Featured image for Dieline’s Friday Wrap-Up: Wind Turbine Gummy Bears, the Wienermobile, and ‘Little Chocolate Vapes’

Dieline’s Friday Wrap-Up: Wind Turbine Gummy Bears, the Wienermobile, and ‘Little Chocolate Vapes’

by Bill McCool on 08/26/2022 | 5 Minute Read

The Friday Wrap-Up is a newish column from Dieline where we talk about some of our favorite stories of the past week from the world of packaging and branding, whether it’s from Dieline or elsewhere. Expect a few shout-outs, fun, weirdness, and maybe even a little music.

Congratulation, designer! You just had $10,000 removed from your hefty student loan. Likely you still owe an absolute fuck-ton more, but this pittance is a good-ish step, and as my grandmother once said, every little bit helps, especially when staring down the abyss of debt, aka, This American Life.

Yes, there are a lot of boomers and right-wing types moaning about “giveaways” and how they have to pay for this, but remember that the average millennial has three times the student debt as their parents, and you’re maybe even living with them since it’s not uncommon for rent payments to consume half of your income. Also, you’ve lived through multiple financial crises with an already-here recession and record inflation. It’s OK to tell them to get over it.

I would only add that Biden and company didn’t do nearly enough and that college is completely unaffordable and inaccessible for the lower and middle class. We drastically need to rethink how higher education can be made more available to even more people for not a lot of money because saddling 18-22-year olds with thekind of debts no honest person can pay is criminal and unsustainable.

Anywho, here are your links!

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Pictured: the author, living the dream.

All Hail the Wienermobile

Dig into Rudy Sanchez’s history of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile because it is precisely the brand of uniquely American kitsch I adore. Also, I have ridden in the Wienermobile—sorry for the flex, Rudy—and it’s one of the most magical moments of my existence. Watching innocent bystanders lose their shit and fumble for their phones to snag a picture is some rarified air, and it does speak to the Wienermobile’s awe-inspiring powers. Would I put it on par with the birth of my children or getting married when my personal “hotdogger” instructed me to strap on my “meatbelt?” Of course not. 

Would I ever admit such a thing in print? God, no.

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Image courtesy of Vapezinho.

Vaping in the Boys' Room

This carbon dates me so hard, but candy cigarettes were an early childhood vice that was absolutely a gateway to me smoking until I was 30. I know that's the brand of hackneyed moral and social panic doled out by concerned parents that ban high school dances, but my young brain was taught by the movies and BIG CIG that smoking was the pinnacle of cool. My friends and I would puff on those chalky delights while singing Motley Crew’s “Smoking in the Boys Room” at the bus stop; we were incredibly lame, and it is honestly nothing but dark magic and sorcery that someone even married me at all (sorry, Wienermobile, you really are third place).

While I have zero desire to start smoking again (and would like my children to avoid it at all costs), I have nothing but respect for thissilly chocolate vape packaging from Cleiton. Essentially, the Brazillian brand modernizes the candy cigarettes of the past with Vapezinhos de Chocolate, or “Little Chocolate Vapes.” The edible treat is meant to deter kids from vaping in South America, but I would point to everything I wrote above and say good luck with that.

Total boss box, though.

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Adobe Stock.

Gummy Bears, Now With More Turbine Blades!

According to The Guardian's Chelsie Henshaw, the wind turbines of today could be the gummy bears of tomorrow.

Typically, wind turbines get made using fiberglass, but once they reach the end of their lifespan, they cannot be recycled and go straight to a landfill. However, these intrepid researchers from Michigan State University developed blades using plant-based plastics and glass fibers to create an entirely new kind of resin:

“Digesting the resin in an alkaline solution produced potassium lactate, which can be purified and made into sweets and sports drinks.

“We recovered food-grade potassium lactate and used it to make gummy bear candies, which I ate,” said John Dorgan, one of the authors of the paper.”

I was thoroughly non-plussed at the idea of eating gummy bears made from wind turbine blades, but it’s really no different than chewing on most gum brands, so get at me, Haribo.

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Image courtesy of Serviceplan.

Freedom Grams

That anyone is still in prison for cannabis possession is one of the great tragedies in this country, particularly when 27 states have decriminalized weed in some way, shape, or form. The cannabis market will be worth $40 billion by 2030, and I have interviewed enough canna-fuck-boi CEOs and founders to know that they are profiting from a booming market while others are unjustly imprisoned.

Anywho, shout out to Poppy Thaxter at The Brand Identity for hipping me to this project from Serviceplan for the non-profit cannabis brand Freedom Grams:

“With all proceeds funding legal action – via the Last Prisoner Project – their products communicate a powerful message; each pack contains the exact amount of cannabis that someone is still in prison for. By buying and smoking the product, consumers can free someone and ‘Ignite Change,’ a message that Serviceplan artfully communicate through their eye-catching identity; leading the way with a striking orange background inspired by prison jumpsuits.” 

Beautiful branding, a wonderful project, and a chef’s kiss all around.

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Image courtesy of Taschen.

Anti-Cheesecake Factory Books

I didn’t know I needed a coffee table book exploring European menu design from 1800-2000 until now, so thank you, Olivia Hingley. Edited by Jim Heimann, Taschen: Menu Design in Europe is a gorgeous celebration of a bygone era in restaurant culture, as QR codes become the vehicle du jour for our weekly Pu Pu Platters.

Every basic kitchen—including mine—will have framed prints from this book on their wall within five years, mark my words.

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Image courtesy of Rolling Stone.

A Flat Stone Gathers Moss

Last week, Rolling Stone tweaked their website and updated its logo, ditching the flat design they’ve sported for the past few years, bringing back the shading that featured so prominently starting in 1981. Working with Jesse Ragan of XYZ, art director Roger Black and creative director Joseph Hutchinson added some much-needed depth to the masthead while ever-so-slightly altering the letters. Will you renew that subscription to Rolling Stone? Maybe. But Creem is also back from the dead, so choose your fighter wisely.

Got a news tip for us? Questions? How about some high praise or mean-spirited criticism? Or maybe an odd fact or statistic? I want to hear from you! You can reach me at bill@dielinemedia.com