Leave it to Belkin to understand me well enough to be the ultimate tease and torture me just enough. I always love their booths, the design is above and beyond ~ becoming this fabulous, beautiful experience, with such fun logical user flows as you navigate it… this year, no booth, but they emailed saying that there is a suite, and invited me to come check it out. BUT, they aren’t inviting media in. AND the majority of the products won’t be launched until spring 2010, so no writing about those, yet. BUT, they trust me, so i can take pics to my heart’s content ~ and then stare at them. In my computer. For months. So now i’m finding ways to share the really cool displays and carpet and paths and installations… cropping strategically not to give anything away that i’m not allowed to. SO, here is one post filled with everything BUT products (except a few! which are out ~ and quite awesome!)… so take a peek at the very fun subway map themed suite of Belkin at CES 2010! It’s a beautiful room ~ they really did a number on it to make it feel more like an awesome science museum exhibit instead of the big box of a hotel suite it is. You have to see the way the paths flow from hardwood to carpet and up the walls so nicely. So take a peek inside at this collaboration between the Belkin team and Commonwealth… a few products to share… and many more to come (2010 has some REALLY fun stuff coming from Belkin. AGH. The agony. I promise i’ll show you more when i can.)
Entries tagged with: packaging
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As delicious as certain liquors are… you all know that spontaneous packaging based impulse buys are how the weird stuff often ends up here. Well recently at Mitsuwa, the adorable little sakes were calling out to me and i couldn’t resist. I also couldn’t resist shaking up the nigori ones… which of course meant i then had to let them sit for a day or so in my fridge so they’d fully settle (all that unfiltered sediment sinking to the bottom) so i could show you the difference when i took pics! But how amazingly cute are these Aladdin Sake bottles? They’d make the prettiest little vases for your desk… And the way the top opens is fascinating as well. So take a peek at them all on the next page! (And no, i haven’t tasted any of them yet ~ too tired tonight, but wanted to show you the packaging first!)
On more things i’ve been meaning to post for a while. Here’s a brilliantly fun idea… how do you take a normally boring average looking bottled Magners Pear Cider and elevate (or catapult) its status instantly? Give the awesome Bungalow 8 in London an exclusive stunning bottle that is only available there, and only 500 bottles are produced. The new design was created for Magners by their brand entertainment agency, Cake. They were even kind enough to send one over so i could take a look at it in person - and its lovely! Its a sleek black bottle with 5 gloss silver sticker stripes wrapping the bottle and the Bungalow 8 ‘8’ etched in the silver pear. Honestly, it’s hard to look at the original bottle the same way after seeing and holding this. Actually, it’s hard to look at any cider or beer the same. Why don’t they all look this stunningly designed? See more pics on the next page…
Apologies for going a little quiet on you. Tried to take a little bit of a break this week ~ reassess the amazing year that passed, trying again to hit inbox 0 before 2010 officially arrives… and in doing so, also finding some gems i’ve been meaning to post that sadly got buried in the chaos of my inbox. SO, here’s one of my favorites!
As we slip in to the new decade ~ here are two of my favorite slides from the presentation given by Absolut at the Absolut Art Collection anniversary event in Stockholm a few months ago. On the top you see the state of vodka packaging design when Absolut first entered the market with its shockingly apothecary styled bottle (which i adore!)… Below you see the state of things today. Yes yes, sure it may be a little biased in how things were picked, but you can’t deny that the overall trend is true, and that the it’s a great illustration of the shift in vodka packaging design over the decades! As 2010 comes upon us, i wonder how things will shift next…
Love of wine + packaging + test tubes? When i spotted these wine tasters over at Springwise. This example of Tryvertising (i must admit that word pains me quite a bit)… comes from Brixr in San Francisco. These 50mL vials are adorable ~ though some people seem to be debating whether 2ozs are enough to know which one you like best… see a few more packaging pics on the next page!
Some packaging just makes you smile. Almost doesn't matter what's inside... this line of adorably illustrated bears on the Life NK line of bath and body products are too cute not to share. See them all on the next page!
Shu Uemura Art of Hair finally got their online store going ~ i've been obsessed with their moisture velvet conditioner and masque ~ they quickly made the list of products i actually end up buying again and again. I've also been anxiously waiting for the black glossy Shu Uemura paddle brush ~ which has finally arrived on the webstore! While this in and of itself wasn't all that extraordinary, what struck me was the packaging when it arrived. Black shipping box, sealed with black on white Shu Uemura Art of Hair tape sealing it ~ upon opening, black and white typographic logo pattern ~ and custom tissue paper as well... and each object individually wrapped and buffered in tissue paper padding. I can't even imagine what they would do for gift wrap! It was so beautiful, i had to photograph first and open after, as hard as that was! Also a few peeks at the paddle brush ~ while i usually use wood brushes with wood bristles, i'm loving this one! So see it all on the next page...
