Archive for the 'Products' Category

Matchbox Cars 1965

Regular readers will know that I love a behind-the-scenes look at manufacturing processes, whether that’s Apple or a pair of scissors.  But it’s even more true when it comes to a product that I’ve owned many of during my childhood.

I’m also willing to bet that most people (certainly in the UK at least) have owned, played with, or collected many a Matchbox car over the years (they now look like this by the way).

My Dad was an avid collector with hundreds, if not thousands, of models so Matchbox is a very familiar brand that fills me with nostalgia even today, so this insight into their design process and production line is fascinating.

No 3D renders or CAD, just drawing boards and handmade wooden prototypes as part of the design process and production line to show how they were manufactured in mid-60s Hackney, London.

Many thanks to British Pathé for posting this online.


Shadowplay Clock

As clocks go you’d be hard pushed to find one that is more minimal than the Shadowplay Clock by design studio Breaded Escalope.

No numbers, no hands, no way of even telling the time.


Until, that is, you step up to interact with it.


A plywood ring conceals 12 LEDs and sensors connected to an Arduino, an open-source, sensor-driven electronics platform, which turns off all but three of the LEDs when it detects your finger.


Your finger casts shadows from the three LEDs that remain on to create the traditional clock “hands” that we are used to.

The hour and minute “hands” are much darker than the faint shadow of the second “hand” to minimise confusion in what the time is.

Now, if only they could make that power cord a bit more discrete I’d definitely be looking to get one!

Remembrance Sunday

For me, Remembrance Sunday means taking a two minute silence at 11am in memory of those who have been affected in the conflict of war.  The tribute started in 1919, a year on from the official end of the First World War on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day on the eleventh month in 1918 – Armistice Day.

Tower Poppies

Marking 100 years since the start of World War I there has been more coverage this year than in previous years with the poppy installation at the Tower of London.

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red features 888,246 ceramic poppies planted in the moat at the Tower of London, each one representing a British military fatality during the war.

I went to see it a couple of months ago, and it is stunning.  Beautifully poignant and a fitting tribute.

Not to detract from the typical annual donations to The Royal British Legion, I opted this year for something slightly different.  A poppy with a twist.  And what better twist than Lego!


As part of a limited collection of 100, each Lego poppy was hand created by Justin Ramsden with all proceeds split between The Royal British Legion and Help For Heroes.


The collection was designed and built in memory of Thomas Henry Hodgson, and “all those who not only fought in the First World War, but every state of conflict ever since”.



The poppy arrived carefully boxed and wrapped in a lovely brick graphic printed paper which, in true Lego fashion, shows the pieces that comprise it.

Lego Poppy 2

You can see more of Justin’s work here.

Moo ShowCase

If you haven’t heard of Moo, then head over and check them out.  Front runners in print, from custom business cards and wonderful stickers, to festive greetings cards and accessories.

Recently I was fortunate enough to be sent out one of their new business card holders, the ShowCase.

In the ever increasing age of technology a great business card can be the difference in getting noticed, “less a method of handing out your phone number, more a way of starting a conversation” as Moo elegantly put it.

The ShowCase comes well packaged with Moo’s lovely attention to detail, and immediately using it is simply intuitive.  The “flick and push” or the “flick and fan” gives you an option in presenting potential clients with your card.

Full details (and a few more great accessories!) on the Moo site here.

Splitscreen: A Love Story

The launch of the Nokia N8 earlier this year has set the new benchmark for image recording, and rightly so, cramming a 12MP 720p HD video camera into something that fits in your pocket.

To demonstrate the confidence in their new handset, Nokia launched the Nokia Shorts competition, and the results were really something.

Here’s the beautiful winning video, Splitscreen: A Love Story.

A fantastically creative idea executed with stunning simplicity, and entirely shot on a mobile phone.

Check out the best of the rest from the competition here.


As if I wasn’t already going to splurge on a new Freitag bag this weekend, I’ve just spotted this brilliant advert for their new F49 Back To School Back Pack over on Swiss Miss.

I’ve always loved Freitag bags; the idea, the concept, the story behind each individual one.

For those not in the know, the past 18 years have seen Swiss brand Freitag recycling the likes of truck tarpaulins, seat belts and inner tubes to create these unique bags and accessories.  Simply put, Freitag are R.I.P. (Recycled Individual Products), and now they bring us a new take on the traditional school backpack, the F49 Fringe.

This video brings together some of my favourite elements – slow motion, bright colours, testing something to (attempted) destruction, and even a llama!  Brilliant.

Deemed street-legal by the FREITAG R&D department, “because there’s no tougher hood than schoolyards, it was tested to the fringe of sadism. Whoever manages to tear up this backpack clearly should be dispensed from school”.  Who can argue with that!

Advert by Zwei Hund.

More from the Freitag lab here.

Moleskine Product Design

Moleskine, famous for their notebooks and, until now, famous for their notebooks alone.  This iconic staple in most designer’s satchels (for arguments sake let’s just call it a Freitag bag if I’m going to generalise throughout this post) is merely the starting point of the recently expanded brand of “legendary notebooks”.

Not content with launching the notebook across various limited editions, such as Pac-Man and Peanuts, they now offer a new collection to include pens and pencils (as you need something to write in your notebook with), bags and computer cases (somewhere to store your notebook) and of course the ultimate in geek chic – reading glasses.

And of course what better way to launch a new product range than a lovely, clever little video demonstrating the products in action.

Of course the original Moleskine notebook provided many a brainstorm opportunity to develop the range.  Designed by Giulio Iacchetti, the new collection takes on the aesthetic and functional characteristics of the classic notebooks, capturing the ethos and brand sentiments that have given us the elements of the elastic band, the rounded corners, the black color, and of course the timeless design.

All of these items naturally compliment the existing notebook, of which they themselves can now be customised with a selection of “Moleskin removable accessories” in the form of clips and stickers.  This is probably to differentiate yourself from the guy in the meeting sitting opposite you, who no doubt has a suspiciously similar notebook propped open in front of him too.

You can view everything to “make up the ideal kit for the modern-day nomad” on Flickr, and the products themselves are available from the Moleskine Store.

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