Good Work: idsgn

idsgn A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Josh Smith, one half of the creative duo behind the blog, idsgn.

idsgn is a fantastic blog that focuses on design, branding and marketing.  I think what makes them unique among all the design blogs out there, is that they have a strong point of view about the content they feature.  As a result, a dialogue is created between their readers and it makes for a more interesting and inspiring read.  Spend sometime on their site and get involved in the conversation.

Good Work: Chiquita Banana

I am really digging the new redesign of the infamous Chiquita Banana. Screen shot 2010-03-05 at 2.06.26 PM


DJ Neff created a campaign that included these fantastic sticker illustrations, Facebook integration and a microsite with viral videos, a sticker generator and a 3D flash game.

Design:Related recently interviewed him about the design process, the beauty of a client that says "make bananas cool" and the importance of brand equity.  Check out the interview here.

Client: Chiquita Banana Campaign Name: Eatachiquita Creative Direction: DJ Neff, Mark Krajan Art Direction: DJ Neff Designers: Hillary Coe, Luis Gonzalez Contributing Designers: Dyanna Csaposs, Nick Perata, Roscoe Ferguson Developers: Neil Katz, Chris Isom, Isaac Dettman CG Developers: Kyle Figgins, Ryan Kaplan, Steve Han, Gene Arvan Production Company: The Famous Group

The Boarding Pass, Reconsidered.

On a recent flight From Seattle to NYC, Tyler Thompson, the creative director at Squarespace, decided to tackle the boarding pass -- an object used by many, yet often overlooked and rarely reconsidered. After some sketches in his Moleskine, Tyler came up with these:

pass-blue-1 copy

pass-designed copy

Tyler's efforts sparked a conversation and others jumped into the ring.  What is important about the designs that follow is that they take into account design limitations, such as the fact that boarding passes are printed with thermal printers and international flights require longer bar codes.  I think too often people redesign products that end up being sexier but don't really consider the critical elements or the importance of function and usability.  I like that the design community brought these facts to Tyler's attention and more importantly, I applaud Tyler for opening it up for discussion.  It's these sorts of conversations that make life interesting.

This is JJ at Graphicology take:


And Timoni Grone's version:

Timoni Grone

And one of my personal favorites from Yoni De Beule:


See more designs and read more of the discussion here

Discovered: Mast Brothers Chocolate

1 Some of you may remember this post I did a while back with the amazing photos that The Selby took as part of the advertising campaign for Cole, Rodd and Haan. Well folks, he has gone and done it again.  This time, The Selby takes us on a beautiful tour of one of my all time favorite chocolate houses, Mast Brothers Chocolate.  Rick and Michael Mast are the handsome duo behind these delicious chocolates that are handmade in Brooklyn .   These boys are true artisans and are one of the few "bean-to-bar" chocolatiers, which means they own the entire process of making their chocolate from sourcing the cocoa beans from Venezuela, Ecuador and Madagascar to roasting, grinding, molding and eventually packaging it all up.  The Selby does a wonderful job of illustrating the whole process from start to finish, so please check out the whole series here.


Not only is this some seriously delicious chocolate (my favorite is the Dark Chocolate with Almonds and Sea Salt), but every bar comes beautifully packaged in Italian wrapping paper; it's like unwrapping a gift each time.


You can find their chocolate at any of these amazing little shops:

A Little of What You Fancy 19 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, NY 11937 Bedford Cheese Shop 229 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Bierkraft 191 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Branford Green Grocer 1036 Main Street, Branford, CT 06405 Brooklyn Larder 228 Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217 Dean & Deluca 560 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10012 France 44 4351 France Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55410 Grab 438 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 Marlow & Sons 81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Miette Confiserie 449 Octavia Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94102 Murray's Cheese 254 Bleecker Street, Manhattan, NY 10014 Park Slope Food Coop 782 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215 Provisions 150 Beekman Street, Manhattan, NY 10038 Rubiner's Cheesemongers    264 Main Road, Great Barrington, MA 01230 Spuyten Duyvil Grocery 218 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Stinky Bklyn 261 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231 Stone Barns 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591 Urban Rustic 236 North 12th Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211

Team Work: Leica + Hermes

iChat Image(647099877)

iChat Image(882390101)

Seriously, Leica?   Does it get anymore gorgeous than this?   This classic M7 35mm gets the special treatment with a silver chrome finish and thanks to Hermes, a choice of either orange or tan calfskin leather.   Orange please!  This beauty can be delivered to your doorstep in a linen-covered, silk-lined box for a mere £8,550 (about $14,250).

*via engadget

Living proof.™

I didn't plan to go to Sephora yesterday.  I certainly didn't plan to spend $50 on shampoo and conditioner.  But after learning about Living proof, I was so inspired that it happened in a spontaneous, must have sort of way.*

You see, yesterday the good folks over at Wolff Olins hosted a breakfast.  The theme?

