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?
Movie posters nowadays are often saturated with cheesy close-ups of actors or over the top action stills. They are thought of much more as simply commercial marketing rather than pieces of design. However they used to be just as iconic and memorable as the films they promoted, as seen in posters for films like Jurassic Park and Vertigo. So iconic in fact, that designer John Taylor has tested our ability to remember and recognise these images through an experiment he calls Film The Blanks.
By distilling the posters down to their core elements of colours and shapes and taking out anything that would easily identify the films, Taylor has created a series of images that are immediately recognisable as the iconic movie posters they were originally. It’s really interesting how our brains can easily and quickly identify the film, just from a few colours and shapes. It really shows just how iconic these movie posters were, both as promotion for the films, but also as great pieces of design.
The entire collection of abstracted posters can be found here.
Found via Fast Co. Design
Every year, Bath based design studio Mytton Williams creates a unique and exciting calendar for the upcoming year. I was lucky enough to get a really enjoyable two-week placement at the company back in late April of last year and whilst there, I saw some of their impressive calendar designs from previous years and discussed the plans for the 2014 edition with one of the designers. This got me really excited about the 2014 calendar, which I was lucky enough to recently receive a copy of (apologies for the poor quality photos).
The 2014 calendar takes the unique form of a pack of playing cards and there are many reasons for this being the case. With 52 cards in a pack, each one can neatly cover a week and the four suits give a link to the four seasons. One of the first known card games in the world is the ‘leaf game’ in the Chinese Tang Dynasty in the year 868. This allowed Mytton Williams to use leaves as the visual element on each card, signifying the number of it and further linking back to the four seasons idea.
Each card follows the standard card layout model, with the month and dates being applied on both sides. The centre of the card of course, is where the card number is visualised through the use of suit symbols designed to look like leaves. The ‘leaves’ do not follow a rigid structure though, instead placed sporadically around the card face, as if they were actual leaves blowing in the breeze.
Perhaps the best links though are the ones that create the most simple connections to the year 2014. They may not actually be references and I might just be interpreting them as such, but they are in my mind really clever. Playing cards first appeared in Europe in the 14th Century, which provides a nice numerical link to the year 2014, whilst the side of the card pack says ‘2014 CALENDAR / 1 YEAR 4 SEASONS’, with the 1 and 4 of 2014 neatly splitting to describe one of the main inspirations for the calendars design.
References aside, the 2014 calendar is simply a great, unique piece of design. It is incredibly well crafted and presented and I can’t wait to see what interesting new calendar 2015 brings!
Many thanks to Mytton Williams, both for a fantastic placement last year and also for sending me a copy of the calendar. If you would like your own 2014 calendar, or want to see some better quality images of it, visit their website here.
So it’s finally here, my 100th post on this blog, which has conveniently fallen on the same day as it passed 5,000 views! Thanks to everyone who has viewed it since its creation and helped it to last this long!
To celebrate, I’ve got a much longer and quite exciting post today. First, given the recent events of the Presidential Election, I thought I’d show you this campaign video from Will Ferrell (comedian, actor, founder of Facebook), that encourages people to get out and vote for President Obama.
Just a quick post today showing you this great little stop motion piece that I found this morning on the Design Bridge blog. It’s an advertisement for the Vienna Model Maker Fair that recreates Felix Baumgartner’s jump from the edge of space in the 1:350 scale of Lego, complete with some fitting music.
Found via Design Bridge’s blog
Who doesn’t like a good bit of Ikea design? It’s all very clean, minimal and well… Swedish! So I’ve found a nice collection of Ikea related design work, which I’ll be assembling for you (excuse the pun) over the next few weeks in this brand new, exciting and completely flat-pack-furnitureless mini-series of Saturday posts.
First up is this great series of videos directed by Carl Kleiner in March of last year. A series of ten exciting videos produced to create a viral presence for Ikea’s cookbook Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade is Best). Unfortunately, none of them include the Swedish chef from The Muppets, but I’ve included my favourite three below;
This piece of packaging design by WORK Labs has an interesting context than you wouldn’t first realise when looking at it. Joining with American homebrew beer enthusiasts to create The Fermentation Society, a way of giving beer brewers and their beers a wider presence and popularity.