Tag Archives: fun

Quick & dirty research

30 Dec

Inspiration musing (aka research) the quick and dirty way…


To get my design journey underway,  I did what most travellers would do for planning – Google! Images search was truly helpful to start off, and with each image linking me to more sources of inspiration, it became a viral way of getting quick information. Not only did the images offer design concepts, but also materials used, functions/purposes for bags. It was pretty fun learning about the myriad of uses and forms the ubiquitous shopping bag had become!

It was particularly entertaining to see how clever some of the designs brought out the brand feel and create buzz just by being carried around. Many ‘compilation’ type of blogs/websites frequently feature posts which show such like “30 Brilliantly Innovative Shopping Bag Designs“, or “Unusual and Creative Shopping Bags” . I especially like how some of the designs are interactive and needing a human user to complete the picture, though by itself alone would also pique curiosity by ‘yearning’ to be completed. I see this as one of the good examples where designers are tapping on how we are all hard-wired in our brains to organise visual elements into “unified wholes” (see Gestalt principles of visual perception) – especially in this case of Blush’s X-ray bag, giving a cheeky preview of Blush customers’ innerwear, or Panadol Extra’s bag showing how headaches sometimes feel like someone pounding on the top of your head. It’s great fun carrying these bags around, isn’t it? After seeing all these interesting, attention-seeking shopping bags, I’m surprised I don’t see much of such types making their way around town. Why Singapore, why?

Online sources also gave some good ideas on materials for shopping bags, especially since I’ll be designing a bag for books, which tend to be heavy and having hard corners (which might pierce your usual ‘soft’ plastic grocery bags). There’s so many choices, it’s baffling! Looking at materials like jute, polyfabric, and Tyvek had been pretty educational though – for some reason I love learning about random everyday stuff! It’s also fascinating how shopping bags are evolving in form, especially how since most are carried by women, the design for shopping bags are going more fashionable, like these fabulous Tyvek-made CheekyGreen bags- they look so good I think they qualify as normal fashion bags to carry around!

The main learning point from these online musings seem to be simply “FUN” – just because it’s a commonplace object doesn’t mean that the shopping bag has to look boring (think “brown”), or made of the usual suspects (think “paper”). Haha…

So how can I design a bag for library users to borrow books with, but at the same time can be fun / entertaining to use / durable (since one of the criteria is for users to return the bag, and thus be subject to multiple uses) and lastly helps our public libraries spread their ‘brand‘?