December 23, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

It’s that time of the year.  MSLK is winding down and closing our doors for a little winter respite and regeneration. We hope you too will be enjoying a little R&R with friends and family so that we can all return in 2009 refreshed and ready. With the winter solstice behind us, I’ve been thinking a lot about how each day from now on will be getting just a little bit brighter. I am optimistically looking forward to a new year, a new administration, and a birth of green innovation to lead us out of this rut of global warming and recession.

In the spirit of regeneration, and with great appreciation for our fair city, our friends and our clients, MSLK has made a donation to the New York Restoration Project.

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December 22, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

Thank you to all who joined us for our fifth Annual Spark Holiday Networking Party. The event was a huge success with record attendance from all aspects of the graphic design and production process.

It is refreshing to rediscover that the art of networking is much more than signing up for Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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December 22, 2008
Posted By: Marc

As a true tech-geek, I have been a long-time visitor of Gizmodo, a blog dedicated to highlighting gadgets, gizmos, and cutting-edge consumer electronics. The site is updated throughout the day with a combination of genius innovations (medical robots to assist doctors) — along with reviews of the inane, too (an interactive LED beer pong table) from all around the world.

The editors clearly share a few obsessions with MSLK: love of design, all things Apple, iPhone, cool cars, guitars, and new forms of communication. “Dude” stuff. They also have an equally skewed sense of humor.

I’ve found that their most intriguing items are not the mass-produced ones, rather, it’s the limited-edition ones and the home-brewed solutions which prove that necessity is not always mother of invention. (Most likely, lack of a social life for these folks is the true cause…)

Recently, Gizmodo opened Gizmodo Gallery, a brick and mortar gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and I went to check it out. It was amazing to see how well a blog translated to reality.

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December 17, 2008
Posted By: ellen

Reinventing Christmas Trees

Every year, big name fashion designers and architects create Christmas trees to be auctioned off for charity in Paris at the “Les Sapins de Noël des Créateurs” event. The participating designers this year included Louis Vuitton, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Gucci, Stella McCartney and Paul Smith. Zaha Hadid’s tree was the most sought after, fetching 46,000 euros (or about $66,000) at auction. Each tree has its own unique theme, many correspond to the core values of the brand that created it. Read more to see some of the best designs from this year. Read more

December 16, 2008
Posted By: Marc


This year we bid 2008 farewell with the MSLK Holiday Party at our favorite burger joint: Pop Burger.While a massive rain thwarted our plans to check out the department store window displays along 5th Avenue, we enjoyed an assortment of burgers from a variety of flora and fauna (Sheri turned us all onto the guilt-less pleasure of the “invisible burger” — a battered & fried portabello mushroom).

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December 16, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

In a previous post I mentioned a great lecture I went to at the HBA on sustainable package design. The speaker, Jane Bickerstaffe, the director of INCPEN, directed me to a fabulous guide that INCPEN created for designers and manufacturers on the 360-degree considerations one should make in developing a sustainable product and packaging.

Although the guide is a lengthy 64  pages, I found it to be incredibly informative on how to consider your packaging from the sourcing of the materials, to the energy involved in transport/production, to the effects the packaging has on the distribution, and the waste caused by under-packaged and over-packaged goods. It also delves into the trade-offs of design for end re-use vs. recycling vs. compostablity.

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December 11, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

Marketing and Design

Businesses cannot afford to simply wait for the economic picture to improve in order to increase their bottom line. It is important to be proactive in developing ways to increase revenue in the first quarter. Implementing a successful marketing and rebranding campaign could make the difference between a company’s success and failure during a negative business climate.

As consultants who have helped hundreds of mid-level and large companies reposition themselves and stay ahead of the competition, MSLK has created our top five tips for businesses to improve marketing and emerge successfully from an economic crisis…

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December 10, 2008
Posted By: ellen

Plastic Bag Feeder

This community plastic bag dispenser on the streets in Williamsburg made me smile. The design is kind of a cross between a bird feeder and those “Take a Penny, Leave a Penny” dishes often found at checkouts. It allows people to leave a bag they no longer have a need for, and gives bags to those who might need one in a pinch (as a dog owner, I can say this would’ve come in handy a few times). Unlike MSLK’s own Urban Tumbleweeds, it’s not necessarily meant to bring attention to our over-consumption of  plastic bags, but helps give them a second life.

December 8, 2008
Posted By: Sheri

Tis’ the season once again, 5th Avenue’s holiday windows are up and beckoning you to come inside. Drawing upon their summer windows, an evolution of Gap’s 2007 holiday windows, Louis Vuitton is tickling my fancy yet again with the perfect blend of branding, whimsy, and cheer. I’ve always been on the fence over their white checkered window treatment/skin. Finally this design incorporates that texture. The twinkling monogram LEDs compliment the gridded texture and only add more layers to a brand steeped in heritage.

Thank god the windows are beckoning me into their brick and mortar storefront because their online shopping experience is a bit of a dinosaur. Sadly you can’t take any of your 5th Avenue holiday shopping experience home with you for after hours online shopping. At Louis Vuitton, somethings are still better enjoyed in person.

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December 7, 2008
Posted By: Marc

A design firm’s holiday card had better be great — “good” simply will not do. We’ve had a great track record over the past few years, and always seem to receive many compliments with each year’s mailing, with many eagerly anticipating our next one.

That’s why each year we kick-off our holiday card early with a brainstorming session in the middle of the summer. After a lot of hard work, I can proudly say that this year’s card is no exception, although it was radically altered at the last minute.

That’s right: even the best-laid plans need to be open to revision if need be. And boy, did we need it.

The following details  our design and production process.

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