On fun Berlin discoveries, my favorite store of the moment is a teeny, tiny, beautifully minimalist little stationery shop that just turned 10(!) ~ R.S.V.P. Papier in Mitte! And on irresistible pens, i had to have some of these Kaweco Pens (German made, and around since 1883) from the 30s ~ so pocket sized, so simple in their black and white plastic with both rollerball and fountain pen tips, and so many fun ink colors ~ all of which are in awesome packaging! The pens also come in more traditional aluminum in silver, charcoal, and black. These are all totally fun, affordable giftiness. The store is a wonderland of notebooks, cards, stickers, pens/pencils and more SO carefully curated and displayed. And, luckily they have an online store that ships internationally too! So quick hotel room photoshoot of the goodies on my Soho House floor, as well as a peek into the store ~ check it all out on the next page!
Entries tagged with: packaging
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Hotels are where real life happens… and sometimes it’s dressed up like an escapist fantasy from your reality, but bottom line, they are a great way to explore the usability of objects and spaces… it’s like extended shopping? Staying in hotels begins to feel more like that childhood fantasy of hiding out/living in a department store or museum (From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, anyone?) ~ i’m waiting for the moment when i can buy the furniture, wallpaper, faucet fixtures, etc as easily as the bed, robe, and alcoholic minis… Hotel stays are experiments in living. Imaging designing experiences from the furniture to the layout to the closet filled with clothes (like The Tourist when they check into Hotel Danieli and open the closet door) to a living room and desk with gadgets for the perfect party (or meeting)… A way to slip right in and try on what your life could be like. And of course everything is purchasable. It’s one thing to have artists paint a mural… but another to create, could-be-real experiences…
A perfect example is this weekend’s adventure with the Four Seasons Los Angeles and Jawbone Jamboxes! This is the only location in California where you can live with a Jambox before you buy. While Jamboxes have made quite the splash over the holiday season across the design/trend/gadget sites ~ and the packaging is beautiful (see the full poolside unboxing here!) ~ it is a fascinating partnership that Jawbone and the Four Seasons Los Angeles have. Upon checking in to a suite, you are offered one to play with for the duration of your stay. They will even show you how easily it pairs and what you can do with it when you get up to the room! (Seriously, i’m impressed how easy pairing was with my various devices!) And it boosts an impressive 85 decibels ~ perfect for everything from relaxing on the patio, to blasting tunes from your laptop, or watching youtube videos from your phone… all via bluetooth (or headphone jack)… or you can use it as a super speakerphone when bluetoothed to your phone, since it has a mic too! It’s a fun way to try it before you buy… or in my case, fall for it and buy during my stay… luckily the front desk has them in a few colors ready for guests who decide they need one too!
Now… interesting from a design side, they had custom cases made for the Jamboxes, a simple discrete little zip pouch carrying the Jambox and all its cables, as well as instruction manual… take a peek at the Jambox in Four Seasons’ context on the next page!
There is a beauty to twitter’s ability to connect you instantaneously with people/brands that fascinate you… it’s almost magical. It’s how i “met” Jawbone, who then introduced me to Four Seasons Los Angeles… which led to chats about the Jamboxes being available to their suite guests… which has led to me curled up in a big suite bed tonight having one of my first little vacations in Beverly Hills. (Silly as it feels to be a few minutes from home!)
Now, before i get to the Jawbone Jambox service at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, you first need to see the poolside unbox! Slightly out of order, i had so much fun playing with the in-room Jambox, i decided i needed to own one to bring home, and since you can buy them from the front desk, i had one sent up to the room! And being Jawbone, of course the packaging is physically, ecologically, and graphically gorgeous ~ so naturally an unbox was called for! The Jambox made quite a splash this holiday season, and it claims to be “simply the smallest, best sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone on the planet.” And while that sounds bold, it does in fact sound impressively awesome, and it’s ability to be shared with hotel guests proves just how easy it is to pair! But more on that later, for now ~ unbox! Click on to the next page…
Packaging based impulse buying at the market kind of day. But i was craving fresh cookies too… and while killing time at Mother’s down in Newport Beach… the packaging on the Eat Pastry vegan cookie dough jars sucked me right in with their playfully complex graphic label. The San Diego based line has a few flavors of cookie dough (Choc Chunk, Vegan Gluten-Free Choc Chunk, Peanut Butter Choc Chip, Chocoholic Chunk, Cinnamon Ginger Spice, and Oatmeal Raisin Choc Chip) ~ and its really the speakeasy-esque eyes peeking over what is either an open book or a mustache on the front as well as the fun fonts that lured me in first. And of course there’s the lady with the monkey on her shoulder ~ both enjoying cookies. And the mustache shaped barcode that can’t be ignored! Take a peek at the lovely packaging on the next page… cute branding continues to the Eat Pastry website as well. And i have a few cookies coming out of the oven in a few!
