The term is synonymous with Scoth Whiskey… “Let me get mine on the rocks” everyone has heard this at some point in their life when visiting their favorite pub / bar. Usually it means having your favorite whiskey with ice. But has anyone ever wondered where this popular term / phrase comes from?

Today “on the rocks” refers to having your favorite whiskey or spirit with ice. However, it has long been argued that ICE, once diluted affects the taste of your whiskey drastically. Some like it some don’t, but there has even been devices created to form a perfect ice sphere (i.e. Macallan) to dilute your perfect dram slowly and perfectly, but that option is almost impossible to obtain, and if so, you are looking at $3K for the perfect ice sphere device. So back to ON THE ROCKS, where does this come from? And what does it mean???

On the rocks, actually derives exactly from what you would think it derives from… The old European (specifically scottish and scandnavian) practice of using a specific type of stone, such as soap stone to cool your dram of whiskey to the perfect temperature. How does this work you may ask? Well soapstone is a very special stone that is non-pourus and also adhere’s to its temperature, thus if placed in a cold temperature, it will absorb that temperature for long periods of time, therfore making it the perfect accent to your glass of whiskey. It does not melt and stays relevantly cool.

Thanks to Andrew Hellman and his accidental discovery of whiskey stones, found in his swedish grandfather’s home. Andrew set out to make the century old traditional item from Scandinavia, into a streamlined version for the U.S. market with his wife, thus forming TEROFORMA.COM and WHISKEY STONES - as well as forming an alliance with the vermont soapstone workshop; the mill has been around for over 150 years.

The package comes in a set of 9 along with a muslim storgae bag, and the website even sells a set with some high end avva slovenian glass blown tumblrs.

The stones retail for $20… We definitely have ordered our set, and we suggest you take a look at the teroforma site, it’s pretty neat.



At first glance, you might be in SHOCK! However, if you are a legit designer and are heavily involved in all things design and branding, then this should not shock you at all - as a matter of fact, you should be used to Sagmeister’s off the beaten path sort of advertising.

The big news is that Sagmeister has now partnered up with young gun Jessica Walsh. This young designer has exploded onto the design scene and she is close to half Sagmeister’s age — this says a lot, and frankly it seems well deserved. So why not join in on the chaos that is Sagmeister advertising… In the nude…

Read the full article here: http://www.computerarts.co.uk/blog/sagmeister-and-walsh-join-forces-123201

And if we may interject… WOW, simply WOW!!! Jessica Walsh, you make design oh so so worth it :)


“Beefeater London Dry gin brand celebrates the 2011 holiday season with a limited edition carton to support the global off-trade sector. The vibrant pack that contains 70cl bottle features an outline of the Beefeater Dry bottle, filled with a collage of icons and words to inspire consumers when creating their Beefeater Gin cocktail. Various winter images and a metallic finish create a festive mood. The pack follows other limited editions released by the brand since 2009 including last year’s Winter Gin.

Additionally, the pack includes cues to Beefeater’s London heritage and a QR code on the side of the pack that once scanned directs consumers to an exclusive Beefeater Winter Punch cocktail on the new drinking occasion website, Gin&Tales.com.

Paco Recuero, Global Brand Director for Beefeater, said, “This innovative limited edition carton demonstrates Beefeater’s commitment to providing off-trade customers with inspiring specialist products to drive sales during key seasonal periods. Featuring the elements that are at the heart of the brand including heritage and versatility of serve, the pack will not only ensure maximum prominence in the off-trade, but also attract new and existing customers to the brand.”
The limited edition cartons are available in key markets including the UK, Russia, Greece, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Portugal and Latvia.”

- Via PopSHop



Dennis Carrol, a design student (school unknown), designed this amazing package and graphics as part of a brand application for a bubble bath brand called SKIR. The beauty of it’s simplicity and the narrative behind the graphics involved are simply beautiful and rich. The layers are a representation of volcanic sedimentary layers - pretty genius.

As I encounter student projects at this high of a caliber, I can’t help to ask why certain schools and their respective design programs do not push the envelope. What are these students doing, what are their professors doing, or what is the program doing that is so different and allows for these young students to excel at such a level??? Is it the type of students attending, the lack of education, the lack of a creative environment, or a neglect in the sense that the other educational courses take their toll on the creative process?

That is something maybe I can answer subjectively, as i tried to aim at being objective. For myself design was something i slipped into, and it was something i was doing to honestly just pass the time. It took certain professors to push me, believe in me and guide me in the right direction where design became a passion and a drive for me, where I wanted to learn more and deliver much better results.

So is it the student, YES, is it the professors, YES, is it the program YES - and most of all is it the environment YES YES YES! You’re environment is the greatest influence; who you surround yourself with, and the places you visit or frequent, become sources of inspiration. And well… If you are not inspired, you cannot create.

Design schools, the professors and the students need to be more honest with themselves, the question of passion is something that applies to all. Design is needy, it constantly begs for attention and something new and daring - pushing the envelope and pushing the end result is necessary. I can only speak on my behalf and how bad design comes from lack of drive, passion, education and most of all inspiration.

What are students learning outside of the textbook, the history class, and the random visit from past students who are deemed a success. Are field trips, events, and external associations still a must? Are programs still pushing cross platform programs, such as design competitions, subscriptions to design publications, visit to other school programs and critiques? I dont know if everyone or even my alma mater is doing this anymore… I am definitely disappointed in some of the programs i was once aware or a part of, and how they simply cut back. But once again, “cutting back” cuts back inspiration and productivity.

Professionals and students alike… Do you feel you are giving it your best?


As designers (because we hate to limit our roles simply as “graphic” designers when we are capable of so much creativity, so why limit our talent?) we are often observing and taking mental note, not only for ideas on new projects, or ways to inspire or influence - this is a blessing and a curse, trust that. The sensory overload can be overwhelming, but it’s these observations that always spur great conversations, whether it be at the round table in the office or while grabbing a cup of joe.

You may fall under the category of “WHO FRIGGIN CARES” haha, but this is one bit of observation worth sharing because it’s a glimpse at how keen our observation has become as well trained professional designers… The Green Band Trailer layout before every film trailer has CHANGED! Once again, you may think it’s nothing worh talking about, but it is…

It’s the subtlety that really intrigues us, from a lighter green color, to a the removal of dropshadow, to simpifying the layout to even a change in typography. What was once marred with dropshadows and big clunky ARIAL typeface, is now a very clean and subtle layout with NO drop shadow and the intro to a FUTURA typeface. At first we felt offended by this - it was immediate like a slap to the face, because once again, us designers notice these things. But it was a SLAP, because of the thought… “Why change something that has withstood the test of time? Why change the standard?? Why even bother with something that most people dont even care about???

But there lies the beauty of this change… It was noticed… Not only by a group of designers munchin on some popcorn, but with old timer movie goers, and movie snobs alike. Immediately we felt like Wes Anderson took over the MPAA, because of his love for the typeface FUTURA and every excuse he has to display it in his films. But no… Wes did not take over, by force or any means necessary. The change was due in part to bring unification to the newly introduced RED BAND trailers (introed several years ago), and most of all reflect the type of films that are enjoyed today - to seem less of a stern badge, and more of a lending piece of design that compliments what you are about to see, and NOT warn you for what you are about to see.

We welcome the new design, not only because our opinion doesnt matter, haha, but because change is good, and change sparks conversation and change reflects what surrounds us.

PS: Change is not so good however, when it comes to the almost disastrous GAP logo chanage, horrible JC Penny change, and horrible, yes horrible DC logo redesign…