It’s always nice to find a story that incorporates great design and great business. Emily over at Baggu sent me this NYTimes article “From Boutique to Big Time” By Laurie J. Flynn… it’s the story of these beautiful Adiri Natural Nursers, the “Ultimate Baby Bottle”, basically “Your breast doesn’t feel like plastic. Why should your baby’s bottle?” They’ve designed a polycarbonate-free plastic nursing bottle that has a soft rubbery grip. From the business side, the interesting story of a yahoo lawyer who’s father passes away and leaves her the company.. and how she’s gone from a mom with a boutique business to learning to scale up to fulfill large orders from places like Babies R Us… Anyhow, its a good read, and it looks like they’ve really cleaned up the design with this new model. Check out the new Adiri Natural Nurser and the article.
Nabzatag ~ the crazy wifi bunnies we’ve been seeing for a while… apparently in the goodies section of their site they are anti-naked bunnies! Anyhow, a little random, but cute that they have pdfs for everything from paper clothes (i guess you could make them with cloth too) to stickers to decorate them (from eyebrows to mustaches to logo shirts ~ give them some character!).
Wow, and to think invisible ink and black lights used to be exciting… Dezeen has a great post about the annual report you have to bake in your oven in order to read… 25 minutes at 100 degrees to be precise. Croatian creative agency Bruketa & Zinić designed this annual report for food company Podravka - within the larger book there is a small booklet that is inserted inside the big one that contains the very heart of Podravka as a brand: great Podravka’s recipes. “To be able to cook like Podravka you need to be a precise cook. That is why the small Podravka booklet is printed in invisible, thermo-reactive ink. To be able to reveal Podravka’s secrets you need to cover the small booklet in aluminium foil and bake it at 100 degrees Celsius for 25 minutes.” The best part? For the imprecise or lazy… the book will BURN if overcooked, like any meal.
No one can dispute the fact that Brian McCarty is THE best toy photographer these days. His images are legendary, and they are the best portraits of toys you can find… check out some images from his 2008 calendar in collaboration with StrangeCo and MTV. See a preview of all 12 months here… and my favorites are below. Wow.
I just got the sweetest email from Claire Sambrook, a senior lecturer of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth, and i’m not sure why, but i think its refreshing to have someone sharing their student’s work! I’ve had so many conversations recently about how there must be so many great student projects going unshown simply because they don’t know how to market themselves, or are shy and maybe don’t have much of an internet presence. Anyhow, she’s shared this interesting “Perfect Perch” by 22 year old James Chu, a third year student in product design. His goal is to fill a need for “portable, cheap, lightweight and eco-friendly furniture” and he’s thinking ahead already to all of the branding opportunities for these “Somewhere like Goodwood Racecourse could commission 1,000 carrying their name or a sponsor’s message and people could use them at the racecourse and then take them home afterwards. They would make excellent souvenirs.” The chairs have gone into production thanks to Hemingway Design and the South Coast Design Forum.
Rogue Status have teamed up to create a special release of 333 specially designed and numbered snowboards, and they are sweet enough to tempt me to buy one so i can make a gorgeous bench out of it in combination with Vitamin Living’s Powder Seat (picture below as well)… anyhow Rogue Status is most memorable to me for their guns as art patterned shirts, bicycle seats, hoodies, etc… and these boards are the perfect combination of both ~ gorgeous wood with subtle patterns, that upon closer inspection you realize are patterns of guns and and ammunition belts - and this whole collaboration is very local, both brands being based right here in Venice - it’s also nice to hear what mutual admiration they have for each other brands: “I’ve been a fan of Rogue’s approach to in your face, stop and think art since their tees started showing up around Venice,” said Arbor’s President, Bob Carlson. “For Arbor, guns as art, not instruments of urban destruction, is a message we embrace. So working with RS on a collaborative design has been a great way tell a larger story with our boards.” “Arbor is our local snowboard brand, they’re our friends, and they were the best choice when it came time to design a snowboard,” says, Yo Esbensen, Rogue’s President. “I’m into their use of real wood and bamboo, and their long-term dedication to using environmentally friendly materials.”
Toy Me has some fun new pieces ~ from their newest collection the ones that grabbed me are the macho arm, robotino, and the sunglasses to hang your sunglasses from (at first they almost look like the tabs from soda cans)! The mini rayban wayfarers and even aviators are far too cute, definitely a fun add on gift if you’re gifting sunglasses this holiday season. Close ups below… and if Toy Me seems familiar, maybe you’re remember those sweet Hunting Trap bracelets and Tank Cufflinks!