Some packages just leave you speechless. You sit. You stare. You open it. You poke at it. You close it. You stare a bit more. This was one of those packages. Veuve Clicquot sent over one of their 1200 limited edition stingray skin Yellowboams (there are 3600 in the edition, 1200 each of ostrich, alligator, and stingray) ~ yes, a 3L (4 bottle equiv) bottle of Yellow Label Champagne... in a stunning handcrafted metallic lacquered wood box (with adorable little round hinges and magnetic closure) ~ with a stand for the monstrously large bottle... and the bottle itself has a yellow label made from ostrich, alligator, or galuchat, sealed with 22.4 ct gold and a 24 ct plated muzzle engraved with Mme. Clicquot's signature. A little over the top, in a completely surreal, "how is this enormous bottle sitting on my counter right now, and how amazing is this paint job?" sort of way. Next question of course was, "How will we ever pour this? Or chill it? And who will have to come help drink it?"
So take a peek at more pictures on the next page ~ once you get past the extravagance, it's really one of the sweetest most unexpected gifts to arrive, so, thank you, Veuve Clicquot. And don't worry i will certainly document it when i open it... i'm terribly curious what is under that golden muzzle... and the adorable notebook that was included mentions that you can send in the leather label to have it turned into a card holder... intriguing...
This launched me into that hunt for the names of various bottle sizes, so for those curious: Magnum = 2 bottles, Jeroboam = 4 bottles, Rehoboam = 6 bottles, Methuselah = 8 bottles, Salmanazar = 12 bottles, Balthazar= 16 bottles, Nubchadnezzar = 20 bottles. And most are named after BC kings... and "A useful mnemonic for these big bottle sizes is: My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises" says Champagne Magic.
Between Oxford and Stockholm, there was a last minute irresistible reason to change plans and detour through Paris to have dinner as a guest of Dom Perignon in Versailles! In the style and room that Louis XIV dined... ok, quite honestly, for something that "once in a lifetime" feeling, how could you turn down such an opportunity? So that meant hopping on a train to London in the morning, then Eurostarring it over to Paris, and then into the infamous Hotel de Crillon (according to wikipedia, it's one of the oldest luxury hotels in the WORLD), where a matte black Dom Perignon bag filled with matte black goodness and lots of history and background information on the world of Dom awaited me on the desk to dive into in the few hours i had to prepared before for dinner. So before we get into Versailles... here's a peek at design details of Hotel de Crillon and the lovely packaging of the Dom Perignon materials! (As you'll see, they LOVE stacks of cards/imagery on gorgeous paper in various sizes... even with gilded edges...)
The Kraken Rum: How can you NOT drink from a bottle that says "As seen through the eyes of imagination"... such a lovely description, also any bottle that has Bizarre & Fierce Sea Creatures on it is just hard to deny. You've seen the unboxing of the incredible packaging, design, and other goodies (like Kraken teeth in vials, ink in bottles, etc)... and now for close ups on the actual Kraken Rum bottle design from Kevin Shaw of Stranger and Stranger... The amazing thing i love to watch is putting it in unsuspecting hands, the bottle has presence! It's hard not to pick it up, slip two fingers through the holes, and then suddenly while rotating and reading the label ~ the bottle jokingly raises up to your lips as if you are going to chug it... and many make sounds channeling their inner rum drinking Johnny Depp a la Pirates of the Caribbean. It's happened more than once. I love how an object such as a mere bottle of rum through design and packaging can evoke such a delightful user experience! So take a peek at the packaging design and graphic details on the next page ~ The Kraken Rum is definitely a perfect gift if you need a sippable conversation starter to bring to a party (and loosen people up in more ways than one ~ it's 94 proof!)...
Ok, Kraken. The rum. It's amazing, beautiful branding and design all around, also delicious, but first things first, we aren't going to even talk about the bottle yet... first i have to show you the most mind-blowingly cool package i received and actually shot over lunch on my whirlwind 36 hours in NY (now curled up in Oxford in a tiny B&B writing to you!)... So, just before hopping in a cab to hit the airport, popped over to Boqueria in flatiron for a lunch "meeting" ~ and am presented with a stunningly printed cardboard box sealed with the coolest kraken of a sea creature seal in a silver plastic and black satin ribbon. As i slowly pull it all apart... there's a note addressed in calligraphy to "My Esteemed Colleague", silhouettes of the objects of proof held within this magical box of goodies printed within the box, custom printed wrapping paper (that i want for gift wrapping! everything?), a brilliant little book, a limited edition (of 50!) poster, a black feather and a pot of Kraken Ink, a disc of films, a Kraken tooth in a corked glass vial, and a disc of films... OH, and a bottle of The Kraken black spiced rum, of course.
