November 23, 2009
Posted By: MSLK

Need a great holiday card to give to friends & family? Colleagues & clients? Christians & Jews, Hindus & Muslims alike?

Looking to make a difference and give back to the New York community?

You can do all of these things when you purchase MSLK’s “2010″ holiday card. The non-profit organization, Robin Hood Foundation, invited us to create a limited-edition, non-denominational holiday card, and it’s now available for purchase on their site.

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November 23, 2009
Posted By: MSLK

The holiday season is just around corner, and its time to start thinking about gift-giving.

To some, holiday shopping can be an overwhelming task with all of the consumer clutter out there. Fear not, our studio has compiled a comprehensive list of our favorite tips and places for gift-giving with panache.

From the design geek to the philathropist, we’ve got you covered for virtually everyone on your list. Click below to see!

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November 19, 2009
Posted By: ellen

Target Up & Up

This weekend I finally got a closer look at Target’s relaunched private label brand, Up & Up. Private brands have a tricky task in distinguishing themselves from the national brand competition. One common approach is to design packaging that works cross-catagory, so the brand has a consistent look from the electronics section to the frozen food aisle. The downside to this approach is the design often appears generic. And while I like the look of Up & Up, it is admittedly generic. They’ve combatted this with smart copy lines on the front of each package. Boring paper towels become “puddle busters,” standard aloe vera gel is “after sun aaaaah,” and just like that the cheaper brand becomes the smarter brand.

While designers tend to focus on the look of the brand, the voice is just as important. It can elevate everyday brands and help clearly define a brand’s position in the market.

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November 15, 2009
Posted By: Marc

If a picture tells a thousand words, then a movie shot at 24 frames per second surely has even more to say. Months ago when we set out to tell compelling stories of MSLK’s process, our environmental commitment, and the people behind MSLK, we found that words and pictures alone were simply not compelling enough.

Thus begun a long process of creating short movies.

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November 15, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

In an effort to think cradle-to-cradle Starbucks is taking on the 58 billion paper cups American’s use annually. As a company contributing an estimated 3 billion cups into the waste stream annually, Starbucks goal is to make all paper cups 100% recyclable by 2012.

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November 10, 2009
Posted By: Sheri

In a twist of sustainability meets alchemy, Washington, DC-based Envion can turn  plastic back into oil, producing a net gain in energy recaptured. The Envion Oil Generator™ uses proprietary low temperature thermal cracking technology to transform almost any type of plastic (without presorting or cleaning) into light oil, medium oil, and emulsified oil.

According to their website this is possible because as a derivative of petroleum, plastic has a high level of stored energy content. Apparently the energy stored is almost equal to gasoline and is 51% higher than the energy stored in coal.

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November 8, 2009
Posted By: Marc

MSLK’s AIGA award arrived last week in a most unusual form: as a stool.

A shallow USPS Flat Rate Box containing confetti, five pieces of particle board, and a sheet containing brief 3-step instructions was all there was. This was a bit of a head scratcher at first, yet the instructions explained the following:

“Tasked with designing and manufacturing 26 awards for the 2009 AIGA (Re)Design Awards, cypher13 teamed up with Rocket-fly to create a sustainably-minded and eco-friendly award. Desiring to design an award that would prove useful, be fun to interact with, and that could not be deemed a waste of time, materials, and energy, cypher13 and Rocket-fly settled on the notion of a stool. With Their only real design limitation being size due to the awards having to ship in flat rate USPS boxes(12″ x 12″ x 5.5″), a flatpack design was chosen.”

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November 6, 2009
Posted By: Marc

MSLK was recently honored with Second place in the Sustainable Design category of the 2009 AIGA (Re)designAwards. The winning pieces include identity, print collateral, web, video, package design, wayfinding, and exhibit design from designers, student designers and agencies across North America.

Receiving recognition from the AIGA is quite an honor as the competition is always steep. The fact that we were recognized for our sustainable design work was especially humbling.

Click more to see some photo montages of our latest installations of Watershed!

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November 1, 2009
Posted By: Marc

Everyone thinks that all designers talk about when we get together is fonts, bad logos, all while drinking wine in a fancy setting. Well, the funny thing about stereotypes is that they’re often true, and that’s exactly what happened last Friday.

“Dead Brands” was an event hosted by the AIGA’s new Metro North chapter, who are solely dedicated to focusing on the “Branding Arts.” Held in a grand old mansion (extra spooky for Halloween’s eve) in the town of Sleepy Hollow (maximum spookiness). This event featured a talk by renowned designer Michael Bierut, as well as a costume contest for the best dead brands.

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