Artist Places USB Drives in Brick Walls All Over New York

Ha! This one made me smile. "Aram Bartholl came up with this idea for an art project called “Dead Drops” in order to create an anonymous, offline file-sharing network in public space. These USB drives are completely public and anyone can plug in their devices to drop or find files. Each ‘Dead Drop’ USB is empty except for a .txt file which explains the project. Aram, a Berlin based artist who came up with the project during his stay in New York. The idea is pretty unique and fun but your laptop may get scratches or a broken USB port. However, it may get handy if you want to start a revolution through an anonymous file sharing from a flash drive. You can even make your own USB ‘Dead Drop’ with a little construction skills and a USB. Check out this video below to find out the details. The response was overwhelming so much so that the artist even made a dedicated website for Dead Drop Flash Drives.  So what do you think about the project? Do you think the idea will be successful in your city too?" Source:

Typo/Graphic Inspiration!

OK dear readers I am signing off this working week with some Typo/Graphic inspiration. Hope you had a good week. Don't forget to check out the website of babyinktwice, you'll find some awesome pieces of work over there: "babyinktwice is the graphic design and letterpress studio of dafi kühne, switzerland. the studio’s focus is on contemporary typographic poster designs for art-, music-, film-, architecture-, theatre-projects. all the posters are being produced autonomously on letterpress printing presses from the 1960ies with a broad technical range from traditional handset type to digitally produced printing blocks."

Hoffice: The New Co-Working from Home Trend from Sweden

This Hoffice trend originated in Sweden. Do you work from home and want some company, then invite someone..that's the basis of this idea. "Working at home has obvious perks, but typing in bed in your pajamas isn't necessarily quite as productive as sitting in an office. A new Swedish project aims to help freelancers find it easier to get things done, by transforming apartments and homes into temporary coworking spaces. In the morning, 10 or 12 people might show up at someone's apartment in Stockholm, as an article in a local paper explains. They perch in on the host's sofa, sit at the kitchen table, and take phone calls in the bedroom. And by filling the space with people at work—and by setting up an unconventional structure for the day—everyone seems to find it easier to focus. One part of the concept isn't new: Nearly a decade ago, my friend Amit Gupta started inviting fellow freelancers over to his tiny Manhattan apartment after he realized he missed the brainstorming and camaraderie of an office. The idea, which he dubbed Jelly, later spread to over a hundred cities. But the Swedish version, called Hoffice, takes a different and more structured approach. Everyone in the group works in 45-minute shifts, based on research suggesting people can't concentrate for more than 40 minutes at a time. When the shift ends, an alarm clock buzzes, and the group takes a short break to exercise or meditate. Before starting again, everyone explains what they hope to get done, to add a little social pressure to actually accomplish something. Journalist Agneta Lagercrantz describes a typical scene: The day I’m joining for this story the apartment is full. Amrit gets help setting up extra tables on trestles and Gösta takes his favorite spot in a Lamino armchair. 45 minutes at a time, we only hear the wall clock – tick-tock, tick-tock – and laptop key sounds. Or how someone suddenly gets up, and whispering disappears with the mobile phone. Then comes the alarm signal. It is time for the ten-minute break with stretching, meditation – or, why not, disco dancing?" Neat idea huh? Source:

App of the Week: The Stress App

Us+ App

Haha, love this App : the StressApp, or also called: Us+.  "A collaboration between Lauren McCarthy and Kyle McDonald (New York). The linguistic analysis is based on Linguistic Inquiry Word Count (LIWC) and Linguistic Style Matching (LSM), and inspired by work done with Sosolimited. A Google Hangout app that analyzes speech and facial expression to improve conversation. There's a fun video about the App:

Augmented Reality Marketing

Pepsi Max Bus Shelter Campaign

Have you ever heard of augmented reality marketing? First things first..what is augmented reality? Augmented reality is a technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view. Well, now that we know is it used within marketing? Creative Guerrilla Marketing's posted awesome examples. The Pepsi Max bus shelter campaign is super funny. And some of you may remember the Sochi 2014 Olympic Mascots! Here are some videos to watch!

