“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

A lot of people in our society tend to be hyper-productive. Those who scurry from task to task, always checking e-mails, organizing something, making a call, etc. The people who do this often think that “staying busy” means you are working hard and therefore you are going to be more successful. While this belief may be true to an extent, it often leads to mindless “productivity” — a constant need to do something and a tendency to waste time on menial tasks.

Instead of being robotic in how we approach tasks, we should always ask ourselves if something could be done more efficiently or eliminated altogether. Managing our time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into our day as possible. It is about simplifying how we work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.

Maybe it has always been like this, but the advent of social media has allowed everyone, everywhere, to talk about how busy they are in a much more visible forum. It seems like we all have a million projects on our plates, and that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now sure, maybe you have been saddled with so much work recently that you are feeling the walls closing in on you; you can’t sleep and get irritable when you see people talking about the vacation they’re about to go on. But for the most part, we use this facade of busyness as an excuse to get out of pretty much any commitment that is no longer convenient.

Whether we want to skip out on dinner plans, miss our trip to the gym or look for sympathy on Facebook, telling people that we’re endlessly busy seems to take precedence over actually doing anything. If we can convince other people that we are too busy to take part in something, then we can keep convincing ourselves that we are too busy to do it.

No matter how busy we are, or we pretend to be, we all need rest and little vacations, and that doesn’t mean that everyone who takes time to relax and turn their brain off occasionally is lazy. But realistically, most people have about 40 hours of free time a week. And even if you are one of the outliers and you are actually so busy that you can’t pursue the things in life that would make you happy, then it is time to figure out how to change that.



Beer brand Beck’s and BBDO Germany have come up with a clever way to hide technology into its products that doubles as a bit of free promotion.

The team created a tiny camera that fits on top of their beer bottle. The gadget sticks to iPhone cameras and uses a mirror which enables the user to film and view videos in 360 degrees before sharing them across social media. In addition to filming content, indeed, the lens also connects to Facebook’s app so that people can upload their clips. Meanwhile, Facebook also added a feature that lets users upload 360-degree photos for the first time.

So not only Beck’s is equipping consumers with new technology, but their idea is that people will also film some interesting footage using the cameras they provide.

“The basic idea is to provide an all-round view of those typical Beck’s moments shared with close friends,” the agency said in a statement. “Unfortunately, attempts to capture these moments on mobile phone videos just cannot compare.”

It’s not the first time that Beck’s has tweaked its packaging in unusual ways. Last year, the brand created a wrapper for bottles that encourages people to scratch off aluminum.

Unfortunately, the special edition is not available in-store. Beck’s Facebook fans will have the chance to win a CapCam via a competition on the social network.

Check out the video of Beck’s CapCam below:



In recent months there has been a lot of debate over whether architects should redesign prisons. The discussion hit a peak when earlier this year the American Institute of Architects ruled that its members should not refuse to design the controversial structures. Compared to prison architecture and its ethics, the task of envisioning prison conversions seems like a positive one. According to many people, turning hubs of incarceration and execution into productive new spaces could be indeed rewarding and intriguing. While the U.S. are still debating about it, with many interesting projects underway, take a look at how other prisons around the world, especially in Europe, have been transformed in the last few years.

Het Arresthuis (Judgment House) – Roermond, the Netherlands

This 19th-century Dutch prison was transformed into a boutique hotel by the Van der Valk hotels group and local firm Engelman Architecten several years ago. The 150 cells became 40 rooms and suites (which come with names like The Jailer and The Lawyer), with the original prison hallway serving as a glam, mod lounge.

Louviers Music School – Louviers, France

Originally a convent, this 17th-century building also served as a prison at one point before being converted into a music school in 1990. More recently, French studio Opus 5 gave the complex a glassy, two-level extension, which features a concert hall on the top floor and a music library on the bottom level.

Palencia Civic Center – Palencia, Spain

In the hands of Madrid-based practice Exit Architects and architect Eduardo Delgado Orusco, a former brick prison building has turned into a polished civic and cultural center. The four-winged complex now houses an auditorium, multi-purpose venues, and classrooms.

Jury Café – Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne’s historic Pentridge Prison is in the process of being rehabilitated into a shopping and residential complex. One building within those prison walls has recently been converted into a 5,000-square-foot cafe, aptly named Jury Cafe, by Aussie firm Biasol: Design Studio. The austere concrete structure is now adorned with light plywood furniture and hanging lights.

