Tag: Web Design

McDonald’s Has Humorous Reason To Believe That Mysterious Monolith Is Its Own

Image via Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

Mysterious structures have been popping up in parts of nature and making headlines lately. A 12-foot monolith was discovered in the Utah desert, and then vanished a few days later. Another was then found in Romania, which went missing as well, prompting a lot of jokes.

McDonald’s says it might have an idea of what the monoliths could mean. The fast-food chain tweeted a photo of the Utah structure photoshopped to be part of its drive-thru. “Welcome to McDonald’s, what can I get you?” the fast food chain joked.

The joke went viral online, and other brands like Oreo and Xbox got in on the action.

“We’ll take one Oreo McFlurry, please?” the cookie company responded. McDonald’s replied with, “One Oreo McFlurry with a spoon that is not a straw coming right up!”

Oreo took the opportunity to poke fun at the Golden Arches, stating, “Oh good, we were worried the machine would be down.”

Xbox asked the chain if it has the McRib on its menu. The chain responded with, “Y’all got the Series X?” The gaming company replied, “Sorry, it won’t fit in the Happy Meal box.”

Take a look at more responses below.

welcome to McDonald's what can i get you? pic.twitter.com/iIgd8J5QIW

— McRib is Back (@McDonalds) December 1, 2020

We'll take one OREO McFlurry, please! pic.twitter.com/eyyZVwksNv

— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) December 1, 2020

Oh good, we were worried the machine would be down 😉

— OREO Cookie (@Oreo) December 1, 2020

y’all got the series x?

— McRib is Back (@McDonalds) December 1, 2020

Sorry, it won’t fit in the Happy Meal box.

— Xbox (@Xbox) December 1, 2020

uh yes hi, think i took a wrong turn somewhere but can i get a quarter pounder with cheese meal pic.twitter.com/x4u852KhXV

— Chip Ganassi Racing (@CGRTeams) December 1, 2020

Duhhh of course

— M&M'S (@mmschocolate) December 2, 2020

ʸᵉᵃʰ ᶜᵃⁿ ⁱ ᵍᵉᵗ ᵘʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰʰ

— Sour Patch Kids (@SourPatchKids) December 1, 2020

[via Mashed, cover image via Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412524/McDonald-s-Has-Humorous-Reason-To-Believe-That-Mysterious-Monolith-Is-Its-Own/

Apple Announces Its Favorite & Most-Downloaded Apps That Made 2020 Better

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Apple

In 2020, all the talk from the years before about finding balance, keeping fit, and getting to long-drawn-out projects became a reality, as people are pushed to finally start taking action on the way they live and work. This is evident in their choice of apps, which reflect a growing need for productivity, mental health, and escapism from spending most of the day at home.

On Tuesday, Apple unveiled its top picks in apps and games for the iPhone, Mac, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple TV, as well as shared its most popular downloads from the year. The company acknowledged a noticeable shift in content since apps “are a reflection of culture.”

“In 2020, developers overwhelmingly led a trend towards helpfulness,” Apple noted in its press release. Since the user is always placed first, several of the programs are designed to help people cope with new adjustments at home. They’re focused on at-home work and learning, bridging the physical gaps between loved ones, and self-care.

The iPhone App of the Year is Wakeout!, a quick exercise app for those used to a sedentary lifestyle that encourages them to work out from their couch, bed, or home office desk. Zoom has been named the iPad App of the Year, and calendar and task app Fantastical has been hailed Mac App of the Year. This year’s top pick for iPhone games is Genshin Impact, a vast, magical role-playing game.

Apple CEO Tim Cook also delivered a special address to thank app developers for going out of their way to keep users entertained, engaged, and in control during quarantine. “In a year that was challenging for so many of us in so many ways, I’d like to take a moment to share how grateful I am for your work,” he announced in a video shot at Apple Park.

In a year unlike any other, developers have amazed us with new ways to keep us connected, entertained, active and healthy. Congratulations to the incredible app and game creators behind the @AppStore Best of 2020! https://t.co/duY64VGtmw pic.twitter.com/b98OkoGYXa

— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) December 2, 2020

“You put your heart and soul into finding ways to solve new problems, delivering unmatched innovation to keep us all entertained, active, productive, learning, and healthy,” Cook added.

For the first time ever, selected app developers were presented with a physical ‘App Store Best Of’ award, designed with 100-percent aluminum:

Image via Apple

Unsurprisingly, the most-downloaded apps of 2020 have been centered around productivity and entertainment, and include Zoom, Procreate Pocket, and AutoSleep.

Take a look at Apple’s favorite and most-downloaded apps from this year below, and head here to see its top games in terms of downloads.

iPhone App of the Year: Wakeout!

