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.

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.

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.

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.

Real estate ad for a $100 million mansion is basically softcore porn

You’ll hear the phrase often when you enter the advertising industry: sex sells. But do people really buy a product just because it has sexually stimulating imagery attached to it? For this US$100 million OPUS mansion in Beverly Hills, half-naked women covered in gold paint star in a…

Penis seat installed on a Mexico City train to highlight sexual harassment

Have you ever been sexually harassed on public transit before? If you’re in Mexico City, it happens quite a bit. The United Nations and Mexico City‘s government have joined together to launch this campaign against the soaring rates of sexual harassment on the city’s public transit. How? By…

Real estate agency In hot water for objectifying women in sexist ad

A transit poster popped up recently in the London Underground that’s turning heads for the wrong reasons. Real estate agency Marsh and Parsons has received severe criticism following the release of an advertisement objectifying women.

Grope Sans: A quirky and risqué private parts themed typeface

Apparently, Valentine’s Day wasn’t all chocolates and roses. Food design and research studio Bompas & Parr, out of Liverpool, has created a new risqué typeface called Grope Sans. Created for Valentine’s Day, this racy typeface by graphic designer Flo Fairweather, is adorned with nipples, vaginas and penises.

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.

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.

Can you tell jewellery from a sex toy? Take the quiz

As jewellery becomes more elegant and sex toys get more creative, it can be hard to tell them apart. So to test your design knowledge, Cosmopolitan has created a quiz to see how well you know your sex toys and jewellery.

College student’s photo series protests rapists release

In June of this year, Brock Turner, a former student at Stanford University in California, was sentenced for rape. He received only six months for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at a campus party. As you can probably imagine, many people were understandably…

Dove’s empowering ad spotlights women’s capabilities

It’s a struggle that I’m sure many women can relate to: being judged on looks, rather than personality or experience. Well known for its empowering marketing campaigns, this focus of the new ad by Dove.

Paint swatchs used to create erotic artworks

A few weeks ago at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery in London, visual artist Nick Smith showcased a new series of artworks that were inspired by erotic literature.

Popular, yet controversial, upskirt umbrellas

Japan loves its animation and has a lot of anime merchandise aimed at the market there and around the globe. Hoping to establish the theme of Crazy Japan around the world, a designer collective called Million Girls Project intends to produce everyday products with a bizarre, controversial…

Highly sexual words to add to your vocabulary

This list contains highly sexual words that describe naughty moments in life.

Are they sex toys or dog toys? Can you tell?

With a wide array of dog toys on the market, they come in all shapes, sizes and colours for you to have some innocent fun with Rover. But with all those different shapes, they can sometimes resemble playthings that are much less innocuous.

This book shows you how to fold sex-themed origami

If you really want to impress people with artistic paper folding skills beyond making paper airplanes, origami is the way to go. Origami is the art of paper folding and normally features animals shapes, flowers, and other designs. However, if standard origami is a bit too boring…

Scientifically proven ways to flirt better

Are you looking to flirt someone special? Exactly how do we signal our sexual interest and intent in each other? It may seem trivialized, but the coquettish behaviour indulged in by men and women alike is actually vital for our general health and reproductive fitness.

How to impress your partner in the bedroom

Whether you’re in a relationship or a bit of a player, everyone wants to impress their partner in the bedroom. That’s why Carvaka has created an infographic that lists 10 different methods to impress both women and men.

NSFW: What would happen if Carlsberg did erotic drama

Your typical beer ad contains some form of sexual innuendo or another. But what happens if a beer company was able to blur the lines of alcohol advertising and take it to the next level? You’d get this erotic drama from Danish-brewer Carlsberg.

Naughty print ad likens a wallet to a vagina

To promote the affordability of German online sex shop EIS.de’s love-making products, Hamburg-based ad agency Jung von Matt has created a naughty print ad.

The world’s first sex commercial to promote the act

Sex is used to sell everything from automobiles to real estate, hamburgers, and everything in between. But do people really buy a product just because it has sexually stimulating imagery attached to it? And more importantly, do they respond to it regardless? 

Learn about history’s worst contraceptives

Not to judge, but If you’re planning on having sex, wear protection. For women to protect themselves, chances are their using contraceptives like the Pill.

Bizarre Japanese cookbook require the use of condoms

With all of the television shows and networks that revolve around food, you probably thought you’ve seen it all. Chances are you haven’t seen this Japanese cookbook. If you’re wondering what makes it so unique, well, it’s centred around condoms. 

Watch 6 easy hacks for better sex

Life hacks have occupied everything from our offices to bathrooms, closets, and kitchens. Since we’re hacking everything else these days, why not sex, too? 

The international styles of kissing

A survey of 3,500 singles regarding their thoughts about kissing, found that most have dated a bad kisser. 73% of those singles polled, also claim they’ve been stuck in a bad kissing situation.

A hot and sexy lingerie ad directed by Penélope Cruz

Penélope Cruz has returned both on and behind the camera to hawk L’Agent; the lingerie line she and her sister Monica developed for Agent Provocateur. Just like the banned fitness ad by TomTom, this lingerie ad will probably leave you hot under the collar.

An elegant necklace that’s also a vibrator

Wearable technology has never been more… pleasurable. This elegant necklace by design-focused sex toy company CRAVE is more than just a fashion statement, it’s a vibrator.

12 myths about sex you probably didn’t know

There are plenty of myths surrounding sex and our attitude towards pleasure. In fact, popular culture often tends to build up sex as something illusive or grandiose.

Do you think about sex every 7 seconds?

It’s been estimated that men think about sex every 7 seconds. If we believe the stats, thinking about sex every seven seconds adds up to 514 times an hour. Or approximately 7,200 times during the waking day. Is that a lot? I’m not sure, but…

The 10 best pickup lines that don’t sound like pickup lines

Using a pickup line to get a woman’s attention is something I wouldn’t recommend doing. I’m also pretty sure that any woman would probably tell you it’s an awful idea too. Pickup lines basically imply that you lack intelligence–that you don’t have that charm a women wants…

What the world looks like, before and after a breakup

Saying goodbye to the person you were once close with after a breakup can be a hard thing to do. Chances are that we’ve all been there or know someone whose been in that situation. When it happens to you, it’s devastating. And while people can relate,…