The Baltimore Sun recently looked at the inefficiencies in certain products when it comes to package design. How can the designers of such basic staples such as tooth paste and lotion create new designs in order to help consumers use as much of their product as they can instead of leaving it in the bottle. The Baltimore Sun reports as much as 25% of lotion and 13% of toothpaste are often left in their containers.

While it is up to package designers to help design packaging that helps consumers get as much as possible out of the product, it's also important that consumers make a conscious effort to use whole containers of products. Is there a way consumers and packagers could work together to improve the packaging?

Nick Eaton of Seattlepi.com writes that Yahoo's new branding campaign is a plan to not only highlight its search engine capabilities; but, highlight its other online services throughout the Y!ou campaign. Eaton writes that this isn't a surprise, considering Yahoo gave up control of its search technology when it struck a deal with Microsoft in July.

As Yahoo moves to become more of a "lifestyle engine," we're wondering what exactly will be the point of Yahoo. What will it bring for Y!ou, other than a fresh, new branding campaign? If Yahoo! doesn't offer something different than Bing or Google they may ultimately put the "Y" in "yawn."

We'd like to know what you think.

This recent post on The Design Blog showcases a new vehicle concept designed by Alexei Mikhailov dubbed "VW Pholeum" that caters to transportation needs of a metropolitan city. This futuristic vehicle fits one single passenger, and it runs on wheels which are made of bio-degradable rubber. The concept car generates power from electric motors and it supported by hydrogen fuel cells. This might be the future of sustainable vehicles.
Michael Rogers
Author
Columnist, MSNBC

Michael Rogers is Futurist-in-Residence for The New York Times and an interactive media pioneer, novelist and journalist. He also writes the popular Practical Futurist column for MSNBC.

For ten years he was vice president of The Washington Post Company's new media division, helping guide both the newspaper and its sister publication Newsweek into the new century, as well as serving as editor and general manager of Newsweek.com. His New York-based consultancy, Practical Futurist® works with both startups and major media companies, and he writes a column of the same name for MSNBC.

Rogers is also a best-selling novelist whose fiction explores the human impact of technology. His five books have been published worldwide, optioned for film and television, and chosen by the Book of the Month Club.

After a decade as a writer for Rolling Stone, Rogers co-founded Outside magazine. He then joined Newsweek to create the magazine's Technology section, covering topics ranging from Chernobyl and genetic engineering to computers and the Internet, earning numerous journalism awards for his work.

In 1993 he produced the world's first CD-ROM newsmagazine for Newsweek, described in the media as a prototype for interactive television, going on to develop interactive areas on Prodigy, America Online and then a series of Internet sites including the award-winning Parents’ Guide to Children’s Software, which also appeared in CD-ROM and book form. In 1999 he received a patent for the bimodal spine, a multimedia storytelling technique, and is listed in Who’s Who in Science and Engineering.

Rogers is a frequent guest on radio and television and regularly addresses audiences worldwide, ranging from venture capitalists and corporate executives to educators, students and the general public. In 1989 he was founding chairperson of the European Technology Roundtable, an annual CEO gathering, which he continues to moderate along with the newer Asian Technology Roundtable.

Rogers studied physics and creative writing at Stanford University with additional training in finance and management at Stanford Business School’s Executive Program. He lives in New York and is at work on his next novel.

Join Michael at this year's Future Trends 2009 where he will be presenting,"The Virtualization of America" at 8:45am on Wednesday, November 4th.

Future Trends 2009: http://bit.ly/B9Gsc
Brochure: http://bit.ly/1oAN3t
Registration: http://bit.ly/6M8Ry


Biography courtesy of Premiere Speakers

This post on the Design Blog highlights how BMW Group DesignworksUSA not only designs elegant automobiles, but now they have a collection of street furniture that matches the elegance and precision of autos. The "Metro40" features very smooth curves which not only offer comfort to visitors but also improves landscape. What do you think of the furniture?
In the New York Times, Klaus Bischoff, who is responsible for the design of the VW brand, reveals that Volkswagon will begin manufacturing cars specifically for America. All cars in production now are built for European roads. They have begun work on one car, which will be introduced in 2011, in their factories in Tennessee. Another goal of theirs is to keep increasing the power of their cars while taking extra steps to make them more environmentally friendly. Read the full article here.
YMME AND KMME PRESENT: Create NEXT NOW

