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June 2016 | FEER McQUEEN blog

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June 2016

Matador Entertainment or Blood Sport?

Today, I want to talk about an issue. It’s not a new one, but it’s one that I recently witnessed. Why? I don’t know! Ok, I do know… It’s because I genuinely thought the whole thing was a show, an act, but what started as a colorful parade, ended up in a shameless massacre.

May 29, 2016 – 7: 00 pm

We reached the Arena in Plaza del Carmen – Madrid. Excited and anxious about what was coming, the crowds were packing up, setting their bets, and getting into their seats.

The participants entered the arena in a spectacle complemented by band music. Wearing their costumes inspired by 17th-century Andalusian clothing, they were distinguished by their gold suits and their pride.

The bull was released into the ring, where he was played by a couple of matadors. Then, a picador entered the arena on horseback. The horse was wearing protection, which he did not wear in earlier days. To top it all off, the poor thing was blindfolded.

Then, a series of torturing actions took place, handling the bull to his last breath and extreme level of irritation. In the final stage, the star matador entered the ring proudly, wearing his red cape and a sword, which, by the way, finds its final destination in the heart of the bull! The bull ends up being dragged by a couple of horses outside the ring, where the matador claims his victory to applause and chants! Olé!

May 29, 2016 – 7: 30 pm

We left the arena, running for the door, hating that we had witnessed and supported a barbaric act that should be banned forever! Where do we sign a petition?

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

Creating Content with Mobile Readers in Mind

Creating attractive content is a huge part of digital marketing, and in these technologically advanced days, it’s important to focus on one of the major target audiences, mobile users. People are glued to their mobile phones and tablets almost all day, every day. So, marketing approaches must evolve along with these technological evolutions and our day-to-day interests. Here are some tips for writing and creating content while keeping mobile readers in mind…

1- Headlines:
Make sure your headline is something attractive and easy to find in search results page. Going for an elusive headline might seem striking, but what actually matters here is getting your point across in a short and straight-to-the-point way.

2- Images:
Studies have shown that people surfing the web on their mobiles look at images more than they do text. So, the next time you’re posting a blog or article, make sure to include some catchy yet relevant photos to go along with your copy.

3- Conciseness:
Get your point across by laying down the facts and figures. Of course, make it attractive and fun to read, but avoid going into dull details or reiterating useless points. Your readers will be more likely to read the entire piece if they are kept engaged.

4- Summarize:
Use your introduction as an enticing summary to get readers to click on your piece and continue reading. Use short and to the point sentences that will get all your main ideas out in the open above “the fold”. Then, continue on with short paragraphs.

5- Lists:
There is nothing easier to read on a mobile device than a list or set of bullet points. It is easier to skim through and easier to locate main ideas. If the topic allows, you can focus your whole article in a list form (like this one!).

How to create engaging and relevant video content

Ashley El-Jor
Creative Writer

Keep Calm and Carry On…

­You have probably seen the hilarious keep calm and carry on posters with their countless parodies everywhere on the streets and online over the past few years, but have you ever wondered about the reason behind the original “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster?

Let’s start at the start of World War II in 1939. During that time, Great Britain knew they were headed for war, so the British Ministry of Information designed the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster as part of a series of three home publicity posters. The other two posters are not as well known: “Freedom is in peril defend it with all your might”, and “Your courage your cheerfulness your resolution will bring us Victory”.

The posters depict the slogans under the Tudor Crown, which is a symbol of the British State. These posters were meant to be circulated as a boost of spirits during the war, in case of a mass bombing of major cities, or even the dreaded prospect of an attack and occupation by the Nazi Germany front.

At the time, almost 2.5 million copies were printed, and even after Britain was heavily bombed by the Germans throughout 1940 and 1941, the poster was rarely publicly displayed and wasn’t even known or recognized until a copy of it was found back in the year 2000 at a bookshop in Alnwick, England.

So keep calm and continue reading Hybrid Talks!

Adam Kobeissy
Digital Designer

What is OFFF?

For those of you who are wondering where we are “OFFF” to every year around May-June, ask no more!

