Weekend reading list – week of July 25, 2016

July 29, 2016

Each week, we share the top five articles that caught our attention. Here are your must-reads, published here and abroad, for the week of July 25th 2016.

Cuteness sells
Kumamon is an irresistibly cute bear mascot created for promoting tourism in Kumamoto, an overlooked area of Japan. The mascot has been so successful that revenues from tourism in the region have significantly increased since the start of the campaign. Many researchers have been trying to understand the phenomenon. Why is it so hard to resist things that are cute? Does cuteness sell?
Read it on theThe Guardian Pocket

For everything else, there’s MasterCard
When 2.3 billion people recognize a brand’s logo, why would you risk changing it? Liz Stinson, writer and lover of all things design, explains the reasoning behind Mastercard’s new logo, designed by Michael Bierut and Luke Hayman.
Read it on Wired Pocket

The interface of the future
Technology has always acted as a go-between for humans and their environment, and over time, technology has improved to better serve those who use it. However, even today, humans and computers are capable of accomplishing much more than what the interface between them allows. Why is there still so much left to improve and what will come after the touch screen?
Read it on The Atlantic Pocket

ELLE and the politics of the magazine cover
For its August cover, fashion magazine ELLE featured FKA twigs, a black female singer. One of the titles next to her reads “Becky Who? It’s going to be YOU with the good hair”. Editor-at-large Melissa Harris-Perry explains the communication challenge of this particular cover: some of the members of the ELLE team only see a reference to a Beyoncé song, while others see a problematic association between a white woman’s hair (Becky) and the image of the black singer. Misunderstanding, miscommunication, or deep-rooted political issue?
Read it on ELLE Pocket

Achieving your wildest tech dreams
In order to promote critical thinking and offer better access to technology, Neil Gershenfeld, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has opened more than a thousand creative labs around the world. In Montreal, échoFab (one of these numerous labs) has been welcoming makers, geeks, and passionate innovators since 2011. Is Quebec ready to move towards this type of collaborative economy?
Read it on Le Devoir (French only) Pocket

Are foodies losing faith in big companies?
Consumers are more conscious of what’s in their food than ever before, but they are also turning away from extreme diets so they can enjoy a range of options, according to the latest Havas Prosumer Report. Zeb Barrett, VP of strategy at Havas Worldwide Canada, explains how Canadian respondents differ from global participants.
Read it on Strategy Online Pocket

In your earbuds: Heroine
Renowned designer and author Maria Molfino produces a podcast series about the creativity, leadership, and know-how of women. Every week, the host interviews a guest from an innovative professional field in order to debunk myths of overnight success and provide moral support to listeners looking to build their own creative confidence.
Listen to it on Itunes

This week’s favourite thing
In 1974, CBC/Radio-Canada unveiled a new logo created by Canadian designer Burton Kramer. As a tribute and celebration of the image, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to create a limited edition reproduction of Kramer’s Standards Manual! Design enthusiasts and Canadian culture junkies, here’s your chance to own a true gem!