Gamechangers: How a Small Online Publication Got Anthony Bourdain’s Attention

In our Gamechangers series, we shocase innovators and agile creatives out there doing a lot with little resources or changing our ideas about what content is and how it can be delivered. This week, we explore Roads and Kingdoms’ digital publication. 

BrandCrush: 3 Ways Herbal Essences Is Doing Instagram Right

Every brand is trying to make the most of visual content on social media, but some are doing it better than others. So when we see one going above and beyond, we have to give it props. This week’s brandcrush is Herbal Essences. The company has been around since 1972, but it has done a great job of evolving with the times, tapping into its youth-centric demographic and staying ahead of the curve, especially when it comes to social. From clever content to creative execution, here are three ways Herbal Essences is doing Instagram right.

Make a Map Poster of Anywhere with Mapiful

Maps are one of our addictions here at VN, so when we found Mapiful we were completely floored. This company helps you print minimalist black and white street map posters using any location in the world. That’s great news for those of us who live outside major cities like London or San Francisco, who tend to miss most of the love from poster designers.

Workers Find School Chalkboard Drawings, Hidden for 100 Years

When contractors removed old chalkboards at Emerson High School in Oklahoma City earlier this week, they had a surprise waiting for them: behind those chalkboards was another set which hadn’t been touched since 1917.

Like a time-capsule, the old boards reveal a slice of history from nearly 100 years ago, including artwork for Thanksgiving and history on the Pilgrims, an unusual circular multiplication table, a calendar, and a list titled “My Rules to Keep Clean”. The reason we share this story here: just look at that handwriting.

How You Access the World’s Biggest Dataset Using Think with Google

Every day, we are A/B tested, our behaviors logged, our clicks processed through algorithms, our locations turned into heatmaps; we are numbers to giant machines trying to understand our behaviors. What does all this data mean? What can it really tell us? Think with Google, a eloquent industry roundup of insights, trends and analysis, is trying to fill the gaps and share the vast dataset that is Google.

Whether you’re a non-profit looking for better ways to raise money or an ad agency in need of an edge on the next digital campaign, Google has hundreds of articles and insights to supercharge your next endeavor.


When Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998, their mission statement was simple: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful,” influenced by the motto, “Don’t be evil.” In the 17 years of the company’s rise to the behemoth it is today, they have been living that motto, changing the world with product after product—offered for free or very little cost to the masses.

While many companies line their pockets selling data and metrics, Think with Google, just like the rest of Google’s offerings, if free of charge. They have tons of awesome videos and the insights in all of their content run across industries. And it’s not just Google geeks telling you what they think. Google is pulling together perspectives from leaders in all content categories, from restaurants, to automotive, to high-level statistical analysis—and it is good.


See the larger pdf: cookbook-calendar_infographics

So, how can you use it?

Go to the Tools Page
Whether interested in something simple like the most trending YouTube videos or a detailed dig into consumer behavior when purchasing online, the tools page is an ever-growing list of valuable tools you can use to better understand society’s behaviors in the digital world. You can do learn about everything from search trends for recipes by month to what it takes to make an unskippable ad. TWG lets you get into Google’s head—and as with most of Google, it is overwhelming how much there is to dig into.

Browse Content By Platform
Content on TWG is very well organized. It can be browsed by industry category, but, more importantly, you can look for content based on a specific platform. Want to see what Google has regarding mobile interface? Looking for a better way to engage on social? Find it here. This is a great way to not get stuck in your industry rut and see what other forward-thinkers are doing with new technology.

Learn About Google Products You Should Be Using
Whether a deeper dig into Google analytics or an introduction to AdSense, TWG gives you insights on both what their offerings can do and how other people are using those offerings. It’s not everyday that a company gives you this level of resources to get more out of their products.

Inspire Your Creativity
With different series of articles showcasing awesome work in creative industries, TWG has tons of great ideas to help get those creative juices flowing. Click on the creative tab to see the latest.

TWG is geared toward marketers, but a quick glance is interesting for anybody who wants to learn more about what’s happening on the Web.

10 Words We Invented That Should Be in the Dictionary

Modern life moves fast, and the dictionary can’t always keep up (although twerk, crowdfund, and hot mess have made their way into the Oxford English Dictionary). Still, we often find ourselves reaching for the perfect word to describe the people and things we encounter day to day. To help ourselves, we’ve invented 10 new words. They’re a little punny, a little portmanteau, but they are in regular rotation at Visual News. Feel free to try them out yourself. 

Learn the Neuroscience Behind Native Ads

As publishing evolves and audiences interact with online content in different ways, advertisers are trying to figure out how to best reach them. There are plenty of options—banner, display, native ads—but what works best? Neuroscientists are delving into the debate, looking at research into how our brains process visuals and drive actions.

Time Traveling with the Ad-Man’s Desk Book

“Direct mail advertising is an increasingly popular form of publicity.” Quotes like this are what make history so awesome. Today, direct mail is a decreasingly popular form of publicity. While still in wide use, any forward thinker in advertising is likely not upping the amount of direct mail they produce. It is truly inefficient and expensive in the 21st century, but Jack Watson’s grandfather would have argued differently in the late 1940s.

What Would Apple Look Like in 1997? They Predicted It (Awkwardly) in This 1987 Video

Predictions of the future are pretty hard to get right, but Apple sure tried hard in this awkwardly hilarious video from 1987. Here the company predicted what the futuristic world of 1997 would look like, getting a number of things like world-wide Internet correct, and predicting a few devices that would take a bit longer (like a wearable computer similar to Google Glass).

The Complex Emotions of “Inside Out” in One Infographic

Pixar’s new film, Inside Out, is all about the interplay of feelings within a person. (We don’t want to spoil anything, so we’ll just leave it at that. But go see it ASAP.) The film’s main characters— joy, sadness, disgust, fear, and anger—are their own specific emotions. But when they work together, they can create entirely new emotions.