This Is Not An Ad For Everyone
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"Rather than delivering a single message to a huge audience, we delivered a huge message to a single person"

We're big fans of The Music Bed, mainly because they've solved the age-old problem of finding amazing music for video production, but now also for flipping mass advertising on its head.

Their hypertargeted advertising campaign, specifically focusing on individuals in advertising firms, is interesting, smart, viral and just plain cool. From the buzz and feedback the campaign has been getting online it is also doing one major thing that was never guaranteed - it's working.

 

See the full Music Bed campaign right HERE

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I Believe I Can Fly

There are two types of paper airplanes:
1. The ones you fold up at home, that you can never get quite symmetrical, and that bank straight into the ground after you throw them.
2. The ones that take a decade to build and are a few hundred levels above anything you've ever made form the model shop.

This video is about the second type.
Welcome to the gold standard of model making.

 

 

You Are Not Your Resume
Where did you go to school?

We love some good insight from Seth Godin and this recent blog post caused some contemplation in our office. 
Have a read and answer the questions for yourself...  

_______

"Where did you go to school?"

An interesting question, perhaps, but irrelevant to a job interview.

The campus you spent four years on thirty years ago makes very little contribution to the job you're going to do. Here's what matters: The way you approach your work.

What have you built? What have you led? How do you make decisions? What's your reserve of emotional labor like? How do you act when no one is looking?

You are not your resume. You are the trail you've left behind, the people you've influenced, the work you've done.

Next Level Harmony

One of the most frustrating things of any creative endeavour is having an amazing idea and then running into the problem of having to articulate that idea to others. Sometimes wrapping words around ideas is difficult, and those ideas can end up being only as good as our ability to explain them. 

Enter musician, composer, genius, and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier as he explains the concept of harmony to 5 different people; a child, a teen, a college student, a professional, and jazz legend Herbie Hancock.

Watching one topic explained on so many different levels is fascinating, and if you get lost in the theory at least you can enjoy the final jam between Collier and Hancock.

The New Way to Play

Gaming is not just about using your thumbs to mash buttons anymore, at least according to Nintendo.
With their latest reveal, they've ridden the production circle all the way back to cardboard and have created a set of construction kits to interact with their digital consoles.

And it looks like SO. MUCH. FUN!

If gaming devices have been accused in the past of numbing minds then this is at the very least a really interesting step to sparking creativity, creation and making, in collaboration with gaming.

We probably need some for the Slash studio...

Nintendo Labo set
Nintendo Labo keyboard
Wandering the Mid-Century
Art Building ASU campus

What's the best thing about having the Slash team spread over different parts of the world? All the interesting things they show us from different parts of the world of course.
One of those very interesting things is the architecture of Arizona State University, a highlight reel of mid-century architecture on a campus sized scale. It's lines, shapes, angles, symmetry and forms that make hearts of design-lovers flutter, and one of our crew is right in amongst it.

Here's ASU through Joana's eyes.

 

Arizona State University is the largest university in the United States, with over 90,000 students over all the campuses. The main campus is located in Tempe, Arizona, and that’s the one that I go to for Environmental Design.
For this blog post, I’ll do a breakdown of what I think to be the coolest parts of the Tempe campus. The main focus will be architecture, but also what influences the environment around the buildings, the flow of students, the sustainable aspects, etc — in the end, they all factor into the design of the buildings themselves. 

My Favorite Thing: The (Lattie F.) Coor Hall:

This was one of the buildings that I’ve had classes in ever since my freshmen year at ASU and it’s probably my favorite. The overall look of the building is concrete foundations, with an elevated ground floor lifted by concrete pillars in which students walk through either to get to the other side of the street, or to take the stairs to the lower floor or the building itself. The upper floors are these transparent-blue windows and I'm not actually sure what's up there… BUT the coolest part is the lower level. It’s mostly smaller classrooms or computer labs, but the open hallways are made of concrete and it’s the ultimate image of raw, clean architecture.

Lattie F Coor Hall ASU Architecture

What the Tempe campus does best in the almost-perfect relationship between mid-century architecture and the surrounding environment, whether it’s Tempe or nature and vegetation. They managed this by having the campus spread over such a large area, leaving enough space for people flow, the buildings themselves and the sustainable aspect, which the university is most known for.
Each building is designed differently, whether it is by a specific architect or not, the architecture varies according to the theme of classes held there. For example, the music buildings are mostly round, and with high ceilings, for better acoustics and enough space for musicians. Most of their exterior is simple, using plain colors and basic geometric features, but their combination overall creates an awesome style that is then integrated into the path from where the building can be accessible. And that is how the campus never goes out of style.

