Category - Inspiration

A grand opening in Birmingham

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We headed over to the he highly anticipated opening of Grand Central Birmingham yesterday to see what all the fuss is about. We were 2 of around 54,000 people who had flocked to the grand opening.

The building itself is absolutely beautiful. It has taken over 5 years to construct and has cost around £150 million. It truly is a new landmark building for Birmingham. With the stunning stainless steel facade wrapping around the entire building and the amazing new roof floods the atrium space with natural light. It is the largest covered space in the whole of the city centre, and is as high as eight double decker buses!

We were spoilt for choice for shops and restaurants to explore, as there are more than 60 housed underneath the beautiful glass roof. From the long anticipated opening of John Lewis to Cath Kidson. If you are peckish whilst waiting for your train you are spoilt for choice from Cocomacs, who specialise in providing a mouthwatering range of freshly baked coconut macaroons to include traditional, Belgian milk, dark and white chocolate to Pho restaurant who are a family-run, authentic Vietnamese street food restaurant specialising in pho noodle soup – the national dish of Vietnam. To name just 2.

There was a true buzz of excitement and we completely forgot that we were at a train station.

This is a massive boost to the local economy and the redevelopment is a key project for the city, stimulating economic growth, it has also provided one of the best-connected retail spaces in the country. It is now a light and airy travel retail destination that you would want to spend time in rather than a dark concrete expanse of a train station with a dreary array of shops sprinkled in.

And to top it all off they even have prosecco on tap!!

 

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Saving the planet whilst drinking wine?

This is our kind of innovation!

Wine that comes in bottles made of compressed recycled cardboard formed in the shape of a standard Bordeaux wine bottle, with a plastic liner. Created in partnership by Ecologic Brands and the Truett-Hurst winery, PaperBoy Wine.

They are 85% lighter than the usual glass wine bottle, and once finished they collapse down so that it can be recycled again. And yes we know that you can recycle glass but glass has a 28% recycling rate compared to paper’s 91% recycling rate. Therefore lowering their carbon footprint by 67%

Bottoms up!

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Oh so pretty!

Loving these cute beauty boxes that seem to be cropping up everywhere, they have been around for a little while but still so pretty. Glossybox and birchbox are both beauty box businesses that send miniatures to customers which are neatly packaged in the company’s namesake cardboard boxes.

Glossybox is a beauty treat, you pay a monthly subscription and get a beautiful wrapped parcel sent to your doorstep with 5 surprise beauty products.

Beauty, like packaging is about emotion, discovery and inspiration. Glossybox strive to create a special beauty experience that enhances all these elements for you, they also commission illustrators and fashion houses to create beautiful designs for limited edition boxes which you can keep for all your bits and pieces after… Perfect!

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We love craft!

Morris kitchen is a Brooklyn based company that began with a simple idea to create and share food. They produce some outstanding cocktail mixers and syrups for the home mixologist as well as high end bars and restaurants. But its what the products come in that we have fallen in love with.

The kraft box, with intricate, delicate and beautifully illustrated fruits and vegetables, the clean sophisticated type in black and white with a pop of colour just makes us smile.

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Boxer loves…

New beginnings.

Spring has well and truly sprung and with it comes new beginnings. For boxer, our new beginning starts with a move to Birmingham City Centre to energise and fuel our creativity. 

This season brings a world of possibilities and excites all of the senses.

What puts the spring in your step and what makes you think positively about new possibilities and the future?

Boxer loves...new beginnings

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My kind of innovation

Being Friday and the fact its nearly time to open the beer (or wine) fridge I thought I would share this little piece of genius design with you all.

An Amsterdam agency have created a new structural packaging design that attempts to take on the negative image of wine in pouches. It is a truly innovative design that cleverly and elegantly reinterprets the classic ‘Bordeaux’ bottle by means of an intriguing play of solid areas and empty spaces, emphasized by the contrasting opaque and gloss surfaces of the materials used.

I will drink to that!

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A taste of the exotic

We have done it again, we have won a Graphic Design USA Award for our work with Arteasan.

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Arteasan was born from the insight of no sacrifices, providing a ready-to-drink beverage alternative, both tasty and healthy — good for you, and for you to feel good about, given its naturally healthy source of ingredients.

Positioned as “Exotic Refreshment,” the Boxer named Arteasan brand of tea-based soft drinks are infused with fruits and botanicals for holistic benefits of a healthy body, mind and spirit.

In its name, Arteasan’s play on “artisan” tells a story of creative craft and selective sourcing in concocting this uniquely experiential beverage.

Our Story: Crafting a Brand

With a holistic product concept in hand, Boxer created an equally holistic brand concept – from naming to design. All set out to embody the romance of the archetypical explorer in search of a balanced life through discovering new experiences (in products and in life) with a purposeful passion for the journey itself.

Each variety of Arteasan offers functional benefits derived from their individual fruit and botanical blends for optimal wellness.

We looked at creating every detail by telling the Arteasan story, creating brand DNA and organising design elements through a brand bloodline.

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No more queuing?

Loving this new Starbucks store.

They have launched a new express format store in the heart of Wall Street New York. You are greeted at one of the multiple mobile sales points by a Starbucks partner who then takes your order using a handheld device. There aim is to reduce waiting time, catering for busy New Yorkers. Make mine a skinny latte please.

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The Easter Bunny: A Brand Mystery

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With Easter upon us and many of us Boxer’s scrambling to build baskets and colour eggs in anticipation of the Easter Bunny, it occurred to us that Mr. Bunny’s origins are quite vague.

As a brand, of course, bunnies in general have come to be emblematic of Easter but what lore exists for the Easter Bunny? Santa or Father Christmas or however he’s referred to in various places around the world all share the same brand associations of good will and giving spirit hearkening from St. Nicholas.

But was the Easter Bunny just an iteration of the same, a lesser sequel to Santa? And really, what do eggs have to do with bunnies? The brand story didn’t add up.

Even go-to sources like Time magazine admitted, “The exact origins of the Easter bunny are clouded in mystery.” They suggest the bunny came from the pagan fertility celebration of Eostre. The eggs, they posit, were a vestige of a13th century Lenten tradition of abstinence and their colouring to mark Easter as the occasion for celebratory consumption. Eggs also symbolised the new life of Easter.

But what about the Easter Bunny itself?

History.com suggests that at least in America, German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania in the 1700s brought their tradition of “Osterhase,” an egg-laying bunny, to their new country. As this brand story goes, kids would build nests for this character that evolved into baskets.

So, brand story mystery solved. We’re just glad we’ve got an Easter Bunny – and not an Easter cuckoo bird or fox, as some other countries do.

And as a holiday that’s brand has come to be associated with sweets as much as bunnies, Boxer wishes you heaps of jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and (tipping our hat to another great brand story) marshmallow Peeps this Easter.

Courtesy of Washington Post Top 50 Peeps Dioramas for 2015

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Boxer loves getting through January

Statistically, January is the most depressing month of the year, with the last couple of weeks being the worst.

Well, we’ve nearly made it through dry January, almost completed the ‘Lost’ boxset (we know, we know!) and although our tummies may not be as flat as we hoped, we’re quite comfortable in pin pointing that small hiccup on the fact that the choc selection box was a gift and it’s rude to refuse a gift right? Okay, so while we may have failed a resolution or two, we say chin up people! It’s nearly pay day and we’re sure we’ve just seen a ray of sunshine forcing its way through the snow clouds/rain clouds/grey clouds and in order to celebrate we bring you Boxer Loves – the things that have made us smile this month. Onwards to February – it’ll soon be Easter before we know it….

 

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Some light refreshment…

As our grand finale in the ‘Global Design Frameworks’ series we’re looking at worldwide trends in soft drink consumption. As a taster…

Did you know in Spain 60% of beer purchasers actually bought non-alcoholic beer in 2013? And that in India soft drinks are generally sold for their effects rather than for hydration, touting claims of increased brain power and immunity?

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A toast to everyone!

Hopefully you saw our previous infographic from our ‘Global Design Frameworks’ series; this week’s instalment is more liquid lunch than dinner, and deals with different cultural attitudes towards drink.
In Hungary your host will be rather offended if you clink their glass after a toast, and do you know where the UK sits in the table of top worldwide drinkers? You might be surprised at the answer!

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An Englishman’s Impression of ‘Brand’ Thanksgiving

Boxer asked its British Managing Partner, Mark Watson, who spent 11 years living in the U.S. and celebrating as many Thanksgivings here, what his impressions of an American Thanksgiving were and if it lived up to his brand expectations. Here’s his story.

Ahhh. Thanksgiving, the most wholesome and least commercial ‘Holiday’ of the year… until it’s over.

Pitching up in the Midwest in 1998, as the latest in a long line of European settlers – starting in 1492 and maybe before, if you are Norse – of all the Holidays in America, it was Thanksgiving that struck me as the most warming. As the years passed and I looked for cracks in its veneer, what surprised me more was that I didn’t find them.

With the growing prevalence of ‘Hallmark Holidays’ – yes, National Administrative Professional Appreciation day is a real thing – and the mass commercialisation of Valentine’s Day…Easter… Halloween… The Festive Holidays … I was expecting more of the same from the last Thursday in November.

But each of my Thanksgiving Days touched me the same way. Everything from the use of pumpkin pie created from carving left-overs at Halloween, to the (literally) hand-made Turkey crafts by the kids.

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The never ending varieties of mashed potato, and the annual emergence of yam (sweet potato) as the vegetable-du-jour made sure this day was a special day for all the right reasons. Creativity over commercialism. Community over companies.

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A time to focus on the family and friends gathered around a feasting table, with nothing to share but hearty food and undistracted company.  Of course there is the traditional (American) football games to consider, but even these feel part of the occasion rather than a diversion from it.

As I describe it to my British brethren, imagine Christmas without the pressure of the presents.  Even the kids are fine with it.

However, Thanksgiving (Thurs)Day is all too swiftly followed by Black Friday, a frenzy of shopping, sales and spending to smash the calm of the day before. Over the years, the opening hours have gotten earlier and earlier, to the point that stores’ doors bursting open at midnight had become the norm. But this year, the sanctity of a shopping free Holiday has been broken with many of the big name stores opening at 5pm on Thanksgiving Day itself. Whilst already a self confessed traditionalist at heart, I am still left a little empty by this and the feeling that a special day, a special Holiday, is in danger of become just another frantic Thursday.

So at this most wholesome time of year, from the Boxer family table to yours, we hope you savour the time to enjoy the family, the feast and even the football…but leave frantic for another day.  

Happy Thanksgiving.

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It’s beginning to look a LOT like Christmas – Check out our Retail Soak It Up™

Christmas – it’s still the biggest holiday season in our calendar and the one that creates much anticipation year on year.
Many of us have seen the latest John Lewis ads, which created warm, fuzzy feelings as a young boy gifted his toy penguin Monty a companion, identified with the Mulberry ‘BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER’ advertisement and felt our opinions divided by the Sainsbury’s tribute to World War One.

At this time, when many familiar archetypes – the Creators, the Magicians and the Jesters take over our retail environments, we went out and about to Soak It Up™ and enjoy the festive offerings some of our best retail stores have to offer. Here’s what we saw and what we thought:

Harrods – the land of make believe

A land of enchantment – silver birches, toy soldiers, a rotating ballerina, a carousel and uniformed mice in Harrods colours brings the archetypal talents of the Creator’s skill and imagination to life. A touch of the Jester delivers total joy – the attention to detail is a marvel. Everywhere you look there’s a little mouse polishing the jewellery, or a nutcracker selling, well, basically nutcrackers. Snow falls in every window and of course Santa Claus makes an appearance with his flying reindeer alongside a pirouetting ballerina. It’s magical.

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Harvey Nichols – an enchanted forest

The story of sisters Snow White and Rose Red comes alive in the enchanted forest in Knightsbridge. Metallic tree trunks inject colour into a dramatic scene of woodland creatures who are dressed by courtesy of the fashion house collections of McQueen and Maison Martin Margiela. A touch of genius includes the application of moss to the street outside of the store, inviting and drawing people into the magical scenes within. Demonstrating the Explorer’s motto ‘don’t fence me in’, Harvey Nichols presents a grown up and seductive sense of Gothic for the season.

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Selfridges – Storytelling

As Brand Storytellers ourselves, we adore the way that Selfridges brings brands and experiences to life.  Linda Hewson, Selfridges’ creative director said: ‘This year, we have gone back to the simple pleasure of a great story well told and have decided to celebrate the art of storytelling’. (Source: the Guardian). Stories are certainly everywhere – Rumpelstiltskin in golden splendour, Sleeping Beauty cocooned in a neon pink Perspex casket, Hansel and Gretel have their gingerbread house and a forest adorned with My Little Ponies. We can’t help but think a master class in bringing both the goals of the Creator and Jester to life is plainly evident here: the realisation of a vision by lighting up the world.

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 John Lewis – Monty

The fact that this was the busiest store we visited is testament to the power of both the John Lewis commitment to customer care and a perfectly executed holistic Christmas campaign. Monty and his friends as curious Explorers at play are everywhere – in the laundry, in the kitchen, messing with the tech and finally delighting children (as well as adults) with his presence throughout the store. An absolute winner is the switch from a Santa’s grotto to Monty’s World. Using Samsung technology, kids and parents are invited to bring in their favourite toy to have it animated on screen with Monty and his buddies. Oh yes, you can also buy a Monty toy, socks, handkerchief, gift bags and make a donation to better the future of wild Penguins via the WWF. It’s cute, it’s smart and a superb example of telling a consistent story whatever the touch point – take a bow JL.

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Best of the Rest…

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Boxer Loves Holiday Travel

It’s that time of year again. As the holiday season approaches and we all prepare for travelling to see loved ones near and far see our collection of beautiful vintage travel posters, which were produced to encourage people near and far to visit destinations all over the world.

Wherever you’re travelling this year, we wish you seamless travels and a happy holiday season.

Boxer Loves Holiday Travel

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Holistic Packaging by Design

At Boxer, we’re big believers in what we call Holistic Packaging by Design, and when we’re working with our clients it’s always on our minds. Heres our examples of three of our all-time favourite brands that we believe represent true HPD, which from experience we know comes from breaking down siloed thinking, in order to maximise a brand and packaging’s chances of success.  http://bit.ly/1BVCd4z

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Halloween Stories for the Season

After a brisk fall walk with my friend and our dogs, we met for dinner and there was a display of miniature Halloween houses like those in the familiar Christmas villages of that season, except instead of snow capped chimneys and spinning ice skaters in the park, this one featured creepy spiderweb ensconced houses and a tower with a revolving disk with a Dracula like figure chasing a woman.

Indeed, in the U.S. at least, Halloween has become the second most popular holiday for decorating after Christmas. And spurred by the Halloween village at the restaurant, and being storytellers at heart, the Boxer team set out to see what kinds of Halloween tales are being told in the real villages we live in.

Although you might expect that there is a universal take on Halloween, our search around our villages show that all kinds of archetypes and stories are revealed.

All Halloween stories have at their core a good versus evil theme. Some of these stories are lighthearted and some quite dark. And some take the lighthearted and make them dark.

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A great example of archetypes at work in exploring this theme is what we saw in two houses both telling a similar story, but one in the spirit of Jester playfulness and another in a inventive (rather torturous) spirit of Creator.

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We saw Innocents making what is universally scary (ghosts!) friendly, and Heroes standing tall waiting to protect us from unwelcome guests…

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Caregiver households welcomed you with the comforts of autumn awaiting inside and while others in the wise manner of a Sage warning you “not so much.”

halloween4But it really wouldn’t be Halloween without an appearance from the Magician, because any Halloween story, good or evil, is about transformation. So ghoul or ghost, sinner or saint, Halloween is time for all of to tap our alter egos, and transform ourselves into something we aren’t, or want to be, this one day a year.

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From all of us at Boxer, we wish you all a great Halloween, be sure to check out our Halloween party pics on Facebook and Twitter!

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Boxer Loves Halloween

The air is chilly and the nights are dark, this must mean one thing  Halloween must be upon us. It is believed the souls of the dead roamed the streets and villages at night. Since not all spirits were thought to be friendly, gifts and treats were left out to appease the evil.

Trick or treat? Personally we are treat kind of people, so this month we are bringing you some freakishly good design to peruse, so sit back, lock the doors and check out these beautifully ghoulish delights.

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Pancake Apes

These are great. Skip to 1.04.

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Opinion: What is ‘good’ packaging?

We’re often asked what ‘good’ packaging is, but ‘good’ can mean many different things. Here Boxer’s very own Brian Wagner talks to us about what ‘good’ packaging looks like to him.

Click here to view the free opinion piece:   http://bit.ly/1vtWgWs

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Boxer Loves – Tea

Ahhh a lovely cup of tea, there’s nothing more we love more – with a fried egg sandwich, our infamous bacon butties, a biscuit or two or as an afternoon pick me up. Sometimes nothing else will do.

We’ve loved and continue to love ‘oohing’ with Typhoo, the PG chimps, the Tetley folk, the fact that it can help you sleep, bring you karma and align your chakras.

Milk first, milk second or no milk at all, this pantone colour or that – the debate will continue to rage. Rest assured, if you get the colour of someone’s tea wrong it can cause serious upset, for never is the phrase ‘I can’t drink that’ more oft uttered than when it comes to the good old cuppa.

As a subject close to our hearts, we’re paying homage to it this month – from the weird to the wonderful and the downright honest. Pop the kettle on, make a brew and enjoy!

 

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Instagram fashion week feed

Summer may be over, but Fashion Weeks Spring/Summer 2015 are very much right now.

While it may be hard to get a front row ticket, you can see all the action from the comfort of your couch through Instagram. Between the bloggers, the editors and the online publications running around NYC, London, Milan and Paris, you will have all your bases covered. Here are some of our favourite snaps from the past few weeks.

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A very special visitor…

Over the past 3 months our offices have some very special visitors. Several Harris Hawks have been employed to deter the local pigeons from nesting around outside the building which means that we have had the utter joy of seeing these magnificent birds from NBC on a regular basis. I asked Lee, the owner of Harriet the Harris Hawk to let me photograph her in our little studio and to my utter delight he said yes!

Harriet is a working bird, still used for hunting as well as working on land fill sights, doing demonstrations and pigeon patrol which is why her feathers are a little battered from brushing with trees and obstacles when hunting! These are probably gone now, replaced with some shiny new ones!

It was an absolute pleasure to have the opportunity to be close to these beautiful birds on pretty much a daily basis and to photograph them in a studio a total delight!

Here are a few of my pics of this stunning bird of prey.

Harriet the Harris Hawk

 

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Birmingham City of Colours

This weekend the Custard Factory in Birmingham hosted the City of Colour street Art Festival. A veritable feast of creativity seeing over 100 street artists painting every wall in sight, live music, Dj’s, Hip Hop, B-Boy battles, Beat Boxing, Capoeira, Spoken word artists, street food, illustration Battles, Photography & film workshops, Graffitti workshops, BMX Flatland riders and sooooo much more!!! All in all a fabulous weekend! Well worth a wander around Digbeth and the City centre to see the superb works of art still on show!

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Food Art Pairings by David Schwen

I know the whole Pantone thing has been done to death, but I couldn’t help but smirk at the Food Art Pairings collection by super talented illustrator/designer David Schwen. See the full collection here http://www.dschwen.com/Food-Art-Pairings and be sure to check out the rest of  his work while your there http://www.dschwen.com

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Boxer Loves – Summer Vacation

Windows down, on the road/plane/train and near empty offices all around, it must be Summer Vacation season. Here’s what we’ve been loving this month when dreaming of our weeks off and visit our facebook page to listen to what’s been the soundtrack of our Summer.

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Auto Aerobics by Chris Labrooy

Came across this rather bizarre and wonderful creations today… which led me to chrislabrooy.com …check his work out it’s pretty good stuff.

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Selfridges Imaginarium – A couple of posts from our very own Catherine Cudd & Sonia Richardson

In a small shed, in a building that divides opinion, but is nonetheless an inspiring example of what the imagination can achieve, we were invited to open our minds to the power of imagination.
For the month of February the iconic Selfridges department store became a portal into the creative mind. The store was hosting a programme of inspiring events, future gazing concepts and innovative products. Guests to the festival were told to open their minds in preparation to explore…
Designed by Artist Beth Derbyshire and built by Urban Designer Matt Foster in collaboration with the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and CFAR, the Imaginarium, built solely for the event was a unique creative hub set in the heart of the store. Imaginative workshops and inspiring talks by renowned designers, artists and academics were held in an intimate environment sealed away from the outside world. Following a unique programme devised by Beth Derbyshire and produced by Sophia Tarr, each event was organised to inspire visitors and provide them with the tools to unlock their own imaginative powers.
Revolution 18/ Bowie 7.02.14
Led by Vivid projects and Chromatouch
Bowie has been a major figure in the world of popular music for over four decades and is renowned as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s. He is known for his distinctive voice as well as the intellectual depth and eclecticism of his work, so as I’m sure you can imagine we were pretty excited by the sound of an event being held in our city.
I use the term ‘event’ in the loosest fashion, as we weren’t really sure what to expect but went along anyway, because after all it was Bowie.
After managing a couple of late briefs into studio and a few final tweaks to work that needed completing ahead of the weekend, we headed out into town and took our seats in a dimly lit Imaginarium. Some fine tuning and a slight delay later, the DJ started to play alongside a part documentary multi-screen installation.
The event was an optical feast of fashion, colour and pop culture accompanied by some of Bowie’s most iconic hits played live and loud.
The DJ took us back in time to hits including, Heroes, Station to Station and Let’s Dance. Space Oddity was also played with accompanying footage of the infamous 2012 RedBull Stratos mission.
Needless to say we all had a ball, reminiscing and enjoying the classic tunes, however we were all in agreement that the event should have actually been hosted in a tent with a couple of beers so that we could have danced our socks off…


Power of Imagination 14.02.14

Led by Emes

‘If you can dream it you can do it’ is what Walt Disney said and it’s also a quote that inspires Ian Emes – creator of the film French Windows and collaborator with Pink Floyd.
It’s not often that we in the creative industry are invited to forget pens, papers, and the mac and just dream for a few moments, but that’s what we were here for and that’s what we did.
Staring at a white spot on a dark screen and being invited to just listen to the music and let your mind draw the pictures could seem a little bizarre to some. But it was a Friday afternoon, it was Valentine’s Day, we’d just had a beer and the music was ‘One of These Days’ by Pink Floyd, so whatever…
Interestingly, many people in this little shed all experienced the same imagery in their minds – of movement – different kinds of movement granted…dancers, birds in flight, people running – but the shared sense was certainly one of moving forwards and purpose. Ian then shared with us his story.
He’d been at a party, and heard this record for the first time and it changed his life. He had no reason to, but he just knew that he had to create a piece of work that brought this music to life, it nagged and nagged at him. So enter French Windows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rgww1XEH-P8
Ian described to us how for him, inspiration comes from all quarters, but that you have to be open to it. That it doesn’t matter if you’re not a great technical artist – it’s the idea that conquers all.
He also told us that sometimes, his ideas and those of great artists have been before their time and considered ridiculous, but eventually these become the norm. He encouraged us to dream. Not to give up on the ideas that keep nagging at your brain (because those are the good ones) and to chuck out any that you can’t make go anywhere – because these are generally the bad ones.
Although we weren’t told anything we didn’t already know, it was rather heartening to spend time with likeminded people, being reminded that to be given the time to dream, to consider and to evaluate can create some of the greatest ideas of all.
We should do this every day we said.
And after that realisation, we stepped out on to the street and admired the Selfridges building once more before reminding ourselves that we had deadlines to hit…but just enough time to take some shots to feed our Instagram obsessions…


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Number 1 and 2 spot for our Packaging work.

Enter just the word ‘packaging’ into Google UK search (Friday 7th March 2014) and you get ‘about 159,000,000′ results. Click ‘images’ and the No.1 result is Boxer’s work for McDonald’s latest Cups and Bags, with second place filled with our Clamshell.

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Great TV ad…

This quality TV ad for booking.com is right on the money!
Made by Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam, it throws away the stuffy nature of the usual holiday ad campaigns we are all too familiar with!

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Clever Poster Design…

Loving this very clever street poster that gives one message for adults and another message for kids.

As a way to get in touch with children who are victims of abuse, the creators of this advertisement found a way to make it so that only children can see their important hidden message.

The ad is also a warning to parents that it’s not okay to hurt kids.

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Vic Lee – Typographer / Illustrator / Artist extraordinaire

Just had the pleasure of receiving and flicking through Vic Lee’s stunning portfolio of beautiful illustrations and typographic wizardry!

You can see more of his great work at… http://www.viclee.co.uk/Vic_Lee_Homepage.html

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Old Spice Viral ads

Sweet set of viral ads produced by wieden and kennedy. A very clever campaign using spoof banner ads such as ‘Push up Muscle shirts’ and “Spray Tan Parties’ to lure in ‘desperate’ males and then tell them how wrong they were for doing so! You can also ‘Prank’ your mates by sending to them on social media sites thus amplifying the campaign and giving consumers a genuine reason to share the videos. Genius!

Hit the link or the pic and scroll down to reveal all the spoof ads…

http://www.digitaltrends.com/social-media/old-spice-gets-jump-super-bowl-ads-funny-prank-websites/


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English Eccentricity

Brilliant video from the BBC news site giving some insight to photography taken by Tony Ray-Jones and Martin Parr. The exhibition can be seen at the Science Museum, London, until 16 March 2014.

Click this link to watch the video

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A real lightbulb moment

Found on the BBC website, how inspiring is this idea.

“Alfredo Moser’s invention is lighting up the world. In 2002, the Brazilian mechanic had a light-bulb moment and came up with a way of illuminating his house during the day without electricity – using nothing more than plastic bottles filled with water and a tiny bit of bleach.”

You can see how such an small and humbling idea can make so many peoples lives better.

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Prized Possessions

Photos of Children From Around the World With Their Most Prized Possessions:















See the full article here:
http://www.featureshoot.com/2013/03/photos-of-children-from-around-the-world-with-their-most-prized-possessions/

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Inspirational brand still going strong

Since 2001 Johnny Earle AKA Johnny Cupcakes has gone from selling T-shirts from the boot of his car to owning 5 unique stores across America and one in London! …and has a massive on-line presence selling around the world!  Not only does he produce fantastic limited edition shirts but his stores are a fun and very different customer experience! The interior decor at Johnny Cupcakes boutiques features antique refrigerators, baking racks, a 1930’s dough mixers, (Boston location) a cast-iron wood-burning oven from the 1890s, (also at the Boston location) and even hidden vanilla-scented air fresheners; items are usually displayed on baking trays and inside glass pastry cases!

In 2008, Business Week placed Earle at the top of its “Best Entrepreneurs 25 and Under” list, highlighting his company’s quality products, imaginative promotion, and insistence on self-sustenance! He now travels the world giving inspirational talks on effective branding, entrpreneurship and running a small business.

Having made the decision not to sell out to the big chain stores and keep control of his brand he has gone from strength to strength!

Good work Johnny!

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IPhone5 test shots

Just messing around with my new IPhone 5.

Shot and edited using Snapseed on my phone.

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Annual BIAD School of Visual Communication Awards show.

Our very own Paul Castledine was sponsor and judge for the Brand Design category at this years BIAD School of Visual Communication Awards show.
The competition was strong but two young talented designers ( Olly Sorsby & Daniel Cooper ) walked away with the top prize after a few wise words from Mr C.

This year the awards were named after Vaughan Oliver who also gave a very inspiring speech to all the young talent about to embark on their journey into the ‘real world’ of industry.

An interesting evening of awards. Having seen some of the talent picking up awards it bodes well for the future of our creative industry.

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No Noise

I’ve only just come across this, but back at the beginning of the year Selfridges ran a “No Noise” concept in store. A quiet store within the bigger store, they asked certain brands to produce some of their products without any obvious branding.

It’s amazing what familiar branding elements there are without the obvious logos. How tasty do those beans look without any clutter around them?

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Another gem from Robinsons…

This is a beautifully shot commercial with great emotion and a sweet twist at the end. Robinsons’ have a knack of creating good ads that really connect.

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Amazing spoken word artist…2

Another intelligently thought through message from this awesome spoken word artist.

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Amazing spoken word artist…

This lad is brilliant! An intelligent and thought provoking message delivered in a very creative way.

Discuss….

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Evian babies are back

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Margaret Thatcher: the Marmite PM, a nation divided

BBH has created a tactical ad to to promote this Saturday’s Guardian coverage of the Thatcher legacy. The ad is to promote cartoonist Posy Simmond’s take on Thatcher’s life in the newspaper. Found here..

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Ricola’s “Unwrap Your Voice” Herbal Drops

Great concept designed By: JVM Studio, you can read more in detail here..




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Clever advertising…

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Good ideas take time…!

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Perelman Pencils

Grigory Perelman is a modern Russian mathematician who solved the legendary Poincaré conjecture, one of the world’s most difficult mathematical tasks. He was awarded the Field Medal but refused to take 1 million dollars prize. “Why do I need a million dollars if I can control the universe?”, he said.” Genius.

Designers: The Bold Studio (Alan Temiraev, Volodenka Zotov), Moscow

Illustrators: Julien Jules, Phil

(from The Dieline)






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Amazing paper sculptures by Li Hongbo





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IKEA get musical

And you can’t help but smile.

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Unlock the 007 in you…

This is great!! best Viral ad I have seen for ages.

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30 Shocking and Unexpected Google Street View Photos

Found these great images by Canadian artist Jon Rafman on the Demilked site. You can view the full set here http://www.demilked.com/google-street-view-photos/

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Clever cleavage

A German plumbing firm had been receiving customer complaints about the poor customer service they’d received by their on site plumbers. So they came up with this idea of how to put a smile back on their customers face.

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London 2012: Official Olympics and Paralympics posters

With a day to go until the “official” opening of the games, here are some of the thoughts behind the images, which celebrate art and sport, from the contemporary British artists who created them, which will forever be linked with the 2012 Olympic Games.

Paralympic poster titled Go by Michael Craig-Martin- A stopwatch with the word GO across the face to reflect the bursting immediacy, excitement and anticipation of the moments before a starter pistol is fired. It also represents the roar of the crowd as they cheer on their favourite towards the finish line. Michael Craig-Martin – A 70 year-old  conceptual artist and painter pairs common objects and words to try to create images which can be familiar with unexpected links.

Olympic poster entitled Swimming by Howard Hodgkin – The image is a deep, swirling blue mass flooding across the page in which an outline of a figure can be made out as if it is pushing off after a tumble turn. Hodgkin wants the fluid brush strokes to capture the movement of water and the sensation of swimming. Hodgkin – A 79-year-old contemporary painter who is the only one of the dozen who has already designed an Olympic poster – for the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Olympics. Hodgkin describes his paintings as representational pictures of emotional situations.

Olympic poster entitled Work No 1273 by Martin Creed - Five single brush marks in tones based on the Olympic colours. The marks are arranged in an ascending form like an extended podium so there are more places than just first, second and third. Martin Creed won the Turner prize in 2001 with a work that involved a gallery’s lights being switched on and off. Creed’s Work No 850 involved a single athlete running at top speed through the Duveen galleries at Tate Britain – every 30 seconds, all day, every day.

Paralympic poster entitled LOVE in 2012 by Bob and Roberta Smith - He has used the style of community action banners, street signs and fun fair posters to create hand painted messages about what is needed to be an athlete – courage, inspiration, sweat and love. Bob and Roberta Smith – The conceptual artist, also known by the name Patrick Brill, hopes people will question high art. His work has included brightly-coloured slogans painted on reclaimed timber or board.

Olympic poster entitled LOndOn 2012 Rachel Whiteread - A pattern of overlapping rings in Olympic colours. The rings are based on the Olympic rings symbol but also represent the marks left by drinking bottles or glasses. They act as memories of a social gathering such as athletes in the stadium during the opening ceremony or the spectators of the Olympics, according to Whiteread. The 1993 Turner Prize winner is one of Britain’s leading contemporary sculptors. Drawing remains a key part of her work.

Olympic poster entitled Divers by Anthea Hamilton - It is up to the viewer to decide whether the athletic legs in the centre of the image are of a diver in a gymnastic pose or of a synchronised swimmer holding a balletic position. Hamilton has made a name with work built from physical prowess and representations of the human, especially the female, body.

Paralympic poster called Superhuman Nude by Fiona Banner – A study of a Paralympic cyclist created with descriptions which help to make him more of a sculptural than a human form. The focus on his strength and physicality makes it clear he is an elite athlete at the top of his game, according to Banner. A Turner Prize nominee in 2002, she creates nude studies from studies of people and completes them with verbal description.

Paralympic poster called Birds 2012 by Tracey Emin – Two small birds perched on branches and appear to kiss beneath the words “You inspire me with Your determination And I love you.” The Agitos, the Paralympic emblem, floats below them like feathers or leaves falling from the tree. Emin describes the print as a “love letter” or dedication to the Paralympic Games and its’ athletes. She used the Paralympic values of inspiration and determination as her starting point. Tracey Emin has progressed from being a fashion student at Medway College of Design in the 1980s to a current spot as a high-profile and notorious member of the group of contemporary artists dubbed the YBAs (Young British Artists). Critics say her work can both shock and comfort.

Paralympic poster entitled Capital by Gary Hume – He has abstracted element from an image of a wheelchair tennis player combining them with foliage and a soft and subtle colour palette. Gary Hume – Was on the 1996 Turner prize shortlist and represented Britain at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999.

Paralympic poster entitled Big Ben 2012 by Sara Morris – An abstract representation of Big Ben complete with vivid grids and colours. This creates a sense of dynamism and evokes images of athletics tracks, swimming lanes and the markings in a sports arena. Sara Morris – The British-born American artist is a painter and filmmaker who has always been interested in exploring means of communication.

Olympic poster entitled Rose Rose  by Bridget Riley – Colourful horizontal stripes arranged like swimming lanes or athletics tracks. The tightly-packed bold colours are also meant to suggest a feel of the energy of sport and the Olympics. London-born Riley, 80, vibrantly-coloured optical paintings have made her one of Britain’s best-known artists since the mid-1960s. She manipulates shapes and colour to create illusions of movement and light.

Olympic poster entitled For The Unknown Runner by Chris Ofili - The figure of a runner, somewhere between a super-athlete and a mythical being, sprints past a watching crowd. The figure is framed by a vase motif, a reference to the Ancient Olympic Games. Ofili hopes his image is a powerful dedication to both Olympic history and the future stars of the London 2012 Games. The 1998 Turner Prize winner is known for his intensely coloured and intricately ornamented work. The paintings of Manchester-born Ofili, 43, are inspired by personal experience, race, folklore, biblical tales and, for the last few years, by Trinidad where he lives.

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Just something I love…

What I love about the new Waldo Trommler design is that they have taken iconography to a new level. It’s simple, beautiful and artistic, which given many of us feel our homes are an outward presentation of the creativity within us, it’s apt that this brand has recognised that and put design over function.

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It is often said that the gift of a cake – be it homemade or purchased with care – makes us feel loved.

The history of cake dates back to ancient times and even the name, for those of us in the UK, can be dated back to the 13th Century and is derived from the Norse word of Kaka. It is also the subject of many amusing conversations around what really makes a cake a cake – how many of us have had the ‘is a Jaffa cake a cake or a biscuit conversation’ or wondered what makes a gateau a gateau and not just a cake?

It doesn’t really matter what the true answers may be – because like us all, the answer lies in what you prefer, just as a cake is a personal choice or memory. It may be a treat for yourself, or a memory of a birthday, Easter or holiday that you will always hold close to your heart.

Given the emotional connections we have with these basic concoctions of eggs, sugar, butter and flour (but not always!), it goes without saying that the packaging should be as visual a feast for the eyes as the cake itself.  In honour of Mr Green a Boxer friend who has recently completed his final patisserie exam and is the source of many a cake, biscuit or divine macaroon for the Boxers and Boxer-ettes, we give you some of our favourite packaging for cakes and other baked goodies.

Some of the great cake artisans are plugging straight into the customers desire for beautiful treats, ideal for sharing, because after all an indulgence shared is a guilt halved.

The Jaffa Cake – a cake of course because biscuits go soft when old :)

Bouchon…let them eat bread…because traditionally cakes were more like bread.

Fauchon Paris – the Club Cake.

Fauchon – because sometimes the best packaging is the product itself.

Flour Pot – packaging as a menu board.

Gails Artisan Bakery – beautifully simple.

Gails Artisan Bakery – cuteness in a coffee cup.

Cake in a jar – spoon included!

Pure Bake Shop – clearly delicious.

