The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

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I want to go off-uni today, to talk about a small piece of design that most of us interact with on a regular basis. Like so many small pieces of design, it’s something that’s easy to overlook or take for granted — until it’s suddenly taken away from you.

Some quick background: When I grew up, the white bread in our house was always Arnold Brick Oven White. At the time, I wished we could have Wonder Bread like everyone else (when I bugged my Mom about this, she said, “I’m not buying bread that you can roll into a ball”), but I eventually came to like Arnold bread, and I still buy it today. It’s what I use to make toast every morning (using a toaster that’s older than I am and used to belong to my grandmother, but that’s another story).

A few months ago, however, I noticed a change in my standard two-pound loaf of Arnold Brick Oven White. The change didn’t involve the bread itself — it involved the bread’s packaging. Here, see if you can spot the problem:

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The problem, of course, is that the outer bag is secured with a twist-tie instead of a bread clip (i.e., the little plastic thingie that’s used to crimp and secure the end of a plastic bag). For decades, Arnold had used bread clips, but sometime around May they switched to twist-ties. And my life hasn’t been the same since.

Now, I have nothing against twist-ties. They’re handy little items, and they make swell cat toys besides. But the problem with twist ties is that you have to, you know, twist them. And untwist them. Which isn’t such a hardship, but it’s infinitely more irksome than simply snapping a bread clip onto or off of a bag, especially if it’s a bag you use every day. Plus twist-ties always manage to get twisted backwards somehow (I’m not sure how this happens, but it seems to be one of those inexplicable examples of rogue physics, sort of like one sock always disappearing in the laundry), which just makes them more annoying.

The lack of a bread clip on my Arnold loaf was clearly unacceptable, so I started cannibalizing bread clips from other, lesser-used products (a pack of hot dog buns, say). Then I started saving bread clips after I’d finished a loaf or a package, instead of throwing them out. Now I have a nice supply of them, and you can bet they’ll be among the items I take down to the Uni Watch Bomb Shelter the next time we’re hit with a pigthrax epidemic, or a Yankees championship parade, or some similar apocalypse.

Bread clips were invented in 1952 by a guy named Floyd Paxton. His company, Kwik Lok, is still around today and is the biggest player in the market. The “oral groove” of their clips (that’s the technical term for the area that grips the bag) is available in a wide variety of shapes, each one suited to a particular type of bag or product, as you can see here (click to enlarge):

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That image, incidentally, comes from the Kwik Lok catalog, which is pure pornography for any minutiae fetishists out there (I’d say most Uni Watch readers would qualify). Highly recommended. And when you’re done with that, have fun with this chart.

So why did Arnold move away from the clip and go back to the inferior technology of the twist-tie? Was it for environmental reasons, perhaps, or maybe to look more “artisanal”? Or are twist-ties just cheaper? The Arnold brand is owned these days by Bimbo Bakeries (yes, the same company that sponsors several Mexican soccer teams — see, there’s a uni connection to all of this!), so I gave them a call to get the scoop.

“I wish I could say it was for environmental reasons, but it’s actually because we upgraded some equipment and decided that the ties work better,” a publicist told me. Excuse me, did you say “upgraded”? Going back to twist-ties seems like a distinct downgrade.

“We think the ties work better,” she insisted. “They do a better job of keeping the bag closed.” After double-checking the calendar to make sure it wasn’t April 1st, I asked if there had been any response from outraged consumers. “No — I don’t think we’ve heard much about this, one way or the other.”

I can only attribute that to the fact that most people are too busy fiddling with the damn twist-ties to pick up the phone and complain (or else maybe they’re still in such a state of shock that they can’t yet express their dismay). The alternative explanation — that people actually prefer twist-ties to bread clips — is clearly too inconceivable to take seriously.