For those of you who can't see the Pepsi video here: or the Sochi video:

Business Card Design Inspiration Plus Tips & Tricks

I've put some business card design inspiration together for you! And here are also some tips and tricks:
"1) It may sound obvious, but the first (and most important!) thing to consider when designing your business card is the information you want to convey. Make sure your name, job title and company name or logo are clearly displayed. Think carefully about which contact details to include – you need to strike a balance between providing enough points of contact, without making your card look cluttered. From our experience, your website, email address and phone number are essential. Many businesses no longer include an address on their business cards, so if you’re struggling for space, you may want to remove this from your design.
2) If you’ve got a lot of information to display, you may be tempted to shrink the size of your text. Beware – small text can often look readable onscreen, but turn into an illegible smudge when printed. As a general rule of thumb, don’t go smaller than 8pt. Also, don’t forget about the font itself: keep it professional and simple – don’t be tempted to use Comic Sans, or a detailed calligraphic font which is impossible to decipher.
3) Another way of saving space is to create a QR Code for your card. They provide a neat way of including a lot of information on a business card, without making it look cluttered. It’s also an easy way to create a link between your printed and online content – by scanning the code, people can automatically be sent to your website. There are plenty of free QR code generators on the web, so getting technological doesn’t have to break the bank.
4) Bright colours - when used correctly - can make a business card stand out, and look distinctive. This tactic is often used by design and creative businesses, with the aim of appearing fresh, exciting and original. However, don’t underestimate the power of simplicity. A plain black and white design can be as memorable and striking as a colourful card – and can often be seen as more ‘stylish’ too.
5) If you’re concerned about a black and white card looking dull, try embossing the words. Embossing creates a raised, 3D effect, which adds elegance and style to a business card.
Embossing also makes the card more tactile. Research has shown that engaging more than one sense at a time can improve recall of an object, so people would be more likely to remember your business." Source:

10 Tips on Website Design for Small Business Owners

This is a great article I just read on Inspired Magazine's website. I'll break it down for you here: "For small business owners web design can be quite intimidating or overwhelming. With so much work to perform there is little time to do it when other priorities get in the way on a daily basis. When using these tips you should be able to get the most out of your web page.
1. Content
Firstly and foremost, the content that you present on your website is one of the most important aspects of your website, because it is what the visitors will be reading to learn more about what you have to offer. The search engines generally determine the value of your website depending upon the amount of content you present. Meta tags to the search engines are not really as important as some of the other aspects of a website. The amount of visitors that you have visiting your page on a daily basis matters as well because this is what makes your site popular and in return more people become interested in what you have to offer.The content that you present on your webpage must be quite relevant to what you have to offer which is why precise descriptions are important.
2. Keeping things Current
If you have a lot of content on your website, that’s great! However, old content is not appreciated by those who visit your website on a regular basis. By keeping things new and fresh on your website, you can rest assured that more people will be interested in what you have to offer. The more often you change the content on your website, the higher your webpage rankings will be.
3. No Using Short Cuts—or Tricks
Nowadays, the search engines know when small businesses are trying to cut corners or edges just to get their website on the top of the search engines quicker. Whatever you do, don’t try to take the easy route by doing things such as using backdoors, or stuffing keywords, because this could only have your site banned from the search engines which means a negative reputation for you.
4. Links
Links for your website are great to have, but you want to make sure you are linking to websites that are offering the same products or services that you have to offer. You also want to make sure that you don’t add links from sites that are not very busy and have little to no traffic visiting them. The key is to use high trafficking sites.
5. Structure
Make sure your website has a decent structure because it will be appreciated by the search engines as well as by those who are visiting your website. With that being said, you need to make sure that your webpage headings stand out, because that’s what visitors are looking for. You can hire a professional website design company to get a good web design for your small business website.
6. Web Accessibility
Web Accessibility is the process of making websites completely accessible to those who are interested in the type of products or services that you have to offer. One good example is based upon how certain types of people can access your website such as those who are color blind.
7. Quality Code
You need to make sure that you site uses a code that does not have any errors associated with it.
Choosing a professional URL will affect the performance of your website. It will determine how interested others are and how often people visit.
9. Style
How your website looks is important but not as important as you think. You just need to make sure the style of your website is professional, and everything must be easy to read.
10. Pictures
It is important how you present your images or pictures on your website. They must be clear, and must be appealing to those who might be interested in what you have to offer."

