Brooklyn Delight

On a recent visit at a Whole Foods Market, our eyes stumbled upon these stylized chocolate bars by Mast Brothers.

Mast Brothers are a team of Brooklyn based chocolate artisans that make delicious handmade chocolate in their Williamsburg atelier.

Using beans from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Madagascar and Venezuela, Rick and Michael have found a winning a formula with a packaging that is esthetically enticing and a product that is real delicacy.

Curious about their creative process, check out these superbe pictures by Todd Selby

Guest Post: Soultanicals Logo

Logo design is by far my favorite element of graphic design. I love the challenge of creating a mark to identify a brand. So I'm ALWAYS excited when a client reaches out to me about designing a logo. Today I would like to share with you a logo project I really enjoyed working on in the last month.

This project was with a client who is launching a line of organic plant-based body and hair products called Soultanicals. When describing the essence of her brand the client used words like soul-infused, afrolistic, and soul-centric. I loved these terms! I couldn't help but be inspired. Immediately I brainstormed different ideas to bring "soul" and "botanicals" together (I mean, that's totally what the brand name is all about).

The client mentioned that she wanted an afro lady incorporated into the logo somehow. When I think of afros I think of the 60's and 70's, and the illustrative style of the 60's and 70's was inspired by Art Nouveau. Therefore, I looked at illustration and beauty packaging from the Art Nouveau era for inspiration as well as different ways other artists interpret hair.

I also collected images that related to how I wanted my afro lady to look; peaceful and in a natural meditative state. I also had to figure out how this afro lady would be used. Was she interacting with nature? Would she be a character? A label or a symbol? After tons of sketches I decided to pursue a concept where a natural haired lady was embracing nature and/or being embraced by nature.

Once I got a handle on the face and how this afro lady would relate to her "environment" I created several options (along with some other completely different logo concepts) to present to the client.
The logo pictured bottom right is what she chose.

From our Guest Blogger Andrea Pippins of Fly 


Under the Influence

Coming this Fall is the movie 'The Influencers: How Trends and Creativity become contagious'.
There's not much info on the project except for this website + Facebook page, but we're so stoked...

Guest Post: Leadership Quilt

In my first semester in grad school we were given the theme of leadership for my design thesis class. We could design anything we wanted as long as it related to the idea of leadership in some way. Just to give you some examples one classmate created a product line for Martha Stewart Living, a brand that leads in the Home & Lifestyle industry; another classmate created a series of puppets based on various leaders throughout history. When I learned of the designated theme I immediately thought of Oprah Winfrey's Leadership Academy in South Africa. The stories, the strength and the beauty of the young girls who attend Oprah's special school became the inspiration for my project.

My idea was to design a gift that Oprah could give each girl upon graduation. That gift would be an inspirational quilt to remind each girl to be the leader she is meant to be. The individual quilt would be personalized with the name of the girl appliqued on the front. The idea is that the quilt becomes a personal keepsake with quotes from leaders from various backgrounds interwoven with symbols related to leadership. Back then I conducted a survey on Fly to see what readers thought of when they heard the word "leadership." Courage, faith, vision, and service were all characteristics that were consistently expressed in the survey results. This helped me brainstorm ideas of how to visually interpret those attributes.

After much conversation and research about South Africa, the school, and different quotes from established leaders, I finally began the design process. I found a quilting team to help piece, quilt and bind (you can see the woman who pieced the quilt and coordinated the team here). Most of the fabric sections were printed on my home printer and other swatches were purchased. You can't see in the photo but there's a lot of applique and embroidered details.

It was such a fun project. I'm passionate about inspiring young women and this concept allowed me to create a tangible piece that could do just that. I also loved the collaboration aspect; it allowed me to learn about the quilting process and gave me the opportunity to design in a totally different medium. It would be great to do more projects like this. If I had to do it all again I would change some things like the palette and some of the symbols. Looking back they seem a bit young for high school girls. For the most part, though, it was one of my favorite projects and I'm happy with the way it turned out.
You can see closeups of the quilt here.

From our Guest Blogger Andrea Pippins of Fly 


Guest Post: Looking at Environmental Graphics

Recently I have accepted a project to design a mural for a commercial space. I'm SO excited because this is something I've always wanted to do. Right now I'm in the very early stages of the project, which means I'm looking for inspiration and collecting images to create my moodboards. This stage is always so fun because I get to take time to surf the net, look at books and go through my stash of magazine clippings for ideas. For this project I'm researching how other artists and designers approach murals and environmental graphics; especially how they handle scale and type, pattern and color. This helps me see what can be done, what has been done and what I can do to make my ideas functional and unique.

Ideally I would love to use tons of hand-lettering which is why I liked seeing the super graphics (large-scale environmental design) done by the likes of Pentagram, design company ATTACK, mural artist Stephen Powers, and street artist Ananda Nahu. My favorite though, is the work from Margaret Kilgallen. Her whimsical images inspired by street art, old-style letter-forms, and folk-art are simply beautiful.

I also like the simplified graphic patterns used in the first image for Design Within Reach and then the wallpaper for Salon Modern by Studio MPLS. These are all great references for beautiful large scale artwork that communicates a message, design identity or tells a story.

From our Guest Blogger Andrea Pippins of Fly


A Very Fly Guest

'Hi everybody! I'm so excited and very honored to be guest blogging on Tam+Sam this week. I hope you enjoy this series of posts based on images that inspire me and my work as a graphic designer.' Andrea

This week we have a very special guest joining us on the blog: Andrea Pippins of Fly.  
Starting tomorrow, this amazing graphic designer, who's also one of our most cherished bloggers, will talk about the designs, art, and ephemera that have inspired her own work. Enjoy.

Dancehall Gear

We recently discovered Ranks London, a new t-shirt line that pays homage to some of dancehall's most iconic rude boys, namely Shaba Ranks, Buju, Ninjaman.
We're especially fond of the Shaba Ranks' one which one is your favourite?

Luxury H20

Hello Kitty's cuteness is has gone cash crazy with a luxury water. Adorned with Swarovski crystals, each bottle comes in different colors that represent different concepts: Red (friendship), Pink (cute), yellow (heartful), green (wish) and lavender (sweet). Get yours through for only $100!


Stella's Shop

Fall 2010 Campaign

Paris Showroom


H & M: Fall Fashions


A Hellz of a time

For their 5th anniversary, Casio's G-Shock teamed up with the ladies from Hellz Bellz for this cool sets of limited edition Baby-G watches. 'The Polka-Dots' and 'The Taxi', an homage to the NYC yellow cars are available here, so hurry up and get yours.


#NYFW: Part Deux

Fashion week and beyond...
This year we headed down South to catch the last few days of Fashion week...
The city and the runway were filled with beautiful people and marvelous pieces, and colors.


Australian Vine House illustrative, Aboriginal inspired walls are a product of LAB261: KFKS & SFHD.


If the shoe fits, buy it

You know how our girl, Little Miss X, loves to wear Keds. Check out the latest versions from artists, Jules Julien, Micah Lidberg and Merjin Hos below. Which ones should she rock?



Tracy Reese
L'Wren Scott

Alice + Olivia


Judge a movie by its poster

Romain Gavras is known for his controversial music videos (Justice's 'Stress'& M.I.A. and for being his daddy's son. He recently presented his latest project 'Notre Jour viendra' {'Our day will come'} during the TIFF.
Gavras' first feature film 'Notre Jour viendra' is centered around Patrick played by Vincent Cassel and Remy, two enigmatic characters who embark on a hallucinatory journey to Ireland...
The movie also features an incredible soundtrack by Ed Bangers' Sebastian.