The latest edition of Communication Arts (offline only) lays out pretty thoroughly the how’s and why’s of design and branding over at everyone’s favorite retail store, Target. It’s clear that the company conciously chose to rise above the fold by speaking clearly and consistently about design. Just take a look at the thought that went into their prescription bottles. Their television spots also uniformly show a deep understanding of co-branding like no one else on the planet. It’s as if their intimate knowledge of the products they sell make you want to experience them the same way on your own.
No doubt, there’s a ton of stuff any designer, or any company wanting to communicate with design for that matter, could learn from the red and white people over in Minneapolis. They are making waves in the design world by demonstrating how good design creates a good customer experience, not to mention good revenue, in a creative class economy.
Some of my favorite quotes from the article include:
- If Target is a good experience for shoppers, it’s even better for designers: for the 300 employees who work in the advertising department and on the design of store-branded and co-branded merchandise, and for the 40 or so design firms and agencies that work with Target.
- Design for All means that the kind of stuff that was once exclusive in the purview of the rich and design-educated is now available to ordinary folk who aren’t yet patrons of the Museum of Modern Art or owners of a Case Study house.
- Design is part of Target’s DNA.
- The message is simple: With Target, my life will be easier, smarter, better. I can look fabulous, ahead of the curve, without spending a fortune. And maybe I should be organizing my closet. Maybe I should have a toothbrush with a better handle.
- Target’s approach is more European. Americans rarely get to experience good design at low price points, [...] but now they are ready for it.
- They really think about design as a verb.
- We did a style guide used by 60 manufacturers around the world. There were 50 different patterns, a color palette, templates for labels and packaging. It was beyond design. It was mission control.