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.

Architect designs sustainable prism-shaped treehouses

When we think of treehouses, we instantly think of plain-planked interiors propped in trees. Plenty of kids have spent their youth climbing trees and building their secret hideaways in the tree branches. However, this modern concept by Milan-based Peter Pichler Architecture envisions treehouses for adults that…

Crystal cave installation is made of 18,000 plastic cups

Perhaps if people were more scared of plastic, maybe they wouldn’t use so much of it.

Best of 2019: The Sony World Photography Awards

The goal of the competition is to showcase the best contemporary photography from around the world.

Electroformed crystals encase these handmade bowls

Crafted using a controlled processes that's intended to resemble natural formations, this ceramicist favours working with clay.

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.

Artist swaps paint for needle & thread to create embroidery landscapes

From billowing clouds to rainbow-hued sunsets, Russian artist Vera Shimuniu has definitely mastered the art of landscape embroidery.

9 logo trends to keep an eye out for in 2019

A new year brings new opportunities, a fresh start, and new logo trends.

Handmade paper toys you squeeze, drop or tap for a fun surprise

Haruki constructs his whimsical creatures with a paper twist, and each figure’s movements are prompted by human touch.

7 web design trends that could shape 2019

2019 web design trends are expected to see aesthetics and technology come together like never before.

Matthew Shlian turns paper into stunning geometric art

Combining a talent for sculpture with a knack for engineering, artist Matthew Shlian takes simple paper sheets and creates amazing geometric sculptures.

The important meaning behind Pantone’s 2019 Colour Of The Year

Following 2018's intense and dramatic Ultra Violet, this year's colour is a life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone that's decidedly more natural than last year's choice.

The 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest winners

The categories for the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest include Wildlife, People, and Places.

Pantone unveils 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for designers

Trying to find the right gift can be especially challenging when the person you're shopping for has refined tastes and a good sense of design.

Creative bookends that you have to see up close to appreciate

It’s easy to get lost in a good book; they can transport you to another place, another time, and even other realms. Tokyo-based designer, Monde, has found his own way to take book-lovers to another world with a whimsical art project called Bookshelf Dioramas.

Designer shares animated Illustrator cheat sheets for creating icons

Icons and symbols are powerful tools that have been used by humans to communicate ideas for over 100,000 years. Computer-based illustration tools like Adobe Illustrator have made creating icons easier than ever.

Pantone’s new colour finder helps you find the right hues

Pantone has been a colour leader for a while now, but as designers, there are great many advantages of using Pantone as a colour guide. Designers routinely undergo multiple handovers each time they work on a project, and earlier this year, the company promised to simplify work processes for…

Add dimension to your projects with 2600+ free Photoshop textures

You probably have an archive of typefaces, actions and other resources to add a little something-something to your projects. But what about Photoshop textures? They are an awesome resource for designers who want to play around with different looks—especially because you can download thousands of…

Winners from the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards

Whittled down from 48,000 entries from 156 countries, judges had a difficult time deciding the winners of the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards.

Norway’s banknotes get pixelated nature-inspired design

Back in 2014, creative agency Snøhetta and Metric Design won a competition to redesign Norway’s banknotes. Finally, all of the country’s paper currency has been redesigned and nearly all entered into circulation.

Most frequently used typefaces of hundreds of brands

It’s true that people don’t look like their Instagram shots, or they’re not as happy as their Facebook profiles try to convince us. It’s also true that designers don’t use all those trendy font combinations you might think.

Art Institute of Chicago releases thousands of hi-res artworks for free

A city steeped in art and culture, Chicago boasts one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States: the Art Institute of Chicago. While visiting this historic institution should be on any art lovers’ list, a recent website redesign has made experiencing its collection as simple as a…

Write people up for design offences with the Typographic Ticket Book

Is someone using terrible kerning, stretching type or did you get a client brief in the dreaded Comic Sans? Don’t despair. The next time someone commits design offences, you can write them up with this Typographic Ticket Book.

Top 10 winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Now entering it’s 44th year of celebrating the beauty of a microscopic world, Nikon has announced the winners of its 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition.

Eco-friendly dog house design boasts impressive features

Showing that eco-friendly building concepts are applicable to even our canine friends, California-based architecture and interior design firm Studio Schicketanz has designed a dog house unlike any other. 

Discover surreal 3D graffiti by Sergio Odeith

Graffiti isn’t all tagging and political opinions sprayed on the wall. In fact, today it’s become an acceptable artistic genre that’s increasingly being embraced by the general public as well as institutions.

Are you visually astute? Take the Pantone Colour IQ Test

Do you have a sharp eye for colour? Now you can find out for sure, because Pantone has launched a Colour IQ Test that allows you to discover your level of colour vision.

A collection of icons, UI kits and mockups, all for free

Everyone loves to get something for free. And if you can’t get enough of freebies, you’re definitely not alone.

Museum of the Moon lunar replica captivates audiences worldwide

While SpaceX prepares to send a Japanese billionaire and eight artists to the Moon for free, UK artist Luke Jerram is bringing the Moon to audiences around the globe.

Photographer discovers his image plagiarized, hanging in an art gallery

A renowned American artist has been accused of plagiarizing an iconic image by a South African photographer.

