Thanks to Evan Brown at DesignMantic for this brilliant infographic.”"

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great food packaging

I like packaging given my printing background. I have been thinking lately about self promotions that are integral to my own interests which are food, design, fashion, art, education, giving back to the world, horses and animals . . the list goes on and on. I think this designer from Toronto has done it well, and although not self promotion, I can see the applications for that here!

Based in Toronto, student Lily Kao has come up with an adorable tea packaging that looks like bite-sized Chinese delicacies and alludes to her roots.

Each teabag is packaged to look like a type of delicacy called “Siu Mai”, and is one of the foods—or “Dim Sum”—that Chinese people eat while they drink tea.

This practice is known as “Yum Cha” and originated in Guangzhou, China—early tea houses were for weary travelers and workers who needed a snack.

These “delicacies” contain Oolong and Pu-Erh tea, while the “dumplings” contain dark melon seeds and roasted peanuts.

The packaging is also reusable and doubles as a recipe for Siu Mai, bookmarks and coasters—the bamboo steam baskets can also be used to cook these bite-sized snacks.

View this creative project below—isn’t this a clever way of showcasing Chinese food culture?

[via Creative Roots]

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What do I do?

Simple and clear storytelling. I’m not there yet with telling the story of what I do, but I’m working on it!

I have been honing my elevator pitch recently since I am pitching new accounts. I tested my new pitch at a creative group I belong to, and a wise writer sitting to my right rocked my world after my response to the query of what I do by disagreeing with me. I’m in marketing and advertising I said, I am a strategic brander, and not a designer really, no, I’m an art director and a creative director. Design is part of what I do, but that’s not really just all of it. I’m not a writer either, although that is part of what I do. Yes I do advertising, but that’s not all I do, I am a strategic communicator. “What does that mean?” Um, well . . . I come up with the big idea, and see that concept through the various mediums whether it is visually in an ad, a logo, or a direct mail piece, a website, an article I have custom written or creating a flash mob. I brand people, small, medium and large companies I said.

“Oh. You’re a storyteller” she said. . . .Pause. Shock, then the slow creaping realization. ooooooohhhh. Smart. Of course that’s what I do. Boiled down, make it simple to understand instead of using buzz words or making it complicated can help the audience paint the picture for themselves! Isn’t what I already do for brands?! Thinking about making things simple led me to reading an article by at mmidentitylab.com. He wrote about the annecodote that someone once presented Ernest Hemingway with a very interesting challenge; they said there was no way he could write a worthwhile story in only six words. His response?

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

Yes he was a writer, but he was presenting so much more than that, he was presenting a story, a concept, and that is what I do. I develop ideas wrapped around a company, product or a person. I do the behind the scenes thinking, work and the presentation to create the stories of the brand. If I am good at what I do, I could only dream of being as brilliant as Earnest in his presentation of a brand story. Why? It’s simple. Literally. That one sentence contains so much depth and possibility. If you’re an optimist, you could hypothesize that the shoes were simply the wrong size. If not, those words conjure up a much different image. Maybe it’s a note from a single mother that’s struggling to get by; maybe it’s a would-be father that just lost both his wife and his child in one fell swoop. No matter how you view that very (very) short story, one thing is clear: there is power in that simplicity.

An idea that is condensed to its very essence allows you to get your point across in a way that is succinct, meaningful, and memorable. However, minimalism isn’t reserved for literary legends. Take a look at some of the most prevalent brands around. You’ll find more than a few strategies and messages that accomplish more with less. For instance, LEGO—a brand that revolves around simplistic ideas—has always had taglines that are sparse yet effective. The brand has had only two slogans though out its epic 80-year run: “Just imagine” and “Play on.” Also, take a look at some of LEGO’s advertising; you’ll see that simplicity rules—and exactly why it works.

Here are a few questions that I use to create a simplistic strategy for each brand I am communicating for:

  1. Can I boil the business down to a few key words?
  2. Can this ‘story’ be told quickly or is it a teaser for a series of stories?
  3. What medium does this ‘story’ need to be told in? Words? Pictures? Both?
  4. Where does this ‘story’ need to be for the target audience to see it?
  5. What is the key singular idea behind the message in the story?