Oooooh. Robin over at Bittersweets has outdone herself with this latest creation. (For a refresher, we’ve written about Bittersweets a few times over the years, and even featured her opening and also showcased her products in the gallery)… this Vampress is the diamond ring variation of our favorite pairs of Baby Vamp Rings (see my favorite picture from NOTed featuring them after the jump). There is a slight issue with the wearing the two thin bands and keeping the jaws perfectly aligned ~ a minor issue that is instantly solved by having them holding a diamond… so the holidays are around the corner! Buy one for your Vampress.
I am apparently easily seduced by the right type… faces. Oh so many bad puns bouncing around my head right now. Pushing those aside… latest email from Veer had me drooling over Alejandro Paul’s latest typographic creation: Feel Script. There’s little i can say about it that you can’t experience better by seeing the examples in their slideshow ~ see my favorites below, as well as it’s story. I think he may be one of my favorite font designers these days ~ i’m still smitten with Affair.
Somewhere City collection is a new set of mix and matchable fantasy characters of Goran Lelas for StrangeCo. It is said that “Somewhere City is everywhere and nowhere, floating from one part of the planet to another. Its motion is fueled by the “Secret Thought” of its wonderful, positive inhabitants.” Cryptic? Yes. Playfully adorable, and even more so when mixed up? Also, yes. While this first series launches in plastic ~ we’ve also got a sneak peak at the upcoming plush incarnations (probably available around Q1 2008)… which i think are perfect for baby gifts! I wonder if they rattle or honk ~ doesn’t the yellow bill/mouth/nose thing look like you should squeeze the body and some initially adorable but quickly annoying noise should come out? See more pictures of the whole collection and more mixups below!
Also noteworthy ~ it seems that MoMA is getting into the toy business, this collection was developed in collaboration with them, and will also be in their stores for the holiday season! And Goran Lelas is apparently an “accomplished designer whose magical style spans fashion, illustration, children’s literature and costume design” and this is his first foray into toy design.
Click the images to see more!A quick catch up for anyone who’s behind on .org… we’ve had some adorable dino hoodies, quite the dare to make an impact, an insanely loud funky looking airhorn, an xkcd romantic fight manifested into a real OS wiping virus/poem, puma and W’s “mongolian bbq” DIY show, a town filled guinness domino chain, an incredibly fun looking couch, lipstick portraits… and then some stories of romantic quests! The guy who drew a sketch looking for a girl he saw on the subway (and he FOUND HER!) and Zack Slow and his buddy letting US choose who they will marry (and give $50,000 to).
On bizarre places to find design inspiration… this Band-Aid Tough Strips with bonus Tough Case caught my eye. I realized for starters that i really like their font, particularly on the back from reason, and what a great shade of red. Anyhow, it’s really *just* a box of bandaids, but it caught my eye ~ a few more pics of it below.
NOTCOT Note: Here’s another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Jean posted about Yang Liu’s Ost trifft West (East Meets West) exhibit back in September. Being that I worked with Yang at Chermayeff and Geismar when I first moved to New York, I offered to do an interview with her about the project. Yang is a great graphic designer whose work has always been bold and iconographic, and Ost trifft West doesn’t stray from that rigor. Even though I can’t read either German or Chinese, the images clearly and wittily communicate the differences between the two cultures. Check out more images and an interview with Yang Liu below!
Next time i need to make a design pilgrimage to a brick and mortar store to play with things in person and do some serious gifting damage A+R has just jumped to the top of my list (since the MOCA store closed on Main, we really have been lacking a design store of this caliber on the west side… actually even if MOCA store was still open, i’d end up at A+R). Walking in to this store is a breathe of fresh air… i was instantly giddier than a kid in a candy store- can you imagine how surreal it is to step into this glowing space surrounded by the real life physical objects that you’ve coveted and gushed over digitally for years? Talk about a sensory overload. It took me a few minutes really to process it all and regain the ability to carry on a proper conversation, let alone find all the new things i needed to come back and share with you (*ahem* brooks salzwedel’s brand new Shane collection)… so since i can’t even begin to describe to you how amazing the collection in A+R is, how about i give you a pile of quick photos below to give you a feel for yourself?
As for the event and why i was there? Andy + Rose (A+R) were kind enough to invite me to their launch dinner where we met for some bubbly in the store, took a stroll down to the fabulous Venice Smart House (of the Smart Car ~ a temporary loft/gallery/showroom space few can resist envying) where the incredible chefs of rockenwagner fed us and even allowed us to partake in the cooking of the most incredible paella out on the patio, and i had the pleasure of dining with a handful of brilliant designers, local store owners, and newspaper and magazine editors. Honestly? Silly as it sounds, it was a bit of a cinderella moment.