Well, besides sipping Sangria all night, we dedicate 3 days to feed our minds at OFFF, a festival hosting innovative and international, creative talents and artists, such as Joshua Davis, Stefan Sagmeister, Neville Brody, Paula Scher, Rick Poynor, and Erik Spiekermann, among many, many others.

What’s up this year?

This year was focused on the concept and process of the project rather than the final outcome. Each speaker took his/her time to explain the why, the how, and the why the hell not!

Each year, during these three days we rediscover graphic design, or design in general, as a real tool for problem solving.

Each project highlights a problematic, and speakers brilliantly explain how they were approached or annoyed by the problem, how they experimented around it, and eventually how they were able to respond.

Also this year, we witnessed the emergence of new tools and platforms that are trying to make our lives as designers easier and interconnected:

  1. Adobe revealed its new content aware crop tool, along with their latest creative tools, offering designers, during the breaks, to enjoy the Adobe experience to the max.
  2. Founder and director of Barcelona’s OFFF festival, Hector Ayuso, revealed the launching of a new Platform “Stooorm” that will allow creatives from different fields to upload their work and get feedback form their equals around the world. Both parties can share the process of their work and suggest and upload their version of the same artwork.
  3. New comers always have a share of the festival. With their fresh ideas and low budget projects we are sure to learn a few tricks here and there.

And now the OFFFsters are back, with their heads full of enough ideas to conquer the world- at the least the design world.  This is the third OFFF festival I participate in, and I always come back with a boost and a list of challenges for the rest of the year!

Cheers!

Rebecca Mourani
Associate Creative Director

Dos and Don’ts of Trips to the Beaches in Lebanon

While some of us enjoy the cold of the winter, we all wait for the first signs of summer to hit the seashores for a swim and a sunbathe.
June has begun, the summer heat has started to rise gradually, and the beach resorts will be fully packed soon. That long awaited day at the beach is almost a vacation, and you should indulge yourself and enjoy it to the max.

Here are 5 things to DO at the beach, followed by 5 other DON’Ts:

  • Do relax and daydream.Just sit there, breathe, meditate, and take a nap. Nothing is demanding your attention! Just hang out and daydream a little bit. Let your imagination carry you away in the best way possible.
  • Do read magazines.You may never have enough time during your daily routine to take pleasure in flipping through a magazine, so take this opportunity, enjoy the warm breeze, and read some magazines or books.
  • Do build a sandcastle.A common beach time activity for kids and adults. Should you do the simplest design or the most extravagant; this will help you pass the time at the beach while doing something really creative and fun.
  • Do watch the sunset.A very popular activity, as it should be, but being right there at the beach it’s such a breathtaking sight to see that you’ll never tire of it, and you’ll wish to extend through the night to a bonfire party, however those aren’t as trendy in Lebanon, but are a ton of fun; to gather around a nice fire; play music, have good conversations, dance, roast marshmallows, and just have a great time. Just make sure the beach allows such activities.
  • Do sports and entertainment. From working out to throwing balls and Frisbees, if you are alone, or with family or friends, you can always enjoy your time around the beach. That would fill your energy tank for the week ahead. Just remember to respect your neighbors at the beach.
  • DO NOT Throw your trash on the sand. Especially cigarettes! It is still trash! You can throw trash on your own floor when you get home. Clean up after yourself.
  • DO NOT forget your sunscreen. If you stay out in the sun all day long without putting on sun cream, the result will be painful and harmful.
  • DO NOT forget to drink. You shouldn’t stay out in the sun without drinking water and other fluids. In fact, you should increase your water intake while you are in the heat.
  • DO NOT walk with bare feet. There are lots of shells and rocks or even shattered glass that might be sharp enough to cut your feet. Also the sand’s temperature may be hot enough to fry an egg. You wouldn’t want fried feet now, would you?
  • DO NOT leave children unattended in the water or along the water’s edge. No need to explain why!

Have a great summer y’all !

Read More About the Traffic in Lebanon

Michella Salameh
Project Manager

Not a teapot, The Teapot!

