Sunday, February 28, 2010

Plain and simple done very well

I love type treatments and two-color printing. When I saw the packaging for Christopher & Mason food products. It's simple and clean, but very nicely done. The purpose is to appeal to lower and middle class customers. Printing on craft paper lowers the entire cost of the project and makes it more sustainable.

via Packaging of the World


Usually, I don't like Red Robin commercials, but this one really made me laugh. Check it out.

Cheetos campaign is a little random

Cheetos commercials have taken the route of Starburst and Trident spots. If you don't believe me, check out the newer commercials. Do you feel like buying a bag now?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A game about sushi and cats? Love it!

I was checking out some casual games earlier today that I wanted to play. However, a recent post on JayIsGames clued me into an addictive and simple game that I already love. It is called Sushi Cat. In order to woo the pretty cat in the store, you must become bigger so you can get through the door. The best way to do that is to gain weight. How else should you do that than by eating sushi? Give it a play. It only requires a mouse and is easy to shield in case you are at work. Don't worry, I won't tell your boss.

I never imagined I'd agree with PETA

If you were unaware, a SeaWorld trainer died tragically yesterday when Tilikum (also known as Shamu) apparently drowned her during a show. PETA is quoted as saying that they have been talking with SeaWorld for years about confining ocean-going mammals to small tanks and having them perform the same tricks over and over again. They explained that it is almost natural that the whale would "lash out". You know, if I were a whale, I would lash out too. I do think that animals are quite amazing and being able to see them is extraordinary (even though the zoo always depresses me because the animals are stuck in boring cages). However, why should an animal have to suffer for its instincts? People often try to throw human qualities on them. Statements like, "It didn't mean to hurt anyone" are completely ridiculous. Orcas are wild and are known for killing whales. It meant to do what it did because that is its nature. Why punish it for being a killer whale? I say this because in most instances, the animals are killed after things like this happen. In some animals, that is because they have developed a taste for human flesh (like lions), but that would not be the case if people would just leave well enough alone. We have stunning 3D technology now and efforts from the creators of Planet Earth and Blue Planet have shown us creatures we might never have seen otherwise. Instead of putting money into the continued confinement of wild animals, why not support their freedom? Is it that important to see the animal up close? Is it that life changing?

But I'm open to other opinions. If you think otherwise, sound off and let me know.

Image Animal Planet via istockphoto

Thursday Traffic | 25 February

Here's some Thursday Traffic fresh from the daily commute. Traffic on the road sucked and there were some issues on the metro, but I am still to work on time and in one piece. "What has my mind wandered into during my commute?" you might ask. I am so glad you asked. I pondered over quite a few things, but one thought in particular seemed like it was worthy of sharing.

I was speaking with a friend about kids "nowadays" earlier this week. First you might argue that at 23 I'm too young to talk about kids nowadays, but there is a big difference between my childhood and the childhood this generation is having. I am part of the generation when parents still talked about walking fifty miles in the snow just to get to school—and in socks or something ridiculous like that. However, since people from my generation are having these kids, they are raising them quite differently than I remember being raised.

The changes are many, but they are really not the kids' faults. Most of today's parents are making up for their childhoods by giving their own children a "good start". Yes, it is good to want the best for your kids, but people have taken it to the extreme. Those who were picked on or bullied about weight and such have almost effectively banned field days and friendly competition in schools. Obesity is like the elephant in the room, but it won't change unless people stop indulging their children and feeding them fast food and other unhealthy dishes. Instead of discipline, it is encouraged to let kids be "unique" and "express" themselves. You can say whatever you want, but a child speaking back to an adult is bad manners. No one is paying to watch a show. Those kids can express themselves on a stage, not when it is inappropriate. This brings me to drugging kids up for being overactive and excited. How long will we medicate children and call that parenting? Of course kids are active. They have more energy than adults do and thus require more attention and work.

