Rather than shoppers aspiring to be like models and mannequins, Missguided is making their mannequins aspire to be more like their shoppers.

The women’s clothing retailer started its #makeyourmark campaign in December, which includes unretouched models, bloggers and body activists. It’s making its next mark with a range of body positive mannequins to be featured in Westfield Stratford City in London and Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent, with the aim of encouraging body-positive self-perceptions.

The unconventional mannequins, realised with the help of in-house make up artists, are from different ethnic backgrounds and have naturally occurring body features, including stretch marks, vitiligo and freckles.

Missguided describes the campaign on their website: ‘We are on a mission to inspire babes the world over to love themselves, to embrace their flaws and to not strive for what the world perceives as perfection.’

One of their down-to-earth models adds on to this encouraging message: ‘My life motto is don’t ever take yourself too seriously, celebrate yourself, have fun and always have a laugh whilst doing it.’

Read more about the original mannequins here.

Pigs in suits, monkeys drinking coffee, oxen in black-tie… this is the Chinese zodiac reimagined for 2018.

As part of the Lumieres Hong Kong Festival towards the end of 2017, French artist Julien Nonnon took to the bustling East Asian urban streets to project his own version of the twelve animals of the zodiac onto the city’s walls. Unlike traditional interpretations of the creatures, Nonnon depicts them with modern human personalities, dressed in sweater vests, workout clothes and windbreakers, sipping on a drink, checking a phone, hands in pockets.

This isn’t the first time Nonnon has brought his fanciful menagerie to the streets. In 2015, he introduced his first Urban Safari of well-dressed beasties to the building facades of Paris, and took them shortly after to Orlando.

The artists describes the role of fashion, which is a crucial element of his anthropomorphic art: ‘In our way of dressing, we express our vision of the world, while indirectly revealing our social position and financial power. Fashion is nothing more than a means of communication, of integration and belonging to a group.’

See the reimagined Zoodiak here:

To celebrate the London Underground’s 155th birthday, an illustrator has given every Tube line a vibrant makeover.

Bristol-based artist Nathan Evans dreamed up 13 hand-drawn typographic-based rebrands for every line, including the Overground and DLR, as a ‘visual celebration of the rich character of the 13 historic underground lines'.

Evans spent hours riding the rails, drawing inspiration from the route,  passengers and even moquette patterns on the seats to explore the hidden beauty of the world’s oldest underground network.

‘Typography, colours, patterns and textures all combine to create the rich tapestry of the London Underground. These hidden-in-plain-sight details inspired me to produce my most ambitious lettering project to date,’ explains Evans, ‘Lettering The Underground is an exploration, a celebration and most importantly a journey.’

We particularly enjoyed the super-jazzy Overground logo - take a look at the illustrations in full here.

In an attempt to crack down on image theft, working with Getty Images, Google has removed several well-known functions of its Images search.

The changes have seen the loss of ‘View Image’ and ‘Search by Image’ functions utilised by millions using the search engine every day, with the ultimate aim of making it harder for netizens to download images they have no legal right to.

In a tweet, Google explained: ‘Today we're launching some changes on Google Images to help connect users and useful websites. This will include removing the View Image button. The Visit button remains, so users can see images in the context of the webpages they're on.’

Getty Images recently complained to the European Commission that Google was engaging in ‘anti-competitive’ business practices by undermining licensing laws designed to protect content creators, as well as compromising quality.

‘The image search functionality of Google impacted Getty Images’ image licensing business [and] content creators around the world by creating captivating galleries of high-resolution, copyrighted content,” explained Getty in a statement.

The company continued: ‘Because image consumption is immediate, once an image is displayed in high-resolution, large format, there is little impetus to view the image on the original source site.’

Getty further insisted that Google’s search features encouraged ‘widespread’ copyright infringement. Despite Getty’s best efforts, though, many are unhappy with the changes - including creative professionals who are now struggling to find usable images under creative commons.

Google assures users that they’ll still be able to download desired images, simply by visiting the source rather than directly from the search engine. Has it made a smart move, or could this be a costly mistake for Google?

A new advert for the New Zealand National Lottery combines a poignant friendship, a heist and a dramatic twist.

The third in a series of adverts promoting the lottery, named ‘Imagine’, follows two men who work as drivers of an armoured truck delivering quantities of cash to stores and banks. As they travel, they chat back and forth about how they’d spend their millions if they won the lottery, toying with with the usual ideas of flash cars, big houses and holidays.

As they pull up at their next destination, the driver dramatically asks his friend, ‘What if we just kept driving?’ Despite his colleague trying to talk him out of the heist, the driver puts his foot down and speeds off, saying he hopes his (increasingly frantic) friend’s passport is in date.

In a heartwarming twist, it’s revealed that the driver has in fact won the lottery and is honouring an age-old agreement they made to split any winnings down the middle. And the best part? The spot was inspired by a true story of a New Zealander who won NZ$15m on the Lotto and made good a decades-old promise to share it with his mate.

‘The reason the Imagine series has resonated so strongly with Kiwis over the years is because while it presents these fantastical, larger-than-life stories, there’s always a kernel of truth at the heart of it,’ said chief creative officer, Damon Stapleton.

‘In this case, that truth is you want to believe that if you win, you’d be the kind of person who would keep the promise you made. Who would be loyal to your mate and share your good fortune. And I think Kiwis truly are like that.’

