Monday TED Talk: The rise of personal robots

The Brio team started the week with this TED Talk by Cynthia Breazeal on the rise of personal robots. The Associate Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) founded the Media Lab’s Personal Robots Group.

She says in her talk: “Robots touch something deeply human within us. And so whether they’re helping us to become creative and innovative, or whether they’re helping us to feel more deeply connected despite distance, or whether they are our trusted sidekick who’s helping us attain our personal goals in becoming our highest and best selves, for me, robots are all about people.”

Bodies Disappearing into Art

I am in awe of Emma Hack’s beautiful collection of works. There is just no end to this lady’s talent.

She is a diverse multimedia artist, skin illustrator, make-up artist, hairdresser, stylist, photographer, sculptor and keynote speaker. Emma paints models’ bodies to blend in and contrast with backgrounds and then photographs the tableaux to create stunning, eye-catching works.

When you first look at Emma’s creations, it appears that she uses projections or stencils to create such precise fine lines and an accurate reproduction of the wallpaper or image the model stands against, but in reality, she crafts the entire image free-hand. She uses Florence Broadhurst designed wallpapers as well as her own creations or just nature for her backdrops.

Emma’s profile as an acclaimed and talented artist has risen and now also gaining recognition in the music scene as she was the creator of the skin illustrations and wallpaper designs for the film clip for Gotye’s smash hit Somebody That I Used to Know, after being approached by music director Natasha Pinctus. And actually, this was the first time that I saw Emma’s work. The video is truly a great work of art and took 23 hours to create and film.

Emma has also created a short body-art film for Estee Lauder, directed and produced by ex-Adelaidian, Tim Piper. The creation was filmed in Adelaide.

With galleries in London and New York exhibiting her work, her profile can only rise.

Check out more of her beautiful work here.

Yours in Beautiful Art
Angie Rapisarda

Five ways to use your Instagram photos

Instagram is a photo-sharing app for the iPhone. It has fast become a way to quickly share bits and pieces of your day using preset filters to give various affects to your photos. Aside from how simple it is to use, the beauty of Instagram (in my opinion) lies in how it can make users look at their day-to-day life and surroundings in new light.

But what of your collection of photos? What can you do with them? Check out our five suggestions for bringing your Instagram photos out of your iPhone.

  • StickyGram - lets you print your Instagram photos as magnets, a miniature flip book or poster
  • Casetagram – why not print your photos for your next iPhone case?
  • Instapuzzle – this newly launched iPad app turns your photos in a puzzle
  • Postagram – send real post cards using your Instagram photos
  • Instarium – use your photos for your screensaver

Stay tuned in the coming weeks as I explore how brands are using Instagram.

Yours in photography,



Staff Loyalty

The Hear and Say Centre – founded and driven by Dr Dimity Doron – continues to assist and better the lives of children with a hearing impairment and their families. After a recent trip to the Hear and Say Centre for Tuesday’s playgroup, it was overwhelmingly inevitable the involvement that the staff have with these families. There’s a certainly degree of loyalty from the staff and volunteers that supports Dimity and the progam that’s incredibly inspiring to those children and their parents.

Loyalty gives us the inspiration and passion to reach for the best within us, even during the most difficult times. Interacting with the staff and Dimity you would never know the unwanted pressure and concern facing the centre. They must raise $10 million dollars over the next 12 months to be able to afford to relocate to a facility that will be able to house their current children and the rising number of those requiring the assistance of the centre. It’s clear that the unsurpassed height of loyalty the staff have to the centre is a tremendous catalyst for inspiration. And it will be that inspiration born from the authentic loyalty that continues to be a driving force for the success of the centre.

Yours in Loyalty,
Amber van Sloten

Brio Talks: MiGoals (Now with added giveaway)


Every year around this time or earlier I begin my search for “the perfect diary” for the new year. I’m one of those old-school kids that still prefers to have a paper diary to organise my life. Despite being a digital strategist Google Calendar just doesn’t cut it or beat writing an appointment in my diary. This week I was introduced to MiGoals, the brain child of Adam Jelic, and I instantly loved the simplicity of the diary design. What also had me gravitating towards hitting “Buy Now” for the MiGoals 2012 Diary was the ethos behind the brand.

