Thursday, 31 May 2012

Con Jobs: 10 Outrageous Apple Brand Ripoffs

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Con Jobs: 10 Outrageous Apple Brand Ripoffs: [ By Steve in Design & Graphics & Branding. ]

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then a host of eager entrepreneurs really, REALLY admire Apple Inc. and its visionary founder & CEO, the late Steve Jobs. Dodging Cupertino’s copyright lawyers at every step, they seek to juice up their bland with the famous Apple brand. These 10 outrageous Apple brand and logo ripoffs showcase the most egregious transgressions of those eager to co-opt the fruits of Apple’s labor.

Steve Jobs Action Figure

(images via: Mashable)
The wildly popular, unofficial and unauthorized Steve Jobs Action Figure was in many ways a victim of its own success: word of the figurine spread across the globe and permeated the deepest corners of Cupertino: yep, the smoky back rooms where the legal beagles roam. Kudos to M.I.C Gadget for their sublime expertise in designing this superbly detailed action figure; boo-dos to the suits for shutting it down.
(images via: M.I.C Gadget and Walyou)
Give M.I.C Gadget credit for trying – in a series of attempts to satisfy Apple Inc’s legal department they first relabeled the figurine as the “Pineapple CEO”, then swathed it in a burka-like black face covering. All to no avail: the product was so accurate in its portrayal of Steve Jobs there was just no way to pass it off as anything else.

Apple Apples

(images via: Blog!NOBON)
Call them Apple Apples or the even more redundant iApple, these logo branded fruits still taste sweet. The concept originated by a Japanese fanboy with far too much time on his hands is based on the fact that apples won’t turn red if they’re not exposed to sunlight. Selective masking results in tasty tattooed fruit that make great desktop offerings to your favorite tech teacher.
(image via: Blog!NOBON)
The next best thing to an Apple iPod is an iPod apple… well, sort of. Though it’s rather useless as a music player it can come in quite handy should you get the munchies.


(images via: HumorStorage)
Trying hard or hardly trying? After applying the time, money and risk inherent in any new business venture, the originators of “iShampo” went and shot themselves in the foot by leaving off the final “o”. Then again, their assumed market is a non-English-speaking country who likely will only recognize the non-tectural logo. Anyway, let’s enjoy smug white iShampo shampoo and technical black iShampo conditioner!
(image via: Ministry of Tofu)
Claiming to be an officially licensed Apple product is one thing, having an officially approved Apple aroma is another… and just what would an actual Apple Shampo, er, Shampoo smell like? Apples? Too obvious. Perhaps, as a netizen commenter suggests, it “smells daintedly of sugared oranges with a whiff of cut grass and a sprig of winterberry”.

Apple Pantyhose

(images via: Beijing Kids)
What can be said about Apple Pantyhose besides the fact that it’s made and sold in South Korea? Well, it comes in brown or blue, for one thing, and… blue pantyhose?? Anyway, once they’re out of the package their Apple brand marketing mystique instantly fades, though one way to get it back is to wear them on your head while robbing an Apple Store.

Hello Kitty, Goodbye Steve Jobs

(images via: Sanrio and Hello Kitty Hell)
We have to assume Sanrio got the official OK from Apple Inc to use their brand trademarks in this well-intentioned tribute to the late Steve Jobs but that still doesn’t make it right. Then again, Sanrio also pimped out Hello Kitty to Hooters so nothing is sacred it seems.

Apple iFoot Shoes

(images via: Fanbuxie and LOVE)
When you’re a shoe manufacturer whose main influences are Converse All-Stars and Apple products, and your customer base feels similarly, the result is a wide range of high-top sneakers proudly displaying the classic and current Apple logo. Best feature? They run without needing batteries.
(images via: Jessie Kavana Customs)
Naughty or nice? These custom shoes are one-off models made per order for an Apple employee, who obviously doesn’t work in the company’s legal department. Check out the string of Christmas lights encircling the toe, wouldn’t it be cool if they actually lit up? Perhaps there’s an app for that.