+ + + + +

Uni Watch News Ticker: All MLB players will have to wear the new version of the S100 helmet next season. The most intriguing detail from that story is that double-flappers might have to go single-flapped, because “the carbon fiber material and new padding in the helmet limit the flexibility so much that a double-earflap helmet might be impossible to get on” (from Tom Mulgrew). … Wedding band alert! That’s Phillies pitcher Tyler Cloyd. “I must have run the DVR back 25 times (much to the annoyance of my wife) to see if it was an actual ring or just a tattoo,” says Matt Ciciarelli. I can’t say for certain that it’s a real ring, but it sure does look like it.” Indeed. I believe the only other example we’ve seen of an MLBer wearing a wedding band on the field is Sean Green. (That’s not counting Matt Harrison, who wears his on his necklace). … Facts don’t lie: On June 3, the Mets were eight games above .500 and tied for first place. That night they wore their black jerseys for the first time this year. Since then, they’ve gone 34-54. Draw your own conclusions (from Shannon Shark). … In a related item — not uni-related but still an amazing stat — the Braves and Nats have more wins at Shea since the All-Star break than the Mets do. Think about that. That’s hard to do! … Special Veteran’s Day uniform for Iowa. … The Detroit News has published a list of the 25 best and 10 worst college football uniforms. “The writing and reasoning are interesting,” says Steve Vibert. … Over 50 previously unpublished Seattle Pilots photos have been found (from Jeff Ash). … New signature shoe for Derrick Rose. … UVA football coach Mike London has tweeted this week’s uniform choice (from Chris Newbury). … What’s the deal here? If you scroll down, you’ll see that it wasn’t just that one kid — it was the whole team. Are those black numerals on a black jersey, or numberless jerseys, or what? (From Kristina Cruz.) … The 12-year-old kid whose coach wouldn’t let him wear pink gloves in honor of his mother (a breast cancer survivor) has received an apology from the coach. … In vaguely related item, a 11-year-old who wanted to use a purple violin in her school orchestra has been told she can’t use it. I played violin myself when I was 11, and it’s a damn good thing no kid in my school orchestra ever showed up with a purple fiddle (thanks, Ricko). … Phil Johnson has written an interesting piece about the “untucked uniform” among Apple executives. … Brandon Phillips wears a necklace whose pendant is a jewel-encrusted version of his own jersey (from Kenneth Reeder). … New uniforms for the Italian national rugby team (from Eric Bangeman). … Two Washington State items from Eric Reed: (1) Fans are being allowed to vote on this year’s homecoming uni combo. (2) The team has switched to black shoes with gray socks. … There’s a new art exhibit about the Negro Leagues to raise funds for a baseball field in Harlem (thanks, Kirsten). … We all know about the Oscar Meyer wienermobile, but here’s something I’d never seen before: a Lifesavers truck (big thanks to my old zine buddy Tom Lupoff). … Here’s a really interesting infographic based on the location and orientation of every MLB stadium (from Patrick Woody). … According to one analysis, the NHL feels secure in proceeding with a lockout because it knows the fans will come back anyway. Scroll down and read the very last line — depressing. … USF debuted a new pant with horns on the side last night (from Will McGillis). … Here’s the redesigned USA Today. … Manny Machado’s undershirt yesterday had buttons and a stripe. Looks like the same “angry bird” shirt that Nick Markakis was wearing the other day (good spot by Marc Bauche). … Matt Powers refs high school football games and says he’s seeing a lot of matte-finish helmets this season, so that trend is apparently spreading. … Check this out: Back in 1960, Pitt used an end zone design that was oriented “facing” the seats, not facing the field (nice find by Jeff Flynn, Jr.). … Several Bears players were wearing their sock stripes down at their ankles last night. Also, is it just me, or are we seeing more players with exposed knee braces this season? Gonna have to keep an eye on that. … The Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League — that’s a prep school league in Minnesota — is going with corporate-sponsored uniforms this year. And when I say corporate-sponsored, I mean really corporate-sponsored. Holy shit (from Matthew Thomas). … Here’s a great old Pirates dugout jacket with NOB (from Bruce Menard). … Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who’ll be celebrating on Sunday night. … Today’s entry in the reverse-engineered Gowanus All-Stars set list is “Drinking Thing” by Gary Stewart:

 

163 comments to The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

  • Sam Allison | September 14, 2012 at 7:12 am |

    That Pirates jacket did not have a NickNOB. Pirates had a pitcher named Bob Moose in the late 60’s early 70’s. The webpage is incorrect in showing his name as Mosse.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 7:20 am |

      Duh — my bad. Now fixed.

    • Perry | September 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm |

      I’ll never forget Bob Moose — he threw the wild pitch that ended the 1972 NLCS and put the Reds in the World Series.

  • Ryan | September 14, 2012 at 7:13 am |

    At one time, and I don’t recall now what the exact match-up was, but bread companies used the color of the bread clip to denote what day of the week the bread was baked on. There are four commonly used colors, so three (red, blue, green) are used twice and white was usually reserved for Sunday.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 7:20 am |

      That’s still the case. The same thing is done with colored twist-ties.

    • boxcarvibe | September 14, 2012 at 7:46 am |

      …” (using a toaster that’s older than I am and used to belong to my grandmother, but that’s another story).

      Would love to see pics and hear the story!

    • Omar Jalife | September 14, 2012 at 9:20 am |

      When did Arnold was bought by Bimbo? In Mexico we have always had the twists so that may be the reason.

    • Gerry Dincher | September 14, 2012 at 9:43 am |

      My dad used to work in a bakery and then drove the bread truck for Stroehmann’s in Williamsport, PA. I remember when he showed me about the color coding on the twist tie and bread clips. Today’s entry was a nice trip down memory lane. By the way, Stroehmann’s is now owned by Bimbo. I went to elementary school across the street from the old bakery. It always smelled so good! That bakery is long since closed. Sad.

      • ChrisH | September 14, 2012 at 10:09 am |

        As a kid I lived on fluffernutters made with Stroehmann’s (In Philly that was THE bread).
        It’s no better than $.99 store brand nowadays.
        Same goes for Tastykake; a fantastic baked goods product line reduced to Little Debbie-esque portions and quality.
        So it goes…

    • Lloyd Davis | September 14, 2012 at 9:50 am |

      Still the case in Canada. The nearest supermarket to me seems to rotate its stock only under extreme protest. You learn to hunt for a fresh loaf of bread. Irony alert: the chain is owned by a commercial bakery whose plant is a few blocks away.

      Also in Canada, milk is commonly sold in plastic bags. Another use for the “bread clip.”

      • Teebz | September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |

        Lloyd, I appreciate the thought of extending Ontario’s way of doing things all across Canada, but what you’re talking about is very Ontario. It doesn’t exist past the Manitoba border, and Quebec is very carton-esque as well.

        In the west, we have regular cartons and gallon jugs like everyone else. In fact, you’d have to search high and low to find a bag of milk in a store. I’m guaranteeing it doesn’t happen.

      • Will S | September 14, 2012 at 2:14 pm |

        For milk the plastic bags for milk extends at least as far west as Thunder Bay (in Northwestern Ontario). All the clips I’ve seen on these are white.

        Local bakeries use twist ties or the tape for bread. The big bread companies use the clips – I don’t think they are colour coded by day here (I think they are all white).

      • captincanuck | September 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm |

        Bagged milk. Haven’t had that in years and can’t say that I miss it.

    • Lloyd Davis | September 14, 2012 at 9:53 am |

      Worse than the twist tie, some smaller bakeries around here use an adhesive tape-style closure. They’re hard to open AND you’re left with no way to close the bag.

