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…

Doritos throws in the towel with a new chip bag that cleans your fingers

We’ve all been there. Our hands deep in a bag of Doritos and the sudden need to grab something other than another fistful of chips. That’s the moment you decide to wipe those cheesy hands on your shirt, your pants, the couch, something else. Doritos…

Augmented Reality tattoo generates Sonic the Hedgehog

This unique Augmented Reality tattoo actually generates a version of a Sonic the Hedgehog game.

How to avoid burnout as a small business owner

1 out of 10 businesses fail because of lack of passion, and it’s estimated that negativity costs businesses $3 billion in productivity every year.

Adult-friendly LEGO kits to build a mini Leica camera

Designer Chris McVeigh and LEGO have teamed up to create a Leica M model kit. Each set lets you build your own toy version of the iconic camera.

McDonald’s introduces its first vegan-friendly Happy Meal

One third of McDonald’s UK customers polled said it was important to them to include more meat-free meals.

Tiffany & Co. releases what’s essentially fancy LEGO for US$1,650

Did you love LEGO as a kid, but feel that it's not luxurious enough now that you're older? Well, Tiffany & Co. has just released a more opulent version that's the perfect gift for your inner child.

Spice up the holidays with the KFC fire log

Forget pine and cinnamon. Maybe Christmas should smell like crispy fried chicken.

Based on popular 2018 hashtags, Instagram rolls out #InstaGiftGuide

The #InstaGiftGuide matches six popular hashtag trends from 2018 with gift-worthy products from 34 brands on Instagram.

McDonald’s releases McNugget Christmas ornaments

One of the world’s largest fast food chains is sprucing up the holiday season with some signature Christmas ornaments. McDonald’s UK has just rolled out two variations of ornaments. Celebrating the almighty Chicken McNugget, you’ll want a full box of 50. 

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.

Starbucks to ban porn in its stores, so YouPorn bans them from offices

Apparently Starbucks doesn’t want its customers using their free WiFi to look at porn. Enough Is Enough, a nonprofit dedicated to internet safety, created a petition calling for the coffee chain to block access to explicit materials.

Fashion retailer sells twigs for US$50 leaving Internet speechless

If you visit the website of fashion retailer Anthropologie, you’ll see a product called Birch Branch Bundle. Exactly what the name implies, this bundle of decorative twigs is not much different from what you’d find in your own yard.

Scents to help you work

Everywhere you look, it seems that there is a new suggestion or idea on how to increase your productivity and efficiency at work. This isn’t surprising, since cracking the code of how to stay on top of your tasks and truly shine in your work…

Up your gaming interior with Sony Playstation furniture

If you’re wondering what to get the gamer in your life for Christmas, how about official PlayStation furniture like a branded bean bag chair? 

Organ donation ad featuring Jesus at the crucifixion sparks controversy

An Australian group has released a new ad to promote organ donation. And as they point out in the ad, organ donation can save lives. However, the number of people who register for organ donation remains relatively low.

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.

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.

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.

IKEA wants to make self-driving cars that double as cafés & offices

IKEA just became the latest company to announce it’s experimenting with self-driving cars. Well, calling them cars isn’t quite right. While the Swedish furniture giant isn’t looking to become the next Tesla, they’re taking an entirely different approach to the concept.

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.

Millennial parents are naming their kids based on available domains

Forget the baby books, there’s a new way to get baby name inspiration. According to a new study, Millennial parents are naming their kids based on available domain names.

Expose catfishes by hiring a professional social media stalker

Online dating is at an all-time high. In fact, it’s quickly turned into a billion-dollar industry. And according to at least one poll, it’s the second most common way to find a significant other. But what if you want to know more details about your…

Tesla debuts surfboard that immediately sells out

Billionaire Elon Musk has created some interesting merchandise to promote his companies over the years: everything from Boring Company hats to a flamethrower. Last week, Tesla debuted a new product: a limited edition US$1,500 surfboard.

How to remain calm and composed under pressure

Regardless of your profession, many people around the world have felt under pressure at one time or another. Yet, somehow great leaders always seem to remain calm during situations that make others fall to pieces.

AI uses wireless technology to sense people through walls

For decades, scientists have been looking to create x-ray vision to see through walls. And, in the past few years, they’ve succeeded; they created technology that uses WiFi to sense people through walls.

