Do You Have Good Taste? Exceptional Design vs Tacky Design

The difference between exceptional design and mediocre design can be the difference between two shades of the same color. Design is about the harmony of form and function. Great design brings about an emotional response and resonates with how we feel. The best design is not only aesthetically pleasing, but serves a purpose beyond just looks. Here are some examples of crap design, mediocre design, and exceptional design and how to spot each one. The brands or prices were not factored into the selection of the products… I tried to be fairly objective.

Water Bottles

Tacky 

This plastic bottle looks like it was donated from a Safeway recycling center. I’ll pass.

Okay

The logo is horrendous, the shape leaves more to be desired and the colors aren’t exactly screaming sexy. It’s not exactly a show stopper.

 Exceptional 

The bottle pictured above is a prime example of exceptional design. The lines are clean, the shape is iconic, the logo isn’t plastered across the front, and the details are subtle and yet, enhance the overall presentation.

 

Knives

Tacky 

These knives look like it was stolen from a 5 year old’s Barbie play set.

Okay

These knives aren’t bad… but that’s pretty much it. They’re just okay, mediocre, average…the knives I would expect to see at any suburban household kitchen.

 Exceptional 

Now this is what I’m talking about. The pure matte black is sexy, the fractals are gorgeous, these knives just want to be shown off to the head chef.

 

iPhone Cases

Tacky 

If my grandma had an iPhone, she would own one of those cases. And I love my grandma but that’s not a complement.

Okay

This case has some nice elements. The colors match well, the edges are bezeled and clean… but with all the 5 billion types of cases out there… it doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. If this was a girl, she would be about a 6 out of 10, you’d take her out, but you wouldn’t show her off to your friends.

 Exceptional 

Sex. Pure sex. This is pretty much the Porsche of iPhone cases. The leather screams luxury, the chrome bezel screams style, and the details really make it shine.

 

Watches

Tacky 

An owl watch? Really? What are we, in 4th grade?

Okay

From far away, the white watch looks decent, but upon closer inspection the details are lacking. The watch face is stupidly simple, the diamonds are probably fake, and the ceramic band looks more like plastic. It just seems like a cheap watch that’s trying to be more upscale than it actually is.

 Exceptional 

Ignoring the fact that this watch is made by Chanel, there are very distinct details that make the watch stand out. The face has several different numbers and inner rings which adds a layer of sophistication. The chrome looks luxurious without being ostentatious and there’s a good combination of simplicity and details to the design.

 

Couches

Tacky 

I’m pretty sure if you owned this couch, we wouldn’t be friends.

Okay

If you work in IT, or any sort of middle manager corporate job, this couch might be for you. It’s trying to be modern… really really trying… but it’s just not quite there.

 Exceptional 

Now this is a beautiful couch. The sectional pieces are a must for a modern living room. The shape is simple, clean, and well thought out. It’s a nice piece that looks very high quality.

 

Cars

Tacky 

I don’t care how much horsepower the WRX has, it’s ugly. And every year, it keeps getting uglier and uglier.

Okay

I know I’m going to offend a lot of people, but I think the Prius is the epitome of average design. The shape is new, but not appealing, the interior is different, but not sexy… there’s just nothing about this car that I would brag about… besides maybe the gas mileage…

 Exceptional 

This is hands down one of the sexiest cars to come out this year. The FR-S looks like it costs 5 times more than it actually does, and that’s a testament to the beautiful design and exotic feel of the car.

 

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One Response to “Do You Have Good Taste? Exceptional Design vs Tacky Design”

  1. Bobert
    March 22, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    The FR-S you are showing was the concept model, most concept models look fantastic. It’s when the engineers tell the designers that their concept would cost too much to make or that they can’t do it because of safety regulations or it would effect performance or efficiency.

    The Prius isn’t “Okay” it’s an abomination with horrible proportions. The wheels are too small and the body is a fat wedge. It is efficiency at the cost of appearance.

    The Subaru is horribly tacky I agree with that.

    The Alfa Romeo 8C would have made a better comparison because it’s a real car

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