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April 25 2012

07:55

Products and Packages with Fantastic Typography


  

Sometimes the most appealing products are not those that are priced the most reasonably, but the ones whose packaging goes beyond functionality and crosses over to the artistic. Alberto Alessi said it best when he described his reason for his own aesthetic designs:

“More and more people buy objects for intellectual and spiritual nourishment. People do not buy my coffee makers, kettles and lemon squeezers because they need to make coffee, to boil water, or to squeeze lemons, but for other reasons.”

Some of the most aestheically pleasing packages and products rely heavily on excellent typography. At times, the perfect font is all that is needed to take a design beyond the ordinary, and very often a great font can stand alone with no other graphics or design gimmicks added to it.

The following collection of products and packages all have one design element in common: they all boast the use of fantastic typography. Take a look at some of the methods and reasoning behind these designer’s packaging projects and let each one inspire you to excellence in your own product and packaging designs.

Bzzz (Custom Font)

This packaging for Natural Armenian Honey not only includes a box shaped like a honeycomb, but the custom-made font for the title stunningly combines the flight of bees and a honey dipper. Bzzz packaging was designed by Backbone Creative, a design company from Armenia.

Indian Stretchable Time, the “Ish Watch”

Designed by Hyphen Brands from India, this packaging for the “Ish Watch” was designed with the Indian culture’s view of time. In India, when someone says to arrive at 3:00pm, they expect the arrival at any time after 3:00, hence “3-ish.” The typography includes several different Italic font versions. In another humorous twist, the three hour marks are listed as “12-ish”, “3-ish”, and so on with no other numbers included.

Acushla Organic Olive Oil

The custom-made font used for the title of this olive oil package at the same time matches and contrasts the logo graphic. Like the graphic, the letters have an organic flow to them, which fits nicely with an organic brand. The green color of the font is reminiscent of green vines as well. Yet unlike the graphic which flows together seamlessly, the tags and flags of the letters point in different directions, almost like wild branches of vines that someone attempted somewhat unsuccessfully to prune into perfection.

Parish Brewing Co.

The idea behind this captivating package design by Cargo Collective was to capture the southern feel of the Louisiana start-up brand. The custom font gives the bottles an authentic vintage look and feel. Notice how the text on the box and labels appears partially faded, imitating painted letters on a weathered wooden sign.

Proof – Scotch complimentary kit

This label for the complimentary kit of the scotch tasting app were each hand-stamped (both the label and the app were designed by Zeus Jones). The fonts are a blend of the custom designed Proof typography as well as a script logo taken from the Zeus Jones cycling jerseys. The % on the lids were created by hand-dipping each one in wax and stamping the wax using the stamp from the Proof typography.

Adams & Harlow

Designers Anonymous created the identity, website, and packaging for the Adams & Harlow brand of pork pies. Adams and Harlow is owned by two sisters and they named the company in keeping with the rivalry between their grandfathers’ pork pie companies in the early 1900s. The typography is based on a sans-serif font from the 1900s with some unique touches added in. For instance, the designers created the “S” to look like a butcher’s hook.

The Cloud Factory

This whimsical wine label designed by Alastair Duckworth and Ross Hamilton, both of Biles Inc., needed to stand out on shelves while also representing the unique story of this New Zealand brand. To create a look that reflected the “land of the long white cloud,” the designers created a hand-rendered typography with cleverly original lettering. The “T”, “C”, and “F” have a very old-fashioned feel to them, and almost remind one of the typography from the posters for the World’s Fair events in the early 1900s.

Selva Pasta

Kayhan Baspinar created an entire font design specifically for this brand. The lettering is both sophisticated and indicative of the shape of pasta at the same time. The extended lines of the letters and the dramatic shape of the upper curves of a few of the letters, such as the “C” and lowercase “m” and “n” are just a few of the unique touches that make this font stand out.

The Manual Co.

If you peruse the popular package design submission sites, then you may remember this one from the past. Created by Peter Gregson, this packaging for boots, bags, and other accessories has custom white hand-lettering set on a black background. The unique typography looks a bit like artistic chalk typography on a chalkboard and really gives it a high-end, artistic look and feel.

Jacques Prevert, CHOSES ET AUTRES

This beautiful font was created specifically for the cover of Jacques Prevert’s book, CHOSES ET AUTRES. Marijana Zaric did an excellent job of designing this typeface full of bold lettering and rounded edges. The hand-colored look gives it even more depth and character.

Fizzy Lizzy

The custom font designed for these fruit flavored carbonated beverages looks “fizzy” and fun, and leaps off of the label. The bubbles rising from the two “i”s in the logo and the evaporating lettering makes it appear as if the text is floating underwater.

Melt

This custom designed font seems like a cross between the Ark Doomsday Light font and the Priori Sans OT Regular font. The best part of this font design? Along with the dripping chocolate graphics , it looks delicious enough to make anyone crave chocolate, even if chocolate isn’t your forte.

Askul Garbage Bag

An amazingly creative design for such a common household item, this garbage bag packaging was designed by Stockholm Design Lab. The letters falling into a “trash pile” at the bottom of the box are all from the good ole’ font family Helvetica.

Peter Wetzer Wines

Wetzer commissioned designer Laszlo Mihaly Naske to create a calligraphic label for his wine collection, in keeping with a “homemade” theme. Naske explains that his original idea was to go with a more bold approach in the design of the hand-crafted letters, but Wetzer wanted something more simple, traditional, and straightforward. The winemaker chose well – the handwritten font is quite stunning alone and may have been overlooked if too much more was included in the design.

Billington’s Sugar

This redesign by jkr of Billington’s sugar packaging adds much more personality than the previous design. The colorful font graphic front and center capture attention quickly, and the faded font used for the company name adds to the traditional look and feel, an element of the design that was very important to the client. The main font used looks similar to Bebas Neae or a popular Gothic font family.

