Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative – Official Launch Press Release

Logo for the Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative ©2012 Brand Labs


Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative Awards Over $60,000 in Prizes

The Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative (EEDI) will award two separate ecommerce service grants in 2012 – each worth more than $30,000 – in their first-ever ecommerce grant competition.

Rochester, MI – Brand Labs – a studio specializing in ecommerce design, marketing, development and programming – has gathered together an alliance of online professionals with the proclaimed goal of “rescuing” the struggling economy by “utilizing the power of ecommerce.” The assembled group is called the Ecommerce Economic Defense Initiative (or the EEDI).


Please Help Japan

Nanakorobi yaoki

– Japanese proverb

“Fall seven times and stand up eight.”  That proverb stands testament to the indomitable will of the Japanese people.  Please do what you can to help them stand tall once again.

The poster shown here is being produced by W + K Studio and 100% of the profits from its sale will be donated to Japanese earthquake and tsunami relief.

Listed below are other charities that are dedicating resources to the relief effort.  Many of the listed organizations are also involved in the ongoing efforts to rebuild Haiti, which is likely to be suffering from the effects of their 2010 earthquake for years (and likely decades) to come.

Please help.

American Red Cross



Habitat for Humanity International

Oxfam International (US page)

UNICEF (US page) (via Paypal)

World Food Programme (UN)

World Vision

Apple Fanboy Alert: iPad Preorders Have Begun

Fanboys and Early Adopters rejoice!  The frenzy has begun.  As of this morning, Apple has begun accepting preorders for the most anticipated product since their last most anticipated product.

We know there are doubters.

We know there are haters.

We don’t care.

You just don’t know what Apple means to us.  When we’re together, it’s magical.  You could never understand the special, secret love we share.

Go get one, but remember… you’re in line behind us.

Who Killed Internet Explorer 6?

This will be a tough mystery to solve, since the list of suspects includes every single web developer who’s had to alter his or her design in order to accommodate this outdated (but inexplicably popular) web browser.  Despite this deep and nearly universal hatred, everyone has been afraid to pull the trigger and end required universal compliance with this relic since 20% of the world refuses to join us in the twenty first century… until now.

In March, Google will begin to phase out support of this dusty, old platform.  They had previously announced the cessation of support for Google Docs and Google Sites… and now you can add YouTube to the list.  On March 13, if you want to watch skateboarding dogs and guys getting hit in the nuts with a variety of projectiles, you’re going to have to upgrade to a browser from this century.

Of course, this news is more than welcome to developers who’ve been cursing this seemingly unkillable bit of software for years now, but even though its complete and total death is far from guaranteed at this point, Aten Design Group of Colorado has announced a funeral for IE6.  Premature though it may be, Google’s plan to cease support seems to portend the timely (perhaps not timely enough) demise of the much-despised browser.

Let the bells ring out and the banners fly!

(link via ars technica)

Photoshop – 20 Years of Sharks Attacking Helicopters

Photoshop’s 20th birthday was just last week (Feb 10) and for those of us old enough to remember a time when retouching was done with an airbrush (a real one – the kind that connects to an air compressor and is perpetually clogged) it’s an occasion worth celebrating.  Yes, children, there was once a time when, if you wanted to make Oprah skinny, you’d have to hide every Twinkie in Chicago.  Now, you just open her picture in Photoshop and hit the Kate Moss button (we’re pretty sure they have that in CS4).

So for every rogue nation that ever wanted to misrepresent the success of their weapons program,  every Brazilian magazine that needed a carnivorous baby monster for their cover, and every one of us who owes a decent portion of their income to the ubiquitous graphic powerhouse, Happy Birthday Photoshop!

(via Webdesigner Depot)

Quick! Someone Call Bruce Willis!

Brand_Labs_Predicts_The_End_Of_The_WorldSo, apparently, a mountain in Norway started emitting a blue, spiral-y light, which then created a whitish-green-y spiral-y cloud thing.  Now we’re not science doctors or anything, but we strongly recommend panicking and stockpiling food.

… also, we should probably just start shooting any laser weapons we may have, randomly, into the sky, in the hope of hitting the space aliens that are clearly in the last stages of their pre-invasion plot.

(Link via Neatorama)

John Hughes – Patron Saint of Nerds – RIP

Little-known fact: Brand Labs’ original business model was built around the concept of being able to make a fully-operational Kelly LeBrock using only magazine clippings, jumper cables and the finest computing hardware that Radio Shack had to offer. It was only after two decades of failed attempts that we broke down and decided to see what this whole “Interwebs” thing had to offer. (It should be noted that though we failed to ever make a Kelly LeBrock, we did successfully create one Ally Sheedy and two Maria Conchita Alonsos.)

Thank you, John Hughes, for giving a voice to a generation (or two or three) of hapless nerds, freaks, criminals, prom queens and jocks. You will be missed.

(Note: The video above is mildly NSFW)

Michael Jackson & Brand Labs

As much as we have no desire to flog a celebrity tragedy for any reason, the fact is that Michael Jackson’s recent passing has affected our entire office in a very specific way. Each time we receive a new contract, the folks in sales play “ABC” by the Jackson 5. It’s a nod to the common sales acronym for “Always Be Closing”, but it’s also simply a joyful song and we’ve gotten used to hearing it pretty regularly. We’ve tried alternates, but nothing else seems to capture the proper mood as effectively as that dynamic and enchanting 11 year old boy singing about young love. We’ll be keeping the tradition even though it may be touched with a bit of sadness for a time. From just north of Motown, we’d like to say thanks, Michael.

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