Why does it look like that? - Peter Kay talks to Marketing Week

Published on: 6th April 2009

Peter Kay explains the importance of a 3D visual brand language.

'In the early nineties a client asked me a simple question. ‘Why does it look like that?’ They were referring to a successful consumer product that we had designed. They wanted to deconstruct why it had been so successful and what they should do next. A definitive answer was difficult, and obviously required an analysis of all the communications that had surrounded the product. But my client was specific; they wanted to know how the look of the product had helped. What was it in the visual design of the product that was considered so ‘cool’ and resonated so well with its audience? Like art historians, with hindsight we could theorise and hypothesise why, but the fact was it had not been designed strategically to communicate particular messages about the brand or the product, it was a happy accident. It is difficult to repeat happy accidents. We are now in a sober period where it is vital to have a more intelligent approach to design. ‘I think concept number five is the cool one’ is not good enough, ‘softer corners look better’ is just not acceptable.’