Fyne Ale

Look closely and you’ll see that Good Creative designed the headlines/titles of the different types of ales each with a different font that matches the name. The Maverick font includes only flags and tags on certain letters – the “A”, “R”, and “K”. In contrast, the Piper’s Gold font is very fancy with a decidedly western look and feel.

IQ

Another great design by Good Creative, this redesign for IQ, a hair product brand, is quite staggering when you see the before and after pictures together. The idea from the brand letters came from strands of hair, especially on the hook of the “Q”.

Before

After

Backyard

This illustrated font was created by Fabien Barral, a phenomenal illustrator and graphic designer. The shape of the font looks similar to Helvetica or another type of simple sans serif font, which gave Barral lots of room for creativity within the illustrations themselves.

Nagging Doubt

Designed by Brand Ever with the label illustrated by Dana Tanamachi, this wine brand was started by a corporate man with a long-time dream he never could ignore, hence the name Nagging Doubt. Tanamachi drew the entire label by hand on a chalkboard, in a font style similar to grape vines for the Voigner label. The Pull label still resembles branches a bit with the “pulled” lines of the letters “N” and “G” but is much more crisp and clean of a font. Each label comes with a QR code that leads to the Nagging Doubt website on which visiters can view a stop motion film of Tanamachi’s illustration process.

Stave and Hoop

Force & Form created the labels for this brand of strong wines, keeping in mind that this wine is intended to be a gentleman’s alternative to whiskey or beer. The typography layout and fonts look similar to the labels found on tonics from the days of the wild west.

Typocolate

This simply delicious typographical project was created by Dynamo to use as Christmas gifts for clients, friends, and family. Each chocolate bar is engraved with a different daily mantra written with a completely original font design. Decorative font styles grace the face of most of the bars, but one also includes a light sans serif font design.

Princess Bride Custom Wine for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Every year, the Helms Workshop creates a new design for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s wine collection, always with a certain movie in mind. This year, they chose The Princess Bride in honor of the film’s 25th anniversary. The brand name is Bottle of Wits done appropriately in a bold sans serif font. On the side of the box packaging are phrases from the movie on which various font styles (all sans serif) are combined with graphics to illustrate the term. In this design, a more plain font was certainly the better choice as it allowed for more creativity with graphics, font layout, and other stylistic features that illustrate favorites from the film.

Angioletta

This simple yet elegant design for a sweet, white wine from Wein-Bauer, Inc was created by Kaleidoscope. Obviously, the target audience is younger women, and the font certainly portrays this focus. The light, script font similar to a Vivaldi or Edwardian Style Script typeface is airy, flowing, and feminine.

Sepp Moser

Each one of these quite original wine labels were created by Hans Renzler along with Brace.at on an actual typewriter. Each wine bottle number is handwritten by the winemaker himself, giving these wine bottles a very “collector’s item” sense.

Artisan

The typography on these wine bottles created by Public Creative look like the font stamps from an old letterpress printing press. The title of the wine is in silver while the rest of the letters are charcoal black, which makes the title stand out but also gives the “stamps” for the title a never-been-used appearance.

Tucumen

This Argentinian wine from Budeguer was designed by Guillo Milia. The designers tried to keep the wide variety of cultures in mind in this design, blending a variation of bright colors and font styles to give this impression. The main heading font style is similar to a calligraphic font such as Zocalo. In fact, various script fonts are used but so is a plain serif font, along with a very stylized, medieval-like font used for the brand name.

Cuboid

The font style of the brand name fits perfectly for this boxed wine aimed at millenials and designed by Force & Form. The packages have a video game look with the 8-bit characters, limited colors, cubed font, and tagline “Surrender your corkscrew.” One side of the box invites interaction with a list on which customers can write their favorite wines, done with a mixture of a clean sans serif font and a script font to emphasize a single word in each line of text.

All For Now

But that doesn’t mean that the discussion is done. Quite the opposite, it is just getting started. Now it is your turn. What were some of your favorites from the showcase? Do you know any other products and packages that have that fantastic typography touch? Take a moment and tell us about them in the comment section.

(rb)

April 04 2012

13:00

How Colors Change on the Web (or Don’t)

As individuals, we change our colors often. We reflect our inner palettes in what we wear, what we buy, where we cast our gaze. We have the freedom to engage unlimited combinations whenever we see fit.

But what about the colors of the websites we visit daily? Do websites shift in these same ways, or even at this rate? Over the course of a year we change our color preferences untold times, but looking at how websites evolve over a similar time period indicates something quite different.

I recently examined a representative sample of websites that have gone through a significant redesign in the last year to analyze just how much, if at all, these websites changed in terms of their inner color palettes. These few examples represent a trend I noticed - that some websites have gone through massive shifts in layout, usability, and general structure. In comparing their palettes, however, you don't see such shifting.

In the example of target.com below, you can see that there has been an obvious overhaul of structure, reorganizing the site completely. While there is a subtle increase in a practical implementation of color 'coding' (notably pink to indicate a 'spring' item and brighter link colors), the base of the palette remains the same. This shows that Target knows the importance of evolving functionality (and product) independent of base branding colors.

Another great example of a structural overhaul is bankofamerica.com. Here you can see they've moved to a centered layout and are using a few brighter blues for specific calls to action, but again, the remainder of the palette remains unchanged.

Another website I took a look at was twitter.com, which went through somewhat of a transformation last year. Save for a button color change (for the better) the base of their palette and branding remains the same.

Of particular interest this past year were the transformations undertaken on dennys.com. Around July last year they went with an overhaul not just of structure but of color as well. I don’t think the color portion of the overhaul was that successful, as a look around six months later shows they've reversed their direction. They've gone closer to what they had previous to the saturated yellow look, dialing back to a more traditional food-friendly palette of light tans/browns and creamy whites. Did Denny’s find out how much is too much? Was bright yellow too much of a stretch from what is traditionally a red-dominated industry?

