*notcot - 07.29.09 , 15:31 - 6 Notes

Activate Drinks Redesign

activate0.jpg Sometimes even more fascinating than packaging design is watching how it evolves and becomes more engaging and usable! Well on packages awaiting when i got back from SDCC - there was a case of these redesigned Activate Drinks. If you recall, i wrote about Activate Drinks about a year ago ~ basically Activate Drinks are the ones that are bottles of water with caps filled with vitamins/flavors, and you turn the cap to “activate” the drink. Shake it and you’re good to go ~ freshly mixed vitamins in water, because apparently vitamins lose their potency in water? Anyhow, take a look at the more ergo-friendly cap and cute droplet box graphics on the next page!

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*notcot - 07.22.09 , 16:42 - 4 Notes

SDCC 09: Syfy’s Cafe Diem

diem00.jpg So i’m in San Diego ~ wandering the gaslamp district, and for the first time i’m actually STAYING in the gaslamp (i’ve lived in sd for years in so many different places, but never really stayed downtown much)… and as soon as i was cruising towards the convention center white picket fences caught my eye ~ then i saw the big Cafe Diem sign! (Yes! the fictitious Eureka cafe) And cardboard cutouts of the Eureka cast! And huge Syfy logos…. and had to swing back over. (Unfortunately the Cafe Diem main sign had JUST fallen over when i got back with a camera, so perhaps an update with that later!)

So as far as marketing/sponsorship opportunities go ~ i’m impressed! Last year there was a Eureka ice cream truck ~ and this year they really stepped up the food serving idea and took over a cafe across from the convention center. The branding is impeccable as expected… from the picket fence, to the signage, to the purple gumballs, to the backs of all the counter seats, coasters, and more… and brilliant idea as far as fun places to have Syfy meetings? Or meet for drinks? or have parties? And talk about a captive audience, it’s still a fully functioning cafe… Love the versatility of branding a full service space. Take a peek at more pics on the next page!

p.s.
What’s next? Will we get to explore a life sized S.A.R.A.H?

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*notcot - 07.14.09 , 17:04 - 2 Notes

Diet Rubyy Blood Orange Energy

rubyy4.jpg A while back i showed you the amazing bottles of Rubyy Blood Orange Energy ~ they even have that amazing matte black finish with blacklight loving illustration on it. Well, freshly launched is the DIET version, in an inverted angelic white with a black logo… and the same gorgeous silver graphic… three samples of these just arrived in a box sealed with that same print on paper tape! Find out more about Rubyy here and take a peek at the latest packaging, as well as a look at it next to the classic black bottle on the next page!

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*notcot - , 00:41 - 15 Notes

Lemon Trees in my Lemon

seedmain.jpg As promised in the last post about the Arta Barware goodies ~ while making lemonade we cut open one of the largest (nearly softball sized?) lemons from the top of my tree ~ and we were surprised to find that the seeds had started sprouting! Not knowing this was possible, i immediately started rethinking those old wives’ tales about how swallowing a seed would make a tree grow out of your head…. and while talking to someone else, i started thinking of the plant based villains from Darkwing Duck too (embedded videos on the next page if you need to catch up on Dr. Bushroot and Spike)… Anyhow, the seeds have now been planted, will see what happens to them, but not before taking some pics to share with you!

p.s.
I’m no botanist. Is this normal?

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*notcot - 07.13.09 , 23:46 - 0 Notes

Arta Brio Bar Tools and Shaker

arta0.jpg Excited to get a first look at Arta’s gorgeous and playful set of bar tools that magically nest (tools into rack into ice bucket that sits on the cutting board) as well as a shaker with a built in jigger/strainer. Beautifully unique designs, and really fun packaging, first reaction was definitely - awesome house warming gift idea! (The tools in ice bucket particularly!) I love the packaging! Those silhouettes really grab you! Its such a fun portable set of - muddler, tongs, stirring spoon, bottle opener, knife, citrus reamer, citrus zester, drip-free ice bucket, and integrated cutting board. And since i played with it before lunch today, we actually used it while playing around with some lemons from the tree out back and made some lemonade. While the shaker is fun, and the integrated jigger and strainer are an unusual design, it is a bit impractical… its hard to get the top off, and unless you’re pouring it when pretty level, using that for measurement while chatting with friends gets tricky! I think it’s complicated instead of simplifying the drink making process? But the tool set is a fun one to have around the house, especially for a quick set you can bring outside with you for cocktails while bbq-ing! Take a peek at the details on the next page!

