Sometimes, watching BBC America or a foreign film, I will feel a pang of envy, brought on by the suspicion that even the mundane items overseas are aesthetically pleasing. (Subway signage!) And it can feel like the United States is the red-headed stepchild of the developed design world.
Fortunately, that is changing, thanks to Target. Attractive everyday items were virtually unavailable to the average person before this design-focused big box store spread across the country. If that sounds like exaggeration, I contend that it is easily proven by the following challenge: Find a decent-looking shower curtain at a department store. It’s impossible. Go to Target: you’ll have five or six to choose from.
To be sure, a shower curtain is not an investment on the order of a new car; but it’s a fixture in your house that you encounter every day of your life. It’s not unreasonable to want a nice one. In fact, I would argue, it’s necessary to have a nice one. Along with the other mundane objects that surround you, it creates the world you live and work in.
Target has taken the status quo of such mundane objects to new levels. One is no longer limited to outdated ’80s colors or country designs.
The remarkable singularity of Target is most obvious when one tries to find the occasional product that Target doesn’t carry. Light fixtures, for example. Visit a home improvement store; it will be hard to find one that’s acceptable, and most are outright offensive.
A friend and I recently joked about an establishment who shall remain nameless. He called it “Design out of Reach.” Gone are the days when attractive, well-designed items were exclusive to the monied. We can all get it at Target.
Target was recently awarded Design of the Decade by The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) for it’s ClearRx prescription bottles. “We’re thrilled to be honored with this award because great design is a part of our DNA at Target,” said Keri Jones, senior vice president, Health & Beauty, Target.
To that I say, “We’ve noticed. Thanks.”
Alexis Nesbitt is Dragonfly’s Art Director. She is the recipient of numerous ADDY, Marcom, and Hermes Creative Awards, including for her identity for Dragonfly. She is based in Dayton, Ohio.