Snapstag Cider Flyers

I opened my fridge to grab the above bottles for the photo and realized something: I really like apples.

Like, if you had asked me the answer would have been “Sure, why not?” or “Who doesn’t?” – an answer of indifference at the ubiquity of the fruit’s presence. But I realized that I have, as I write right now, two kinds of apples and three kinds of apple juices. On the counter top opposite a candle with a subtle apple scent. In my cupboard both Apple Jacks and Apple Cinnamon Cheerios (which are not, as I previously thought, the same thing) next to the box of apple cinnamon oatmeal flavoring and variety of dried cider mixes. Apple teas, though, I’ve declared terrible.

So it makes sense, I guess, to make an apple flavored ale.

We went the other day to the farmer’s market in search of fresh apple juice (preservatives in the commercial kind will kill the yeast) and came back with 2x 1 liter glass bottled soft cider from Harker’s Organics. We’re opting for small, small batches with lots of experiments and meticulous note taking so we can decide and make more in the direction we like the best. Next stop: The Vineyard, a local brew shop. First impression: super helpful and knowledgeable guys there. I had a shopping list based on this guide and they agreed, so we went with the Nottingham Ale yeast because in theory it should be hard to mess up. One packet is $4 and makes like, ~45 liters of brew, so we’ll have more than enough to keep playing; they’ll probably expire before we use them all. Silly yeast for having a shelf life. There’s some other pectins and things to control clarity and sweetness but I won’t get into the nitty gritty.

Unfortunately that’s all I can tell you at the moment, there’ll most likely be follow up posts in a few weeks / months.

In the meantime, we can play with the branding. There probably won’t be any real production scale any time soon, but can you blame design students for getting excited? We arrived at the name Snapstag entirely serendipitously and rolled with it. The above photo was the third try or something, so it’s hardly done. It’s not really original, but since we’re not competing on store shelves it’s less a concern to be memorable and edgy. We just wanted to do whatever we liked, and that’s what it is. It’ll most likely evolve over time and start to take on it’s own personality. I imagine there will be other names / brands for each flavor we come across and branch into it’s own right with ties to each other. We liked the industrial revolution Wharftown handmade branding that’s popular with the hipsters these days. I tried doing a truly hand lettered version and it’s terrible. I have so much respect for people like Gerren Lamson and Simon Walker.

In the end, it’s entirely for fun and we’ll have something to talk about and do with each other after we graduate.

Friday Fail: Some sort of pizza thing

I know I can be harsh in my holistic approach to what design should be, but I’ve really come a long way with ignoring it. I’ve grown to accept that other people like the uselessly ornate and that’s okay. I’ve even grown to like some useless things myself just because they’re lovely. That’s remarkable.

And then (and I know I need to stop this) I browse popular industrial design blogs that promote things like the above as “good” and it bothers me. I feel like I’m allowed to be bothered by this because it’s not a question of taste – it’s not something that someone else might find attractive and I simply don’t, that isn’t the issue. My issue with this is it’s solving a problem that to the best of my knowledge, no one actually has. I could be wrong, and even if I am, here’s why it shouldn’t happen anyway:

It’s made of paper cut with perforations. I’m glad it’s not plastic, but it’s still a tragic waste to be cutting down the fantastic design that is the tree – the self replicating, self healing, adaptable thing that gives life to the earth and all that it contains via air purification, shelter, erosion control and works through every stage of it’s life cycle until it renews itself 100% back into the ground from which it came… it’s marvelous, really. Our design pales in comparison. But no, we’re going to cut those down and make little triangle plates so that we can “avoid getting our hands dirty” with the food we’re eating, which, I don’t know how they eat pizza, but can easily be done already.

Part two: energy cost. How are the perforations being made? A stamp, perhaps. Lasers? Water jet? There isn’t any way to manufacture this without using some energy. Then shipping. Then the poor guy in the back of the pizza place who has to not only place the thing into the box but also make sure he’s cut the pizza and rotated it to exactly match the pre-made lines. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a pizza cut before, but it’s a large blade that just sort of guillotines back and forth a few times at haphazard angles. It works really well when you aren’t measuring to see if every piece is of equal wedge, which brings up another issue: forced sizes. You know the difference between Pizza Hut and Domino’s slices; the former has 20 thin slices per pizza and the latter has like, five giant ones. They each have their reasons, I’m sure, and they’ll continue to do it that way.

