Archives - June 2009

Vintage Coke Cans

Here are some retro designs for coke cans,  I think some of these cans would make for a nice re-release by coke. See more at…





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Challenge Convention

Thinking outside of the box… maybe the box is the problem?


All of a sudden our digital cameras have no film. So why on earth do we have the same shape we have?

Why do we feel like we need to keep revisiting the archetype over and over and over again? Digital cameras for example, in which their format, proportion, the fact that they’re horizontal rectangles,  are modeled off the original silver film camera. So, in turn it’s the film that defines the shape of the camera.

- Karim Rashid from Objectified

Found at…





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Re-birth or Slow-death?

“The Woolworths brand has begun trading as an online business, more than six months after the ex-High Street giant went into administration. Shop Direct Home Shopping reportedly paid administrators between £5m ($8.24m) and £10m for the brand name. Goods on include toys, Ladybird clothing and the firms iconic pick n’ mix confectionery. In December, Woolworths’ 807 stores and distribution arm, EUK, went into administration, with £385m of debt.”

I hope this works out for them, however I do feel that this is about five years too late. Why didn’t Woolworths embrace the Internet and online music / video  earlier to take on the likes of Amazon, iTunes,, e-buyer etc. Does this point to under educated leadership within an establishment on new technology and media channels? Are they too late again (regarding CD / DVD sales) with the increasing selection of free music streaming sites, on-demand TV shows and movie rentals etc?

Pick and Mix is very nice, but I cannot see it paying the bills. Only time will tell I guess, but I think they are going to struggle against the well established and more boutique / quirky online stores. (And even more so against the people who embrace technology, offer it to a worldwide audience and do it quickly.)


Heard on BBC Radio 1 and Found at BBC News…

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Vats of personality

A cure for our UK recession blues?

When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, as Hunter S Thompson said. Times don’t get much weirder than these, so, just who are the real professionals, and what kind of weirdness are they up to?

The left coast US state of California isn’t a surprising place to find an outrageous outlaw brimming with weirdness, but finding him in the relaxing, rolling hills of the Sonoma Wine Country, tucked alongside the hallowed vines of new world wine growers, certainly surprised this San Francisco-born wine drinker.


I was drawn to Kaz winery by name alone (that’s what we affectionately call “Chairman Castledine” here in the Boxer studio… “Cas”).  The winery, the wine, and the winemaker himself, called “Kaz”, were one big surprise indeed!

We arrived at Kaz (the winery) after a long morning of tasting “oaky, blackberry, cedar and eucalyptus tannins with a Scooby-Doo finish.”  We found Kaz’s  approach simple, uncomplicated, and thankfully abundant. “What you taste, is what you taste” Kaz reminded us. No fuss, no frills. The Kaz approach definitely stands out from the crowd in a very big way.

The real special sauce in the wine, however, is Kaz’s personality.  He believes there is “no harm in experimenting”, and his quirky, nutty, playful personality comes to life in every experiment he touches: table wine, jug wine, vinegar…the light-sabre fight in the wine tasting room.  Where there’s a brand story to tell, Kaz is telling it.  With vats of personality.



Way before this recession thing started, Kaz was a commercial photographer.  Now “president-for-life” of the two-acre commonwealth of Kazzystan, Richard Kasmier operates the smallest family winery open to the public in Sonoma Valley.  Kaz said he left the rat race because he wanted to do something on his own, something he could run out of a garage.  It started as a passion, and now it’s a mission.  Kaz has built a brand, in an established market place, fuelled by imagination, independent thinking and good wine.

Somewhat depressed by the current state of retail on the high street here in the UK, and spurred by watching “Mary Portas: Save Our Shops” on BBC last night, I wondered (inspired by a glass of wine of course) if Kaz could help us here in the UK.

Why does every high street look the same? Why have the chains taken over? Why is the independent spirit of Columbia Road, Borough Market and Camden restricted to certain days of the week and specific streets?  How much of our waning spend is based not on less pocket money, but waning interest driven by a sea of sameness.

I wonder what lessons we could learn from light-sabre wielding Kaz?  What harm is there in experimenting?  What could independent, creative people do if they left the rat race for their garages, followed their passions and battled the evil empire?

Retail is a pillar of the UK economy that generates almost £900 billion a year, and employs one in six workers.  I don’t mean to over simplify a very complex issue, but given its importance, shouldn’t we start to experiment just a little?


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i’m lovin’ it

Does life imitate art? Or art imitate life?


