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Considering our waste-stream, there’s the three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Within the category of reuse may we suggest a closer look at the strategy of turning things inside out? The practice has great philosophical meaning and it’s considerate of the environment. Simply respectful to the original resource… to honor it again and preserve some of it’s history.

As a designer I was inspired over a cup of tea this morning. Peering inside the tea packaging there was the glimpse of another visual world. I saw an unexpected other life to this packaging. It was intriguing and I wondered about other ways we could get this to happen in more of our design projects at Partners in Design.  Please add your ideas below.

tea_packaging004

The outside of this Korean tea packaging looks like this… sedate and simple. The zip-lock top keeps the contents fresh and I can store another green tea in it when I have finished this batch.

tea_packaging001

On the inside there’s another package design. Life number two. A little more colorful… rice, wheat?

  • Open up envelopes and turn them inside out, tape or glue, and use them again.
  • Unfold shipping boxes and decorate the craft paper interiors with designs, refold inside out to make favorite gift boxes.
  • We always turn our grocery produce bags inside out to use them repeatedly. Don’t worry the inks used on these bags are food-grade.
  • Using press-sheets as wrapping paper.
  • Remember turning your craft paper grocery bags for textbook covers?
  • We like this one a lot, sort of turning something inside out… re-purpose an unwanted t-shirt and easily turn the shirt into a re-usable tote bag. http://etcetorize.blogspot.com/2011/08/t-shirt-tote-bag.html

Tote 11 sm

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nutella

Nutella was created in the 1940’s by Pietro Ferrero. War rationing meant that cocoa was in short supply across Europe, so Pietro Ferrero mixed cocoa with toasted hazelnuts, cocoa butter and vegetable oils to create an economical spread of chocolate. Reformulated in 1949, this variety was both inexpensive and spreadable, which was a great plus-point. It enjoyed enormous success and in 1964 was renamed ‘Nutella’ and marketed outside of Italy. Nutella comes in an oval-shaped jar. The bold label contains both black and red letters! The “N” is designed to draw attention to the nuts in Nutella! But look how this solution draws so much attention to the name and makes this mark memorable. So why is this on our mind today… well today is “World Nutella Day”.

It’s quaint, but it must have been utilitarianism that drove this package solution. In design, form follows function, or in this case… form follows fish. This is one of the design apexes we have here in the Northwest design community to look up to. They say we’re only good at designing big empty, boring boxes to put our computer software in… well, also beer bottle labeling. Fast-forward 134 years since the think-tank canning of salmon here and we have Apple computer designing pretty boxes and Microsoft copycatting those boxes… dead end there. How about challenging the visual and spatial intelligence of software consumers, and becoming responsible to the resources used in packaging?

Wish I could give credit for this image… but the source is unnamed.

scary_squash

Oh my heavens it’s the scary yellow scallop squash! Happy Halloween from your pals at Partners in Design. It’s a great designer holiday, I often think of it as our very own. We knew this photo of our favorite seed packet designs would come in handy someday. Design lesson of the day: appropriate and make uniquely you own… redirect meaning. Long visual history of it in the making of collages (ORIGIN early 20th cent.: from French, literally ‘gluing.’).Boo!

wabi-sabi_cup

A part of our “word of the day” series.
We won’t post a new one every day, but you
get the idea. Give us ideas for new words.
Foreign and made-up words count.

Wabi-sabi is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.

It is a beauty of things modest and humble.

It is a beauty of things unconventional.

The ideology of wabi-sabi is ongoing and has the need to be nurtured… as most natural systems do… or they become extinct. Saving this universe of beauty is elusive since wabi-sabi is not easily reducible to formulas or catch phrases without destroying its essence. Making rules or precisely practicing it is impossible… describing it is like holding sand in your hands.

Beauty can be coaxed out of ugliness. Wabi-sabi is ambivalent about separating beauty from non-beauty. Wabi-sabi is, in one respect, the condition of coming to terms with what you consider ugly. Beauty is a dynamic event that occurs between you and something else. Beauty is thus an altered state of consciousness, an extraordinary moment of poetry and grace.

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