Thursday, November 6, 2008

Green is Universal

Received an email this morning from a friend about Green Screens Electronic Recycling Event happening on Nov 15 and Nov 16. Several locations throughout the borough.

Quoted from the website about the event.
"Green your routine. Drop off unwanted computers, TVs, cell phones, radios, cameras, VCRs and other electronics for free at any of the locations listed below. This small step is an important one to reduce the estimated 87.5% of e-waste that goes to landfills."

Time to find dust off those old electronics in storage.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cleanup Soap

Inspirational lecture from Hideaki Matsui of Cleanup Soap at the Japan-C event, Product Placement A personal, behind-the-scenes look at how things get made.

The issue of landmines throughout the world is an overwhelming problem. The idea behind Cleanup is to raise funds to aid in the removal and to raise awareness of this situation. Cleanup sells soap that is shaped like a landmine. Yes that's right, a landmine. A quote from the website below for the reason why.

" Since people use soap everyday, this product will serve as a constant reminder of the travesty of the landmine crisis. As people use the soap, they help clean the world of landmines. The soap diminishes and finally disappears with use; this is a metaphor to show that if people participate in this campaign, they will contribute to cleansing the earth of the landmines."

Brilliant! The whole aspect of this campaign is well thought out. From the product, informative packaging to the end results. To find out more about the product, landmine issues and how to help visit the cleanupsoap website.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

PET pets at Guchifritos Art Gallery

While exploring the city with the UD team, we ventured into the Essex Street Market and stopped into the Guchifritos Art Gallery, where the work of artist Miwa Koizumi immediately caught our attention. The work, plastic water bottles artfully cut, melted and reconfigured into realistic looking jellyfish seemed to float in mid air in the small corner of the contemporary art gallery. This project is called PET pets where the former PET stands for (polyethylene terephthalate) the type of recyclable plastic the water bottles are made out of. The artist, Koizumi, writes on her website, "I love the idea of using liquid containers to make water animals. Contained/containing, trash/not-trash, like the jellyfish or anemone: living/non-living."

These days trash is not just treasure but art and these jellyfish bring out the true beauty of the plastic water bottle. If you haven't been to the Essex Street Market check it out the next time you're in the Lower East Side. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

POM Wonderful - New Bottle, New Look

POMx Iced Coffee was just introduced as the latest beverage from the makers of POM Wonderful, "The Pomegranate People." This new drink is decked out in a swirling full bottle graphic rap. Its bulbous shape and short stature has a resemblance to it's cousin, the mini POM Wonderful bottle. POM's original packaging utilizes the shape of the pomegranate in its design, allowing them to stand out among more traditionally shaped bottles. The new POMx Iced Coffee continues this innovation with eye-popping graphics that call to mind the feeling of caffienation.   

P.S.- Yes there are antioxidants from pomegranates in the iced coffee.

Check out all the new POM Wonderful Tea beverages. 

The original POM Wonderful and all the new combination flavors.

POM Wonderful also comes in pill form. Check out this site:

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Rabbit Yaki-Manju

Minamoto Kitchoan is selling rabbit shapped Yaki-Manju, a sweet pastry filled with bean paste. This is sold in celebration of the first Autumn full moon on August 15 also known as "Juugoya." In Japan rabbits have been associated with this lunar event.

To celebrate I purchased a box. The package design has beautiful art on the exterior with 12 tasty treats held in a hexagon tray. Almost too cute to eat. After one bite all I could say was, "Sujoi!"
They where delicious.

Green Machine

Saw this wonderful product at the Japan C show at the Felissimo Design House. This is the Green Capsule from Boford. Great design when the packaging is part of the product.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pacifica Soy Candles

I was walking down the aisle of one of my favorite grocery stores and saw these Pacifica Soy Candles. I needed to stop, take a picture and pick one up. I smelled the packaging and it smelled so sweet and relaxing. Pacifica Soy Candles are made with a mix of natural soy and wax, which helps to hold and then release the fragrance while burning slowing. The packaging's graphic quality is strong, colorful and exciting; just like the product inside. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

And the Winner Is...

Congratulations to the finalists and winners of the 2008 Adobe Design Achievement Awards! This year the award for best student Packaging category went to Lih Shi Tsen’s Traditional Chinese Medicine Gift packaging. Design by Tseng-Chih Huang, Yu-Hsuan Chou, Han-Wen Hsieh, and Wei-Chen Shen from the Mingchi University of Technology in Taiwan.

Chinese Medicine packaging designed with traditional Chinese calligraphy and the symbol of the five elements, gold, wood, water, fire and earth. Combined with the unique hexegon shaped packaging this design caught my attention during the presentation. Great work!