How often do we start a year, a month or every day with goals in our mind that are never achieved? If we wrote them down and had them right in front of us each day would we take more action? Would we achieve them quicker and with greater conviction? For me personally – yes. Seeing goals written down is a constant reminder for me that brings them front of mind. It also serves as a soft reminder that perhaps I’ve not taken steps to achieve said goals. It keeps me accountable.

I wanted to know a little more about MiGoals and Adam so I sat down for this Q&A with him. Enjoy!

Brio Daily (BD): Where do you gather your inspiration?

Adam Jelic (AJ): I generally gather inspiration from day to day activities such as reading the newspaper, going on Facebook, reading books, listening to music and surfing the internet. These daily activities tend to cover a vast amount of different subjects which in return help me become more aware of what’s happening around me. In most cases I tend to write a few ideas a week in my note book as a result of the above daily activities.

BD: What are you or have you recently read?
AJ: Recently I read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and I am in the process of reading The 4-hour Workweek by Tim Ferris. Both books challenge you as a reader to look beyond the status quo of what success is and how and why some achieve it and some don’t. One of the things I am now implementing in my reading is I try to swap categories, so I am not just reading about the same thing, again this helps with getting the balance right and not simply focusing on business and personal development.

BD: What do you think an inspired life should look like?
AJ: In my eyes an inspired life is: someone who is aware of who they are, are driven by their passions, are grateful for what they have, maintain a balance in different aspects of their lives and are doers as opposed to talkers.

BD: What was the idea behind Mi Goals and what have been the biggest challenges launching the site?
AJ: The initial idea for Mi Goals began when, as a young 20-something professional, I found there was a lack of practical tools for goal setting that spoke the language of my generation. After several years of research and product development, our first product Mi Goals diary was created and launched in late 2010.

The belief and logic behind creating Mi Goals diary was to deliver a unique platform and visually appealing product through which one could record and track their daily activities, while measuring the success of their goals.

The biggest challenges in regards to launching the Mi Goals website has been getting it completed and launched on the scheduled date we set. Secondly the look and feel has been another challenge, initially throughout the early stages of design the website was much more content driven and lacked that visual presence. After some more research and feedback we shifted our focus to a more visual and design based website, I guess our real goal was to highlight the products as best we can.

BD: Lastly, how would you like to see Mi Goals develop?
AJ: I would like to see Mi Goals develop into an international market leading lifestyle brand. The exciting thing about Mi Goals is it has the opportunity to develop into so many different industries and markets because people have goals in all areas of their life. In the short term, our goal as a business is to continue to create visually appealing and functional stationery products that inspire and help individuals achieve their goals.  You may see the Mi Goals brand develop and introduce new ways to inspire and help individuals achieve their goals.


You can register to be a part of Team Mi Goals and participate in events



MiGoals have generously given Brio Daily two (2) MiGoals packs to giveaway to our readers. Each pack contains a 2012 diary and Notes Book.

To enter email with ‘MiGoals’ in the subject and let us know: What is the biggest goal you want to achieve in 2012?

Winners will be drawn on Thursday November 4th.


You can purchase the MiGoals range via MiGoals | Notemaker or find a stockist in your local area.

Or why not keep up to date on the latest from MiGoals via Twitter | Facebook | MiGoals Blog

If you like Mi Goals you might also enjoy:

You can read more of Adam’s insights on PlanBig | Tips for sticking to New Year’s Resolutions (really this applies to any goals!)

Yours in old-school diaries,




Congratulations to Damon K and Sally B who are the winners of our MiGoals competition.

The handlettered logo

Somewhere on my travels around the internet last week I stumbled upon this website showcasing the hand-lettered logos from now defunct US department store chains.

I adore the modern script that you can imagine being in the 50s and 60s and not out of place on the next series of Mad Men.

GOLDSMITH’S Memphis, TN. (1946) Founded in 1870, converted to Macy’s in 2005. The logo was designed by Margaret Grace, an employee of the store’s advertising department at the time. The script logo was used in all signage and advertising until the mid-90s, when an all-lower case sans serif font was used.

SAGE ALLEN Hartford, CT. (1970s)
DIAMOND’S Cleveland, OH. Founded in 1860, converted to Dillard’s in 1992.
McALPIN’S Cincinnati, OH Founded in 1852 as Ellis, McAlpin & Co. All McAlpin’s stores were converted to the Dillard’s in 1998.

