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  • 04.08.10

You’re Overstimulated, and “Kapitaal” Proves It in Plain Black and White

A clever visualization reveals just how much information we deal with every day.

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Most everyone agrees that we live in an overstimulated age. But really, how overstimulated are we? Its not an easy to question to answer, but Kapitaal, a short animation by Dutch design-house Studio Smack, takes a worthwhile stab. They simply render all the stuff hoping to demand immediate attention in white, and everything else in black.

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Studio Smack says that in making the video, they were trying to make the (familiar) point that branding and advertising simply can’t be very effective these days, given how much competing information there is–and how skilled we are at ignoring it. (For another post on that theme, click here; and there’s another similar animation, Logorama, which recently won an Oscar and tells a story in which the
brands covering our daily life are turned into characters.)

But what amazes me more than the sheer visual bombardment we deal with is that we can deal with it at all. Our brains can deal with so much more information than our ancestors were ever exposed to. Any neuroscientists out there want to weigh in on that?

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.

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