      • Omar Jalife | September 14, 2012 at 1:08 pm |

        Haha I hate those. Because I always end up breaking the bad so there is no way to close it again, even with a twist.

  • FatMagz | September 14, 2012 at 7:22 am |

    You might want to check the link to the second Washington state item. Half takes you to a photo of the uniforms and the other half takes you to something with a bunch of Chinese (I think) symbols.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 7:25 am |

      Sorry, I totally botched the coding for that part of the Ticker. Now fixed.

  • Daryle Grof | September 14, 2012 at 7:22 am |

    Paul,
    Those bread clips have a name, it’s occlupanid. My wife fell in love with them and has been using them in her jewelery making. Here’s one example from her Etsy shop, a book mark:

    http://www.etsy.com/...

    • Winter | September 14, 2012 at 8:23 am |

      Wow. Some people take this seriously.

      http://www.horg.com/...

      • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 8:49 am |

        Wow, indeed — that site is AWESOME!

        • Jet | September 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |

          My mom was a hoarder and I found stacks of these bread clips wrapped in rubber bands when cleaning out her house after she died this past winter.

          Occlupanid… doesn’t seem to be an accepted dictionary word – seems to be a word made up just for that funny HORG site. But it could catch on…

          -Jet

  • The Jeff | September 14, 2012 at 7:34 am |

    Twist ties are better than bread clips in one very important way – they don’t rip holes in the bag the way a bread clip can.

    What’s the deal here? If you scroll down, you’ll see that it wasn’t just that one kid — it was the whole team. Are those black numerals on a black jersey, or numberless jerseys, or what?

    …and seriously? High School football will allow numberless black jerseys, but they outlawed white jerseys having freakin shoulder stripes? In what universe does that make any sense?

    • marc | September 14, 2012 at 8:10 am |

      …plus they close the bag tighter thereby allowing less air inside.

    • ChrisH | September 14, 2012 at 10:20 am |

      Growing up, holes in the breadbags meant 2 things to me:

      1. Potentially stale sammiches.
      2. Potentially wet and stuck shoes inside my galoches.

  • Lee W | September 14, 2012 at 7:37 am |

    Bread Clips are color coded by day of the week
    Monday = Blue
    Tuesday = Green
    Wednesday = Red
    Thursday = White
    Friday = Yellow

    It tells you what day the bread was delivered and put on the sheleves

  • DenverGregg | September 14, 2012 at 7:49 am |

    The USA Today and Machardo links are kind of mashed up.

    In the 70s and 80s my dad used bread clips as guitar picks to play western music of the 30s and 40s, and occasionally some country too.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 7:57 am |

      Thanks, now fixed.

  • Phil Hecken | September 14, 2012 at 7:58 am |

    anyone celebrating stirrup friday, be sure to send me a pic and a short writeup…i’ll run the pics tomorrow

    • Jet | September 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      What’s the email again?

      • Phil Hecken | September 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm |

        phil.hecken@gmail.com

        sorry for the late reply pete…just getting back to the board now

  • boxcarvibe | September 14, 2012 at 7:58 am |

    Imagine that! Sextuplets that are playing hockey in that Elite Hockey League, but for different teams. Now that’s rare!

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 8:32 am |

      You beat me to it!!

      They must’ve been held back a few years too!

      • boxcarvibe | September 14, 2012 at 11:16 am |

        Now the question is, how does their Mom hit all their games? Who gets left out?

    • Ken | September 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm |

      but with only 6 teams..she would see two a night and if the schedule is anything like we have here multi-rink buildings… it might just be a rink hop. (son 1 vs son 3 on rink 2..while son 4 vs son 2 on Rink 1). Happy friday everybody

  • Pete W | September 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |

    So I’m not as weird as the old lady makes me feel when I remove the twisty tie from my bread bag in favor for the bread clip I keep in my kitchen drawer.

    Well done again Paul.

  • Ryan | September 14, 2012 at 8:05 am |

    What are the chances of Uni Watch-branded bread clips being made? Perhaps they could be included with memberships or given out like the stickers were.

  • Jimbo | September 14, 2012 at 8:06 am |

    When I read, “I’m not buying bread that you can roll into a ball” I was transported back in time to my childhood. I remember making a Wonder Bread ball and wrapping that in another piece of Wonder Bread. Two layers of starchy goodness.

    Of course Wonder Bread + uniform = Will Farrell http://cloudfront.bo...

  • Spiderpig | September 14, 2012 at 8:12 am |

    So you’re blaming John Franco for the Mets’ woes?

  • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 8:21 am |

    New Catch of the Day. Just sayin’.

    • Ryan | September 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |

      This is my favorite so far. I think one of the site’s philosophies describes the draw of Uni Watch.
      “There’s a tremendous amount of beauty in things if you have deep knowledge about how they are built, be them organic or man-made. When I moved to Canada a brought along a European style coffee maker. My uncle—an engineer—was fascinated with the mechanics. He took it apart and studied every piece. I had always thought it was “nice” but my uncle found a much more deeper functional beauty.”

      • Tom V. | September 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm |

        2nd best to date, I loved the one that took you from the scale of an atom to the scale of the largest galaxies, etc.

        This one is pretty neat though, and reminds me of a place I drive by every morning, check out the kerning in this logo, now thats some tight kerning!…http://www.kcgcorp.c...

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 9:04 am |

      It’s a fave of Falcons running back Michael Turner.

      (Get it???)

    • Roger | September 14, 2012 at 10:03 am |

      Hot fricken damn.

      The day’s productivity just flew out the window.

      • Roger | September 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |

        Strike that. Thankfully, it’s only 10 words.

    • The Jeff | September 14, 2012 at 11:11 am |

      91/100 for a final score is good, right?

