Mysterious Panther is a classic design meme, which espouses a curvacious, luxurious and discrete allure. Great for selling just about any kind of black stuff, from cars to game and phones. Even magazines. With Mysterious Panther, promises of sexiness, strength and security abound.










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  • THOUGHT BY ADMIN — 2011/07/14 @ 09:54

    Your glorious thoughts were rolled into our printed magazine for Issue n° 0. Thinking is now closed, and you can buy a copy for €10 by mailing us at Nevertheless, the use of criticism and dialogue to derail reality is still our favorite theme. Stay tuned for new criticism for Issue n° 1, or submit to the smell with your own: an open call is in effect.

  • THOUGHT BY KATE — 2011/06/20 @ 13:54

    To Sam F.: What to think of UK design firms like Blacksheep “boutique designers” who are hailed with “trailblazing design from one of London’s most creative agencies” (, or Black Sheep “creative agency, specializing in advertising and design for the printed world” (

    Or New Zealand’s Black Sheep Design “specialists in design & print, we can help your business stand out from the crowd” ( There’s Black Sheep Creative that does web design ( and Black Sheep Haute Couture that does fashion design, and welcomes guests with: “you have found your way to underground fashion, and the blacksheep experience.”

    Or what about British Columbia’s Blacksheep Graphic Design a “studio specializing in creating effective branding”. Or California’s Black Sheep Communication who runs a video with the tagline: “Don’t just go with the flow, be the black sheep!” (

    Who is the design industry kidding? They are all carbon copies of each other, promising to be unique, underground, effective, and able to help their clients stand out. I call bullshit on that.

  • THOUGHT BY SAM F. — 2011/06/20 @ 13:28

    The black brand is often a panther. But the black brand can also try to be a sheep. Specifically, a black sheep. For those not familiar with the idiom, a black sheep is someone who stands out (from a flock of white sheep), who is unwanted and brings trouble. This notion stems from the Christian Bible, with the Curse of Ham (when “dark” people were condemned to slavery). Today, in Western societies, to be a black sheep can be more or less desirable. To be a black sheep can be a career killer. For others, to be a black sheep means to stand out and be special. To others, though, and this is where branding comes in, to be a black sheep means to be the rebel outcast. Not the hermit hiding under a bridge, or a homeless person hiding under a cardboard shelter. The rebel outcast is not actually outcast; the rebel is an embedded part of society, but branded black and likes to be seen as in a league apart. That is often the promise of black brands.

  • THOUGHT BY KATE — 2011/06/20 @ 13:06

    The quote from Under Consideration is unbelievable: “The all-black applications are a welcome change from all the bubbly and friendly colors we’ve been seeing in branding lately, so it’s nice to see a company go for it. Aether Apparel may not be for everyone and the identity helps establish that distancing from the conventional.” As if the all-black application was distancing from the conventional. Oy yee mysterious panther! Show yourself!

  • THOUGHT BY JEFF GARCIA — 2011/06/20 @ 13:04

    Talk about black brands. Here’s some of the crap they’re writing over at Under Consideration: “Aether is the New Black. Established by two Los Angeles based film producers in their mid-thirties, Aether Apparel is a new line of sportswear specifically made for the “outdoor enthusiast who wants the function of outdoor garments without sacrificing modern design aesthetics.” In other words, its for those who don’t want to look like granola crunching hippies. You know the look.

    “This roughly translates into polo shirts just under $100, hoodies that cost more than $100, and jackets that will leave you dry of $600 and change. The described intended audience is a “25 – 50-year-old outdoor enthusiast who is cosmopolitan, physically active and aesthetically driven.” And is rich, or has a subscription to Monocle.”

    Yes, Monocle. The magazine for 30-60 year old high-income earning men.

    Thought there was a hint of critical thinking there? No! Wait, there’s more. The criticism gets soft and generous: “Recession-induced sarcasm aside, this is a very appropriate and nicely executed identity, designed by New York based Carbone Smolan, that fits perfectly with the clothing design and the intended audience. The icon is meant to evoke “infinity and clouds circling a mountain peak” and supports the lofty name of Aether, which can poetically mean “the heavens” or at the very least, the air and space above and beyond the clouds.”

    Did Aether just turn into Ether? Have a bad taste in your mouth? Take a break, and go brush your teeth.

    “The icon is simple and sophisticated and the way it impossibly loops and connects is very pleasing; it also almost looks like a cult logo, something obscure that only a few can attain — and with those prices, it sure strives for that. The typography conveys a very upscale feel as well and is perfectly letterspaced; if I had one objection it would be that the weight of the type is almost like the weight of the icon, just slightly bolder, so my inclination would have been to make them exactly the same. The all-black applications are a welcome change from all the bubbly and friendly colors we’ve been seeing in branding lately, so it’s nice to see a company go for it. Aether Apparel may not be for everyone and the identity helps establish that distancing from the conventional.”

    Ok, now go brush your teeth again. I promise I’ll stop now.

  • THOUGHT BY JAY D. I. — 2011/06/12 @ 21:41

    I have to admit I’m quite a black-bearer myself and I do recognize my slightly more elegant preference in these. Black is beautiful, sober and it makes everything seem more profound.