Apple 7-Eleven

(images via: M.I.C Gadget)
If you’re looking for an Apple iPhone 7-11, get your apps to Guangzhou, China but prepare to be disappointed. The store supposedly does NOT sell real or imitation iPhones, and odds are you can’t get Big Gulps, Slurpees or apples there either. You CAN get sued, however, if you’re the store owner.

iPhone Brand Gas Stove

(images via: Kotaku, Bolong and M.I.C Gadget)
If this officially inspected iPhone Brand Gas Stove rings, DON’T answer it… at least, not when it’s on. Wuhan State Police recently seized 681 neatly boxed iPhone Brand Gas Stoves from a storage warehouse recently. Those official-looking tags indicating the stoves had passed inspection? They’re fake too.
(image via: Bolong)
Isn’t it great to know China’s law enforcement authorities are finally getting serious about copyright infringement? It would be if they were, but these stoves were impounded because their safety switches were defective. That’s some darned fine police work there, Lu.

Fake Apple Stores

(images via: LA Times, Business Insider and Tech Crunch)
Laws affecting intellectual property may be weak throughout much of East Asia but the law of supply and demand has never been stronger. Take China’s imitation Apple Stores, near-perfect copies of Apple’s signature stores right down to the t-shirts and ID tags worn by the employees. Not all Chinese cities have official Apple Stores so local entrepreneurs step in to fill the gap. Ditto for Myanmar, where a snazzy pseudo-Apple Store brightens up a street in Mandalay (top).
(images via: Apple Gazette and M.I.C Gadget)
For every letter-perfect imitation Apple Store there are probably two, three or more imperfect ones such as those above. Business, one might say, really sucks.

‘iFeng’ 4S Blow Dryer

(images via: Dumaujvaros and Cult of Mac)
From suck to blow: it’s the iFeng 4S, a ballsy tribute to a guy who probably hadn’t used a hair dryer in years. The 900-watt “tribute edition” dryer is limited to just 99 copies, and if you believe that then the Chinese online seller probably has an iBrooklynBridge you might be interested in as well.
(images via: Dumaujvaros and Cult of Mac)
The iFeng 4S (“Feng” is Chinese for “Wind”) appears to be made from ABS and PC, the latter being the only off note the chunk dryer plays. Why use its snout to memorialize Steve Jobs, though? We have to assume the company owner is an Apple fanboy hit hard by Jobs’ passing. He had the chance to express his feelings in a uniquely personal yet public manner and he did exactly that.

(images via: Gizmodo and Daily Mail UK)
Call it a perfect storm of brand envy, marketing desperation and creative bankruptcy, resulting in logo hijacking on an unprecedented scale. You’d think consumers regardless of first, second or third world residency would know better and maybe they do, but simply don’t care – the power of the Bitten Apple transcends the quality and relevancy of the item it’s stuck on.

The Candy Room: A Store Delicious Enough to Eat

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The Candy Room: A Store Delicious Enough to Eat: [ By Steph in Architecture & Offices & Commercial. ]

Some candy shops are so colorful and chaotic, you’re not sure where to look. That kind of wild Willy Wonka-esque environment can certainly be fun, but sometimes, simplicity is what it takes to make the truly important element stand out: the candy itself. RED Design Group gets sketchy with a black-and-white store for Candy Room in Melbourne, Australia.

Sweet Enough, a wholesale importer of sugar-free candy products, wanted to break into the retail market with a store that would be “a destination and an experience.” RED Design Group captured a childlike spirit with hand-drawn details like a kitchen, stools and books on stark white surfaces.

“Being strongly influenced by the idea of designing a playful, simple and somewhat illusional space for the Candy Room, the exaggeration of a ‘room’ idea was formulated,” say the designers. “The application was to use line artwork on white space to represent a room.”

They extended the same theme to the store’s branding and packaging, with labels and signage casually hand-written. Walking into the store, visitors are immediately greeted by the bright coloring of the canned packaging, eyes drawn to lollipops, chocolate bars, caramels and much more.

Cooking Lean: 13 Mini, Mobile, Modular & Motorized Kitchens

Cooking Lean: 13 Mini, Mobile, Modular & Motorized Kitchens: [ By Steph in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Renovating your kitchen, and left without a place to make basic meals? Living in a tiny urban apartment that just doesn’t have room for a standard setup? One of these 13 high-tech, modular, movable and compact kitchens might just be exactly what you need. Ideal for creating kitchens where there were none – in offices, warehouses and converted living spaces – compact kitchen units pack a lot of function into the smallest possible space.

