by Stefan Sagmeister
Thinking is difficult. It takes up lots of energy. Our brain came up with short cuts allowing it to make decisions fast, without having to exert itself. Beauty is such a shortcut, making it possible for us to decide between multiple offerings in an efficient manner.
So the fact that beauty is not the stated goal of any packaging design company I know off is baffling. As all of us make dozens of these fast choices in the supermarket everyday, you would think that taking advantage of this shortcut would be paramount.
Right now, in most supermarkets anywhere, the choices are between one functionally designed orange juice box and many others like it, with the design criteria including juicy, and fresh but clearly neglecting beauty.
Most reasonable people would describe the visual world of the supermarket as not beautiful.
It follows that if a client asks me “why have you designed it this way?” the answer “because its more beautiful” would be a perfectly viable one. It will work better better, i.e. sell more units, if it is more beautiful. Beauty should be in the interest of any brand trying to take advantage of the brain’s shortcuts and maximize sales.