We started out the year with an influx of beer innovation in design in the form of a designer-centric drinking guide—to your brew's color, that is. The Beertone Color Reference Guide is an ode to Pantone's color swatch format that gives beer drinking designers an industry-friendly look at the brew they're throwing back.
Of course, mainstream drinkers were more likely to come across some of the new beer packaging we saw. Sam Adams' parent company, Boston Beer Co.—a group who had never previously dealt with the design of their cans—turned to IDEO to help them come up with the best of the best. And then there was that time that Budwesier developed a more "on-brand" shape with the curved form that matched their bow-tie logo. (We aren't quite sure whether that accomplished anything or not.) And IDEO isn't the only one getting involved in beer—Marc Newson took a stab at designing a storage system for Heineken, dubbed The Sub.
And speaking of drinking vessels, 2013 marked the centennial of the so-called "Perfect Mason," and we took the occasion explore the history of canning jars. Read up and wow your friends with your new knowledge on the commercial throwback to "the good old times" the next time you're being all trendy with your Ball Jar Bloody Marys... or accessorizing the storied object with a handy compartment or French Portland press.
National flags were given a tasty makeover with these regionally inspired food flags.
Food That Looks Like Other Things
There's nothing more patriotic than a flag made out of your homeland's favorite chow. Absolutely nothing. Which is why ad agency Whybin/TBWA completely nailed it with this commissioned art series. Eye candy and meal-worthy—it doesn't get much better than that. But a notable needs to go out to illustrator Takayo Kiyota and her art-inspired sushi rolls. We've been admiring her edible take on the iPhone for months.
If you're looking for something a little less conspicuous, a series of art museum lookalikes (really made out of gingerbread and other candies) Caitlin Levin and Henry Hargreaves is worth a double-take. The duo combined their food art and photography skills to show off some truly architectural sweets.