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1

...by the definition of what spreadsheet is it can't be rethought. Spreadsheet is a tool for inserting data into tables. The closest thing to an alternative would be databases particularly on the front end so office workers are no longer visually seeing a table even though thats exactly what it is. In fact a buddy of mine started as a spreadsheet programmer ...


1

Spreadsheets are all 'basically the same' because it's a pretty basic construct. It's a table of numbers. A spreadsheet is a data tool. First and foremost, it's designed for data input and manipulation. It's been essentially the same since the beginning of GUIs--and even before that if you look at ledger books. That's not to say people haven't likely ...


3

Look back at the history of spreadsheets. This has been addressed in the past: Javelin Lotus Improv (v1 was for NeXTstep, v2 for Windows) --- review here: http://simson.net/clips/1991/1991.NW.Improv.html Flexisheet (this is moribund, but opensource) Quantrix Financial Modeller (still available) Basically, the improvement which is needed (and was ...


2

Psychological reactions to different colors were studied in multiple studies. In general Yellow and Blue are less "aggressive" than Red. Pastel hues seem to be relaxing as well. You can try to read abstracts in PubMed, I put here some excerpts from some of them. Child friendly colors in a pediatric dental practice (whole article) - "The use of child ...


4

There have been plenty of work in that area. That's where a majority of a graphic design student's time goes. Without getting too in-depth, here are a few resources to get you started: Color Theory Web Typography Basics Typography Theory All that being said, it will save you time and money to hire a classically-trained designer to answer a lot of ...


2

I've been tasked with designing a viral campaign You don't design a viral campaign. You design a good campaign, and then you hope it becomes popular enough that it's shared virally. So, the best you can do is design a good campaign that is tailored to the demographic you are after, make it easy for them to share, and then cross your fingers. Now, if ...


7

This is by no means objective research, and I haven't ever made a viral campaign. But I do follow the industry and I do participate on the Internet, so here are some elements of viral things to consider based on personal experience: Humor Things that are genuinely funny tend to spread. Of course humor is always debatable, but the original Old Spice viral ...


1

I'm afraid I cannot help for recent icons but for the historical part of your question, I have given a brief presentation about the history of pictograms before. Obviously, starting at the Egyptians may be a bit of a long shot depending on what you are trying to accomplish. I'd advise looking at the work of Gerd Arntz as a starting point. Gerd Arntz was ...


8

Ignoring the how old the onlooker might be, how high up, low down, indoors, artificial light or not, dark train stations, weather, is it a print sign or a screen, reflective road sign etc etc. There are a few tools that will help you calculate this, and there are some best practices. If you really want to get into this, your keyword will be signage. ...


6

There are too many variables for one answer. The first thing to evaluate is the typeface. If you are using a face designed for signage, the general references Ilan provided are probably roughly accurate. On the other hand, if you're working on a branded piece where the typography is part of a larger brand standard, you'll have to do your own research. The ...


3

It's always about the brand. What does the brand stand for in it's audience's mind? Is it offensive, irreverent, tasteless? Then you have to live up to that. Anything less wouldn't be true to their intended message. If you aren't comfortable with that type of material, you shouldn't be working with a brand that stands for it in the first place. Another ...


2

Purely from a graphic designer's POV, it's a decision that each designer has to make on their own based on the particulars of the given situation. In general, being offensive isn't a typical marketing strategy, though it does get used. You as a designer have to decide if you want to work on projects that are purposefully attempting to be offensive.


4

Great answers here, I just wanted to mention something that hasn't been raised yet (except in the question), and it's the matter of dignity. Humor, even if slightly offensive for a group or the other, is one thing. I love humor. Playing on people's weaknesses for the sake of profit is entirely different. I don't mind the 'colorful' Benetton ads, but I do ...


6

I second Emilie in saying that everything will offend someone somewhere. Personally, I am pretty sick of people finding offence left right and centre. Some people are looking for things that will get their knickers in a twist, and as Alan so elegantly points out: pleasing everyone ends up in the bland, the invisible and - at best - mediocre work. And ...


8

De gustibus non est disputandum applies. What is tasteless, like what is humorous (or not), varies with culture, fashion, sensitivities and the prevailing political climate. It is also a personal matter, so my answer is personal. Like anyone, I have my own views on what is acceptable. This isn't a matter of being snobbish; it's that I want to hang onto my ...


4

This is really Your Mileage May Vary, or in this case Your Audience's Mileage May Vary. What one audience thinks is tasteless is another audience's boring. The multi-racial family in the Cheerios ad, for example: in some corners of the U.S. it's shocking to the point of boycotting the cereal, in some areas the reaction is "Finally!", in some it's "huh? ...


2

I don't think it is marketing genius as you could get as much visibility with a great ad that is not tasteless. As for the calculation, I don't think there is a way to do the calculation by yourself, especially if you're not the target audience. Different target audience have different flexibility for humor, you likely won't have the same tolerance for ...



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