Right on Target

I have a love (love, love, love, love)/hate relationship with Target. I love the place, I really do. However, I hate the fact that I can't go into one without spending $200 in one pop. Seriously. It's like their pumping the air full of some kind of chemical that makes me want to buy every. single. thing. in. the. store.

Or maybe I'm just a sucker for packaging.

Not that their old packaging was anything to brag about... but their new packaging certainly is.

Last time I was at Target (probably last week--maybe the week before; I try and stretch out the time in between trips but it never quite works out the way I want it to), I was in the baby section, and I noticed that the Target brand diapers and wipes had a new, exciting look:

Fancy, fancy, I thought. Turns out, all of Target brand health and beauty products (all 800+ of them), will be looking more fancy fancy. Check out Brand New for a side by side comparison of old versus new packaging, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Yet another check in the love (love, love, love, love) Target column.



I love beer, and I love design; so what's not to love about the following post on the history of beer packaging?

Beer has come a long way since breweries first had the idea of developing can packaging nearly 100 years ago. In the early 1900s, breweries had a problem producing a can that would withstand the pasteurization process and allow the beer to still taste good when it reached the consumer. In order to withstand the heat and pressure of the process, the first beer cans were constructed of tin and steel and were much more thick and sturdy than the ones we see today. By 1935, the first commercially produced beer in a can hit the market.

Some of the vintage cans are so cool--I love the art deco look of Krueger's. Very interesting to read--and see--the evolution of beer in a can.

(Thanks designsoft, via Twitter)



The installation in the following image is made of salt. Salt, people.

I can't even wrap my head around that one. I mean, when I was a kid, and we went out to eat, I loved to pour out a package of sugar and trace designs into it. However, this takes it about a bazillion levels beyond that.

Here's video of just how Motoi Yamamoto does it:

And here's some links to view even more of his absolutely amazing work:

Design You Can Trust




So cool. Unbelievable--but man, so cool.


The Design Disease

Print Magazine tweeted a link to The Design Disease yesterday, and it totally made me laugh.

It seems to me that if you're a designer, a proper designer not someone who learnt Photoshop in between phone calls, then design runs through your veins like Pantone 7418. But more than that, it's there in every aspect of life. You can't stop looking at things through your designer eyes. Everything you do is clouded by this thing that lives inside you.

The post goes on to show a day in the life of a designer, through pictures. As in, you're out and about, and came across this parking garage sign:

and it would annoy you, really annoy you, that it wasn't quite centred and it wasn't quite justified and it wasn't left aligned and it wasn't right aligned. You see sometimes the disease will stop you enjoying things...

(Yes. Yes it would.)

Then you'd see this:

...and wonder how on earth that can be allowed to happened. Who would space type like that?

(Seriously. Why is this out for public viewing?)

The entire post is very, very funny--and very, very true (at least for me!)


Dear American...

...Your website stinks!

My friend Marcy tweeted this link to Dustin Curtis's website yesterday, and I think it's pretty genius:

Dear American Airlines,

I redesigned your website's front page, and I'd like to get your opinion.

I’m a user interface designer. I travel sometimes. Recently, I had the horrific displeasure of booking a flight on your website, aa.com. The experience was so bad that I vowed never to fly your airline again. But before we part ways, I have a couple questions and three suggestions for you.

How did this happen? If I was running a company with the distinction and history of American Airlines, I would be embarrassed -- no ashamed -- to have a website with a customer experience as terrible as the one you have now. How does your CEO, Gerard J. Arpey, justify treating customers this way? Why does your board of directors approve of this? Your website is abusive to your customers, it is limiting your revenue possibilities, and it is permanently destroying the brand and image of your company in the mind of every visitor.

Dustin then goes on to show the current home page (view it here--blech, I know), and his suggested redesign.

What a great way to grab a company's attention! Not to mention market yourself as well. Brilliant, all around!

(Thanks Marcy!)


One Day of Design

I'm pretty excited for this book to come out:

When I wake up, when I check the time, when I brush my teeth, when I get dressed, when I have breakfast, when I cross the street, when I call to say I’ll be late again, when I work, when I have a break, when I get back home, when I relax and when I go to sleep I am surrounded by graphics and illustrations.

'One Day' takes a comprehensive look at how these graphics have entered our daily lives, and adorn everything from alarm clocks to skateboards. Not only do these graphics apply beauty, life and personality to our objects, but they also create a relationship with us, when they become part of the “visual soundtrack” to our lives.

According to Amazon, it will be released stateside at the end of next week. Which is when I will be ordering it!


More stuff I love

This business card:

A card for a developer, with a behind the scenes peek at all the code? Excellent idea! (My husband is a developer--I wish I came up with something like this for him!)

Check out webdesignerdepot for 99 more really cool cards--some you've seen, others you haven't... either way, a lot of these cards are great!

(thanks to Andrew Kelsall, via Twitter for the link)

Love it!

I want this shirt!

Visit Typography Shop ("Our Neue Blog." Heh heh heh) for all the font addicts in your life. I think I may have to get the kiddies some shirts as well--I love the tagline on that page, too: "Teach your children well. About type."

I love it!

