November 16, 2011

Creative Role: The Restorer

Restoration drives renewal. At Steve Jobs’ annual back-to-school announcement (2010) of Apple’s new products and services, the news that kept my attention, more than the latest iPod Nanos and iPod Touches, concerned the retail stores in Paris and London. Both were restored buildings. As Jobs put it, “The old and the new together work beautifully.” The old buildings were restored to accommodate a new purpose.

The same can be said of the Mast Brothers, the Brooklyn chocolatier duo. In keeping to the storied practice of making handmade chocolate, this cherished quality flows throughout everything they do, particularly in their packaging:
“Everything roots back to our love affair with spirit of craft, of things that are crafted, whether it’s an old book, an old wooden sailboat, or a building. We do use blueprints on some of our [packaging] papers … We’re even restoring an old printing press and doing all in-house printing, so that our community can craft new designs for us.”
An unused thing gets stale over time. But making something newly can bring comfort and satisfaction, while simultaneously fulfilling a purpose. In Apple’s case, the restored buildings teem with technological play and purchases. With the Mast Brothers, their restored printer fortifies grassroots in addition to elevating packaging design. Restoration is a refreshing part of their renewal strategy.

Tap into your inner restorer.

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This is the seventh piece of a series focused on the lively cast of characters whose roles make the play of Creativity. In case you missed the previous Creative Role, meet the Frameworker.

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Typographic illustration, tailormade for this series, was done by Shawn Hazen. Read his Designer’s Quest(ionnaire).

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