Thought You Should See This, June 22nd, 2012

Here’s what happened this week on the innovation/design-themed blog I write:

Designer Armin Vit went on a rant against the use of Helvetica. “The main argument of using Helvetica is that it’s “neutral,” he sneered. “That is absolute bullshit. There is nothing neutral about Helvetica.” Well, he’s got a point.

Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present has opened at cinemas. The documentary is arguably more hagiography than critical analysis, but I loved to see the playful and charming side of the legendary performance artist.

Fascinating and thought-provoking video looks at all that goes into creating food advertising imagery, in this case photographing a McDonald’s cheeseburger.

Now that Microsoft is building and selling its own tablet, the Surface (top), most people think it’s copying Apple,” writes Jay Yarow over at Business Insider. He then goes on to explain why this is absolutely not what’s happening.

Martha Stewart CraftStudio represents no less than a profound change in thinking at the company. As Chief Integration and Creative Director, Gael Towey noted to me, the app helps to put power in the hands of the consumers. A great example of a company noting a shift in the economy and customer needs–and looking to do something about it.

Finally, watch out for an upcoming book from John Edson, president of Lunar. Design Like Apple contains seven principles for implementing sensible, thoughtful design. The book’s available for pre-order now.

Thought You Should See This, March 16th, 2012

Main excitement of the week was the refresh of Doblin‘s own website. But Larry Keeley also stepped up with a lovely piece featuring his ideas for reinventing participative democracy.

Also this week on Thought You Should See This:

A good, short interview with Apple’s head design honcho, Sir Jonathan Ive, reveals his thoughtful analysis the design process.

Commentary on a video by Invisible Children that has earned critics and over 75 million views on YouTube. Other commentary on a wheeze at South by Southwest involving using homeless people as wifi hotspots. All in a piece entitled Good Intentions and Unintended Consequences.

Greg Smith set off a bomb as he quits Goldman Sachs: “It astounds me how little senior management gets a basic truth: If clients don’t trust you they will eventually stop doing business with you. It doesn’t matter how smart you are.”

James Whittaker explains why he quit Google for Microsoft: “The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

IBM announced the “Holey Optochip” (top), the first parallel optical transceiver to transfer one trillion bits–one terabit–of information per second.