These responses build a strategy that harnesses the power of targeted simplicity and can create effective communication to the business or brands target audience. Harnessing the power of simplicity in brand storytelling helps businesses deliver potent messaging that resonates with audiences and makes an impact. This for me is the fun part, and I get to do this everyday! This is strategic communication. This is what I do.

How was my story? I’m still working on it! I’d love your feedback!

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typography for a cause

After dipping his feared fists in blue paint, Wladimir Klitschko, holder of four major heavyweight boxing titles, has punched the 26 letters of the alphabet individually on canvas to create a unique, distinctive font. The initiative is all part of a unique charity project  – and Monotype is in full support.

wladimir Klitschko vs. Illiteracy; fist font

Wladimir Klitschko punched the 26 letters of the alphabet on canvas to create a unique, distinctive font. Image courtesy of the “Klitschko vs. Illiteracy” initiative.

So what does boxing have to do with typography? A lot when it comes to fighting illiteracy.

Frank Wildenberg, managing director of Monotype GmbH explains: “This is a great effort by Wladimir Klitschko to bring attention to the problem of illiteracy which affects children internationally.”

“This campaign worked with our typeface experts to offer the public a ‘fist font’ that is striking, but also easy to read,” Wildenberg adds. “We’re proud that Monotype is in the corner of a world heavyweight boxing champion helping children to read.”

Wladimir KlitschkoKlitschko’s art prints which will be auctioned live on Ebay. Image courtesy of the “Klitschko vs. Illiteracy” initiative

Wladimir Klitschko Partners with Monotype to Knockout Global Illiteracy

Wladimir Klitschko weighs in: “Charity means to give something back and usually you shake hands on the red carpet and say something. But today was a little different, and I’ve done it the way I can do it the best – with boxing! Over 250 million children around the world are illiterate and will only have a future if they have an education – today we’re trying to make it happen!”

Monotype’s typeface experts optimized the free font to ensure quality and clarity. Fans across the world can download Wladimir Klitschko’s fist-painted font for no charge from Monotype’s ecommerce site.

Wladimir Klitschko; Fight Illiteracy, MonotypeWladimir Klitschko’s fist-painted font available for free from Monotype’s ecommerce site Linotype.com. Image courtesy of Monotype

Voluntary monetary contributions will go to the Klitschko Brothers Foundation, in partnership with German charity organization BILD’s “A Heart for Children” charity to combat illiteracy internationally. All funds raised will go toward educational projects for children, and all of the painted prints created by Klitschko will also be auctioned live on Ebay for a limited time.

Watch Klitschko in action:

Klitschko vs. Illiteracy from Klitschko vs. Illiteracy on Vimeo.

Klitschko vs. Illiteracy is a project by the Klitschko Brothers Foundation in cooperation with the German charity organization BILD hilft e.V. Ein Herz für Kinder.

This is a great effort by Wladimir Klitschko to bring attention to the issue of illiteracy which affects children internationally. For more information, visit www.klitschko-vs-illiteracy.com.

- See more at: http://www.howdesign.com/design-creativity/design-change/fist-font-world-heavyweight-champion-wladimir-klitschko-swings-knockout-global-illiteracy/?lid=JFhwnl040714&j=668004&e=alex@alexandradouglas.com&l=115971_HTML&u=21702931&mid=1303284&jb=59&et_mid=668004&rid=240555246#sthash.k7oFONv5.dpuf

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beautifully designed hand-lettered typographic posters & graphics

All hand lettered, these are beautiful and striking.

Polish graphic designer Tomasz Biernat creates beautiful hand-lettered typographic posters that are a delight to behold.

His simple and striking designs are rendered in white against dark backgrounds, and include a print of former Apple head Steve Job’s famous quote, and other inspirational sayings. Besides posters, Biernat also extends his love of logotypes to business cards and wine labels.

Check out some of his posters below and view more of his work at his website and portfolio.

[via Tomasz Biernat]