Posts tagged design

This years’ Christmas and New Years cards are going to be special: I’m going to send Cardles, the idea (and new business) of Denis, my colleague at Indeed and his wife Yvette. Simply said, it’s a unique greeting card that folds into a candleholder.

The idea came about whilst looking for an alternative for a birth card for their premature daughter. Not knowing if the baby would make it through the first months, they decided to wait until she came home before sending a “welcome home” card that would later develop into the Cardle. They felt the idea of sending a light was appropriate to communicate the full range of emotions without words, whether it’d be intense sadness or extreme happiness. 

While Yvette is responsible for the system and product development of the Cardle, Denis is behind the brand and marketing as well as the first two illustration series. I wish both of them the best of luck with Cardle (and their secret new product which I am going to see soon!). 

The Cardle is made of flame retardant and fully recyclable paper. It is printed with bio-ink and comes in a carton packaging. - Rethink energy.

This is rad (and the perfect Christmas gift!): Fellow Sandboxer and German Hans Raffauf just launched a new product. 

The Changers Starter Kit will radically change the way you think about energy. Charge your mobile devices, save CO2 and track the amount of sun you’ve captured. 

The Changers Starter Kit is also an example par excellence for designing not only a product but a whole system around it: 

Share and compare + Get rewarded

In a community setting users can make their CO2 savings visible, see graphs, earn badges, compete with friends and inspire others to make a change. Statistics of individuals, groups, cities and countries are made available and can be explored and compared. 

But this is not enough: Knowing that we all love rewards for our efforts, the amount of energy produced will be converted into personal Changers Credits and can be exchanged for perks.

Everything from design to strategy seems to be in place so far. I wish the team the best of luck with the launch and huge success on the market! I definitely want one!

Inspiration: Soon - Creative Branding

Soon is a (visual) branding agency somewhere in Belgium and leaped right from zero into my favorite agency Top 10. This is some work they did for VIB, a life sciences research institute, based in Flanders, Belgium. For their fifteenth anniversary, they did the entire event branding, for which they used only chalk and a huge blackboard. They also designed a box with nine books in it and made more then 200 large chalk drawings for the books only.

Go and check out their amazing portfolio featuring creative imaging for the city Ghent, for a classic music ensemble and other awesomeness from event posters to complete visual identities. 

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work … It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions … It’s gonna take awhile … You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
Ira Glass

Bruce Mau’s The Bureau of Doing Something About it: A pop-up studio, working in real-time, designed solutions in response to complaints. 

Last year, the Toronto Complaints Choir, produced as part of the 2010-2011 World Stage season at Harbourfront Centre, collected over 1000 grievances, gripes, and annoyances from people across the city. The choir transformed these troubles into a siren song for the disenchanted. 

Across twelve days in July, Bruce Mau Design (BMD) worked to do some-thing about it. A pop-up studio, working in real-time in the Propeller Centre, designed solutions in response to the complaints. A book of these ideas was simultaneously designed, and then given away throughout this city we love. 

This interactive, cross-disciplinary design event invited Toronto to turn our problems into possibilities. A mix of ingenuity, creativity, (many) mistakes, exploration, and optimism will get us there. 

Consumers build an image [of a brand] as birds build nests. From the scraps and straws they chance upon.
Jeremy Bullmore

Imeüble - I want it! Now.

I have no clue what the hell ‘Imeüble’ means but how else could it possible be translated than to ‘Want it!!’. Everything is right about this fantastic piece of work by Bjørn Jørund Blikstad a Design grad from the Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Oh, how I love these Norwegians! Contact and (as I assume) order via the designers website.

I love this project shared by DesignTAXI this morning. According to design critic Steven Heller (video above)

a year ago three students, Manuel Krings, Marc Pfaff, Andreas Unteidig, from the Köln International School of Design, sought to test (presumably with tongue in cheek) the design viability of a shiny black cube. They asked product, graphic and architectural designers to critically assess the cube to ascertain how serious or not the “critics” would be when faced with whether to explain or explain-away the object. The sessions with Stefan Sagmeister, Dieter Rams, Marco Piva, Massimo losa Ghini, Michael Erlhoff, Ruedi Baur and me were video taped and presented at a Parsons School of Design exhibition. 

What are your thoughts on the cube? 

(via Top Designers Wax Lyrical About Mysterious Black Cube -

Winning and Failing Co-Creation Platforms: Board of Innovation cooperated with mission-e-motion in an innovation study to combine new mobility with co-creation. They made a report as a part of the whole study, which bundles 20 benchmarks of existing co-creation platforms.

The utterly lovely and creative (and handsome!) guys at Leaps Innovation Amsterdam made me a really happy person yesterday by joining in for the A’dam Sustainability Jam and giving the result of their latest finished project to me: Mybasket is a quite handy (and without any doubt beautiful) little shopping basket for your bike. It comes in 4 different designs and can be easily attached to your bike without using any tools! The only thing you need to do is click the carrying handles and bracket into the basket, just once. And then you can hang Mybasket on your bicycle handlebars. It couldn’t be easier!

I’m completely in love with the design they gave to me (fitting the PICNIC theme) but I kind of want them all, haha. If you love them too (and I bet you will!) find out the closest sales point to where ever you are located (in the Netherlands) and buy one!

"Crushing the Boulder: UX and the Lean Startup" Thanks to @tor I found this video of a talk by Janice Fraser at MX 2011 of Adaptive Path, which speaks from the bottom of my heart. 

Design Thinking for Educators

Just days after my own workshop with @JeroenBottema at @InHolland on the exact same topic @DesignThinkers posted this link! Great resource!


Designspiration is a diverse curation of quality image-based inspiration. ‘nuff said. ”Big Data” is a brand new platform for discovering great visualizations and infographics and satisfies both my appreciation for hard facts and good design.