Sometimes even more fascinating than packaging design is watching how it evolves and becomes more engaging and usable! Well on packages awaiting when i got back from SDCC - there was a case of these redesigned Activate Drinks. If you recall, i wrote about Activate Drinks about a year ago ~ basically Activate Drinks are the ones that are bottles of water with caps filled with vitamins/flavors, and you turn the cap to "activate" the drink. Shake it and you're good to go ~ freshly mixed vitamins in water, because apparently vitamins lose their potency in water? Anyhow, take a look at the more ergo-friendly cap and cute droplet box graphics on the next page!
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After the last post on the Bazaarium ~ while hanging out at SDCC i ended up going back to the booth and doing a bit of shopping for the things i just couldn't resist... and/or needed to show you close up! For close ups, you have to see their variety of super cute black and white buttons ~ seeming like silhouettes from afar, you notice the little x's for eyes... and i love their logo! and packaging! and their promo card is just so beautifully designed! Anyhow browse it all on the next page!
and visit the Bazaarium!
Hard to believe it was Nov 2007 that i first wrote about Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre... i got reminded about it when i saw The Bazaarium: Your Victorian Emporium booth at SDCC. I had no idea you could by those cheeky little victorian silhouette images in cute little wood frames! As well as awesome black and white buttons and gun shaped soaps! (Might need to head over and get some later?)... Also, so many new pieces since i last visited the Silhouette Masterpiece Theatre... so take a peek at some of the newer ones i'm loving as well as the booth and goodies available on the next page!
also got a card saying "for a limited time 5% off all purchases with this code: ODDGOODS"
On NOTCOT favorites, SDCC highlights always including visiting the Rocketworld booth to see what Patrick/Otter X and his crew have been up to. Just as it was really fun to see how many unexpected product offerings were popping up at Dumbrella's booth ~ Rocketworld is also expanding and evolving through collaboration in some great new directions... incredibly cozy floppy plush toys (with velcro hands and skull - and a little belly button!)... super limited edition silver jewelry pieces (only 5 of some of them! i couldn't help myself)... stickers!... 2 series of new toys... mini exact replica T.A.D. Gear backpacks for the IWG... letterpressed cards... and even a peek at a *possible* animated IWG to be! In a time where many companies (esp some of the toy guys it seems) are hurting a bit, and it certainly felt like less new launches this year... the Rocketworld booth was almost all brand new products, and really expanding the line by bringing in friends who are masters at plushes and jewelry. See lots of pics on the next page!
On more fun branding/design ~ i love what the kids at Dumbrella did embracing Recession/Hobo chic ~ i've have always loved a good use of cardboard and brown paper though... now if only they gave you your goodies in a bag tied to the end of a stick bindle style? Also noteworthy? It's not just web comics into tshirts, books, and stickers anymore ~ i was impressed to see how much incredible artwork (both 2+3D)... take a peek at some of my favorite offerings on the next page. And if you're here, be sure to pop by and check it out in person at the perfectly numbered booth #1337.
On toys i was excited to peek at in person ~ three blind box sets from KidRobot jumped out at me at their booth. The Futurama ones of course ~ and Junko Mizuno's Pure Trance ~ and DJ Kid Acne's Rolling Stock... take a look at closeups on the next page!
While the sdcc preview night doors open in just a few minutes ~ i couldn't resist taking in the view and doing a little photoshoot on the hotel coffee table to show you Andrew Bell's amazing O-No Food Company Sushi toys that just launched with limited edition Blue 150 colorway (only 150 pieces) for sdcc... Luckily the Dumbrella crew snuck me in early, and gave me a chance to see what pre-comicon is really like (constant forklift dodging!)... BUT back to the matter at hand, while i got excited about these Sushi guys when they were NOTCOT.org #22670 ~ they are even better in person! And their stumpy little arms rotate... their eyes swap... and he's strategically placed his name on them too. Anyhow, see the pics of them on the next page... i even tried to put SOME of their tentacles back on...