Jake and Dinos Chapman’s installation, entitled Chapman Family Collection (2002), features 34 wooden carvings, all with references to the McDonalds restaurant chain. A cross cultural fusion of totems, story telling and crispy fries. mmmmn. At the Tate, London, until August 23rd.

Tate Britain…

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The Legend Has Returned

Olympus Pen reloaded

It’s not a compact. It’s not an SLR. It’s a Pen.

When Olympus launched the legendary Pen series of cameras in 1959, this bold and revolutionary achievement rewrote the history of photography. Designed by renowned style guru Yoshihisa Maitani, the Pen represented the perfect marriage of simplicity, style and performance. Five decades later the Olympus passion for innovation is still setting the pace.


With the release of the E-P1, the digital era’s next generation Olympus Pen has arrived: mirrors are no longer a necessary component for digital cameras with interchangeable lenses. The first groundbreaking Olympus Micro Four Thirds model impresses with its incredibly small size, retro style, and ease of use – without giving up any of the benefits of D-SLR quality. This new ultra-compact hybrid device can even record HD quality movies with depth of field and Art Filter effects familiar from still photography. Naturally, the E-P1 packs all the advantages of Olympus imaging technology e.g. image stabilisation, a dust reduction system, and bright interchangeable lenses. It will be available for purchase in July 2009.



Olympus are even giving us the opportunity to test drive one of these fabulous cameras, all they ask is what motives you have for wanting to try one out, the more creative the reason the more likely you are to be sent one. You can apply for this on the Olympus website, just follow the links.

More here…

and here…

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Pizza Hut Re-brand

With a significant decline in sales, Pizza Hut is responding to the tough economic times by launching a new branding strategy. Will ‘The Hut’ make you want to eat out again?
Read the full story here…


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Vintage tape inserts

How nice are these. There’s a load of them on this flickr page…




Found at…

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Junk into art

Taking vintage typewriters and turning them into sculptures without using any kind of glue,
welding or soldering may sound impossible, but not for
Jeremy Mayer who has created
these amazing typewriter sculptures by using cold assembly methods.


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Global Brands? Not with those names…

I guess somewere around the world there will always be brand names with unfortunate meanings in other languages.


Golden Gaytime is an iconic ice-cream in Australia


A soft drink from Ghana.


Ghanaian sauce

“Megapussi” is a finnish word for a “mega bag” not actually a brand

See more

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Pictures of “Barry”

Take a look at these images taken circa 1980 of a young Barack Obama as a student at college. What’s strange is that great as these photographs are, the photographer Lisa Jack never realised her career as a professional, and yet she’s captured a side of the new president that not many people will have seen… “When a friend of a friend introduced me to this “hot guy” named Barry, I knew I had to take his picture because, well, he was “hot” and I just couldn’t resist.” A great collection and great story, do have a read of the artist’s statement.


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From Russia with Chocolate

Concept by Yaroslav Shuvaev, a student at the British Higher School of Arts and Design in Moscow, Russia: “Energy Chocolate with 4 SKUs , for teenagers, students, and other young people. Two fun mosaic chocolate bars in one package.”

What I like about this idea is the way the chocolate can be broken apart into big chunks and can be put back into almost any shape like a puzzle. Hours of fun.. or until the chocolate runs out!
From The Dieline




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Wine – An Experience to be Shared

Last week a team of us spent an evening in Malmaison in Birmingham doing some client entertaining.  As ever, this involved some form of alcohol but this was a night with a difference.  Out went the shots and the bar snacks and in came the most delightful option of wine tasting.


My initial perception of wine tasting was that it would be quite an exclusive affair with the sommelier getting us to smell the “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” aroma of a full bodied red or perhaps taste the “freshly fallen berries of autumn with a hint, just a teency weency hint of oak.”  Now there’s nothing wrong with that, but as someone who rarely drinks crushed grapes, this was a completely new experience for me and the majority sitting at the table.

The key to the evening’s success was our sommelier, Fabrice, and as you’d expect, he was a Frenchman who had a strong affection for vino. He didn’t focus on schooling us on exactly what’s in the wine, but on the stories behind them and the experience they create.  He made it very inclusive, a word you don’t often associate with the world of wine.  If we did want to discover more about the types of grape for example, all we had to do was ask.  Instead of Fabrice talking at us, he invited us in to learn more and share in the experience.


