Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Snobject: Folding Bike, Brand TBD

RCA student Dominic Hargreaves' design for a folding bike:

According to Treehugger,

The Guardian reports that three companies have already shown interest in making a production model, which would make the Contortionist "one of those extremely rare items that move directly from design student project into the shops."
via treehugger

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Snobject: Fruitscapes

Stefano Giovanonni's Fruitscape for Alessi. Shiny, swoopy and seductive. I can't resist the high polish and ambiguous form which incidentally holds fruit in place quite well.

Monday, August 10, 2009

WS Now Selling Compelling Narratives

Check out the August 2009 Williams-Sonoma catalog. It features "New American Chefs," pairing each chef's cuisine with the tools you need to make each dish. Less catalog and more magazine, these pages are nice to look at. They stop short of offering the recipes, instead teasing you to their ecommerce site to get them.

I would've preferred the full monty in the catalog, but still it's great to see cross-promotion among their departments. Too often great product stories are lost when items are broken up across different buyers - they don't like to work together to promote a story. But great narratives like these will sell product and hopefully Williams-Sonoma is translating this to retail as well.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Snobject: Trunki

Trunki brings great fun along on your child's trip. The UK company developed this fun rolling suitcase and has now rolled it out into a line of travel products. Yondi, a comfy padding pillow, finally puts an end to "broken neck position" on long car rides.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ecommerce Hits Back to School

Very interesting reads here from the International Advertising Bureau. Topline summary: Ecommerce continues to be ahead of the game during this recession, while store sales remain stagnant. Interestingly, parents are also using online research moreso than ever to try to save money on Back to School purchases. The most popular/successful/$$$ ecommerce sites provide video, hi-res images, blog tie-ins and a real depth of info.

Add these two articles together and I wonder when someone will swoop in and offer head-to-toe online shopping for Back to School, and capitalize on the late-summer spending surge while saving parents time and money. Stuck on You has done this for label-making; someone will become a one-stop shop for BTS while the competition (Fiskars, Its Academic, Mead, Crayola) struggles to maintain an updated web presence, much less a comprehensive one.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tools that Help You ENJOY Cooking!

Since when did cooking become purely about convenience? Cooking is more than just preparing food but it's hard to find the time to enjoy the process. I think the best kitchen gadgets these days help you cook quickly, but also with more satisfaction. As always, the best products surprise and delight consumers. You just might love to cook if you let yourself enjoy it. Here are some of my favorite kitchen helpers:

IKEA's Charm Cheese Grater, $5.99, with lid, fine & coarse graters, and compact storage. The perfect cheese grater, bar none.
Global Sanroku fluted knife, $99.95, your best friend that slices through anything like butter. Kuhn Rikon nonstick paring knives, $10, with a safety sheath that keeps blades perfectly sharpened. Sharp knives are joy.
OXO Salad Spinner, $29.99, drying lettuce in one quick spin is magical. Dry anything you can fit inside and save yourself from boring bagged lettuce.
Wilton Pastry Blender, $6.99, this is shameless self promotion because I designed this, and it's the best. Trust me.
Panasonic Rice Cooker, $29.95, yes rice is easy to cook, but never having to check on it is priceless. Think of it as a rice-crock-pot, which can make meals out of perfectly cooked rice all by itself.
Alessi Diabolix bottle opener, $15, an absolute pleasure every time I use it to open a bottle. Not only is it devilishly cute, it fits your hand beautifully.