Design Wishes for 2010 and beyond

well said. put another way, rock star or not, as an advocate of design (or designer in general, though one does not necessarily mean the other), no matter your position, it is up to you to decide how you use your design powers…for good or evil, to promote yourself, or promote design or the brand in general. at any level (pretty much) we all have a degree of influence and I’m all for using that to push good design as much as possible. As Yo also mentioned, notoriety or business power can also be used for the same good ends. It’s not one or the other. If someone could become the design Bono and be a design-rockstar and design advocate, why not? Jonny Ives pretty much fits that mold, no?



great topic

Personally, I’d like to finally see democratic design rear its beautiful face. It is a possibility, I’m sure of it. Now is the perfect time. The work of Project H is a prime example of its possibility. Democratic design can be a useful tool for the whole world. Why try to bomb people into believing in democracy when we could simply design with them. If a bully is left out of the action they will come to their senses and want a part of the cake. they will have to learn the value of sharing.

Since there is a wide spread lack of respect for bankers, big-business and politicians, I’d like to see design, designers, crafts people, artists, manufacturers, whom ever, to use the technological resources that we have to pursue good design to be sold to local markets or even global ones. Money out of the pockets of the few would remove the bullshit that goes with overly big corporations. It would encourage innovation. The innovations that we need, sustainable innovations. It could enforce a skilled work force, it could control the growth of industrialising countries. It could create sustainable economies basing its function for the needs of people rather than the wants of marketers.

Everyone wants an iPod. Completely understandable. I think they are marvelous. Who doesn’t. But the amount of products I have consumed that have pissed me off so much that I have had to force myself to upgrade is immoral. We can do better than this. For a complete profession to move away from what it knows would be suicide. I know. I only want to see a few more examples of such systems in place that are powerful enough to challenge big business. To over throw the notion that people are part of a hierarchy that we don’t talk about.

Design could prove its worth and its value to business. We live in the age of self promotion on an international stage. is an example of this. I am hoping such communities will grow in a sustainable and democratic manner. Mankind now has the resources to not have to trust the blind faith of religion or political manifestos of the past centuries. A decade in, there is no reason why we shouldn’t utilise these resources to the best of our advantage. I have no political belief. I do know however that money is power. Money is in the hands of a few. Democracy and capitalism can be worked for the people by the people at little risk of political over throw, terrorism or economical downfall. Design has an important part to play in this. Democracy was worth fighting for. It still is.

My main hope, once I graduate, would be to get a job.

Wow… Above is a mouth full, but I can say that I do agree with most of what you are saying. I think that this year is especially a big chance for design to raise and show the world what we can do to solve most of the problems that we face. As IDers that what we do, solve problems, right???

To the comments around corporate, I think it goes much further that just us as designers. As corporate designers we face many challenges. We need to be innovative, consider the identity and directions of our brand, constant cost constraints, and most of all deal with political BS and personal opinion with other functions with in the business. This can take a toll on a designer and I think the comment around corporate design being bland comes from these constraints. I find myself constantly try to prove why design can help marketing, sales, or even finance’s goals. It seems as if they think that they know the answers and we are just there to give suggestions that they may or may not take. I can see how this may cause a corporate designer to finally break down and just give marketing what they want. This is not the right answer though.

My wish for 2010 is to try to change this style of thinking. This is actually on my objectives at work that is how committed I am to it. I am so tired of designing a package, presenting it to marketing, hand it off to engineering only to find out that marketing has made a change that makes no sense and ruins the design. And if I have to hear the word “Busy” one more time I am going to go crazy!!! What is it that we have to do to close the gap between marketing and us? We all have these thoughts and discussions and we all have these problems. How do we solve it? Is it a problem in their education? Is it a problem in ours?

I will get off my rant now. This may be an issue that may need to go to a new discussion, but is one that I think we should think about in the New Year. We have struggled with this for a while we need to fix it!!

Edit: I am sorry I don’t normally pull stuff off the home page and critique it, but this is exactly what 6ix was referring too. Why do we give these guys that make products, branding, packages, ect… recognition when we know the product is crap and would never be produced. What the hell is this? A cell phone you pour you Coke in? Really??? Are we serious here?? I know it runs of the power generated from the soda, but still…Seriously??? I would love to see more real world design education on the front page. I know I point coke out all the time, but they had a phenomenal year when it came to branding and did it with minimal interruption. That to me should be on the homepage for packaging excellence, not some cell phone I can pour my coke into.

