

30: Hand in hand down memory lane

I talk to a lot of people everyday. Like, A LOT a lot. More than anybody probably ever should. But having said that, there are some upsides to sharing thoughts with random folks who are cruising around Alaska.

Sometimes you even stumble upon a diamond in the rough.

At first glace, Mr. Southern Charm (names have been changed for anonymity) is just like every other guest – bitching and moaning about the size of Alaska and our fairly chilly average summer temperatures. For the most part I drown him out, tuning in only for things like, “I can’t believe Alaskans don’t eat grits” or “Just like other FOREIGNERS, people in Alaska…” until I hear something that makes my ears prick.

And Deb Morrison, this should make you proud.

Mr. Southern Charm references an old Samsonite commercial that illustrates the strength of the suitcase by letting an irate gorilla pound the shit out of one of their hard-cases. Mr. Southern Charm says he misses these old suitcases because they could take a beating (whether by King Kong or your average Continental Airlines luggage handler).

 

29: What’s the opposite of social suicide?

Most people who consider themselves to be a part of the idea industry – whether they are journalists, casual bloggers, digital artists, or just a jack-of-all-trades – we all believe that we understand the power of social media. Stating that social media is important or vital seems entirely lack-luster after recent events, and I think that it’s safe to say that social media and the corresponding platforms are becoming the global force of the future.

For the past few weeks, every news outlet (new or old) has been bombarded with the ups-and-downs of the 2012 Olympics in London. Everyone has their favorite events, favorite athletes, and even their favorite Olympic drama. I would have to say that my favorite morsel of country-bashing, athlete shit-talking, and all around bad behavior was delivered by Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristou, who apparently wasn’t part of the I Love Social Media Club. Papachristou was expelled from the Greek Olympic team and barred from participating in the London 2012 Olympics for posting racist tweets on her personal Twitter account. The Hellenic Olympic Committee is essentially coming to terms with the power of social media and is using Papchristou to prove a point. Many people are referring to these Olympic games as the first with this type of social media magnitude. Athletes, teams, and countries have Twitter accounts, blogs, and are putting in the effort to share their experiences with their fans through these outlets.

To be continued…

28: Welcome back…

I have been a bad kid. A very, very bad advertising student/kid (always a kid). Since returning home after finals to work and spend time with the lovely people that brought me into this world, I seem to have forgotten how to function in the social media scene. During a rare dull moment at work I realized that I do not want to spend the rest of my adult life selling glacier tours and Mt. McKinley train passes so I desperately need to get my ass back in gear. Immediately upon arriving home I logged onto Twitter and was greeted by a tweet from Advertising Week Social Club aptly named How: To Be a Hipster In Advertising.

 

All I have to say is… it’s good to be back.

Read it. Watch it. Laugh a little. And most of all, realize why this world is EXACTLY the place where I want to be.

And yes, PBR is a good value.

 

27: Wieden + Kennedy isms?

This is advertising in its purest form. Love it.

 

Finding this led me to ask, “what is this Project 10 business?” And now I must know. That is how my brain works, once the question arises I can’t say no.

 

Found it!