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Whiting Out Your Favorite Brands
By day, Andrew Miller is a branding strategist at a New York design agency — working to figure out how to create memorable branding around perhaps not-so-memorable products. But by night, the former designer is stripping away that visual branding by covering it with white Krylon spray paint — to see which of our favorite products are still recognizable in their purest form. From a red Twizzler rope to an old Macintosh computer, the result is Brand Spirit — a blog of 100 ghost-like objects, photographed with an old 1970s camera, over 100 days.
Tell us how Brand Spirit came to be.
It started as a school project at SVA, where I was studying brand strategy. One of the things we talked about a lot in class was how, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, they banned all outdoor advertising, aiming to reduce visual pollution. Not surprisingly, businesses were very worried. But with the ban still in effect, the city is thriving — a recent survey even found that most residents find the ban beneficial. So, I wanted to ask, what happens when you start to imagine a world without brands?
Many know Nora Ephron as the writer and director of classic films like You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally. She was also a magnificent, witty writer outside of film, crafting stories published in newspapers, magazines, and novels. On Tuesday night, she passed away of pneumonia brought on by acute myeloid leukemia.
What you may not know about her is that she “was a foodie in the best way: driven not by snobbery but by the joy of discovery and eager not to one-up you with her latest bliss, but to share it with you, guide you toward it.” In this loving tribute to Nora’s foodie side (a side this intern found surprising), her friend Frank Burni writes:
Her sublime comic novel “Heartburn” is studded with recipes for dishes that are metaphors for sorrow, for lust, for comfort, for joy. Nora understood that nothing talked more loudly, or more eloquently, than food. Nothing better defined people.
Rest in peace, Nora.
Photo Credit: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Nora Ephron. Photograph from We Thought We Could Do Anything by Henry Ephron, 1956. The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Billy Rose Theatre Division, Billy Rose Theatre Collection. Digital ID th-10843.
(Edited post to correct photo credit format)