The facial features of a product are important in creating its brand.
There's the pedestrian design problems of making a product look a little better, and some people are concerned with that, but that's not what gets designer Gretchen Anderson out of bed with excitement every morning. What gets her jumping into action, gets her creative juices flowing is the desire to create those moments of greatness in the design of products, to create something new, to push the envelope to create designs that are beyond straightforward or literal.
For example, BMW cars' split grill, which has become the signature of a BMW, originally reflected a structural requirement. So, is form to follow function, or should it be the other way around? It makes no difference as long as the signature facial feature emerges. It is harder to create signature elements in the design of software than it is in the design of physical products.
Gretchen explains that successful facial features are not always arrived at rationally. Leave a little room in your designs for personality!
Gretchen Anderson is a design director at Punchcut. She designs products that are as pleasurable to use as they are powerful in expression. She seeks out those design challenges that ultimately make a positive impact on people's daily lives and environment. With a design philosophy rooted in the belief that a user interface should be seamless and invisible, she has designed a wide variety of products and experiences, including medical devices, casino entertainment, and business productivity tools.
Gretchen graduated with honors from Harvard University. Her experience spans fifteen years. Prior to joining Punchcut, she worked for several Bay Area design consultancies. Her clients include Johnson & Johnson, TurboChef, Microsoft, Virgin Records, and HP. She also enjoys teaching design and research methodologies to fellow designers and business people alike.
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