Posts Tagged: creativity

SFMOMA Reopening Celebrates Graphic Design

Posted by & filed under Print Advertising, Typography.

SFMOMA reopened last month. Exciting! Of its 170,000 square feet — the architecture firm Snøhetta integrated a 10-story expansion with the original Mario Botta building — 3,500 square feet are devoted to architecture and design, including modern and contemporary architecture, furniture, product and graphic design. I was delighted to be able to visit two weeks ago and see “Typeface to Interface: Graphic Design from the Collection,” one of 19 special exhibitions on view.








— Full blog by Ellen Shapiro originally appeared in Print Magazine.

10 Beautiful Projects for Packaging Design Inspiration

Posted by & filed under Brand Marketing, Corporate Identity, Typography.

Have you received your copy of Print’s 2015 Regional Design Annual? Surely I don’t have to remind you that it’s the design industry’s most well-respected and sought-after annual? In it, you’ll find 348 of the best American designs of the year, including the beautiful packaging designs you’ll see here courtesy of HOW Magazine:

Brooks Dry Cider




Hall, Oakland, CA; Tosh Hall (creative director/art director/designer/writer), Luke Dixon (illustrator), Mathew Coluccio, Andy Baron (photographers); Brooks Bennett (client)

Gershwin CD


Starbucks Global Creative Studio, Seattle; Mike Peck, Jeffrey Fields (creative directors), Jon Cannell (art director), Dana Deininger (designer), Steven Stolder (writer); Starbucks Coffee Company (client)

Krave Jerky for Whole Foods


Hatch Design, San Francisco; Joel Templin, Katie Jain (creative directors/art directors), Will Ecke, Eszter Clark, Javier Garcia (designers), Sarah Remington (photographer), Lisa Pemrick (writer); Krave Jerky (client)

Swell Cold Brew Bottle



pprwrk studio, Kapolei, HI; Mark Caneso (creative director/art director/designer); Swell Cold Co-op (client)

Frisco City Grainworks Packaging System



RBMM, Dallas; Jeff Barfoot (creative director), Garrett Owen (art director/designer); Frisco City Grainworks (client)

Xylobags Packaging


70kft, Dallas; Stefan Reddick (creative director/designer), Michael Feavel (art director/designer); Xylobags (client)

Fest Cola Packaging


CPR and Partners, New Orleans; David Caruso, Rocky Russo (creative directors/art directors/designers), Justin Bonura (creative director/writer); Fest Cola (client)

Good Brewing Company Can Design



Lewis Communications, Birmingham, AL; Roy Burns (creative director/art director/designer), Andrew Thompson (art director/ designer); Good People Brewing Company (client)

Agave Dream


Hiebing, Madison, WI; Sean Mullen (creative director), Barry Kalpinski (art director/designer), Sandy Geier (writer); Agave Dream (client)

Yokan Packaging


Yoko Nire Studio; Yoko Nire (creative director/art director/designer), Jason Booher, Katarzyna Gruda (instructors); B.S. Network, Japan (client)

Citizen Science: Star by Star We Can Make a Galaxy

Posted by & filed under HTML + CSS, Think Tank.

Help us to fight against the light pollution and discover the Earth at night. Science has limited resources to study the incredible amount of light pollution data that we have. But working together, we can change the world.

Since 2003, almost 2 million photos have been taken from the International Space Station of Earth and the University of Complutence in Madrid (UCM) has decided to shed some light on light pollution with a collaboration effort of universal proportions. All the images taken by astronauts were provided by NASA, ROSCOSMOS, ESA, JAXA and CSA-ASC. Due to light pollution, we don’t really know all the places photographed and that’s where the citizens of Earth come in to help science with science.

Cities at Night is the website developed by UCM that highlights solutions and scientific evidence to light pollutions effects on life here on Earth. It also brings it down to our past-time of stargazing. The night sky is forever changing but we can do something about that. We have the technology. And you don’t need to be Steve Austin to help.

Crowd Crafting the Globe

The projects main coordination and develop came from Alejandro Sánchez de Miguel, José Gómez Castaño, Jaime Zamorano, Sergio Pascual and Jesús Gallego of UCM with support from Crowd Crafting which hosts the majority of Dark Skies and allows you to take a tutorial and begin sifting through images and tagging based off of your expertise in various sciences and just life in general. You see, algorithms cannot tell the difference between stars, cities, and other objects. People can and that’s where we all come in on this grand project.

There’s Even an App for That

Dark Skies has even released two apps to help georeference known cities and find unlocated images. The apps icon is courtesy of NASA/ESA JSC. You may also use Lost at Night and Night Cities ISS and just start contributing.

Loss of the Night

To better understand our lighting issues and the work that can be done to use light at night more efficiently for all of our health and for the planet itself, watch the video below that has been created by the team to promote this project.


Randall Munroe: Comics That Ask “What If?”

Posted by & filed under Think Tank.

Randall Munroe sketches elegant and illuminating explanations of the weird science and math questions that keep geeks awake at night … [He] answers simple what-if questions (“what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?”) using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader’s question about Google’s data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.

–This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured on

The May Day Poster Soirée

Posted by & filed under Print Advertising.

The First of May is a public holiday celebrated across the globe in conjunction with the United States’ Law Day and various nations celebrating International Workers’ Day. In the United States we have a Labor Day that falls at the end of the summer. All others celebrating International Workers’ Day may also call it May Day. A day that no artist can pass up. Interpretive dance, musical events, and culinary artists around the globe prepare for today’s festivities. And last, but not least, who can forget the poster designers. I’ve gathered five illustrated poster designs from across the globe that reflects themes of workers’ rights, power in education and community spirit. Now let’s get inspired with these posters, pitch a maypole and start dancing and singing. Who’s bringing the cake?


