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Journal

From the desk of Crush & Lovely.

  • The New Rules of Dating

    Ah, love. Romance, courtship, and relationships have always reflected society in a brutally honest way. A lot has changed over the years, and modern love is no exception to strange customs and rituals. We took a look at the current love landscape to define the New Rules of Dating worth falling for.

  • Pursuing Personal Perfection

    Nobody’s perfect -- but apparently, we’d all like to be. Our society’s obsession with self-improvement has become almost ubiquitous; in 2015, 94% of millennials reported making personal improvement commitments. Now, the self-improvement industry has ballooned, valued at $11B. And although millennials make half as much money as older generations, they’re spending twice as much as them on self-improvement (upwards of $300 a month) for methods ranging from the minor to the extreme to the bizarre. We’ve decided we are our own most important investment. Why are we so dissatisfied with our ourselves?

  • Fashion Week: Diversity Rises

    Fashion Week has descended upon New York, bringing with it flocks of peacocks, head-turning models, and perhaps surprisingly, a new era of technology and social activism.

    Perhaps because fashion has long been considered a shallow and vapid industry, it’s taking steps to regain favorability and relevance in society. A tumultuous political climate has put pressure on the industry to step out of its elite shadows and make its powerful and influential voice heard. And in an age where feedback from the public is vocal and omnipresent, the fashion industry has come under a lot of fire for issues like body shaming, appropriation, and inappropriate images.

    This perfect storm has culminated in New York Fashion week. As Heidi Klum likes to remind us, in fashion, one week you’re in and the next you’re out. So what’s in -- and out -- at NYFW this year?

  • Privacy in the Digital Age

    We vehemently defend the concept of our privacy, yet give it up so easily. The Patriot Act paved the way for patriotism to be equated with the government invading our privacy, and now people joke about the NSA listening in on our phone conversations. We gripe about ‘big data’ listening to us constantly, collecting data on everything from our favorite gossip website to where we’re thinking about taking our next vacation.

    Yet we painstakingly record every detail of our lives on social media, where our digital behaviors are sold to the highest bidder, and we invite smart devices into our homes to constantly listen to us. So do we truly have any privacy today? Do we even want it?

  • The Digital Dark Age: A Case for Saving Our Selifes

    If you worry about future generations finding photos of you during your Kardashian contouring phase, take heart. Such incriminating photos will likely be forgotten as we enter a potential ‘digital dark age’ -- a period in which the digital records of our entire generation are lost and forgotten by future historians. The phenomenon represents an irony inherent to modern technology: because we digitize our photos, music, films -- and even official documents such as court rulings -- to store them safely for long-term survival, we could actually be making ourselves more vulnerable to losing our information.

  • Handling Cultural Clashes

    A wise man once said he does not discuss three things with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.

    Americans are no more polarized today than they were 60 years ago. Be it religion, politics, sports teams, or the oxford comma, people have always found contention among one another. But in our particular day in America, the climate is particularly heavy with cultural conflict. With arguments erupting constantly on social media and hot button issues being echoed even in TV commercials, it feels like there’s no shortage of opportunities to clash over differing viewpoints. We think people should be equipped with the proper knowledge and tools to handle cultural conflicts as they emerge; we have a lot to learn from psychologists, diplomats, negotiators, human relations officers, and other professional fields.

  • Back-To-School: It's Not Easy Being Teen

    Ah, back-to-school. A time when kids weep, parents quietly rejoice, and brands rush to fill the void with new products. If it’s been awhile since you’ve ended a summer by picking out some sick new notebooks, here’s the 411: school is way different than you remember.

    How much has technology penetrated the classroom? What’s even cool, anyway? And how are brands getting in on the action? How are schools teaching the next generation to think and solve problems? And do kids still walk to school uphill both ways? We may not remember trigonometry, but we can still count -- so here’s a rundown of back-to-school by the numbers.

  • Artificial Intelligence: The Debate

    Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are both considered visionaries, yet are often pitted against each other as competitors. Both work closely with artificial intelligence, making them well qualified to state opinions on the matter. But last week, a barbed exchange between the two men sparked the nerdiest gossip mill ever, and set off a large scale debate of whether AI is a technology to fear and control, or if it is a key part of our success moving forward.

    The debate took on new meaning (one could almost hear the chorus of ‘I told you so’) when two Facebook AI bots started chatting in a newly devised language. As many people joked about it being the sign that Skynet was becoming a reality, the debate intensified over whether or not AI is to be trusted. Is AI our friend or foe?