Japanese Cafe Gives Customers 3D Gummies of Themselves

Hahaha this one is funny! "Gummies aren’t just for bears and worms anymore. Tokyo’s FabCafe in Shibuya offers customers the chance to create a 3D-printed gummy version of themselves! Using the café’s 3D body scanner, customers can make colorful gummies of their bodies for White Day—a Japanese follow up of Valentine's day.: FabCafe in Japan lets customers create 3D gummies of themselves | Inhabitat - Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building"

How Fonts Influence You

Well this looks tasty! "Sarah Hyndman is an expert on the psychology behind typography and, through her regular event Type Tasting and book The Type Taster, aims to unpick how fonts affect our everyday lives and influence our decisions. We're excited that she'll be speaking at next Wednesday's Letterform Live. Last few tickets here:" Source: Grafik Magazine

A Cardboard Love Story

Awwww so nice! The New Yorker just posted this. "As this year’s Sundance Film Festival kicks off, watch the 2014 festival short “Me + Her,” a tragic love story in a world made of cardboard:" Me + Her is a tragic love story of Jack and Jill who are seperated when Jill is ill and in hospital and Jack has to find a way to be reunited with her again.

Ship Your Enemies Glitter Creator Sells Site within Two Weeks for $85,000!

Have you been following this story? I have. This story is about a 22 year old Australian guy called Matthew Carpenter who made headlines with "a site that does just what it says at $9.99 AUD a pop (roughly $8.11 USD). The response to the site was overwhelming — so overwhelming that he went on Product Hunt to plead with users to stop buying his product. Carpenter then put the site up for sale on Flippa. After 345 bids, he settled for $85,000 (60.000 euros). It's clearly a good business for someone, though: Carpenter says the cost of the glitter, plus a letter telling the recipient that he or she is a horrible person, only amounts to $2 to $4, leaving a potential profit of $5.99 to $7.99 per order.A Flippa rep says the buyer is Peter Boychuk, an online entrepreneur who has been part of the Flippa community for the last 12 months. In a statement from Flippa, Boychuk said he plans on immediately reactivating the order form on the site and fulfilling Carpenter's 10,000 or so pending orders." Isn't that something? Source:

5 Charts that Show how Social Media Rules

Source: Shareaholic Get the data

Source: NewsWhip Get the data

Digiday covered an article on how social media is changing the publishers' world. Here are some interesting charts. "The rise of social media is changing the way reporters approach their stories, too. Images are the most-used tactic to make stories more sharable, used by 82 percent of survey respondents. They’re also writing stories about topics that are already trending, writing shorter stories and using numbers in headlines or listicles. This shift is happening as their employers are becoming increasingly dependent on social media for traffic. In September 2013, the eight biggest social referrers drove 16.4 percent of traffic to publishers’ sites, according to Shareaholic, which measured traffic across more than 200 sites of varying audience sizes. A year later, that number had nearly doubled, to 29.5 percent. Facebook is in a class all its own: It drove more than 22 percent of referrals to publishers, with Pinterest a distant second. The sites that are winning on Facebook are digital-native, viral sites, led by The Huffington Post, which had more than 42 million total likes, shares and comments in December. The HuffPost got the most engagements for the month of December (the top 5 most-shared sites were consistent with the prior two months), but when it came to efficiency, PlayBuzz was by far the most productive. Not only does most of its content come from its users, but the viral site has mastered the art of lists and quizzes such that each of its 1,145 posts in December averaged more than 21,000 likes, shares or comments. Twitter, meanwhile, favored news publishers, according to NewsWhip’s analysis. The BBC was the most-tweeted site in December, with nearly 3.8 million tweets. Moreover, seven of the 10 most-tweeted sites were established outlets in December, a list that was fairly consistent over the previous two months. Twitter’s overall reach is much smaller than Facebook’s, though."

Source: NewsWhip Get the data

New Way of Mapping the World: Architecture Graduate Laser Cuts Topographical Sculpture

Nikki Onderstall's laser cut models of Cape Town.

Architecture graduate Niki Onderstall has created a new way of examining city planning. Here's where architecture meets art. "Recent architecture graduate Nikki Onderstall uses accurate geographic information in model-sculptures to examine Cape Town's city planning. Recent architecture graduate Nikki Onderstall uses accurate geographic information in model-sculptures to examine Cape Town's city planning. At the University of Cape Town School of Architecture, all the students have to produce working models of their designs. Recently the workshop has been upgraded with some cutting edge technology such as a 3D printer, milling machine and laser cutter. Since then, the quality of models coming from the students has changed significantly. The most exciting, in my opinion, are the landscaped terrain models we were previously unable to produce. Soon enough we were building 1:20 000 scale models of the entire city bowl – completely redefining how we could read the built environment. In 2014 the masters class hosted an art auction at The Bank in Harrington Street to raise funds for our research trip to Morocco. The laser cut models turned out to be the star attraction at the auction and orders started rolling in. As beautiful as our models are, they are rarely given the opportunity to be showcased beyond the classroom. Part of the joy of a model is how accessible they are to everyone, unlike an architect's (sometimes) confusing drawings." You can read more here:

4 Emerging Trends in Packaging Design

Oh these are nice! Dieline (USA) just published 4 emerging trends in packaging design.