Monday, August 11, 2008

eBar Organic

eBar's are bite-sized organic energy snacks made with exotic Brazilian fruits. This healthy treat's open face window box allows for easy viewing and the uncoated cardboard packaging makes the recycling process much easier. eBars parent company, BioBrazilProducts, has created a name for themselves on the global marketplace by offering only organics goods and ebar's are one of their main brand ventures in the states. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Green Depot

Last week on the Lower East Side I saw this store front for Green Depot. Quoted from there website, "As the largest supplier of environmental-friendly building materials on the east coast,..." Well informed site for homeowners looking to design with green in mind.
I'll have to stop by and check out the packaging.

While on the site I also saw a listing for Green Drinks NYC event on August 12, 2008.
6-10 PM at the Frying Pan
Chelsea Piers, Pier 66.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sanbitter Italian Soda

Sanbitter Rosso is a red bitter aperitif soda created in Italy. I first spotted this bright red label-less bottle at Cafe Capri, a Brooklyn coffee shop frozen in time where Frank Sinatra is always playing and the Italian ice-coffee is like no other. I had never seen Sanbitter products before; the bottle shape reminded me of 1930's American streamline design, like the Raymond Loewy locomotive. Not only is this little red beverage good looking but it also has quite a following. Check out this italian Sanbitter ad on YouTube

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Taza Chocolate

Taza Chocolate "is the only maker of 100% stone ground chocolate in the United States."

I first saw Taza Chocolate at Urban Rustic, an organic grocery store in Brooklyn which features many local and independent merchants. With so many interesting and original products, Urban Rustic keeps customers in the know with descriptive signs and images that explain many of their unique items. I was looking at a color diagram hanging above Taza Chocolate and then came across the round bar. I had never seen a round chocolate bar before and that alone was enough to get me interested. Later, thanks to their website, I found out that the shape of the bar is made to mimic the circular shape of the grinding stone used in producing the sweet treat. This circular packaging, (made from post consumer recycled materials) as well as it's distinctive shape, allows the chocolate bar to step "outside the box."

Taza's informative explanation of their round chocolate bar, featured at Urban Rustic.


Recycling plastic bottles today I noticed that the state of Maine had a refund on various bottles. With most soda bottles there is a refund in the following states CA, ME, MA, NY, OR, IA, MI, VT, and CT. But the only state that has a refund for bottled water according to the label is ME.

Curious about this I quickly typed in the search engine, "recycling in Maine." A few clicks late I'm reading on the SERC webpage about the Returnable Beverage Container Law. "In 1976, Maine enacted the Returnable Beverage Container Law. Maine was the first state to expand its deposit law to include juices, juice drinks, teas, sports drinks, and bottled waters. The law was expanded in 1989, after a brief campaign led by the Natural Resources Council of Maine and supported by Governor John McKernan. The expansion, implemented in 1990, covers “new age” drinks as well as wine and liquor containers."

I wanted to see what NYC laws where and came across the New York State Returnable Container Act. There was useful information but no leads about refunds for water bottle. I'm looking to find out why. More to research about this and to add in future posts.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ikea Packaging as Advertisement

Ikea is known for both their inventive advertising campaigns and for being the pioneer of flat-pack designed furniture. Here is an example of one of Ikea's flat-pack boxes used in a commerical advertisement. The box was hung behind glass at Brooklyn bus stops, informing locals about a new store opening in Red Hook. This advertisement catches your attention and provides an innovative use of packaging.  

Monday, June 30, 2008

Urban Homesteading Project (UHP)

Great performance piece at the 2008 Figment Festival involving used plastic bottles. From the Emergence - Creative Pioneers in Uncharted Territory show. Urban Homesteading Project (UHP) by Francisca Caporali, Laura Grace Chipley, Pilar Ortiz.

Quoted from the site.
Concept: Over nine weeks, the structure will be gradually insulated with salvaged plastic bottles, re-purposed as receptacles for organic life. Within each bottle, living plants are cultivated in either soil or water.The dialogue and interaction initiated through the construction of the homestead in tandem with planting, cultivating, and harvesting is integral to sustainability. The collaboration between artists and audience patterns a simple model of a community.

Participate: Viewers are invited to donate plastic bottles and participate in the planting process. At the end of the summer, the wood skeleton will be recycled and the plants will be given away; transplanted to a new place in which to grow roots and emerge."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Packaged Past

Classic packaging on display in a store on the West Village. As a designer its fascinating to look at the art and typography from another time period. As a consumer it's amazing what nostalgic memories packaging can stir from the past.

Happiness seeing packaging of your favorite toy or board game. Reminiscing on your favorite tv show. movie or cartoon when looking at an old lunch box. In this case the popcorn box evoked a flashback from grade school. Friday movie day! I can remember the smell of the buttery popcorn in the air as it was poured into the box just before the movie started.

Second life for a packaging not only when recycling but when it takes you down memory lane.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Notable Packaging @ Renegade Craft Fair

At the 2008 Renegade Craft Fair in McCarren Park Pool, Body Care Packaging dominated as the most creative and compelling. Check out who UD picked for Most Notable Packaging and all the runner ups. 

