May 16

Why we need more common sense and time for analysis

Posted by Wallentin in Uncategorized

Today, we do not take enough time to analyse communication, as we are too preoccupied with the execution of a project. Furthermore, we favour guidelines, best practice and rules to the profound analysis which obviously demands more from us.

Thus, we design labels as the one below that I picked up in a hotel in Atlanta. When you, still a bit sleepy, arrive to the breakfast buffet, common sense tells you that the key information you need when you choose your teabag is the denomination of the tea. But to find this text on this label, you must be very awake!

No doubt the design is elegant, well balanced, I’d even say beautiful! It is what I call a ‘designer’s label’ and certainly not a ‘consumer label’.

Why does this happen? And it happens daily in the design world. Because most designers are usually more preoccupied with execution than communication.

When I think of it… to replace “Tea & Company” with “Black tea” would be very easy, still maintaining the elegant layout. I most likely cannot change the illegible USDA stamp, as US legislation is very strict and does not allow certain information to be on the back where they belong. Marketing blah-blah like “Emperor’s Breakfast”, “(Reserve Lot)” and “Caffeine” do belong to the back where it can be explained why the tea is so great that it can be called “Emperor’s Breakfast”.

What would be more appreciated on the front would be to tell the consumer that it is a mix of Assam, Darjeeling and Yunnan, words that most tea drinkers understand!

This was just one example I use when I teach communication. Those of you who have heard me know that I have many others up my sleeve!

LW/April 2018

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