Gift Guide Day 25 and counting down… i’m excited to present the Elsewares page! These guys have been one of my favorite stores since back in 06, and were a huge support when it came to NOTed, our first photoshoot ~ and we lucked out that they happened to be across the street and believed in our experiment as vague as it sounded! Anyhow, check out today’s gift guide to see some of my favorite products they’re currently stocking! (And yes, they were kind enough to help sponsor the gift guide as well ~ and for any that missed the announcement yesterday, of the 31 days, all of our 9 sponsors get one day where i show you my favorites from there stores, and so you get a chance to see these earlier, this will be a full sponsor week! Until i got nuts with randomness on the weekend again…)
Day 28 ~ Today i present you with a playful collage of products i think few creatives won’t find at least slightly amusing… everything from the VISUALIZE Bat and the Little Know It All book to inspiring calendars and Critbuns…
Gift Guide Day 30 and counting down… since it’s Thanksgiving, in addition to food, that means dealing with family, food comas, heinous traveling… so what better than some gifts (gifts for yourself can still count as gifts) to help with relaxing, distracting, amusing, and ultimately survive the holidays!
Click the pics to find out more! In addition to weeks of Gift Guiding to come, here is a roundup of giftable goodies from NOTCOT.org recently!
Everyone’s doing it ~ so here’s our gift guide too. Since i’ve never tried doing this before ~ and apparently i got a bit ambitious in my initial mockup… ours are a bunch of collages, with hand written notes, an exclusive playlist from Burst Labs’ “Naughty or Nice”, and you can click on any image to go read more… oh, and did i mention i’m apparently going to try to do one of these every day for 31 one days? Weekends too! It’s 5am, and i think i just got it all set up… so here we go with day 31 in the countdown (which means we will be ending Dec 21)… so take a peek at our first sponsor Charles & Marie… we have a line up of great sponsors (all friends of NOTCOT with products we love)… and mixed in between will be just some random themes of products we think would make fun gifts (or things we want).
On incredible temporary event spaces, the Smart House (home of the Smart Fortwo) is one of the coolest spaces around. Located on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach, surrounded by some of the cutest boutiques, restaurants, and bars and only a few blocks from the beach, its a pity this loft will only be around till january. I was lucky enough to make it to the A+R launch dinner where we had dinner at the Smart House and cooked with Hans Rockenwagner and Wolfgang Gussmack of Rockenwagner - outdoor on the patio as a group we helped “cook” (aka stir) an unbelievably delicious pasta paella. Additionally when not housing special functions the ground floor is a showroom (cars ready to test drive out back) and a gallery space (i must admit i was pretty giddy to be having dinner with two Catalina Estrada paintings behind me) ~ while i was there the ROJO Magazine Collaboration with Smart’s new Fortwo was up! “The new special issue is now ready. featuring a superb cover artwork by Catalina Estrada, plus 160 pages full of exclusive artwork by selected artists and inspired by the new smart fortwo. Artwork by: Catalina Estrada, MWM, Deanne Cheuk, Yoshi Sodeoka, Tofer, Alex Prager, Friends with You, Ben Summers, Dalek, Holly Stevenson, Chet Purtilar, Jemma Hostetler, Meomi, Yoshi Tajima, Evgeny Kiselev, Vanessa da Silva, Bruno 9li, Cristiano Trindade, Todd Tourso, Amir H. Fallah, Justine Ashbee, Sergei Sviatchenko.”
No one can dispute the fact that Brian McCarty is THE best toy photographer these days. His images are legendary, and they are the best portraits of toys you can find… check out some images from his 2008 calendar in collaboration with StrangeCo and MTV. See a preview of all 12 months here… and my favorites are below. Wow.
I just got the sweetest email from Claire Sambrook, a senior lecturer of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth, and i’m not sure why, but i think its refreshing to have someone sharing their student’s work! I’ve had so many conversations recently about how there must be so many great student projects going unshown simply because they don’t know how to market themselves, or are shy and maybe don’t have much of an internet presence. Anyhow, she’s shared this interesting “Perfect Perch” by 22 year old James Chu, a third year student in product design. His goal is to fill a need for “portable, cheap, lightweight and eco-friendly furniture” and he’s thinking ahead already to all of the branding opportunities for these “Somewhere like Goodwood Racecourse could commission 1,000 carrying their name or a sponsor’s message and people could use them at the racecourse and then take them home afterwards. They would make excellent souvenirs.” The chairs have gone into production thanks to Hemingway Design and the South Coast Design Forum.
