Ultravirgo

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Go Vote

Today is Election Day in the States. Go Vote. It should go without saying, but the truth is voter turnout is never what it could be. It's an easy decision - regardless of who you support, just do it. :)

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Apple Battery Recharger

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I'd like to think that one of Apple's biggest announcements recently is one of the smallest, most overlooked ones. I'm loving that they just came out with a well-thought-out AA battery charging system. Not that I need a new one. But Apple has a way of making rabid fanboys out of even the simplest things. If they can successfully make rechargeable batteries seem cool to the tech set - like they do with almost everything they touch - it could be one of the best things they have ever done for the environment.

New Aging Videos

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We've been doing a lot of work lately gearing up for the New Aging Conference at UPenn in October (including the web site and this brochure). But I really love what the UPenn students did with these makeover videos: Aging 60 years in 60 seconds.

Architizer

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Our officemates at HWKN just launched a cool new web site: Architizer - social media for architects and architecture enthusiasts. Go poke around and learn about some great architecture from around the globe - like Rem Koolhaas' amazing CCTV headquarters in Beijing, or the undulating Aqua Tower which I watched go up in Chicago last year. And of course, I'm partial to this one.

Immersive Environments

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Ernesto Neto's epic installation at the Park Ave Armory closes this Sunday - be sure to spend some time in this incredible sensory experience before it closes. Layers of fabric stretch and sag to cover a skeletal structure and create a surreal landscape to explore.

Also recommend Enfolding 280 Hours Sun K. Kwak's installation at the Brooklyn Museum. A wall drawing made only with black masking tape, transforms the gallery into a swirling backdrop for meditation. 

Healthy Credit

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We are strong believers in the power of design to shape the ability to comprehend information. We have been known to get as excited about designing an infographic or clinical form as we have about a logo or brochure. Which is why I love the Op-Ed piece from Design for Democracy that appeared in the NY Times this weekend. It parallels the need for clear information on Credit Card disclosures with the design of Nutrition Facts on food packaging. These days, financial health is just as important as physical health, but the choices have gotten infinitely more complicated.

Happy Earth Day!

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Happy Earth day from Ultravirgo! While we're firm believers in practicing sustainability year round, it's always nice to celebrate our mother. Check out some of the green events around town here, here and here  or take the opportunity to join Repower America

Product Packaging and Audience

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I bought Happy Baby green puffs. Noticed on the bottom of the container that it says Method, the cleaning company. So, I googled to discover that Method had thousands of containers it was never going to use after a packaging redesign. So Happy Baby bought them, to package their puffs in non-toxic, recyclable, non-Bisphenol A containers. Interesting packaging choice. I'm still not sure if it's brilliant or anxiety inducing. 

Annual Reports

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We're heading into annual report season once again - we already have a couple books in production. And just came across the great search function at the aptly-titled annualreports.com. Curious what Merrill Lynch's final annual report looked like? Search and there it is. (From the thematic intro: "The good news is that most of our businesses continue to perform at record levels and we have moved quickly to strengthen our balance sheet, capital position and risk management." Not quickly enough, apparently...) It seems pretty comprehensive - includes some that we have worked on. You can even order hard copies of a few of them.

Brooklyn History: Counter/Culture

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Paid a visit to the Brooklyn Historical Society this weekend to see their show, "Counter/Culture: The Disappearing Face of the Brooklyn Storefront" it was interesting to see photos of the blocks I know in a constant state of flux. Also learned that the world's first teddy bear was created at a little mom and pop store in Williamsberg, the Ideal Novelty and Toy Co.