September 11, 2018

Food for Thought

Japanese Nonsensicality. I was immediately drawn by the design of these Japanese crackers when I opened the box of Japanese goods my sister sent me. The first one says “Lucky Mayo-Curry” and the second one says “Lucky Mayonnaise.” I believe the first character is a giraffe and the second one is a bird. This type of nonsensicality is widely accepted in Japan even within the corporate culture. This would be a hard sell in the US. Even if any designer were to come up with this, it wouldn’t get past her immediate boss, let alone their client.

he problem is that, when something fails, as an American, you are expected to explain yourself. As long as your explanation sounds reasonable, your job would be safe. So, everyone involved in a design project on both sides, the design firm and the client firm, would require a logical explanation for any design BEFORE they approve it.

When Pepsi redesigned their logo, the branding agency created a long document logically explaining what the new logo symbolizes, and in that process, they name-dropped Hindu, Pythagoras, Euclid, Ancient Chinese, Descartes, Mobius, and Le Corbusier. Now, who is going to question their authority? Nobody? Approved!

A design that cannot be logically explained cannot be approved in America, but if you think about it, this process itself is absurd and nonsensical. If logic can guarantee success, why aren’t we hiring scientists to design logos? Whether you can explain your design or not has no bearing on the success of it. We use an explanation as an emotional shield to protect ourselves from the terrifying reality of our own nature, but it’s a mirage, a myth. If a giraffe with a short neck looks good to you, just slap it on

#graphicdesign #logo #packagedesign #branding #japanesesnack #japanesefood #japanesecracker