Beautiful packaging ~ and when it comes to the holiday season, one of my favorite things is to see all the fun gift set packaging skincare/cosmetics brands do! This year Aesop went with a Daring Cases in Favour of Science theme! Each set has the products are housed in a black case with a sturdy zip ~ easily reused for whatever your science lover deems fit. There is the Theory of Evolution, Accelerating Universe, States of Matter, Special Relativity, Laws of Motion, Centre of Gravity, and Celestial Mechanics. Of course the hardest part will be shopping by theme… versus shopping by contents! Take a peek at the fun packaging graphics on the next page!
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Animals. Cars. Amazing illustrations. Ok i’m pretty much swooning already. Just in the inbox, Zoom Zoo from Mike Yamada, a designer/illustrator, artist at Dreamworks Animation, and an Art Center Graduate. These flashcards are his take on the classic Richard Scarry’s animals piloting retro 60’s type vehicles. (Anyone else picturing that worm driving an apple?) While sure these could be for kids to learn the alphabet, what adult wouldn’t have fun dreaming up the stories and worlds behind these creatures in their fantastic automobiles while teaching kids the alphabet? As adorable little works of art ~ they are playfully inspiring! I can’t wait to see the full alphabet… You can buy the Zoom Zoo Flashcards here. Take a peek at more details on the next page!
Fresh in from our London-based editor Justine Aw.
We were honored to receive bottle 1/100 of Saint beer, a British made craft lager from The Saint Brewing Co. The gorgeous green bottle came in a cozy box snuggled up against a wintry Nordic Knit Scarf from You Must Create (YMC). Once chilled to perfection, the lager was crisp and hoppy without being too bitter or too bubbly. If you too “…want to go down in history as one of the first 100 people in Britain to experience Saint, please enter your email address below.” ~ well, not quite below, but on their website… you can also see some of the bottling pics at Selectism. Take a peek at the beautiful design and handwritten note up close on the next page!
Just noticed these cute DWR exclusives, Moderne Wood Animals, designed by Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham. The description reads, “The founders of the Chicago design firm called Uusi, Linnea Gits and Peter Dunham are graphic artists who have produced work for Herman Miller®, Sharpie and Prismacolor. Their Moderne Wood Animals (2011) are crafted from American black walnut and white oak veneer that’s finished with nontoxic, odorless mineral oil. The designers selected these woods for their beautiful grain and because they are materials that have a rich history in the production of American-made objects. A lot of attention goes into how the direction of the wood grain falls across the form of each animal, making each sculpture a unique piece. The Bear, Bull and Horse were inspired by the Chauvet Cave paintings discovered in France and believed to be artwork from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago. Each animal is packed in a box featuring an illustration of what’s inside. Very simple assembly required; the animals are comprised of a few pieces that need to be slotted together. Made in U.S.A.” ~ I love the shapes! It’s like the simplified/modernized version of those old wood toy skeletons of dinosaurs and such that you’d pop apart and slot together! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Of all things i’ve unboxed, the Jawbone UP (see the unboxing here) has lead to SO many questions over im, twitter, facebook, phone, in person lately… and i’ve been doing so much random research, compiling it and privately linking people to it ~ finally decided to just post it. As all the posts come out about people who love or hate their UPs ~ and after many discussions about how long it will take before someone (or everyone) makes the “croc charm” biz model happen accessorizing the UPs… even Brit wrapped her’s in brass wire… which i have to admit makes it feel far more tesla coil than fashion accessory… So what do i ACTUALLY think about the UP?
LOVE THE ALARM CLOCK. It vibrates to wake you (and just you ~ not your neighbors, whoever is in bed with you, etc.) ~ also meaning not jumping up to a jarring noise. It uses its approximation of your sleep cycles to wake you at the best time with in a half hour before your set alarm time. And in all honesty, i’d been sleeping terribly, and have been waking refreshed since i started trying it. Is it a coincidence? I’m not sure, but it’s been a noticeable enough difference that i’m intrigued enough to keep trying it.
I CUT THE RUBBER OFF WITHIN 24 HOURS. I tried to wear it around, but it just didn’t feel good… rubber on the skin 24/7? It was even more comfortable with just its minimal tech guts. Experimented a bit ~ and in the end decided to pull out the old little kid string from friendship bracelets ~ and friendship bracelet-ed it. It’s SO much more comfortable to sleep with now, and far thinner/more discreet than the original (and yes, no longer shower proof, but working great.)
I ONLY USE IT WHILE SLEEPING. The truth is ~ the food part, i’m not really going to take pics of everything i eat. The activity monitoring feels more like INactivity monitoring ~ great to let you know if you need to move more (you can have it buzz to remind you to be more active). And unlikely i’m really going to do the group thing and team up against friends to work out more.
