Click the cookies to find out more! Mmmmmm there are quite a few trends that surface on TasteSpotting and lately my cravings seem to think that it is officially cookie baking season, whether for gifting, for pleasure (yours and theirs), for kids, for family, for friends… So here are some delicious posts that have been showing up to inspire your inner baker.
Gift Guide Day 10! Can you believe we’re down to the final 10 gift guide countdown? Over 20 guides up so far already? So to mix things up a bit, and for those of you who like to take it all in at once, i’ve created a new page showing you all of the gift guides page after page, just scroll to shop your way through! And for those who like them one at a time, well today’s is still available in that form here.
Today is all about Culinary Gadgetry! Regardless of how much or little someone may cook these are some gorgeous design tools that help get the job done and in a really fun way. And as an extra little something, i needed to run the TasteSpotting survey this week, so anyone who wants a chance to win a Pentax Optio W30 Digicam, please answer the last question with your email! I wasn’t sure what a good prize would be, but since TasteSpotting is as much about great images of food as it is about cooking it… i thought a waterproof digital camera would be a fun one to survive any and all messes in the kitchen! Covered in goo? Falls in a pot? Just rinse it off!
Click the images to find out more! Here’s some culinary inspiration for the day from TasteSpotting!
Seeing as i’m pretty much lost in a state of continuous consumption with this holiday season - particularly thanks to the gift guides - it was nice to be gifted with this “Christmas Survival Chocolate” this morning… nothing like some playful graphic design to help you hang in there, and it doesn’t hurt that its filled with chocolate! By New Zealand brand, Bloomberry, this line of playfully wrapped confections is quite cute ~ but the signage like figures on the xmas pack are definitely the best. Also loving that they designed nice wrappers for the interiors… see below.
Click images to find out more! Late night workaholic hunger pangs kicked in ~ so here’s some deliciousness at TasteSpotting to kick off your Monday ~ now back to trying to make gift guide pages… and can you believe that is “parmasan cheese air”?
Mumm suddenly has me antsy to go on an expedition… Mumm Expedition Kit: “An echo of the leather knapsacks used by 19th century explorers in Africa, the kit consists of a stylishly simple bag in brown leather. The bag’s lower half forms an insulated compartment to keep your bottle of G.H. Mumm champagne cool for up to 12 hours. You’ll also find a small, brown leather tray and two unbreakable flutes in the bag, ensuring refreshment is always at hand, whatever the location. The kit includes other explorer essentials, such as a compass and a map of the Reims area printed on silk.” Mmmm, champagne, a compass, and a silk map encased in leather… quite the expedition, no?
Seeing how its already Thanksgiving, it seems improper not to show some food on the site… so here is a roundup to help inspire any last minute Thanksgiving cooking - as found on TasteSpotting. Click the pics to find out what, how, etc… and happy Feasting!
In that interesting intersection of packaging, baking, gifting, dry+shippable… we have a unique twist on how to gift cookies. Without baking. And even get to have fun layering things together much like sand art as a kid where you layered various colored sand in glass? This first caught my eye in Glamour’s Dec 07 issue ~ and i tore out the page to come back to… and then browsing Neiman Marcus noticed that even THEY are doing it with their infamous internet urban legend of a chocolate chip recipe (more on both below). As usual, this got me on a little internet rampage googling up “gift in a jar” “mix in a jar” and there are a LOT of options and recipes out there… however, i must say most of my finds lead me to some pretty painfully hideous sites, and their recipes images were not that much nicer. So i’ll spare you. But as for the semi-crafty or low budgeted out there, i think we designers could do some really gorgeous things with this whole no-bake baking gifts concept… after all its really ALL in the packaging isn’t it? (If it doesn’t come out perfectly, maybe they baked it wrong!)… oh and if you’re truly lazy, you can probably just buy some nice packaging and repackage some betty crocker?