Dichroic installations reflect a rainbow of colours in the light

A rainbow is a beautiful, natural phenomenon which continues to inspire people in many ways. It has also inspired scientists and artists alike to further explore the nature of colour and light and how they are connected.

SpaceX is sending 8 artists around the Moon for free

A couple days ago, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that Yusaku Maezawa, will be the first private customer to ride around the Moon on the company’s Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) as early as 2023.

Lingerie campaign celebrates models of all sizes and bans airbrushing

UK-based lingerie brand Figleaves has released its latest campaign that includes a cast models of different sizes, shapes and ethnicities. What also makes this campaign special is that Figleaves is the latest brand to ban airbrushing in their ads.

These lifelike wooden animals are sculpted with a chainsaw

The art of chainsaw sculpting is astonishing to think of when creating with using such an indelicate tool. Both elaborate and exhilarating, it’s also a lengthy process that takes time to perfect. However, if you give Jürgen Lingl-Rebetez a block of wood and a chainsaw, all you have…

Scuba Diving Magazine​ unveils underwater ​photo​ contest winners

One of the most fascinating and largely unexplored places in the world also happens to be a place difficult for most people to visit—the depths of the ocean. But, for seasoned scuba divers, this contest is a chance to capture underwater wonders most will never…

Discover the unlikely origins of 6 famous car logos

Having a strong logo can create significant value; and that’s no less true in the automotive industry. In fact, car logos are among the most widely recognized amongst brands across the world. But have you ever wondered about what’s behind the creation and evolution of famous car…

Glow-in-the-dark tables display engraved city maps

Woo Designs, a Warsaw-based furniture company, has designed and produced custom oak tables with engraved maps of international cities. What makes them unique isn’t just the laser-cut designs, but the fact that they also glow-in-the-dark.

Discover the best aerial photos from the inaugural Drone Awards

After receiving 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the inaugural Drone Awards have announced the winners of their competition. The awards, which celebrates the art of drone photography, has allowed photographers to explore new perspectives and communicate an appreciation of our planet.

Art installations appears like pixelated Photoshop effects

German artists Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic—together known as Quintessenz—have recently created a site-specific art installation as part of the Paxos Contemporary Art Project. Taking place on the island of Paxos in the Adriatic sea, the duo have created colourful displays that look like pixelated Photoshop effects.

Edible worlds created out of everyday ingredients

When London-based photographer Carl Warner was a child, he probably wasn’t listening when his parents told him not to play with his food. The artist uses a wide variety of ingredients, such as deli meats, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and bread as the medium for his food art landscapes.

Artist creates amazing 3D sketches of famous landmarks

Pietro Cataudella is an Italian artist who takes urban sketching to the next level. He offers a new perspective of famous landmarks by using his talents to combine his architectural drawings with photos of their real-life surroundings.

Shutterstock comes to the rescue in witty print ad campaign

Stock photography website, Shutterstock is used by designers and agencies the world over. And to highlight their coming to the rescue of those creatives, Dominican Republic ad agency Cazar DDB has created a trio of witty print ads to promote the stock photography company and its offerings.

Blue, the most popular colour on the internet

The web is a very blue place, and not metaphorically, either. The Internet’s most heavily trafficked websites are literally coloured with nearly twice as many shades of blues as that of yellows and reds, and three times as much greens. But is the colour blue enriching…

Pastry chef Elena Gnut creates cakes that are true works of art

If you thought that a pastry chef only baked cakes, you’d be wrong. Elena Gnut is a 31-year-old Pastry Chef from Kaliningrad, Russia, who gained over 140k Instagram followers by showcasing her original intricate cake designs.

Get invaluable advice with free tarot cards made for designers

When designers design, they sometimes become so immersed in their work that they forget to step back and make sure they’re on the right path. Often, a second pair of eyes are what’s needed to help designers stay on brief and create amazing designs; that…

Spilled coffee and tea turned into works of art

While the rest of us are finishing off the last drops of our morning coffee, Giulia Bernardelli is using what remains in her cup to create stunning works of art in her kitchen.

Glass jewellery lets you wear the swirling motion of the ocean

Have you ever felt peace while walking along the ocean, or maybe more energetic and an improved mood? The fact is that most people experience a feeling of calm, relaxation and well-being, when near the swirling motion of water. 

3D hand-cut paper sculptures of birds, bees, and other creatures

UK-based designer and illustrator Lisa Lloyd worked for nearly 20 years as an animator, director, even a creative director. But the one thing she was missed doing was creating her own work. So, six years ago she started creating designs out of paper in her free time.…

Artist transforms discarded aluminium cans into stunning sculptures

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”; which is the case with Detroit-born artist Noah Deledda. Most people don’t give a second thought to their used aluminium cans after tossing them into the recycling bin. Noah, however, has found a wonderfully creative way to turn…

Dolce & Gabbana transforms kitchen appliances with colourful patterns

Black, white or stainless steel kitchen appliances no longer exciting you? Now there’s a new option to turn your kitchen into a fashion statement—and drop a little cash while you’re at it. Dolce & Gabbana has collaborated with Italian appliance company Smeg to create a…

Artist takes inspiration from circuit boards to create futuristic tribal tattoos

Since bursting onto the modern tattoo scene in the early 90s, tribal tattoos have become increasingly popular. Their simple strength and beauty makes them compelling, even to people who otherwise may be into tattoos. The gentle curves and strong angles of these solid black tattoos…