Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The medium is the message: a communication and graphics designer's work takes word play to a whole new level

Talk BackWe are bombarded by advertisements daily. On television, radio, in newspapers and magazines. On billboards, posters, handbills, and transit ads on buses. Even, perish the thought, on the Internet.

Loud, aggressive, and in your face, these messages overwhelm our private and public spaces. And the conversation is unmistakably one-sided.

Enter graphic designer, artist, and communication expert Ji Lee. One time a creator of these ads, Ji became quickly frustrated by their limitations. Seeking a way to transform these corporate monologues into public dialogues, he launched the Bubble Project. He created 20,000 blank speech bubbles with adhesive backs and placed them on ads around New York. The public responded and began filling in these bubbles.

The results can be seen on the Bubble Project web site. (Warning: not all bubbles are workplace- or kid-appropriate. The goal was to provide opportunity for dialogue, although not necessarily the noble and exalted kind. For a profanity-free sampling of images, you can visit the web site for the Bubble Project book, Talk Back.)

To learn more, read the Bubble Project's manifesto.