After embracing that 2010 was probably one of my most travel heavy years yet, i’m getting ready for 2011… and that included accepting a Mr & Mrs Smith GoldSmith membership to test out and help cut down on some of my travel chaos. From last minute changes, to assistance finding quality hotels for impromptu vacations, and more… i gushed earlier about their help regarding my recent stay at the XV Beacon and Bowery Hotel. Well, in addition to all the perks the membership allows, the welcome pack just arrived, and it should be no surprise that the packaging is beautiful. The same playfully elegant style that their site and branding convey… filled with surprises! While they’ve always hit my sweet spot of hand written scripts mixed with cleaner fonts… and gloss black on matte black… they just upped it a notch with their custom packaging from award winning packaging designers Burgopak… filled with some of their Hotel Collection books (which i adore reading, the way they present the stories of Mr & Mrs Smith vacationing their way through them is rather amusingly dreamy), membership card, In Bed With… CD, and Bill Amberg leather passport holder and luggage tag. Ready to see it all unboxed? Take a peek on the next page!
When Cire Trudon, “the oldest candle company in the world” opened in NYC, Anna was there to show us the incredible space and their products… the one thing she didn’t get me? Stink Bombs! I’ve been oh so curious about these little glass vials filled with scents since i first heard about them that Cire Trudon became one of my first stops in NYC. Honestly, they completely fascinate and baffle me. Its DANGEROUS! Smashing a glass vial?!?! Does the act of the glass breaking and mixing with air enhance the scent? Would a few droplets from a dropper have the same effect? Yet, there’s something so fun about the danger, i had to try it… so in the privacy of my hotel room i smashed the glass vial! (Bowery Hotel folks, if you’re reading, i cleaned it all up! Don’t worry about the broken glass!)… sad part? I clearly didn’t smash with enough vigor the first few times, b/c my vial was bouncing all over the place! Until i finally gave in and threw it hard at the wood floor… and then EEP! i jumped, as it smashed, and a delightful scent filled the room.
Best part? The lovely shop keeper told us that these are perfect “for emergencies,” what does that even mean? Do you keep a few in your purse? And when a fowl odor sneaks up on you, SMASH stink bomb it, and all is well? Anyhow, they are incredibly lovely, and Spiritus Sancti smells nice (also available in few other signature Cire Trudon scents)… Take a peek at my adventures and close ups of the packaging and smashing on the next page!
On fun surprises today, received a lovely Penhaligon’s London Hatbox filled with goodies. Love their holiday packaging that was covered fun woodland creature inspired designs… and to take it further, check out the Penhaligon’s Olfactory Owl they had running around London! A pretty dapper looking owl, no? Peek at the unhatboxing as well as more Owl pics on the next page!
We first looked at Urbanears a while back when their stunning color themed ads started circulating… then, their CES booth was hard to resist. Well now, in the same beautifully colorful, minimalist design… i couldn’t resist showing you the origami like unboxing experience and product details. So much attention to detail, and clean playful designs! It literally unfolds and presents itself to you. Love the matte boxes, and the soft touch details… the extra connectors… and the built in microphones mean you never need to miss a call! Take a peek at the unboxing of their Tanto and Plattan models on the next page!
I love when beautifully packaged delicious liqueurs come with nicely illustrated stories around their necks… like the Art in The Age of Mechanical Reproduction SNAP ~ a ginger snap spirit, from the makers of ROOT. Previously i showed you ROOT as well as a sample of Snap in a glass jar we tasted… since the production bottles were not yet ready… This time you can see the finished product! Popping the cork on this bottle, it smells like gingerbread houses wafting out, perfect for this wintry holiday season… the mix of blackstrap molasses, cloves, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, rooibos tea and vanilla is just irresistible! Perfect for getting creative with cocktails playing with everything from apple cider to toasty fireside drinks. The story was so cute (and educational!) had to share the booklet details with you… lovely illustrations… check it all out on the next page!