As a side note while searching for the above image I found these and winced. Forget the 14 year old boy aesthetics, why do they need suspension? It doesn’t even make sense.


TL;DR Solves a problem no one has, contributes to the greater problem of obscene waste / lack of trees, annoys the people preparing the pizza.

You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that after clicking through to the original source it was via Yanko “design”

10 Secrets of an influential blogger

Secret 1: Link bait.

Secret 2: Using photos that may or may not even be relevant to the post, but will appeal to most people.

Secret 3: Use numbered lists to drive your point across.

Secret 4: Spread links to your blog everywhere you get a chance. It’s only spam if the blog isn’t very useful.

Secret 5: Befriend everyone you meet on and offline, they’re the ones talking about you on your behalf.

Secret 6: If you aren’t friendly, at least make an obvious but non-specific enemy that other people will join you in hating.

Secret 7: If using a photo of delicious food, put it in last so it doesn’t continuously distract you while you write; salivating over your keyboard.

Secret 8: Be slightly tongue in cheek, so when you make a mistake (which you will) people think you’re being clever and subtly ironic. That’s hip right now.

Secret 9: Trying to figure out what people like best via visit stats is nearly impossible. Just keep posting whatever you want.

Secret 10: Engage your audience on a personal level. Let them know who you really are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

Today is the 3rd day of the 6th month since Acrylo’s inception, or, five months have passed. So far? It’s been really good. I’m not new to blogging itself, but I have been approaching Acrylo with a slightly different attitude and I am proud of both myself and what I’ve created here. Of course, you’re the awesome ones. Thank you. I wrote this heartfelt post on Google+ just before the 5 month turn so I’ll try not repeat myself.

It’s hard to hear sometimes, but if I could advise anyone looking to make a blog it’s very simple: hard work.

I know, I know, the internet is the land of getting paid for doing nothing, right? Bah. I don’t mean to sound pretentious or anything, but I do spend a lot of time browsing, just looking, exploring for content. For things I like and dislike. Of that, probably only 1% gets made into posts that end up here. Sometimes I’ll come across things that I want to share but don’t deserve a full post and so I’ll link them in Twitter, but for the most part I just absorb it, learn it and move on. Blogging this content, for me, is a byproduct of my insatiable appetite for learning. So I really do enjoy it – if I didn’t I wouldn’t do it – but if you’re looking to get into blogging, I would say that’s a very important trait to have. It is hard work sometimes, but it’s a very satisfying work.


Cheese and crackers – a tutorial

I had no idea this was such a rampant problem, but it came to my attention today and I really wanted to address it.

The main thing that surprised me is that people don’t seem to know that you can make two smaller squares by cutting one big square twice. I guess a lot of people missed that day in kindergarten or something, I’m not sure.

So you’ve got your cheese, which is comes in an extruded square brick slightly larger than the cracker. When eaten together, this has way too much cheese-cracker ratio. We could cut off the corners, but this creates awkward little bits that can’t be efficiently recycled into the snack manufacturing process. No good.

Instead, use the double cut method to make two smaller squares:

Fairly straight forward. Then, take those triangles and flip them so the longest end faces inward, creating a square:

Which creates two crackers worth of perfectly ratio’d cheese with no excess scraps or ill-fitting remains. Since household sized cheese forges aren’t very common, we can’t just remelt scraps like we would with aluminum.

So rest assured, you know how to make cheese and crackers properly!

Also, if someone ever comes up and asks you to create two perfect squares by cutting one perfect square, now you know!

Take care out there.

Sushi Post-its


I don’t use that word very often, but that’s the only adjective I can use here.

Also, I am really happy I’m not the only one who has obsessive habits when it comes to desk organization using grids (although my desk rarely has so much stuff on it in the first place).

But a paper Rolodex? Really?

Via Colossal via Matomeno

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