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Mast Brothers Chocolate | A Design Philosophy

The Philosophy

Photos by Mindy Best -

Mast Brothers Chocolate | American Craft Chocolate
I've been effected by the vision and craft of the New York Artizan Chocolate makers, The Mast Brothers. They're small scale and expertly crafted chocolate business, part of a growing craft movement which values the hand-made and personal, has it's roots in an almost sub-conscious crafting history while still being very innovative and progressive in it's design process. They also instinctively know their niche audience's desires and values, placing beauty and integrity at the heart of their business and delivering what looks to be amazing chocolate in the deal.

If only more businesses stuck to ideals like this...
Small-scale, Artizan, Personal, Craft = Desirable, Beautiful, Valuable, Loved Products

Sailing the beans


"...the sailboat carries the whole story of what we're looking to's about  the adventure and curiosity of how chocolate is made and how we're showing everybody this, that when they taste our chocolate it is like old Mark Twain stories - adventure & childlike curiosity and a sort of independance and freedom - a fiercely independant almost Emmersionian spirit is something that we love and we hope relates and shows in our chocolate and process." Rick Mast


The Packaging

Photos from

"...the paper itself is the thickness of an old butchers paper simply, carefully and originally hand-wrapped with just a sticker on it - restoring an old printing press and doing all in-house printing so that our community can craft new designs. As oppose to the goal being consistency and mass distribution, we're looking for in a way for an inconsistent product so your tastebuds are not only enjoying the sensuality of it but they're also learning. The brain is learning something while you eat it." Rick Mast

The Videos

Cool Hunting Video (the shorter one)

"...we visit Brooklyn to tour the Mast Brothers' bean-to-bar chocolate factory—one of just a handful in the U.S. The chocolatiers, Rick and Michael Mast, walk us through their uniquely intensive process, DIY machines, and a little of their food philosophy."

The Scout Magazine Video (the longer one)
"The life of a mariner is one given over to wanderlust—the quest for adventure, crossing unseen horizons to secure precious goods—only to bring them back to their home port. This same love of adventure and curiosity defines the brotherhood of Rick and Michael Mast. They share a fiercely independent spirit, leaping into the unknown and trusting that they’ll find the answer through endurance and dedication to their craft.  They began their voyage in their apartment, using a homemade machine to process cacao beans. Over time they cultivated their creation, sourcing beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Each bar is handmade with incredible reverence for the process and history of chocolate. They are bound in ornamental papers and golden foil like a collection of rare books. Each bar offers its own story of flavors, and no two are exactly alike.  The Mast Brothers are now planning to navigate the mighty Atlantic, sailing to the Dominican Republic in search of beans and a deeper connection with the folks who grow them. Before they begin the next chapter, The Scout spent time with Rick and Michael documenting their story."

The Links

Enter the 'War of the Worlds'

The Book Covers
Sourced from the remarkable collection of H.G Wells 'War of the World' covers and ephemera, with items stretching back over 100 years

Also, check out this chart mapping the comparative use of cover subjects, namely Tripods, Planets, Words, Martians and reference to the 1953 movie, all used as graphical subjects in the covers. Tripods=Win.

The Orson Welles Broadcast
Get a warm milky drink, close your curtains, then your eyes, and immersive yourself into the genuinely scary original 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles "War of the Worlds"...

"The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds. The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated "news bulletins", which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a 'sustaining show', meaning it ran without commercial breaks, thus adding to the program's quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles' fame." Source:

And finally...

A test reel by stop-motion guru Ray Harryhausen, created for a pitch to RKO in 1949. This footage is from the documentary, 'The Harryhausen Chronicles', on almost every Harryhausen DVD.

Neatly Organised Things

A little OCD it may be, but a neatly organised collection is a beautiful thing. The 'Things Organised Neatly' blog has made finding neat things it's business, (thanks to Jez D for the link). Also see the IKEA 'Art of Cooking' video series and 'Homemade is Best' Cook Book for award winning neatness


Other references:

Continuously Regenerated & Unique | Printed Art Books

Created in collaboration with more than 70 media artists and developers from across the world, Written Images is the first of its kind. A 'programmed book', continuously regenerated for the digital printing process, offering each reader a unique experience. See some of the art in the comped image below.

See and (found via