Friday, September 6, 2013

NESCAFE® Dolce Gusto® Asian Design Contest

Are you a coffee lover like I am? :D

Whether it's my daily cup of coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up,
coffee has gradually taken up a significant part of my life.
When I wake up in the morning feeling lethargic, I'll reach for a cup of coffee for that extra boost to keep me going for the rest of the day.

Be it for work-related meetings (hahah sounds so official!), gathering with my friends or just to run errands,
somethimes trying to balance out family, work life, social life and some me-time is really taxing!
And that's when I learn to appreciate coffee as my best companion because caffine is a great adrenaline booster! :D
Besides, coffee not only tastes good, but has a number of health benefits as well!
One of which is that it helps me focus on my work better, allowing me to maximize my creativity! :D

And impressively, NESCAFE® has taken coffee to the next level with their NESCAFE® Dolce Gusto® (NDG)!
The NDG is a multi-beverage system that dispenses café-style beverages like Espresso, Latte Macchiato, Chococino and even Green Tea latte; hot and cold beverages.
It is an innovative brand not only from its technology but also its unique creative design that has won international design awards.
The one I'm using at home now is called the GENIO! :D

Everything about the NESCAFE® Dolce Gusto® is so worth loving! :D
The packagings of the flavours are gorgeous, the GENIO machine is compact in size and extremely efficient,
and it takes less than a minute to get these beautiful and absolutely yummy café-style beverages!

 Green Tea Latte, my new favourite!!!
Check out the Instavideo I posted to see the GENIO live in action!! :D

My top picks are the Latte Macchiato, Mocha, Green Tea Latte and Chococino!
Super rich in flavour with a velvety texture, they're all so good!!

Now NDG is running a contest to search for the best design for their new coffee maker to be sold across Asia,
and the winner can even win up to $18,000 worth of cash & prizes!
Just typing this gets me all excited already!! :D

To be honest, I didn't use to like coffee very much as a kid cause I thought it was just bitter,
but my mum couldn't live without it!
And then it'll always leave me wondering why she loves it so much..
My mum is kind of a self-proclaimed coffee expert due to her many years of coffee drinking :P
So whenever she tells me a particular cup of coffee is good, I'll try to take a sip, and then another,
and little by little, I found myself appreciating the aromatic fragrance and taste of coffee
and loving all types of coffee more and more!
Now, no way am I sharing my cup of coffee with anyone! :p

And as mentioned, I love to doodle and draw a lot in my spare time,
and I'd often have these day dreams that someday my own designs will be published and admired by all somewhere...somehow.
I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who wishes for that!

So through this NESCAFE® Dolce Gusto Asian Design Contest,
I do hope that mine or one of your designs can materialize and be shown to the world, cause that'll really be a dream come true! :D

The Asian Design Contest basically requires users from the online community to design the skin of NDG's new GENIO machine via their specially designed Facebook App.
It is a regional contest across 8 countries including Korea & Japan,
and users must submit their designs for their GENIO machine in 2 ways:
1. Via the online tool, which can be found on NDG's Facebook app
2. Do it offline. Download the template from the app and upload it via the app after designing it with professional design software (ie: photoshop)
I will have a mini tutorial to show you guys briefly how I did my designs below, so do read on! :)

After submission, users are to get as many friends to vote for them!

2 winners chosen: one by votes, one by judges' choice.
The 2 winners will go to Japan for the finals :D :D
In Japan, the final winner will be determined by votes across the region!
No matter who wins, I'll still support and vote for our fellow Singaporeans haha!

And in sum...

As mentioned, there are up to $18,000 worth of cash & prizes to be won!!
Whoaaaa!!
And there will be a trip for 2 for each of the 2 Singapore winners to go to Tokyo Japan for the finals to compete with the finalists across Asia.
The final winner (by votes) will have his design made into a limited edition GENIO machine that will be sold next year across the 8 countries!

10 voters in the 2nd phase will stand a chance to win cash & prizes,
so even if you're not joining the contest, do remember to vote too! :)

Before you start, here are some important dates to remember:
Phase 1: 27th Aug – 7th Oct
Local Contest
Users have to submit their creative GENIO machine designs and vote for their favourite designs
Phase 2: 14th Oct – 26th Oct
Voting period for the Top 16 Asian designs finalists, including Singapore
Award Ceremony will be held on the 26th Oct in Tokyo, Japan.

Do take note of this too! :)
No copyright material can be used on the design (ie: Hello Kitty)
No offensive material should be found on the design
Apart from that, just design your hearts out and let your creative juice take over! :D

Please be reminded that you are only to customise the white area of the GENIO Machine! :)