Sometimes that Christmas Spirit, comes in a bottle. Apparently for 2010, that was true. And the spirit came in the form of the Green Fairy. And it is delicious, and beautifully packaged, courtesy of Stranger & Stranger… it’s not enough that they make some of the most beautiful alcohol packaging around, every year for the last 12 years, they have also sent out a special Christmas Spirit, and i sip this year’s absinthe as i write this post. It’s delicious. Absinthe handmade in a single batch, not available for purchase… It is deliciously beautiful! When a bottle says “After one glass, you see things as you wish they were.” how can you resist? “Nectar, bitter-sweet - like the last kiss on the lips of a discarded mistress, is the secret charm of my existence; green as the moon’s light on a forest pool it glimmers in my glass; eagerly i quaff it, and, as i drink, i dream.” Marie Corelli, 1890.
See the close ups on the next page, and a very merry christmas to you!
On going full circle ~ the toy movement has come back around to stunning luxurious porcelain figurines… French company, Art & Toy, has just started selling the new figures by K. Olin Tribu, who has worked with the finest porcelain sculpture modeler, great artists and designers to manufacture limited edition toys in Limoges porcelain. The beautiful Potamus Anarchy figures in black and red editions is a collaboration between Frank Kozik & K.Olin Tribu. There’s something so awesome about seeing the signature angsty cigarette wielding creatures of Kozik cast in porcelain… anarchy gone fine art? And in such beautiful packaging as well! See lots of detail pics on the next page…
On beautiful holiday editions, Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Champagne Bag is stunning! It’s a “lavish leather bag containing a bottle of Perrier Jouët Fleur de Champagne, two glasses and a notebook on the art of drinking champagne,” along with two hats and two artistic flutes from ad hoc Borsalino. It is a limited series of 40 for the whole world! The bag is made by leatherwork designer, Isaac Reina, and is numbered and signed. The details are just lovely! The Dandy’s Champagne Notebook by David Piper has illustration by Kareem Ilya, who did the Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Ball paintings which are absolutely gorgeous! See more details of this new Holiday 2010 Perrier Jouët’s Dandy Champagne Bag on the next page!
On fun birthday surprises, this gorgeous gift box of The Macallan 18 arrived earlier, and there is something so dazzling about it i can’t stop staring. Especially alongside the Absolut Glimmer, sparkly is definitely going around this season. Also the 2D 3D cube patterns… like the Samsung Tweet Wraps! Well this gift box is mesmerizing, between the various shades of purple and silver, embossed and matte, the pretty little ribbon pull tab and built in card, who wouldn’t smile receiving one? A few fun snap shots of the real thing on the next page!
Here’s a look at the adorable packaging of Fearless Chocolates ~ to be fair, the elephant logo and the actual bite taken out of the chocolate when you unwrap it have won me over. Cute graphic details too! See all the packaging details on the next page ~ including a gold badge/sticker thing!
Surprise holiday gift arrivals: Jimmyjane’s Little Afterglow Sampler - a beautiful box set of 6 playful minis (that are not so mini!) of their Afterglow massage oil candles. They smell absolutely divine, and come in the prettiest little porcelain containers with perfect pouring spouts. On a side note, does anyone else ever wonder how fun it would be if Jimmyjane went into dinnerware? or vases and votives? It really is so tempting to use these porcelain dishes for dressing on the side or sauces… honey perhaps? Their designs are so subtle yet edgy, and the porcelain is so delicately beautiful in the modern shapes! Ok but back to the unboxing at hand, “this collection provides six enticing scents that explore the essential elements of attraction - WIT, CHARM and KINK. Included Scents: Cucumber Water, Grapefruit, Pink Lotus, Dark Vanilla, Bourbon, Truffle + Gardenia.” And best of all ~ as a gift to encourage experimenting, it even comes with a Experience Guide to help lead you through some of their favorite scent combinations to get you started! Take a peek at all the little design details on the next page!
