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.

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.

For the love of colour: Now you can put on Pantone socks

Aside from keeping you up-to-date on the latest colour trends and foods inspired by various hues, Pantone has started producing fashion.

Lingerie campaign celebrates models of all sizes and bans airbrushing

UK-based lingerie brand Figleaves has released its latest campaign that includes a cast models of different sizes, shapes and ethnicities. What also makes this campaign special is that Figleaves is the latest brand to ban airbrushing in their ads.

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.

These lifelike wooden animals are sculpted with a chainsaw

The art of chainsaw sculpting is astonishing to think of when creating with using such an indelicate tool. Both elaborate and exhilarating, it’s also a lengthy process that takes time to perfect. However, if you give Jürgen Lingl-Rebetez a block of wood and a chainsaw, all you have…

Domino’s ends free pizza for life deal with brand tattoo

Apparently, the idea of getting free pizza in Russia is a powerful promotion. In fact, it turned out to be so powerful that Domino’s Pizza had to end their promotion as quickly as it began. Domino’s had offered free pizza for life to anyone who got…

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.

How to calculate freelance rates more efficiently

The one question that most freelance designers have trouble answering is, “what is your time really worth?” If you’re a full-time employee at an agency, your salary takes into consideration business costs like healthcare, licensing, taxes, and other business essentials. But when you work for yourself, you’ve…

Scuba Diving Magazine​ unveils underwater ​photo​ contest winners

One of the most fascinating and largely unexplored places in the world also happens to be a place difficult for most people to visit—the depths of the ocean. But, for seasoned scuba divers, this contest is a chance to capture underwater wonders most will never…

Discover the unlikely origins of 6 famous car logos

Having a strong logo can create significant value; and that’s no less true in the automotive industry. In fact, car logos are among the most widely recognized amongst brands across the world. But have you ever wondered about what’s behind the creation and evolution of famous car…

KFC really wants a baby named Harland and is willing to pay

Future parents are getting a chance at US$11,000 to jumpstart on their future baby’s college education this September. The only catch is that they have to brand their child with the name Harland, after KFC founder Colonel Harland Sanders.

Nike issues comeback after French Open bans Serena Williams’ catsuit

Officials at the French Open have announced they will ban Serena Williams’ signature black catsuit from future tournaments.

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.

Glow-in-the-dark tables display engraved city maps

Woo Designs, a Warsaw-based furniture company, has designed and produced custom oak tables with engraved maps of international cities. What makes them unique isn’t just the laser-cut designs, but the fact that they also glow-in-the-dark.

Over-the-top Toyota ad replaces Chuck Norris with a truck

Chuck Norris is so tough that there’s no chin under his beard, only another fist. But this new commercial by Toyota sees the roundhouse kicking actor being replaced by a truck.

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,…

Discover the best aerial photos from the inaugural Drone Awards

After receiving 4,400 submissions from over 101 countries, the inaugural Drone Awards have announced the winners of their competition. The awards, which celebrates the art of drone photography, has allowed photographers to explore new perspectives and communicate an appreciation of our planet.

People aren’t happy with the new Jack in the Box commercial

The burger chain Jack in the Box has recently drawn criticism for its new TV commercial. The ad for the company’s new Teriyaki Bowls riffs off the word “bowls” and features not-so-subtle references to male genitalia.

Expose catfishes by hiring a professional social media stalker

Online dating is at an all-time high. In fact, it’s quickly turned into a billion-dollar industry. And according to at least one poll, it’s the second most common way to find a significant other. But what if you want to know more details about your…

People seem to love the new butt-baring pants that are basically assless chaps

Just when you thought you’d seen the quirkiest fashion trends, like Car Mat Skirts or crotch accentuating pants, people seem to be loving the latest must-have butt-baring item.

Art installations appears like pixelated Photoshop effects

German artists Thomas Granseuer and Tomislav Topic—together known as Quintessenz—have recently created a site-specific art installation as part of the Paxos Contemporary Art Project. Taking place on the island of Paxos in the Adriatic sea, the duo have created colourful displays that look like pixelated Photoshop effects.

Burger brand apologizes for using beheaded photojournalist in ad

Washington DC-based Z-Burger has apologized after causing a stir for its inappropriate use of an image for its marketing.

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.

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…