Friday, June 27, 2008

WALL-E


Opens today. Is he not the cutest robot ever??

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Shadey


I saw this over on NOTCOT, and just had to share. This is a solarised lamp shade. First of all, I just love how beautifully they've captured the iconic London skyline. But beyond that, the artwork is printed on a thermochromic layer. Which is a fancy way of saying that the shade gradually lets more light in, giving the effect of the sun rising. It sounds like a much more pleasant way to wake up than a blaring alarm clock!

The light can be purchased online at Rockett St. George. A British site that sells cool and eclectic home decor, and fantastic jewelry. It's worth a visit.

Click: Rockett St. George


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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Branding is Like Dating

At the HOW Design Conference last month, I was lucky enough to meet Marcus Hewitt, CCO of Dragon Rouge USA. (Ok, so perhaps I stalked him via email for a few weeks beforehand… but it was all for good reason.) Marcus was kind enough to share his presentation with me so that I could, in turn, share it with you.

Marcus actually delivered 2 presentations rolled up into one. The first was called “branding is like dating.” The second, “bonus” presentation, was all about the macro trends Dragon Rouge compiles each year through their international offices. I’ll share the first bit with you today. As you will see, branding really is like dating. It requires a work, truth, self-confidence, and growth. Here are the 7 steps that Marcus outlined for “successful packaging design.”

Step 1: Love Yourself
The brand should be confident in itself and stand proud.
Example: Perrier. Even in the redesign, Perrier stays true to its essence and is not trying to be anything else.

Step 2: Dare to be Different
Let your personality shine through. Be unique. Don’t try to be like everyone else.
Example: Soupline laundry detergent (France). Why does laundry detergent have to come in a box or a jug? It doesn’t.



Step 3: Get to Know People
Take the time to know your audience, their aspirations and desires. Be it your client or the consumer – find out what makes them tick.
Example: Martell packaging – Dragon Rouge created numerous mood boards and pulled inspiration from classic Japanese imagery, modern Sake bottles, gorgeous craftsmanship, and technology. You can see these influences in the final design.

Step 4: Don’t Overwhelm
Everyone needs a little space. There is such a thing as too much information.
Example: Rituals bath and spa products. The design of the line is simple, and the product information is easy to find and identify.

Step 5: Keep them Engaged
Don’t let the relationship get stale. Keep them on their toes with new products or visuals.
Example: Perrier limited edition bottles.


Step 6: Stay in Shape
Brand relationships are hard work. They require discipline. Don’t get out of shape or lazy when your relationship is going well. Your consumer is in high demand and can always leave you for a more attractive, more responsive brand.
Example: HP Steak Sauce was updated and modernized for the times, but also remained faithful to its English roots. They also created a limited edition bottle by the popular British clothing designer Paul Smith.


Step 7: Think About Tomorrow
Consumers will grow and evolve. Anticipate their needs and have a solution before they even realize they have a problem. This requires and active effort to follow and utilize macro trends. The most prevalent example lately is global consciousness. We have an influx of eco products and most major companies are now trying to leverage this in their portfolio of brands.
Example: Clorox Green Works



The End.

(Thanks, Marcus!)

Note: Originally Posted by me on the theDieline.com

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Ted Talks – Awesome!



TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.
It's tag line is: Ideas worth spreading.

Every year, since 1984, the worlds most preeminent thinkers get together to discuss, share, learn and grow ideas that can change lives, and the world. More than 1000 people now attend this conference, and 50 speakers are required to give the best 18 minute presentation of their lives!

We're talking about hobnobbing with the likes of Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Amy Tan, Yves Behar, Bill Clinton, Bono and Richard Branson. Unreal. The clip playing above is of Bill Strickland. I was privileged enough to hear him speak at the HOW Conference last month, and I'm so happy I can share a bit of his inspiring story with you here.

From their website:
The Ted Conference, held annually in Long Beach, is still the heart of TED. More than a thousand people now attend -- indeed, the event sells out a year in advance -- and the content has expanded to include science, business, the arts and the global issues facing our world. Over four days, 50 speakers each take an 18-minute slot, and there are many shorter pieces of content, including music, performance and comedy. There are no breakout groups. Everyone shares the same experience. It shouldn't work, but it does. It works because all of knowledge is connected. Every so often it makes sense to emerge from the trenches we dig for a living, and ascend to a 30,000-foot view, where we see, to our astonishment, an intricately interconnected whole.

You must be approved to join the TED conference. The fee is about $6,000
(though a regular membership is free and anyone can join). It's out of the realm for most, but us "little people" now have access to some of the most insightful speeches ever given through Ted Talks. They are free and you are encouraged to share them. I, for one, am completely addicted. It is time well spent.

Click: TED

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Monday, June 9, 2008

J. Otto Seibold




Here's a great post of an interview with J. Otto Seibold... illustrator/author. I'm such a fan of his work and off-beat style. with lines like...

"I also distract myself playing music or laying on the floor." and "I sound like an angry hippy. Be nice to everyone…"

...It's worth a read.

Click here for the full article.

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Street Art (literally)


I've been seeing Julian Beever's artwork around for a while now. He even has a show on television, called Concrete Canvas, that lets you watch his entire process. At the HOW conference, at least 3 speakers referenced his work... so I figured it was about time for a post.

Julian literally creates the most amazing street art using: pavement, chalk and a camera. It's all created to appear 3 dimensional, and it's truly stunning. He travels the world bringing art to the masses. It's so great to see him set up in a busy commercial area, while people run back and forth to work. As his work progresses, so does the joy that it brings. Suddenly, everyone is taking a moment out of their hectic schedule to enjoy the work Julian creates. And that is just what art should do.

His subjects cover almost anything, ranging from classic paintings, architectural wonders, to famous people and even daily objects. Here are just some of his pieces. Check out his website for more.

Click: Julian Beever




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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Favs

We all have websites that require a daily visit. These may range from news sites and business related blogs, to fun sites that just make you laugh. I certainly have a long list of bookmarks that I must visit each day. Here I'll share some of my favorite stops for a bit o' inspiration.

1. NOTCOT.ORG
A constantly updated site with cool finds ranging from home decor to packaging design and animation. If it's cool and new, you'll probably find it here. They also have sister sites for food and fashion, which are worth a visit as well. Content can be uploaded by anyone, so it is a great range of intriguing info.
click: notcot

2. DailyCandy.com
A great food, fashion and event website. Updated daily with easily digestable snippets of info. You can search by subject, or by what's happening in a given city. You can even sign up to have daily emails sent to your inbox.
click: Daily Candy

3. Trend Hunter Magazine
Ok, I actually find this site a bit tough because there is SO MUCH info. Like NotCot, anyone can sign up to contribute. There are currently 20,000 contributers world wide looking for the next "micro trend"... so you'll always find something new on here. Unlike NotCot, this site also has a lot of other features. Notably, you can purchase a distilled trend report each year, watch a video of Jeremy Gutsche's "unlocking cool" presentation, and join their community.
click: Trend Hunter

4. The Dieline
Yes, this is a slightly shameless plug as I do write for the Dieline. That aside, it is a great resource to see what is new and exciting in the world of packaging design. You can search by brand or studio, or simply by industry. It's inspirational and a wonderful way to stay on top of the market and trends.
click: the Dieline

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