Anna Wintour's favorite tennis player, Roger Fedder is now a case-study in personal branding. The tennis icon has emblazoned his shoes, blazers, cuff links, belt buckles (and maybe more) with his "RF" monogram. Holly Brubach of the New York Times writes, The idea for a monogram emerged from the logo that Mirka Vavrinec, now Federer’s wife, and her father developed for his fragrance, RF-Roger Federer, introduced in 2003. The result was a freehand squiggle. If you knew what you were looking at, you saw the R and the F; if you didn’t, you didn’t. (A three-letter monogram was apparently never an option because Federer has no middle name.)Federer liked the approach and suggested that Nike come up with a strategy along the same lines.“For me, it’s important that a fan can buy something that is related to me,” he said. “Like in soccer, you buy a shirt and it’s got somebody’s name on the back. That’s kind of a cool thing.”His intent was that a monogram would offer a connection as direct but not as literal as a team jersey.

We encourage you to check out RF's monogram and add your own thoughts to his design of personal branding. What do you think?

This post on the design blog highlights a new vehicle concept designed by Jameson Klug that combines a motorbike and a car, into one. The motorcycle design if the preferred method of travel when going throw crowded and congested areas, whereas the car concept can be used when going on long trips or hauling cargo. The vehicle can extend itself into a car shell to provide space for another traveler, protection from outdoor elements, or more cargo capacity.

The car also comes complete with an ICE engine, which is 60% more efficient than regular piston engines. This is definitely a vehicle for those eco-friendly minded people.

Noticed anything different about Facebook today? The rounded corners are gone. The corners, which according to The Washington Post, have spurred debate throughout the Facebook team since their inception a few years ago.

Facebook reportedly says, "Since we introduced rounded corners to Facebook, their consistent use has been spotty at best. The corner radii vary, and it sometimes feels arbitrary which corners are rounded and which are not. Additionally, they add an extra layer of complexity to the code (note: IE, please add support for border-radius). As part of the effort to simplify our visual style, the design team recently decided to go back to our square corner roots. In doing so, we hope to champion cleanliness and the razor cut look that Facebook is known for."

Did you see the changes? What do you think?

For those who work in a big city, take NY for example, it can be hard to find a good parking spot. This post on the Design Blog highlights a new concept portable skateboard designed by Alex Hodge which allows for commuters to easily carry this lightweight "shortboard" around. The Shortboard is meant to get commuters from their car to their workplace easily without getting tired.
According to the New York Times, all members of the American Institute of Architects will now be required to take four hours of sustainable design every year. This new rule will extend through the year 2012. The New York Times states that this is the recognition of AIA to continue refreshing their knowledge on the continual knowledge of sustainable construction methods and building materials. Read the full article here.
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Production has begun for FUSE 2010. A top destination for corporate superstars and design legends (Philippe Starck, Karim Rashid and Rem Koolhaas have taken the stage), FUSE reveals extraordinary ideas about design, culture, branding and packaging. The FUSE experience will empower you to connect more meaningfully with your consumers through design and brand strategy.

FUSE Website: http://bit.ly/FUSE_2010
Earthbound Farms, a producer of organic lettuce and other vegetables, has switched its packaging to 100% post consumer recycled PET. The producer will now make all of its packaging from material of recycled soft drink bottles. The article also takes a look at the Earth Balance Gift bag, which is a new gift bag that is recyclable and made out of inorganic mineral powder and the ink is vegetable based. Read the full article here.

Check out this amazing design by Benjamin Shine. The piece, The Space Between Light and Shade is a 3ft x 4ft portrait made of a single length of pressed and pleated tulle fabric.

From Benjamin Shine:

Following an ongoing series of portraits which explore fabric manipulation and construction ideas, Shines latest technique exploits the translucent qualities of tulle fabric to generate various gradients, tones and textures through the intricate pressing and pleating of a single length of the material.

Challenge yourself to create something extraordinary with one line, one segment today.

The Space Between Light and Shade by Benjamin Shine

This post on the design blog highlights a recent drawing of a structure design called the Indian Pavilion which comes from inspiration from an ancient Buddhist monument, the Sanchi Stupa. Combining the trend of solar and wind power, the dome gives a peep of the transition of Indian civilization from ancient to modern times. The dome also provides space for growing Indian herbs serving as an expo center as well.
According to the Associated Press, designers and artists are sought for a mural to be placed at the World Trade Center construction site. Showcased in downtown Manhattan, the mural should reflect the "the vibrancy of the thriving downtown commercial and residential neighborhood."

Designs can be submitted until Oct. 1.

Designs sought for mural on WTC construction fence

Did you know that we have an array of LinkedIn groups that are chocked full of design professionals, futurists, freelancers, industry leaders and more? We'd love it if you looked at the list below and joined us in one or a few of our groups.

We promise worthwhile discussion, exclusive discounts and a great opportunity to network and showcase your talents.

Looking forward to your participation on the discussion boards!