Remote controls - they come in so many shapes and sizes, yet i'd never seen one quite like the extra mini pebble one that came with my Samsung LED TV. (For full disclosure - Samsung's LED TV campaign is sponsoring this post series, but they in no way knew that their ads got me looking at the new TVs enough to love it and buy one... and make the pebble remote the subject of this post! So perhaps this is less a conflict of interest, and more of a convergence of interest?)
This tiny pebble remote has a jeweled center piece which for the 7 series is blue, and the 6 series is red. It is mesmerizing how it subtly sparkles in the light... and the weirdest thing is how nice the small indented pebble shape feels in your hand, it actually reminds me a lot of those Worry Stones that originated in Ancient Greece - thin oval pieces of stone that are held between the thumb and forefinger with the thumb in the indentation... and the rubbing is said to help take your worries away. Basically its hard not to rub this remote as odd as that sounds? Now as far as practicality, it only does power, volume, and channel, so its the opposite of the huge remote that also came with the tv, but nice when you just want the basics. Unfortunately the channels don't work for my DVR, so its a bit useless, but i just love the what the design looks and feels! Isn't it about time we take more steps away from the traditional grid layouts of remotes? Take a look at more images of the pebble remote on the next page!
SurfMonk ~ i wrote about these comfy cozy looking surf coverups and blankets over a year ago, but only just caught up and checked them out in person. As you can see, i couldn't resist, and brought some home! These are the types of things you definitely need to check out in person, or at least have someone you trust check it out ~ but they feel AMAZING. My car is always ready for the beach, and this just made the cut, it is such an incredible (super secret special blend) bamboo/cotton terry used, that once you feel it, you will want the whole line. SurfMonk opened up a showroom/store in Malibu this May, so in yesterdays gorgeous socal beach weather i cruised up PCH to check it out, and lucked out ~ and designer/owner, Claudia Taylor, was in! It's so nice to meet people who are incredibly passionate about their lives and business ~ and it's clear that she cares about every aspect of SurfMonk ~ from the great tagline sewn into every hood "We are all islands, oceans connect us." to the luscious custom materials locally made here in LA to the simplicity and comfort of the pieces. The classic pieces are large monk like robes large enough for surfers to both change underneath and curl up in. (Really, slanket lovers would just adore these)...
my favorites though ~ are the blankets! It's so hard to find the perfect beach blanket, and this is my new fave. Also the strap she has designed for them are incredibly simple, versatile and functional ~ nothing a little tension can't take care of? With cozy terry shoulder pads, cotton/hemp straps, and brass clips ~ loop it around just about anything, clip it together, and you're good to go! Also the wrap skirts! And the kids robes are adorable! Take a peek at details of the newly opened store and details on the next page!
i always hated that phrase "No man is an island" - much prefer "We are all islands, oceans connect us."
It's a bold move naming something/someone HERO. That's a big label to live up to! And i must say, the HTC Hero is living up to it so far... i'm kind of loving how it feels in my hand, and how beautifully they've skinned Android into HTC Sense! This was going to be an unboxing post, but it came in a white box, no real paperwork to walk me through (and it didn't really need any!)... it is totally the white label version of a mobile? (Yes, i'm completely giddy that this showed up today!)... so unboxing aside, and without getting too far into the UI side of it... this is a beautiful object to handle! And the details are just awesome! So see lots of close ups on the next page...
So, Justine checked out the launch of the HTC Hero and HTC Sense in London a few weeks back, and i've been curiously lusting since... And for those paying close attention to the differences between the original design Mike and Maaike made for the G1 and the actual G1... you'll notice the Hero is actually a little closer. So far i'm already loving the 5mgp camera, the BUTTONS, and the awesome integration of twitter/facebook/flickr... the HTC Hero just feels amazing in my hand! Only curiosity not put to rest... what's that magical white dupont coating like? They sent over this rubbery soft touch metallic pewter like color. (UPDATE: sources tell me "FYI the white non-stick coating feels exactly the same as the brown. the additive is simply there to keep the white, white. no need for it on the brown one.") I can already tell, the HTC Hero is going to be a hard one to send back at the end of testing! Anyhow, take a peek at pics on the next page!
for physical comparisons, you can also see it stacked with the G1 and iPhone 3GS. As for what i'm currently using these days... Primary is BB 8900 Secondary is iPhone 3GS... but the iPhone sim just went into the Hero for play time...
