REAL WORLD MARKETING

Miscellaneous observations from an educational communicator’s perspective

The next big thing Check out this “futuristic” astronaut suit conceptualized in 1961. Luckily for Neil Armstrong, the oversized trashcan look went out of style before we actually reached the moon.

In marketing, trying to predict the future can have equally silly results. Even when we are using research to inform design, we can’t always know what lies ahead. For example, what would we have done differently years ago if we had foreseen the internet and social media?

On the flip side, if the iPod and cell phone had been invented in 1977, what would they have looked like? One artist answered that question with a series of humorous images using common design elements from the ’70s: square corners, old-fashioned fonts, antiquated names (such as the “LapTron”), and a brown and orange color palette. The title of his series, “We are not Time Travelers,” reminds us that although no one can exactly predict the future, we do need to expect the unexpected and stay flexible.

Contributed by Domenica

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