As I write this I’m sipping on a Miller High Life, are is it’s been dubbed, the “Champagne of Beers”. I acquired a taste for it back in 2010/2011 when I was attempting to freelance during a recession. At the corner liquor store near my apartment was 40s of High Life which only cost in the ballpark of $2.50. So long as you kept the 40 oz. cool it was actually a pretty damn good beer. Even Bon Appétit agrees.
Which brings me to my point, this recent article by David Chang for GQ espousing his love for cheap beer. As he says in the article, which I also agree with, rare, obnoxious, snooty beers are great, this is not the reason for his piece. His argument centers around the area that he cares about most: that cheap beers pairs well with food. Here’s the paragraph where he knocks it out of the park.
For all the debatability of my rant here, let me make one ironclad argument for shitty beer: It pairs really well with food. All food. Think about how well champagne pairs with almost anything. Champagne is not a flavor bomb! It’s bubbly and has a little hint of acid and tannin and is cool and crisp and refreshing. Cheap beer is, no joke, the champagne of beers. And cheap beer and spicy food go together like nothing else. Think about Natty Boh and Old Bay-smothered crabs. Or Asian lagers like Orion and Singha and Tiger, which are all perfect ways to wash down your mapo tofu.
Couldn’t agree more. Also, as I tend to find random things when I research posts, I found the really sweet Miller High Life print by Alan Hynes (at top) which you might want to snag. Only $40.
Lately I’ve been really impressed with the creative photography that Chuck Anderson has been posting to his Instagram lately. The aesthetic blends surrealism and blown out lights and colors which make for a visual feast. Now he’s offering a course on how to do similar things with your own photos in this Skillshare class titled Everyday Surrealism: Creating Art from Photos.
Artist Chuck Anderson is known for his surreal, colorful aesthetic and the way he merges photography, design, and art. In this 45-minute class, join Chuck as he photographs 3 scenes—architecture, a still-life, and a landscape—and then transforms each into a collaged work of art using (amazingly) a single mobile app.
Throughout the class, Chuck shares his vision so that you understand the philosophy behind every technique. You’ll refine your eye as a designer, sensibility as a photographer, and imagination as an artist. Whether you want more experimental images for an upcoming exhibit, album cover, show poster, wall print, or even your Instagram feed, this class is the perfect combination of vision, technique, and real creativity.
Valencia, Spain based street artist Felipe Pantone popped up in the Explore tab of my Instagram feed and I’m really feeling his work. It’s kind of this blend of geometric black and white overlaid with outlandish neon, metallic colors that bursts off the walls.
World-class book cover designer Peter Mendelsund recently sat down with Fresh Air‘s Dave Davies to speak about his craft. The interview covers the why of a book jacket, why dead authors get the best covers, and the future of physical books. My favorite part was his anecdote on the process he goes through when he designs a cover. We should all beware creating “Frankenstein” designs.
DAVIES: And typically, how many versions will you make up?
MENDELSUND: Before I’ll show a jacket, I’ll tend to make a hundred and up various versions of a jacket for it. And that’s before I show in to an editor or an author. And when I show something, I tend to show one – the one that I think really works. I tend not to show multiple options because that sort of engenders confusion in people. And then there’s this kind of – there’s this kind of thing that happens where people look at the various things you’ve made, and they want to pull the aspects of the various comps that they like and put them together in kind of a – into a kind of a Frankenstein jacket. You know, take the color from this one. And the type from that one. And the imagery from that one. Can you make something out of that? One of the interesting things about jackets is that the material isn’t really transposable in that way. You know, one jacket works well with those components. You know, you bring in a different color, and all of a sudden, everything falls to pieces. So I like to show one thing only when I show the client.
When I come across a well-designed pattern I tend to marvel at the time and effort that must have taken place to achieve such perfection. In my mind I see it as an artist creating a jigsaw puzzle in their head without the photo on the box to guide them. One such master is Nancy McCabe, a surface designer from Chicago who runs No Ocean, a design studio that specializes in surface designs and prints. She sells her patterns for commercial uses such as fashion, home/interior, print and web design, as well as a beautiful series of graphic scarves.
For Nancy’s wallpaper we decided to go with her Ink Dots pattern. I love the texture and complexity, I love that it’s graphic and bold. I’ve had this on the background of my iPad for a week now and have received several positive comments, to which I responded, “It’ll be on the site soon.”
Since my childhood the idea of the “golden ticket” has always seemed like a miraculous dream. Obviously I’m referencing the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and the way in which the children could get a tour of the fabled and mysterious factory. Which to me is why these invitations for the Fall/Winter 2014 runway show of women’s luxury brand Honor are so enticing.
Designed by New York design studio High Tide, the invitation’s front side features a mirrored gold foil debossed with the Honor logo, which contrasts beautifully with the rich walnut wood on the back side. I can only imagine receiving one of these in the mail and how special you might feel, this shining, beautiful piece of design that been so meticulously thought out.
Be sure to look at the rest of High Tide’s work as well, an enviable body of work with an impressive roster of clients.
When a delicious meal has been set before you have you ever stopped and wondered if the vessels it is being served in are enhancing the flavors, smells, and presentation ability? Most likely not, but if you’re an obsessive barista working for the most well-respected small coffee chain in America, finding that level of perfection might be an idea you dwell on.
That the story of the Lino cup, a creation between ex-Intelligentsia Director of Innovation Kyle Glanville (who now runs my favorite coffee place Go Get ‘Em Tiger) and LA design studio notNeutral. Together they experimented to figure out a more optimal cup for coffee drinking.
The entire R&D process took over a year. Triangular-shaped cups intended to capture precious aromas were nixed (turns out, a triangular canvas makes for terrible latte art). Handles were shaped and reshaped. The cup’s interior curvature, or slope, was meticulously calculated, with notNeutral printing one 3D prototype after another for Glanville and his team to test in Intelligentsia’s lab. There, they pulled shots and poured milk, videotaping the entire process so, like coaches watching tape, they could replay the footage in slow motion and catch flaws in play.
“Sometimes the latte art would break,” Glanville says. “The flow of the milk would go under and bubble up on the other side, breaking the pattern at the top.” The slope was corrected. More prototypes printed. More milk poured. More tape replayed.
Food Republic has the whole story which I found fascinating. These cups are only the beginning with more on the way, including these Gino cups, which are double-walled glass vessels which they released just last week.
The old chef’s saying is that you with your eyes, and artist Wei Li’s collection of Dangerous Popsicles puts this adage to the test. She’s created unique sets of ice pops, one based on assorted forms of cacti and one based on the shape of life-threatening diseases, each of which begs the question: Would you eat these?
Designer and artist Wei Li’s collection of cacti-inspired prickly popsicles are beautiful, yet dangerous. These popsicles intrigue people with their other-worldly looks while directly alluding to the unpleasant experience of being poked by a cactus. Imagine our tongues, one of our most sensitive organs, being “massaged” by these spiky surfaces. Will pain bring pleasure?
While trained in user experience design, the designer is less concerned with enhancing user-friendliness, and more interested in the aesthetics of user-unfriendliness, and even uselessness.
Building from the cacti collection, Li’s second suite of popsicles are inspired by life-threatening viruses. What might an HIV popsicle taste like? Or would you even taste one in the first place? By fusing repulsion and delight, Li’s work emphasizes that the eyes and mind can taste as well as the tongue. The popsicles are nothing but water and sugar, but ideas of deadly viruses and the spikiness of cacti stimulate a sensory reaction, even before the first taste.
What a fun concept for a project. I’m glad that there are people out there who choose to address peculiar ideas like this.