I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida. Within the pages of one of the magazines in the room was this ad for The Ritz-Carlton. I love the visual suggestion of a cityscape created out of vintage and retro style product placement. It’s a strong and very masculine visual instantly recognizable as a skyline before your eye is able to deconstruct the image into it’s various parts of bottles, clocks, paperweights, flashlights and all other manner of recognizable and non-descript elements. The imagery is so powerful I kept flipping to the page with the ad just to decipher more of what made up the various forms. This was my favorite ad in the series, but not the only one that included the clever use of forms. Check out more here.
Inspired Magazine recently had a post entitled “Vintage 2.0 – Glossy Retro Takes Over Web Design.” The post explained that the ultra shiny rounded corner buttons and look of Web 2.0 is going the way of the lines, circles, and techno music infused websites that hurt our online souls in the not so distant past. Replacing this is the “new futuretro style that combines the web 2.0 (clean) look with a vintage touch.”
The article gives 25 examples of this new and improved 2.0. My favorite was the website for Team Fortress 2, a class-based team warfare game developed by Valve and distributed by Electronic Arts and Steam. The website has it’s aesthetic roots in the mid-century styling that the game embodies, while bringing in that new twist. The character development for the game is amazing. Each mercenary has an introductory video on the “Meet the Team” section of the site. This video really defines the character’s back-story in a comical way almost reminiscent of The Incredibles.
Here’s a list of each mercenary with their video release date and a short quote:
The Heavy (May ’07, updated August ‘08):
“Some people think they can out smart me. Maybe, maybe. I have yet to meet one that can outsmart bullet.”
The Soldier: (August ’07)
“If fighting is sure to result in victory, then you must fight. Sun Tzu said that, I’d say he knows a little more about fighting then you do pal, cuz he invented it!”
The Engineer: (September ’07)
“How am I gonna stop some big, mean mother-hubbard from tearing me a structurally superfluous new behind. The answer, use a gun. If that don’t work, us more gun.”
The Demoman: (October 2007)
“What makes me a good demo man? If I was a bad demo man, I wouldn’t be sittin’ here dicussin’ it wit’cha, would I?”
The Scout: (April ’08)
“Grass grows, birds fly, sunshines, and brother, I hurt people.”
The Sniper: (June ’08)
“Not a crazed gunman dad, I’m an assassin. Well the difference being, one is a job, the other’s a mental sickness.”
The Spy: (May ’09)
“He is a puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, shrouded in riddles, lovingly sprinkled with intrigue…”
The Pyro: (not released)
The Medic: (not released)
With the level of character development and applied aesthetic language this game, and complimenting website, captured my attention. That says a lot coming from someone whose last gaming system was the original Game Boy™, and who hasn’t been proficient at a video game since Tetris.