Found these adorable wooden kids pull toys the other day, and the simplicity of the design, and the appeal of the adorable glossy turtles. From Maya Organic Toys in India ~ made from a sustainable wood source and hand crafted with natural dyes, it even has nice simple eco-friendly recyclable packaging! My favorite part are the details like... it looks as if they lacquered the whole sphere, THEN cut the stripes into them... and they spin simply from the friction of the little sphere "legs" rolling along! Check out the video and more close ups on the next page!
A while back i showed you the amazing bottles of Rubyy Blood Orange Energy ~ they even have that amazing matte black finish with blacklight loving illustration on it. Well, freshly launched is the DIET version, in an inverted angelic white with a black logo... and the same gorgeous silver graphic... three samples of these just arrived in a box sealed with that same print on paper tape! Find out more about Rubyy here and take a peek at the latest packaging, as well as a look at it next to the classic black bottle on the next page!
Excited to get a first look at Arta's gorgeous and playful set of bar tools that magically nest (tools into rack into ice bucket that sits on the cutting board) as well as a shaker with a built in jigger/strainer. Beautifully unique designs, and really fun packaging, first reaction was definitely - awesome house warming gift idea! (The tools in ice bucket particularly!) I love the packaging! Those silhouettes really grab you! Its such a fun portable set of - muddler, tongs, stirring spoon, bottle opener, knife, citrus reamer, citrus zester, drip-free ice bucket, and integrated cutting board. And since i played with it before lunch today, we actually used it while playing around with some lemons from the tree out back and made some lemonade. While the shaker is fun, and the integrated jigger and strainer are an unusual design, it is a bit impractical... its hard to get the top off, and unless you're pouring it when pretty level, using that for measurement while chatting with friends gets tricky! I think it's complicated instead of simplifying the drink making process? But the tool set is a fun one to have around the house, especially for a quick set you can bring outside with you for cocktails while bbq-ing! Take a peek at the details on the next page!
Just got home and ended up playing way too much Rock Band tonight ~ so as tired as my body might be, my mind was inspired to show you this awesome limited edition MWM Graphics Rock Band Guitar that i've been meaning to post! Before we get into looking at how sweet this guitar is... lets get all the complicated collaborations and brands out of the way ~ this Geometric Funk XBOX 360 Rock Band Guitar was created by MWM Graphics, which is Matt W. Moore, for Pepsi Rock Band 2009 to promote the Pepsi/Yahoo/Harmonix/MTV Drink Up, Rock Out promotion! Basically, gamers can submit their own Rock Band music videos for a chance to win a MTV Video Music Award Moonman, as well as other great Rock Band prizes under the caps of Pepsi bottles everywhere! I just got distracted midway through post writing while watching a bunch of the videos, some are pretty hilarious - here, check this one out.
ANYHOW, beyond the pretty fun campaign going on (i think you have till Sept to rock out and make a fun music video!) ~ stepping back and checking it out ~ i just love that this is art + video games + music + UGC + ad campaign. It's so fun to see the graphic stylings of favorites like MWM Graphics on a Rock Band fender guitar! I must say the number of brands you can tie into this whole endeavor is hurting my head slightly ~ but that aside ~ could the rock band guitar be the new tshirt/skateboard to customize for artists? Check out more pics of this gorgeous collaboration on the next page ~ as well as some screenshots of the campaign (i'm liking the site design!).
On awesome 4th of July presents from afar ~ my sister just bought me and then installed to photograph ~ this awesome Beasties Lamp Shade from Habitat! (It's waiting for me out in London, so the unbox will hold me over till i get there on my next trip!) If it looks familiar, i posted it as #22491... These Beasties are "Acid etched metal shade featuring animal-shaped silhouettes etched around the shade." Take a peek at more shots of it, the cool shadows it makes, and the packaging on the next page!
