Sarah's post earlier this week on the Starbucks redesign got me thinking: when is less more, and when is less just less? The folks at Antrepo, a design consultancy with a minimal approach, put that subject to the test with a recent project. Antrepo took ten existing package designs and reduced them in stages down to the bare essentials. On some products, the result is a cleaner, and has a more expensive look than the original. For example, I would definitely spend forty cents more on the new Schweppes bottle (just think of the mark-up on an Izze). On others, I can't help but feel they are stripped down to the point that actually begin to look cheap, like a bargain brand (Nutella). While only a hypothetical, it raises some interesting questions about our supermarkets' visual clutter, and how product designers may be able to cut through the noise with a cleaner, more focused design— if done well.
Of course, you could always go this route, and relabel everything with the DHARMA brand. It's definitely cleaner (and no, I am not going to stop blogging about LOST just because the show has ended). ••••