Now let's get started with the Online Method using the NDG Facebook App!
Among all the tools, I actually like the BRUSHES the most because it allows me to doodle on my GENIO as if I'm drawing on paper! :D
You can choose the shape of the brush, colour, transparency and have the option of erasing if you make any mistakes :)
I first drew thick cream coloured stripes, and then filled it up with white leaf details,
because I think it's one of the most signature latte art designs! :)
 If you have your own image you'd like to include in your GENIO design for a more personalisation,
feel free to click on MASKS; SELECT IMAGE.
Once you've uploaded your image, a pop up will allow you to use the brush and eraser to mark out as accurately as possible the parts of the image you'd like to include!
I didn't mark mine out properly, but you get my drift! :P
 I really like playing with the BLUR option in BRUSHES because I think it creates a nice soft effect that mimics steam from coffee! :D
I used it to write "Coffee Lover" to fill up more spaces on my GENIO design :)
Then, I still felt like my GENIO design was lacking a pop of colour,
so I used a default ribbon provided in GRAPHICS to place it at the "neck" area.
I think this adds a really festive vibe to my GENIO and it looks like an adorable bow tie too!! :D
Great as a gift, great for a loving home, great for Christmas, great for New Year etc!
 And once I hit on the SUBMIT button, I'm done! :D
Now to get all my friends to vote for me, yay!
I spot my "Coffee Lover GENIO" design in the gallery! ^~^

And now, for the OFFLINE method!

The offline method is a tad bit more complicated because you have to DOWNLOAD the machine shape and then UPLOAD your final design,
so if you're looking for a quick and fuss-free way to design your GENIO, I'd highly recommend using the NDG Facebook App :)
You can use any designing programs you prefer, but I think most of us would be more familiar with Photoshop :)
If you're using Photoshop,
I would highly recommend using Pen Tool in particular for straighter and more defined lines,
you can then adjust the angles and curvature of the lines to fit your design.
Can you guess what I'm drawing yet? :D
For those who's never tried the Pen Tool before, this is how it looks like!
I think working with the Pen Tool on Photoshop is a lot easier than drawing freehand with your mouse cause the strokes will be a lot sharper.
Once you're done with the outlines, fill it up with colours and details!
I decided that my GENIO's suit was going to be navy blue with black stripes, because the hint of blue can add a tinge of fun factor to the blazer instead of just being pure black! :)
I initially also tried grey outlines instead of black, but it didn't work too well haha!
So in the end I stuck with black outlines because it looks a lot better.
I also added some shadow effect underneath the collar to create a slight 3D effect :)
I made use of the green on-off button as a collar pin, which I think looks adorable!!!
It reminded me of myself collecting all sorts of badges in Primary School and then pinning them on to show off my achievements hahah!!
And tadah!
My Suit Up GENIO!
Handsome right? :D :D
Enjoy a cup of coffee while designing your GENIO!
I think that one of the best sources of inspirations is your feelings! :)
How does coffee make you feel? Like rainbows and butterflies?
Does it get you all excited and pumped up for work?
Is coffee your comfort drink that reminds you of home?
Now express those feelings in lines and colours and create your ultimate GENIO design! :D
You might want to print the GENIO template out and sketch the design on paper first,
because for me I think that helps me brainstorm better! :D
Finally, don't overthink, and just let your creativity work its magic to come up with a mind-blowing, jaw-dropping design of your own!
It might be featured on all machines in future, so you really want something totally original and uniquely yours that you can proud of! :D

Once you've submitted your design(s),
the next step will be to encourage your friends and family to vote as often as possible!

Just to help you guys get started a little more, I'll let you guys know how I came up with the "Suit Up GENIO" design! :D
First of all, I LOVE CLOTHES.
And I think clothes and fashion takes up a significant part of my life and I would like to use that to express myself,
so I thought, why not dress up my GENIO? :D

To me, coffee is a drink that is often associated with style and class, which explains the detailed & tailored suit design I drew :)
The choice of colours for the tie are inspired from the NESCAFE® logo! :D
Also, GENIO is a really smart coffee maker which dispenses café-style beverages like Espresso, Latte Macchiato, Chococino and even Green Tea latte; hot and cold beverages,
so I think it's more than apt that it's dressed really smartly too! :)

And last of all, how does one resist a man in a suit? ;) ;)

I think that if my GENIO design is placed in an office,
it'll definitely be fun whenever people enter the pantry to see that even the coffee maker is dressed up for work! :P

Even if it were to be placed at home, it'll undoubtedly be one of those fun, quirky and yet practical modern lifestyle items I'd want for my home full of coffee lovers!

If my design was chosen, there may even be this possibility of customizable casings for GENIO with different "outfits"! :O
Like a fabulous diva GENIO, a soccer outfit GENIO, a christmas themed GENIO, a Chinese New Year GENIO...
HAHAH it's good to day dream sometimes!! ^~^
(the following image is just how I imagine it to be LOL!)
So that's the story behind my Suit Up GENIO design! :)

I'm sure a lot of you out there have much more artistic talent than I do,
so do take this as a challenge to show the world what you've got, and spread the love to coffee lovers everywhere!
I think one of the most amazing experiences one can have is seeing your own creations and designs turn into reality!
So wait no more & let your inner designer shine!
Join NOW!
https://www.facebook.com/dolcegustosingapore/app_172672956237106 

And whether or not you're joining this contest, please do remember to vote for your favourite designs,
because in Phase 2, 10 voters will stand a chance to win cash & prizes too!

You can vote for me HERE! :D
Thank you in advance! ^~^
Good luck to myself and everyone who's joining this!!! :D
Thank you for reading, love you all!