REPOST: Bigger than agriculture: How design became a multi billion dollar industry

Today’s economic and business spheres have been all about offering something unique and extremely useful. Companies have to continuously reinvent themselves in order to remain relevant and profitable. And in order to do so, they have to start from the very basic: creating value through design. Read this blog on The Spinoff to know how this creative aspect business is building a multi-billion dollar empire:

According to a new report, the design sector contributed over $10 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2016. Henry Oliver asks Thomas Mical, the head of AUT’s School of Art and Design, what that means for New Zealand design.

Designers know that their work creates value, but a recent report from DesignCo – commissioned by ten New Zealand institutions including AUT – confirms it, by quantifying design’s growing impact on the New Zealand economy. According to The Value of Design to New Zealand report, the design sector contributed approximately $10.1 billion to the New Zealand economy in 2016, about 4.2% of New Zealand’s GDP.

And if design were treated as its own industry rather than a sector within various industries, its contribution to the economy would be larger than agriculture ($8.1 billion) and on the heels of retail trade ($10.6 billion) and food, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing ($10.6 billion). Product design and interactive design are the two biggest contributors towards design’s economic impact, along with manufacturing, human health, financial, environmental and construction industries.

But it’s not just design for design’s sake. The report shows a strong design sector and national prosperity and economic growth. Further, design is a powerful tool of urban regeneration and a way to help solve complex and hard-to-solve problems in both the private and public spheres.

Thomas Mical, the head of AUT’s School of Art and Design, was trained as an architect and has thought a lot about the interaction of public and private spaces. He sees reports like The Value of Design as vital, not just for the design industry to prove it’s worth to the government and the private sector, but for designer’s themselves to understand their economic impact and the value of the work they do. And for Mical, who sees the future of design everyday in his student’s work, its value is only going to grow.

Continue reading HERE.

Why successful individuals invest in offshore mutual funds

Image source:

Success stories are often described as something achieved by hard work, perseverance, and having the right connections. However, not everyone knows that the most successful people in the world have relied on one strategic move that has not only made them financially stronger, but has also helped them grow their wealth over time: investing in offshore mutual funds.

In definition, offshore mutual funds refer to a collective investment system strategically situated in offshore financial centers (OFC) where non-resident investors can enjoy an attractive list of benefits: little or no tax liabilities in the jurisdiction, geographic diversification, and asset protection and privacy. Let’s take a closer look at the major benefits of investing in offshore mutual funds.

Low to neutral tax liabilities

Investing in offshore mutual funds means enjoying its primary incentive: favorable and most of the time, zero tax rates. This is because of the government’s initiatives to promote healthy and more attractive investments. Since these small countries have relatively few resources of their own, they have focused on attracting wealth from the outside to effectively boost their economic activity.

Smaller stakes with bigger potential returns

Investing in offshore mutual funds have been attractive to investors around the world because knowledgeable fund managers are able to outperform onshore funds. LOM Financial’s mutual funds, for example, have consistently posted strong growth figures year after year. The company’s investment experts have experience in managing the nuances of mutual funds for the last two decades, proven by the funds’ impressive track records of out-performing their benchmarks on a consistent basis.

Effective Portfolio Diversification

Many financial and investment experts believe that diversifying one’s investment portfolio is an effective way to improve one’s risk-adjusted returns—and investing offshore can add more to the list of its benefits. Offshore mutual funds offer investors opportunities to create a diversified portfolio.

Secrecy Policies and Regulations

Offshore centers provide the liberty in regard to regulations as well as policies that allow security and privacy of investors’ assets.  With these investor driven regulations, the process of establishing and more importantly, administering funds, are simplified.

These advantages mean less paperwork, reduced headaches, and worry.

AI is creating an unrecognizable future for the Design Industry—and it’s a good thing

Image source:

Technology has contributed to the unprecedented growth of different industries, thanks to the innovations that have continued to deliver outstanding results, bringing humanity’s future within arm’s reach.

As one of the products of the recent revolution of technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been the most impressive. In fact, AI has been finding its way into areas and industries that focus on both critical and creative tasks, outperforming and delivering outcomes efficiently and effectively.

The design industry, for instance, have recognized the role of artificial intelligence in introducing a new era of creative work. Centering more on time and space, we’re looking at an age where technological contributions beyond the traditional focus on graphics and products, is at its peak.

