Monday, November 29, 2010


Back from a posting hiatus, due to the holidays and post-holiday digestive coma.

Full admission: I find scars both bad-ass and also kind of icky.  It's awesome when you inspire the comment, "What does the other guy look like?", but at the same time, the puckery weird skin and the raised bumpiness are not so much my thing.  And with kids and stretchmarks and all the rest coming into play, it's great that there's a product that helps diminish the appearance of scars.

I've heard good things about Mederma.  Everyone who's ever talked about it has had a good experience.  I haven't tried it personally; the scar on my lip, a holdover from my orthodontist, is pretty sick, but if the advertising is anything to go off of, this product is a winner.

Straight up: this is a product to fix you, but it's about fixing something that (arguably) is actually wrong.  Scars are damaged tissue, and this is a clinical product to fix it. That's a step up from all the products that are meant to fix things that aren't wrong with you.   Further, all of these women look happy and giggly and downright delightful.  They're not embarrassed about their scars!  And best of all, they have normal bodies, but are also considered pretty conventionally attractive.  Exciting!  Scars, bellies, and happy ladies all in one commercial.

There's a conversation we could have about embracing yourself, flaws and all, but I do have to point out that as fixer upper products go, this is tame.  Some people have pretty extreme scars that make them feel uncomfortable.  This isn't the same thing as skin whitening cream or something with similarly racist overtones.  It isn't even to fix a genetic trait like body hair or fat cells or darker skin that's not in keeping with traditional beauty standards.  Everyone gets beat up by life.  Scars are equal opportunity.  And if it makes you feel better to minimize them and you can giggle and be happy about that, then I say go ahead.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Last Thursday, I put on my fancy party tights and took myself out to the Anthology Magazine launch party.  Anthology is a new lifestyle magazine put out by Anh-Minh Le, with Meg Mateo Ilasco (of Craft, Inc.) as Creative Director.  It's glorious—a total visual treat.  Since Blueprint got shut down and Domino bit the dust, I've been looking for a magazine that taps in to the contemporary girl's design-oriented spirit, and this is just the magazine.

The launch party at West Elm was a whole lot of classy fun.  Some really incredible women were there.  Anh-Minh and Maggie Mason, two of my favorites, were kind enough to chat with me.  There were delicious cocktails and coffee options, circulating cookies and treats, and best of all, Smilebooth was in attendance!

My fantastic new friend Elka of Casa Sugar posed with me, along with the super-stylin' Ashley Meaders:

There's me in the middle of the sandwich of awesome.  And the pictures get funnier from there.  They're all up at the Smilebooth site, just click on California.  We're at the top of the page.

Thanks for a swell night Anthology!  Everyone else, subscribe, and soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Billboard Advertising... Nothing?

On the U.S./Canadian border near Vancouver, there's now a billboard that's made of nothing but air.

From Fast Company's design blog:
Clearly it’s some kind of pinko Canadian stunt, right? A passive-aggressive commentary on Americans’ conspicuous consumption? Wrong! Non-Sign II is the brainchild of the Seattle art and architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio. Even crazier: It was commissioned by the federal government, which usually regards high art the way one would a dead rat.

The sculpture's purpose is to promote the benefits of clean air, comment on the widespread nature of consumption, and according to Brandflakes, asks us to consider a less cluttered world.  I think it's just cool that there's dead space in the middle of a highly-traveled landscape.  It interrupts one's schema because it's so unexpected.

I have a love/hate relationship with advertising, though it's mostly love.  When done well, it can illuminate and refine our desires, our passions, our values.  When done badly, however, it feels like the static that surrounds this billboard, defining even more sharply how good some clear space feels.

Friday, November 5, 2010

GE Lightbulbs

I absolutely love this student work from Kevin Kwok that was featured on Lovely Package a couple days ago.  It's CFL lightbulb packaging.

What Kevin says about it intelligent and interesting, so I'm just going to quote him.

The redesign of General Electric CFL light bulbs is aimed to bring a friendlier shelf presence through the use of basic informative graphics. An advantage of the redesign is the ability to stack the packages together to complete the graphical form of a CFL light bulb. The top and bottom of each package might look familiar, they graphically resemble what the top and bottom of a CFL light bulb. Also something to note is each wattage has it’s own color identity.
The redesign also considered the environment, the new design is packaged with post consumer cardboard rather than calm shell plastic. This ensures the use of less natural resources and therefore less impact on the environment. GE would also allow consumers to put old CFL light bulbs back in these packages and mail them back to be recycled.

If the packaging hadn't been environmentally-friendly, that would have been a huge gaffe.  I love that now we're taking into account the materials we use to construct packaging, not just the design.  Design and materials are seamlessly integrated here which is as it should be.