Three audacious exhibits, three visions, one common thread. 

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Three audacious exhibits, three visions, one common thread. 

Yayoi Kusama "Infinite Mirrors" SAM: Seattle Art Museum // June 3- September 10, 2017

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is a celebration of the legendary Japanese artist’s 65-year career and promised to be one of 2017's essential interactive art experiences. Seattle visitors lined up around the entire Museum block, to attend the most thrilling exhibit in the PNW this year. People did not hesitate to wait in line for two hours to experience twenty seconds in each of the six mesmerizing Infinity mirror rooms.  A selection of her other key works never shown in the U.S. included some paintings from her most recent series "My Eternal Soul"  were on exhibit.

 

From her original performances in the 1960s, when she staged underground polka dot “Happenings” on the streets of New York, to her latest Infinity Mirror Room,  All The Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016, the Hirshhorn exhibition showcases Kusama’s full range of talent. The unforgettable sensory journey through the mind and legacy of one of the world’s most popular artists pushes us in a self-introspection exercise where one is transposed in a world devoid of points of reference. The unique approach in Yayoi Kusama's Obliteration Room is a room Kusama constructed as a large domestic environment with chairs, couches, tables, phones all brilliantly white, to serve as a giant white canvas. The act of communal "obliteration" rids the room of the stark white by each visitor using the colored stickers given to them upon entry, to transform the room into an explosion of color. Interactive art for all who dare.

 

Yayoi Kusama "Infinity Mirrors" is currently in NYC across three gallery spaces in New York: Festival of Life at 525 and 533 West 19th Street in Chelsea and Infinity Nets on 34 East 69th Street on the Upper East Side.

 

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Christian Dior -  Couturier du Reve // Musée des Arts Decoratifs - Paris // July 5- January 7, 2018

Fashion mega retrospectives have gained a huge audience and interest in recent years, from the Met's infamous Alexander MacQueen to the recent Comme des Garçons show. Paris features one of France's fashion darlings, the House of Dior.  Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the House of Christian Dior, the 32,000sq/ft extravaganza performance space is a staggering show of colors from perfume to shoes, handbags (with an actual demonstration of how a bag is made) to jewelry, and accessories. 
The succession of rooms is a tribute to the many of the successive Creative Directors (Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan, Gianfranco Ferré, John Galliano, Raf Simons and the current, first female, holder of the post, Maria Grazia Chiuri). Each of these YSL Creative leaders reinvented the brand, one after the next to make it an iconic fashion house. 
The highly symbolic transitions into historical periods feature each an amazing interpretation of creativity where fashion constantly blurs with art. 
The show cleverly put Dior's creations into historical context, juxtaposing Picasso, Dali, Matisse with Dior's masterpieces and highlight the designer's inspiration. 

An array of paper flowers was installed like a hanging garden by Wanda artists to depict Christian Dior’s passion for flowers and gardens - one which has proved a constant inspiration for the brand’s creations. They bloom alongside floral dresses by Christian Dior and his successors, right up to Maria Grazia Chiuri, all against a backdrop of artworks by Claude Monet and Marc Quinn.


The most stunning experience of the exhibition is the last room.  A replica of Versailles' Palais des Glaces (the Mirrors' Palace) which was a source of inspiration for Dior. The room showcases on stage hundreds of celebrities dresses and in the middle multi-colored and reflective mirrors from floor to ceiling. The visitors will find themselves swirling among the dresses and the changing colors and light show. 

 

Whitney's Biennale 2017 //  March 17–June 11, 2017 // New York City

This year's Biennial is the seventy-eighth edition of the longest-running survey of American art, creativity, and culture, it arrives at a time rife with racial tensions, economic inequities, and polarizing politics. Throughout the exhibition, artists challenge us to consider how these realities affect our senses of self and community. The Biennial features sixty-three individuals and collectives whose work takes a wide variety of forms, from painting and installation to activism and video-game design.  

Two works that really captivated myself and my twelve-year-old daughter were:

A video installation Post Commodity by Raven Chacon, Cristobal Martinez, and Kade L. Twist shows several miles of the Mexican border fence lending a voice to engage the assault like manifestations of a global market and other institutions. 

In Samara Golden’s site-specific installation for the 2017 Biennial, handmade sculptures of furniture and other everyday objects create a series of environments that appear to be in conflict with each other and a repetition of reality to imagery, which is infinitely reflected through the use of mirrors on the ceiling and floor.