Then there is this notion that everything will hurt a kid. I have fallen from several different heights, knocked into doors, slipped down stairs, tripped over my own feet and more in my 23 years of living. Somehow, kids are invincible like that. Don't be so overprotective. I do know that there are dangerous people out there who have the worst intentions for your children, but not everyone wants your kid (I certainly don't). Don't keep them from experiencing life to keep them "safe". Let them take a risk or two, you did, didn't you?

Image via Refined Designer

Monday, February 22, 2010

In defense of the "American diet"

Recently, I checked out Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and gave it a thorough read. I honestly enjoyed his writing style and the amount of information he had available in his book. However, I must argue with him about this "American diet" and have a little rant of my own about food in general.

Let me start by saying that I am not speaking scientifically. I am not fighting for low-fat, low-cholesterol, sugar-free or anything like that. However, I have to say that the "American diet" is not quite as small as he might imagine. I understand that there are people out in the world that live on nothing but fast food, but no matter which way you slice it, fast food is not the "American diet." In fact, I have a hard time accepting the idea of the "American diet." While in some places you might get nothing but diner food (burgers, fries, shakes and such), but in my America, my diet is highly varied and filled with a mixture of cuisines—Italian, German, Mediterranean, Spanish and Indian to name a few. The United States is "the melting pot" and that does not refer only to the diverse cultures here, but to the foods as well. I don't actually eat out that much, but when I do, it is not at the local fast food place (especially not the neighborhood McDonald's—haven't been there in almost six years). I prefer to cook at home using good, old-fashioned cookbooks and recipes from the internet.

While Mr. Pollan feels this inescapable need to defend food, I can agree with him on one point—eating food. People are quick to consume some odd concoction of materials created in a lab, but I am all about eating real food. I enjoy eating and I agree with him in saying that the joy in eating has been lost over the years. Since people no longer eat together like they did the in olden days, it has almost become a chore. So instead of defending food, I am defending the American diet—not necessarily the foods that count as American as much as actually eating something that tastes good. Yes, you should have a healthy balance of foods, however "healthy" doesn't have to be tasteless and bland. Still, you don't have to eat burgers and hot dogs to have true American food. The United States has plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, meat and grains to please many a palate. I think that there are plenty of great foods available to cook and purchase that aren't filled with corn and soy that people have yet to discover—and yet to eat.

You can purchase Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto in stores and online. Also consider checking out his other works as well. Visit his site for more information.

Image via Mother Earth News

Friday, February 19, 2010

Update | Despicable Me

I visited and found that the site has been updated. It launches full screen (always annoys me) and has some rather difficult controls (you have to hold down your mouse to move the cursor, kind of weird), but the new trailers are so exciting. I can't wait until July! You can say whatever you want, but an evil genius trying to steal the Moon?—Awesome! Now throw in three girls who see said evil genius as a potential dad and I am ready to get to the theater. Oh, there will be minions too! Did I mention that it's in 3D? Visit the site for more.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Fat Tuesday passed and many people really enjoyed themselves during the day. I think that the images from The Boston Globe's The Big Picture show some very amazing aspects of the various celebrations. Enjoy some of my favorites here and go to The Big Picture for the full effect.

All images via The Big Picture at

Thursday Traffic | 18 February

Considering that I spent last Thursday snowed in at my house, it was almost a relief to be going anywhere this morning. This brings me to my thought for this Thursday Traffic. Everyone always wants to get out of working. I know that they have their reasons—some hate their jobs, others hate their coworkers, some just hate the time they have to work—but it's interesting to see how people handle having "nothing" to do.

The two blizzards that passed across the East Coast have shown that people do not handle idleness well. Luckily, many kept their power, so they had access to all of their gadgets—cell phones, televisions, game consoles, laptops, computers, ovens, you name yet. No one had to go anywhere (it was actually encouraged that you didn't). What happened? People lost their minds. They needed to get outside. They had to "do" something. Doesn't it make you wonder how people now would fare in earlier days. Back in the day, the only thing that kept most people going was their imagination. What does that say about people today? Are they unimaginative? Yes, to a certain degree. People write wonderful books and the public awaits the movies instead of enjoying the written version for themselves. Despite having the materials to make something, most people would rather have other "creative" people handle the task.

