Archive for July, 2008

Plastic Rhino

Quite a while back, I ran across an image of a magazine entitled Plastic Rhino. Due to the placement of the magazine’s logo and the development of the logo itself, I saved the image as a reference as I typically do when I cross paths with a picture that might influence me down the road. Upon investigating the magazine online very recently, I stumbled upon the team that designs the magazine along with their website. Peppered Sprout is responsible not only for Plastic Rhino but a handful of other creative magazines. It’s the type of work that truly gets me excited about the creation of our magazine, Eleven. The work featured by Peppered Sprout is innovation in itself and of the highest quality. The creative folks at PS also focus upon Publishing Design, Advertising, Photography and Branding.

Those of you on the Eleven Magazine staff should certainly take a look at the magazines provided on PS’s website, since it offers you numerous images of the magazines’ spreads and some innovative ideas for packaging of the magazines. It’s certainly a great bookmark for those of you who appreciate Editorial Design.

By: Ryan Haigh- Design


De Zeen Magazine

Frank Gehry\'s Serpentine, 2008

Frank Gehry's Serpentine, 2008

Back in November of 2006, De Zeen launched it’s online design and architecture blog. Now, De Zeen is proud to admit that they are attracting more than 650,000 unique viewers a month. It’s inspiring to see what other magazines are doing in hopes that one day Eleven Magazine will be of the same caliber. There’s a fantastic amount of posts on De Zeen covering Interior Design, Graphic Design, Architecture, Furniture Design and much more, take a peek.

By: Ryan Haigh- Design

Secondhand Sartorialism

Vest $2.00, Tie $1.50, Shirt $3.00, Shorts $3.50, Shoes $5.50, Bag $7.50

Vest $2.00, Tie $1.50, Shirt $3.00, Shorts $3.50, Shoes $5.50, Bag $7.50

          There I stood among the tattered garments hanging sadly on the rusty racks. The familiar scent of mothballs rushed abrasively to meet my senses as I searched for something that would catch my eye. I brushed past item after item packed one next to another, like dogs at a kennel, begging with sad eyes for a second lease on life. Each with a story I would never know, and a face I would never see. Hanger after hanger, rack after rack, knowing that the best things do not come to those who wait, the best things come to those who are willing to sift through the refuse that resides on the surface.

          Consignment shopping is one of the most difficult things to do well when it comes to style. It is like the difference between using a coloring book vs. a plain piece of paper. It is completely up to you to take a blank canvas and create something extraordinary. No lines to fill in, no safety net, nothing to stop you from taking that extra step that shatters the fragile structure of an otherwise expertly constructed outfit. Consignment pieces are often cheap looking, dirty, torn, dated, and downright ugly. They often toe the line that separates fashion forward and tasteless. That’s why I get so excited: it ain’t easy .

            Anyone can walk into a large retail chain, look at a mannequin and buy the same cookie cutter outfit and walk out completely satisfied. Its quick, painless, and to me, a major copout. I see it as a sort of plagiarism. I know that sounds a little drastic, but hear me out. If you take the time to really inject your wardrobe with creativity and personal flair it turns into something to be proud of. It is like a gallery of fine pieces of art each grouped with purpose and certainty. It is an expression of your taste and personality, so why would you ever want to directly copy that of another person?

            Thrift shopping is not merely about saving money. Why would anyone waste time and effort when clearance sections in normal stores contain many items at comparable prices without all of the hassle? The fact of the matter is there are other driving forces for truly dedicated thrifters. Owning a piece with history and rarity are extremely important to many of us regardless of price; the fact that I can often pay for pieces with the change I find between the seats in my car is the cherry on top.

            I have found a few key principals that make this seemingly impossible task seem a bit more feasible:

1. Survey the store.

            When you first walk around take a look around and find the sections that may interest you. This way you eliminate wasted time sorting through prom dresses circa 1974. (Believe me, they are there.)

2. Don’t go in with a list.

            If you walk in with a list dictating exactly what you want and need down to the shape of the buttons and the colors of the laces, the only thing you’ll be walking out with is a big bag of disappointment. Try instead, having no expectations, you may be surprised with what you find.

3.  Take notice of shoes and leather goods.

            These items often have a longer lifespan and style longevity. A pair of wingtips will never go out of style and if they are a little rough around the edges that only adds to the aesthetic. The same goes for bags and belts, people pay big buck to get brand new things that look like they have been dragged through the dirt and run over by a car. In this case you might actually get the real deal.

4. Appreciate things for what they are.

            In consignment stores there will be many pieces that are clearly outdated. The trick is finding items that you can incorporate seamlessly with the rest of your wardrobe. Instead of buying a neon tracksuit from the 80’s, find a pair of unique pair of sunglasses instead that give a more subtle nod to that era.


          Thrift shopping is like panning for gold. So instead of wasting your money, find your latest second hand store and strike it rich.

By: Eric White- Style & Photography


Print Just Received an Electronic Boost

Above is Boing Boing Gadgets\' electronic cover mock-up.

Above is Boing Boing Gadgets' electronic cover mock-up.

