Dark Packaging

A lot of packaging designers fall down the trap of using bright colours, loud typography and patterns to draw customers attention. Don’t get me wrong, bold designs when done well can work really beautifully, but today I wanted to showcase the dark and moody packaging design that I think draws attention without shouting it from the shelves.

Coco de Mer is a London-based company that specialises in high-end erotica products. Williams Murray Hamm was tasked with creating the packaging design for Coco De Mer’s range of toys, oils, lubricants and candles as well as shopping bags and brochures.

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Their ‘Pleasure Collection’ packaging draws from British history’s grand dames of seduction. The ladies: Nell Gwynne, Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire and Catherine Howard, each known for different indiscretions of sexual nature.

“Williams Murray Hamm worked with the theme of ‘exploration & discovery’ when developing The Pleasure Collection – the idea of encountering the unexpected. The packaging is a rich amber brown, elegant in its simplicity and featuring only the company logo, name and a small, seductive die cut “peep-hole.” The peep-hole teases the viewer, showing a glimpse of a nude body or a flirtatious eye. The full reveal comes when the packaging is full opened to reveal an erotic print of one of the grand dames of seduction.”

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Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee have refreshed their old identity with a new CI and packaging designed by Chandelarrow Design Co.

“Using earthy colours, like brown, burnt orange, and tan, obviously harmonious hues to associate with the rich and chocolatey colour of coffee, but it also is a nod to the remote places where some of the best coffee beans are sourced. There are two main fonts used, a serif text that is paired with a slightly sloped cursive, which both appear on the main oval label. The packages are simple, giving off a small-town vibe.”

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Old Standard Moonshine’s fabric bottle label created by Chad Michael Studio is a luxurious combination of dark midnight blue and gold script typography.

“The fabric has slight fraying at the top and bottom, and along with the batch number written on the back, this clearly tells the consumer that each bottle of whiskey is one-of-a-kind. Each fabric label is a rich, navy blue, with gritty gold text covering it. The custom fonts have distinct qualities that complement each other. One is a basic all-caps sans serif and the other an elegant, more traditional typeface for the brand name, with swirls and playful elements that blend well with the small graphics and accents on the label. A white Old Town Distilling stamp is printed on the front, highlighting the simple, small business ethics that Old Standard Moonshine values.”

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Last, but not least, is the packaging design for whisky and cola concentrate Cola Maison available from Old Faithful Shop. The medicinal bottles paired with the metallic detailing of the label make it a very alluring looking concoction.

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Sport Luxe

I have built up quite a reputation amongst my friends for wearing sportswear (*cough* leggings) as my daily uniform. I have no misunderstanding that leggings are pretty much form-fitting tracksuit pants, in fact there is a debate about whether they can even be counted as pants, but I love them. I’m a pretty active person so being comfortable and (hopefully) presentable is my goal most days. I definitely don’t get it right most of the time.

Thankfully in recent years the design of sportswear has become a lot more fashion-orientated, making the integration of sportswear items into daily life a lot less cringe-worthy. So with that in mind, I’ve rounded up some items that I think hit the spot in terms of wearability, comfort and fashion.

Uniqlo is a great band for staple wardrobe items. Their Spring 2015 collection is a good example of sophisticated activewear.




Oysho Gymwear Studio’s Spring 2015 collection is ballet-inspired so I am sold.










Outdoor Voices is a brand that “take(s) it as a given that activewear must perform, but we see it as a virtue that our clothing also looks good and fits well”. That is a philosophy I can definitely get behind.





Ok this one is a bit of a cheat, because it is definitely only for swimwear and not regular wear. But I thought it was too nice not to mention. Cynthia Rowley’s latest surf and swim collection is both flattering and functional. Her wetsuit designs are clean and beautiful, something that is rather uncommon with this type of clothing. Take a look.









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Bolden Ceramics

I’ve been following the work of Scottish illustrator Jen Collins for a couple of years now. Her work has consistently featured as a preferred choice for my desktop background. She creates wonderful  illustrations – from the delightfully macabre, to the botanical and heartfelt.

In 2013, she began to delve into ceramics as a way to apply her illustrative style in a more tangible and hand crafted way. The result is Bolden Ceramics, a small online space that sells her lovely ceramic sculptures and vessels. I highly recommend a visit.














