R&R: What Should Food Look Like?

By Erika Goering,

  Filed under: KCAI, Read&Respond, VisLang
  Comments: Comments Off

Response to http://observersroom.designobserver.com/alexandralange/entry.html?entry=24298

I love the idea of packaging influencing and attracting certain people to use (or not use) a product. That’s one of the great things about design. We can’t read minds but we sure as hell can persuade them. That’s why I think every designer should take a few psychology classes. Get inside the human mind. Learn to manipulate it.

…But enough about that.

Food packaging in particular is a means to strategically create a very specific mood for the customer. If I use a rounded slab-serif instead of something monospaced and typewriter-esque, what does that make the customer think or feel about the product? Is one more classy than the other? Is one more friendly? Does it convey a sense of value or frugality? Does it look too posh for the audience to the point where they won’t go near it because it’s probably too expensive? Should they just stick to the yellow store-brand?

Great design can be off-putting to the wrong audience. If it looks too generic, people will see it as a lower-quality product and might walk right past it. And if it’s too fancy, the majority of the audience might just ignore it because they’ll feel it’s out of their price range.

Appealing to a wide, diverse audience is a difficult, but important task. The key is to target the majority of people without creating a mediocre, generic design. And that’s why package design requires such a tactful outlook.

And that’s my challenge for this project.


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