A couple weeks back, my wife and I were watching TV as we usually do in the evening when we happened to see a commercial. My wife thought the commercial was a show, and I was like, “no, that’s a Target commercial…their whole thing now is to use somewhat cryptic artistic commercials to sell different product lines.” OK, so maybe I didn’t quite capture what Target was doing, but what I really meant to say is that Target uses design/art to distinguish themselves and their products from competitors…thus, they use design to sell!
Target uses design and artistry in their TV ads and on their Web sites. Target also has gone out of its way over the years to enlist architects/designers to create product lines for everyday things. Target is owning design. Just look at one of their taglines (launchChannel Red): Design for All – Everyone can afford great design.
Target even goes so far as to publish a philosophy:
Great design isn’t reserved for the few… it’s for everyone to enjoy, everyday. We’re here to champion the value of objects of great design big and small. And to deliver them at a value that really does make it Design for All.
That’s fantastic, and I think that sums up what I’ve thought about Target ever since I first shopped at one about 6 years ago (hey, they weren’t around the places I lived previously). Heck, my wife and I even love the smallest of Target’s “everyday things” such as thank you cards! We send them out, and everyone thinks we are cool and hip…but we didn’t have to drop many pennies to be cool and hip thanks to Target!!
<aside>I remember the first time I saw a Michael Graves product at Target. I thought, hey wait a minute…that’s the architect who designed the Disney Dolphin and Swan hotels (and Celebration town hall and the Disney Studios in Burbank). How the heck can this world-reknown architect–who’s totally in with Disney–design products for a department store? Is he selling out cuz he isn’t getting anymore gigs and needs some dough? At first I thought he was and figured they were just cheap-ass products, but then as a few years went by, I really began to realize that Target was commited to design. As they added more designers to their list, I realized that that was their thing…and that’s sure as heck why I love just browsing at Target but you wouldn’t catch me doing that at Wal-Mart!</aside>