Moove Foldable Kitchen by Florida Furniture

(images via: cubeme)
No space for a full-sized kitchen? Two foldable options from Italian firm Florida Furniture open and close either vertically or horizontally. Moove 01 features lots of storage space, with two large cabinets sliding apart to reveal a sink, stove and countertop. Moove 02 hides basic, compact kitchen functions in a sleek volume that looks like standard cabinetry when not in use.

A la Carte System by Stadtnomaden

(images via: stadtnomaden)
The designers at Stadtnomaden broke down the conventional kitchen structure into individual ‘task modules’ to develop their unique ‘A la Carte System’. Choose the functions you need – including a sink, an oven and storage space – and fit them together any way you like. The units connect with magnets, so they can be placed back-to-back in the center of a room, or side-to-side.

The Splinter Works Dime Kitchen

(images via: design buzz)
UK-based designers Splinter Works turn a super-simple kitchen into a conversation piece with the globe-shaped ‘Dime Kitchen’. This little workstation could be used for all kinds of different things, from tea and coffee to a wall-mountain laptop station. The 10 overlapping blades of rosewood that close over the kitchen when not in use were inspired by the gleaming edge of a spinning coin.

Boxetti Geometric Sliding Kitchen

(images via: design buzz)
Looking as much like a puzzle as it does a functional piece of furniture, the Boxetti kitchen is a compact unit that opens in all sorts of unexpected ways. This kitchen island flips and slides to reveal a sink, mini fridge, shelves, an expandable countertop and even built-in, pop-out bar seats.

Mini Column Kitchen by Adriano Conti

(images via: conti design)
A power supply, two burners and various unidentifiable gadgets are contained within this black-and-white column kitchen by Rome-based designer Adriano Conti. The Mini Kitchen has high-tech looking dispensers for plates and glasses, a built-in oven and storage space in a footprint that’s not much larger than a trash can.

Dining Table & Refrigerator in One

(image via: coroflot)
Designer Petr Kubik rethinks the rectilinear refrigerator with ‘Future Dining Table’, an appliance that looks like a modern seating area at first glance but actually conceals a fridge. The translucent tabletop enables you to see the food that’s stored inside, and the unit also has storage space for small electrical appliances.

The Kitchen Tree by Balin Lee

(images via: coroflot)
The shape of Balin Lee’s ‘Kitchen Tree’ might be taken from nature, but this appliance seems more fitting for the moon. The Australian designer created this totally-out-of-the-box kitchen for the Electrolux Design Lab Competition with the theme “a household item for the next 90 years.” The central cone is a refrigeration unit, while each ‘pod’, on its own freely rotating arm, offers a different function – sink, stove, storage and a freezer.

Cuisine K1

(images via: kitchoo)
It may be small, but Kitchoo’s Cuisine K1 packs a punch in the form of an integrated fridge-freezer, 2-burner cooktop, induction oven, telescopic mixer and a sink. You can even get an integrated dishwasher and/or trash compartment as optional add-ons. When closed it’s as simple as can be, all pale wood finishes with no visible hardware.

ROCK-aïl Kitchen & Garden

(image via: design buzz)
A group of four designers incorporate a small personal kitchen garden into a cool nature-inspired polygonal kitchen called the ROCK-aïl. Set under a white canopy that provides both lighting and an exhaust hood, this mini kitchen incorporates all the basics that you need, even space for wine storage and a little built-in hose to water the plants.

RuBiKA by Lodovico Bernardi

(images via: lodovico bernardi)
Rotate and unfold the RuBiKA kitchen by Lodovico Bernardi any way you wish to adapt to your space and needs. Made of FCS-certified wood, this compact kitchen unit has two support elements that slide out from the tabletop, one on legs and the other on casters. It features pull-out counters, a cooktop, an oven, a sink, trash compartments and dish storage.

Circle Kitchen by Compact Concepts

(images via: compact concepts)
Measuring just 1.8 square meters (just under 5 feet in diameter,) the Circle Kitchen from Compact Concepts is made to be placed in the center of a room. The column-shaped design fits nearly all of an average home cook’s needs into this tiny space including a microwave, dishwasher, sink, cabinets and counter space. Available in a range of finishes with all kinds of customizable gadgets, this mini kitchen for small spaces starts at $6,500.

