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Aaron Betsky speaks to commercial design

 
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15938
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 9:47 am    Post subject: Aaron Betsky speaks to commercial design Reply with quote

"Not surprisingly, IKEA is also about the only major retail establishment in America that seems to welcome a wide swath of clients from the whole economic spectrum."

Just one sentence in this interesting essay on some subtleties to be found in today's retail environment -- with implications for design in general ?

https://www.dezeen.com/2018/07/13/opinion-aaron-betsky-walmartism-retail-interiors-texture/

SDR
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Roderick Grant



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
Posts: 8419

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This article could have been written in 1915, when the prototype of the supermarket first appeared in NYC. One cure for this might be to stop shopping at Walmart. I've never set foot in one, and have not missed it.

One consumer monster that does not comply with Walmartism is Best Buy, which may be big, but has very low (by Walmart standards) lighting, carpeted floors, warm colors, and is compartmentalized into 'rooms.' And, like Target, which Betsky gives a pass, it is a Minnesota-based company. Not that Minnesota has superior standards, but just saying.
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jay



Joined: 02 May 2016
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems to me like the experience of an "economical warehouse" could be fairly satisfying if they just let it be exactly what it is... Betsky's points about bright fluorescent lights, oversized scale, and slick surfaces are the obvious offenders, but he misses the obnoxious typography and over-stimulating "attention grabbers" that litter Walmart (as seen on the photo in the article). I don't think you need to have designers come in and make Walmart softer with carpets and compartmentalization, you just need to make it basic and honest.

For example, here's a restaurant supply store I sort of enjoy visiting for its nearly Eastern-Berlin communist style of lo-fi stimulative experience:



*Edit: sorry about that photo size... Is there a way to scale it down?
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SDR



Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 15938
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No problem -- I like the extreme letterbox or Cinemascope proportions of the image, in keeping with the subject ?

Images are displayed at the size they are exported to your host; any modification has to occur prior to uploading there.


Betsky's point for me was the differences between the various levels of merchandise and price point: bright, slick, simple for the bottom tier, and
darker, more textured surfaces for the mid- and up-scale markets. Best Buy is clearly going for quasi-luxury despite what may be bargain prices.

The local Safeway supermarket re-design of ten years ago moved a bit -- but not too far -- in that direction; darker backgrounds (distant walls and
corners) increased the apparent brightness of the aisles, though the actual wattage may have been reduced a bit. Slightly more luxurious textures and
graphics were in evidence. Perhaps they didn't want to be taken either for FoodsCo on the one hand, and Whole Foods on the other ?

SDR
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