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.

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.

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…

Crystal cave installation is made of 18,000 plastic cups

Perhaps if people were more scared of plastic, maybe they wouldn’t use so much of it.

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…

Tips to optimize your next email marketing campaign

What can you do to compel your readers to open your email when they have dozens of others in their inbox?

Anti-cruelty campaign shows animals get no pleasure from suffering

How do you push people to action when it comes to anti-cruelty? You create controversy.

Best of 2019: The Sony World Photography Awards

The goal of the competition is to showcase the best contemporary photography from around the world.

Augmented Reality tattoo generates Sonic the Hedgehog

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

McDonald’s plans to retail its own version of Balenciaga’s fries shoes

First it was a New York souvenir company that went after Balenciaga for copying a touristy tote, now it is McDonald's turn.

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.

Electroformed crystals encase these handmade bowls

Crafted using a controlled processes that's intended to resemble natural formations, this ceramicist favours working with clay.

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.

Shutterstock’s 2019 Creative Trends Report reveals a retro revival

A treasure trove of bright colours, cartoon faces, and fancy animal patterns; these are just some of the highlights from the eighth annual Shutterstock Creative Trends Report.

Feel fancier this Valentine’s Day with Ketchup Caviar by Heinz

If you’re not the greatest cook, but you still want to make your Valentine a hamburger and want a fancier form of ketchup, look no further because Heinz is now making Ketchup Caviar.

Baker creates geometric pies with patterns and colour

When we think about beautifully designed desserts, cakes often get all the credit. But you can’t underestimate the power of creative pies. Lauren Ko is a Seattle-based baker who got her start after her Instagram account of pies with unique geometric designs went viral.

Russian start-up plans to deploy space-based billboards

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

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.

Artist swaps paint for needle & thread to create embroidery landscapes

From billowing clouds to rainbow-hued sunsets, Russian artist Vera Shimuniu has definitely mastered the art of landscape embroidery.

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.

The top 10 freelance side gigs to earn some extra cash

Freelance side gigs are one of the best ways to earn some extra cash or stay creative if your day job isn't stimulating you anymore.

9 logo trends to keep an eye out for in 2019

A new year brings new opportunities, a fresh start, and new logo trends.

McDonald’s loses Big Mac trademark case to Irish fast food brand

McDonald’s registration of the trademark was lost because they had not proven genuine use of the term Big Mac as a burger or restaurant name.

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.

Handmade paper toys you squeeze, drop or tap for a fun surprise

Haruki constructs his whimsical creatures with a paper twist, and each figure’s movements are prompted by human touch.

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.

7 web design trends that could shape 2019

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

Matthew Shlian turns paper into stunning geometric art

Combining a talent for sculpture with a knack for engineering, artist Matthew Shlian takes simple paper sheets and creates amazing geometric sculptures.

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.

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…

Surviving life as a freelancer

Freelancing can be a great option whether you’re looking for more flexibility or control over your work.

The important meaning behind Pantone’s 2019 Colour Of The Year

Following 2018's intense and dramatic Ultra Violet, this year's colour is a life-affirming shade of orange with a golden undertone that's decidedly more natural than last year's choice.

The 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest winners

The categories for the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest include Wildlife, People, and Places.

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.

The #InstaGiftGuide, based on popular 2018 hashtags

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

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.

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.

Creative bookends that you have to see up close to appreciate

It’s easy to get lost in a good book; they can transport you to another place, another time, and even other realms. Tokyo-based designer, Monde, has found his own way to take book-lovers to another world with a whimsical art project called Bookshelf Dioramas.

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.

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.

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.

Designer shares animated Illustrator cheat sheets for creating icons

Icons and symbols are powerful tools that have been used by humans to communicate ideas for over 100,000 years. Computer-based illustration tools like Adobe Illustrator have made creating icons easier than ever.

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…

Add dimension to your projects with 2600+ free Photoshop textures

You probably have an archive of typefaces, actions and other resources to add a little something-something to your projects. But what about Photoshop textures? They are an awesome resource for designers who want to play around with different looks—especially because you can download thousands of…

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.

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…

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…

Winners from the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards

Whittled down from 48,000 entries from 156 countries, judges had a difficult time deciding the winners of the 2018 Siena International Photo Awards.

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.