iPhone Game of the Year: Genshin Impact

iPad App of the Year: Zoom

iPad Game of the Year: Legends of Runeterra

Mac App of the Year: Fantastical

Mac Game of the Year: Disco Elysium

Apple TV App of the Year: Disney+

Apple TV Game of the Year: Dandara Trials of Fear

Apple Watch App of the Year: Endel

Apple Watch Game of the Year: Sneaky Sasquatch

Most downloaded apps of 2020

Top free apps, based on downloads

1. ZOOM Cloud Meetings

2. TikTok

3. Disney+

4. YouTube

5. Instagram

6. Facebook

7. Snapchat

8. Messenger

9. Gmail

10. Cash App

11. Amazon Shopping

12. Netflix

13. Google Maps

14. DoorDash

15. Spotify

16. Widgetsmith

17. WhatsApp Messenger

18. Venmo

19. Google

20. Google Meet

Top paid apps, based on downloads

1. TouchRetouch

2. Procreate Pocket

3. Facetune

4. HotSchedules

5. AutoSleep

6. The Wonder Weeks

7. SkyView

8. Shadowrocket

9. Sky Guide

10. Forest – Stay focused

11. FlickType Keyboard

12. Mirror for Samsung TV

13. Scanner Pro by Readdle

14. kirakira+

15. Toca Hair Salon 3

16. Screen Mirroring+ for Roku

17. The Mandalorian Stickers

18. FiLMiC Pro-Video Camera

19. EpocCam Webcamera for Computer

20. Star Walk 2: The Night Sky Map

[via iDownloadBlog and TechCrunch, images via Apple] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412525/Apple-Announces-Its-Favorite-Most-Downloaded-Apps-That-Made-2020-Better/

IKEA Creates Free Mini Furniture Downloads To Decorate Your Gingerbread House

Image via IKEA

This Christmas, IKEA Canada has found a way to turn the festive holiday staple, the gingerbread house, into cozy homes.

Gingerbread houses are often served as a treat during the holidays. However, IKEA noticed that warmth and comfort are often missing from these homes, so the flatpack company has launched a sweet project called the Gingerbread Höme to enhance everyday life in the sweet abode.

The Gingerbread Höme kit aims to transform your existing build with all the delicious furnishings needed to make it look snug. On IKEA’s website, you will find downloadable stencils and the instruction guide.

Follow the steps closely and you will be able to recreate IKEA’s famous furniture, like the MALM bedframe, BILLY bookshelf and STRANDMON chair.

IKEA has also partnered with four influencers from Canada, who will share their gingerbread creations on their social media platforms starting 14 December.

The Gingerbread Höme series was launched together with creative agencies Rethink, CARAT and Wunderman Thompson.

Image via IKEA

Image via IKEA

Image via IKEA

Image via IKEA

Image via IKEA

[via LBB Online, cover image via IKEA] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412519/IKEA-Creates-Free-Mini-Furniture-Downloads-To-Decorate-Your-Gingerbread-House/

Spotify Revives Music Venues That Were Forced To Close By COVID-19

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Image via National Independent Venue Association

Spotify has unveiled its annual Wrapped campaign, where it lists the top artists, albums, songs, playlists and podcasts that defined what its users listen to in 2020.

While is also known for its fun outdoor advertisements, the company decided to spotlight the threat facing many live music venues after the coronavirus pandemic hit. To save these music venue marquees across the country, Spotify has teamed up with National Independent Venue Association to raise funds for independent music venues.

As part of a ‘#SaveOurStages’ movement, the music platform also put up billboards of these music venues as well as big artists who had performed there before COVID-19 happened.

The campaign also features a series of “fan films” showing how users will thank artists who have helped them through work from home and social distancing requirements.

Spotify will also release a series titled My 2020 By this 7 December. The series involves specially curated playlists that feature some “vital voices of 2020” including activists Opal Tometi and podcast host Scottie Beam to name a few.

#2020Wrapped is finally here!
👉 https://t.co/DEkWri0PVR 👈 pic.twitter.com/yx5tPciZjA

— Spotify (@Spotify) December 2, 2020

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A post shared by NIVA | #SaveOurStages (@nivassoc)

[via Muse by CLIO, cover image via Spotify] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412517/Spotify-Revives-Music-Venues-That-Were-Forced-To-Close-By-COVID-19/

Pluto TV’s Wacky Ad Has David Hasselhoff Playing All 9 Roles Meant For 8 Others

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Video screenshot via Pluto TV

Legendary icon David Hasselhoff has taken up nine roles for internet television service Pluto TV’s new advertisement.

The spot, directed by Jonas Morganstein, was created to highlight Pluto TV’s free service that features over 100 titles on the platform.

Taking inspiration from ‘90s television commercials, the video starts off with the actor reprising his Baywatch character Mitch Buchannon. He goes into different situations to highlight the convenience of Pluto TV and showcases the variety of content available on the platform.

Hasselhoff is seen as a total of nine characters, from a girlfriend to a washed-up boyfriend, a middle-aged wife, a surgeon, a golf player, and more.

Pluto TV’s head of marketing Fran Hazeldin stated that the team had initially planned to cast the nine roles to different individuals but Hasselhoff suggested that he would play all the characters, resulting in the hilarious advertisement.

Hazeldin also added that “the multi-Hoff concept also made total sense in a COVID-19 production context.” Watch the video below.

[via B&T, cover image via Pluto TV] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412503/Pluto-TV-s-Wacky-Ad-Has-David-Hasselhoff-Playing-All-9-Roles-Meant-For-8-Others/

Baby Yoda Brings The Force As A Marshmallow ‘Floating’ In Holiday Cocoa Treat


Since Baby Yoda’s appearance in The Mandalorian series, the creature became fodder for a wide range of merchandise, including a Monopoly set, macarons, and now, a milk chocolate ball for the holidays.

GALERIECANDY has created a tiny marshmallow in the form of Grogu, the creature’s real name, and inserted it into a milk chocolate ball.

The treat is intended to be dropped into steaming hot milk to make easy hot chocolate. The cocoa ball will melt away and reveal the little marshmallow creature floating above in the drink.

