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.

Email phrases that seem polite, but have different meanings

We receive plenty of work #emails the begin with phrases that sound polite, but they often have a passive-aggressive tone.

BK uses actual photos of car crashes to encourage home delivery

Some people are so hungry for a Whopper that they don’t just go through the drive-thru, they go through the entire restaurant. And that’s what led Burger King to create this campaign by Lola MullenLowe, promoting home delivery with images of real car crashes that occurred…

Burger King’s AI-written ads prove tech can’t substitute great ideas

Using artificial intelligence (AI) to revolutionize the future of marketing might be a threat to certain jobs, but Burger King isn’t buying into it yet.

Over-the-top Toyota ad replaces Chuck Norris with a truck

Chuck Norris is so tough that there’s no chin under his beard, only another fist. But this new commercial by Toyota sees the roundhouse kicking actor being replaced by a truck.

Fruit of the Loom has a message for shirtless selfie men on Instagram

For men on social media, the shirtless selfie has become a ubiquitous calling card, shamelessly saying, “Here I am! See me! Notice me! ‘Like’ me!” Clothing brand Fruit of the Loom has taken notice and are worried that men’s lower-quality shirts are being #ripped and #shredded.

Street artist leaves ironic messages all over the UK

Street artist Mobstr wanted to see how long it would take before city workers removed the poorly-painted word rats from a canal-side wall. He was shocked that it stayed up for 13 months; it was only removed when the wall in Stratford, east London, was demolished.

Funny typography puns to put a smile on your face

This series of typography puns is meant to lift the spirits of fellow designers; it’s a good way to start your week. In this DesignTAXI series created by Caisa Nilaseca, you’ll find yourself smiling at these funny typographic puns.

Company makes humorous soaps for all types of people

Do you still use bar soaps or do you use a body wash? If you still use bars, then these products might be just what you’re looking for. And while the soap industry may not be known for its sense of humour, an American company…

What if stock videos had subtitles telling a different story?

You know there are a lot of stock photos out there. They’re used when you either don’t have the time or budget to do your own photography. Did you know that stock videos exist as well with a similar purpose?

Twitter account pokes fun at disturbing stock imagery

Stock imagery is used by media outlets when they don’t have a photo to illustrate a particular story; or when art directors are putting together a concept. Either way, there is a disturbing amount of options available on stock websites like iStock or Shutterstock.

Illustrated charts visualize what an asshole client is

We all have them: the asshole client. There’s no getting around it; you’re going to encounter them from time to time working in design. And as much as we’d all like to believe that what goes around comes around, the reality is they don’t get what’s…

Smirnoff humorously trolls Trump with new transit ad

Whether you like your vodka straight, on the rocks or in your Bloody Mary, there’s a reason Smirnoff received a ton of buzz recently. In its new transit shelter ad campaign, Smirnoff takes a shot at President Donald Trump.

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…

A new currency for people who don’t give zero fucks

Caring too much can be tortuous. For your own health, it’s good to not care what others say or how they feel about you. Professionally, that’s another matter. However, if you want to let people know that you give zero fucks, this Kickstarter project is…

McDonald’s dull new uniforms inspire online teasing

Last month, McDonald’s unveiled new uniforms for its U.S. locations in 2017. And with that release, the new uniforms are prompting some online teasing; with comments saying the grey-toned shirts and aprons make employees look like they’re part of totalitarian regimes.

Humorous illustration uses pirates to depict terrible clients

You can’t blame your clients for not knowing what is and isn’t good design – that’s your job to show them. You can’t, however, forgive them for assuming that your time is free.

Where do you fall in the 7 circles of developer Hell?

Unfortunately, like most jobs, the work of a developer isn’t all sunshine and lollipops. It’s filled with unique frustrations that only other developers would be able to relate to.

Instagram account pokes fun at fonts and typefaces

Instagram is a good resource when you’re looking for inspiration. It’s also a great place to find hilarious quotes and sayings.

IKEA renames products after frequently Googled problems their products solve

For those searching through endless pages on Google for relationship advice, be wary. IKEA may be using your search queries for inspiration in their new brand campaign, ‘Retail Therapy’.

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…

Clever campaign for erotic books gets around censorship

How can you create an advertising campaign for a series of erotic books without getting dealing with censorship? That was the challenge for Brussels-based communications agency Mortierbrigade.

Artist helps friends bar with creative chalk signs

The Spirits Tavern in Dahlonega, Georgia had been seeing a decline in patrons. That’s when owner Sabrina Walker had the idea to recruit local artists to design chalk signs for her business. She managed to get a friend of hers, Ollie Wolff Pruitt, aka littlewolff, to take on the…

Bathroom spray uses real gold particles to remove odour

If a unicorn farted golden rainbows into a bottle, would you buy it? Even if it’s guaranteed to give you “the best-smelling poop of your life” or your money back? And no, you’re not having a scatological acid trip… but it might be the closest you’ll get.

Funny holiday cards based on popular Twitter topics

After a not-so-great 2016, website Roasted Nuts decided to lighten things up with a collection of testy holiday cards. In an attempt to unite the world, they searched out their favourite Twitter topics and turned them into cards.

