Going through pictures from the London trip… i have so many i’ve been meaning to share from Aston Martin. Sadly, i wasn’t able to take pictures inside the actual factory other than some super glarey diagrams on the walls… and the lighting for most of the cars was a bit difficult, but lots of details and overviews to share! Unsure of where to start, this saddle jumped out at me when i was going through the pics… it’s like a picnic basket meets a horse saddle… for the hump in the backseat of your Aston Martin DBS… Apparently each saddle is individually handmade by Robin Coleman in Warwickshire. Each saddle takes two craftsmen 28 hours! It has room for everything including your bottle of wine! See more pics on the next page.
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Tops! They are universally mesmerizing! Regardless of age, they will definitely amuse… so imagine how my eyes widened when i came upon a huge bowl of these small wooden japanese spinning tops at Tortoise in Venice Beach… i kept going through the whole bowl ~ one by one ~ and slowly ended up buying a dozen. They were all so different! So hard to resist! And many have these floating rings carved into them that float as they spin… and they make the most amazing sounds… when still, the curvatures in your hand are just so beautiful… and then get them spinning, and it’s hard not to just watch them for ages… see the videos and more pics on the next page!
On random design inspiration ~ Playmobil seems to have evolved quite a bit since i was a kid. We had the zoo, rock climbers, fancy dressed victorians with car, the teepee, and farm animals… but definitely no disheveled stubbly striped shirt, sport jacket, sunglass, and beanie wearing safe crackers… these guys even come with graspable money, a canister with hose to freeze the lock(?), silver suitcase, keys, flashlight, and even a weighty metal gold bar… best part of all, the safe is actually lockable! You can set the combination by picking two numbers… and it actually clicks as you rotate the dials.
So for random weekend experiments, had a bit too much fun taking pics of this set on the pool table…
I’m not the kind of girl who peruses bridal magazines, wedding dresses dresses, planning websites… i don’t dream about that moment in my life… but somewhere along the way i fell for Max Wanger’s unique style of photographing love ~ for weddings, for engagements, just because. There’s a way he sees the world and the lovers in it… and a way he shares it with all of us that is just irresistibly nostalgic, romantic, and joyful ~ all while feeling like a work of art… you step into the techni-colored dream where only that couple resides… AND, he’s taken it one step further. Now the portrayals of Max Wanger’s most iconic moments of hipster love are translated into t-shirts! Currently there are coming out in limited his and hers editions monthly (available to anyone!)… but imagine doing your engagement shoot, and using that imagery throughout your invitations, your table settings, and then giving away tshirts to your guests or wedding party?
First came the silhouette of the couple with a balloon… Then hands spelling out LOVE… the WISH tickets blowing in the wind… the lone seagull blowing a heart… and freshly launched for March: Giraffe! He’s found a way to capture the essence of a romantic shoot into versatile tshirt designs… as symbolic or literal as you decide to interpret them! See the collection thus far on the next page…
On fun mysterious packages that just arrived ~ i got a text at around 3am while i was in london from NY, asking what size i was… followed by “black or white?”… i was so asleep, but have a tendency to sleep text back… and as i got back to LA, this glossy black super cozy Moncler Clairy arrived too! After much discussion the last few days, it seems that my friend and i have agreed that i must have somehow tuned out the snowy side of fashion, because i certainly didn’t know much about the brand, yet as i delved deeper into the history it was all too familiar… LOVE their retro skiing pics! I’ve never been into the puffy jacket thing, but this is definitely the warmest sleekest puffy jacket option i’ve run into… maybe i’m ready for some play time in the snow now!
Most important thing however is… how did i never know that these guys have a full on COMIC inside their jackets with a bilingual duck giving you washing instructions? And they also had Bruce Weber do the most adorable photoshoot for their recent ad campaign, including his golden retrievers decked out in custom Moncler jackets and self portraits of himself covered in cameras curled up in bed… Take a peek at the playful details on the next page!
Oh, W+K Studio Goodness ~ you guys are SO sweet, and awesomely inspiring. On fun surprises to come home to after the latest round of travels ~ firstly, how adorable is it that they made the envelope pattern align perfectly? I almost felt bad to pull the envelope off to read the card… but luckily i did, since i couldn’t stop smiling once i saw all the many fun signatures and notes within!!!
SO ~ here we have the unboxing/close up look of the incredible, hand screened (with love!), limited edition of 75 (but only 50 for sale here) 2010 Goodness Calendar… this is lucky number 37! Other than beautiful graphics, i love the note on the back… and that its a calendar that runs from Feb 2010 - Jan 2011… and i totally agree with them, i often forget i need calendars around until well into january, so why not offset it a little? It’s still totally useful!