  • Ricko | September 14, 2012 at 8:22 am |

    Every man in America knows you throw away the twisty, grab the excess open end of the bag, spin the loaf and set the bread down on the bag.

    Well, don’t they? :)

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 8:28 am |

      Yeah, but that doesn’t work early in the loaf, when there isn’t enough excess bag to tuck under the loaf.

      • Ricko | September 14, 2012 at 8:36 am |

        ‘Tis true. Definitely situation-driven.

        Although, I have found that with quiet deliberation and precise handling it can be accomplished early-on.

        (Yes, I’d say we’re “off-uniform” today.)

      • phillipwilson | September 14, 2012 at 10:45 am |

        Eat more bread.

        • Chick-Fil-A | September 14, 2012 at 1:05 pm |

          Cease and desist.

    • quiet seattle | September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am |

      Something very pleasurable, almost meditative, in “the spin.”

      Spin/hold/apply clip.

    • possum | September 14, 2012 at 11:18 am |

      My wife has this crazy modified version of what you speak of Ricko. She spins, then turns the excess inside out when she’s under half a loaf. Usually by that point one of our boys or the cat has made off with the clip/tie. Before I was married with kids I coulda told you which came on my bread, now I’m not so sure…which is mildly embarassing.

  • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    I love the PITT endzone orientation.

  • Matthew Toy | September 14, 2012 at 8:33 am |

    I think I’ve seen clips of the Steelers playing at Pitt Stadium in the mid 60s where the end zones said “Pitt/Pitt” with one facing the crowd.

  • Ricko | September 14, 2012 at 8:44 am |

    Yikes. Hadn’t seen this before (local news doing a remote from a local lake right now)…

    http://www.youtube.c...

    Maybe the Dolphins should bring back the tank like they had at the Orange Bowl. Then put somebody in Dolphin suit and…

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 8:53 am |

      Beats this guy……

      http://www.youtube.c...

      • Ricko | September 14, 2012 at 9:43 am |

        I dunno, going directly into the tank seems kinda appropriate for the Dolphins in the past few years.

  • Big Matt | September 14, 2012 at 8:54 am |

    My son’s high school team went to matte helmets this year – and a logo for the first time in over 20 years (you might recognize it and guess our nickname)
    http://s1137.photobu...

    • YPC | September 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm |

      I’ve been wondering about this. I agree these matte helmets are becoming more popular at the HS level. I feel like I’m seeing lots of “blank” mattes, though, with no logos or striping. I wonder if it’s coincidence or if the finish requires special stickers, etc. Anyone know?

  • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 8:57 am |

    Reports indicate that Marshall and WVU will honor recently slain W.Virginia state troopers with this helmet decal:
    http://via.me/-52ba9...

    • Coleman | September 14, 2012 at 12:27 pm |

      Very nice find, Paul. I had not yet heard anything about this, and I was surprised it hadn’t happened yet.

  • Kevin P. | September 14, 2012 at 9:00 am |

    How many times are we gonna cover that high school corporate bs hockey league?? This is at least number 2….

  • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 9:02 am |

    Very surprised this didn’t happen sooner: The Chargers are adding a helmet decal for Junior Seau:
    http://www.chargers....

  • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |

    Not sure if this was mentioned yet…..

    Mustache promo for Rams.

    http://sports.yahoo....

    • ChrisH | September 14, 2012 at 9:48 am |

      Jeff Gordon’s growing his back:

      http://sports.yahoo....

      That’s one nice looking sign on the barbershop wall.

    • Wheels | September 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm |

      NY Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride accidentally shaved half of his mustache off:
      http://www.nytimes.c...

  • Rob Ullman | September 14, 2012 at 9:07 am |

    Good breakdown of that typically execrable Darren Rovell hockey column here:

    http://www.thepensbl...

  • Rob Ullman | September 14, 2012 at 9:08 am |

    I couldn’t love today’s post more. I feel like I’m 22 reading Beer Frame again. Inspiring.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 9:11 am |

      Thanks, Rob. Inconspicuous Consumption lives!

  • Chris Holder | September 14, 2012 at 9:16 am |

    I’m so confused by that Detroit News article on college football uniforms. USC is his best… and Iowa State is his worst? Um… hello? They both use the same dang colors. I know he mentions that ISU is trying to rip of the Trojans, but still. If you think USC looks good, I’m not sure how you can think the Cyclones look worse than 120+ other teams. Just strange.

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 9:29 am |

      The guy also compares the Gators logo to the Lacoste logo. What???
      Clearly he is amiss in his college football uniformology (or his tennis attire-ology).

      • Chris Holder | September 14, 2012 at 9:40 am |

        But his commentary on each uniform is so witty!

    • Terry Proctor | September 14, 2012 at 10:22 am |

      At least they didn’t make Michigan #1 as I thought they would.

      • boxcarvibe | September 14, 2012 at 11:28 am |

        I thought he would do that too, but he might’ve been rung up as a homey.

    • daveclt | September 14, 2012 at 11:16 pm |

      He lost me on the 2nd photo when he said Clemson’s uniforms were intimidating.

  • Brad | September 14, 2012 at 9:23 am |

    Great Seattle Pilots photos. It doesn’t appear as though they are wearing the MLB 100th anniversary patch in the games pictured versus the White Sox and Athletics in April/May ’69.

    • Terry Proctor | September 14, 2012 at 10:55 am |

      I still prefer the simple design of their “spring training uniforms” to the very-1970s-graphics they wore in the regular season.