It’s always nice to find a story that incorporates great design and great business. Emily over at Baggu sent me this NYTimes article “From Boutique to Big Time” By Laurie J. Flynn… it’s the story of these beautiful Adiri Natural Nursers, the “Ultimate Baby Bottle”, basically “Your breast doesn’t feel like plastic. Why should your baby’s bottle?” They’ve designed a polycarbonate-free plastic nursing bottle that has a soft rubbery grip. From the business side, the interesting story of a yahoo lawyer who’s father passes away and leaves her the company.. and how she’s gone from a mom with a boutique business to learning to scale up to fulfill large orders from places like Babies R Us… Anyhow, its a good read, and it looks like they’ve really cleaned up the design with this new model. Check out the new Adiri Natural Nurser and the article.
Wow, and to think invisible ink and black lights used to be exciting… Dezeen has a great post about the annual report you have to bake in your oven in order to read… 25 minutes at 100 degrees to be precise. Croatian creative agency Bruketa & Zinić designed this annual report for food company Podravka - within the larger book there is a small booklet that is inserted inside the big one that contains the very heart of Podravka as a brand: great Podravka’s recipes. “To be able to cook like Podravka you need to be a precise cook. That is why the small Podravka booklet is printed in invisible, thermo-reactive ink. To be able to reveal Podravka’s secrets you need to cover the small booklet in aluminium foil and bake it at 100 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.” The best part? For the imprecise or lazy… the book will BURN if overcooked, like any meal.
Right Gin ~ seems to have done branding the right way… with a old style classic crest composed of everything from Stags “symbols of strength and fortitude that challenge the status quo”, Socrates “the omnipresent all-knowing fly-on-the-wall”, Black “Sophistication & Authority”, Crown “symbol of our high hope to conquer the world”, a motto - Est Unus Modus Verus - “There is a right way”… and those are only some of my favorite elements of their crest, see below for screenshots breaking down every aspect of their crest.
As for the gin itself, i have no idea how it tastes, but reading its intriguing history on their site had made me curious to find some… after all anything made by such precise image controlling perfectionists that hated the taste of gins that came before must be worth a try… also on fun details… they have a “What’s your pleasure” section of their site that helps you make your ideal drink… but doesn’t offer your usual options, under Pixie Dust, you can choose from options like Pinch of Lust, Bucket of Revenge, Thimble of Envy, etc! [sidenote: does it drive anyone else nuts that instead of pretending to paperclip the picture up there, they put a paperclip sitting above it?]
Not much to say here… but i’m not sure why the systematic destruction of chocolate bunnies to eerie music in their pastel worlds in three scenes is so satisfying this morning. Watch Sander Plug’s Chocolade Haas - Commissioned by Cut-n-Paste for Grote Kunst voor Kleine Mensen (Big Art for Small People) In collaboration with: Lernert Engelberts.
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
How amazing would it be to have the ability to customize your cook top to fit all of your cooking needs? Gaggenau has introduced a new product series that lets you do just that: the Vario Series allows you to incorporate an electric bbq grill, a deep fryer, an in-counter steamer, a gas cooktop, and a teppan yaki, to name just a few of the options. Not only does it allow you a range of options, but the Vario Series is easy on the eye, with sleek, minimal lines and clean, functional design. Some day in the future, when Sean and I design our first home, we will definitely customize our cook top to include the bbq grill and deep fryer. And maybe Sean could convince me to install the steamer for some vegetables and dumplings.
I wrote about Hendrick’s Gin back in April of 06… back before i even tasted it, but came across their ad in BusinessWeek and fell for the playful design of their site and bottle… i love their old style that has a very Monty Python feel to it at times. And without even tasting, i showed you their Unusual Times which was quite funny and well put together. Well since then, i’ve hunted it down ~ first in Oxford at a random bar my sister took me to, and then finally found it in LA as well… and as a non-gin lover, Hendrick’s is my gin of choice… because its the least gin-tasting… its got a wonderfully delicious infusion of cucumbers and Bulgarian rose… my favorite is having it in a gin & tonic with slices of cucumber, but will definitely have to explore more of the mixes soon…
Anyhow, new news from them ~ they are launching a new campaign, and its fun to see how they’ve grown since then… and staying true to their branding, the new ads and point of sale pieces were so fun i had to share! They describe themselves as “A brand that embraces the unusual with odd and inventive advertisements that feature collages of absurd images with playful intelligence.” And i couldn’t agree more. Well, go see the pics and vids below ~ more fun tidbits of info about them mixed in as well.