Wednesday, 26 March 2014

SAVE THOSE NUTS

"April is Testicular Cancer awareness month, and as many of our readers know, I was diagnosed with stage III-B testicular cancer in the summer of 2011 at the age of 37.  Although there were many sources of information on Cancer available, I struggled to find information on my particular condition. Furthermore, I was shocked to hear that none of my peers were educated about regular check-up procedures to prevent this from happening to them. Had I known more about preventive measures and the early signs of detection, I would have acted on my symptoms sooner and could have avoided the spread of the disease within my own body.

 

My prognosis is much better now, and although I am still fighting, I am confident that the great team at the BC Cancer agency are keeping me healthy and looking out for my best interests.

 

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I wanted to put a positive spin on my experience, and use the resources at my disposal (the graphic and web design side of Meade Design Group) to encourage men to give themselves regular checkups, and spread the word about this disease. I am pleased to be partnering with Testicular Cancer Canada in the hope that this campaign proves to be informative and encouraging for anyone who finds themselves up against testicular cancer.

 

So far, our campaign is focusing on outreach, via information cards and posters (which can be found at local storefronts such as Citizen, Habit, Still Life, Mango, Flavour, Outlooks, and many other locations – contact us if you are interested in any of these items to help spread the word!) and our website: www.savethosenuts.com.

 

The information cards (shown here), boast a lot of information for their small size. Outside is a bold graphic, aimed to catch the eye of those at the highest risk, with the URL for the website; inside, a step-by-step guide on how to check yourself for signs of early detection.

 

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If you see one of these posters (below), that means you can find our information cards inside – and that the business is awesome, because they are supporting our cause! We hope to see more and more of these around town!

 

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The most comprehensive facet we have introduced so far is our website, where visitors can get all of the information about regular self-checks and how to do them, along with the signs and symptoms. A valuable asset for me, is the stories of testicular cancer survivors – which we have dubbed 'testi-monials', it's encouraging to know that there are others fighting alongside you. If you are a survivor, or have a story you would like to share, there is a link to add your very own 'testimonial' to the campaign. We hope the website will be a great resource and connect the community of those affected by the disease.

 

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Another great feature of the website is the donation link, where you can make your own donation to Testicular Cancer Canada, which was where I turned to when I was diagnosed. Since Testicular Cancer Canada is based out East, we have partnered with them with our campaign to spread all of their good works to the West Coast. Our goal is to increase awareness and raise enough money to purchase an ad campaign with BC Transit.

 

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Let's make this happen, readers!

 

Thank you so much for all of your efforts and support so far, monetary donations are wonderful, but if it is not something you can do right now, please contact us about our awareness materials – after all, spreading the word is our goal, if you've got a window, you can help!"



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 23 January 2014

ALWAYS AUTHENTIC!

Last autumn, I had the opportunity to spend some time in Europe. One of my favourite memories was a visit to my cousin Inés Benavides’ home in Madrid and spending some time with her.  Inés is not only one of my favourite cousins, but she is also considered to be one of the top interior designers in Spain, so you can imagine how excited I was to share some time with her.

 

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Other than securing the position as favourite cousin while enjoying my time with her, I also learned a couple of things.  Inés is not just well regarded as an interior designer  in Spain; she is also an accomplished furniture designer.   She has been designing pieces for the last 10 years with her cousin, Phil, under their firm Benavides y Camino.

 

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One of Inés pieces “The Prensa” (Spanish for pressed, or squished) has become a signature piece for her and is rapidly becoming a staple in Spanish and European design.  Many of her design colleagues are supporting her in her venture, using the piece to inject fun and colour into their designs.  

 

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One of the conversations we had was about something that is becoming a real problem across several industries – plagiarism. Sadly, as a result of her notoriety, people are now copying her work and taking advantage of her creativity.  With her piece, “The Prensa”, rising in popularity, it has subsequently had a tremendous rise of knock-offs hitting the market – so much so, in fact, that she had to go to great lengths to copyright the piece. 

When someone steals another’s  idea, they are completely ignoring the process that it takes to conceive an original piece. For example, the time spent sketching, sculpting and planning the conceptual stages, the cost of making  prototypes in addition to supporting the artisans that make these pieces.  

In our conversation, we discovered that we shared a similar theory that there are 3 kinds of designers out there:  (1) The designer who creates a signature piece/style and  deserves the recognition for their efforts, (2) the designer that supports and admires original pieces of works – that takes them as inspiration and re- invents them in their own way,  or uses the original pieces in their work supporting the original creators, and lastly (3) the designer who takes advantage and literally copies the work without any respect or ethics. 