Future forward practices for connecting deeply with the Modern Family Unit by translating needs and trends into new business opportunities
May 10-12, 2010
Chicago, IL

The Institute for International Research is excited to announce that production of the YMME AND KMME PRESENT: Create NEXT NOW conference s underway. We will be reviewing presentation submissions until September 21st – space is limited so please submit your ideas TODAY! This three-day event is the destination for those looking to reach all segments of the modern, young family – moms, dads, kids, tweens and teens. Showcasing what’s next in these markets in terms of shopper behavior, interests, and the latest in market research, marketing, trends and innovation, the conference will bring together corporate best practices and gurus to facilitate understanding and connecting with these focused segments.

Your Opportunity
We are currently recruiting corporate practitioners to share unique ideas, perspectives and case studies related to future trends. Got a good story to tell? Have a provocative perspective that needs to be shared? I’m interested in hearing from you.

Session topics include but are not limited to:
• Youths and Parents: Shopping Habits and Behaviors
• Trends in the Future of Social Media
• Integrating New Trends into Traditional Products to Grow Your Brand
• How is the Family Dynamic Changing?
• What’s New in Green?
• Parent to Friend: The Changing Parent/Millennial Relationship
• Cutting Edge Trends: What’s Next?

Submission Guidelines & Deadline
For consideration, please e-mail Amy Kritzer at akritzer@iirusa.com with the following information by Monday, September 21st:
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
• Title of presentation
• Brief overview of the presentation (1 paragraph plus 3 – 5 key audience “takeaways): Please write this with the knowledge that if your proposal is selected, this description will be printed in the brochure
• Previous conference presentations and/or brief speaker biography

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in Create NEXT NOW!

All the best,
Amy Kritzer
Senior Conference Producer
Marketing and Business Strategy Division
Institute for International Research
akritzer@iirusa.com
Achieving Customer Relevance
Strategies for Connecting Lifestyles within Life Stages
May 10-12, 2010
Chicago, IL

The Institute for International Research is excited to announce that production of the Achieving Customer Relevance conference is underway. We will be reviewing presentation submissions until September 21st – space is limited so please submit your ideas TODAY! This three-day event is the destination those looking to understand how to reach targeted life styles and stages. From the segmentation to the marketing, explore best practices for pinpointing innovative ways to deeply connect with profitable segments, growing segments and new segments to maximize lifetime value and achieve sustainable growth.

Your Opportunity
We are currently recruiting corporate practitioners to share unique ideas, perspectives and case studies related to future trends. Got a good story to tell? Have a provocative perspective that needs to be shared? I’m interested in hearing from you.

Session topics include but are not limited to:
• Transition in Life Stage: How Your Customer Evolves
• Breaking into New Life Stages without Alienating Your Consumer Base
• Products Across Life Stages- Which Ones Succeed and Why?
• Common Threads and Differences in Specific Segments
• Creating an Authentic Message to Build Loyalty for Life
• The Spread of Technology through Life Stages
• Keeping Your Product Relevant as Your Consumer Ages
• Trends in Social Media and Technology

Submission Guidelines & Deadline
For consideration, please e-mail Amy Kritzer at akritzer@iirusa.com with the following information by Monday, September 21st:
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail
• Title of presentation
• Brief overview of the presentation (1 paragraph plus 3 – 5 key audience “takeaways): Please write this with the knowledge that if your proposal is selected, this description will be printed in the brochure
• Previous conference presentations and/or brief speaker biography

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in Achieving Customer Relevance!

All the best,

Amy Kritzer
Senior Conference Producer
Marketing and Business Strategy Division
Institute for International Research
akritzer@iirusa.com
As a valued Next Big Design reader, we’re pleased to offer you a $400 price break for you to join us this November 2-4 for the 2009 Future Trends Conference when you register by 9/14. We encourage you to grab this temporary offer and give yourself the gift of provocative thought, unmatched networking and exclusive case studies with trend leaders and future thinkers.

If you can't sign up by Monday, you can still save 20% off the standard rate by mentioning priority code LINKEDINFT.

These offers cannot be combined.

