Interior Architecture

Lego of My Boardroom!

When Boys and Girls, a new Irish ad agency, acquired space in a Georgian office building in Dublin, it wanted to dispel the look of a stuffy law firm, but didn’t want the décor to appear juvenile either. A Dublin-based architectural firm called abgc took up the challenge by painting everything white, and then building a 4 foot x 9 foot rectangular boardroom table out of 22,742 pieces of Lego bricks, covered with glass, and surrounded by clear acrylic chairs. The effect is sophisticated yet playful, and completely reusable. If the ad agency gets bored with how the table looks, they can always pull the blocks apart and build something else.

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Humor

Do You Tweet After Sex?

iPhone in Bed

Lately it seems that every webinar, workshop, conference and business publication includes advice on optimizing social media marketing, which is why we thought this study on Twitter and Facebook use would be of interest to our readers. Part of the Gadgetology Report produced by Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping site, the online independent survey sampled 771 respondents from across the United States (so we can’t tell you how the answers compare with people in other countries.) The Retrevo survey also reveals that men are more than twice as likely to use Facebook or Twitter after sex than women, and iPhone users are three times more likely than Blackberry owners (no surprise there). We don’t have any suggestions on how to calculate this into your social media marketing strategy, but some savvy marketers will understand the ramifications.

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Pop Culture

Beatles Postage Stamps

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To mark the 50th anniversary of the meeting of Beatles’ John Lennon and Paul McCartney, the UK’s Royal Mail asked Johnson Banks to design a commemorative stamp. The London-based design firm conducted a sweeping audit of the masses of memorabilia surrounding the band and the cultural phenomenon that set off before concluding that “the answer was literally staring us in the face.” The Beatles album covers said it all.

In the end, Johnson Banks picked six covers to make into stamps. They explain on their website that their choices were made up of a “combination of the obvious ones like Sergeant Pepper and Abbey Road, plus ones we knew would look great small (With the Beatles and Help). Revolver was in because of its status as ‘the fans’ favourite album’ and Let It Be felt like a suitable ending.”

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Pop Culture

Marketing a Pagan Holiday

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In the United States, Halloween is an $8 billion a year industry – and growing. It is second only to Christmas in terms of generating sales, and it ranks No. 1 in candy sales, topping even Valentine’s Day. Halloween is also the third largest party occasion, after New Year’s and the Super Bowl. And it is not just kids who celebrate. More than 62% of American adults between the ages of 18-24 say they wear Halloween costumes; 44% between the ages of 25-34, and 40% between the ages of 34-44.

The demographic spread of Halloween revelers gives mask and costume makers a lot of latitude. Adults tend to favor masks of the real heroes and villains in the news; teen boys go for gore and gorillas, and little girls are drawn to storybook heroines like the Little Mermaid. Celebrities rating their own mask is nearly the equivalent of being honored in a wax museum.

The reason we find this relevant to our business/design blog is that Halloween is a tribute to marketing genius. It’s not a patriotic holiday, not a religious holiday, and not an historic commemoration. Like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, it’s a “merchant-promoted holiday” devised largely to sell more products.

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Design Quizzes

Quiz: A Bodacious Test of Slang and Typography

Since time immemorial kids have developed their own slang language to communicate amongst themselves and make the older generation feel really out-of-it. If you want to be gnarly, you have to get with the program. Gotta know what’s phat to be cool. Dig it! Same goes with type fonts. Certain faces are so closely associated with an era, that like zoot suits and Nehru jackets, they become signatures of a decade. For designers, such typefaces serve as graphic devices to subtly evoke images of an era without going overboard with clichés. See if you can match these slang phrases with the decade in which they were most popular, and if you are really feeling sharp, name the typefaces too.

TypeQuiz
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Environmental Graphics

Is Elton’s sign more than a Candle in the Wind?

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Las Vegas has a problem. Maybe you can help.

After finishing up his “Red Piano” show at Caesars Palace this spring, Elton John donated the sign that hung above the stage to the city’s Neon Museum. Spelling out “Elton” in glowing neon letters with a heart-shaped arrow in between, the sign weighs in at 15,000 pounds, with the largest letter measuring 20 feet x 30 feet. Unfortunately, “Elton” is an indoor sign and the Neon Museum display area is currently all outdoors.

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Pop Culture

Music Icon of an Era

Of all the millions of photographs of superstar Michael Jackson, the photo of a single jewel-encrusted meshed glove encapsulated the voice, the moves, the artistry, the mystique of this incomparable performer. Jackson’s glove had become such a familiar trademark that one blogger lamented “the gloved one” is gone.

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Design Classic

Barbie is 50

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Mattel’s Barbie doll, the beloved ingénue role model of every little girl, is 50. If she were a real person, she’d undoubtedly have strands of gray hair, a hint of midriff flab, and hot flashes. Given her propensity for the latest fashion, by today’s standards, she would also be considered shallow – the Paris Hilton of the doll world. Fortunately, Barbie will forever be the fantasy woman of our youth.

From a commercial perspective, Barbie is as successful and enduring as Oprah. She has outlasted Cabbage Patch kids, Beanie Babies, sock monkeys and Raggedy Ann.

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