Designed by: Anagrama Studio, Mexico

Visual Authenticity is a trend that marks a significant departure from the mainstream, yet is quickly becoming mainstream in itself. This trend visually marks a complete rejection of established corporate brand design. Visual Authenticity is a response to shifting consumer values, with many consumers no longer wanting to rely on, or trusting, established brands. Appetites are skewing towards more real, quality and honest products. Products that appear uncomplicated, yet are crafted, maybe even vintage inspired. It’s about products that illustrate trust and create inadvertent human connection.
- Handwritten, raw, freeform, or sketchy typography
- May include vintage inspired references or typography
- Hand rendered, simple illustrations
- Natural color palettes
Trend #2 Luxury of Less

Designed by: Anagrama, Mexico

Luxury of Less is a trend that represents a new generation of luxury goods that are less reliant on established luxury brands names and ostentatious, flashy, over-design. In this post-recession era, a new wave of luxury branding is emerging, especially in Western cultures. I call this the Luxury of Less. In this new era, packaging design and luxury branding are being designed to whisper, rather than shout. The era where the overall brand experience is valued almost as much as the actual product itself. Often times, more. Although the economic climate has changed for luxury brands, there is still a strong need for their brands to express quality, heritage, provenance, and luxury values. Gone are the days of excess, over done, and unapproachable branding. This new wave is all about brands that are exude class, rather than flash. Subtle cues in the packaging are the most important aspect of the brand. It is a return to a well-crafted and well-considered notion of luxury.
- Subtle, understated design cues
- Tactile textures
- Soft, understated color palettes
- Hand drawn icons, emblems, or graphic elements
Trend #3: Ultra-Pure

Designed by: Korefe, Germany.

Ultra-Pure is a trend where brands are looking to create pure, stark, highly minimal stripped back brands, packaging systems, and brand environments. This trend is a reaction to growing consumer appreciation and desire for minimally designed brands and products. Ultra-Pure takes brand minimalism a step farther: It is the process or reducing a brand’s essence into the purest, simplest abstract form. It is the opposite of excess, it is the ultimate expression of brand purity.
The brand is typically expressed through simple abstract shapes, usually representing some aspect of the product itself. It relies on an absence of branding: there are usually no traditional logos. Rather, brands following this trend typically use simple sans-serif style typography for both the brand’s logo and the packaging typography. Ultra-Pure is a bold brand statement, usually with monochromatic or dichromatic color schemes.
- Monochromatic or dichromatic, generally no more than 2-3 colors
- Straight forward and stark design
- No traditional logos, generally a minimal word mark
- Abstract, geometric shapes, patterns, or graphic elements
Trend #4: Biobased

Designed by: Tomorrow Machine, Sweden

Biobased packaging is not necessarily a new trend in package design, rather, it is a next-
generation technological evolution of sustainable packaging materials. Consumers are demanding pure, honest, and environmentally responsible products and packaging. There has been a recent surge of new Bio-Tech substrate innovations inspired by nature, with the goal of reducing our carbon footprint. Packaging designers themselves have become much more aware, and hyper-vigilant about the problem of packaging waste and its impact on our planet, and how it will affect the next generation of humanity. We are beginning to feel a real obligation to push the boundaries of packaging substrates in order to protect the future of our the planet. That's no easy task.Luckily, these new sustainable packaging innovations are on the horizon, and designers, companies, and consumers are beginning to experiment with these new innovative substrates.
- New innovative substrates made from natural materials
- Inspired by the biology of nature
- Edible packaging substrates
- Carbon Neutral

Logo Design Trends 2015

Now that I'm on the subject of logo design with the fun examples of the worst logo designs ever I published earlier today, I thought it would be wise to also post an item on 10 new logo design trends for 2015.

1. Low Polygon Logo Design

Low polygon is mostly used in backgrounds and wallpapers in the year 2014. This technique has basically come from 3D softwares such as C4D, Maya & 3D studio Max. It has become the most famous form to create logos as well as icons.


