Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sleek Coat Rack Design

I'm liking this coatcrack design from Desu Design, though I'm always inclined towards seeing it made of wood something rich and contrasting like oak/ maple and cherry/ mahogany).

"During the coat-less summer months the Symbol hangs as a purely aesthetic piece, as the hooks lay flat and belie their function. When needed, the hooks pull smoothly out to help you organize your stuff. The Symbol Coat Rack is 1.5" deep with the hooks up, and 4.25" when the hooks are flipped down"

close up of coat rack

mounted coat rack with coats on a red wall

Available for $435 from Desu Design

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wimpy's Braille Burgers

I've written about Braille tattoos, but never Braille food.  Here, Wimpy's burger chain is making Braille hamburger buns using sesame seed to promote their Braille menus.
From the video's description:
"Wimpy wanted to let visually impaired people know that they offered braille menus in all of their restaurants. To spread the word we built braille burgers that blind people could actually read. With the help of skilled chefs we took sesame seeds and meticulously placed them on burger buns so that the seeds formed braille."

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Turn Canning Jar into a Travel Mug

It love this excellent design from Joshua Resnikoff and Aaron Panone, the Cuppow.  Turn any canning jar into a travel mug by replacing the seal with this BPA lid and screwing back on the retaining ring.   Brilliant, simple design and execution.   I also love that it's easily adaptable to both small and large containers depending on your need (of course that was Ball's doing making the mouths of their canning jars one of two sizes).   It is available for $7.99 from

man and woman drinking from ball jars

two ball jars with the lids installed

diagram of how lid works

CUPPOW! from Paper Fortress on Vimeo

Monday, January 9, 2012

Behind Blue Eyes of the Teenage Wasteland

I love the illustrations  of The Who from Vinicius Mattoso. I don't know much else about this artist, but that he does some great work. 
And if this isn't enough Who for you, check out the documentary on the Who, Amazing Journey via Hulu below. 

My Generation Album Cover Illustration

Pete Townshend windmill over the years

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Missing Link in E-Book Pricing

kindle e-reading device in front of christmas lights
E-book prices are getting a lot of attention these days, both with delight and concern.   The discussion and apparent hand wringing about the (low) cost of e-books and what it means to publishers, agents and writers.  

Part of the discussion of cost hinges on the perception that an e-book is less in itself than a physical book.  It has no matter, so there's a savings of printing, shipping, storing etc.  However, there's still the cost of writing, marketing, preparation and formatting (perhaps multiple ways).  These are largely  up-front costs, with very low ongoing costs.  

E-books through the Kindle and other devices are fairly restricted. Unlike physical books, I cannot sell or "give" my copy to someone else, and sharing, if allowed at all, is very limited. Because of this, the e-book is diminished in value here as well.      
E-books are going to engender a different behavior. If e-book prices are sufficiently low, the risk is low to dabble or try a new author or title. So rather than loan the book or give it away as I can now, I recommend it to a friend.  If they can pick up that title for the price of a cup of coffee ($1-3) or a magazine, they're more likely to buy it.  This means that rather than selling one $15.00 book, authors and publisher may sell eight $2.00 books to reach the same number of people (or more).   How much encouragement does it take for most people to put down $15 to buy a book versus the barely perceptible (immediate and easy) process of purchasing a $2.00 e-book?

This means that though the per unit cost is lower, margins are higher and number of units will be higher. Sales will need to be larger to garner the same profit, but the threshold for people to purchase the title is lower.

Going forward, e-book publishers are going to have to focus on getting eyes on their titles, creating opportunities for sharing and recommending.   When we look at sales statistics we'll need to be considering the impact of this change, number of units is going to mean something very different in the world of e-books.  

Image courtesy thekellyscope
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