In the case of our recent Purple.us redesign, you can see that we’ve maintained the base of the palette, only adding a select aqua to draw emphasis to the site’s informational hierarchy. Again, you can see how important the core of a palette is to the site’s overall presentation.

It is important to understand that while sites adapt and alter in various ways and degrees, there are some decisions that must be absolutely correct in early stages of development, namely color. Color delineates brand. Color can define a site. Color resonates in the mind of the user, whether they notice or not. Color is vital. If a website requires modifications, initial color choice and primary concepts must be considered just as vital.

Written By: Nicholas Forneris is an interactive developer at digital marketing and web design company 352 Media Group and loves making palettes on COLOURlovers.

At 352 Media Group, we recognize how central these inner palettes are for our clients - so much that creating color palettes for clients is at the forefront of our design workflow. In most cases, color palette decisions precede layout and functionality. We know just how serious it is to use the correct color palettes from the beginning of a project. 

February 08 2012

23:55

January 30 2012

15:28

COLOURlovers Interview & Giveaway with Jessica Sprague on The Art of Poster Design

Poster design is a really fun, inexpensive and unique way to explore your creative side. From the 1,000's of fonts, variety of poster sizes, and layouts, sometimes, it's difficult to know where to start!


Once you master your design techniques visit Next Day Flyers for fast poster printing at great prices.

Today we are interviewing Jessica Sprague, design guru and owner of JessicaSprague.com. In February, Jessica is heading off a four week Poster Design course. She is also giving away not one, but TWO seats to this really awesome class! I couldn't be more excited about the class after taking Jessica's Subway Art class. I'm a busy mom, so I don't have a whole lot of time to join in a live class, which is why I love Jessica's classes- they are self-paced and available forever!

Follow Jessica: Twitter & Facebook

Can you tell us about yourself, how long have you been designing? Teaching? Do you have a job outside of JS.com?

In my former life I was a web & user interface designer for a software company, so I've been designing in some form or another for about 14 years. I started teaching digital scrapbooking, Photoshop, and graphic design in 2007 when I opened  JessicaSprague.com. Since then it is my full-time job, and I love it!

What three (or less) singular colors do you most identify with, why?

My favorite color is green - I love it in almost all of its shades from lime to olive. It's the color of growth and regeneration, of calm energy, of prosperity, learning, balance, and harmony.

If you had to describe yourself [currently] as a five color palette, what colors would they be? Could you provide me with HEX codes so I can create a JS palette for you? :)

I feel like I am a blue, two greens, and a red, coupled with a dark grey. Hex: aed835, d9ea65, 81c9c0, a90c19, a90c19

The greens I've already described. The blue is an ocean representing responsibility, stability, trustworthiness. The red represents fire and emotion, and the dark grey brings some gravity, but also represents the dark that balances the lighter, fresher colors.

Jessica_Sprague

If you could be a shape, what shape would you be? (i.e. a polygon = triangle, hexagon etc...)

I would be a 5-pointed star. :)

 

How do you approach incorporating color combinations in poster design? Where do you start on this process?

As with any design process, I always start with a theme or a concept. What is it that we're saying? What emotion do we want to evoke in the reader or viewer of this piece? Having a solid design concept, I move in to blocking shapes and choosing colors - usually designed to play on the overall theme.

Source: Jessica Bills

Personally I'm a font junkie, I'm sure you have a large collection of fonts yourself, how do you organize your collection?

I love fonts. LOVE. I collect them, drool over them, dream about them, find excuses to buy new ones. I have a lot of fonts - probably 1700 - and I use a program called Font Expert to organize my fonts. I need to get even better at organizing, when there's time! But right now I have them divided into categories. My categories include: 3d, Block, Calligraphic, Circus, Condensed, Cute, Decorative, Destroyed, Dingbats, Display, Distressed, Gothic, Handwritten, Modern, Monospaced, Ornaments, Outline, Quirky, Retro, Sans Serif, Script, Serif, Skinny, Stencil, Symbol, Typewriter, Wide, Worn.

How do you approach using fonts in poster design?

The typeface choices make a critical part of the design process - this typically comes as the style and theme of the poster is being fleshed out. I think the typography - especially in a poster where the message tends to be very brief and very LOUD, is especially important, and one of the hallmarks of a really good design vs. a less-effective one. Fonts say things in addition to the actual words they spell - they have personality and that personality needs to be respected and taken advantage of in a design.

Heavily using fonts seems quite trendy, where do you recommend a base knowledge or quick reference about font types and usage?

Mixing fonts is an art and a skill that takes time to develop - I recommend beginning to steep yourself in really good typography, such as the samples over at veer.com as a really good resource for getting a feel for the subtleties.

Source: Jessica Sprague The Art of Poster Design

How do you feel about using patterns in poster design? Something busy, but in the background? Or something simple like a chevron- those seem to be rather popular right now. What are some basic rules you follow when incorporating patterns into poster design?

I think patterns are great in limited ways in a poster - most posters rely on a one-or-two color press that doesn't allow for much multi-color pattern; but this is changing as the price for laser printing in large-scale formats continues to come down.

How would you describe your style when creating posters? Do you like to use big fonts? Do you tend to use the same fonts over and over?

The style of a poster is always dictated by the message and the style called for - but in general I like big bold fonts, large graphics, brushwork, and great details.

Source: Janet Carr, a student from Jessica Sprague's Subway Art class.

What do you think are the most common mistakes people make when designing a poster?

I think the most common mistake is that people are afraid to really fill the space in a poster - I see things centered with plenty of whitespace around the text, no color (even black on white can be a color if used well!), and just general blandness. A poster's purpose is to deliver a message in 10 seconds or less - boldness is the name of the game.

Where are you most likely to find inspiration when you're stuck in the mud?

I have Pinterest. I also have a few books, including The New Masters of Poster Design, which is excellent eye candy for all styles of posters.

How long is the filming process for the poster class from start to finish, including editing?