  • Steve Naismith | September 14, 2012 at 9:38 am |

    On a similar note as the Arnold bread clip…

    Remember when boxes of Premium Saltines came with a red twist tie for each tube of crackers? These were the highest-quality twists I’ve ever come across, and then one day they just vanished – I assume a cost-cutting move on the part of Nabisco. I’d like to get the story on that one. If it was cost-cutting, I don’t understand why they couldn’t just have included 1 of the ties per box instead of 4, since most people would have only one tube of crackers open at a time anyway.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 9:44 am |

      Oh, wow — great detail!

      Other small packaging details:

      – The red tear-string that used to be used to open individual Band-Aids.

      – The colored tape (blue, I think..?) that was used for 3-packs of Cracker Jack.

      • Ry Co 40 | September 14, 2012 at 10:57 am |

        i always loved the little string on the box of animal crackers.

        • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 11:34 am |

          They still use that. I wrote about that way back in 1993!

          True story: The string on the box was originally added so customers could hang the box from their Xmas trees, like an ornament. People liked it so much that they decided to keep it as a package element.

      • Mark | September 14, 2012 at 2:22 pm |

        I was so happy when Band-Aid ditched the red string… I could *never* get that to work! It would only tear about 1/8 of the way before completely coming off in my hand. I was a kid at the time, so that pain-in-the-neck red string gave me one more reason to pester my mother about buying the Curad brand instead (the other was that the adhesive on the Band-Aids clung to my arm and leg hair like J-B Weld, making them very painful to remove).

    • JenInChicago | September 14, 2012 at 12:09 pm |

      I am seriously geeking out on this stuff…..I’m not kidding. I completely forgot about the red string in the Band-Aids……

      • Steve Naismith | September 14, 2012 at 12:33 pm |

        Band-Aids… that’s a good one. I remember the thread, but I don’t really remember the packaging construct which required the thread, and how it differs from today’s threadless packaging.

        I’ve spent way too much time thinking about those Premium Saltine things over the years:

        – Couldn’t understand why they seemed proprietary to Premium. I never saw a similar “device” used anywhere else, not for other crackers or other non-food products – which is a shame, because they were so high-quality and could have been used for other purposes.

        – What were the damn things even called? They weren’t really twist ties or clips.

        – How many other products can you say you ran into on hundreds of occasions in years past, which now have seemingly vanished from the planet?

        – I search the Internet from time to time, hoping to find a picture or an article – but nothing. Maybe I’m just using the wrong search terms.

  • walter | September 14, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    That array of bread clips from the Kwik Lok catalog reminds me of those photographs of factories taken by Bernd and Hilla Becher. Things made strictly for function have an under-appreciated beauty.

    • quiet seattle | September 14, 2012 at 10:24 am |

      I love the Becher’s photographs!

      Kwik Lok…wonderful name too. Located in nearby Yakima, Washington. I think a road trip is in my future.

  • Matt Beahan | September 14, 2012 at 9:39 am |

    Gah, twist-ties are the bane of my life. I collect action figures, and the majority of them come packaged with at least 4 holding them onto the card, usually so tight that they’re impossible to untwist.

    My mother always hated those bread clips, and removed them at the first opportunity. She’s been using the same orange clip to seal bread bags for as long as I’ve been alive…

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 9:51 am |

      “Gah, twist-ties are the *bane* of my life. I collect *action figures*”

      I see what you did there.

  • Hank-SJ | September 14, 2012 at 9:41 am |

    RE: all-black jerseys. Tigard High School’s colors are green, black and white. According to the second paragraph in this game story, their home unis are dark green jerseys, pants and black numerals. http://www.oregonpre...

    I saw a video of the game highlights and it all looked black to me. If the Eagles wear midnight green, this type of green must be called total eclipse green.

    • Mark in Shiga | September 14, 2012 at 11:31 am |

      You can jsut barely make out the numbers if you look hard. The guy in the top picture is number 6, and in the second picture you can see number 23.

      It looks like they have a sans-serif Steelers-like font on the fronts and varsity block on the sleeves… unless (and this could well be true) I’m seeing it wrong.

      • Jeff Davis | September 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm |

        For clearer art of these jerseys, see http://coachgreenesp...

        • hugh.c.mcbride | September 14, 2012 at 2:10 pm |

          Tigard HS is in Oregon, & last season they wore one-off pink-accented breast cancer awareness jerseys that the THS website says were dedicated by our friends at The Swoosh.

          Perhaps they have some mini-Ducks thing going on here, with multiple “intriguing” unis sprinkled throughout the season?

  • tosaman | September 14, 2012 at 9:57 am |

    re: the ‘Infinite Baseball Fields of America’ infographic:

    It looks like the team identifiers are dashed lines that parallel the ballparks’ outfield fences. That’s a neat little detail that ups the coolness factor.

    Interesting that there’s several East Coast teams that face out to the Atlantic but the West Coast teams all go inland.

    • pinetorum | September 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |

      I think most baseball fields face east and/or north to prevent late afternoon sun from blinding batters.

      And it’s pretty clear that Paul prefers bread clips to twist ties because the clips leave room for uni-type information:
      http://farm4.static....

  • Roger | September 14, 2012 at 10:00 am |

    I prefer the clips over the ties.

    I always felt that the clips let out just enough air and secured the opening, whereas the tie either trapped in too much air if tied too tightly, or didn’t support a strong enough closure if loosely tied to let air escape (causing the tie to fall off and then all hell breaks loose.)

  • Michael W | September 14, 2012 at 10:09 am |

    New episode of the Logocast up. We talked to representatives of New Era Cap, talking about the NFL contract, the collaborative process when a team rebrands, and cap fashion. We also talk to Fraser Davidson, who recently rebranded 350 SBNation fanblogs in about six weeks. We cover the new logos, his work with TCU and their unused new frog, and his work in animation and directing, including Pope Song and Irritable Bowl Syndrome.