ASU Art Museum at Nelson Fine Arts Center:

The ASU Tempe campus Art Museum was designed by Antione Predock, in 1989. The design quotes from the history of desert architecture to respond to the environment and climate of the site, which is shown in the color palette chosen and the simplicity of the surfaces. He uses a lot of geometry instead of organic shapes, to contrast with the surrounding desert landscape. The materials, although quite basic (cement, brick, steel), are the perfect contrast tool to play with the shadows throughout the space, creating movement throughout the day. 
The museum is hidden on the campus with little signage, so there’s barely anyone around that area which means it stays maintained and preserved without much effort. I found the museum because I got lost in my first week on campus and it’s a pretty cool place to get lost when your major is architecture. I really liked it especially because I went in the middle of the day and the shadows under the passageway towards the museum building itself were strong and created an awesome contrast—and instagram picture. I liked going there the most because of its emptiness, in a campus with thousands of students constantly walking through, it’s nice to find my own little space to breathe and just notice where I am. I actually saw a couple people using their hammocks in the trees around it, so that’s something to try next time (free tip). 
The building is a really good addition to the overall campus architecture, whilst some buildings are over-the-top detailed, others minimal but very modern, and then the museum with classic, timeless simplicity.

the lonely tree ASU architecture
Curves and shadows ASU architecture
Pastel pink ASU architecture
ASU architecture facade lines
ASU architecture palm trees and concrete
circular auditorium Arizona State University
Walls Are Meant For Climbing

"Good luck trying to turn this into an animated short"

That's one of the best lines to ever end a video on, and because the animated short is so good you know that creating it was way more than just luck.
And because the storyteller is a guy who performed one of the most ridiculously impressive feats of human physical and mental activity by climbing a 3000ft mountain face with NO ROPES OR SAFETY GEAR (What!?!), you're also getting a very unique story and perspective. 

So here's a 3-minute lesson and 3-minute animation on climbing stupidly big walls, creativity, overcoming obstacles, risk, and life and death. 

Enjoy.

How The World is Made

Forget Google Maps, GPS and satellites, location tracking, and the fact that we have the whole globe living on our phones and in our pockets. Globe-making isn't the future, but it's a beautiful extension of the past.

From the perspective it brings to the world as a whole, and also the tiny details that go into actually making one world, this video from Mashable on Bellerby & Co Globemakers is special.

We're huge fans of the making process, of using your hands and letting creativity be an analog process as well as a digital one, and there is something magical about handcrafted globes and the work that goes into making them. 

Plus, Head Globemaker is a rad job title.

Let's Talk 2018
Webflow 18 web deisign trends for 2018

Everyone loves a good prediction and the best thing about leaving 2017 and entering 2018 (wait, where did the last few years go!?!) is people making their guesses about what's gonna be hot in the new year.

Design, or creativity in general, is a constantly evolving field and the new year is a perfect time to sit down, stare into the future, and try and forecast what's going to be shaping the industry for the next wee while, what the trends will be, what will be ruling the visual landscape and what tools designers will be reaching for.
 

Here is Webflows predictions of web design trends, techniques, and tools that will define website and digital product design in 2018.
 

At 19 points long it's a really comprehensive, interesting, and spot-on list. Number 1 is definitely something we're already leaning into at Slash and we're sure you'll find some "oh yea!" moments as you move down the list.

What stands out for you?

Welcome to the Trash Isles
Trash Isles Passport.jpg

There's a pile of trash floating out in the Pacific Ocean that's so big it's on its way to becoming a recognized country...
with a flag
a passport
its own currency
citizens
stamps
and official UN recognition.

While the fact that a pile of trash equivalent to the size of France is sitting in the ocean is terrifying from an environmental perspective, the campaign to create the Trash Isles is shining a light on the rubbish with everyone's favourite secret weapon - good design.

Check out the campaign and the Trash Isles designs over at Design Week...

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We Got Sole
Sole Dxb Dubai Neon Tokyo signs

Sole Dxb has become one of the staples of the Dubai street culture scene over the past few years. A mix of sneaker culture, fashion, music, coffee, and other distinctly urban elements it is a favourite amongst the Slash crew.

With the neon goodness just wrapped up here's Sole Dxb as a few of our crew experienced it:

 

Nuno

What was your highlight of Sole Dxb?
Seeing things evolving from year to year. That’s how you create a strong brand, with consistency, year after year.

