The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Good Commercial Design Is Never Just About Asthetics …
November 17, 2009, 6:41 am
Filed under: Comment

As many of you know, my wife is a designer.

However, unlike many people who have this title – her skills go way beyond sitting in front of an Apple Mac.

Over the years she’s done [and still does] all manner of projects/inventions – from corporate, product, digital and packaging design through to the creation of kids wallpaper that changes colour dependent on the pressure applied to it [ie: kids can ‘vandalise their room’ with hand crafted graffiti and yet still appear little angels to their parents because it all returns to normal within a few minutes] and her current area of interest, cakes.

Yes, each one of those roses was hand created by Jill and all are edible!

The thing is, Jill has always banged on that good commercial design solves problems and given she’s created a whole host of tangible stuff – I would say she is more successful at this than many in adland who despite all the claims, can generally think only 30” film segments and/or double page spreads are necessary.

Anyway the reason I bring this up is that I recently got sent something I think is brilliant for a whole bunch of reasons.

Not only is it a great bit of industrial design but it came about because someone recognised that something we all take for granted had business implications on a whole host of industries so not only have they been able to develop a practical solution that could save companies money in a whole host of areas, but it also has the potential to make the ‘design inventor’ a bloody fortune.

Ladies and gentlemen … boys and girls … see how sometimes, reinventing the wheel is not indulgent, but can be powerful, profitable and game changing.

How good is that eh?

The thing is, whilst an industrial designer found a solution, the identification of the problem was there for us all to see – so if adland [and planners] really want to live up to the intelligence we bestow upon ourselves, maybe it’s time we started opening our eyes to problems beyond the marketing and solutions beyond the advertising.

41 Comments so far
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plug is fucking cool but the overriding question i have after reading this and seeing your wifes latest bit of handiwork is why the fuck did a smart, talented woman like that marry a twat like you.

the usual i presume. you drugged her because it sure as shit isnt money, gin or a big cock.

amazing what women can do. plugs that are ingenious and overlooking your faults. so 50% einstein 50% forrest fucking gump.

Comment by andy@cynic

I agree with you Andy … but seeing you have managed to get quite a few smart and talented women* to agree to commit their lives to you**, maybe it’s you we should be asking about your ‘trapping skills’ – it can’t all be because you’re rich can it? 🙂

Now back to the plug – cool isn’t it – while everyone is trying to invent the “next big thing”, there’s a bunch of clever and talented people coming up with ideas to either enhance or create something we all take for granted even though if they were then taken away, we’d fall on our knees and wonder how the hell we’re going to survive without them.

As I’ve said a trillion times, in many cases it’s the little things that make the biggest difference – even if they might not get all the headlines. At least initially.

* Excluding #1 who we all know was a bitch.
** Well they said it, even if they didn’t do it.

Comment by Rob

Making a better product you mean? Revolutionary thinking.

(In case you didnt know the plug was an RCA graduation piece – made by someone with different eyes to the problem – i.e someone who didnt grow up in the UK).

Comment by John

And product is the first P of marketing.

Comment by John

Revolutionary thinking?

Maybe not … but it is reveolutionary evolution thinking because no other bastard has done it when the issues [both practical & business] have been around for decades.

And of course you know how the UK plug came about – you were around when electricity was invented!

PS: I’m agreeing with you John, everything starts with product – now if only all companies felt the same way, ha!

Comment by Rob

Show off.

Comment by Niko

Who are you calling a show off? Mr M or Jill … because let’s face it, there’s nothing I’ve said or done that could draw out that response, ha!

Comment by Rob

thank fuck for that. and in typical form, the australian 3-pin plug is unable to be revolutionised. grand.

Comment by lauren

Could Jill please design a baby suit with press studs that actually work please?

Comment by northern

God Lauren you are soooooooooooooooo right. I fucking hate those 3 weird shaped prongs, so bloody crap. I wonder if they designed it that way so they could seperate themselves from all things ‘English’.

Don’t laugh, it happened with American horse racing where they made the poor beasts run in the opposite direction to the British system as a signal of ‘difference’.

And look at Daddy Northern – how sweet is that – I’d get the wife on to it immediately but I don’t want to raise my Mothers hopes shes going to become a Granny.

Now when are you going to write about Daddyhood? How it’s changed your views on stuff [or hasn’t it?], how you feel, emotions – come on, do it.

Comment by Rob

Factual correction no 100077788888,
British horse racing takes place both clockwise and counterclockwise and, on some courses, in straight lines.

Comment by John

Historical correction …

Whilst horses run both clockwise and counter clockwise in England [as well as in Europe, Australia & Hong Kong] this was not always the case … in fact the reason horses in many American tracks still run anti-clockwise is because it represented the opposite to the UK system.