There will be about 12 hours of finished video for this class, which takes about three weeks to record and edit.

Since I've taken several of your classes, I know throughout the videos you give direction for both Photoshop and Elements users, do you prefer one program over the other?

Great question! In my own work I use Photoshop CS5, but I prefer teaching Photoshop Elements, because I love and adore the Project Bin! LOL. 

Source: Sunday Grennan of itsmesunday.

The Giveaway: Two Lucky COLOURlovers Will Win!

As mentioned above, Jessica has generously offered two seats in the class, a value of $63.99 per class! The giveaway starts today, January 30th, 2012 and ends next Monday, February 6th, 2012.

To Enter: 

Leave a comment telling us what your favorite font is and what theme you would use the font for when creating a poster or project.

The Art of Poster Design starts February 13th and ends March 11th. Jessica Sprague will be leading the class with step-by-step video instruction. This is considered an intermediate class. You can sign-up or get more detailed information here.

I've recently created a digital crafting group on COLOURlovers, feel free to join, and share your works of art, palettes, patterns, and chat with people who have the same interests! 

January 25 2012

18:10

Timeless Design, Ferrari

Advertise here via BSA

To begin with what I hope will end up being a mindful, thought-provoking article on the essence of timelessness in design, I felt it only fitting to start with what gave birth to this idea. As a designer and all around technology consultant, it’s my job to stay up-to-date with current trends and product offerings, which by its very nature is contradictory to the idea of timelessness. I’ve been grappling with this concept for over two years now. A lot of you that follow me on Twitter know that I’m an absolute nut about cars. Up until about 24 months ago my passion lied almost exclusively in late model Teutonic sport cars. While watching TV, I happen to catch a show that was documenting some of the most expensive and most sought after collector cars. Skip to Ferrari’s 1958 250 Testa Rossa.

1958-ferrari-250-testa-rossa-0003_gallery_image_large

1958-ferrari-250-testa-rossa-0005_gallery_image_large

This car single-handedly defined timelessness (for me). We could argue that this car exudes a certain panache that isn’t available in any modern automobile, but that’s not the point. It’s simply that this car has such a presence and immersive attributes that nearly 55 years of evolution in design and technology could not displace a car that was purposefully built without drawings—it’s absolutely beautiful.

Many of us (myself included) are caught in the moment; the current trend if you will. The notion of creating something that in 10, 20, or even 50 years from now that is still acceptable by the current standards is wildly unimaginable. I would attribute this largely in part due to the blistering pace that 1’s and 0’s change. Fancy software packages that are enablers of efficient, pixel perfect designs can also be a limiting factor that keeps a design constrained to boundaries that are predisposed. Just a thought…

PS_FYPD

So what, if anything, are parameters that define timelessness in a broad scope of design? Can they be reproduced? Do standards aid or hinder a design (again speaking solely on the topic of timelessness)? And finally, is timelessness a completely subjective category that we group designs and products into based only on our perception? Let’s go ahead and start dissecting these questions.

So what if anything are parameters that define timelessness in a broad scope of design?

There’s without question organic beauty and elegance in certain products that set the tone for a lifetime of admiration. But, is it purely happenstance when something that is created can stand the test of time? To that question, I would be torn right down the middle. Unequivocally, we live in time when the majority of what we look at and what we buy is made for use and consumption in the present. Predisposed product lifecycles set the stage for recurring purchases and an overall disposable mentality. Uniqueness unto its own is especially important on the topic of timelessness. We never see a product or design that’s complacent stand out from the crowd. Be unique in your designing!

Can they be reproduced?

Absolutely not. The shapes, lines, and performance that define one product simply cannot be applied to another and have guaranteed similar results. Timelessness can take on different forms based on the industry of discussion. An auto manufacturer likely would not approach a product design in the same light as a furniture manufacturer. One thing is for certain; timeless design often is handmade with the utmost attention to detail.

Do standards aid or hinder a design (in terms of timelessness)?

Only speaking in terms of timelessness, I personally believe that standards do hinder the opportunity to create something that could be timeless. In no way am I saying that it can’t happen, but often it’s when people and companies break the mold of standard operating procedures that something timeless emerges.

Is timelessness completely a subjective category that we group designs and products into based only on our perception?

Clearly each individual has their own preference when it comes to selecting products. But in terms of timelessness, I believe we all come to an equal playing field. It’s not simply that you are engrossed by the Testa Rossa like I am. It’s more about appreciation, respecting when something has stood the test of time, and paying homage to the designer and their creation. I’d love to know your feelings on timelessness. Go ahead and post any thoughts, feelings, or snide remarks below.

1958-ferrari-250-testa-rossa-0006_gallery_image_large

Photos by John Lamm

January 23 2012

18:12

USB Drives That Make You Jump Drive For Joy!


  

In the Stone Age of computers and digital storage, there were little “floppy disks” that promised holding an entire megabyte of space… although it was really only 978 kilobytes. AOL would send these little plastic disks to every household each and every month, hoping computer users would sign up for that now antiquated and laughable hook up to the internet. They made great drink coasters or building blocks for the kids.

Syquest made these huge, lumbering disks that held 70 megabytes but if they got bumped or shaken like an Etch-a-Sketch, the information would be lost. They were bloody expensive and environmentally hazardous with their hideous plastic cases that matched VCR tape covers for flimsy ugliness.

The Zip disk was a boon to storage with a huge 100 megabytes of storage and computers started including Zip drives along side the slots for the floppy disks. It was heaven! When the Jazz drive was introduced with a gigabyte of storage, orgasms flooded over the digital industry.

And so, eventually the CD-ROM… with external readers/burners, were introduced and the dinosaurs died out and fire was discovered. The Iron Age brought the  multi-gigabyte DVD and the rest is history.

What’s New?