On fun press kit design and packaging - this one made me pretty giddy. Nike put a jersey in a bottle! And no, as much as i tried, pulling it out of the little hole doesn’t really work. They ingeniously put a pull tab across the label which hid the split in the bottle. Conceptually it really drives the point home that these super light dry-fit jerseys are each upcycled from 8 plastic bottles. I do hope they didn’t waste more making/using the plastic bottles to house these though! These also came with the most adorable teeny tiny USB keys containing the press releases and high res pics of the newly launched collections.
On design details to watch out for as the Nike World Cup team kits get launched (home kits we got a peek at, but official launches are to come…) ~ All of the 2010 World Cup Nike jerseys have a secret message printed on the inside behind the team emblem, next to the hearts of players ~ for the Brazilian one it says “orgulho e amor”, which is Portuguese for “pride and love”! It was the most exciting feature i was looking forward to once i got the shirt out of the bottle… for the others, waiting to see the artwork/calligraphy when Nike has pics ready! Take a peek at the un-bottling and details on the next page!
James Jarvis!!! Ok, that’s my first reaction… or, maybe my second after, “oooh, florescent lights.” But what we have here is a first look at a the jackets in the new Nike Sportswear Six Collaborations… and its 5am, and i should sleep, but i wanted to share it with you… so see the pics on the next page, and SlamXHype has some good info and apparently more will come tomorrow… but for now, check out the close ups of the artistic crests and crazy fonts on the back. For each of these 6 countries, artists from the respective countries were selected to reinterpret the full team kit! The artists are as follows ~ USA - Mister Cartoon, England - James Jarvis, France - So Me, Netherlands - Delta, South Africa - Kronk, Brazil - Nunca. See the fun pics on the next page. I’m madly James Jarvis lusting.
Good morning 3am London ~ it’s been quite the evening with Nike Football/Soccer, running around and ending up on buses with ~400 international press folks ~ ending up at Battersea Power Station in the rain with its huge purple projections, only to delve deeper into what some felt was like a bat cave or villainous lair of lights and steps and shiny new products to tempt us with. But the main attraction announced tonight (with the help of Cristiano Ronaldo) ~ was what all this purple was about! And my favorite part of course is not only the new shoe, the Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II… but the magical glowingly purple glass/cement box that looked like an apple store in a shipping container. The purple dots on the glass became smaller and smaller until you could see the wall of shoes hung upon them… On the next page see pictures of the installation, the new Nike Mercurial Vapor SuperFly II, the new Nike Football+ iphone app (with twitter/facebook integrations), design sketches… and the full press release!
On posts that are a bit overdue ~ catching up while curled up in London right now ~ one of the sweetest packages came over from the boys of High Snobiety and Selectism ~ super fun letterpressed coasters! With their logos on the fronts and urls on the backs ~ and an adorable little “Thanks for 2009, Drink to 2010.” message holding them all together. While i adore these… the making of video is even more mind blowingly mesmerizing to watch! You have to check it out and more pics & details on the next page!
On fun things that showed up before i left for NY/London ~ a super sized Absolut shoe box of sorts filled with their new Absolut Berri Acai! A whole giant liter of the delectable new liquor appeared buffered by crunchy purple padding, adorned with a few recipes… It’s quite refreshingly yummy mix of acai, blueberry, and pomegranate ~ in that fruity healthy sort of way! See the unboxing and recipes on the next page!
On new shoe technology i gave in and had to try… Kenneth Cole’s 925 Technology was too fascinating not to pass up when i knew i’d be running around in inclimate weather through NY and London the next week… And i DID need some basic black pumps… and they feel crazy comfy/bouncy and are filled with things like Memory Foam, Cork, Flaxseed, and Sheepskin even! (See the dissected diagram on the next page!) The rubbery sole means really being able to bend in ways my pumps have never bent before… which after the last few days i’m a little mixed on the overly bendiness, it’s as if you have to hold yourself up even MORE in a way… though when i slipped back into my favorite louboutins they felt like i was in a thin padding free shell… if only i could get that memory foam in all my shoes?
On fun additions to the world of the Standard New York ~ their new store is like a wonderland of practical and playful designer goodies. Greeted by a giant ALL FOR YOU made of ring pops ~ you discover a hotel store filled with everything from forgotten amenities like meds and toothpaste in card catalog drawers to power adapters and magazines… and then fun gifts like the beautifully bound penguin classics to giant dunnys to glossy apples and stunning jewelry… and of course there are even naughtier gifts like vibes and condoms that you can wrap in raunchy double sided wrapping paper and pair with chocolate! See lots of pics on the next page!
This is the first of a new experiment ~ Dear NOTCOT ~ think of it as our version of letters to the editor ~ SO many stories of amazing experiences filled with inspiration and creativity from our friends like you ~ i’m working on convincing you to share them with us in your own words! And filled with pics of course, since its fun to see the world through your eyes! So hopefully more to come! And if you think you have a visually inspiring adventure to share, feel free to drop us a line!