    Then we have our news, we go over Week 2 of the NCAA season, Week 1 of the NFL, and NBA news.

    Available here – Episode 9, If I’ve Been Drinking http://thelogocast.c...

  • Dave V | September 14, 2012 at 10:15 am |

    Re: the O’s angry bird logo, I don’t know if this has been covered before, but in addition to it being a statement about this year’s team representing a radical departure from the past 14 years of loserness, it comes along with two unique elements. First, it’s being paired with the slogan “BUCKle up”–I don’t know that a team has ever deliberately incorporated the name of its manager into its sloganeering. Second, the angry bird has the smiling cartoon bird on its hat…is he bipolar or something?

    • suprfrog | September 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm |

      In the early 80’s, the Oakland A’s refered to their style of play as “Billy Ball” after manager Billy Martin:

      http://www.suprfrog....

  • Alan | September 14, 2012 at 10:21 am |

    Interesting photo about the Pitt endzone lettering facing the stands. Somewhat related, I remember the Patriots in the late 70’s/Early’80’s had their lettering in between the back of the end zone and the stands, but it was facing the field. I always thought that was odd, especailly when photographers, security personnel etc. covered a lot of it up. I’m trying to find a photo. Anyone else remember this?

    • walter | September 14, 2012 at 11:30 am |

      YES! Unfortunately, I can offer no visual proof. The Pats used that Mighty Hero 3-D Poster font for their wordmark; never should have retired it. Didn’t Schaefer Stadium use Astroturf, back in the day?

      • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 11:37 am |

        I’ve seen photos of that sort of thing. It made the field look an extra 10 yards long on each end.

      • Ryan B | September 14, 2012 at 12:08 pm |

        Yes, it did – up to the early ’90s, I want to say. I remember distinctly that the Snow Plow Game was definitely on turf.

        • Mitchell | September 14, 2012 at 1:14 pm |

          Remember it well. The Gator Bowl, in the years when they had the large alligator in the endzone with the word “Bowl,” used to have the team name behind the endzone as well.

          And the Rose Bowl, up until the mid-70s, used to have “Rose Bowl” in that same spot.

    • Jim Vilk | September 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm |

      I know at one time I saw a 60s video of the Steelers at Pitt Stadium. Can’t find it now, but they also had PITTSBURGH across the end zone, upside down.

      I remember the upside down PATRIOTS as well. There used to be a video of Joe Washington running against the Pats, and you could see it there.

      One video I *did* find…before the upside down PATRIOTS, they used to paint small NFC, NFL and AFC logos in the end zones – right side up in one end, upside down in the other. You have to watch the whole thing (it’s not that long) to see proof of it.
      http://www.youtube.c...

      • Jim Vilk | September 14, 2012 at 3:49 pm |

        Although, you wouldn’t know if the NFC logo was upside down or right side up…now would you?

  • CW | September 14, 2012 at 10:25 am |

    1) Arnold? I believe you mean Oroweat.

    http://www.theiemomm...

    2) If you were really serious about keeping your bread fresh, I’d suggest a container like so that minimizes the air space as the loaf is consumed. Of course, it may not work on non-Wonder sized loaves, and it will take up more space.

    http://cf.mp-cdn.net...

    3) Store bought bread? Someone’s going to lose their hipster cred ;)

  • Jet | September 14, 2012 at 10:29 am |

    Paul, one PURPLE FIDDLE, comin’ up…

    http://coolspotters....

    -Jet

  • Graham Jaunts | September 14, 2012 at 10:30 am |

    Twist ties have one major advantage over bread clips: bread clips break.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 10:35 am |

      I can honestly say I’ve never had one break on me. Anyone else?

      • CW | September 14, 2012 at 10:42 am |

        Once in a while I’ll have one break. Probably sourced from a cheaper vendor.

        • phillipwilson | September 14, 2012 at 10:47 am |

          If you break one tab off, you can put the rest on your finger and flick them across the room. I remember doing that as a kid.

      • concealed78 | September 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm |

        I was about to say bread clips end up breaking on me. After I twist the bag & try to put the bread clip on, a corner can snap off. I’ve also had issue with bread clips coming undone (maybe the plastic bag is too thick / not wound up tight enough?) & maybe they don’t hold a tight seal & let air out?

        Twist-ties are alright, tho the paper-coated versions tend to wear off after a few dozen uses & the plastic-coated ones seem to hold up better.

        I grew up in a household where we used office supply black metal binder clips for snack bags. And don’t get me started on zip lock bags – especially those from the deli with the slide tab.

  • Joe O | September 14, 2012 at 10:38 am |

    The high school team with the all black jerseys are illegal by NFHS standards (and every other ruling body standard I know of). A google shows this team also has broken out jerseys with pink numbers during that month that we all break out our pink whistles and “donate” our game checks…

    • MPowers1634 | September 14, 2012 at 11:49 am |

      Joe O is correct…uniform and numbering guidelines are to be followed very tightly wiithin the NFHS.

      Each season, the five members of our crew purchases one accessory for each member.

      Last year, my gift was the pink whistle and lanyard for all of us. We wore them all October.

      As for donating game checks, my wife would donate me if I attempted to do such a thing. We already have fiduciary debates concerning the logic of getting a bite to eat after Friday and Saturday night games with my crew!

  • JamesP. | September 14, 2012 at 10:49 am |

    Happy Stirrup Friday! http://i313.photobuc...

    I might be in Long Island, but I’m wearing these beauties…

    • Ricko | September 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm |

      Everybody in the (Terry) Puhl!

  • Gary | September 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    If you take a look at the Tigard HS football website, you’ll find a picture gallery from that game vs Aloha. It appears that the jerseys are black with a gradient or dimpled black to green number on them. They also have Flywire collars. Looking at their unis from last year, it appears that they got the Nike Pro Combat treatment… I guess living in Oregon means that Nike “hooks you up” so to speak.

