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Cartoon characters brighten commute

Monday, 17th February 2014 at 2:10pm

A British illustrator has found a way to cheer up his commute – he turns his fellow passengers into cartoon characters using sticky notes and perspective.

Joe Butcher, known on Twitter as October Jones, draws cartoon faces on sticky notes, holds them up to unsuspecting commuters (who often inspire the particular character thanks to their clothes or stance) and then he tweets the resulting pictures.

His creations include an irritable Mickey Mouse, Wile E. Coyote ‘sneaking up on’ Road Runner, and Wally, complete with red stripy jumper.

Butcher is known for his 'Texts from Dog', in which he screenshots his 'conversations' with his dog, Cooper, who is slightly delusional, and posts them on Tumblr.

Take a look at some of Butcher’s creations here and tell us what you think of them.

Tagged Joe Butcher, October Jones, Texts from Dog, Twitter, sticky notes, illustration, clever, fun, social media

An ancient underwater city

Monday, 17th February 2014 at 10:21am

There is a real-life Atlantis named ‘Lion City’ hidden in a Chinese lake.

‘Lion City’ (‘Shicheng’ in Mandarin and named after the nearby Five Lion Mountain), is submerged around 100 feet below the surface of Qiandao Lake and was flooded in the 1950s as part of a hydroelectricity project.

The city was built during the Later Han Dynasty (c.200 AD) and is believed to have once been the region’s political, cultural and economic hub.

Divers rediscovered the lost city in 2001 and found that the extensive ruins were remarkably well-preserved, drawing archaeologists and tourists alike to the site, which is about the size of sixty two football pitches.

Take a closer look at Lion City here.

Tagged Lion City, Shicheng, Atlantis, underwater city, China, exploration, photography, installation

‘Icons’: the new Sunday Times advert

Friday, 14th February 2014 at 9:50am

The Sunday Times has a new television advert for its culture section, celebrating iconic images from history using just three people and some very clever production.

Famous images from Forrest Gump, Mad Men and Michelangelo’s ‘The Creation of Adam’ are recreated in the advert, which uses quick lighting changes and props to set up several scenes in only fifty seconds.

The advert was created by agency Grey London and directed by US, and while it takes cues from the past, such as Michelangelo, many of the icons, from Daft Punk to Tarantino (represented through Reservoir Dogs) are particularly relevant today.

Take a look at the advert below or the ‘making of’ video here and tell us what you think of ‘Icons’.

Tagged Sunday Times, Icons, advert, advertisement, television, Grey London, US, clever, pop culture

Nichetto at Stockholm Design Week

Thursday, 13th February 2014 at 10:28am

Italian designer Luca Nichetto has debuted some innovative new products at Stockholm Design Week 2014, including his 'Notes'.

Nichetto created a series of sound panels, entitled ‘Notes’, for furniture manufacturer Offecct.  Made from recyclable felt and other materials, the different shaped panels can be easily arranged and decorated, lending themselves to dividing space as well as absorbing sound.

Luca Nichetto's company, Nichetto & Partners, opened in 2006 and since then he has won several awards, including the ‘Interior Innovation Award 2013’, ‘IF Product Design Award 2009’ and ‘Grandesign Award 2008’.

Stockholm Design Week has been a yearly fixture in the Swedish capital since 2002 and incorporates the Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair, at which Nichetto exhibited the new products.

Nichetto’s other collaborations at Stockholm Design Week included Canadian shop Mjölk, De La Espada, and One Nordic Furniture Company.

Find out more about Luca Nichetto and his work here.

Tagged Luca Nichetto, Stockholm Design Week, furniture, design, product, innovative, innovation

The Think Tank listed among best agencies for social media

Thursday, 13th February 2014 at 9:33am

Marketme has released a list of its top 500 Social Media Agencies, according to Klout scores, and we are pleased to announce our accounts feature twice - at 46 and 54 respectively.

Klout scores are metric units that quantify the levels of influence your presence is having social media platforms.

The @thinktanklondon twitter account is ranked at number 46, and the @thethinktankpr account features at number 54.

Take a look at the top 500 agencies here, and tell us if you agree with the rankings.

Tagged Marketme, social media, Twiiter, @thinktanklondon, @thethinktankpr, digital, online, awards

Futuristic kiosks in Canary Wharf

Wednesday, 12th February 2014 at 3:41pm

In Canary Wharf, two metal kiosks have popped up with a futuristic design inspired by origami.

The multifunctional kiosks were designed by London architecture firm, Make, and resemble three-dimensional concertina fans.

Starting as a closed rectangular box, each kiosk is constructed from hinged aluminium panels that radiate from a central axis and is winched open to provide a protective canopy.