Heath Ceramics ~ stunning tile and table work ~ i hadn’t realized that they’ve been doing their thing since 1948. Currently lusting after their tile work! Their main store and studio are in Sausalito and they recently teamed up with Adam Silverman of Atwater Pottery for their LA location. Julie Wolfson had a chance to go hang out and chat with Adam as he worked on pieces for Playmountain in Tokyo! On the next page you can see her adventures at Heath filled pics and quotes she came back with!
Oh, Incase, you’ve done it again. Your surprise packages always blow me away… and now i’m terribly jealous of your amazing TAPE!!! Matte black with the Incase signature topographic pattern in gloss… you’ve taken packing tape lust to a new level! AND its on a soft touch rubberized feeling matte black BOX. Yes, i couldn’t help rubbing the box before i even got to opening it.
Of course, once inside the box, there is one of the 3 new Evan Hecox (Incase curated by Arkitip) sets of iphone cases and laptop sleeves ~ this one is the Tokyo edition (there is also London and New York!)… Beautiful details, take a peek at the artwork and unboxing on the next page…
And as always ~ love the Incase motto “A better experience through good design.”
On cell phone obsessions ~ i love a great button. I used to love my old Sony Ericsson joystick. There’s something about my blackberry’s trackball thats just so fun to spin. That indentation of the iPhone button just feels good to click! Latest button lust? On the new HTC Desire and HTC Legend phones launching today… they feature a brand new OPTICAL TRACKBALL! In the conference call announcing them they said trackball, in the press release it says joystick… really you can call it what you want, basically they’ve described it as a little optical sensor ever so slightly depressed in the center of a single solid ring of a button. I can’t wait to try this physical interface in person!
Perhaps one of the most enticing aspects of HTC, beyond their hardware that feels SO good in your hand… is their dedication to great UX ~ above and beyond what is provided through Android and Win Mobile! At the Mobile World Congress today, they are not only announcing new phones, but also the latest iteration of HTC Sense - “HTC Sense is a user experience focused on putting people at the centre by making phones work in a more simple and natural way. This experience revolves around three fundamental principles that were developed by observing and listening to how people live and communicate. These core tenets of Make It Mine, Stay Close and Discover the Unexpected continue to be the key to the new HTC Sense experience.” The new version adds more features that are focused around your most important people with the HTC Friend Stream (pulling in from facebook, twitter, flickr, and more). See more details on the next page!
HAPPY Valentine’s Day, Chinese New Year, and President’s Day! (Did i miss any? What a long weekend this is!) And i’m back! After quite a bit of travel/meetup madness, drove back to LA, then hid out last night, only to wake up to the crashing of socal waves outside the window.. and i’m feeling more excited and rejuvenated than ever for what 2010 has in store for NOTCOT.
SO! To celebrate this holiday trifecta of a weekend, our friends at SUCK UK have put together a super fun bundle for you… I’ve decided to split things up a tiny bit ~ 2 ways to win! So here’s what to do and what you might win:
3 Guns Table Vase, Mixtape USB Stick, and Silver Plated Love Hearts Sweet (A perfect replica of the classic sweet. Says “I Love You”) ~ FOR A CHANCE TO WIN: Leave a note with what you have planned for this weekend! I’ll email the winner on Tuesday the 16th of Feb.
Mixtape USB Stick ~ the TWITTER giveaway ~ follow me, @NOTCOT, and tweet @NOTCOT with your pick for the ultimate mixtape song and use #notsuck so i can find it. I’ll D the winner on Tuesday the 16th of Feb, so make sure you’re following @NOTCOT!
Have an amazing weekend!!!
They are finally nearly here! Andrew Bell teased me with sneak peeks of toys in the making on his phone over lunch a few months back ~ so long as i promised to stay quiet. Well, it’s been hard! Because, we all know as fun as the Google Android phones and UI are… i’m pretty smitten with the adorable mascot. And here they finally are! A series of blind box toys bringing that adorable little Android to life!
The details? Illustrator and toy designer Andrew Bell has teamed up with a few friends at Google’s Android project to bring their green mascot to life. Presenting Android mini collectibles series 01! Each 3” vinyl figure sports one of 12 different possible designs and features a rotating head and arms. Packed in “blind boxes” so you don’t know which design you get until you open it up. Pick one up and take a chance or grab a case for a near-complete set. Available in an initial limited release later this month from dyzplastic and specialty retailers.
If you’re ready, see more details on the next page! (And notice he says “Series 01”… will there be more???)
