Imperfection is a virtue

Recently we were given a box of chocolates as a present. The outer box looked somewhat neutral. It had no print on top, just a yellow ribbon around the box with a little tag that stated the name of the shop. Box, ribbon and tag told me the average age of the shop’s customers will be something around 50+. The fact that my aunt gave the chocolates as a present to us supports this assumption pretty well.

Box of chocolates
Box of chocolates (Source: own stock)

When I opened the box, I saw the chaos that you can see on the picture above. Far too much of the transparent foil had been used to wrap the chocolates and there was not really an order in the way the chocolates were put in the box. The sweets themselves had little imperfections here and there, not because of bad packaging, but because they were obviously hand made.

What happened to me as a customer? At first, I was disappointed by the loads of foil and the chaotic presentation of the chocolates – it was feeling cheap. But this impression lasted only for some seconds until I took the first chocolate out, saw that they were hand-made and tasted them. At that moment, the pieces fell together: small shop, probably existing for decades, hand-made sweets, true craftsmanship and a little imperfection here and there that show that this is authentic and not designed for perfection until it hurts.

My take-away from this: Too much perfection can lead to an uninspiring experience for the customer. Experiences should stay authentic and be proud of their little imperfections.


(Image source: own stock)

Packaging design with a laugh

The last time I had to grin about a packaging design was at the Kindle’s  barcode with the person reading below a tree. This time I was not really expecting something special when I had bought a new shaver. I should have been warned, because it was a Philips product. One of the few product companies that is offering their design services also to external clients: Philips Design.

Moustache Barcode
Moustache barcode on the packaging

OK, I had unpacked the shaver and was on the way to flatten the cardboard packaging and throw it away. There I saw the nice barcode on the bottom that had just the right amount of humor to provoke a good laugh while keeping up the high value perception that the product and packaging quality suggested when buying and unpacking it. Getting ready for my first Movember this year!

(Image by: jpmartineau)