The interior of each kiosk is lined with waterproofing and insulation materials, and the whole structure is very lightweight.

Ideal for street vendors, the kiosks can also be used as information points, serving food and drink or even DJs, at a wide range of events.

The kiosks were used for Canary Wharf’s Ice Sculpting Festival and will be present for other occasions in the area.

Find out more about Make’s kiosks here and tell us if you would like to see them popping up at more outdoor events.

Tagged Make, Canary Wharf, London, kiosks, pop up, architecture, design, clever, innovative, origami

Crockery that melts into puddles

Wednesday, 12th February 2014 at 11:45am

A London-based artist has created an art series named ‘Nomad Patterns’, based on porcelain crockery, which appear to be melting.

Livia Marin takes pieces of porcelain, such as mugs and plates, and fragments them, using resin and plaster to create ‘puddles’ which pool around the remnants of crockery.

To complete the effect, Marin paints the puddles with the crockery’s pattern, which is the ‘Willow Pattern’ motif first made famous in the 18th Century and associated with traditional English tea.

Through the series, which uses around thirty pieces, Marin intends to explore the relationship between the treatment given to elite items, such as antique crockery, compared to the ‘use and discard’ culture for mass-produced objects.

Take a closer look at Nomad Patterns here and tell us what you think of this ‘melting’ art.

Tagged Livia Marin, Nomad Patterns, Willow Pattern, porcelain, crockery, art, exhibition, clever, creative, innovative, design

An astronomical watch that tracks the heavenly bodies

Tuesday, 11th February 2014 at 4:26pm

An astronomical wristwatch has been unveiled, which accurately shows the movement of our solar system.

Entitled 'Midnight Planétarium', the watch shows the Sun and the six closest planets rotating at their actual pace, each represented by precious and semi-precious stones such as turquoise and red jasper. 

The watch, which was created by Christiaan van der Klaauw, took three years to construct with 396 individual pieces and is worth £150,000.

Van der Klaauw presented the watch with Van Cleef & Arpels at this year’s ‘Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie’ (International Fine Watch Show).

Representing astronomy through clocks isn’t new – the Prague orloj has been tracking the movements of the universe (including constellations) in the Old Town Square since 1410.

Take a look at the astronomical watch below, and tell us if you would wear a planetarium on your wrist?

Tagged Orloj, astronomical watch, clock, astronomy, planetarium, clever, invention, van der Klaauw, design

Interactive museum adverts that can be ‘excavated’

Tuesday, 11th February 2014 at 1:41pm

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago has produced a series of bus stop adverts that can be scratched away by commuters.

The posters, which advertise the exhibition ‘The Way of the Shovel: Art as Archaeology’, encourage passers-by to perform their own ‘dig’ by gradually revealing a photograph beneath the top layer.

Backlit and made from a clear plastic, the posters were created in conjunction with Classic-Color.

Find out more about the exhibition or take a closer look at the adverts here. Tell us if you would like to see more interactive adverts in public places.

Tagged Museum of Contemporary Art, advertisement, campaign, exhibition, Chicago, art, clever, design

Surface Design Show opens its doors

Monday, 10th February 2014 at 3:11pm

Surface Design Show, an innovative surface solutions trade fair for the built environment, opened its doors from Tuesday 4th to 6th February at the Business Design Centre in London.

The event is well visited by architects and designers who come to the fair to discover innovative materials like natural stone, green materials, glass, illuminated surfaces, tiles and coatings that can be used for various applications such as flooring, cladding or wall coverings.

Visitors could enjoy over 100 participating companies exhibiting at the fair, and further benefit from a series of talks, seminars and live demonstrations. They could also learn about the colour and material trends for Spring/Summer 2015 or debate the meaning of BIM.

The fair kicked off with a preview evening hosted by the charismatic Maxwell Hutchinson for RIBA Journal who was joined by George Saumarez Smith, director at Adam Architecture, Pernilla Ohrstedt, director at Pernilla Ohrstedt studio and Robert Sakula, partner at Ash Sakula Architects to debate and discuss the role of materials in architecture and the vernacular in the built environment.

The other highlights of this show include the Pecha Kucha Evening on Wednesday, where leading architects and designers presented 20 of their favourite images, each for 20 seconds, The Trend Wall presented by Global Color Research, Mix Publications, highlighting future trend concepts for 2015, as well as Light School, introduced for the first time at the show, designed to educate and inspire through a programme of seminars hosted by lighting designers.

You can find out more about the show here.


Tagged Surface Design Show, architecture, architect, design, innovative, innovation, Business Design Centre, Adam Architecture, Pernilla Ohrstedt Studio, RIBA Journal, Ash Sakula Architects

Artists giving books new life

Thursday, 6th February 2014 at 1:39pm

Two artists are giving literature a new lease of life by transforming books into literal representations of their stories.