The adorable themed candy, labeled as a ‘Star Wars The Mandalorian Holiday Chocolate Ball filled with Surprise The Child Marshmallow Treat’, is made in Belgium and weighs 2.12 ounces. It retails for US$20.49.

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

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A post shared by GALERIECANDY (@galeriecandy)

[via Nerdist, cover image via GALERIECANDY] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412518/Baby-Yoda-Brings-The-Force-As-A-Marshmallow-Floating-In-Holiday-Cocoa-Treat/

Watch: Massive Gundam Robot Watching Over Complex In Japan Shows Off New Moves

Video screenshot via Gundam Channel

Earlier this year, a life-sized Gundam robot became a reality in the city of Yokohama, Japan. The humanoid is now able to break into different movements similar to the character in the 1979 titular series.

A new glimpse at the giant Gundam captures it showing off dramatic gestures like taking steps and lifting its hands up to the skies. The machine was already able to kneel, move its fingers, and stare at humans on the ground in the initial look of the statue.

The humanoid, standing at 18 meters (59 feet), was built to be the central attraction of the Gundam Factory Yokohama complex, which is set to open later this month on 19 December 2020.

The theme park will also offer insights into how the cyborg was constructed in its exhibitions. There will also be a virtual look of the robot’s cockpit, so visitors can experience its point of view from high above.

人気アニメ、「機動戦士ガンダム」の40周年を記念した原寸大の動く「ガンダム」が、12月から横浜市で展示されるのを前に報道関係者に、迫力ある姿が公開されました。https://t.co/V4498097He#nhk_video pic.twitter.com/Z5H3mLip6x

— NHKニュース (@nhk_news) November 30, 2020

[via SoraNews24, cover image via Gundam Channel] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412515/Watch-Massive-Gundam-Robot-Watching-Over-Complex-In-Japan-Shows-Off-New-Moves/

OPPO Explores Phone With ‘Infinitely Variable’ Display That Turns Into A Tablet

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Image via OPPO

Phone manufacturers are always exploring the next innovation for smartphones. For OPPO, it is a handset with a rollable display.

OPPO showed off the ‘X 2021’ concept phone at its annual future tech expo. The gadget, which sports a standard 6.7-inch OLED display, has a clever trick—its screen can be rolled out to offer an overall display of 7.4 inches. It gives you the option to use it as a mini-tablet, and yet is small enough to slide into your pocket.

The display is achievable through the company’s rollable concept technology that makes the screen durable with no hard folding involved to eliminate any creases forming in the middle.

OPPO also emphasized on the durability and support structure behind the rollable display. A special two-in-one plate acts as a support for when the phone is extended or contracted. The flat plate features a surface of interlaced comb-like units behind the screen.

When the phone is extended into a tablet, the comb-like units expand to leave a certain number of “teeth” to support the center of the display, refraining it from collapsing inward.

“Two drive motors built into the handset generate a constant force output that is used to retract and extend the display,” an OPPO representative explained to Dezeen. “This design ensures that, as the display moves, stress is equally distributed. Even a sudden pull or push will not damage the display.”

OPPO also added a custom lamination for its screen—the warp track—to firmly protect the screen. Resembling a conveyor belt, it ensures that the OLED screen maintains its shape when rolled out.

Images displayed on the screen can adapt to various sizes thanks to high-precision sensors. The display is described as “infinitely variable,” which means that it can be set to different desired sizes for gaming or ebooks, as long as the sizes are within the device’s specs.

“Compared with the fixed screen size of a folding screen, the on-the-go adjustment of the rollable screen promises endless possibilities and can even enhance office productivity and entertainment experiences,” said OPPO.

“The phone automatically adjusts to full-screen viewing according to the size of the video, providing a more comfortable reading experience that’s close to the size of a book and it can display a full, text message pop-up window while playing games without affecting the game screen,” the spokesperson added.

There is still no word on whether the concept will turn into a reality, so stay tuned.

Image via OPPO

Image via OPPO

Image via OPPO

[via Dezeen, cover image via OPPO] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412516/OPPO-Explores-Phone-With-Infinitely-Variable-Display-That-Turns-Into-A-Tablet/

Allure Magazine Tackles Barriers By Showcasing Model With Down Syndrome On Cover

Image via Allure

Ellie Goldstein has smashed another barrier for people with disabilities. The model, who was born with Down syndrome, has landed herself on the digital cover of Allure magazine.

The cover is part of the magazine’s new series titled The Beauty of Accessibility, where it explores inclusivity and representation for people with disabilities in the beauty industry.

The front photo shows Goldstein rocking blue eyeshadow and glossy lips. The accompanying photoshoot sees her donning dreamy looks and playful clothes, including a Christopher Kane dress and an oversized black bow.

In the interview, Goldstein shares about her history-making campaign for Gucci Beauty. “When I saw [my picture] on Gucci Beauty’s Instagram, I though ‘Wow! Who is this? Is this me, or what?! My friends and family saw it. It felt very special to me,” she relates.

Goldstein has also set more big goals for herself. “10 years from now, I want to be all over the world,” she tells the publication.

You can read the full interview here.

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A post shared by Allure Magazine (@allure)

[via Yahoo, cover image via Allure] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412514/Allure-Magazine-Tackles-Barriers-By-Showcasing-Model-With-Down-Syndrome-On-Cover/

Amazon Is Launching Camera Tech That Lets Companies Monitor Staff At Work

Image via Amazon Web Services

Amazon is set to launch new tools that monitor employees at factories and stores real soon.