2. Negative space in Logo Design

At times, logo designs are embellished with intricate elements that don’t make a logo design beautiful rather complex. So just by adding simple meaningful elements, a logo design can still look stunning, Negative space makes a logo design simple & spectacular at the same time; it is George Bokhua’s trademark.

3. Overlapping in Logo Design

A new technique is recently introduced where two design elements overlap each other with shading to form a shadowed logo design.

4. Bold & slim line usage in logo design

Pen tool is used to create such logo designs. This trend has also taken over icon design market as well. Currently, Apple has used this trend on its latest iOS.


5. Script Logotype Usage

It is basically a kind of logotype where a custom Script font is used to display the stance of the company/organization.


6. 3D metal usage in Logo Design

This technique gives a metallic look to the logos just like the emblems used in the car logos.


7. Hand Lettering usage in logo design

Hand lettering and calligraphy is used by the logo designers mostly for the tattoo companies, hotels, cafeterias & restaurants to give the logos a sophisticated & professional look!


8. Lino cut & Wood Cut Style in Logo Design

This technique is used to give a depth and diverse look to the logo designs.


9. Gradient & linear in Web Logos

Colorful gradients and mesh tool are used to make such logos. This technique is mostly used for the web based companies and applications.

10. Vintage Floral in logo designs

These kind of logo designs are usually demanded by wedding companies, photographers, interior companies etc. It gives a well decorated look to the logo designs.


Worst Logotypes Ever

Here's some Monday morning fun with the worst logotypes ever!
Want to see more examples?

London's Coolest Culturalhub is a Skatepark, Cinema and Artgallery in One

Wow, this one is interesting...big concept: "The House of Vans London, designed by skateboarder and designer Pete Hellicar and architect Tim Greatrex, together with Black Sparrow Presents, is a new mixed use creative venue for Vans enthusiasts and those interested in skateboarding culture.The new venue includes an art gallery, Vans labs creative spaces, screening room, live music for 850 people, a premium café, numerous bars and a three tier indoor concrete skate. The House of Vans London sits within the 150 year old brick arches of the railway lines heading out of Waterloo station and next to London’s famous graffiti street, Leake Street. The site was previously used by the Old Vic Theatre. The area of the site is approximately 2,500 square metres and contains 5 separate long tunnel spaces. Due to the site being located within the historic arches of the railway lines above, restrictions were clearly set to disallow any form of structural fixing or disturbance to the existing brickwork."


Have a Great Weekend!

Hehe..! "Let’s be honest… Our lives would be so much better if cartoons were real. But the fact that they aren’t is not stopping London-based artist and creative director Lucas Levitan from bringing them to life. Levitan’s new series can be found on Instagram, where he regularly posts images “invaded” by cartoons. The project is backed by the Brazilian artist’s passion for drawing, which he was inspired to do more of after a near-death incident involving a falling brick. The real-life photographs were taken from Instagram and feature Levitan’s funny-looking cartoon characters making our world their own. Check out Lucas Levitan’s personal Instagram or his website for more silly photo invasions!"

Instagram Photos Reappear in NYC

Haha this one is funny. Apparently a group of creatives are posting Instagram photos which are taken in New York City as big posters on the exact spot the photos were taken. "What if instead of only showing up online, your Instagram photos of sunsets, street art, photogenic cityscapes, or alluring strangers on subway platforms were posted back into New York City’s public spaces? That’s precisely what Get Up NY, a participatory street art campaign that’s started cropping up all over Manhattan, aims to do. The group — whose members have opted to remain anonymous, as their work isn’t exactly legal — makes posters of images posted on Instagram with the hashtag #GetUpNY, often wheatpasting the printouts in places that are poignant, aesthetically resonant, or near where the original photo was taken. Hyperallergic got in touch with the creators of Get Up NY to ask them a few questions about the offbeat project.
Get Up NY: We try to curate as much as possible, because those photos get great engagement, and also because we thought it would be funny if people Instagram photos of the Instagram, which the curation inspires people to do. It is almost like a game with our team; we try to outdo each other. That said, some of the pictures look better when they are just up on a plain wall."

