Saw this on my way to work this morning (on Waterloo Bridge): I sometimes wish that they wouldn't make it so easy to find out what these things are about. Anyways, Legible London is about making the city easier to navigate by foot - which I'm all for as a keen public transport dodger/urban walker (you like that?).
I've always loved the idea of putting things on the pavement. I may have written about it before, but my friend Tansy and I once devised a plan to spraypaint a compass marked with north outside every tube exit to help orient people leaving the station. We obviously never got round to it, as with most of our plans, but a couple of years ago they did talk about doing something similar in NYC, but I don't know if that happened.
But if there are going to be more people walking, we also need a code of conduct. London walkers please say 'Thank you' when someone stops to let you pass.
I often wonder whether Clarks still has the amazing foot measuring machine of my youth - I realise it would be easy to go and check, but that is exactly why I haven't done it. It actually made shopping for school shoes an exciting experience for me as a kid, and probably gave my parents validation that they were buying properly fitted shoes for their little princess (we were all princesses the year they released Magic Steps).
Anyway, the point I meant to make is that correctly fitted shoes are important. Even as adults. However we only really make an effort to buy correctly fitted shoes when they're for a specific activity, i.e. running.
I recenly went through the saga of buying walking boots (for this). What I learnt is that every shoe manufacturer has a different fitting, so depending on what type of foot you have different makes will fit you. I remember from buying running shoes that most manufacturers cater for different types of feet within their range. This is all very well for shoes that we don't mind being ugly as sin (sometimes I think the manufacturers do this on purpose, so you are forced to buy correctly fitting shoes), but what about the shoes we wear for the majority of our day - shouldn't we be paying the same attention to making sure they fit properly? Or at least as close as possible to proper?
In a world where companies are increasingly catering to large niches (i.e. petite clothing ranges for shorter people) why haven't the shoe companies got involved by offering width fittings? I can only think of New Balance who do this. If you're creating a 'bespoke' shoe, i.e. Nike ID, you should be able to pick the width fitting surely?
And while we're on the subject, can someone start to make boots for people without fat calves?
UPDATE 30/08/2011: Wondering if makers of performance shoes where the fit is the critical benefit make their shoes ugly on purpose so their customers have to choose on fit?
Saw an in interesting post over on Influx Insights the other day, about how Freshjive are removing branding/logos from all their products (you can read the interview with owner Rick Klotz here). I always thought that the interesting thing about a lot of luxury fashion is that there is no branding on the outside of the clothes. The kudos comes because fashion people are so geeky that they will be able to recognise who you're wearing by what you're wearing. It's interesting to see a brand taking it further, with no branding at all.
Around the time of No Logo I remember there being a brand called No Label (can't find anything on the internetz, sorry), which made canvas shoes with a label that said No Label. I always thought that was a pretty stupid statement to make - it being a label called No Label - but I'm sure some people felt it was a zeitgeisty, ironic and cool statement. But does this box become a logo of sorts? Pic via The Hundreds
A couple of quotes from that Klotz interview: "Throughout the years I’ve become uncomfortable with this business of
branding and brand identity. I’m not the type of person that buys
something for the brand name. I’ve also never done a very good job at
creating a captivating identity to our own brand logo." The cynic in me wonders if this just a savvy marketing ploy for a brand that hasn't built a successful reputation as it would like?
"... when I see kids wearing company
logos it reminds of people who are trying to be a part of a “tribe” or
“gang”, as if they need to be part of something, which seems to go
against the idea of individualism in style."
"It’s really invigorating to approach designing a line WITHOUT the
constrictions of how the logo is gonna be placed or used on the
garments. " Imagine designing an ad without having to consider where to put the logo. Within the market that Freshjive operate in, it's as radical a thought.
It's an interesting case to follow. If you take away the brand and the logo, you are left with just the product. What to do you to your product to make it desirable?
I only check into Facebook once a day to play a Scrabble move against Chicks, who works downstairs in production. However came across an app from New York Fries on Livre de visage today. It bought me some joy. Haven't had a chance to play the AR bit yet, but will do when I get home tonight. These are fortunes of some of my friends as read by Gary Coleman in a cup of fries: Charlie: Jeremy: Laura: And some will probably end up being true, as in the case of Will: Cheers Johnny for the link
Interesting article in the Grauniad yesterday about lying. A couple of things struck me, and I thought I'd share:
"...in 2006, psychologists Charles Bond and Bella DePaulo analysed tens of
thousands of individual performances and found that people can
differentiate truth from lies only 47% of the time. In other words, we
are actually a little worse at figuring out when someone is deceiving
us than we would be if we just guessed randomly."
It's interesting that something that is universally accepted as a moral no-no is something that we can't acutally read. It is interesting how much we lie to make people feel at ease, the idea of the 'white lie'. Fascinating stuff.
"Even polygraph machines are unreliable. The polygraph is predicated on the idea that when people lie, they experience anxiety, but the fact is that some people don't get anxious when they lie. Some even experience pleasure."
Got me thinking about the assumptions we make regarding testing/research and how we really should be using more than a pinch of salt.
I came across Coca-Cola Freestyle today, a nifty machine that can make you about 100 different variants of drinks from the Coke stable. One of the reasons that I liked being vegetarian (I eat some seafood and white fish now!) was that the restrictions on what I could eat made it easier to choose what I wanted to eat in a restaurant. The Coca-Cola Freestyle scares me. It probably scares Scouse even more, because he'd have to wait 8 hours while I tried to make a decision on what to drink (actually this would take no time at all, because I don't drink fizzy drinks, but if it was a Dolly's Ice Tea Freestyle machine...).
I've been thinking for a long time that choice is a false benefit. Or I should specify, too much choice. Having a pillow menu that offers you soft and orthopaedic is different to a two-page beast, something which is probably essential for 7-star classification. I would rather trust the hotel to have the best pillow, and if I wasn't happy with it, that they would change it to whatever I want. At El Bulli, you don't get to choose what you eat and people pay hundreds of Euros for the privilege. I realise that is a very niche example, but maybe this is a proposition for the luxe wedge of the market. If you are buying expertise - can this be applied across the board? - then surely you are paying someone else to make the decision for you.
I'm not suggesting a world where we entrust everything over to brands - oh, hang on, we're already there ;) - but just that having choice is sometimes a deceptive benefit. It's already a given that people will prefer one thing served crackingly well than a host of poorly served things. Anyway, thoughts in progress.
One part truth, two parts mixer is a digital notebook for Priyanka/@pristyles. Yes, you've reached another planner's blog - but it's mainly full of random thoughts and pretty pictures.
If you're reading, hello - it's nice to meet you.