Who doesn’t love a perfectly glimmering glass bottle? Somewhere between a studded crystal bottle and a discoball lies this Absolut Glimmer limited edition bottle ~ this comes following the Absolut Disco, Absolut Masquerade and Absolut Rock Edition of the previous holiday seasons. i must say, it feels even better in person than you’d expect ~ and i love that this design is the actual glass forming the texture, not something overlayed on their classic bottle! They threw a launch dinner for the bottle in NYC, which the lovely Sean and Anna of Sub-Studio attended for us! And of course the event was all sparkles as well ~ from the chandeliers and candles lighting the bottles to the glittering skyline views across the Hudson River from the Chelsea Art Towers. Beautifully ornate plexiglass tree-like chandelier of Absolut Glimmer bottles constructed behind the bar ~ Simon Ford mixing deliciously complex cocktails! With edible flower garnishes, 8-10 ingredients and more… and to end the night, Cee-Lo performed… on a sparkly floor! So take a peek at their adventures, as well as some of my close up pics playing with the bottle that was waiting for me when i got home from the round the world adventures!
Is Moonshine ready to try an take on tequila that’s been the new vodka as of late? The Original Moonshine from Stillhouse is the latest to launch, and i must say, i’m loving the bottle… from the XXXX on the fancified jug (somewhat like our Liqurious favicon/twitter avatar) to the howling wolf logo… and to be honest, i do love bottles with the finger loop (like Kraken that has two!) This is an 80-proof clear corn whiskey handcrafted in Culpeper, Virginia, using the only operational Prohibition-era copper pot still in the US. It’s the brainchild of entrepreneur Brad Beckerman and chef and restraunteur, Adam Perry Lang. They say the flavor is “most noticeable when sipped just shy of neat with a splash of pure water. When well bruised with ice, it transforms into a creamy, voluptuous, satiny texture.” But i have yet to taste it for myself. Other fun facts? It’s all natural, gluten free, and charcoal filtered!
The story of how the 3 year adventure designing this whiskey came to be - “I became obsessed with clear whiskey years ago when a fellow barbecue competitor shoved a jar in my face and said ‘drink this’ at a competition in the south, ” says Perry Lang.
Take a peek at some close up pics of fun old photos as well as the bottle on the next page!
On fun surprises ~ just received a retrotastic Mr. Bartender easy pourer… and the packaging is amazing! You have to check out the unboxing pics on the next page. And not to waste any of the good stuff, we hooked it up to an empty bottle of Kraken (which makes it even more fun with the finger holes to grab on to) ~ it’s addictive, we kept pouring shot after shot ~ of water… while playing with it. Super simple, it just fills up with one ounce of liquor before pouring that perfectly measured amount into the glass. What’s fascinating is really how pretty it is and the amazing Mr. Bartender branding! Take a peek at it on the next page!
First impression. Wow. I mean, i’ve heard ABOUT the Ultimate Ears Customs for some time now, but being custom, no one elses will ever really fit you perfectly… so you can’t know how incredible they can sound, until you try your own. And wow. They sound and feel amazing! Freshly arrived today are a set of Ultimate Ears 18 Pro Custom In-Ear Monitors, which i got molded for back at NAMM (but was bad and had trouble deciding colors/prints/etc ~ as you can see, i went with the smoke!) From the goo they stuck in my ears, out came these perfect fitting molds hand made right here in socal! I’ve never loved the feel of ear plugs or headphones very much, but i barely notice these after wearing them for a while… and they sound incredible. While i can’t exactly SHOW you how they sound, i can show you the thoughtful packaging and what you receive when your customs arrive… take a peek at the unbox on the next page!
While in London last week, popped by the Highland Park 50 year old launch event at Harrods ~ and the bottle is stunning! There’s just something so unmistakeably beautiful about the way the sterling silver “squeezes” the glass, making it bulge ever so slightly. Apparently it is also holding the oldest ever island single malt ~ and hand-crafted ornate bottle is designed by Scottish Jewelry designer, Maeve Gillies, who was inspired by the elemental forces of Orkney ~ from the seas, island life, wild elements, and natural light. Perhaps the loveliest little secret hidden within this bottle ~ “In recognition of the famous St Magnus Cathedral and its medieval beauty, the front of each bottle features a single piece of circular Orkney sandstone into which is hand-carved the Highland Park amulette. Inside the bottle, behind this sandstone, lies a Sterling silver replica of the St Magnus rose window which is revealed over time as the whisky is enjoyed.” It really was such a tease at the event, when they would show you the bottle, and hint at the replica of the rose window you can’t quite see behind… And as lovely as the bottle, is the hand carved Scottish oak box as well ~ love the porthole you can peer through to see the bottle… Take a peek at closeups on the next page ~ the 275 bottles are a Harrods exclusive till the end of Oct.
