Monday, September 8, 2008

Johnson + Johnson medical tape

I rediscovered an old roll of Johnson & Johnson medical tape tonight under the sink.  I kind of remember thinking it looked cool previously, but tonight I decided to blog about it.  

I did some homework and learned that they haven't changed their logo, pretty much ever.  I was surprised the logo's font hadn't been updated, but I was pleased.  I know this company prides itself on heritage, and time & success have shown what this recognizable, personal touch - as well as consistent top quality - has done for the public's view of the brand.  
As it turns out, the logo is not a font, but was based on the handwriting(same link as "pretty much ever") of James Wood Johnson, co-founder of the brand (founded with his brother, Edward Mead Johnson in 1886).  His handwriting was a little messy, but personalities like the ampersand connected to the second J are taken into great consideration.  
Johnson & Johnson's blog, Kilmer House, has tons of history.

The tape canister couldn't be more simple.  It uses red, white & blue, and includes the universal medicine symbol - a red cross.  I like how "Adhesive Tape" is in blue on the sides, and white-on-blue on the top.  Great uniformity.  Also, the bold, all-caps lettering is not only clear (to the shopper's eye from the shelf) but a good, simple contrast to the cursive "Johnson & Johnson" logo. Both pieces of the product are identical on either side of the piece - so no instructions or anything on the other side.

The female half has one end of the metal rolled out, and one rolled inward.  The inward-rolled end serves as a blocker for the spindle.. So the only way to put the spindle away is when the tube's logo is upright.

The logo as it appears on their website now:

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I just stumbled upon this fancy line of cleaning products called Murchison-Hume, out of Australia (launched Dec. 2007). The brand is entirely focused on green-ness and natural ingredients -- a movement I am behind, but not obsessed with.
I am, however, obsessed with branding and labels and fonts and colors. Murchison-Hume sells 500ml (16.9oz) spray bottles, and accompanying refill bottles of 1 liter (33.8oz); I like that these encourage reuse, as well as buying more of their product (Hey, it's all about the business). I'm not able to tell whether the bottles are made of glass or plastic, but they look great either way, and they're undoubtedly recyclable.  The M-H website offers .pdf views of all the labels, a feature which won me over.  Pricing was my only issue with the company (and shipping from Australia surely wouldn't be cheap).

The products seem pretty impressive, with natural & chemical-free mixtures: The glass cleaner offers streak-free finish; the dishwashing liquid says it improves the condition of wastewater as it drains, leaving yr plumbing cleaner and odor free (with regular use); Boy's Bathroom cleaner touts strong cleaning power with "No need to open a window" ;and my favorite, Counter Intelligence food-safe surface spray is advertised as safe to use, "even on the dog!" There are two fragrances plus a fragrance free version (my usual preference) offered for every product - that's pretty nice.

Fonts: I see Georgia, and maybe Trebuchet, and I think the label is a stylized Shell (the top left hook from the H has been transplanted to the M).  I'm too lazy to figure out the other ones right now - although I've gotten really close with Garamond, or Adobe Garamond.

Something at the bottom of the page says Design by Geraldine Ward.  I'm not sure if that means the website, or the whole brand identity.  The website matches the bottle labels really well, so I wouldn't be surprised if she did do both.  (Neutra typeface on her site I believe.)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Free Burrito jokers

My friend Katherine had VIP access at this year's Pitchfork Festival. I was way jealous. She showed me a sweet 'free burrito' voucher she was handed. It was so cool I almost wouldn't want to spend it.

I'll let the pictures speak now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Freee OBAMA/BIDEN Stickerss!

 is offering some sweet, free stickers at the announcement of Obama's VP choice, Joe Biden.  

I really like how classic the stickers look, perhaps especially the blue they chose to use.  Pretty dang timeless.

You can get one sticker completely free, but if you want 5 or 50 you'll have to scoop some money to them.  But what political organization doesn't want money in an election year?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Onyx font on my Mac is crap

I was looking for the font Barbara Walters used on her latest book, Audition. I think I found it: Onyx. I was zooming in to look at the letter forms, and realized that the craftsmanship is messed up. Like, awful. I sometimes download free fonts, so I almost expect an amateur reproduction of a nice font to have some noticeable shortcuts. Onyx, however, came with my computer, and I am vastly disappointed.