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*notcot - 07.06.09 , 12:55 - 12 Notes

Ben & Jerry’s Flipped Out

flipped0.jpg On really fun packages to receive ~ Ben & Jerry’s sent over some of their new Flipped Out ice creams. Basically they are like ice cream upside down “cakes” ~ you peel the top, flip it over, and stick your thumb in to push them out onto your plate, and within moments they get a little gooey and fudgey… honestly its more fun/yummy than it is pretty. There is brownie, peanut butter cup, and cookie dough ~ peanut butter and cookie dough were def the best! Strangely of our panel of 3 ~ brownie was not living up to expectations!

BUT, for the SUPER fun part, it came packed in a big styrofoam container with DRY ICE! So as we unboxed, ended up playing with the dry ice for a bit until it was all gone! So some silly videos of that were inevitable… check out a look at the unboxing, dry ice playing, packaging, and more on the next page!

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*notcot - 06.26.09 , 14:40 - 3 Notes

Ford & Ching + Marshmallows

fordching1.jpg Perhaps the coolest random goodies yet… Ford & Ching (Previously FordBrady, but Brady has moved on and Ching has joined Ford) ~ while at Dwell on Design this morning, i got a branded marshmallow in a box ~ a very cool little wooden box cut to perfectly fit a single marshmallow. A marshmallow i couldn’t bear to eat until i had thoroughly photographed it to share with you! (As it was publishing, i devoured it. it was delicious.) While i hate to admit it, i was far too excited by the adorably cool boxes and chatting with both Ford & Ching that i don’t have the name of the awesome wood loving designer behind the boxed mallows, but i’ll be back there tonight and quite a bit this weekend, so i’ll come add that later… but first things first ~ check out the awesome branded mallow in a box on the next page!

UPDATE!!! The awesome woodiness is by Andrew Riiska ~ and his blog has some fun behind the scenes look at his gorgeous tables as well!

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*notcot - 06.11.09 , 00:45 - 3 Notes

Macallan Twitter Tasting

macallan0.jpg I’m learning to love twitter… at first it drove me insane, but now it connects me with incredible new people… and its been intriguing to see what people and brands are doing with it… latest fascinating (and seemingly awesomely successful) experiment comes from Macallan. Granted i’m biased, Macallan 18yr has been my favorite go to for a few years now (while cocktails are fun, its my default if available)… but what they set up is really pretty fun! Here’s the setup: Macallan’s brand ambassador @livingthedram (Graeme Russell) teamed up with the Michelin-starred chef Ed Brown of Eighty One in NY for the ultimate Macallan Tasting ~ all live tweeted and projected on the wall!!! And while i nearly moved my flight to make the dinner ~ but being twitter and all, they were kind enough to send samples over for me to taste along with them! Unfortunately my timing still sucked a little, but first thing i did when i got home was grab some food, and start catching up on the #macallan tweets - and taste along with them!

On the next page, check out some pictures of the event, the samples (so fun to see the color differences alongside one another!), and a selection of my favorite tweets (yes, i totally read my way backwards through the whole event to catch up!).

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*notcot - 05.23.09 , 01:17 - 1 Notes

The André Balazs Sunset Beach Rosé Cork

abrose1.jpg I’ve written about quite a bit of packaging design, and alcohol packaging in particular often has some beautiful designs, but i think this is a first where the detail that grabbed me most was the cork! Once we popped this cork, i couldn’t help but spin it around and around, and as we drank the bottle the question really became, who’s chasing whom?

This is the cork of the André Balazs Sunset Beach Rosé ~ which is a collaboration with his long time friend and local Long Island winemaker, Christian Wölffer. Apparently vines planted at his Sunset Beach hotel will also contribute to future réserves. The label is also a fresh, beautiful water color representing that French Riviera/Miami lifestyle ~ lounging on towels with toes dipped in the water, raising glasses of Rosé as the bartender wades into the sunset behind with tray over his head? Cute label ~ rumor has it the girls on it are his daughters? Anyhow, take a peek at more pics on the next page…

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*notcot - 05.12.09 , 03:27 - 3 Notes

Lobotomy Bock + other labels

lobo1.jpg On random late night posting ~ while doing the usual wandering through Whole Foods ~ on packaging based shopping, i gave in to some awesomely packaged beers. Really, how fun does the box and label of that Lobotomy Bock look? And take a peek at pics of that as well as some other fun beers and their adorable bottle caps too. (Slightly disappointing that Lobotomy Bock didn’t have a crazy bottle cap… its just solid red) ~ see all the pics on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.05.09 , 09:05 - 4 Notes

Kuhn Rikon Mortar & Pestle

mp0.jpg This beautiful Kuhn Rikon Mortar & Pestle showed up amidst the kitchen construction ~ and it is STUNNING! Also, swiss made, designed by Swiss Designer/Chef Philipp Beyeler, multipurpose and made of porcelain and bamboo! Not only does the porcelain bowl (for grinding) fit beautifully into the bamboo base (for crushing nuts and harder foods) ~ but i’m just such a sucker for porcelain/woody-bamboo combinations! And on brilliant details… the tear drop shaped hole in the handle isn’t merely for aesthetic purposes, it also doubles as a tool for “defoliating stems”.

