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LA to SF with 8 hrs of R&R

Comfort and style are two words almost never associated with any travel experience these days. Travel has become an endless waiting game complicated by traffic, long lines, weather delays, and airline snafus. Getting from point A to point B is a process to be endured. Statistically, a traveler must sacrifice a full day to travel up to 500 miles. read on

Hada Labo Tokyo

The Japanese Hada Labo skincare line has been around Asia since its launch in 2004.
The popularity of Hada Labo, or “Skin Lab,” has reached the overseas market in recent years with their products available for purchase in their original packaging. However, the Japanese labels make it difficult to sell to a market that can’t read the language and sometimes consumers only have the small sticker taped on the back of the bottles for the translated list of ingredients and instructions on how to use. Since then, Hada Labo has released a US version under the name “Hada Labo Tokyo.” Besides the slight difference in ingredients, Hada Labo Tokyo’s products are marketed under a completely different branding and packaging system. read on

Click, Clack, Ding…

… said the tenor Smith-Corona. A portable Remington 5 and an Underwood join in a methodical clacking key sound. Each composition is enhanced by rollers ratcheting and a swoopy carriage return sound. The shift key provides a mechanical bass sound and a seemingly random “ding” adds emphasis. read on

When TV Logos Were Physical Objects

It goes without saying that nearly everything made with graphic design and video software was once produced using a physical process—from newspapers to TV Logos. But some TV stations and film studios took things even further and designed physical logos that were filmed to create dynamic special effects. Arguably the most famous of which is MGM’s Leo the Lion which first appeared in 1916 and would go on to include 7 different lions over the decades. read on

The Roycrofters

I am currently reading a very interesting book by Erik Larson called Dead Wake about the sinking of the Lusitania (a luxury passenger ship) by a German submarine during World War I. What’s so interesting about the book is that the author writes in the style of fiction, even though this is a true story about something that really happened. Erik Larson writes very intimately about every detail regarding the ship which sailed from NYC in May 1915 to Liverpool, England. He goes so far as to name many of the individuals that sailed that day (and I believe died, even though I haven’t gotten to that part of the novel yet). read on

Tesla to “Build” 100 Megawatts in 100 Days

In the latest step to single-handedly drag the world kicking and screaming into the future, Elon Musk and his company Tesla have signed on with the country, Australia, to install the world’s largest Powerpack battery storage system to supplement the Hornsdale Wind Farm. The Powerpack installation will be able to supply power to 30,000+ homes during power outages or during peak electricity usage. read on

Bitmoji, Youmoji

People either love emojis or hate them. I personally do not like the animated ones that dance around when they are attached to an email. I find them very obnoxious. As we also know, attaching emojis to emails is not proper etiquette. However, sending them in text messages is something that we have all become quite accustom to. To date, there are 100s to choose from. read on

Industry Redesign Requested

Taylor Design is in the design and service business, so we know a bit about both. Last week’s United flight to and from Chicago for a meeting illustrated the airline industry’s dire need for a design and service revamp. From beginning to end, our simple one night business trip was a miserable experience, illustrating severe service shortcomings and dreadfully poor design decisions. For example:
– Since airlines charge $25 for bags, everyone brings them on the plane. The overhead bins quickly fill up, leading to an immediate stall and confusion in the boarding process.
– On the jet, the seats no longer align with the windows, due to the airlines pushing them forward to fit more seats in the cabin. So not only are travelers crunched for leg space, they can’t even look out the window.
– The terminals at both LaGuardia and O’Hare were packed with people in every direction, with travelers laying on the floor, sitting on trash cans, or standing for lack of seating. Clearly transit planners did not anticipate growth, or they would have designed the terminals to be much more expansive with a better traffic flow.
– Our flight arrived 4 hours late to Chicago and 4 hours late returning to New York, so forget about planning. The delays were mainly due to the weather, so I can’t complain about that, but communicating the delays via my phone was confusing and often wrong.
The list goes on and on—based on previous experiences from TSA body searching to missing luggage to getting bounced due to an overbooked flight—leading one to wonder when someone in the airline industry will take a time-out and look at their business model from the passenger’s viewpoint.

Plastics of the Sea

80 to 120 tons of plastic are fished out of the sea surrounding the Maldives by various organizations every month. That seems like a lot of garbage, but this initiative is tiny when compared to scientists’ calculations which estimates that 4.8 to 12.7 metric tons of plastic enter our seas annually. It sends a powerful message of hope and commitment.

Parley, a New York based environmental protection organization working with the government of the Maldives, is focused on balancing human economic activity with the fragile beauty of our oceans. Their mission is to inspire art and business leaders to design, develop, and produce ecologically minded goods made from fibers derived from reclaimed ocean plastic. Adidas signed on and introduced Adidas X Parley, a line of shoes and active wear made with ocean plastic fibers. Their meaningful tag lines cement a purposeful message: “From Threat to Thread” or “Spinning the Problem into a Solution.”

Most recently, fashion designer Stella McCartney, well known for her low impact stance on production, also entered into a partnership with Parley. When asked how these fibers would complement her luxury brand, she replied by saying “To take something that is destructive and turn it into something that’s sexy and cool, how can that not be luxury?”

For us not to acknowledge the example set by Parley or companies such as Adidas and Stella McCartney would be irresponsible and destructive for our future—now more than ever.

Source: The New York Times, June 6, 2017

The Tops of Toppings!

Click the photo to view the video

“Nutrient free and delicious” was probably the main reason why Fluffernutters were not in my elementary school lunch box. Fluff was, however, available at my friend’s house. There, I could slather a slice of white bread with Fluff in a nutritional value free zone. More than the gooey sweetness of Fluff, I loved the shape of the jar, the simple label design, the kitschy animated ads, and the peppy jingle.

Fluff is much more than a mid-century modern American icon—Fluff turned 100 this year. This means Fluff has withstood numerous societal changes since its introduction in 1917. “New” or “improved” has never appeared on its label. Inventor Archibald Query made $500.00 when he sold his recipe to two Massachusetts WWI veterans, Allen Durkee and Fred Mower. Upon their purchase, Durkee Mower made one genius change to “Toot Sweet Marshmallow Fluff,” which was to simplify the name to “Fluff.” The marketing of Fluff was also Durkee Mower’s genius. Fluff has become a legacy brand which has successfully withstood the test of time and taste.

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