Toy TOY toy

Toy TOY toy

Tim Belonax, San Francisco, California, 2008


“Toy TOY toy” illustrates an experiment in online-community linguistics and commerce—an evaluation of search terms used on eBay. Our piece displays a moment in ecommerce that presents new words used in a discussion that few would ever see.

By compiling the words associated with a search for the word “TOY,” one gains a momentary glimpse of an online, amorphous definition. Our piece serves as a visual and linguistic snapshot of ecommerce—an economic field that 10 years ago was hardly the behemoth of today. By illuminating the frequency of words used, as well as the popularity of specific words and the emergence of newly created words, “Toy TOY toy” provides useful information in a beautiful, utilitarian format.

By listing our piece on eBay using the highest-ranked terms to sell it, “Toy TOY toy” completes the loop between eBay and the products they define as a “TOY.”

Juror Notes

We like how the images multiply. The growing was unexpected and created drama with the unfolding. It balances the massiveness and personal aspects of eBay. 

Collections: AIGA 365: 30 (2009)
Repository: Denver Art Museum
Discipline: Promotional design and advertising
Format: Promotion


Design firm
Tim Belonax
Art directors
Tim Belonax, Michael Chanover
Tim Belonax
Information architect
Adrian Cotter
Printing method
4-color offset
Finch, Bright White, 50 lb., text, opaque smooth
eBay users