“Tattoo.” When we hear the word, many images come to mind. You might picture something simple, like a rose, a cross or someone’s initials. Or perhaps your mind sees something more elaborate and fantastical.
The word itself was derived from the Tahitian word “tatua,” meaning “to mark.” However, this does not indicate the Tahitians invented the tattoo. Tattoos have been worn by all cultures for many centuries for religious reasons or even as protection against evil. Clay figurines have been discovered showing ancient Egyptians used tattoos as early as 4000 B.C.
Fast forward to the 1900s and find that tattoos have been used to brand prisoners, as a mark of a sailor (think Popeye’s anchors), by Harley bikers or even to profess one’s love for their “MOM.”
Nowadays, tattoos can be seen virtually everywhere. They have gained popularity among individuals of all income brackets, genders, religions and age groups. They are displayed with pride by rock stars, movie stars and pro-athletes, to businessmen, housewives and the average college student.
Tattoos make a canvas of one’s body, a walking piece of artwork for all to see. They can be used to make a statement, as shown in a recent edition of PETA’s newsletter. They allow one to express individuality and beliefs, as well as create visual insight into a stranger’s imagination.
Inspiration can be drawn from the colors and patterns of today’s tattoos and certainly be applied across all design media. Ed Hardy is one brand that has used tattoos as inspiration across its line of clothing, perfume, shoes and handbags. Walk-e-Woo™ has put the visual lure of the tattoo to work on its line of dog collars. If you prefer something less permanent than inking, you can simply wear a shirt designed to make the wearer look like he or she has full arm tattoos. Good Ol’ Sailor, a line of organic Swedish Vodka, is uniquely packaged in tattooed bottles.
Lady Gaga featured Rick Genest, a model covered head-to-toe in zombie tattoos, in her “Born This Way” video. Genest has since garnered international attention and appeared in an ad for Dermablend™ makeup.
Mattel™ even released a “Totally Stylin’ Tattoos Barbie” in 2009.
It’s probably only a matter of time before more companies and designers across all media follow suit and incorporate the imagination of tattoo design into their brands. After all, if we aren’t afraid to express our innermost thoughts and dreams permanently on our bodies for all of the world to see, what’s stopping us from using it in everyday design?
Courtney Cavanaugh, USA office
The Private Label Manufacturers Association announced that nearly two-dozen retail chains and wholesalers from across the country were selected as the winners of this year’s Salute to Excellence Awards. The awards give recognition for new Private Brand products that exemplify the high quality, innovation and value to consumers that continue to drive private label sales and market shares to record highs.
Entries are submitted by retailers themselves, not by design agencies, but we are still really excited that two of the products we've designed for ALDI US have won awards.
Read more about the awards on the My[Private]Brand website here.
As promised in a previous post, here are a few more details of our recent Gold award at the Pentawards. Sue, Duffy and Katy travelled to New York to receive the award, at a sold out ceremony held in the Marquis Ballroom at the Marriott Hotel. In total 25 countries were represented at the awards, a truly global event. After opening speeches from Jack Vogler (who worked alongside Walter Landor), Stan Church (of Wallace Church New York) and Gérard Caron, President of the Pentawards jury, the winners were invited up on stage to collect their trophies.
Everybody then retired to the upper terrace of the Marquis for a buffet and champagne, overlooking the lights of Times Square.
Sue said of the award, “I’m immensely proud of the team and to be in such illustrious company, winning Gold against some of the biggest names in the industry.”
You can read more about our winning design and the story behind it here.
Our ‘global’ opportunities as a group go from strength to strength with a recent two week business trip to China to explore business partnerships in one of the world's largest emerging markets. Meetings and credentials presentations were held in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Hong Kong, among them a banquet at which Sue and Katy had the opportunity to present to over 40 key industry figures and government representatives. The trip was concluded with a visit to Aldi and their international corporate buying outpost in Hong Kong.
Many opportunities were fostered, not just in terms of new business but also in the sourcing of production partnerships.
Katy said of the trip, “It was a life changing experience and on a business level we have secured some amazing ‘on the ground’ partnerships that will only enhance our services further and benefit our clients globally.”
There will be a lot written today about Steve Jobs, about what a visionary he was, how he changed the face of computers and consumer electronics.
But from Equator, just a simple thank you.
As mentioned in a previous post, we have been waiting to hear whether we'd won a prestigious design award after learning earlier in the year we'd been nominated. So you can only begin to imagine our excitement at learning we have won Gold for our Vero packaging in the recent Pentawards.
Following on from the success of our nomination for the Blades 2011 Awards, Equator US are celebrating success of their own with one of their projects being nominated for a major award. We are all hopeful of a positive result come the Awards Ceremony, but whatever the result, we are certainly honored to have even been considered.
Congratulations from everyone here at Equator to Leila, one of our Account Handlers at our US office, who tied the knot recently to long term boyfriend Danny at St John The Apostle Church in Villa Park, Illinois. Leila looked absolutely beautiful, our very own princess, and the newlyweds looked so happy together and very much in love. The rumours are not to be believed, however, that she chose Danny so people would find it easier to spell her new surname Jones than her old one Bashqawi!
We all want to wish them all the best as they start out their married life together.