BEST SLEEP TRACKING/ALARM I FOUND. Going through all the other options with my priorities being size/comfort, optimal wake up alarm based on sleep cycle, and vibration alarm ~ even throwing in price… the Jawbone UP is the best option i’ve found. Chart and links to all the others (devices, apps, etc) i looked into on the next page.
Anyhow, i think that answers the questions everyone’s been asking a lot… check out the next page if you want to see the actual guts of it, my experiments, and the comparison chart of other sleep monitoring options on the next page.
Leave it to Sam and Harry, the jellymongering duo Bompas & Parr, to help us celebrate this holiday season with an ‘Adventure Hamper’ unlike any other. Available from the 15th of December at Selfridges. The hamper is not your usual fare (no stodgy puddings here!), instead it’s an adventure ready pack that comes with a guide book and manual for your adventure and the hamper comes filled with “functional pickles and jams that will help with malaria, altitude sickness, insect bites and jellyfish stings to more exotic kit like the hand customised ice axe, and a Magnum of a Piper-Heidsieck Rare Vintage 1998 to celebrate the successful expedition.”
Find out more about the Adventure Hamper, including a full list of what’s inside on the next page! And we can’t wait to see what the boys get up to with their accompanying in store installation to be unveiled in December!
Regardless of your addiction of choice ~ be it Caffeine, Chocolate, MDMA, Nicotine, THC, or DMT ~ Aroha Silhouettes latest collection Molecular Addictions has you covered. Each of the necklaces are made of strong lightweight stainless steel that has been finished in a smooth matte black powder coating with gunmetal chain and findings. Take a peek at Tania’s new collection with photography by Kelly Jill on the next page!
While i’m not a huge camper or backpacker ~ i’ve always had a fascination for the wonderfully efficient products that come out of their needs! They pack down to nothing ~ make use of every pound and every inch… multipurpose mixes that normall wouldn’t happen ~ somehow work! Tables ~ Cookware ~ Lighting ~ you name it ~ its some of the most functional and uniquely designed stuff out there! And i was just fascinated with the latest from Snow Peak! They’ve even made the jump that all the impressively modular camp kitchen ware and let it work at HOME in a gorgeous wooden outdoor table set! And their latest for this year ~ the Tulip lamp works in every which way ~ stand alone, hanging in your tent, bedside, you can get creative with it. I also adore the little round bamboo tables that work as well at camp as they do for kids or as a coffee table, and it folds up to make space into a nylon carrying bag. And as for unexpected mixes ~ how about a spatula that can turn into a fork or…. well check it all out on the next page! I love how these new products allow you to seamlessly transition your camping/adventuring gear into usable goods at home ~ or vice versa!
Icebreaker ~ the New Zealand Merino wool wearable company that keeps us warm (and has that adorable Baacode system that lets you trace back and see what sheep your clothes came from) ~ has always had some awesome and crazy surreal ram/man photos… well today their new lookbook came through ~ and it brought out the little kid in me ~ i love the flash card set feeling of the book! And it definitely made it easy to flip through and make little piles ~ figuring out ones i was curious about/etc! As much as i shop online ~ i must admit i love catalogs and look books in print ~ it just FEELS great still! (And its a nice break from so much screen time in our lives!) Take a peek at some of Icebreaker’s imagery on the next page as well as their flashcard look book for SS12 ~ the bliss wrap in black is looking particularly cozy tonight…
It’s mail order season ~ new seasonal UPS/Fedex/USPS guys showing up daily ~ packages on every doorstep it seems ~ lines starting at the post office, and i can’t help but get curious about how people are packing things, how much waste we’re using to ensure our goods are protected to their destination. Well, the Kindle Fire just arrived ~ and i must say, i love how streamlined their packaging is ~ it just keeps getting cleaner and simpler, yet still creates a nice, satisfying unboxing experience ~ creating that perfect element of surprise even when you know what you’re getting as you pull the strip, and lift open the box ~ and the Fire is there presented to you! Take a peek at their nice, minimally designed box and reinforcements on the next page while i go check on whether the updates to it have downloaded so i can play with it.
p.s. Only criticism would be maybe it shouldn’t be SO obvious what’s inside on the outside of the box… the first Fire seems to have “disappeared” somewhere between delivery and ever making it here!
