great branding often comes from unexpected places. in fact, the best branding i've seen this year was at a wedding! more on that soon.

today i wanted to share a beautiful branding project from an unexpected source: a cyclist.

this spring mark beaumont will be riding from cairo to capetown in the hopes of setting a cycling world record - a 100,000 kilometer-long ride. the proceeds from this ride, which he is calling africa solo, will go to orkidstudio, an organization that works to benefit kids and communities through innovative design and construction.

beaumont asked design studio o street to design a logo that could capture the spirit of this amazing undertaking. take a look at the process and sketches below and the inspired idea to combine mark's profile and the continent of africa into the branding of this amazing adventure.

africa solo
africa solo
africa solo
africa solo


thought this project was pretty special.

it's called "in pieces" and is described as "a CSS-based interactive exhibition celebrating evolutionary distinction." it is an interactive exhibition turned study of 30 of the world’s most interesting but unfortunately endangered species, the idea being that their survivals are literally in pieces. the project teaches about these species through facts and video that are *beautifully* built into the site. also, i love the idea of a digital exhibit and the ability to take your time with each piece of content.

the other component of this is that it's a code and design experiment. the project plays with css polygons, pushing traditional uses of code by using coordinates to design triangles which make up the animals. so all of the objects are made up of triangles that are created using only code. so cool.

in pieces poster

they cover the stories of 30 endangered species. the topic is important and the design and user experience is stunning. i really encourage you to click through and take a look at how they designed the user experience of the site but let me show you a couple of my favorites.

In Pieces
In Pieces
In Pieces
In pieces
In Pieces
In Pieces


i wanted to share a little reading on how bringing art and design into more stairwells could actually encourage us to use the stairs more often. i've talked before about the importance of adding art and design into everyday spaces and this is yet another example of how thoughtful design can enhance our lives - and maybe even improve our health!

art in stairs

from the article:

"on average, american adults gain about a pound a year, but some research (PDF) has suggested that just two additional minutes of stair-climbing a day could prevent that gain... design can play an important role in encouraging this, especially in subsidized housing developments where many avoid stairwells that are dirty, dark, and sometimes unsafe."

“with active design we want to entice people to be physically active but we want to make it in a way that’s desirable... humans are stimulated by trees, shade, dappled light, scale of the sidewalks, and perceived safety. understanding all this adds a layer of information for designers and planners.”

more here.


google has been collecting some great content over on think with google. i especially liked this piece by rei inamoto, from AKGA, about how marketers need to think about mobile.

he says that while the specific devices and behaviors around mobile will continue to evolve, there are three essential principles or questions to consider when building mobile products: is it portable? is it personal? is it perpetual?

"1. portable: your idea must be able to go where the user goes. if it can’t follow the user through his or her day, it's not mobile.

2. personal: the promise of digital was always and will always be its potential for personalization. your idea must cater to the individual needs and desires of every user—and the experience must be unique to her.

3. perpetual: your idea has to stand the test of time—24 hours a day, 365 days a year—because mobile is always on. the first thing you reach for in the morning is probably a mobile device. at the office. on your lunch break. curled up on your couch at home. even when you're sleeping, your mobile device is with you and on."

we often talk about the 4 P's of marketing: product, price, place and promotion; these 3 P's of mobile seem like a timely addition to that framework.

inamoto also shares five great examples of companies bringing his “3 P’s” to life in everything from textbooks to makeup and backseat driving. my favorite is the one below, txtbks. this is a company that wants to make textbooks more accessible to children in the philippines by making school books accessible via text (!) on old analog mobile phones.



i wanted to share these three beautiful posters created for WWF india. the series, animal trees, uses trees to create the shapes of endangered animals and aims to emphasize that wildlife and the environment are interconnected. like this piece, i love how they were able to convey so much with so little.

trees and panda
trees as bear
trees as hippo

via minimalissimo


this image really caught my eye. it's amazing how powerful a message it conveys with so little. and i appreciate that you have to look at it for a minute before you see all of the layers in the design. did you realize he was giving the middle finger (f*$k landmines) at first?

this poster is by colombian designer victor manuel barrera and one of 122 posters featured in a recent graphic advocacy exhibition. there are lots of interesting pieces in there (so take a look!) but i thought this was the most powerful - and the smartest - one.

more here.