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Creative Packaging
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This post is to show some amazing, innovative and creative packaging design ideas from all over the world.

Even though the goal of modern retail packaging is to encourage potential buyers to purchase the product, clever packages can also be a great source of inspiration.

 

 

 

QR Codes
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Smart phones are in almost everyone’s pocket these days and we use them more as a personal assistant and connection to the digital world more than we do for their original purpose of making a phone call. However, it is our belief that printed material is still required to lead us to our virtual world. Cross marketing has become huge with QR codes being placed on many printed materials as an easy way to access something, or should I say anything, online directly.

The next time you require an item that promotes yourself or your business for example a business card, brochure or pull-up banner, remember to add a QR code to your designs.

QR Codes can be used with any smart phone and new scanners to bookmark and take you to almost anything virtual. Whether it be used to promote a URL link to your site, Facebook page or specialised to send someone your phone number, app download, PayPal purchase or even WIFI login. Your options are endless.

2013 Colour of the Year
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Pantone officially declared Pantone 17-5641 Emerald Green as the 2013 Colour of the Year.

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.

The Colour of the Year selection is a very long and detailed process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally scours the world looking for influences on colour. Including the entertainment industry and films in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Other influences also come from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact colour, even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

For more than a decade, Pantone’s Colour of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

With a continued emphasis on ‘going green’ it is no wonder that the vibrant colour has become the latest trend and it will be interesting to see how the design community pairs this energetic shade.

 

Image courtesy of Pantone.

How loyal are you?
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Brand loyalty is how we escape decision fatigue.

Making choices is exhausting – mentally, emotionally and even physically. With the magnitude of online services and globalising markets, our options have multiplied rapidly, and it’s wearing us out. More than anything else, this is why we form brand loyalties. Once we believe that our values and choices align, we are happy to leave choices to the brand that has earned our trust, and shift some of the burden off our own shoulders.

Be trustworthy enough to take the load off. The brands that earn loyalty in 2013 are those that have earned it. By showing you’re aligned, and communicating in familiar language, you establish a trust that lets customers relax. “Go ahead,” you say, “we’ve got you covered.” If they can believe you, they’ll love you for it.

Will you be loyal to us?

The End of an Era
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After 159 years the broadsheet tradition has ended for the weekday edition of The Age. It has become a tabloid-sized newspaper for the first time. The question is: does size matter in terms of editorial content? Will we, as readers, see a change in the content and selection of stories in this smaller Fairfax newspaper? According to Fairfax CEO Greg Hywood, the answer is no. He has emphatically argued when explaining the rationale for the size switch (to save costs through the closure of the Tullamarine plant) that the “compact” version will contain the same “quality journalism” as when it was broadsheet. Media scholars are divided on the question of whether newspaper size influences content, and in turn, the role of the press in strengthening democratic accountability.

Hywood did not explicitly stated that the company would pursue a “downmarket” approach when The Age changed size, and he was deliberate in using the term “compact” rather than tabloid. Tabloids tend to be dogged with a reputation for prurience and sensationalism. Globally, in 2013, the distinction between the editorial content of the broadsheets compared to tabloids cannot be simply determined by page size.

Previously, larger format papers were associated with a high income-earning readership, and considered a mark of style and authority. This divide blurred when many large format papers converted to “compact” to make it easier for the commuting reader, and to ultimately bolster sales. These papers were more accurately termed “elites” referring to their content, rather than their size, to distinguish them. Such mastheads include The Times, The Guardian, The Independent and The New York Times. Their content shows a commitment to the coverage of politics, foreign news and investigative reporting.

In Australia, the symbolic and physical difference between the two sized newspapers still largely existed up until yesterday (5 March). The broadsheet papers of the SMH, The Age and The Australian generally attracted readers from a higher socio-economic background, often termed A and B demographics. Of course there is one notable exception to this finding in Australia and that is the Australian Financial Review. This tabloid-sized national business newspaper also has an AB demographic and an editorial focus on politics and, as my research has found, a strong record for investigative reporting.

Looking at the compact newspaper versions published today it is impossible to make any strong statements about whether size matters for Fairfax. That will only be known with time. What is known is that globally, over the past five years, about 80 daily newspapers have converted from broadsheet to tabloid in a bid to boost circulation and revenues in response to the political economy of the mass media. But swapping to compact size for circulation gains has also proved not to be sustainable for most beyond a few years.

Since the 1970′s premium news pages have fewer stories, bigger pictures and more advertising as compared to each decade before. Editors have also shifted their lead-story focus toward crime stories and away from international reporting. The move toward tabloidisation of content has resulted in different editorial priorities, including less investigative reporting. Research has shown that when Australian broadsheets become tabloids their investigative reporting diminishes. Three examples are Brisbane’s Courier Mail, the Adelaide Advertiser and the Newcastle Herald.