Magical tech filled bracelet that tracks my sleeping, eating, activeness? Who wouldn’t be curious? And with this trend of iOS app driven sleep trackers (see also Lark on your wrist and Zeo on your head) ~ with silent vibrating alarm clocks that dont wake neighbors/bedmates/etc (thinking of the Mute Watch?) ~ a sudden wealth of health data at your fingertips (think fitbit?) ~ this holiday season personal data overload/data visualizations are definitely the hot trend of the moment… and as always ~ when Jawbone jumps in to the game, you can count on gorgeously designed packaging, product design, and user experience…
The Jawbone UP made quite a splash ~ and tonight i couldn’t resist and had to give it a try ~ a week of terrible sleep seemed a good enough excuse to try out the new gizmo. And using MotionX sensor technology it tracks the slightest movements ~ and combined with some discipline on your part ~ you can switch between active, workout, and sleep modes… and the app will have you tracking meals (with pics!), calories, activities, setting vibration alarms and trying to meet various goals throughout the day… you can even compete/share/motivate your friends. Granted this isn’t an exact science by any means ~ it seems that just providing more data and creating more awareness of ones activities might help in ways you didn’t even imagine… or does it? I guess playing around with it for the next week or so will help me find out! For now though ~ take a peek at the initial unboxing and set up on the next page!
Spotted over at Bedlam of Beefy ~ the adorable packaging of Prospector Co. includes this super cute tester set of vials! They have K.C. Atwood Aftershave Splash, Peary & Henson Aftershave Splash, Burroughs Beard Oil, Miss Annie Jones Shaving Oil, and Wormwood Absinthium Cream. Love that they describe themselves as - “…a line for men who seek purpose and forethought in their skin and shave products. The line captures something for every man with formulas for pre-shaving, post-shaving, unshaven scruff to a beard gone wild. “
My favorite description is of their Burroughs Beard Oil (yes! BEARD OIL!) - “Burroughs writes in his Indoor Studies: We readily attribute some extra virtue to those persons who voluntarily embrace solitude, who live alone in the country or in the woods, or in the mountains, and find life sweet… The woodsy, earthy scent of this beard oil brings together the solitary notes of nature and craftsmanship. The smell of freshly chopped forest woods move into a dusty carpenter’s workshop, leaving behind the deep leathered richness of a cobbler’s apron. Its very hardy, masculine fragrance works well with the rugged scruff left behind after a lazy summer’s week of no shaving to the full-grown winter’s beard.” Take a peek at the packaging of their line on the next page!
Denham introduce the the winter edition of their torpedo crew and diving suit inspired Nautilus jacket. The men’s winter coat comes in Loden wool with heavy white ripstop canvas re-cut from vintage winter tarpaulins sourced from Dutch military surplus.
The new Denham Garment Library RECUT version, the Nautilus D.G.L., features stitched tape reinforcements and a removable cowl (modeled after a simple Royal Navy dress tunic), a style originating in naval flash gear, for which the hoods and shoulder pieces helped protect the heads, faces and shoulders of torpedo crews and is reminiscent of frogman diving suits with (the sort GI Joe used to wear).
Grenade Bunny!!! Tonight’s current inspiration obsession are the adorable Grenade Bunnies of Lucky Bunny ~ triggered by the giant (larger than human) one that Vinyl Pulse shared from DesignerCon this weekend… i ended up on the Lucky Bunny site, facebook, and store exploring the world of Lucky Bunny and the making of the various Grenade Bunny creatures! Take a peek on the next page… and keep an eye out for the next limited edition series of Grenade Bunnies hopefully in the near future.
On fun unboxings ~ this beautiful gift box came from Perrier Jouet containing their new 200th Anniversary Limited Edition champagne glasses designed by Daniel Arsham. They are a beautiful addition to his designs for their Bicentenary, and match his signature style ~ take a peek at all of the lovely details on the next page!
Wow. Nick Veasey x-rayed the Macallan HOUSE! I can see the room i stayed in in there! If i ever wanted to be someone’s intern ~ i think this would be it. I’m also reinstating an xray machine to the top of my wishlist…
Take a close up look at these awesome limited edition Macallan 12 boxes for the holiday season featuring Nick Veasey’s x-ray imagery of the Macallan’s six pillars. Each box is sold individually and features a feather, scissors, liquid drop, still, cask or the house to represent the six pillars. Take a peek at the beautiful images in high res on the next page ~ i can’t wait to see these all in person!
p.s. I’d love it if the back of the box was an xray of the box itself printed on showing the bottle within!
p.p.s. They should have x-rayed a highland cow from the property.