    Click through the pics at the bottom and you’ll see the mannequin modeling the jersey. The numbers are a lot clearer when not in motion.

    http://coachgreenesp...

    If you look at this album, you can see its quite a change from their unis last year.

    http://coachgreenesp...

  • tom | September 14, 2012 at 10:53 am |

    i never use bread ties.

    i just grab the top of the bag, and spin it to seal off the air.

  • Geoff | September 14, 2012 at 10:59 am |

    I just wanted to voice a possible reason to the visible knee braces this year like the link to Brian Urlacher last night. I tore my ACL in high school and my surgeon had me fitted for a DonJoy brace to wear when I could compete again, especially since I played football and was a catcher in baseball. Very simply, for someone not used to wearing the brace, it is pretty bulky and uncomfortable and pulling socks over them is pretty tough sometimes. When you do finally get the sock over the brace it can slide down and bunch up just making it a real annoyance in the middle of a game which is why I eventually had to wear baseball pants low cuffed. (Our team wore sannies and stirrups and everyone went high cuffed but for my summer league it was just too much fabric bunching up while catching a game) Urlacher also complained earlier that the brace can slide which is common if placed directly on the skin when you start to sweat. Not saying any of those are the reason for visible braces, but some possible explanations based on my experience.

    • MPowers1634 | September 14, 2012 at 11:45 am |

      I don’t bother to learn the NFL rules, which might be what’s wrong with these replacement ref.

      After a disputed call in a varsity game last week, the crowd rebuked me with chants of that, but I digress…in HS ball, all braces must be covered. Very sililarly, casts must be covered by 1/2 inch closed cell foam.

    • JenInChicago | September 14, 2012 at 12:16 pm |

      I agree, Geoff, I have had to wear various knee braces since I was 14 (a few decades removed, now). It’s incredibly uncomfortable to try to wear the brace and cover them up. I don’t know how many times I had to call time-out and re-adjust the brace and the uni. I’m sure it pi$$ed off some other teams.

    • Christopher F. | September 14, 2012 at 2:06 pm |

      Tony Kornheiser recently had knee surgery and has been wearing shorts all week on PTI because its a pain to put pants over his brace.

  • Jarrod Leder | September 14, 2012 at 11:25 am |

    I’d echo Matt Powers. I also officiate high school football, and I’ve been seeing more matte helmets. I’ve also been seeing more sweat boxes. Sweat boxes look as stupid close up as they do far away.

    • MPowers1634 | September 14, 2012 at 11:42 am |

      Jarrod,

      I’m in the Rockland chapter of the Central Hudson Valley Football Officials Association, about 30 minutes north of Manhattan.

      Where do you work?

      • Jarrod Leder | September 14, 2012 at 11:54 am |

        I work in Minnesota. I’m in the Gopher State Officials Association. We work across most of the northern, central and western Twin Cities. I dabble in a little D-III and D-II college ball too, but not formally.

  • brinke | September 14, 2012 at 11:53 am |

    This bread clip post might be one of the best UW posts ever.

  • Will S | September 14, 2012 at 12:03 pm |

    No pic, but I think Shin-Soo Choo wears his wedding band on a necklace too

  • Wheels | September 14, 2012 at 12:06 pm |

    Twist-ties suck, they degrade with each use.

    • Jim Vilk | September 14, 2012 at 3:58 pm |

      Paper ones degrade. Plastic, not so much. I have a tin full of ties, so it’s no big deal if one degrades every now and then. Beats getting holes in my bags.

      ties > clips

  • James | September 14, 2012 at 12:23 pm |

    Of course that black high school football jersey has a bright white Nike logo.

    • JenInChicago | September 14, 2012 at 2:44 pm |

      We were railing on about that in our offices. Ridiculous. Glad to see we weren’t the only ones offended.

  • JenInChicago | September 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm |

    Wow! 100/100 on the 3rd Kerning for holly!

    (I soooo need to do some work today!)

  • David | September 14, 2012 at 12:40 pm |

    Paul, I have really enjoyed the musical choices this week – in fact, I changed my usual pattern of reading the full post then the comments. This week, I skipped to the bottom, turned on the song, then read everything. It was a terrific accompaniment.

    Thank you for including them – hope it won’t be the last time!

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 12:52 pm |

      Thanks, David — glad you’ve enjoyed.

  • Tom V. | September 14, 2012 at 1:15 pm |

    And here comes Mr. Contrary…I like the twist ties better myself. The thing about the plastic clip is that sometimes the entire bag doesn’t make it into the oral groove leaving the bag partially open. And yes, as a reader mentioned twist ties degrade over time, but if you’re opening a bag of bread 5 or 6 times I think thats within the useful life span of the bad of bread. I’ve had plenty of twist ties break or the paper/plastic come off leaving me with a bare wire but still found them useful.

    Secondly, I like to reuse the twist ties for things that come with the plastic clips, or I like to use them to tie up garbage bags, etc. I always keep the old twist ties, I have bunches of them in a drawer. I use them in my garage to tie up wires and such when I am wiring things, can’t do that with a plastic clip.

    I do like the clips for the fact that the price and freshness info can be printed on them. But I think I have to give the advantage to the twist tie, which I believe still has other life left after the bread goes stale.

    • Arr Scott | September 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm |

      Also: The oral hooks and dental processes of the clip often snag and rip bags, which introduces air, which = bread-storage failure. Twist-ties simply do the job better, all things considered. Only real drawback is that you can’t split twist-ties in half and make deadly projectiles out of them.