The Public Studio
The Public is an activist design studio specializing in changing the world based in Toronto, Ontario. Just like their clients, The Public cares about anti-oppression, sustainability, and social growth. They are activists who seek to change things for the better. They believe that an important message conveyed with inspiration can do just that. They produce work that is creatively, emotionally, and intellectually uplifting.


Free University of NYC
The Free University of New York City is an experiment in radical education and an attempt to transform education into the way it ought to be. Their project is born out of a recognition that the current system of higher education is as unequal as it is unsustainable. With increasing tuition at public and private institutions, the increasing use of precarious adjunct labor, and the larger and larger amounts of debt that students are expected to take on, a university education is systematically becoming a rarefied commodity only available to the few. It is in this context that the Free University operates as a radical and critical pedagogical space.


Whittier Alliance
The Whittier Alliance was formed by a small coalition of Whittier residents, businesses, agencies and religious institutions in January 1977. It is a non-profit 501(c)3 neighborhood organization serving the residents and businesses of Whittier. The Whittier Alliance is a neighborhood resource. The Alliance responds to business and resident inquiries and facilitates meetings to inform the neighborhood about changes, developments, safety issues, neighborhood funds for property improvements, events, etc. that impact the livability and prosperity of the Whittier neighborhood.


Unions in Western Australia, and peak bodies representing over 30 affiliated unions which have over 150,000 members in Western Australia. UnionsWA does not just speak on workplace issues. We also liaise with indigenous and ethnic communities, social justice and environmental groups. Because issues facing working people across the globe are common we work with trade unionists from other countries.


Oxford City Council
The city council of Oxford has orchestrated May Day events throughout the city and promoted it with this modern, illustrated poster. Oxford is well known as a university town and is one of Britain’s fastest growing cities in terms of population,[8] and is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the UK.

How Solving a Problem Creatively is Easier Than You Thought

Posted by & filed under Think Tank.

Don’t overthink it. Solving a problem creatively is child’s play. Literally. Growing up, children ask many questions and come up with wild conclusions. As we grow older we tend to relax on the wild questions and focus on the boundaries set around us. There’s nothing wrong with this when it comes to all professions such as accounting, following the processes of law, rules of conduct for business, carrying through branding elements on a new project, etc. When a problem surfaces in any industry it does requires asking these questions again in order to come to a solution.

Break It Down

A common obstacle to creative problem solving is functional fixedness, a concept of Gestalt Psychology. The gestalt effect is the form-generating capability of our senses, particularly with respect to the visual recognition of figures and whole forms instead of just a collection of simple lines and curves. Basically, our eyes work by building a perceived whole from the sum of an object’s parts. Solving a problem creatively requires one to break down these parts and examine them individually. Only then can one begin to solve the parts of the whole problem in question.

Case Study: Ariel Laundry Detergent recently unveiled a new ad campaign that rebranded designer clothing with familiar stains we don’t want on those brand clothes. A fantastic and subtle approach draws attention to a wonderful photograph of clean clothes and after reading the tag on the shirt or jacket you’re eyes head down to the tagline: Get your cardigan back and Get your jacket back.

banana-pudding“Banana Pudding” and “Dolce de Leche” for Ariel Laundry Detergent campaign; produced by Baumann Ber Rivnay in Israel.


What Am I Implying and What Was Inferred?

When presented with a problem to solve, creative firms and marketing agencies brainstorm after breaking down the elements and assemble a solution. What most tend to forget is to ask further questions upon viewing the best selected answers for the problem: What am I implying?

An advertising agency pitched a campaign to use condoms. They examined the facts that were needed to achieve this goal by pointing out a single argument in the headline and adapted a simple illustration to convey a bad guy who is wearing the product; essentially stating you won’t be a bad guy with this on. The colors and simple illustration bring attention while hitting the slogan’s message … head on. A Dutch carwash company wanted to promote their services as a protection to the car’s paint. To do this they focused on an iconic issue all car drivers, no matter what country you live in. A series of birds wearing diapers draws in the eye and conveys the message that there is nothing to stop Loogman from cleaning your car and protecting it from the next assault.

aquatroLeft: “Don’t be the bad guy. Use condom.” produced by Aquatro in Vitoria, Brazil. Bottom: “Your car paint needs protection.” for Loogman Carwash; produced by Social Glue in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Case Study: Above are examples of advertising solutions. One implies you’re being the bad guy if you don’t take responsibility. The other implies protection from the elements, for lack of a better word. The goals were achieved and obviously in a creative manner. They both grab attention immediately while conveying the basic message without inferring anything other than the intended message.

Does It Work?

Roughly a year ago we were approached by a small supplier of preservative-free and homemade dog biscuits. A logo for the company was created elsewhere so it was in our best interest to help our client expand upon the design and brand the product according to promote the idea of fresh, healthy and tasty biscuits for your pets for the average pet owner. We explored many small boutique and business brands from across the world and compared what was working and not working in each message. Finally we narrowed down our designs to an overall, nostalgic and vintage color scheme that illuminates the DIY approach of the product and is represented within the company’s brand.

Wags N’ Kisses Bakery was promoted lightly and the product took storm across the Eastern coast and from one person’s kitchen to several retail chains in over nine stores nationwide. By simply giving a hearty substance to the online store and website we were able to connect the logo and brand to a hearty product. This is your final question: Does it work? It is rhetorical and answers itself throughout the creative process. As long as you are able to address what it is you want to imply and understand everything there is to infer then you are able to realize if it works. If not, might as well get back to the drawing board and continue asking yourself and others a lot of questions.