Friday Fives, Vol. 188
This week we’re making an account on a botanist-friendly social media platform, buying a useless but cute Amazon robot, and repping our favorite food brands in our wardrobes.
A new plant-based social media app is sprouting. PlantLife, as the name suggests, is a social media app and community for everyone, from proud plant parents to casual fern enthusiasts. This new niche network will be a place for people to share tips, ask questions, post videos to an endless scrolling TikTok-style video feed, and show off the plant babies they’re so proud to have raised. They’re even reaching out to “plantfluencers” on other social platforms to help PlantLife grow. Hopefully, an app that’s hyper-targeted can live longer than half the plants we’ve tried to keep alive over the years.
Google Lens is adding a layer, or in reality, dozens of AI-powered layers, to their image search functionality. The new feature allows you to ask questions based on images. For example, let’s say you have a photo of Danny Devito saved on your phone because let’s be honest, who doesn’t? But today, for whatever reason, you can’t remember who he is. With Google Lens, you can upload that photo by simply asking, “Who is this?” And, Google Lens would tell you. It would probably say something like, “This is Danny Devito, American Actor, and national treasure.” It can also find look-alikes, do plant identification, and even translations. Wild stuff!
Remember when you were a kid and you had a toy robot that could light up, move, and even say a catchphrase? It was amazing. You loved it, but it didn’t really do anything. That basically describes Amazon’s new home robot, Astro. Astro is a two-wheeled, two-foot-tall box with a touchscreen for a face. It roams around your house, like a Roomba, using motion sensors and scanners to navigate, but unlike a Roomba, it doesn’t clean. It has no specific function other than being adorable and having Alexa’s features. Astro costs $1,000 and will surely get more features in the future. And, we’re just hoping one of them isn’t a strong urge to eliminate humanity and spark the robotic uprising.
If it feels like every food brand is coming out with apparel these days, you’re not wrong. Oscar Mayer and Panera Bread are the latest players in this food space to release a line of clothing. Leaning into the absurdity of this trend, Oscar Mayer named their line “Street Meat,” with Panera Bread coming in with an equally strong “Swim Soup” pun. Fashion has been a brilliant way for heritage food brands to enter pop culture. These tasty looks often sell out fast, so they must be working on some level. Someone let us know when they release a Taco Bell snuggie.
There are some logos we see so often that we can often picture what they look like with our eyes closed. McDonald’s. Starbucks. Apple. For TikTok design-fluencer Emily Zugay, that was a terrible thing, mostly because she, at least for the purposes of a hilarious TikTok comedy routine, finds many of them to be awful — so she redesigned them. Her redesigns are still awful but in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way. Her new logos, and her rationale for making them, are a direct criticism of the logo creation process, and the discourse about what makes a logo great. Zugay’s work was so popular that McDonald’s even changed their social media profile picture to feature her brave, bold, and powerful work. Emily, if you’re reading this, we’d love to know what you think of our logo. Please be gentle.
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