Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thursday, May 14, 2020

New second edition of brand terminology

Just released and available now in both paperback and Kindle editions. Includes 2020 terminology. 

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Dmitry's computer thinks he is a woman

My friend the photographer Dmitry Kostyukov recently experienced rich dialog with an algorithm belonging to a swimwear company. He's been mistaken for a Y chromosome, and invited to be a brand influencer. This exposes one facet of what advertising has become. Caveat emptor. I reproduce below the text of his statement about the project illustrated here. After the statement, the curated photos. Well done, Dima.

My computer thinks I am a woman.
I found it quite a long time ago, but it was mostly just a funny topic for a small-talk between friends.
How I've recognised this about my computer? Sometimes via the feminine form at google translation, sometimes by "Merci, Mademoiselle Dmitry Kostyukov d'avoir acheté votre TGV ticket", sometimes by automatic redirection to the Women section at online shops and other small things. Did I do something, especially for this? No. It's just happened somehow. But one day I got an email with a proposal of collaboration. After a brief conversation, I realised that it's a proposal of collaboration to me, but not as a photographer, but as a model for the women's swimming suits brand. And yes, they produce swimming suits only for women, founded by women and of course they are very progressive, from the North of Europe and publish diverse models.
I was never hiding my identity, and I decided to say "yes" to collaboration to check how the algorithm really sees me. So on January 22, I became Bright Ambassador with a nickname Bright_Woman. I was recommended to have a Bora-Bora bikini or Scarlet Cora One Piece. I decided to start with Scarlet. I received a welcome email from CEO (obviously automatic), the possibility to share 15% discount with my friends (let me know if you need one) and of course a package with a swimming suit - welcome to the connection of online and offline world. Indeed, I know this is the way how brands trying to sell their products - all of us know it - but there is also the way how the machine see us. So what may it see? I am 82 kg which probably means a plus-size (for the average height) woman, which sometimes reading feminist texts, with 10K followers at Instagram. Apparently, I suit for this advertising.
Is it all true? I got the message during the winter. If my computer knows me at least a little bit, it should know I never even go to the beach vacation. I've probably gone to the proper holiday when you need a swimming suit, and consciously go to the beach maximum two times in my life. I am not even sure if I have swimming trunks or shorts, in general. But the algorithm assumes I do all this.
Using the brand's Instagram and iconic Dutch beach portraits as references, I went to the nearest beach - at The Hague in February, with the crazy wind, rain and +7 degree C (which feel like 0) - to connect the algorithm and contemporary brand's vision with my actual reality.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Double brand hijacking in Varna

Dropped into a deserted hotel zone north of the famous holiday destination on the Black Sea. A closed store caught my attention. This is the equivalent of a minimart serving tourists, mainly Russian, who flock to this Summer haven. The store's not remotely connected to the American big box chain Best Buy, but has co-opted and adapted their logo. Nor are they associated with the global supermarket brand Lidl. Despite the presence of big names like McD and Pepsi, the former Iron Curtain countries still don't have much time for respecting IP.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A Challenge to Readers

Take a look at the form the impeachment politicians are using today to put a query to the Senate.

I find it so interesting on so many forensic levels - culturally, socially, technologically, politically, how and where it figures in the history of graphic design, typography, in the simple mechanics of form design, and ultimately notions of beauty.

So, my challenge to you is to forensically respond to this eloquent piece of utilitarian graphic design with an online answer. Without urging you in any particular direction, it might take the form of a scholarly treatise, an anthropological interrogation, or animated rebranding, but you decide.

I alone will be the judge of the winner, who receives signed copies of 3 of my novels and my 3 most recent brand books to acknowledge their Herculean effort. Your winning entry promotes over social media as you would expect, and this blog. Send entries to info [at]
Deadline: February 7.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

New espace DiGanZi merch site

Hello all.
You're cordially invited to visit espace DiGanZi, a new merch site, which offers books, and printable objects
New items will be added to the printables page every month.