I’ll never forget my first USB drive. I bought a set of four that looked like little medicine pills and held a whopping 256 megabytes each! How would I ever fill that much space? I could hook one or more to my key ring and take them anywhere I wanted to go! I could go on vacation and take my entire hard drive with me if I needed to use a computer wherever I landed. My laptop was the size of a cinder block and weighed twice as much… and was top of the line but there were no USB ports.

I was just given a crappy 8MB USB drive by a local Chinese restaurant I frequent several times a week. It has a dragon and the name and number of the restaurant printed on it. I threw it in the box of several dozen drives I have by my desk. The good drives have a shelf and a place of honor in my studio.

We all love gadgets and fun toys, so why not enjoy both? Can’t get enough Star Wars in your life? Well, that’s your personal problem but you can keep your C3PO from having his memory wiped with a handy USB Drive all your own! From donuts to sushi, from thumb-shaped thumb drives to Simpsons figures, you can take the fun with you.

Showcase of USB Drives

The force is with you and a dozen or so manufacturers with all the Star Wars drives out there. If you’re a fan of the Lucas trilogy of great films… and three Jar-Jarring bad ones, then you’ll Obi-want one of these!

Maybe you still want storage space… the final frontier but only want to embarrass yourself with one of these Star Trek rank badges with a secret drive. Pretty sure there are also figures of your favorite character available. Right now, guessing George Takei is ripping the head off a Captain Kirk drive – not to store files – just because Shatner treated him like crap!

A fan of steam punk? Well, get with reality because the Victorian Age didn’t have brass and copper jet packs! But if you truly insist on living in a dream world, then these cool drives will keep you happy at work while coworkers snicker behind your spats-wearing, woolen outfits.

Lots of files you want to keep with you? Then “Back Up To The Future” with your own Delorean drive. Marty and Doc not included.

If ninjas are invisible, then you’ll never find these colorful rubber drives on your desk or in your messenger bag. Still they’re just too cool not to buy!

Domo arigato Mr. storage roboto! It will compute if you love these mechanical men with the ability to carry your deep, dark secrets.

It was only a matter of time before the Swiss Army Knife had a jump drive in the place of a blade. Yet another needed piece of survival gear when surviving in the wilderness – like the tweezers for eyebrow plucking and the toothpick for cleaning corn nibblets from between the enemy’s teeth.

If carrying a USB drive on your keychain is just too… “techy” for you, then go for the “Bling” drive. Watches, necklaces, glasses, lighters and more. Bling is the king-thing when you’ve got storage bore-age!

There’s so many food-item drives on the market, we just couldn’t stomach including them all. Pies, cookies, cakes, candy, donuts, and… yuck… vegetables and fruit. Guess your choice depends on your taste!?

Stupor hero is how you’ll feel when you’re trying to decide on one of the hundreds of drives available. You’ll just marvel at the amount on the market. The choices will drive you batty! Almost as much as these horrible puns.

Transform your files into these cool Transformer drives. You’ll be Optimus-Primed and ready for business with this ultra-nerdy collection that offers storage and play value, too!

While Betty Boop’s severed head is a bit creepy, “I pity da fool!” who could pass up a Mr. T doing sit ups when plugged it (plugged into a tower, he’ll keep bonking his head against the computer!) or dogs that hump your laptop. And when it comes to thumb drives, why not have an actual thumb?

Choose your weapon and protect your files with these killer drives. Probably not the best choice when traveling on any major airline or entering government buildings… or in an office… or public.

Here’s another cool but dangerous drive made by a studio as a promotional piece. It’s “da bomb!” I only hope there’s contact info printed on the back.

Creating your own USB drive is easy with a little imagination and hot glue. This one certainly has a touching sentimentality for the files and digits you want to keep at your fingertips!

Aside from my favorite Chinese restaurant, lots of promotional drives are being given out all over the place. Even business cards now have built in USB drives (great for loading samples of your work in slideshow format!). Think of some cool ideas for your business and what drive you would create.

If you have a huge mailing list, there are manufacturers with pre-designed drives for promotional pieces and they will print your logo and info, too! Just Google “USB Drive” and you’ll find sources for promotional drives.

Once you have a numerous collection of drives, you’ll need more USB ports then your computer provides, That’s when it’s time to think of a USB hub. Here are a few cool ones on the market – minus the bad puns!

(rb)

December 09 2011

16:46

November 22 2011

21:34

November 17 2011

21:35
00:39

November 15 2011

15:30

November 10 2011

23:45

Eric Carle - Daring You to Imagine a World with Purple Penguins and Lime Green Rhinos

Imagine a world where anything is possible—where dogs sport a luscious coat of pink fur, green cats preen themselves with zebra striped tongues, ruby red snakes have glowing purple polka dots, and rainbow spotted elephants spray orange slices from a mile long trunk. This is the world that Eric Carle dares his readers to imagine.

This article is presented by the leader in business card printing with fast turnaround times, Next Day Flyers.

Eric Carle was born June 25, 1929 in Syracuse, New York. When he was six years old, he and his parents moved to Germany where he grew up and eventually graduated from Akademie der bildenden Künste, a prestigious art school in Stuttgart. He never forgot his American roots and returned to the place of his happiest childhood memories in 1952.

Eric Carle | Books

 

Inspired at a young age by German artist Franz Marc, who is known for his paintings of blue horses, Eric Carle has illustrated over seventy books, many of which he also wrote. The following are some of his most memorable contributions to children’s literature.

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Brown_Brown_Bear

The first book Eric Carle illustrated was titled Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Published in 1967, its bold and colorful illustrations brought a fresh look to children’s literature.

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Hungry_Caterpillar

In 1969, The Very Hungry Caterpillar quietly began to work its way into all of our hearts. By far his most well-known children’s book with over 22 million copies sold, it has been translated into more than thirty languages and has graced bookshelves for over forty years.

Eric Carle reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar (source) | Food page - source

Book and pages from The Very Hungry Caterpillar - source | source | source

So, what is the magic that makes this book popular even to this day?