How do you build a brand from the ground up in a down economy? How do you launch a product that solves a real problem in consumers’ lives? How do you create big impact in a high-investment category with a small marketing budget? How do you stay relentlessly focused on your vision no matter what?

livingproofThey invited their client, Rob Robillard, CEO at Living proof, a company whose mission is to solve the toughest beauty challenges through the use of cutting edge science AND then provide extraordinary customer experiences.  So despite the products high price point in this economy, they are thriving.  Thriving as in they sold 40,000 units in less than 30 minutes.  It is an amazing feat on many levels.  The reason as I see it?  Yes, they have a great product; a product that is revolutionary.  (They use PolyfluoroEster, the first new anti-frizz technology in over 30 years.  Other brands use silicone, which weighs down hair.) But what makes their brand really champion others is they have focused on their consumer.

They have a corporate policy to answer every phone call and email.  They send out free samples.  They listen.  They have invested in the research, the design, the packaging and the product and therefore, they got results.  They value their customers on every level, which is ground breaking for a CPG company.  It is definitely a new and refreshing way to enter the beauty segment and I hope others in the industry follow Living proof's lead and success.

*Perhaps I was a bit too enthusiastic. I failed to look inside the goodie bag they gave on our way out, which had a travel size shampoo and conditioner and a full size styling cream. Hey, it will actually be perfect for my trip to LA next week. Right?

Discovered: Butterfly and Spider Glass Set

propoganda glasses This set of glasses consisting of a butterfly, spider and spider web are simply beautiful individually or as a prey vs. predator scenario. They were created by design group Propoganda, which was established in 1994 by of group of advertising executives who set out to instill the innate sense of Thai playfulness into every day products.

*via Mr. Matt Spangler via devincastro

Discovered: Ice Melts. Whisky Rocks.

1 We're big fans of whiskey.  I like Oban and D prefers a Lagavulin.  So when I came across these Whiskey Stones design by Teroforma, I was pretty darn excited.   Made out of natural soapstone from Vermont, they take advantage of the fact that soapstone has a unsual ability to conduct and retain coldness, making it a perfect solution for chilling our whiskey without watering it down.  Can't wait to give them a try.


drysoda I've always loved and been inspired by well designed packaging.  One of my greatest sources of inspiration in this area is the blog, Lovely Package.

I was particularly taken with a recent post on the new bottle designs for DRY Soda by Turnstyle Studios.  The creative brief from DRY was that they wanted the bottles to look at home in an upscale restaurant or at a five star hotel. Turnstyle intentionally kept the bottle minimal yet sophisticated - modern with a twist. I think they were spot on with the design, it conveys the message of the brand and makes me want to drink up.

Discovered: Paula Hayes Terrariums

moongem01 I love the small coincidences in life.  I came across these intricate and gorgeous terrariums at Paula Hayes’s studio on East 13th street in NYC.  When I went online to see more of her work, I discovered that in addition to her terrariums, bird feeders and silicone planters, she also happens to be a fellow Skidmore alum.

Paula has designed landscapes and gardens for a few lucky ones including renowned designer Jill Stuart and gallerists David & Monica Zwirner (who coincidentally represent Marcel Dzama.)

Enjoy the playfulness of Paula’s website here.

Hironao Tsuboi

hironao 'Creative Faces' is D&AD’s way of highlighting talent in different regions producing great creative work.  They held their first event in Japan, while launching the D&AD exhibition at Advertising Museum Tokyo.   Akira Odagiri of Ogilvy & Mather Japan served as Chairman of the panel and then they invited 2 top creatives from Japan and 2 from the UK to select a creative team/person whose work exhibits some of Japan’s most exciting talent.

One of the judges was Joe Ferry, Head of Design, Virgin Atlantic.  He selected Hironao Tsuboi.

I think Tsuboi's work is modern, accessible, simple and playful.

This is Joe Ferry's description of why he chose Tsuboi as a 'Creative Face.'

"Virgin Atlantic once ran an advertising campaign, with the strap line – ‘some say why, others say why not’. This expression could be used to summarize Hironao Tsuboi’s work. He has the ability to look at everyday objects in a completely new way….In fact making simple designs look good is one of the most difficult things to do. Who would ever have thought that a watch could become exciting if you entirely remove the watch face – this guy clearly did.

He turns a negative into a positive. Hironao Tsuboi’s glass design creates a beautiful detail from essentially a condensation drip. I feel this glass captures his positive take on life, which is both admirable and infectious.

By creating great designs that make people smile, Hironao Tsuboi is definitely a creative face of the future."

See more Tsuboi's work as well as the other 'Creative Faces' here