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Victoria Summer 2011 Design ideas from Italy Chapter 2 · 24.07.11 by colin newell

Puzzling trends in modern design - Mami's coffee Italy

A P.R. firm in Italy has spent the last 13 months coming up with a re-branding for their product.

13 months and this is what they came up with.

Feel free to click on the photo for the slighter larger view…

I have been polling this story pretty broadly and so far only one guy (a colleague that lives and works in Taiwan) thinks it’s OK to lampoon, minimize, diminish or profit from the misery of the past.

Example: There is a good reason why we discourage commercial use of images of Nazism and Adolf Hitler in ad media around the World.

And for similar reasons, the embracing of multiculturalism and leaving behind of old stuffy racist colonial thinking is known as progress.

The image above was custom made, for me, by the P.R. firm in Italy with the designer begging me for a change of heart with a frequent; “What? WHAT? What is wrong with using this lovely plump African woman dressed in 19th Century clothing to help sell espresso beans?”

My attempts at explaining my position on this matter have prompted more; “What? What? I don’t get it…”

Help me out here folks: Using racial stereotypes to sell stuff in Europe is not, like, this common, is it?

And for the record, the White guy that lives and works in Taiwan does embarrassing impersonations of Chinese Cab drivers that would have fallen flat on a 50 year old episode of the Ed Sullivan show – still, I appreciate all opinions…

Especially yours!


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