My Trip to Nashville

This past Christmas, I spent in Nashville, Tennessee with my mother and wife. What does this have to do with “Design Crack”? Nothing, really. But I am also a bit of a brand / branding addict, and I was amazed at some of the insane brand franchises that have managed to get space in my mother’s local mall. By the way, many of these brands may seem normal to some, but they are shocking to me as I come from a relatively brand free environment. I present to you a few pictures which I will now comment on:

This is a franchise oxygen bar which I am sure was originally intended to be a “hip” and “trendy” place to go and refresh the mind while listening to cool music. What I found interesting is that the majority of customers were not hipsters at all but were wheelchair bound invalids in dire need of oxygen. I’m guessing these people were just enjoying the opportunity to get their regular oxygen tanks infused with raspberry mist.

John Deere

This sign says “John Deere Toys Clothes and Gifts” . They definitely do have a fine selection, and their brand logo and color palette is quite appealing. But the thing I’m not fully getting is that John Deere makes great tractors and farm equipment. They are not known for their awesome T-shirts or wicker baskets (which are made in China, incidentally). So, what does it say about those who display the John Deere brand yet have never even seen a tractor in their life? It says: ” I’m a fucking fake.” … but that’s just my opinion.

Bible Factory Outlet

The Bible Factory Outlet. I didn’t realize there were so many different flavors of the bible to create a whole book store for one piece of text let alone a whole factory outlet. It’s kinda neat actually that people have so much faith. I take a different way of looking at it. The bible is the best selling text in the world that is not copyrighted… and I was thinking of designing a really well designed, cool bible (which this store had none) , and selling it to people concerned with design. I think there is a lot of potential here.
The Aquarium

“Aquarium: An Underwater Dining Adventure.” It was a pretty awesome meal, actually because we could press ourselves next to the glass of this massive aquarium and watch the sharks swimming around with the mantas as we ate our burgers. This franchise has some hope for the entertainment challenged.Personally, I like to make things when I’m bored, but I got the impression most Nashvillians prefer to get fat as they watch fish.

I thought a great deal of Starbucks’ appeal was supposed to be that you get to sit in an urban-ish cafe with a bunch of strangers and feel like you are in Paris. Not anymore. Now, you can keep human interaction down to a minimum and still get caffinated. Good job Starbucks for ruining cafe culture. Good job.
Jockey Stencil

I threw this one in because I am a graffiti addict and this happened to be in a parking lot in Nashville. It has to be one of the finest stencil artworks I’ve seen in a long, long time. It gives me hope.

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