I would like to point this out to ask the question if we are really portraying real decent ID, or even further than ID sense we have ventured into branding and packaging, graphic design, shouldn’t we portray real examples of what is working in the market. I also want to point out that our readers are expanding. Packaging and Branding used to be thought of as a 2D guys job, but now it has expanded into us, which means our readers have expanded. This means that we need to expand and invite more into the loop.

I had to post a this article. I put a link earlier in the post, but I thought I would just through it up here. This agrees with everything from above and uses Coke as an example. I think you all know how much I love coke.

Turner Duckworth’s work for Coca Cola deserves every accolade it receives. Just recently it picked up a Benchmark Best of Show Award to go with its Yellow Pencils, Cannes Grand Prix for Design and many others.

It is a great visual identity system and a superb example of how creative and clever design for mass market products can be, if you try really, really hard. It’s brave and it’s beautiful, which are not words one readily associates with multinational corporations.

But perhaps the most remarkable thing about it is that it has won so many awards despite inhabiting territory that turns many judges off. Mass market products rarely make it to the shortlist of some of the most prestigious awards let alone the winners’ podium and it is not because they are not good enough.

I’ve judged all sorts of awards and time and time again design for mainstream brands gets overlooked in favour of tiny, boutique brands. The sheer number of entries that one normally has to get through means that each candidate has about seven seconds to impress you, so naturally the more shocking executions make the greatest impressions that’s just human nature.

And it is easier to create radical designs for new brands because you start from a blank sheet of paper with no brand heritage to protect and evolve and no loyal consumers to retain. Also start-ups and boutique brands tend to be small companies who are better able to take riskier decisions their brands have to make a massive noise through packaging because they can’t afford to market themselves in any other way.

I love the weird and wonderful, but I am also passionate about mainstream, mass market, every day brands. It is harder to sell extreme designs to them; not because they lack courage or are weighed down by process but because those sorts of designs are often inappropriate for the product. There is a great deal of creativity in the mass market arena and one doesn’t have to be satisfied with a little tweak here and a slight change, there as Turner Duckworth has demonstrated so well.

I can’t help feeling that many judging panels look down their collective noses at mass market packaging ­ that it is dull be default and sometimes overlook good, creative solutions in the process.

The Coca Cola identity is a lesson to us all: it should inspire designers and design judges alike.

I agree with the posts above. The vast majority of the work posted, isn’t about problem solving or improving on things, it’s all about variations, one offs and mostly gimmicks. The problem is, this seems to be the stuff that’s seen as cool/desireable and it’s the easiest thing to do. I find it much harder to make problem solving based products than I would to make a table with cast human legs (something I saw recently). Doing design gimmicks is easier, much quicker and is more easy for a viewer to instantly get in 1 photo, than trying to show how clever a new medical product is. Everyone needs a table, not everyone needs or wants to see the design improvements made to a key hole surgical instrument. So I imagine the submissions Core gets will be largely in favour of one offs etc as just more people are doing it. I do feel that Core, as one of the oldest design blogs on the internet, should champion more problem solving/need based design.

I’m also aware, that many small companies (possibly just making tables) really rely on core and other design blogs as part of their marketing/business. So I still think one off/gimmick design should be posted, but I think more questions should be asked about each design (not just - does it look cool) as currently IMHO there is an imbalance.

Hell yeah!

Is Core77 an industrial design site or art? Seems more like art since that’s primarily what they do articles on.

For 2010, I’d like to see more emphasis on designers making a change in the corporate world. I know that’s seen as the boring part of industrial design, but that’s where the money comes from. This whole “design can change the world” mantra is ridiculous in my opinion. We can make a small difference in how we develop new products, but the end result is still producing products that will inevitably end up in a land-fill somewhere. Sad, but true. We are no different than engineers or people working hourly in front of a 500-ton injection-mold machine. We simply design the product that is mass-produced.

Now that said, I think there is serious room for improvement, but however much the designer struggles to create something that is more environmentally friendly, they still have to get it past the bean-counters and upper-management. That’s nearly impossible during this particular economic climate. Everyone is struggling and unfortunately, protecting the environment is only a marketing pitch, not an actual course of action. I have some pretty somber examples of this but can’t go into details because of contractual issues.

It’s really sad but we have to get it through our lofty heads that industrial designers are simply a part of the equation and not necessarily the solution. Sure, we are there to produce solutions to problems but more often are there to simply to develop a new design. A new design that is better in some shape or form that than the predecessor. Sometimes, that’s not saying much.

In 2010, I’d like to see more emphasis on promoting the products that corporate designers come up with. These one-off companies can pretty much create anything they think of with little regard to how much it will sell, to how well it fits on store shelves, to how the sales person interacts with it, etc. With a corporate design, there are so many challenges set in front of them to get past before the first pencil sketch is even drawn up. Corporate design is full of road-blocks that one must pass or simply react with. That’s the nature of the challenge and for me, is one of great triumph when something does go against the grain and become successful in the marketplace.

