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.

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.

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.

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.

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…

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…

Target’s new logo for womenswear line is confusing shoppers

Target, known for its iconic red bullseye logo, has decided to ditch its heritage clothing brands in favour of a brand-focused strategy that includes more niche offerings. According to Target, the new line will carry versatile pieces that allow shoppers to mix-and-match. The clothes will also emphasize on quality,…

Website generates random briefs for you to practice logo design

What’s so difficult about creating a good logo? They’re usually simple, sometimes complex, but mostly something you should be able to do lickety-split. So, no problem, right? When you only see the result of a designer’s efforts, logo design can look like it was a…

What to expect with logo trends for 2018

You can often tell the era in which a logo was created by the fonts, colours, and styles used. Recognizing which logo trends will withstand the test of time is an essential part of choosing a style which feels fresh, relevant, and reflects the brand. 

LCBO pays agency CDN$650,000 for Ontario Cannabis Store logo

This week, the corporate branding for Ontario’s soon-to-be legal marijuana stores was unveiled by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). The Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS) will be the brand name of Ontario’s cannabis agency, including its stores and online channel.

Adobe XD releases 3 FREE icon collections by design legends

Last week at Awwwards, Adobe unveiled a sneak preview of vector graphics support in Creative Cloud Libraries coming soon to Adobe XD CC. What this means is that Adobe Illustrator users can conveniently drag graphics from their CC libraries and drop them right into their XD canvases. As well,…

A brutally honest take on a graphic designer’s logic

The concept of the left and right brain has become a well-known part of human psychology. While we all use both sides of the brain, each of us has a dominant side; this dominant side makes up for a huge part of our personalities. For…

When to use Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom

If you deal with a lot of photography, you need to know what to do with it. So whether you’re a photographer or a graphic designer, which software should you be using for your design project? Adobe Photoshop vs Lightroom: which one is better? The truth is,…

In-house designer, freelancer or agency? Who to hire

Does the uncertainty and ever-changing nature of freelancing produce designers with sharper, more adaptable skills? Or does the social, fast-paced, and ordered workflow of an agency create more design superstars? In my nearly 10 years as an Art Director, I’ve seen a few businesses pondering if they should hire…

Fotojet: An online graphic design tool for non-designers

For people who are serious about content marketing, but are design-challenged, this online graphic design software is up your alley. FotoJet is a popular and useful online tool for photo editing, graphic design and photo collages. So, if you want high-quality graphics but don’t have an Adobe…

Why you should become a graphic designer

Some people are destined to become a graphic designer. They have a knack for aesthetics, notice the finer details and love to learn new things. So, if you’ve always been deeply interested in graphic design, but are not currently working in the field, this may…

22 Deadly sins of graphic design

Starting any graphic design project requires preparation. There are briefs to follow, theories to consider, and deadly sins to avoid. So if you’re thinking about using Comic Sans or flattening your Photoshop file, think again.

Infographic: 8 graphic design trends for 2017

Graphic design trends are typically a mixture of past trends and a reflection of societal values. However, infographic company Venngage believes that 2017 will reject some of the past graphic design trends completely.

How Art Directors and Copywriters can avoid annoying each other

If you’ve ever been part of a creative team, you know that partnerships in advertising are not unlike marriage. Once the Art Director and Copywriter pair up, it takes a serious commitment to avoid annoying each other. Deciding to officially tie your careers together means doing…

How to use the Colour of the Year in your designs

A few weeks ago, PANTONE revealed its bright and zesty Colour of the Year 2017, called Greenery. Because it evokes nature, Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate. Thus, people respond on a deeper level to this hue, making the eye catching Greenery an ideal shade for design. This is especially…

Adobe releases Project Felix: 3D tools for designers

A few months ago, Adobe announced updates to their creative tools. These updates included a Windows version of Adobe XD, and a Photoshop update to take advantage of the Touch Bar in the new MacBook Pro. Along with those updates is a brand new application for…

Everything designers need to know about the golden ratio

Good designers are always on the hunt for the latest tools to help them step up their game—whether it’s a new app or the latest Adobe update. Yet some of the best design tools are actually those that have been around the longest.

Ad agency immortalizes funny quotes from a client

Have you had a client that said funny things or asked stupid questions over the course of a project? For example, there are things clients say when wanting cheaper work and their ridiculous demands. A project team at ad agency Strategy Creative in New Zealand has definitely heard some humorous things. While working…

Paper sample kit that doubles as a calendar

A graphic designer out of the United Kingdom named Adam Chescoe has come up with a smart way to promote paper company Fedrigoni’s paper sample kit. Showcasing their Woodstock range of paper, Adam has turned the paper samples into a calendar.

How to really annoy a graphic designer

“Can you make the logo design bigger?” Probably the most heard and most annoying thing you can say to a graphic designer. And if that sentence has your blood boiling, it’s likely that you’re a graphic designer.