A cautionary tale for Fairfax: size does not necessarily shape content (as the Financial Review has so far shown) but the political economy of newspapers demonstrates that it can. Whether it does or doesn’t largely depends on the power and editorial perspective of the editor – one free of the editorial compromises that corporate responsibilities of a masthead can bring.


Modern Vintage Revival
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For a while now I have noticed a huge revival of vintage themed design. Designers are using classic typography techniques, muted colours and dirty textures to simulate designs from centuries past. Using truly inspiring designs dug up from the past and modernising them to work today. New vintage fonts are also emerging rapidly from typographers.

Vintage style designs arise feelings, awake memories and involve a broad range of viewers. A retro design often offers viewers something they haven’t expected at all. Retro styles have brought a touch of romanticism back into design, back to time when life was much simpler, less stressful and relaxed. This may be the reason it has become popular again.

Below are some inspiring examples of modern retro design.


 

 

150 years of London Underground
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This month in 1863, 150 years ago, saw the opening of the London Underground, the world’s first urban mass transit system.

Londoners are celebrating with mugs, cufflinks, sofas and subterranean steam train rides. In his new book, London Underground By Design, Mark Ovenden celebrates the system’s architecture, textiles, posters, signs, Harry Beck’s seminal map (first published in 1933 and still with us), and of course its typefaces.

Commissioned 100 years ago this year, Edward Johnston’s influential font masterpiece, aptly named P22 Underground, has been in use since 1916, surely this is a record.

Kraft Goes Back to Original Logo
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Kraft Foods has changed its logo for the fourth time in less than four years, and it looks a lot like the original version. Kraft the corporation redesigned and finally settled on a very similar version of their old and original logo.

The saga of the Kraft logo started in February 2009 when Kraft Foods Inc., the corporation, not Kraft, the consumer brand, redesigned its logo to one that looked much like the Yoplait logo with a mulitcoloured starburst.

Five months later they flipped the starburst to the other side and changed the colors. Then in August of 2011 Kraft reported that the company would split in two: (1) Mondelez, for the global snacks business and (2) Kraft Foods Group, managing brands such as Kraft, Maxwell House, Oscar Mayer and Planters. As of October 1, 2012, Kraft Foods Group officially began again as a start-up or, as they described it, a “new company that has been around 109 years”. A new logo was introduced with the new company. No design credit has been given.

Thank goodness the starburst is gone. In my opinion it was one of the worst corporate re-brands in recent years. The new logo adopts a redesigned version of the well-known consumer logo found on Kraft foodstuffs. I must admit I prefer the original version – it seems pointless to change something that has worked for so long. I really don’t see any benefits to the re-design.

Kraft 2009 logos possibly inspired by Yoplait?

New branding for Bev Marks
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Late last year Bev Marks moved to update their branding but still decided to keep the “Aussie” green and gold. This was was typically an interim change while their whole branding and advertising received a much need overhaul.

The original Bev Marks logo was looking horribly outdated, while I understand Australian made is important to many prospective purchasers, branding also evokes immediate emotions and reactions often deciding what type of business is behind it, whether right or wrong. Bev Marks was definitely not coming across as supplying a broad range of quality furniture.

Bev Marks was slipping way behind its competitors, who had moved to slick, modern designs which were more inviting and contemporary.

Once finalised the complete re-brand was definitely way overdue and, in my opinion, created a totally different “look and feel” for a store I would have normally avoided at all costs.


Bev Marks old logo


Bev Marks interim logo

World renowned Architect still working at 104
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Oscar Niemeyer who had just turned 104 years old, passed away on December 5. He was the world’s oldest living architect still contributing to designs through his sketches and explanations. Oscar was a Brazilian architect whom had worked in the field for over 70 years, specializing in international modern architecture.

Starting in the 1930s, Niemeyer’s left his stylistic imprint around the world with distinctive and often curvy space-age style. He was a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

The scale of his contribution to architecture is extensive. His glass and white-concrete buildings include the United Nations Secretariat in New York, the Communist Party headquarters in Paris and Brasilia’s Roman Catholic Cathedral, just to name a few.

The “crown of thorns” cupola fills the Brasilia Roman Catholic Cathedral with light and a sense of soaring grandeur despite the fact that most of the building is underground. It was one of dozens of public structures Niemeyer designed for Brazil’s made-to-order capital, a city that helped define “space-age” style.

Niemeyer is considered as one of the fathers of modern architecture along with Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius.  He won the 1988 Pritzker Architecture Prize, which is considered the Nobel Prize of architecture for the Brasilia cathedral.

Living for over a century which is seldom acquired by many others, his works and name as a great architect will be eternal.
15 Dec 1907 – 5 Dec 2012


Niterói Contemporary Art Museum – Rio de Janeiro


Cathederal Brasilia 1966


Alvorada Palace, Brasilia