You might say, "Well, you are obviously the 'creative' type." I have to ask what defines creative. People are creative in many ways. It's imagination that I wonder about. Every time I mention that I'm a graphic designer, people often say, "Wow, I can't even draw a stick figure." Is art (or design for that matter) confined to the ability to draw a stick figure? Is that some kind of test? Why can't people look past the stick figure and figure something out for themselves? So, maybe people are glad to be heading to work now that they have spent enough time by themselves—or with other people—stuck at home. Maybe they will take a moment to look and realize that they are capable of more than stick figures. Either way, time is so fleeting. Despite snow, disaster or death, it continues to move forward. Perhaps we will all decide to think of more imaginative ways in which to spend it.

Image via flickr/tod.ragsdale

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Need I say more?


I was first turned on to "vanity barcodes™" from my friend when I was in college. Although the one I saw was not from Vanity Barcodes™, it followed the same principal: as long as the barcode can still be scanned, you can create a very stunning design for something often forgotten. The first vanity barcodes™ I ever saw were from Vincent Chow's blog. I thought the umbrella barcode (pictured above) was quite extraordinary and subtle. However, Vanity Barcodes has—so to speak—raised the bar. View their creations on their website and hit the jump to see some that I think are quite spectacular.

Images via and Vanity Barcodes

Monday, February 15, 2010

Because of Martha... Valentine's Treats

So, I enjoyed a holiday today—President's Day—which has allowed me quite a vacation. Because I really couldn't go anywhere last week due to the snow, my Valentine's treat bags had to be saved for today. I wanted to give my coworkers something simple and easy as a gift. I don't care if they like the day, I just like to give presents. I got the idea and inspiration for this project from Martha Stewart. Instructions are available on her site and can be used for things other than Valentine's. However, what a way to make life easier. I tip my invisible hat to Martha for a quick project for under $20.

Image from NewfoundJoye

Sunday, February 14, 2010

All we need is...

Reader, I hope that you enjoy this Valentine's Day. I'm certain that there are the Valentine's haters as well as the lovers, so celebrate (or hate) as you see fit. Whether you spend time with your loved ones, friends or complete strangers, I wish you a great day.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gives ya' fever

I have mentioned before that I am not a big fan of car commercials. However, every now and then, there is a real gem that I feel needs a bit of fanfare. In this case, it is the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour. However, while I like the commercial, I am not feeling the car. Maybe when I see it in person?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bright idea

I stumbled upon this image the other day. These little light bulb terrariums are quite nice. If you are interested in making them yourself, follow these instructions. If you would like the finished product, buy them on Etsy.

Image 3 little terrariums, sittin' on a ledge via flickr/linoleum jet

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tyger! Tyger!

This is a different take on William Blake's "The Tyger." This is one of my favorite poems, so I was excited by Guilherme Marcondes' take on it. While I don't necessarily agree with the interpretation, the video is quite stunning! Take a look below.

Monday, February 8, 2010

DIY | Smiley Cake Pops

I often salivated over the oh-so-delectably-photographed cake pops on Bakerella. Since I was already expecting to be snowed in this weekend, I decided to give them a try. They only require a bit of baking experience, so this is easier to do than you might think. All it takes is a box cake (or your own special recipe) and a can of frosting to make the balls that will become cake pops. From there, you need some melted candy wafers to cover the pops making them look like pops. With edible markers, you can add fun faces (even though it is not necessary. For detailed directions, visit Bakerella's blog. Good luck with yours. My own images of the process and the results are after the jump.

Above image via Bakerella. All others via yours truly.

DIY | Hazelnuts Felt Bunny

I have fallen in love with softies. They are not too hard to make and can be as custom as you can imagine. I decided to try making a softie on my own. Nothing seemed like a better start than the Hazelnuts Felt Bunny. The pattern does not require a sewing machine, too much work, or too much money. In fact, I made two over the weekend and it took me four hours for the first one. The second one was only three hours, so practice makes perfect. In addition, the combined cost of the supplies was less than $20. I didn't quite follow the pattern to the letter in terms of the finalized bunny, but I was happy with the result. Hit the jump for my bunny softies. For the pattern, visit the Hazelnuts blog.

