Kneejerk Design

Designers love to change things. And that’s not always a good thing.

The latest trend in website and app typography is Arial Light, all mashed together. (See left, below.)


Many websites have adopted the mashed-together type. Google (right) has not.

The very simple moral of the story is that if something works well, don’t change it just to be like everyone else.


A Nice Move

Walgreen's Nice package designsWalgreen’s made some awesome changes to their snack packages. They went for a basic simple look, and added a bit of humor.

1. The actual product is visible through a window.

2. The window relates to the slogan – like for the gum drops, it’s: “A downpour of sweetness,” and the window is an umbrella.

3. The name itself is great: “Nice.” How can you not have warm feelings toward a product that is nice? And “nice” is a mild claim, not like, “Awesome.”

4. The package design and name are so clean that I thought the products were healthy. I was surprised to read that they are just the normal products, repackaged.


Design Study

Study of icon designSpotify changed their icons recently (a). Immediately, I thought of Adobe’s CS Suite (b and c). Adobe for many years has used icons similar to Spotify’s. And Adobe probably got their inspiration from Pantone (d).

Spotify didn’t go far enough. I would propose version (e). Notice how the category name stands out more. Notice how it becomes a different thing than just a square.

This applies to you, non-designers. If you’re going to create something, push it far enough away from your source of inspiration that it becomes a new idea.