Fusion Brands’ FoodPod ~ i ran into it at A+R and it was so odd, i couldn’t stop poking at it. Then i had to buy it. It’s another silicon creation from Fusion Brands to help in the kitchen… they are certainly creative with their ability to solve problems i didn’t even realize i had. Like keeping my veggies/eggs separate from other things, or together in the pot for easy removal… here you can fill the FoodPod with just about anything… and then you can dunk it into your boiling pot of water, and even hook the angler fish looking top to the lip of the pot for easy retrieval! lift and autostrain ~ unhook the cap, and your food is ready! See more pics of it on the next page!
Who knew wine in a bag could be so… designer? functional? pretty? Or that a decanter could aerate and feed the wine right back into the bottle? Leave it to Danish company MENU to help us rethink the way we interact with our wine! I love the the Wine Breather Carafe ~ which can be used either by attaching it to the bottle, and flipping it… then flipping it back into the bottle, OR serving it out of the carafe. It’s designed by Norm, idea and patent by Peter Orsig. (Doesn’t the shape remind you of those adorable Aladdin sake bottles?) Also fun is the Baggy Wine Coat designed by Jakob Wagner ~ wine in a bag never looked so ruggedly high tech. Also cute in the new collection ~ Norm’s stackable, spherical, tripod set for condiments! So playful, they’d be delightful in a restaurant! Take a peek at all of these up close on the next page!
While at A+R Store today, i couldn’t resist these lovely Manymals silver necklaces. Sleek simple shapes ~ Bat, Sloth, Gorilla, Bulldog ~ designed by Markus Diebel. And as if i didn’t love them enough then… they teased me with the packaging, which is so AWESOME! I nearly didn’t want to open it, but i was dying to wear my new bat tonight! Sleek black packaging molded out of 100% recycled paper. Playful typography on the back panel describing each creature… and 5% of sales go to WildAid! Ok but beyond how pretty the pieces look, you have to see how cool the packaging is on the next page!
As emails came in today, i was taken by the Net-A-Porter mailer about their latest spread Rebel Rebel with Rick Owens’ spring collection. Beyond the gorgeous images, the quotes were what really grabbed me in their interview with him. Both quotes embody much of how i like to see the world ~ and once i found out he is a SoCal native currently living and working in Paris, his perspective makes perfect sense. Take a peek at a bit more on the next page.
Fresh in from Artecnica, the latest in their Design W/ Conscience program with MAL / Media Arts Lab part of TBWA\, Artecnica to find designer solutions to recycling their large format billboards. Remember their Artecnica + TBWA\ Recycled Stretch Bag? Well, these new Laptop Cases are lined with black neoprene to add softness and protection to the case, and come in 13” and 15” sizes. See more images of the case on the next page.
On unexpected gifts that made me LOL and people who’ve helped me navigate the fun intersection between design, advertising, business, online media, and more ~ Chas ran off to India for the holidays (surprisingly, not to find himself, like others i know have been) ~ as advisor and old friend of NOTCOT ~ i asked him to show me some awesome design from india ~ leave it to an ad man to find a way to mix his passion and mine ~ i was gifted with this book (and lots of pictures of india! including ads of india! But also the beautiful found throughout on his adventures.) But back to the book: Welcome To Advertising Now Get Lost by Omkar Sane. The book cover cracked me up. The idea that it had so many playful illustrations throughout was great as well. And if you read it ~ it’s a playful look at the world of ad agencies in india… from the creative directors to the art directors to the clients to the pitches and more… perhaps a lot of it is similar to how it works here. And amidst making a mockery of much of the process (filled with local references), it’s pretty funny, and an amusing perspective on how things work. And as creatives who may either live in a similar world, or tap in to it regularly ~ you’ve got to take a peek at some of the illustrations inside by Aindri Chakraborty on the next page.
On silly little kid stories, when i used to hang out at guitar stores with my dad, i’d be that little girl the store guys would let play with the pick drawers, and they’d always let me have a few… my favorites? Dunlop Tortex! In Green of course! Because i was in that rational “it HAS to be green, its a turtle” little kid mindset, and while knowing it made a difference, i refused to care about how thick it was, what the different colors meant, etc… i just wanted the green ones… flash forward about 20 years, and is it any wonder that my absolute favorite booth encountered at NAMM is Dunlop? The graphic design of the posters and the design of the booth itself were so much fun, the kind of inspiring that makes you want to go design gig posters… and i could have stayed and stared at the panels of custom guitar picks for hours. Also, how exciting is it that there will be a documentary film coming this spring on the Cry Baby? Seeing that awesomely designed poster just made me remember being a little girl balancing on the wah wah pedals amused no end with all the noises i could make… And really, how could i not post the Bad Mutha Fucka Shut Yo Mouth posters… all of the graphics at this booth were really far too fun to pass up. Take a little tour of it all on the next page!