These are the things you do not say to a designer

Clients who communicate clearly and politely—and are willing to collaborate—get the best work from their designers. Unfortunately, not all clients are created equally. That’s why graphic designer Janie Kliever has shared a list of things you do not say to a designer.

2015’s fading graphic and web design trends to note

In 2015, new design trends were introduced that were quickly incorporated by many websites and graphic designers. See what's on the in and out:

Famous proverbs retold as graphic design puns

Proverbs, also referred to as sayings, give us some form of life advice. Every language and culture has them, and its important not to miss any of the words because the meaning can easily get lost.

Designer humorously responds to client request to “Make the logo bigger”

“Making the logo bigger!” is a painful punchline among designers worldwide. In fact, this common client request is loathed almost as much as “Looks great. Can you make this one minor change: try the logo with Helvetica?”

If logos were honest about the brands they represented

Logo design and branding are the best ways to create a visual touch point for products and services. But they don’t always accurately reflect the products that they stand for. And as much as we love certain brands for their visually appealing logos, what if famous brands were…

Get over 200 Windows icons for free

When Microsoft released Windows 10, it also released the icon font Segoe UI Symbol. This icon font is recommended for use by developers when designing apps on Windows 10 devices. But one design company argues that Segoe UI Symbol adds visual noise because the icons…

How big brands use colour to affect your emotions

Around the world, billions of dollars are spent each year by companies trying to build a brand people can’t resist. From Fortune 500 companies to personal brands, it all starts with a logo. Would the Nike brand be as powerful without its signature “Swoosh” logo? What about…

10 steps to becoming the perfect graphic designer

If you haven’t heard of Medium, it’s a site where you can read, write, and interact with millions of ideas and stories from around the world.  10 Steps To Becoming The Perfect Graphic Designer is a humorous tongue-in-cheek post by Philadelphia-based designer Patrick Macomber that should give…

Save dinner with this handy Kitchen First Aid Kit poster

Cooking dinner can be an intimidating task, whether you’re single and on your own. But it’s also an invaluable skill to have. And while cooking at home not only saves your wallet, but it can also make a difference in your waistline.

How to become a UI designer or UX designer

If you’re looking to start a career as a designer, you”ll quickly be overwhelmed by the number of titles thrown around. There are user experience (UX) designers, user interface (UI) designers, motion designers, product designers, graphic designers and so on. 

Responsive design explained with animated GIFs

Do you know the difference between responsive design and adaptive design? There’s some argument over whether responsive or adaptive designs are better. Regardless, responsive design is the solution most chosen for multi-screen problems. That means designers need to become familiar with the concepts and basic principles for responsive…

Emerging logo design trends to look for this year

A trend report by LogoLounge has revealed the some of the biggest visual styles and influences in logo design for 2015. The report also reveals how the advent of new digital devices has changed designers’ approaches to creating stylish, memorable logos.

The truth about the funny little lies designers tell their clients

Clients, while a necessary evil, are part of a designer’s life. Sure, they make up excuses to try to get cheaper work. And yes, they often make ridiculous demands. But designers don’t always tell their clients the truth either.

Infographic: 50 important rules of document design

For non-designers, graphic design can appear a difficult task to master. There are multiple styles, typefaces, colour choices, layout options and more. However, when it comes to document design, you can narrow things down to a few basic principles. Master those and you’ll be able…

Clever posters to learn fun facts about your body

Who doesn’t love the cool information featuring weird did you know fun facts about the human body? For instance, the human eye is so sensitive that if the Earth were flat, you could spot a candle flickering at night from up to 30 miles away.

Funny, minimalist letterpress Valentine’s Day cards

Happy Valentine’s Day! Yes, it’s that time of year again when we spend copious amounts of money to show our loved ones just how much we care. 

Infographic: Which graphic design career suits you?

Are you looking to join the design industry and turn your big ideas into bigger creative? If you’re looking to start a graphic design career, you need to figure out which speciality suits you best.

7 useful graphic design tips for non-designers

When creating designs for print or web, you don’t need a degree in graphic design. You just need to wrap your head around some of the best graphic design practices. In a blog post for online design tool Canva, graphic designer Poppie Pack has outlined some useful design…

Ridiculous requests and things you shouldn’t say to a graphic designer

If you’re a graphic designer (or even an art director like me for that matter), one of the hardest things is trying to accede to your client’s vague, obscure and sometimes ridiculous requests; the ones that don’t clearly state what they want.

Break the bad news with humorous and beautiful calligraphy

How do you break bad news to someone? Do you sugarcoat it or tell the truth? If you’ve ever had to break bad news to someone, but weren’t quite sure how to do it, there’s now a solutions. Seb Lester is a graphic designer from the UK. He has a love or…