The Psychology Behind Guerrilla Marketing

How do you get your marketing buzzzzzing in the brains of your audience and how do you get them to the max involved in your projects? Here's an interesting article with 15 psychological facts on how and why guerrilla marketing works. I don't know about you but I've always been more the Freudian type of marketing specialist."There’s more to guerrilla marketing than trendy murals on city walls and slapping brand stickers on street signs. Guerrilla marketing is a way to get your message inside the deepest part of your customer’s brain and wake them up from the droning buzz of mainstream marketing… and it’s success is backed by psychology.
1) Decisions are made in the unconscious mind
Even though we can consciously choose when to think about or say something, our brains have made decisions way before we are even able to comprehend them.
2) We know that repetition can access the unconscious mind
Aka: repeat your message over and over and over. That doesn’t mean you have to literally copy and paste the exact marketing tactics you’ve used before, but the essence of your message needs to be there every time.
3) People are either right brained or left brained
The right side of your brain is where creativity is born and the left side is more analytical. Right brained people respond better to emotional and personal appeals while left brained people like knowing logical and mathematical reasons behind something. Guerrilla marketing includes both sides of the brain and appeals to both sides.
4) Businesses succeed by forming both a human bond and a business bond with customers
Connect with your potential customers as human beings before trying to sell them anything. People appreciate when you get to know them aside from the message or product you’re trying to promote because emotional appeal is a strong marketing tactic.
5) All marketing communicates two messages
Your stated message is what you actually verbalize and your meta-message is how your message looks visually. Make sure both of your messages work together so your marketing can speak the loudest.
6) Increase your share of mind to increase your share of market
Your share of market is the place your business occupies in your respective industry and your share of mind is your business’s brand making itself a household, reliable name in the minds of your customers.
7) There are two schools of marketing
Freudian Marketing states that purchasing preferences take place in the unconscious mind with colors, visuals, and tactile materials subconsciously helping. Skinnerian Marketing is based upon detailed experiments that concluded a cue triggered people to engage in activity that offers a reward, like posting a certain Instagram picture to get likes. Guerrilla marketers choose both.
8) Guerrilla marketers use soft steps
Soft steps include free videos, free pens, infographics, newsletters and stickers amongst many others. Soft steps are used because marketers know it takes customers a little while before making the hard step of actually buying.
9) Color increases retention to buy by 57%
The colors you use when marketing can make or break a purchase. Here is the quick and dirty on color psychology:
  • Red: creates a sense of power and authority and holds customer attention the best
  • Blue: makes things seem trustworthy and is easy on the eyes
  • Green: creates a sense of health, goodness, and money
  • Yellow: generates optimism, positivity, and happiness
  • Orange: gives off energy, ambition, and a new attitude
  • Black: shows stability, strength, and intelligence
  • White: ensures purity, cleanliness, and safety
10) Use as many non-verbal gestures as you can
Written words are used so often in marketing campaigns that we become desensitized to the messages they’re trying to send. If you’re marketing tactic includes a video or picture of someone, make sure the non-verbal messages they’re sending evoke just as much emotion as words would–if not, more!
11) Blend customer insight with product insight
Feelings, opinions, sentiments from your customer combined with feedback about your product itself will help make your product that much better. Your product can be great in your eyes but you have to make sure your customer likes it too.
12) Make each of your customers feel special and necessary
Make your customers feel like you are targeting them specifically and personally by taking the time to listen to their questions, get their feedback, and let them know their business matters. When you make a person feel important, they will feel more obliged to return the favor and buy.
13) Genuinely show interest in your customer’s success
When you show that you care about your customer’s success, your return on customer investment in the long-run will pay off, your brand will be more trusted and you will gain repeat customers for a lifetime!
14) Never be fully content with your marketing strategies
Work to always create better ways of reaching your customer base so your work doesn’t become stagnant. Be careful not to veer too far off your brand or product purpose, but don’t be afraid to take risks and always be working toward something “better.”
15) If facing a recession, rely on your current customers and offer valuable guarantees
If your offer is good enough, people will still be willing to buy. Stretch your guarantees and throw in extra incentives to improve your deals and make it hard for a customer to turn away from your product."

