*NOTCOT in playful - 01.06.07 -

Meet the Marks

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Meet The Marks, a playful little e-book to get your kids into both punctuation AND typography at an early age… nothing like watching some sassy question mark and exclamation mark trying to break out of their book… only to learn a very important lesson. And what does it mean when the period and the comma get together and beget a ‘?’ and a ‘!’ ?

Brought to you by the Right Brain Terrain, home of those brilliant Alternative Motivational Posters - my all time fav is still the Focus… (via Josh Spear)

*NOTCOT in design - 01.05.07 -

Trendy Greenwashing

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Green is in. Everyone wants to go green, from corporate to your indie fashionista. The issues have been coming up about “shades of green” (how green IS a product? how do you tell? what are the criteria? etc.)… and just noticed this post over at the HOW magazine blog about GREENWASHING as pointed out in the NYT two days ago. Here are some great snippets - about how design is key in the greenwashing process of consumers…

“A bag of natural Cheetos seemed so much more appealing than the classic cheese puff. Why? Was it the image of a subdued Chester Cheetah rising gently from a farm field bathed in golden sunlight? Like clues to a murder that suddenly point to a single culprit, the mystery in my shopping cart revealed itself. Wheat sheaf by wheat sheaf, sunrise by sunrise, the grocery store shelves had been greenwashed. And I was falling for it.”

“As a design shorthand, it makes subtle use of specific colors, images, typefaces and the promise of what marketers call “an authentic narrative” to sell food. Especially in recent years, greenwashing has spilled out well past the organic section of the grocery store. Even the snack aisle at the gas station isn’t immune.

“Somebody becomes successful with a specific point of view, and the consumer begins to identify with it and it spreads like a virus,” said Paula Scher, a partner in Pentagram, an international design firm. From there it’s only a matter of time before Cap’n Crunch shows up in a hemp jacket, raising money to save the manatees. Buy a greenwashed product and you’re buying a specific set of healthy environmental and socially correct values.

TO PAGE 2 of "Trendy Greenwashing"! ----->

*NOTCOT in me -

NOTCOT.ORG #032

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Yet another slightly belated .org roundup! This week there was a whole lot of art inspiring us all!

2630, 2634, 2638, 2644, 2657

*NOTCOT in tech -

Wii-fest

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Just a quick update - been a little quiet/all over the place this week… because last week i got bored and drove up to SF for what ended up being a week (freshly back in socal now) - and well, on the way up, happened upon a target that had wii’s and Shade Elaine (and everyone we know in SF) and i have been having quite a bit of fun with that. If you haven’t tried it yet, get one! I hate to admit its much sweeter than i thought (although i must say nintendo was brilliant to stick it on that slanted stand, but if you put the wii lying down, it really is JUST another external drive… with a blue glow) So yes, between all the bowling, boxing, rabbid rabbiting (best game EVER), zeldaing, and mii-making… we are big fans of the wii here at notcot. [Oooh, and if you haven’t seen the wii site, the videos of “real people” playing are great. And i love these stills that the penny arcade boys did for Raving Rabbids.)

SEND US SOME Miis! I know you guys are a creative bunch, so, feel like sharing some miis? email/comment us.

Also on the technology note… will be heading over to vegas Mon-Weds for CES… and will update you on what gorgeous goodies i find. Will probably be avoiding posting the 100”+ lcd tvs, etc etc… but they are certainly drool worthy in person. Anyone else coming?

TO PAGE 2 of "Wii-fest"! ----->

*NOTCOT in design - 01.03.07 -

Colette MY 2007

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Colette invites a large number of artists, illustrators, and graphic designers to share their hopes for 2007 in a gallery show entitled “MY 2007“… including Base and Axel du Bus*, Ayako Tagaki*, Fafi*, Genevieve Gaukler, John Maeda, Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness, Moriceau & Petra Mrzyk, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, Wrongwroks, and so many more. Proceeds to all of these pieces will go to the WWF to aid in the protection of nature and our environment. (*seen above)

*NOTCOT in playful - 01.02.07 -

Lelo Valentine

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With the holidays behind us now, venturing into 2007 we’re already faced with Valentine’s Day?!? So if you remember Swedish Lelo’s pleasure objects, and also their infamous design house, jeans, etc company Acne that is making its way to the states lately… you’ll be excited to see their latest special edition NEA Black Pearl Valentine. “In collaboration with multi-talented designer Jesper Kouthoofd – one of the founders of Sweden’s creative powerhouse ACNE - LELO is proud to introduce the NEA Black Pearl Valentine. With LELO’s basic NEA acting as the canvas, Jesper Kouthoofd has chosen to graphically interpret the romanticized aesthetics of an archetypal sweet heart tattoo. The resulting artwork hints at an age of innocence - vintage 1950 – with undertones of a tender naivety reserved for the realm of pristine love. Bound to be the source of many a giggle and plenty of joy is the word ‘love’, naughtily located on the tip of the pleasure point and handwritten in pure lipstick on a mirror-style.”

So for anyone who needs to plan ahead, these will be available until Valentine’s Day… and the Lelo NEA is quite the cute, gorgeously packaged, little vibrator. See previous hands on review here.

*NOTCOT in design - 01.01.07 -

McFaul

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The work of McFaul got posted on .org and its been the inspiration fixation of the day… check out these murals he did for the BBH offices. Also noteworthy is the Bernstein & Andriulli site UI, something really nice and clean and sleek i’m loving about it.