Take a look for yourself at the rough edges / inconsistent finish on this typeface (I'm looking primarily at the ends of the letters):


UPDATE:  I saw a poster someone had printed at school using onyx, and I pointed out to my teacher the issues (which I was able to see upon close inspection).  I also looked on a copy of Audition, and they had fixed the problem there.  I'm sure you can buy nicer versions someplace.  When I have money I'll probably buy it and erase this *&&%!# version.

UPDATE x2: I found a new, better copy of Onyx. It's called Onyx MT, but I don't know what that means.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

9.9.99 video music awards

I remember, 9 years ago this September, watching the annual MTV Video Music Awards.  I was 12, and kind of not allowed to watch MTV.  I remember being struck by the 9|9|99 logo, finding it impressively cool.  I actually remember thinking about how chic the logo was; little did I know I'd go on to pursue graphic design.

I've looked really hard, and haven't found the logo anywhere online.  It's in the background of some pictures (people who don't remember the logo, may remember Lil' Kim's breast, which Diana Ross jiggled on stage). You can kind of see the original logo in the "Lil' Kim's breast," link, behind Lil' Kim on the red carpet.

Aaaannyyway.. After much searching with almost no luck, I've recreated the logo here.  I used Helvetica Neue UltraLight for the numbers and Helvetica Neue Bold for the VMA wording.  I think the bold wording actually filled the 9s a little more on MTV, but I'm over it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Look at you! Achoo!

"Everyone Nose," the new N*E*R*D single that wasn't on the Zune commercial. It was all over the blogosphere, with multiple remixes available.

The website, at is [was] an awesome piece of work. It [was] basically an interactive music video with 64 squares of images from Last Night's Party that only move when you push your mouse over them.

It's great, because you can sort of choose your own music video visuals, and a lot of the images seem to work with almost any part of the song. Some of the squares have video clips that play, others have a handful of still photos that change when you drag your mouse from left to right on the square. Then as if scandal has occurred, the images are slowly "Removed by request," presumably of the drunk naked girls pictured.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Time Out Chicago likes my ideas

I responded to the Time Out: Chicago survey the other week, regarding the Olympics coming to the Second City in '16. They always quote one of the respondents from the winning side of the argument.. I'll let my scan speak for itself:

(from the July 3-9 2008 issue):

Over on the left:


Monday, July 7, 2008

Barack <3s Gotham

GQ's May 2008 issue had a blurb about Barack Obama's campaign font, Gotham, which was created for Gentlemen's Quarterly.  

You can read the whole thing here, but what I thought was most interesting was the signs from Barack rallies.  They don't just have his name.  Hell, he's the only black presidential candidate - we know who he is.  Anyway, I thought it was a great conceptual thought.  All the people at these rallies hold up the provided signs, and media takes pictures and videos.  This brands his face with more than his name, but what he aims to achieve.  

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Le Burrito

A new poster caught my eye at chipotle today.  

..excuse me, hold on - i'm still eating.

The sign was a circle that read, "EN FRANCAIS: "LE BURRITO""

Kind of funny,, since "burrito" is Spanish.  Then I realized that the circle had thin spokes.  A bike wheel -- Nice.
Here's the sticker they gave me at the cash register. It's pretty similar to the design on the poster.
On the poster, the blue and orange diamonds had dotted lines cutting through them, argyle-style.  I imagine they were omitted from the sticker for production purposes.. either the print resolution wouldn't support a detail that small, or maybe it was just subtracting from the look at that size.

edit: I forgot to explain the premise of this promotion. During the 2008 Tour de France (July 5-27) Chipotle is offering a set order, which is apparently what the Chipotle Tour de France team gets.

They say you can request "Le Burrito," and they'll make it to specs, but when I tried to ask for it, the woman didn't seem to know what I was talking about.

Le Burrito:
Black Beans
Tomato (mild) salsa
and guacamole (that's extra).

Thanks for reading my blog.