Art Director comically photobombs stock images

Most Art Directors find that stock images are mundane and feel kind of fake. Unfortunately, we often need to use them to complete our tasks. After viewing thousands of stock images for work, Art Director Matthew Vescovo decided to inject a dose of reality into them by injecting himself.

10 differences between designers and clients

From the most seasoned Creative Director to a Graphic Design graduate all know that creatives and clients don’t always see eye-to-eye. Besides having contrasting roles, their perceptions on colours differences, typeface and image source also vary. While designers might value creative ideas, they’re worth nothing to a…

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…

Cute offensive animal greeting cards

Are you one of those people who love to hand out greeting cards? Well, I’m not. There’s nothing as impersonal and insincere that you can receive on a special occasion. If you’re going to give a greeting card, make sure it says how you really feel. So…

Burger King becomes McDonald’s ghost for Halloween

Talk about being burned. A Burger King location in Queens, New York, has taken a jab at McDonald’s for Halloween. In the amusing prank, a BK restaurant was transformed into the ghost of its famous rival. The entire building was draped in white sheets, accompanied by a sign that…

From the creators of ‘Exploding Kittens’ comes ‘Bears VS Babies’

Matthew Inman may not be a household name, but you might know The Oatmeal, a webcomic that he created. Last year, he teamed up with game designer Elan Lee to create Exploding Kittens; a card game that became the most backed Kickstarter campaign ever. Well, they’re back with a brand new…

Life in an ad agency shown through stock photos

Stock photos get a lot of hate. And most of time, the annoyance makes sense. We’ve all seen our share of cliché images, and there are lots of weird, creepy ones that leave you wondering who would want to use them. Then you see them thrown in…

Artist creates monsters next to subway passengers

If commute on the subway, you either stare at your phone, the floor, or enjoy the pleasures of people watching. It can be interesting to observe people’s emotions and expressions. And the New York subway can be a pretty strange place, even at the best of times. Sometimes the expressions of these strange…

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…

Instagram account shares funny memes for creatives

Creatives, do you enjoy memes about your industry? If you do, you should definitely follow @screensaviors on Instagram.

The unintentional exercises designers do while working

It takes a lot of work to get a chiselled look and rock-hard abs. The way I see it though, who needs a six-pack when you have a keg. That being said, physical activity has a positive impact on brain health.

If ad agency life was represented by bbq items…

No industry in the world is as masochistic as much as the advertising industry. We criticize the work we create and condemn the environments in which we create it. And then we denounce the same award shows whose recognition we covet so much. Finally we disparage the clients who…

Fake animal facts left all over Los Angeles Zoo

California-based comedian Jeff Wysaski, who goes by the handle Obvious Plant, has recently pranked the public. If you happened to visit the Los Angeles Zoo recently, you may have spotted some rather unusual facts regarding some of the animals.

People react to ridiculous client demands

We’ve all had them at one time or another. No, not the clap; I’m talking about the ridiculous client demands. Terrible clients come in all shapes, but in the following video, it comes in form of suit-wearing businessman called ‘Matt’.

The realities of modern life in funny, honest illustrations

Life in the modern world isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Chances are that if we received brochures before being born that we’d say uh-uh, no thanks. These illustrations by Mexican artist Eduardo Salles poke fun at the realities of modern life. You might…

Ad industry spoof features Ryan Reynolds hanging off helicopter

Communications service brand BT‘s Behind The Scenes advertising campaign continues to build on the success of the recent up-to 52Mbps ad starring actor Ryan Reynolds.

Memes that highlight the real struggles of designers

Working as a designer isn’t as glorified as many of us like to make it out to be. Sure we sit behind our fancy computers with huge screens, designing pretty images; however working in design can also be one of the most stressful, involving and cutting edge…

Illustrations portray the death of unlucky cartoons

Dark humour or black comedy makes light of serious, disturbing and/or taboo subject matter. And it also happens to be the subject of some of Illustrator Ben Chen’s work.

The Handy Awards celebrates advertising’s biggest wankers

Any adman can earn some glory whether they’re in the privacy of their own office or chilling at home.

Creative’s life summed up in 8 hilarious GIFs

If your a creative professional, like a graphic designer, copywriter, art director, etc., you’re part of a global community where you all can relate to each others trials and tributes. Mumbai-based entrepreneur and product marketer Abhilash Krishnan, has created a hilarious collection of GIFs that creative professionals the world…

Renaissance art reimagined as Instagram posts

Imagine what these Renaissance artworks would be like today if they appeared in our modern world.

Brutally honest parody of makeup ads

YouTube comedy channel Cracked shows us their brutally honest parody of makeup ads.

What if common design terms were taken literally?

For those of us who do understand common design terms, this series of illustrations gives them a literal spin.

Amusing video shows women how to ride bitch

This tongue-in-cheek tutorial video by Director Alex Vivian is your guide to female-on-female motorcycle riding.

RALFH at WestJet wishes you a Happy April Fools’ Day

Yes, it’s April first again. For most of us, it’s the most annoying day of the year, with people (and companies) trying hard to prank each other. In their continuing spirit of the day, WestJet has once again released its annual April Fools’ video. This year…

10 ways people really annoy graphic designers

"Can you make the logo design bigger?" is probably the most heard and most annoying thing you can say.