Jodi Harvey-Brown
opens up books and uses their paper to sculpt striking landscapes, such as a beach and ocean for Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ and a piano complete with pianist out of ‘The Lives of the Great Composers’ by Schonberg.

She said of her work: “I have always loved art, and I have always loved to read. Characters, that we care so much for, should come out of the pages to show us their stories. What we see in our imaginations as we read should be there for the world to see.”

Meanwhile, fellow artist Terry Border has created his ‘Wiry Limbs, Paper Backs’ series, which personifies books by giving them limbs and accessories that reflect their themes, such as a camera for Orwell’s ‘1984’ and a cot for ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ by Ira Levin.

He said: “A local used bookstore has a rack of old, mostly classic paperbacks that they sell for $2, and the covers are so great, and the used ones have so much personality, they begged to be made into something.”

Take a closer look at Harvey-Brown’s project here or Border’s work here and tell us what you think about these book sculptures.

Tagged Jodi Harvey-Brown, Terry Border, art, artists, books, literature, sculpture, clever, fun, innovative, creative

Famous British actors star in #GoodToBeBad campaign

Thursday, 6th February 2014 at 11:18am

UK car manufacturer Jaguar has added some English elegance to America’s Super Bowl with its ‘#GoodToBeBad’ advertising campaign.

Jaguar’s advert sees actors Tom Hiddleston, Ben Kingsley and Mark Strong sweep through London for a rendezvous while exploring why Brits make the best villains. Style, sophistication and the famed ‘stiff upper lip’ are all mentioned, but they decide that driving Jaguars is the clincher.

Oscar winner Tom Hooper (The Damned United, The King’s Speech) directed the advert, which was devised by Spark44.

Spark44’s managing director, Simon Binns, said: “Jaguar produces the most stylish premium performance cars and British actors create the most convincing and powerful villains in Hollywood movies. So we felt the archetypal British villain and the new Jaguar F-Type were made for each other.”

Watch the advert below and tell us what you think – do Brits make the best villains?

Tagged Jaguar, Super Bowl, film, Tom Hiddleston, Ben Kingsley, Mark Strong, London, advertising, brand

A splash of colour on the Alps

Tuesday, 4th February 2014 at 2:47pm

An artist has transformed a Swiss mountainside into a bright, multi-coloured canvas as part of an outdoor exhibition series.

Olaf Breuning uses plastic sleds to pour food colouring onto the fresh tracks left by skiers, which creates vibrant streaks of colour as it slides down the snow.

The art evolves with the landscape as the snow shifts and the weather changes – what could be a flash of red or green one day could be a splodge of footprints the next.

The exhibition is part of ‘ELEVATION 1049’, which involves twenty five artists and their site-specific exhibitions set throughout Gstaad, one of the most popular ski areas in the Alps. ‘ELEVATION 1049’ continues until March 8th.

Take a closer look at Breuning’s work here and tell us what you think of the alpine art.

Tagged Olaf Breuning, Elevation 1049, art, creative, clever, exhibition, Swiss Alps, nature, colour

‘Have a Break’ with KitKat’s new advert campaign

Tuesday, 4th February 2014 at 10:35am

KitKat’s new advertising campaign puts an entertaining spin on its classic strapline ‘Have a Break, Have a KitKat’ by lampooning high-speed car chases.

The television advert sees police pursuing a pair of masked criminals, but when they eventually ‘catch’ them, they simply take a moment to snack on a KitKat.

The campaign is the Nestlé-owned brand’s first television spot for three years, though its classic strapline remains at the heart of its marketing.

Jon Lambert (group marketing director for Nestlé UK & Ireland) said: “We wanted KitKat to return to screens with a humorous campaign; reminding everyone not only of the importance of a smile in a break but that KitKat is the chocolate bar to provide that.”

The advert was created by JWT London, which has previously worked with KitKat, and will be supported by online offerings throughout the year.

Take a look at the advert below and tell us what you think of this new spin on the famous chocolate bar.

Tagged KitKat, Nestle, advert, advertising, marketing, brand, campaign, video, television, funny

Marché des créateurs

Monday, 3rd February 2014 at 4:21pm

A designer has co-created a multipurpose installation, ‘Marché des créateurs’, for a Luxembourg museum.

In conjunction with MUDAM, Noa Haim constructed 200 cardboard stools as ‘building blocks’ for a popup shop named ‘Marché des créateurs’.

Artists and creatives could arrange the stools into areas in which to sell their work – it only took one afternoon to build the entire shop from the furniture.

