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.

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.

Volkswagen’s ad about avoiding advertising bans ironically gets banned

Volkswagen’s “Too powerful for TV“ commercial was, apparently, too powerful for television in Australia. The humorous commercial was banned in the country for breaking advertising codes of conduct and for being “unsafe”.

Norway’s banknotes get pixelated nature-inspired design

Back in 2014, creative agency Snøhetta and Metric Design won a competition to redesign Norway’s banknotes. Finally, all of the country’s paper currency has been redesigned and nearly all entered into circulation.

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.

13 psychological pricing tips to help boost sales

You’ve likely figured out best practices for mobile marketing, design, and internal communication for your business. It seems like you have a pretty good system in place, but it gets a little tired. You find you and your team are stuck in the monotony of…

How to get more positive online reviews for your business

Positive online reviews can tip the balance in your favour when it comes to consumer decision making. So if you think online reviews get lost in all the Internet noise, think again.

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.

Art Institute of Chicago releases thousands of hi-res artworks for free

A city steeped in art and culture, Chicago boasts one of the oldest and largest museums in the United States: the Art Institute of Chicago. While visiting this historic institution should be on any art lovers’ list, a recent website redesign has made experiencing its collection as simple as a…

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.

Oreo tries new flavours by debuting seaweed cookies

Oreo keeps trying to create new flavour innovations to entice consumers—which can be both good and bad for cookie lovers.

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.

Top 10 winners of the Nikon Small World Photomicrography Competition

Now entering it’s 44th year of celebrating the beauty of a microscopic world, Nikon has announced the winners of its 2018 Small World Photomicrography Competition.

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.

Discover surreal 3D graffiti by Sergio Odeith

Graffiti isn’t all tagging and political opinions sprayed on the wall. In fact, today it’s become an acceptable artistic genre that’s increasingly being embraced by the general public as well as institutions.

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.

IHOP surprises fans with pumpkin pancake beer dubbed IHOPS

People seem to get excited at the beginning of fall with all of the pumpkin-flavoured foods and drinks. And The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) tends to fill that demands with their Pumpkin Pancakes. This year, however, they’re trying something different with pumpkin flavours.

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.

Museum of the Moon lunar replica captivates audiences worldwide

While SpaceX prepares to send a Japanese billionaire and eight artists to the Moon for free, UK artist Luke Jerram is bringing the Moon to audiences around the globe.

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.

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.

Pantone unveils 2019 Spring/Summer fashion trend report

Every year the team at the Pantone Color Institute comes out with its fashion trend report; an overview of the top colours showcased by fashion designers at New York Fashion Week that’ll be featuring in their collections for the upcoming season.

Dichroic installations reflect a rainbow of colours in the light

A rainbow is a beautiful, natural phenomenon which continues to inspire people in many ways. It has also inspired scientists and artists alike to further explore the nature of colour and light and how they are connected.

Last Blockbuster now has a craft beer brewed in its honour

For those who remember a time before Netflix when watching a new release movie meant getting your hands on a physical VHS or DVD, Blockbuster was the place to go.

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.