How About Design?


People who know me know as well that I am very much into design and beautiful things. If I have the choice between extremely handy and not totally unpractical but stylish I go for the latter.

Having said this you will not be surprised that I recently visited an exhibition “100 Years of Swiss Design”. Of course I saw many items I know the designer or the manufacturer but I discovered something very surprising:

“The best design is the one you don’t know it is design at all. It speaks for itself. – Brigitte Kobi


Certainly you noticed that there are some brands that became synonyms of an entire group of articles. Let’s have a look at some examples.

Book Air Berlin

Are you looking for adhesive tape? If you are a native German speaker you will search for “Tesa” while the Anglo-Saxons will ask for “Scotch”. And you will be looking for Scotch or Tesa even if you are using a no-name product with the same function. Most probably you are not vacuum-cleaning but “hoovering”, although Hoover Inc. seized to exist in 1999.

Not many brands or “brand-less products” make it to the top of the top and manage to stay there. But they make good examples why brands are real values and that they represent a product.

Design But No Designer

Really, I know quite some designers and normally can distinguish their products. Let’s say Arne Jacobsen and Le Corbusier both designed furniture. But since each of them had a different style one can tell them apart. There brands consist of a name and the product.

On the other hand some articles remain the same for ages, are used daily and nobody thinks of them as of design products. (Of course everything has been designed somehow. For many items functionality has top priority.)

But in fact they are and their design is so apt for the product’s purpose that it had never been changed. Examples? Please have a look at the picture below.


Why is Branding Important

The year 2008 was not very “economy-friendly”. But as strange as it seems to be the market segment of luxury goods recovered quickly and has been steadily growing since. Luxury watches, jewellery and clothes are sold world-wide. They have the savoir-faire of skilled manufacturers which of course is attractive for designers that can improve their own reputation while working for the top brands.

In other words: A brand is not just a name, it is a quality product with a famous name. Even a luxury article is an object of daily use; just a more attractive one.


  1. Well said. I friend I know on FB was given a commission to design a Swatch this year. It really reflected his style and I am tempted to buy one. I have not sprung for it since all my other very cool swatches, including the first ski pass one from Zermatt, never get out to go anywhere. They live in a box…

    • Designing a Swatch is a really cool assignment. In Swatch’s Heyday I know a guy who collected them and in the end he had about 90 different pieces. Guess, they never saw any sunlight either. 🙂

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