Saturday, 27 June 2009

My Ten Favourite Outdoor Accessories

Summer is here!  Yeah! Yeah! and another Yeah!


The sun is bright and everybody wants to enjoy the outdoors.  Here is a list of my 10 favourite outdoor accessories for the season.


Which one is your favourite?



Floor Fireplace by Blomus

Designed by Flöz Design

Available at Gabriel Ross


imageSolea Sundial by Blomus

Designed by  Ralph Kondermann

Available at Gabriel Ross


image Horseshoes Game Set

Available at Restoration Hardware


image Viento - Pinwheel by Blomus

Designed by Susanne Augenstein

Available at Gabriel Ross


image Wireless Outdoor Porable Speaker

Available at Restoration Hardware


image Bola – Garden Globes by Blomus

Available at Gabriel Ross


image Amalfi Square Lanterns

Available at Restoration Hardware



Fire Basket by Blomus

Designed by Fried Ulber

Available at Gabriel Ross



Royal Botania Wave Hammock

Designed by Erik Nyberg and Gustav Ström

Available at Gabriel Ross



Royal Botania Ninix NNX90

Available at Gabriel Ross



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Examining the Value of a Solid Graphic Identity and Marketing Strategy During a Recession

There is such a difference between cost and value that people are not always willing to acknowledge during trying economic times. I think this is a perfect time to examine the value of a solid graphic identity and marketing strategy with my readers. Not only as promotion for my own business - I would prefer it if this post can be a resource to help businesses in difficult times - but as a quick lesson that shows the general public the significance of what a graphic designer can do for their business.


image Graphic Identity for Meade Design Group


It is very common for businesses to reduce their marketing and graphic work to cut costs and overhead when income is not being produced as steadily. However this can greatly affect your business in negative ways; your graphic image is how others recognize you and look at you in a professional manner. If your image begins to slip, others may view this as a weakness in the company's professionalism and that you may not be as productive or resilient as you once were.



Logo_DesignDistrict Graphic Identity for The Design District



Furthermore, while other businesses around you are cutting these costs this is the perfect time to make your business stand out from the crowd and to elevate your image and professional package above the competition. It is important for your customers to know that they can trust in you and your business in the years to come, remember: it's not always just getting the clients attention with your graphic image, it's keeping their attention, trust and interest.


Advert_Luxe Advert for Luxe Interiors

Designed by Meade Design Group 


This is also the perfect time to approach a designer or public relations representative as many of them are being cut from your competitor's budgets. They may have special rates or packages available while trying to gain a larger client base, this is the case particularly for return clients.



imageGraphic Identity for Sprouts

 Designed by Meade Design Group 


Logo_Queenswood Graphic Identity for Queenswood

 Designed by Meade Design Group 


In situations like these it is also those companies that expand and try things that are outside of the box that will succeed; your graphic designer or marketing team may be able to come up with unique ways to help possible clientele find you. Often times there are various inexpensive advertising methods that are grossly overlooked although proven very successful for those who are willing to try. They may also be able to help you brainstorm limited time offer packaged services that may get you clients that never thought they could afford you. These clients will be very excited to have their opportunity and will most likely return once this offer is gone.


Graphic works 062Labels and Ribbon for Finn & Izzy

Designed by Meade Design Group


Finn-and-Izzy Ad for Finn & Izzy

Designed by Meade Design Group


This is also a very important time to make sure your website is current, accurate and easy to navigate. Technology is always on the rise and you may be surprised to find out how much business is now generated over the world-wide-web.


BusCard_TafeBusiness Card Design for Tafe Measure

Designed by Meade Design Group


If you are a retailer you may want to consider upgrading your website to accommodate online purchases (e-commerce). Your customers are busier than ever and often turn to the internet to save gas, time and money - help them find you with a website that is easily found by search engines and makes it easy to shop from the comfort of their own home. This is also helpful to you - business is much more cost-effective when done on-line; there is no staff to pay but you can remain open for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and are available to possible customers around the globe rather than being restrained to your own town.


RWSS 2 005 Running with Scissors Promotional Items

Designed by Meade Design Group


image Running with Scissors E-Commerce Site

Designed by Meade Design Group


SnipImage Website for Kimberly Williams

Designed by Meade Design Group


image Website for Eva Campbell

Designed by Meade Design Group


If you are a service based company, ask your web developer to check on the efficiency of your website: how well the search engines find you, how many people come to your site versus how many contact you from it and what pages they visit. This is very valuable information as to what is working for you and your business. Also be sure to maintain a current portfolio and if possible, change your welcome page often to keep visitors coming back to see what is new and exciting with your business.


Stationery_KWI Letterhead design for Kimberly Williams

Designed by Meade Design Group


All in all, please be sure never to underestimate value over cost, if you invest and trust in a solid graphic identity and marketing strategy you are sure to reap an abundance of rewards.



MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Monday, 22 June 2009

In Conversation with Alexandra Von Furstenberg

with AVFAlexandra Von Furstenberg


The name “Von Furstenberg” is synonymous with aristocracy, high-end design and fashion but Alexandra von Furstenberg is making her mark with her own collection of limited edition home furnishings that have dazzled design-geeks, consumers and critics alike. Alexandra’s 2008 collection was comprised of modern, light reflecting acrylic with high-impact, bold, neon-coloured edges. The 2008 collection was fun and pop-inspired with clean lines and a modern take on the art-deco style.