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…

World’s first 3D-printed concrete houses are coming to the Netherlands

It appears that technology is finally catching up with the construction industry’s ambitions, as a handful of 3D-printed projects inch closer to fruition. The Dutch city of Eindhoven will be the first in the world to have habitable 3D-printed concrete houses.

2 colours that research says will make you smarter and more creative

Colour can produce mental and emotional effects on sighted people in all facets of life. Red, blue, yellow and green all relate respectively to the body, mind, and emotions. You may know how to appear smarter in emails or meetings, even ways to be creative. However, scientists…

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…

New survey finds people cannot correctly remember food brand logos

Despite millions spent on marketing, a new study by Kitchen Cabinet Kings finds that very few consumers can accurately remember food brand logos of the most well-known companies.

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…

IKEA is experimenting with adding bugs to their meatballs and burgers

At the rate we’re going there will be billions more hungry mouths putting a strain on the planet’s resources. However, eating bugs might be a solution. SPACE10, IKEA’s external innovation lab, has begun experimenting with putting mealworms and other bugs into their meatballs and burgers. More…

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…

Artist accuses Domino’s Pizza of plagiarism

They say that great artists steal, while poor artists borrow; and this often leads to accusations of plagiarism. In fact, companies have been caught on several occasions plagiarizing other artists work for their own gains.

Instagram and Snapchat disable Giphy after racist GIF surfaces

Both Instagram and Snapchat have temporarily disabled their Giphy GIF sticker features after reports of a racist GIF on the platforms surfaced.

Suit company loses thousands of online followers after releasing same-sex ads

Most companies try to avoid controversy. While it does get you a lot of press, there are too many chances for it to go wrong. Regardless, Amsterdam-based menswear company SuitSupply gave it a shot.

Spice up your Valentine’s with KFC’s chicken scratch & sniff cards

This Valentine’s Day, KFC wants you to send your crush a special card. To show your loved ones how much you care, give them a fried chicken scratch & sniff Valentine’s Day card featuring Colonel Sanders.

IKEA encourages you to pee on its ad

IKEA has come up with an ingenious way to get would-be parents into their Swedish stores. They’ve created a magazine ad that you pee on to determine if you’re pregnant.

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. 

Festive nail art inspired by the ugly sweater trend

There are plenty of ways to show off your holiday spirit, like Christmas beard baubles; but nothing says festive quite like ugly sweater inspired nail art. This viral DIY beauty trend will really get you into the holiday spirit.

KFC launches festive bucket designs created by 5 artist collectives

Just in time for the holidays, KFC has unveiled a series of six new limited edition festive bucket design. Forgoing KFC’s typical festive campaign, this year they’ve decided to put their iconic bucket in the spotlight.

Coat your lips this winter with Pop Tart Lip Balms

Lip balms are important during the winter months as the air tends to be dryer. Therefore it’s essential to keep your lips moisturized. So if you want to kiss your dry lips goodbye, Mad Beauty has the perfect solution.

KFC debuts fried chicken-scented bath salts

If you’ve had a stressful day, perhaps you enjoy relaxing in the tub with some scented bath salts. To most people, a smell isn’t just a fragrance—it’s a memory. And if you’re hankering for the smell of chicken, KFC’s latest addition might make your day batter. 

Facebook wants your nude pictures, but for a good reason

Facebook—who can’t seem to control its own content—hopes we’ll trust it with our nude pictures. It’s an interesting, yet brazen plan they have to try to combat revenge porn.

Burger King serves up an effective anti-bullying PSA

If you saw someone being bullied, would you say something? That was the premise of an effective anti-bullying experiment conducted by Burger King in honour of National Bullying Prevention Month.

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.

Zodiac inspired tattoos to reflect your personality

When it comes to commitment, getting a tattoo is near the top. Therefore, if you get one, you’ll want to feel good about it and what it represents about you. For those who are guided by astrology, but aren’t sure which design to get, you may want to…

Heineken-owned craft brewer is making marijuana beer

These days, you can find marijuana infused in everything from bath bombs to pizza. In fact, once Canada finally legalizes it next year, expect to see a lot more edibles on the market here. However, already legal in California, marijuana beer has debuted.

To combat harassment, women are buying anti-pervert flamethrowers

Assaulting women is never the right thing. And now, would-be sex attackers could end up burnt or even disfigured by flamethrowers being marketed at women in China.