(Images via Annyas)

Yours in logos,


Telstra 4G Colour Wave

I recently had the privilege to hear Mark Collis, Director of Brand Creativity and Strategy from Telstra speak about their new 4G Campaign just released. Mark gave us an insight into Telstra’s measured approach to marketing and the importance of striking the right balance between new and old media.  For the 4G launch campaign Mark talked about the importance of understanding the social environment so established a ‘Facebook superusers’ group.

Mark showed us some of the raw footage of the colourful ‘stunt’ of a crowd taking off their coloured t-shirts which was followed by an action packed day of unexpected entertainment around Sydney including the biggest entertainers from the web including Dancing Matt, Rebecca Black and Evolution of Dance.  Key content from the launch day was then shared through an extensive social media network including a dedicated Telstra 4G microsite, Twitter, YouTube and Telstra Blender fan page on Facebook. The aim was to create compelling entertainment that people would communicate through their online channels.

All of this activity was balanced out with a TVC and press advertising.

Mark said if you have quality content you can put it on any platform, customers are looking for a story.  I think Telstra have delivered that with their new 4G launch.

Yours in advertising,


Star trails light up the night sky

star trail 1


You may think photography is easy, but think again or better yet ask Lincoln Harrison about the hours and adventure spent creating these spectacular photographs. These beautiful swirls of star trails charting the sky are the product of hour after hour of painstaking night-time shooting in freezing conditions, sunset to sunrise. Some shots were taken over a period of up to 15 hours, at the scenic Lake Eppalock, near Bendigo.

Lincoln is relatively new to photography, having only just brought his first camera in 2010 to take photos of clothes for eBay. He wasn’t planning on taking on photography as a hobby, but his passion was ignited and a week later he had around eight lenses and all the goodies. He now focuses on landscape photography of stunning natural settings, as well as his star trails.

The process of taking these beautiful pictures already feels like an intense amount of work, but you then have to throw the post production into the final product and that can take Lincoln up to the same amount of time. To give you a sense of the time and effort that goes into these photographs take for example the above image. This star trail involves 12 hours of shooting every 60 seconds, resulting in the compilation of 720 images in Photoshop to create the trail.

You can check out more of Lincolns work here.

When I look at these amazing pieces of art they feel to me like Vincent van Goghs ‘Starry Night’ brought to life. What do you think of Lincolns photos?


star trail 2

star trail 3

Yours in photography

What’s in a manifesto


The 99 Percent
99 Percent's thoughts on manifestos


A few projects I am currently working on at Brio have got me thinking about manifestos. What is their worth and what makes a great* manifesto?

The manifestos that stick in my mind and are on instant recall are:

Umair Haque’s The Generation M Manifesto

Gen M is about passion, responsibility, authenticity, and challenging yesterday’s way of everything.

Former Brisbane-resident Clare Lancaster’s Women in Business manifesto

LuLuLemon Athletic’s manifesto

Apple’s manifesto for innovation and success

And for those fluent in design, internet and all things aesthetically pleasing you’re bound to have seen or been told about the Holstee Manifesto.


If you fancy printing it out for your home, office or to give to a friend you can, here.

What makes a great manifesto? A few things to consider when you are creating a manifesto:

  • Does it inspire action? A good manifesto should encourage action or change.
  • It should guide your personal or brand intention.
  • Recognise that a manifesto will evolve as you or your brand evolves. Be prepared to reflect upon it regularly to ensure it is always relevant.
  • It doesn’t always have to go public. A manifesto, especially if for yourself, may be something you keep for yourself – a reminder of what you have set out to achieve.

This all begs the questions:

Do you have a favourite manifesto?

Do you have a personal manifesto? Do you think businesses need a manifesto? Are they the new mission and values statements?

Keen to hear your thoughts.

Yours in manifestation,



*definition of “great” is open to interpretation. Afterall we all like different things, don’t we?

A bookcase and hideout all in one!

The perfect solution for those with storage dilemmas, this bookcase holds plenty of books while allowing space to sit and enjoy.

With a built in light, this comfy little reading nook is integrated inside the bookcase. The CAVE bookcase is great for those with a limited amount of space. Books can be stored on both sides. Therefore, it can also function as a partition of a room.

I better start saving, because this is priced around the $11,000 mark!!!

For more information visit sakura adachi.

Yours in creative storage,