  • Better Team Dynamics

    Today, teams are more important than ever. One study, published in The Harvard Business Review last year, found that at many companies, more than three-quarters of an employee’s day is spent communicating with colleagues. And thanks to the psychologists, statisticians, and sociologists working across academic and corporate spaces, there is perpetually new data about everything from email patterns to team compositions (Google’s People Operations department even explored how often certain people eat together).

  • Swallowing a Dose of Reality

    What is it that makes reality television so incidiniarily, hair-grabbingly, #!@&* popular? Unlike other forms of entertainment, it creates characters that are larger than life and transcend screens (as well as the limits of syndicated airtime) to the point where it’s impossible to tell where the TV reality ends and true reality begins. But the most compelling and enduring factor behind reality TV’s success is its inextricable link with human nature. It exposes how endlessly curious we are about each other, and the hours we’re willing to spend lost in someone else’s world. We look for an escape from our own lives, but we also look for ourselves in the experiences of others. And the most dangerous part is, unlike scripted content, we can all too easily believe it’s all real.

  • DISRUPTORS ARE INTERRUPTING THE --

    Every time a person starts a sentence with “Back in my day…” Elon Musk wipes away tears of laughter with his solar-powered handkerchief. Okay, so we can’t prove that’s true, but it’s abundantly clear that ‘disruptive’ companies like Tesla are doing more than interrupting; they’re here to stay. Companies like Casper, insurance provider Lemonade, Amazon, Venmo, Blue Apron (to name a few) run the gamut of industry and consumer needs, but all are wildly successful in challenging the traditional structure of massive, crowded industries. Their uses range from the mundane — figuring out the bill on an awkward date or grabbing a car when the thought of the subway in July is unbearable — to the spectacular (like who wants to coordinate rock club when we all live on Mars). But regardless of the flashiness of their utility, these new companies aren’t just successful; they’re adored by consumers.

  • Mommy Dearest

    The role of women in the workplace is constantly scrutinized and debated. Stay at home and lose your career, or continue working a corporate job and abandon your motherly duties? Lean in? Sell out? While everyone and their mother debates how women should identify, moms have been redefining what ‘work’ really means to them.

  • Brands, Be Brave

    Sooner or later, in this world, a media maker will cross paths with a brand. This brand will have a message that it would like to express to society and more often than not, it seems as if online video is increasingly the form of choice. We media makers will generally oblige the form without question, and perhaps because the money is simply there. But in retrospect, how well do we serve a message and really maximize it within a given form?

  • Ready to Begin Again

    As the years pass by and the projects pass with them, we're reminded to take a moment to revisit and reflect.

    We asked ourselves this question: how can we present a glimpse of where we're going through a collection of past imagery that speaks to where we've been?

    The resulting short isn't a conventional commercial 'reel' as it doesn't attempt to dazzle, nor does it present a full visual menu of our production capabilities. Instead, this piece exists as a simple gift from us to you –– a snapshot of our recent travels, a marker in our path as visual storytellers, and an encouraging refrain as spring draws near:

    I'm ready to begin again, looking fresh and bright I trust.
    Ready to begin again, as everybody must.

    - Peggy Lee

  • Meet Amaro: An Open-Source iOS Boilerplate

    I write software. Until recently, saying that in public garnered only confused looks. At best I might have gotten a hesitant, "So you make things like Word?" But a few years ago, reactions started to shift. Now the most common response runs something like "Oh! I have an idea for an app!" Love it or hate it, there's no denying that the iPhone has drastically changed how the world perceives and consumes software.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Decorators

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Decorators.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Policy Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Policy Objects.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: View Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about View Objects.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Query Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Query Objects.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Form Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Form Objects.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Service Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Service Objects.

  • 7 Patterns to Refactor JavaScript Applications: Value Objects

    On October 17, 2012, Bryan Helmkamp, founder of Code Climate, wrote a blog post outlining 7 patterns to refactor fat ActiveRecord models in Ruby on Rails. Here at Crush & Lovely, this post is a core reference for all Rails developers on how to separate concerns, write modular, concise and expressive code, and make testing exceedingly simple.

    This series of posts demonstrates these concepts in the JavaScript environment; they are no less applicable to data models in JavaScript, and are equally as valuable. Each week, one of the seven patterns will be explained. This week, we'll be talking about Value Objects.

  • Think Again: "Interactive"

    What does it really mean to be "interactive" today?