I am apparently easily seduced by the right type… faces. Oh so many bad puns bouncing around my head right now. Pushing those aside… latest email from Veer had me drooling over Alejandro Paul’s latest typographic creation: Feel Script. There’s little i can say about it that you can’t experience better by seeing the examples in their slideshow ~ see my favorites below, as well as it’s story. I think he may be one of my favorite font designers these days ~ i’m still smitten with Affair.
Click the images to see more!A quick catch up for anyone who’s behind on .org… we’ve had some adorable dino hoodies, quite the dare to make an impact, an insanely loud funky looking airhorn, an xkcd romantic fight manifested into a real OS wiping virus/poem, puma and W’s “mongolian bbq” DIY show, a town filled guinness domino chain, an incredibly fun looking couch, lipstick portraits… and then some stories of romantic quests! The guy who drew a sketch looking for a girl he saw on the subway (and he FOUND HER!) and Zack Slow and his buddy letting US choose who they will marry (and give $50,000 to).
On bizarre places to find design inspiration… this Band-Aid Tough Strips with bonus Tough Case caught my eye. I realized for starters that i really like their font, particularly on the back from reason, and what a great shade of red. Anyhow, it’s really *just* a box of bandaids, but it caught my eye ~ a few more pics of it below.
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Jean posted about Yang Liu’s Ost trifft West (East Meets West) exhibit back in September. Being that I worked with Yang at Chermayeff and Geismar when I first moved to New York, I offered to do an interview with her about the project. Yang is a great graphic designer whose work has always been bold and iconographic, and Ost trifft West doesn’t stray from that rigor. Even though I can’t read either German or Chinese, the images clearly and wittily communicate the differences between the two cultures. Check out more images and an interview with Yang Liu below!
Next time i need to make a design pilgrimage to a brick and mortar store to play with things in person and do some serious gifting damage A+R has just jumped to the top of my list (since the MOCA store closed on Main, we really have been lacking a design store of this caliber on the west side… actually even if MOCA store was still open, i’d end up at A+R). Walking in to this store is a breathe of fresh air… i was instantly giddier than a kid in a candy store- can you imagine how surreal it is to step into this glowing space surrounded by the real life physical objects that you’ve coveted and gushed over digitally for years? Talk about a sensory overload. It took me a few minutes really to process it all and regain the ability to carry on a proper conversation, let alone find all the new things i needed to come back and share with you (*ahem* brooks salzwedel’s brand new Shane collection)… so since i can’t even begin to describe to you how amazing the collection in A+R is, how about i give you a pile of quick photos below to give you a feel for yourself?
As for the event and why i was there? Andy + Rose (A+R) were kind enough to invite me to their launch dinner where we met for some bubbly in the store, took a stroll down to the fabulous Venice Smart House (of the Smart Car ~ a temporary loft/gallery/showroom space few can resist envying) where the incredible chefs of rockenwagner fed us and even allowed us to partake in the cooking of the most incredible paella out on the patio, and i had the pleasure of dining with a handful of brilliant designers, local store owners, and newspaper and magazine editors. Honestly? Silly as it sounds, it was a bit of a cinderella moment.
The American Comfort Quilt by NYTO embodies all that a successful brand should be… literally. Isn’t the ultimate brand, the one you turn to in times of need? The one that manages to make you feel better in an instant? The things you buy when you just don’t know who else to turn to? I mean sure its a little extreme… but that’s the making of a good lovemark like Coca Cola, right? Well, sure slightly exaggerate perhaps… but you get the idea. Designed by Joel Yatscoff and Bradley Price, Joel states, “…this is a very topical product that questions the effects of consumerism in North America. Has this behaviour, and the associations people wish to have with corporate brands so habitual, the American Comfort Quilt is the cherished product to provide warmth and comfort during a chilly evening?” Handmade, limited edition of 5. Love the way they’ve composed these images… more below as well.
Leave it to Phillip Wood of CITIZEN:Citizen to give me exactly what i needed once i got into the madness that was the Paper 24 Hour Department Store… my prescription of Design Therapy. Although i must say i STRONGLY disagree with the Bx that says i should take it ONCE yearly, i’m more of a daily overdoser ~ and if you’re here, i’m going to assume you are too. Why else would i have NOTCOT? and NOTCOT.org? (and TasteSpotting and notcouture too! There really isn’t enough design therapy out there.)
So, are you curious what’s in my bag of The Brand Pharmacy Design Therapy? See below for pics of the bottle of pills… the pharmacists at work… and more info of what this really is… and some pics of CITIZEN:Citizen’s fab booth of ironically luxe goodies… and a never before seen piece!