Thursday, 3 January 2013

Totes Amazed : Illustrated Bags of Deliciousness

It's well established by now I love a fancy ass bit of illustration. I got some gorgeous art prints for my Christmas - and on my most recent trip to Edinburgh during the festive season I couldn't help but pick up some Twin Peaks deliciousness at Hannah Zakari (it took A LOT of self control not to just buy up the whole wall.)   Chance would have it the store was also celebrating the launch of Totes Amazed - a selection of illustrated tote bags with designs from illustrators from around the world. Conceived one espresso filled October night, Rachael Griffiths (owner of Hannah Zakari and jewellery designer Dotpop) and Gill McColl (graphic designer and the mastermind behind Take the Proverbial) decided to combined their love of tote bags and indie designers and came up with Totes Amazed (Ta!).

I love a good tote bag (they make excellent gym bags resolutioners) and are perfect for picking up my groceries. Environmentally friendly combined with some sweet designs just sings to me in all the best ways.  Also it gave me a way to find out about some sweet illustrators who were off my radar. With a collection of gin, pug and kitty inspired tote bags it is pretty much like these guys have a direct link to the overtly fluffy bit of my brain.

Here are a few of my faves:
 This is a limited edition tote design by Gemma Correll, exclusive to Totes Amazed & Hannah Zakari. Gemma is a cartoonist, writer and illustrator. She’s also the author of A Cat’s Life (2012) and A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette (2013). She draws a monthly Skycats cartoon for Emirates Airlines Open Skies magazine and has worked for clients including Hallmark, The New York Times and The Observer. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Gemma Correll's work - girl shares my hard love for kitties and puppies (and let's face it who isn't all up in kitties and puppies.) This Pug meets Greyfriars Bobby is sure to melt even the coldest of ice queens. Also yes. It always rains in Edinburgh/
 Mark Errington is a London-based graphic designer who works at Radley Yeldar and runs Design & That in his spare time. His eyecatching Lego-themed tote bags are all hand dyed yellow and then hand screenprinted, making each one unique. I love Lego so so much much so this big old lego face is right up my street. I had like a billion of those little lego people back in the day. They chilled in their little beach house with their parrot, pool and interchangeable hair. Also they had a butler. This hits hard in the nostalgia factor for me and gets extra points for being yellow.
 Kate Rowland is an illustrator from East London. Inspired by David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, a love for coffee and old Americana vintage signs, this tote has been hand screen printed making each bag slightly different. I actually bought this guy as a print for the boyshape because he is a total Lynch fanboy (but then who isn't) and I really liked the design - looked almost like a coffee cameo. Can I have one featuring the log lady now please?

 Take the Proverbial is Gill McColl, one of the owners of Totes Amazed. Take the Proverbial products typographically illustrate tongue-in-cheek modern proverbs for a modern world and employ 100% environmentally friendly processes whenever possible. This popular gin-themed design has been featured in The Scotsman, The Sunday Times Style magazine and Easy Living magazine. This is the guy I would prob pick up for some of my girlies because gin is wonderful and the font is sweet.

hellojenuine is Jen Collins, a talented illustrator based in Glasgow. Her work is inspired by people (real and fictional), nature and every day occurrences. This extremely popular Cats tote is one of our best sellers and features lots of cheeky cat faces, screenprinted on a sky blue bag. This guy feels like it was made for me (and indeed the internet at large) by being comprised entirely of many many cat faces. I want this on my wall in an art print form so hard - it just appeals to the crazy cat lady in my a bit too much. Of all the bags this is the guy I'd like to see in all the colours.
 Memo is Helen Entwisle, a freelance illustrator and screen printer from Leeds. Her work includes hand drawn and screen printed illustration, zines, greetings cards, stationery, limited edition prints, tote bags and accessories.  This guy I can't can't decide if I love the blatant love for coffee or the design more. Obviously I am all about the colours and the little cafetiere is possibly the single cutest thing I've ever seen. I'm convinced coffee is probably one of the few things that does stop my brain from falling completely out of my head (a ringing endorsement if I ever read one.)
Noodoll are based in London and all the mischievous characters are created by talented designer and author YiYing Wang. Made out of noodles and rice, the colourful characters of Mr Rice Dust and Mr Rice Cracker have been two of their most popular totes. You can see why the Noodoll totes have been so popular because they are easily some of the cutest designs I ever did see. 

The bags are available from the Totes Amazed site or if you're Edinburgh bound - Hannah Zakari. If you're still not sold the girls are offering 10% off all designs on the site when you enter TOTES10 at the checkout. Not a bad way to start 2013 eh?
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