Friday Focus

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for beautiful packaging. Quite often I find myself dropping way more dough than is sensible, based on nothing else. Here are a couple recent examples. Huge props to the designers of the following:

Califia Farms almond milk

First off, you’ve got to love that curvatious bottle! Eye-catching even at a distance, then feels great in the hands. Upon closer inspection, here is a gorgeous logo and typography that all works harmoniously to evoke a retro and slightly exotic feel. Brava, Califia! In the basket you go.

Tyrell’s chips

This is interesting because I admit this would never be my go-to aesthetic, but I love this design. On the surface it seems like the simple serif logo paired with B&W photography could potentially be boring, but it completely works. Why? Because it’s the polar opposite of the mass-market chip aesthetic, and therefore it stands out by virtue of being understated. But it doesn’t end there! The photos are totally quirky and charming, and the color palate is unexpected and fresh.

redesigning re:design

A snip-snip here and a cut-cut there and a couple of la-dee-da’s—and here you have it, ladies and gents, the brand new re:design blog!


Check it out! After a long period of disuse, the blog is back in action. And what more fitting way to kick off this renewed effort of redesigning the world one product at a time than to put a new face on the blog itself.

Have you ever shopped for a bachelorette party invitation? What’s out there is a lot of cosmos hanging out of limos, zebra patterns, and hot pink. Yikes! My dear friend K is a classier dame than that, so I wanted her to have a little something different for her bachelorette invite.
A shout-out to the graphics fairy for the stock photo. (Love this website!)

Have you ever shopped for a bachelorette party invitation? What’s out there is a lot of cosmos hanging out of limos, zebra patterns, and hot pink. Yikes! My dear friend K is a classier dame than that, so I wanted her to have a little something different for her bachelorette invite.

A shout-out to the graphics fairy for the stock photo. (Love this website!)

My hubby is quite a dapper dude. He knows his way around a can of grease, and Murray’s has always been his brand of choice. It’s supposedly the best pomade out there. That being said, I think the design of the can could use a serious makeover…

The bright orange color is so tied into the brand at this point, it would be crazy to change that. Everything else: revamped. Now this is something I could enjoy seeing on my bathroom sink. As stylish as the fella using it!

When a psychic storefront opened up on my block recently, I sensed a total lack of joie de vivre in the look and feel of the place. Kind of depressing, actually. And I’m not picking on this one storefront (which will go unnamed); seemingly the design world has sadly passed by this industry altogether. There’s a ton of heritage here, so what a missed opportunity for some really fun design!

Behold! I evoked the 20’s/art deco/carnival when I designed this signage for a hypothetical psychic reader. I think a pretty lady on your signage could never be bad for business. She enchants you with her all-knowing eyes…

Once inside, you’d want the customer to feel they’re having a full experience; I imagine some creepy turn-of-the-century black and white photos on the walls, plenty of candles, lots of pillows, and of course some beaded curtains. An inviting and enchanting experience!

I love to read a good blog for inspiration, and my absolute favorite is la dee dah. It’s modern, feminine, fresh, and flawlessly curated by the oh-so-chic and funny-as-heck Kim Boyer. The content and writing is second to none, but as Kim confessed, the design of the blog itself was sadly not holding up its end of the deal.

So imagine how excited I was to redesign said blog!

We went with a light and airy look with a fresh and delicate color palette, and played up the whimsy of the title. Undoubtedly feminine, but not prissy. And what a lovely little lifestyle blog it is!

We love hot sauce at my house. At any given time our fridge has a motley crew of 5-6 bottles hanging out on the door. I also have a cajun daddy, so I’m well aquainted with the genre. Although he’s a Tabasco purist…

One thing I’ve noticed is that more often than not, these hot sauce labels are in dire need of a redesign. Why not make them pretty? Personally I’d love to see one with a more heirloom-like feel. So here’s my take on hot sauce, using one of the most tried and true brands, Louisiana. I doubt such a large brand would ever go forward with such a drastic rebranding, but I think this concept would be great for some spunky young company that wants their bottle to stand out from the pack. 

Apropos to the Louisiana name, I spiced up these labels with an ornamental foil stamped border, inspired by the gorgeous wrought iron balconies that line the streets of New Orleans. The croc not only evokes the Louisiana swamps but also gives the whole thing some necessary toughness. He means business and is here to tell you, “Don’t be fooled by the beautiful label, this is going to burn your mouth.”

The ‘before’ bottle:

Louisiana Hot Sauce

I don’t know whether it’s the designer in me or just a pure lack of wine knowledge, but for me, choosing a wine always comes down to the design of the label. Luckily, the last time I was in the wine store the shopkeeper pointed me in the direction of a wonderful wine that I would have surely overlooked. It’s called Le Bon Petit Diable, (“the good little devil”) from a small French vineyard called Les Sablonnettes.

A really cool thing about this wine: it’s organic! The wine doesn’t go through any unnatural fermenting processes, so there’s a a real rustic quality to it that I love. Anyway, between the fun name, delicious flavor, and the fact that I couldn’t find ANY indication that this was organic from the label (a major selling-point, I think!), I was inspired to try my hand at a redesign. I wanted to give it a look that I would personally spot and pick up in the store.

Here is the original (actual) label— look for it in stores! It’s truly a hidden gem.

Le Bon Petit Diable_actual label

Ah, the joys of commuting! Screeching loudspeakers, odorous passengers, malfunctioning metrocards. Well if your metrocard has to fizzle out with $32 left (like mine did yesterday), AT LEAST could it be stylish?

Well I think this calls for a total teardown, logo and all. While we’re dreaming, let’s get rid of the problematic magnetic strip and replace it with updated technology like this pretty scan tag which would endure the wear and tear. I also gave a nod to the good ole tokens of yesteryear, which had the cool diecut Y in the center. That diecut Y and the rounded cattycorners would make for nice tactile elements; great for whenever you’re searching for your card blindly.

I’d also love to see the MTA do something fresher and cleaner with the service announcements and safety posters, so I did one of each. You’ll notice this is still Helvetica, which I think is so iconic of the MTA system that I couldn’t bear to replace it— and also Helvetica is just a great legible font. But just to freshen it up, I used Helvetica Neue, which is slightly slicker-looking.

I think this updated design could seriously improve a New Yorker’s outlook on commutation! Well, it’s a start.