If you are looking for an article on how to prepare the best tea, or where to buy the perfect kitchenware for your 5 O’clock break, you have definitely reached the wrong side of the web.
Many 3Ds Max users might go through their careers without knowing the main reason behind having a teapot model primitive shipped within the software or why it symbolizes the render process, being the active button that launches the render window.

0020014433
Dr. Martin Newell

 

The teapot, known as the Utah Teapot, has a very interesting and rather random story. An ordinary teapot (a Melitta to be precise), was bought from ZCMI (a department store in Salt Lake City) by a certain Utah University graduate Martin Newell, a name that would soon be famous in the computer graphics world. Newell was looking for an interesting yet simple object for his work, when his wife, Sandra Newell, suggested modeling the teapot, since they were having tea at the time.

 

 

102695462-03-01
Original sketch of the Utah Teapot

The teapot, known as the Utah Teapot, has a very interesting and rather random story. An ordinary teapot (a Melitta to be precise), was bought from ZCMI (a department store in Salt Lake City) by a certain Utah University graduate Martin Newell, a name that would soon be famous in the computer graphics world.
Newell was looking for an interesting yet simple object for his work, when his wife, Sandra Newell, suggested modeling the teapot, since they were having tea at the time.
He engaged in drawing the teapot by eye, on a piece of paper, and then went to the lab and edited bézier control points on a Tektronix storage tube, again, by hand.
The teapot was indeed an interesting object to model because of its different surfaces containing both concave and convex shapes, and the hole in the handle.

Later on, the mathematical coordinates of the teapot, a series of X, Y, and Z coordinates in space, were made public by Dr. Newell himself; those coordinates  were used to develop the technologies of computer graphics by using a complex yet simple object made available to test shaders and render engines.

Part of those coordinates is the following:

  Rim:
{ 102, 103, 104, 105,   4,   5,   6,   7,  8,   9,  10,  11,  12,  13,  14,  15 }

  Body:
{  12,  13,  14,  15,  16,  17,  18,  19, 20,  21,  22,  23,  24,  25,  26,  27 }
{  24,  25,  26,  27,  29,  30,  31,  32, 33,  34,  35,  36,  37,  38,  39,  40 }

  Lid:
{  96,  96,  96,  96,  97,  98,  99, 100, 101, 101, 101, 101,   0,   1,   2,   3 }
{   0,   1,   2,   3, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 116, 117 }

  Handle:
{  41,  42,  43,  44,  45,  46,  47,  48, 49,  50,  51,  52,  53,  54,  55,  56 }
{  53,  54,  55,  56,  57,  58,  59,  60, 61,  62,  63,  64,  28,  65,  66,  67 }

  Spout:
{  68,  69,  70,  71,  72,  73,  74,  75, 76,  77,  78,  79,  80,  81,  82,  83 }
{  80,  81,  82,  83,  84,  85,  86,  87, 88,  89,  90,  91,  92,  93,  94,  95 }

A full list of the vertices coordinates can be found online.

utah_teapot
The Utah Teapot in exhibition

A fun fact is the difference between the original model and the one made available in modeling software. The original model didn’t have a base, since it was never meant to be seen from the bottom, so it had a hollow base. The teapot was also about 30% higher; the difference is because the original mapping of the object was meant for rather square-ish monitors compared to our modern ones. The Utah teapot was donated to the Boston Computer Museum in 1984, where it remained on display until 1990. Today its home is the ephemera collection at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California. Our beloved teapot is catalogued as “Teapot used for Computer Graphics rendering” and its catalogue number is X00398. 1984.

In the present era of computer graphics, the teapot has become an inside joke between artists, or a test model because of its complexity and ability to self-cast shadows.