Image source:

For instance, robotics and smart environments will provide creatives with a limitless source of space and boundless abilities that will enable the once impossible and often time-consuming tasks of creating hundreds and thousands of variations of a design. This increase in productivity and better tools will open up new ways and means both for amateur and professional designers around the world.

In fact, experts have predicted that the first impact of artificial intelligence will be more directed at non-designers and how the change will create opportunities to develop their creativity as well as social intelligence: two factors that have been considered to determine the factors that promote the highest employability in present design jobs.

Without replacing human creatives, AI in design will enhance human ability by providing context-specific options, algorithm-based and multi-perspective solutions to the most common design problems through smart platforms and problem-solving bots.

REPOST: Welcome To The Future Of Marketing: The A.I. Based Design

Even for functions once thought can only be performed by the human mind, artificial intelligence is proving that it may soon be able to replace human creativity—although not entirely, of course. Especially in design-based marketing, AI can improve many aspects of the whole process. Here are more insights from TNW:

Many people believed that modern technology will first replace the low wage jobs from the industries that are dependent on manual labor rather than intellectual work. However, the latest innovations in robotics and A.I. tend to contradict our previous beliefs: we are now entering a new era, of A.I. based design that hopefully, will change everything for the best.

Until recently, computer generated design was regarded more as a sci-fi idea rather than a reality. The development of artificial intelligence was focused on other goals and nobody could have dreamed about it being capable of actually delivering something useful to mankind. Sure, we all have at least once admired beautiful fractals generated by computers but let’s face it, they were not actually visual designs. They were visual math and nothing more.


Design and marketing

While artists draw for pleasure and sometimes for fame and money, digital design is esigners and web developers. Every brand needs a logo, every website needs a header, every marketing campaign needs a banner and a slogan.almost exclusively focused on marketing. Sure, there are people who are drawing or designing just for fun but at the same time, the professional designing software programs are mostly used by designers and web developers.

We cannot separate design from marketing and vice versa. However, we have reached a point in our technological development in which we can expect to rely more on automation and save our precious time to find inspirations for a marketing campaign. How? Well, thanks to the newly developed A.I.s, we can now take a look into the future of design and marketing. And we can see that our world is changing and so are the ways we work.


How did A.I. design change the world?

Well, let’s not jump to such a conclusion, at least not yet. They didn’t change the world, at least not yet. While design and marketing go hand in hand and we are already aware that there are A.I.s out there capable of performing both these tasks, we are now only grasping the beginning of what the future will look like. Nevertheless, there are at least three examples of great A.I.s that worth to be mentioned for the purpose of this article. Let’s find out about each of these successes:


Tailor Brands

Over time, there were some really great improvements and innovations in A.I. based design. However, the greatest news comes from Tailor Brands and their artificial intelligence logo design software. While other similar apps are quite basic and cannot deliver many alternatives to the user, the A.I. used by Tailor Brands s adaptable and capable of learning, considering it is used on a frequent basis. Moreover, Yali Saar, CEO of the company, believes that their software is capable to “design logos, promotional products, and even social media campaigns”.


Why are logos important?

A company or a brand logo is the first thing that people see when they land on your web page, when they see your banners or other types of ads. In a blink of an eye, your logo gets to be noticed or forgotten, depending on how representative it is for your brand, and how easy it is to be mentally associated with it. A company or a brand logo is therefore, the first and most important step of your branding process. Everything you do from now one in terms of marketing depends on your logo’s visual style.

How does this work? Apparently, things are quite simple but you should already know that nothing is as it seems. The A.I. will help you design your brand logo but you have to pay attention to all the following steps, in order to help the machine learn about your business and generate relevant and accurate designs.

After you have signed up on their website and write down your brand name, the machine will ask you a series of questions. First, you have to describe your business and what you are doing.

Three spectacular museums every art aficionado must visit

Art appreciation is a form of meditation, and in that sense, art museums could be the ultimate destinations for mental empowerment and reverie. In many cases, it can even boost your own creativity. For those who strongly want to see artistic masterpieces and artifacts with their own naked eyes, the museums and art galleries mentioned below are top picks to achieve the most surreal experience:


The Palace Museum (China)

Image source:

This museum is located at the center of Beijing, China. Historically and artistically one of the most comprehensive museums in China, it was established on the basis of the Forbidden City, a palace of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. It is a treasure house of rare and valuable items and contains the country’s largest collection of ancient artworks.

