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Creating Great Analog Souvenirs for a Digital Era


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Slidedeck from Ryan Bigge’s March 11, 2013 talk at SXSW about analog souvenirs and physidigital objects:

“Online and offline worlds are now melting together. But life in the cloud lacks the permanence of paper, which is why we’re starting to lose significant emotional moments in the digital ether. In response, artists and brands are creating analog souvenirs. Learn how to convert fleeting texts and tweets into physidigital keepsakes through a mix of research, design thinking and creative inspiration.”

Audio for presentation available at

Ryan Bigge is a Content Strategist at Nurun Toronto. He blogs about analog souvenirs at

Published in: Technology

Creating Great Analog Souvenirs for a Digital Era

  1. 1. HELLO, SXSW Creating Great Analog Souvenirs for a Digital Era Ryan Bigge March 11, 2013@biggeidea
  2. 2. Can I borrow a feeling? Every great analog souvenir should evoke an emotional response or meet an emotional needVisit for image sources
  3. 3. Evan Roth solitaire.exeWindows 98
  4. 4. Instaprint
  5. 5. Photoshop in real life
  6. 6. Alan Belcher
  7. 7.
  8. 8. Let me clarify…physidigital is a physical manifestation ofa digital experience
  9. 9. Let me clarify…physidigital is a physical manifestation ofa digital experienceanalog souvenirs are a specific type ofphysidigital object or experience
  10. 10. TomHaverford’sreal lifePinterestboard(Season 5 Episode 4 ofParks and Recreation)
  11. 11. old is the new new“The future of interactivity involves a picture of ahamburger on a corkboard.” –Ryan Bigge
  12. 12. old is the new new“The future of interactivity involves a picture of ahamburger on a corkboard.” –Ryan Bigge“The next decade is going to be about healing thedigital-physical divide by pulling bits back into theworld of atoms.” –Wired
  13. 13. The plan•  Why are analog souvenirs so popular?•  Philosophical and artistic motivations•  Personal tips and insights•  Using analog souvenirs to drive retail innovation
  14. 14. Analog souvenirsWhy so popular?
  15. 15. Pantonecalendar
  16. 16. fizzydigitalphysidigital sounds like fizzy digital
  17. 17. fizzydigitalphysidigital sounds like fizzy digitalfizzy digital fuzzy digital
  18. 18. dematerialization All that is solid melts into zeros and ones
  19. 19. rematerialization
  20. 20. Facebook’sanalog lab
  21. 21. Analog souvenirsA bit of theory
  22. 22. PolaroidCacher
  23. 23. “Beautiful as the chance meeting on a dissectingtable of a sewing machine and an umbrella.”
  24. 24. Hybrid thoughts•  Dada collage•  Surrealism•  Druids vs. Engineers (Paul Saffro)•  Nathan Jurgenson vs. IRL Fetish•  Reverse skeuomorph
  25. 25. SXSW 2013 comrades•  The Paradox of the Cloud•  Digital Reality: Life in Two Worlds•  Re-imagining Toys: Merging the Physical and Digital•  Physical and Digital Collide: Retail Rewired•  Embracing Analog: Why Physical is Hot•  Are You a Digital Hoarder?•  Analogue Anonymous Meetup
  26. 26. Analog souvenirsWhat I’ve learned
  27. 27.
  28. 28.
  29. 29. MakerFaireToronto2011
  30. 30. The Brototypes: Ryan Bigge Ron Wild Dylan Reibling Edwin Lara
  31. 31. Lymbix emotes •  Affection •  Enjoyment •  Amusement •  Contentment •  Sadness •  Anger •  Fear •
  32. 32. physical manifestation ofdigital experience 1.0Photo courtesy of
  33. 33. physical manifestation ofdigital experience 2.0Photo courtesy of
  34. 34. behold txt2holdPhoto courtesy of
  35. 35. Lesson #1Do your research
  36. 36. Sweet emotion•  Baby announcements•  Birthday wishes•  Romantic messages
  37. 37. Lesson #2Test in the real world
  38. 38. tweet2holdNuit Blanche2011TorontoPhoto courtesy of
  39. 39. Photo courtesy of
  40. 40. NuitBlanche2011TorontoPhoto courtesy of
  41. 41. Lesson #3Idea selects the technology
  42. 42. “Paper holds a memory.”–John Guppy, Toronto Origami Society
  43. 43. Lesson #4You are not yourtarget audience
  44. 44. Jake Barton is smart“The broader you go with your work, the simpler itneeds to be.”“People can be more interesting than technology.” --Local Projects |
  45. 45. Lesson #5Accumulation is a powerfulaesthetic toolVideo about tweet2hold’s physical data visualizationproject for Social Media Week Toronto 2012:
  46. 46. Lesson RecapDo your researchTest in the real worldIdea selects the technologyYou are not your target audienceAccumulation is a powerful aesthetic tool
  47. 47. Analog souvenirsEnhancing in-store retail
  48. 48. Nurun digital
  49. 49. Improving in-store
  50. 50. An app for
  51. 51. Evernote Smart Notebookby Moleskine
  52. 52. Looking for inspiration?physidigital.comIncludes links to all material referenced in this slidedeck
  53. 53. Resourcesphysidigital.comtxt2hold.catweet2hold.comnurun.comnew-aesthetic.tumblr.comRobin Sloan, Dance the Flip-Flop Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas