Art in Redlight: 10th Independent Art Fair Amsterdam

Cheers everyone! We already toasted at the 10th Independent Art Fair in Amsterdam. Oh we had such a great time! We thank Urban Art House Gallery Store for the invitation. Check out their website and the artists that they represent here:
We saw a LOT of inspiring art at the show, talked to many artists. I've included art of Daan den Houter (, Roos van Dijk ( and Marc ter Horst ( in this picture. Want to see the complete list of the show then go to: One of my New Year's resolutions is to visit a lot more fairs like this. Plus: in the new year I am going to use a different control management system. I'm outgrowing this one and it will enable me to share a lot more with you guys than I am able now ;-)!

Interactive Guerrilla Marketing by Norwegian Airlines

Oh this is such a fun way of interactive guerrilla marketing by Norwegian Airlines. Norwegian Airlines created a billboard with a live feed from a cab in New York City. 360° camera on top of the vehicle in NYC  and off they went driving throughout the city. The drivers would see the people standing close to the billboard and interact with them. This is some form of engagement! When an Oslo (Norway) citizen would come over to the billboard they were not only surprised by suddenly talking to someone in NYC, but they also were given the option to control the camera on top of the vehicle and get a personal tour of the city. Awesome!
Watch the video below. For those of you who can't view the video on their mobile devices:

50 Most Creative People of 2014

Ad Age (USA) just published a list with the 50 most influential creative thinkers of 2014. Among them a team of Instagrammers and ALS Ice Bucketers. "We examined a broad swath of disciplines, from art and advertising, to entertainment and technology, to pop culture and fashion, in order to pinpoint the individuals and teams—and even married couples—who have evolved the creative landscape over the last 12 months. Their art, ads, tunes, films and ideas got us thinking, connecting, singing and creating some more. We hope they'll provide all of you with inspiration for the year to come."

The Coding Trend

Skills, skills, skills we all need them, learn them, and master them. This year I gradually noticed the amount of articles focusing on the coding skill. I've taught myself graphic design this year and some basic coding skills. A couple of years ago I would never have thought that coding would be something for me, but I am starting to like it. Everywhere you looked, magazines covered articles on the latest prediction within the technology trends: coding. It makes sense, we're all progressively hooking up online. Within marketing we are coming closer to home as we have ever been: social advertizing is on the rise and very soon companies are not the ones creating the campaigns, but our own selfies will be used as media strategies. Data, data, data, how do the platforms work, how do they link with each other, how is data transferred. All of these are good questions and with a little bit of coding knowledge you will keep yourself up to date about these important questions. Plus it will make it easier for you if you would ever like to make some career moves. The Top IT skills this year were: big data, mobile, cloud and security. Computerworld published a top 10 of  'hottest IT skills', among them web development and mobile application and device management.
And here's an interesting article about a professional with marketing experience and only basic coding knowledge who learned to code on the new job!

Spaced Out: The Psychedelic Trend in Interior Design

Wow, those colours and lines! "‘There’s a re-emergence of interest in what psychedelic means,’ argues Phong Bui, the multitalented man behind Spaced Out: Migration to the Interior, an exhibition hosted by Red Bull Studios in New York City. " He's right, I've seen lots more of these spacey interior designs! Optical illusions seem to be a hit. In my December 16th post I wrote about the Optical Illusions in the designs of Tobias Rehberger.

Konstantin Kofta's Design & Euclidian Geometry

This Kiev based designer is so crazy about Euclidian Geometry and the Platonic Solid. The collection is just Fabulous! "The five perfect 3-dimensional forms of the Platonic Solids are the foundation of everything in the physical world. Literally the entire Periodic Table of Elements is based on these same five forms. It was Marcel Proust who said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes”. I love how the collection, the surroundings and the model's clothing work together!

Helsinki's Awesome City Promotion

Helsinki you are doing it right! Helsinki is high up in the list of the world's most livable cities and the population is growing fast and in the new city plans the city area is going car-free. The city is currently promoting itself as a 'green network city'.  "Helsinki envisions its busy expressways becoming boulevards lined with new housing, sidewalk cafes, bike lanes, and trams and buses. Residents will run everyday errands on foot or by bike; the city hopes that homes, businesses, schools, and stores will all be close enough together that many people might not even have to commute anymore."