Above image via Hazelnuts blog. All other images from yours truly.

Live it up in New Mexico

You can win your very own home, plus $500,000 and additional prizes (like flat screen televisions and such). It comes fully furnished and is just plain awesome! I want to win though, so while I wish you luck, I also hope that I win.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Winter "wonderland"

If you were unaware, a blizzard passed across the northeastern coast of the United States over the past two days. It seemed like it was over-hyped at first, but true to the word of the meteorologist, we ended up with snow that covered your tracks in a matter of moments. Unlike some die-hard folks that walked and ventured into the snow all day (you have heard about the woman in DC who went to Giant to redeem a coupon for a free sandwich, right?), I was happy to stay warm in the house and relax. Of course, if I didn't go outside, I wouldn't have a few images to share with you. Hope you enjoy; hit the jump to see them.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Red and white shoes never looked so good

When you think side-scrolling video games, you will probably think of Mario at first. Then, your second thought might lead you to a nostalgic memory of Sonic the Hedgehog. He and Dr. Eggman have been squaring off for over nearly two decades. This summer, will bring Sonic 4 to the masses as a digital download for all game consoles (I will be downloading it as WiiWare). I can't wait to rev up with updated graphics and hopefully, a rich gameplay experience. Of course, I'll review it here, so look forward to that.

Going to market

Unpackaged, a fairly new grocery shop in London, lives up to its namesake. They do not wrap or package any of your items. Instead, you-the-customer bring in your own tupperware, bottles, jars, etc and package it yourself. The price is based upon weight. In return, you get fresh groceries and you reduce the amount of waste in our environment. Like people going to market with baskets and bowls, you-the-customer are armed with your modern containers making a difference. This is a great idea that—like many other ideas about going green and eating healthy—requires us to look back to our roots to find ways to reduce waste and reuse more. Hit the jump for some more images or check out their site.

All images from Unpackaged

Thursday Traffic | 4 February

The roads weren't the only thing packed this Thursday, so were my means of transportation. The bus was standing room only and the metro was tight as usual. It is during times like these that I reflect in my mind—probably to give myself some kind of space, which my mind is the only thing left.

What else should I reflect upon but lines. Not lines that make up shapes or any algebraic formulas. What I mean are people in lines. It's funny really. When I was in elementary school, we had to walk in lines (literally, they had lines on the floor we followed). Every day, we were given a different line leader and followed that person like the obedient children we were. We would line up because it helped teachers keep us in order. This order is repeated as we get older: lines at the bank, lines at the grocery store, lines while driving (called lanes), lines for the bus and even lines for our lives. We are people who operate in lines. Have you ever noticed that when someone steps outside of a paved path, we assume that they are taking a shortcut or doing something rebellious—even radical? I feel that we often forget that until someone made the path, people walked wherever they needed to get where they were going. While lines are a good way to keep things organized and give us a way to go, we can't get so caught up in them that we forget that every now and then, it's good to break the line (metaphorically).

The line for the American life is simple: be born; learn from what your parents can teach you at home; attend a school for the next twelve years of your life (thirteen including kindergarten); go to college (and vote every four years); work; get married (continue to work); have kids (continue to work); raise your kids (continue to work); retire; die. Of course, that is a cut and dry line. It does not include things like have friends, have fun. They are somehow implied. However, for many people, that line isn't right. Some people don't enjoy education enough to go to college. Not necessarily a loss if they learn a trade. But maybe we have to walk away from some lines and stand in better ones—or better yet, we need to make our own lines.

Come back next Thursday and hopefully, I'll have a happier, lighter topic for you to read.