Event Page: http://bit.ly/1aibU9
Brochure: http://bit.ly/E887Q
Speakers: http://bit.ly/18gdTR
Registration: http://bit.ly/2abs7v

Marketing guru Seth Godin has recently touted the book, No Impact Man by Future Trends 2009 keynote speaker Colin Beavan. Beavan and his family lived no-impact for one year, and in doing this he discovered for himself how the future of green is the future of being happy. Now he writes and administers the provocative environmental blog No Impact Man, which has become a meeting point for discussion of environmental issues from a “deep green” perspective.

Beavan was named one of MSN’s Ten Most Influential Men of 2007 and was named an Eco-Illuminator in Elle Magazine’s 2008 Green Awards. His blog No Impact Man was named one of the world’s top 15 environmental websites by Time Magazine. He was named a 2008 Eco-Star by New York City’s Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Beavan’s Blog: http://bit.ly/R9JuG
Excerpt from the book: http://bit.ly/TOVUb
_________________________________________________________

Americans flocked to the government program, Cash for Clunkers this year helping the automotive industry see a glimmer of hope during this rough economic climate. Topping the list of success stories from the program was Toyota who will be present at this year’s conference. Join us at 2:35 on Tuesday November 3 for a presentation with Toyota Motor Sales product planning executive, Todd David Blickenstaff.

Within large organizations such as Toyota, numerous departments identify and monitor trends that will have serious consequences for the business. Blickenstaff’s presentation will cover:

• How the Cross Car Line team follows technology and pricing trends to make planning decisions for multimedia
• How Product Planning identifies social trends in support of developing vehicles such as Prius and iQ

You’ll learn:

• Methods and resources for identifying significant trends
• The importance of monitoring a trend and distinguishing from a fad
• How to take action to capitalize on trends

Date: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Time: 2:00 - 3:00 PM EDT

Here is the latest free web seminar from our innovation series which is taking place on Wednesday, September 16 from 2:00-3:00pm EDT. It is being led by Bob Langert, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility, McDonald’s. Here's a brief description of the web seminar:

Learn from Bob Langert, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility about McDonald’s eco-innovation journey, specifically highlighting their current focus on sustainable supply chain management practices. Bob delivers:

• Lessons learned from various NGO/academic collaborations
• Experiences with what has worked and not worked
• Tips about communicating internally and externally

Bob joined McDonald’s in 1983, with management positions in logistics and packaging purchasing in the 80s; and responsibilities for environment, energy management, animal welfare, Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, emerging issues’ management, and, most recently, social responsibility in the 90’s through today. His current responsibilities with McDonald’s include:

• Social responsibility efforts, including McDonald’s social responsibility reporting
• Global environmental management systems and issues
• Global supply chain issues (e.g., sustainable agriculture, biotechnology, animal agricultural and animal welfare programs)
• Issues management
• Part of McDonald’s “Balanced, Active Lifestyles” team

Register here: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/727121753


This web seminar is brought to you by:

Colin Beavan, PhD
AKA No Impact Man
Author, writer, blogger,


As the news stories go: “Colin Beavan is a liberal schlub who got tired of listening to himself complain about the world without ever actually doing anything about it…” Thus, in November, 2006, Beavan launched a year-long project in which he, his wife, his two-year-old daughter and his four-year-old dog went off the grid and attempted to live in the middle of New York City with as little environmental impact as possible.

The point of the project was to experiment with ways of living that might both improve quality of life and be less harmful to the planet. It also provided a narrative vehicle by which to attract broad public attention to the range of pressing environmental crises including: food system sustainability, climate change, water scarcity, and materials and energy resource depletion.

Beavan’s experiment in lifestyle redesign is the subject of his book (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) and a Sundance-selected documentary by independent film producers Laura Gabbert (Sunset Story, Getting to Know You) and Eden Wurmfeld (The Hammer, Puccini for Beginners, Kissing Jessica Stein). Both the book and the documentary will be released in September, 2009. Columbia Pictures also plans to make a feature film (produced by Todd Black) based on the book.

Beavan writes and administers the provocative environmental blog NoImpactMan.Com, which has become a meeting point for discussion of environmental issues from a “deep green” perspective. In addition to some 2,500 daily visitors and 4,000 daily page views, the site has 10,000 email and “newsreader” subscribers. About 1.8 million people have visited the blog since he established it a year and a half ago.