Happy 4th of July! While out at the Yuki 7 opening at Gallery Nucleus tonight ~ since i seldom venture out to Alhambra ~ we cruised around a bit, and there were 4+ of these fireworks trailers within a few block radius! So, naturally, it was hard to resist stopping at one to check out the frenzy, and couldn't resist indulging and picked up The Nite Thriller. The packaging is quite amusing... so many crazy fonts... the plastic bag has THE PREVENTOR on it... some even have the special "Glofuze"... and with names like Crackling Cactus and Golden Shower, it's hard not to giggle.
They were for a good cause! Apparently TNT Fireworks are great for fundraising, and the ones we saw were for the AYSO teams.
While i've never been a huge embroidery fan, Megan Whitmarsh's little yetis and lilliputian people rocking out have always been so adorably amusing. These were spotted over at Synchronicity at CAboom, and definitely made me giggle. Take a look at the rest of these silver and gold little guys with their crazy geometric/neon clothes and patterns popping off mini canvases on the next page!
If i had a pool, i'd love to have it surrounded by a few of these Inflatable Pool Lounger/Chairs by PAD Outdoor. Such a sleek simple idea ~ aluminum frame (see it exposed on the next page!) ~ and although its only a prototype, you can buy them over at Ford & Ching and they will even customize them in an array of colors...
I didn't know what to expect when i heard CA|Boom had moved from barker hanger (which i love!) to that abandoned feeling Robinsons May space in Beverly Hills... and from March to the same dates as the Dwell on Design Show... but i had to check it out none the less. It takes a few minutes to cover - but the thing worth seeing is the art! A few great local galleries are showing some fun work... like Thinkspace!!!
That piece above is one of a series by Brett Amory in his "Waiting" Series ~ and it's absolutely STUNNING. A must see in person. There's just an incredible way it pulls you in ~ beautiful color palette ~ and then as you get closer you notice the details and emotional distance between the 3 tightly seated communters who float like an island in the space... Love the hoodied guy too... There's something terribly fun about the shift to seeing more art works with the beautiful illustrations/characters woven into larger more complex and/or abstract pieces coming in... leave it to Thinkspace to lead the way. Take a look at a few of their other pieces showing at CA|Boom which also caught my eye on the next page!
LA kids - if you're not on the Sour Harvest list, you should be. It's far better than asking me what shows are happening each week!
The one thing that i couldn't get out of my head after leaving Dwell On Design - Woolly Pocket Gardening Company, and they adorably cool recycled plastic felty living walls/vertical gardens and planter pockets! It's a brilliant concept that really softens up a space, and such a fun subtle texture to add both indoors and out. These pockets are ready for planting, come in a variety of sizes... and can be both lined on the interior base (so they wont leak onto your walls/etc) or unlined for outdoor use. "Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. They`come in two styles: those designed to be placed on horizontal surfaces, and those designed to be hung on walls for vertical gardening. You can use Woolly Pockets both indoors and out; they have built-in moisture barriers to help protect furniture, and they're equally at home outside in the elements"
Also - how adorable is that logo and tag??? Their website + blog have adorable photography as well ~ but for some first hand looks at them, check out more pics on the next page of the various setups and colors all over the Dwell show ~ not only at their booth, but also found at the VIP section and throughout the Outdoor section. I have so many ideas for movable gardens in my patio as well as covering some walls now! See the pics...
How perfect would the small table top ones be for fun succulent filled gifts???
Phone Lust! Crunching to get this post sorted out before i run to LAX to pick friends up... and because of that i wasn't able to make it out to London today for the HTC Hero and HTC Sense launch! Fortunately Dr. Justine (yes! my little sis is all done!!!) was able to spare a few hours, hop out of oxford, and out of the academic world to go see what all this mobile fuss was about. And get pics to show me what i was missing. As usual, you can get all the technical details on any site, but she got us those key moments and details i love seeing... like the expressions the C-level presenters have, and the presentation graphics they used... and quotes about things like Drunken Thumb and Teflon fingerprintlessness and how 'fun people make fun phones, nerdy people make nerdy phones' (yes, this is a "fun" phone). So on the next page you'll see a bunch of hands on pics of the new phone, as well as my favorite snippets of her press event experience.
