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By: Ellen Pratt

When one thinks of the seemingly limitless number of advertisements, products, and brands that an ad agency can put their design stamp on, nori rarely comes to mind.

However, in an attempt to respark the sale of nori (seaweed used for wrapping sushi) following the 2011 tsunami in Japan, international agency I&S BBDO was commissioned to develop “designer sushi”. The results are nothing less than beautiful– five laser-cut, intricate designs based on elements of Japanese history. And if you happen to be in Japan, you can pick some up for your own sushi-rolling pleasure.

Though the work supports a good cause and is to be commended simply on it’s aesthetic appeal, one can’t help but wonder if this will bring in a new era of advertising on the very things we eat. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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By: Shari Bronson

Most products can be seen as a commodity, part of the pack, until something comes and catapults it from the chorus line and makes it a star. More often than not, that “something” is good design. Where functionality and aesthetics meet. Spend some time at the Cooper-Hewitt museum which is dedicated to historic and contemporary design and you’ll know what I mean (91st St/5th Avenue, but currently undergoing renovations). Kitchen gadgets were boring and utilitarian until OXO decided they didn’t have to be. Same thing with Alessi. Soap was a low-interest categories until Method came on the scene and shook things up. That’s why I find the news that PepsiCo has created the role of  Chief Design Officer intriguing. Not just because they hired Mauro Porcini, formerly 3M’s design guru, but because I’m curious to see how design can help PepsiCo shake up the category.

By: Arfa Rehman

“Sometimes I get emotional over fonts.” - @kanyewest

So do I, Kanye. And so do a lot of us.

IKEA’s switch from Futura to Verdana in 2009, often referred to as the IKEA Font War, garnered a huge uproar from the online public. The ordeal caused Verdana to quickly become a trending topic on Twitter, as well as the launch of an online petition to replace the font. Reasons for the backlash? People felt that Verdana did not complement IKEA’s design philosophy and was not a unique choice. They also thought it was ugly. More important than the reasons, though, is the sheer fact that a font change was as big a controversy as it was. Kanye West is not alone.

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By: Joanna McNurlen

Infographic résumés have seen a rise in popularity in the past few years, but not all of them have been stellar. If you’re thinking about submitting a non-traditional résumé, here are some tips that might help you stand out from other applicants:

  1. Only create an infographic résumé if it makes sense for your field. A carefully designed, colorful layout could be a great way to showcase your talents as an art director, but chances are the hiring manager for an actuarial firm won’t be impressed.
  2. Don’t use a template. You’re supposed to be showcasing your design talents.
  3. Include your skills. This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes applicants put all their efforts into creating beautiful works of art and leave out relevant information like education or prior experience. Remember that this is a professional document with a purpose, not the next installation at the MoMA.
  4. Make it personal. One of the advantages of infographic résumés is that they give you more freedom to show who you are. However, if you’re creating a fancy design just because you think you “should”, the end result isn’t going to accurately represent you as a potential employee.
  5. K.I.S.S. If I’m going through résumés and I see a complicated chart that’s going to take me more than a split second to figure out, it’s going in the NO pile.
  6. Be careful with color. Your résumé is not a Lisa Frank binder. Work with a clean theme that let’s the reader notice the information, not the color palette, and make sure it’s readable in black and white in case the recruiter prints it as such.
  7. Choose fonts wisely. Stick to just a few choices so the reader isn’t overwhelmed. Avoid Lobster. If you’re even considering Comic Sans, you probably shouldn’t be making an infographic résumé in the first place.
  8. Keep the reader in mind. Would she have to turn her head to decipher something? Is the order in which he should read information unclear? Are the font sizes impossible to read for people over 25? Fix it.
  9. Proofread. Have a friend proofread your résumé. Have your mom proofread your résumé. Go outside and flag down a stranger to proofread your résumé. Then proofread it again. Twice.
  10. Finally, don’t do this – ever:  

Have any more infographic résumé advice? Let us know in the comments.