The 2009 collection from Alexandra von Furstenberg has similar lines to the previous collection but takes on new life with masculine, strong and sultry colours, reminiscent of gunmetal or a beautifully applied smoky eye. It is a more elegant and classic take on the fun, pop-colours of her previous collection and in combination with some new pieces with more rectilinear forms, these pieces are a real treat for homeowners with a more subdued or dramatic home.




Alexandra has a very strong background in the arts, she attended both Parsons School of Design and Brown University, majoring in costume design and art history. She began a career as Creative Director and later as Director of Image for her mother in-law, International fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and decided to change her focus to interiors in 2006. Her exclusive collections have been very well-received and are continuing to grow and thrive. Alexandra’s her work has graced many magazine pages and high-end homes, we can’t wait to see what she’ll come up with next.


Please read on to find out more about this talented designer…


Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Alexandra von Furstenberg My first experience was designing costumes for the drama department at Brown University. My fashion portfolio continued as I worked alongside my mother-in-law for ten years. This unique experience in fashion was a great segue into a personal passion for designing my own living spaces. It was a natural transition into product design, beginning with the launch of the AVF collection in 2008.



  Gangster Console by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Who or what has influenced your style?

Alexandra von FurstenbergThe style of my current collection, Voltage, was influenced by 1940s Art Décor, Hollywood glamour mixed with 60s retro, and a space odyssey, futuristic vision.


image Bullet Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – How would you describe your style?

Alexandra von FurstenbergMy style embodies the sleek, modern lacquered design seen in both my 2008 and 2009 collections. The chic, elegant lines of the furniture and accessory pieces are matched with quality craftsmanship.


image imageM-!6 Cube End Tables by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


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

Alexandra von Furstenberg There are so many designers I admire, but if I have to call out a couple I would have to say Pierre Cardin - Although he was most known for his work in fashion, he was so innovative during his short career in furniture design. Also, Charles Hollis Jones for being a pioneer in Lucite in the early 70s.


imageRevolver Occasional Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What do you consider to be your greatest strength and your greatest weakness?

Alexandra von FurstenbergMy strength lies in the creative process and being able to bring my vision to three-dimensional form. The greatest challenge for me is to stick with my designs even when they are misunderstood.



Blacksmith Desk by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What was the transition like from fashion to interiors? Was it difficult to remove yourself from your successful career at Diane von Furstenberg?

Alexandra von FurstenbergThe creative process in fashion and interiors is very similar in that your sense of style is all around you - not only in the way your dress, but also in the way you decorate your home. It is a form of lifestyle. Of course it was difficult to walk away from a successful career in fashion, but it was a transition I was ready for.


image Soiree by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What compelled you to move into interiors from fashion?

Alexandra von FurstenbergIt was a natural progression for me.



image Axel Desk by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What books are currently on your bedside or coffee table?

Alexandra von FurstenbergFrank Lloyd Wright: Complete Works and Helmet Newton are on my coffee table and by my bed I have Conversations with God.


image XOXO Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What attracts you to acrylic as your medium of choice in your designs?

Alexandra von FurstenbergI felt that acrylic had been so misunderstood and misused. I wanted to give it the design credit it deserved.


image Sledge Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What are you excited about right now in the world of design (this can be both fashion and interiors if you would like)?

Alexandra von FurstenbergConsumers seem to be less conservative than they once were, leaving room for diversity.


image Bootleg Trays by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What piece has given you the most satisfaction?

Alexandra von FurstenbergIt’s not really a particular piece, but the collection as a whole. When I launched my first and then second collection, the satisfaction of seeing all of my work come to life was indescribable. It was the birth of my brainchild, so to speak.


image Blindfold 4 Panel Screen by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Do you have a signature detail or design mantra that you apply to all of your pieces? If so, what is it?

Alexandra von FurstenbergEach design in my collection features the lip logo on a numbered, dated and signed plaque. In a sense, the pieces become functional art. As for a design mantra, the words Fearless hang in my Los Angeles showroom. I think it is the strength behind these words that drives my creative force in this challenging industry.


image Trillion by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – What is your next design venture?

Alexandra von FurstenbergI hope to someday grow AVF into a full blown lifestyle brand, reaching all levels of design.


image Sledge Cocktail Table by Alexandra Von Furstenberg


Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created stunning collections of furniture and accessories that show your talent and growth as a designer. What would you like your legacy to be?

Alexandra von FurstenbergTo continue to have collections that adapt to the changes in consumer’s lifestyles – from their homes, to their clothing, and their technology. I also hope to evolve in the same way, as a designer.




MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011

Thursday, 18 June 2009

My ten favourite pieces from AB Interiors

If you have not read the comment from AB Interiors in my last blog entry, you may not now how I was encouraged to post an entry about their product line (in the friendliest way of course!).

However, once I took a look at their online store I was excited to find all of the pieces I would need for my dream summer cottage. I would love to own a cozy place by the sea filled with rustic, Belgian inspired pieces for a casual yet elegant place to get away from work and busy downtown Victoria.

Take a peek below to find some of the highlights I would need to include in my dream cabin…


Which ones are your favourite pieces?


image Large Wood Chandelier


image Wood Canister


image Finial Book Ends


imageMalaga Dining Table


image Pacifica Ottoman


image Versailles Sheets


imageBamboo Flatware


imageBarrington Table Lamp 


imageChachepot Basket


 image Pacifica Lounge Chair


MEADE DESIGN GROUP - THE BLOG. Copyright 2007-2011