• Big Ideas from Shallow Pockets

    Yet, after exiting the exuberantly whimsical rooms and entering the Kusama-themed museum shop, one cannot help but notice a distinct dip in originality and newness. Unlike Kusama’s invigorating work, the gift shop merchandise feels stale, predictable and repetitive. Perhaps it’s understandable for museums facing budget restraints to succumb to time-worn merchandising tactics. However, not seeing the sales-generating potential of offering products that are equally as dynamic as the art they pay homage to seems like a blind spot.

  • When Being an Artist is Good for Business

    What if more brands developed products that were at least slightly ahead of the curve? For a number of companies, collaborating with cutting edge designers or artists would be an easy first step in challenging their own status quo, and ultimately capturing a creative edge the marketplace is eagerly waiting for.

  • The Top 3 Art Collaboration Myths

    At Arts & Labour, we’ve been talking to brand managers and have uncovered a few obstacles that seem to come up time and again when making the decision whether or not to collaborate with an artist on their product. What we’ve discovered is not that Canadian brands have a different set of concerns than international brands who are more willing to embrace the approach – instead, we found their top concerns were often based on lack of exposure to art collaborations and even more often, out and out myths. Naturally, we’d to take the opportunity to discuss those. Here are the top three.

  • An Inspiring Product is Better than Inspiring Marketing

    The successes and abilities of these three brands, The Cambridge Satchel Company, Supreme and Artek, have been remarkable—inventing and reinventing their products through art and serving them up in a way the world simply can’t get enough of.

  • The Principles of Staying Relevant

    If established brands like Vitsoe want to remain relevant, they need to start addressing the desires of more recent generations. Unlike Baby Boomers and Generation X, who have been captivated by Vitsoe’s good design, Millennials seem to be neither familiar with nor interested in the brand’s affluent history or its design principles.

  • Two Brave Brands

    As we all know, brands must live and breathe innovation to stay relevant. But the practice is not as much about marketability or promoting allure as one might think; it is in reality, more about fostering authenticity. For innovation to ring true to consumers, it must come from the core of the brand, rooted in […]

  • Salone del Mobile: The Bottom Line

    Salone Milano and Milan Design week are exceptional design showcases, primarily thanks to their top-notch organizers. But each and every participating brand, small and large, national and international had something extraordinary to add.

  • Heavens, what’d you do with my boring city guide!

    On your next visit to Berlin or Portland (should you be so lucky to visit either amazing city once, never mind multiple times), you may, as we did, stumble upon each city’s less predictable and subsequently notable city guides. We discovered that a handful of forward-thinking businesses had decided to take tourism and recreation matters […]

  • Art fusion: Mistakes to Avoid

    Jun Takahashi, the founder and designer behind the Japanese avant-garde label Undercover and known for his rather original tagline “We Make Noise, Not Clothes”, has become wary of art collaborations.