Culled from 370 pieces of source material, this year's Zeitguide—an almanac for the ever-changing zeitgeist—from Grossman & Partners delivers unparalleled insight into the direction we're all moving. Produced by cultural think-tank Grossman & Partners since 2010, the guide is an extension of the work the company does privately for C-Suite executives, synthesizing and making sense of leading-edge issues in everything from advertising and finance to science and art. We poured over the 2013 edition and were thrilled to receive this year's, which is the most shareable yet. Incredibly designed and illustrated with beautiful, relevant artwork, the 2014 iteration contains the sort of wisdom that can only be achieved by being constantly on top of the news.
The Zeitguide's strength is twofold. Grossman & Partners founder Brad Grossman (a one-time office mate with CH) has spent years developing and honing his team, with each member dedicated to researching individual areas of expertise. Throughout the year, his staff collects information and connects the dots, forming through-lines that can extend well beyond a single calendar year. Basically, Grossman's team obsessively devours the news and catches all that we may miss—all the while contextualizing it.
The Zeitguide also differentiates itself with a stellar roster of contributing voices. A quip from Grossman's mentor, mega-producer Brian Grazer, punctuates a piece in the film section. Daniel Plenge (Director of Digital at fashion house Marc Jacobs) addresses the gray hairs associated with big data in the marketing section. “What’s your BuzzFeed strategy?” asks United Talent Agency Social Media Agent, Eric Kuhn.
A multi-platform experience, Zeitguide's website has been refreshed for better online consumption; readers can now highlight text and share it on Twitter or Facebook with one click. There's also a comprehensive digital list of all their sources for digging deeper into specific themes. Once again, they've released a collectible hardcover edition—this time featuring original artwork by Kristofer Porter.
Screenshot from Zeitguide, art courtesy of Kristofer Porter