When it comes to sharply designed branding and identity one of the first names that comes to mind is Brent Couchman and his San Francisco design studio Moniker. One of my recent favorite projects they completed was the branding and identity for Teddy’s Nacho Royale, a Mexican restaurant on the Menlo Park campus of Facebook.
I think what they’ve done is a perfect mix of playful type and symbols, all presented in a clean, contemporary fashion. They specifically “developed the visual identity, signage and interior graphics with a nod to local burrito joints, while incorporating their internal culture throughout the restaurant.” Overall it’s really well done, and a place personally I would love to frequent.
You can see more of Moniker’s work by clicking here.
Coffee making instruments have a long history of being “sexy”. You’ve got the Chemex, the French press, and for the professional, the La Marzocco espresso machine. Added to the list is the brand new Ratio Eight coffee maker which, to use a totally clichéd descriptor, looks as if Apple designed a Mr. Coffee.
We designed the Eight with the ideal balance of form to function. The clear blown-glass and warm black walnut flush-up against machine-sculpted aluminum for a staunch juxtaposition. Every angle and alignment is measured down to the tenth of a millimeter, all for a singular, refined efficiency.
I have no idea if this actually makes decent coffee or not but you’ve got to give it to them for styling along. The combination of aluminum, glass, wood, and cork is a designers wet dream. This is coffee porn taken to the extreme. You can take a look at the video below to get a sense of what the machine is capable of, but be warned, it comes with a hefty $480 price tag.
Everyone has a weakness for snacks. I personally have a savory palette, preferring to nosh on things like wasabi cashews or walnuts and cranberries. Alexander Barrett and Brad Simon love snacks so much they decided to create Snacks Quarterly, an online publication that celebrates snacks in all their forms.
Snacks Quarterly is an internet publication that brings a variety of artists together to share their insights and ideas on the subject of snacks and snacking. Essays, illustrations, anecdotes, and practical snacking tips post four times a year on our beautifully designed, ad-free website.
Gastrotypographicalassemblage is a a massive 35 feet long by 8.5 feet high installation which combines two of my favorite things, typography and food. Created by Lou Dorfsman in 1966 (along with the help of designer Herb Lubalin) to grace the walls of the CBS building in Manhattan, the piece featured over 1,650 individual letters spelling out culinary terminology and expressions, as well as 65 food-related objects. Unfortunately the art was removed when the building was sold in 1989 though thankfully it was saved by designer Nick Fasciano and Dorfsman himself from remaining in the dumpster.
For the past 25 years though the work has been kept in storage, looking for a new place to reside. Thankfully The Culinary Institute of America has found it a home in it’s Hudson Valley campus. The video below tells he story of Gastrotypographicalassemblage and it’s recreation at the CIA. It’s great to see that such a wonderful piece like this didn’t get lost in the shuffle of time.
“Simple recipes deliciously shot” is the strapline for Forkful.tv. In those four words they perfectly sum up what the website is all about; making simple food look beautiful. While it may be a fairly straightforward premise, the selection of receipes and the quality of their videos is what really makes this website stand out.
“Opinions are like elbows, everybody’s got one or two.” I think this phrase to myself a lot. I find it applies especially well to the realm of design. And it’s certainly true when you’re talking about logo redesigns, the Internet’s favorite subject to shit on. I’ve certainly shared quite a few of my own opinions on the site, though in recent years I’ve tried to bring constructive criticism to my posts so I don’t add to the senseless noise. Last night I started to read about a new logo redesign for Olive Garden by Lipincott, which was generally being panned. Curious I took a look at what all the fuss was about… and honestly couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. And boy was there a lot of fuss.
It’s a fact, my favorite food on earth is the hamburger (though I might be partial, Los Angeles is the burger capitol of the world). To me it’s an incredible combination of meats, vegetables, and sauces, neatly packaged up between two delicious buns. A burger is simple enough to make but it takes a great chef to transform it into something truly magnificent. I’m not alone in my admiration, the guys at MINE, a design firm located in San Francisco, have started The Message is Medium Rare, which finds creative metaphors in the act of eating burgers.
People often ask us where we get our inspiration, how we stay creative, and how we get “unstuck.” What we’ve found is that, if you look at the world both critically and with wonder, there are lessons to be learned everywhere. Every object, experience, relationship, environment, phrase—everything—has locked inside it an insight it wants to share. The only trick is remembering to look for it.
To investigate this idea, we’re eating a burger a week for the next 52 weeks and sharing the lessons they teach us.
Each piece is a great read, relating a 75-year-old burger shop owners retirement to leaving the game when you’re at the top and how too much lettuce on a burger spurs a realization that design is a balancing act.
Mixing illustrations with vintage typographical concepts, Derrick Castle carves the beauty of traditional drinks in his Classic Cocktails series.
Castle, a graphic designer and illustrator, has worked for some big names like Nike, Under Armour and Harley Davidson to name a few. Living in Nashville, Castle has been exposed to mixology and modern interpretations of classic cocktails through friends in the bartending industry.
It doesn’t get much more simple than chopsticks. A pair of finally crafted pieces of wood that allow you to nimbly eat. If you would have asked me if it was possible to make a better, or perhaps more innovative pair of chopsticks, I’d probably so no, that they’ve been refined to their basic essence. Nendo on the other hand has found not one but two new ways of innovating on the basic design of chopsticks.
Most wine bottles are boring. Wandering the aisles it’s hard to tell most of them apart, because really, the only true way to tell them apart is by tasting. Still, effective packaging design is the easiest way to increase sales, so creating an interesting brand is extremely critical. That brings up the work that Realist has done for The Easy Choice Winery, an upscale winery in Paarl, South Africa, who’s brought some humor and simplicity to their branding.