C30, C60, C90 go!

Far from disappearing, the humble compact cassette has found fresh favour on the DIY music scene, with the return of tape-only labels being one of the most surprising developments of recent years. However, taking into account the digital ‘loudness wars’ eloquently deliniated in Greg Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever, which saw the likes of Metallica’s huge fanbase lambasting the ‘everything louder than everything else’ approach, mebbe the humble analogue cassette’s ability to absorb serious overloading and sound simply triffic makes more sense… and then there’s the excellent blank tape insert art, as reflected by this excellent Flickr set.

Universal wrapping paper

Universal wrapping paper
Universal wrapping paper
Universal wrapping paper

Found at The Dieline.

Mister Freedom — history and design in harmony

Following on from the hot 2010 trend for American workwear that we blogged about, transplanted French designer Christophe Loiron has started a new style digression with his California-based brand Mister Freedom‘s Spring 2011 collection, Les Apaches.

Taking inspiration from Parisien hoodlum kultchur of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Loiron’s really gone to town on this homage to his home country’s organic street style. The attention to detail is astonishing, not least this beautiful, specially-commissioned shirt box, painted by Patrick Segui. Expect the influence of the Les Apaches collection to be felt on UK high streets next year — minus the packaging!

Monkee Business — coining it in…

Monkee Business, Eric Lefcowitz’s new tome about the world’s first boyband, is now available in a nifty limited edition run of 300 copies that feature a die-cut cover inset with double-sided coins depicting the respective noggins of Messrs Nesmith, Tork, Jones and Dolenz, as used on the regular paperback shown below. The limited edition is available here.

Panasonic Note Headphones Packaging

The simplest ideas are always the best ones. Panasonic Notes Headphones Packaging by Scholz & Friends, Germany.

The 45 sleeve — packaging as art

“Sleeves were designed originally to serve as a protective device for records and labels during shipment. In the case of “45” rpm records, however, a device of this nature becomes unnecessary. The raised label area on 45’s fully prevents any harmful contact between the grooved surfaces of records during shipment. Paper separators – such as this sheet – are designed to protect record labels during shipment. They have no other useful function and may be discarded at your convenience…”

Sage record care advice from the folks at RCA Victor, circa 1952.

As you can see from the small selection of 45 sleeves shown above, thankfully, the rest of the music industry — and, indeed, RCA itself — didn’t share this rather quite touching faith in the durability of the company’s new vinyl medium, and quickly turned the humble shipping protector into an art form in its own right.

RCA’s numpty claim is very redolent of those made on behalf of the CD when it was first introduced — most famously on a 1981 episode of the popular TV science show, Tomorrow’s World, wherein the presenters happily smeared a shiny biscuit with jam, then wiped it off and played it, as if proving that it was virtually indestructible! And we know how that ended…

Shine Advertising Knife Packaging by Studio on Fire

Stunning 7 colour letterpress for this pocket knife mailer by the amazing Studio on Fire. More here…

Tent peg bottle opener — perfect for the festival season…

California’s Red Flag Design have come up with a nifty, recycled solution to a common problem for festival-goers, the lost bottle opener. Save your teeth with this re-engineered ex-military tent peg, which now serves double duty — “Holds it down, opens it up” as the designers put it.

However, if you can’t find your tent, I don’t think it’ll help…

Best unboxing ever

There’s not really much more to say about this than read the headline, then watch the video. It’s really good:

How to minimise iPad muggability

This Japanese subway user makes the perfect iPad disguise.

Yorkshire Saucery. Trickery.

This new work for Yorkshire Saucery  by Shark! sums up everything I love about the smoke and mirrors you can create with packaging. The yellowing paper and hand written font says ‘home made’. The quote  and signature from the ‘chef’ tells you this was lovingly created by one man just for you, hell there’s even a photo of him, Jon’s his name. And the best bit, it’s exclusive to ASDA, one of the biggest supermarkets in the country. That Jon must be a busy man.



Hema Paper Branding – thinking outside of the box

Sometimes what’s on the outside of the box really makes a difference to what you think of what’s inside the box.hema1hema2hema3

The IDEO Shopping Cart Challenge

In 1999 ABC challenged leading product design firm IDEO to come up with a new take on something everyday. The shopping cart. They had five days – this films shows the process and the end result.

It’s ten years since the first airing of ABC’s challenge to IDEO to create a shopping cart. It helped establish the latter as one of the biggest product design firms in the world (and the focus of many academic studies*) and it still has the power to teach us how to be creative even if some of the ideas have been refined.

It’s also worth noting that two of the main concepts they come up with in their five-day design are standard today.

* “Walk into any bookstore, and you’ll find countless numbers of books on innovation. In many of them you’ll find chapters detailing a man named David Kelley, and his company, IDEO Product Development.”
– Virtual Advisor Inc.

Creative erm… Urinals

Couldnt resist posting this, the gents urinals at my new local garden centre. I challenge anyone to post a picture of a more ‘creative’ urinal!

PLEASE NOTE: I am in no way responsible for those two drips on the floor