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2.3: Futura 2000
Photo from the book Aerosol Kingdom.
We’ve been trying to come up with a good system for naming our releases and haven’t had much luck. They all get numbered and we generally do 2 week sprints and give them a number (2.3 in this case). Anyway, I was looking at our next sprint schedule (which kicks off Monday) and was thinking we needed a good name. For some reason graffiti popped into my head and I thought it might be fun to name each point-release after a street artist.
I’ve been a big fan of graffii for a long time. When I was a kid and I’d go on vacation with my parents I’d make them walk me around to shady places so I could take photos of the painted walls. It’s never something I did myself (I don’t have the hand for spraypaint), but I’ve been a pretty voracious consumer of the stuff for my whole life. So that’s the plan, each release gets a number, a graffiti artist and a little history lesson on who they were (in addition to some notes on the release).
I cheated on this first one a bit as we are finishing up 2.3 and I went back and rewrote the name. Anyway, here we go.
Futura 2000 (now just known as Futura) is probably the artist I most associated with the art of graffiti. He was born in the 50s and started writing in the 70s. While everyone else had a fairly similar style of bubble letters and characters, Futura’s stuff was just pretty crazy.
That piece was a total departure from anything previous. I understood that I could do other things with spray paint and I wanted to experiment. The result was that car and two others in different colors. I was lucky to have (SEEN) catch that one, with the windows up because the others all got buffed or dogged. I had always thought of myself as a writer, tagging insides and other highly visible locales. But the transition to painting outsides and let’s say, whole cars was obviously the move. I’m just lucky, I was even there. I really can’t explain the mystery. Suffice to say I have had a nice little run.
Not surprisingly, the more abstract style lent itself pretty well to more “mainstream” art and Futura showed work with the likes of Haring and Basquiat (both much better known). In more recent years you might have seen his work pop up in association with the band UNKLE.
One more thing before release notes. Here’s a video interview with Futura 2000 from what I have to assume is the early 80s:
Lot of backend work in this release. Big updates to the way we handle the bubbling up of stories to ensure that the most relevant results are always up top as well as some changes to the way we think about relating brands to their stream of recommended content that will allow us to be more flexible in the future. (Vague, I know, but there isn’t a lot of stuff in here that our customers can see quite yet.)
The other big part of this release is our new Demo. Lots of clients have been asking us to show them the system and we wanted to build an easy way for them to walk through the workflow on their own. The demo uses an imaginary soap brand (thanks for the naming help Leila) who want to promote their innovative design, packaging and green credentials across Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr as well as their own .com. The demo walks through how the company goes from calibration to actually curating a story that gets pushed out across platforms and then monitoring the performance of that post and adding new recommended sources back to the Tidy brew. Here’s a quick peak at one of the screens (specifically showing how posts get formatted when they’re pushed to social channels):
If you want to check out the demo yourself, just drop us a line.