Ratio Eight Coffee Maker: Bringing Refined Design To your Morning Routine

Ratio Eight Coffee Maker

Coffee making instruments have a long history of being “sexy”. You’ve got the Chemex, the French press, and for the professional, the La Marzocco espresso machine. Added to the list is the brand new Ratio Eight coffee maker which, to use a totally clichéd descriptor, looks as if Apple designed a Mr. Coffee.

We designed the Eight with the ideal balance of form to function. The clear blown-glass and warm black walnut flush-up against machine-sculpted aluminum for a staunch juxtaposition. Every angle and alignment is measured down to the tenth of a millimeter, all for a singular, refined efficiency.

Ratio Eight Coffee Maker

I have no idea if this actually makes decent coffee or not but you’ve got to give it to them for styling along. The combination of aluminum, glass, wood, and cork is a designers wet dream. This is coffee porn taken to the extreme. You can take a look at the video below to get a sense of what the machine is capable of, but be warned, it comes with a hefty $480 price tag.

Bobby Solomon

April 28, 2014 / By

Snacks Quarterly: A Passionate Publication Dedicated To Snacking

Snacks Quarterly

Everyone has a weakness for snacks. I personally have a savory palette, preferring to nosh on things like wasabi cashews or walnuts and cranberries. Alexander Barrett and Brad Simon love snacks so much they decided to create Snacks Quarterly, an online publication that celebrates snacks in all their forms.

Snacks Quarterly is an internet publication that brings a variety of artists together to share their insights and ideas on the subject of snacks and snacking. Essays, illustrations, anecdotes, and practical snacking tips post four times a year on our beautifully designed, ad-free website.

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Bobby Solomon

April 22, 2014 / By

‘Gastrotypographicalassemblage’ Finds A New Home at The Culinary Institute of America


Gastrotypographicalassemblage is a a massive 35 feet long by 8.5 feet high installation which combines two of my favorite things, typography and food. Created by Lou Dorfsman in 1966 (along with the help of designer Herb Lubalin) to grace the walls of the CBS building in Manhattan, the piece featured over 1,650 individual letters spelling out culinary terminology and expressions, as well as 65 food-related objects. Unfortunately the art was removed when the building was sold in 1989 though thankfully it was saved by designer Nick Fasciano and Dorfsman himself from remaining in the dumpster.

For the past 25 years though the work has been kept in storage, looking for a new place to reside. Thankfully The Culinary Institute of America has found it a home in it’s Hudson Valley campus. The video below tells he story of Gastrotypographicalassemblage and it’s recreation at the CIA. It’s great to see that such a wonderful piece like this didn’t get lost in the shuffle of time.

Bobby Solomon

April 14, 2014 / By

Criticism of Olive Garden’s New Logo Leaves A Bad Taste In My Mouth

Olive Garden Logo Redesign

“Opinions are like elbows, everybody’s got one or two.” I think this phrase to myself a lot. I find it applies especially well to the realm of design. And it’s certainly true when you’re talking about logo redesigns, the Internet’s favorite subject to shit on. I’ve certainly shared quite a few of my own opinions on the site, though in recent years I’ve tried to bring constructive criticism to my posts so I don’t add to the senseless noise. Last night I started to read about a new logo redesign for Olive Garden by Lipincott, which was generally being panned. Curious I took a look at what all the fuss was about… and honestly couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about. And boy was there a lot of fuss.

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Bobby Solomon

March 6, 2014 / By

The Message is Medium Rare

It’s a fact, my favorite food on earth is the hamburger (though I might be partial, Los Angeles is the burger capitol of the world). To me it’s an incredible combination of meats, vegetables, and sauces, neatly packaged up between two delicious buns. A burger is simple enough to make but it takes a great chef to transform it into something truly magnificent. I’m not alone in my admiration, the guys at MINE, a design firm located in San Francisco, have started The Message is Medium Rare, which finds creative metaphors in the act of eating burgers.


People often ask us where we get our inspiration, how we stay creative, and how we get “unstuck.” What we’ve found is that, if you look at the world both critically and with wonder, there are lessons to be learned everywhere. Every object, experience, relationship, environment, phrase—everything—has locked inside it an insight it wants to share. The only trick is remembering to look for it.

To investigate this idea, we’re eating a burger a week for the next 52 weeks and sharing the lessons they teach us.

Each piece is a great read, relating a 75-year-old burger shop owners retirement to leaving the game when you’re at the top and how too much lettuce on a burger spurs a realization that design is a balancing act.

Bobby Solomon

February 19, 2014 / By

Classic cocktail Prints By Derrick Castle


Mixing illustrations with vintage typographical concepts, Derrick Castle carves the beauty of traditional drinks in his Classic Cocktails series.

Castle, a graphic designer and illustrator, has worked for some big names like Nike, Under Armour and Harley Davidson to name a few. Living in Nashville, Castle has been exposed to mixology and modern interpretations of classic cocktails through friends in the bartending industry.

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Carli Krueger

January 17, 2014 / By

Nendo brings beauty and new utility to chopsticks

Nendo's Rassen chopsticks

It doesn’t get much more simple than chopsticks. A pair of finally crafted pieces of wood that allow you to nimbly eat. If you would have asked me if it was possible to make a better, or perhaps more innovative pair of chopsticks, I’d probably so no, that they’ve been refined to their basic essence. Nendo on the other hand has found not one but two new ways of innovating on the basic design of chopsticks.

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Bobby Solomon

January 10, 2014 / By