Tower Kitchen by Philippe Starcke

(images via: freshome)
With two units that each take up no more than a single square meter of floor space, the Tower Kitchen by French designer Philippe Starcke separates hot and cold functions for optimal energy efficiency. The ‘hot tower’ holds the oven, while the ‘cold tower’ houses the fridge and freezer. The only thing that these twin kitchen towers are lacking is a sink and counter space, but you can get both from an optional add-on island that also functions as a dining table.

Motorized Kitchen Island Controlled with iPhone

(images via: design milk)
A kitchen island can offer a lot of function, but many people just don’t have the floor space. What if you could just stow it in the floor, and have it pop up exactly when you need it? That’s exactly what the motorized kitchen island custom-built by Tim Thaler does. Thaler actually programmed this hidden island to move up and down with an app created for his iPhone.

No Mere Puff Pieces: 30 Clever Cushions & Crafty Pillows

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No Mere Puff Pieces: 30 Clever Cushions & Crafty Pillows: [ By Delana in Design & Furniture & Decor. ]

Pillows and cushions are more than just a place to lie your head or a thing to turn over when you spill cheese dip. They are the things you hold onto during a scary movie, the objects you bury your face in during a crying fit, and the perfect weapons for pillow fights. They are an essential part of home decor that let you express your personality. And there’s no reason they have to be square and boring, as these incredible examples prove.

(images via: Maja Ganszyniec)
Whether you are in school or working a desk job, you know the feeling: the heavy eyes, droopy head, and the inevitable desk nap. It can be embarrassing when you get called out for it, but even more embarrassing when you wake up with a bunch of paper clips stuck to your forehead. The Pillows For Working Late consist of a soft pillowy collar, necktie, and sleeve that will make you look very goofy but provide a soft place for your head no matter which way it lolls.

(image via: Yanko Design)
If you really can’t resist a nap and need to take a little power nap to recharge, the iSleep can help you out. It attaches to the top of any notebook computer, and when you close the lid the pillow fills with warm air from the computer’s exhaust. Ten minutes later, an alarm lets you know that naptime is over and you need to get back to the grind.

(images via: Geekologie)
Another clever way to nap at your desk but make it look like you have been doing something productive is the Book Pillow. It looks just like a real book other than the weird swirly text – but no one will see the text anyway once you’re lying down and snoozing your study or work time away.

(images via: Studio KG)
When you just give up all pretenses and decide to take a full-on nap in the breakroom, the Ostrich Pillow can be your best friend. It encloses your head to block out light and sound and keeps your hands nice and toasty while you recharge with a few quick Zs.

(images via: FromKeetra)
While maybe not to everyone’s taste, these blood puddle pillows sure to make a striking visual impact. The soft red velvet takes the shape of a pool of blood, making light of the split second of panic we’ve all experienced when a loved one is sleeping a little too deeply.

(image via: Kropserkel)
If you feel the need to get back at your beloved for sleeping on a blood puddle pillow and scaring you half to death, the Horse Head Pillow would be one way to do it. The attention to detail on this macabre cushion is impressive, from its bloody neck stump to its protruding tongue.

(images via: Sakaya Yamamoto)
Although perhaps not comfy enough for sleeping on, these dinosaur bone cushions made of rubber-coated foam look like great fun to play with.

(image via: Chic Sin Design)
What rolls down stairs, alone or in pairs, rolls over your neighbor’s dog? Not this log, because it’s a light-as-air pillow! These sweet bolster pillows look like trees that have been gnawed by beavers, but they’re really just a playground for this adorable little baby (baby not included).

(image via: LoFi Studio)
There always seems to be at least one intolerably uncomfortable spot on every couch – but that is certainly not the case with the Cushionized Sofa. It’s a sofa built of a metal frame and entirely covered in soft pillows. We can’t imagine a better napping spot.

(images via: Joon&Jung)
When you sleep on your sofa made of cushions, this blanket made of pillows would be quite appropriate. Made of lots of pillows securely attached, the Pillow Blanket looks insanely soft. One pillow is missing from the grid pattern so that you can use the entire thing as a blanket while sticking your head up through that hole to use it as a pillow also.