Whomever suggested that print is dead may soon be biting their tongue for a little longer. Thanks to the use of an electronic cover for Esquire’s September magazine we may not have to dig the hole for print’s suggested doomed future. Esquire’s editor-in-chief, David Granger, even suggests that the possibilities of print have “just begun.”

An online article from the New York Times covers the approach of Esquire’s electronic cover and presents an interesting read. Take a moment and read over the article here.

Boing Boing Gadgets also features an interview about the issue with Esquire’s deputy editor, Peter Griffin.

By: Ryan Haigh- Design

Your Ostentatious Tee

The folks at Eleven Magazine would agree with me when I suggest that I’m a sucker for a flashy graphic t-shirt. However, it’s not fairly often that I want to cough up $40 bucks for a Johnny Cupcakes tee, but that’s where the summer sales are pure bliss. Luckily there are a fair amount of online stores offering a nice collection of tasty tees to fest your eyes on and offer your wallet up to. Monsieur T, Design By Humans (t-shirt featured above) and Tank Theory are all offering a great selection of t-shirts at discounted prices for the time being. Make sure you hurry though, because certain sales are about to expire, such as Design By Humans, which ends on August 1st.

By: Ryan Haigh- Design

Find Your Voice and Let It Out

So this isn’t so much of an article as a plea. I’ve been wondering what type of people have been reading this blog, seeing as there aren’t a whole lot of comments to gather this information from. Personally, I love learning about new wines and why people like them. So this a plea that you comment on this post and let me know what kinds of wines you like, but more importantly, why. I’ve been tossing around the idea of putting up a top five or ten wines for the week/month kind of thing, but I really want to hear from you readers and direct some of my attention towards your suggestions. There are more wines than you can count, let alone try, in your entire lifetime. With all those options and diversity, it is hard to find some of the smaller, really outstanding wines. Personally, I tend to root for the underdog. I like trying some of the wines that are stuffed in a back corner covered in dust. Sometimes you are disappointed but other times you are thoroughly rewarded. So comment on this post and let me know the wines you like, the reasons, and possibly your preferences when picking a wine. You know, sweet, dry, red, white, complex, simple, etc. Just let me know yo. Even if you don’t consider yourself a big wine drinker, I’d still like to hear your input.

By: Ryan Evans- Wine

Wine and People, People and Wine

So I’ve decided to write about something that has been a focus of my attention in the wine industry. Every time I try to explain to people why I’m so interested in the wine industry I keep coming back to the same thing, people. After a while it occurred to me that it might be something that you all as a whole might be interested in. Being in the hospitality industry your main purpose is to make people happy. Comfortable. At home. I’ve come to realize that wine does the same thing. It goes relatively unnoticed, the effort that is put into a wine before it hits the shelves. There are so many things that have to happen for a wine to be made, but that is not the purpose of this article. The purpose, it would seem, is the people.

Think about it. I’m sure it’s crossed your mind before: Who really makes my Nike shoes, in what random state is my toothbrush made…do they like doing it? The sad thing is that when you think that and then put on your shoes or brush your teeth, you know there is no personal touch added to the product. There is no intimacy involved. Wine is the opposite way I believe. When I open a bottle of wine and starting trying it, I think of the people involved in hand-picking the grapes, the ones who crushed the grapes and set the wine to ferment, those who would tinker in the lab for countless hours looking for that perfect formula. It makes me think whether or not it was a sunny day or not when they picked these specific grapes. What kind of lives these people lived. Most importantly, do they enjoy what they do? I feel you can get a sense of that in the wine. You can tell when people aren’t caring about what they’re doing…the wine starts to taste sloppy, to fall apart. This isn’t always the case but if you’re looking for it you might be surprised to find that you can sense it every once in a while. The really truly outstanding wines come across as caring about you nearly as much as you care about them. The wine itself may have no emotion but the people behind it do. I feel that as in a work of literature, where the author is trying to get across certain emotions and feelings to his readers, a wine maker is trying to do the same thing. He wants you to experience his excitement and indulge yourself in the senses that he has specially developed for your enjoyment.

In most old world wine developing regions, wine is as much a part of the culture as it is a livelihood. The characteristics of the wine reflect what the people value in their wines, and in turn in their lives. You can get a basic grasp of a culture by the way the wines are produced. English wines are very dry whereas German wines are usually quite sweet. I will refrain from giving my opinion on the culture from these basic characteristics because its better if you form your own about them. Remember wine is subjective so whatever you taste, smell, see, or feel are based on you and your personal experiences, along with those of the people involved. If you’re looking for it, you might have a friendly experience with someone thousands of miles away.

In the end, it is the people behind the wine that actually make the wine. You can have a great Appalachian, wonderful soil, and the perfect grapes for the area, but without the right people behind it, it will fall short. So next time you are drinking wine, don’t just look to your senses to help you enjoy the wine, look for the emotion and feelings behind it as well because, trust me, they’re there. It’s a nice way of making a connection with someone that you will probably never meet face to face in real life.

By: Ryan Evans- Wine

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