Sunday, February 20, 2011

1369 coffee house cup

My most recent commission was to redesign a brand-spanking new paper cup for 1369 Coffee House (in Cambridge, Massachusetts). The owner, Josh Gerber, wanted a cup that was distinct and represented the brand, showed the two locations, and incorporated community. Another important aspect would be that the cup is identifiable with a sleeve on it as well.

Both shops, Central Square and Inman Square, are situated in interesting buildings and I found that drawing them was fun, though coloring them in a way that was interesting and used two colors proved to be a bit of a challenge. Once I found the right style it came together quite nicely, using a layered effect which looks like an off-register print. For anyone living in the area, they are very recognizable as the two buildings (I have lived in both squares and worked at 1369 Central for 3 years!)

I added details to the outside of both shops, like the umbrella and chairs and the street sign and bicycle, to represent the people who congregate there. These items are pretty much fixtures outside either location (the table and chairs mostly in New England's not-freezing months!). I remember many-a-time sitting outside under the umbrellas or locking my bike up outside of the Inman store, and my experience is shared by so much of the community that I thought they were the perfect details to include.
Above: The final design! I warped it and was able to print out a version which can be wrapped around a cup for making the prototype. It was very helpful in understand how things will look on a cylindrical object.

Below is a selection of process work. In total I made around 35 versions of the cup! It changed (and improved) quite a lot over time and when I considered the composition more and more. Josh wanted to use the two colors of the brand (purple and beige) plus white. In the beginning I also tried using just purple and black, but it didn't go that well!
Above: Playing with the logo, trying to make it interesting and still using all the elements.

I really like how the coffee cup is peeking out from the bottom of the cup. It's a bit too cut off in this version, but the idea remains in the final version. The cropping makes it more dynamic and interesting, as well as using the space which can be seen when the sleeve is on.

Way too much beige!

These early versions are pretty boring and static. I was trying out blocks of color instead of coloring the whole cup purple, which was one of the original ideas. I still like the use of circles to frame and emphasize certain things. You've got to begin somewhere.

The cups have not been printed professionally yet, but I'll post again when I get one of the real-deals!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

about food

This is my first try at making marmalade, and I think it can fairly be called a success! Making the labels was just as fun as boiling down the organic seville oranges and worring about wether or not the jam would set properly! The flavor is strong and wonderful in the morning with toast and a cup of coffee. The first thing I tried it with was Fig and Aniseed (100% Rye) by the wonderful Handmade Bakery, from which the Unicorn gets bread deliveries twice a week. It was an amazing combination, I must say.

Above: an illustration in support of buying and eating local. I'm learning more and more how important and good it really is! I'm not interested in telling people what to do with slogans, so I added 'please' at the bottom, which is much friendlier!

Even more excitement:
Jennie O'Hara and I have published Easy Dinners for Difficult Dinner Guests online as an ebook and it can now be purchased by following this link!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

easy dinners for difficult dinner guests!

Our book is done!
Jennie O'Hara and I have made an edition of 30 of these beautiful cook books 'Easy Dinners for Difficult Dinner Guests' and we must admit that they have been a success. There are 22 fine recipes which are divided into chapters with specific dietary restrictions. Each chapter has a brief summary of the intolerance, then a complete meal with a starter, main course, and dessert. Wheat-Free is the first chapter and features Beetroot and Orange Salad, Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa, and Best-Ever Brownies (and they are).We are so happy with it that we are thinking of publishing it as an ebook and also doing a second edition!

Here are photos of the finished book: