Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another reason to visit Guadalajara in October

I just received information about this International Congress on Urbanism: "Reinventar la Metropoli" (Reinventing the Metropolis) organized by Colegio de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico Oct 14-16. Entry is free (yes again! free as in free-beer). You just have to register before it is all booked... and bring your own beer, because that one is not actually free.

Some of the speakers are:

Dra. Judith Rysen (UK), Fundacion Metropoli

Dr. Jordi Borja (Esp), Universida de Oberta de Cataluña

Dr. Thomas K. Wright (USA) Regional Plan Association

Dr. David Amborski
(Can) Ryerson University, Toronto

Dr. Alejandro Echeverri (Col) Medellin

Dr. Alfonso Vegara (Esp) Fundacion Metropoli

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Monday, September 28, 2009


This a great opportunity to showcase your designs for free (Yes, for free!) at the largest design event in Mexico: designfest 09 ... which is like Oktoberfest, I mean, because it will be held next 15-17th October... not because of the beer. Or, you can have the beer or maybe a tequila, while you walk through Expo-Guadalajara. It's up to you.

Anyway, you can send images of your work to: . The organizing committee will decide which projects will be displayed for free (Yes, for free!) on any of the 3 pavilions: furniture, fashion and eco-design. Be quick!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cocoon wins Electrolux Design Lab09

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Die Wettbewerbsteilnahmebedingungen

Originally the title for this post was: "Die Welthabitat-tanz-lessen-ausdrücken-kunst-musik-produktinnovation-entwicklung-wettbewerbteilnahmenbedingungen" but it messed up the CSS formatting... Well, that's not a true German word... it's not even grammatically correct, but sure it got your attention or you wouldn't be reading this. This time I have several announcements to share, let's start in the same order as the title. First, a photo competition:
In support of the University of Auckland’s new partnership with UN-HABITAT (, the University will be celebrating World Habitat Day on Monday 5th of October. World Habitat Day provides us with an opportunity to think about the state of urban settlements at home and around the world. The day aims to increase collective awareness of the human habitat and encourage greater responsibility for its sustainable future. This year’s theme highlights the forces which currently influence the development of the world’s urban settlements, in both developed and developing countries. As the world’s population living in urban areas steadily increases, issues of climate change, poverty, resource depletion, social exclusion, food insecurity and economic instability become more pressing and have the potential to significantly impact on our urban settlements well into the future.In an effort to encourage public participation on this day, the University, with the support of Engineers Without Borders and Architecture for Humanity, is launching a photo competition around this year’s theme, ‘Planning Our Urban Future’. Participants of this competition will generate a creative photographic response to the following question:

‘What are the challenges to creating a sustainable Auckland?’

Contestants are invited to submit a photo with a relevant caption or title highlighting the challenges to creating a sustainable Auckland and suggesting a potential solution to make the city and/or region sustainable for our future generations. Some examples might include, but are not limited to, challenges such as – sustainability, waste, poverty, housing shortage, overcrowding, public transport, accessibility, ecology, renewable energy… and so on. Info and submittions : . (download guidelines)
Then, more or less on the same style, there's a logo competition for an UNESCO initiative called DREAM Centers. (DREAM stands for Dance, Read, Express, Art, Music.)
This competition calls for a logo that represents the DREAM Center program of the UNESCO/Tribute 21 Fund. The logo is intended to be used on the program's stationery, brochures, and collateral materials including possibly in video clips, on signage and on the web. UNESCO/Tribute 21 DREAM Centers is an arts education program for children – DREAM stands for Dance, Read, Express, Art, Music. The project was inaugurated in 2003 with the goal of providing underprivileged children, especially in post-conflict regions, the opportunities and tools to express themselves creatively. Submissions until Nov. 17 via the Design 21-Social Design Network only.
Then, last but not least, there's a PDMA workshop at TEC milenio on new products development, innovation, competitiveness, etc... October 8th, Monterrey, N.L. contact: 01 (81) 10520001, 03, 04 y 05 Lic. Concepción Olivo; Email:

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

DesignFest 2009

Only 4 weeks until DesignFest 2009, the largest design event in Mexico, 15-17 October 2009 at Expo Guadalajara.


1. Alejandro Rodriguez, Diseño Publicitario (México)
2. Jorge y Mario de Anima Estudio, Diseño Animado (México)
3. Anabel, Jorge y Mario de Triveroquio, Diseño e ilustración (México)
4. Beatriz Nieto, Ediciones Digitales Interactivas (México)
5. Luis Eslava, Objetos Extraordinarios (España)
6. Boke Bazan, La ilustración en Valencia (España)
7. Hector Esrawe, Diseño Industrial e Interiorismo (México)
8. Sol Sender, Diseño Ganador (EUA)
9. Ximo Roca, Tendencias en Diseño (España)
10. Manolo Baño, Diseño para el Mundo Real (España)
11. Modesto Granados, Diseño Grafico en la ADCV (España)


1. Hector Esrawe, Nuevas Rutas
2. Anima Estudios, Diseño de Personajes
3. Boke Bazan y Modesto Granados, Tu Alma es mi Portada
4. Luis Eslava, Me la paso el día Ahorrando
5. Mario, Jorge y Anabel, Ilustración: Historias Desplegadas
6. Ximo Roca, Sentados sobre Patas
7. Manolo Baño, Diseño para el Mundo Real

For more information, contact:
(33) 1204-0262 y 3124-0379

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Todos tenemos una historia con Jumex

A (very) long time ago, I wrote about Unilever's Lynx (axe in some countries) deodorants. They may have very good odd-vertising campaigns, but the smell of their fragrances, the graphic design, and the usability of the "trigger" thingy are terrible! I don't know if it works because it's almost a world wide monopoly and people don't have a choice, or because, well, not everyone has good taste.

I'm sorry I didn't post this earlier... this has been in my "to do list" for quite a while. I just didn't had the excuse (or the time) to do it, but the story of the hijacking of a plane with just a couple of Jumex fruit juice cans is just surreal. Of course, being Mexico, the jokes and conspiracy theories if it was just a publicity stunt were immediate. I must admit, that even I did some jokes about that on my facebook status: "it was probably a Broccoli juice he used to threat the pilot".

PZ Cussons - graphite deodorantAnyway, can you imagine what would have happened if instead of broccoli juice cans, he would have used these deodorant cans? Not even Jack Bauer, Samuel Jackson, Harrison Ford, Steven Segal or even all of them together could have handled that! I'm glad to have here PZ Cussons' graphite deodorants, they are just great... not only they smell very nice, the "trigger" thingy is totally ergonomic (shaped so it can be used in any direction with not much effort), and the graphic design is absolutely fantastic! That's exactly how (good) product development should be made. Interesting that "graphite deodorant" has an 8.6% market share in New Zealand, with little or no advertising, compared with the constant bombardment of unilever's ads. This also shows that brands from so called "developing countries" can offer better products than the much larger "first world" corporations, when they put their minds into it. Good on ya' mates! Now, I don't have to worry about women biting my bums when I ride on a bus, bookworms attacking me at the library, a herd of crazy girls chasing me down mission bay, or transvesti raping me on an elevator! What a relief!

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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The Evil Empire got IKEA's soul

Just a few weeks ago, SAAB was recovered from the hands of the amis. Just look at the "all new" 9-5 and how GM turned it into an abomination! It looks like a "pimped" impala. No wonder things were going really bad for GM (and SAAB). Now IKEA has slipped into the hands of the Evil Empire (I'm talking about Microsoft, although King Henry VI would say : "what a coincidence!").

IKEA changed the typeface of their catalogue and advertisements to Microsoft's Verdana from their long time trusted customized Futura font, which has been part of their strong branding for more than 50 years. This change has generated a global outcry... a lot more tweets for Verdana/IKEA than Ted Kenneddy! I don't think they researched the public's reaction, and this could become like the infamous "coca cola classic" story.

I may be wrong, but I remember that the whole issue with the Verdana and Arial typefonts was about copyright. Microsoft had to pay royalties if they wanted to include them in windows. So they asked for something similar for which they could have all proprietary rights. MS argues that their modified typefaces are more legible on computer screens... it may be true, but it's like comparing pepsi with coca-cola (with all due respect to all albañiles). Verdana would be even worse than a pepsi... probably like "home brand" or RC cola! Can you imagine what would happen to McDonald's if they suddenly decided to change to RC cola just to save a few bucks... they would probably go bankrupt in a week! The IKEA Catalog is the 3rd most printed publication in the world after the Bible and Harry Potter, so it is a similar problem with proprietary rights for IKEA, as it was for Microsoft.
“I think it’s safe to say we were surprised by the response,” says IKEA spokeswoman Monika Gocic. In order to avoid expensive licensing costs, in 2001 IKEA abandoned New Century Schoolbook and Futura (which had been in use since 1970) in favor of IKEA Sans, IKEA Serif and IKEA Script which they had had developed for their exclusive use. However, these fonts are not available across all marketing, advertising and information channels, so IKEA was left with inconsistent branding at best.

IKEA states 3 reasons Verdana is the solution:
I'm sorry Mrs. Gocic, but replacing something with a cheaper version, will give "cheaper looking" results most of the time. Just pay the extra bucks, and send copies of the necessary fonts along with the graphic identity manual to your advertising agencies around the globe. It's not like the company owned by the 3rd richest man on earth can't afford it... or does he?

Using the reverse rationale of Microsoft: if they substituded Furura/Helvetica with Verdana/Arial so they could look OK on the old CRT computer screens... it means they are not made for printed media! In fact, they look awful!

And for the love of God, get someone who actually speaks spanish to translate (and correctly accentuate) the spanish catalogue in the US! Or is it that IKEA can't afford that too?

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