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.

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.

Suntory’s non-alcoholic colourless beer lets you drink judgement-free

The colourless beverage trend in Japan includes drinks like yogurt drinks, milk tea, coffee, and most recently, beer. On June 19th, Japanese drinks giant Suntory is launching a non-alcoholic colourless beer; packaged in a plastic bottle, the company hopes it will be particularly popular with…

Volkswagen anti-texting & driving campaign turns crashed cars into phone cases

Taking your eyes off the road while driving, even for a second, could lead to disaster. When it comes to distracted driving, texting is becoming the number one concert. In fact, Canadians say that texting while driving is one of the biggest threats to their personal…

The 4 traits of good vs great designers

There are plenty of bad designers out there, but there are also lots of good ones. A good designer is someone who has an eye for what works and what doesn’t; they’re more than confident with their design skills and can adapt to what’s asked…

Spotify reveals 2017 users’ most embarrassing listening habits

The popular streaming service Spotify has once again erected a number of billboards that expose the shameless listening habits of some of its users. Titled 2018 Goals, the new campaign proves that clearing out your “recently played” just isn’t enough anymore. 

Giant London billboard knows your car, even how you’re feeling

Many drivers and pedestrians have become used to tuning out billboard advertisements. But what if those billboards could serve up ads to you based on your vehicle, or even how you’re feeling? One London billboard is trying just that.

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.

14 Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, stores are flooded with candy hearts, chocolates and stuffed animals. And while North Americas shower their loved ones this way, other countries around the world declare their love differently.

Spotify’s OOH campaign reveals its users’ most embarrassing listening habits

Were you the one who used Spotify to play “Sorry” 42 times last Valentine’s day? If you had unlimited access to people’s listening habits, the results would be more intriguing than you could imagine.

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…

Useless plastic NoPhone curbs smartphone addiction

According to Occam’s razor, the simplest solutions are oft the best. And when trying to ease smartphone addiction, it couldn’t possibly get simpler than the NoPhone. This 100% water resistant phone-shaped device is essentially a rectangular plastic slab. What does it do? Absolutely nothing save act as surrogate…

Powerful ads feature animals tied up like garbage bags

An argument can be made that in order to deserve respect from other humans, you need to be human. However, with peoples deep love for animals, it raises fundamental questions about the basis of moral rights. 

25 potential culture shocks from around the world

Don’t flush your toilet paper and never finish your food or you’ll seem rude. When traveling to other countries for the first time, some local practices might come as potential culture shocks to foreigners. This handy infographic reveals surprising habits and social faux pas from around the world.

Common Photoshop mistakes and how to avoid them

As the industry standard, Photoshop is a powerful image editing tool for designers. There are lots of Photoshop resources around to help us keep on top of thing, including handy tutorials. But in the wrong hands it can affect quality and make things less productive.

Talking cat collar turns kitty’s meows into speech

Is your cat trying to tell yo something? According to Arden Moore, author of The Cat Behavior Answer Book, cats are capable of making at least 30 sounds. Cats are also have at least 19 variations on the simple meow. In an attempt to bridge the gap between…

Why sarcastic people are more creative

Did you know that 64 percent of the people who make sarcastic comments are able to find a creative solution to their problem?

3 proven ways to prevent awkward conversations

Did you know that there are proven ways to prevent the conversation from turning awkward?

Test your urinal etiquette with this online game

Most men are aware of the unspoken golden rule of urinal etiquette: if possible, never stand next to another dude when peeing.

Powerful ads warn about the dangers of child neglect

Child neglect comes in many forms. Unfortunately, behaving negligent with a child also encourages bigger problems.

5 habits that make you look unprofessional

Do one or more of your colleagues behave unprofessionally at work, leaving you to question how they even still have a job? We’re all creatures of habit and it’s hard to change the behaviours we’ve become accustomed to. But like I’m sure your mother said, “There’s a time…

Subtle body language tricks to make you instantly likeable

Verbal cues aren’t the only way that humans express what they’re thinking or feeling. In fact, we express a lot through visual cues given off by our body language. It also plays a large factor in the type of impression we make on others.

Learn the reason why we pretend to be busy

Chances are that throughout your day someone has asked you, “hey, are you busy?“ And whether you were or not, your answer was probably yes. But why?

Clever ads show how smartphone obsession hurts those around us

According to researchers, the average person is so engrossed in their smart device that they can no longer accurately read how people are feeling. Those same people also have such an obsession with their devices that they’ve forgotten how to properly interact with people in…

How to be the jerk on your design team

When you’re working on your own, there’s a sense of freedom to do things your way on your time. However, if you’re working as part of a design team, it’s easy for personalities to clash.

What not to say on your first day at work

You’ve searched for the job, made it through all of the interviews and referencing to finally land that exciting new job. Now you just have to make it through the first day. It’s natural to want to be liked, to impress, or fit in quickly. However,…

The 2 types of email users: Which are you?

