Archive for February, 2009

So in case you wondered what exactly was in that bag from Amazon, here is a quick rundown:

The Digital Photography Book

1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000)

The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10)

The Digital Photography Book

The first is The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby, no doubt one of my favorite tech writers. Given that I just got my first SLR camera, I wanted to get some expert advice, without feeling that a big book with hard-to-understand words were weighing me down. Scott best describes the brilliance of this book himself:

If you and I were out on a shoot, and you asked me, ‘Hey, how do I get this flower to be in focus, but I want the background out of focus?’ I wouldn’t stand there and give you a lecture about aperture, exposure, and depth of field. In real life, I’d just say, ‘Get out your telephoto lens, set your f/stop to f/2.8, focus on the flower, and fire away.’ You d say, ‘OK,’ and you’d get the shot. That’s what this book is all about.

Each page of this book covers one new tip. It’s super easy to read and to pick up. Not quite as easy to put down.

I can not recommend this book enough! If you are a real pro, you might not need it, but if you are a n00b like me, or even a semi-pro, I think you are bound to find something new in this book. I even went so far as getting Volume 2 (eBook) after finishing just 2 chapters in the first one. Volume 3 is set for release later this year, and who knows, maybe I’ll even pick that one up.

1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000)

Next out: 1,000 Package Designs: A Comprehensive Guide to Packing It In (1000). The title pretty much says it all. I’m hooked on packaging design, and this book is a great showcase.

The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10)

Lastly we have The Best of Brochure Design 10 (No. 10) by the same publisher. Again it’s a showcase book. If you work in the industry, these coffee table books are invaluable.

There you have it. 3 books I can recommend. Got any similar recommendations? Leave a comment! (disclaimer: all Amazon-links in this post will give me a kick-back if you make a purchase)


You probably knew this was coming, given that there was a Part 1. And guess what? More bags!

I recently ordered a few books from Amazon, and being an international customer, I was expecting a long wait. Amazon claims it can take up to five weeks for delivery, and per previous experience, that usually turns out to be about right. This time however – just over two weeks! Sixteen days to be exact. Bravo Amazon!

That is pretty much where the joy ends though.

Look familiar? You probably don’t get your books in a bag if you order from the US, but chances are you have seen this if you ever ordered internationally. What’s the deal with this? At first I laughed but thought to myself “I am sure Amazon isn’t the only one with this crazy idea”.

But every time I go to pick one up at the post office, the guy/girl behind the counter gives me the “yeah I see you ordered something from Amazon, they to this stuff…”.

And it’s not like they didn’t put it in a box first either, it’s IN A BOX. And yet you have to throw that box into a HUGE bag? Why? Notice how the box looks like it’s been through several wars on its way – it’s always like this.

To make matters worse, the books aren’t even rolled up in bubble wrap or anything, just tossed into another plastic bag. The plastic is too big, the box is too big and the FRICKIN MAIL BAG IS WAY TOO BIG.

All you get is your books rattling around in a bag full of scraps. This time all the books were luckily in OK condition, but last time the paper around the hard cover books were torn in several places.

What’s so hard about just putting the books in a decently sized box, add some bubble wrap or other stuffing to make it tight, and then ship it off? This is excessive, not very green (contrary to what I like to think Amazon wants to be) and it doesn’t even protect the goods very well at all.

I have not seen anything like this from any other company, so why should it be so hard for Amazon?

Have you shopped with Amazon, and if so, what are your experiences?


So I was downtown today to pick up a couple things, and with all the talk about being green these days, I wouldn’t have been surprised if I was handed paper bags in one of the many stores, instead of plastic. But I was not prepared for what I got. TINY paper bags. In fact, I wouldn’t even call them bags.

Now don’t get me wrong, the material is not the problem here, the problem is the lack of handles. Carrying these bags around town, people were looking at me, like I was some kind of bum, desperately trying to hide my bottle of booze.

I guess the picture also doesn’t make much sense unless I tell you that one of the bags has coffee in it.



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