*NOTCOT in food+drink - 12.31.06 -

Happy 2007

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Farewell 2006, its been a great year, and may 2007 be even better! Everyone has been posting year in review roundups, best ofs, and all of that sort of thing - and with the end of xmas shopping, and a massive sale season upon us… how about we look FORWARDS, with excitement for all the great design that will come up in 07?

So, unsure of what to post for this end of the year event… in the midst of holiday parties, just wanted to give a little nod to G Pure Energy and Bulldog Gin… because they sent samples over which took on a life of their own when i brought them over to the ThisNext Boxing Day party. Details and some silly G Pure pics that look like alien abductions below…

TO PAGE 2 of "Happy 2007"! ----->

*NOTCOT in playful - 12.29.06 -

Full Vinyl

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Full Vinyl: The Subversive Art of Designer Toys by Ivan Vartanian - makes a good first impression. I love that the covers are made of corrugated cardboard! Not to mention it has a crazy rubbery hot pink squid keychain embedded in the front of it (for kids and inner childs alike). AND its quite the comprehensive round up of some of this generations best toy/character designers i’ve seen yet. Very fun page layouts, definitely worth checking out or surprising your toy lovers with… snapped a few quick photos of some of my favorite pages for you to take a peek at below… (like peter fowler and junko mizuno who both got 6 page spreads!) This book will be released January 2nd just in time to remind you of all those collectibles you JUST missed out on in 2006.

TO PAGE 2 of "Full Vinyl"! ----->

*NOTCOT in me - 12.28.06 -

NOTCOT.ORG #031

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The last .org roundup of 2006 - RUGenius said it was time to get organized… so here you go: 2601 - spaghetti book, 2580 - paint splatter clock, 2572 - CARDBOY calendar! (if you haven’t made one, you MUST its sooooo sweet), 2592 - portable humidifier to breathe easy, & 2576 - the ultimate calendar… buon ano!

*NOTCOT in playful -

Capsule Letters

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Were you into secret notes as a kid? Did you always want to eat your notes so no one could read them later, but are bad with the paper munching? Do you need gelcaps to help it go down? Well apparently Poketo was a few steps ahead of you (and unfortunately a few days late for me, since these would have been some pretty awesome xmas cards that could come with *other* pills mixed in)… check out their Capsule Letters. For the sneaky inner spy kid in all of us… and the perfect gift for your pill poppin’ buddies. [p.s. they are plastic and paper! So not necessarily edible, but they certainly look little enough to be swallowed!]

TO PAGE 2 of "Capsule Letters"! ----->

*NOTCOT in design -

Stella Im Hultberg

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Stella Im Hultberg… my art obsession of the week. Her more recent pieces have been mesmerizing me since the Oddica Cotton to Canvas show. There is something about the tea stained paper plus oil and water colors and those dreary bored apathetic droopy edgy girls that pretty much embodies how i’ve felt this week. And can you believe she has a series of prints in her store you can purchase for a mere 20$? signed and titled even.

So who is Stella? According the the bio on her site “Stella is a painter and drawer living in New York City.
Despite her background in industrial design and toy design, she has recently turned to a more personal and expressive kind of creating, showing her works at galleries since last year (2005). When she’s not drawing or painting, she likes to eat while thinking of more food to eat; search for the perfect cupcake; eat ice cream at the park; and just walk around her most favorite city in the world.” More of my favorites below…

TO PAGE 2 of "Stella Im Hultberg"! ----->

*NOTCOT in home+decor - 12.26.06 -

D.L.&Co. Silver Thorn Apple

dlco1.jpg It’s no secret that we absolutely love everything by D.L.&Co. They’re officially our favorite “modern alchemists and purveyors of curious goods.” (Well, who else is there anyway..??) I received this Silver Thorn Apple (my first but hopefully not last item from D.L.&Co.!) for xmas and I can absolutely say that it lived up to my expectations. The packaging is gorgeously simple, the thorn apple itself is quite a curious good indeed, and the scent of the candle… it’s like the concentrate of 100 apples and apple pies… So much fragrance crammed into just a little votive!

TO PAGE 2 of "D.L.&Co. Silver Thorn Apple"! ----->

*NOTCOT in food+drink - 12.25.06 -

Sexy Chocolates

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New Tree Chocolates are gourmet Belgian goodness, which come in nice not too small sizes, with clean simple packaging… three to a nice little box (granted it does feel a little like hotel soap) - and in some unique flavors… My favorite so far is Vigor, had a box of these in the car, and the dark chocolate with coffee is the perfect pick me up right before a meeting… and freshly launched are Sexy and Blush - Sexy being dark chocolate with ginger which is supposed to be energizing… and Blush (can’t wait to try some) is supposedly rejuvenating “Dark chocolate kissed by sumptuous cherries, a taste so sinful it will make you BLUSH. ” Mmmmmmmm.

*NOTCOT in design - 12.24.06 -

Saks Mixes it Up

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Pentagram takes Saks Fifth Avenue’s branding to a new level - nearly a googol of possible logo iterations and STILL have people know its Saks? That’s the type of proposal that most designers would run, hide, and cry about.

Waking up and seeing the post at 30gms that pointed me to Michael Bierut’s Pentagram post has had me giddy all morning… the black and white, the mathematical shuffle, the balls to slice up a clients logo till nearly unrecognizable and still so perfect… i LOVE the boxes and and imagery it creates, and it scales endlessly. “A new identity designed by Pentagram for iconic New York retailer Saks Fifth Avenue launches on January 2, 2007. Partner Michael Bierut describes the process behind the development of an identity with more variations than there are electrons in the known universe.” The post (case study) itself is so beautifully written, it will leave you with more branding understanding than most intro courses.

TO PAGE 2 of "Saks Mixes it Up"! ----->

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