The Language of Legos

Rachel Lovinger   September 20, 2010

A New York moment. (Image via Niemann)

Yesterday I was looking at a book by Christoph Niemann called “I Lego N. Y.,” which I had seen in digital form in this New York Times blog post of the same name. It’s a very short book – only 32 pages, with an image on each page, most of which are taken directly from that post. As I flipped back and forth through the pages, I grew increasingly delighted at the whimsical and uber-efficient messages communicated by each photograph.

With a nod to Melissa Rach, who recently encouraged people to practice content strategy by observing it everywhere, I marveled at the things Niemann managed to convey using this elegant and artful approach. Choosing the blunt palette of Legos gives him a pretty limited set of shapes and colors to work with. Even within the available spectrum, he keeps the constructed pieces extremely minimal. He brings these vague objects into sharp relief by roughly sketching words or phrases onto the images, and sometimes by juxtaposing several pieces to create a meaningful relationship.

There’s no reason that a blue block with an orange bit should read as a Mets cap, but when placed with a similar black block with a white bit, under the scrawled heading “Subway Series,” the tiny shapes clearly become two baseball caps from nearby rival teams. By adding a little bit of verbal and spatial context, Niemann amplifies our natural pattern recognition abilities in ways that surprise and amuse us. The resulting images can be charming, hilarious, or even gross (see the one that starts “Stepped in bubble gum”). It’s a great lesson in saying more with less, and doing it with humor.

Confessions of a Public Speaker

Matt Geraghty   December 10, 2009

Speaking, writing and drinking beer: The only 3 technologies you’ll ever need.

The breakdown: Best selling author and writer Scott Berkun talks about creative thinking and public speaking. We are reminded that technology alone is not going to solve our communication problems and in order to connect with an audience, we still need authentic and engaging storytelling.  Click above for insight and inspiration.

More keynotes from the Web 2.0 Expo NY 09 here.

Web Storytelling: The Whale Hunt

Bob Maynard   May 21, 2009

whale_hunt_1The Whale Hunt is an interactive, photo-driven account of an Alaskan whaling expedition by Jonathan Harris. Amazing!

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Scatter/Gather is a blog about the intersection of content strategy, pop culture and human behavior. Contributors are all practicing Content Strategists at the offices of Razorfish, an international digital design agency.


This blog reflects the views of the individual contributors and not necessarily the views of Razorfish.

What is content strategy?

Oooh, the elevator pitch. Here we go: There is content on the web. You love it. Or you do not love it. Either way, it is out there, and it is growing. Content strategy encompasses the discovery, ideation, implementation and maintenance of all types of digital content—links, tags, metadata, video, whatever. Ultimately, we work closely with information architects and creative types to craft delicious, usable web experiences for our clients.

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