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.
Ok so when i get on a reusable bag trend… and try to stop… it’s hard! Because now everyone who finds new reusable shopping bags is sending them over, and i just have to share one more with you. Kristopher Dukes just had these Flip and Tumble bags show up in her inbox, and seeing as they’re not exactly couture… she’s passed them on to add to my growing list of reusable options. From a design perspective i needed to post these because linhchi and i were just thinking the other day… wouldn’t it be easiest just to have an attached pouch? just cram the whole bag in it? Like a Popple! And then here we have Flip and Tumble doing just that… they describe it as a sock ball… i think of it as a Popple bag. And for those who are either so old they forgot what a Popple is, or those *gasp* who are too young to know about them… i dug up an original 80’s Popple advert on youtube that’s embedded below for your viewing pleasure.
I know, i know, you must be near reusable bag overdose… but its EVERYWHERE. So since we’ve started, i’m just tracking them all when they seem interesting. Latest that got sent in (you can also see more and more reader finds in comments on the various posts as well as over at .org) ~ Method (yes the beautifully packaged, omop, etc guys) has gotten in on the action with their use of GiveGreener.com. You spend 20$ on Method Products, and you can write/email in to receive a free not so subtle tote… in fact they even say “Get Greener: BE SEEN BEING GREEN with method’s reusable market tote”. So is it really about saving the environment some waste, broadcasting that you’re doing it, or both? Their version has been designed by “eco-lifestyle expert Danny Seo” ~ with playful retro typography ~ and 16 ways to look good and feel better on the back. It even zips up into a light blue pouch.
I guess you could say i have a preoccupation with the state of reusable grocery bags, and while i was out tonight i couldn’t help myself, and gave in and purchased a 99 cent Target zip up bag, as well as the new insulated Whole Foods bag for $2.99. Also thrown in for comparison is the standard Whole Foods 99 cent bag (the matching version at target was around $1.49 i think - and i’ve also seen variations of these same ones from various grocers). The other one from the same manufacturer that i have at home is the 6 wine bottle version (basically the standard with braces to hold your bottles apart). So, from a shoppers perspective it looks like Green Bag has got quite a hold on the corporate reusable shopping bag market. And they are great! Just not quite as pocketable as the Baggus and Envirosax we were discussing earlier. One of the nicest things about these other than the super reasonable price points ~ these are the reusable’s equivalent to a standard paperbag ~ a bit sturdier, and love that they have a plastic insert to keep the bottoms strong. These are great in the back of my car and for odd shaped items. As for the target one, i couldn’t resist the adorable bird on a target tree design they had. Isn’t it cute? And the tag reads: Reusable Shopping Bag “Reuse to Reduce”. Due to the zip up nature of the bag, no sturdy flat bottom for this one, and not quite tiny enough i’d want to keep it in my purse.
An observation on the difference of the corporate check out culture between Target and Whole Foods. When i was at Target and purchasing the bag, she just throws it into a PLASTIC bag and hands it all to me… doesn’t even think to put my stuff in the bag. When at Whole Foods, the insulated bag i was buying was in the cart… and she asks me whether i brought my own, or i’m buying that one ~ and proceeds to load my groceries into my reusable bags. [I’d link you to places to purchase these online, but i can’t find links!]
The most tempting thing to grace my screen this morning is the D.L. & Co’s Mori Ex Cacao Skulls… Particularly this black Curious Chili “An eccentric blend of chilies and spices immersed in smooth chocolate ganache, generating a warmth that rises to an almost deadly heat, before leaving you spent, yet craving more.” Take a look at the other two skulls as well as the gift box trio below! In Bitter White Brandied Cherry and Scorched Caramel, how can you resist?
Glue Glue Design has two projects that are part of Vindesign 2007 i couldn’t resist. First, above is the brilliant idea of turning your citrus fruit into your wine glass! Can you imagine how nice your sangria could be in a glass like that? And talk about biodegradable… I wonder if something like pomegranate would work… And below, check out their interesting take on the Cork. With their reusable stopper you can actually use the original cork to help add leverage to pull it out… or you can just pull with your finger in the loop…
I have such a love hate relationship with advertising ~ i have always admired and loved beautiful creative ads. And then i started off despising them on websites, and was completely torn when it came time to integrate them into my sites in an attempt to have this fun side project carry its own weight. And now? Apparently, now i can get *jealous* over cool ads that *other* sites get. So any designers and media buyers out there ~ if you’re ever feeling extra nice, help us get brilliantly designed campaigns to show off (and entertain our readers)! I must even admit there’s a tiny part of me that wants to even start putting up ads that i think are gorgeous ~ just b/c its nice to see them on the site… (even if they aren’t campaigns we landed) ~ silly isn’t it?
Ok rant done. It’s a weird friday. BUT here is the campaign i’m loving that triggered that little rant. I grew up with Sub Zero fridges, they always seemed larger than life when i was little… and it’s great to see this playful microsite they created for their Sub Zero wine storage systems. They have some great animated imagery of the Enemies of Wine ~ 1. Heat 2. Light 3. Vibration 4. Humidity. See close ups below. And on interesting new “conversational marketing” ideas, nice to see a company like them embracing the blogging medium with their Sub Zero Wine Blog of “insights and advice on all things wine” featuring experts giving their tips.
I could really use an Inside Out Martini right now ~ i’m sure you’re all quite familiar with Alissia Melka-Teichroew’s Inside Out Glasses ~ the champagne flutes have made the rounds on the design blogs quite a bit… but until she emailed me, i hadn’t noticed this great martini glass! [Huge congrats to the AMT Inc team on finding a manufacturer for the collection!!! I can’t wait to see these in all the design/home stores.] Other reasons she may seem familiar to you? The now classic “diamond rings” made out of acrylic (and also reinvented into some of the cutest stirrers) - images below if you need some catching up.
Oh, and the main reason she emailed? To share some really cool shopping bags for a store in The Netherlands (called Kwantum) that she designed with Jan Habraken from WATdesign, which are larger reusable grocery bags that sell for 1.50… similar to those Multistorey Re-Bag bags i posted, in that they are bags, with graphics of bags printed on them ~ and they even designed a few others with double handles! Check out the pics she sent over below.
You know the drill, click the pics to see more! Munchies? I’ve been getting in this terrible habit of finding myself at TasteSpotting when i get late night snack cravings… so instead of indulging tonight, just rounding up some of the fun enticing food options! Sweet dreams.