    As a term so popular and overused in the past decade of media, the meaning of "interactive" has arguably settled into a very weak state. Mention of the word during conference calls and weekly meetings might trigger our brain to immediately think of "interactive" as something like this:

    The ability of an online viewer-user to click a button, or swipe a screen, and in return, receive some form of content (insofar as the occasional ad).

    While that which the popular word triggers might technically be true, it is incomplete. It sputters out. It resembles a very weak form of what is ultimately a potent word worth reinvigorating for future creators and consumers of interactive objects or experiences.

    Let us think again on what interactivity is, and perhaps, capable of being.

    If you have a dictionary handy, then grab it, follow along, and unearth for yourself the root meanings of "inter-" and "active."

    If you really want to come along for the ride, then listen to this as you read.

  • Keep Going

    One thousand people have seen Unsung, and this thrills me. I'm not naive. I understand how online traction is conventionally measured.

    Consider this: our hunger for big, fast numbers has become the digital world's number one killer, its heart attack. Why? Because every day, the plug is pulled on wonderful online experiences, either through a full shutdown (death) or acquisition (akin to death) when the people who created these experiences feel that they just don't have the numbers to stay the course. You don't always need numbers, though, not right away. What you need is patience and discipline by the mile. And yet, we seem to have taken to counting by the inch.

  • Unsung

    "I don't know how it will be in the years to come. There are monstrous changes taking place in the world, forces shaping a future whose face we do not know. […] At such a time it seems natural and good to me to ask myself these questions.

    What do I believe in? What must I fight for and what must I fight against?

    Our species is the only creative species, and it has only one creative instrument, the individual mind and spirit of a man. […] And this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world."

    John Steinbeck, East of Eden

  • Lost and Found

    Part 1: The art of getting lost is almost lost.

    I get lost all the time. On my better days, I get lost intentionally. Lost can be much more than a step in the wrong direction or an act of aimless wandering. Lost is not necessarily dumb, blind, confused, or misguided. Lost is not a ship without a rudder. Surely, to be lost should not imply that one is forgotten, and it should never be mistaken for mere absence.

  • Four Things I've learned About Business from Watching The West Wing

    1. Learn how to argue about business with coworkers without it affecting your emotions

    Embedded content: https://www.youtube.com/embed/-vl9WfOdSkM

    As I've mentioned in a previous post, I'm a professional saxophone player. When I was in college working towards my Bachelor of Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Media—a fancy name for something that doesn't mean a whole lot—at Eastman School of Music, there was a rebirth of how creativity was being sought after in the jazz world. Previously, many musicians had experimented with drugs to spark creativity or to reach the inner depths of their minds. However, for my generation it was exactly the opposite - healthy eating, exercise and natural meditation. An interesting result of this new practice, at least between my friends and me, was the inability to confront each other when we had a disagreement. Passive-aggressiveness became prominent and being overly nice, to the point of sometimes being fake or telling white lies, was the standard.

  • Disconnecting to Reconnect

    I spend the majority of my days looking at screens—my laptop, phone, iPad, and television. This has become the norm for my generation, not to mention the generations born after us who will never know life without iPhones, iPads, and similar devices. Last week, after completing a milestone for one of our client projects, I decided to take a long weekend away from New York City and ostensibly, away from screens.

  • Fender Benders

    Robert Moses applied his talent for making things, giant things, with a prolific brute force still evident today from almost any vantage point in New York City. Everything he engineered exacted his vision for the modern city, an ethos anchored by his firm placement of a virtual crown of sorts atop the king of 20th century affluence and mobility—the automobile.

  • Lessons With Longevity: What I Learned From Design School

    As the youngest member of the Crush & Lovely team and a recent design school graduate, it's sometimes hard not to feel like a gangly newborn giraffe, fumbling around on legs I'm not yet sure how to use. I'm far from home—home being Texas—but despite feeling slightly displaced, I'm enjoying the transition into studio life. And although college has ended for me, there are a few important lessons from design school that have gracefully carried over into this new chapter of my life:

  • The Car Goes Where the Eyes Go

    Crush & Lovely is quickly approaching its 10 year anniversary. Looking back, I realize that there have been very distinct phases of our business. We began working solely with artists and musicians, helping them to promote their careers; then we became the digital arm of a few traditional advertising agencies; and in the past five years, we have been 99% direct to client. Throughout the years, we've worked with our clients to establish meaning and connection in everything we create together.