Good Design Vs. Modern Design

We hear a lot about modern design kind of swooping in and making everything better. Lots of people swoon over the aesthetic that stores like Target put forth and how, by merely simplifying labels have made the world a better place. Seems like we can all get behind something like that, right?

I don’t really think that’s true. In fact, I think it’s kind of a dangerous way of thought.

Good design is really about solving problems in an elegant manner. Sure readability is a big problem and it’s certainly been solved in the package above. These bacon-wrapped pork fillets easily conveys what the product is. You have  a prominent name as well as a big picture just in case there are any doubts, but legibility is not the real problem.

The real problem is how do I get people to buy my product instead of the sea of competitors?

To do that, you have to have something unique that a customer can get behind, like Chuck Wagon bacon, here.  Chuck wagon wins because they tell a story with their work. They are the bacon of the old west: tell no lies, work hard west. The package is approachable and a bit playful. Bacon is not serious, it’s an adventure, like what your dad used to watch. They’re not afraid to tell you where they’re from, either.

Aside from the fact that we’re selling two slightly different pork products, which would you choose? You’re probably leaning towards the bacon. It’s story draws you and even though you may like those cleanly delineated messaging spaces of the filets, the modern feels a bit sparse and honestly, a bit generic.

Obviously, there can be arguments for the clean modern look, especially if you can attach some bit of allegory to it. I am a big fan, but it must solve the problem rather than an aesthetic.

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