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Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Hiballin’: It’s All About the Glass

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Hiball Energy Water Found at Fresh Market in Kenwood, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Most discussions about Hiball sparkling energy drinks focus on the caffeine content of the beverage. (With 7.5 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, a 10 oz. bottle has 75 mg total and, per ounce, it has less caffeine than a Starbucks Double Shot, but, per item, more than a can of Coca-Cola Classic or a Hershey’s Special Dark Bar.)

What’s more compelling about this product is its bottle. It’s glass. And Hiball is proud of choosing glass instead of plastic. On the “About” page of their popping website (click on “Why glass?” on the bottom left), designed by Steve Holmes of Energi Design, they’ve included a link to a list of reasons why glass is more sustainable and healthier than PET. This is a message other brands might want to note. Not only is glass more sustainable, it’s also nontoxic, impermeable, nonporous, has a longer shelf life, more attractive, and it’s retro. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Froelich

August 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Fresh Code

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Fresh Code

It is truly frustrating to buy produce, bring it home, and find that it is either rotten or tastes old. Fresh Code is a barcode sticker system, designed by Sisi Yuan, Yiwu Qiu, Lei Zhao, Qiulei Huang, Lijun Zhang & Weihang Shu, that uses the barcode to indicate freshness. The best feature: if the produce is too old, the barcode has disappeared and it can’t be scanned and therefore can’t be sold. Questionable feature: a freshness barcode based on time, like a water filter timer, may not be accurate for all kinds of products.

Written by Sarah Froelich

April 1, 2010 at 10:37 am

Posted in design, packaging, produce

Basic Brands = Poor Grammar + Spelling?

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The Magical (Basic) Fruit

The Magical (Basic) Fruit

According to Stuart Elliott’s advertising column*, consumers are buying more basic brands; Elliott cites cost savings as a major part of this shift. Although there is something comforting in the return to basic brands, like the Heinz Beans with tomato sauce (note the established date of 1886 above) and the old-fashioned appeal of Quaker Oats, the logos and labels seem to be having an historic reverie, with some problematic twists. Notice how Quaker Oats has been modernized lately with the phrase “Go humans go.” See “the Quaker Man” smiling on billboards and riding around on top of taxis, along with a lack of attention to grammar. As for the beans, Heinz has co-opted their “beautifully designed label” to include a miss-spelling of beans: Beanz along with their “Beanz Meanz Heinz” campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Sarah Froelich

October 8, 2009 at 9:46 am

Designer Foodie

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Cathedral of Groceries: Food Emporium @ the Queensboro Bridge, Manhattan side

Why are designers often foodies? Louise Fili’s firm designs jam labels and the Goodhousekeeping seal of approval. Milton Glaser designed the Brooklyn Brewery logo and co-wrote the 1975 edition of The Cook’s Catalog. Paola Antonelli, curator of Design and Architecture at the Museum of Modern Art, wrote about the many shapes of pasta. Antiquarian cookbook storeowner, Bonnie Slotnick, has a Fashion Illustration degree from Parsons. It seems food and design live happily together. If you ask your designer friends about what they eat or where they buy their cheese or bread, I bet there’s a story behind their choices.

There are obvious explanations for this phenomenon. First, designers love objects and grocery stores have lots of objects—rows and rows of them, some lining shelves and others piled artfully in bins. Second, designers often care about the composition of things, and this applies to dining as well. They care about how their food tastes, what it looks like, and they probably want to know where it was made, what tools were used, and what ingredients were included. Third, designers recognize the cultural significance of food and may see food production as a captivating system and a model of how consumers are drawn to certain objects and products. Food and consumables have limited life spans, therefore the design of food and its production is a sped-up process of what happens to other products affected by obsolescence.

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Written by Sarah Froelich

September 29, 2009 at 2:48 pm

Silver Hills Bread Packaging

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Hooray for great blends of design and food!

There’s already quite a buzz about this bread packaging, but I just had to add it to the bestgroceries list. The re-design, by Karacters, won a Bronze Lion award in the design category at the 2009 Cannes International Advertising Festival in France. It’s a great combination of playful illustration, bright colors, matte texture, and catchy titles.

Now I just want to know where to buy Silver Hills Bread in NYC. Does anyone know where it is sold? (FYI – bestgroceries is boycotting Whole Foods right now….)

P.S. There’s a Kamut product here: it’s called “The King’s Kamut.”
P.P.S. Enjoying Karacter’s Klog (that’s their blog).

Written by Sarah Froelich

August 19, 2009 at 5:56 pm