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.

Descriptive vs non-descriptive logos: Which works best?

Abstract logos like McDonalds or descriptive ones like Burger King each have pros and cons to designing.

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.

The creative winners of the 2019 A’ Design Awards

Winning submissions include industrial design, architecture, product design, and more.

Adieu Smalls: The world’s first cat-inspired font

Adieu Smalls is a cat-inspired font created as part of a campaign for natural cat food subscription service Smalls.

Digital megaliths rise from ruins of a Japanese bathhouse

Megaliths in the Bath House Ruins is comprised of column-like structures that appear to burst out of the floor.

New Zealand City Council defends $98K smiley face rebrand

The Porirua City logo is described by the Taxpayers' Union as a "limp and childlike smiley face."

Handcrafted beach jewellery made from sand and resin

Using real beach sand and blue resin, each piece looks like a tiny, wearable beach that wearers can take with them.

Surreal plant sculptures look like a garden of death

Life-like sculptures created with a combination of faux greenery and real natural elements.

Graffiti artist transforms buildings into surreal 3D art

Using a variety of shading, gradients and shadows, static buildings become visually-striking optical illusions.

Amazing sculptures made out of driftwood by Jeffro Uitto

Jeffro Uitto is able to bend wood to his imagination in such a cool way that it doesn't begin to compare to others.

Artist turns dried leaves into delicate crochet artworks

These delicate crochet artworks pay tribute to the enduring beauty of nature.

Detailed balloon sculptures by Masayoshi Matsumoto

This artist blows and twists balloons into a wide range of intricately formed balloon sculptures.

Instagram page shares amazing creations from designers

Topdezigners is an Instagram page that reposts gorgeous sleek, modern, and innovative designs.

Intricate, 3D lace-patterned sculptures of animals

These multilayered animal portraits look amazing in photographs, but are even more impressive in Facebook's 3D photos.

Artist uses graffiti to bring fine art paintings to the streets

Julio Anaya Cabanding takes well-known masterpieces and recreates them in urban environments.

No money to travel? Photoshop yourself a trip with ‘Fake A Vacation’

Fake A Vacation allows Instagramming wannabes to have a photo of themselves appearing like they're on vacation.

Outdoor chandelier collects up to 800lbs of rainwater

John Grade's latest installation, Reservoir, appears like a chandelier glistening among the pine trees.

Game of Thrones-inspired fire-breathing dragon lamp

Bring the GoT fantasy vibe to your home with a 3D-printed, fire-breathing dragon lamp.

Canadian sculptor takes 1st place at Texas SandFest

Canadian sculptor Damon Langlois was awarded first place for his sculpture, "Liberty Crumbling".

Giant mirror installation is a kaleidoscope of colour

The multi-coloured panels of the installation refract a dazzling kaleidoscope of light from the sun.

Embroidery tattoos look like they’re stitched into skin

Tattoos and embroidery, when combined, make for eye-catching 3D ink that doesn't involve a needle and thread.

Spectacular winners of the 1st annual infrared photography contest

Kolari Vision created their first annual infrared photography contest called Life in Another Light.

Colourful 8-bit graphics transformed into 3D sculptures and paintings

Distance, Speed, Time, Formula, presents an incredible technicolor series of graffiti, paintings, and 3D sculptures.

Artist turns old pocket watches into miniature worlds

Inside old pocket watches, tiny figurines are placed among little homes, workplaces, and even forests.

800 colourful umbrellas float above Paris passageway

Featuring 800 brightly coloured open umbrellas, the Umbrella Sky Project appears to float in the air.

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.