The Design Block

If you're looking for the latest in advertising and marketing, design related technology and lifestyle tips, and art or design highlights then you're in the right place. Find all this and more with the Design Block blog.

View the awe-inspiring 2019 SIPA contest winners

Photographers from 161 countries have submitted their most daring, breathtaking photos.

PANTONE’s 2020 colour forecast includes natural blues & greens

Expect various shades of greens to dominate the 2020 colour forecast, as well as oceanic and mineral blues.

12 ways to recover from being laid off

Whether you were caught off guard or saw it coming, you can’t control any aspect of a layoff except for how you handle it.

Shutterstock’s 2019 Creative Trends Report reveals a retro revival

A treasure trove of bright colours, cartoon faces, and fancy animal patterns; these are just some of the highlights from the eighth annual Shutterstock Creative Trends Report.

The top 10 freelance side gigs to earn some extra cash

Freelance side gigs are one of the best ways to earn some extra cash or stay creative if your day job isn't stimulating you anymore.

Animated GIFs reconstruct ancient ruins around the world

Ancient ruins, like The Parthenon in Athens and Mexico’s Pyramid of the Sun, can teach us about the past, architectural building techniques and how civilization flourished. However, views of these ancient architectural wonders are firmly based in their current state of ruin, leaving it to visitors…

Tom Bob street art creations are taking over New York

Street art is a movement, an art expression, even an art form in its own right. There are plenty of amazing street artists around the world like David Zinn, Raquel Rodrigo, or even the Pirate Printers.

You can now turn your favourite songs into wall art

Imagine your favourite songs. Now envision what those songs might look like. Vibrato is an online service that brings your songs to life by turning them into a wall art. The eye-catching artworks use sound waves, resulting in beautiful prints resembling inky, delicate nebulae. 

12 Mother’s Day traditions from around the world

A special day to honour the women who gave birth to us, Mother’s Day is celebrated in several countries around the world. In most countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May, but in others it’s celebrated at an entirely different time of the…

The top 10 winners of the Sony World Photography Awards 2017

The Sony World Photography Awards is an annual competition hosted by the World Photography Organization. Recently, the largest photo competition in the world announced the winners for 2017. 

39 things you didn’t know about the world’s favourite brands

Some we like, others we hate, but do you know the whole story behind the world’s favourite brands? Brands and the stories behind them are the stories that both fascinate and intrigue.

Find out what the 2017 horoscope holds for creatives

If you’re a creative whose wondering what the year ahead holds, then lets look at your horoscope. Adobe, with the help of stock contributor Natalia Hubbert, has created a horoscope that offers a peek at your creative potential and success for the new year. Will you…

Top 10 brand disasters of 2016

Branding is a tricky business and it’s difficult to get it right all the time; and sometimes companies can fail, big time. 2016 was a big year for brands like Johnson & Johnson’s, Volkswagen, Uber, and Samsung. All of which have come under fire for making mistakes before…

PANTONE Colour of the Year 2017 is inspired by nature

Each year, PANTONE experts choose the ‘Colour of the Year’. And they’ve announced their latest selection for 2017 even before the new year rolls around; Greenery 15-0343.

Cross-stitch street art adds colorful blooms to Spanish streets

Cross-stitching is not just for your grandmother anymore. Spanish artist Raquel Rodrigo is taking the decorative embroidery to the next level with gorgeous floral patterns that blanket forgotten urban spaces. Raquel decided to mix cross-stitch and street art, creating some beautiful embroidered floral compositions on the walls of…

Artist leaves humorous signs around the city

In parks, streets, and industrial zones across Sydney, Australia, you’re likely to encounter quite a few signs and placards. However, you should take a closer look at some of these signs. Michael Pederson‘s quirky street art is so subtle that it’s easy to walk past it…

Celebrate Canada Day with interesting Canadian facts

Did you know that we produce more maple syrup than any other country? Learn more facts about Canada.

Turn the ashes of your loved ones into stained glass orbs

Combined with a custom blend of jewel-toned colours, the ashes float in a swirl inside the glass.

Cute illustrations that teach us random fun facts

Children's book illustrator has created a series of cute illustrations featuring information you may not know.

Highly sexual words to add to your vocabulary

This list contains highly sexual words that describe naughty moments in life.

Do you have a dark personality? Take this quiz to find out

Do you want to be a ruthless dictator? Psychologists believe the dark triad of personality — Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy – might help you succeed in life.

Pantone reveals not one, but two 2016 Colours of the Year

For the first time Pantone, the global authority on colour, has announced two Colours of the Year for 2016: Rose Quartz and Serenity.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday: What have we learned?

Boxing Day was once the time for shopping deals to be found, but that has changed. Black Friday, once a one day tradition for bargains, now stretches from American Thanksgiving until the following Monday, now referred to as Cyber Monday.

What shoppers want and where they’ll go to buy it

This year, the hope is the lower Canadian dollar will help convince both Canadians and Americans that the best deals lie north of the border.

A designer’s perspective vs that of non-designers

A designer’s perspective versus that of a non-designer can be a bit different. We see the world from a different point of view; the good and the bad.