Ceramics, paintings, bronzeware, timepieces, and items made from jade are the most common pieces found in the museum. The Palace Museum holds nearly two million artifacts and includes 1.6 million items designated as nationally protected “valuable cultural relics.”


British Museum (United Kingdom)

Image source:

Visiting the British Museum is an enriching experience. It is a modern-day time machine where visitors can get a glimpse of the past by reading through the interesting and unbelievable stories of its numerous sculptures and ancient artifacts.

The British Museum was established by an Act of Parliament in 1753. It is regarded to be the very first national public museum in the U.K., located in Bloomsbury, London. Sir Hans Sloane, a reputed physician, scientist, and avid art collector bequeathed his collection (mostly books, antiquities, and natural specimens) to the nation in his will and became the very first items on display at the museum.

Over the course of time, the museum has been renovated and expanded in order to accommodate the growing collections (which now number in millions) and the increasing number of visitors.


Louvre Museum (France)

Image source:

The Louvre Museum is the largest art museum and one of the most iconic monuments in Paris, France. Louvre houses some of the best known pieces of art in the world, such as the Mona Lisa Painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Winged Victory of Samothrace from Greece, and Michaelangelo’s Dying Slave.

The main entrance to the Louvre Museum is a pyramid-shaped structure made of transparent glass and metal designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. Furthermore, the museum contains more than 380,000 exhibit objects and 35,000 individual artworks. It is a giant museum that attracts massive crowds everyday.

REPOST: The 30 Best Design Schools in the World

Planning to study design (and the arts as a whole) in a prestigious university? According to, the schools below are the world’s best. Would you agree with the list?

The best design programs in the world include some of the top schools to study design. This list highlights the growing role they play in supplying creative managers to corporate and nonprofit organizations.

What are the top design schools worldwide& Whether you’re looking for rankings of the best art design programs to study or just the greatest graphic, spacial, or interior design schools in general, this list of programs will likely point you in the direction of a program for design majors that best fits your career aspirations in the booming industry.

Technology and the evolution of the design industry

Humans are a highly expressive species and whenever the world hints an evolution, they are there not only to adapt to the changing environment but also to cause the change itself. Indeed, our ways of expression have been one of our strongest traits and these practices still continue to this day. But what happens when something as unpredictable and advanced as technology is added to the equation?


Image source:


Fundamentally, the advent of the more technologically powerful tools not only fueled a totally different phase of revolution but also triggered a whole new way of how people see the world—and how they express what they see in the form of ideas, arts, and expressions. The same story is true in the design industry and the trends that have been observed to dominate the field in the past few years. As art imitates life, the new world where technology reigns supreme led to different facets and forms of designs that directly and indirectly reflected new expressions and ideas. So how far and wide did technology influence design and the industry in general?

One of the most important changes that evolved with technology is how designers redefined form and functionality. Several new features led to this redefinition. For instance, the introduction of new ways to create, display, and print graphics and other forms of art have encouraged design practitioners to exceed their limitations and push boundaries.


Image source:


These design feats were only possible because of the recent availability of more powerful computers, faster connection, higher resolutions, and an outstanding emphasis on details. These features enabled anyone with a reliable computer to control more colors and have the flexibility to create something spectacular out of a humble idea.

However, the influence of technology in the design industry does not stop in the limitless capabilities that it provides its users. It also restructured the roles and activities that designers have to undertake. New and advanced tools such as creative design software, graphic tablets, and printing capabilities have presented limitless potentials.  In fact, designers have hundreds of software and programs to choose from and along with them, the boundless selection of methods that can help them create a unique and impressive output, making a signature style that makes them stand out from the rest and enables them to create their own brand.

REPOST: How Stitch Fix Is Using Algorithmic Design To Become The Netflix Of Fashion

Algorithm-based technologies are rapidly dominating many aspects of life–from Internet searches and social networking activities to music streaming and watching movies. They have become so ubiquitous that even in ‘traditional’ and highly creative industries—such as fashion—they have proven to very useful. Algorithms and data science could be the future of designing garments. Here are some interesting insights from FastCo Design:


Data science is baked into the online fashion brand.

Algorithms control many elements of our lives: the music we hear, the shows we watch, the stories we read, and even how we vote. They’ve been used most commonly to uncover consumers’ preferences and make recommendations, but now brands are starting to integrate them into the products themselves.

