Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains, “…Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it…sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive…” She goes on to say, “Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”
A perfect choice of color, to contrast the year of the Black Dragon. 2012 happens to be the domain of the Water Dragon and according to the Chinese Five Element Astrology, black is relates to water. Thus, it is safe to infer that the overarching message for this year is the dance of fire and water: a rhythm in contrasts.
As designers, we often play with the principles of rhythm and contrasts.
Rhythm is the movement of our gaze to scan the message for understanding or gain information. Rhythm is usually achieved through repetition of objects, colors, and placement in the composition of design. A serpentine is a perfect example of rhythm in motion in a 3D design architecture. Contrast on the other hand stresses the visual differences in size, shape, angle and color between the elements to elevate the awareness of an intended message. It is the quickest way to shower visual treat and to draw attention to your exhibit design. It leaves a hypnotic trail in the minds of the trade show attendees.
However, the principle of rhythm in contrast is much like a dance of tango. "Movements are sometimes slow and slithery, and other times sharp and stacatto, such as a quick foot flick or a sharp head snap to promenade position" Yet there is an intoxicating rhythm to it. "Warning: tango contains highly addictive ingredients, such as pain, pleasure, passion, excitement, connection, freedom, torment, and bliss. In seven out of ten cases it takes over a person's life."
In the world of exhibit design, the rhythm in contrast plays a dominant role in the integration of the vivacious curves of lounge furniture with the angular purity of the display architecture.
Two opposites coming together to create the "fantasy of a harmonious whole."
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"Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace." Bhagavad Gita, Zen and now the mathematical equations of quantum physics do not prescribe actual existence - they predict the potential for existence. It states that solidity is a construct of the ordinary mind and that there never was anything permanent to begin with that we could hold on to. Hence, life would be much more efficient if we lived with the knowledge of impermanence as the only constant.
Some 3000 years later the same philosophy gets a refresher course in the Google campuses of the high-tech Silicon Valley. Cordell Ratzlaff and Irene Au discusses about creating from the heart and subtracting the attachment factor from the impending results. Watch the video. It is an half hour journey into creativity and mindfulness.
When you are not attached to the result in one way or the other, you become so focused in the now that the clarity of your mind goes on over drive. It accesses the wisdom of uncertainty. In uncertainty, lies the freedom from known belief and past conditioning. Professional players are at their best when they are in this "zone". Designers and musicians often surrender themselves to this field of all possibilities. By doing so, they welcome the creative mind that orchestrates the dance of the universe.
Keep in mind. You do not give up the intention or the desire to create. You give up your attachment to the result.
"Let the beauty of what you love be what you do." Rumi
As I come to an end, the words of Dōgen Zenji illuminates my mind: “Do not treasure or belittle what is far away, but be intimate with it. Do not treasure or belittle what is near, but be intimate with it. Do not make light of or a big deal of what you see with your eyes. Do not make light of or a big deal of what you hear with your ears. Rather, illuminate your eyes and ears.”
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In the summer of 2007, the US stock market plummeted by 5%. In the same week FTSE lost about 5.6%, Israeli TA 25 Index dripped 7% and Australia exchange shed 3%. This was mirrored across the global stock markets. Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, India and China all followed suit. As the financial instruments of the developing and the developed countries have started to look alike "we have voluntarily narrowed our options to the point of jeopardizing our ability to survive."
Nature, does not condone singularity. It leads to extinction.
Rebecca Costa in her book, The Watchman's Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction, says, in evolutionary terms, diversity acts like a genetic insurance policy—to guard against the complete eradication of species. This is reason why there are 17,500 species of butterflies in the world, and around 750 species in the United States (Encyclopedia Smithsonian). A species that develops a broad range of characteristics and behaviors—wide diversity—increases its odds of surviving a broad range of environmental challenges. In December 2004, when the great Tsunami claimed more than 150,000 lives, the stone age tribes of the Andaman and Nicobar islands escaped unscathed because they took to the forests and higher ground well in time.
Dr. Yaneer Bar-Yam of Harvard University exposes the critical role diversity plays as complexity in business grows: "A system performs well in facing complex challenges when it has high variety. We can understand this in the case of the modern economy and technological and corporate innovation." The greater the diversity of ideas, products and services, the more effectively businesses can respond to dramatic shifts and changes. For that reason, Apple has products that ranges from defining nano life style to the dream machines of the 3D designers and artists. For that very same reason, the latitude of Skyline products range from extreme portability to custom modularity and not to mention more than 30 elastic product lines in-between. For that very same reason, exhibit designers of our times should incorporate the essence of the brand in the visuals, architecture and of course, need-less to say in the interactivity that is the hallmark of face-face-marketing.
Socio-biologists confirm that some 5 million years ago, with the development of two-legged locomotion, our brains experienced intricate adaptation to an "avalanche of new sensory complexity". If that is true, we are yet again undergoing paramount changes in the frontal cortex, the area that processes complexity. We are on for an interesting ride!
