Archive for the 'design' Category

right on target

The blogosphere (or at least my blogosphere, i.e. the blogs that I read that focus on business, design, marketing, etc.) is on fire with the word design. Chopped, sauteed, blended, and baked everyone is talking about design in every possible context. For good reason, design is important, and great design (which could be argued is functional design) impacts people every day.

Recently, the design of Archer Farms Parmesan Garlic potato chip bag rocked my world. (Not to mention these are some of the best chips I’ve ever had)

You’re asking yourself why did this rock Gavin’s world. Well, it’s written right on the on the front of the bag, “recloseable for freshness” yep, it’s the awesome combination of a ziploc bag and a potato chip bag. This means no more stale chips, no more bag clips and fresh taste everyday.

Secondly, the part that amazes me is that Archer Farms is Target’s house brand. Granted, they are positioning it as a very design-centric elite house brand, but it is still a house brand. The question is, why didn’t any of the other 500 chip bag makers figure this out? I don’t for a second believe that Dorito, or Lay’s or Snyder’s or [insert in your favorite bagged treat here], didn’t know that this was an issue.

Why didn’t they make this change?

Maybe this is the continuation of the design-sensitive customer, or the fact that Target has a history of implementing innovative design that is customer-centric. Either way I applaud the person who pushed this change through, and I look forward to what else comes down the pipe.

Have a great day everyone.


sushi design


This past weekend a friend and I went to downtown Knoxville for a concert. On our way we decided we’d have dinner downtown; I’m becoming a lover of sushi, so we headed to a great little place called nama. Excellent atmosphere, great food, great service, overall a wonderful time. I’d highly recommend it. When you go I suggest asking your waitress about specials that aren’t on the menu. We had two of the fore-mentioned specials and they were fabulous. This isn’t about the food though, this is about design.

So on our way out I grabbed a business card so I could put the number into my phone for future reference. When I got back to the house to put it in I noticed that the front of the card is fairly normal looking.


A pretty clean trendy design. When I flipped the card over to put in in my drawer I noticed that the graphic continued to the back side, creating chopsticks holding a fish. Now I find that ingenious. Sure it’s just a little design kick, but it’s the attention to detail that I find intriguing.


Which reminds me of an e-newsletter last week from a local design group, Hornsby Brand Design, who incidentally does great work. In the newsletter they quoted an interview Tom Peters did for Corporate Design Foundation’s @ Issue magazine (Vol. 6, No. 1). He had great stuff to say, but the line that struck me the most was the following.

“I think 99% of us appreciate design on a personal level. Why else do we agonize over what color car to buy and what style reflects who we are?” he said. “But we turn it off when we come to the office…Pay attention to stuff that turns you on or turns you off–and don’t worry about why. You’ll begin to find that your preferences go from the deep soul aesthetic stuff to ‘usability’ features.”

Essentially, we all care about design when it’s “Me, Inc.” that will be represented, but we stop when it’s our company brand that is on the table. Personal preferences matter, because without them we develop brands without preferences. Which makes it like sushi rice. Sushi rice has pretty much no taste, but when you add the various meats, sauces, garnishes, ginger and wasabi it comes to life.

I know I need to be more diligent in this application in my own life.

What about you?

Have a great day everyone.

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