The new technology, developed by the brand’s cloud arm Amazon Web Services (AWS), is called ‘AWS Panorama’ and will let companies track employees at work through their existing on-premises cameras with added machine-learning and computer vision capabilities.

The tech giant explained that companies can use the AWS Panorama to keep an eye out for workplace safety or keep count of “customers, track their movements for heat mapping and monitor the length of queues.”

The AWS website has already listed out some of the partners, which included Siemens, Lenovo, and musical instrument company Fender.

Fender vice president of global IT Michael Spandau shared that the AWS Panorama, along with Amazon Machine Learning Solutions Lab, will help the company analyze the amount of time it takes for an employee to assemble a guitar, enabling Fender to “optimize efficiency and track key metrics.”

Amazon has priced the AWS Panorama Appliance at US$4,000 per device, with an additional fee of US$8.33 every month for each camera stream.

[via Mashable, cover image via Amazon Web Services] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412504/Amazon-Is-Launching-Camera-Tech-That-Lets-Companies-Monitor-Staff-At-Work/

Lincoln, Rumored To Be ‘Ugly,’ Had Pictures Retouched To Prove Haters Wrong

Photo of Lincoln (Cooper Union photo, 1860), image via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-F8112- 44650]

These days, first impressions are drawn from photographs. You’ll need a profile picture on social media, and even more so on dating apps like Tinder, so others can put a face to a name. However, Abraham Lincoln doesn’t live in this era.

Back when Lincoln was running for the presidency, Americans could only imagine what he looked like. And they heard he was ugly.

A compelling feature by Atlas Obscura revealed that news outlets had painted an unsightly picture of the Republican presidential hopeful. The Houston Telegraph, for one, described him as “the leanest, lankiest, most ungainly mass of legs, arms and hatchet face ever strung upon a single frame,” and suggested he had “most unwarrantably abused the privilege which all politicians have of being ugly.”

Democrats made up a rallying cry that ended with, “We beg and pray you— Don’t, for God’s sake, show his picture.”

In a bid to win the people’s vote, Lincoln enlisted photographer Mathew Brady to make him look good. Brady was a master retoucher of his time long before the existence of Photoshop; according to Mary Warner Marien’s Photography: A Cultural History, the photographer “conceptualized images, arranged the sitters, and oversaw the production of pictures.”

One of the most famous portraits of Lincoln, captured before he gave his Cooper Union Address, was shot by Brady and enhanced with some “special effects,” detailed Atlas Obscura. The photographer shone copious amounts of lighting on the would-be president’s face so people wouldn’t fixate on his “gangly” build.

Lincoln was also asked to curl up his fingers to distract from their length. His collar was “artificially enlarged” so his neck wouldn’t look too long.

Photo of Lincoln (Cooper Union photo, 1860), image via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-F8112- 44650] (public domain)

This was the first time many Americans had a glimpse of their future president, and the move proved to be successful. Lincoln would later declare, “Brady and the Cooper Institute made me President.”

The picture was printed across newspapers and postcards, and some artists would even take the creative liberties to further enhance his looks by smoothing his hair and “subtly [refining] his features.”

After becoming president, Lincoln would recruit Brady to have several more of his portraits taken, including the ones on the penny and US$5 banknote.

Image via Shutterstock

The interest in retouching Lincoln’s portraits persisted after his assassination, as artists felt compelled to depict the former president as a “hero.” For portrait painter Thomas Hicks, he repurposed a picture of the racist, pro-slavery John C. Calhoun and superimposed it with Lincoln’s face.

John C. Calhoun / painted by T. Hicks ; likeness from a dage. by Brady ; engraved by A.H. Ritchie, image via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-pga-02499]

In place of the words “strict constitution,” “free trade,” and “the sovereignty of the states” on a set of desk papers, Hicks added the phrases “constitution,” “union,” and “proclamation of freedom.” Everyone thought the edit was authentic for a century.

Abraham Lincoln. by Brady ; engraved by A.H. Ritchie, image via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, [LC-DIG-pga-02353]

Atlas Obscura details this fascinating piece of history even further in its article. Read it here

[via Atlas Obscura, images via Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412513/Lincoln-Rumored-To-Be-Ugly-Had-Pictures-Retouched-To-Prove-Haters-Wrong/

YouTube Shares The Most Popular Videos By Creators In 2020

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Video screenshot via Netflix is a Joke

Now that 2020 is coming to an end, YouTube is highlighting the content creators who managed to “innovate under challenging circumstances.”

Recently, the video streaming site announced that it will not be releasing a Rewind video for the year. However, if you’re itching to see the best of 2020, YouTube has unveiled a roundup of trending videos on its platform.

The company has presented two separate lists with top 10 videos by content creators and musicians.

“From videos and creators that released content both before and during the pandemic, the lists reflect how the world changed and how creators quickly adapted to our new normal,” YouTube stated in its press release.

The top spot was awarded to Dave Chapelle’s comedy show 8:46 – Dave Chappelle by Netflix is a Joke. The video received a whopping 29,008,498 views.

The next most popular work was Mark Rober’s video, Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder, with 49,822,915 views.

Saturday Night Live’s sketch First Debate Cold Open, starring Jim Carrey as Joe Biden and Alex Baldwin as Donald Trump, clutched the third rank with 49,822,915 views.

