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Graphic Design USA Magazine


Guest Blog from The Goldstein Group, New York City


Whether Heather Locklear or Kim Cattrall, Aqua Net has played a leading role in leading ladies’ hair styles for decades. The antidote to a “bad hair day,” Aqua Net was the go-to brand throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, helping women get their hair higher and higher.

After its introduction, Aqua Net grew to be a household name. It was first found on the dressing tables of fine salons and made the leap into retail in the late 1950’s.  The brand has long held cult status and its image has been burnished by a bevy of big hair beauties from Donna Mills to Jon Bon Jovi (men count too, right?); represented on screen in such hits as “When Harry Met Sally  and “MadMen”; and it continues to flourish on YouTube.  Around 2002, with the Broadway revival of Hairspray, Aqua Net enjoyed a revival of its own as the brand name once again became top of mind.

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I love newspapers. I read an (unnamed) New York City tabloid for 45 minutes every morning.  When I hold a newspaper, I grasp an achievable and enjoyable goal, a process I want to return to every day.

When I see a news site designed like a newspaper, the feeling is much different. I consume a lot of my online news through aggregators, often ending up at a predictable handful of established “old media” sources.  Yet I have no desire to click around the twenty sections and sub-blogs of those dailies just to see what the paper is offering today.  The navigation lacks joy, lacks flow, those UI elements that make you want to explore further. It isn’t nearly all it could be. It is a dangerous time for establishment news organizations: a time of deep Lock In.

Lock In is a peculiar problem – it sneaks up on industries, it takes them over, it renders them structurally obsolete.

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