Dieline's Friday Wrap-Up: Celebrating MSG, Grey Poupon Weighs In On Saladgate, And We Talk About Kanye
by Rudy Sanchez on 10/28/2022 | 5 Minute Read
I hate to start this week’s column on a down note, but we need to talk about Kanye. Let’s get it out of the way, and I promise I’ll finish on an important point.
Now known as Ye, the man has been rushing as fast as he can to fuck around and find out. West has been going HAM on self-sabotage, starting by wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt at a fashion show alongside Candace Owens and posting antisemitic comments on social media. Retailers Gap, Foot Locker, and TJ Maxx have now dropped West’s products from stores, while Balenciaga and Adidas have severed their ties with him, costing Kanye his billionaire status. Ye’s Donda Academy has closed for now (or is it reopening?) on the heels of its basketball team getting uninvited to at least three showcases. In a bizarre move, even by Kayne standards, West showed up unannounced and unwelcomed to shoe brand Sketchers’ offices, film crew in tow on Wednesday. Not only was Ye escorted off the premises, Sketchers felt the need to issue a statement distancing itself from Kanye while condemning his antisemitic comments.
It doesn’t matter to me if Kanye can make a comeback. I haven’t been a fan of his music in years. I think Ye’s design work is intriguing, but I won’t miss it. He’s always been a polemicist, draped in drama, but able to come out the other side of a controversy. Still, the latest escalation in behavior that started with his harassment of ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her ex-suitor Pete Davidson goes beyond a stunt at an award show or a terrible take. You know a celebrity has broken bad when the only people that will have them are the alt-right (looking at you, Gina Carano).
All of that to say this; if you see a friend clearly in distress and acting against their own interests, throw them a lifeline. It can just be a simple text message. They might ignore you, but keep trying. The design world is brutal, and life's stressors can be overwhelming. Add untreated mental illness to the mix, and people can fall into weird pits of awfulness. Let’s take care of one another as best we can.
OK, the vegetables are out of the way; let’s get to the meat of the week.
IYKYK Shaker Kit
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is a much-maligned seasoning whose poor reputation and purported side effects like headaches and nausea are rooted in a lie fueled by anti-Asian racism. This American Life does a fantastic dive into the history of MSG that I can't recommend enough.
Before you listen to that podcast, give Chloe Gordon’s post about OMSOM’s IYKYK shaker set a read. OMSOM’s newest limited-edition shaker set celebrates MSG in a beautiful explosion of color and style. The “Know MSG” label is a clever play on “No MSG” signs common in Asian restaurants.
Mooncakes are decadent sweet treats gifted during the Mid-Autumn Festival. The packaging often gets designed to feel impressive and visually opulent, perfect for gifting. I love Bakes Mooncakes’ packaging, designed by Eve Tran, Ven Bui, Nghi Tran, Tuan Ha, and Trang Dinh. It’s an elegant presentation with bright, colorful tins and outstanding typography. The tins are so pretty they beg to be reused as well.
Keep Walking City Collection
Creative agency Bulletproof’s packaging design for Johnnie Walker’s “Keep Walking City Collection” is an impressive mix of technology and art. Called Air-Ink, the black ink on the white ceramic bottles uses carbon captured from high-pollution sources like factories.
The black illustrations created by different street artists against the white ceramic look really cool, almost like the bottles were hand-drawn. Using pollution-derived ink on a collection inspired by big cities reinforces the urban theme.
The Working Assembly Launches New Foundry, Work Type
Bill McCool recently interviewed NYC-based The Working Assembly (TWA) about the launch of its new type foundry Work Type.
Work Type’s origin story is an interesting insight into how TWA thinks and works as an agency. With custom, bespoke fonts becoming a common part of branding, it makes sense for an agency with solid type skills to launch a foundry focused on creating typefaces.
Something that particularly stood out to me was how TWA could see the value in its “parts bin” of letters that didn’t work for the project they were designed for but still had significance and could get reused for other projects. It reminded me of Colombia-based designer Nubia Navarro’s Adobe Max session, where she explained how she sometimes takes things rejected by a client and repurposes them in her personal projects.
We Love Reusing Crown Royal Bags
In some ways, packaging is like the Force in Star Wars. Packaging surrounds us, penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together. Well, maybe not that last part, but still, I love packaging that takes on an identity of its own, separate from its brand, and becomes a ubiquitous and persistent part of life and culture.
I recently explored how Crown Royal bags get reused by the Canadian whiskey's fans. I’ve seen folks use them to store dice, loose change, and watches. But that’s just the beginning; in my piece, I explore some of the other clever, crafty, and illegal ways people repurpose those soft velvety drawstring pouches.
Grey Popoun Responds To #Saladgate
The UK’s Daily Mail recently published an interview with Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis’ former nanny, including screenshots of text messages describing the turbulent last days of the couple’s marriage.
One incident included a time when Wilde was preparing a lunch for her new love interest Harry Styles, at the family home, which had the “special salad dressing.” Sudeikis appeared to be particularly hurt at Wilde sharing the “special dressing” with Styles.
The internet piled on with memes and such, but Grey Poupon did one better by announcing limited-edition “Don’t Worry Dijon” jars. The jars include the recipe for the infamous dressing on the back, which is also just a pretty basic mix of dijon, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.
I’m not proud of laughing and making jokes about the breakdown of a marriage, especially with kids involved, but being upset over “special dressing” and getting under your spouse’s car to prevent her from cheating on you is funny when it’s not happening in your life.
Packaging & Dielines 2: A Free Resource