Church ads… really??

There seems to be a sudden trend in advertising on the streets of Chicago and its one I find rather disturbing. Churches are suddenly placing advertisements around the city, and their messages are intriguing and questionable.

One ad invites people to text their prayers to the church, who will then pray for you. Kudos to an ancient institution for embracing modern technology, but using text messages as a way of communicating prayers seems demeaning to me- not to mention the question mark that is coming out of this guy’s butt. That’s pretty careless of whoever designed this one.

Another subway ad actually capitalizes on the idea of “Sunday Funday”- a term that is typically used to describe a Sunday afternoon of drinking, but that this particular church is using to entice young people to attend Sunday mass. Typically I would applauded such creative use of pop culture language, but I can’t help but cringe when a church does it. I don’t particularly want my God to be hip.

Regardless of whether most people find these ads effective or laughable, its intriguing to see how design and creativity can be useful to anyone, even God.

This ones not actually in Chicago but I think its pretty funny. I really hope its an outdoor ad that most people would pass by without noticing the smaller talk bubble.

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Street Art Movie… destructive or insightful?

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a new documentary about the underground lives of street artists. The man shooting the documentary is actually the focus of the film- just a guy with a camera who stumbles upon this counter-culture going on in France and decides to capture it all.

Its coming to the Century Center Theatre in Chicago on April 30th and I really can’t wait to see this. Street art is not I practice I ever gave much thought to, but given the recent Chicago events covered by my school newspaper, F Newsmagazine, it has been coming up more than ever. Our last issue discussed the “bombing” (I assume thats the same as tagging?) of the modern wing of the Art Institute, as well as the recent death of graffiti artist who was chased by police and drowned in the Chicago River while trying to escape.

I hate to see buildings with angry words or unattractive imagery carelessly thrown up across their exterior. Judging by the preview of Exit Through the Gift Shop however, this documentary seems to provide a taste of the artistic merit that some of these taggers possess. I’d love to see a perspective on this culture that I, as of yet, do not understand.

Shamrock Shakin’ in the Chicago River

God I love quality, creative advertising. I also love me a deliciously green, delightfully minty, Shamrock Shake. So, thank you Chicagoans for being so overzealous about St. Patricks Day and Shamrock Shakes that this installation was bound to happen eventually. This piece of advertising for McDonald’s limited time St. Patty’s Day treat is so simple and perfect- especially with the Chicago River being dyed green for the holiday. Every drunkard downtown for parade day probably salivated at the site of an oversized version of everyone’s favorite milkshake. And then went and bought one. I sure did. Good job McDonalds and Leo Burnett.

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Bathroom breaks are for Game Time…

February 17, 2010 Leave a comment

Thank goodness Super Bowl XLIV gave us an exciting game, because the commercial lineup this year failed to keep me entertained. The obscenely expensive spots were made up of mostly tired jokes and overused celebrities, with a smattering of pleasant surprises.  Let’s start with the good stuff…
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Little book, artistic heart

I picked up this adorable little book at a used book store recently, that I’m sure was probably on some 6th grade summer reading lists back in 1997.  Letters to Julia, by Barbara Ware Holmes, is about a high school aged girl (Liz) who longs to escape the dredge of daily life and the insanity of her family.  She’s a writer who comes in contact with an editor (Julia) and the two slowly form a bond through their exchanges about Liz’s writing.  Challenging read? No. Delightfully inspiring? Yes. Maybe just because I see myself in Liz.  I used to cover notebooks in “plans” for novels with character sketches, plot lines, and overly indulgent emotional outpourings that were always reflective of my real life (which was always pretty standard and lovely, but everyone has an angsty phase.)   For such an elementary read, it really has some great artistic musings and a refreshing take on finding the artist in yourself. I just came to this great quote that the author included and I thought I’d share it…

“To make us feel small in the right way is a function of art. Men can only make us feel small in the wrong way.”

E.M. Forster

Ideas… and my lack thereof.

My second semester of graduate school just started, and as I stress about the death sentence of a workload I’ve condemned myself with, the simplest needs for creativity have become monumental.  There are so many idea blocks in my head sometimes, that I wonder if creativity will ever find me again. Woe is me… all creative people feel this way, and I apologize for whining like that, but I promise I’m getting to something.  I happened to stumble across this illustration by Scott Campbell on the blog, 2ModernDesignTalk, that embodied my regular frustration with coming up with new ideas and constantly trying to be creative.  Although my obstacles are less related to the democracy of agency culture (I assume he works for an design agency) and more to do with the lack of hours in a day, I think any creative person can relate to these adorable depictions of the death of ideas.

I feel you Scott…

Antique your MacBook

Just came across a post by Designsponge on these lovely MacBook covers that disguise your sleek and modern laptop, into a romanticized Victorian artifact.  If you love the texture, history, and possibilities of aged literature, (as well as the smell, although I doubt these covers have captured that) then your laptop deserves one of these “Bookbook” covers by twelvesouth.  Everyone’s laptop could use a little more personality than black and silver. As for the smell of aged paper and glue… I’m sure there’s an app for that.

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