Sunday, July 31, 2011

LOVE: Bear River Valley

Design, pro-green, whole grains, and tasty! Bear River Valley offers it all. I fell in love with this brand when I was in the cereal aisle pondering granola bars and turned around and saw the display for Bear River Valley. Nice, clean, simple, and a pleasing color palette attracted me right away. Then I noticed that they use less packaging and supports wind energy, so BONUS! Then you get it home and enjoy some, and finally a product that you can get behind that doesn't taste like cardboard.

Design is simple yet fun with a rounded script and window to see the food product inside. Everything is matte and muted, which adds to the natural-side of this cereal. The names for each product are fun too like "Frosted Tumble Wheats" and "Marshmallow Avalanche". How can you not want to dig into a nice big bowl? The food is good for you to being full of natural ingredients and whole wheat it is a great start to the day or a snack in between.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pull'n a Paula Deen

Life would be pretty flavorless without butter. Its creamy, when cooked browns food beautiful, and makes cakes scrumptious. Butter, unlike other dairy products, tend to have a plastic style (Land O'Lakes) rather than the vintage country style. I tried to pull more modern or craft tendencies. 

What I love about Pastureland Butter is the Woodblock-like quality that imbues in its illustration. This design was developed by Triangle Park Creative.
Justin's nut butter  has a design that is as trendy as our fondness for nondairy and non-peanut butters. It is beautifully done forever and fits the culture currently. But they will have to update their style when times change.

Clover Farmstead has a beautiful nostalgic feel, but I figure very expensive by the 8oz crock it comes in. but the design is friendly and sweet. I would love to get a taste for this organic butter.

CalonWen Butter is another organic butter product. The design is very simple, but I love the use of craft paper here. Type is modern and a little bit granola. The cow fits with the overall child-like design.
With all of these dairy posts lately my lactose intolerance is flaring up. I think I need to find a new subject to post about.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Brand Tribute

A very interesting devotion to brands. Then the fun part of organizing and decorating with different branding attributes. The signs are my favorite. Hey it's what we designers love best! I wish I could do something like this to my office...

W&Cie - Lion d'argent from W & CIE on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No Love for Serifs

These days the public, and designers do not seem fond of serifs. Some people even profess to hate serifs. Companies want to be modern and designers lean towards sans serif to convey modern. Serifs can have an older feel since many of the traditional serifs were first developed when letterforms were cut from word or stone or calligraphic pens. Companies, who wanted the appearance of longevity and history used serif typefaces for their logos, but have moved on for a more human aspect. Grade schools, in a similar thought, no longer teach cursive and most people print rather than any other type of writing.
Serifs are still in use. Modern serifs tend to be thicker, more like slab serifs, or ones that have a vintage feel because VINTAGE IS IN. But these are not your grandparents' serif typefaces:

Vitesse by Hoefler & Frere-Jones

Archer by Hoefler & Frere-Jones

Alda by Emigre


Hera by Lucas Sharp

Serifs are a great addition to any design. You just have to know how to use them.

Monday, July 25, 2011

LOVE: Cheese

I have had dairy on the brain lately. This time I am all about CHEESE. Next to Ice Cream, cheese is my favorite kind of dairy. Cheese come a variety of flavors and textures, and most are delicious. And I am definitely not talking about your shredded cheese in a zipped up bag. Specialty cheese call for a specialty label. Whether that is the in the care of illustration, type or the label process, using these techniques help consumers know that this cheese is something special.
Divine Dairy redesign by Frank Aloi is really want inspired my new obsession with all things dairy label. A hint of vintage yet modern has made me salivate for these Australian cheeses. With most cheese labels coming in hues of tan, brown, orange, and blue I love the refreshing pop of vibrant magenta, orange, blue, red, and green. The traditional circle found on many cheese labels is still present but it's been given a new twist. 
Adir Dairy in the Upper Galilee region.