 

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Ross Taylor owner of Gabriel Ross has the best tag line for his business, and has been a big supporter of this movement – Gabriel Ross tag line really encompasses the real value of design  “Always Authentic” – As creatives we have the obligation to be “Always Authentic” and overall original.  This is the core of any creative business.

 

We have all seen this tragedy happen - particularly with mid-century modern classics by Eames, Saarinen and the like – but I wanted to bring awareness to Ines’s talent and spread the word about her original pieces. Like all good design, beware of knock-offs, you get what you pay for!

Support original talent, do your research and invest wisely!



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

IN CONVERSATION WITH NAM DANG-MITCHELL

 

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Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

I am currently enamoured with the work of Calgary-based interior designer, Nam Dang-Mitchell. She is a master of layering in every way possible: style eras, textures, the glamorous with the casual and the classic with the whimsical. She has also excelled at the art of creating a neutral palette that is luxurious and not boring. Infusing artifacts, architectural details and fine pieces into the space is a common thread in her designs, they are a definite 'wow factor', but do not appear off limits - they are tactile and every bit intertwined into the space as the floral arrangement next to them. Her thoughtfully assembled spaces are not only beautiful, they are also entirely liveable; a mother of two herself, Nam's spaces maintain an air of sophistication whilst being totally family–friendly. Although, I love the anecdote on her blog where she lovingly chastises her french bulldog for destroying her sofa (…three times) while debating the practicality of reupholstering it in an ecru toned mohair (ecru being her recent obsession at the time); she eludes to going for it with her favourite quote: "Those who sacrifice beauty for practicality get what they deserve."

 

And that is the beauty of a blog, you get a feel for one's sense of humour, lifestyle, loves and inspiration. Nam's stunningly minimal blog is all about just that, inspiration. Each post boasts a mélange of images, quotes, thoughts and video for what is currently inspiring her. Art, fashion and music is often injected amongst furnishings and completed spaces. It is a definite must-read to add to your blog roll – this woman's taste is impeccable. You may have also seen Mrs. Dang-Mitchell's work in the pages of Style at Home or House & Home magazine (where she was included in their 25th anniversary issue as a top designer to watch), she has also been all over the blogosphere (I am not the only admirer of her work, clearly!) .

 

I can't wait to get Nam's input on design, please read on to join the conversation…

 

Iván Meade - What is your design philosophy?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - I'm not really a 'form follows function' kind of girl. Function is easy.  What's harder is to create a room that makes you feel something. That's where I start; what is the mood, the emotion I want to convey in this room?

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What is your favourite design find? Where did you get it and why is it important to you?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - Oddly, for someone who loves beautiful things, I'm not particularly attached to anything material. I obsess over something only because it is the perfect item to complete a scene or a room. Sometimes it's something valuable and pedigreed, other times it's something from Ikea.  The satisfaction of putting it into place is the same for me.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What are you excited about right now in the world of design?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - I'm excited about rooms that are more curated than decorated. About combining objects, furnishings and art from different periods and genres that together, express something new.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What designers of past and present do you admire most?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - I'm really such a Francophile; Jean Michel Frank, Jacques Grange and today Jean Louis Deniot are my heroes. Their work embodies classicism and refinement, but also contains an element of subversion and audacity, and this is what makes it so chic.

 

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade ­ I notice that you are well-travelled. Is this a primary source of inspiration for you? What has been your favourite destination and why?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - It's hard to beat the south of France. When you're there, it's like all your senses come alive. Biking to an open air market, cooking with the freshest produce, eating alfresco, it doesn't get better than that! You understand why meals and holidays are so sacred to the French. I loved it because we were all so present and connected, there was no internet or video games. I don't know if this makes me a better designer, maybe a better person.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade ­ Art and Design will always be intertwined, and I believe creatives often feel passionate about more than one art form. You feature a number of music videos and fashion images on your blog. If you weren't the fabulous interior designer that you are (or even in addition to), would you ever consider a foray into fashion or music?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell -I love fashion and music too much to turn them into work. And really, no one should have to hear me sing!