Free Encryption App

The Free Encryption App wants to replace Gmail, Dropbox and HipChat. "Cryptographers devote their careers to the science of securing your communications. Twenty-four-year-old Nadim Kobeissi has devoted his to the art of making that security as easy as possible. His software creations like Cryptocat and Minilock encrypt instant messages or shared files with three-letter-agency-level protection, with user interfaces that require Lincoln-Log-level skills. Now he’s combining elements of his dead-simple apps into what he’s calling his biggest release yet, a single platform designed to encrypt everything you and any group of collaborators do on the desktop.Today, Kobeissi plans to announce Peerio, an “encrypted productivity suite” meant to help individual users and businesses encrypt everything from IMs to online file storage. The software, initially launching as a Windows and Mac app as well as a Chrome plugin but coming to mobile platforms soon, resembles a simplified Gmail with IM and Google Drive features included. Unlike Gmail, all communication sent via Peerio are end-to-end encrypted and can’t be decrypted by anyone but the recipient—not even someone with access to the Peerio server itself.“With Peerio everything you share or communicate with your team is secured with state-of-the-art encryption, and it’s as easy as using Gmail. You don’t need to learn to use it,” says Kobeissi. “Peerio brings crypto to where the people are.”

16 Year Old Creates Game Changer

Oh oh..a 16 year old programmer created a plugin in that shows you where the American politicians get their funding from. This one is a game changer. "Nicholas Rubin is a 16-year old self-taught computer programmer from Seattle, Washington. He is also the inventor of Greenhouse, a new browser plugin that let’s you know exactly where politicians get their campaign funding from.When the plugin is active, the names of House or Senate members on any given webpage are highlighted. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the name of a politician, and a box will pop up showing all the industries and groups that contributed funds to their campaign, as well as how much the politician got from each sector." Interesting article:

Awesome Girls Can Sport Campaign

Sports England created an awesome campaign titled #this girl can. "Sport England says no models feature in its #thisgirlcan marketing campaign to encourage women to take part in sport and exercising. The TV ad and wider campaign, by FCB Inferno, appears to have been created with social media – and social sharing – very much in mind. "
The ad features women taking part in various sports and exercise activity, individually and in groups. It is sprinkled with direct, uplifting on-screen messages."
Here's the video on Youtube:

How do Top Agencies Develop a New Brand?

How do top agencies develop a new brand? The short answer: Immersion, Involvement, Inclusion! "To build a detailed picture of a client's business, many specialist branding agencies have an immersion phase built into their fee structure as a fundamental part of the brand audit process, during which extensive research is undertaken using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. "If it's the creation of a completely new brand – and we're the first people asked – then we tend to go on what's called a '100-day plan', one period of which is immersion and strategy," explains David Law, co-founder and executive strategic creative director at London-based design firm SomeOne. The agency is the lead brand partner for Cancer Research UK, and has created brand worlds for some of the planet's most exciting clients – including the London 2012 Olympics and Chivas Regal 25 Year Old Whisky. There's a thing we call the 'three I's' – immersion, involvement, inclusion – where for the longest time possible, normally a week, we'll get under the skin of the business," continues fellow SomeOne co-founder Gary Holt. During this stage, the firm's strategists interview internal and external stakeholders – completing questionnaires, obtaining value statements and holding brand workshops where necessary – while undertaking extensive desktop research to gain an "entire view" of the product, organisation and marketplace."
The Brand Truth
"At international design agency Pearlfisher, strategy is born from a basic philosophy that at the heart of a brand is a core truth, on which the foundations are built. For co-founder Jonathan Ford, there are three components: the brand world, people who buy into it and business needs – and to find the truth, he confirms, it's all about groundwork.
Last year, Pearlfisher rolled out a global redesign for iconic chocolate brand Cadbury Dairy Milk. Before launching into the creative work, the agency undertook a global audit to find out how the product was received not only in England but in India and Australia, where Cadbury is also seen as a national brand. "You can do online audits," Ford explains, "but there's nothing like observing how people live. Seeing how people in India keep chocolate hidden in the fridge, for example, was an interesting insight. "Of course, identifying a brand's 'truth' isn't easy. Ask a client to identify its values and, chances are, the same characteristics will surface time and time again. "'Trusted' and 'open' will be always there. It's a bit predictable," says Holt, adding that if you can refute a value by its negative, it should be discounted. "So, for example, who doesn't want to be a trusted brand? It makes it harder for us," he admits, "but we put hours into making strategy feel relevant, beneficial and useful."
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Dutch Collective LUST

