Designing With Purpose
One belief we’ve always held close to our heart at Caffeine is that design must not only look good, but primarily it must, no—let’s word that in a stronger term—it absolutely must have… purpose. Without purpose, design becomes art. And let’s face it, that’s not what businesses generally want to pay for, the reality is they want to further their brand and make money. So, what happens when a piece seems to not have any purpose?
Recently I’d decided to swear off low cost t-shirts. They never last and feel cheap when you wear them. I wasn’t ready to pay Reiss prices (though their T-shirts have a lovely quality feel to them), instead I settled on a couple of t-shirts from Fat Face. The material was soft, 100% organically grown (and if they wash like previous purchases) will last a good time without shrinking or getting out of shape. Plus, they were a good price/value balance—I hope…
One of the obligatory swing tags on the garment was styled in the pretty standard FatFace way and told me a useful piece of information, that the piece was made from 100% organically grown cotton.
However, the Other Tag…
Posing as a quality control tag, this piece of ‘design’ carried the price and bar code, along with their URL, and confirmation of British Design. All fine so far, but in an effort to apply a style to it, they decided to pretend it was a quality control document.
Included were faux titles like: Division, Lot#, Date, Inspection by, Style and so forth. And then next to those headings: made up codes, abbreviations and dates. Certainly nothing that was actually relevant to a quality control tag.
OK, so we all know this for what it is, and does it actually matter? Possibly not. But what it was, was a wasted opportunity to bring their brand to life and to engender some feelings that had some depth. This tag, was instead, shallow and ultimately pointless (take a look at the images and see what you think). So, what would we do…
To start, we’d look at the cost of the tag and decide what we’d need to put on that tag to justify its existence and its cost on the garment.
Then, we’d think about what goal or purpose we’d like the tag to have, and that doesn’t have to be anything more than simple branding of course. But surely, the tag could reinforce the brand and bring something of use to the consumer. For example, we could add something of value that the brand would like to get across to the consumer. We could use the space to make the consumer feel something, to make them believe they have bought a carefully constructed garment perhaps. Or suggest ways for them to engage with the brand though social media. By talking to your customers in this way you are creating valuable touch points.
I know what Fat Face have tried to achieve here is to communicate some element of the brand value (the vintage vibe that engenders a feeling of quality and trust), but instead they’ve come off looking a little shallow and low-end really. High street brands really need to be thinking of how they are going to fight against the online retailer, and I’m not sure using design in this way will help anyone.
It’s a shame as these are not the values I would automatically ascribe to Fat Face.
Caffeine Creative are based just outside Cardiff in the small town of Penarth. We have been crafting purposeful design for over 6 years. Our background in marketing and sales brings a very purposeful edge to our design. If you’d like to know how we can help you, just email or call us today.
Once upon a time a very straight-talking individual decided he wanted all the interiors of his planes to be very ‘on-brand’.
Welcome to a new series where we pour out our somewhat obsessive overreaction to small-but-hugely-irritating design decisions.
In this post I just simply wanted to share something that made me go 'wow!' check out these beautiful surrealistic pieces by Luisa Azevedo.
Are we too depenendant on our devices? Are we just 'digital zombies' constantly glued to our phones?
When discussion with friends turns to books, when I let people know that I enjoy sci-fi novels, I get a certain look...
Designing With Purpose
One belief we’ve always held close to our heart at Caffeine is that design must not only look good, it absolutely must have purpose.
Look Big - Quick Look...
The beautiful illustration work by Jeff Östberg really caught my eye and make this a lovely book to flip through.
Can you remember the values your business settled on? Are they really a part of your daily life in work?
Animals of the North
A quick post to show off the lovely illustrations in the book, Wild Animals of the North.
A quick post for you today showing you some amazing photographs from the German photographer Lucas Zimmermann.
Case Study: Barnardo's
A third sector organisation that needs no introduction came to us frustrated at their existing external designer.
Case Study: Acuity Law
Acuity Law is a dynamic law company, with a modern organisational structure and an agile, fluid team-centric model.
Case Study: Firing Line
Firing Line are a regimental museum that pride themselves on engaging storytelling though their exhibits and artefacts.
Our New Site
Typically, and this is probably true for many businesses, it took us ages to get our own new site launched. But launched it is...
Case Study: Forbes
We were approached to look at reinvigorating the brand as a whole, starting with the main element of the logo and then the supporting parts.
Case Study: FWC
Cardiff based Fabulous Welshcakes asked us to create their full brand and suuporting materials. They are our oldest client...
Utilise our skills and experience to help you stand out and attract business.
The Power of Colour
We are surrounded with colour. Every day our lives are enhanced by the colours of nature around us.
Just My Type
I recently had the pleasure to come across a little gem of a book dedicated to the world of typefaces.
Delicate Paper Flowers
Pretty awesome paper flower creations.
VAT on Print Work
Did you know that VAT is zero on some print items, but not others?
The Designer Says
“I want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares.”
Information Is Beautiful
The Effectiveness of Infographics
Leica M Monochrome
Take a look at this thing of beauty and tell us you don't love the magic and romance of monochrome photography...
What Makes A Designer
What makes a designer a designer? And why can't anyone do it?...
Something to Watch Out for...
So, you’ve decided to do it, or it’s been foisted upon you, or you feel you have to be involved with social media because everyone else is. Now what?
Details, Details, Details
It’s a painting right? Well it take’s a little while to accept it, but it’s actually a hyper-realistic painting by the artist Jason de Graaf.
Fab Free Font
Lovely retro font from Fontfabric
More a Graphic Than Type.
Really? Why do designers think that I want to be seen in this?
Design vs Style
Design & Style. Is There a Difference?