"Do Not Open It," Erik Marinovich's Beautifully Hand-Drawn Letter

Curator: Karan Singh
date: August 27, 2014
Categories: Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: Lettering, Typography
San Francisco-based Erik Marinovich is kind of hard to ignore on the contemporary lettering scene. Not only does he have a respectable roster of previous clients as well as some incredible accolades, but the guy carved type into a tree stump with his bare freakin’ hands (okay, maybe he used tools, whatever). I use a Wacom every day and still struggle with chopsticks, so to go from brushes to chisels is just showing off. 
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Colorplan Sample Book for G.F. Smith by Made Thought

Curator: Wade Jeffree
date: August 14, 2014
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: logo, paper, printing, Typography

For some time now, paper merchants have been looked upon by designers as an opportunity to produce “print porn."  Yes, most are beautiful things in their own right, but what were they beside a designer's wet dream?


This is where the strength of design studio Made Thought’s rebrand and repositioning of paper manufacturer G.F Smith, and more specifically their new Colorplan paper sample book, is brilliant. Not only does it show a level of restraint not shown in many other sample books, but its core value and offerings are evident in every piece. It's paper, and beautiful paper at that, so why not show the paper for what it is? It's a really strong concept that makes you think “I wish I did that,” executed to the utmost perfection of quality. Made Thought truly nailed this.


The effortlessly simple confidence and beauty of the product itself is always prevalent. All the pieces have minimal printing crafted using techniques that are exceptionally gorgeous. From the business card that uses a very traditional piece of craft called paper marquetry to showcase not one or two, but three styles of Colorplan offering at once, the three papers represent three signature aspects of the range: color, weight and embossing.


The same technique is also used on the sample booklet, which uses simple fold techniques to minimize material waste, and once again, showcase the paper. Minimal printing is used, with only the necessary details. You're clearly informed and understand how the paper will hold a texture and print when needed. The concept is inherent in the product and has been used with craft and high production value to form a real gem for the designer to truly salivate over, whilst having a piece that is useful for the potential specifier.


The transition from something that's inherently physical to the digital world is also somewhat seamless, and the best use I have experienced. You can view and get a gauge for how different stock weights bend and look just by viewing videos on the site. The colors and textures are fully viewable in hi-resolution downloads—I've used many in image mock-ups for client presentation. The production introduction videos are all exquisite.


Being so wrapped up in the paper and online components, I almost overlooked the bespoke typeface for the logo designed by Colophon. It’s subtlety only helps by heightening that the product is key through and through when showcasing their offering.


When a good product is coupled with strong thinking, beauty will take shape. It's obvious with this example. I implore you to get calling or emailing to get your hands on a piece. Below are further examples that incorporate the beauty shown in the above.

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Native Shoes

Curator: Brian Mah
date: June 19, 2014
Categories: Packaging Design
Tags:

Native Shoes creates classic design silhouettes with the lightest, most comfortable materials. 

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Russian Virtual Cheese Labels Museum

Curator: Joe Marianek
date: June 5, 2014
Categories: Brand & Identity Design, Illustration, Packaging Design, Typography
Tags: Cheese, Packaging, peace, russia
In a dark corner of the internet, I discovered the Russian Virtual Cheese Label Museum which hosts a beautiful (and seemingly thorough) collection of obscure packaging labels from the second half of the 20th century.
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Pierre Hermé Package: Kenya Hara

Curator: Yo Santosa
date: May 27, 2014
Categories: Packaging Design
Tags:
One of my design heroes, wait no, overall hero—Kenya Hara. He’s also on MUJI’s advisory board and was a long term art director there. If you haven’t discovered MUJI, do it now.

I am always inspired by creatives that distill design into its simplest form. This packaging is simple, yet it evokes desire. I want to eat the packaging!
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