If you could take one item home for free from the event what would it be?
Maybe a couple of sneakers...

What’s one thing the event is missing/could add?
More time. I think it’s a lot of investment for only three days...

Best design feature you saw?
Some of the booths were interesting, like the Dior space, or the conferences space.

 I came away from Sole Dxb thinking… 
That they are going in the right path. Dubai needs more spaces /events like this so that this is not an exception anymore.


Emanuel

What was your highlight of Sole Dxb?
The quality of the space / event / organisation compared to previous years (well last year I couldn’t attend)

If you could take one item home for free from the event what would it be?
One of the light boxes!

What’s one thing the event is missing/could add?
Although I understand that their focus is on street / hip-hop segment, I think wider genre musical selection could be an added value 

Best design feature you saw?
Definitely the entrance was the key visual element of the event.
But other were also interesting:

    - talks pavilion with Ikea disassembled bench pieces

    - red light and japan paper light on re-sale area

    - Nike pavilion was important and the display organisation seemed cool

    - Puma pavilion with the stage on top and the mesh corridor on top was also nice

    - Cadillac / Andy Warhol pavilion, the coloured glass, the mirror projected car,             the digital Warhol type photo booth 

 I came away from Sole Dxb thinking…
Once again, the overlap of events in Dubai I think deserves a little bit more attention, so that can be avoided
    - Design Days / design downtown / DXB design all at the same time
    - Al Serkal events at the same time as previous
    - DIFF / Sole DXB

Marta

What was your highlight of Sole Dxb?
I was impressed that there were brands like Dior with cool stuff like the bicycle 

If you could take one item home for free from the event what would it be?
Levi's stuff

What’s one thing the event is missing/could add?
More maker's ideas; more alternative clothing; an ice cream shop!!

Best design feature you saw?
Loved the Japanese posters 

I came away from Sole Dxb thinking…
I was thinking, it was really nice to see younger generations, from all over the world, playing cool, but they need to work a little bit more on the "cool" style


Sophia/sofia

What was your highlight of Sole Dxb?
Probably the entrance. It was amazing

If you could take one item home for free from the event what would it be?
The Dior bicycle. So I can go home with style ahah

What’s one thing the event is missing/could add?
Cooler concerts, but it was good anyway

Best design feature you saw?
It has to be the entrance, it was bright and captured my attention even when I wasn't that close, I was still looking at it

 I came away from Sole Dxb thinking…
Thinking that that was such a cool place, next year I will be there again

Sole Dxb neon Signs
Sole Dxb Neon Signs Tokyo
Just Run
Resident Runners New York City

Of course running is good for you.

We know it first hand, that's why our team Strava is constantly ticking over (proof here).
The health benefits are pretty obvious, and if you run with others you'll understand that it's also good for your soul.

It's also hard, but Urban Running Crews are making it less about the hard and more about the enjoyable. 

Whether it's the group vibes, the emphasis on hanging out pre or post-run, the distinction between a "club" and a "crew", the food, or the intentional silliness factor, Urban Running Crews are about way more than just running.
And that's where they collide with good design - it's about the experience, the community, engagement, fun, and a whole lot of the other nice buzzwords that, make something awesome.
Urband Running Crews are capturing the magic that is 'doing fun things with other people', and you'll find some really great design lessons in the article.

Click through to the full Runners World piece HERE

Maybe it'll inspire you to lace up the sneakers and hit the streets?
 

Lessons in Design from Improv Comedy
Improv comedy Design Slash Blog

 

Life is one giant learning curve and every day offers a new opportunity to pick up new skills, get ahead, master new arts and just be better at whatever it is we love to do.
In the case of Nick Comito, taking up improvisational comedy was the random key to becoming a better designer and in understanding so much of the human element behind what it means to design.

Nicks shares the lessons he learned and some very practical tips in a really interesting article that you can find right HERE

And if the article's not good enough you can always take up improv comedy...

Renata x Copenhagen

 

We're firm believers in the goodness of travel.
Whether it's for work or play we've always got team members coming and going and dosing up on their Vitamin T - it's good for the soul and increases inspiration heaps. It's science.

Renata, one of our designers, recently traveled to Copenhagen for a week of artsy wandering punctuated by good food and cold weather. With a background in interior and furniture design and a city rich in design and art culture the tale of her wanderings is definitely worth a read.

Here's the best bits of Renata x Copenhagen.