How to Market Illustrations

This is a list of books from which I probably could learn a thing or two (and more): 9 Creative Resources for Illustrators. "Some illustrators are advertisers, creating illustrations for companies and gaining a strong understanding of how products are made. Others illustrate journalistic stories or create children’s book illustrations, visualizing the written word."
“Illustrators are the link between design and fine art. We are not designers, nor are we fine artists. We work in a commercial industry that provides images for clients in a sort of lending atmosphere. Because we generally do not sell our original work outright, we fall into an odd category: We create images that sell ideas, push boundaries of the imagination, sell products, decorate and compliment text like nothing else. We are in a unique creative zone.” – Holly DeWolf, Breaking into Freelance Illustration: The Guide for Artists, Designers and Illustrators" View the complete list here:

Christmas Time is Here

And what a fabulous job she did composing this video!
Daniela Andrade - Christmas Time is Here

Raising Awareness and Social Engagement Marketing Strategies

In modern marketing you will more and more see the inclusion of so called 'raising awareness strategies'. Businesses not only promote brand awareness, but they also engage the public by raising awareness through what I call 'social engagement'. US retailer Target's new line of advertising, which includes a 2-year old toddler with down syndrome, raised so much online attention it almost instantly became a marketing hit. In online articles about this marketing hit you will find quotes of the child's mother in which she mentions that 'the decision is a big step in raising awareness about the genetic condition'. Target collaborated with the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN) in this project. Target's 'out of the box' thinking resulted in stealing the public's hearts and it also generated a new voice from 'within the family'. In this case the mother of the toddler, which is a voice that resonated with great impact.
Read also:
Photo via Target


How to Create Funny Christmas Cards

Hehe, this photographer's Christmas card concept is so cute! He so succeeds in creating a funny Christmas card. "Bristol-based photographer Peter Thorpe has a great little tradition that he started 20 years ago. For his annual holiday card, he transforms Raggle, his dog, into various animals. He started this tradition with Paddy, and now continues with Raggle. Other photographers would often turn to Photoshop, but Peter uses real props instead. When the photos are finished, he sends these cards to his family, friends and clients." For more funny pictures see:

Web Design Trend Predictions 2015!

Here some webdesign trends for 2015!
"Responsive Typography: For Better Legibility
The website readability is affected by type size, column width, and line height. In 2015, designers will have to say a final goodbye to squeezed and small text. Larger text supports high readability, so gives a better image to the website. It’s true to say that web designers need to go for responsive typography other than thinking just about responsive design. Whatever platform is used to build websites, the text should be legible to appeal the target audience.
Website Building Without Coding: A Paradigm Shift
Designers are usually considered just to give the website an appealing look and feel. However, that concept will change as designing tools are becoming smarter and more capable. The graphic design software now enables designers to develop websites, without getting actually involved in coding. The good thing is, such effortless coding is clean, and W3C validated. There is no more hesitation for web designers in offering complete, professional, and modern website building services to their clients.
New Approaches In Responsive Web Designing: There Will Be No Excuse!
Being responsive doesn’t mean to be available on Smartphones and tablets, but on smart watches and TVs as well. It would be a challenge for web designers to develop websites working smoothly on all smart devices. A website running smoothly on desktops and Smartphones might not work well on watches. Effective content presentation and smooth navigation for such devices would be a tough job in 2015, but not for those who could dare.
Flat Web Designs: Aesthetics And Practicality Go Side By Side
support for flat web designing is from diverse industry leaders. Like UI language of Microsoft, guidelines for material design by Google, and aesthetic direction by Apple, all helping the flat web design becoming the popular trend of 2015. The minimalist approach has made flat designing getting its place. Such designs are clutter free and lean. Focusing the content is another strong point favoring flat designing. It’s not just about making the website aesthetically appealing, but to keep the visitors engaged without any distraction.
Larger Images At Backgrounds: No Compromise On Usability
As mentioned above, the text of the website should be larger to support high readability. Same is the case with images used at the site. The bandwidth will not be an excuse for using small images. There will appear techniques supporting responsive image sizing and dominant backgrounds. The larger images should also be well optimized, requiring less server load. Images at background with text floating on top will be a major trend in 2015. However, usability should not be compromised while following this trend.
Parallax Scrolling Animation: The Most Exciting Trend
Such scrolling effects can be seen on Google and Apple’s product pages. Why such giants are using Parallax scrolling effects? The reason is m simple, it increases the users’ engagement on the sites by 70%. As far as smooth navigation is concerned, scrolling is much better than clicking. Why it’s like that? Because scrolling involves less page load, less refreshes, and allows smooth information flow. No doubt, parallax-scrolling animation would be the most exciting designing trend of 2015.
Web Graphics Will See A Rise
Graphics don’t just look appealing, but present the information effectively. The rise of infographics was due the fact they present huge information, ensuring high engagement of the readers. Just like infographics, web graphics also help visitors to have a real time interaction with the information presented, increasing the user retention. From visual point of view, web graphics are more appealing than infographics.  In 2015, web graphics will be the demand of clients because it makes the design personalized for their specific business.
In the web designing world, it’s the creativity of the designers that gives rise to trends and the trends then become standards, which the designing community has to follow. Trends may come and go, but the creativity of web designers should keep on progressing. Ignoring the mentioned above trends in 2015 means leaving behind the competition. Can you afford that? Obviously not!"

