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.

A limited-edition bicycle made from 300 recycled Nespresso coffee pods

These limited-edition bicycles use the aluminum garnered from used Nespresso coffee pods.

This colour-reflecting survival jacket is made of 2 billion glass spheres

Mimicking the adaptive skin of a squid, this jacket can reflect colours when exposed to light.

Amazon criticized for new non-recyclable packaging

Environmentally conscious shoppers have started complaining about Amazon’s use of plastic packaging.

Keep cool on the go with Sony’s wearable air conditioner

About the size of a small wallet, this portable device will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

These Converse shoes start changing colours in sunlight

The UV-activated sneakers have the same classic Chuck Taylor All-Star design you'll recognize.

Reusable mesh produce bags are a sustainable shopping alternative

Reusable mesh produce bags are a sustainable alternative to plastic produce bags.

Adobe’s new AI can detect Photoshopped faces and reveal the original

Adobe is outing its own software with a new AI that can detect Photoshopped faces in photographs.

Inventor creates taller glasses to help shorter people see above crowds

The One Foot Taller glasses work like a periscope so that the wearer can see beyond the crowd no matter their height.

Apple kills off iTunes to replace it with 3 other apps

Apple has announced that iTunes is no more and its music library will be divided across three apps.

Game of Thrones-inspired fire-breathing dragon lamp

Bring the GoT fantasy vibe to your home with a 3D-printed, fire-breathing dragon lamp.

Adidas announces first 100% recyclable running shoe

The Futurecraft.Loop is Adidas' first shoe that can be completely remade into another high-performance shoe.

LEGO releases Braille bricks for visually impaired children

For children who are born visually impaired, Braille is a crucial skill to learn and LEGO has come up with a way to make it fun.

NVIDIA’s AI app can transform simple doodles into realistic landscapes

Using an app that looks like MS Paint, anyone can turn basic outlines into photorealistic images.

BK offers free Whoppers for setting its rivals’ ads on fire

Though it sounds like BK is inciting arson, they actually want users to do it through a new AR app.

Japanese company to 3D-print custom sushi based on diner’s urine

A Japanese company is fusing science and food to create sushi uniquely designed for each diner.

Nike focuses on sustainable footwear for summer 2019

Today may be the first day of spring, but thoughts of summer are already on the horizon for Nike as they preview their sustainable footwear.

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.

Hyundai’s electric walking car concept is reminiscent of Star Wars

Presented with a video animation at CES 2019, the walking car dubbed Elevate, involves some inspired engineering that would be great to have along when doing some epic back-county skiing or biking trips.

KFC ensures you don’t smudge your phone with this synthetic finger

Sometimes you just have to share your love fried chicken while you eat. However, using your smartphone with chicken-scented fingers might leave your shiny display covered in grease and grime. Not to worry though, KFC has a better way to live-tweet what you’re eating.

Russian start-up plans to deploy space-based billboards

A Russian startup, StartRocket, plans massive billboards to beam advertisements to Earth from space.

Nestlé says goodbye to single-use plastic

In a recent press release, Nestlé stated that it will begin eliminating all plastic straws in its products.

Don’t like tying your laces? Check out Nike’s self-lacing basketball shoes

Nike's Adapt BB are an auto-lacing, app-controlled basketball shoe that's loaded technological advancements.

7 web design trends that could shape 2019

2019 web design trends are expected to see aesthetics and technology come together like never before.

For designers on the go, iPad finally gets a full version of Photoshop

Adobe’s premiere image editor, Photoshop remains the industry standard because of how the software can assist photographers and graphic designers in doing their jobs. It is, however, about the get a lot easier for Apple users. This year Adobe is finally bringing Photoshop CC—a fully…

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.

World’s first fully 3D printed electric motorcycle

BigRep, one of the leading companies in large-scale industrial 3D printing, has demoed a stunning new concept to show off their manufacturing prowess.

Pantone’s new colour finder helps you find the right hues

Pantone has been a colour leader for a while now, but as designers, there are great many advantages of using Pantone as a colour guide. Designers routinely undergo multiple handovers each time they work on a project, and earlier this year, the company promised to simplify work processes for…

Adobe sued over bug that deleted freelancer’s work

One of the most important things to remember in design is to back-up your work. That being said, sometimes even the those files can be vulnerable to bugs. That’s the case with a freelance videographer who recently filed a class action lawsuit against Adobe.

Dubai Police begin training on futuristic Hoverbikes

Here’s one more sign that the future is catching up fast: Dubai police officers may soon be patrolling the streets with flying Hoverbikes.

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? 

Most frequently used typefaces of hundreds of brands

It’s true that people don’t look like their Instagram shots, or they’re not as happy as their Facebook profiles try to convince us. It’s also true that designers don’t use all those trendy font combinations you might think.

Chinese city wants to replace street lights with artificial Moon

The largest and brightest object in the night sky, the Moon has long inspired curiosity and wonder. And landing a man on the Moon is still considered one of humanity’s greatest achievements.

Eco-friendly dog house design boasts impressive features

Showing that eco-friendly building concepts are applicable to even our canine friends, California-based architecture and interior design firm Studio Schicketanz has designed a dog house unlike any other. 

KFC embraces zero waste movement with edible wrappers

3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste are generated each day across the world, according to researchers. Yet, there are a growing number of companies and people who are joining the zero waste movement.

A collection of icons, UI kits and mockups, all for free

Everyone loves to get something for free. And if you can’t get enough of freebies, you’re definitely not alone.

LEGO debuts functional wind turbine made from eco-friendly bricks

Playing with Lego just got better for the environment. After announcing its eco-friendly plant-shaped bricks made of sugarcane, LEGO has teamed up with Danish wind turbine manufacturer Vestas to create a wind turbine model made from sustainable bricks.

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.

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.

For better fitting chairs, IKEA wants to 3D-print your ass

Finding a comfortable gaming chair can be tough—especially if you’re going to be playing Fortnite for hours on end. If you’ve ever dreamt of having a chair that was perfect for your ass, IKEA is making that dream come true.

Originally a joke, Adobe Product Manager’s Dogecoin is now worth millions

Dogecoin is a cryptocurrency that was created in 2013 as a joke by Jackson Palmer, an Adobe Product Manager. However, in the past three months, as other cryptocurrencies have started to crumble, it’s roughly doubled in value.

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.

Your computer is vulnerable because of Photoshop CC bugs

If you happen to be using early versions of the 2017 or 2018 Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud, you might want to update your software asap.

App retention is like dating, so don’t end up a one-night-stand

In today’s mobile-first environment, every company seems to have a mobile app and everyone a genius mobile app idea. This is why it is not surprising that the app store is cluttered with underperforming applications by the millions. What might come as a surprise, however,…

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.

Robotic planter chases the sun to nourish its plant in sunlight

Do you have a hard time maintaining your plants? Not to worry. A Beijing-based startup has developed a robotic planter that’ll make it so you’ll never accidentally kill a plant again.

Google marketing overhaul could put marketers out of business

This year is set to be an important one for advertisers currently using Google’s digital marketing services. On June 27 Google turned the digital marketing world on its head when it announced a complete rebrand of its advertising products.

Facebook’s new AI ‘opens’ eyes in photos where they’re shut

It’s a common problem with having your photo taken: your smile is wide but your eyes shut just as the flash goes off. Not to worry, though. Facebook’s new AI can now open your eyes in photos where they’re closed.

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…

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.