Caffè Letterario – Florence, Italy

Caffè Letterario is located within the former prison of Le Murate, Florence. It was closed down years ago and later redesigned by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano. The area is a great example of new Italian architecture and definitely worth a visit. The café is located in the middle of a big courtyard surrounded by trees, the perfect place for grabbing a cup of coffee or enjoying some of the many cultural events that the place offers on warm summer nights.

Alcatraz Hotel – Kaiserslautern, Germany

A hotel in Germany is offering a ‘captivating’ stay by locking up their guests in old prison cells. The Alcatraz hotel in Kaiserslautern was once a fully functioning prison, which has now been transformed into a modern guesthouse with a twist. The hotel’s 56 rooms offer a night behind bars, complete with stripy prison pajamas to provide customers with a full experience. It took 18 months to complete the transformation from prison to hotel, which features cells, comfort rooms and suits, as well as a restaurant and meeting room.

The ban of small water plastic bottles

With the COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change – happening right now in Paris – sustainability is THE hot topic of the moment.

Last month, San Francisco passed a law that would ban plastic water bottles smaller than 21 ounces (= 62 centiliters). To get a better pollution control, this decision is bringing the city closer to its zero-waste goal: San Francisco wants no more waste going to its landfills by 2020. San Francisco is the first city in the United States to implement such a law, especially with the ambitious target of phasing it out during the next 4 years. Swedbrand’s Creative Director Chad Lethbridge states: “I’m sure San Francisco won’t be the last city to do this.”




However, this law only applies to plastic water bottles of a certain size – it concerns neither big plastic bottles nor soda bottles.

What could be the alternatives?

  • Re-usable plastic bottles are being encouraged. New innovative re-usable plastic bottles are appearing, like Aladdin with their attractive designs or Illumicap with their color-changing LED bottle-caps.
  • Research is focusing more intensely on the development of sustainable bottles now in order to find a replacement for plastic bottles. For example, Ecoxpac’s Green Fiber Bottle project is currently creating bottles that can be composted.


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Sources: Global Flare, The Dieline

Packaging of the beverage trends in China

Here are some beverage trends that the Chinese market is witnessing. Lately, much emphasis has been put on health: drinks that improve your skin and intestinal flora, or reduce tooth decay and diabetes, or harmonize your body’s yin and yang are meeting an increasing success. How does China bottle up their health elixirs ?




Li Hao Wang Guang – 梨好阳光

The bottle seems to be inspired by the brand’s name: Li Hao Wang Guang rimes with “Hello Sunshine, and means “Shiny Pear”. This might be the reason for the big sun and the pear-shaped bottle. Targeting a sophisticated segment of consumers, this beverage is considered to improve your health. It’s positioned as a warming beverage which is good for the winter, thus the warm orange color. The beverage even uses ancient Chinese characters on its packaging to assert both nostalgic and trustworthy elements of Chinese culture and remain in tune with sophisticated consumers’ appreciation of the past.







Moist Dual Fiber Date Milk

Marketed as a healthy solution against intestinal problems, this bottle stands out thanks to its shape and color. The bright pink color might refer to a healthy intestine. The twisted bottle brings a nice touch to the shape of the bottle.






















Xiao Ming Classmate – 小茗同学

Targeting a younger audience, this playful bottle design attracts young people with its bright yellow, the cartoon of a kid and a funny lid that looks like a capsule.



















Source: The Silk Initiative

Branding the city

To make the everyday environment look more charming seems like a mission impossible. ImagoBOX, a Croatian packaging company, took the challenge of turning the unnoticeable into noticeable, by applying its packaging branding strategy to our usual urban environment.

Since good packaging has the power of standing out from the crowd and make the content of the packaging noticeable, the company decided to recreate this sense of uniqueness for mundane objects that people pass by every day and do not pay attention to.


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“Benches, a lighting pole, a trashcan, a bike rack and a few other items have become products with a unique identity with the packaging we have developed. Many curious glances of passers-bys, hesitation, commenting and taking photos are proof enough that we have we have made clear to all that something well packed is better noticeable”.

Packaging design has limitless applications, which can really benefit the urban planning of a city.

Watch the video and find out what happened in the Croatian city:




Source: PSFK

How to communicate luxury through packaging

For effective packaging, the moment a customer walks out the door with it, is just the beginning. Ideally, well-crafted packaging delivers designed moments of micro interactions aimed at extending the shopping experience well into the customer’s life, and luxury brands use this knowledge like no one else.