Geneva Lab now has a portable/travel sized Sound System XS model! Resembling a leather-like clamshell retro alarm clock ~ this little speaker packs in Bluetooth, FM, Alarm Clock, Speakers, and Amplifier. “The digital amplifier and stereo speakers play mid and high frequencies with absolute accuracy. The woofer is capable of producing robust bass response below 80Hz.” This 2.1 speaker system with two 1” tweeters and one 2¼” woofer come in their classic glossy white, black, and red and runs on a rechargeable lithium battery with 5+ hours of play-time. At a mere 6.2” × 4” × 4.5” it weighs in at 1.1 pounds. I can’t wait to check out the sound to see how it compares to my Jambox. See more pictures on the next page…
Tattoos & Tentacles is a book by photographer Julian Murray… and it is precisely what it sounds like (though the octopi don’t seem to be alive)… and it might be NSFW, but there’s a SFW peek inside the book on the next page!
What to do with all of those old toys? Well over at Freshome, just found out that you can commission Evil Robot Designs to merge your toys into a bespoke sculptural lamp… then finish it off in a single color high gloss finish… fun concept, playful execution… take a look at some closeup examples on the next page.
While in Las Vegas, popped into the awesome men’s store, Stitched in the Cosmopolitan… great to finally see their wall of Macallan 18 lockers and bespoke luxuries… what caught my eye most were the new leather cased metal flasks, shot glasses, and travel bars by Daines & Hathaway. The Triple Bar Set in particular is stunning (and you can order it by calling Stitched) ~ beautiful cylindrical leather case that resembles an old slr lens case with shoulder strap, and when unzipped you have three equal wedge flasks to fill with your libation of choice… and perfect to share with friends since each flask has a little shot glass above the cap. Take a peek at the details on the next page!
On fun new thermos/water bottle options, just came across this Cocoon Flask from Mar Mar Co., which debuted at London Design Week. Love that it’s packaging is in an inflatable “air box” case to protect it. The flask is designed by Torsten Neeland, and apparently it can keep liquids hot or cold for 3 hours. It comes in both matte and gloss finishes and holds 500mL. Something about the design reminds me of little gas cartridges… and i’m curious what the materials are like… and what the top lip is like if it all unscrews? Does that mean you can use the bottle with just the clear part? Anyhow, while i go look in to it all more ~ take a peek at close ups on the next page!
Your keys can do it all ~ how adorable is this tiny lighter? Along with some tiny screwdrivers, mini crow bar, and tweezers. Sure you could replace some of those with an equally tiny and functional tiny multi-tool/key… but not the lighter! See more details of the Kauffman Mercantile EDC Kit on the next page!
Help Remedies are beautifully packaged basic remedies from headache meds and allergy meds to bandaids. While they have been popping up in design stores, gift stores, and hotel mini bars for a while now, it’s exciting to hear they are spreading their philosophy of “Take Less” further ~ heading in to bigger national stores even! An awesome press kit arrived today including a few Help Remedies and a BIG board book filled with colorful, informative, playful content to explain their vision… all surrounded by gel coatings of pills to drill in the overdosing and confusion of the current state of over the counter meds. So take a peek on the next page to see the full unboxing, playful design details of Help Remedies, and a look in to the big board book!
Just in from Emily over at Baggu ~ their classic ripstop nylon reusable shopping bags have gone leather! While the concept isn’t new ~ (there have been japanese variations floating around and A+R has Cast of Vices’ 3 Corner Store variations) ~ i love the direction Baggu keeps evolving beyond what you can stash everything from groceries to random shopping in, though i’m not sure i’d want my milk and eggs in leather… but perhaps more my camera and spare clothes in the car between events? In addition to the new leather small and regular sized Baggus, she’s also launched leather pouches in two sizes (they remind me of the Claire Vivier Clutches) ~ soft leather that flops over on itself with a zip to keep your goodies inside. Each of the 4 designs come in black, apricot, and platinum leather and are made in NYC… i’m dying to see the sheen of the platinum in person and intrigued to see how luscious their leather feels… Take a peek at the new leather Baggus on the next page!
There’s something fun about when art and function come together. Take a look at these DEMONBELLS i found on Uncrate! Will these sculptural alternatives to your standard (pretty ugly) kettlebells make your work out better? Probably not. Will it make me more likely to be amused while working out? Possibly. But it will definitely make it less of something that begs to be hidden, and instead will become an intriguing conversation piece… even as a doorstop. Created by former Navy SEAL, Ryan Williams, these DemonBells were commissioned art pieces brought to life by a local San Diego Master Sculptor. They are made in China from 100% recycled steel, not iron, and injection molded for a smooth finish which is then black powder coated. From their site, “Each piece in the DemonBell line started individually with an ornamental design inspired from various global and cultural influences. Through extensive testing and evaluation of working prototypes, we have finally produced the fully functional works of art you see here. Each directional weight carries its own unique modifications, from anatomically designed handle grips and specific weight distribution for balance, to specially angled backs to match forearm angles during snatch movements. We designed each DemonBell while paying as much attention to function as we did form.” Take a peek at the whole collection of 4 on the next page!