Simplicity sometimes take a lot more work than filling an image with extraneous information… especially in the case of instruction manuals - which is why i’ve always been impressed with Ikea’s ability to transcend the need for manuals in various languages. Information Aesthetics found these great wordless recipes for chocolate cake and pancakes.
The genius that is MOO launched last week, and i’ve been meaning to post it for days now, naively thinking that in between everything else i would have had time to arrange photos, and print cards, and come up with great images to show. Unfortunately life got in the way momentarily - so here’s a post just in case any readers haven’t heard about them yet… What is MOO? It makes your flickr pools something tangible and useful - business cards in the proportions i love, but with any images you choose on the other sides! Adorable, playful, genius ~ also check out the MOO HQ Flickr set - i love seeing their behind the scenes shots of these great little cards.
French uber-boutique Colette relaunched their site today - not as much Cap & Pep, but they are still around. First things first - a warning - the voices - wow. Quickly veering into the land of the creepy and anime and annoying… but yet the bounciness of the robot/TV headed guys still amuses me to roll over. It sounds a lot like Super Milk Chan (in other words, i’m constantly waiting for the robots to yell YOU DUMBASS! ~ if you don’t understand just move along). And as always, more great products to shop through…
Does your website have a good soul deep down beneath all that CSS? Can you recognize these? [Here we have Amazon, MySpace, Google, stripped down to their basics.] Fun project by Mazamedia entitled ISP: Internet Soul Potraits ~ really recontextualizes the way to perceive your everyday websites… via Computerlove & Core77
Remember the gorgeous Flower Girl from Pop Cling i mounted on that piece of wood the other day? Well that piece was the work of Ben Collison, an SF based artist/illustrator who also has a lot of gorgeous acrylic pieces i’m falling for tonight. (my favorites above, but i do have a soft spot for flowy organic feeling pieces and dragons ~ especially on wood). His inspirations for the Flower Girl can be seen in his older pieces as well… so go take a look. Also has a great stencil piece worth taking a look at.
For the bean bag lovers, and those who don’t know how to make good use of empty corners, here’s a fun idea. Rlos Design.
Remember the classic Nivea Creme tin? I have had one of the tiny travel sized ones in my car for a while now - so cute - so practical. Nivea held a creative competition with Italian Design Schools to design limited edition tins… Nivea Decorate
Puzzle design is one of those realms that is the ultimate challenge on so many levels, and there are some incredibly gorgeous pieces that get made. Ironically i was recently talking to someone about how we haven’t seen any enticing new wood/metal puzzles lately, and then up pops a .org post by Benjamin with the 2006 entrants to the Nob Yoshigahara Puzzle Design Competition. And best/worst part is… you can read through pdfs of all the solutions to these mind bending puzzles as well (something about puzzle solutions is just as fascinating to me as sitting working on them ~ so i’ve included the gorgeous solution to the pencil puzzle below)
It has come up a lot this week ~ designer sex toys ~ all over the net, but especially on .org. So when i just came across the latest PINGmag article, and it had great images of the Lelo display at Lyon Mode City tradeshow, as well as an insightful and thoughtfully laid out interview with the founder of Sense & Sensuality ~ it felt worth a mention. Is it really any wonder that designer sextoys are popping up everywhere now? It is often that well designed objects with gorgeous curves are described as “sexy” and are certainly lust worthy (insert mental image of your favorite sports car here) ~ so why shouldn’t sex toys be “sexy” in design? Other recent roundups of the designer sextoy trend are Haute Sex and Haute Sex II at Coolhunting and even Treehugger TV did their “How to buy a green sex toy” episode. So anyhow, just wanted to make a note of the exponentially growing trend in the design world ~ and Lelo still has my vote for being one of the most consistently design conscious lines out there ~ nice to see how well branded everything from their packaging and product design are to their display with the bottom lighting, clean eye-catching photography, and well dressed creative director is (previous review and post about them here)