When their elegant shopping bags make their way out of the store, into the streets and then into people’s homes, luxury brands need to make sure their packaging is reminiscent of their brand’s style and heritage. The packaging becomes the brand’s spokesperson when the consumer is not in the store, transforming the packaging around the product into icons themselves.


But what exactly triggers our interest? What are the reasons we feel attracted to certain packaging more than others? Here are the top 5:





‘Less is more’ is the new rule of elegance. Luxury is now a matter of restraint. Luxury brands focus on projecting a look rooted in the brand’s heritage by visually communicating their story in the most minimal way possible.





Light is an important element that plays with the finishing of the packaging. Contrasting matte sheets with gloss UV or hot foil stamps allow the light to reflect off the surface in any environment and create a luxurious sensation.



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Tactile design features can become part of a brands’ identity. For luxury brands, a classic tactile element can be the embossing of uncoated paper with a metallic or high-gloss hot-stamp. Most fashion houses use a strong finish in addition to a tactile contrast to produce a prestigious look and feel to their packaging.





‘The devil is in the details’. Ribbon closures have become a fashion statement in packaging design. Not only does this achieve a lavish product unveiling experience at home, but it also allows customers to reuse the packaging for other purposes.




Luxury products require a well designed and staged unveiling process to create suspense up to the final reveal. Once the package is open, a moment of pause is required to create anticipation. The use of a translucent layer to just barely reveal the product underneath can achieve this effect.

Source:  The Dieline

What happens to a Swedbrand bag when it arrives at Migros

Aware of how tiring it can be for a woman to bring groceries back home, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain Migros asked us to produce a new M-Budget shopping bag, paper laminated to make it even more environmentally friendly, but we had no idea what Migros had planned for them.


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Our bag wasn’t the only piece of the puzzle: Migros cleverly put themselves into their customer’s shoes and not only provided customers with our tough bags, but also with equally tough, muscle-bound gentlemen to carry them. What woman hasn’t dreamt of a muscle-bound man to carry her shopping bags for her? Migros made every woman dream come true.


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This weekend, any woman that might have been skittish about going shopping will probably feel conflicting emotions after watching this video.

Click here to watch it and enjoy your shopping!




Look over quality? The beauty industry dilemma

We are generally taught to never judge a book by its cover. But when it comes to beauty products, we don’t always realise how much the packaging affects our decision. In the high-end beauty market, appealing packaging is considered a must. It is designed to appeal, attract and persuade the final customer to buy something that she/he wouldn’t normally consider buying.

Therefore, it is not surprising to find out that some cosmetic luxury brand invest more in the packaging design rather than in the product itself. In a competitive industry like the cosmetic one, a good packaging can make a brand really stand out from the rest of the crowd and make it easily recognizable.

Here are some examples of products that have successfully used packaging as part of their branding strategy:








Source: The dieline

The “Recycle & Buy Yourself A Cookie”-Phenomena

Since the reusable bag is one of our strong suits, we find consumer behavior insight  of this area extra interesting. Researcher Uma Karmarkar at Harvard Business School, and her partner Bryan Bollinger of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, studied the consumer behavior of customers who brought their own reusable bags when grocery shopping. Comparisons showed that these people were more likely to buy organic goods—but were also more likely to load up on high-fat, high-calorie junk.
It was clear that shoppers who brought their own bags were more likely to replace nonorganic versions of goods like milk with organic versions. So one green action led to another. But those same people were also more likely to buy foods like ice cream, chips, candy bars, and cookies. They weren’t replacing other items with junk food, as they did with organic food. They were just adding it to their carts.


So this is the classic indulgence: You do good – and you give yourself a cookie. In this case literally. In consumer psychology the word “licensing” is the key. If we behave well in one situation, we give ourselves license to misbehave in another, unrelated situation. Similar research has also been done on health decisions. We buy a Diet Coke, and therefore treat us a hamburger. In this case bringing a bag makes us think we’re environmentally friendly, so we get some ice cream. Because we feel we’ve earned it.


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Uma Karmarkar notes: It’s the awareness of taking the action that triggers the behavior. It could be subconscious. I don’t think people are actively thinking, “I’m using reusable bags, so I will get some doughnuts.” This is one of the reasons it’s interesting to me in the first place. Bringing bags to the store isn’t related to pulling products off the shelf, and yet it has an impact.

To learn more about how reusable bags can impact consumer behavior – read the full article here

Harvard Business Review
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