The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'memetics'

2007/12/28 has just published its overview of trends in logo design in 2007. This year's trends include helices, ribbons and streams of descending/ascending bubbles, 3D trompe-l'oeil logos and uses of colour which wouldn't translate into black and white well (suggesting that designers are not caring as much for print as for the web), and a few recurring motifs:

Mix a little nose-in-the-air, overly stodgy, family coat of arms with a sharp tongue-in-the-cheek, Napoleon Dynamite liger, and you have something that approximates a Pseudo Crest. These are fun, and packed with detail that sticks it to the man at every opportunity. For the high school and college market, Jason Schulte's firm, Office, built a best-of-class brand for Target with the Independent Studies line.

At first glance, most of these look like they've been lifted from a heraldry 101 style book, until you scrutinize the composition elements. Only at this point are you likely to see wrenches, guitars, penguins, shoes, cell phones and anything else you'd never expect to find in Camelot. This is a youth anthem; and designers have identified this as a source language for fashion culture and the music industry. In fact, this is a modern trend you will see everywhere, despite its roots in heraldry and even other intricate patterning like Victorian wallpaper.

Let's just make the assumption if you water a logo and give it adequate sunlight, it will start to grow a rhythmic crop of vines, buds, blooms and other fantasies of a botanical nature. These may be further evolution of last year's Embellish trend, or they could just be another subset of a larger trend. This would be a direction that uses borrowed remnants of a patterned, Victorian era to attach a delicate human quality to the hard outer shell of an other wise sterile logo. Detail of this nature is inherently engaging and asks the consumer to participate visually in a non-confrontational fashion.
The floral/botanical/organic logotypes (also evidenced by the work of the British graphic designer whose name I forget, who seems to have come up with the idea of sans-serif type growing into organic vine-like shapes) could be a sign of a broader cultural trend: a reaction against the slick and industrial and a move towards a rustic/pastoral aesthetic. This trend has also come up in indie music (in the Pitchfork sense, not the NME haircut rock sense), with a shift away from angular/stylised sharper-than-thou aesthetics of the Interpol/Franz Ferdinand era (now thoroughly commercialised; witness the calculated faux-edginess of The Killers, for example, or the wave of derivative "indie" bands in the UK) towards more organic sounds (the antifolk/freak-folk scene, bands like Animal Collective (and, indeed, most of the bands with animal names in their names), as well as a more folky, anti-sharp aesthetic (rustic-looking beards, home-made clothes that look like hand-me-downs, &c.)

Anyway, the page also has links to previous years' trends in logo design, going back to 2003, which make for interesting reading.

(via Boing Boing) design fashion marketing memetics trends 0


When memes compete for mindshare in the ideosphere, one of the things they're selected for is emotional impact. The most sensational story wins, as does the most disgusting urban legend, according to this paper. (via FmH)

(Which all makes sense; by the same token, there are other (so far anecdotal) laws of memetics. For example, it has been observed that urban legends that mention a "brand" of some category mutate to refer to the best-known brand. (For example, the one about some small fried-chicken restaurant chain supporting the Ku Klux Klan mutated into an urban legend about KFC, and it's probable that the "Albert Einstein said we only use 10% of our brains" UL started as a claim about some lesser known very smart person making that statement.) I'd speculate that this is the result of a selection for economy or consistency with one's existing knowledge/memes, or a streamlining process that erodes memes into more agile forms.)

disgust emotions evolution memetics natural selection psychology replicators urban legends 2


David Brin on the five memes that shaped the planet on a deeper level: feudalism, machismo, paranoia, "the East" and neophilia (which Brin terms the Dogma of Otherness). (via the Horn)

feudalism ideas machismo memetics neophilia paranoia 1


Thought-provoking if brief piece on memetically engineered corporate religions. (

memetics religion 0


Seen on mailing list: "Memes don't exist -- tell your friends."

memes memetics self-reference 0


Interesting article on, listing some choice entries in a practical memetic engineering contest:

How does the author of a computer virus get the unsuspecting victim to open the attachment? We invited readers to create irresistible virus wrappers. Here, we've collected some of the more devious and effective submissions.

"Dear Lucky Winner,
You've been selected to participate in our first-ever E-mail Sweepstakes! Double-click on the enclosed electronic registration form -- everyone wins at least $500!"

deception memetics social engineering 0

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