@Twitter turns 7… what’s next by 10?

by Melissa Scott

Seven years ago the first tweet was sent out by @jack. Today, Twitter has 200 million active users and 400 million tweets daily, transforming not only the way the world communicates but giving a voice to millions globally—to use for fun,
for political change, to build movements, to save lives and to inspire.

We’ve started a list of seven big Twitter moments and pose the question:
What could Twitter by the time it turns 10?

1. The tweet that launched it all


2. Uprising in Iran
"Twitter Revolution" in Iran after the sudden Green Movement uprising drew millions of Iranians into the streets and elicited an unprecedented number of tweets about a political election in 2009.


3. “Four More Years”
by @BarackObama after 2012 election victory became most retweeted in history.


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Makers: Women Who Make America

By Melissa Scott and Jessica Chalifoux

This week AOL celebrated the premier of Makers, an unprecedented digital video and broadcast initiative made in partnership with PBS and filmmaker Dyllan McGee. The program and full-length documentary aim to capture the stories, achievements and breakthroughs of America’s most iconic and prolific women over the last half century — collectively impacting virtually every aspect of today’s culture. 


Women Who Make America Trailer


“AOL wants to be known for groundbreaking firsts in the digital media industry, and we are thrilled to be partnering with PBS as they stand alone in their unparalleled ability to educate the world on the most important movements of our time,” said Tim Armstrong, Chairman & CEO of AOL. “Partnering together to bring MAKERS to life is exactly the type of future-forward programming we believe in.” 

The series features high-profile icons ranging from Gloria Steinem and Hillary Rodham Clinton, technology trailblazers Marissa Mayer and Meg Whitman to unsung heroes such as Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and Bethany Hamilton, professional surfer and up-and-coming inspiration. The collection of over 100 stories is just the start, “We are committed to using storytelling to help the next generation of women,” says McGee. “There is still a lot more work to be done.”

Makers.com, the dynamic media and community platform AOL launched prior to the documentary, features a deep catalog of engaging highlights from the series and works to uncover the women who are continuing to lead the charge today. Maureen Sullivan, SVP & General Manager of Women’s Content and Lifestyle Brands at AOL told the press “MAKERS.com was built to utilize the latest innovation in video and mobile technology.” The site lets users individually curate and discover the stories of all these amazing women.

We’ll be watching on February 26 at 8pm as the full-length documentary series launches on PBS.

Visit makers.com to learn more.


Melissa Scott (@hello_melissa) is a senior designer at Wolff Olins San Francisco and Jessica Chalifoux is Head of Account Management at Wolff Olins New York. 

High performance fashion: Levi’s connects with cyclists

By Melissa Scott

As more New Yorkers take to their bikes this spring, the clothing logistics of commuting can be a challenge—from hot days to sudden downpours, the elements of NYC streets can be unpredictable. The newly launched Levi’s Commuter Series attempts to bridge the gap between fashion, lifestyle, function and fitness.

The collection combines high-performance details from waterproofing and sanitization technology (to keep riders dry, clean and odor-free), to ultra-functional 3M reflection tape (for safety). 
Levi’s connects their strong brand history as the original, American working denim and translates it to innovation for the unique needs of urban bikers with construction-inspired waistbands to hold U-Locks. 

JeWon Yu, a designer of the collection discusses the vision on their blog:
"Simply put, the commuter on the bike—be it young, old, from all walks of life….I feel like this lifestyle transcends any kind of trend and is something that anyone can participate in regardless of where you live, work, or play… It just feels so right for the brand. City landscapes are changing all over the world in response to the numbers taking to the streets on their bikes as their preferred method of transportation. It’s not just about San Francisco anymore, this is totally relevant worldwide and Levi’s, being a global brand, is keen to it and supports it completely."

The brand is also creating a series of Mobile Bike Shops, a partnership with Urban Outfitters, traveling across the country from Portland to New York, offering both bike and fashion services throughout the summer.

As innovation and engagement become driving forces in brands across all industries— creating custom experiences for more specific audiences—based on lifestyle instead of age/demographic—is a better way to make a bigger impact.

For more information, visit www.levi.com/commuter.
HT Cool Hunting, Video via Levi’s Blog

Melissa Scott (@hello_melissa) is a Senior Designer at Wolff Olins 

Hayat Sindi: inspiring change in Mideast through i2 insitute launch

Scientist, inventor, Harvard and Cambridge graduate, Saudi Arabian native and pioneer—Dr. Hayat Sindi is an inspiring woman, a powerful force in the advancement of science, social good and a sign towards the emerging cultural shift in the role of women in a conservative region.

Today at PopTech, Sindi launched her latest project, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, (i2 institute) which focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship in the Arab community amidst an unemployment rate of over 40% and a rapidly growing youth population entering the workforce. The website states "Our mission is to create an ecosystem of entrepreneurship and social innovation for scientists, technologists and engineers in the Middle East and beyond." Wolff Olins and PopTech collaborated with Sindi to develop the brand and identity around her platform.