I so LOVE Grafik Magazine. Today they portrayed the Dutch Collective LUST in their profile DUTCH Masters: "We sent Robert Urquhart to Amsterdam to meet the hugely talented collective LUST, a fifteen-strong bunch of graphic media cartographers with strong views on the future of graphic design. Wandering the streets of The Hague in Holland looking for LUST, I find the studio next door to where the prolific 16th century landscape painter Jan van Goyen once lived, and in the same property once rented by 20th century religious publisher Johannes Nicolaas Voorhoeve. The studio interior is opulent; dark and gorgeous, oak panelled, the ceilings are high and the mantlepiece abrim with trinkets. The studio operates as a collective with fifteen employees, but I'm here to meet two of the three studio partners, Jeroen Barendse and Dimitri Nieuwenhuizen. The third, Thomas Castro is away on the day I visit. Founded in 1996, LUST works across a broad spectrum of media, most of which can be placed under the increasingly outmoded term of 'new media'. These forays include abstract cartography, data visualisations, interactive installations, architectural graphics as well as print and book design. 2014 has been a very busy year for the studio, which takes on approximately thirty projects a year. Highlights this year include an interactive installation for the Stedelijk Museum exhibition Type/Dynamics that looks at the work of the work of the late graphic designer Jurriaan Schrofer, a website dedicated to the notion of talent called In No Particular Order and a catalogue for the 6th International Architecture Biennale, Rotterdam, IABR–2014–Urban By Nature." The complete article:
LUST take a look, it's awesome:

The Pro Gay Trending Topic of the Day

Today's trending topic is Tiffany Jewelry's (American multinational) first pro-gay campaign. This brand is targeting a whole new target group and gaining a lot of positive attention. "As same-sex marriage becomes legal in more countries and states, brands have begun to realise that lots of people think two men or two women getting married is absolutely fine. In fact, sometimes their own customer might actually be someone who wants to get hitched to a person of the same gender. With this earthshattering revelation in mind, Tiffany's has now featured a gay couple in its advertising for the first time. Peter Lindbergh – who recently shot the SS15 campaign for Louis Vuitton menswear – photographed an improbably handsome IRL gay couple for the campaign. The ad is part of a bigger campaign, which features seven scenes of couples. The text for the image reads: "Will you promise to never stop completing my sentences or singing off-key, which I'm afraid you do often? And will you let today be the first sentence of one long story that never ends? Will you?" (No pressure, obvs.) A spokesperson for Tiffany's told Elle: "Nowadays, the road to marriage is no longer linear. True love can happen more than once with love stories coming in a variety of forms. The Tiffany engagement ring is the first sentence of the story that a couple will write together as they create a life that is deeply intimate and exceptional, which is the message we hope to convey through this campaign."

Top 15 Campaigns of the 21st Century

AdAge published a list with the Top 15 Campaigns of the 21st Century. Among the winners: UNICEF - Tap Project, Old Spice - The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, and the number 1: Dove - Campaign for Real Beauty. "Advertising Age tapped the expertise of leading creators and marketers to derive this list of 15. We asked our judges to consider three criteria, the same three questions that were used for the original Top 100 Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century:
  1. Was it a watershed ad or campaign, discernibly changing the culture of advertising or the popular culture as a whole?
  2. If it itself was credited with creating a category, or if by its efforts a brand became entrenched in its category as No. 1.
  3. Was it simply unforgettable?
We gave the judges a list of 50 nominees from which to vote on their top 15 and then rank them. These winning campaigns are those that got the most judges’ votes to be on the list, and ranked the highest. Ad Age Members were also asked to weigh in on their picks, and you can see the results of that poll here." <-- the link here didn't work earlier today, but now it does!

Why Your Content Get's Shared - Or Not!

Haha Fastcompany just published an article on the subject why your content get's shared or not. Ideas are like genes, and people are very emotional....huh what?....well it makes this: "People don't share commercials," author Scott Stratten once wrote for us, "they share emotions." That's a line from his piece last year that debunked the idea of making a hard-sell saturated video "go viral." If you want your brand to reach people—like P&G's amazing Olympics ad from last summer did—you need their interest in mind. But while emotional intelligence is a part of "going viral," the mechanics of the share remains a mystery, as Quartz the appropriately named writer Christopher Mims explains. In a post heavy with thoughts and humor, Mims explains that when we're talking about how content moves on the web we're talking about memes. And not simply the stuff of the Reddit frontpage, but a "meme" as it came into existence: Richard Dawkins, the rabble-rousing evolutionary biologist, coined it in 1976 as a way to describe how ideas are like genes—reproducing by moving from one mind to another, mutating while they're there, and spreading, spreading, spreading into society."
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