Future Trends

Connect with fellow trend hunters, corporate visionaries and future thinkers representing a diverse cross section of industries including Marketing, Brand/Product Management, Consumer Insights, Strategic Planning, Product Development, Innovation, Forecasting, Future Strategy, and Trend Tracking.

Front End of Innovation

This is a group for innovators and individuals who are constantly seeking to innovate and are interested on the front end of innovation. All industries are represented and any professional who is interested in or responsible for innovation is welcome to participate.

Edge of Marketing Group

A networking group that encompasses all aspects of marketing trends, brand strategy and the future of marketing as we consider the unique expectations of each demographic segment.

This post on The Design Blog highlights a new invention called the "Solar Pileus" which might help combat global warming. This helium gas balloon stays afloat during the day, helping to cover the earth from direct sunlight. This balloon is also able to absorb solar energy, which it can then use to light up a room at night. The floating balloon is available in different colors, also revealing a style statement.

The New York Times Magazine will soon turn five years old. In honor of their birthday, the editors decided to showcase a retrospective of their designs for the letter "T." Because the "T" in Times is so ubiquitous, its very difficult to change the shape; so the graphic designers decided to work with texture, gradients and effects to switch up the stalwart letter "T." Check out the retrospective here. As an assignment to yourself, redesign the "T," keeping the integrity of the shape but adding in your own touch.

We'd love to see your examples! Tweet or post here.

Times Warp | A Retrospective of T’s
If you're looking for a great way to brush up your Photoshop skills, check out one of the tutorials over at blog.spoongraphics.uk. Their most recent tutorial draws from the U2 Blackberry ads. Learn new techniques and even add another great photo to your portfolio. Any other great tutorials out there to share?



The music producer Mark Ronson, who not only sports famous siblings (Charlotte and Samantha) will soon be sporting Gucci sneakers--which he designed. Telegraph.co.uk reports that Ronson collaborated with Gucci creating a design that consists of 16 men’s styles and two women’s styles incorporating classic Gucci design signatures, such as the GG logo and a stylized version of the iconic Gucci red and green web detail. The sneakers will also come with silver or gold metal dog tags attached, with customers having the option to purchase customized leather dog tags with their initials on the laces.

For the the sneaker aficionados out there--will you be be collecting Ronson's new design? As a designer, how would you have collaborated with Gucci? We'd like to hear your thoughts on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Vandelay Design recently pulled together a collection of online magazine designs. The design has become particularly popular. Which one do you relate to the most?

Ulster Grocer


Pousta
See all of the designs here.

University of Waterloo in Canada recently performed a study and found that design elements and color are being used by tobacco companies to lull smokers into a false sense of security about the harmful effects of smoking. Many smokers flock to natural cigarettes thinking that the reduced amount of additives can prove to be a healthier alternative to more mainstream cigarettes; the clever modern packaging also relays this belief.

The Canadian study involved cigarette packets that were specifically designed and presented in pairs to some 600 adult smokers and non-smokers, who were then asked questions about what they thought the content of the packets would be like.

The researchers found that around 80 percent of participants in the study believed that cigarettes in a light blue packet would deliver less tar, have a smoother taste and pose less of a danger to health than those in darker blue packaging.

As designers what elements would you put on cigarette packaging that would properly relay their hazards? Alternatively, what other elements about the packaging make cigarette buyers think that the contents are safer?


Cigarette packets dupe smokers by design: study

Paraplegics are often deprived of physical sporting activities, but according to this post on The Design Blog Israeli designer Etay Amir has invented a kite surfing board named "Soul" that might just allow physically challenged people to be involved in thrilling sports. The board features a specialized seat that allows the user to comfortably rest their body and to provide support for the ride. It is powered by wind, so it requires minimal strength for riders. This apparatus will help bring some happiness for many paraplegics out there.

Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press Writer has the enviable task of covering what looks to be an amazing show,"Bauhaus — A Conceptual Model." So popular, the show has already drawn 17,000 visitors since it opened last week.

About Bauhaus:

Shaped by its three directors Walter Gropius, Hannes Meyer and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the Bauhaus school was formed in 1919 in Weimar to transcend the divisions that had separated arts and crafts, and emphasize a new modern aesthetic that could also be mass-produced.

World-famous teachers such as Vasily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger, Paul Klee or Oskar Schlemmer also put their imprint on the 1,250 students who were enrolled in the 14 years of the school's existence.

According to the slogan "People's necessities, not luxuries," which was coined by Meyer, the "Bauhausers" created articles of daily use such as tea sets, chairs or set tables that could be afforded by all.

Pictures and models of landmark structures like the Bauhaus school building in Dessau, the flat roof homes of the school's master teachers, as well as an entire Bauhaus complex in Berlin Bernau that served as a school for a German trade union, catch visitors' eyes with their unadorned surfaces and clear lines.


With the anniversary of Bauhaus, what comparisons are we seeing with contemporary art and design and the Bauhaus movement?


Bauhaus anniversary show draws design lovers to Berlin
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