I Know, Let’s Order Up Some Bananas

Bruce Nussbaum: Michael Bierut of Pentagram fame has cut through the blather to raise a really fascinating–and funny– issue in Corporate America. Everyone loves design but no one wants to call it design. Top CEOs and managers want to call design something else–innovation. Innovation, that they are comfortable with. Design, well, its a little too wild and crazy for them. So they call it innovation.
I’ve been seeing this phenomenon for some time now–ever since design took off as a strategy and way of thinking inside big corporations. The same managers who are perfectly comfortable talking about “vision,” whatever that is, don’t like to talk about “design.” Innovation, however, connotes measurement, control and has a kind of engineering tonality to it. So “innovation” is accepted.
As for me, I think that if managers are uncomfortable with the term design, they should call it a “banana.” Bananas are beautiful, functional, organic, unique, measureable, portable, pleasurable and provide a delightful, emotional experience to consumers. Bananas embody what CEOs and managers are struggling to achieve in using design to create new products and services.
Yes, it took the legendary designer Michael Bierut to make me have this epiphany. Banana. Wow.
[via Incite By Design]

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.