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The Strategy Room

EPA’s Design Throwback, Death to the Web Banner, Facebook’s Metaverse & More

By: Megan Berry

Lunch Break: April 25

Quick PR Reads You Can Tackle Between Bites

Despite the blustery weather, D.C. is off to a good start this week. For hockey fans, a ray of hope came with the Capitals’ Sunday night victory over the Maple Leafs. The stage is set for another heated battle in round two—we’re coming for you, Crosby.

As we find in this week’s Lunch Break, Ovechkin isn’t the only one lighting the lamp. Google, Facebook, Suave and the 1977 EPA Brand Standards are all making goals of their own.

Design Throwback Gets Political

The 1977 EPA graphic standards system is making a comeback on Kickstarter. Standards Manual is teaming up with AIGA and Earthjustice to reprint the comprehensive graphic system, created by legendary New York design firm Chermayeff & Geismar. During the EPA’s early years, “Millions of dollars were being wasted annually due to non-standardized formats, inefficient processes, and almost everything being designed from scratch.” The graphic system was tasked with making the agency more efficient, but today it has taken on a new role of environmental activist. Apparently, “The political timing of the reissue is right,” and this style guide looks to attract designers and environmentalists alike.

The Death of the Web Banner

Google, the largest web advertising company in the world, just signaled the potential end of web ads—or at least the blocking of them. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is planning to include a built-in ad blocker in the next iteration of Chrome, which also happens to be the world’s most popular web browser. This announcement has purveyors of the web on edge. Journalists are particularly wary of this announcement as they, and other content producers, rely on ad dollars to survive. Google is still ironing out the details, but this move is making waves and requires shifts in future advertising strategies.

Facebook Creates Its Own Reality

With the launch of Camera Effects, Facebook is firmly staking its claim over the AR sphere. This new platform will launch the social media giant into the 3D scene, enabling developers to build AR masks, recognize objects and eventually create a ‘Metaverse’—pushing users even further into the AR and VR world. As Facebook and its competitors vie for user engagement, expect to hear more about AR and VR and their role in shaping the future of the internet.

Suave Pokes Fun at the Superficial

Have you heard of EVAUS? Try spelling it backwards. That’s right, Suave. Not what you would expect from a launch event purported to introduce a luxury brand. Hoping to demonstrate, “packaging is only package deep,” the beauty brand wrapped its product in minimalistic millennial pink and gave it an evocative new name. Although Suave was attempting to make fun of our collective packaging bias, they highlighted a key marketing fact—design matters.




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