Your own Café to take home.

Macaroons elevated to jewel-like status.

Mary Pat – artisanal indulgence.

Maison Bertaux – patissiserie confection.

Williams Sonoma – on shelf but equally bakery.

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Thanks to our friends at the Production Factory

For the cool Jubilee hamper – Pimms o’ clock this Friday

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Is it a bean, is it a cure-all, is it a street corner?

Whether talking about the quality of their beans (Solberg & Hansen, Norway), the quirkiness of their dialogue with customers (eighthirty, New Zealand) or the heritage of their location (JJ Bean, Vancouver), what each of these coffee brands has in common is that they are telling a simple, powerful brand story and telling it everywhere the brand speaks.

Cheers!

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Just some cool stuff that I want

Simpsons furniture (Everyone needs yellow in their life)

And the animal pocket knife

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Refreshing ideas for Summer BBQ

Here are a couple of great ideas for quirky BBQ drinks this Summer…

Recycle old jam jars for individual cocktails served on ice – so cool!

Fruit popsicle for the kids – all you need is fruit, juice and a freezer – such fun!

The adult version – there are two fun ways to enjoy these guys… dip and lick or melt and sip. Either way is acceptable and encouraged!

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Medal winning eats . . .

For anyone in London this Summer for the Olympic Games, locals and visitors alike, check out the new improved Eat London 2. A delicious combination of restaurant recommendations (from cheap eats to Michelin stars), maps and recipes. Yummy!

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It’s a breeze…

It’s that time of year again, when days become longer, evenings lighter and thoughts turn to the garden. With most of us looking to cut back on spending though, we may need to be a little more creative in finding ways to furnish our personal patch of the great outdoors.  I’m loving this – it would work equally well in small suntraps or to create a cosy corner in a bigger garden. The nooks and crannies could be personalised to suit your lifestyle – I’m already planning where to fit the ice buckets and wine glasses…

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Green Games

Looking forward to the summer, and with the countdown to London 2012 well under way, organisers are aiming to ensure it’s a truly sustainable event. Olympic Park was built using the most environmentally-friendly materials. Publicity campaigns promoting the use of Public Transport, Walk and Cycle Initiatives all play a part in reducing emissions.

Partners are playing their part too – Coca Cola, an official sponsor of the Games, are planning lots of ways to reduce their carbon footprint; for example, using trucks which run on BioGas – produced from waste – to deliver their product.  They also hope to reduce the 11,000 tonnes of waste produced per day by installing 260 recycling bins around the city.

Another smart idea is the Coca Cola Recyclometer, which allows you to choose an item from a list and then check how much energy would be saved if it were recycled – with surprising results; if we recycle just one 330ml can, the Recyclometer tells us that we will have saved enough energy to power a lightbulb for 2.5 hours, a TV for 2 hours or a microwave for 18 minutes. Meaning that we don’t have to amass a mountain of used tin cans, plastic bottles and old newspapers to do our bit for the planet.

London’s bid to host the event relied heavily on the ‘legacy of the Games.’  Perhaps the best legacy would be to instill lasting greener habits in the residents of our capital city?

Originally seen here

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The craft of an era gone by

Stumbled across this, this morning and thought it was gorgeous!

It is a gin that uses the traditional method of Cold Compounding (or in everyone else’s terms– infusing). It is infused with ingredients including Juniper, Orange Peel, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cloves and Cardamom, yum yum.

It is made in tiny batches of just 30-60 bottles at a time. Talk about making it in your backyard. This seems to be a trend that keeps immerging of people recalling an era gone by and it is using the graphics to relate back to the traditional times.

Make mine a prohibition-era cocktail of French 75 please.

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Butter on the go!

I’m loving this innovative packaging idea for butter on the go – perfect for a picnic!

To see more pictures click here

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From one wine lover to another….

With more and more people becoming ‘green’ and ‘eco-friendly’, I think the rise in alterative packaging for wine has been a welcome one!

Don’t get me wrong, one of my favourite sounds is that of a cork being pulled from a good bottle of wine, however, there are many benefits to buying wine in a box.

 Aimed at those with an active, modern lifestyle…..the versatile containers are shatterproof, portable, and practical with a resealable, twist-off cap, making it a perfect wine choice for ski trips, backpacking, camping, and outdoor entertainment.  As an added bonus, wine stays fresh for longer and its better for the environment!

 While boxed wine has been on the shelves for a while, the packaging and design both seem to have evolved.  Don’t think of the large boxes in the 80’s that our parents used to try and fit unsuccessfully in to the fridge – but think more organic, streamlined, contemporary packaging;

Yellow + Blue = Green (see what they did there?!).  This wine not only comes in a box but it’s also organic and since it is more cost effective for the winery to have the wine packaged in a box they can sell it at a lower cost. So we are helping the environment and our wallets.

French Rabbit’s revolutionary packaging reduces packaging waste by 90% compared to glass bottles, and reduces emissions and greenhouse gases during shipping.  Also, for every 4 French Rabbit’s sold, one tree is planted. 

Boho Vineyards beautiful packaging is 95% recycled craft paper and uses only soy-based inks. This table –worthy design with paisley swirls pay homage to vintage bohemian chic.

 The Three Thieves “bullets,” sold four to a pack, resemble elongated, narrow juice boxes (complete with straw) with less severe edges. It’s nothing new to buy such a four-pack; mass-market brands have been doing it for years. But the new format offers both more wine — 250 ml, versus the standard 187-ml serving — and less waste.

For those of you concerned with the quality of sipping wine through a straw, fear no more, Tetra Pak has come up with a new ‘Sensory Straw’ that can direct the flow of a drink to different zones in the mouth to maximise flavour.  With a sealed end and four holes punched around the top, the straw is said to spread liquid over more of the mouth than conventional straws, which tend to squirt it down the back of the throat.  The new method means the drink comes into contact with taste buds in different areas, such as those on the side of the tongue which are most sensitive to sweetness… Cool!

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Artists as illustrators

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Let it Dough!

Just found this and just had to share it. Created by Christoph Niemann I just love the wit, it really made me smile. For the full doughy experience go here.

Originally found here

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Spot which one is the alcoholic drink!

I came across these two very different packaging bottles and it amused me that the non-alcoholic one – Crodino – was designed to appear alcoholic using traditional design cues you’d expect to see in a beer bottle design and that the the alcoholic one  – Mixed Emotions Vodka – has been designed to play down the alcoholic content and taste and focus on the emotional and fun aspect of drinking. Cheers!

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‘The Nobel Experiment’

PROHIBITION is a three-part, five-and-a-half-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that tells the story of the rise, rule, and fall of the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and the entire era it encompassed.

The culmination of nearly a century of activism, Prohibition was intended to improve, even to ennoble, the lives of all Americans, to protect individuals, families, and society at large from the devastating effects of alcohol abuse.

But the enshrining of a faith-driven moral code in the Constitution paradoxically caused millions of Americans to rethink their definition of morality. Thugs became celebrities, responsible authority was rendered impotent. Social mores in place for a century were obliterated. Especially among the young, and most especially among young women, liquor consumption rocketed, propelling the rest of the culture with it: skirts shortened. Music heated up. America’s Sweetheart morphed into The Vamp.

…This looks like a very interesting documentary which draws on lots of parallels to western life today.

Here is an interview with the film maker Ken Burns…

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Taking things into their own hands!