The Lego Branding Messages: Test.Learn.Improve.Repeat!

Fantastic idea: "Lego maniac Jason Allerman has used his enthusiasm for the toy bricks to create a fully functioning computer keyboard. Using over 1,500 LEGO pieces, Allerman transformed a discarded broken keyboard into a colorful upcycled version. Not only will the resulting keyboard inspire any tech-loving adult or child, but it can also be used on any computer."

This image reminds me of an article I read a little while ago about the branding and marketing strategies of Lego and what the Lego branding teaches us. Branding is storytelling and creating philosophies with keywords and key values.
The Lego Brand Values are:
"Imagination: Curiosity asks, ‘Why?’ and imagines explanations or possibilities (if… then). Playfulness asks what if? and imagines how the ordinary becomes extraordinary, fantasy or fiction. Dreaming it is a first step towards doing it. Free play is how children develop their imagination … the foundation for creativity.
Creativity: Creativity is the ability to come up with ideas and things that are new, surprising and valuable. Systematic creativity is a particular form of creativity that combines logic and reasoning with playfulness and imagination.
Fun: Fun is the happiness we experience when we are fully engaged in something that requires mastery (hard fun), when our abilities are in balance with the challenge at hand and we are making progress towards a goal. Fun is both in the process, and in the completion.
 Fun is being active together, the thrill of an adventure, the joyful enthusiasm of children and the delight in surprising both yourself and others in what you can do or create.
Learning: Learning is about opportunities to experiment, improvise and discover … expanding our thinking and doing,  helping Lego see and appreciate multiple perspectives.
Caring: Caring is about the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children, for our partners, colleagues and the world we find ourselves in, and considering their perspective in everything we do. Going the extra mile for other people, not because we have to … but because it feels right and because we care.
Quality: For us quality means the challenge of continuous improvement to be the best toy, the best for children and their development and the best to our community and partners."
The article on Lego Branding:
Read more about Jason Allerman's Lego keyboard here:

Inspirational Design Books

Need some design inspiration? Here's a nice list! From 20th Century design to a collection with Top 40 designers and Archetypes in Branding. "These books are for beauty—lovely photography, mind-blowing body paint, thoughtful visual essays and more. What you’ll find in these beautiful books is pure inspiration and aesthetic indulgence, like a box of truffles. Plus, you might just learn something as you delve into the pages."


How do you 'knit' your way through marketing?

Club Geluk (The Happiness Club) is a Dutch company that designs retro fabrics, vintage prints and textiles, (handmade) livingitems, unique gifts and DIY kits. They have recently teamed up with HEMA (a Dutch discount Retail chainstore, owned by the British investment firm Lion Capital LLP since 2007). Hema used their knitted replicas of Hema goods in their Christmas promo flyer. You can knit your own christmastree adornment, which you can also knit during one of the Club Geluk workshops. Smart, right!? The website is also in English, though not the part that describes their relationship with Hema:

South African Illustrators' visions on 2015

Such a nice initiative. Some gorgeous examples of South African illustrations/graphic designs.
"Husband and wife, Ben and Vanessa Grib, are the heart and soul behind Essie Letterpress, based on a farm near Citrusdal in the Western Cape. Vanessa (the "Ess" in "Essie Letterpress") fell in love with the tactile quality and old-world charm of letterpress while attending art school in San Francisco. The pair produce bespoke designs for anything under the sun, from weddings to baby showers, greeting cards to personalised stationery. But they are earning quite a reputation for their sought-after Artist's Almanac, an annual showcase of local graphic designers' work. We chatted to them about their passion project."

Why Miniature Concepts Always Work in Marketing and Branding

People are naturally drawn to cuteness and almost all things miniature. Maybe because it reminds us of the toys that we used to play with and it makes us laugh for a moment. 'The Little People Project' is a very nice example of this. Artist Slinkachu has been 'abandoning little people on the streets' since 2006 and he is doing really well with his concept, has even been able to create merchandise (see also: Adweek just published a list of 14 marketing concepts that rocked 2014, including a miniature Coca Cola Kiosk..hehe! See the list here:


Genderbending, it's a hot theme!

Genderbending used to be a theme of controversy and would always attract viewers. It's now becoming a hot theme in not only the grown-up target group, most recent example being model Andrej(a) Pejic (hired by H&M  and Hema), but I wouldn't be surprised if we would see more of it very soon in the kid's section. Why am I not surprised? Well, there's this Hollywood-kid, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's kid Shiloh to be exact, that's been drawing a lot of attention lately because she apparently loves to wear boy/men styles clothing as well as being called 'John'. Here's an example.

How to Create an Awesome Entrance

Oh I am in L-O-V-E with this design. Need some inspiration creating a fabulous entrance? Just look at this, it's amazing."Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels creates wooden installations inspired by the geometric arrangements of crystal formations. The artist stacks thin pieces of wood into tessellating triangular shapes, using them to create hive-like structures that viewers can enter. Fels’s installations are based on her elaborate blueprints, which she displays as artworks in their own right. The wood she uses is sourced from discarded construction materials. Functional and visually appealing, her works evoke makeshift shelters that viewers can temporarily inhabit."

How do you Hype Up your Social Media Strategies?

Wonder why the word 'Storytelling' within social media and marketing content knowledge will always be a 'modern' word? Well here it is: "For Success in Social Media Conversation is not Enough - You need Narrative". You don't create 'hypes' out of the blue or by going against the grain, you need to tell a story. Your job as a marketing communication professional is to try to get your audience to attach to you, your company, your products or services.
"Cognitive anthropologist Bob Deutsch argues that brands seeking connections with people should be looking to enter their self-narratives, not their conversations."..."But one last transformation is still needed for marketing success. Marketers need to evolve from considering products as brands to considering "person-as-brand." Nowadays every person wants to be its own brand—to perform, and to be liked, looked at, followed, and bought into."
How do you do this?

Great article!

Optical Illusions within Design

Optical illusions that are playful will always create excitement. Tobias Rehberger is a German artist, his sculptures and installations art are constantly inspiring. When I see a picture like this my commercial mind immediately links this kind of design with shoebrands like Nike and Adidas and how this could work in their shoestore designs. Young customers would love it!
Installation at Venice Biennale (Tobias Rehberger)


For the Love of Logo Design

For those of you who are also interested in Logo Design here's an awesome reference. In this book 300 international logo designs are analysed: what works, and what doesn't work!
Read more here:

Your Smartphone Innovations in 2015

Wow this top 5 list of smartphone innovations in 2015 is pretty amazing. Next year you can use your smartphone as a game console, serve as your home PC, record directional audio ("One big issue with capturing video on cellphones is audio quality. With the new chip, the phone will be able to process sound in a way that captures it in specific directions"), simulate an optical zoom (" Using the serious computing power in the Qualcomm chip, the phone can combine the two images to create a picture that Core Photonics claims is better than what a DSLR can capture, at low zoom levels.") and it will also soon be able to play a 4K video for you. Nice!

