By Marko Bon

Design requires physical familiarity with the product we’re selling.

If you haven’t already, read the intro & summary which explain why I wrote these thoughts down in the first place.

It should go without saying that the first thing you do when you start designing for a brand is to get familiar with the physical product. This seems to be self-evident but often goes overlooked. It’s also an important way for a designer to create a communication channel with the client’s head Merchant and even the CEO, “Yeah, I bought XYZ, I loved it, this is also what I noticed…”

Buy the product online, have it sent to you, unpack it, hold it, and understand it. Identify any gaps that you can help fill, like the way the packaging and collateral speak to you, a new customer. Think about your perceptions of the product when you were buying it, versus now that you’re holding it. Your client will be glad to hear about your insights.

Find the elements of the product that you love and highlight them your design solution. If you don’t know which attributes of the product are worthy of attention, then the customers you’re designing for surely won’t either.