There is one piece of hardware in a designer’s box of tricks that often gets overlooked by more glamorous, technically advanced counterparts…
But the humble coffee mug is an important cog in the engine room of the creative studio here at Caboodle – it is often the driving force behind a big idea. That little break to ‘pop the kettle on’ can sometimes be all that is needed to reflect and solve that tricky design problem, to which the ‘staring at a blank space’ tactic was just not getting anywhere.
So let’s have a little preview of some of the weapons of choice amongst our design ranks, what stories and secrets do these drinking vessels hold?
MUG A: THE POLKADOT
It’s a black piece, with white dots on it… and it’s owned by the eldest member of our production team, Tim Edwards. We never see him drinking from it and generally if he does use it – it’s to gaze intently into it. We asked Tim how he came to select this particular decal;
“The cup reminds me of when I was on the dominoes circuit in the early 70s, it was a tough time for pro-doms players I can tell you and it was a story of all-nighters and booze fuelled lock-ins. Those were the days of Double Diamond and Tetleys Bitter, this is when real men drank mild and bitter – none of your real ale muck.”
“In 71 the great Darts versus Doms turf war broke out, the skittles and shove h’appeny groups went to the wall early doors leaving the way for open warfare between the darts teams and us doms players. Violence was frequent. The darts players had a distinct advantage but the preferred weapon of choice of Big Al doms, the Lewisham Champ, was the bar billiards cue. This being shorter than the standard cue made it easier to wield in a confined space. Many were arrested in this time including ‘Copenhagen Chris’ who was taken in the public bar of the Red Lion after a terrific battle. “
“The greatest tactician in the good fight was my good friend ‘The Dutchman’ so called for his preference for Edam cheese. He and I were the only survivors of the Billingsgate Battle in the winter of 72, which finished the war once and for all. After which ‘Darts ‘n’ Doms’ became the accepted way.”
“By 75 pro-doms had become the new rock and roll with all that was brought with it; drugs, drink and girls and the inevitable hangers-on – many of them too famous for your actual rock and roll. For a while we competed in New York but it was not our best hour with disaster following with disaster. It was in the Big Apple where we first came across feminism in doms, at first it seemed a crazy idea but it soon became the norm and mixed competitions became compulsory in late 74.”
“What most people are unaware of is the spiritual side of the game, the black and white of the game pieces, or tiles as we call them, represent the yin and yang with the varying dot numbers representing the balance of life. There were two cults, black dots on white and white dots on black. I favoured the latter with the white dots also representing the full moon in the night sky linked very closely to the Greek goddess Selene.”
MUG B: THE MELLOW YELLOW
It’s a solid yellow number, a lovely warm fluffy yellow – the official Pantone ref is 129C… and it belongs to our Bolton based creative Nick Booth.
Nick has Coop full of chickens down on the allotment, and these feathered denizens take up a fair part of his spare time. The yellow mug is a daily reminder of the fluffy little bundles which hatch from time to time…
MUG C: THE ‘CROWS BEFORE HOES’
Now for those of you who don’t know this particular slogan is a play on words taking inspiration from the HBO series Game of Thrones. Where members of the Nights Watch – a military order who guards a huge wall of ice separating two kingdoms – are known as ‘Crows’. They take a vow of celibacy, in order to focus fully on the task they are charged with. This mug is owned by James Paylor who is the youngest member of our production team and he definitely doesn’t play Dominoes even if it does loosely rhyme with crows and hoes…
The Creative Team