This is going so OT, but good conversations. I think the discussion forums are a great counter balance, I’m I’m super proud of how you all have fired up the level of conversation in here, from cradle to grave macro design approaches to speccing a mold texture. Sometimes great design is that provocative art one off, sometimes its that s3xy sketch, and sometime it getting a draft angle just right.

On the forums we’re not afraid to get down into the nitty gritty and I love that. We are also not afraid to disagree and argue out a point or play devil’s advocate. I love that. It’s also a more democratic way to share and share alike, instead of the one way channel of a magazine, or even the two way channel of a blog with comments, this is going every which way and a student can argue against a vet, and everyone in between.

My wish for 2010? That we keep this going! (like how I brought that back around?)

yep, we are OT, but that’s Ok. I was hoping to stimulate some sort of discussion, so the original intent is still there;)

Personally, I’m not sure I get all this hate to the concept work in general presented on Core or elsewhere. Yes, some of it is ridiculous, and ill-informed or thought out, but a good deal of it seems like the kind of stuff (as previously mentioned) we should see more of, not less. better yet, I see more “concept” products that I want then real ones and often find a concept on a site like this or Notcot that I think is real and would be ready to buy, only to find it only exists as a render or one -off project.

To me, all the backlash here for the most part sounds like sour grapes from designers that doing boring stuff all day long. I’m not saying that good design isn’t about the detailing, production know-how or mold-flow analysis or CBD, but in the end, those should be the factors that “make it real”, and not define design.

Put it this way - is the Noke/Coke concept a bit out there. ya, sure. But still in the form and thinking is far more attractive to me and representative of ID (problem solving, new ideas, etc.) than anything Nokia actually has. And Nokia is one of the better companies for design.

as an example, I googled coffee maker concept and coffee maker. below are the first google image hits for both. which do you think is better ID? neither are the best or worst of their category, which is why i picked the first result as an example.

(noting also that the coffee maker below is actually not as terrible as I would expect from everything I’ve lately seen).

Point being, is that design should be about new thinking and problem solving. But also emotion, excitement and “wow”. Not enough “real ID” has those, IMHO, so I think looking at fluff concepts has it’s place. I don’t see why ID has to be so drab and relegated to “making stuff work, produced, etc”. surely there is also room for some fun and s3xy stuff? From the backlash here it would seem that ID is no more than engineering a product to bring to market on time, at reasonable quality and costs with decent enough function… i would hope for more… speaking to 6ix’s piont that we are no different than engineers or people working an injection molding machine, i have to disagree. we should be more. we should be the link between what people want (desire) and what they can get. the cog in the wheel thinking brings us back 100years in design, IMHO.

If, as designers, we can’t be our our advocates and cheerleaders, who do we expect to do it for us? Corporate design is no more prescribed for blandness than anything else. We need more “wow” + reality, not reality - “wow”!


More “Chief Design Officers.”

Agreed! Big time. I didn’t comment on it, but I like the Noke/Coke phone. I thought it was pretty good. I was more pointing to the “craft” side that seems to be getting a bit more of a highlight (as in the $950 box in the furniture section). The concept coffee maker vs coffee maker google search is a nice exercise!


“Experience Design” to become less obtuse and more self evident. All these “Experience Design” projects I immediately thought were crap, but I’m usually wrong, so instead thought OK, lets see what they mean and what becomes of the implementation. Well, I was right, they’re crap. Hey did you see the blog post about that cool new “Experience Design” project? They designed something no one understood, no one needed and no one funded.

Design history should become more appreciated, or certainly more researched. Recently I was enjoying reading history of illustrators. An odd profession, not quite artists, not quite designers. Looking at #KAKEKSLOT Daftar Slot Gacor Gampang Maxwin Anti Rungkat the illustration style seemed quite designerish. Scroll down and it turns out unemployed illustrator turned to industrial design of RCA televisions including clear enclosures, in 1939! Apple starts same trend in early 1990’s, 50 years later.

Please do renderings using other than white background with pale grey shadow.

Saves on ink when printing, I know that’s why I started that style when I first redid my portfolio in 02 and was printing it myself on an epson 1280. It was strictly cost-cutting. I guess it’s unnecessary if you’re staying in the all digital realm.

That will be a tough one to change. It’s been the norm for decades, stemming from photography.

It’s also easier to update your portfolio if all your images transition to pure white around the edges. I’ve now gone away with this with more gradients, but since I do the gradients in InDesign it’s still just as easy.