Design Safari Week 4


I kept my eyes open this week and snapped some designs that caught my eye as well as including a “design” of a building that I’ve always loved.

Rhythm:  I am redoing the powder room in our house and was looking through wallpaper samples this past weekend (which is also a key marker I am becoming my mother).  I came across this one and thought it was awesome–my powder room could feel like a disco or something!  The design virtually vibrates off the page and the contrast between the matte turquoise and the metallic gold creates an interesting textural element as well.  I don’t know if I’m gutsy enough to actually paper the wall with it, but I would feel like a pretty cool person if I did.



Form/Function/Use of Space: Dulles airport, about 30 minutes from Washington, DC.  I’m going to include architecture as design for this example. I love love love this building.  The swooping roof conveys a sense of weightlessness, flight and motion.  One of the best sight lines is pulling up to the departures area (2nd picture below)–the height of the swooping columns above you and how they stretch out in front of you.  For those who live in the DC area, I enjoy how these pictures show just how much Dulles was in the “country” when it was built–notice the lack of parking garages.

Entrance to Main Terminal, 1960's

Color/Dominance: Case of Heineken beer at Costco.  Here I was going about my business in the suburban oasis that is Costco and I was struck by this display as I came upon it.  We are all familiar with the green-bottled Heineken and the red star on its label (see 1st picture below).  The bottle’s green and red (opposites on the color wheel) complement one another.  I liked how the case distilled the brand down to its essence- bottle, name, in its distinctive font, with that rich green and the red star.   The placement of the name along the bottom right of the box-even how it continues onto the side of the box as well as the large red star dominate the box.  I think even if the label and picture were not on the box, a beer drinker could easily tell you which brand was inside.   If I were the designer I would probably even leave the bottle picture off.

Heineken Bottle

All you can drink!

Typography, minimalism: keep calm.  message from the crown.  This coffee mug is a reproduction of a now-famous 1939 poster designed to keep up the morale of the British public after experiencing bombings of its cities in the second World War. The design has been parodied in myriad ways and is now completely over-saturated, but I got it as a gift and seemed like a good message to remember at work.  There is symbolism in the crown at the top of the phrase- literally “this message is coming to you from the palace”.  The stark red and white emphasize the message’s simplicity.

Keep Calm and Carry On





One thought on “Design Safari Week 4

  1. Wow, you are really noticing a lot of design detail- excellent observations.

    And the heck with worrying about being like your Mom (if she is like mine was, she gets much more cool as you age), that wall paper is a fascination looking pattern; I see a honeycomb structure, peace signs, and 3D cubes. Go for it.

    And what great detail to notice in the colors of the Heineken packaging. That is all deliberate design! The wrapping of the text thinking of how it will look i different stacking modes demonstrates that Sense of Wonder in Kelli Anderson’s video

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