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As the media welcomed 2012 with a frenzy of doom and gloom, Skyline announced the transition to EcoFi fabric for all its' portable pop-up dispalys; thus taking a firm step towards protecting our precious natural resources. EcoFi Fabric is made from 100% post-consumer water bottles. Approximately, 80 water bottles make up one complete pop-up display! This is indeed very exciting for our industry that is known for its phenomenal waste and of course, it adds another earth-friendly layer to the existing eco-friendly portability of the Skyline brand.
This is good news. However, truth be told, petroleum-based plastic bottles can be recycled only once and then it goes to landfill where is takes about 700 years before the decomposition starts. The greater news is — the researchers at IBM have come up with a way to make plastic from plants. The "green chemistry" breakthrough using organic catalysts" results in plastic that is capable of being recycled again and again and again unlike its petroleum based plastic counter part. This breakthrough that promises biodegradable plastics made in an energy-efficient way has been said to herald an era of sustainability for the plastics industry. In fact, this is only one of the many technological and biological revolutions that is materializing right now as we speak to usher us in the age of Abundance.
Abundance—the Future is Better Than You Think—is an enchanting book by Dr. Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler. It is an action packed ride immersed in a vision that challenges us to take bigger risks, create an innovation culture, and focus on solving problems rather than complaining about them. Exponential technologies, DIY innovators, Technophilanthropists and Rising billion—are the four emerging forces that are conspiring to aid human evolution in the next 20 years. Thus, 2012 is indeed the symbolic marker into an era of sustainability, peace and innovative solutions in every field.
"We don’t believe abundance happens automatically. It’s up to each of us. That’s what makes today so different. We face enormous problems, but we—as individuals—have enormous power to solve them. It really is a magical time.......But ultimately, abundance is about creating a world of possibility: a world where everyone’s days are spent dreaming and doing, not scrapping and scraping."
A thrilling odyssey published for our times. Happy Reading.
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"An emotion occurs when there are certain biological, certain experiential, and certain cognitive states which all occur simultaneously." John D. Mayer: From EQ Today, Spring 1999
Emotional intelligence plays a dominant role in our daily lives. It goes on an over-drive in an experiential setting such as events and trade shows where we are subjected to massive sensory overdose. In such a setting if you are an exhibitor or a presenter you have to maintain a state of steady self-awareness. You have to perceive your emotions in real-time and use this awareness to stay flexible and act positively to direct your behavior, sometimes under challenging circumstances. This skill to sustain and direct your own feeling will enhance your ability to accurately pick up on emotions in other people and understand what is really going on. You will be able to monitor others' mood and temperaments and enlist this knowledge in predicting their future behavior and decision making, giving you an edge in the negotiating lounge. After all, that is all face-to face marketing is. Isn't it?
Perception, Reason, Understanding and Management are the 4 keys to unlock emotional intelligence as modeled by Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. It is also interesting to note that there are 4 different personality types. Like 4 seasons, human personality broadly fall under 4 quadrants. Different psychologist have labeled them under different names. The one that resonates with me is the science of D.I.S.C. Published in 1928 by psychologist William Moulton Marston and the original behaviorist like Walter V. Clarke and others, the science of D.I.S.C is used across the horizon to study human behavior in any given environments.
D: DOMINANCE, I: INFLUENCE, S: STEADINESS, C: COMPLIANCE
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates competitiveness, drive and a desire to win. Highly dominant people tend become angry more often than lower dominant types. Dominance is a task oriented trait so once a highly dominant person takes on a task, they become determined to see it through to the end.
These people often appear to be stern and severe. Once they have had an angry outburst, they forget the source of their anger quickly and move on to other things. Highly dominant people will often be seen as intimidating by others."
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that indicates optimism, trust, and a sense of humor. Highly influencing people tend to joke around a lot, talk a lot, and use other people to get what they want out of life. Almost completely people-oriented, they need to be in the company of other human beings as often as possible.
Highly influencing people like .... virtually anything they can show off. They are optimistic to a fault and trust almost everyone a little too much. Highly influencing people will often be seen as the life of the party by others."
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that regulates the pace at which they do things. Highly steady people tend to hold off on decision making until they believe the decision is the right one. They like to do research and get the approval of others before they do almost anything.
They are people-oriented and will usually be very sociable with everyone they meet. Highly steady people will take longer to do their work, but because they are very thorough, the work they do is generally of very high quality.
"This is the element of an individual’s personality that creates a need for rules and regulations in their lives. Highly compliant people tend to approach every challenge or project with caution and concern. Because they are task oriented, they tend not to fall for a sales pitch that is not accompanied by facts and figures.
Of course, we are a blend of the above, just the proportions vary. However, the key to remember is that there are certain experiences that exalts us while others irritates us. One thing is for certain. The unique blend of the head and the heart will give you an edge in the competence of social marketing.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka