So the future visited by Marty McFly and Doc Brown is finally here, although we don’t yet have flying cars, rehydrating food and self-drying clothes! Nobody may use fax machines and pay phones anymore and people certainly don’t wear two ties at once, but Back To The Future Part II’s prediction of Wednesday October 21st 2015 has turned out to be surprisingly close to reality.
Scanning fingerprints for payments have recently become a thing through Apple Pay and other similar offerings and smart homes are also starting to exist. VR glasses like Microsoft’s upcoming Hololens and the Oculus Rift were all correctly predicted, as were tablets, smartwatches that tell you the weather, Skype/Facetime, drones, multi-channel TV watching, 3D movies and a cinema box office dominated by movie franchises with multiple sequels. The Chicago Cubs might even win Baseball’s World Series this year as they’re amongst the final four teams in the postseason. It’s incredible just how much the film got correct.
The film’s huge fanbase has meant that pretty much ever since the film was released back in 1989, the anticipation surrounding the October 21st 2015 date and whether the predictions would come true has been around and this has led to some companies recently acting on the product placements they had. Pepsi Perfect was the drink of choice in Back To The Future’s version of 2015 and so Pepsi recently announced that it would be selling a limited run of the drink styled in the same design as seen in the film for $20.15. At the recent New York Comic Con they gave out free bottles to anyone dressed as Marty McFly, which resulted in huge crowds of people dressed as the time traveller.
In 2011 Nike sold a limited run of shoes designed like the ones Marty wore in the film. They were sold to benefit charity, but one crucial element was missing, self-lacing. Recently, Nike announced that they were planning on selling the shoe, the Nike Air MAG, sometime in 2015 with the self-lacing element. This is heavily rumoured to be happening today and has of course created a lot of mentions on twitter, with around 14,000 retweets on a tweet to Michael J. Fox that simply says “See you tomorrow”. But whether that tweet actually has anything to do with the shoes, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Both of these products are taking advantage of the desirability and collectors value that they have for fans of the film franchise. The announcements of them generated massive social media traffic and will probably continue to in the days ahead.
But these aren’t the only example of recent marketing based around the film, Ford (whose cars were used as the basis for the ones seen in the film) recently released this tongue in cheek video promoting a ‘Flux Capacitor upgrade’ for its cars.
And Universal, the studio that made the Back To The Future franchise, have released this spoof trailer for Jaws 19, the film whose holographic shark Marty ran into in 2015 Hill Valley.
In some ways, Back To The Future Part II and the vision of the future it predicted feel like they have almost shaped the real future itself. Fans of the film have strived to make those predictions a reality and no more so than with one of the most memorable items from the film, the hoverboard. Two different companies, Hendo and Lexus, are creating their own versions of the worlds first real life hoverboard, and whilst they might not yet be to the same ability as seen in the film, they’re still a lot more cool looking in my opinion than those segways without handlebars that everyone is calling ‘hoverboards’ at the moment.
This is all a great example of how brands and companies can capitalise on product placements and the anticipation and excitement surrounding a particular date, the social media sharing and discussion of these videos and products have caused the majority of them to go viral in the run up to today. Whilst Back To The Future Part II may now be a film about the past rather than the future, there’s no reason why the last few predictions of the film couldn’t come true in the coming years. Whilst we may still need roads for now, who knows what the future will bring, now where can I preorder my hoverboard?
There has recently been a hashtag trending on Twitter that focuses around removing a single letter from a film title to create a new and humourous result, #filmswithonelettermissing. Needless to say, it has proven to be very popular, trending for a number of days and spawning a huge number of suggestions, many complete with photoshopped images for the newly created films. Coincidentally, this is something that illustrator Austin Light was doing for the month of October, long before the hashtag started. His Inktober 2014 series features a different drawing for each day of the month, using the film typos of social networking site Reddit as subject matter.
This resulted in a collection of 31 hilariously witty images, each complete with a short altered synopsis for the new film. Below are a few of my favourites, you can view the whole set here.
Obocop – The story of how a police officer works through his PTSD and adjusts to his new robotic implants with the help of the sexy soothing sound of his oboe.
Finding Emo – An insufferable teenage fish runs away from home. His father contemplates searching for him.
Jurassic Par – Two dinosaurs set out to prove they’re more than just killing machines. Thanks to a loophole in the rules they find a spot on the PGA tour and golf their way to the top of the food chain.