These three exhibits located in three different cities reflects also the mood of a society and the nature of our time; a culture of self-vindication, with a desire for self-image overdrive and ongoing statements to be made for everyone to see while on the move. It is also a time of engagement and opinion growing stronger and stronger. The future is bound to facilitate the eclosion of even stronger art statement in 2018 largely reflecting how our world is moving forward, or not depending on one's opinion and location in the world. 

 

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A virtual Coffee with...Anthony Grasso

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A virtual Coffee with...Anthony Grasso

Earlier this summer I managed to catch Anthony Grasso between two movies. A long time friend at L+B Design, Anthony is an accomplished Actor/Teacher/Photographer based in New York City. 

I was very much interested in picking his brain and get his take on what creativity bring to his line of work and how he channels it.

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Branding Your Trade Show – Part II - Event Marketing and Social Media are like Fish and Chips

For many, participating in a marketing event only consists of sending an email, showing up and hoping for as many attendees as possible. By integrating social media in your event strategy, you can make this a six-course meal and tasting of opportunities at a fraction of the cost.

In our first part, we will cover the key elements that should ensure your organization the minimum required visibility of your physical brand experience. Some indicators on how your next industry event can turn into a huge opportunity to truly connect, in engaging your customers and convert prospects into clients. The digital age has fundamentally changed the way we do business and industry events. Any organization not integrating social media as part of their event strategy is missing greatly and handing the customer away to their competitors.

Following are key topics and implementation tactics you should consider before, during and after your events.

Pre-Event Approach:

Define One to Three Strong Hashtag

This will not only single out your event by creating exposure for your business but also help you track buzz and end user interactions. Along your hashtag don’t forget to use the official event hashtag and connect more rapidly with people attending the event. Start engaging with prospects and attendees even before the show start.

Build up Media Exposure

Twitter and LinkedIn are two great venues to connect directly with key media people no matter what industry you are in. Interacting with them in advance will augment the possibility of getting that extra mention in the show daily newsfeed or in a larger outlet.  Invest in one or a few short video teasers. These always perform well in social media feed; people love videos!

Create a Specific Web Page on Your Site

For major announcements or product launch, it makes sense to create a dedicated page off your corporate site.  The reason for this is you can tailor the message to the specific audience, collect metrics using an inquiry form against a valuable download such as an eBook, or a white paper (you will be amazed how many people are willing to give up their contact info for valuable information!)

Host a Pre-event Meet Up

Large Industry events usually give the opportunity to sponsor a cocktail party or a breakfast session. There are only a few spots available so these are usually snapped by the big sponsors. Go ahead and create a VIP cocktail event set in the immediate area where the show takes place or where most attendees are staying.

Check the show calendar and make sure your event will not run at the same time a massive sponsored party is happening; you will maximize the amount of guests showing up.

At the show

Have a Person Dedicated to Social Media During the Event

Most senior execs will be busy in key interactions with prospects or current customers while the marketing team will be in the hotspot talking to media and making sure everything is running smoothly, leaving little time for posting about what is taking place.  Having someone dedicated to report and pot about the event allow for current attendees and outsiders to stay in the loop and capitalize in the event’s momentum giving you a top exposure within the event feed.

Video, Video Videos!

Nothing is more compelling than showing the atmosphere of the event and allowing your social media audience to be part of the event itself.  Someone winning a prize, giving a speech or a group having a great time, these are great snippets which work well in social media posts. Additionally, capture testimonials from guests around the event or from customers about the company, a social setting is always a great opportunity to get people to speak their heart out in a more genuine manner than a very structured and rigid way and makes great content for YouTube, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Periscope and your website.

Make the Audience Contribute

Even if the event is in Hawaii, no one has time to send postcards home.

A simple giveaway contest or photo opportunity in front of a branded banner associated with that famous hashtag is a great way to bring traffic to your space and to get attendees involved in sharing a picture of themselves and the good times they are having on their social media feeds. If your space and event is branded properly (see part I, You will multiply your reach through their network.

Oh… and Don't Forget to Share Content!

Things can get busy quickly, something unexpected always comes up and requires to be handled on the spot. Use the-pre show period to schedule your messaging and key content posts so they appear along with the pictures and videos you will capture during the event.  Event can be fun but remember also to make room for your talking points and brand or product unique selling points.