Image via flickr/JuanJ

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


A while back, I spoke about Disney's film Rapunzel. I believed it would debut in December, but I checked imdb and it is scheduled to release in November during Thanksgiving weekend—similar to The Princess and the Frog, I'm assuming. If you hit the jump, you'll see a few more concept images. I think that Rapunzel will have some spunk, so I'm looking forward to it.

All images are property of Disney

Paco Peregrín

I like it when fashion hits the point where it is not functional or truly fashionable, but art instead. Paco Peregrín has a spectacular knack for creating true masterpieces of this kind for big name clients such as Nike or Diesel. Often, he does digital photography with Kattaca. Together, the works they create are quite stunning. Hit the jump for even more.

All images Paco Peregrín and Kattaca (except Keep Your Head)

Friends from foes

There are often tales of animals that live in harmony instead of following their good instincts (those of ripping the weaker species apart). The images above are a testament to the idea that some foes can be friendly for a little while.

via Cute Overload

Snow days

You know, not every country is fortunate to have snow days. In the warmer climates, snow is rarely, if ever, experienced. In areas known for snow, you will be going to school no matter what. They know how to handle the weather and they are not going to give you a day off unless it is truly impossible to open your front door.

However, a true snow day was always something to look forward to. I remember my first epic snow day. It was the winter of 1996 and my oldest sister's bus had already taken her to school. My older sister and I were waiting for our respective buses in the bitter cold with the other neighborhood kids. I can exaggerate and say that my eyelashes were covered in icicles and I was frozen solid like a statue, but I'll just let you all decide how cold it was. Either way, my oldest sister's bus returned and it was announced—because kids always announce things by yelling to the masses—that school was CLOSED. In a very cinematic moment, we all jumped and shouted and slid back to our house (because our house was cool like that) and hung out. We watched TV. Played games. Ate snacks. It was the ultimate snow day.

Snow days are a big deal. There was even a Nickelodeon film called Snow Day made in honor of the exciting and always awaited day. Even though you have to make the day up later on in the year, that single day that you don't have to go to school is so worth it.

Image via randomSpace

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Artist Spotlight | Michael Johansson

To be completely honest with you, reader, I cannot say that I love all conceptual art. Like interpretative dance, its meaning is often lost in execution. That being said, I have to admit that I like Swedish artist Michael Johansson's installations. His installations make me think of so many things: Tetris, wholesale, "box" stores, overcrowding, adaptation. I really do like it even if the meaning I glean from it is different than Johansson's actual intent. His usage of materials and color is quite phenomenal. He has exhibited solo and in groups for the past seven years or so. For more of his works, visit his site and hit the jump for some of the ones that struck me.
Above image Bleka Minnen (Faded Memories)

How I would like to cover my urban ears

I am in love with these headphones. They come in three styles (Plattan, which are like classic, chunky headphones; Tanto which remind me of Walkman headphones; and Medis, which are in ear headphones) and fourteen colors (army, sallad, yellow, chocolate, red, black, dark grey, grey, white, pink, purple, navy, light blue and ocean). urbanears™ are quite stylish and I would be glad to order a pair if they don't cost me my whole life.
Images via urbanears

Monday, February 1, 2010

Forget letting the cat out of the bag

Dallas is almost six months old now. Despite being super spoiled and absolutely adorable, he is staying really healthy. He is very energetic and often likes to cuddle. I think he has such a cute little cat face. Therefore, some eye candy. Mmmmm...

Image via icantbelieveable

Cradle to cradle

When I was still studying graphic design in school, we were assigned the project of reading Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things by William McDonough and Michael Braungart. The book spoke of true sustainability. It preached that designers should create with their products' end result—or in this case, "new beginning" result—in mind. Instead of landfill, rug—or chair or building materials or road.

Japanese company Oriental's idea is fairly simple: from paper to paper. Of course, you need adjectives to give it meaning. Used office paper can be repurposed and made into toilet paper. They have created a machine called White Goat that does this. The video below shows the machine in action. The price tag is extreme ($100,000), but it would be great if White Goat could be used in community planning (like placed in apartments and office buildings) for optimum use and impact. What do you think?

Image via übergizmo