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.

Edible worlds created out of everyday ingredients

When London-based photographer Carl Warner was a child, he probably wasn’t listening when his parents told him not to play with his food. The artist uses a wide variety of ingredients, such as deli meats, fresh fish, fruit, vegetables and bread as the medium for his food art landscapes.

Burger King highlights gender discrimination pricing with ‘Chick Fries’

Have you heard of the Pink Tax? It’s a term for the routine practice of charging more for products and services targeted to women than those targeted to men? Gender discrimination pricing has been around for years, but has gained more prominence lately thanks to a…

Tiny 3-inch Chanel ankle bag comes at a not-very-teeny price of US$900

A tiny Chanel bag that made its debut over a decade ago has recently caught social media users off balance. Model and reality star Kendall Jenner posted an Instagram Story showing off the Chanel ankle bag to her followers with the caption, “It only fits joy.”

Artist creates amazing 3D sketches of famous landmarks

Pietro Cataudella is an Italian artist who takes urban sketching to the next level. He offers a new perspective of famous landmarks by using his talents to combine his architectural drawings with photos of their real-life surroundings.

Ad agency leases women’s armpits as advertising space

We’ve gone from being exposed to about 500 ads a day back in the 1970’s to as many as 5,000 a day today. But, if you think the saturation of advertisements in cities like London, New York or Japan are heavy now, just wait. An idea that literally goes to the…

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.

Shutterstock comes to the rescue in witty print ad campaign

Stock photography website, Shutterstock is used by designers and agencies the world over. And to highlight their coming to the rescue of those creatives, Dominican Republic ad agency Cazar DDB has created a trio of witty print ads to promote the stock photography company and its offerings.

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.

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.

Puma’s Japanese-style embroidered sneakers pay homage to the Kimono

If you’re a fan of Japanese arts and culture, PUMA‘s new embroidered sneakers are perfect for those who want to add a bit of edge to their look.

Chicken meets doughnut in the newest food mashup: Donug

Move over sushi doughnuts, the Donug is latest doughnut-shaped food trend to grip the globe. If you’re repulsed by the idea of a chicken-flavoured doughnut or, perhaps, have your interest piqued by a doughnut-encrusted chicken nugget, it’s not really either of those things.

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.

Watch: How to better present logos and branding to clients

As designers, we know that we need to motivate people through communication. However, sometimes we forget that when it comes to our own work. Great design poorly presented can kill an idea. So how best to present logos and branding to the client to win them…

McDonald’s & KFC begin phasing out plastic straws

McDonald’s & KFC are the latest restaurant chains to join the war against plastic and phase out plastic straws across several of their outlets. However, this will most likely only be in their in overseas markets. This follows earlier news from McDonald’s claiming they’re “really close” to the point where…

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…

BK pulls lifetime Whopper ad to women impregnated by a World Cup player

Burger King Russia sparked outrage with an appalling ad campaign posted on their official social media account. The promotion promised a reward of 3 million Rubles (CDN$62,715) and a lifetime supply of Whoppers for any Russian woman impregnated by a World Cup player.

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.

Japanese fashion brand creates crotch accentuating pants

Last year say an exorbitant number of strange fashion trends, but this one is probably the weirdest so far for 2018. Former Louis Vuitton designer Kim Jones just dropped a new collaboration with GU, a budget-minded branch of Uniqlo in Japan. And it has people baffled…

How to handle different types of difficult customers

If you own your own business or work in sales or marketing, you’ve likely run into a challenging customer at one point or another. While every buyer is different and has unique needs and wants, if you understand a few key types of customers you…

KFC to test vegetarian fried chicken with the Colonel’s famous recipe

Vegetarians won’t have to opt for only fries the next time their friends want to go to KFC. The iconic chicken brand says it’s cooking up a new, healthier recipe; one that will be missing the restaurant chain’s most famous ingredient: chicken.

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.

Pastry chef Elena Gnut creates cakes that are true works of art

If you thought that a pastry chef only baked cakes, you’d be wrong. Elena Gnut is a 31-year-old Pastry Chef from Kaliningrad, Russia, who gained over 140k Instagram followers by showcasing her original intricate cake designs.

Colour outside the lines with Crayola Beauty makeup

If you thought Crayola crayons were just for kids, you wouldn’t be correct. Children’s crayons have long been an inspiration for makeup brands, and today Crayola is releasing it’s own line of makeup aimed at adults.

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…

Infographic: 32 tips for successful mobile marketing

Mobile devices have transformed the way people engage with brands. Not only do 80% of internet users own a smartphone, but they also spend 60% of their online media consumption time on mobile platforms. From opening your marketing email to reading a post on your…

Get invaluable advice with free tarot cards made for designers

When designers design, they sometimes become so immersed in their work that they forget to step back and make sure they’re on the right path. Often, a second pair of eyes are what’s needed to help designers stay on brief and create amazing designs; that…

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.