Stitch Fix, an online apparel retailer, thinks algorithms are the future of designing garments and has begun to bring these items to market. (In her 2017 report, trend forecaster Mary Meeker of the venture capital company Kleiner Perkins mentioned Stitch Fix’s algorithmic design approach as an e-commerce “aha.”) But will this strategy yield better things, or will it just lead to the normcorization of design?

“[Our customers] come to us because they don’t want to go shopping,” Eric Colson, Stitch Fix’s chief algorithm officer and head of the company’s 75-person data team, says. “Five years from now, people will say, ‘Remember when we had to wander malls and find our own things? That’s crazy!’”

Since its founding in 2011, Stitch Fix has slowly been gaining steam and has grown to over 5,700 employees, has been profitable since 2014, and generated $730 million in revenue last year.

Here’s how Stitch Fix normally works: Customers join the site, fill out a detailed questionnaire about their size, how they like their clothing to fit, what their style is like, what colors they love and loathe, and how often they dress for certain occasions (like work, events, dates, etc.). Last year, the company introduced a Pinterest integration that lets the company learn more about what customers want. Users can create boards of images they like–which can come from any source–and algorithms analyze the assortment and feed that information into a customer’s profile. Using all that data, an algorithm then mines Stitch Fix’s inventory to find pieces that match their profile.


Continue reading on this PAGE.

The top trends that are taking the graphic design industry by storm

The only constant thing in the world of design is change—and anyone who is not able to keep up with the dynamic nature of this rapidly evolving industry should either give up or be up for the challenge.

However, any veteran artist or designer will agree that it takes more than practice and creativity to dominate the game. It’s important that one is resilient and have a flexible artistic vision in order to not only see what’s ahead but also to be able to be one with the change. After all, they are part of the business that is adding billions of dollars to the tech industry every year. Here are the top trends that you should know:


Image source:

  1. Minimalism

The art movement that rose in early part of the 20th century is the birthplace of Minimalism in the graphic design industry, focusing on both simplicity and functionality. Recent logo redesigns for instance can be observed following a minimalist trend and it is noticeable in big companies like Apple and Google.


Image source:

  1. Hand-drawn Illustrations 

This trend’s charm doesn’t just lie on the more personal approach in design but also in the stylish linear and geometric patterns that represent both uniqueness and creativity. Hand-drawn illustrations can be useful in presenting complex instructions through less-intimidating and reader-friendly images.


Image source:

  1. Modern-Retro

Nostalgia has been an appealing tool in both the marketing and advertising industries. Likewise, this is the heart of the modern-retro trend that has been marking its territory in the design world. Aside from its care-free language, the innocence and candor portrayed in the less complicated colors represent style and authenticity.

REPOST: First Impressions: What Good Design Can Do for Your Business

While the monetary value of logos, packaging graphics, and similar ‘intangible assets’ are difficult—if not impossible—to measure,  it is in meaningful visuals that brands are actually able to build trust in their customers. Here’s an article on Business News Daily that explains how good design could be just as important as your company’s overall business plan.


Credit: Rawpixel/Shutterstock


A brand’s website can make a difference between showing potential customers you’re a legitimate business and having zero credibility. That’s why web design is important as a marketing tool. It highlights the need to invest time and resources into a well-built homepage, so it doesn’t appear you’ve settled for a default theme or overly-simple layout.

Business News Daily consulted a few experts in the field to investigate what makes or breaks a small business website.

Why design matters

According to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, a person’s eyes take 2.6 seconds to focus on a specific element of a web page when it loads. The viewer quickly forms an opinion based on what they’ve has seen, so it pays to influence that opinion with a smart design, said Adriana Marin, a freelance art director.

“People have [feelings] about your company based on the experiences that they have had with a brand,” Marin told Business News Daily. “A well-designed logo and website inspires confidence because it looks professional. If a company is willing to focus on creating a clean and functional design that is easy to use, then that could be an indicator of what using their product might be like.”

“Great design not only conceptually reflects the mission of your company, but also, functionally, it’s the embodiment of that concept,” added Ty Walrod, CEO of Bright Funds, an all-in-one corporate program for donating, matching and volunteering.

As an example, Marin cited Apple’s unique designs, which distinctly distinguish itself from its competitors. In the 1980s and ’90s, design was often an afterthought for many major technology companies, she said. Apple worked with several partner companies to create the consistent design aesthetic consumers recognize today.

Continue reading HERE.