Thursday, January 16, 2014

Sustainable Packaging: 6 Tips for Design

According to the United Nations, our designs need to meet "the economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of the planet to provide for the needs of future generations". In other words, says illustrator, graphic designer and art director Philippe Intraligi, it's "much more than just sticking a 'green' label on existing products. It involves function, material and packaging choices."

1. Design backwards:

Before you start designing, question whether the brief is asking the right question to begin with. The conceptual stage is the most crucial and it's at this point that we as designers can effect the greatest change by looking at the problem from different angles.
Consider whether there is a way that the design or product could be smaller, lighter, made from fewer materials and designed so as to minimize waste. In the words of Sophie Thomas of Thomas Matthews: "waste is a design flaw".
Puma Sustainable Packaging
Puma Sustainable Packaging Recycling Design Process

When Yves Béhar a designer, entrepreneur, and sustainability advocate was asked to create packaging for Puma he thought outside the box; literally. Because of his design, it was estimated that 8,500 tons less paper would be used, 20 million megajoules of electricity would be saved, 1 million liters less fuel oil would be used, 1 million liters of water would be saved, 500,000 liters of diesel during transport would be saved and 275 tons of plastic would be saved. 

Some other examples are lite2go,  where the packaging of the light becomes the lampshade, and the hangers pak that acts as the delivery vessel and the clothing's hanger. 

2. Make it long-lasting: 

Has longevity been taken into account in your design? Could your product be designed to last or have great aesthetic value so that it will be kept instead of being tossed? Can there possibly be other uses of the product to prolong the product's shelf life? Could the product and packaging be refillable?
As designers, we need to shy away from disposability and planned obsolescence. While this may be more profitable in the short-term it only creates larger environmental deficits in the long-term.

Making a long lasting and functional product design is a great way to accomplish many goals. The Bobble bottle is smart solution to the current problem of disposable bottled water filling up our landfills. BPA-free and complete with a carbon filter to remove contaminants from ordinary tap water, the Bobble lasts up to two months and when expired can be completely recycled.

Canvas bags are also on the rise, like with the puma design, and are great way to reinforce your brand as well as create a reusable long lasting solution to the plastic bag.

3. Make it local and social:

Is your design going to be made and sold locally? Striving to produce products locally will not only boost the local economy and business, but will also cut down drastically on products needing to be specially packaged for shipping, as well as the overall packaging required.  It's also important to consider the social angle of projects, employing local labour to not only build community, but create jobs and a better economy.
Jill Heyes' company, Original Tea Bag Designshas created jobs for those living in the informal settlement of Imizamo Yethu, Cape Town, South Africa, while also making clever use of waste. The company makes use of used tea bags, which are dried, emptied, ironed and then painted to create various products and art. The fact that sales of the products are mostly local removes the need for excessive packaging.

4. Repurpose materials:

Is there potential to re-use products or materials in a new way, so as to eliminate waste and give it a new lease on life?  Rewined, a soy wax candle company that repurposes discarded wine bottles into candles also uses recycled letter-pressed labels and hand stamped stickers.

Thomas Matthews, a London-based communication design studio focused on sustainability, created its full corporate identity range using surplus printers' waste.

5. Make it recyclable:

After the product has no possible further use is it constructed or made in such a way so that it is completely recyclable?

These Cereal Revolution boxes were designed to be the absolute perfect size so as to minimize waste and shipping space. They are constructed so that there is very little use of glue and are printed on 100 per cent recycled paperboard with soy-based inks. The boxes are fully recyclable, even the bag holding the cereal is made from compostable cellophane.

Some wine companies are also moving away from glass wine bottles to a much more easily recyclable cardboard based box-bottles. 

6. Make it biodegradable:

Could the product or packaging be designed so as to be biodegradable? Vendors, such as Sun Chips, have developed packaging that is self-compostable. The bag is made of plant-based material. It will break down within 14 weeks in a hot, active compost pile.
Sun Chips Biodegradable Compostable Chip Package

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Color Inspiration: The Multi-Color Search Engine

Have you ever had the perfect color or color combination but got stuck on texture or needed to some color inspiration? Well, you're in luck! The Search engine from TinEye Labs might be your best bet.

According to TinEye:
"We extracted the colors from 10 million Creative Commons images on Flickr. Search this collection by color. Addictive and very likely the best color search engine in the world!"
We decided to look-up our favorite "Slick Orange" to see what sort of stuff came up! 

Very Cool! And you can actually search for up to 5 color combinations: 

Pretty Close!

Really, you could spend all day playing with this awesome search engine. Go ahead! Give it a try and see what you discover!

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Friday, January 10, 2014

2014: 10 Predictions for Imagery

Welcome to 2014!! We're looking forward to lots of new things this year!! We're welcoming new clients and starting new projects all in a new SLICK workspace!! As with most of life there are many things you can't predict but, trends are something you can follow.
Rebecca Swift from Getty Images predicts the image trends that we'll be sifting through in 2014.
1) 2014 will be the year of lens flare