See the many pics of the beautiful details up close on the next page!

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*notcot - 05.02.09 , 18:32 - 0 Notes

Liqurious Roundup!

liqurious #2863 liqurious #2933 liqurious #2917 liqurious #2924 liqurious #2899 liqurious #2894 liqurious #2890 liqurious #2870 liqurious #2883 liqurious #2887 liqurious #2869 liqurious #2868 liqurious #2909 liqurious #2856 liqurious #2860 liqurious #2853Felt like a good day to roundup some delicious and gorgeous drinks from Liqurious! Click the drinks to find out more!

*notcot - 04.20.09 , 22:36 - 11 Notes

Talenti Sorbetto e Gelato

talenti1.jpg Ok, don’t laugh. This heat wave is unbearable. I just finished up the remains of the Talenti Roman Raspberry Sorbetto that was in my freezer… and now all i have is the awesome Talenti plastic container sitting in front of me wishing i had more. And wondering why i didn’t photograph it for a post earlier, since i obviously bought it because it was so pretty… so none the less, here’s a post about the deliciousness, which may have been partially influenced by the fact that i just wandered through their flavors and gallery and wondering which one i wish would magically appear in my fridge next. Why is it so hot?!?!?!?!?!

Bottom line? DELICIOUS. And i think i want to try the Hill Country Peach Champagne Sorbetto next… why isn’t Whole Foods 24 hour? See more of the deliciousness in reusable screw cap plastic packaging on the next page! Yummmm…

p.s.
Not convinced how hot it is? Check out my video of a squirrel that ran up right next to me and was pancaking in the water on the next page too…

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*notcot - 04.09.09 , 14:29 - 5 Notes

Chocolat Factory

chocolatfactory1.jpg Mmmmm chocolate. Beautifully packaged chocolate. Dare i say the packaging is even nicer than the contents? SO, pictures of some of the Singapore Chocolat Factory stores have been circulating the web quite a bit ~ and when i ran into the one at Changi Airport, how could i not grab some for the 18 hour flight? Ok, well the chocolate rain (cocoa powder with the watering can spout) isn’t easy for immediate consumption, its packaging was too fun not to show you… and of course they got all uppity and wouldn’t let me take any pics in the store, so i guess it worked, i had to BUY the stuff instead!

Tiny bit of background? Read up more about this Spanish Chocalatier, Chocolat Factory on their site. But for the REALLY fun stuff? Check out the poster, packaging close ups, looks at the chocolate and more on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.20.09 , 12:53 - 5 Notes

Tonix Packaging

Tonix.jpg OMG. Packaging based shopping fail! I grabbed this bottle of Tonix: Coconut Water Kefir at Whole Foods the other day when i got the Fox Barrel Cider that was so cute (and delicious!)… and i just opened it… and for starters, don’t shake it… there should be a warning… i didn’t expect it to be carbonated… and it kind of spewed all over… I thought it would be more coconut watery? Which i love!!! But the smell… ugh… kinda foul… and the taste… not so nice and refreshing…

ANYHOW! The packaging was nicely done ~ though it was a little weird that it reminded me of Philosophy bath/skin products… the nice simple glass bottle with plastic screw cap, and nice hand written text and illustrations kept it so clean! So take a peek at the packaging close up on the next page…

p.s.
i am currently educating myself on Kefir ~ i admit i probably should have done that before experimenting and going in unexpected! In a nutshell: “Kefir (alternately kefīrs, keefir, kephir, kewra, talai, mudu kekiya, milkkefir, búlgaros) is a fermented milk drink that originated in the Caucasus region. It is prepared by inoculating cow, goat, or sheep’s milk with kefir grains. Traditional kefir was made in skin bags that were hung near a doorway; the bag would be knocked by anyone passing through the doorway to help keep the milk and kefir grains well mixed. Kefir grains are a combination of bacteria and yeasts in a matrix of proteins, lipids, and sugars. This symbiotic matrix forms grains that resemble cauliflower. Today, kefir is becoming increasingly popular due to new research into its health benefits. Many different bacteria and yeasts are found in the kefir grains, which are a complex and highly variable community of micro-organisms. While some drink kefir straight, many find it too sour on its own and prefer to add fruits, honey, maple syrup or other flavors or sweeteners. Frozen bananas, strawberries, blueberries or other fruits can be mixed with kefir in a blender to make a smoothie.” Maybe i should make it a smoothie?

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