Guerilla Marketing with Drones

How far can you go with drones and guerilla marketing? Brazil the Black Friday sales were combined with mannequins attached to drones and it looks pretty amazing! "It’s called Flying Collection, an idea for Camisaria Colombo, a famous shirt store in Brazil. In order to promote their store sales, the Brazilian clothing store partnered with Publicis Salles Chemistri and decided to shoot for the stars. They used several radio controlled drones to lift mannequins in the air. Each mannequin wore a unique outfit with a sale tag on the article of clothing."

Your Computerscreen on Your Wrist!

Very soon it doesn't matter anymore where you are, taking a bath at home, or drunk in your favorite bar's toilet not knowing anymore where your phone doesn't matter because you don't need to hold your phone to be able to check your latest online updates. All you need is to be wearing this bracelet gadget on your wrist and your skin will be your sceen. Sounds pretty sci-fi doesn't it? Well, a Paris-based designgroup is working on this concept called 'the circret bracelet'. Does it work on darker skin...that's the question huh?
"a promotional video shared on the company’s site — amassing over 3 million views on youtube — shows the physical interaction between user and product: a person swipes, pinches and taps their way through various applications, communicating with their phone on their forearm. if ‘cicret’ becomes a realized product — a goal potentially made possible through a crowdfunding effort — the possibilities of use include underwater interfacing, the ability to answer a call when your phone is across the room, and gaming on the go."

Hipster Language and Restaurant Marketing

This is an interesting article on language and restaurant marketing. The author (Jurafsky) of this book analysed the menus of Taco Bell and its new spinoff US Taco Co. " That's one thing that's common on cheaper restaurant menus—as if the restaurant feels the need to try and convince its diners of the quality of the food. A fancier restaurant, he explains, would take it as a given that the diner expects the eggs to be fluffy and the pico de gallo to be freshly prepared." The spinoff US Taco Co. uses so called Hipster language: "Day of the Dead skull on top and the desserts are served in mason jars. I mean, how hipster can you get?"

Gorilla: Best Dutch Designer Collective

Gorilla is the best Dutch designer collective. They have been active for a number of years now and have gained national and European awards. Grafik Magazine just wrote a piece on their work: "
Today's Archive piece features an interview with Gorilla, a collective of designers (made up of Designpolitie, Lesley Moore and Herman van Bostelen) when they were two years into an ongoing publishing project in the Dutch national press:"

Having Trouble Selling a House? Do it the Dutch Way!

Having trouble selling a house? Do it the Dutch way! This one is hitting the international communities right now. Saw the clip last week. A very original and fun way to market your house!
Designboom: "WATCH: the wooden framework has been installed to weave throughout the interior and exterior of the brick home, taking potential buyers on a physical and fun journey through various rooms. #ride"

How the Dutch Find a New Way of Marketing Empty Office Spaces

Many countries deal with the problem the market crash has brought them: how to market that sudden abundance of empty office spaces. How are the Dutch handling this situation? With creative marketing sollutions like pop up galleries and new designs by artists. Here a Dutch report on the new trends within this subject via Boekmanstichting: Cultuur als aanjager gebiedsontwikkeling:  "Tegelijkertijd treden er in de zoektocht naar oplossingen voor leegstand allerlei verschuivingen op in de traditionele vastgoedrollen als die van eigenaar, ontwikkelaar, ontwerper en gebruiker. Kunstenaars ontpoppen zich bijvoorbeeld als ontwerpers en ontwikkelaars. Boekman 101 brengt een aantal belangrijke trends in kaart"

Branding in Collaboration with Artists

I've been following this artists work for a while. She now collaborates with Hasbro's My Little Pony. You can see why when looking at her work!