His passion for his product shone through and when asked, “How do you make good wine?”  His answer was simply, “With heart.”  Now this answer coming from a sommelier who was a Brummy may not have been as convincing, but all the same, Fabrice spoke with enthusiasm and his honest passion for wine was infectious because you knew it was true to him.  Although, if the sommelier had been a Brummy, I’d hope they would be themselves and not try to be a bad parody of someone like Fabrice.

The evening made me think of a few key things brands could do with taking note of:

– Focus on experiences and the relationships they create as it makes for a very powerful tool.
Understanding your audience is key to enhancing those experiences.
- Stories are by their nature entertaining and engaging, everyone has one, you just have to tell it.
– Talking openly and honestly builds trust as well as bringing people in to share in both the story and the experience.
– Allow people to discover more, on their own terms and in their own way.

I’m not sure if they came to me after the sixth wine I tried, or even if Fabrice wrote them on a napkin and slipped them into my pocket, either way, the words experience, understanding, storytelling, honesty and discovery are what I have taken away from a thoroughly entertaining evening.

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Banksy Vs Bristol Museum

For those who may not have heard, Banksy has an exhibition of his work currently showing at Bristol Museum until 31st August. Entry is free so what more could you ask for!? I haven’t been yet (I stole these pictures off a friends facebook page… thanks Russ!) but by the looks of it you’d be mad to miss it!

More information and directions found here





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Miniature people?

Some great Tilt-shift film’s by Keith Loutit. They all look so awesome…

More here…

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Award winning initiative

This little beauty was one of  TWO! Black pencils won by Droga5 at this years D&AD awards.

The brief was to turn academic achievement into a brand. To make it desirable, tangible and rewarding. To inspire kids to engage in school.

The New York education campaign, called ‘million’, involved giving out 1m mobile phones to students that do not work during class time, with the aim of improving attendance, class participation and homework. Every two weeks teachers awarded “Million points” based on the students’ performance, which could be used to get free texts, calls and extras such as music downloads.

Most Ad agencies would have probably  created a TV ad, backed up with a poster and press campaign but Droga5 looked at finding a real solution to a real problem and with the backing from motorola and Verizon wireless came up with an absolute gem that will hopefully grow and grow!! Lest hope we see this initiative in UK schools in the near future!

A black pencil is notoriously difficult to achieve – six D&AD ceremonies have seen none given out, the most recent being the 2003 awards.

Click on the link below to see the film…


Please take the time to have a look at this great initiative…..CLICK HERE!

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When the flag drops!

For any petrol head the first and second week of June has always been a fave as the Isle of Man TT  takes place,  one of my favourite riders Guy Martin takes you through part of his 37 and 3/4 mile flying lap,  as a rider and fellow speed freak this footage blows my mind.

Pop your headphones on, focus on the road ahead and listen as Guy talks you through this experience.

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Story Blogging…


I stumbled across this great blog called My Milk Toof created by artist Inhae Renee Lee, which is solely committed to telling the stories and adventures of a couple of milk teeth called Ickle and Lardee. This is a great little blog where you can just spend a bit of time in the land of silliness reading about Ickle and Lardee’s adventures.  

When I was young, I placed my baby teeth under my pillow and when I woke up I’d find a shiny new quarter. But whatever happened to those little teeth? Where did they go? Would I ever see them again?   

Many years later, a little tooth was standing at my door. It looked familiar. It’s name was Ickle. Welcome home, my milk toof!

This is just a snipit of the images in one of the stories. To see the rest visit the My Milk Toof blog.
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Fazeley Digital Festival (Thurs 11th June 2009)


Only 3 short months after their launch, Fazeley Studios are now hosting their own digital festival which aims to bring together the city’s creative businesses through a variety of events, including the usual seminars, debates and networking opportunities, but also including Fazeley’s own innovative slant of unconferences, swap shops and media mash-ups including Second Life, Twitter and live video streams.

More than just another opportunity to ‘talk shop’, this event promises to collate the ideas and input of attendees into a collaborative group mind map exploring how and why people use social media.  In addition, after the event there will be an opportunity for an online audience to have input into the map as well.

For more details on all of the events taking place during the festival, the Fazeley Digital website will keep you in the loop,  as well as provide opportunities to sign-up for certain events and provide feedback/interact with others.

Spotted at Created In Birmingham…

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Taste of Tuscany…

New authentic italian brand Via Roma shows off the people of Tuscany’s true character, expression and emotion, in a way that has not been presented before in the United States. Showing true brand personality with authentic unique portraits of the locals shot by United*.
More shots & info at…




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Fun Fire

Fire Design, a french company, makes unique, artfully designed fire extinguishers. Now you can look cool while putting out fire.. read more & more images at…



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Corporate Twittering!