Haim said: We were trying to keep the design minimal, so visitors would focus on the goods for sale, while also forming a unique retail environment. The system was designed as an open system to allow maximum flexibility for the créateurs participating at the event – they could adjust their own stand according to their needs.’

After the shop closed, the stools were repurposed for the museum’s elderly visitors during guided tours, but will be reassembled into the shop in the summer.

Noa Haim is based in Rotterdam and operates under the title ‘Collective Paper Aesthetics’. Working primarily with cultural and educational establishments, Haim’s motto is ‘everyone can play a designer’.

Look at more pictures from the project here and tell us if you would like to see this kind of popup shop in our museums.

Tagged Marché des créateurs, Noa Haim, Luxembourg, MUDAM, installation, furniture, museum, innovative

What makes brands attractive to young people?

Monday, 3rd February 2014 at 10:50am

The most recent Youth 100 report reveals young people’s favourite brands and companies, and what makes them attractive.

The research discovered that there are three key attributes that young people (classed as aged 18 – 24) rate: convenience, fun and moneysaving.

Brands that are ‘good’ at or combine any of these factors tended to score highly – having a strong social media presence also helped.

Google and Skype were rated highly as brands that made life easier, while fashion brand H&M did well thanks to its perceived value for money. Several ‘fun’ brands appear at the top of the 100, including YouTube and Ben & Jerry’s, but website BuzzFeed (known for its fun factor and social media) was a surprise omission.

The research, which was conducted by Voxburner in collaboration with Thinkhouse and The Student Room, polled more than 2500 young people on 250 brands.

Take a look at Marketing Week’s infographic and summary of the report here and tell us what you think of the results.

Tagged Youth 100, Marketing Week, brands, infographic, report, media, research

Recreating famous movies with LEGO and baking powder

Friday, 31st January 2014 at 10:12am

A Finnish photographer has created a series of mini-dioramas based on famous movies – with baking powder and LEGO characters.

Vesa Lehtimäki takes inspiration from film series such as Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and makes his own scenes with the help of perspective shifting and ingenious lighting.

According to Lehtimäki, baking powder makes the best fake snow for the scale he uses and Star Wars is his favourite universe in which to work – his photographs include stormtroopers trekking across a snowy landscape.

Lehtimäki’s project started in 2009, when he decided to take pictures of his children’s toys. After receiving an overwhelming response on Flickr, Lehtimäki decided to continue with the fantastical pictures.

Take a look at Lehtimäki’s gallery here and tell us if you’re inspired to give this a go.

Tagged Vesa Lehtimäki, Finnish, photography, clever, fun, movies, LOTR, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, LEGO, Flickr

The Science of Happiness

Thursday, 30th January 2014 at 2:28pm

Webpage FX has released a new infographic giving some fun facts about happiness, including how it relates to biology and environmental factors.

The report reveals the happiest occupations, how exercise affects our mood and even the most optimistic countries.

According to the infographic, spending twenty minutes outside on a good day can boost positive mood, broaden thinking and improves working memory.

Drawing its content from universities and research studies, Webpage FX wrote: ‘understanding these factors can be helpful in achieving lasting happiness’.

Take a look at the whole infographic here and tell us what you do to boost your mood.

Tagged Webpage FX, happiness, infographic, science, creative

How to draw a 3D optical illusion of your hand

Thursday, 30th January 2014 at 2:20pm

A DIY handicraft website has made a fun video that teaches you how to draw a 3D optical illusion of your own hand.

Handimania’s video takes you through each step, from tracing around your hand to adding shadow to the illusion.

You only need a piece of paper, good colouring pens and a little application to make your very own optical illusion – as it's quick and easy to do, making it ideal for children.

Take a look at the step-by-step guide here or the video below, and let us know if you’ll give this fun exercise a go.

Tagged Handimania, DIY, craft, art, design, clever, fun, creative, video

Hilarious interview questions from 2013

Wednesday, 29th January 2014 at 1:32pm

There are some common interview questions that most companies use, such as ‘where do you see yourself in five years’ time?’ Then there are the more obscure ones, such as ‘why is a tennis ball fuzzy?’

Job site Glassdoor has compiled its ‘Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2014’, which are gathered from real-life interview candidates and their unexpected experiences.

Apple, Goldman Sachs and Yahoo were among the organisations asking prospective employees unusual questions, some of which could be answered with one word (‘do you believe in Bigfoot?’), while others would have required very detailed responses (‘how lucky are you and why?’).

Other interview questions included ‘if you were a pizza deliveryman, how would you benefit from scissors?’ and ‘have you ever been on a boat?’

Take a look at the full list or Glassdoor’s collection of serious common interview questions, and tell us if you’ve ever been asked an unexpected question in an interview.

Tagged Glassdoor, careers, interview, funny, interesting, questions, online, 2014

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