How the Gayest Teenage Boy in the World Lands a Modelling Contract

This is an awesome example of how social media hypes quickly transform into marketing concepts. Meet Brendan Jordan, a gay teenage boy from Las Vegas who just couldn't resist 'vogue-ing' while he was standing in the crowd behind a TV journalist. The footage became an instant youtube hit and not long afterwards the boy got a modelling contract with the struggling brand American Apparel.
Notice the twist in branding: not the brand is the inspiration...but the boy!
The ad's text reads:
“Brendan is from Las Vegas, Nevada. He's half Peruvan (his dad was born and raised in Peru) and he learned Spanish from his extended family that helped care for him. He enjoys taking photos, shopping and collecting Disney memorabilia. In the future Brendan hopes to have his own TV show and design a clothing line. His biggest inspirations are his great grandmother Lucy and Lady Gaga. We were inspired by Brendan after seeing his fearless act of spontaneity and applaud his efforts with the LGBTQ community. His favorite styles of ours include the Clear PVC Circle Skirt and anything high-waisted.”


Remy van Zandbergen's Animated Production Line

A wonderful animation made by Remy van Zandbergen storytelling the printing process.
"With rapidly emerging technologies becoming increasingly intricate, there’s a growing need to make the ‘elusive’ more tangible and comprehensible. Unveiling what’s normally hidden, Remy van Zandbergen – a recent graduate of DAE’s Man and Leisure department – offers an imaginative look inside an automated process. When you press the button of De Zeefdrukkerij, a stop-motion animation playfully shows the printing process needed to make Van Zandbergen’s business card, which is then physically offered to the ‘client’. He envisions customizing his installation to allow a brand or company to visualize the story of its production line – an interesting way to increase transparency between company and customer."

Best Ad of 2014: 4 year old Carson's love for UPS

This is the best ad I've seen this year. It will call home and bring excitement to every viewer. Every detail is set up nice: direction, voice over, music etcetera. Carson even get's a nice surprise in the end! Watch the full movie here:
Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Handmade paper video game

This one is a must see! All handmade!
"For nearly three years, a six-member team of developers called State of Play has been toiling away in a London studio making a new video game. While there are probably thousands of such teams around the world coding away into the night, the members of this team are a bit different. Among them are an architect, a photographer, and a model maker, all needed to help physically construct the game’s environment. Titled Lumino City, the entire video game was first handmade entirely out of paper, card, miniature lights and motors."

Loish the Coolest Dutch Graphic Designer

Saw her work a couple of months ago hanging in one of the cool coffee corners here in Utrecht.
She posted this picture this morning. She's very good!
"one more sketch for today: my hero Stromae!"

How to brand a product for Hipsters & Jr.!

Have a look design..for the hipsters among us..there's even a model for hipster jr.!
"Tälja is swedish for woodcarving, the idea behind this woodcarving kit is to sit back and relax from modern life. A kit to help you create something with your hands and even utilize. The kit includes all the tools necessary, in a beautiful and inviting box."

Guerrilla Marketing Ideas

Brands like Post-It could collaborate and sponsor these creative ideas for their guerrilla marketing projects!

Melbourne Street Art shared Arts & Pics's photo

Branding a product

Beautiful example of how art, design and marketing play together.

Creative Industry in Holland

Policy agenda Dutch Creative Industry:
“The Top Sector Creative Industry is one of the most dynamic of the nine. It encompasses design, media, entertainment, fashion, gaming, and architecture. These are quite often the boosters of innovations in the other sectors. The Dutch creative industry is a global top ten player.”
Aldus minister Bussemaker tijdens haar toespraak vandaag op de Closing conference van de European creative industries alliance in Amsterdam. Na het in ontvangst nemen van het rapport Create, innovate, grow : a new policy agenda to maximise the innovative contributions of Europe’s creative industries. Lees hier het rapport,
de toespraak
of meer over de creatieve industrie

Marketing Through Destinations

Very nice and smart!

The Dieline
Capturing the essence of four of the world’s most premier destinations on the iconic Post-it Note
(6 photos)