Remember the Academy Award-winning animated short Logorama? If you do, you probably know that there was an astounding number of corporate and product logos in the 16-minute film, and those obviously took a lot of research to piece together. Logobook ($35) is the result. Penned by the film's co-director Ludovic Houplain, this massive, 800-page tome features over 7,000 of the logos, organized alphabetically, and accompanied by info about the designers, year of creation, and what country they came from, as well as info on the brand and company. Add in an essay on brand culture and an introduction explaining the creation of the film, and you've got a must-have for any brand/identity/design geek.
If you looked at the title and thought "Chillsner? Sounds kinda like pilsner." then you're on the right track. The Chillsner ($30) is a new beer-chilling gadget that promises to keep your drink cold from the first beer to the last. To use it, you simply throw it in the freezer, and once it's good and cold, crack open your beer and put it down inside. Thanks to openings in the top, you can drink straight through it, or use it to chill your beer as you pour it into your favorite mug. Either way, it sure beats watering down your suds with ice.
You can grill. You might even own a smoker. But you haven't explored all the culinary techniques this time-honored cook method provides until you've read Smoke: New Firewood Cooking ($25). Penned by award-winning chef Tim Byres, this 250-page tome offers up information on smoking on the stovetop, making relishes and salads with smoked peppers and vegetables, grilling with rood planks, using smoke-cured meats in different dishes, and even building your own firepit, smokehouse, and/or spit roast — just in time for summer.
iPads and the like can be incredibly handy... when you're around things like Wi-Fi, cellular towers, and electricity. For those times when you're not, there's the Earl Backcountry Survival Tablet ($250). Designed specifically for use in the wilderness, it offers features like a 1024 x 768 6" flexible E-Ink screen with the ability to double as an emergency lantern, a built-in AM/FM/SW/LW radio tuner, an IP67 rated water/dust/shock/mud-proof design, an integrated solar panel, internal weather sensors, a FRS, GMRS and MURS transceiver for use as a two-way radio, and a glove-friendly infrared touchscreen. Combined with the robust GPS hardware, Bluetooth 4.0, and Android 4.1, it's a uniquely qualified piece of kit that could quickly become indispensable on your next outdoor adventure.
Let's see: the ability to send handwritten cards without needing to walk into the candle fragrance minefield of the nearby card shop? Sign us up. Felt (Free; $4/card) is a new app for the iPad that lets you handwrite your own personal message — using the pen type and color of your choice — inside the card, then add that extra touch by handwriting the address that will go on the outside of the envelope. Felt will then print your message on Mohawk card stock, seal it in the custom-printed envelope, and send it out — no need to wait in line, staring at creepy porcelain figurines and gaudy photo frames. You're welcome. [Scouted by Lake]
It can be great to have a stylus around when using your tablet or smartphone, but finding space for one in your pocket — or trying to find one in a bag — can be more hassle than it's worth. With a diminutive size and included tether, the Wacom Bamboo Stylus Mini ($15) should alleviate both problems. It features a small solid brass body wrapped in soft-touch rubber, a smooth rubber nib, and a built-in tether that attaches to your device's headphone jack. All you have to figure out is which of the six colors you like best.
As technology advances and our gadgets and tools become more complex, the little pieces that make everything work seem more and more abstract. Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living ($19) explores the interior of fifty classic designs through more than 180 color photographs. The objects are arranged first by size and then by complexity, and are accompanied by essays from noteworthy minds in the restoration, DIT, and design innovation fields. A great addition to the library of any curious mind, be they an engineer, tinkerer, or just plain ol' repairman.
Finally, our iPhones are ready to take on the most important task possible: finding the closest pizza place. Pizza Compass ($1) is a new Avenir Next-friendly app that features a spinning slice of pie that will point you towards the nearest pizza purveyor, releasing steam the closer you get. As you might expect, there's also a map view to provide more precise directions, as well as the ability to see ratings, operating hours, and reviews, and an option to share your favorite spots with your friends. Welcome to the (very tasty) future.
Block out unwanted light, hide your headphones, and support your neck all at the same time with the Travel HoodiePillow ($20). This ultimate airline accessory features an inflatable neck pillow that's built on to the bottom of a spacious hood, which features a pair of drawstrings for blocking everything out. It's suggested that it's also good for reading, watching TV, and studying, but frankly, all we want it for is to keep the creep next to us in seat 26B from making eye contact. [via]
Most of the ciders you come across here in the states tend to be sickly-sweet affairs, making them less than ideal for pairing with food — or for drinking more than just one. Soon, however, you'll be able to escape that sad fate by picking up some Stella Artois Cidre ($TBA). Launching May 13 in four-packs and 24 oz. bottles, this new drink is drier and crisper than your normal cider, made with hand-picked apples grown in wine-friendly regions, and design to complement foods like chicken, fish, many cheeses, and even Asian foods.
Drawing on a tablet or smartphone is nearly as easy as drawing on paper — but most styluses lack the intelligence to really streamline the process. The Adobe Mighty & Napoleon Projects ($TBA) seek to change all that. The Mighty is a pressure sensitive digital drawing tool that uses Bluetooth LE to stay connected to your devices and features a button that can bring up on-screen menus for selecting different tools and colors. It's joined by Napoleon, a digital ruler that can create a digitally-projected edge used to draw shapes and lines. The plan is to use Adobe's cloud to share drawings and assets between devices, but as this is all in the experimental stage, it's hard telling what all might be included by the time they're ready for you to buy.
Frequent travelers know that having access to up-to-date exchange rates can mean the difference between getting a fair deal and getting hosed out of some cash. Currency ($1) promises to give you accurate conversions for over 160 countries, each with its own custom-designed flag. A clean, gesture-based interface makes entering new amounts a snap, while a handy favorites feature means conversions for the currencies you use most often are never more than a swipe away.