All email users have their own unique habits, it seems. I’ve known some who have to read every single email that comes through their inbox. And I’ve known others who have completely opposite habits, only checking what’s at the top… sometimes.

Analyzing the signatures of tech entrepreneurs

Your signature is unique to you. It’s a mark that represents you on important documents; something that allows people to trust that what it represents came from you. But did you know that signatures can indicate over 5,000 personality traits?

Phone etiquette rules every professional should follow

Presenting a professional image, both on the phone and in person, is very important.

10 humorous confessions of a guilty designer

Even if you're a diligent designer, you've probably committed at least one or two design sins.

Things clients say when wanting cheaper work

There’s no doubt that you’ll come across clients who make ridiculous demands. And sure, designers might tell little lies to avoid having to deal with those demands. But what do you do when a client comes to you wanting cheaper work?

Infographic: Handshakes around the world

Most people understand that you have one chance to make a first impression. How you give your handshakes and/or greetings are part of that impression. Giving handshakes, however simple it sounds, can mean serious business, especially when different cultures have their own rules about how…

Infographic: 5 ways to identify lying clients

Sometimes it’s not what people say, but how they say it. And there’s really nothing worse than lying clients who have a casual relationship with the truth—except one who won’t pay. Lying clients make life difficult for everyone and makes you look like a fool for…

Discover the work habits of Millennials

Sorry bosses, a new breed of worker is attacking everything you hold sacred—from giving orders, to your starched white shirt and tie. They’re called Millennials (or Generation Y); born between 1980 and 1995, they’re rapidly taking over jobs from baby boomers who are now entering retirement.

Infographic: Take back your mornings

Are you usually less productive in the morning? For me, mornings are time to get things done before the workday begins. However, great mornings don’t just happen, they’re planned. They’re also about creating a routine that works; keeping you inspired and not just wired.

Infographic: The 10 most irritating co-worker habits

You can pick your friends, you can’t pick your family and for the most part, you can’t pick your co-workers. Even if you could, it’s hard to see through the veneer of professional behaviour most people put on for a job interview. Worst of all, unlike with irritating acquaintances,…

How coffee reflects your productivity at work

Could you start the day without your morning Double-Double? Is it out of habit or do we really believe that a morning coffee will increase our productivity at work?

The ultimate guide to office bathroom etiquette

When it comes to the office bathroom, there are unspoken rules that should always be adhered to; leaving wiggle room in the mens, and throwing feminine products in the right bin in the ladies, for example. However, if you have a colleague in need of a…

Make crossing the road fun with dancing pedestrian signals

We’ve all done it; waiting for a traffic light to turn, checking to see if it’s clear, then doing the mad dash for the other side of the street. It’s not the safest move. Creatively taking on the question of “how can we make our cities…

A sidewalk lane in China for people on their phones

These days people are captivated by their smartphones and connected devices; so much so that they have become oblivious to the world around them. This smartphone addiction is especially prevalent in Chinese youth. That’s why the city of Chongqing has created the first mobile phone sidewalk.

Gorgeous molecular structure necklaces from common drugs

Most people don’t understand why or how someone could become addicted to drugs. Lets face it, we all have a vice; it might not be an illicit drug, but we’re all addicted to something.

Everything you ever wanted to know about napping

When was the last time you had a nice, leisurely nap? If you’re not a morning person like me, getting up early to start work leaves you feeling tired most of the day. To ease that tired feeling, I find napping (whenever possible) help give…

Infographic: What do people read while on the toilet?

Do you bring your cellphone with you to the toilet? Whether you admit it or not, most of us actually do some form of reading while in the can. In fact 63% of people read a book, magazine, or newspaper while using the bathroom; another…

Passed out drunk people on the streets are turned into billboards

For most people, a quiet drink after work is a quick treat before they head home for their dinner. However, for these Japanese, the end-of-the-day quickly pint turns into one too many. The result is people becoming passed out drunk and end up sleeping on the streets of Tokyo. 

Truth Facts about our daily routines and habits

Each day you wake up and rush to get ready for work. You shower at lightning speed, wolf down your breakfast and grab your coffee before running out the door. After work, you eat dinner, sprawl out on the couch and binge Netflix. Then it’s…

Are you striving for happiness, but not sure how to get there? Learn the science behind it being happy

Chances are pretty good that your main goal in life is to end up happy. Is it accomplished through good finances, material goods, love, or something else entirely? And what is happiness exactly? Is it purely an emotion, or does being happy transcend just an in-the-moment chemical reaction?…

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…

A funny illustrated guide of chivalry for the modern man

In a world filled with late-night booty calls and infidelity, it’s easy to become jaded by today’s dating scene. Women expect the worst from men; proceeding cautiously during the first few months of dating. It becomes a relief for them when they then stumble upon those few true gentlemen.…

Learn offensive hand gestures from around the world you should avoid

Travelling around the world has plenty of benefits: seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. Well, if you’re going to travel off the beaten path, be careful; so much as a thumb in the wrong direction could prove to be a huge insult to…