Is it the simple story of the life cycle depicted in the form of a tiny insect? Is it the fact that it teaches the days of the week, counting, and good nutrition paired with interactive die-cut pages? Is it the suggestion that we are all a bit like this little caterpillar and will one day turn into beautiful butterflies? Maybe it is the vivid illustrations themselves, which startle the senses and spark the imagination. Whatever the reason may be, it stands true that The Very Hungary Caterpillar is a worthy example of how far a little imagination and creativity can take you.

The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle (source)

The year 1970 brought The Tiny Seed with its collage illustrations accompanied by simple poetic text that demonstrate the enormous potential of one tiny seed.

Have you seen my Cat? by Eric Carle (source |  source | source)

One of my personal favorites, Have you seen my Cat? takes the reader on a journey through distant lands where wild and domesticated cats alike adorn the pages in Eric Carle’s classic illustrative style. Published in 1973, the pictures more than the text lead the reader from page to page searching for a boy’s beloved pet.

The Very Busy Spider includes a raised printing technique (source)

The Very Busy Spider was published in 1984. Its striking illustrations are enhanced with a raised printing technique that allows readers to enjoy the story by sight, sound and touch.

Hello, Red Fox (source)

 

Published in 1998, Hello, Red Fox is a colorful book with a lot of surprises. Eric Carle’s illustrations take readers on a journey to discover complementary colors.

Cover source  |  Two-page spread from “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth by Eric Carle (source)

Featuring amazing rainforest illustrations,“Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth was released in 2002. Eric Carle was inspired to write this book at a time when his life was very hectic. He got fed up with it one day and after locking himself up in his studio he began to work on this book. It now stands as a reminder to us all to slow down and take a break sometimes. (source)

Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? by Eric Carle  (source)

In 2007, Baby Bear, Baby Bear, What Do you See? hit the shelves. If you will remember, Eric Carle started his career with a book with a similar title, but from the adult bear’s perspective. Thinking it would be a nice way to sort of round off his career, he got back together with Bill Martin Jr. and illustrated this children’s book. Little did he know that he wasn’t quite finished with his career…

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, by Eric Carle (cover source)

The_Blue_Horse

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Eric Carle’s The Artist who Painted a Blue Horse came out this year (2011) as a stunning illustrated book that truly explores and encourages a child’s imaginative potential. The first page displays a little boy holding a paintbrush saying, “I am an artist and I paint a blue horse.” Subsequent pages are illustrated with a whole zoo of unconventionally colored animals, and concluding with the little boy again, this time saying, “I am a good artist…” The addition of one powerful little word to the sentence expresses Eric Carle’s deep belief that the imagination cannot and should not be hindered. In fact, his own creative process is a testament to this. (source)

Eric Carle in his studio (source)

“I often try making paper more than what paper is.”-Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative technique is to use hand-painted, cut and collaged tissue paper. Using overlaying colors combined with bold strokes, wavy lines, polka dots, and other techniques, the resultant tissue paper is bright and colorful.

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“Many people make collages. Artists like Picasso and Matisse and Leo Lionni made collages. Many children have done collages at home or in their classrooms. I happen to make my collage illustrations using painted tissue papers. You might want to try it too!” — Eric Carle (source)

Eric Carle’s illustrative style demonstrates how repeated sequences of circles, squares, and lines can lead to endless creative possibilities.

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As the author of some of the most unique and well-recognized illustrations in children’s literature, Eric Carle is a true advocate of creative expression. We would do well to recognize our own attempts at creativity as simply as Eric Carle does, meaning that anything goes. The imagination holds endless possibilities, and when we tap into our own creative wells, what will emerge? A beautiful butterfly? One can only hope there are a few purple penguins and lime green rhinos in there, too.


header credit: source | source

November 09 2011

22:54

November 02 2011

18:48

DNA11 + COLOURlovers Palette Contest: Place Your Final Vote!

The DNA11 Palette Contest was a huge success thanks to many COLOURlovers artists. Finalists have been determined from over 6,000 entries and the final round of voting is now open! Ten (10) Finalists have been selected with COLOURlovers LOVES, five (5) of which will receive prizes.

DNA11 is hosting the final voting on their Facebook Page - facebook.com/dnaart, so head on over and place your vote!

VOTE NOW

 

To vote, you need to LIKE the DNA11 Facebook page. Choose the DNA11 Artwork Palette you would like to vote for and click on the thumbs-up below it. If you are not already on the voting panel, it is located in the left menu under, COLOURlovers.

 

Make sure you vote ON the DNA11 Facebook Page, NOT on COLOURlovers.com.

Voting will last until Thursday, November. 10th at midnight (12am) PDT. Winners will be announced Friday, November 11th.


Finalists

In no particular order, the 10 finalists are:

Tranquility by ChairmanCao

When I glow up... by jazminredux

moon trip by sirda

Dog DNA by Miaka

ROCKIN TOWERS by rubyvillasenor

Peace in the Blood by OrigamiMei

Under my Skin by BerryColor

DNA by Any Palacios

big city lights by earlgrey

Art is in my DNA by synthetic innocence

 

Winners & Prizes

First prize: One finalist will be voted as the winner. The winner will receive a 24x36 DNA Portrait (value $500) their palette becomes a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
Secondary prizes: Four runners up will receive $250 DNA 11 gift certificate and their palettes also become a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.

Good luck to the finalists!

October 26 2011

14:39

The Sentiment of Paper Dolls Past and Present

Paper dolls and their costumes provide a look at cultures from around the world. They give us a glimpse at what was worn by men and women through the centuries. Celebrities were turned into paper dolls, as were storybook characters. Its easy to find your favorite subject in paper doll form; from Little Fanny to the Bobbsey Twins and The Flintstones to political cartoons. The history of the paper doll is likely unknown by many, so today, we're going to take a trip back in time to unearth the history of what every child was once familiar with!

This article presented by the offset flyer printing company, Next Day Flyers. Printing flyers and so much more.

