ACM's Distraction In Action #8
Fonts, walls, gorp, and the end of the world: five links that are dominating our chat
Your new Distraction In Action email from All Conditions Media is here. Scroll away to get a look at the latest links and talking points from our team chat, so they can successfully distract you from work just as much as they did us…
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1. FIND A FONT FOR EVERYONE
A few weeks back, you may have noticed we ditched the retina-grabbing green background of our Substack home page. It was bold, different, and fitted with the freshly rebranded ACM. But we hadn’t considered one thing – accessibility. It’s a word that’s used on a daily basis when it comes to the issues our work aims to address in the outdoors, but in the context of our humble little newsletter? We didn’t see it coming. When one of our team raised that green was a primary problem colour for those with colour blindness and dyslexia, we knew its time was up.
Since then, we’ve been on a mission to shake up our digital and physical workspaces to better facilitate neurodiversity and inclusivity. Our designer Daniele attended a panel that taught him how a staggering 96% of websites can be classed as inaccessible, and our most recent Brunch Club guest speaker, from UK Paraclimbing Collective, showed us the many ways we can make our press days and events work better for everybody, especially the 17% of the world’s population who are not neurotypical. The very first point in Creative Boom’s countdown of the year’s biggest font trends is the latest lesson in an education that’s taken us on an important journey. If you’ve got any advice or experience in this arena, we’d love to hear it in the comments below.
We learned: Gov.uk might be the least fun site on the internet, but it’s probably the most accessible. See why here.
2. EXCUSE OUR EXCITABILITY
It’s taken 30+ newsletters (and 1000+ subscribers) for us to break our Substack. Writing last week’s dispatch, we were warned, for the first time, that we’d maxed a word count that we had once assumed was infinite: a new discovery that maybe proves our copywriter likes the sound of his own voice, but definitely proves that our extremely premature Best Of 2023 post was, in fact, not premature at all. With enough achievements to make your router go into limp mode, it made all the more sense to go early on a rundown of pitch-winning, event-slamming, plane-catching, film-making, bike-riding, work-starting, identity-redesigning, bottle-peeing (?) wins from four months at ACM. Catch up on our best bits of the first bit of 2023 right here.
We learned: The crucial part that bagels play in making the perfect event.
3. TREAT YOURSELF TO SOME MASSIVE IDEAS
We’re not sure whether we should be more excited or terrified to learn that NASA and John Hopkins University have developed an apocalypse-dodging defence test that aims to divert potential asteroids from colliding with Earth, but here we are, smiling happily/nervously as we read all about it in this, Fast Company’s list of World Changing Ideas 2023. It’s a lovely hub page that celebrates the ideas that are driving change in the world, including vegan leather made from pineapples, a digital registry of trans-friendly barbershops and salons, and street food carts that don’t rely on electricity to keep produce cool. Let’s hope Armageddon is palmed off by those university boffins for long enough to see these all come to fruition, eh?
We learned: Fears over “critical race theory” and trans rights led to 1600 book titles being banned from US library shelves in 2021 alone – something Brooklyn Public Library is fighting with their digital Books Unbanned idea.
4. CATCH OUR JOJO IN PRINT
Last week, at an out-of-work ‘thing’, we had a small debate with the editor of one of the world’s most famous once-print-now-online titles. It was about the creative satisfactions that exist in online vs physical journalism. There may have been a few tins involved, so regaling the full transcript here would be neither accurate nor flattering. But TL;DR – he argued that a writer’s ability to access a piece and tweak it, improve it, add to it, republish it, or dash it from the face of the planet at any stage of its life, and write without the icy fingers of an impending deadline reaching for your neck every day, made online journalism king. We’d not long just picked up Courier Magazine’s celebratory 50th issue and read ACM co-founder Jojo’s interview in Grace Cook’s Girls, Gorp And The Great Outdoors feature - which also held wise words from Bene Eggesvik, lead designer from our client Db - and got very gushy over physical artefacts, printed legacies, and that unique smell you get from taking a big huff from right up in a mag’s spine. The outcome: web is great, Courier’s latest issue is great, journalism is gorgeous, and are there any more Camden Hells left in the fridge, please.
We learned: An hour outside can increase memory performance and attention span by 20%, according to the University of Michigan.
5. GET FRIENDING WHILE SENDING
Here’s a stat to stop your scroll: twenty percent of Millennials report that they have no friends. Steven Potter’s How The Climbing Gym Cured My Loneliness is a really affecting, emotional, and excellent reason for joining the three-deep crowds of the ‘after-work rush’ at your local wall, and proves that climbing has the power to help anyone who finds themselves within that terrible statistic. Talk to your fellow climbers, friends, and humans. You could make a difference.
We learned: That we’re not quite over that stat yet.
CREW TO-DO LIST
Every fortnight, one ACMer reveals the tasks that’ve been getting their head cogs whirring, so we can
all make sure they’re working hard enough introduce our super talented crew and showcase what they bring to our creative process. This week it’s the turn of ACM’s inclusivity-championing skate sensei, mum-to-be, and Senior Account Director, Lyndsay McLaren…
You made it all the way down here? Here’s a gift for your troubles:
END OF THE ROADER’S BONUS NUGGET
This new burp-free trail-running fuel is so silly that it might just work
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