Rant #6

This blog was originally started as a platform to allow me to share my creative explorations, my design projects and my views on design. On that score, I believe I have fulfilled my original aims. I would now like to share my thoughts on some other aspects of design. This month I would like to celebrate the wonderful world of the SMALL AD:

It’s all you’ll ever need!

Tired of wasting time and breaking your fingernails?

Don’t lose valuable sleep!

Instant combination ‘no tears’ Onion chopper and anti-burglar device!

USB Freeview receiver and blood pressure monitor!

Norwegian Easi-Grip Heat Inducing Knee brace!

I love those catalogues that get posted through my door from time to time. So full of things to make our hectic and inconvenient lives easier and quicker. So full of great things we had no idea we needed! The following ads are all absolutely true…

Question: if the hat is so good, and makes the wearer so debonair, why didn’t they let someone actually wear it?Question: Is it meant to be worn in an exceptionally large size, and is there something inside to keep it at that jaunty angle?

Christian? Tired of lugging that heavy old bible around? Now you can carry this lightweight USB version instead – all you need is a fully charged laptop…

Without disturbing your bed mate? I don’t think it will be much of a problem if you went to bed wearing this…

Before, during and after a meal? That’ll be for the entire day then! Thank goodness it’s ‘easy to wear!’ There is also one for the ladies in a fetching red tartan.

Yes, now you can ditch that tiny, flesh coloured hearing aid that fitted snugly within your inner ear – just clip on this external  2½” brushed aluminium effect and matt black plastic ‘fake’ hands-free phone device – no-one need ever know!

Now I must say here that in all seriousness that I am not laughing at the expense of the incontinent. It’s that little yellow lozenge in the top right that does it for me! It appeals to the Homer Simpson in me!

But I want to end this post with what I think is the piece-de-resistance:

Consider my heart fully lifted by all means, but I am struggling to find a wall in my home it would grace. And just what sound does it make exactly? I can imagine…

So lets bring this back to a designerly level. A graphic designer, or someone with some reasonable digital skills has assembled each of these ads, all taken from one catalogue I may add, and tried to present them in a visually interesting way, probably with terrible product shots, and incorporating text from some bibulous copywriter trying to ensure that the next bottle of Martini is forthcoming. Well done my friend. You were fighting a losing battle before you came to work.

This might sound like I am being  sarcastic but ‘long live the small ad! ‘ I wish I could get away with this sometimes! I have smiled and laughed at this catalogue, probably much more than most of the christmas TV comedy specials this year. I have also been tempted to part with my money too, but I won’t tell you what for!

Many thanks to my ‘In-Laws’ for letting me nick this catalogue that was posted through their door! And also to all those companies that put these things together, especially this one.


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