After the Event

 The meal is over but the memory of it will gain value only if it is shared with someone. It would have been unfortunate if you accumulated all these great moments and did nothing with it; The spotlights might be off and everyone is gone but the event isn’t over. The follow up just begins. From prospect to loyal customers there are a few things to be done.

Lead Follow up

You captured a large amount of business cards (yes these still exist) it’s time to update your customer database.  On average about 20% of your contacts will change position or companies within a year, send a follow up email. Instead of this been a simple but not really useful thank you, insert a link to a media gallery of pictures or photos and build in a share function. People like to share selfies or forward to colleagues. Don’t forget to use basic principle of personalizing that email to create a meaningful connection. Speaking a which, will give you an opportunity to connect on LinkedIn and further build up your network with people you actually met with.

Post Show Write Up

It is the opportunity for a blog post or full length article summing up what happened during the event and what was covered to reinforce the message or reiterate the product purpose. Illustrate the article with visuals (link to the media library) and videos. Extract bylines and use them in twitter posts to link back to the blog post itself.

These are really some easy to implement ways to maximize social engagements during your company events or key industry opportunities. Face to face interactions are still important in a business environment. Make sure to capitalize on them through social media follow up. Don’t forget also it is a great way to involve and let in those who were not able to attend but wanted to be part of it.

Do you have specific story or a particular tactics you found successful during your events? we would love to hear about it!  

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Building a Brand; More Than a Pretty Face.

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Building a Brand; More Than a Pretty Face.

We see this happening all the time: When someone is launching a business, there are so many things to worry about and tackle and decision-making becomes a daily occurrence; shouldn’t I do this? What about that?  One can get quickly overwhelmed and afraid to take the wrong path. It is understandable; running a business quickly bombard you with real tangible matter to deal with: paying the bills, getting more customers, or simply dealing with making sure the product is right or finding an audience....read the full story. 

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A Virtual Coffee with...Reiko Morrison

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A Virtual Coffee with...Reiko Morrison

A virtual Coffee with... is a new series featuring L+B Design's network of professionals in the Creative Industry. We will ask them three questions and gather their point of view on a current topic. Our first guest is Reiko Morrison, Owner at Blink:ID, specialized in Industrial Design.

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GTT and Trade Show Presence: Best practices - Part I

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GTT and Trade Show Presence: Best practices - Part I

This is a two-part article covering design and marketing best practice at trades shows or events in general where you and your company will hav to maximize brand exposure while your sales team will be beating the floor conveying the uniqueness of your brand. In this first part. We are going over the basic rules of communicating your brand visually in the best manner. The second part of this article will focus on Content, Digital and Social integration before, during and after the show itself. 

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Remain open to the possibilities

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Remain open to the possibilities

Thanksgiving is upon us. It is the opportunity to pause and reflect on the year, and what a year it has been. Charged with dramatic events internationally, with some close to home at many levels nationally and internationally. But more than ever, we are grateful for you, clients, colleagues, creative partners, friends. We remain optimistic and belive in the possibilities where anything can happen for the better if you put your mind into it. 

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Domaines Chainier Gets a Renewed Digital Life

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Domaines Chainier Gets a Renewed Digital Life

Domaines Chainier’s team came to L+B Design with one of the most essential challenges: Create a website experience so connected with the legacy of the brand, so identifiable and so engaging that in a few minutes It can convey the legacy an expertise of two generations of winemaking in the Loire Valley.

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AbylityGlobal Spread its Wings

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AbylityGlobal Spread its Wings

A national grown global organization with more than 25 years of experience in delivering network solutions in a single package calls back L+B Design for its next brand iteration seven years after its initial debut.

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Pink Boat Regatta in Full Swing

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Pink Boat Regatta in Full Swing

It is our second year collaborating with the Pink Boat Regatta and this year the event is endorsed by the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance based in South Lake Union in Downtown Seattle.

Our focus last year was to build the brand and craft an image and visual language aligned with the organization's values. We made it a point to make it fun, slightly irreverent sometimes because we think a serious matter such as Breast Cancer can be approached in a different way.

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No Message, No Product

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No Message, No Product

An Idea doesn't make a business, but building a business and a brand around an idea might be what will make the difference between two ventures.

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How production can be part of the Design

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How production can be part of the Design

Print is not dead. As a matter of fact, there seems to be a resurgence of book sales nowadays. This post is about the importance for designers to understand printing techniques and how it can enhance a collateral piece beyond the screen and for clients to see the opportunity to deliver high value and a unique experience aligned with the brand philosophy to its audience.

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