Unconsumption logos — for you!

A few weeks back the Unconsumption team unveiled Mr. (or is it Ms.?) Cart — the official Unconsumption logo designed by Clifton Burt. Today we complete the visual identity by sharing the logo in its official word-mark version, plus official variations. See below. Actually you’re welcome to more than just see — as I’ll explain below.

In reactions to the original logo post, the idea emerged that Mr. Cart could be added, DIY-style, to existing garments or other objects, by way of stencil, screenprint, etc. We love the idea of Mr. Cart as a one-symbol stand-in for the idea of creative repurposing, smart consumption, and enjoyable upcycling.. Sprucing up something you own by “rebranding” it with our logo is a beautiful manifestation of the spirit of this project. So below the images, you’ll find our Creative Commons license. The upshot is you are welcome to borrow and remix our logo (in noncommercial manners).

Creative Commons License The Unconsumption Logo (“Mr. Cart”) by Clifton Burt / Unconsumption is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

New additions to the Unconsumption project

Go logo!

I haven’t mentioned the Unconsumption project all that much here lately, but the Unconsumption Tumblr continues to get more awesome, and its audience keeps growing as a result. Not only that, but super-excellent Unconsumptioneer Molly Block has made the @Unconsumption Twitter feed a fun, vibrant, useful, and fast-growing entity of its own.

And now I’m pleased to pass along two pieces of news.

  • First, we’ve added another contributor: Lee Sachs is a writer, user experience consultant, and filmmaker, in New York, NY. He is also the curator and creator of the always-entertaining Museum of Marketing Madness; check it out. In addition to contributing to our flagship Tumblr, he’s putting some fresh thought into what we can do improve the Unconsumption wiki. Stay tuned!
  • Second: We have a logo! Please meet (above) the symbol we have come to refer to amongst ourselves as Mr. Cart, created by Unconsumptioneer Clifton Burt, who is thoroughly wonderful. I’m really excited about this.

Now you might wonder: Why does Unconsumption need a logo? Are we opening a Zazzle shop or something? No. As I’ve said in the past, I consider the Unconsumption project to be in part an experiment in branding that is connected to a set of behaviors, instead of a line of products. In fact, I consider Unconsumption to be, in effect, the ultimate lifestyle brand: It’s just a lifestyle, one that does not require any set of buyable objects or services. But just because we aren’t selling anything doesn’t mean our “brand” can’t benefit from a visual identity-symbol. And now we have a great one!

I have a few thoughts about how to propagate such a symbol without advertising or selling merch, for the benefit of spreading the underlying idea(s). So stay tuned for that, too. If you have ideas about what a brand-with-no-products might do with its logo, please chime in, I’d love to hear. And of course, if you find value in the Unconsumption notion, help us spread the word.

Unconsumption update: On Twitter; also: beloved by Green Thing

1. Finally, @unconsumption is on Twitter. (Big thanks to @mollyblock for making it happen.)

2. Kind words from Do The Green Thing:

Green Thing can’t get enough of Unconsumption. … The Unconsumption Tumblr is a team effort involving several volunteer contributors and who share all kinds of interesting upcycled, recycled, reused, preloved goodness.

3. More in the works. Patience.

4. Please keep helping us spread the word. Thanks!

Unconsumption update

We’ve added a new member to the Unconsumption Tumblr team: “digital roustabout” Jaime Beckland, based in Portland, OR.

There will be more news on the Unconsumption front in the weeks ahead; stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you’ve never checked out the Tumblr, I beg you to gaze upon the archive. It’s amazing! I’m honored to work with this team of volunteer contributors. Seriously. It’s endlessly rewarding to me, and I hope you’ll find some inspiration there. And even if you have already checked it out, I dunno, tell a friend?

Unconsumption update

I’m pleased to say we’ve added another member to the Unconsumption Tumblr team: Molly Block, who describes herself as design-savvy marketing and business development geek, based in Houston. Speaking of Houston, those of you who know the Space City, and who are Foursquare users, ought to be mightily impressed to learn that she is also the “mayor” of the Rothko Chapel (among other spots). How cool is that?

