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经济学人:个性化汽车贴纸

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Personalised car stickers

个性化汽车贴纸
Family portraits on wheels
轮胎上的全家福
Windscreens are the new Facebook
挡风玻璃变成了新的脸书网
IN THE Middle Ages, heraldry allowed knights to show off family histories in amazing detail, lugging shields or banners into battle that explained their ancestry, whether they had married an heiress and their status as a first or younger son. Eight centuries later American drivers are catching up, thanks to personalised “family stickers”: tiny stick-figure depictions of an entire household (most typically displayed in one corner of a minivan's rear-windscreen). Though the trend's origins are obscure, there is a consensus that it began in Mexico several years ago and at first involved generic outline figures, revealing ony the number of children in a family.
在中世纪,骑士们可以使用非常精细的纹章来炫耀自己家族历史,在战场上带着有家族纹章的盾牌或旗帜可以阐明他们的血统—和一位女继承人结婚,或者身为家中长子或幼子。八百年后,汽车司机也开始这样做了,而他们使用的是个性化“家庭贴纸”:一副小小的全家简笔画描绘。尽管这股潮流的起源已经不甚明了,但几年前在墨西哥兴起了一种默认观点,首先就是在车上贴通用类数字图,表明了家中孩子的数量。

Now the stickers are well established north of the border. And, thanks to a combination of American individualism and advances in custom-manufacturing, they are morphing into ever-more-detailed family chronicles.

如今贴纸在边境线北部也开始流行起来。由于美国个人主义和先进的定制加工业,它们变成了更加精细的家族编年史。
Chroma Graphics of Tennessee, a supplier to such firms as Walmart, recently designed its first kits to celebrate households headed by same-sex couples. The pick-and-mix kits—designed at the request of a large retail customer, but not yet on sale—include two father-figures, two mother-figures and an assortment of children and pets, says Brenda Sellers, the firm's president. The packaging is in rainbow colours, bearing intertwined pairs of two male and two female astrological symbols as a final clue.
田纳西州的彩色图案是一些公司如沃尔玛之类的供应商,他最近计划推出首套庆祝同性恋人担任户主系列贴纸。该公司总裁布伦达·塞勒斯表示,这套组合贴纸是应一个大型零售商客户要求推出的,但尚未对外出售。它包括两个父亲形象,两个母亲形象,各种各样的孩子和宠物。包装是彩虹色的,上面有两对互相交错的同性男女占星符号,作为一个最终暗示。
In Idaho a sign-maker, Woodland Manufacturing, has pioneered hyper-personalised stickers. Visitors to its online www.familystickers.com retail arm, can combine thousands of different heads, bodies and accessories to depict, say, a bearded, balding x-ray technician, married to a bee-keeping mother (in hat with veil) whose kids enjoy ballet and baseball, and who own guinea pigs.
在爱达荷州有家标牌制造商,名叫林地制造,他提倡超个性化贴纸。访问他家在线零售网站的访客可以将上千种头部、身体和附属部件结合描绘,一个秃顶但胡子浓密的放射线技术员称。该技术员与一名勤劳的妇女(戴着有面纱的帽子)结了婚,他们的孩子喜欢芭蕾舞和棒球,还养着荷兰猪。
Most are bought by women, says the firm's marketing boss, Aaron Ellsworth. The number-one seller is dog stickers: “For a lot of people, their pet is their family,” says Mr Ellsworth. Candour is a trend, with customers asking for large Xs to place over divorced spouses, or tiny halos to place over a family member who has died. Some lovelorn folk leave gaps in family line-ups, labelled: “Position Open”. Coloured stickers are big just now, and also zombies.
该公司的销售经理亚伦·埃尔斯沃斯称大多数贴纸的购买者都是女性。卖得最火的是犬类贴纸,“对于大部分人来说,他们的宠物就是家人。”埃尔斯沃斯说。坦率是一种趋势,顾客会购买大型X符号来代表离婚夫妻,或者小小的光圈来代表去世的家人。一些失恋的人在家庭的一行贴纸中留出空位,贴上标签“空窗期”。如今彩色的贴纸和僵尸贴纸也卖得很火。
Two powerful forces are at work, suggests Mr Ellsworth. The internet now allows consumers to order customised products directly from a factory. And in a fast-changing world, “all of us want to feel unique”. Those medieval knights would have understood.
埃尔斯沃斯称有两种强大的力量在起作用。如今的网络可以使顾客按照自己要求直接从加工厂订购产品。而且在如今这个瞬息万变的世界,“每个人都想使自己显得与众不同”。那些中世纪骑士会理解这种心情的。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
retail ['ri:teil]

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n. 零售
vt. 零售,传述
ad

 
overnight ['əuvə'nait]

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n. 前晚
adj. 通宵的,晚上的,前夜的<

 
obscure [əb'skjuə]

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adj. 微暗的,难解的,不著名的,[语音学]轻音的

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generic [dʒi'nerik]

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adj. 一般的,普通的,共有的,没有商标的

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consensus [kən'sensəs]

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n. 共识,一致,合意
n. [生理]交感

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established [is'tæbliʃt]

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adj. 已被确认的,确定的,建立的,制定的 动词est

 
revealing [ri'vi:liŋ]

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adj. 有启迪作用的,透露内情的,袒露身体的 动词re

 
baseball ['beis.bɔ:l]

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n. 棒球

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symbols ['simbəls]

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n. 符号;象征;标志;符号表(symbol的复数)

 
freeze [fri:z]

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v. 冻结,冷冻,僵硬,凝固
n. 结冰,冻结

 

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