As for the phone lusting ~ the new HTC Hero is like a super thin keyboardless version of the G1 (in shape!) ~ and it is running Android, with their new HTC Sense experience that takes it to a whole new level (keep in mind HTC are the guys who even skinned windows mobile to a point where i loved looking at it, and the UX, until you realize its still win mobile under there, too bad they couldn't hide everything?) ~ Its most appealing feature is that it is truly PEOPLE centered, in that instead of looking for your friends on twitter, facebook, flickr, address book, email (of various accounts)... it sorts the content by PEOPLE! So you can see all of a person's feeds/interactions with you in one place. And it sounds like it does it pretty easily too ~ get your account info in and the phone does the rest and updates it regularly and syncs people up. Now if that meant all those people i'm bad at officially putting in my address book can have their info sucked in from facebook/linkedin etc ~ that'd be awesome. (p.s. while it does apparently magically sync matching names on its own, you can decide which get paired or manually sync for people who like pseudonyms on various accounts.)
OK ~ go see the pics!
On fun random Monday posts ~ it's been feeling like SUCH a monday (and from the tweets i'm seeing, sounds like its going around) ~ and not in a good way! So, since it seems a little early for happy hour to start... how about some silly alcohol schwag? I couldn't help giggling when this Red Stripe USB key showed up from Fader/Red Strip ~ presenting "It Was Written" featuring Terry Lynn and John Hugo - it's their collaboration on five new songs celebrating jamaican music! (You can even download them for free) And at first i thought it was a half bottle and a cupcake (i never did figure out how that would make much sense, but hey! who am i to judge that?)... but i'm thinking its so you don't lose your cap when the key is in use? Also the graphics are awesome ~ love how the text is made up of pencils and rulers, etc... see the pics on the next page!
With so many lost souls out there "finding themselves" via quarter, third, and mid life crises these days... i loved the idea of reminding us all that "not all haystacks contain needles". It's not about looking hard enough to find what you want... if its not there! Usually. Really its about looking in the RIGHT places? Making smarter decisions as we "grow up"? I love this one as a reminder to look up to when you're faced with more opportunities than are feasible, as it alleviates some of the guilt in turning a few down.
Rant aside ~ these pieces by Damien Correll at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City broke the black + white + teal color palette a little, but his illustration/graphic style is so playful its easy to forgive him and try to find meaning within his could be random juxtapositions. See the rest of his work on the next page!
On more favorites ~ it was such a pleasure to see Dan Funderburgh again ~ and then literally stand and lose myself in his latest wallpaper pattern. Everyone at the Faesthetic curated "This must be the place" show at the Scion Space in Culver City worked in black and white + one color (Faesthetic style!) ~ and this time the color was their choice of teal. Well, Dan Funderburgh loves the black and white (me too!) ~ but when presented with the teal paint options at Home Depot ~ he couldn't resist using a splash of Ariel's Song. Yes. The Disney paint colors for Behr... from the Princess collection. I think it's the color of her tail? So his black and white wallpaper, with laser-cut/burnt out black and white pieces in black frames... got their splash of color with the Ariel's Song painted side of the wallpapered coffin. He always did find the most intriguing ways to create serenely complex edgy compositions that make your head spin if you look long and hard enough. So take a look at things up close on the next page... it was particularly interesting to watch people pose for pictures with his Ariel tail colored coffin face.
On fun eco-friendly toys i stumbled upon while toy shopping recently (and then had to buy to share!) ~ Check out this E-Racer (the name is also hilarious) ~ made from cut bamboo tubes, it's cute to see how closely it keeps its form! It claims that it is "Naturally fun" and made with bamboo, water based colors, and renewable materials (i assume they mean the metal screws and the plasticy exhaust, and rubbery wheels)... the packaging was horrible, so if i ever end up gifting one of these to a kid, will definitely unwrap it first! See an unboxing and more close up pics of these adorable eco-race cars on the next page!