Guest Blog Post by Ben Steele, Hornall Anderson
These days, a trip down the beer aisle can be downright overwhelming — with mainstream and craft brewers all vying for consumer attention in an increasingly crowded space. Consumers are demanding distinctive package design and true innovation.
The question is … are designers listening?
New York: Faberge President, Richard Barrie, Cary Grant, a director of the company, and Farrah Fawcett’s husband Lee Majors, join in toasting Farrah’s new association with Faberge for her own line of hair, fragrance and beauty preparations. According to Barrie, Farrah will not just appear in the ads and commercials, but will be very active in product development, packaging, design and advertising.
Whether Heather Locklear or Kim Cattrall, Aqua Net has played a leading role in leading ladies’ hair styles for decades. The antidote to a “bad hair day,” Aqua Net was the go-to brand throughout the 60s, 70s, and 80s, helping women get their hair higher and higher.
After its introduction, Aqua Net grew to be a household name. It was first found on the dressing tables of fine salons and made the leap into retail in the late 1950’s. The brand has long held cult status and its image has been burnished by a bevy of big hair beauties from Donna Mills to Jon Bon Jovi (men count too, right?); represented on screen in such hits as “When Harry Met Sally“ and “MadMen”; and it continues to flourish on YouTube. Around 2002, with the Broadway revival of Hairspray, Aqua Net enjoyed a revival of its own as the brand name once again became top of mind.
Let’s not pretend for a second that spec contests are good for designers.
Spec contests have worked out pretty well for transatlantic flight and mapping the human genome, but are more or less a poison for emerging designers. Those businesses who source their design work to internet-based spec contests are promoting a cynical race to the bottom and need to cut it out.
But just as the Bubonic Plague produced some neat triptychs and World War I some readable classic novels, there was once a spec contest that produced an icon of great design, and created the curious case of Gary Anderson. But the takeaway isn’t as simple as it may seem.