A scary new font for Halloween, and Samsung’s space expedition crash lands

Samsung, do we have a problem? 

On Sunday, a Samsung-branded satellite that carried one of the company’s S10 phones into space for a promotion called “SpaceSelfie” crashed onto a farm in Michigan. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries to either people or livestock.

The idea for the stunt was to float an S10 to 64,000 feet, at which point people could have their selfies super-imposed onto shot of earth captured from the edge of space.

According to a CNET report, Samsung is blaming the crash on weather conditions encountered by the satellite during a planned descent, which led to an “early soft landing” in the selected rural area. According to The Verge, a photo of the crashed high-tech photo booth was posted to Facebook by a woman who said it crashed on her family farm, though that photo no longer appears on her timeline. NBC News reported on the story here.

We’ve seen people get into all kinds of trouble for the sake of a selfie, but Samsung might just be the first cellphone company to commit a selfie blunder.

NBCUniversal expands shoppable ads

NBCUniversal is expanding its shoppable ads offering into linear TV. The multi-network broadcaster (NBC, Bravo, E!, Telemundo, NBC Sports) first announced in the spring that it would test the units. The ads can be used to feature products in whatever show the viewer is watching—popping up at the bottom of the screen with a QR code that, once scanned, takes the viewer to an e-commerce site.

At the time, BusinessInsider explained that this is part of a larger strategy for NBC to reduce ad load while increasing effectiveness for advertisers. TechCrunch reported this week that the tests have proven successful—with an average conversion rate nearly 30% higher than the e-commerce industry benchmark—and that NBCUniversal would expand the offering to a wider slate of programming, including unscripted shows like its marquee property, Sunday Night Football.

American Music Awards goes on TikTok

This has been the year of TikTok in social media marketing. The app has exploded in popularity with teens and tweens, and much of the content revolves around popular music with lots of lip-syncing and dance-challenges—making it a desirable destination for music-related brands to connect with young people.

Last week, the American Music Awards used three of the platform’s most popular young creators to introduce nominees in three categories. The three each have at least 1.2 million followers and created videos to announce the nominees.

Hellish design for an iconic type font

Two creatives are having some fun with the delicate sensibilities of graphic designers this Halloween, creating their own twisted version of the ubiquitous Helvetica font.

The pair call it “Hellvetica,” and it’s essentially the traditional typeface but with really bad kerning that is jarring for some and flat-out scary for others.

“Flipping what is widely considered to be the most iconic ‘good design’ font of all time on its head is about as evil as it gets in the design world,” one of its designers, Zack Roif, told Fast Company.

Roif and Matthew Woodward, both associate creative directors at R/GA New York, came up with the idea after Roif opened an email invite to the office Halloween party which had Hellvetica as its theme. “I thought, ‘This kind of small joke deserves to be a larger joke,’” he told Wired.

The font is available for download at Hellveticafont.com. While Hellvetica will spook a lot of designers, Charles Nix, type director at Monotype, the company that owns the licensing rights to Helvetica, told Wired “I love Hellvetica! Any new way to look at Helvetica is great to me.”




David Brown