 

Our story begins in 1810 when S. & J. Fuller produced a small book. The moral story was accompanied by a series of hand colored little boys in various costumes that correspond with the story. They were somewhat unusual in that there was not a full body paper doll. Instead, there was a single head for the set of dolls that neatly fit in a v shaped horizontal slit on the back of each costume. Presumably one head was used to require the child to move the head from costume to costume as the story progressed. The book was titled The History & Adventures of Little Henry. It was the first in a series of similar books that became quite popular. The second book, also published in 1810 was History of Little Fanny. (source)

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The paper doll was even used in a Political cartoon from August 15th, 1925. The ad, originally in black and white, was restored and colored by Judy M. Johnson of Paper Goodies.

1925 source

This ad encourages its readers to "see just how she uses three of the Cutex "smoky" shades by cutting out the figures above" and goes on to talk about the 12 "smart shades" that are available for only 35¢. Yes, you read that right, just 35¢ in 1936!

1936 source

When paper dolls surged in popularity as toys, manufacturers of all kinds of household goods took advantage of their popularity by using them to promote their wares. Paper dolls appeared in advertising, some die-cut, some as cards to cut out. A few of the products advertised with paper dolls were Lyon's coffee, Pillsbury flour, Baker's chocolate, Singer sewing machines, Clark's threads, McLaughlin coffee and Hood's Sarsaparilla. These dolls were plentiful and are still fairly easy to find today, often pasted into colorful scrapbooks. Later, from the 1930s to the 1950s, companies put paper dolls into their magazine advertisements to sell such goods as nail polish, underwear, Springmaid fabrics, Quadriga Cloth, Ford Cars, Fels Naphtha and Swan soaps, Carter's clothing for children, and more. (source)

1950 source

The 1930s through the 1950s can perhaps claim the title "Golden Age of Paper Dolls," as their popularity during those years has never been equaled. Barbie may be credited or condemned for the decline in popularity of paper dolls in the 1960s. Paper-doll versions of Barbie and her sister, Skipper, were strong sellers in the 1970s. Boyfriend Ken and girlfriend Midge were also made as paper dolls. Paper Barbies appeared in books and in boxed sets from 1962 through the 1990s, and have dwindled to nearly nothing in the first years of the 21st Century.

Paper Dolls Today

VaVa farmed paper dolls from her childhood.

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Zevi likes to recreate paper dolls using fabric. This one in particular is Dolly Dingle.

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Vintage_Paper_Dolls

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A playful portrait of yourself, your pets or your family. You provide the photos and choose the clothes, and they illustrate a quirky stylized moveable likeness of your favorite animal/person.

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 This gorgeous oversized postcard has all you need to dress Miss Clara up in her favourite winter outfits.

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Imogen is approximately 7 inches tall (18cm) and is printed on heavy weight matte card stock. She comes with quite a wardrobe as well! Summer outfits, winter attire, beachwear and sleepwear. 8 outfits in all, plus coordinating accessories.

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These lovely paper dolls are printed on heavy-duty water-resistant magnetic paper. These magnets preserve the detail of the original watercolors. They will stick to any metal surface: fridge, file cabinet, or anything else in your nest that needs feathering.

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I love these Betsy McCall Halloween paper dolls from 1953.

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It is possible to unearth paper dolls from the past. Looking in books and through loose pieces of paper is a great way to start. There are paper doll conventions held throughout the year if you're hoping to find antique paper dolls from their early debut. Creating your own paper dolls can be really fun, especially for kids! It allows you to personalize your dolls clothes, hair, facial features etc. The possibilities are endless!

Header credit.

October 20 2011

15:00

DNA11 + COLOURlovers Palette Contest: Color Your DNA

Time for a palette contest with a mix of science and art! COLOURlovers has paired up with DNA 11 (dna11.com) to bring you a creative, unique way to further personalize your DNA artwork.

DNA 11 is the original creator of DNA Art Portraits, Fingerprint Portraits, and Kiss Portraits -- the World’s most personalized art on canvas.

Who knew that you could do such beautiful things with your DNA?!

Turn your palette into beautiful personalized art!

The contest will be open and accept entries for the first phase from Thursday, October 20th through Thursday, October 27th, 2011.

Enter the Contest  |  View the Entries  

Color and submit as many DNA Portrait Templates you would like. Only one (1) of your entries will be eligible for prizes.

Prizes!

The top ten (10) most LOVED entries will go on to further voting through DNA 11. One winner and four runners up will come of the final round of voting.

If one of your entries wins, our friends at DNA 11 will send you your very own, palette-customized, 24 x 36” DNA Portrait and add your winning palette to their line of color options for personalized DNA art.

If you are one of the four runners up, you will receive a $250 DNA 11 Gift Certificate and your palette will also be added to the DNA 11 color collection.

DNA 11 will also publish a blog post with links to the top five COLOURlovers DNA artwork winning creations (winners and runners up).

The Rules Summarized:

  • Each entry must be 2-5 colors
  • Top 10 entries with the most LOVES (as voted by the COLOURlovers community) will become finalists. 1 winner and 4 runners up will be voted from this 10 through DNA 11.
  • Unlimited entries, but only 1 of your entries may be eligible for prizes.
  • First prize: 24x36 DNA Portrait (value $500) plus the winner's palette becomes a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
  • Secondary prizes: four runners up receive $250 DNA 11 gift certs. Plus their palettes become a permanent part of the DNA 11 collection.
  • Participation prize: everyone gets a $100 DNA 11 gift certificate.

Just for entering, you will receive $100 gift certificate to use at DNA 11. In addition, you may use a 20% off discount at DNA 11 through November 17th, 2011 whether submitting an entry or not (code and gift certificate are not combinable). 20% OFF Code: Color20

You must be a member of COLOURlovers.com to enter the contest. Sign-up for FREE.

