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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.

mark of a good beer

I was talking about the duomo in Orvieto, Italy… at least that’s how I remember the subject coming up… the stone striation of the façade. Alternating courses of white travertine marble and green-black basalt. And then coming into focus, right in front of me was my beer glass on the bar. The subjects couldn’t be more despairing but the designer saw a parallel. A little like the practice of Zen… lettering go of outward meaning… seeing fresh non-tangent connections. So why the picture of the beer with tick-marks?

The glass was almost empty of stout, but what remained were the rings of foam etched onto the inside of the glass. It was so distinctive. Do they tell a story or history of the beverage like the xylem of a tree? Is it a mark of quality? Does the phenomena have a name? Read the rest of this entry »

When I tell my East Coast friends that I frequent Issaquah WA… they ask if I’ve ever had a rough and tumble with Sasquatch, or if I have an ounce of city boy left in me. I let them imagine Big Foot stomping around and that my gourmet tastes have turned to road kill. The fact of the matter guys is that these days Issaquah is half asphalted and its most popular destination is probably Costco (a parking lot full of customers waiting to get cheap gas). So why Issaquah? I have a dear friend there and whenever possible we beeline it to the Issaquah Brew House, which is part of the Rogue Nation of breweries. Rogue has a dozen locations from San Francisco to Issaquah, headquartered in Newport OR.


It’s a “Cheers” kind of place, friendly faces, staff that cares about the beer pint you hoist, and about you. I’m biased, but they’re heard me say too many times this is the best beer I’ve ever had. 35 Rogue taps and 5 guest tap that are worth the visitor in themselves. The food may remind some folks of the English pub tradition… a high standard meal to have with your hoppy beverage. Read the rest of this entry »

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