I’d still be happy to have help on improving and beefing up the Unconsumption Wiki. Please get in touch if you’re interested.

Pictures of stuff, cont’d: Garbarge

By Arman. Click for more.

Via EverydayTrash. This is household trash, in a glass box, photographed by a French artist named Arman. More info here and here.

Mildly related: Justin Gignac’s garbage in a box.

This post is part of a series.

Pictures of stuff, cont’d: Throwaway wood art

Betty Parsons. Click for more.

A Betty Parsons piece made from “carpenters’ throwaways.” Via Junk Culture. Part of an occasional series.

Welcoming the new Unconsumption Tumblr contributors

The recent call for new contributors to the Unconsumption Tumblr has yielded some very fine results: Joining Steve Chaney, Tom Hosford, Brian W. Jones, and myself are:

  • Clifton Burt, graphic designer in Portland Oregon. His site is here.
  • Chelsea Rogers, art and design enthusiast and brand researcher in New York, NY. Her site is here.

They’ve already started adding items, and good ones, too.

Still sorting through some of the other replies and deciding whether to add one or two more folks, but I’m thrilled to be off and running with these new volunteers. As always if you have feedback about the Unconsumption Tumblr — what it needs more of, or less of — speak up. Below or at unconsumption @ gmail.com.

Want to contribute to the Unconsumption Tumblr? (Or wiki?)

As many of you already know, the Unconsumption Tumblr is a team effort involving several volunteer contributors. There’s me, of course, but also Steve Chaney, Tom Hosford, and Brian W. Jones. Two of the other participants, Amy Shaw and Andrew Whitelaw, had to drop out a few months back (which is totally understandable — everybody has a lot to do), and I’ve been meaning for a while to offer an invitation here:

If you know/like the Unconsumption Tumblr and want to join the team of contributors, drop me a line. Part of what makes the project fun for me isn’t just having yet another venue to put stuff out there, but also being surprised by what others find/encounter/post. I’d particularly love to hear from anybody who stays on top of the various eco blogs better than I do. (Side comment: For a visual taste of what we’ve been posting over the past year or so, check out using this Tumblr mosaic-viewer link. That’s a tool I just learned about this morning — very cool!)

On a related note, I’ve also been meaning to put out an open call for help on the related Unconsumption Wiki — that could definitely use some oversight and involvement by somebody with much better social-media-fu than I personally possess. We’ve had a bunch of people sign up (30 or 40 I think) but only a handful have contributed so far. So, yeah, some help there would be great if you have ideas.

–> If you’re interested in either please drop me a line at murketing [AT] robwalker [DOT] net. (It may take me a day or two to respond, but I will.)

In general the Tumblr links to and highlights stuff we find interesting, useful, admirable, or provocative, that’s somehow related to the unconsumption idea. Part of being a contributor is helping shape what that means, and where it goes. For those of you not familiar with this idea, here’s a quick recap of Unconsumption: Read more

Unconsumption at SXSW? Yes, but no.

I’m not at SXSW. And thus I’m rather surprised to have just encountered a Twitter hashtag, #unconsumption, tied to a panel, or maybe a presentation, that evidently occurred as part of that event, today. This was news to me! I looked it up and the panel is described here. The “organizer” is someone named Nita Rollins, who works for something called Resource Interactive. The summary given:

“Buy one, give one” isn’t a campaign for charity. It’s one facet of the massive values correction that recession-rewired consumers are making. Learn how the digital channel is driving the trend in consumer goods’ reuse and repurposing, and why brands should embrace unconsumption for both CSR and ecommerce initiatives.

People can do what they want, I guess, but I should probably go on record as saying that it sounds to me like this version of “unconsumption” has nothing to do with the Unconsumption project that I’m involved in. (You, or anybody planning to title a talk or panel with the word, can just Google “unconsumption” if you want more information about my claim on this concept.)

My view, for the record, is that brands can’t “embrace unconsumption.” The last thing in the world that I had in mind with the Unconsumption project was coming up with some sort of shorthand that would help companies move more newly manufactured branded units. The unconsumption idea isn’t meant for brands, or people who make a living by burnishing brands.

It’s meant for the rest of us.