Spilled coffee and tea turned into works of art

While the rest of us are finishing off the last drops of our morning coffee, Giulia Bernardelli is using what remains in her cup to create stunning works of art in her kitchen.

Kentucky Fine China bucket celebrates the royal wedding

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend the royal wedding between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry or catch it on TV, you can still commemorate it. How you ask? With a KFC commemorative porcelain bucket.

Glass jewellery lets you wear the swirling motion of the ocean

Have you ever felt peace while walking along the ocean, or maybe more energetic and an improved mood? The fact is that most people experience a feeling of calm, relaxation and well-being, when near the swirling motion of water. 

Cherry blossom tree made from over 800,000 LEGO bricks

Each spring, people visit Japan to see the cherry blossom trees in full bloom. And while they unfortunately only bloom for a short period, there’s one place where you can see a cherry blossom in constant bloom: LEGOLAND® Japan.

3D hand-cut paper sculptures of birds, bees, and other creatures

UK-based designer and illustrator Lisa Lloyd worked for nearly 20 years as an animator, director, even a creative director. But the one thing she was missed doing was creating her own work. So, six years ago she started creating designs out of paper in her free time.…

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…

IDEA is an IKEA parody that stocks items they would never think of

Swedish giant IKEA has successfully turned flat-pack furniture into the gold standard for household products. With hundreds of stores in dozens of countries, the Swedish brand sells a multitude of different items, including furniture for pets.

Artist transforms discarded aluminium cans into stunning sculptures

As the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”; which is the case with Detroit-born artist Noah Deledda. Most people don’t give a second thought to their used aluminium cans after tossing them into the recycling bin. Noah, however, has found a wonderfully creative way to turn…

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.

Dolce & Gabbana transforms kitchen appliances with colourful patterns

Black, white or stainless steel kitchen appliances no longer exciting you? Now there’s a new option to turn your kitchen into a fashion statement—and drop a little cash while you’re at it. Dolce & Gabbana has collaborated with Italian appliance company Smeg to create a…

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…

Facebook is testing expiring friend requests

The new test feature from Facebook drives the point home that some friendships just aren’t made to last. Like Snapchat’s time-sensitive messages, Facebook now has expiring friend requests.

How to give—and receive—constructive criticism

You may have heard your personal trainer or your local fitness junkie say “no pain, no gain.” Well, unfortunately, that pain and gain relationship also applies to performance reviews. Giving someone negative criticism can be burdensome for even the most experienced manager.

Braille Neue typeface combines Braille with visible letters

For the 285 million visually impaired people around the world, Braille allows them to read and write what they cannot see. But for those with sight, Braille looks like a coded language that isn’t easily deciphered. And that’s how it started for Japanese designer Kosuke Takahashi. He…

Starbucks Reserve bar is now selling alcohol in Japan

Following the opening of its first coffee bar in Japan, Seattle-based Starbucks has announced its plans to launch another in Osaka. The new Starbucks Reserve bar aims to please their evening crowds with a menu of beverages spiked with alcohol.

11 design elements to build a perfect landing page

As a technique that helps boost conversion rate, the use of landing pages is at an all-time high. A landing page can help you achieve your marketing goals be it increasing email subscribers list or generating better leads for specific products.

Animated GIFs reconstruct ancient ruins around the world

Ancient ruins, like The Parthenon in Athens and Mexico’s Pyramid of the Sun, can teach us about the past, architectural building techniques and how civilization flourished. However, views of these ancient architectural wonders are firmly based in their current state of ruin, leaving it to visitors…

The Met releases 500+ free art books for download

Over 5000 years of art history has just been made available online for free by New York’s biggest museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. As well as releasing more than 400,000 artworks for personal and commercial use, the Met has made over 500 free art books available for your…

Target’s new logo for womenswear line is confusing shoppers

Target, known for its iconic red bullseye logo, has decided to ditch its heritage clothing brands in favour of a brand-focused strategy that includes more niche offerings. According to Target, the new line will carry versatile pieces that allow shoppers to mix-and-match. The clothes will also emphasize on quality,…

Pantone car interior mood lighting that changes colours as you drive

Pantone and Korean automaker KIA have announced they’re collaborating to create a multi-coloured, dynamic mood lighting system for the 2019 K900 luxury sedan.

Colourfully textured frosted cakes look like shag carpet

In the social media era, it feels as if new baking trends appear each month; with hundreds of up-and-coming bakers hawking their visual masterpieces on Instagram, it takes something unique to stand out.

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…