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Casa Meztitla

Located at the foot of Tepozteco mountain in Mexico and surrounded by a natural reserve, Casa Meztitla is a beautiful stone-walled residence designed by EDAA for a retired couple who wanted a home to entertain friends and family.

“Responding to this setting, EDAA chose volcanic stone for the walls of the house, matching the tones of the mountain landscape. This is accompanied by large expanses of glazing, while concrete floor slabs create courtyards and rooftop patios… 

The large expanses of steel-framed glazing pivot open from a sunken L-shaped living space into the surrounding gardens, while four bedrooms with glass walls have access to concrete patios with brightly coloured hammocks, located in the centre of the residence.”











I particularly liked the environmentally smart water management system of the residence, that include two reservoirs designed to collect the abundant rainfall in the area.

“The first – located under a lawn in the courtyard – harvests and filters rainwater used for drinking, showering and laundry. The second is a circular reservoir that is open to the elements. It collects used tap water that is stripped of soap and oils, before being diverted back to the house for flushing toilets and irrigating the gardens.”




Casa-Meztitla_EDAA_dezeen_784_12via: dezeen

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Luisa Brimble’s Flower Women

Luisa Brimble is a very talented Australian food and lifestyle photographer. A common motif throughout her work is the use of floral design to add colour and texture. A theme that was showcased beautifully  in The Green Gallery’s online magazine recently. Luisa created these seaside floral portraits in collaboration with Amelia Toohey from The Flower Era.

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I also pulled from images from Luisa’s blog of other floral portraits she has done for previous projects.








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Resort 2016: Bumper Edition

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a round up of recent collections, and since many of the Resort 2016 collections are out what better time to do so? I’ve hand picked a couple of collections that sparked my interest. I hope you enjoy this bumper edition of Resort fashion!

Alexander Wang has found a niche in creating minimalist fashion with attitude. His 2016 Resort Collection offers up edgy detailing with the use of decorative studs – that add a feminine touch without losing on the “bad ass” element.

Alexander Wang

In line with Alexander Wang’s minimalist approach, the Rag & Bone 2016 Resort Collection is a stylish and wearable collection with a few lovely masculine silhouettes.

Rag & Bone

Fendi’s 2016 Resort Collection is a botanical celebration – featuring South Africa’s exotic national flower: the Strelitzia otherwise known as “the bird of paradise”.


I really liked the Rochas Resort 2016 collection for its slouchy pyjama-style set, dancers print and elegant gowns.


Jonathan Saunders Resort 2016 Collection draws from the brightly synthetic colour palette of pop artist Jeff Koons.

Jonathan Saunders

The Red Valentino 2016 Resort collection is a mix of cute mod-type pieces, that I imagine would live very well in a movie directed by Tim Burton. For me, the coats are the highlight of the collection.

Red Valentino

The Sea 2016 Resort Collection is the product of experimentations with screen-printed bleach patterns on Japanese denim. The results are quite beautiful.


Being a die-hard Valentino fan I hate to admit this, but the Valentino 2016 Resort collection was a little hit and miss for me. That being said, Valentino delivers way above the mark than most with its intricate embroidery and ballsy use of colour. Here are some of my favourites:


I thought to include one or two pieces from Peter Jensen’s 2016 Resort Collection, because he is one designer who always seems to have fun with his creations. This collection is a brashy clash of colour, ice cream and preppy high-school fashion that is inspired by Enid, the heroine from Daniel Clowes‘ graphic novel Ghost World.



All images via: style.com

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Curator of Cool: Inky Pool 3

I’m not usually one for getting involved in the tricky landscape of sponsored posts. But when Dulux South Africa approached me to curate a Pinterest board inspired by one of their paint colours: “Inky Pool 3” for their Curator of Cool Campaign it baited my interest for a few reasons:


  1. My wonderful readers get the chance to win a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 camera! (see the beautiful specimen above) A great way for me to give back in some way for your support.
  2. I get to create a pinboard inspired by colour (this made both my OCD tendencies and background in history of art very happy)
  3. I have a Pinterest problem – almost 19,000 pins and counting.

What you need to do to stand a chance to win: Follow the Dulux South Africa Pinterest page, then go to my Inky Pool board follow it and leave a comment. The board with the most interaction wins a Fuji Instax Mini 8 camera for one of their supporters. I’d really love for one of you to win. So get following and pinning!

Here is a little sneak peek of my Pinboard:

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Competition closes on the 29th of May. 

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