Welcome To Friday Fives, Vol. 285

The Working Assembly
4 min readJan 19, 2024

This week, we’re nerding out over new tech, mourning the death of the internet, listing our 2024 ins and outs, getting emotional about typefaces, and quenching our thirst with a Stanley “Quencher.”

(THEVERGE.COM)

The Year of Gadgets and Gizmos

If you’ve ever seen the films WALL-E or Big Hero 6, Samsung’s new rolling projector robot, Ballie, may look a bit familiar. This adorable little fella was only one of the many gadgets showcased at CES 2024, an iconic event that highlights the latest tech and most interesting inventions. What can we look forward to seeing in the coming years? From the more cheeky and silly, like a vertical record player or an AI backpack à la Dora the Explorer’s talking friend, to the more essential and humanitarian like the GyroGlove, an apparatus meant to stabilize hands for those with tremors, the tech world is certainly not dry of ideas.

(WIRED.COM)

Another One Bytes the Dust

The internet is dying. Or at least, the internet that millennials once knew. The online landscape of the early 2010s was a strange, communal hub for sleazy pop culture tidbits, niche interests of the young, and endless listicles. I mean, who of us is not guilty of taking a nowhere-near accurate, and often puzzling, Buzzfeed quiz? But as more and more outlets, from Vice to Jezebel, have downsized, fired staff, or shut down for good in the years since, what is left now to take their place? Well, it’s the 15 seconds of a TikTok, the fleeting rush of a good tweet, the next shiny replaceable new thing.

(NYTIMES.COM)

In: Making In-and-Out Lists for 2024

This year, the internet said “hello 2024” and “goodbye New Year’s resolutions.” It opted for the less personal, more niche, and almost always humorous lists of “Ins and Outs,” a trend that swept TikTok and Instagram feeds in the days before and after New Year’s. The lists often highlight much of the current cultural zeitgeist, whether it be through fashion ins (capris, apparently), lifestyle outs (quiet luxury), or even cocktail ins (espresso martinis, of course). While the lists are not based on data or evidence, they sure are fun. Data is “out” this year, anyway.

(MONOTYPE.COM)

Times New Roamin’

You might think that a polarizing typeface, such as Comic Sans, is universally derided for its uncouth kitschiness. Yet according to a new study Typography Matters, your reaction to a font depends on where you live. For example, people living in the U.S., U.K., and Australia all respond more positively to typefaces with bold, distinct characters. Whereas the French, Portuguese, and Spanish tend to love timeless, classic serifs, like Cotford. Next time you’re choosing a font, consider not only its placement on an ad but where that ad lives on the globe.

(VOX.COM)

What’s in Your Cup?

Let’s talk about the big, beautiful, highly coveted metal goblet known as the Stanley Cup. No, not the prize awarded to the NHL’s champion. We’re talking about a stylish mug that went from $73 million in revenue in 2019 to $750 million in 2023. How did a 111-year-old company with blue-collar roots become the drinking vessel of choice amongst young women? Two main factors come into play. The first is WaterTok, a niche community that emphasizes hydration as a key to health and happiness. The more obvious reason for Stanley’s success is aesthetics. With seasonal drops and an evergreen lineup of alluring colors, Stanley forged ahead of Hydro Flasks and swiped S’well bottles out of the way. TL;DR — if it looks good, people will buy it.

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The Working Assembly

NYC branding agency exploring the intersection of art, design, technology and culture. Partnering with emerging and evolving brands.