Old school technologies that (thankfully?!) we no longer use!

Remember monitoring each song while you carefully taped it on your cassette player? Two fingers on the pause and record buttons waiting to make sure that you recorded every song perfectly for that special occasion, only to have the cassette tape finish on one of your favorite songs. Frantically you pulled the tape out of the cassette player while the song continued  so you could record it on the other side, oh the stress of it all!

I just came across an interesting blog on Web Designer Depot:  ‘Blast from the Past: Vintage Technologies That We No Longer Use’, it brought back so many of these memories, one of them being of my favorite Mel and Kim songs Respectable split on my ‘All time favorite songs of the 80s’ mix tape.

 

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Yours in design,

Kat-radactyl

Illustration Inspiration

Gabriel Moreno is now officially one of my new favourite artists. His illustrations are fabulously detailed yet flowing, fusing portraiture with intricate patterns and greyscale with splashes of vivid colour. He has worked with loads of national and international clients. Here are some examples of his work, but you can  click here to see more!

Yours in Design,
Anya-demus

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New beauty services booking website to launch

Ladies (and some gents out there too…) no doubt you will nod your head in agreement to the next few scenarios:

[1] He’s finally asked you out on a first date. In winter. Your skin is crying out for a healthy glow. The date is tomorrow. You need a spray tan stat.

[2] Your hairdresser is on holidays. Your roots are as dark as a Brisbane night at 6pm. Hair recovery is your priority and it simply cannot wait until ‘Marc’ is back from the Whitsundays in two weeks.

[3] It’s been a rough week. Overtime has replaced your de-stress tele time. The gym has been put on the backburner and your dreams are peppered with your daily stresses on repeat. A heavenly massage is the only way to get back to your normal happy self in one hour flat. But who’s available for a deep tissue tomorrow?

Hair, beauty, massage … pamper time is a girl’s best friend. But let’s face it, sometimes we can’t always get in when we want to. And, sometimes our weekly budget simply cannot justify these ‘extra curricular’ activities. What if (now, there’s a suitable pun…) there was a wotif.com-style website for the beauty world? A site where we could book our treatments anywhere, anytime and at a great last minute deals? Enter, a brand new website that is set to launch this month in Australia – it’s www.fitmein.com.au and if you sign up now you will be the first to find out about the live date, as well as receive a welcome promotion! It’s modern day convenience for the busy woman. We like it…

Yours in design,

Julia-saurus

DesignerDates #1

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Date ideas brought to you by Amber-saurus… fashion, food, culture and art.

Ron Mueck
@ GOMA
8 May-1 August 2010
Admission prices vary – Adults $12
Don’t let the long queue put you off, Ron Mueck’s spectacularly life-like sculptures are a must see! Catch this gem of an exhibit while it’s at Brisbane’s GOMA. The more we support GOMA the higher our chances of getting more of these fantastic exhibits which mostly tour Sydney and Melbourne.

Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art and Design
@ GOMA
24 April-13 June 2010
free

Unnerved: The New Zealand Project
@ The Fairfax Gallery, GoMA
1 May-4 July 2010
free

Hats: An Anthology by Stephen Leees
@ Queensland Art Gallery
27 March-27 June 2010
free

Light Mares
@ 19Karen Contemporary Artspace
19 karen Ave, Mermaid Beach
Opening night > Saturday 22 May 6-9pm
22 May-19 June 2010
free

Greenfest
Australia’s largest free ‘green’ festival – music, food, arts, fashion, film & technology.
@ Botanical Gardens, Brisbane
4-6 June 2010
free

The High Tea Party
www.thehighteaparty.com.au
Australia’s biggest high tea – A gorgeous excuse to catch up with the girls.
@ Stanford Plaza, Brisbane > 5-6 June 2010
@ The Hotel Windsor, Melbourne > 17-18 June 2010
@ The Westin, Sydney > 8-9 October 2010
@ Stamford Grand, Adelaide > 4 September 2010
$95

BrisStyle Indie Designers Market
@ St Augustine’s Church, Racecource Rd, Hamilton
Saturday 5 June 2010

BrisStyle Indie Twilight Market
@ King George Square, Brisbane City
Friday 30 July 2010

BrisStyle Indie Eco Market
@ St Augustine’s Church, Racecource Rd, Hamilton
Saturday 10 July 2010

Stylin’ up > Pride in SELF / Pride in COMMUNITY / Pride in CULTURE
www.stylinup.com.au
Australia’s largest Indigenous Hip Hop and R&B music and dance events that celebrates youth and contemporary Indigenous culture.
@ CJ Greenfield Sports Complex Freeman Road, Inala
12 noon-8pm Saturday 29 May 2010
FREE ADMISSION, ALL AGES EVENT, STRICTLY DRUG & ALCOHOL FREE

Yours in Design,
Amber-saurus

Interior Design for big cats

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The large Jaguar sedans of the past decade have been notable for looking as much like the 1960’s XJ6 as they could, right down to the traditional wood and leather interiors.

This retro trend was halted some years ago when design chief Ian Callum was given the task of reinventing the range, starting with the XK coupe in 2008 and followed by the new XF sedan a year later.

The latest XJ has just been launched, and it is completely new, and best of all, the designers have re-thought the luxury car interior while they were at it.