It is a mock up sitting cross legged on the floor at the giant whiteboard kind of day… and went by OfficeMax and the latest in dry-erase marker design was worth a review! Gone are the days of boring markers that you can attach to make giant marker wands (think, i’m sure you know what i mean)… but now there are magnetic markers - built in erasers in the caps are default - and any color you can imagine is possible. The forerunners in design and functionality in my books are Expo (classic) and new OfficeMax Exclusive TUL (with a line over the U), which is designed in the US but made in S. Korea. (TUL also has some new rollerball and gel pens as well - which aren’t as good as their packaging - see below)… Here’s what i love about each: Expos in thick and thin form have great colors, love the grip, replaceable eraser tips (look like mini mics), and the free tote with super strength magnetic hooks is genius. TUL - they are MAGNETIC! the side of the grip with a U (magnet icon i presume) actually holds it up on the board! Additionally they also have an eraser tip, but its more like a thick felt pad. It is triangular prism shaped, reminding me of those little kid pencils they use to teach you how to hold it properly… and they just look cool scattered across the board. Lots of pics below…
September’s SEED magazine (possibly one of the most gorgeous non design mags out there to grace my mailbox) ~ has an article titled “You Look Around: A Visual Exploration of Complex Networks” featuring some mind blowing visualizations of amino acid sequence alignments, visual correlations of spatial awareness, and this one which intrigued me the most… Above (full image and more below) you see the relationships in the del.icio.us network. “It employs simple algorithms that recommend items of personal note to the user, and demonstrates the operation of interest and influence within an online community - in this instance, between a group of eight participants.” Created by Ian Timourian, Mandalabrot.net, San Francisco. See more in depth graphs and explanations at del.icio.us project.
I’ll spare you the usual roundup list people do when telling you about how wallpaper is making a comeback, and vinyl stickering as art on walls is the new hot thing. Well the market is getting flooded with such products - i’m not complaining, its fun to see so many great options popping up… latest one to show up in my inbox is dVider. Any press release that begins with “Acknowledging the inner child in all of us…” has my vote. No one should deny their inner child. Things i love about this line? nice to have the rollovers when browsing the stickers to see the different colors, and a nice selection of nature/animal/silhouettes/patterns to choose from, and the mix and match potential is really fun.
Recycling containers seems to be all the rage these days ~ we had the Nomadic Museum and the Freitag store… well, our brilliant Lucy Feagin’s just sent in this piece on the CONTAINER BAR! A place i wish i could be right now.
Seriously, what hasn’t been made out of a shipping container these days? This is pretty much old news in Melbourne, but it’s such a ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ idea that I couldn’t help giving it a mention here.
Section 8 Container Bar is an outdoor bar set up in an old car park in Melbourne’s Central Business District. It seems that all the cool places these days are hidden down gritty, slightly stinky laneways in the CBD, and Section 8 is no exception. On Tattersalls Lane, off the main drag of Chinatown, the Container Bar itself is a modified shipping container, and the seating area is configured from neatly stacked wooden palettes (architectural/design/graphics/everything consultants Diretribe helped with the layout). In keeping with the local aesthetic, hanging Chinese lanterns decorate the space - and allegedly if you buy dumplings at the famous Camy Dumpling House next door, you’re allowed to eat them while you have a drink.
It’s all very ‘urban/edgy/grungy’ if you believe the PR hype (here and here) … but seriously – it’s a fantastic idea and the perfect spot for casual summer afternoon drinking or lazy weekend breakfast-ing. This place will make a fortune over summer. So next time you have what seems like a completely crazy business idea… don’t be so quick to talk yourself out of it! Who knows how these guys got a liquor license, but they followed through with what must have seemed like a mad idea at first (very interesting link here)… - and now look where they are! [fun pics below!]
New Tags launched on the sides of NOTCOT! This time we are sponsored by Pop Cling, which brings the art of local artists into your home in the form of high quality adhesive prints. This Costa Mesa, CA based company supports great local artists like Madsteez and Ben Collison to name a few. While this trend of moving away from traditional wallpaper and framed art has evolved into vinyl sticker graphics and magnetic wallpaper to let you fully customize your spaces ~ it fascinates me that Pop Cling has taken it to the next level by creating full art pieces to can simply stick wherever you please. One of my favorite pieces is Ben Collison’s Flower Girl, which they sent me to try out ~ review below! So, explore the tags! And see some of the different pieces they have, and some creative places to stick them up ~ all pieces are printed in limited runs and come with numbered certificates of authenticity.