Design For My Dimes

A couple months ago, I decided it was time to grow up. No, not to get married, have kids, or start a savings account.

Time to learn how to cook.


First on the list: buy fresh fruits, veggies, and proteins.

Next: how the f*ck do I turn on the oven?

After that: grab Band Aids for when I slice off my fingertip. Stupid knife.

So…It’s been a rocky road. (And not the yummy ice cream kind.) But I’m mayyyyybe slowly getting better.

Thing is, once I started buying more groceries, I started paying closer attention to which brands and products would make it into my basket.

For certain things that I’ve been purchasing for a long time (laundry detergent, paper towels, dish soap) I always buy the same brand. Probably because I’ve been buying that brand forever, so my brain automatically tells me to reach for those familiar logos.

But for stuff that I’d never bought – tofu, greek yogurt. olive oil, veggie burgers – grabbing those items from the shelf became a whole new experience. Which brand should I buy? We’re so inundated with choices that I couldn’t even make one. I’d stand in the yogurt aisle, slack-jawed, and probably drooling, with not a clue in the world….

Wait a sec…that one looks cute. I like how the package is shaped. And that shade of blue is super pretty. Congratulations, Muller, you’re coming home with me.

And now for tofu…OMG that one has a little thought bubble informing me that it’s extra firm. You’re extra adorable. And getting tossed into my cart extra quickly.

Finally, I meander over to the olive oil aisle.

Crap, that’s a lot of oil. Hmmm…

Hey, that logo looks nice. It’s green, and has a little plant leaf thingie. Which means it’s healthy. And the name is Simple Truth, which means I can easily trust them! Yep, Simple Truth Olive Oil, you’re the chosen one.

Basically, it all comes down to package & logo design. An aesthetically pleasing layout and color palette will catch my eye and hold my attention.

A solid design can be the difference between me pulling out my debit card, or putting my wallet away. Several months ago, I galloped into the hot sauce store by The Grove, and scanned the endless little bottles for my new spicy mealtime companion.

YUMMINESS. So much yumminess.

YUMMINESS. So much yumminess.

Most of the labels were cartoony and corny, some were plain and boring, some were outstanding, and a few were downright terrible. One particular bottle made me pause – the shoddy label looked like it’d been designed with crayon or colored pencil, the font was nearly impossible to read, and the paper was tearing at the edges. It depressed me.

Think about it – if this company took such little pride in making a first impression on their customers, would they put a lot of effort into the actual hot sauce itself? I’m dubious. Pass. I bought 6 other bottles from brands I’d never heard of, but all of them had beautiful labels.

I’m betting most people don’t even realize how much time and effort actually go into designing packages and logos. There’s a whole psychology behind it. A purpose. It’s the best way to get your product noticed when it’s drowning in a stadium of competition among grocery shelves.

Especially when there’s a sexpot smiling at me, inviting me into his arms.