Category Archives: graphic design

Design Calls from the Design Research Society

31 October – 1 November 2018 – Whats Going On? A Discourse on Fashion,
Design & Sustainability


Centre for Sustainable Fashion is proud to announce it will be hosting
the 6th edition of the Global Fashion Conference, taking place at
University of the Arts London, London College of Fashion on the 31st
October and 1st November 2018, with the aim of stimulating the
international debate around fashion, design and sustainability through
the lens of design thinking and practice, and coinciding with the
celebration of CSFs 10th anniversary.

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The typology of Design Sprints

In this talk from ProductTank San Francisco, Kai Haley (Lead of Design Relations and the Google Sprint Master Academy) and Burgan Shealy (UX Design Lead at Google) share insights into what are the different types of design sprints, and various ways they can be crafted to meet a team’s goals and needs.

At its core, a design sprint is a tool for answering a critical business question through design prototyping and testing with users. The goal is to ensure that you are building the right things for your customers.

What Kinds of Problems can you Solve With a Design Sprint?

This process can be applied to many different needs, from generating a vision for a new product, or redesigning a specific feature or flow for an existing product, to improving a process or defining a brand.

A design sprint can allow the team to take a fresh look at a wide landscape of possibilities, discover and prioritize different solutions to a problem in a fast, iterative way. When possibilities seem too wide to move forward, a sprint can help prioritize and test out what one of the directions might look like “in action”.

Design Sprint Types

In this talk you’ll learn about four different sprints and hear examples on how Google uses them to solve critical problems for companies like Headspace, Google Home Services, Baewindow, or for non-profit companies such as Doctors Without Borders or Tangerine Tutor.

The Typology of Design Sprints at ProductTank SF

  1. Product Sprint – this is one of the most popular methods, and is used to solve challenges like improving the onboarding experience for new users, identifying critical user journeys to understand breakpoints, or generating and testing ideas for new features in order to increase engagement.
  2. Process Sprint – this method can be used to improve the process for hiring new employees, define the process for rolling out a new tool, or simplify the process for approving new project.
  3. Vision Sprint – a fun and creative way to solve critical problems such as: creating a vision to help homeowners fix problems in their home, defining a new product offering for two years from now in IoT, exploring opportunities around the needs of children and technology.
  4. Moonshot sprints – these give you the opportunity to innovate and reimagine your product or service, helping you to make space to explore something that might not necessarily be on your roadmaps. You may be re-imagining how people shop for food, exploring ways to build customer loyalty, or even discovering new models for monetization.

Whatever your challenge is, these methods are a great toolbox you can use and adjust to meet your needs. They allow you to look at a problem with 360 degree view, get alignment for your product & business perspective, and bring your team together to determine where you want your product to go in the future.

Designing for and Teaching Accessibility

To raise awareness and provide specific examples of ways to incorporate principles of accessibility into professional practice and design education, Design Incubation and AIGA/New York is inviting a group of scholars, practitioners and industry leaders to discuss accessible digital design and its relevance to the New York design community.

A morning panel discussion will provide a venue for experts to share their knowledge and an optional afternoon workshop will promote understanding of basic accessibility issues, concepts and best practices.

At a minimum, criteria for success of a designed product, service or experience should be its usability by everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Since digital access is a Civil Right covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act, the question of usability and access are now as important to digital and interactive designers as to those who produce products and physical artifacts.

“Inclusive design” theory and practice are becoming the norm with companies increasingly expecting employees to know the common standards and specifications for accessible interfaces which are used by people with disabilities (and meet legally mandated ADA compliance standards). Unfortunately, even as progress has been made in industry, teaching digital accessibility is rarely part of design curriculum or undergraduate course work.

For more information, see

All are welcome, but this workshop will be most useful for designers and educators who are less familiar with best practices around accessible design and want to learn more about how to practice and/or teach inclusive digital access and interactive design/graphic design/visual communications.

Saturday, 14 April 2018
10:00-4:00 pm
General Assembly, New York City

9:45AM-10:00AM Attendee check-in

10:00AM-12:00PM Panel Discussion
Bo Campbell is an Interaction Designer and Accessibility Design Lead at IBM.

Elizabeth Guffey teaches art and design history at SUNY Purchase. She is author of several books, including Designing Disability: Symbols, Spaces and Society

Liz Jackson is the founder of the Inclusive Fashion & Design Collective, a disability design organization that is focused on increasing the impact of beautiful, functional products in our everyday lives and in the global economy.

Neil Ward is currently an Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Drake University.

1:00PM-4:00PM Workshop (limited space)
Integrating Accessibility Workshop:
Inclusive Design Methodologies and Practice
Bo Campbell, Accessibility Design Lead for IBM, will conduct a workshop on accessible design while focusing on disability as a design challenge.

How to encourage diversity in the design industry from CB

Read the article at Creative Bloq



Illustrations by Guillaume Kashima


Level up your design skills with Compass of Design

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Learn how to market your skills and improve your craft at COMPASS DESIGN

Billion-dollar graphic design baby: Canva becomes Australia’s unicorn

Canva, a Sydney-based graphic design start-up, has become Australia’s latest tech “unicorn”, after closing a funding round valuing its operations at $US1 billion ($1.3 billion).

The company on Tuesday announced it had raised $US40 million from investors including the Chinese arm of vaunted Silicon Valley investment firm Sequoia Capital and existing shareholders Blackbird Ventures and Felicis Ventures.

Sydney-based Melanie Perkins has turned her graphic design start-up into a billion dollar business.

