Posted on: 22.02.2019

Minimalistic branding, Google smart replies and the Bryt Awards

There’s been some pretty heavy news this week. A clutch of politicians left their parties to form the new Independent Group, leaving Parliament in uproar. Meanwhile, Mandy Moore exposed an abusive relationship with singer-songwriter Ryan Adams, and it was announced that former ISIS bride, Shamima Begum has been denied entry back into the UK.

In light of all of this, we’re here to spread some Friday joy with the lighter side of the news.

Here are five more things that sum up the week that was…


Stripped Back Branding

This week, market intelligence brand Attest conducted a survey to find out whether consumers would prefer their favourite high street brands stripped back to minimalist designs.

The research comes off the back of designer, Mehmet Gozetlik’s project, which began back in 2010, entitled ‘Minimalist effect in a maximalist market.

Attest presented 500 UK consumers with three different versions of popular brands, and asked them which of the products they’d be most likely to purchase.

Interestingly, the results showed that the minimalistic designs were universally rejected, with consumers picking logos they were familiar with rather than the cleaner stylings.

Each to their own. But if you ask us, that nutella jar looks deliciously sleek.


How Smart are Smart Replies?

You may be familiar with Gmail’s smart replies. The ones that pop up once you open an email. Perhaps you’ve even used one. Because well, sometimes, the only applicable reply to an email from a colleague is: “Brilliant, thank you!” or “No problem!”

But how clever are these smart responses? Journalist Seamas O’Reilly put it to the test.

For an entire week, Seamas responded to his emails using nothing but Gmail smart replies.

In a rather hilarious article published on The Guardian, Seamas recounts what he calls ‘the world’s most boring Choose Your Own Adventure game’.

To his horror, Seamas found that the replies were ‘almost universally, even unnervingly, appropriate to the topic’.

The only issue that the journalist had with his experiment is that not one of his colleagues or close friends noticed his unusually bland replies. Or ‘the fact that every single one ended in an exclamation point.’

‘Why did no one question my constant state of mild-hysteria?’

Next time you hit that ‘OK thanks!’ smart reply, spare a thought for poor Seamas.


Bleed for the Throne

Do you love Game of Thrones? Do you love it enough to bleed for it?

Bizarre as that statement sounds, the proposition is very much real. HBO is asking GOT superfans to swear allegiance to the fantasy series by helping to ease blood shortages through a clever blood drive campaign.

In partnership with the American Red Cross, US fans will be able to donate blood to the cause between 7th and 12th March.

Participants will be given an exclusive ‘Bleed For The Throne’ t-shirt and will be entered into a prize draw to attend the Season 8 world premiere in New York.

Sounds bloody brilliant.


The Bryt Awards

The Brit Awards kicked off on Thursday with a savage remake of the infamous Fyre Festival promo video.

The parody featured a beautiful beach, bikini-donning models and 2019 Brit Award host, Jack Whitehall, dancing around with a replica of Fyre festival’s iconic ‘disappointing cheese sandwich.’

The roasting didn’t stop there. Whitehall attempted to drag several members of the music and entertainment industry throughout the night, including Liam Payne and Ed Sheeran. And there was a very awkward interaction with Little Mix when Whitehall brought up the subject of Piers Morgan.

We’ll say no more…

And finally…


Maybe Try a Cat Flap Next Time?

We’re all for the weird and wonderful news stories here at ilk. This week, our favourite is a story about a cat named Peanut from Norfolk.

Peanut went missing 10 years ago – yes, ten. But he’s finally been found by a local charity and will be reunited with its owner.

Owner, Julie Terry told the BBC that Peanut, now 13, looks ‘just the same’ despite a whole decade passing.

We’re told that Peanut and Julie will be reunited shortly.


Wonderful stuff.