Ever heard of Ettore Sottsass? Probably not. But you’ve certainly been influenced by him.
Sottsass was an architect and designer who helped design the exterior of one of the world’s first computers back in 1959.
In the 1960s, he designed the iconic fire engine red Valentine portable typewriter. Then he developed the yellow and brown aluminum chair design used by offices around the world in the 1970s.
But the thing that Ettore Sottsass designed that impacted us most of all was his collection of 57 pieces ranging from a polychrome couch to a bookshelf made out of particle board colored in what would become 1980’s neon.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is showcasing Sottsass’s art in an exhibition this Summer.
Why am I telling you this?
Because Sottsass’s 1980s Neon is an example of how each era has its own “look and feel.”
The problem with this concept is companies need to be aware of the changing times and trends. They must be willing to update their “look and feel” too.
I’ve had clients struggle to change a dated look such as a font that says, “This is the 90’s,” for a company that’s growing in 2017. We subconsciously think of different eras and different times based on what we see. The fonts. The colors.
This is why movies and TV shows often incorporate a couple of memorable images to convey a different time period. We see these images and it puts us right back in time, even if that era actually was before “our” time.
Sometimes companies also need to change their look if it’s dated. A fresh approach never goes out of style.
They need to fight off their emotional ties and realize that maybe they’re the only ones who see that nostalgic look as a positive. In other words, they need to Cut the BS.