(thanks to HOWmag, via Twitter)


Yummy, yummy print

I am in love with FPO--For Print Only--a new site from Under Consideration. I think they say it best:

FPO is a blog dedicated to both the visual stimulus and the detailing of the development and production of printed matter... The content of FPO will be gathered by submissions from our readers as well as by the findings we make online. We will do our best to show the most recent work produced, so that the blog doesn't feel like you have seen everything before. Whenever possible we will have the full scope of production details and project overview but we will also post projects where we are unable to gather all that information when we think they are worth sharing despite the lack of minutia.

Jessica Hische Business Cards

The work featured thus far is so inspiring, so beautiful. I love that they are trying to feature all the specs: production costs and time, printer credits, etc. It's nice to see beautiful work, even nicer to see how long it took, how much it cost, and--of course--giving credit to all those involved in the process, not just the designer (because even though we designers rock, printed work doesn't happen without the, er, printer).

Stop by FPO and drink up some lovely printed work. Because print is SO not dead.


Ha ha!

Found: Typographunnies, chock full of typography jokes! As in:

What typeface do fish fear most? Gill Sans!


Yo mama’s so old, she refers to Century as Futura.


Bob: Why the long face, Helvetica Compressed?
Helvetica Compressed: Remember that Bembo from the club last night? She was the Open Type. She let me kiss her and I contracted Monotype!
Bob: Oh man, that sounds horrible! At least you're not your cousin, Helvetica STD.

Good for a Monday morning giggle!


Summer + Coke...

...equals fun, new packaging!

Check out psfk or the dieline to see the rest of the designs. I love it! OK, Pepsi? How are you going to respond?

(Thanks Daryl Ohrt via Twitter)


Font fight!!!

If you haven't seen Font Conference yet, I highly suggest heading over to collegehumor.com and watching it. Then, check out Font fight.

UPDATE: Sorry kids, I couldn't embed the video... Seems College Humor's videos are really wide; and, well, my blog isn't.

I think my favorite part is when Stencil shouts, "Increase your margins! That way, they'll think there's more of us than there really are!" Too funny!

(Thanks to HOW Magazine)


Old stuff is cool

Here's a great essay from Rands in Repose on the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. Completely fascinating.

In the late 1800s, the Brooklyn Bridge was built with no power tools, no heavy machinery, and only a basic, evolving understanding of how to make steel. It’s not these facts, but the stories surrounding the facts that inspire me when I take a good, long stare at a suspension bridge.

When you're done reading that, head on over to Shorpy.com, to see some great images from NYC (among other places) from the late 19th/early 20th century.

(Queensboro Bridge, 1909, via shorpy.com)

Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photography blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.


Thanks to Becky, for pointing me in the direction of Rands in Repose, and kottke.org, for exposing me--heh heh heh--to Shorpy.


The greatest place ever...

...The most expensive ever, too.

Saturday we trekked on down to the Bronx, to see the Yankees play (and eventually get beat by--BOOOOOO) the Angels. It was our first trip to the new stadium, and it was Madeline's first game ever, so it was a very exciting day.

Walking into the stadium...

The "Great Hall" (view from a balcony, actually looking down on it)

Hey look! There's Derek Jeter!

Once we got settled, we got some food. While the prices are pretty outrageous (but on par for any major league stadium), the thing that got me was the calories listed next to each item. Ummm... 800 calories for onion rings? I'll pass. I wonder how much--if at all--this effects the sale of food.

First pitch:

Jeter at bat, right before he got hit by the pitch:

And finally, the Yankees (and their fans) recycle! And compost! I peered into a compost bin before we left the stadium at the end of the game, and it was pretty full. See that? Yankee fans ARE the best!

Even though the Yanks lost, we had a great day. The sun came out for the game, the new stadium was incredible, fun was had by all. I'm pretty bummed that ticket prices are so expensive--it was a Saturday game, and the stadium was probably about 80% full. It'll probably be one of the few--if only--games we get to this year. But definitely a good time.


Oh what a night, is right!

Wednesday night was kind of surreal for me: I took our oldest and her friend (who are occasional readers--Hi girls! I'm blogging about you!) to see Fall Out Boy (and about 5 opening acts). I like Fall Out Boy--they put on a really great show, and I had a good time--but it was hard for me to make the transition from concert attendee to chaperone of the concert attendees. Now I know how my friend's father felt when he took us to see Depeche Mode.

But Wednesday night was also the night that Patrick Coyne, of Communication Arts, was going to be speaking at a Connecticut AIGA event. And since I haven't perfected being in 2 places at the same time (although I am getting close!), I had to miss it. Bummer, too; as I hear it was a great presentation. From my pal Amy, of Elements fame:

It was illuminating to learn of the sheer volume of work CA receives, organizes and reviews. Out of the hundreds of thousands of submissions, there is such a small percentage of work that actually appears in their publication - only 2% of design competition entries make the cut! Patrick explained the status of inclusion into CA the best when he said - and I'm paraphrasing here - "If you are a musician, you know you have arrived if you appear on the cover of Rolling Stone. If you are a designer, it is when your work appears in Communication Arts."

I can't. even. imagine.

Read about the rest of this amazing event over at Hello, Elements. And when you stop by, tell them I said hi!