Colophon

For the geeks & nerds.

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The design principles behind this site take inspiration from Indexhibit and Jasper Morrison’s idea of the Super Normal.

A while ago I found some heavy old hand-blown wine glasses in a junk shop. At first it was just their shape which attracted my attention, but slowly, using them every day, they have become something more than just nice shapes, and I notice their presence in other ways. If I use a different type of glass, for example, I feel something missing in the atmosphere of the table. When I use them the atmosphere returns, and each sip of wine is a pleasure even if the wine is not. If I even catch a look at them on the shelf they radiate something good. This quota of atmospheric spirit is the most mysterious and elusive quality in objects. How can it be that so many designs fail to have any real beneficial effect on the atmosphere, and yet these glasses, made without much design thought or any attempt to achieve anything other than a good ordinary wine glass, happen to be successful? It’s been puzzling me for years and influencing my attitude to what constitutes a good design. I’ve started to measure my own designs against objects like these glasses, and not to care if the designs become less noticeable. In fact a certain lack of noticeability has become a requirement.

from Reading Design – Super Normal

Also

To be so recognisable as the most normal example of a particular type of object like the Pentel pen is of felt tips, that they acquire a higher level of normality or effortless familiarity than any other example.

In the absence of any examples of normal in a specific category, a design may take the place of the missing Normal item. These are all examples of how something may come to be Super Normal and in most cases it takes time for the qualities which typify the Super Normal object to be recognised. One can imagine a paperclip being a miracle of technology and ingenuity (as in reality it still is) for the first ten or twenty years of its existence before we became accustomed to them.

Extracted from A Book of Things by Jasper Morrison (Lars Müller Publishers, 2015)