Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

Y Water Takes Manhattan

Monday, January 11th, 2010

When great design inspires healthy living, there’s not much more we
can ask for. Y Water’s perfect union combines a cool and kid-friendly,
100% recyclable bottle with removable, biodegradable labeling and
a flavored, vitamin- and mineral-rich, low-sugar, organic beverage.
Once empty, the container becomes a toy that kids can link to other
bottles through biodegradable, connectable rubber “Y knots,” letting
them create spaceships, animals, robots, or whatever else their
imaginations can dream up. When all is said and done, parents can
log onto and receive a free mailer to send the bottle
back for recycling.

The cheery Y-shape inspired the drink’s name, a playful riff on two
of the most commonly asked kiddie questions: “Why?” and “Why
not?” As Y-Water designer Yves Béhar says, “The brand, the bottle,
the graphics, the name … everything is one, connected by the idea
of giving a smarter, healthier and much more fun experience. The
category is so bland, so un-original … but kids are open-minded to
new and creative things, and that is what we wanted to give them.”

To read my full review for Clear Magazine, click here.

Art & Copy: A Look at Advertising’s Best

Thursday, August 20th, 2009


“Hate advertising? Make better ads.” So says Doug Pray, director of Art & Copy, a documentary study of art, commerce and human emotion. Pray’s newest film focuses on advertising’s best, featuring a series of interviews with the industry’s leaders: George Lois, Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Lee Clow, Hal Riney (who sadly passed away last year), Rich Silverstein, Jeff Goodby and other trailblazers, who bring honor to a profession all too often clouded by mediocrity.

In the spirit of other recent, great art/design documentaries – such as Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica and Objectified – and for a world so happy to embrace this under-represented industry – Madmen anyone? – Art & Copy considers the creative minds and passion of those who, generally without our awareness, sculpt so much of our world.

Art & Copy premiers tomorrow at the IFC Center in NY. For more information – and the trailer – visit

Absolutely Stefan

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Picture 1

Picture 2

above: images from Stefan Sagmeister’s 2008 book, “Things I’ve learned in my life so far”

Absolut Vodka‘s ads are immediately recognizable, and over the years, their campaigns have become truly iconic. However, the company’s newest tv ad campaign, produced by  TBWA/Chiat/Day, is a bit too similar to another icon’s work for my liking.

While beautiful, the ad’s imagery and tagline (“Doing something differently leads to something exceptional.”) are incredibly similar in look and concept to graphic design star Stefan Sagmeister‘s  2008 “Things I have learned in my life so far.” A successful design book and exhibit at Deitch gallery in NY, “Things I have learned in my life so far” was inspired by a list of life lessons Sagmeister jotted down while on sabbatical the year before, and then spelled out using creative environmental typographic tools – everything from hangers to body paint, furniture to food, lightboxes to giant, white inflatable monkeys.

I interviewed Sagmeister in 2008 right after the book came out for Graphis. Just this week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sagmeister again for the upcoming fall issue of Clear Magazine. He returns to NY from his latest sabbatical year (in Bali) in September, and told me that when approached for this tv spot, he declined to work with the firm, as he’d committed to only personal design work over the year, and wasn’t taking any new client work.

Take a look for yourself below. And check out my interview with Stefan Sagmeister for Graphis by visiting my Writing Samples page or clicking here: The Art of Introspection.