One benefit of working for a startup is that you can do almost anything you want as long as it isn’t expensive. From this simple truth was born the Audiosonic Identiglyph.Because my resources were extremely limited, I set out to accomplish a range of goals with this single piece. It was to be a giveaway for tradeshows and a leave-behind for use by the sales staff, as well as a fun thing for the rest of the staff to have. It needed to be odd enough to capture the viewer and layered enough to hold their attention. And because of my personal disdain for pointless swag (nomoredrinkcoozies.com) I wanted the object itself to have enduring value.
Ultimately, I created a vinyl single wrapped in a thick layer of LOST-inspired nerdiness and interweb geekdom. For the cover, I created a vector illustration of a parade of Internet memes and celebrities as a nod to the record’s B-side (“Hip Parade” by Detroit recording artists FAWN) and to establish the client’s identity as an ecommerce studio. The back cover is an intentionally verbose explanation of the notion that The Audiosonic Identiglyph is perhaps the most universal promotional tool ever since it transcends language to deliver the client’s location and business model through the use of a continuous series of tones that can easily be decoded using the Goertzel algorithm.
It’s possible that I was super high when I thought this up.
Anyhoo, it’s all true. If you play side one and decode it as suggested, you’ll get the pictogram shown on the back (and on the A-side label). This pictogram, when decoded even further, provides the longitude and latitude of the client’s offices. The images in the center are universal symbols for electronic and currency.
The B-side is a single by local band FAWN. It was included to give the piece lasting value and local interest. To that end, it was also produced locally at one of the few remaining vinyl presses in the country, Archer Records in Detroit.
Just for fun and to add to the weirdness of the entire affair, the sides were mastered to be played at different speeds.
Definitely the strangest piece I’ve ever done and it got the weirdest response. I expected that no one would ever bother to actually play and decode the image on the A-side, or if they did that it would take forever. Wrong and wrong. The Internet is filled with nerds who love a mystery. They had decoded the tone and the pictogram in under two weeks.
God, how I love nerds.
One final note: the completed promo ended up costing less per piece than your average logo coffee cup.
Here’s a video of FAWN playing Hip Parade. Enjoy…