Beavan was named one of MSN’s Ten Most Influential Men of 2007 and was named an Eco-Illuminator in Elle Magazine’s 2008 Green Awards. His blog NoImpactMan.com was named one of the world’s top 15 environmental websites by Time Magazine. He was named a 2008 Eco-Star by New York City’s Lower East Side Ecology Center.

Visit Steven's No Impact Man Website

Read an excerpt from Steven's book

Colin will be presenting "To Hell With Sustainability: Why Aim for Less Bad When We All Want More Good?" at this year's Future Trends Conference in Miami, taking place November 2-4.

Bio courtesy of No Impact Man webpage

Cameron Sinclair of The Huffington Post reports today that America's classrooms are undergoing a huge design change thanks to President Obama and a new design competition. The 2009 Open Architecture Challenge, a biennial design competition, brought together more that 7000+ K-12 students, teachers and building professionals to work on upgrading and expanding their learning environments into innovative, cost-effective and sustainable classrooms for the future. This morning, an hour before the President takes the stage, a small independent non-profit school in Victor, Idaho (pop. 1200) will be holding their own special 'back to school' assembly to celebrate winning this international competition. The school, the Teton Valley Community School, receives $50,000 to help fund their new classroom and the winning design team, Section Eight [Design], is awarded $5,000 to help implement the scheme.

Check out the winners and finalists here.

Challenge Winner: Teton Valley Community School, Victor, Idaho, USA designed by Section Eight [design], Victor, Idaho, USA

Founders' Award: The Corporacion Educativa y Social Waldorf, Bogota, Colombiadesigned by Arquitectura Justa, Bogota, Colombia

Best Urban Classroom Upgrade Design: Rumi School of Excellence, Hyderabad, Indiadesigned by IDEO, San Francisco, CA, USA

Best Rural Classroom Design: Building Tomorrow Academy, Wakiso and Kiboga, Ugandadesigned by Gifford LLP, London, UK

Best Re-locatable Classroom Design: Druid Hills High School, Georgia, USA designed by Perkins and Will, Georgia, USA

At The Die Line, they look at the design of Tripple Red of a carton of milk. They strived for the simplicity of milk, and looked to go enviornmentally friendly with it as well. So by using a single color they were able to capture the old-time feel milk along with the simplicity of the product.


The big font news this week is that IKEA, the Swedish goods retailer popular with dorms and starter apartments has now switched their company font to Verdana. The font change is said to be applicable to online and print platforms; however, I'm a little skeptical that the design decision was based entirely on cost.

In an interview with the Swedish design magazine Cap & Design, IKEA’s Ivana Hrdlickova says the main reason for the switch was to allow the company to use the same typeface in all countries (current IKEA typefaces do not contain Asian characters, for example). Being that Verdana was designed for the web, it also allows the company’s image to remain consistent online and in print.

How much a font designer will charge for this project? Those of you in the field know that this cost can be hefty; and although IKEA is fairing well in a down market, they may be looking to cut corners wherever possible. What's particularly troubling about it, is on a bigger level IKEA may be now, instead of theory, catering to the masses in a condescending manner. It says, "Oh you want, cheap with no thought--here you go!" In a way, IKEA is thumbing its nose at its customers, which can--and should--alienate them.

TIME magazine reports, The main complaint that online protesters have, though, is that the newly adopted font is plain ugly. Especially when it's enlarged to, say, the size of a catalogue headline. Or worse yet, a billboard.

The Guardian writes, Should we care about these things as much as type designers do? I believe we should, and not just because in my experience type designers tend to be wise souls. If everything looked like a front page of the Times from 1950, then we may as well all still be living in black-and-white. And beyond the risk of homogeneity, there is emotion. Used well, type design defines mood, and how we think about everything we see. It can make us think seriously or frivolously; it can guide us effortlessly, or it can entertain us viscerally.

So what's the final verdict from you, our faithful design readers? Do you think the decision was warranted or will it prove to be an image nightmare for the retailer?


Here are some viewpoints from around the web:


This post on The Design Blog highlights a unique design for a wheelchair for the disabled that accumulates electricity during the day while it is being used and lights up at night. This is extremely useful because it can be increasingly dangerous and risky for the disabled to get around at night when it is dark. This also promotes a green lifestyle by conserving green energy.
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