In terms of music videos, Future’s Life Is Good, featuring Drake, took the first position with 1,299,568,333 views. Next was 6IX9INE’s GOOBA, garnering a total of 639,031,435 views. The third slot was taken by Lil Baby’s We Paid with 42 Dugg. The video collected 185,245,050 views so far.

View some of the videos below, and see the full lineup here.

Top three videos under the Content Creators category

1. 8:46 – Dave Chapelle by Netflix is a Joke

2. Building the Perfect Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder by Mark Rober

3. Saturday Night Live First Debate Cold Open by SNL

First Debate Cold Open – SNL

Chris Wallace (Beck Bennett) moderates the first presidential debate between Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) and Joe Biden (Jim Carrey).Saturday Night Live. Str…

Top three videos under the Musicians category

1. Life Is Good (Official Music Video) by Future Ft Drake

2. GOOBA (Official Music Video) by 6IX9INE

3. We Paid (Official Video) by Lil Baby x 42 Dugg

[via In The Know, cover image via Netflix is a Joke] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412511/YouTube-Shares-The-Most-Popular-Videos-By-Creators-In-2020/

Nike Shines Light On Bullying & Racism That Foreign Students Face In Japan

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Image via Nike Japan

Nike Japan has released an advertisement that highlights racial discrimination in the country.

The commercial, titled Ugokashitsuzukeru. Jibun wo. Shorai wo. The future isn’t waiting, features stories based on the “real-life experiences of athletes.” The clip showcases three girls of Japanese, Korean and a Black-Japanese backgrounds overcoming daily struggles and conflicts to move their future through sports.

The video delves into being different and standing out in a society that believes in “blending in.”

The Japanese girl is being bullied in school and struggles to meet her parents’ expectations. “Am I good enough?” she questions herself.

The Black-Japanese girl struggles to blend in among the other kids in school. “Am I normal enough?” she asks herself, as she is ostracized for her looks, hair and skin. She then looks through a video of Naomi Osaka, who shares the same heritage as her, on her phone.

One of the comments often posed to Osaka is, “So are you American or Japanese?” something that she relates to, as well.

The Korean girl, who is a transfer student in Japan, is seen scrolling through her phone. She looks up the “zainichi problem” she is currently facing in the country. “Zainichi,” which means “foreign resident in Japan,” is a term often used to describe Korean migrants.

Because Japanese-Korean relations are still tense and hostile, she often gets stares on the street. “Maybe I should stand out a little less,” she says.

In the end, all the girls break through their walls of insecurities and fears after realizing they do not have to deal with the noise.

Nike’s spot highlights the issues of bullying and racism in Japan, and how society can be better by recognizing the issue and putting a stop to it.

[via SoraNews24, cover image via Nike Japan] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412510/Nike-Shines-Light-On-Bullying-Racism-That-Foreign-Students-Face-In-Japan/

Studio Ghibli Unveils Trailer For Its First All-CGI Film, ‘Earwig And The Witch’

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Image via IMDb

Studio Ghibli first announced the making of its first full CGI-animated film Earwig and the Witch, also known as Aya and the Witch, back in June. Now, the studio has released the trailer for the highly-anticipated movie.

Earwig and the Witch is an adaptation of Dianna Wynne Jones’ novel of the same name. The plot will follow the protagonist, Aya, who finds out later that she is the daughter of a witch.

The trailer offers a different take into Studio Ghibli animations as it was produced through CGI. The company had long been known for strictly using traditional techniques, like sketches and hand-drawings, until 1997’s Princess Mononoke.

The film, directed by Miyazaki’s son Goro, is set to hit theaters in America in 2021. For now, check out its trailer.

[via Engadget, cover image via IMDb] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412512/Studio-Ghibli-Unveils-Trailer-For-Its-First-All-CGI-Film-Earwig-And-The-Witch/

Naomi Osaka Is Making Her Mark In The Manga World With A Character Of Herself

Image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

Tennis player Naomi Osaka is set to make her mark in the world of manga, as she has inspired a new character in a comic book series to be published this month.

The manga, titled Unrivaled Naomi Tenka-ichi, will be released on 28 December, according to Japan’s most influential manga magazine Nakayosi. “Tenka-ichi” means world number one in Japanese.

The character depicts Osaka with pink and purple hair while wearing a yellow visor and holding a tennis racket.

The three-time Grand Slam winner took to Twitter to welcome the new character design. “Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister immensely, so this is really exciting for both of us,” Osaka shared.

Osaka, who moved to New York at the age of three, was born to a Japanese mother and a Haitian father.

“To feature a female character who is half-Haitian and half-Japanese, especially one so accomplished and universally admired, is a major leap forward in manga cultural awareness and representation,” Roland Kelts, professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University, told the BBC.

Biracial characters are rarely featured in manga, and if they are, they are normally half-white and half-Japanese, Kelts explained. This is influenced by Japan’s position as a “racially homogenous country.” As such, only a few manga artists have reportedly explored beyond their ethnic identity.

Growing up reading manga/watching anime was something that bonded me and my sister immensely so this is really exciting for both of us 🥰 https://t.co/mmzJ5k17x8

— NaomiOsaka大坂なおみ (@naomiosaka) November 28, 2020

[via BBC, cover image via Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412507/Naomi-Osaka-Is-Making-Her-Mark-In-The-Manga-World-With-A-Character-Of-Herself/

‘Not Wanted’ Ivanka Trump Posters Get Plastered Around New York City

Image via mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com

Comedy duo Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler, also known as The Good Liar, have hung up ‘Not Wanted’ signs featuring Ivanka Trump’s photo around New York City.

