Coffee Paintings, by Giulia Bernardelli

Italians are known for their love of coffee, but while most enjoy espresso for its taste, artist Giulia Bernardelli appreciates it for its creative potential. She turns spilled coffee into works of art that look like detailed watercolor paintings.


Guaranteed Value vs. Value Assessments (or MyPanera vs. My Starbucks Rewards)

Due to recent conversations that I’ve had with clients in friends, I’ve been thinking a lot about consumer behavior surrounding discounted items. One of my clients attests the following, which I found the be pretty interesting:

The current emphasis on web coupons and social site tie ins neglects another fundamental rule of retailing: guaranteed value. We tend to buy high-priced items at discount because we perceive that we are getting a good deal. But the same psychology works in reverse sometimes. We believe we are being overcharged unless we are getting a discount. Without guaranteed value, we tend to decide to purchase at the last moment, or decide not to purchase in advance because we assume or fear the price will be too high.

In this argument, he goes on to note spending habits on airline tickets, hotel rooms, Netflix and other luxury items like those offered by Groupon. Granted, I’m giving you a snippet of this client’s argument without the full context, but the point is pretty clear. The notion of discounts genuinely changes buying habits for certain items and services. It’s absolutely true that I may decide which mode of transportation (much less which airline) to book for a family vacation. The airline industry, particularly with the emergence of discount fliers like Ryan Air and jet blue, show a pristine example of buying habits and how discounts dissuade consumers from spending money on what once was a pretty average price. However, this mentality certainly doesn’t work for all purchases. Read more

Global Investment Project Illustrations

I’m mentioned in a previous post, here, that I was working on a number of illustrations for a 60 page printed book for a client of my company, ERA404. The book came out great and is in production now. 10,000 copies are being printed, bound in blind debossed leather and affixed with a wooden, laser-etched medallion soon to be shipped around the world. It’s by far the most intense print project I’ve ever worked on and, to make things more exciting, I was also contracted to create the below illustrations.

The book is being printed at Premiere Printing Corporation, in Plainwell, MI, and bound at John Galt Bindery in Dayton, KY. Each book is going to be wrapped in aged, wrapping paper that we’re printing at Nova Offset, here in NYC, affixed with aged mailing labels and taped with printed tape, produced through I hope to add some pictures to the final pieces later, either here, or in the ERA404 portfolio.

While I’m waiting for the project to complete (and the NDA to lapse), and starting the web site to supplement it, I figure I might as well throw the illustrations online for others to see. Click any of the illustrations below to pop-up a window of a larger version. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Laser-Etched Medallion
Mock-up of the laser-etched medallion that will be
affixed onto the front leather cover of the book
Illustration of Big Ben and Parliament
Illustration of Big Ben and Parliament
Illustration of a Cambodian Boatman
Illustration of a Cambodian Boatman and Temple
Illustration of a Coffee Branch
Illustration of a Coffee Branch
Illustration of Christ the Redeemer
Illustration of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor)
in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Illustration of Aboriginal Boomerangs and Petroglyphs
Illustration of Aboriginal Boomerangs and
Petroglyphs in Australia
Illustration of Hiking Gear
Illustration of a Sextant
Illustration of a Sextant
Illustration of Clock Inner-workings
Illustration of the inner-workings of a clock
Illustration of the Taj Mahal
Illustration of a boatman in front of the
Taj Mahal in India
Illustration of Easter Island Moas
Illustration of the Moas (or statues) on Easter Island
Illustration of Huckleberry Finn and Jim on the Mississippi
Illustration of Mark Twain’s Jim and Huckleberry Finn
going down the Mississippi River