In terms of quality, usability and design, the guys at Nocs really kept the end user in mind when they produced their Nocs NS2 Air Monitors. With built-in Airplay technology, these speakers make the best use of your audio devices—letting you play music from your PC, Mac, iPod Touch, iPad or iPhone without the use of cables. This means, you can go from listening to Hall & Oates to Little Dragon beyond the perimeters of audio cables. That’s pretty rad.
With so many horribly-designed electronics out there, the Nocs NS2 Air Monitors from Sweden are a nice breath of Scandinavian fresh air. They’re beautiful and their minimalist approach is a good reminder of why good design is as little design as possible (Hi Dieter!). These things will look good forever.
With multiple color options including Black, White, Grey, Red, Yellow and Orange, you’ll be sure to find one that suits your style. Personally, I’d love to see a wood-grain version down the line, but maybe I’m just asking for too much.
Above and below are a collection of things that I’ve accumulated over the last few weeks and are split between objects brought home from my latest trip to Portland and my friends bringing me stuff from Japan. I finally got my hands on Kenya Hara’s Designing Design on a quick visit to Ampersand Gallery (whoohoo!) and after a couple of laps around the holiday craft fairs, I was able to hoard a nice handful of vendor collateral.
My friend Ted (Jyumoku) and his girlfriend Yoyo just returned from a 3-week trip to Japan and brought me back a few prints from the Tim Barber Exhibition (w/Wacko Maria) along with a bag of goods from the Muji Found shop. Love it. You guys know me too well. Thanks dudes.
Also in town is my old friend, Arik. He’s been living in Japan for the last couple of years and is thinking about opening up a bottle shop in Kumamoto. Personally, I’d love to see a few San Diego-style DIPAs make it across the pond. Arik brought me back this beanie from one of favorites, Beauty & Youth. On the biggest exterior label, it says, “Made in the United States”. It’s funny how the Japanese sell our own culture right back to us—or maybe just to me.
Worth Magazine is definitely way out of my league—but a free subscription? Ill take it. Also in frame are the latest issues of familiar favorites Inventory, Wilder and Popeye. Looks like I’ll be spending a bit more time in front of paper than pixels over the next week.
My friend Chris Bilyeu has been really busy lately. On top of the cover art that he just did for new Plateaus LP, he just finished the two zines above. I’m not sure what they’re about, but if you into flying hamburgers, anarcho-punk and wrestling cigarettes, you’ll appreciate these latest releases. Now go check out his Instagram feed so you can add it to your NSFW folder.
Kelsey Brookes had these rad letterpress cards to giveaway at the opening for his Serotonin show. Since I really couldn’t afford to pick up any of his art, these worked just fine. On top of that, Kelsey was nice enough to sign one of them for me. That’s awesome. Don’t miss this show—It’ll be up through December 29th at the Quint.
The Japanese Tenugui cloth is meant to do whatever you want it to do. Over the last 1200 years, these hand-dyed cloths have been used as a variety things—handkerchiefs, scarves and everything in between. After a brief visit to the Tortoise General Store, I was sold on this fabric after one of their workers showed me a 5-year old cut that was still holding together. And, since I had lost my navy blue pocket square the other day, I’ll be using this fabric to make a few more replacements. I got things to wipe.
To the right, is issue 13 of Bad Day Magazine. Printed biannually, this Toronto-based zine has grown into one of my favorites. It’s ran completely independent—meaning no investors, no grants and definitely no one telling them what to write about. The hand-sized publication does a lot with a little and chooses smart design and typography over full-color and large formats. This issue features Charlotte Gainsbourg, Patrik Ervell and a bunch of other people I still need to read about. If you can find it, buy it. Go Canada!
There’s still nothing like picking up the latest issue of your favorite magazine at your local newsstand. You get a sense of discovery that you can’t get from clicking and scrolling through your daily laps around the internet. There’s a craft part of it, too—the paper, the smell and knowing that everything has to be considered before it goes to print. Yes, there are some publications that work much better digitally, but over the last few years, there’s been a resurgence of publications (mainly independent) that’ve been paving the way for the future of print. Above, are three of them that I can’t get enough of.
The first of the bunch is Japan’s Popeye Magazine—a monthly style guide that has been around since the late 70′s. Although not necessarily new, Popeye has recently received a facelift earlier this year with the release of their June issue. And the overhaul comes in perfect time. It brought new energy to the magazine that over the last few years, was beginning to look a little dated next to other Japanese imports such as Huge, 2nd and Cool-Trans. With Takahiro Kinoshita on board as Editor-in-Chief, Popeye is much more buttoned up—mixing vintage, prep, contemporary and technical garments from labels big and small. Right now, they’re doing it better than everyone else. I just wish I could read Japanese.
The second selection is called, The Travel Almanac. It’s brought to us by two Berin-based DJ/producers, Paul Kominek and John Roberts. With the sense of place providing as the foreground of their conversations, the magazine examines the work and nomadic lifestyles of the creatives they feature. Only 3-issues in, what first began as a hobby, has grown into a full-time gig for this creative duo.
The last magazine, Kinfolk, is a publication built around the appreciation of small gatherings. Intermingled between accounts of campfire roasts and shoreline picnics are recipes that you can try out at home for yourself. Yeah, beer pong is fun, I guess—but so are backyard dinners and cured meats, no? It’s hard to describe Kinfolk without sounding pretentious, but in short, this mag is really about keeping it cool and living simple with your friends and family. Ya dig?
Tibor Kalman, Perverse Optimist by Peter Hall and Michael Bierut, Blink by Malcolm Gladwell ($1 find!), Damn Good Advice by George Lois, Never Come Around by La Sera, Bad Blood by Tim Cohen’s Magic Trick and Carter by Bleached.
Last year, I was indirectly introduced to Poler during my time at WK12. Walking to and from the agency, I’d always see Lloyd Winter and Joe Staples wear their Venn diagram hoody and would always wonder where that graphic came from. To me, Poler is a brand that seems to be doing everything right. They’ve managed to create a brand around their lifestyle by making well-designed, purpose-driven product without taking themselves too seriously. These dudes sell fun—and as a fan, I wanna have the fun they’re having. Great work guys. Love the Napsack. Available now. #campvibes #supbenji