Emilia Mazur, general manager for corporate communications at Lotto New Zealand, added: ‘We wanted to produce a film that inspires Kiwis to dream and I think we’ve achieved that. Even though the setting for this film is smaller – it’s two mates in a small truck – the story feels bigger than that. It really draws you in and takes you along for the ride.’ 

You can watch the charming advert below:

Who ever said that presidential portraits have to be stiff, stuffy and in shades of grey and brown?

Barack and Michelle Obama’s official portraits were revealed this week at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Compared to many preceding presidential portraits, theirs are colourful and unconventional. This isn’t surprising given that the artists they selected to carry out the portraits also challenge convention, being the first African-Americans to be chosen for the role.

Kehinde Wiley, a Yale-trained artist based in New York, painted the former president. Known for portraying people of colour (such as Notorious B.I.G. and Grandmaster Flash) against vibrant, boldly patterned backdrops, Wiley often portrays his subjects wearing wreaths or riding horses in the style of Old Master paintings. The flowers in the background of Obama’s portrait are more than mere decoration, representing his life story and background.

The former first lady’s portrait was created by Baltimore-based Amy Sherald, whose distinctive style includes bright, solid backgrounds and ambiguous grey hues for her African-American subjects’ skin. Michelle is depicted in a stunning, geometric dress, exuding an air of cool, calm confidence.

Wiley and Sherald share an interest in exploring social justice issues and through their work, challenge racial preconceptions and prejudices. Obama describes why he chose Wiley: ‘What I was always struck by when I saw his portraits was the degree to which they challenged our ideas of power and privilege.’

See the impressive portraits here.

As important as they are, safety posters must also be eye-catching to ensure people actually read them and take their message on board.

And, following the disaster that was the newly-introduced ‘Please hold on while the bus is moving’ announcements, it seems Transport for London (TfL) has found a better way to get commuters to behave.

TfL’s warning and advisory posters are a familiar sight for those who regularly traverse the miles of underground systems and buses that make up the London transport network, so it’s always nice to see some brightly-coloured new artwork adorning station walls.

That’s why The Mayor of London and TfL recently commissioned a new set of vibrant posters reminding busy Londoners to mind the gap, take care after drinking alcohol and hold onto the handrail.

You can see the full suite of works here (or just keep an eye out for one on your next journey).

While most people will protest at pineapple on pizza, we bet they’ll find this sweet pizza more agreeable!

Baking products company Dr. Oetker has opened a pop-up chocolate pizzeria in Toronto. Named after the company’s frozen chocolate pizza, Cioccolato opened on February 9th, National Pizza Day, and is open until Valentine’s Day.  Chocolate pizza sounds amazing enough, but this restaurant exceeds all expectation. Not only does it serve up slices of pizza entirely made of chocolate, every part of the dining experience is chocolate—the artwork, chandelier, glassware, oven, cutlery, walls, and more.

As a teaser, Dr. Oetker started a #chocolatedreams hashtag on social media to uncover Canadians’ strongest chocolate desires. Some of these were incorporated into the restaurant, including a chocolate diamond, made by a company specialising in human-made diamonds. The result was a 0.54 carat diamond made from a powdered chocolate pizza. A chocolate shark, while deemed unfeasible, is featured in one of six paintings made with—you guessed it—chocolate paint.

Mark Scott, who worked on the project, explains why they went all out with the chocolateria: ‘Chocolate pizza is a very unique and indulgent idea, so we wanted to launch it in an equally unique and indulgent way.’

If your mouth isn’t watering enough already, see the restaurant in finer detail here:

A fascinating collection of protest posters are available to see for the very first time since 1918.

This year marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women aged thirty and older and who passed a property qualification the right to vote. To mark this, the Cambridge University Library is displaying a collection of early 20th century protest posters that promoted women’s suffrage at the time. The posters are on display until March 31st.

The posters were originally distributed by suffragettes around 1910, protesting for women’s rights across all levels of society. Marion Phillips, librarian at Cambridge University at the time, received them in a brown parcel paper. A central figure in the Women’s Labour League at the time, she later became chief woman officer for the Labour Party and an MP in 1929.

It’s unusual to find protest posters like this in such good condition. According to Chris Burgess, the library’s exhibition officer, they’re not meant for safekeeping: ‘They were created to be plastered on walls, torn down by weather or political opponents.’

The powers highlight political issues of the time, which restricted women’s rights. One features a factory worker looking at a poster about regulations for women. Another features a female scholar, grouped together with other parts of society that are unable to vote.

See some of the historical posters here.

For all of you who’ve been waiting for a ‘dislike’ button on Facebook, well, we still don’t have one - but this is the next best thing.

Facebook has started trialling a ‘downvote’ button with a small selection of people in the US. Consistent with past comments from CEO Mark Zuckerberg about not wanting to turn the platform into a voting forum, the social media giant clarified the purpose of the new button: ‘We are not testing a dislike button. We are exploring a feature for people to give us feedback about comments on public page posts.’

The downvote option appears below public page posts next to the option to react or reply. After pressing the button, Facebook hides the message and gives the option to mark it as offensive, misleading or off-topic. The platform hopes to use the community to flag fake news and irrelevant and objectionable content.

Martin Garner, CSS Insight tech analyst, explains the importance of relying on the Facebook community for this: ‘Mark Zuckerberg doesn't want Facebook to have the responsibility of identifying what is offensive or misleading - and what is not - because that would put him into the position of being a publisher rather than a platform.’

Worried that any of your posts that toe the line might disappear? Fear not. The downvote button doesn’t actually affect visibility of posts for others, nor does it affect ranking in the newsfeed.

Read more about the new button here.

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