Artisanal Overload



  1. A skilled manual worker who uses tools and machinery in a particular craft.



  1. Hand made by a skilled worker (an artisan).

On January 26, 2011 I wrote a brief editorial whining about the sickening overuse of the words artisan and artisanal in today's world.

When I did that, I figured I'd get it off my chest, and I'd be done with it.

What I HAD NOT counted on was how my totally awesome readers out there would handle it: As a challenge to find continuing examples of this irritating buzzword, and sending them to me.

So pictures began coming in, and soon I began putting them up. So here, collected in one place, are my posts featuring your pictures of stuff with this irritating buzzword.


Even the menu at Local Theater's Friday Night Kids Show isn't safe.

(click to enlarge)

Although personally I think charging $13 for a freakin' turkey sandwich and bag of Doritos is a bigger atrocity than overuse of the word.


This was at Starbucks (assumedly not made by kosher artisans) and gets bonus irritation points for also having the word "handcrafted" in it:

From the grocery store:


Ok, it's time for more of your submissions showing the insane overuse of the word "artisan" and it's derivatives these days.

Before we get started, I should note that many of you have recently sent in excerpts from the J. Crew catalog using the words to describe their clothing, fabrics, and (for all I know) toilet paper. There were just too many of those to choose from.

For those of you who find your nose is easily offended by generic pseudo-pheromone smells, there's now artisan cologne:

Need something artisanal for your artisanal home? Maybe you should visit:

If you can't afford the premium charged by companies for using the word "artisan" (usually it seems to be a 50% or more mark-up) you can get discounted artisanal products with on-line coupons.

After the cheese, maybe you'd like some chocolate.

If you've had too much cheese and chocolate, you might need to see a dentist.

And while YOU may get to enjoy artisanal products, let's not forget about your best friend.

At this point, I think it's time for all this artisanal overuse to STOP!


One of you wrote that you have a free GPS service, which occasionally posts screen ads. And when you drove by an Olive Garden restaurant, you got this:

Artisanal, by definition, means "hand made by a skilled craftsman". As much as I like Costco, somehow I don't think their mass-produced pizza fits that category.

Even fast-food giant Wendy's is doing it. They also get bonus points for putting another overused annoyance, "panini" onto the same menu page.

With your artisanal breakfast you'll want coffee...

Some of you, however, may prefer to stay home and prepare meals with artisanal kitchen appliances (in great colors, too!)

But don't eat TOO much or you won't fit into your swimsuit!

And if all this artisanal crap makes you want to vomit, maybe it's time to head for the toilet.


We now take you to Victoria, British Columbia to answer this age-old question:

"Where do I put the artisanal wine and beer after I've run it through my kidneys?"

Victoria has taken the lead on other cities in North America by introducing...

(drumroll, please)


(at a cost of $60,000 to build I suppose I could put processed Diet Coke in it at my next visit, just for the experience).


It's not artisanal, but I really don't understand how a tomato can be a "Limited Edition" item.

Thank you, Cal!


A fine example of corporate overuse is from April, 2011.

The New York Times interviewed James Goldman, the CEO of Godiva Chocolate. He felt the need to use the word 3 times (!!!) in 2 paragraphs.

click to enlarge


Santa Claus is (roughly) 1700 years old. He's changed dramatically over time, from his original name of St. Nikolaos of Myra to the guy we see in department stores and selling Coke on TV.

So it was only a matter of time before the A-word caught up with him, too.

(click to enlarge)


Oh, for fuck's sake.


This one is thoroughly annoying:

Let's look at this:

1. It uses the word "artisan" twice. Once to make you nauseous, and once to make you puke.

2. It's a FREAKIN' JAR OF HONEY PEOPLE! Humans can't even make it.

3. The "Artisan honey keepers" are BEES! I'm pretty sure they aren't making this claim, any more than my dog claims to be an "artisan shitpile keeper."

4. If you're going to say "crafted from honey keepers" doesn't that mean it's made from bees or humans (or both)?

5. If you're going to put a "gluten free" label on honey, maybe it's time we started putting "fat free" stickers on water.


First up, from the land down under, (proving the insanity isn't confined to one hemisphere or continent) we have this company:

I can only assume that artisanal air is composed from handcrafted Australian atoms of hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen, rather than, say, made 13.7 billion years ago during the big bang.

Next is this, which came up as the  error message when the page crashed. So the IT guys are now officially artisans.

Now we have this picture from Las Vegas, advertising a local strip bar.

I suppose in some way the strippers are artisanal, as their chests were handcrafted by some of the finest plastic surgeons in Tijuana.

By the way, your cab driver is asleep.


These are glorified RUBBER BANDS! Yet, somehow, they got labeled as both "limited edition" and "artisan."

What the hell?


Here we have perfume, which is likely handmade in some 3rd world chemical plant. The ad gets bonus irritant points for using handcrafted and artisan in the same sentence:

"We could fill these bottles with donkey piss, and people would still buy them. So let's do it."

This picture was sent by a reader living in China, to show that the word is now planet-wide, regardless of economic system.

"It sounds better if you use the word twice. As least that's what I think the English-as-a-2nd-language teacher said"

Next, from the United Kingdom, we have this place:

Is the trench digger artisanal? Or the power generator? Or the guy who takes your credit card when you order one?

Of course, no artisanal posting would be complete without something that grows in the dirt, was picked by someone making minimum wage, packaged by a machine, and had a label slapped on it.

Here in the U.S even a piece of paper is now artisanal:

If you're going to buy artisanal paper, you probably want a printer equal to the task:

"Handcrafted by mass-production assembly line machines in a Chinese sweatshop"

Lastly, it's important to remember that artisanal things can boldly go where no one has gone before:

"We canna go any faster, Captain! We're all out of handcrafted anti-matter!"


All right, it's again time to hit the artisanal mailbag.

First we have one of many (and you guys send in a lot of similar stuff, so I guess it's everywhere) containers of edible weeds, which were grown from dirt using sunlight, water, and photosynthesis, only to have some clown claim it to be artisanal:

Next, apparently any idiot driving a car is, at least to Geico insurance, a "skilled artisan."

"I shwear, offisher, I'm a skilled artisan."

What do you with stale bread? These days you label it as "artisanal stuffing" and sell it in the discount bin:

Likewise, when those artisanal diet foods don't sell like hotcakes, you mark them down and hope some sucker takes them home.

Now even TV listings are artisanal, I guess

Apparently WAY too many people are answering "strongly agree" on surveys like this, or we wouldn't have to deal with this crap:

And, lastly, it's good to see at least some of these products are going bye bye.

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