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade ­ On the same vein, here at the studio we all always have current 'Jams' and it's interesting to see what each person is loving right now in the music industry. Do you have an inspirational playlist for while you are working? Or a current favourite artist/song?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - With music, it's all about the new for me. I'm not nostalgic at all.  Currently like everyone, I am blown away by Lorde. How does one have such a honed artistic perspective at that age? Her take on suburban ennui is beautiful. Loving Buzzcut Season and Tennis Court.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What would be your dream project?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - Honestly, just being able to do this as a living is a dream. But... I am itching to do a well-priced townhouse/condo project. I want to show that style has nothing to do with having a lot of money.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade ­ I love that you use contrast and layers in all it's forms, including the addition of unexpected/opposite elements. It creates interest in a magnificent way. What is your process to tell when one of these bold moments is going to make or break the final result?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - I wish I knew! You have a vision of how things will come together, and frankly sometimes they don't come together, they fall flat. You have to have the courage to reassess and try something else until it clicks. But in design, as in life, you must take some risks in order to have an impact.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What is the best advice you have received (design-related or otherwise)?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - Always buy good bread.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - I love this quote of yours: "In an age of Real Housewives and Kardashians, perhaps we need to rethink our ideas about luxury. Give me less, but give me quality and restraint." What is your definition of luxury?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - Luxury to me is being comfortable in your own skin. It's knowing who you are and expressing it thoughtfully in everything that you do. The way you dress, the way you decorate your home, the way you fry an egg and present it, the way you carry yourself, the way you love someone.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - What's next for you?

 

Nam Dang-Mitchell - Like most designers, I'd love to do a book. Ultimately that depends on the quality of work I do, so for now I'm just focused on making some killer homes.

 

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Interiors by Nam Dang-Mitchell

 

Iván Meade - Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work, what would you like your legacy to be?


Nam Dang-Mitchell - Legacy? Goodness, I'm only just beginning to find my voice!

 

I invite you to visit the stunning interior and inspiration  portfolio of Nam Dang-Mitchell at:

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MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Saturday, 21 December 2013

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

The team here at MEADE DESIGN GROUP want to wish everyone and their families a very Happy Holidays and all the best in the new year!

We hope you enjoy our extra special video message below!

 



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Sunday, 15 December 2013

MEADE DESIGN GROUP TEA

One of our favourite projects this year has been the creation of our own delicious line of tea.  This has been a really  fun internal exercise in which we were contemplating all the logistics of creating a product, branding it, and make it part of our work culture.

 

We started with the 4 basic kinds of tea: Black, White, Green and Rooibos.  From there we collaborated with tea experts that helped us to create our own blends.  After a lot of tea tasting we determined which blends reflected our own preferences in flavours, but also blends that would be appealing to a large public, and showcase how unique we are.

 

Once we had the blends to a tea; we went to the packaging design and label design.  We wanted the product to have a reference from the old world but with a contemporary feel to it. Our inspiration word was “Alchemy”.  

 

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Initial Tea Prototype

 

Once we had the alchemy idea we started the hard job of  finding the packaging but we were extremely lucky as we found these really cool apothecary glass jars to pack the teas in.  We also wanted the tea to be a reflection of our work culture, so planning the graphic design and branding of the labels was a lot of fun. 

 

From there we had one the most difficult tasks – what about the name?  What about the brand?  We decided to use our own monogram, MDG, as a reference to the studio and we give Latin names to the teas to tie in the concept of alchemy and  formulas.

 

For the black tea we selected the name of “Aurea” which means gold in Latin as we added gold pearls to add a sophisticated and sweet note to it.  The white tea was named “Jasminium” to reference the floral and fresh notes on it.  The Green tea was named “Citrus” for its Seville orange, mandarin and bergamot notes. Finally the rooibos blend was called “Lavandula” for its French Province notes and the hint of lavender in it.

 

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Final Label and Packaging Design

 

With the holiday season upon us we took the idea one step further and created a Christmas tea.  We combined an exquisite special blend of black teas, bergamot oils and the perfect balance of dry fruits to give it a festive, but yet unique flavour that reminded us of Christmas memories.  We named the blend “Ferias” which in Latin means celebrations.

 

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Our Xmas Tea  (Special Edition)

 

During our experimentations to develop “Ferias” we discover that if you mix a half cup of tea, with a 1/4 cup of milk and a 1/4 cup of frothed eggnog you can create the most delicious Ferias Egg Nog Latte – The balance in flavours is truly an experience you need to try.

 

Even Echo and Jordan had some fun creating an ad for our website with our Xmas Tea Edition.  It is all about shameless self promotion, right! 

 

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O Christmas Tea, O Christmas Tea

How Lovely is Your Fragrance,

Dried Fruit and Nuts,

Filling Teacups.

You Give Us So Much Pleasure!

O Christmas Tea, O Christmas Tea

A Meade Design Group Treasure!!!

 

The response to our tea line with friends and clients has been phenomenal.  The great feedback has our brains buzzing with ideas for new ways to represent and promote the Meade Design Group brand.   I believe it is important to have fun internal projects so that we can have carte blanche where we design without constraints and to flex our creative muscles in new ways. 

All that creativity is thirsty work, tea anyone?



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011