SYMBOLIC SINO-SIGNAGE

By (TK) Published on .

San Francisco production/post house Realtime Video has opened a broadcast design division called 168 Design Group, headed by executive producer Jan Phillips, formerly at Telezign, and creative director Brad Soderlund, formerly at N ovocom. Why the 168 name? Despite the geometrically jaunty logo, designed by Soderlund, one might think it refers to an address or something equally prosaic -- but the truth is far more exotic. When said aloud in Chinese, the numbe rs sound like other Chinese phrases, translated as "On the road to prosperity and success" and "Evolving along the road." While the former is a winning business sentiment, the latter struck the 168ers as a perfect description o f design itself. (They owe their international insights, by the way, to Anna Hoover, wife of Realtime founder Will Hoover and a native of Taiwan.) But will potential clients pick up on this? "Not unless they ask," says Soderlund, which many do. A printed explanation also has been included with promo packages, and "it's gotten pretty good feedback," says Phillips. There are no plans to do the same on the 168 reel, however, where the phrases could be heard . "It's hard enough to get people to sit through a reel in the first
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