Archive for September, 2007

The simplicity trend

 John Maeda exhibiton poster

Andrew Curry writes:

One of the trends we’ve been following for a while is that of increasing simplicity – a response to increasing product complexity. One of the signs of this was the emergence at MIT of John Maeda’s Simplicity consortium, attended by various leading businesses. (Another was the success of Patrick Barwise and Sean Meehan ‘s book Simply Better).

John Maeda has recently distilled his thoughts on simplicity into a book, The Laws of Simplicity – currently running at #1,333 on the Amazon best-sellers list. The blog at has a video of him doing his Simplicity thing. (It runs just under 18 minutes).

Thanks to flatcrabs for the image of the poster.

24 September 2007 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

If your products could talk…

Andrew Curry writes:

I attended an event on Friday organised by the Sustainable Development Commission to look at the future of sustainable retail – obviously a challenging proposition. SDC Commissioner Alan Knight, who has a retail background, opened the event with a presentation which included a challenging question: what if your products could tell you – and your customers – their stories?
What would they say? Would you be proud? Or would you be embarrassed? At the moment, of course, this is a journey which companies mostly imagine comes to an end as the product leaves the store in the arms of a happy customer. As the sustainability evolves, of course, the rest of their journey will become more important – and more visible – as well.
Alan’s article, “The Retailing Paradox”, can be found here.

24 September 2007 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment

A backlash against agelessness?

Jo Phillips writes:

Dove has recently launched a range of “pro-age” products under the slogan “Dove is pro-age, not anti-age” and backed by the alluring belief that “beauty has no age limit.” This obviously builds on their successful and agenda-changing Campaign for Real Beauty brand manifesto. According to Dove’s 2006 global study 91% of women feel the media and advertising need to do a better job of representing realistic images of women over 50.

Whilst it feels like we are still a long way from a 70-year old Vogue cover-girl, there has been a recent spate of fashion magazine comparisons in the UK between those who have had plastic surgery and those who have kept their ‘natural beauty,’ with some praise for the latter group. There have also been several pieces arguing against plastic surgery, and its effect on society, including Bobbi Brown in the Telegraph last year.

We can separate two aspects of agelessness – firstly the desire to feel and act young and secondly the desire to look physically young. It is likely that we will increasingly see a bifurcation of views about physical ageing, between, on the one had, those who take advantage of the growing availability and possibilities for enhancement and those who opt to stay natural. But perhaps we will also see a backlash against the ideal of acting and feeling young. In this Sunday’s Observer Viv Groskop argues in the comment piece Let’s hear it for wisdom, not eternal youth that our “false celebration of agelessness is threatening to eclipse the true value of experience.” We know that people are increasingly valuing their portfolio of life experiences such as travel, extreme sports or voluntary work as a demonstration of their identity.

Is it possible that the lines on your face will in future again be valued as an indication of your life experience?

7 September 2007 at 12:43 pm Leave a comment

The Futures Company blog

The Futures Company was created through the merger of Henley Centre HeadlightVision and Yankelovich in 2008. This is the blog of the new company - but the former posts from the former Henley Centre Headlightvision blog still can be found here.

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