“I say it’s time for designer deodorant,” proclaimed Tazo Tea line designer Steve Sandstrom in Packaging 8. “[It’s] time for deodorant to raise up its ugly self and move beyond the cotton swabs and dental floss, out of the shame of dark cabinets and drawers and on to the open bathroom counter of respect next to that fine cologne…And then it’s onward to the exclusive shelves of airport duty free stores. Let the shaving foam follow.”
Designers and innovators alike are re-imagining the assumption that only certain objects deserve good design. While the beer and wine aisle of a store may exhibit some particularly fine bottle designs, packaging for other products have remained largely utilitarian.
“The majority of all products in the supermarket are packaged with tired concepts, busy layouts, odd graphic embellishments, poorly executed identities and confused combinations of typefaces,” Steve wrote. “I believe this kind of packaging and perception of product parity can be an opportunity for a brand to use design as a tremendous marketing weapon to help separate a product from the rest. Even if all it does is make it look better.”
Tony Fadell and his team at Nest are at the forefront of such a feat in the technological industry. Having helped usher in the iPod and the iPhone, Tony is now re-designing and revolutionizing seemingly mundane household objects, including the thermostat and the smoke detector. These once uncomely, utilitarian home appliances are transformed from their lifeless invariability to a sleek, understated design that may never again be overlooked.
The gadgets, themselves, are pretty neat. They sync with your iPhone or iPad, and inform you of what is happening. Perhaps such innovations can eventually lead to the realization of what Steve suggests: the creation of appealing packaging and products. Sometimes simply for the sake of beauty.
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