Purchasing habits of the wealthy and very rich

How much do you need to make in a year to be considered wealthy? While most Americans have varying ideas on the subject, most say you need to bring in at least $1 million per year.

8 funny charts illustrate everyday life

There are certain expectations associated with everyday life, like eating a good meal or sleeping well. However, expectation and reality are often two very different things.

Absurd life quotes that everyone can relate to

A Tumblr blog has created the following collection of humorousone-liners about human habits.

How to endorse yourself during a job interview

Does the mere thought of a job interview make you feel stressed? Are you worried about the types of questions the interviewer is going to throw at you or saying something stupid? This stress can push us to tell lies during an interview.

28 bizarre vending machines from around the world

Vending machines have evolved from the days of old candy and stale coffee; they’re now changing the way we live our lives. But if you think they still only stocked with snacks, think again. These days, vending machines distribute all sorts of goods.

A satirical look at the real meaning of words

You know there are words that sound the same but have different meanings; like their, they’re, and there. But what about words that have another meaning when in different context.

Infographic: How to win any argument

One of life’s more difficult emotional situations is an argument. Whether it’s with someone you love, despise, or don’t even know, conflict can get your blood boiling. Some people go to great lengths to avoid conflict of any kind, while others are just itching to give…

The most beautiful words in the English language

English may not be one of those romantic languages, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have beautiful words. Recently, Daniel Dalton of Buzzfeed took to Twitter where he asked people for their favourite words in the English language.

WTF are you doing with your life: This website doles out life advice

Feeling lost and unsure of what to do in life? Then check out this website that doles out useful life advice to get you back on track.

The weird devices found on the Internet of useless things

The internet is full of useful information—and porn… lots of porn. But it’s also full of pointless information and ideas. For every energy-saving smart thermostat and weight-reducing fitness band, there’s a fork that tracks​ your chew rat​e, a cloud-connected bookmark, and an emergency pizza slice pouch. And that’s…

Internet censorship: Where in the world can you see this?

Most people consider access to the internet to be a right, not a privilege. In fact, Canada has declared high-speed broadband internet access a “basic telecommunications service” that every citizen should be able to access. However, for many across the world, internet censorship means they are unable to fully communicate…

Humorously pointless missing posters

Once upon a time, before the Internet, people relied on flyers, missing posters, and community spirit to help them find their lost pets. They’ve also used to spread the word about cool events going down around the neighbourhood. Nowadays however, public announcement posters are just basically…

Instagram account mocks inspirational quotes and clichés

For those on social media who overuse them, please stop with the inspirational quotes and clichés. Certain bits of “wisdom” have been overused; and they weren’t that great to begin with.

IKEA instructions humorously depict handling real life situations

Are you having trouble figuring out exactly how to behave in certain situations? Have no fear, IKEA is here. Actually, UK-based artist James Chapman is here with a humorous illustrated series of IKEA instructions. They demonstrate the dos and do nots of handling situations in…

Unconventional murder weapons that were actually used

Humans seem to have a morbid fascination with death—and with that, ways of killing people. Have you ever thought about murder? If so, how would you do it and what would you use?

Now and then: Cultural and technology trends

Cultural, lifestyle and technology trends come and go. But some trends end up evolving over time. For example, a smartphone can now do the job of a camera, television, game console, cassette player, and calculator. 

The shocking things that happen every minute

Have you ever wondered what wonders could happen in a mere 60 seconds? Well, in this infographic by Minute of Life, it shows us 15 amazing things that happen every minute across the world.

Everything that will kill you… from A to Z

Spoiler alert: We all die in the end. The only question is, what will kill you? Will it be natural causes or something unforeseen? One thing’s for sure, there are some pretty strange ways to die. For example, there are some unconventional murder weapons; and taking…

An alphabet poster series inspired by The Beatles

A fan of The Beatles, Tumblr user Lexi wanted to pay tribute to her favourite band. Using her knowledge of the band, she imagined each letter of the alphabet corresponding to a word that relates to their legendary history, band member’s name, or song title.

Humorous middle class problems

As the middle class has grown, so have middle class problems. The online world is jammed full of parents and Millennials blogging about crises that are anything but. A life of privilege obviously brings hardships for many, like when “Starbucks all out of pumpkin spice, now I have to settle…

22 common phrases we all secretly hate

What makes a phrase cringe-worthy? The Huffington Post editors were asked which common phrases bother them the most. The common thread among the responses was uselessness. Often, the phrases that we find off-putting are those that serve as conversational fillers, implying that the speaker is vapid or…

How not to kill yourself using everyday household items

Do you ever wonder, “How much of this can I accidentally ingest before I die?” For your safety (and enjoyment) here’s a bunch of household items you should only enjoy in small quantities or not at all. Some things just don’t belong in your mouth. Don’t…

A list of 45 tips for men

Being a man has it’s advantages, but sometimes we all need a few pointers. Chances are you won’t remember all of these tips for men that are provided below, but if you remember a few it might make you a better man.