Every Friday we highlight five things we have on our radar that we think should be on yours, too.

Today is the final day to cast your vote for possible sessions at The One Club’s 2019 Creative Summit!

Follow this link to show some love for our session, “Designing for a Brand’s Inflection Point” with Jolene Delisle and Lawrence O’Toole, located on page two within the Design category. ✨

Here’s this week’s Friday Fives.

No fools allowed
It’s that time of year again — the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and America’s most hated holiday is lurking just around the corner. April Fools cynics everywhere are busily arming themselves with a heavy layer of skepticism in preparation for whatever tricks Silicon Valley has up its sleeve come Monday morning. This year, we have some surprisingly serious (and surprisingly good) news — Microsoft, as it turns out, hates April Fools Day as much as the rest of us. In an internal memo, Microsoft employees were warned against taking part in any form of public-facing festivities. This statement (immediately following Clippy’s short-lived resurrection), makes sense given the tech industry’s repertoire of backfiring stunts. We may have one less potential pranker to worry about this year, but we’ll still be keeping our eyes peeled for the digitally amiss on April 1st. 👀 — LK

Can we afford to be unplugged?
For the wealthiest tier of Americans, each day is a new opportunity to showcase their status through the latest designer trends — expensive skincare products, exotic vacations, and now a new, more surprising luxury good: human contact. Wealthy parents are buying their children blocks instead of iPads, tech-free private schools are booming, and each day more celebrities are “unplugging” from Instagram and Twitter. Conspicuously tech-free choices that just a few years ago would have inspired a mass-panic among social elites (like taking a hiatus from your email inbox), are now considered a status symbol. As more and more services are automated through apps and websites, human interaction has become a novel (and more expensive) option — one that rich people are willing to pay for. Gone are the tech-crazed days of the first big PC boom when having a pager was the *height* of cool, (R.I.P. 1980s) — the modern idea of luxury is looking much different, at least for those with the resources to afford it. — KJ

Taking stock of representation
As any designer can tell you, good stock photos are few and far between. When it comes to representations of trans and gender non-binary people, the quest for a quality image becomes virtually impossible. To combat this issue, Vice Media’s feminist channel Broadly has now launched their own public stock photo library of gender-inclusive images. Titled The Gender Spectrum Collection, it aims to offer greater representation of a group that is wildly underserved in commercial photography while avoiding overused stereotypes that are commonly associated with depictions of trans and non-binary people in media. Better yet, the collection is free for public use! We still have a long way to go in the journey towards truly gender-inclusive representation, but it’s refreshing to see a media platform begin to break down these boundaries and stereotypes. 👊 — AH

No fees, no gimmicks, no escape from Apple

You purchase Apple products, you subscribe to Apple services, and now Apple wants you to pay for it all with your very own Apple credit card. Introduced this week, the new Apple Card works directly through Apple Pay or through a this stylish, precision-made titanium card. Sporting added security features like no credit card or CVV number (because no one can steal what isn’t there) and the ability to track suspicious payments on a map, Apple is trying to make the credit card experience simpler and less daunting for Gen Z-ers, Millennials, anyone else who might be new to this whole “you-gotta-spend-money-to-prove-you-can-spend-money” credit score thing. Time will tell whether or not the card lives up to the hype, but one thing is for sure — Apple sure knows how to gain interest in their products. — MC

By now, we’re all *very* familiar with the flaming disaster that was 2018’s Fyre Festival. With two documentaries now streaming and endless media coverage, the festival has become a household name and cautionary tale of what happens when FOMO and deception meet. Now, this Fast Company interview brings us new insight from Oren Aks, the design and branding mastermind who helped make it all happen. Given the scale of the disaster, Aks’ strategy was clearly effective — to brand the festival as the ultimate fantasy for the aspiring influencer, targeting the elites of Instagram who crave nothing more than pristine beaches packed with bikini-clad, Coachella-ready women and opulent dinners that cost more than a month’s rent in Williamsburg. In an era where brand image reigns supreme, Aks’ work underlines the role design can play in selling nearly anything — and the ethical problems involved when it does. — KJ

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