The highlight of my trip

The Fredericia Showroom and seeing Ellsworth Kelly’s drawings in person.
Ellsworth Kelly is my favourite artist, his work is so simple and his lines so beautiful.  I was so happy to see his work in person, even if it was just his sketches. 
Fredericia showroom was probably the nicest place I saw in Copenhagen, it's one of my favourite furniture brands and seeing it live was unreal. It's spread across two floors and the space, the furniture, the balcony overlooking the city, and even the staff are all so amazing.

Ellsworth kelly Sketch
Frederica showroom copenhagen
Ellsworth Kelly Sketch

 

The most interesting place I visited

Louisiana Museum and the Botanical Garden. The glass house, in particular, was spectacular, and there are little hidden spots with benches all throughout the gardens.
 

My favourite design/art piece 

David Hockney - Imagining the Grand Canyon.
I'd never seen his work in person and never really had an opinion on his work, but the piece was huge and the colours are so vibrant that you could literally feel the energy coming off it. It actually felt warm sitting in front of it and there was something so positive in the work.

 

Top tips for anyone visiting Copenhagen

Must visits:
- Botanical Garden - a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. 
- Louisiana Museum - amazing location by the sea, Interior and exterior are beautiful. 
- Design Museum - super chaotic but concentrated on furniture and industrial design, which I love.
- Copenhagen Contemporary - Very visual with most of the exhibition projected onto the walls. The space is amazing, right by the sea with this cool little food market next to it.
- Restaurant Honey — super cute, very minimal and a little bit experimental with interesting food. It has very nice branding, so I "borrowed" a menu.
- Cafe Granola - very retro place that makes you feel like you're eating breakfast decades ago.
- Christiania - A small town inside Copenhagen that has its own set of rules. Full of makers and art and craft and it feels like stepping into a hippie commune. Really free spirited and interesting
- Any rooftop but specially Fredericia’s balcony (WOW) - It's stunning because of the views. The whole space is stunning. 

Botanical garden copenhagen
restaurant honey copenhagen
botanical garden copenhagen
restaurant Honey Copenhagen
Botanical garden copenhagen
louisiana museum
Botanical garden copenhagen
Louisianna museum

 

Applying what I learned on my trip, back at Slash

The Danish attention to detail and respect for their environment is impeccable, from small cafes, little concept stores, building facades, museums, parks, even the way they dress. And there are bikes everywhere! Different sizes, shapes, even the ones where you can almost just lay down and peddle...and age doesn’t matter.

Their graphic design is very much based on typography, very similar to German/Swiss design.

Their interiors are full of natural light and wood which is complimented with beautifully selected furniture.
 

copenhagen artweek 2017
Glyptoteket
Glyptoteket
Design Thinking Is...
design thinking.jpeg

Design thinking - legit practice or all hype and no hope?

Whatever your view it's pretty hard to ignore the term and while some designers and design studios embrace the idea, others have a pretty simple take - it's nonsense.

That's why this piece is so good. Written by Christina Wodtke, an initial "it's bullshit" designer who then learned to love design thinking, this is a really solid, practical and understandable unpacking of the term.

READ CHRISTINA'S DESIGN THINKING THOUGHT PIECE HERE

 

And...bonus video! 

Go Use Your Hands
by hand

There is something special about making stuff with your hands.
Computers are good and all, but sometimes going analogue is necessary, both for the creative soul of the maker and the goodness of the final product.

Visual & Interaction Design Lead at IDEO, Jacob Waites, recently posted this piece about why you should use your hands more, and it's worth a read if you're feeling like a little break from the digital world.

READ THE FEATURE HERE THEN GO USE YOUR HANDS!

Shut the Font Up

What you say is important, and the font you use to say it is also incredibly important.

For most people, picking a font is a simple case of what looks good - you scroll through the options, make a choice and move on.

Except it's not really that simple.

As most designers (definitely the ones at Slash) can tell you, there is a pretty deep science behind fonts and typefaces, not just based on visuals, but on how they make you feel.
Yup, they give you the feels, and you can read all about it at the link.

THE SCIENCE BEHIND FONTS

Images You Can Love
Skater

What's the ugliest thing on the internet you ask?

Stock photos.

It's true. They are usually so incredibly cheesy and sterile that using them, and having TO PAY to use them sends a shiver down the spine.

That's why discovering Unsplash was the greatest day in the history of all things Stock Photography related. All the photos on Unsplash are free to use, don't require a license and are crazy beautiful. Yea the database isn't huge but we'll take quality over quantity any day.

Want to make your eyes and your Stock Photo heart happy?
CLICK HERE TO HEAD TO UNSPLASH