I have to give a shout out for Shatto Milk Company. The designers were from SHS a Wichita/Kansas City Company. I love their simplified approach to their product. Small circular labels, so that you know that CHEESE is the hero of this story. The color palette is pleasing and sophisticated.
Carriage Bistro by Tim McLaughlin

Sartori Cheese from Plymouth, Wisconsin. Somehow in my dad's off route adventures we have never been out to visit this cheese factory.  They have a variety of designs for their different levels of artisan cheese: classic, limited, and reserved. Personally I love the classic version best, but to each his own.
Nezinscot Farm

Cheese has typically included location that cheese was produced, but this Waitrose Cheese was the first to include county of origin in their design. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Wish List

I am going to be a bit superficial today, and mention some beautiful things that I want, and are yet unattainable.


I found this DIY iPhone case while scouring the web. I would buy it for myself, if I had an iphone. 

 I love melon soda, too bad this is only sold in Japan. I could use a nice cool bottle of this in my fridge.

Ritter Sport Strawberry Rhubarb was a limited edition flavor during the 2006 World Cup held in Germany. A friend brought one back for me, but it wasn't enough I have looked around hopefully ever since. It would be worth the trip to Germany if I could guarantee that it would be there.

I have lots of large sheets of paper, posters, and art projects being stored underneath my bed. It is the largest flat area I have available to them, where they won't be stepped on. I would like some files to safely store my art projects, paper, and my Paper Source Japanese Papers.

Pantone has updated the color palette with more colors. I would like a physical sample of each color available in the Pantone rainbow.

What Wish List would be complete without puppies! I would love two little Siberian Huskies just like this! The day I have the space and ability to take care of puppies like this I will go to the Humane Society and pick up a puppy/dog that needs a home!

 With all my shallowness, I would not say  no to an end to world hunger, world peace, or even just an end to this heat wave. If you feel have anything you wish you could have? Leave a comment.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

War on Type

The war on tiny type has begun. There has long been a struggle between designers and nondesigners over small type. I have been told recently "everyone hates small type". I do not believe that at since I love small type, and my KU education was based around the ideals that body copy (for print) is 8pt, captions are 6pt, and heading and subheads were whatever you wanted. I realize that not everyone can read that small type, and I do not think it is too much to ask for 10 point, and for designs for senior citizens 12 – 14 is appropriate. Type size is not declarative of design aesthetic, but should be for the marriage of form and function. Typography is beautiful. That first type class changed my life forever. I cannot help to notice the subtle nuances that type can bring to a design or the type that surrounds our everyday life.

I came across this thread, that denounced the use of small type and that designers think only of beauty and not about the functionality of type on the web.

From Marion Bataille ABC3D
I think there is often a particular war with graphic designers and web designers. Often we have to work with one another. I know only of a couple people who can accomplish both sides of a website project. Maybe if when working with one another, we took time to explain our varying points of view, perhaps, there would not be this misunderstanding that is clearly shown in this forum.

More than type size, type variety is crucial for reading comprehension. In fact type that is too horsey can be harder to read then something small that forces you to focus. The great use for the web is that if you make your font resizable, then when it is too hard to read that person can enlarge type to make it easier to view, which is I prefer to use em’s not pixels. When you can use type not images. HTML 5 should make it easier for everyone to use a variety of typefaces as html without problem, so you can have style and readability.

As a designer, I lean towards tiny type to organize the information to the simplest terms. Type is best when it becomes the hero to my design. I could spend all day talking about the nuances of type, and how to utilize it to organize information is a way that is pleasing and readable. I won’t do that today. Remembering to balance between form and function is always a challenge on every project. I do the best I can; yet, it is sometimes beyond my control based on art direction or client’s requests. Always ask yourself “who is this for?” That should dictate point size best to use for print or web.
 [from what I understand web standard for type is 14 pt (I often use 12)] <-----small for caption purposes

Thursday, July 21, 2011

We all Scream for Ice Cream!

Well not everyone screams for ice cream, but I certainly do. I squealed at the delight of these beautiful Ice Cream packages. Every designer approaches projects differently. When creating packaging for ice cream there are several main components that come to mind first: specify flavor, brand, and personality. Ice cream seems to be one of those food products that are given the most personality. The packaging typically says something about the flavor type and who will typically consume the product. Bonanza Birthday, with its blue ice cream and funny little cartoon characters is not the same type of ice cream consumer that is enjoying Pomegranate Blueberry with Praline mix.