It is everywhere — movies, TV shows, fashion and advertising. What was previously perceived as a technical error is now a visual representation of the moment.
2) Accumulated experience over accumulated possessions
Rather than aspiring to own flashy cars and the latest flat screen TVs, we value travel, special days out and learning new skills. This is reflected in the shift towards imagery that represents “doing” rather than “owning”. 
3) Diverse women
The rise of realistic perceptions of women in fashion and beauty advertising is an ongoing trend that is not going to disappear in 2014. The diversity of women will be increasingly represented through the portrayal of many different factors; from age and ethnicity, to lifestyle choices and business power.
4) Edible inspiration
Instagram and its ilk have turned food photography on its head. Pictures of overly stylized food look both inedible and untrustworthy – in friends’ snaps we trust. Expect to see restaurants, cafes, food manufacturers and recipe books adopt this more authentic aesthetic in the coming year.
5) Collaboration will be a key concept for 2014
We anticipate brands making more of working together, joining forces and collaborating with their customer base (crowdsourcing). Sharing creativity will be massive.
6) Man and machine are going to meld
When information communication technologies were first invented, there was a fear that AI would take over, and machines would become human. Conversely, today the fear is that humans are becoming machine-like: data driven, less emotionally involved, less able to connect on a personal level. We expect to see the relationship between man and machine visualized in 2014 via imagery representing bionics or bio-robotics.
7) Short yet sweet
One of the biggest social media trends in the next 12 months will be 5-7 second storytelling. Clickable videos, Vine, animated Gifs — all use small pieces of moving media to capture attention and tell a story quickly, but effectively.
8) Voyeurism will be everywhere
Not in a creepy way, but in the sense of observing without intruding, whether through the use of the latest “capture” technology (wearable, nano or drone) or viewing people’s worlds without disrupting the intimacy. Voyeurism is the rejection of all things constructed and stylized. There's also a new app that allows people to anonymously send/ receive 12 second snippets of their lives, anywhere in the world!
9) Supernatural forces will prevail
In recent years there has been a fascination with the idea of the supernatural, of creatures of fantasy living amongst us. Vampires, werewolves and witches will continue to be well represented in TV schedules and movie releases in 2014.
10) Ethnicity in advertising
The next year will see a broadening of the ethnic mix of models featured in advertising.

I looks like 2014 is going to be full new image trends! We're looking forward to all that 2014 has in store for us.

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via wedbesignerdepot

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Pretty Packaging: New York City Garbage

Efficiently designed packaging is the cornerstone to grabbing any consumer's eye!

Something Artist Justin Gignac is proving with his New York City Garbage sculptures. With a simple design and dynamic use of... well garbage, people from all over the world are buying up his little works of art.

Gignac writes:
"In 2001, I started selling garbage. 100% authentic New York City Garbage. The trash is hand-picked and arranged in Lucite cubes that are signed, numbered, and dated. Today, more than 1,000 cubes have been sold to over 25 countries."

You can nab one of the "regular" cubes for $50 while limited edition cubes, like from the World Series or New Year's Eve in Times Square, will run you around $100.

This just goes to show you with a creative concept, well executed packaging and a unique product; even garbage can sell!

We don't know about you but, we're starting to look through our trash bins in the Slick Lab for some valuable goodies to get rich from.

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via: behance

Monday, December 16, 2013

Interactive Design: London's New Year's Eve Experience

When you think of ringing in the New Year you almost ALWAYS think of Fireworks. And, like most of us, if you've seen one fireworks show you've seen them all.

But, if you're celebrating New Year's Eve 2014 along London's South Bank, you'll be experiencing the usual fireworks in a brand new way.

Prepare for the world's first multi-sensory fireworks display! 

Food scientists Bompass & Parr will release "floating orange bubbles, and when you pop them you will get this really zesty Spanish orange flavor coming out, you will have peach snow coming from the sky and banana confetti that is edible."

We're going to actually let people tast the fireworks. And they're fruity. You will see red in the sky, and you'll smell strawberry," Bompass added.

That's a pretty unique spin to a fairly traditional celebration!

And, according to Mayor Boris Johnson, "London is after all the city of firsts and this approach to our New Year's Eve celebration will add to the magic on the night, whether experienced at home or in town."

Plus, the first-ever London New Year's Eve fireworks app will add to the experience of watching the display from home.

What a truly creative way to make News Year's Eve fully interactive! Start 2014 with a tasty burst of inspiration!

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via: DailyMail

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Creative Color: 2014 is The Year of Radiant Orchid

According to the hue gurus at Pantone, the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems, this flowery pinky-purple is the color we're going to be craving in the coming year!
For nearly 50 year, Pantone has been inspiring design professional with products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity.
The PANTONE name is know worldwide as the standard language for color communication from designer to manufacturer to retail customer.
Suddenly, the color has been showing up everywhere and you can be sure that next year it's going to be draped all over every type of palette possible. 

Radiant Orchid is exactly number 18-3224 on Pantone's color chart and described as an "enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones," says American color specialist, Leatrice Eiseman.

We at the SLICK lab are really loving this beautiful and vibrant color! It's feminine but, not too girly. And, it's bold enough to be worn or appreciated by the masculine alike. 

It's time to get Creative and splash this captivating color everywhere! 

And in case you're curious about past winners or "The Psychology of Color":

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Make-Up Inspiration: Creating Outside the Lines

Who else has a Make-up Addiction?! Or, maybe just an Addiction to beautiful, inspiring Art...

Italian make-up artist Angie Y's skills are exquisite! Who says we have to paint inside the lines?! While most of the time our canvas is flat, there's no reason we can't think beyond the the normal brush strokes.

Angie Y puts it perfectly:
"I love beauty in all her expressions and I love to combine elegance, style, and creativity in my work to show that all women are beautiful and special, because beauty is more than just skin deep, it is about capturing your essence and showing it to the world."

There's no time like the now to try something different!

The world's your canvas... and that canvas has texture, contrast, and curves! Use those unique bits to your advantage and bust out a design that's "outside the lines".

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