      On the other hand, those thick flat plastic ribbony things with metal along both edges? Those are a crime against all grains and ought to be outlawed. Impossible to seal a bag with those things.

  • Mike K | September 14, 2012 at 1:34 pm |

    Cool infographic put out by the WWE detailing the unification of their different championship belts: http://www.wwe.com/f...

  • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm |

    Atlantic High in Florida has the craziest uniform ever:
    http://blogs.palmbea...

    • Coleman | September 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm |

      Awwwww, look at the cute little footies on his cleats. How adorable. I think I just threw up a little.

      • Winter | September 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm |

        Are those a thing now?

    • JenInChicago | September 14, 2012 at 2:45 pm |

      Ugh….that’s horrible. I do, however, like the comment from the “designer”.

    • superfly | September 14, 2012 at 2:46 pm |

      When I first saw the picture (the pic cut off at the kid’s waste when it first loaded), I thought “well, interesting, the kids probably dig it,” and I like asymmetry, so…

      then I scrolled down and saw the pants, and cracked up laughing…

      Helmet graphic is nice, though still don’t like the neon

    • Dumb Guy | September 14, 2012 at 3:55 pm |

      Crazy = Lame in this case.

    • Simply Moono | September 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm |

      …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………WAT

    • concealed78 | September 14, 2012 at 6:09 pm |

      It looks like he fell/slept into a pool of cartoon toxic waste.

      I can stomach the helmet design a lot more in comparison to the uniform.

  • hugh.c.mcbride | September 14, 2012 at 2:07 pm |

    If anyone were ever misguided enough to question the value of UW, I would simply point to this post & stand back to let the awesomeness sink in. Not to be too much of a PL fanboy here, but your ability to find (and express) fascination within the “mundane” details of everyday life is truly, truly impressive.

    Thanks for this post, & for everything else you do on this site.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 3:17 pm |

      Thanks, Hugh — appreciated.

  • James A | September 14, 2012 at 2:18 pm |

    Bimbo doesn’t just advertise on Mexican soccer jersey. They are in their second season as the jersey advertiser for the Philadelphia (really Chester) Union of Major League Soccer.

  • Stirpey | September 14, 2012 at 2:47 pm |

    Call me new school but I spin the bag and tuck it underneath. That clip gets recycled immediately or the twist tie is thrown out.

    Very good post today though…extremely intersting.

    • Tim E. O'B | September 14, 2012 at 2:55 pm |

      Why wouldn’t you recycle the twist tie? It’s mad of metal and wither paper or plastic…?

      • Tim E. O'B | September 14, 2012 at 2:56 pm |

        Made*

  • EddieAtari | September 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm |

    I recommend Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Breads. They employ the bread clip, and it’s available at Trader Joe’s…

  • Chris | September 14, 2012 at 3:28 pm |

    Does anyone know where I could find a site/store that would sell Official NFL uniform socks. Really wanting a pants of official Washington Redskins socks.

  • daveclt | September 14, 2012 at 3:53 pm |

    Great title for today’s post.

    But I have to say I much prefer ties to the clips. Yes, it is strange when they magically twist backwards. And they do take more time to use. But that is because they work better. My bread clips have a habit of coming undone.

    After all, what is more secure on your feet: shoes with shoelaces tied tight? or slip-on loafers?

  • Jim Vilk | September 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm |

    You give me your twist ties and I’ll give you my bread clips. Deal?

  • Tom V. | September 14, 2012 at 4:53 pm |

    Paul, any word on what the distal and proximal palps are for? Obviously they look like they’re cut from a sheet and their edges “puzzle in” with one another, but seems like an odd feature with no visible function.

    • Paul Lukas | September 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm |

      Not sure. They don’t all have them — only some of them have them.

      I may be writing more about this for a bizness mag, in which case I’ll be learing aaaaaallllllllll about these types of details.

  • ThresherK | September 14, 2012 at 5:17 pm |

    Paul, today’s piece is museum-worthy design geekery. In a just world, the Cooper Hewitt would have called you already.

    And I say this as a left-hander who loves twist-ties, but will tighten them the “wrong” way as often as not.

  • Peter H | September 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm |

    On the bread bag closures, the bakery’s real reason for switching to twist-ties? It’s at the top of the catalog pages: HAND APPLIED.

  • Simply Moono | September 14, 2012 at 7:32 pm |

    As a drummer who geeks out at different hoop styles, bearing edges, cymbal sounds, cymbal manufacturing, and cymbal sizes for specific projects, sessions, live shows, and the like, I loved today’s lede.

    This is sorta like my own experience with Aunt Jemima syrup. They used to have the plastic seal over the cap, but sometime last year?, they ditched that and went to the peel seal that you have to unscrew the cap to get to.

    It sorta made me paranoid at first: what if someone peels off the seal, then slips cyanide or coconut extract into it, then puts the cap back on, and waits for some unsuspecting shopper to get a mouthful of death… or coconut? (FTR: I’m not allergic to coconut, I just REALLY hate it)

    It made me appreciate the little outer seal that used to be on the bottles, and today’s post made me remember that. Just thought I’d share.

  • Jim Vilk | September 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm |

    a mouthful of death… or coconut?

    You just gave me a “cake or death” flashback…
    http://www.youtube.c...

    • Coleman | September 14, 2012 at 9:42 pm |

      Eddie Izzard is one of the best comedians I’ve ever heard. Dress to Kill is probably my favorite stand up ever:

      “You say ‘erb’ and we say ‘Herb’… Because there’s a fucking ‘H’ in it.

  • Coleman | September 14, 2012 at 9:55 pm |

    Anyone else see this high school game on ESPN2? St. Thomas Aquinas is wearing a Vegas Gold helmet with a mono-gold uni AND sweatboxes! Fucking hideous.