Check out this article about an interesting new website. Neighborland is a neighbourhood networking site in New Orleans and allows people to build crowd power around ideas to improve their local area.  To build a rallying call for improvements to their immediate environment and services. In an era when we no longer know all our neighbours – how they think and feel – this seems like a great way to prompt local authorities and other bodies to make the changes that their local populous really values.  I’m not sure which is the tail and which is the dog – but there seems to be a good bit of happy wagging going on here!

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2012…something to shout about!

Loving the Jubilee fever, tea parties at the ready…

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Prohibition is making a comeback …

…and igniting the creativity in all of us. Things we like this week – Noble – looks like it came straight out of Boardwalk Empire. Delightfully classic and a thing of nostalgic beauty – if this is what underground looks like I think I’ll start collecting.

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Raise a glass…

Sláinte – (Slahn – cha…Cheers!)

We hope you enjoy our ode to the black stuff – a Boxer take on the Guinness brand story

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Innovation Lessons from India’s ‘Jugaad’ Ideology

Inspired by my recent visit to Amritsar in India I was surprised on how much more the west has been making its mark over there, even in the ‘Holy City’. I know everyone goes on about India’s economic boom, but it was really interesting to see it for myself as a comparison from when I went there just 4 years ago. A lot has changed.. but also at the same time a lot hasn’t. From a Domino’s Pizza & Nescafe Coffee Shop outside the Golden Temple to cinema multiplexes and gigantic shopping malls housing familiar western designer brands and fast food outlets. Inside these places you really could be anywhere in the west, but once outside across the street you are reminded of where you are.

But this is India’s surprising economic miracle – the country’s state may be weak, but its private companies are strong, the rich are getting richer and the poor.. well, are still very poor. 450 million poor in India (more than in entire Africa combined) also mean 450 million who have singular economic spaces to big bang as many economic miracles in the form of what they call ‘Jugaad’.

The following are excerpts taken from the  article Jugaad is a Magical Word written by Roopa from projectsjugaad.com/

‘Just like the fairies calling “abracadabra” can conjure anything out of thin air, Jugaad can get anything done in the real world. It is like the ultimate solution to every problem, last resort to every journey, the only way out from the point of no return. In fact it is the greatest skill god has given to mankind to survive in the race of evolution. Jugaad has great powers. If someone just assures you that he has some jugaad to help you out, you are most confident that your work will certainly be done. Jugaad is god’s helping hand on earth.

The Hindi term Jugaad literally means  ”an arrangement or a work around, which has to be used because of lack of resources”. In a broad sense, the term refers to a certain resourcefulness and innovation found in Indian cities. Jerry-rigged cars, homemade stoves, and do-it-yourself water filtration are all examples of citizens “making do” with what they have on hand. That resourcefulness has proven to be an inspiration for local non-governmental organisations and international designers alike. It is the product of highest level of creativity and imagination to utilise the limited and cheap resources to give out the desired result. It has even found a place in unofficial management dictionary for its widespread reach and effectiveness. Moreover since it is practically so spontaneous & genuine that there is no any danger of copyright crime or intellectual property theft. Doing a Jugaad is legally accepted since most of the times it is used to find out way around the legal obligations. Jugaad can be used to repair something, buy or sell or just create what you want with what you have. Jugaad satisfies all, no harm to anyone because everyone knows and respects Jugaad. Jugaad has such a great public recognition.

India is recognised for its capability to do more with less. That’s also jugaad. Today, this motto is being chanted in corporate forums in the west as a vast business strategy. Given today’s economic climate, this philosophy is finding significance and approval. Why has India become an outsourcer’s joy? It’s because of it’s inborn ability to maximise resources and create quality products and services.

Jugaad is my most valuable learning from college. It was used not only in practical lab or examination hall but also more prominently in relationships. In fact Jugaad was another name for one’s girl/boy friend. If a boy is Jugaadu then he certainly has a lot of girls around him. If you look closely you can actually understand why a relationship is more or less like a Jugaad. Just like in Jugaad, you have to work around in a relationship with available resources. Most of the time, these worked out ways are illogical and practically impossible. Still just like Jugaad, relationships work out in spite of everyone’s lack of confidence in it. And just like Jugaad they triumph and inspires in the tales of following generations.

But to do a Jugaad is not a child’s play. Jugaad needs imagination, High level of creativity, a skill of thinking out of the box. Jugaad can not be learned it should come from within. You can always learn how a Jugaad is done, but you can never understand how some one has invented it. In fact every scientific invention or innovation is nothing but a Jugaad. The first man who was too weak to push a flat rock on the ground did a Jugaad to come up with the wheel. Claw-less man came up with Jugaad of stones to start the stone age. As the needs increased he developed the Jugaad of metals, machines, computers, laptops, microchips, mobile phones and lot many to come. Anthropologically speaking the only reason behind Man’s intelligent evolution is his ability to use the things around him to do the desired work. In other words our whole success of evolutionary excellency is nothing but Jugaad. A Jugaad which has continued for years and will continue until the last Man is alive.’

To celebrate India’s Jugaad, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New York last year held an exhibition: Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities.

Below are just a few examples I found of India’s ‘Jugaad












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Power Rocking!

The Murakami Chair’s attached lamp powered by your rocking back and forth. Designed by Rochus Jacob. The Chair’s OLED lamp even senses when it’s light or dark and it has a battery pack which stores ‘your rocking’ in the daylight . Found here..

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The Pizza Box: Redesigned

You might think it hyperbolic to refer to a redesign of the cardboard pizza box as a stroke of genius, but that’s precisely what this is. Green Box‘s design breaks down into four plates and a smaller (fridge-friendly) box for leftovers. What a thorough use of materials. Found here

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More “Fresh Choices” from Morrisons’

Morrisons’ has redesigned it’s entry level ‘value’ range as part of the retailer’s strategic overhaul of its own-brand offering. The rebrand is part of the biggest design brief in the UK this year. The aim is to strengthen the Morrisons brand and increase the share of its own products bought by customers by transforming Morrisons’ own label into a coherent own-brand. The redesign will roll out over the next 18 months. Read more here.

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Sock Puppet Choir-Bohemian Rhapsody

A very Merry Christmas to all!

We hope you enjoy this year’s card. Cause we sure had fun making it! A mash up of Bohemian Rhapsody tributes*, music styles and aspiring Sock Stars.

A special shout out to inspiration from Freddie Mercury for the tune. The only song to have reached the “UK Christmas Number 1” twice.

The original, at 5 minutes and 55 seconds, was considered too long to ever be a hit. Now it’s a timeless classic. And an inspiration to us for breaking conventions through artistic expression and craft.

Note: No socks were actually hurt in the making of the card. However, a few were lost in the wash.

*thanks and credit to:
Rockabye Baby
Richard Cheese
Hayseed Dixie
Queen
Mario Rosenstock
Jesi and the Jesi’s
The Braids

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Fresh take on burgers

"The Hand Burger"

New mini-chain of burger bars, The Hand Burger in Singapore giving us a fresh take on a quality burger. I’ve not had the opportunity to taste but they claim to be artisan quality with scrummy-not-for-the-burger purist burgers like Duck Confit, Stuffed Portobello and the Battered Dory. Burgers are served up in a convenient box, complete with playful brand story to boot.

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Cat-vertising

We have seen the future, and the future is Cats.

Thanks John St.! We are big fans!

