March 30, 2009
Posted By: MSLK

Sheri, Co-Founder of MSLK and Spark, an organization for independent designers, is interviewed about the importance of networking.

“Social Networking—In Person”
Design Edge Canada, magazine
March/April 2009

March 27, 2009
Posted By: ellen

KFC Pothole Repair

Businesses are pulling out all the stops to distance themselves from the tarnished image of corporations that we all have stuck in our heads. In an age where bad news is the norm, community-based, goodwill stories are getting a lot of attention. It’s not surprising that companies are trying to get off the front page and into human interest segments. Kentucky Fried Chicken recently made the news with one such story, when they announced that they’ll be filling hundreds of potholes in their hometown of Louisville, KY. The catch? They’re stamping the potholes with their logo and the tagline “Re-freshed by KFC.”

Is this a mutually beneficial relationship? Or has it crossed the line for how brands should be promoting themselves?

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March 27, 2009
Posted By: Sheri


In these tough times it is easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference, especially when the difference we are talking about is on a global scale. After watching a special on glacier melt the other night on PBS, I’ve been feeling particularly grim. How can we ever inspire the world to make not just small changes, but the large sacrifices that lie ahead?

Then along came a little ray of hope, Earth Hour, just a small example of a grass roots idea that has inspired people everywhere to make a statement.

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March 26, 2009
Posted By: Marc

If you didn’t know this already, I am a pathological punster. It’s a compulsion I suppress at every level, as puns are best doled out sparingly to the unsuspecting. If at all. When I’m not blurting them out (read: often), you can bet I am thinking of them.

Occasionally I can put my so-called talent to good use professionally, but mostly it exists in my mind as background static. It’s my silent burden, keeping my mind forever occupied.

That’s why I was so pleased to notice that the two Jones juices I had purchased for Sheri and I at breakfast yesterday had the most incredibly incredible (and awful) names ever…

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March 26, 2009
Posted By: Sheri


Proving that any medium can be exciting and innovative, these sheep herders have truly taken things to the next level. These kind of innovative ideas can really only be born in a vacuum where you eat, sleep, and breathe the same thing all day long. The question inevitably becomes what can you do to spice things up?  My favorite parts are when they set the sheep off like fireworks, and the portrait of the Mona Lisa by “Leonardo Baa’Vinci.” Please treat yourself and watch!

March 24, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

Do you ever have one of those days where you could eat anything in sight and simply never feel full? On those days I swear I might need a Hungerectomy to remove the emptiness from my stomach. Chocolate usually does help with that.

Anyway, Snickers is back for round two of their refreshing ad campaign which swept our hearts last summer, featuring clever plays on words set to look like the familiar Snickers’ logo. All this does is prove to me that simple design, clever copy, and a concept still go a long way.

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March 21, 2009
Posted By: Marc

I realize that picking on Tropicana’s ill-fated new branding has become as common as picking on AIG’s improperly compensated managers. However, I’m choosing to lambaste Tropicana here not because of aesthetics, but because of their incredibly poor and inconsistent graphic system.

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March 15, 2009
Posted By: Marc

A few months back, Sheri wrote about copyright infringement in an earlier post, and cited one particular case where Microsoft was sued by photographer Louis Psihoyos for allegedly copying a photograph entitled “500 TVs.” Psihoyos’s image shows a large room filled with hundreds of television screens.

It might be even odder that Apple —   Microsoft’s most notorious rival, has been involved a more recent lawsuit around the same image in its promoting of AppleTV.

Amazingly, Apple’s latest version of its Safari web browser has a feature called “Top Sites” which also draws inspiration from — you guessed it — the same image, using miniature versions of recently visited sites as a way of seeing what’s new in webland. While Mr. Psihoyos might disagree, I think this is the best misappropriation of his image yet.

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March 12, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

Here’s a new game of sorts that we’ve invented. It’s like Simon mixed with Dance Dance Revolution. The inspiration for this game begins with one of my favorite songs, Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

Here’s how you play:

  1. Go to this url: http://www.najle.com/idaft/
  2. Get familiar with the amazing key stroke activated sound clips from the song
  3. Try to keep time with the song—if possible..

Apparently many people are inspired by this song to test out their coordination skills. The girl behind the Daft Hands video is clearly talented.

March 12, 2009
Posted By: ellen

Arnell Speaks About Tropicana

A few weeks ago, Tropicana announced that they are pulling their controversial new packaging that hit the stores earlier this year. When we first saw the redesign, we had the same reaction much of the public did: yikes. The rebranding seemed to strip Tropicana from its identity and positioning in the market and leave us with a product that felt very generic, lacking an emotional connection.

As a designer, I’m interested in how the brand ended up in this spot. I stumbled across a video of Creative Director Peter Arnell, from the Arnell Group, defending his design to the press. In my opinion, he gets a bit too cerebral about what the design elements represent and loses site of the big picture (a very common design error). Click here to see how he defends his design (a.k.a. a designer’s worst nightmare). Read more

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