Stories of design across all media

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Bringing Mobile Payments to the Developing World
Dec16

Bringing Mobile Payments to the Developing World

In North America, paying for something with a quick swipe of the card through a smartphone accessory like the Square is commonplace on the fringes of our economy: at local farmer’s markets, hot-dog stands and the like. However, in emerging markets where few companies can afford to process debit cards themselves and users must queue in long lines to withdraw cash from an ATM, that technology can be a lifeline for businesses and...

Flash! 7×7 Discovers Nothing Beats a Flash Sale
Dec09

Flash! 7×7 Discovers Nothing Beats a Flash Sale

When you want to sell some things you have a sale. When you want to sell a boatload of things very quickly you have a flash sale: an online promotion in which you offer ridiculous discounts on your product for a very short period of time. And San Francisco’s Metropolitan Media needed to grow the print audience for its 7×7 regional magazine immensely to qualify for more than $100,000 in postage savings. Email Blast Website...

Charlie Cart: Better Living Through Kickstarter
Nov24

Charlie Cart: Better Living Through Kickstarter

With a growing obesity problem in this country and universal healthcare always teetering on the edge of political sacrifice, the future health of our children depends in part on their learning to prepare nutritious meals of their own. Yet teaching these skills in classrooms requires the appropriate equipment and lesson plans – two things today’s cash-strapped schools cannot afford. Industrial design Kickstarter video and rewards...

Finger Paints & Facebook Grow the Learning Tree
Nov11

Finger Paints & Facebook Grow the Learning Tree

Every mama bear thinks her cub deserves the best. So how do you convince her that you have the best preschool in the forest? No, this isn’t some fractured fairytale, but the very real challenge Lathrop, Calif.’s Learning Tree Preschool  presented to advertising and communications firm Rick King Design in Escalon. The preschool wanted to convince local parents that their toddlers would not only be happier but smarter if they attended...

Who Can Rebrand a Man in a Van? Stan Can
Oct28

Who Can Rebrand a Man in a Van? Stan Can

When you’re a one-person business, you really can’t afford to have a chip on your shoulder. If you’re mobile bicycle repairman Allen Ray Hill of Reno’s Bicycleray, you keep that chip on your bike wheel instead. In Hill’s case, “Chip” happens to be the name of an 8-year-old parrotlet who hangs out with him while he’s mending bicycles up and down the Reno/Sparks highways. A bike repairman who comes to you, and who works with a talking...

Everything Old is Cool Again
Oct14

Everything Old is Cool Again

When it comes to the world of high fashion, most people are looking for the next big thing. So convincing twentysomething women to turn their backs on Fashion Week in favor of refreshing their wardrobes at second-hand stores is a formidable challenge to say the least. Luckily, Mode Design had enough fashionable tricks up their sleeves to pull it off. Website Logo Signage Buttons Bags Ads Since 2007, FreeStyle Clothing Exchange has...

Grid: Building ‘n Branding a Whole New Sport
Sep30

Grid: Building ‘n Branding a Whole New Sport

As you slip into your favorite jersey and casually eye the bigger TV screens at your local department store this football season, you might ask yourself “would I have what it takes to brand a whole new sport?” That’s not what you do professionally, you say? It isn’t what San Francisco’s Theory Associates does either, but that didn’t stop them from creating the name, identity, and even the field of play for the all new televised sport...

Eat. Drink. Promote. Repeat.
Sep16

Eat. Drink. Promote. Repeat.

If there’s one thing more challenging than establishing a robust, un-ignorable brand throughout a major city, it’s rebranding something that you’ve already spent five years getting everybody to know and love. Yet with a tight and creative cross-media campaign, you can do practically anything. During an unseasonably cool August weekend, San Francisco design and branding firm Noise 13 transformed that city’s annual foodie bonanza “SF...

Keeping Hearts Beating on a Budget
Aug26

Keeping Hearts Beating on a Budget

As creators, every cross-media campaign opportunity to us instantly becomes an invitation to think big. We need an app, of course, and augmented-reality print collateral where you put your phone here and tap this and hang the expense. website invitations trip reports But when you’re creating a campaign for a nonprofit that ekes out an existence by tapping the off hours of its volunteers and the few bucks that can be wrung from the...

A Smile is Forever on the Amazon
Aug12

A Smile is Forever on the Amazon

The smile probably runs second only to the heart in the pantheon of please-don’t-use-that-again design cliché’s. From Goodwill to Hasbro to early-2000s McDonald’s, it’s been everywhere. Logo Shipping Boxes Website Gift Cards Yet seldom has it been used so effectively – and been seen by so many people for so long – as in Turner Duckworth’s identity for Amazon. What began as a simple reworking of the e-tailing behemoth’s logo became one...

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