Please check out the Unconsumption Tumblr for more, and consider contributing to the Unconsumption Wiki. Regarding the latter, it would be really great if it turned out that whoever this person is who gave a presentation all about unconsumption used the opportunity to promote this collaborative effort that could become a very useful resource to consumers, and prove beneficial to the greater good in the process. If that’s what happened, I’ll sure let  you know.

That is all.

In The New York Times Magazine: RePlayGround

Attracting consumers by educating them on the value of their junk

“A lot of what I do is rebrand garbage,” Tiffany Threadgould says. “It doesn’t have to have a nasty stigma to it.” Maybe it doesn’t have to, but it’s not exactly shocking that it does. Still, what Threadgould means is that she wants more of us to think about things before we throw them away — or rather what we might do with them instead.

Read the column in the September 27, 2009, New York Times Magazine, or here.

Discuss, make fun of, or praise this column to the skies at the Consumed Facebook page.

Unconsumption & music

Over on the Unconsumption Tumblr, contributor Tom Hosford has started a series of posts on music. Go here to check out what he’s added so far: The first post is a video featuring a band whose motto is “find something in the trash…plug it in.” Second a video of a drummer whose home-made (trash-heavy) kit is said to astound crowds on SF’s Embarcadero. And most recently, an interesting and somewhat mysterious set of pix called Trash Can Music.

And if you’ve yet to explore the Unconsumption Tumblr, now’s as good a time as any — lots of fun stuff gets added pretty much every day. Check it out.

Unconsumption update

The Unconsumption Tumblog: Still awesome.

And now: Beginnings of the unconsumption wiki. This is more oriented toward practical resources — links and tips for fixing it, making it last, repurposing it, getting rid of it responsibly. Whatever “it” may be.

Collaborators Tom Hosford, Andrew Whitelaw and I have made tentative first steps to rounding up & organizing such resources. But it’s a wiki, so it’s never too soon to say: HEY, get involved, chime in, add the resources and links that you know about. Here.

This will be exactly as useful as you can help us to make it. We value, appreciate, and need your input. Tell a friend, too.

Unconsumption: What do you know about wikis?

To follow up on yesterday:

What I would like to see happen next in the unconsumption project is the creation of an unconsumption wiki.

I envision it being a better version of this page I created a while ago — where I tried to roll up a lot of information about good ways to (responsibly, satisfyingly) get rid of used-up stuff of all kinds. I liked the idea of creating a resource, but it became really clear really quickly that it was impractical to do it the way I was trying to.

A wiki seems better because it wouldn’t depend on me — anybody could contribute and improve it and add to it at any time. I believe it could be a great source.

I don’t know anything about wiki creation, so my colleague Tom Hosford has looked into it a little bit (exploring options like Mediawiki; Wikia; PBwiki). But I’ll cut to the chase: We could use some help.

1. If you have an opinion about any of the wiki tools just mentioned, or others not mentioned, tell me.

2. Better: If you know (or want to learn) how to build a wiki and you want to get involved in this project, let me know.

Reach me here: murketing@robwalker.net.

Or if you know somebody who want to get involved, pass it along and have them get in touch.

I think this could be a really cool and useful thing, that would have a very positive impact. And I am willing to push, handle, and take responsibility for certain aspects of it — but only if I believe that others are really into it, too, and are willing to truly get involved.

So … I hope to hear from you!

Unconsumption: Thanks and like that.

Okay, so, the Unconsumption blog is awesome. I’ve gotten a number of very nice comments about it — thanks.

Although what’s even better than nice comments to me would be spreading the word. Blog/tweet/or actually talk about it, tell  your friends and your fans your followers, and like that. Thanks to those who have done so.

The contributing team is: Tom Hosford, college student & Murketing Organization intern, Long Island, NY; Andrew Whitelaw, branding/design strategist, Chicago, IL; Steve Chaney, industrial designer, Portland, OR; Kate Bingaman-Burt, artist and educator, Portland, OR; Amy Shaw, writer and curator, Brooklyn, NY; Rob Walker, journalist, Savannah, GA.

You should check it out.

Now, what’s next? Glad you asked!

I’ll tell you tomorrow.