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Amazing Foodscapes

I came across British photographer Carl Warner while searching images for a project, who creates amazing foodscapes: landscapes constructed entirely from fruits and vegetables, cheeses, breads, fish, meat and grains. At first glance the landscapes look real, and it is only on second glance that the viewer realises that the scenes are made entirely out of food. He was interviewed by Richard & Judy back in 2008 (some time ago.. I know), but I thought this stuff is definitely worth sharing. You can buy a book of his work, entitled Carl Warner’s Food Landscapes, which is published by Abrams and is available at all good book stores or checkout his website for more of his latest works.







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QR codes make an impression

Artistic or Advertising whatever your take out of this, QR codes are really starting to take over the world showing new innovative ways they can be used.

Found here and the facebook page is here

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Harry’s Nuts!

Harry Hill has revealed that the latest in his Harry’s Nuts! range of Fairtrade nutty products will be Crunchy Peanut Butter. Harry was closely involved with the packaging design, created by strategic design agency BrandOpus, who previously redesigned the Harry’s Nuts! snack nut range last year.

Harry’s Nuts! is a brand developed by Harry and Liberation Foods, the world’s only farmer-owned Fairtrade nut company.   Harry, who makes no money from the range, came up with the Harry’s Nuts! concept to help smallholder peanut farmers in Malawi, Mozambique, Nicaragua, and other farming groups in Asia and Latin America, sell their crops in the UK and not for ‘peanuts’ at the roadside.

Avril Tooley, client services director at BrandOpus, says, “Working with Harry again was an exciting opportunity to drive sales for this great cause.  We’re proud to be associated with a brand that aims to help such a large number of farmers in such a constructive way. The packaging design aims to be, fun and playful, just like Harry and follow in the successful footsteps of the wider Harry’s Nuts! range we designed last year”

Liberation Managing Director Kate Gaskell said of the redesign, “We are delighted with the Harry’s Nuts! peanut butter design, showing a cartoon Harry jumping up and down on peanuts. BrandOpus quickly grasped our Fairtrade mission and product and are tuned in to Harry’s quirky humour.”

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Mega Pixels

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A Good Egg!

The people behind Happy Egg co are introducing a new free range egg brand. The idea behind “eggs for soldiers” is how a commodity bought on a weekly basis, to help raise awareness of the Help for Heroes charity through brand association.

The brand’s name – Eggs for Soldiers – points to a usage suggestion (boiled eggs and toast ‘soldiers’), whilst also communicating its charitable intent. The egg medal icon provides an emotional centre piece for the brand, rooted in its partnership with Help for Heroes.

All in all it’s a good cause, with a great design making it all round a “good egg”

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New Look 7up

This is the new design for 7up created by TracyLocke New York. This design will be rolled out in several countries around the world, apart from the US, where 7up is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group and rest of the world by PepsiCo.

Personally, me not like. – I can understand a re-design and a simple evolution for the brand may be needed. It indeed will have great shelf stand-out, but this design is too flat and lacks all personality. It’s come a long way from Photoshop spritzing all over the can, but maybe too far? – source CreativeReview

Checkout the brief 7up biog of designs below, (some very nice ones indeed) - images usasoda.com

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No need to ever unpack…

A concept designed by product designers The Psychic Factory based in Korea, incorporating a chest of drawers in to a suitcase come wardrobe, which wouldn’t look out of place in any bedroom – why would you ever need to unpack? A simple, genius idea which makes you wonder why it hasn’t been done already and in production? Check out some more innovative concepts on their blog. Found on inewidea.com.

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Body Painting

It’s not very often that I am bowled over by modern art, but the work of Alexa Meade really took my breath away. Her innovative use of paint on the three dimensional surfaces of found objects, live models, and architectural spaces has been incorporated into a series of installations that create a perceptual shift in how we experience and interpret spatial relationships. You have to look closely to see the real object or people hiding below the paint. Truly creative, and so much skill and talent shown in her work. I’m really quite envious.

Found here via a Facebook tag.

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A sweet look at Birmingham by night..

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Crooner Christmas at Argos

I know this ad has been on for quite a while now and is done in the same vain as the old VW ‘singing in the rain’ advert, but I still love it and is really well done – check out the ‘making of’ video below too…

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Video cards…a good idea?

I recently over heard someone saying how fed up they were of receiving e-cards as opposed to traditional cards through the post which got me thinking….

Video and e-cards…good idea or bad idea?

The problem is that the majority of viral cards out there are just awful! Badly drawn, badly animated or produced on the cheap with little or no thought. The effect is the same as receiving a cheap, flimsy Christmas card through the post, you just know this was sent because you were on a tick list and it certainly wasn’t chosen and selected especially for you! However, opening up a funny or in some way personalised card or even better, a homemade card is a very nice thing indeed and you feel happy to put it up with the others as opposed to popping it on the fire or in the bin!

There is, however, the ‘Carbon Footprint’ argument. Why add to the already ‘depleting rain forest’ problem along with the carbon emitting postal vans and or planes/trains when you can send a carefully selected, funny and personalised e-card or Video message for next to nothing?

I still think I would rather receive a lovely Christmas card to open on a personal level but on a Business level where you are sending best wishes and Christmas greetings to, in some cases hundreds of people in one company, a well produced and carefully considered Video or e-card, which puts a smile on the face of the recipient is definitely the way forward.
I mean, how many people would stop and read the single Christmas card stuck up in reception or the boss’s office and who actually gets the one bottle of wine you sent?
A Video greeting or e-card goes to everyone in the company and if it’s any good will get passed around virally thus benefitting your company even more! If it is carefully chosen or better still well made, well thought out and good fun it wins hands down for me, every time.

My conclusion is that if you are going to send video cards, e-cards or traditional cards, quality is of paramount importance!

Discuss….

This is a good example of a fun, well considered Video card from a company called 1576 sent and posted on YouTube in 2006. 6 years old and still doing the rounds. Nice!

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A Magical Christmas Story for Everyone to Enjoy by Paul C

Ever since I was a Junior Designer working in retail (once upon a time long ago), I have been fascinated and excited by Department Store Christmas Windows.

Each year I await the launch of these seasonal masterpieces with the eagerness of a kid on Christmas Eve… This is Christmas magic!

Telling the latest Christmas Story through visual merchandising is a creative skill that is often under appreciated.
Whether the visual story is more traditional or a unique modern take, these works of art light up our High Streets, spread a warm feeling and act as magnets for the pull of our Christmas pounds.

Check out three of the UK’s finest below:

Harvey Nichols – from Smudgetikka


Harrods – from The Fashion Scout


Selfridges – from Boy Meets Fashion

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Christmas ads are coming!

Yes, indeedy! It’s once again that time of year,

Where everywhere we look, begins to smack of Christmas cheer!

I think these lip smacking pot noodles have got their cheeky tone just right! I’m just hoping the noodle van makes it through the snow to pay a visit to the shed!

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Mad Men Ads

I have just discovered that Unilever created a series of 6 commercials for one of my favourite TV programmes, Mad Men, when it was aired in the States. Each one is set in a fictional agency from the same time period as Mad Men, the 60’s. Here’s the one for Hellmann’s…

I must admit before seeing them I thought that what a great idea, and was thinking how visually beautiful they would be shot and acted. But I’m a little disapointed. It would have been nice to have the actual ads in the style of the 60’s tv ads, rather than a cheesy sketch before a current day ad. At least I can be thankful that my Mad Men viewing is not interupted by commercials.

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Retro Internet Ads

Created by an agency based in Brazil found on howtobearetronaut.com

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2 Guys 600 Pillows

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Liquid Mountaineering!

A lovely viral ad for Hi-Tech’s new range of ‘hydrophonic’ footware. The fact that the branding isn’t shoved down your throat makes this even more believable and charming.

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