Chiquita bananas crowdsourcing designs for little blue stickers

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Sep 9 2010


Hey look, a banana hammock that isn't gross and awful! This design is one of 50 consumer-generated images vying to be slapped on Chiquita bananas. The marketer is toying with its iconic blue sticker—or rather, allowing others to do so—for the first time in 50 years. After collecting hundreds of new designs from the public, it's time to vote on the 50 finalists. Among the designs are lots of adorable ones—Keane-style big-eyed kids, smiley faces, monkeys. A few that are vaguely pornographic didn't make the cut, because, well, naked bananas are kind of disturbing. The finalists range from graphic to goofy, with some fine lucha libre masks in the mix. Eighteen winners will see their creations on display at grocery stores across the country. Voting ends Sunday, and results come out the next day. Check out all the submissions here.

TCBY jets into the future with its own ultramodern interior design

By Robert Klara on Fri Jul 23 2010


Those of you who follow the intersecting planes of cutting-edge interior design and, uh, cheeseburgers will probably remember how McDonald's started redoing its restaurants in 2006 into Euro-chic nooks (see the four images below) with wood-slat room dividers, amoeba-shaped couches and avant-garde muraling (all courtesy of French tastemaker Philippe Avanzi, though executed in the U.S. by Lippincott Mercer). The idea wasn't just to update the look of restaurants that hadn't had a facelift since 1976 but to cater to the visual discernment of the digital generation by creating "linger zones" with puffy couches and WiFi connections to go with those nifty new Asian salads.
  Well, add another restaurant chain to list of those out to woo the eyes and palettes of the digi-kid crowd. TCBY, the brand that introduced the swirly stuff now known as fro-yo back in 1981, last week opened up a new prototype store in Salt Lake City (see above) that's not only based on a self-service model (think of the labor savings!) but has given more work to those Jetsons-loving interior designers—StruckAxiom, in this case—who'll tell you the Atomic era has returned in the form of Saarinen tulip chairs and pink and purple mushroomy things. According to TCBY, the new digs "synch up nicely with a shift in the consumer mindset, particularly among Gen X and Y." And why not? "Y" is already in the brand name, after all.


Need a good logo at a decent price? Try

Posted on Tue Apr 13 2010


Excuse the cliché, but social media really is changing everything, including the basics of marketing that used to take weeks if not months to execute. Like logo design. That's why caught my attention. It's a social-based service that designs one logo a day, for one company a day. Then the logo is promoted via social networks and the company's blog. Here's how works: It started offering its services for $2 on March 1 and has been increasing by $2 every day, through next Feb. 28, when the price will be $730. Co-founder Dana Severson says the service uses social media as its "vehicle for building relationships and extending the logo design for clients into so much more than building a brand." So, are brands buying into the idea? Seems so. is booked into May, according to Severson. Some initial clients include charities, a professional soccer player, an actress, a documentary film, a radio station and various other smaller companies/brands that have a small marketing budget to work with.

—Posted by Elena Malykhina

Coca-Cola cans can't wait to sweat on the beach all summer long

Posted on Fri May 8 2009


Coca-Cola has debuted some new just-for-summer can designs featuring traditional warm-weather imagery like a grill, sunglasses, a beach ball, a row of surfboards and the American flag. The general consensus at, where you can see the cans in greater detail, is that the sunglasses are the coolest-looking design, and we're not inclined to disagree—it's very clever and crisp. The beach ball turned out pretty well, too, and the grill isn't as bad as the peanut gallery makes it out to be. The surfboards would have been great if that weird seam didn't run through the script logo, and the flag, while an appropriate tie-in to the 4th of July, just looks forced. Still, it's a little something extra to spice up Coke's aesthetics, and we like it. They have special designs for Christmas, too, but we wonder if they might extend this into other holidays like Halloween or Valentine's Day. They should stay away from Labor Day and Yom HaShoah, though, unless they're specifically atoning for the company's past. Thanks to @TLA_Kate on Twitter for the link.

—Posted by David Kiefaber

Anyone else want to try out a red, white and blue circular logo?

Posted on Thu Feb 5 2009

Fourlogos copy

Perhaps Pepsi didn't rip off the Obama logo after all. Korean Air, established in the 1970s, has its own Pepsi-ish logo, a play on the lovely and balanced red-and-blue circle on the South Korean flag. Pepsi's latest campaign brought forth a new uber-shiny and more lopsided version of the logo developed and redeveloped since the 1950s (umm, check out the Studebaker motor company symbol, too). Actually, the new Pepsi logo looks less like the Korean Air mark than the old Pepsi logo did. Thanks, Pepsi. Now, when I take a sip, I won't worry that I'm being whisked off to Asia.

—Posted by Yana Polikarpov

Ask your fancy liquor bottle which designer it's wearing tonight

Posted on Thu Jan 29 2009


People used to call good liquor "top-shelf." Then it was "premium," and then "ultra-premium." And how were you supposed to know it was worth 39 bucks? Easy. Just make sure the bottle looked like a half-melted icicle or a turret from Neuschwanstein. Yes, kick-ass bottles have been de rigeur for wine and spirit brands for a while now—but there's more to the story.
  These days, a fancy bottle's just not fancy enough if it isn't made by an über-hip designer. Take Corzo, which just began a major marketing push this month. The tequila's rectangular, cologne-like bottle is the work of Fabien Baron (shown here), who's designed everything from Calvin Klein magazine ad spreads to hotels for Ian Schrager. A limited-edition Dom Perignon bottle designed by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld was reportedly a brisk seller this past holiday season. And debuting this winter is Danzka vodka's "snowflake" bottle, which bears an unsettling resemblance to a fire extinguisher—created by the svelte 28-year-old Danish designer Sidsel Ludvigsen.
  These chic intoxicant brands aren't the first to ask a famous designer to tell the glassblowers what to do. In 2004, Wyborowa vodka recruited architect Frank Gehry to design its twisting, prismatic bottle. And a humble entrepreneur named Donald Trump signed up industrial designer Milton Glaser—the man behind the "I ♥ NY" logo—to help design the bottle for his premium vodka. (Shockingly enough, it was called "Trump.")
  We're tempted to say that water brands are next, but it's already happened. Pininfarina crafted the tall green bottle of Italy's Mattoni brand. If you don't know Pininfarina, it's the family firm that designs Ferraris.

—Posted by Robert Klara

Google's new (again) favicon: a whole lot of fuss over 256 pixels

Posted on Wed Jan 14 2009


When you're a huge brand and don't really advertise much, people tend to dissect every little thing you do. How else to explain the controversy around Google's new favicon?
  A favicon, for those who don't know, is the little image that appears next to the URL in a browser's address bar. This month, Google rolled out a new one—its second redesign in eight months (after using the original cap-G for eight years). The new icon looks a bit like a lower-case "g" as seen through a stained-glass window.
  Some reviews have been pretty harsh. "Google Gets a New Favicon and It's, Uh, Colorful" says a headline on TechCrunch. "A little sloppy," muses the writer of a blog called Koodoz Design. In a Facebook status update, Marc Schiller, CEO of Electric Artists, dubs it "god fucking awful."
  Well now, let's not be too harsh. You should see some of the favicon designs that didn't make the cut.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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