Author: Wade Johnston

I'm a designer living and working in the Kansas City area. I'm into art, design, music, food, adult beverages, auto racing, architecture and more.

Fixture or Sculpture? You Decide.

When you think about it, the design of the common bathroom sink hasn’t changed that much in the last couple hundred years or so. It’s basically a large basin with a water source and a drain. More often than not the look is a variable from a common shape, rectangle, oval, square, etc. While there are variations in styling it’s not the kind of thing that most people would show off to their guests and talk about the beautiful lines, and aesthetic appeal of it.

This, however, is something that you probably would show off to your guests, or at least get a reaction from them after using your bathroom. That’s exactly what the AVID sink achieves, with its sculptural form that seems to float. The shape encourages touch and the exploration of form. Inspired by the deformation of a soft surface when we apply pressure to it with a finger, the organic indent forms the basin for the water to be held.

There are two versions of AVID. One that has a thin edge, and another that has an apron extending about 6 to 8 inches below the shelf. Each is equally attractive and functional. The thinner of the two can also be mounted on a cabinet, but in my opinion, that would detract from the shape itself. There is something about the way the thin edge version sits in its space that makes it so appealing.

One thing I am curious about is how you would hide the P-Trap under the drain on the thin edge version? It would be impossible to conceal it unless you ran the drain back into the wall and concealed it within the framing of the structure. Something that seems to be more daunting than leaving it exposed beneath the sink. The better solution would be to use a piece of high-end plumbing that has a lower profile and looks as good as AVID does.

AVID was designed by Nacho Fontelles Arnau & Carlos Granell for Indutec there is no word on pricing or availability. At least I couldn’t find any on the Indutec website.

Burger King is Talking About Cow Farts With Singing Cowboys

If you have seen The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you know where director Michel Gondry’s head is at. He can at times be bizarre and has a distinctive visual look for his films. His latest project is a YouTube advertisement for Burger King staring Mason Ramsey (the 11-year-old yodeler) whos video of him yodeling in a Walmart went viral.

The video called “Cows Menu” is promoting the fast-food chains Reduced Methane Whopper, which I have absolutely no idea as to what that is. Ramsey leads a sing a long musical number about reducing methane emissions in a live-action, stop motion, multi-layer transforming set that features all sorts of colorful props and backdrops.

You have cows farting cotton ball clouds, bedazzled gas masks, lemongrass hats, and our hero – Ramsey – dressed in white the way all goodguys should be. It is quite the experiece.

The campaign was produced by We Believers in conjunction with Partizan and focuses on Burger King’s latest initiative to combat greenhouse gasses. The tag line at the end of the spot reads “Since we are part of the problem, we are working to be part of the solution,” addressing the fact that farm livestock accounts for 15 percent of global greenhouse emissions. The lyrics in the song explain further, that the Reduced Methane Whopper has been developed by feeding the cows a new diet including lemongrass, which means their cows excrete 33 percent less methane.

It’s a fun spot and actually engages, or at least it did for me. I watched the entire thing. Twice. It does make you pay attention, which is the formula for a successful ad. Now lets see how many people click through to learn more, and how many people buy a Reduced Methane Whopper.

Evermind Your Stress and Sleep Better with Device

Evermind is a science based approach to wellbeing for iOS and Android devices. It looks at things like stress and sleep deprivation and how they impact your mental health and physical wellbeing.

Usually when a company is promoting something like what Evermind provides they turn to typical visual strategies where you show a stressed out individual and the factors that got them to that point. Evermind took a different approach.

Teaming up with Device they created a storyline that uses abstract visuals and animation, paired with a calm voice over and some subtle sound design. The result is really, really well done, and very engaging. Both videos below held my attention and left me intrigued and wondering more about Evermind – which is exactly what they were supposed to do.

Acting as the main character in the story, the white sphere introduces us to the main causes of stress in working environments. Performing as the individual in society, our protagonist explains us the app’s main goal: overcoming stress by managing the factors which usually provoke it, the “stressors” (read: tight deadlines, excessive self-demand, traffic jams…). Travelling around a highly abstract universe, the white ball progressively collides with the “stressors”, identified with an anguishing curved-texture, the ones which block our protagonist’s movement and harm its inner balance. Depicting only synthetic shapes along with a colourful and warm graphic style, the story aims to symbolically convey the benefits that some specific stress-tackling techniques can bring to increase the individuals’ wellbeing.

From Device

Adobe “Honor the Heroes”

A few weeks back Adobe, the graphic design software giant launched a new microsite that honors the frontline workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. Along with the video below, the site contains 120 illustrations created using their software. There s a link out to the Instagram site where additional images (not all are in the original vein that Adobe started with) are being uploaded with the hashtag #honorheroes. Each of the images is a CTA to the illustrator’s Instagram account where you can get the back story on the individual that the illustrator chose to feature.

The microsite is simple but could have done one thing that would have made it better. A link to a location where you could donate to the cause. I say this because Adobe has this at the top of the page.

“Adobe is supporting the COVID-19 efforts with over $3 million in donations to organizations that provide vital assistance to our communities across the globe.”

Failing to add a url to a donation site from both the microsite and the Instagram accounts was a missed opportunity. to do more.

The illustrations are great though.