The notices take a swipe at the first daughter, who they describe to have a “fake posh” accent and eyes that are “dead behind.” The posters appear at Trump’s former hometown, Manhattan, as her father Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House.

They also refer to her husband Jared Kushner as “Slenderman,” referencing the fictional supernatural villain.

Trump and Kushner may not return to her hometown in January, with reports stating that they may relocate to New Jersey or Florida instead, per The New York Times.

“Not Wanted: Ivanka Trump” signs are up in New York pic.twitter.com/74Ft4vkePc

— The Good Liars (@TheGoodLiars) November 28, 2020

[via Independent, cover image via mark reinstein / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412508/Not-Wanted-Ivanka-Trump-Posters-Get-Plastered-Around-New-York-City/

The Louvre Is Selling Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience To Get Closer To ‘Mona Lisa’

Image via Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock.com

Even if you are lucky enough to have seen the Mona Lisa in person at the Louvre museum, you’d know how difficult it is to properly take in her beauty and enigma, what with the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece being crowded by other visitors.

However, if you’re especially earnest about seeing the most famous painting in the world up close, the Louvre is giving you the chance to. According to CNN Style, the museum is auctioning off a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to attend the annual examination of the Mona Lisa, where it will be removed from its case for inspection by conservation experts. The winner will get to view the 500-year-old subject outside of her bulletproof glass case.

The experience is part of the Louvre’s fundraising bid to make its collection “accessible to all.” One of its intentions from the scheme is to open a Louvre Museum Studio centered on artistic and cultural education. Jean-Luc Martinez, president and director of the Louvre, shared in a press release that the financial uncertainty caused by COVID-19 makes reaching this objective more crucial than ever.

Other rare opportunities going under the hammer, by way of auctioneer Christie’s, entail a private tour of the establishment with Louvre president and director Jean-Luc Martinez, and a torchlight Louvre museum night tour and private concert in the Caryatids Hall.

The chance to attend the inspection is estimated to sell for €10,000 to €30,000 (US$12,000 to US$36,000). The sale will run until 15 December, and whoever wins the spot will have two years to fulfill the experience.

[via CNN Style and Forbes, cover image via Savvapanf Photo / Shutterstock.com] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412509/The-Louvre-Is-Selling-Once-In-A-Lifetime-Experience-To-Get-Closer-To-Mona-Lisa/

IKEA Illustrates Its Plush Toys Coming Alive In Tokyo In Delightful New Comics

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

IKEA branches out from its usual instruction manuals with a charming new comic series to celebrate the opening of its new Shibuya location in Tokyo, Japan.

To highlight settling into its new vicinity on 30 November, IKEA roped in three up-and-coming female illustrators to capture the bustling everyday life in the concrete jungle with its iconic soft toys as characters, grape Japan reports.

In response, the artists—Emi Ozaki, Unpis, and Kei Mogari—had a JÄTTELIK dinosaur plushie try to catch a partner for itself through a claw machine, imagined BLÅHAJ sharks residing among Tokyo citizens, and envisioned toys zipping around the city via RÅSKOG wagons. The characters all seem to be settling in quite nicely.

One of the three versions, Unpis’ drawings of the shark toys, can now be seen on the outer wall of the Shibuya store. IKEA Japan has also printed the comics on limited-edition eco-friendly tote bags and posters, which are now retailing at the new location.

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A post shared by IKEA JAPAN (@ikeajapan)

Image via IKEA Japan

Image via IKEA Japan

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A post shared by オザキエミ/Emi Ozaki (@gggggw)

Images by Emi Ozaki for IKEA Japan

これも動くよぅ😆🐵🐯🐻🦕🦖🐼#IKEA渋谷 #ikea #ikeajapan #イケア渋谷 pic.twitter.com/u7ioqdxrYB

— Kei Mogari (@keimoga) November 30, 2020
Images by Kei Mogari for IKEA Japan

Posted by イケア・ジャパン (IKEA Japan) on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

Posted by イケア・ジャパン (IKEA Japan) on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

Posted by イケア・ジャパン (IKEA Japan) on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

Posted by イケア・ジャパン (IKEA Japan) on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

Posted by イケア・ジャパン (IKEA Japan) on Sunday, November 29, 2020

Image by Unpis for IKEA Japan

[via grape Japan, images by various artists for IKEA Japan] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412506/IKEA-Illustrates-Its-Plush-Toys-Coming-Alive-In-Tokyo-In-Delightful-New-Comics/

GIPHY’s Most Viewed GIFs Of 2020 Capture How Everybody Has Been Bearing The Year

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image by 100% Soft for GIPHY

What a year, right? If you can remember a frame of time in 2020 that went smoothly, you’ve done pretty well.

To celebrate making through this trainwreck of a year, GIPHY has shared its 25 most-viewed GIFs from 2020. Understandably, they faithfully sum up how people have been handling forced distances and a literal pandemic.

On the bright side, this year saw a rise in the use of heartwarming and encouraging GIFs, not only to send love to people outside your social bubble but to also spark conversations about diversity and equality. People also began rearranging their priorities, and their need for personal connections over material wealth has propelled “I love you” to become one of the most consistent search phrases on the platform.