Many of these I found at It is a wonderful place to look for all things packaging. One project that I recommend that you check out is Glacé, they are an artisan ice cream company that utilized two colors to their best advantage. Definitely simple and modern. It has a basis in good design and the little use of trendy elements could easily be replaced when the trends transform.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Money, Money, Money!

U.S. money was originally based of the Spanish dollar (coins, and then later switched to paper notes). Today's notes are made with a special blend of linen paper, a variety of dyes and inks that are used for security purposes, and specialized Litho plates. (I love the smell of fresh dollars because I can smell the ink and paper and it reminds me of being in the print room at KU).
There have been several designers who have tackled the project of coming up with ideas of new currency. (The U.S. government of course is not using any of these designs, but is soon to debut a new 100 dollar note). Below are some of my favorite ideas for a new look for our money:
Michael Tyznik

Dowling | Duncan and winnder of the dollar ReDe$ign Project

Ani Ardzivian

AJ Getz

When I find something I like I tend to just grab the image, and I try to mark the original creator, this does not always happen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Simple is Better

I went to see a movie this weekend, and was amazed the best movie poster was not for the movie I was lining up to see.

With the busy posters around it, the most striking poster is the one for Winnie the Pooh. In common with Harry Potter, there is not name listed. Pooh is iconic enough that he needs no names just a poster full of honey and pooh and his friends float to the top. The bright colors helps too against the darkness of the other four. Well done Disney for a beautiful poster. It definitely stands above the rest.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

LOVE: Milk Packaging

Perhaps it's my family's Wisconsin roots, but I love dairy products and the packages that contain them. Although I don't like to drink milk, I do like things made with milk and these packages for milk. Dairy products tend to fall into the trend of nostalgia; I think this is due to the attempt to make the dairy brand seem old and have history to it. I find this trend more and more with the move again to milk glass jugs that you return to the store once you have finished your creamy beverage. There are more global brands of dairy that have been moving their milk and milk-like products to a more modern and simplified look.

 Shatto Milk company is from nearby Missouri (near Kansas City), and they new identity and packaging was designed by Sullivan, Higdon, and Sink (SHS). They are a Wichita/Kansas City Based Agency. The milk shines through these crystal clear bottles that are not bogged done with a lot of type and color. Its simple, and its always nice to show off a local-ish design and product.

Nezinscot Farm is a farm in Maine. This package has a whimsical design with a primative/drawn typeface and the informational type becomes the image of the grass theat the cows cosume. Very nice!

Forrest Milk a Japanese Milk Brand. I love the minimalism of this brand. The cows supposedly get to wander free in the forest. Their theory is that this will make happy cows and happy cows make happy milk!


Some modern milk containers from David Fung.

 Schroeder Milk has been redesigned by Capsule from a Bamboo design. Very nice and clean. I like the use of type weight and color to separate between the different fat content of the milk, so that you get the right milk every time.

A self initiated project by Audree Lapierre, a graphic designer in Canada, to show ingredient content large and with informational graphics. It is definitely something different.

 Arla Milk is a global company, but its headquarters are in Denmak. The company wanted to develop higher demand for milk drinkers of young (20ish) Swedish population. "A portable milk bottle that fitted the lifestyle of younger people on the go. In collaboration with PriPac Design & Communication." Very simple and modern. Use of color coding helps you pick the best milk for you.


I end this post with a non dairy milk. I have seen these happy designs smiling at me at the grocery stores, and I keep forgetting how much I love this new look for 8th Continent. Each container has its own color hues that help seperate flavors just as well as a singe color. Each flavor has its own character that is not only on the front of the packaging but is visible on the cap as well, and we know how I feel about caps. This is a very cheerful brand and I can't help smiling back.
Much of this packaging design can be found at a fantastic website to find any and everything about packaging or TheLovelyPackage.