Co-founder Melanie Perkins said the company was profitable and didn’t need the money but was offered terms too good to refuse.

The startup, whose apps help advertisers and companies create banners, logos and presentations, plans to double its workforce of 250 staff over the next year, she added.

“It’d be crazy not to take it,” she said.

“We can grow our team as rapidly as we can and know that we’ve got the financial backing to make those decisions very easily.”

Canva’s latest round of funding makes it a ‘unicorn’, a private company valued at $US1 billion or more. That’s a rare startup success for Australia’s technology scene: only eight of its listed technology companies are worth more than $US1 billion compared with 18 companies in metals and mining alone, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

In December, Melbourne based construction software firm Aconex agreed to be acquired by software giant Oracle for $1.6 billion.

In a column for Fairfax Media in 2015, Perkins said the idea for the company came to her while teaching at university in 2006. She also made the 2017 Young Rich List, with an estimated net worth of $128 million.

Canva’s shareholder register is literally star-studded. It has previously attracted funding from Hollywood stars Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson and Lars Rasmussen of Google Maps and Wave fame, who Perkins said played a key role in the growth of the company.

“The second day I went to San Francisco, I pitched him the idea for Canva​, literally on paper pitch decks,” Perkins said.

We can grow our team as rapidly as we can and know that we’ve got the financial backing to make those decisions very easily

Canva co-founder Melanie Perkins

“Fortunately rather than thinking I was crazy, he helped us comb over resumes of all the people that were trying to get into our tech team, and he rejected every last one of them,”

According to Canva’s website, the service has more than 10 million users, who upload photos or select stock images and use preset filters and fonts to customise designs. It also links with printing providers who can create actual physical banners and displays.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes.

Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes. Photo: Josh Robenstone

According to financial records lodged with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Canva more than tripled revenue to $23.5 million and narrowed after-tax losses to $3.3 million in the 12 months ended June 2017.

“What this round really enables us to do is to have the jet power just to do absolutely anything that we need to do to make Canva awesome,” she said.


Pinnacles of Innovation: Top Awards Programs for New Products

Are your products winning design, innovation, or breakthrough awards?

Dozens of companies and awards programs recognize new product innovations. The following five stand out. All five competitions are global with equal access. Any size company can afford to enter. Only products ready for commercial sale may compete. Achievement of any level of recognition is rewarded in the marketplace.

R&D 100 Awards: Since 1962, R&D Magazine has honored the top 100 innovations each year. The awards program encompasses five areas: mechanical devices/materials; IT/electrical; analytical/test; process/prototyping; and software/services. Additionally, a number of special recognition awards are bestowed for market-disrupting services, market-disrupting products, corporate social responsibility, and green tech. The key criterion for winning is technological significance. Judges from industry, services, and academia award points to each innovation, with the top 100 scores making the list. Notable among the 2017 winners and Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (9).

The International Design Excellence Awards: Since 1980, theIndustrial Designers Society of America has been giving out Gold, Silver, and Bronze IDEA awards. IDEA awards span many industries and disciplines including: commercial products; entertainment; home goods; and social impact designs. Additionally, there are personal recognition awards and special awards for individuals and companies, respectively, and several more. The key criteria to win are design innovation, user experience, client benefit, society benefit, and appropriate aesthetics. Nearly three dozen members of the jury make the decisions. There were 25 Gold, 52 Silver, and 64 Bronze Winners in 2017. Gold winners are housed in a permanent collection at the Henry Ford Museum.

Edison Awards: Since 1987, Edison Universe has been giving out Gold, Silver, and Bronze Edison Awards in 16 categories ranging from applied technology to consumer goods to health and wellness, and transportation and logistics. There’s also an Annual Edison Achievement award, which was won this year by the CEO of Lockheed Martin. The key criteria to win, each of which has three to four sub-criteria, are: concept, value, delivery, and impact. Nearly 135 people compose a nominations committee that makes recommendations to a 25-person steering committee, and it decides the winners. There were 45 Gold, 45 Silver, and 47 Bronze Winners in 2017 across the 16 categories.

Breakthrough Innovation Awards: Since 2008, Nielsen has recognized breakthrough innovations in consumer products. Only a few awards are given out each year. There were 18 Winners in 2017. Since inception, Nielsen has awarded only 110 U.S. products and 198 globally out of over 30,000 entries. The hurdles are quite high. First, the product must be distinctive and deliver a new value proposition to the market. Second, it has to have generated more than $50 million in its first year of U.S. sales. Lastly, it has to have generated more than 90% of year-one sales in year two. Both the size and longevity of achievement differentiate it from other new-product innovation awards.

CES Innovation Awards: Since 2015, the Consumer Technology Association has recognized innovative consumer electronics products. There are 28 award categories including 3D printing, cybersecurity, gaming, VR and AR, and smart homes and cities, and two award levels, Honorees and Best of Innovations. The key criteria to win include: engineering qualities; aesthetic design; intended use/function and user value, uniqueness/novelty; and comparative analysis to same-space products. Each category is judged by a three-member team composed of an industrial designer, an engineer, and a member of the trade press. Because everyone likes an award, there are oodles of Honorees. But, to win Best of Innovation in a specific category, products must exceed a minimum number of points. Thirty-six winnerswere chosen this year across the 28 categories.

Edison announces its award winners in the spring, Nielsen in early summer, IDSA in late summer, R&D 100 in the fall, and CES in January.

Are you planning to compete in 2018?

From Machine Design – Author Bradford Goldense

Also visit:

RedDot / IF / A Design Award / Core77 /