Everyone has heard the adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Some people may even live by this phrase. But for creative people, the task of setting aside face value and looking within to find the true meaning of something can be very difficult. That’s because our job is to create the face value that sparks a user’s interest!
For example, if I’m at the store deciding between three meatless crumble options that I’ve never tried, I tend to gravitate toward the one with the most attractive packaging.
Which of the following would you choose?
For me, the winner is Gardein™ Beefless Ground. I love the modern, clean look, the realistic, simple product shot and the neatly organized nutrition info. Even if I didn’t end up loving it, I’d still appreciate the company’s investment in graphic design and first impressions.
Designers run into these situations all of the time—whether we’re buying food, hair products, wine, cars, books, albums, movies and more, we simply cannot help but judge something based on what it looks like.
It happens to me frequently in the beer aisle. I often like trying something new and the way a beer looks is a major influencer in that decision. Here are some beers I’ve tried based on design alone:
I’ll admit it, the first time I try a beer is HUGELY dedicated to looks. It’s not just limited to the packaging—the first time I tried Duvel was because of the special edition glasses the bar served it in.
Here’s the thing: I don’t hit a homerun every time I try a new product based on looks alone. In fact, I sometimes find myself very disappointed when a product that looks great falls short of my expectations. Here’s an example:
Look at this packaging—how could I not buy it? I love the sleek look, the variable color skews, the logo and the definitive brand name. It was a no-brainer. Minor detail—it’s made out of corn. It turned out that my cat was way more interested in eating the litter instead of using it for the bathroom and it became a major headache, as you can probably imagine.
There are many ups and downs that come with picking products based on design, but it’s all part of the territory that comes with being a creative. We cherish the good and critique the bad, but we keep coming back because we love every facet of a good-looking piece, even when it’s the world’s worst cat litter.
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