Leave it to Dead As We Know It and Proximo Spirits to take things so above and beyond that i'm embarrassingly sipping rum over lunch, picking at delectable tapas, shooting pictures, and having a complete giddy sensory overload at how cool every aspect of The Kraken branding is... while trying to hold a proper conversation with two of the most fascinating guys you'll meet. This meal has pretty much set the bar rather high for future "meetings" and "photoshoots"... So, before i get even more distracted, go take a peek at the unboxing of the Kraken and some of the delicious Boqueria food!
Remember those 1800 Tequila Essential Artist bottles? (I also showed you the close ups of the real things - even more stunning than in pics!) Well, at the time of the first collection launching, there was also a contest where you could submit your designs to be a part of the second collection... well the winners have been announced! And the bottles are just starting to make their way out into the real world! They are AWESOME (not that i would expect any less from 1800 Tequila after their great pick of designs the first time around)... 12 Limited Edition Bottle Designs Including one from Shepard Fairey's Studio Number One... so if you're ready, take a peek at the winners and a little background info on them on the next page... Also, beautiful video embedded on the next page animating and showing off all of the new designs, which is a definite must see! Can't wait to see these in person!
HUGE congrats to all of the winners ~ and to creative agency, Dead As We Know It for another stunning job.
On fun brands and packaging, after visiting the Mr. & Mrs. Smith HQ in Chiswick ~ grabbed a lovely brunch with my sister and couldn't help popping into the ever adorable and enticing Cowshed. I won't lie, the mix of black and white vector prints with just a splash of single color, combined with cheeky names like "horny cow" and "knackered cow", lovely scents, and even custom lined hunter boots... of course i loved it. But beyond that, it was fun to read up on the background of the company which launched in 1998 originally for use in the Cowshed spa in Babington House, Somserset, is actually part of the Soho House Group, and is used in all of their venues (including NY!)... and i was delighted (amidst the fever boiling up within me) to happen across the one airport location you can find them last night as well... Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse Lounges!
So take a peek ~ while the shop girl panicked slightly a the idea of letting me take pics in the store to share with you, you can see the few i picked up to try (and they were SO fun and awesome as tested out in NY) ~ and an overview of the packaging style on the next page!
While its fascinating (and exciting!) that Evisu is evolving once again ~ and this time with newly appointed CEO/Creative Director, Scott Morrison, at the helm. As a former Paper Denim & Cloth junkie ~ it's hard not to be excited to see what Morrison is doing to reinvent Evisu while looking back to their heritage... For those who forgot, Morrison was also behind Paper Denim & Cloth as well as Earnest Sewn. While initially those Evisu Seagulls on the back pockets make me envision a denim lifestyle that never quite fit my own... when they sent over a few, i fell in love. They denim feels incredible as ever, just softly broken in enough, yet hugging you in all the right places... and the subtlety of the back pocket designs was just enough to grab your attention, but not enough to slap you in the face like so many can lately... (yes, i'm a little over the over embellished pockets, but also like pockets to have a bit of character!). Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Evisu when i started looking into their heritage, was the evolution of the Seagull... and how the line came to be. It's fun to see Morrison looking back at the heritage of the japanese line even with the separation from Evisu Japan.
The full story can be read on the next page, as well as lots of pics of the signature pocket designs... but for the short version: Hidehiko Yamane, a love of fine denim, founded the company in 1991 in Osaka. Having a hard time finding the finest quality pre-WWII selvege denim, he found a 50's american shuttle loom and started the "replica movement" ~ his originals mimicking the Levi's Original Red Tab 501XX... and my favorite part? He personally hand painted his Seagull logos on each pair! What i love about what Morrison has done with this, is he's taken that hand painted logo and distressed it to a perfectly worn in subtlety, so noticeable, yet so understated. Take a peek at them on the next page!
On stunning bottles, i couldn't resist this G&J Greenall's Bloom Gin ~ beautiful color, gorgeous silhouette, particularly from the side! Found it at Liberty in London when we were late night wandering, while waiting for a table in Soho for dinner... The other random note ~ who knew! The bathroom in the St. James Hotel and Club would be so incredible for taking backlit snapshots of the bottle?!?! And slightly disappointing note on packaging, that nice black extruded part on the neck? Just a sticker... As for the taste, its quite refreshingly delicious - the Bloom Gin website describes it as "... a new romantic twist to the world of gin. With its ornate jewel-cut bottle, Bloom's fresh flavour offers a strikingly smooth, soft taste. This triple distilled gin uses demineralised fresh spring water and natural botanicals for its flavour. Created from juniper, chamomile, pomelo and honeysuckle it offers a light, refreshing experience rounded with subtle notes of honey and orange. Bloom -- a new gin to be enjoyed by lovers of nature." Definitely yummy ~ and will look stunning on any shelf. Take a look at the details on the next page!
