сряда, 19 март 2008 г.

'Hug' Salt & Pepper Shakers

Dimensions: 3" height
Materials: black & white porcelain
Designer: Alberto Mantilla for Mint

Mint's very first product was the 'Hug' Salt and Pepper Shaker. Although the three founders of Mint thought it was a beautiful piece of modern design, it seemed as though they were they only ones. After suffering the rejection of several major manufacturers, the team had to reevaluate their plan. Luckily for us, they were confident in their design and it would not be long before those same manufacturers were lamenting the day they ever doubted those fellows from Mint.

The Story:
In March of 2006 Follow Function had the opportunity to visit Alberto Mantilla, Anthony Baxter, and Scott Henderson at Mint’s Manhattan office. They were very gracious hosts and indulged our constant questions. As we got to know them better, we gained a deeper understanding of Mint’s story.
We knew about each of their successful design consultant careers, but we thought perhaps Mint was founded with the goal of carving new career paths. As it turned out, the guys had always planned on remaining mild-mannered consultants by day while transforming into the super-design action team known as Mint by night. In fact, we interrupted their consultant work for our visit, as they have still not given it up even after the colossal success of their own company.
“Ultimately,” admitted Anthony, “it would be ideal for us to design whatever we wanted, without having to answer to a client.” We wondered just how far they were planning to take their brand. Would we one day find the 'Full Contact' line at a Target near us?
“Doubtful,” answered Scott, though we got the impression that the concept was certainly not unheard of amongst the Mint inner-circle: “We would have to sacrifice too much, like the quality level of the materials we choose. And a company like Target would want about a 300% mark-up.”
Interestingly, these are issues that would never have come up if the guys had had their own way. Not only did they plan on keeping Mint a side project, but they never even intended to take the risk of manufacturing the products themselves.
The first product they designed and prototyped was the ‘Hug’ Salt and Pepper Shaker. Their goal was to try and sell it to a major modern-design manufacturer, such as Umbra, in the hopes that they would fall in love with it, manufacture it, sell it, and give the royalties to Mint.
Unfortunately no one was buying. They all said that the ‘Hug’ design was too cute and did not fit with their ultra-modern, too-hip, product lines.
But Mint was undeterred. They believed in their designs enough to take the risk, and manufacture their product line themselves. Eventually they impressed the right people at the Museum of Modern Art gift store, a leading retailer of contemporary design. The folks at MoMA liked most of the pieces, but were not too sure about ‘Hug’. Mint told them that if they wanted the rest of the line, then they would have to take the Salt and Pepper Shaker as well.
As it turns out, MoMA was quite lucky that Mint was so insistent, because ‘Hug’ quickly became their number one selling item.
What the decision makers at Umbra and the MoMA store failed to understand was the level of sophistication implied by the Mint designs. Yes, ‘Hug’ is cute, but it also is a beautiful form that actually tells a story. And it is the story that the customers are buying.
The same theory can be applied to Mint’s ‘Salad Song’ Oil and Vinegar Cruets. Alone, one of these vessels is a pretty cool form because of how it bends and the interesting way a liquid would flow from it. But together, the cruets tell a story. Together, they are a choir, serenading you at inner.
The guys at Mint still run into the folks at Umbra every year at the New York International Gift Fair, and every year the folks at Umbra lament about what a terrible mistake they made by not jumping on the Mint line when they had the chance. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Alberto, Anthony, and Scott feel too badly for them.

Price: $29.99
A аз си ги купих тези за около 2 лева от Букурещ.:)

Salt and pepper in a nice spicy hug. This is a store in Bangkok weekend market that was so cool. Lovely...

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