Thursday, January 24, 2008

Split Completmentary Cat Powered Jukebox

I have always been quite fond of Chan Marshall's music. Her recent "image" makeover starting at about that time that one sexy photo shoot for Magnet (I think that's what it was) surfaced is a debated least theoretically. The once shy "cry on stage" antics have been replaced with photo ops with Chanel designers, so only time will tell if everybody hates her soon. That all aside though, I really liked this cover design for Cat Power's Jukebox. In terms of complexity, there is no calculus here, just some tasteful split complementary 1,2,3 images, pencil thin type, and a slightly metallic silver background that fits perfectly into her secret handshake with haute couture. The album itself is a pleasant collection of covers and a pair of originals that don't command much. Her voice is one of my favorite in this style of music, modern but still clinging to the ragged timbres of Dylan and Joni Mitchell. To bad the aforementioned folk icon's recent record covers, Modern Times and Shine! (respectively), looked like bad ideas left out on a rainy day and then some.


Monday, January 21, 2008

Let There Be Toothpaste....

In 2007, a whole new field of interest hit me in the face like anything worth paying attention to should. I found myself obsessing over something I would never have dreamed of, one faithful day in a Los Angeles Target. The object of the said infatuation was, naturally, Rembrant Toothpaste.

There was something terribly exciting to me about a predominately classic white rectangle accentuated with vibrant stations of color and a commanding centered Logo type. There I was in the toothpaste aisle spending far more time than any other in history secretly fascinated with a box of, and i emphasize, Toothpaste. It was a silent and clandestine appreciation, as I darted back and forth between the army of red/blue foil encrusted packages promising 24 hour this and that, whiteness, mint, lemon, grape and all sorts of dental improvements that a simple paste could never hope to achieve. There it sat like a well dressed gentlemen, polite and inviting, as a room full of loudmouths promised with shouts of everything you could ever think of applying to your little mouth.

It took me up until last week, to finally purchase a box of that toothpaste (as it's not cheap), but it holds its own against the best and even tastes better than any toothpaste i have had yet. That aside though, Rembrandt Toothpaste set something off in me I am ever so grateful. That gift is the appreciation for and desire to create things like this to take something like an indifference for toothpaste and literally transform it into a conscience awareness and heightened interest in a product or concept.

The design team behind this fantastic redesign opened my eyes to the importance of package design, advertising, and elements related. They have lit a fire and near obsession with things i never gave a second thought too. This isn't the first time, to be entirely honest, but we will talk about those later, for now let's just talk about toothpaste, ok.

Oh and look at the old design:

What do you think?

-Paul C.