On fun packaging that has recently shown up ~ how awesome is this Made Of Japan (TAB Exclusive Boxed Edition) by Onitsuka Tiger ~ the packaging is stunning with a laser cut tiger motif on the cardboard sleeve that i'm just itching to spray paint as a stencil to see how it would look... From the TAB site: "Exclusive to TAB: the book comes in a box with a laser-cut Tiger sleeve. Limited to 250 boxes! Onitsuka Tiger is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year - an event of major significance in Japan. Made of Japan is the beautiful result of a journey into taste: 260 pages presenting the brands' original sports heritage, its vision and evolution, and its influence as a style icon amongst fashion leaders, artists, athletes and sports fans around the world." Take a peek on the next page of the awesome packaging (the sleeve and box are gorgeous ~ and the binding style as well!) + some of my favorite pics from within!
Huge thanks to Limited Hype for sending this my way!
Freshly launched today ~ Incase's latest incarnation of their classic iPhone Slider cases ~ Monochrome Slider Cases ~ this time with glossy tops and soft touch bottoms... while at first i wasn't sure if the color palette was for me (the colors do have fun names like celery green)... when they sent samples over, the PACKAGING just blew my mind. again. as usual. I don't know, those Incase guys are pretty much my favorite packaging folks out there these days. This time it is a clear/black matte plastic sleeve with a molded black cardboard tray that slips into it, but due to the molding won't slip all the way though... And the way the contours of the white plastic liner really highlight the case so nicely! Also, the super simple subtle little S stand is awesome ~ holding up your iphone for perfect desk viewing both horizontally and vertically. Anyhow, enough with the text ~ just go see the pics on the next page already!
Previously i showed you PACT Yves Behar designed undies for a cause... and the packaging was the biggest mystery, with the packaging/labels that biodegrade in 45 days, and the little pouches that each underwear comes in... well it arrived! So take a peek... honestly i dont know that it *looked* the price it cost the way it arrived... BUT they feel amazing, and look great on. The little pouches look a lot like a Baggu pouch (only made of matching print cloth).
Take a peek at the close ups of the packaging and product on the next page!
No, seriously, its the UFO - Unidentified Fragrance Object designed by Ron Arad for Kenzo. Kenzo always has such breathtakingly beautiful, unique, packaging for their fragrances, mini works of art...
From the press release: "Kenzo's newest fragrance for her, Unidentified Fragrance Object, will be unveiled this fall at the Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of the retrospective exhibition for designer Ron Arad. Arad was commissioned by Kenzo to create a vehicle for fragrance that breaks with traditional industry codes and evokes sensuality when in contact with the skin. The result - a hand-polished bottle made of Zamac (metal alloy) with a completely internalized spray mechanism." The bottle is being released in a limited edition of 1000 ~ each one hand polished and available starting Aug 2009 exclusively at Bergdorf Goodman and Kenzo online. See more pics of the bottle up close on the next page...
Packaging based impulse shopping strikes again... This time i gave in and bought the Neurogasm, Neurobliss, Neurosonic, and Neurotrim. This strangely curvy soda bottle has an awesome cap, yet for some reason it kind of feels like it should be a bottle of body wash? Not sure about the flavors yet, but noteworthy packaging... see more details on the next page!
Prometheus Springs: Capsaicin Spiced Elixir. Firstly, what a mouthful. Secondly, check out their flavors - Lemon Ginger, Lychee Wasabi, and Pomegranate Black Pepper (intriguing aren't they?) Thirdly, awesome upside down pentagon of 5 stars around a crowned dragon ouroboros encircling what looks like a simplified masonic symbol for a logo (should we read into this? or is it simply a symbolic mashup?)... also beautiful photography and they even have a video of the bottling process! I'm impressed... also amused that most of their websites sections are wordpress - and they are all social media'd out with the facebook, twitter, flickr, vimeo... this occultish NY based drink line has captured my attention tonight... Take a look at more of the visual assets as well as the bottling video on the next page!
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!
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.
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!
I swear i won't buy a full box of produce just to get one of these amazing Yeti's Best boxes. BUT, i may not be below begging them to let me have one next time! Wandering whole foods i got terribly distracted and started taking quick pics with my point and shoot of the Yeti Produce!!! Only to realize that as i turned around it was a Whole Foods brand box... and there were other retro/designer boxes as well! Yeti is definitely the best, and Cosmic second best ~ but you must check out the rest on the next page!