Biggs & Featherbell

Biggs & Featherbell Heath Conscious Body Care was chosen as UD's Most Notable Packaging. Their packaging is hand painted with bright colors and gives off a playful girly essences. Each item has a clever name and a corresponding illustration. Biggs & Featherbell products and packaging are made by sisters Kelly and Hasey Evick. Check out all the places you can buy Biggs & Featherbell. 

And The Runner Ups Are:

Dirty Loves Clean

Check out Dirty Loves Clean soup packaging made from New York City Subway maps and corrugated cardboard.

Honey Flower
Check out the Honey Flower Natural Skincare product line and Blog

Disquieting Designs
Check out Disquieting Designs body care products and their new Soytastic soy candles on their website where you can buy it all. 

Bunny Butt Apothecary
Check out Bunny Butt Apothecary hand-crafted soaps and excellent smelling perfumes.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Renegade Craft Fair

On scene at the 2008 Renegade Craft Fair in Williamsburg. Great turnout despite moments of heavy rain and sweltering heat. A DIY fair featuring over 200 vendors in McCarren Park Pool.

One booth of note was the body care packaging and products from Biggs & Featherbelle. The gorgeous illustration, typography and brown corrugated wrapper around a sweet smelling soap caught UD's attention.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mast Brothers Chocolate

I found Mast Brothers Chocolate at Urban Rustic, a 100% organic and sustainable indoor farmers market along McCarren Park. Mast Brothers Chocolate is handmade in Brooklyn, NY and is wrapped in a vintage patterned paper. The self-described "Leaders Of The Chocolate Revolution," Mast Brothers Chocolate can also be found at Artists and Fleas, Spuyten Duyvil GroceryMarlow and Sons and Blue hill Cafe in Williamsburg. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

East Pack Packaging Expo 2008

East Pack is the east cost's largest packaging expo and UnwrappedDesign was there to see it all. The convention featured the latest innovations in packaging, processing and technology. Two floors of the massive Jacob K. Javits Convention Center were filled with trade booths displaying each company's packaging, innovative new recyclable packaging materials, and assembly lines showing how the packaging was stamped out, assembled, filled with the product and labeled. Visiting the booths there was a common theme expressed of maximum product exposure with minimum packaging using recyclable materials. Check out some of the packaging we saw at East Pack 2008.

Inside the Jacob Javits Center

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Bottles That Got My Attention

I'm constantly observing the packaging being sold all around me. When I walk down the aisle of a corner market or grocery store, I let the packaging on the shelves compete for my attention. I try to see whose label, shape, or interesting detail stands out most. 

Checkout some of the bottles I've picked up recently.  

Thursday, May 29, 2008

East Pack

UD will be on the scene next week at East Pack 2008 to see the latest innovations and trends in the packaging industry. This is the biggest packaging expo in the east coast. New this year is the  Green Packaging product pavilion and looking forward to see what they have on display.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Big Belly Solar Trash Cans

I was in Queens (Long Island City) the other day and I was excited to see one of the Big Belly trash cans. Queens is the only location in New York at the moment to get the cans as part of the "Queens Clean Air Project". These solar powered trash compacter help with the issue of overflowing trash receptacles on street corners. They hold up to 150 gallons of trash and are great for busy city areas. The solar powered grid at the top of the can provides all the energy needed for compacting through out the entire day. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Story Telling

In a 2007 issue of I.D. Magazine an article was written with packaging trends to watch for. The number two item listed was "Story Telling". This is a way to connect consumers with stories to help remember the product and give the item credibility. Text copy designed to makes us pause, read and engage with the packaging.

While waiting at the checkout line at the grocery store I find myself reading labels and packaging looking for these snippets. I really enjoy finding these little surprises while purchasing items.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Healthy and Environmentally-Minded Eats at /Eks/

When you walk into /Eks/ (pronounced "X") Frozen Yogurt you feel like you're stepping into a pop art Tokyo cartoon basement. The walls are covered in a cherry red stencil of large fruit scenes. This design is continued through the entire fro-yo shop right down to their packaging. Neo Kim is the owner and designer of /Eks/ and has made recycling a priority in his store. At the back of the shop you will find three large receptacles with corresponding recycling symbols above. There are no other trash cans in the entire vicinity so recycling at /Eks/ is second nature -- the way it should be. 
/Eks/ is located in Williamsburg on Driggs Ave between N 9th & N10th St. The frozen yogurt and fresh fruit are an exquisite combination. I always get plain yogurt with blackberries and honey. 

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's All in the Cards

In the spirit of UnwrappedDesign, do it yourself and second life the card stock of the UD business cards will be from discarded packaging boxes. A photo recap of the design and production process at the studio.