The world’s fastest growing trend is no longer limited to social networking. Some of the world’s largest brands are now jumping on the craze of blogging, facebook and twittering, labelled recently as ‘FOREVERISM’. It’s a corporate facility which consumers are slowly responding to however it seems to act mainly as a complaints forum, but I’m sure the future possibilities are much more exciting!

Check out some of the examples from Ford, Starbucks and Dell to name a few.


Here’s the link to Trendwatching…

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La Nouvelle Smooth

I spotted these new Stella Artois billboard ads on my way to work this morning. Upon further inspection I found that Stella have created a whole campaign site called Smooth Originals where they have created 3 short films entitled Dial Hard (below), 8 Kilometre and 24 Heures for which they have provided this small descriptive paragraph:

‘Ah, le cinéma! Remember the days when men were strong and silent, women were chic and sophistiqué, and the action was as smooth as our 4% triple filtered beer? Formidable.
At Stella Artois, we have gone back in time to rediscover these films –

 the originals, before Hollywood did to them what Hollywood, sadly, does.

Vive le cinéma triple filter!

The adds are vibrant and evoke for me, memories of the summer, and the short films are, for want of a better word, very amusing. All three films can be watched at the Smooth Originals site.



Dial Hard Smooth Originals film

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Going Greek

Greek design agency, Mouse Graphics specialise in a variety of media (all lovely stuff) but I think they do packaging best.. checkout their website..


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The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread!

Taking notes can be super delicious, by using the Sliced Bread Notebook. This is a 12 slice notebook set, which has been packaged for convenience. Each delicious slice has number on it (1 to 12), you can use each notebook for each related month. Brilliant idea, you should be able to buy these. 




Found at…

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I dress myself !

This edition of 20 prints have been painted in white by Jon on pieces of reclaimed cardboard packaging and then screen printed by hand in yellow and black water based inks. Every one is different. The prints are approximately 25 cm x 33 cm in size and have been signed and numbered by Jon.

Found this site, they are an eco screen printers doing some cooool work, they run workshops so you can design and print your own stuff.


Here’s a link to thier site

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If there’s grass on the wicket…

A new limited edition Marmite recipe has been developed, containing the same yeast used in Marston’s Pedigree beer, in order to create a special version of the famous spread that celebrates both the forthcoming Ashes Series and Marston’s position as the official beer of English cricket. More info at…


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Tesco Premium Ice Cream

Next week national retailer Tesco will launch its new premium ice cream range in plastic buckets under its own label.
The packaging graphics was created by UK design agency R Design




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Bond Sucks…

James Bond star Daniel Craig is now available in ice-lolly form after being voted as ‘Britain’s Coolest Smoothie’. Over 1,000 women from across the country were asked to rate a list of British male celebrities and to choose the most handsome one. Craig beat off competition from a number of famous UK actors including Jude Law, Hugh Grant and Steve Jones.
Del Monte Super Fruit Smoothies(UK) have now produced a limited run of Daniel Craig replica lollies, created by a team of artists who have worked tirelessly to recreate Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale Bond scene in which he emerges from the sea.. From..


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Open Happiness

Nice, fun, and in true coke style, rather strange summer ad for coca cola.

Tag line… ‘Open Happiness’

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Kleen Slice…

This summer Kimberly-Clark Corporation had introduced a new ‘fruity’ limited edition Kleenex “Perfect Slice of Summer” for Target chain (USA).

The packaging shaped like a slice of orange, lime or water melon was design by senior designer at Kimberly-Clark – Jennifer Brock in collaboration with Los Angeles-based illustrator Hiroko Sanders. – Found at PopSop…





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Interactive gaming…

Looks fantastic, but a lot of hard work conversational wise. Would be interested to see how this works when you throw curve balls into the conversation. Some of the features are very nice and fast, especially the scanning of the paper and the interactivity between person and character… Take a look, would be interested to hear what people think this could hold for the future of games and interactive emotional connections with characters.

From the bbc…

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Short film – Spider

9 minutes long, but it’s a really nice film (Good story build, moody, special effects etc!). Don’t forget kids, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye”.

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Creativity at it’s finest

Kutiman is an Israeli funkster who has sampled and mixed clips from youtube into complete tracks. The project is called ThruYOU. You never know YOU might be on there.

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