(image via: AsSeenOnTVGuys)
The soup can safe was pretty ingenious…at first. And then everyone had them, and then everyone’s kids started giving away untold riches to food drives because they didn’t know better. Or at least that’s what a chain email told us. Luckily, the sofa cushion safe can hide away your cash, documents and valuables right under everyone’s noses. Just don’t ever leave the couch, because this cushion safe doesn’t appear to have a locking mechanism other than a small zipper.

(image via: ThinkGeek)
Insomniacs and chronic stress sufferers are in dire need of something to calm them down and ease the tension. The Beating Heart Stress Relief Pillow is a great place to start. The pillow emits a heartbeat that your own heartbeat eventually syncs to, resulting in a feeling of calm. The rhythm of the heartbeat is different every time you use the pillow so it doesn’t sound fake or predictable.

(images via: Boyfriend Arm Pillow)
Sleeping alone is great for some people, but others just can’t feel comfortable without the arm of their loved one around them. When that isn’t possible, some people go to extraordinary lengths, like buying a boyfriend arm pillow. The pillow has a soft but firm arm into which you can nestle while drifting off. For those who prefer a feminine touch, there is also a female version available.

(image via: Olive)
Have you ever taken your favorite pillow on vacation because you just couldn’t sleep without it? These cute suitcase pillows are meant to travel with you via a small handle on top. For added cute, there is even a luggage tag attached.

(image via: i3lab)
The moon is sort of the unofficial mascot of sleeping, so making a pillow in its shape seems logical. This lovely rendition of the moon glows softly in the dark, guiding you gently to your bed.

(image via: Diana Lin Design)
The huggable D-Light pillows are a combination cushion and nightlight. They will stay lit for up to four hours at a time, but we bet that with such a fuzzy soft pillow in your arms you wouldn’t need nearly that much time to fall asleep.

(image via: Brookstone)
For the TV lover who already has everything, the Pillow Remote Control is probably a gadget they don’t have quite yet. Just like the name says, it’s a pillow…and a remote control. Just don’t fall asleep on it or you’ll end up listening to some crazy Estonian infomercial.

(image via: Estelle du Paris)

(images via: Technabob)
People who are really, really attached to their video games can now take that obsession a little further. The enticing NES and Wii-mote cushions would no doubt inspire dreams of goombas and fire flowers.

(image via: The Literary Gift Company)
How many points do you get for playing S-L-E-E-P-Y in Scrabble? These fun cushions based on the classic game could tell you.

(image via: LikeCool)
Made for a Pepsi commercial, this laptop pillow has never been available for purchase…but that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about how soft and comfy that keyboard looks.

(image via: ShanaLogic)
If the laptop pillow above were real (and a time traveler from a time when floppy disks were used), it might be friends with this way-too-adorable friendly floppy disk cushion.

(image via: Art Lebedev)
The two previous cushions would definitely want to partner up with the DOS pillow for any operations they might be planning to execute.

(image via: FourEyesHandmade)
As always, the magical CTRL + ALT + DEL combination could help you get out of a jam…like the dire need for a nap.

(images via: Art Lebedev)
Emoticons, or smileys, are still going stronger than ever, despite hopes from almost 20 years ago that they would quietly go away eventually. These miniature smiley pillows come in American or Asian versions, and they are all pretty adorable.

(images via: Thomas Dabner)
Digital designers know this warning sign well: it means your printer is about to run out of a certain color, probably much sooner than you expected. Rather than stage a coup against the printer industry, designer Thomas Dabner decided instead to make up these fun CMYK cushions.

(image via: Technabob)
Designers will also recognize these colorful icons right away. They are 3D versions of the Adobe CS icons that artsy-type people work with every day…and can now see even in their dreams!

(images via: Throwboy)
Apple products have always been known for their user-friendly intuitive interfaces. This set of pillows celebrates some of those, er, iconic icons that Mac users see every day.

(images via: Throwboy)
The same store that brought you the Mac OSX cushions also have a pretty comprehensive set of pithy txt spk cushions as well. They have the benefit of being shaped like little speech bubbles so you can bring your lazy abbreviations into real life.

(images via: Mashable)
Many of us tend to have a sort of love/hate relationship with social media sites. These pillows, all from Etsy seller Craftsquatch, will let you hug or hurl your favorite social media site whenever the situation calls for it.