The Age of Hard and Soft: Creative Review Craft and Tech

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No it's not photoshop. This cover by Ashley Bishop of the Brilliant Sign Company is etched glass photographed byTrevor Benyon.

No it’s not photoshop. This cover by Ashley Bishop of the Brilliant Sign Company is etched glass photographed by Trevor Benyon.

The November issue of Creative Review samples the ongoing craft trend, looking at creatives striking out into new areas

Our readers will have kept track of the ‘Craft’ trend in image-making and usage as we explored Provenance over the last year, so it was great to see the November issue of Creative Review investigating some great examples of craft-making and in their feature on Altered States looking at the relationship between the digital and the physical.

Google Glass

And the multi-layered story of Hiut jeans which tracks a unique transition in making and customer experience from the industrial to the post-industrial, from the mass production of physical objects to a moment where these objects, things have value because of the stories attached to them. The Hiut “History Tag” enables the wearer to log/upload life experiences associated with wearing these jeans.

Hiutt Jeans

Kind of like Our Song but with trousers. This explanation is from the Hiut website, whose content, photography and tone of voice is an extraordinary vision of how to engage people as people first and customers second.

“It’s super simple. Each jean will come with a unique number. Your unique number. You go to the HistoryTag website and register. That’s it.

Then you can upload pictures of where you went, what you did, who you did it with…to the HistoryTag website.

So those memories get saved. Not a big deal right now. But when you look back, it will become a big deal.

And yes, the History Tag is a bit like a blank iPod, but as you add more and more music it becomes more and more interesting. Or in our case, the more memories you add to it, the more fascinating it becomes.

So if in the future, your jeans get handed down, or end up in a second hand jeans shop, their memories will go along with them.”

Hiutt Detail

It does address some of the questions raised by Brendan Dawes in his interview around memory. Founder David Hieatt gave a talk at the Authenticity event at the Point last year, and while ‘Authenticity’ has clearly been a commercial trend over the last decade, the problem with it is that it is a conversation-stopper – for each brand there’s always a specific need Authenticity is responding to in advertising or branding projects. In Hiut jeans, the ‘Authenticity’ of the company’s roots and mode of production, disguised a couple of more innovative trends – how consumer products are transformed into personal things through a web of storytelling relationships and archives.

It’s also a different way of designing the idea of Sustainability into the product and getting a customer becomes a virtuous circle of business Sustainability. It’s not that the age of the Hard Sell has disappeared, its just that smart brands understand the longer sustainable game of the Soft Sell.

Flynn Larsen / Cultura RM

Flynn Larsen / Cultura RM

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