More good news: GIPHY reported that several of 2020’s most popular GIFs were created from its “indispensable” artist community, proving that their work is “not only culturally relevant, but undeniably fun to use.”

The GIF that garnered the most eyeballs was an animated thank-you card, created for healthcare workers, of a dog in a nurse’s cap by author and illustrator Amy Luwis of Red and Howling. The image generated well over a billion views.

The GIF platform elaborated that, this year, it has taken extra measures to boost artist attribution. It has also made creating GIFs more worthwhile for freelancers, who can now be quickly engaged by potential clients or employers through a new ‘Hire Me’ button on their profiles.

“We are excited to expand our work with artists and creators into the New Year and beyond,” GIPHY wrote. “We’re so thankful to our community of creators who make GIPHY the platform it has become today and we sincerely hope that — wherever you may find yourself these days — that this list brings some animated and loopy positivity to your year,” it added.

Without further ado, here are the 15 most-viewed GIFs from GIPHY in 2020. Check out the site’s full post to see the top 25.

15. ‘Shaun the Sheep Yoga’ by Aardman Animation

14. ‘I Love You’ by corgiyolk

13. ‘I Love You’ by Parrotlet Post

12. ‘Keep Spreading Positivity’ by YouTube

11. ‘Virtual Hug’ by Kochstrasse

10. ‘Billie Eilish LOL’ by the BRIT Awards

9. ‘We Will Get Through This’ by INTO ACTION

8. ‘Dumpster fire’ by 100% Soft

7. ‘Happy Dance’ by Sesame Street

6. ‘OK!’ by Mochimochiland

5. ‘Long Distance Love’ by Chibird

4. ‘I Love You’ by RainToMe

3. ‘I Love You’ by RisuDong

2. ‘Grateful for You’ by GIPHY Cares

1. ‘Thank You’ by Red and Howling

[via GIPHY and Mashable, images by various creators for GIPHY] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412505/GIPHY-s-Most-Viewed-GIFs-Of-2020-Capture-How-Everybody-Has-Been-Bearing-The-Year/

Capital One Relives ‘Pulp Fiction’ In Xmas Ad With Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson

[Click here to view the video in this article]

Image via Capitol One

Actors John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson are best known for their roles in Quentin Tarantino’s cult film Pulp Fiction. Now, the two have teamed up once again to star in a cheeky advertisement for bank holding company Capital One.

The pair did not reprise their roles as Vincent and Jules from the film. In this spot, Travolta took on the role of Santa, and Jackson starred as a Capitol One spokesman.

The video starts with Santa Travolta doing online Christmas shopping as Jackson contacts him in a video call. Jackson then helps Santa to save money by using virtual coupons for his purchases.

Jackson later asks Santa if he could be written off the naughty list, but Santa replies, “Are you off the naughty words?”

Some of the Pulp Fiction references were spotted by YouTube users in the video’s comments section. One pointed out that Santa’s hair was slicked back, similar to Travolta’s character in the film.

Santa is also seen drinking a milkshake, which possibly hints at the iconic “$5 milkshake” scene from the film. If you take a closer look at Jackson’s T-shirt, you will notice that it has the words, “Happy Holidays With Cheese,” written across it, a nod to the film’s “Royale with Cheese” moment.

Watch the full advertisement below. Maybe you might spot more clues.

[via USA Today, cover image via Capitol One] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412501/Capital-One-Relives-Pulp-Fiction-In-Xmas-Ad-With-Travolta-Samuel-L-Jackson/

Byredo’s Trippy Scent Co-Designed By Travis Scott Is Crafted To Smell Like Space

Image via Byredo

Luxury scent maker Byredo has tapped Travis Scott to co-create a limited-edition cologne and candle. Dubbed “Space Rage, the Cactus Jack for Byredo Space Rage Travx,” the fragrance “smells like the galaxy.”

The perfume comes in a celestial purple-to-blue gradient bottle with handwritten branding on it.

Top notes of the scent include “cosmic dust [and] antimatter particles,” while the base features “atmospheric vapor [and] dark nebulae.” The fragrance features a heart of “Starlight” and “Supernova.”

The Travis Scott x Byredo perfume (US$285) and candle (US$95) are available exclusively on Travis Scott website and Byredo.

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A post shared by BYREDO (@officialbyredo)

[via HYPEBAE, cover image via Byredo] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412502/Byredo-s-Trippy-Scent-Co-Designed-By-Travis-Scott-Is-Crafted-To-Smell-Like-Space/

Prada Teams Up with adidas To Design Water-Resistant Shoes Inspired By Its Boat

Image via Prada x adidas

Prada and adidas have partnered to launch the A+P Luna Rossa 21 shoes made for both leisure and extreme sports.

Back in 1997, Prada set up its very own sailing team and boat called LUNA ROSSA, which became the inspiration for the new pair.

Since the sneakers will also be worn by the members of Prada’s sailing team, adidas produced the footwear with top-notch quality for performance and style.

Besides its modern and sleek design, the sneakers will provide stability and comfort. The upper is made out of Primegreen, a series of recycled materials and its outer shell features hydrophobic E-TPU, which prevents water from getting in and offers flexibility.

Priced at €550 (US$658), the A+P Luna Rossa 21 is packaged in a co-branded box and water-resistant pouch bag. View the design below.