The decision to do this dates back to the American Revolution era. The very first circular US race track was established bu William Whitney in 1780, close to his home in Lincoln County Ky. Whiney was such a great supporter of the American revolution that he insisted that horses race counterclockwise as opposed to the clockwise system that was then prevalent in England.

Not all American tracks began running races counterclockwise and now it is not a set direction in either country … however the direction of horse racing in old American times does come from a desire to be openly different from their English frenemies, so your ‘factual’ correction is not so factual – or should I say, not acknowledging certain historical information.

Thank you.

Comment by Rob

Pedantic correction:

Chester racetrack is the oldest racetrack in the uk and races runs anticlockwise.

“The first recorded race at the ‘Roodee Fields’ was held on February 9th 1539, in the reign of Henry the Eighth, with the consent of Chester’s Lord Mayor, Henry Gee (whose surname gave rise to the ‘gee-gees’ nick name for racehorses). Until 1609, there was an annual race on Shrove Tuesday, thereafter the race was held on St George’s Day (23 April). The Chester Goldsmith Company supplied a silver bell and in 1744 a gold cup was awarded annually by the Grosvenor family.”

Comment by John

Believe it or not – maybe, just maybe Willian Whitney based it on another racecourse OR even more SHOCK, HORROR, PROBE … maybe Chester used to run their races clockwise and changed sometime since 1539.

And no, I won’t believe you were there to see it. I believe you were old enough, but I doubt you were there – not enough young ladies I presume. 🙂

Comment by Rob

what a very fucking interesting argument. i have a view id like to be considered in the debate. who the fuck gives a fuck

Comment by andy@cynic

Best thing you ever said. Get George, I’m fed up of waiting.

Comment by Rob

Well tell him to hurry up – if only to stop Doddsy sending me emails about how every British horse track operates and conveniently forgetting that just because they run that way now – it doesn’t mean they always have.

Oh god, what have I done. 🙂

Comment by Rob

i wonder why dodds is single.

auntie is here now lets get on with the fucking thing

Comment by andy@cynic

hes doing marys washing

Comment by andy@cynic

Where did I come into it? I hadn’t even read this post and I’m possibly being labelled a show off!!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Typical response.

Comment by niko


Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’ve finally worked out what Mr M and Niko were going on about … and even then I had to get Niko to tell me [my eyes are screwed] so I’d like to go on record and say I made a typo and that it should have read “Mr Dodds and Jill” not “Mr M and Jill”.

Apologies to all that got hurt – I’d be upset if I was mistaken for Doddsy too.

Comment by Rob

You didnt want to overexcite Jill.

Comment by John

impossible campbell will over excite anyone, especially his wife.

Comment by andy@cynic

Wasn’t that what #1 and #2 said in their court papers Andy?

Now stop buggering about, can you get on the VC, it’s late on my side of the planet and I want to go to sleep.

Comment by Rob

I don’t know which of us should be more offended Dodsy…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

those roses look very real. and tasty 🙂

about time someone invented that folding plug. i was always wondering about those huge british ones. and why they were for no reason so huge in the first place… apart from that, it almost pains me to say it, but i think it was not a woman who designed the foldable plug.

Comment by peggy

Trust me Mr M, it’s you! 🙂

Comment by Rob

this is one funny thread lol

Comment by peggy

Better in the ol’ days Peggy … but then wasn’t everything, ha!

Comment by Rob

thank goodness you added that last bit. or i would be worried… being old and everything 🙂

Comment by peggy

how’s about all of you apologize to me anyone?

I was the saint on earth who made sure this (intentional?) mess got sorted.

one of these days… 🙂

Comment by niko

see, i am so upset i make grammar cock ups..

all this racetrack talk makes me wanna gamble.

going to calm my nerves at Holland Casino.

Comment by niko

You are a Saint.

Funny you’re talking about gambling Niko – I’m off to gamble HQ this week!

Comment by Rob

Mountain View? 🙂

they are the evil house who rigged the stakes..

Comment by niko


Comment by Rob Mortimer

Fuck the plug.
Jill is Brill.
Is she setting up shop in Hong Kong?
We’ll renew our wedding vows if she does… just so we can order a cake.
I do want the Red Hot Chili Peppers on top though.
Give her a big wet kiss.

Comment by truuskie

lesbian action. finally this blog gets interesting.

truuski is a womans name isnt it? a fucking weird, european name?

Comment by andy@cynic

I would put money on it being Dutch. Home of the original emanuelle and other delights deemed illigal by puritans..

Though the ie on the end suggest Afrikaner ties..which again is Dutch by relation, home of the original…

Comment by Niko

Truus(kie) is about as weird in Holland as Madge in England and Sheila down under. Ta.

Comment by truuskie

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