“I believe that we can put science and society hand in hand and we should customize science for the benefit of the developing world. Small people can achieve big dreams.” Sindi stated. She also hopes that “i2 will make stories like hers less exceptional and more possible for every young innovator.”

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I Communicate, Therefore I Am

Talk to Me is a vastly comprehensive digital innovation exhibit at MoMa NYC featuring a range of works interpreting humans’ interactions with technology, from diagrams and apps to products and spaces. Paola Antonelli, curator of the exhibit describes goal to “explore how objects communicate with us… emphasizing how the need to share information and have a dialogue with audiences is overtaking form and function in contemporary design.”

With QR codes tagging every piece and a rare encouragement to break out your iPhone and interact with the work in a major institution, the exhibit is a smart and engaging look into the closing gap between life and our relationship with more intuitive technology. Antonelli explains the dominant trend in emerging technology design in communication “people need to communicate with each other. But they also communicate with objects, with cities, with the Internet, with literally everything.”

About 20 of the projects were sourced by open submission on the online, live, micro-site facet of the exhibit, Beyond the Galleries, documenting the process of the exhibit as well as a broad database of apps, projects, interfaces, readings, discussions and more.  Some notable projects include the Rubik’s Cube for the Blind by Konstantin Datz, Wolff Olins’ own Jody Hudson-Powell’s Hungry Hungry Eat Head, Tweenbot by Kacie Kinzer, along with the popular apps Talking Karl, Chris Milk’s Wilderness Downtown for Arcade Fire and AOL Artist Sascha Nordmeyer’s Communication Prothesis.

Definitely worth seeing, the exhibit runs through November 7th.

(Melissa Scott) @hello_melissa

'Rubik's Cube for the Blind' image by Konstantin Datz'
'Wifi Dowsing Rod' image by Susana Camara Leret
Hungry Hungry Eat Head photo via Wired

BA Reps share

In an art-filled breakfast share in WONY, Matthew LeBaron and Jackie Chachoua of Bernstein and Andriulli dropped by to show us work from their massive roster of 100+ artists from around the world including some longtime office favorites like The Selby and new finds like Kai and Sunny.

A great trend we saw was many artists crossing boundaries out of standard genres and titles—photographers now directing films, illustrators creating 3D products and new interactive experiences, augmented realities and great work across the board. 

Check out more at BA Reps

Images: The Selby, Kai + Sunny, ILoveDust, Represented by Bernstein & Andriulli

(Melissa Scott) @hello_melissa

Collect the Everyday

In the new year, many of us vow to do more, try new, eat less, save up or spend smarter—hopefully with lasting success. The Daytum app delivers engaging infographics created from your basic life statistics, brought to us by infograph annual report specialist Nicholas Felton and interactive developer Ryan Case.

If all data experiences were this simple and visually satisfying, maybe we’d happily keep track of the little things more often.

(Melissa Scott) @hello_melissa


On Friday November 5th, we attended the first Brand New Conference in NYC. The event was created as an extension of the identity blog Brand New, created by Armin Vit and Bryony Gomez-Palacio through Under Consideration.

The speaker lineup consisted of many design heavy hitters including:Michael Bierut and Paula Scher (Pentagram), Michael Johnson (Johnson Banks), Connie Birdsall, (Lippincott) and Christian Helms (Decoder Ring).

Michael Lejeune (LA Metro Design Studio) spoke on how small moves can add up to big change in a brand and public perception, raising awareness of LA Metro to 98% in the city one bus at a time. Tom Dorrestejin of (Studio Dumbar) showed exciting work, making most designers in the room swoon; Armin moderated a Q+A with WO’s Jordan Crane and Karl Heiselman on AOL and London 2012; and the steal of the show was legendary type designer, Erik Spiekermann (Edenspiekermann).

See more photos from the event on our flickr.

“We share identity with others. Personality is unique. Should we be
personality, not identity designers?” Tom Dorrestejin, Studio Dunbar

[On hammering out a brand] “If you’re digging a hole in the wrong place, making it deeper  doesn’t help.” Michael Bierut, Pentagram

“All designers are strategists. We just don’t charge for it.”
Paula Scher, Pentagram

“Using a typeface with some depth & character, plus a strong color, can sustain a corporate identity program.” Eric Spiekermann

"Keep your story simple so other people can tell your story for you."
Connie Birdsall, Lippincott

“Typefaces are like your children, you let them go and they get out of your control.” Eric Spiekermann

"You can’t order people to do great things — you have to provide the
conditions, inspire them, understand them.”  Karl Heiselman, WO

“You’re probably not doing the best work of your life if everyone is ‘OK’ with it.”
Jordan Crane, WO

Tweets via @bnconf. Images © Wolff Olins.
(Melissa Scott) @hello_melissa