Some hidden teapots can be found in common media like the following:

Windows screen saver containing teapots as joints for the tubes
Windows screen saver containing teapots as joints for the tubes
Teapot as seen in the Simpsons episode “Treehouse of Horror VI” where Homer finds himself stuck in the third dimension.
Teapot as seen in the Simpsons episode “Treehouse of Horror VI” where Homer finds himself stuck in the third dimension.
The teapot as seen in Toy Story
The teapot as seen in Toy Story

Find out how to choose your 3D Application

Giuseppe Boschiero
Technical Director & 3D Generalist

Accepting the shift: How to adopt a content marketing mindset

Whether we like it or not, every passing day we are moving closer and closer to a content marketing culture; by “We” I am referring to Lebanon, since, needless to say, in foreign countries, content marketing became the norm a long time ago. Now there are many reasons that made this shift slower in the Lebanese market, but I am not going to dive into them.

Adopting a content marketing mindset requires marketers and clients alike, to accept new changes in both their strategic planning and creative execution. From endless articles I’ve read and actual projects I have worked on, these are the main tips I can give you:

1-Think like a publisher:
This is probably the most widespread tip out there. As media has moved from being external to advertisers, to being in their own hands, the game has changed immensely to the benefit of some and the dismay of others (in this case, media owners). Brands have become their own publishers, using the media as a personal tool to promote their image, products and services, and engage with their customers.

2-Social media as a tool:
We have to accept the fact that social media has become a small marketing tool in the bigger sea of platforms. We have to shift from social media strategies to content marketing and content strategies. That being said, the media mix takes a whole new form, whereby Facebook, Instagram and other previous major players, are now part of a bigger team.

3-Put people first:
The 5th P of the Marketing Ps, People, has become a major player in the way brands handle their marketing. After all, we are talking to people, so why not capitalize on their importance? Many international brands are basing their whole strategies around their people, and making them part of their culture.

4-Tell stories:
What do people love? Stories. And this doesn’t get old. Stories hold emotions, grab attention and get viewers or readers immersed in the flow of events, wanting to know more. Stories have a personal aspect, and this has been a strength in marketing for ages.

5-Use your content wisely:
Blogs, Vlogs, videos, newsletters, images….These are barely a tiny portion of the long list of content formats available today, which brands can explore and make use of. This is why choosing wisely, according to the brand’s story and audience, is key.

6-Adapt your story:
This is where things become interesting. We have to find the best way to adopt the same story across different platforms, while preserving creativity and originality, and avoiding falling in the pitfalls of redundancy and wasted content.

7-Be patient and preach it:
The rule of thumb in content marketing is being patient. Recruiting new potential customers and turning them into leads, and then buying customers is a long process. Brands and marketers alike should keep an open mind and wait for things to shape up, provided that they are playing it right.

Did you know that Storytelling is the new marketing hero? 

Tony Raad
Content Manager

4 Reasons Why Facebook Remains an Essential Part of Your Social Media Strategy

Nowadays, it would come to anyone’s horror if you, as a business, were only on Facebook. Because, “What do you mean you don’t use Instagram, or Snapchat, or Twitter” or whatever?! While it’s true that you do need to diversify, to move with the trend and participate in the next big thing, some things have become “the basics”. Facebook is the one platform that has outlived any trend and still remains a main part of any brand’s social media strategy. Here are 4 reasons why:

  • Everyone’s on Facebook
    Like literally, from your youngest cousin to your grandma, Facebook seems to go across generations. While Instagram and Snapchat have a very young demographic, the demographics on Facebook are more inclusive. Facebook allows you to reach people you might not find on any other social media platform.
  • The ads
    Facebook ads offer you tailored options to reach your goals, more so than any other platform with advertisements. The variety of audiences, types of ads, and the very cheap cost they’re available at makes Facebook a leading platform in this area.
  • Facebook’s App is the second biggest local search App in the world
    After Google Maps, Facebook is the most used local search app. In other words, people use Facebook to look for local businesses, queries, and other users in their area, so much so that it outranks Bing, Apple Maps, and Yahoo.
  • The single most diverse platform
    Facebook is the only social media platform that seamlessly allows for a diverse roster of content formats. Be it a picture, video, GIF, or review (among other things), Facebook has grown into an adaptable tool to publish the content that fits your brand best. The best part is that you don’t have to really pick just one, as you can use any type of content on any given day, allowing your social media marketing strategy to include a wide range of formats that appeal to a wider audience.
Karen Abi Saab
Digital Manager