Words borrowed, stolen, and seldom used.


From the Consumer Aesthetics Research Institute (CARI).


Serif fonts, muted colours. Black, beige, copper, bronze and gold. Large amounts of whitespace, minimalism but ‘classy’, incorporating ‘zen’ elements in materials used. Product photography, using specific layouts and perspectives (top-down, isometric), generally has a more staged feel, with sharper, more dramatic lighting. Plant and branch shadows, prismatic or refractive elements scattering the light. Natural materials, granite and marble. Often rough stones. Fabric.

Burn party

Cultural invention from Heroku, via Brandur

Its purpose is to celebrate the work involved in removing things, and thus maintain a more streamlined company. The mechanics are simple: light up a fire pit or brazier. Symbolic effigees are prepared to represent dead products. Each product owner approaches the open fire and explains the sordid history behind what’s being retired and provides a graphic description of the effort that’s gone into its removal. The effigy is then sacrificed to the open flame.

Gorgon Goal

…the idea of “gorgon goals” - things you can only approach sideways, without looking at or pursuing them directly, things you have to come to through a “happy side effect” of pursuing something else. See also: maieutic goals

Hipster Bait

From Unimaginable Heights, by Jack and Talita.

An important part of what makes someone hipster bait is that elusive quality of ‘putting it on’, that is, having fun with their fame like a real wanker because they can’t accept just being a regular famous person.


From The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

the awareness of the smallness of your perspective, by which you couldn’t possibly draw any meaningful conclusions at all, about the world or the past or the complexities of culture, because although your life is an epic and unrepeatable anecdote, it still only has a sample size of one, and may end up being the control for a much wilder experiment happening in the next room.