Veuve Clicquot always goes all out when it comes to playful designs from collaborations to gift packaging. The latest two are no exception, and the POS displays are just adorable! First there is Le Fridge ~ literally a mini Smeg like retro fridge like cooler box… even cuter of course are the actual mini fridge (what dorm room doesn’t need one?) and the little yellow super market carts and life size cardboard fridge! And on the other end of the spectrum, there is the Shopping Bag ~ with the cutest scaled down bellhop luggage carts, in their signature yellow of course. This tote has a cute print with a luggage tag and contrast stitching… with a magnetic clasp with the comet/logo on it, and glossy paper boxes that resemble retro suitcases! Both lines are so fun, and are available internationally for the holiday season (looks like both have been popping up in stores already!) ~ see more pics of the fun displays and close ups on the next page!
Ok, in addition to my so called “packaging fetish” ~ i have a fascination with marker renderings. Yes, digital is fun and all ~ but there’s something so gorgeous and amazing about marker rendering too… and then when you mix the analog and digital for even cooler outcomes (more on that later!) Well another fun discovery while down at Oakley HQ ~ i got to check out the sketches behind the box and new shoe design they just launched with Chip Foose! Foose is known for his amazing hot rod designs (Youngest to be inducted into the Hot Rod Hall of Fame). In fact this weekend, Oakley has just released the Oakley Three Palms shoe at the National Hot Rod Association’s US Nationals where Foose is the grand marshal. So take a peek at the design behind the packaging and shoes on the next page!
Marcia (our Liqurious Editor!) is over at my house doing the photoshoot for her upcoming Cocktail book (more to come on that…) ~ and she brought me the most adorable present from her Tales of the Cocktail adventures in New Orleans! The teeny tiniest little 2” tall bottle of Angostura Bitters! It definitely reminds me of the little tabasco’s… so on adorable packaging scaled waaaaay down to a tiny glass bottle, check out more pics of it amongst the photoshoot bottles taking over my kitchen today!
p.s. Awesome email factoid that came in from Elywn - “Angostura uses an oversized label because when it was first started, the product was made in the Caribbean and the labels were printed in England. The labels arrived and were much bigger than the bottle….they had no alternative, so they stuck ‘em on - oversize and all….and the rest is history!!!” Ha!
On awesome packaging and samples… Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction just launched SNAP! The follow up spirit to ROOT! And they were kind enough to send over a sample ~ which of course came adorably packaged! Custom tissue paper, fun sticker, awesome bottle, and all! See lots of pics on the next page!
So far we’ve only tasted quick sips, so, perhaps more to come on playing around with them in cocktails and in delicious recipes like… Root infused Pecan Pie? But for now ~ pics of the gorgeous branding, packaging, and illustrations all on the next page!
Firstly ~ i love that the British Central Illustration Agency goes by CIA. And their first book, License to Inspire just arrived as perfect Monday morning inspiration to share with you ~ (please pardon the mess behind the photos ~ mid move!!!) ~ on first impressions, i barely wanted to open the box, i was so enamored by knight in shining armor on his horse! And then within… the partial dust jacket looks lovely too! The CIA have been representing some of the most amazing illustrators and designers for years ~ (and they do the BEST weekly calendars!) and it’s incredible to see, flip through, hold, and read about their inspiration and see work from some of their stunning artists in print form! To fully appreciate all the goodness, you definitely need to check out a copy yourself, but for a quick preview, take a peek at the pics on the next page!
p.s. “It’s about allowing the artist the freedom to interpret the concept, to allow them to do what they do best and contribute in such a way that is truly inspirational…” ~ love the introduction of the book going through the history and philosophies of this amazing group!