Harry Otter – A young boy finds out who, and what, he is. Magic ensues.
Alen – The story of a lonely cashier named Alen who yearns for something more. Something like eating astronauts.
Found via Design Taxi
It’s always exciting when someone creates a new packaging or product innovation that changes the face of that category entirely and potentially sets the future of it. One such example is the ‘Dissolve’ prototype toothbrush packaging by Atelier Bang Bang, a Montreal based screen printing workshop and multidisciplinary design studio. It was designed by the company’s founder Simon Laliberté for the ‘Remarkable Packaging & Alternative’ category of the 2012 Packaging Exhibition in Paris where it won 3rd place.
The innovation of the packaging stems from the want to make it 100% recyclable, resulting in a pack that completely dissolves within ten seconds when exposed to water. This is achieved through the use of cellulose based paper and water-soluble soy inks. The design of the packaging itself is relatively simple as the dissolving nature of it means it doesn’t have to be incredibly fancy. Instead, it’s quite stripped back, using just black and white, with the word ‘dissolve’ written across the faces of the slightly futuristic and more complex triangular packaging shape. It’s a really interesting and clever concept that completely revolutionises the toothbrush market and definitely succeeds in its recyclable aims. I believe that it’s this truly revolutionary nature that could allow it to work well in practice if ever taken from prototype to mass production.
Here it is in action;
In an effort to get more people to wait for the red light at pedestrian crossings, car manufacturer Smart redesigned the experience as part of their promotional safety campaign WhatAreYouFOR. A really fantastic concept, it uses a nearby booth and cameras to translate the dance moves of members of the public into the red traffic light man in real time. Its a really fun and engaging idea that seems to have achieved its purpose of making the public take notice and wait, as it resulted in 81% more people stopping at the crossing.
Found via Colossal
The selfie has become commonplace in the last year or so, even making itself into the Oxford Dictionary as the word of the year for 2013. It has completely changed both the worlds of social media and also photography. Many members of the public now repeatedly take these ‘selfie’ photos but, as a piece of self-portraiture, are they truly an accurate representation of how the photo taker views themselves as a person?
This is where the #Bagsie exhibition comes in, a collaboration between Soapbox and Sons, Creative Advice Network, photographer Jonathan Knowles and a collection of ten different illustrators, artists and writers. #Bagsie updates the selfie and brings it more into the world of portraiture photography with a great new idea, covering each subjects head with a decorated brown paper bag.
Each participating artist illustrated their paper bag to represent the individual personality within them. The idea behind this was to create a more accurate representation of the subject than just the face value that the standard selfie would capture. It’s a really interesting thought with some of the bags produced being fantastic pieces of art in themselves that, when paired with their subjects, make for a collection of really fun images.
The #Bagsie show runs from 11th-16th November at The Proud Archivist, 2-10 Hertford Road, London N1 5ET
Found via Design Week
One of my final projects from the last year of my university degree involved me taking what is known as ‘sleeveface’ photos of my friends. This was to help make the advertising campaign for a new series of singles nights that I had created for lovers of vinyl records.
The adverts blended record sleeves with actual people, aligning them together to give the impression of one single figure. I then used song lyrics from the artists featured to link back to the idea of a singles night, as if the figure in each of them was saying this line to another attendee. The rest of the project can be found on my website here.
I’m talking about this project because today I came across the work of Malaysia-based Graphic Designer Jaemy Choong. He uses a similar technique to create images, except instead of vinyl record sleeves, he uses movie postcards. He still has the same clever mixture of physical and print, merging people together effortlessly with the figures seen on the cards. It’s a really fun process and its great to see the two elements working together so well. Here are a few of my favourites:
Full credit to him for getting them aligned so perfectly, I know from experience just how difficult it can be to get it to work. You can see more of these pictures on his Instagram here.
Found via Design Taxi.
One of my favourite artists is Banksy and one of my favourite toys when growing up was LEGO, so you can imagine my excitement when I found this. Canadian photographer Jeff Friesen has created a series of photos that merge these two elements, recreating some of Banksy’s most famous pieces in LEGO brick form.
Friesen has then played on LEGO’s values of imagination and creativity, visualising what the wider context of the piece is by placing it within a larger LEGO environment.
Here’s a few of my favourites;
You can see more of the pics on Jeff’s website here.
Found via Design Taxi