October 15 2011

00:34

October 13 2011

22:32

May 01 2011

10:00

Brilliant Japanese Product & Packaging Design

It’s been more than a month since the devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. It is one of the most devastating natural disasters of the century, having caused thousands of deaths to our brothers and sisters in Japan.

On a lighter side, let us remember what the crazy creative Japanese brought to the world. They are innovators, not imitators. One great difference I saw between Western and Japanese package and product design is the amount of energy and life found in the latter. Most Western packaging appeared limited, merely ‘contained’ on the canvas or package. Whereas Japanese design is more alive, spirited and energetic. Japanese packaging is created not to just contain the product, but has a unique soul of its own. It’s easy to tell–most of the packaging and product designs are based on nature and all things cute. In fact, they go through lengths to add tiny details like faces, eyes and smiles to products to make it more ‘kawaii’. Charming mascots, sweet characters and happy faces definitely sell in the company, and cute characters will definitely lure consumers into buying their products.

Here are some of the most brilliant product and packaging design brought to us by Japan–all weird and wonderful.

Kudamemo Fruit-shaped Notepads

Japanese brought us so many ‘kawaii’ items, or objects that are so good and yummy enough to be eaten. The Japanese taught us to see life from a more humorous perspective, even during the most mundane times like working in the office. Some of the more interesting takes on mundane office items are things like what Japanese design studio D-Bros brought us. D-Bros created awesome sticky notes that looked like sliced fruit.

The notepad is designed by Masashi Tentaku. The stem is an actual tree twig. The notepad has 150 sheets of notepaper. It is sold individually or in a 6 pack. It looks so realistic–it even comes with the netting like the actual fruits!

The Kudamemo sticky pads are available in apple and pear. The note pads look pretty on your desk, it makes a great decoration or gift.

Plastic Watering Cans

Could you imagine a watering can or a flower vase made out of a very thin plastic sheet? Sounds absurd, but it’s totally workable and practical.

Photo by JP Design

This quirky product design is again brought to you by the Japanese design company D-bros. It takes brilliant creativity to make a cheap material like plastic look beautiful, classy and elegant. D-bros has once again created an innovative design, using a flat plastic sheet as a watering can to water flowers and plants. In addition, you can also use them as a flower vase!

Image by JP Design

Did I mention that the company also made flower vases made of the same material?

Brilliant Package Design for Fruit Boxes

Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa takes packaging design to a whole new level through literalist design. Most brands and packaging nowadays bombard users with texts, fonts, colors and elements to stand out from the supermarket shelf. Fukasawa takes the road less traveled and created these brilliant packaging designs.

Above is the photo of Fukasawa’s brilliant design for a banana flavored juice box. He simulated the look, feel and texture of the fruit flavor contained inside. His design for a juice box is brilliant, vibrant and creative.

Naoto Fukasawa also designed fruit boxes for strawberry, kiwi and even tofu for a fruit box for soya milk.

Flower Packaging Design for Mizu-Yokan

You may have noticed by now that Japanese design tends to be inspired by nature–and the same is the case for the packaging design for a confectioner named Koujuken in Nara.

Image by PingMag

The flower packaging design is beautiful; giving careful attention to meticulous design and detail. It shows that the sweets are as natural and great tasting as the package implies. The packaging design celebrates the July flower Morning glory, with the foil printed with matte and gloss. It is sealed with a leaf fastener, looking like and pretty origami flower.

Lightbulb Lanterns by Kyouei

Japanese designer Kouichi Okamoto marries both traditional and modern design to come up with a contemporary, conceptual take on the Japanese lantern.

The lantern mimics that of an ordinary, modern lightbulb, but the materials used are that of the traditional paper lantern. It even comes with the text and elements to make it look like the real thing. The design first appeared during the 2008 Stockholm Furniture Fair, but is now available in for purchase.

Japanese Kawaii Matches

How can you make a cute design out of ordinary matches? Seem impossible? The Japanese apparently didn’t think so.

Image by The Dieline

Looking at the kawaii designs with their cute tiny heads and grins, it seems like sparking a light with these matches is a crime.

Tohato Caramel Corn

The packaging features cute characters with different expressions, along with the caramel corn inside the character’s mouth. It’s bright, colorful and eye-catching–certainly this will be the first snack in the grocery shelf that will catch your attention.

Image by Japan-Talk

Image by Jay-Han

Nendo Chocolate Pencils

Image by Architectradure

Image by JP Design

These chocolate pencils are practical and smart, great for garnishing chocolates and desserts. Chefs and chocolate lovers can use the special pencil sharpener that comes with it, in order to grate the chocolate on a dish.

The chocolate pencils are a collaboration with Nendo and patisserie Tsujiguchi Hironobu, the master behind dessert shops Mont St. Clair & Le Chocolat de H. Every meal and dessert plate is a masterpiece, just like a painting. And like a painting, it starts with a blank canvas and some art tools–thus the design of these chocolate pencils.

Minimalist Milk Packaging

A minimalist and fresh packaging for the Milk Forest brand that was created by Japanese design studio Rise Design Office. It looks fresh like the milk it contains, having been produced by cows that have been living in the forest freely throughout the year. You know what they say–the happier the cow, the better the milk!

Image by Vizeer

Other Amazing Japanese Packaging Design

Nachan Drink - Apple-flavored drink can

Image by Ochigo

Akanbe Felt Bag – a multi-purpose bag that can also be spread out into a mat. And we can’t help but love the smiley bag handle.

Image by JP Design

Chichiyasu Yogurt - charming, sweet characters definitely sell, especially with dairy products

Image by PingMag

Ajinomoto - Ajinomoto Salt Packaging in Japan.

Image by Hola Design

Monokuro Boo - Eye candy packaging

Image by Jamesbowskill

‘Alphabet’ Cigarettes - Regular, Heavy and Cool Mint cigarettes with minimalist packaging. The packaging is also a portable, mini-ashtray.

Image by PingMag

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