The XJ’s cabin is by far the most beautiful in its class. Ian Callum and his team have struck a balance between traditional luxury and modern appeal.

The feature that stands out is a belt that separates the bottom of the windscreen and the top of the leather-lined dashboard with a strip of wood grain that matches the large wood sections in the doors. There is an uncluttered dash board which is dominated by four large air vents with chrome centres, which perhaps could be considered a nod to retro design, but which looks fresh in this beautiful car.

Yours in design

Richard-actyl

Facebook’s like vs fan button

I’m not sure I like the ‘Like Button’ on Facebook. Not the one that we click if our mate has updated his status about how brilliant his weekend was, but the one that has replaced the ‘Become a Fan’ button. I used to be a loud and proud fan of pages like Frankie Magazine, Mad Men’s leading man Don Draper, and even cult ice cream brand Ben & Jerry’s which has just hit our sunny shores, Ben & Jerry’s Australia. Now I just like them. I don’t love them, I don’t even fancy them … I now just like them, thanks to Facebook.

At last month’s Facebook for Business seminar in Brisbane, Facebook Australia & NZ Vice President of Sales Paul Borrud said Facebook was responding to results that users preferred the ‘like’ button, and felt more comfortable using it. Facebook defines the change  as: “To improve your experience and promote consistency across the site, we’ve changed the language for Pages from “Fan” to “Like.” We believe this change offers you a more light-weight and standard way to connect with people, things and topics in which you are interested.”

This change has had a mixed reaction in the market and social media analysts have been to town on their thoughts too. It might sound somewhat banal that a language change on a social media site can rouse so much comment, but in a world where Facebook could in fact be counted as the third largest country, if it was one, it’s pretty serious stuff. Social Media blog Mashable asked 5500 people their preference during a 5-day poll, resulting in the fan button scoring 3161 fans (like what I’ve done there?!)  vs 1634 people who liked the like button.

In what I believe is a commercial step to help garner more and more numbers clocking up on brand and company’s Facebook pages, and in turn increased viral marketing and no doubt increased ad dollars spent along the way too, it will be interesting to see how well this move results in the coming months. Having used Facebook for personal and business pursuits, I’m still leaning towards the Fan button for its weight and stronger declaration. But who knows maybe I will end up liking the like button.

What are your thoughts?

Yours in design,

Julia-saurus

Archibald Prize 2010

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Painting is such a wonderful medium. From photographic realism to expressive interpretation, there are so many ways to explore paint on canvas. Everyone has a different opinion on what works and what doesn’t, which makes the prestigious Archibald Prize also one of the most controversial!

Sam Leach was crowned this year’s winner, for his portrait of singer/songwriter Tim Minchin. With bare feet, heavy makeup and a wary gaze, the portrait captures Minchin’s edgy and quirky personality. But some critics weren’t happy with this year’s selection.

John McDonald from The Sydney Morning Herald thinks that “there are years when the Archibald winner is so obvious it stands out like the proverbial canine undercarriage. Then there are years like this, where there is no natural choice and very little to get excited about.” (http://www.theage.com.au/)

It seems that since its beginning in 1921, the Archibald prize has always been surrounded by controversy: who should have won, who didn’t get a look in, who was favoured this year, what style was preferred last year. It seems we are still yet to learn that art will always be subjective and it is probably something we will never agree on. So let’s just enjoy the discussion and cherish that, in a world where technology rules, the good old canvas and paint still gets a look in!

Check out the winner, finalists and history of the award at the official Archibald prize website.

Yours in design,

Tar-rannosaurus

Fiat – another great advertising strategy

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Fiat is asking people to picture themselves not in the car but on the car. Fiat is encouraging fans and owners to go to the fiat500.com website to secure their place on the 500,000th car by submitting a photo and story about their love of the model. This milestone model will carry the headshots (including mine and Paul’s) of 1500 people worldwide. It has just been built, 31 months after the 500 was launched. Pretty impressive hey!

The printed up car will be ready three weeks after the last headshot is added. But fans will have to get in quick as when we added ourselves this week there were only 150 spots left!  And it’s only been up for a week! The car will then feature in all forthcoming events and international motorshows which means my headshot should see quite a bit of the world while I am here at work.

Meanwhile I will also make friends worldwide thanks to Fiat’s clever use of social media in this campaign. Fiat lovers around the world can unite and connect through Facebook! Each photograph and mini bio includes a link to the fan’s Facebook page, opening up the door to connect with like-minded people and continue celebrating the wonderful Fiat 500!

Trust Fiat to come up with such a great marketing strategy that really captures the essence of the brand. I hope our stories will be published somewhere, as I would love to read them all.

Yours in Design

Bell-asaurus

Mastering the world of Photoshopping!

As designers we admire a good Photoshopper. We recognise the skill it takes to convert an average photo into a masterpiece. Plus who doesn’t love some can’t-believe-your-eyes manipulation. So when I stumbled across Erik Johansson,  a talented photographer and artist from Sweden, I found myself staring in awe at some of his work. Not only has he mastered the world of retouching photos, he’s taken the photography as well and produced a stunning portfolio.

If you’re a Photoshop-lover, you will find his collection interesting.

Enjoy!

Yours in design,

Kat-radactyl

Roadworker coffe break