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A post shared by Prada (@prada)

[via WWD, cover image via Prada x adidas] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412497/Prada-Teams-Up-with-adidas-To-Design-Water-Resistant-Shoes-Inspired-By-Its-Boat/

Merriam-Webster’s 2020 Word Of The Year Is Its Most Predictable One Yet

Image via Shutterstock

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year.

The word embedded itself into the everyday vocabulary of the general public ever since the US announced its first case of COVID-19 in January.

Searches for the word skyrocketed in March when the novel coronavirus outbreak was declared as a global pandemic. Queries for the word on 11 March had risen 115,806-percent higher than on the same day in 2019.

“Pandemic is the word that has connected the worldwide medical emergency with the political response and with our personal experience of it all,” said Peter Sokolowski, editor-at-large for Merriam-Webster. “Words that might be part of our general vocabulary send us to the dictionary when they suddenly seem technical, medical, or legal. The word pandemic, though familiar, came into the news this year with an urgent specificity.”

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted various businesses globally, from the food industry to the fashion and creative spheres. Many have diverted their business models to adapt to the changing market while installing safe distance measures to ensure their products or services remain reachable to customers.

This includes KFC China, which recently unveiled its self-automated vehicles to allow its customers to purchase its finger-licking good chicken without any human interaction.

Adobe too unveiled its latest campaign targeting small businesses to show how going digital can help them move forward. This Christmas, many brands have also released heartwarming ads on how people might tackle the pandemic during the year.

To see more works of brands during the COVID-19 period, click here.

[via Globe Newswire, cover image via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412499/Merriam-Webster-s-2020-Word-Of-The-Year-Is-Its-Most-Predictable-One-Yet/

Melania Trump’s White House Christmas Décor Pays Tribute To Frontline Heroes

Image via Melania Trump

First Lady Melania Trump has revealed this year’s White House Christmas decorations, which bear the theme, ‘America the Beautiful’.

Trump announced the decorations on Twitter, and shared a one-minute video showing the festive halls and rooms of the White House.

“During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share ‘America the Beautiful’ and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation,” she wrote. “Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home.”

This year, the official White House Christmas tree is placed in the Blue Room, the White House revealed in a press release. Standing at over 18 feet tall, the Fraser fir features artwork from students across America who were asked to depict the “people, places, and things that capture the spirit of the state in which they call home.” The tree is also decorated in yellow and gold, in accordance to the theme.

The White House further explained that most of the décor spotlights people or groups who have made contributions or sacrificed for the country. The Red Room is dedicated to first responders and frontline workers who have worked tirelessly amid the coronavirus pandemic. Handmade ornaments honor volunteers and professionals, the press release said.

The annual Gold Star Family Tree is placed in the East Wing, and it “pays tribute to our American heroes and their families who walk beside them in service.”

The White House Library’s décor “highlights women at the forefront of American achievements who have paved the way for generations to come.” This is done in honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which kicked off women’s right to vote. It also features the winning art from Trump’s 19th Amendment child art competition this year.

In addition, the décor highlights the country’s natural beauty. Urns with foliage representing the official tree of each state and territory is displayed in the East Colonnade, while the variety of wildlife is reflected by vignettes in the windows of the Green Room.

Take a look at 2020’s White House holiday decorations below.

During this special time of the year, I am delighted to share “America the Beautiful” and pay tribute to the majesty of our great Nation. Together, we celebrate this land we are all proud to call home. #WHChristmas pic.twitter.com/fdZmB3rdXL

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2020

“America the Beautiful” #Christmas at the @WhiteHouse pic.twitter.com/2kCBET7EcL

— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) November 30, 2020

[via White House, cover image via Melania Trump] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412498/Melania-Trump-s-White-House-Christmas-D-cor-Pays-Tribute-To-Frontline-Heroes/

The Most Popular Home Design Trend In Your State, According To Google Data

Image via Shutterstock

Now that you’re surrounded by the same four walls much of the time, the temptation to redecorate might be off the charts. If you’re searching for ideas, how about looking at what hosts in your state—or beyond—have been obsessing over?

New research by online interior design company Modsy, shared via My Domaine, suggests that there are five prominent interior design styles sweeping across the United States: farmhouse, modern, coastal, country, or rustic.

The insights come from Google searches of favorite interior design trends across the country. Apparently, different states prefer different household aesthetics—probably due to their heritage—but as it seems, the farmhouse aesthetic is the most popular theme of them all.

Scroll down to see which look is the most popular in your state.

1. Farmhouse

Image via Shutterstock

Prevalent in: Alabama; Arkansa; Georgia; Idaho; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Michigan; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Utah; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming.

Psst, want a touch of farmhouse flair in your home? Check out this hammock chair to enliven that empty corner you never knew what to fill with:

2. Modern

Image via Shutterstock

Prevalent in: Arizona; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Hawaii; Illinois; Maryland; Massachusetts; Minnesota; Nevada; New Jersey; New York; Texas; Vermont; Washington.

3. Coastal

Image via Shutterstock

Prevalent in: Delaware; Florida; Rhode Island.

4. Country

Image via Shutterstock

Prevalent in: North Dakota; Indiana; New Hampshire.

5. Rustic

Image via Shutterstock

Prevalent in: New Mexico.

To find out more about the study, check out Modsy’s full report.

[via My Domaine, images via Shutterstock] http://www.designtaxi.com/news/412500/The-Most-Popular-Home-Design-Trend-In-Your-State-According-To-Google-Data/